Sunday, 23 November 2008

You gotta read this: Sampras interview

Even now, 6 years after his retirement, Pete Sampras still casts a long shadow over men's tennis. He continues to define success and greatness. Roger Federer may have had some titanic matches against Nadal but his one true rival remains Pistol Pete.

With Rafa he is competing for individual slams. With Sampras it's the right to be regarded as the best (or if not the best, the most successful).

Any yet despite his enduring and pivotal place in tennis, for many people Sampras remains an unknown. A bit of an enigma. Which is why I so enjoyed reading the interview with the great man by Paul Kimmage in today's Sunday Times, which is part of the pre-publicity for next month's Blackrock Masters at the Albert Hall.

It explains who he is, and why he is what he is, through a series of interesting insights and anecdotes. Including his up and down relationship with McEnroe; how his love of fast cars got him into trouble with the law; and why he has decided to return to the game.

There's so much to enjoy about this article, especially the little details - Kimmage had to have his DNA swabbed before entering Sampras' exclusive country club where the interview took place. You can read it here


van said...

Hey Steve, hope all is well. Thanks for the link to that interview: Great stuff! I never knew all that about Sampras. It's funny, if you were to look at it, despite all of his quirks, he's probably one of the more well-adjusted former players out there. At least that's the impression I got.

TopSpin said...

I never really understood why the media were so harsh with Sampras - its true he wasn't the most vocal of players, but its his focus, discipline and skill that won him 14 Slams not unwarranted displays of emotion.

And its not as if he were a total introvert - there was always plenty of fist pumping, c'mons and even flamboyant shots like the slamdunk...

As Van says, a well adjusted Champion - kind of like Federer

Steve said...

Hi guys

sometimes you just can't win with media.

Play it safe and you're unlovable robot, speak your mind or even tell the occasional joke(like Andy Murray did about wanting England to lose at football) and they slate you.

C'est la vie!!