Pete Sampras- A True Champion Essay, Research Paper
PETE SAMPRAS: A TRUE CHAMPION
When people think of their favorite tennis player, or if you ask someone who barely knows anything about tennis, usually the names Andre Agassi, John Macnroe, and Jimmy Connors comes up. It s very rare that Pete Sampras gets mentioned and if it is it s usually “that guy that always wins Wimbledon”. Many people don t see that Pete has overcome and conquered many obstacles both mentally and physically that most athletes could not. He s been able to balance his personal life with tennis, not an easy task for athletes. Pete Sampras is the most under-appreciated tennis player of the game because he s a quiet, non-theatrical, reserved kind of guy.
As in any sport fans like drama and in tennis Macnroe was the drama king. In fact, Macnroe showed it all the time. Pete, on the other hand, keeps to himself and very rarely show any emotion on the court. When asked fans say that Pete isn t very theatrical and therefore doesn t draw a whole lot of attention to him. For example; if a ball is called out that may have been obviously in Samprass would just walk up to the net look at where the ball landed and just turn around and walk back to the baseline to get ready for the next point. Someone like John Macnroe would be a completely different story. Macnroe would walk up to the chair umpire and argue loud enough so everybody in the stadium could hear him. Macnroe would yell, cuss, and throw his racket. It was things like this that made the game even more interesting and the crowd loved it.
Another reason why Pete is perhaps the most under-appreciated tennis player would be his lack of emotional energy. For example Jimmy Connors would yell and throw his arms up in the air after he wins a tournament or a major point in a match. The fans love it when the players show this kind of energy because they too get riled up and feel like they themselves had just won the point. Pete doesn t openly celebrate a good point or a tournament win. Instead, he might just smile or wave to the crowd.
A third reason why Pete is perhaps the most under appreciated tennis player would be because he doesn t reveal anything about his personal life to the public. He chooses his words very carefully and keeps his answers to personal questions short and brief. Andre Agassi on the other hand reveals a lot about his personal life whenever he s being interviewed or speaking in a press conference. The public knows about all the major things happening in Andre s life; for example, his marriage to Brooke Shields and his relationship with Steffi Graf, and some of his family problems. Fans like to know this kind of personal stuff about the people they re cheering for. They feel like they know the players and can interact with them on a personal level. But, with the quiet and reserved Pete Sampras they can t make that kind of personal connection.
If people looked deeper into what makes Pete such a great player they would find that he is a champion in every way shape and form. There aren t very many athletes that have the ability to balance their athletics with personal life. When Andre Agassi married Brooke Shields his concentration went from tennis to marriage. He dropped from a world ranking at number 4 to 127. Presently, he s closed that gap and is now back on top.
However, it was a hard road to travel in order to get back to where he was. Pete has been able to balance his fianc with tennis. It hasn t effected him the least bit and it s not surprising. His mental toughness outweighs any other player by a long shot. At one point during the 1996 Australian Open Final Pete broke down in tears because Tom Gulikson, his coach and life long friend had just recently died from brain cancer. Despite his tragic loss, Pete went on to win the Australian Open.
Another thing that most people fail to see about Pete is his physical toughness and strong will. In most cases when a player is sick or injured they default the match; Jimmy
Connors is a great example of this. During the quarterfinals of the 1989 French Open Jimmy Connors defaulted because he felt dizzy and fatigued. The same kind of situation happened to Pete. During the 1997 U.S. Open semifinals against Carlos Moya, Pete vomited twice. He looked pale, struggled to keep his balance, and was very tired. He fought through and won the match in 5 sets against the young Spaniard. Despite all odds and his semifinal performance he ended up winning the 1997 U.S. Open title.
Pete Sampras is the most under appreciated tennis player of the game because he s a quiet, non-theatrical, reserved kind of guy. Not very many people know that Pete has broken more records in tennis that any other player. He is the youngest player to win the U.S. Open at age 18. He holds 13 career Grand Slam singles titles; the most to have ever been won by any tennis player. He has also set the record of being number one in the world six consecutive years in a row. He holds the record for the most service games won as well as the most singles titles won by any other player. Pete has proven himself time, and time again that he is the best tennis player the world has ever seen. People will always say that they like Pete Sampras. However, they will only like him as long as he s on top because the moment he slips from the number one spot they ll forget him.