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Facing Sampras: Press Release

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Facing Sampras: Symposium of a Champion

In this new book, competitors and rivals of Pete Sampras, one of the greatest champions in the history of sport, discuss in detail their memories and experiences of playing tennis against the seven-time Wimbledon champion, who reigned for six years as the ATP World No. 1 ranked tennis player (1993-1998).

Contact: Mark Scoop Malinowski 201-218-0811

For Immediate Release
Teaneck, NJ —– Author/Journalist Mark ‘Scoop’ Malinowski is proud to announce the publication of his ninth tennis book, Facing Sampras ($9.99, 161-pages, available at

“I think Pete transformed – in a subtle, silent way – the attitude of the game and the attitude of
the best players.” – Sammy Giammalva Jr.

“People tried all sorts of things to get him off his edge.” – Leander Paes

“He had a button that he could push.” – Todd Martin

“I always used to watch him break down Agassi which was always interesting.” – Wayne Ferreira

“US Tennis owes a lot to Pete Sampras.” – Kent Kinnear

“It was impossible to play him.” – Emilio Sanchez

About The Author
Mark Scoop Malinowski has written about tennis for ATPWORLDTOUR.COM, TENNIS Magazine, Tennis Week,, Ace Magazine of U.K. Australian Tennis Magazine,, Tennis View, Australian Open Official Program,,,, New York Tennis, Totally Tennis Magazine, The Daily Record of Morris County, N.J.,, Florida Tennis, South Asia Life & Times Magazine. His previous tennis books were “Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew”, “Facing Nadal”, “Facing McEnroe”, “Facing Hewitt” and “Facing Federer: Symposium of a Champion.”
The book’s cover photo is by Danny Chamblee.

Book Excerpt Facing Sampras: Symposium of a Champion


Pete developed into an unbelievable player.”

Mats Wilander: “The first time I played Pete I actually thought there’s no – absolutely zero chance he will make it.”

Question: Really?

Mats Wilander: “None. Yeah, yeah. None. Because I played him when I was, I believe, defending champion in ’89. And I think I lost in the second round maybe. I remember going to the press conference and everybody asked, So what do you think? He’s our young up and comer. Obviously, I lost in five sets, so I was slightly upset in a way. But I said that there’s no way you can play tennis like that. You can’t hit one in and one out. Even though we already had Boris Becker, Pete took that style of play to the next level. At 30-love on my serve, he would not put the ball in play, intentionally, I believe. And the intention, I realized later, is so that I wouldn’t get any rhythm. So it’s very clever play. It’s just ugly. It’s just ugly. When you’re playing against him it’s just so ugly. He can’t even hit the ball in the court. The idea is to have a conversation. And Pete was the first guy to say, ‘Fuck you Mats. I’m not worried about you. I’m gonna hold serve and I’m gonna try and keep the ball in play when it’s zero-zero or fifteen-all. Once you’re up, you’re not gonna get anything from me. Forget it.'”

“And it worked. Because you feel like you get to 4-all and he hasn’t literally hit a ball in the court. It’s 4-all and I haven’t really played. And I haven’t really played in his service games and I haven’t really played in mine properly. Maybe a point or two. Maybe 75% – [as Miroslav Mecir walks by us, Mats acknowledges the great Czechoslovak player] this guy knows how to play – he beat Pete Sampras – he would hate him too [smiles]. So and then Pete developed into an unbelievable player. In the beginning it was like?…? And then we realized, that’s how he played.”

“So…and again, never practice with Pete Sampras. Don’t practice with him. He doesn’t keep the ball in play. Pete was an extremely smart player. And it’s just bothersome to play against somebody who – we always try to find a bad reason for why I don’t like somebody, when you’re on the court. For him it was: He thinks I’m absolutely nothing. But that’s the way you have to think, in a way. Nice guy though. Nice guy. He’s a great guy.”

Sampras won series 2-1
1995 SWE V USA SF U.S.A. RR Pete Sampras 26 76 63
1990 Sydney Outdoor Australia Outdoor Hard QF Mats Wilander 67 75 60
1989 US Open NY, U.S.A. Outdoor Hard R64 Pete Sampras 57 63 16 61 64

Order book now at and in a few days at



“It’s pretty addictive reading.” –Steve Tignor Tennis Magazine

“Excellent book. Fun read.” –Justin Gimelstob Former ATP player and Tennis Channel analyst

“Great content. Excellent read. Well done. Awesome topic.” — Harry Cicma NBC New sports anchor

“Facing Federer is a great insight as to how the players view Roger. I read half the book in one night.” –Robbie Koenig, Former ATP player and International TV commentator/analyst

“You do a very good job with these Facing books.” –Fred Stolle, Tennis Hall of Famer

“I loved Facing McEnroe. Love that era of tennis and all the anecdotes. My favourite of your books to date.” Owen Gigg, Discuss.Tennis

“Amazing anecdotes.” – Sonny Dearth, Daily Press, Newport News, VA


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  • Radek Gretzky · December 5, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Looks like a great book, thanks for sharing! I will definitely buy this book about one of my all time favorite players. Pistol Pete Sampras.

