Having grown up idolizing the great Rod Laver of Australia, Sampras is establishing himself as the greatest tennis player of his time--if not of all time. As a 19 year old in 1990, Sampras became the youngest man to win the U.S. Open when he dispatched of Andre Agassi in the final. Since his 1990 U.S. Open triumph, Sampras has won six more Grand Slam titles, including three straight Wimbledon titles (1993, 1994 and 1995), two more U.S. Open titles (1993 and 1995) and the 1994 Australian Open championship. His three straight Wimbledon titles put him in the company of Fred Perry and Bjorn Borg as the only men to win three straight titles at the All-England Club in the last 80 years. Sampras finished the last three years (1993, 1994 and 1995) as the worldís No. 1 ranked player, the first man to do so since Ivan Lendl (1985-87).
In Davis Cup, Sampras teamed with John McEnroe in 1992 to help the United States win the title over Switzerland. In 1995, Sampras accounted for all three points--including a dramatic five-set win over Andrei Chesnokov on the first day of play--in a 3-2 U.S. win over Russia in the final.
Sampras reached the third round of the singles competition in the 1992 Olympics, losing to eventual bronze medalist Andrei Cherkasov of Russia. Sampras and Jim Courier were defeated in the second round of doubles by Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez of Spain. Sampras was a gold medalist in menís singles at the 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival and was named USOC Athlete of the Month for July 1995. In 1994 and 1995, he finished third in the USOCís voting for Athlete of the Year.
PERSONAL Back to top
Born Aug. 12, 1971. Sampras is a true sportsman who wishes to be remembered as a classy champion. Ironically, Sampras is the son of Greek immigrants, where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. Another irony, his motherís name is Georgia.