Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Sampras is not Rocky
Talking of guilty pleasures I've always had a soft spot for the Rocky films. In Rocky 4 we see Rocky coming out of a comfortable retirement to risk it all against Drago, a younger, taller, stronger opponent. And would you believe it, against all odds, Rocky beats Drago.
Back in tennis world the Pete Samprass comeback bandwagon gathers pace. Last Autumn Samprass played three exhibition matches with Federer, including the game in Macau which Sampras won 6 and 4.
Last week Sampras beat Tommy Haas in an exhibition, and on March 10 we have another Sampras v Federer game at Madison Square Garden.
Kamakshi and Steve on the ESPN blog have five reasons for and five reasons against a comeback. Elsewhere Tennis Fanantic would like Pete to give it a shot.
My view is the mens tour is no movie and Sampras (great as he was) is not Rocky.
There are more than 100 super fit guys itching to take down a legend. In the unlikely event that Sampras does risk his reputation it's hard to see his body lasting a full season. Instead he'd have to cherry pick events (Wimbledon, the US, some of the masters).
But of course he wouldn't be seeded and so could find himself up against Federer, Nadal, Djokovic (or Murray, Tsonga, or Davydenko, the list goes on) in round one or two.
I just can't see Sampras risking his pride or reputation.