A 49 years old, retired American professional tennis player, Pete Sampras, is one of the best players of all time in the history of tennis sports.
He has been a role model and inspiration to many fresh tennis players. His dedication and, in particular, his excellent techniques that include serve-and-volley play style made him always remembered in the history of sports.
Sampras has started his professional career around 3 decades ago in 1988 and took his retirement from tennis after claiming the 14th Grand Slam singles title in the 2002 US Open (tennis).
However, he continued to stand as a tennis player even after his retirement and continued to play in numerous exhibition matches for several years.
Similarly, he won 64 singles titles and two double titles with the Wimbledon Championships seven times and 14 Grand Slams.
Hereby, we will discuss the early life of Pete Sampras, his personal life, and how he started his journey as a tennis player. Before that, let us have a look at some quick facts!
|Full Name||Pete Sampras|
|Date of Birth||August 12, 1971|
|Home Country||United States of America|
|Birth Name||Petros Sampras|
|Nick Name||Pistol Pete|
|Father’s Name||Soterios (Sammy) Sampras|
|Mother’s Name||Georgia Sampras|
|Siblings||Gus Sampras, Marion Sampras, and Stella Sampras|
|Body Measurement||40-14-30 inches|
|Chest Size||40 inches|
|Bicep Size||14 inches|
|Waist Size||30 inches|
|Children||Christian Charles Sampras and
Ryan Nikolaos Sampras
|Current City||Lake Sherwood, California, U.S.|
|Retired||September 8, 2002 (last match)
August 25, 2003 (official )
|Best known for||Winner of 14 Grand Slams|
|Net Worth||$150 Million|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter.|
|Merch||Pete Sampras: Greatness Revisited, Trading Card, Signed Tennis Ball|
Pete Sampras: Early Life, Family, and Personal Life
Sampras was born in Washington, D.C. Sampras got his ethnicity Greece from his parents. He is the third child of Soterios “Sammy” and Georgia Sampras.
Similarly, his mother was from Sparta, Greece, and his father was born in the United States to a Greek father, Costas “Gus” Sampras, and a Jewish mother, Sarah Steinberg.
He has three siblings with his older sister, Stella Sampras Webster, as a women’s tennis head coach at UCLA, his younger sister, Marion, a teacher in Los Angels, and his older brother, Gus, a tournament director at the Scottsdale ATP event.
About his relationship status, he got married to a most beautiful and yet so talented actress Bridgette Wilson on September 30, 2000. She was a former Miss Teen USA.
They had their first son, Christian Charles Sampras, in 2002 and second son, Ryan Nikolaos Sampras, in 2005. It seems like they are living a small happy family life in Lake Sherwood, California.
How did he start playing Tennis?
The first time Sampras played tennis was when he accidentally discovered a tennis racket in his home’s basement at the age of 3.
Later on, his family moved to Southern California, where he started to show his talent after joining Jack Kramer Club.
Robert Lansdrop taught him forehand, which he used during all his matches. He converted his double-handed backhand to single-hand with a pediatrician and tennis enthusiast, Dr. Peter Fischer.
Pete Sampras is a former ATP tennis player who has made great tennis contributions. We will discuss how he started his career as a tennis player, his achievements, and retirements.
Starting of Career
Though Sampras had been practicing and playing tennis since childhood, he started his professional career in 1988 at the age of 16.
He started his career with a rank no. 893 in the world, and by the end of the year, he progressed to no. 97.
His first match was with Sammy Giammalva, which was not in his favor. However, he got victory over two top-40 players in his next match though he lost to no. 18, Emilio Sanchez.
Sampras didn’t get to have much impact during his career’s starting journey. He lost in the first round of the US open to no. 69 Jaime Yzaga of Peru. It was his first Grand Slam singles match.
First Grand Singles match
As time flowed, Sampras improved gradually and reached rank no. 81 in 1989. Just like the previous year, this year as well didn’t turn out to be fortunate for Sampras.
He lost many matches that year. However, at that year’s French Open, he did win a Grand singles match for the first time in his career.
First Grand Slam Title
He then jumped to the rank no. 5 after his first professional singles title came in February 1990 at the Ebel U.S. Pro Indoor in Philadelphia.
He got this title by defeating sixth-ranked Andre Agassi, eighth-ranked Mayotte, and eighteenth-ranked Andres Gomez. This year, he won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open.
Confront Clay Court
He kept winning every title that came along until he was criticized after losing in the quarterfinals to Jim Courier in the US Open.
This didn’t discourage him; rather, he took this as a wake-up call and started to figure out every possible way to hold the position of no. 1 globally.
In 1992, Sampras, for the first time, entered at Olympics where he had to play on clay.
However, clay was never his favorite surface, yet he advanced to the third round. But he didn’t make it to the final as he lost to Andrei Cherkasov of Russia.
Finally No. 1 Player
Finally, in April 1993, Sampras holds no. 1, which was skeptical by many as he had not claimed any Grand Slam titles recently.
But he cleared all doubts by winning his first of seven Wimbledon titles after he defeated former world no. 1, Jim Courier, in the final. This year appeared to be a milestone for Sampras as he won another US Open title.
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Demise of Coach
In the following years, he made a continuous victory by winning one of his Australian Open titles in 1994 and two Grand Slams titles in 1995.
During his match against Courier in the Australian Open quarterfinals, he had to go through the emotional trauma of losing his longtime coach and close friend, Tim Gullikson.
