Capital gain as Sampras shakes off the cobwebs

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The Independent Online

Pete Sampras is to play in London for the first time since his last appearance at Wimbledon six years ago. The seven-times Wimbledon champion has agreed to play in the BlackRock Masters at the Royal Albert Hall in December.

The 36-year-old retired in 2002 after winning the last of his record 14 Grand Slam titles at the US Open. However, he has played a number of exhibitions over the last year, including a series of matches against Roger Federer.

Sampras will play two tournaments in his first year on the Champions tour, the Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil in Sao Paulo next month and the BlackRock Masters Tennis event. He last played at the Royal Albert Hall in 1989, when he took part in the Doubles World Championship.

"I've heard a lot of good things about the event at the Royal Albert Hall and that it's really well supported, so I'm excited and pretty pumped up to go back and play a little tennis for them," said Sampras. "When you're playing golf, taking some trips here and there and maybe putting on a little bit of weight, you kind of feel a little bit unfulfilled as a man."