When you talk about some of the greatest tennis players in the sport, it’s hard not to mention Pete Sampras. Sampras had a lot of success throughout his career. He started his professional career at the age of 16.
Throughout his career, Sampras continued to improve, and he would become a name that people would not forget in the tennis world.
Pete Sampras starting his professional career
When Sampras started his career as a teenager in 1988, he finished the year ranked No. 97 in the world after starting the year at No. 893. Sampras made a lot of improvement in his first year playing against players older than him. In his first professional match, he lost to Sammy Giammalva, Jr. at the Ebel U.S. Pro Indoor in Philadelphia.
The next year Sampras won his first Grand Slam match wins of his career. Though he didn’t make it to any championship rounds, he made progress in the different tournaments that he competed in, and at the end of 1989, he improved his ranking and was ranked No. 81 going into the new year. 1990 was a big year for Sampras as he went on to win his first major title at the U.S. Open. In the final round of the U.S. Open, he matched up against fourth-ranked Andre Agassi. Sampras beat Agassi in straight sets and became the youngest male to win the U.S. Open singles championship. He was a 19-year-old win he won.
Sampras continued to succeed over the years, and he played at a high-level. In 1993, Sampras became the No. 1 tennis player in the world. There was controversy with his ranking because he had not won any Grand Slam titles at the time. Three months later, he won his first Wimbledon title as he beat former world No. 1 player Jim Courier. At the end of the year, Sampras remained the No. 1 player and set a new ATP Tour record by becoming the first player to serve more than 1,000 aces in a season.
Pete Sampras continued to dominate in tennis
Sampras remained one of the top players in tennis for the majority of his career. He continued to win multiple titles and beat opponents who were ranked high in the sport. He would find himself atop of the rankings for a good portion toward the middle of his career.
Sampras continued to play until 2002, and though he did not have the same success he did in his early years, he still was one of the best players in the game. During his last year, he reached his third straight U.S. Open final and eight final overall. He matched up against Andre Agassi once again, and Sampras won his 14th Grand Slam singles title.
A look back at Pete Sampras’ career
Sampras is regarded as one of the best tennis players ever to play. He won a total of 64 top-level singles titles and two doubles titles. Sampras was a competitor and would always go out and play his hardest. From 1997 to 2000, he won four consecutive Wimbledon singles titles, and he is the only player to win all seven Wimbledon finals that he played in.
He finished with a career record of 762-222 in singles. Sampras held the No. 1 ranking for a total of 286 weeks. He was determined to become one of the best players ever when he began his career at the age of 16 and years later. He would do just that. After he retired from professional tennis in 2003, Sampras continued to play in numerous exhibition matches for several years.