Sampras, Pete săm´prəs [key], 1971–, American tennis player, b. Washington, D.C. Learning the game in the Los Angeles area, he rose to world tennis supremacy after becoming the youngest man to win the U.S. Open, in 1990. Tall and long-armed, he was noted for his powerful serve and overhead as well as for his fluidity on the court. He won 14 Grand Slam events—the record for a male tennis player until it was surpassed by Federer in 2009—including the 1990, 1993, 1995–96, and 2002 U.S. Opens, the 1993–95 and 1997–2000 Wimbledon titles, and the 1994 and 1997 Australian Opens. In the 1990s he was the male player most consistently ranked first in the world. His career record of 286 weeks at number one was surpassed in 2012 by Federer. He retired in 2003.
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