The Life and Times Of Tennis No.1s : Pete Sampras

Rohini IyerSenior Writer IDecember 10, 2008

This article is the first of a sort of expansion of my previously written article "Tennis: the life and time of the No. 1s." Thanks to the encouragement by some of my co-writers, I am venturing out to start a series.

Since I have always not followed tennis I hope I do justice to the players I write about. In case of any discrepancy, please free to comment.

Pete Sampras: Who doesn't know about him? One of the most iconic players to grace the sport with his talent and demeanour.

But I won't get into the specifics about his playing ingeniousness for there are many who have seen him play and who can do justice with far more connectivity and passion than I can.

I will just settle to describe his rule atop the tennis world for 280 unbeaten weeks, none of which, I am afraid to say, I followed.

280 weeks, 14 Grand Slam singles titles, seven Wimbledon singles...these many records are enough to give any player an air of arrogance, an air of superiority (no offence to the others) but Sampras belonged to an entirely different cadre.

His reign on the top embodied and personified an aura of coolness (never bordering on indifference), a splendour, a humility, and qualities which go beneath the pores of the skin. It would be best to see such a manifestation and personification of talent with one's own two eyes rather than give a mere follow-up.

For some, it might appear a bit boring and monotonous six years but for Pete's fans, it would definitely be insufficient. I am sure his fans would have never got tired to see him win and rule.

With the looks and acumen etched all over him, Pete Sampras didn't just win titles and create records. He won zillions of hearts along the way and still continues to do so.