  • Thomas Tung · December 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Ordered it (should be coming into my mailbox on Friday). Looking forward to it! Pete is one of my favorite all-time players.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 6, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Thank you very much Thomas, hope you love it.

  • mrzz · December 6, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Congratulations for your new book, Scoop. Pretty respectable list already. Great idea for a series (I guess you hear this a lot). I am sure it will find his space in the sports literature.

  • Andrew Miller · December 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm


  • Scoop Malinowski · December 6, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Thank you for the kind words mrzz. Pretty happy how Facing Pete turned out, learned a lot of new things about Pete. It's a lot of fun and hard work to do these books but it's a labor of love. I hope to keep doing more, Facing Safin, Graf, Serena, Andy Murray, Connors, Agassi, Seles, Borg, Lendl, Laver…

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 6, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Scoop Malinowski writes: Thanks Andrew. Wondering what your opinion of Pete's backhand was, especially during the later years of his career? πŸ™‚ Wondering if your opinion of Pete's backhand is as low as Rios's, who called it "sh**" πŸ™‚

  • Hartt · December 6, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Scoop, will you be working on the Laver book soon? His opponents may not be around much longer.

  • Joe Blow · December 6, 2017 at 10:56 pm

  • catherine · December 7, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Djokovic is returning to the circuit trailing an entourage of 9, which number includes 3 ‘coaches’ and a ‘strategist’.

    With all that jabber going on around him I’ll be surprised if he’ll actually be able to hear anything.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 7, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    And Su-wei Hsieh traveled alone with no coach and made it to 20 in the world in doubles and 80 in singles, then she got a coach. What an amazing talent. Imagine if Djokovic gets to no. 1 again with 9 people in his box, how this will influence the other players.

  • Gans · December 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Congratulations on your book release, Scoop. Is this available in Amazon?

    With 9 people in his box, to have success, Djokovic will have to start thinking “outside the box”!

  • catherine · December 7, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Ah well Scoop – I remember the days (yawn) when a number of top players had no coach at all travelling with them. Or one, at most.
    ‘Entourages’ began to make their appearance around the late 80s I seem to think.

  • catherine · December 7, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Gans – Facing Sampras is on Amazon in Kindle edition here in UK. Just appeared.
    Several other Scoop books there as well.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 7, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Thank you Gans. It is or will be available on amazon today or tomorrow or the next day. And it's available at Gans you are such a wordsmith πŸ™‚

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine; Was it Martina Navratilova who had the first big entourage? Pancho Gonzalez was the anti entourager, he was a lone wolf I was told.

  • Fiero425 · December 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    scoop said:

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine; Was it Martina Navratilova who had the first big entourage? Pancho Gonzalez was the anti entourager, he was a lone wolf I was told.Click to expand…

    If I remember correctly, people did make a big deal out of "Team Navratilova!" There were her coaches (Richards, Cardin, Wade, & BJK), girlfriend and trainer, and someone to handle her dogs while on the road OTTH! Lendl had his team as well back in the 80's! :rolleyes: 😳 :whistle:

  • catherine · December 8, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Scoop –
    Martina had various people over the years – it was Nancy Lieberman who started the Team Navratilova thing. And Martina also had a fair few hangers on. She needed a crowd.

    So yes, by the mid 80s the idea was catching on and the boxes were getting filled. You had to be able to afford all that of course.

    (Thinking about this recently, I don’t think Jana Novotna had many people around in her career. Chris Evert didn’t either. Players varied on how much support they needed, or thought they did. Maybe still so).

    Gonzalez was really of the era when players were more on their own and anyway I can’t imagine Pancho putting up with too much interference – as you say, he was a lone wolf.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 8, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine; Those Czechs like Martina and Lendl sure were major innovators to the modern game. Safin also had an entourage of five or four girlfriends πŸ™‚

  • catherine · December 8, 2017 at 9:25 am

    One thing about Martina, she tended to switch coaches with some frequency. It seemed every time an opponent started beating her she’d haul someone else on board. I’m not really sure how much she needed any of them. BJK, Richards and V Wade certainly never added much to her game IMO. Craig Kardon was probably as good.

    I always felt Martina, in spite of all her talent, suffered from insecurity and fear of losing to unexpected players, which did happen. Her USO loss to Mandlikova was a good example of that. Martina mentally prepared herself to meet Chris in the final and didn’t adjust to Hana across the net.

