It was my freshman year in high school and the tennis team and I were on a yearly field trip to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis (dunno the name of the event...sorry).

I wasn't expecting to get up and close with any star players at all, but my friends mentioned to me that everybody was allowed to watch some of the players practice before they got to play. Needless to say, I wanted to be able to see the guys I saw on television so I found out where this was happening and skipped on over. (Literally...well...ok, but wouldn't that be funny?)

So I got there, and sure enough, I saw just about every damn player I wanted to see. But the only two I really cared about were Andre Agasi and Pete Sampras. They looked pretty cool in real life.

Well, I saw Andre and Pete packing up there stuff and getting ready to head back to the locker rooms or wherever they go after they are done.

So I got out my little notepad and my pen ready for the autographs.
Since there was a pretty big crowd, I wasn't able to get close enough for Andre to sign my notepad, but Pete wasn't out yet, so I figured I could at least get his.

Obviously, when Pete started walking out, the crowd kind of shuffled on over to hover around Pete. But guess where I happened to be? Right in his path to wherever he was going. Pete Sampras was coming straight at me with a clear line of sight (there was nobody between me and him) and I was fucking speechless. It took me a second but when Pete finally reached me, I was walking backwards, the whole time saying "Pete, can I have your autograph?" or something similar to that.

But guess what the commie did? He totally ignored me and everyone else asking for his autograph. BAH. If I were a big Tennis player and people wanted MY autograph, I'd sure as hell give it to 'em!

To this day, I can't believe how close I came to someone I see on TV a lot. And I still can't believe the cock suck had the nerve to ignore someone he was practically trampling all over.

Bah!

Pete Sampras is perhaps the most dominating male tennis player this decade. He is often overshadowed by Andre Agassi, who is by all rights a very good tennis player. Just as Anna Kournikova dominates the female circuit in terms of press coverage, Agassi hogs the male circuit (now overtaken by Patrick Rafter). Sampras is quiet and does not seek publicity, but that doesn't stop him from wrecking his opponents on the court.

A man of Greek descent, he joined the pro tour at the age of 16 in 1988, and rapidly climbed the tennis ladder, winning the US Open in 1990, making him the youngest person ever to do so. By 1993, he was ranked first in the world, winning both Wimbledon and the US Open. For the next 6 years, he never left the #1 ranking, racking up 10 Grand Slam championships. In 1999 he was knocked off the throne due to injuries, but he still managed to win several championships. To date, he has won 61 titles in his career, and 5 ATP Tour World Championships. In the process, he won over $35 million in prize money alone.

His style is serve and volley, and he excels at it. His serve has been called "the best serve in tennis ever", and it shows. Not the fastest (his record serve was 136 MPH), but its placement is by far the most accurate in the world. Even if his opponents manage to reach the ball, chances are by then he has already rushed the net to volley the ball the other way. He can also hold his own on the baseline, unlike some serve and volley players. That makes him all but unbeatable on grass courts.

He is also very polite, unlike mavericks such as John McEnroe. He possesses unparalled sportsmanship, never argues with the ref, never throws his racquet in anger. Which is more than what I can say for most athletes today.

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