Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sampras Reacts to The Match

Bodo wrote a book with Pete Sampras that was published last month. Today he published a short interview with Pete on his blog for Tennis magazine about Pete's reaction to Nadal-Federer.
Two all-time greats, at their prime, playing great on the best court on earth. if you wrote a script it couldn't have been any better - Roger coming back from two sets to love, Nadal showing his heart. . . I thought it was great tennis and great drama.
I think Roger handled himself with a lot of class. What I really liked is that the match goes to show that when you come right down to it, great moments aren't about controversy, and they aren't about personality. They're about two great players who manage to reach beyond the usual audience for the game - that's especially big in this country. It was impressive that two guys who aren't American could capture the American sports fans that way.
I love that his comment was a dig at the personality nonsense that constantly dogged his career.

Sampras texted Federer to offer encouragement:
"Bad luck, too bad there had to be a loser in that one." I said he should take pride in the way he and Rafa are taking the sport way beyond the usual audience. He should feel great about that. He texted me back to say thanks.

I know it was disappointing for him, I'm sure he's still playing that match in his mind. But in years to come, he'll look back on this match and appreciate the moment. No question in my mind about that.

Pete believes Roger still would win seven out of ten meetings with Nadal on grass. I'm not surprised he feels that way. I'm thinking maybe it's four times out of ten but his larger point is right on target: this is not the end for Roger, it's just the beginning of a tougher ride. Pete provided extra reassurance for all the crushed Fed fans; he still expects Roger to break his grand slam record:
Oh, absolutely. It's inevitable. He'll be in contention for all the majors, and he'll win a few more Wimbledons and U.S. Opens before he's done - no doubt in my mind.

What major will you be attending next?

The one where Roger is poised to break my record. I'm kind of selfish about it, though - I told Roger that if that happens to be at the Australian Open, I may not make the trip. It's far, I've logged a lot of miles in my life going to tennis tournaments. I half-kiddingly told him he'll have to do it at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, so now we'll just have to see what happens. Emotionally, I'd like to see him do it at either of those two places, preferably Wimbledon. And I want to be there out of respect for him, but I also would like to go back to Wimbledon someday, because I love that place.

Mr. Pete Sampras, always a class act.

Bodo, by the way,
finally decided that Federer finally had his "warrior moment" last weekend. You may recall Bodo's rants about what a ball of wuss Federer was and how manly Nadal is in comparison. Bodo is bothered by Fed's hair, his stylish clothing and his total domination of men's tennis. The domination wasn't enough for Bodo because, gosh darnit, Federer seems like a wimpy little Euro. Bodo, much like Don Imus loves to wax poetic about his testosterone-filled ranch but spends most of his life living in Manhattan. I'm so happy he's concluded that Roger is indeed a man.

Because of my love for Pete Sampras I have to buy the Bodo book, so I need to get my (B)dodo bashing in now so I can give it an honest review.

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