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Sampras Says Will Never Play French Open Again
By REUTERS


Filed at 7:11 a.m. ET

PARIS (Reuters) - Former world number one Pete Sampras says he will never again play at the French Open, the only grand slam tournament he has not won.

The record 14-times grand slam winner, who has not played since beating old rival Andre Agassi in September to win his fifth U.S. Open title, said he had put too much pressure on himself to win in Paris.

``That's that. I won't be seen at Roland Garros anymore,'' the 31-year-old said in an interview with sports daily L'Equipe on Saturday.

``I did everything I could to win the title, so I am giving it up without regret. I changed my preparation, playing a lot on clay before the French Open, or less, but there was always something wrong,'' Sampras said.

``When I came back to Flushing Meadows last year, everyone thought I couldn't win. Then I did win. So when I beat Andre in the final, it meant something enormous to me.

``I wanted to prove something, that I was still able to win a 14th grand slam tournament,'' he added.

Sampras said he had planned to return to Wimbledon this year. The American has pulled out of this month's grasscourt event, which he has won seven times, but has not ruled out a possible return.

``Two months ago, I started to train again, but my heart was not in it,'' he said.

Asked why he did not announce his retirement, Sampras said: ``I did not want to close the door for good. I will see at the end of the year if I will quit or not. Maybe in November or December, after more than a year without a competition, I will have the desire to play a few tournaments.

``With a bit of luck, it will be for the US Open or Wimbledon in 2004.''
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More Sampras :D
 

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dammit, the
Android
is going to deny me the chance to make more fun of his attempts to master the terre battu grrrrrr..... :devil:
 

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You are so funny sometimes, TC! :D And a snoring Snoopy takes the cake! :p Where did you get Snoopy from?

And on a serious note, I hope Pete packs it in for good. Coming back next year might taint his legacy as the greatest tennis player in the Open Era, and one of 3 greatest tennis players of all time. But if he gets bored with his family life I think he will try a comeback next year.
 

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the cat said:
You are so funny sometimes, TC! :D And a snoring Snoopy takes the cake! :p Where did you get Snoopy from?

And on a serious note, I hope Pete packs it in for good. Coming back next year might taint his legacy as the greatest tennis player in the Open Era, and one of 3 greatest tennis players of all time. But if he gets bored with his family life I think he will try a comeback next year.
Borg once made a failed comeback, but he is still remembered as one of the greatest players. He's remembered mostly for his 5 Wimbledon titles and winning the French Open and Wimbledon back to back, and hardly anyone remembers the fact that he tried to come back and didnt succeed. I think it'll be the same for Sampras.
 

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And he mentions all the Grand Slams except the Aus Open! Is he coming back to play in Australia? I guess not, but at least mention it!
 

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Robot can do what he pleases~ when you win 14slams who can say otherwise..! Personally to him gone is no great loss, I`ll be a million times more sad when Baldy gives it away... he`s the one who left the lasting impression###
 

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evyatar said:
A huge sigh of relief was heard throughout all of Spain :p
Spanish players are scared by him on RG:p
 

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OMG, are you f***ing serious. ok this guy is becoming a nuesance. he needs to shut his mouth and freakin retire already. nobody talsk about him anymore and quite frankly nobody cares. his perfect chance was at the US Open 2002, he could have went out with a bang. now he's gonna go out with a swift kick in the butt. yes Sampras is amazing and one of the alltime greats, but i mean come on now. just retire already
 

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psychotic banana
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Is this supposed to a surprise?? His "I dont' want to close the door for sure" has been used and re-used many times.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Experimentee said:
And he mentions all the Grand Slams except the Aus Open! Is he coming back to play in Australia? I guess not, but at least mention it!
Are you serious?

Sampras= domination of Wimbledon for a decade.
Sampras= last slam, US Open, beating Agassi after going winless for more than a year.

What lasting impression does Sampras have of the Aussie Open other than it adding to his slam count?

Remember this is the guy who skipped it one year to play golf, lol.
 

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Naldo - no one cares?? yet you click on a topic about it and then feel a need to reply...
 

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Team WTAworld, The Martian Llama
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I'd be very surprised to see him back. I just think it's sad that his retirement has been a bit like Rafter's, in the fact that it's been oh I might come back, it drags on for ages, then about a year later they say that's it. They sneak away and almost go quietly which is a shame. :(
 

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He won't be back. From SI

Game, Set, Career

by Rick Reilly

Just inside Pete Sampras's front door in his cushy Beverly Hills house is a case of unopened cans of tennis balls.

