It is hard to believe that it’s been almost five years since Pete Sampras won his final and fourteenth Grand Slam title at the 2002 U.S. Open. Sampras’ list of accomplishments is amazing, especially his consistency and longevity, e.g. Sampras held the Number One ranking a record 286 weeks including 102 straight weeks; Sampras was ranked Number One in the year-end rankings a record 6 straight years from 1993-1998. Overall,
Sampras won 64 singles titles including the 14 Grand Slams (7 Wimbledon titles, 5 U.S. Open titles and 2 Australian Open titles). Sampras was also a member of two United States Davis Cup teams which won the crown in 1992 and 1995. Sampras is still the all-time leader in career prize money with over $43 million in on-court earnings. Sampras was the leader of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, groups of American male tennis players in history. During his career, Sampras was compared to past legends and recently Roger Federer has been compared to him. Time will answer the “greatest of all time” debate, but what will one remember most about Sampras? Clearly, his serve was one of the strongest and most consistent weapons in tennis and he illustrated how critical an effective second serve could be in key moments during a match. Although tennis fans will always associate Sampras with his Wimbledon titles, his final Grand Slam victory at the U.S. Open might have been his most impressive given where he was at that point in his career. Sampras showed his true colors as a champion and came through when it mattered most.