Pete Sampras was as good as Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal

AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File

Pete Sampras was as good as Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal

A player that doesn’t get enough credit in the conversation of all-time greats is Pete Sampras.

We’ve been so obsessed with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, that we forget Pete Sampras won 14 Grand Slams before he retired at age 32. Had he continued for four more years, who knows how many more he could have won. Djokovic has won 9 Grand slams past the age of 32. Federer won three more grand slams past the age of 32 and Nadal won five grand slams past the age of 32.

Pete Sampras could have easily won another five Grand Slams if he chose to continue to dedicate his life to professional tennis. He was entering an era where this was entirely possible through the professionalism and nutritional science the game has come to embrace. Never mind all that though, today we’re here to talk about not how many more grand slams Pete could have won, but about the sheer dominance of Pistol Pete in the 1990s. The man was unstoppable.

Let’s take a look at some of his amazing stats.

  1. 14 Grand Slam titles, including seven Wimbledon titles
  2. Five ATP Tour Finals wins
  3. Six straight number one finishes (93-98)
  4. 64 total singles titles
  5. Winning records against former number ones such as Agassi (20-14), Courier (16-4), Rafter (12-4), Becker (12-7), and Lendl (5-3).


Pete was undeniably the best tennis player in the world from 1990 until 1999. He ruled the 90s, and nobody came close to winning as much as Sampras. His dominance is a testament to his beautiful style of game; relaxed, powerful, classic, and smooth. And then there was unbreakable serve. Throughout the 90s, the pressure was always on the server who played Sampras because they knew there was very little chance of breaking him. This allowed Sampras to reserve his energy for key games in his matches where out of nowhere he’d hit three unbelievable shots, break serve, and serve for the set.

Sampras was and still is one of the top 4 players of all time, and should be included in the conversation anytime Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are discussed. You can argue that none of those players came close to dominating a decade like Pistol Pete.

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