"We give them to our friends who have dogs," says his wife, the actress Bridgette Wilson.

Suddenly, she stoops and covers her mouth. "Oops! Did I say that out loud?"

It's the worst-kept secret in tennis. The greatest player who ever lived has quit, without a parade, without a tour, without a goodbye. He has taken his record 14 Grand Slam singles titles and his unseeable serve and called it an era. He's traded his Wilson for his Wilson.

O.K., Sampras says there's a "five percent" chance he could come back and maybe play Wimbledon in 2004. "but the problem is wanting to." The way his nose wrinkles when he talks about it, you get the feeling he'd loofah-scrub Al Roker first.

"It's weird to say, but I'm content," Sampras says. "I'm happy. I've got nothing left to prove to myself. That's a big statement. I'm coming to terms with it, you know? I'm like, "I'm stopping?' But there's nothing left in tennis I want to achieve."

So winning at least one French Open means nothing to you? "If it did, I'd have been there this year," he says flatly.

Now wait a minute! You just don't do this in America! Not at 31! You don't just stop! You're supposed to keep striving, wanting aching to be more, better, greater. In this country the day you buy your Saab 900 is the day you start working your buns off towards the Saab 9000. The carrot is for chasing, not eating, damn it! "I know," he says with a grin. "It's crazy, huh?"

So the final act was his smash hit: the unforgettable Big Fat Greek Upset over Andre Agassi in the finals of the 2002 U.S. Open, when the 17th-seeded Sampras climbed into the stands to hug the person whom the media had blamed for his 26-month winless streak--his pregnant wife.

"[A TV commentator] had called her the Yoko Ono of tennis," he says, venom in his eyes. "That sooo pissed me off. Criticize me, criticize my game, but don't criticize my wife. She pulled me through the hardest period of my tennis life. That's why that [Open win] felt so damn good. I shut them all up in two weeks of work. I showed them that the best part of me was her."

Full yet empty at the same time, he took the rest of 2002 off and the first three months of 2003. In late April he was just about to begin the two-month sweat-a-thon that would get him ready for this year's Wimbledon when something turned up missing--his desire. "I've always had this little thing I do when I tie my shoes," Sampras says. "I finish tying them, slap the ground and say to myself, Here we go! But this time, it didn't feel good. And I stopped, right there and then."

He stewed over it. Was his career really over? He called friends in and out of tennis. Finally, when he called Wayne Gretzky and asked him what to do, the hockey god said simply, "You're the only one who can know." Sampras realized then that he already did. And that has pleased exactly nobody else.

His family, his friends, Bridgette, they all want him to play one more Grand Slam event. "I want it to be up to him, but, just personally, I'm going to miss watching him play," Bridgette says holding the six-month -old boy, Christian, for whom she's happily suspended her acting career. "And I'd love for Christian to be there once, even if he'd never remember."

But Sampras is choosing this new Huggies life, this Gymboree world where he's a hero to nobody but a kid who will never see him play. "My life not playing is too good!" he says, and that life includes adults--too much golf with his pal, actor Luke Wilson, and too many welts from banging with his three-on-three hoops buddies out on his tennis court. (Hey, you gotta use that space for something.)

He's a new man. You should see him chug the baby's baby's chocolate soy milk straight out of the carton, order the extra dessert, eat dinner without a thought of carbohydrate counts. "If I want steak instead of a big plate of pasta, I can," he gloats. "Or I can not eat at all. I'm free! I don't have to worry all the time: How am I going to play tomorrow? How're my legs? Did I eat the right combinations?"

But doesn't America deserve a chance to watch you take your last bows? "Acch," he says with a shrug. "I see Michael Chang doing the farewell tour thing, the rocking chair in each city thing, taking the bows. I don't want that. I hate to be honored. I took my bows at that Open. I just didn't know it."

I pity Pete Sampras. I do. He's lost the drive, the ambition, that will that keeps the rest of us busting his butts. There is no hope for the satisfied man, they say. Sampras is 31, and he'll never do anything greater in his life. He's doomed to spend the rest of his days with a neck-snapping blonde and a gorgeous son in a hilltop palace with nothing to do but find new and creative ways to blow his career winnings of $43 million.
(Hey, Pete, need any help?)

If you have a comment for Rick Reilly, send it to [email protected]
 
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