Pete Sampras Talks About Getting Kids Involved With Tennis At 2011 BNP Paribas Showdown

Pete Sampras

This event was held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on February 28th. Other participants included John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and my all-time favorite, Ivan Lendl. Right now seems to be a lull for American tennis. On the women’s side, Serena is still a question mark with her injury. Venus continues to play well, but has not matched the results she achieved early in her career. Melanie Oudin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands show promise but have not yet shown themselves to be consistent top 10 players. On the men’s side, Andy Roddick is still playing well. To me, he is burdened by monumental expectations. He has had the misfortune, you might say, to have had his prime coincide with that of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Who knows many fewer Grand Slams would have been won by Sampras, Nadal, Federer and Agassi had they all had their primes together. But at the same time, I think we shouldn’t lament this too much. As recently as last year, Serena won two Slams before getting injured. And many of the players who litter the rankings might well be from other countries, but received a lot of training at tennis academies here in the States. My last comment would be that while I understand why Americans want to see more Americans have success, as an American myself (born in Bangkok to an American father, Thai mother and raised my whole life in the States), I just want to see the best players. I don’t care where Kim Clijsters, Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki are from. I just want to see them play brilliantly.

more pics

John McEnroe

Andre Agassi

Pete Sampras

Ivan Lendl

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