Pete Sampras: A Life in Tennis

Early Life/High School

Pete Sampras was born in Washington, D.C. on August 12, 1971. His parents, Greek immigrants, introduced him to tennis at a young age. Sampras quickly showed a natural talent for the game, and by the time he was a teenager, he was one of the top junior players in the country.

Sampras attended Palos Verdes High School in California, where he continued to excel at tennis. He won the California state singles championship in 1988 and was named the National High School Player of the Year.

Tennis Pro


Pete Sampras opted to skip college and turn professional in 1988. He quickly made an impact on the professional tour. In 1990, he won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open, defeating Andre Agassi in the final. At the age of 19, he became the youngest US Open champion in the Open Era.

Over the next decade, Sampras dominated the men’s tennis landscape. He won seven Wimbledon titles, a record-setting seven at the time (Roger Federer would later surpass him), five US Open titles, and two Australian Open titles. He also won the ATP Tour Finals five times and was ranked world No. 1 for a total of 286 weeks.

Sampras was known for his all-court game, but his greatest strength was his serve. He had one of the fastest and most accurate serves in the history of the game. Sampras was also a gifted athlete with excellent court coverage.

Wimbledon Champion

Tennis Legacy: Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras is widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, which was an all-time record at the time of his retirement. He also won 64 top-level singles titles in total.

Sampras was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007. He is still considered to be one of the most popular and respected figures in the sport of tennis.

Pete and John

Pete Sampras 2023 Update

Pete Sampras is still active in the tennis world today. He owns a tennis academy and is a frequent commentator for tennis broadcasts. He is also a popular speaker and motivational coach.

In 2023, Sampras was named to the ATP Tour’s 50th Anniversary Team, which honors the 50 greatest male tennis players of the Open Era. He was also named to the Laureus World Sports Academy, which is made up of the world’s most iconic sports stars.


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 16: L-R Novak Djokovic and Pete Sampras chat after their exhibition doubles match on day thirteen of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 16, 2019 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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