Sampras to retire officially at US Open

Howard Fendrich
Friday 22 August 2003 00:00
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Pete Sampras is making his retirement official and he will be honored with a ceremony at the US Open.

Sampras has not played a match since winning his record 14th major title at the 2002 US Open, although he never came out and formally said he was retiring. That will change on Monday at a news conference he will hold before a tribute at Arthur Ashe Stadium on the first night of this year's Open, Sampras' representatives said.

Sampras has withdrawn from every event this season but remains ranked - currently 35th - because he never officially retired. His last match was a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory over his old foe Andre Agassi in the US Open final on 8 Sept. It gave Sampras his fifth Open title and, at 31, made him the tournament's oldest winner since 1970.

At the post-match news conference, Sampras alternated between sounding as though he were ready to retire and ready to get back to work. "I'm going to have to weigh it up in the next couple months to see where I'm at. To beat a rival like Andre, in a storybook ending, it might be nice to stop," Sampras said at the time. "But I still want to compete, you know? I still love to play."

Sampras had not won a tournament in more than two years before entering that US Open seeded 17th and with a 20-17 match record for the year. He said after beating Agassi: "I wanted to stop on my terms. That was one thing I promised myself, even though I was struggling this year and hearing this and that. I deserved to stop on my own terms."

Sampras and his wife, the actress Bridgette Wilson, had their first child in November.

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