Despite emotional disturbances, Sampras defeated Courier, but he didn’t make it to the final as he lost against Andre Agassi.
13th Grand Slam Singles Title
Sampras was holding his position no. 1 until he withdrew from Australia and the US Open in 1999. Andre Agassi soon took over his no. 1 ranking.
However, Sampras managed to defeat Andre Agassi in the year-end championships, after which he was ranked no. 3.
In 2000, Sampras won his 13th Grand Slam singles title, with which he broke the record set up by Roy Emerson that had stood for almost 30 years.
In this same year, he attained his rank back to no.1, but it only lasted for a short period of time until Gustavo Kuerten took over this rank.
Slowly Sampras’ winning curve was declining, and he didn’t win a single match in 2001. By the end of this year, he was ranked no. 10.
He even lost to no—145 fast-court specialist George Bastl of Switzerland, which made him an early exit from Wimbledon.
Sampras never got demotivated and won the 14th Grand Slam singles title after defeating two veterans.
After this, he didn’t participate in any other matches and events in the next 12 months. He eventually announced his retirement in August 2003, just the US Open.
“I’ve got a great wife, a great life. I just climbed a big mountain and I’m happy.”
It is still a mystery why he suddenly retired from Tennis. However, it was revealed that he wanted to spend quality time with his beloved wife and family from other sources.
In an interview, he said, “I realized why I played. I played to prove things- to myself, no one else. I really don’t need to prove anymore.”
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Overall Achievements and Post Retirement Activity
Tackling every hurdle and obstacle that came along the way on Sampras’s journey, he defended his rank as world no. 1 for a total of 286 weeks.
This was the third-most record in the Open Era after Roger Federer‘s 310 weeks and Novak Djokovic’s 294 weeks.
In total, he won 64 top-level singles titles that included 14 Grand Slam titles, 11 Super 9/ATP Masters Series/ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, and five Tennis Masters Cup titles with two doubles titles.
It wouldn’t be as much easier as we think to defend the same rank as world no .1 when you have got a strong opponent against your side.
Defeating Andre Agassi, another talented young American tennis player, was not just a piece of cake for Sampras. Andre Agassi had always been Sampras’s primary rival during his career as they had to face each other in many finals.
However, Sampras positively took his rivalries, which made him pave his path towards success and victory.
Sampras got retired officially in 2003, and he didn’t play tennis again until he played his first exhibition match in River Oaks, Houston, Texas, after three and half years.
He continued to play in different events such as World Team Tennis, Outlook Champions Series, SAP Open, etc.
Once, he reported that his trophies and memorabilia were stolen from a West Los Angeles public storage facility. But later on, he got most of the stolen items back.
Sampras’s style of playing was serve and volley. He used to hit winning shots from his forehand and backhand from all over the court.
He possessed an all-around skill that made him use all kinds of strategy to put opponents in a defensive position or hit an offensive shot. But he couldn’t apply his strategies while playing on clay courts.
He only used one racket type during his entire professional career, the Wilson Pro Staff Original.
After retirement, he used a slightly modified Pro Staff Tour 90. He had always been wearing Nike apparel and Nike Air Oscillate footwear that comforted him while moving around the court.
Pete Sampras: As an Inspiration
Sampras had started his professional career in tennis sport at a very young age when he was just 16.
In the successive years, he played several matches with strong opponents of all-time through which he made a lot of improvements.
Sampras remained world rank no. 1 in tennis for 286 weeks. His continuous dedication and determination to be the world’s best player led him to succeed in his tennis career.
Also, he is the only player in the tennis sports history to win all seven Wimbledon finals that he played in.
Even after his retirement in 2003, he didn’t stop playing tennis. Even after losing a match, he never let his hope get down. He was always optimistic about his matches.
Going back through his career journey and his determination to become the world’s best tennis player, he has always been an inspiration to many young and fresh tennis players.
A book named A Champion’s Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis based on Pete Sampras life.
This book explains Sampras’s tennis life and how he tackled hurdles that came through his journey.
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Pete Sampras: Net Worth and Real Estate
Pete Sampras’s career prize money as of August 2020 is $43.28 million.
Over the years, Sampras and his wife have purchased and sold many properties. The couple resides in an extensive estate in Bel-Air.
Sampras is a former tennis player whose net worth is $150 million.
In 2014, they purchased two new properties worth $5.9 million and $3.5 million. Pete sold his property for $7.25 in Los Angeles.
Moreover, he has done lots of charity work. But unlike others, he doesn’t publicize it.
Pete’s autograph on a tennis racket, tennis ball, and his photographs are sold globally.
Even his tennis racket that he used during his US Open was auctioned.
Sampras’s Social Media
He shares his old photos and memories captured during his matches. It seems like sharing old memories refreshes him.
Recently, Sampras’s personal life is highlighted on social media as there’s an ongoing rumor regarding his divorce from Bridgette Wilson.
Though there are many ups and downs in their relationship, it seems like they are living a blissful married life.
Instagram: Over 36k Followers
Twitter: Over 17k Followers
What is the nickname of Pete Sampras?
His nickname is “Pistol Pete” as he uses his powerful one-handed backhand technique in the match.
Who is Pete Sampras married to?
He was married to the most beautiful and talented actress Bridgette Wilson on September 30, 2000.
Where do Pete Sampras and his family live now?
They live in Late Sherwood, California, US.
Is Pete Sampras still married or divorced?
He is still married though there are rumors about their complicated married life.