    So perhaps accounts for the entourage as well.

  • dan markowitz · December 10, 2017 at 6:30 am


    Thanks for posting that video. It was hilarious. I was laughing so hard my wife thought I was crying.

  • catherine · December 10, 2017 at 6:51 am

    I’m sure the video was hilarious but unfortunately you have to be on Facebook to see it.

    The internet, ho hum πŸ™‚

  • catherine · December 10, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Hartt –

    Saw Andrescuu has now gone ahead of Bouchard in Canada – what do you think of her as a player ?

    I noticed your correction about Canadian rankings on Another Site – mistakes not an unusual occurrence on that site I’m sorry to say. Can’t be too hard to look up. A lot of slapdash ‘journalism’ goes uncorrected out there and no doubt ‘fake news’ is the outcome πŸ™‚

  • catherine · December 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

    ‘Andreescu’ of course. I’m just as bad.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 10, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    That is a very funny video, best short film I've seen all year, Academy Award nomination worthy πŸ™‚

  • catherine · December 10, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Well, it would be great if everyone could see it πŸ™‚

  • catherine · December 11, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Notice Cilic has parted company with his coach. I wonder who would be the longest unbroken coach/player relationship in men’s or women’s game as of now ? Halep/Cahill ? Garcia/father ? Serena/Patrick ? I’m sure there are others I can’t think of at the moment.

    Adidas have tweeted a pic of Kerber wearing a new hoodie, looking just like she’d strayed from a 70s b&w arthouse movie. Unusual and nice. Adidas do some good campaigns, artistic. Not always sure about their clothes though. Zebra stripes πŸ™‚

    (very different view of Angie compared to some displayed this time last year. Maybe better)

  • Hartt · December 11, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Dominic Thiem has been coached by Gunter Bresnik since Dominic was 9, so for 15 years. Because Dominic’s father started coaching at Bresnik’s academy when Dominic was 3, the youngster has known Bresnik even longer.

  • Hartt · December 11, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Catherine, I am extremely excited about Bianca Andreescu. She just turned 17 in June, so earlier in the season she was still playing juniors and won the juniors doubles at both the AO and RG.(And made the SF in the AO singles.)

    She has won 5 ITF tourneys, 3 in singles and 2 in doubles. In August she was at a career high of No. 143, although she has slipped to 185 since then. She played an important role in Canada’s Fed Cup wins this season.

    Tennis Canada is so high on her that in 2015 they brought in Nathalie Tauziat as one of her coaches, but did not insist she move to the National Training Centre in Montreal, which was very unusual.

    After receiving a WC for this year’s Citi Open in Washington, DC, she beat both Giorgi and Mladenovic.

    Bianca is just 5’5″ but she is powerful and is a strong competitor. She has an impressive game for such a young player. Of any of the Canadian women currently in the top 200 I think she has the most potential.

  • catherine · December 11, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Thanks for info about Bianca – I assume’s she’s Romanian descent – sounds a good prospect so I’ll watch her progress.

    Thiem must be one of the longest player/coach. Great loyalty too – I imagine he’s had approaches over the years.

  • Hartt · December 11, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Yes, Bianca is of Romanian descent, although she was born in Mississauga, a city near Toronto. Her family returned to Romania and that is where she first played tennis. They moved back to Canada and at age 11 Bianca was part of Tennis Canada’s training program for U14 players (in Toronto).

    At Rogers Cup she surprised Simona Halep by speaking Romanian to her. Apparently Simona advised her not to stay in juniors too long, she felt that she had made that mistake. Bianca did leave juniors this past season. Not surprisingly, she cites Halep as her favourite player. The fact that Simona is also a relatively short player must give Bianca further inspiration.

  • catherine · December 11, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Ashleigh Barty is also 5’5″ so if Bianca doesn’t grow any more they’ll be a couple of the shorter players around. I think Cibulka is 5’3″ but she’s an exception.

    I’d agree with Simona about leaving juniors – it’s easy to stagnate there. But it’s a difficult balance – players obviously mature at different rates and promising young girls can sink out of sight on the pro circuit.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 11, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    I saw Andreescu beat Girogi in DC, very impressive. Interviewed Tauziat when she was with Bianca at Eddie Herr two or three yrs ago. I'd say she is a serious contender for world no. 1 one day.

  • Hartt · December 11, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Wow, Scoop, that is very high praise about Andreescu. I hope you are right, it would be great to see some of the young Canadian women do well, but Bianca seems like the best bet.

  • Joe Blow · December 11, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Here’s the You Tube link

  • catherine · December 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Joe – thanks for this – truly hilarious !

