Pete Sampras is a retired American tennis player widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. He was a right-handed player with a single-handed backhand and a precise and powerful serve that earned him the nickname "Pistol Pete". His professional career began in 1988 and ended at the 2002 US Open, which he won, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final.
Sampras was the first man to win 14 Grand Slam singles titles (seven Wimbledon, five US Open, two Australian Open). Overall, he won 64 singles titles including seven year-end championships. He first reached world No. 1 in 1993 then held that position for a total of 286 weeks, including a record six consecutive year-end No. 1 rankings from 1993 to 1998. In 1997 he won U.S. Olympic Committee "Sportsman of the Year". He was the first tennis player to receive this award.
On April 6, 2006, three and a half years after his retirement, Sampras resurfaced and played his first exhibition match in River Oaks, Houston, Texas. Sampras later announced that he would be playing in World Team Tennis events.
Sampras was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.
On February 18, 2008, in an exhibition match during the SAP Open, Sampras defeated another active player, former No. 2 Tommy Haas.
In 2009 Sampras won two Outback Champions Series titles. He defeated McEnroe in the final of the Champions Cup Boston in February and Patrick Rafter in the final of The Del Mar Development Champions Cup in March.
The following year along with Federer, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal, he played an exhibition doubles match at Indian Wells to raise money for the people of Haiti who had been affected by the earthquake.
Sampras has β-thalassemia minor, a genetic trait that sometimes causes mild anemia. A book titled Facing Sampras: Symposium of a Champion was published in December 2017.
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