Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

Tennis great Pete Sampras turned 51 on Friday (August 12). He is a 14-time Grand Slam champion, who was once the best male tennis player in history of the sport but soon emerged the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal who broke his one record after the other. Sampras had won a record 14 Grand Slams, 64 tour-level titles and had a match record of 762 wins to 222 losses. The ‘big 3’ has it all now with minimum of 20 Grand Slam titles and more than 64 tour-level titles. However, there still remains one record which is not just tough but impossible for even these 3 greats to break or better. That is of most year-end No 1 titles record. 

Many would say that Djokovic has it as he has won 7 year-end No 1 titles. But not like Sampras who has done it in 6 consecutive years. Djokovic won two consective year-end No 1 titles, first in 2011 and 2012 and then in 2014 and 2015. His streaks were broken by Nadal and Andy Murray respectively, which tells you how dominant Sampras was with his tennis.  

“I think that’s the only record I’m going to have left,” Sampras told ATP tour in 2021. “Now that I look back on it, knowing how difficult it is to finish number one once or twice, but to do it six years in a row.”

“The consistency that I had, the endurance, the will … I think it is one of my best achievements. I always based my year on the majors and the bonus beyond that was to finish number one.”

Sampras was one of a kind athlete who was once a fan favourite here in India too. The American was famouly called Pistol Pete for he had a strong, and precise serve.  

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