  • catherine · December 13, 2017 at 2:56 am

    During a lull in comment (nothing much happening) I thought I’d just note that I discovered a Youtube film of the 1980 qf W’don match Martina N v BJKing, good quality reproduction.

    I watched this at the time but it was good viewing it again and I’d recommend for anyone who is curious about what we mean by serve and volley πŸ™‚

    Few points lasted more than 3/4 strokes and some of Billie Jean’s volleys were pure genius. Like a scalpel. Martina’s weren’t too bad either. Of course BJ was in her midthirties and past her best and Martina didn’t make her run much – she wasn’t up to that anymore.

    A lot of people really hated that style but I loved it.

  • Hartt · December 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Catherine, thanks for the info on the BJK vs Martina match. I love serve and volley and it is so hard to see it these days.

    Also on my list is the Edberg vs Courier 1991 match – Edberg has said he thought he played his best in that match. A contrast of styles is also a lot of fun to watch. So far I have just found extended highlights but plan to keep looking for the entire match.

  • catherine · December 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    The King/ Martina match is in 3 parts (it was 3 sets) and I could only find the last part. But I’ll keep looking. Youtube can be quite addictive I’ve discovered – you can find yourself going down all sorts of highways and byways but inevitably a lot of the older films/videos are pretty poor quality.

    Billie Jean won the second set 6/1 v Martina in around 15 mins. Just playing on instinct and muscle memory I imagine πŸ™‚

    I was a fan of Stefan’s too and watched his matches when I could even though I wasn’t covering the men’s side at W’don.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Rod Laver said in his book he thought quick serve volley pts that only lasted 1-2-3 shots was boring for fans to watch. One can only imagine Laver falling asleep if he was watching this King vs Martina match, Catherine.

  • catherine · December 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Scoop – ha ha, different strokes…I don’t find really good s/v boring – it’s the shots you’re looking at. And at least the points don’t last long. But it’s a different skill, and not for everyone.

    I find long rallies boring but then I have a short attention span πŸ™‚

    Billie Jean won in Paris actually, 1972, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t s/v all the way through there. She saved that for W’don.

  • Hartt · December 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Yes, Youtube can be very addictive. You go to look at something that should last 10 minutes and then emerge an hour or more later, because one thing leads to another. I enjoy the player interviews as well as the matches.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    How about Federer luring Felix to train in Dubai? Hard to say no but also hard to say the experience will be 100% positive as some of the players chosen to hit with Fed in Dubai did not benefit as we might have expected: Ricardis Berankis, Jesse Levine, Cedric Marcel Stebe, etc.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 13, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    The players I believe sign a non disclosure agreement not to talk much about it with the media. Berankis said he was not allowed to talk to me about Roger for my Facing Federer book. Levine did talk but he didn't really reveal much. I learned later from another player that Levine was instructed to hit everything, every ball to Fed's backhand. This was at the time Fed's backhand was wilting under Nadal's forehand assaults. Levine a lefty hit everything to Fed forehand but Levine didn't tell me that. Stebe said Fed saw him play Hewitt on TV in Australia the year before and liked what he saw and that's why Fed reached out to him. Stebe struggled after that for years but last year he re-emerged and got his ranking back up close to 100.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 13, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine; I learned something new about Martina this week. My friend and hitting partner played at Rutgers and he said Martina used to live in NJ and trained a lot with the Rutgers mens team in the later 90s when she was still playing pro dubs. He said she only played doubles and very rarely did singles, she was very serious and focused. She had first played with Princeton's team but it didn't work out and so she went to train with the Rutgers guys.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Hartt; yuo tube is indeed a gold mine of tennis content, did you ever watch the best of Marcelo Rios videos? You should if you haven't. Thank God for You Tube πŸ™‚

  • Andrew Miller · December 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    If Federer invites you to Dubai, “it’s my moms birthday” is right response!

  • Andrew Miller · December 13, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Training with Federer is worst idea. Train with Nadal instead, same stories aren’t there for Nadal I’d think. Or train with Steps, who will help on and off the court!

  • Andrew Miller · December 13, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Edberg’s Wimbledon victory against Becker was unbelievable. Some of the more confidant playing against a formidable opponent I’d seen up to then. That Becker then won another slam after that a testament to Boris and his training and coaching.

  • catherine · December 14, 2017 at 3:16 am

    Hartt – I wonder sometimes how differently I’d have written about tennis, and players, if Youtube had been around in our day. Probably quite a bit. When you see a match once you miss things, but on the other hand that’s how we see it, in real time, if we don’t have modern aids for second (and third, and fourth) thoughts. Can’t rewrite the past.

    One can get a bit obsessed with trivia though – great timewaster.
    I’ve been counting the times Kerber has fallen over backwards hitting her crouching backhand – a few πŸ™‚

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