Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Advent calendar day 20 #6 Pete Sampras
Now we are at number 6 on the count down to the best tennis player of all time.
Grand Slams won - 14
Grand Slam Finals lost - 4
Overall amount of singles titles won - 64
Overall Match Winning percentage - 77.44% (762-222)
Top rank - 1
Today we have the former king of Grand Slams-Pete Sampras. He won a great haul of 14 Grand Slams, a great record until Federer broke it in 2009. He lost 4 Grand Slam Finals, failing 3 times at the US Open and once at the Australian Open. He failed to win the career Grand Slam, making the semi-Finals of The French Open just once in 1996. He won a record 7 Wimbledon titles, which were won in 8 years from 1993 to 2000, this includes runs of 3 and 4 consecutive victories. He won a record of 5 US Open titles, a record shared with 2 others during Open Era. He won his first Wimbledon title and second Grand Slam in 1993, 3 years after he won his first Grand Slam in the 1990 US Open. He also holds a joint record for the amount of ATP World Tour Finals won, a total of 5. He also won 8 consecutive Grand Slam Finals, a record. Sampras is the only player to have been ranked as year end world number 1 for 6 consecutive years and holds the record for the most weeks as world number 1, of 286 weeks, one more than Federer's 285. He is fourth on the all time ATP Masters 1000 titles, with 11, 5th on the all time ATP titles, with 64 and he has made the second most money any tennis player has made, with $43,000,000. He won the Davis Cup in 1992 and 1995 with USA and in 1993 he won a career best 85 matches in the season. The next year he won a career high of 10 tournaments and a personal best winning streak of 29 matches. So in a career of 15 years, he accomplished so much. Sampras commonly used an effective serve and volley tactic, which accounts for his success at Wimbledon. He was also armed with strong ground strokes, setting up a volley. He was well known for his good play under pressure, especially his serve. He had a great serve and a blistering forehand on the run, which was one of the best ever. His biggest weakness was his back hand, which was exploited by rivals but he countered by running around his backhand and using his forehand, therefore encouraging his opponent to give him forehands on the run. His forehand utilised heavy top spin and lightning pace. In 2002 he won his last Grand Slam and before the next US Open he announced his retirement. Now he occasionally plays in the veteran tour for retired players and exhibition matches. Unfortunately in November 2010 Sampras announced that many of his trophies, including his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open had been stolen.
Later today I will release the 5th best players of all time.