Saturday, October 20, 2012

Historical Greats: Pete Sampras - The King Of Swing

Image: Joe Winkler 

Let's do a quick recall of a recent American champion, regarded as one of the greatest players ever - "Pistol" Pete Sampras.

The promising junior was trained at the Jack Kramer Club in southern California, and coached by the legendary Robert Lansdorp.

He broke through in 1990 when he won the U.S. Open at age 19 years and 28 days, the youngest champion ever at Forest Hills.

He went on to build an unrivaled illustrious career over 14 years.

Sampras won a then-record 14 Grand Slam singles titles, including 7 championships at Wimbledon and 5 at the U.S. Open. 

He also finished with 64 professional single's titles.

He achieved year-end World No. 1 rank for a record 6 consecutive years, from 1993 to 1998.

And he recorded World No. 1 rank for 286 calendar weeks, second all-time.

Sampras was a world-class all-court player, with an overpowering serve-and-volley game.

His running forehand became one of the most feared weapons in his era.

The Sampras first and second serve were considered perhaps the best of any player ever.

His rivalry with the other great American champion of his era, Andre Agassi, made for some of the greatest matches in history.

And he was known for his quiet and humble demeanor, and as a player who "let his racket do the talking."

Boris Becker was quoted as saying: "For me, [Sampras] was always the most complete player. He has the power. He has the speed. He has the touch. He is the best player ever." 

Roger Federer remarked: "He was my childhood idol, and I have always looked up to him."

John McEnroe added: "I put him in the godlike stratosphere . . . "


Video: Pete Sampras - Beyond the Glory (Documentary)
By: Bill20291
Time: 41:09

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: Fear of Failure



"For pro players . . . there is no question that power, speed, agility and good technique are essential. But when these athletes compete, it can be the mind as much as the body, that determines the winner. The same holds true for weekend warriors on the court: Our mindset matters. Mindset is not some touchy, feely term that psychologists throw around. It can actually be traced back to how our brain functions to guide success, or induce failure. In short, fearing failure begets failure."

--Sian Bellock, Ph.D.,
Professor of Psychology, University of Chicago
Author: Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To
From: Tennis Magazine (November-December 2012), "Your Worst Fear", p. 42. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: From Two Top Women Players on the first "International Day of the Girl"

Question: What advice would you give yourself as a 15-year old girl? 
Follow your dreams, always be yourself, never be afraid to show the real you and have fun. Always live in the present.
--Victoria Azarenka
World No. 1 Woman Tennis Player

 At 15, there's so many more years ahead where you'll be able to change a few things around. So don't put so much pressure in your life. There is always going to be room for improvement.
--Maria Sharapova 
Career Grand Slam Champion

Friday, October 5, 2012

Historical Greats: Bjorn Borg - The Ice Man

Image: Aldo Luongo
Let's take a brief look back at one of the all-time greats, the legendary Bjorn Borg.

Borg won eleven (11) Grand Slam titles between 1974 and 1981, and reached No. 1 in the world.
He won five (5) consecutive Wimbledon titles and six (6) French Open (Roland Garros) titles.
His career winning percentage was an astonishing 82.7%.

Before his retirement at age 26, Borg compiled a record which many experts say rank him as one of the greatest players of all time.

But Borg was much more than his statistics.

His physical conditioning was legendary.

His coolness under fire earned him the name "Ice-Borg". 

His rivalry with John McEnroe made for some of the greatest matches in tennis history.

And he was the first "rock star" in tennis, and the first to make more than a million dollars.

In the words of Arthur Ashe, "Borg was bigger than the game. . . He was like Elvis."