Pete Sampras is arguably the greatest player tennis has ever seen. A man whose hard-nosed work ethic led to an unprecedented No. 1 world ranking for 286 consecutive weeks, and whose prodigious talent made possible an as yet unbroken 14 Grand Slam record. Yet while more vocal rivals often grabbed the headlines, Pete gave everything on the court, revealing little outside it.
Now, in A Champion’s Mind, this very private champion, who so often recoiled from letting the world ‘inside his head’, finally opens up. Here, for the first time, Pete speaks candidly about the personal trials he faced; the single-minded determination crucial to survival in the topflight; and the pressure of competing under the unblinking gaze of a media machine hungry for more than mere athletic prowess.
He describes the titanic matches fought, the personalities and the rivalries – a devastating early loss to Stefan Edberg, and his consequent monastic commitment to the game; Davis Cup doubles with a fiery John McEnroe; a gruelling, four-hour US Open quarterfinal against Alex Corretja, ending with a tie-break and Pete on a drip; and of course Andre Agassi, arch-rival and friend, the player Pete faced at his first Grand Slam final and his last, 12 years later.
Frank, insightful and passionate A Champion’s Mind is a unique and intimate account of what it takes to win.
Pete Sampras was the youngest male player to win the US Open and holds 64 top level singles titles and two doubles. In 2005 TENNIS magazine named him the greatest player of the open era. Peter Bodo is a senior editor and chief columnist at TENNIS magazine.