Jan/19

26

Will the ATP Balance of Power Ever Shift?

 

By Scoop Malinowski

Double Australian Open champion Johan Kriek is puzzled. He can’t understand why the Big Three of men’s tennis are still dominating the sport.

“The changing of the guard has happened on the WTA. Naomi Osaka is the new superstar and a couple of “supporting actors” are pushing past the former champions now. That is great for WTA tennis.  So why is that not happening on the ATP Tour? For the past decade or more we had Roger, Djokovic, Nadal winning just about every major with Murray, Del Potro and Wawrinka “elbowing” forward here and there and a few majors went their way,” noted Kriek.

The balance of power in men’s and women’s tennis is anything but “equality,” the new buzzword in sports.

Kriek continued. “How come there are no wunderkinders anymore on the ATP Tour? Some of them are extremely talented players with amazing technical skills but a total lack of brainpower…..no need to name names, we know who they are. Hard working workhorses like Kevin Anderson and Kei Nishikori come close and will be a threat at every major but we don’t see 21 year olds on the men’s side starting to dominate the ATP rankings….. I don’t see any one really.”

What’s happening in men’s tennis now is a phenomenon that has never happened before in tennis.

“Are these old geniuses, let’s call them the European musketeers, that good both physically and mentally that even though they have battled from losing rankings, battled injuries, changing situations etc.? But yet here we are with Nadal vs Djokovic back in the finals at the Oz Open yet again Amazing.”

Kriek does not particularly enjoy what is happening, this stagnation of evolution. “I think it is great for them but bad for tennis,” said Kriek. “I am not the only one that thinks this. Sponsors may look at it as ‘we are entering an era of diminishing returns’ ( no pun intended).”

“With the increases in prize money the past decade or so it remains to be seen if sponsors will be pumping dollars as they have been with the three giants of the game…..almost quitting…. in the twilights of their careers. Who will carry the mantle beyond these three giants? Is it possible? It’s an interesting subject.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas is a contender. So is Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz. Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov of Russia could break out soon.

Or will the changing of the guard only happen if Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are arrested for holding a monopoly over the industry?

Just kidding.

· · ·

130 comments

  • Dan Markowitz · January 28, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Obviously there’s some immigrants in Japan or else how did Osaka’s father get there. Without Osaka’s father there’s no Osaka. One could argue that Japanese players are not physically strong enough to be tennis champs and perhaps are too reserved. Japan has never produced its own tennis star.

    Furthermore, I don’t think there’s a lot of space in Japan for more people to come in. Where would American tennis be w/out immigrants? Agassi, Sampras, Tiafoe, Kozlov and Escobedo are a few who are either first or second generation immigrants. You think Tiafoe if he was a black American would choose tennis over basketball? Not likely.

  • catherine · January 28, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for clarifying 🙂 Of course to me, as an older person, Naomi has the interest of being very young – she’s at the start of her career and reams and reams of words will be written about her in the future and of course I’d like to see how events turn out for her.

    Then, Angie is a decade older and coming to the end of her career and that’s interesting to me as well, perhaps because I can identify a little more and understand some aspects of life that Kerber is going through and Naomi hasn’t experienced yet.

    BTW – Angie and her Voguish exposures – I wonder if Fisette wasn’t keen on her doing all that stuff and Angie insisted and maybe the whole issue became one of the things involved in their parting. Those activities are certainly a big distraction and don’t fall in line with her comments about rededicating herself to tennis and being a ‘role model’. Collins certainly tore a hole in that.

    Just a thought.

  • catherine · January 28, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Above is reply to Scoop.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    kerber is in the home stretch of her career, she’s done just about everything she wanted to. She may have one foot already out the door or at least mentally one foot out of the sport. You see that in a lot of women players, they just get tired of the grind, the same old questions, same old thing.

  • catherine · January 29, 2019 at 2:24 am

    Yes, that’s true, although I guess it’s always hard to say goodbye which is why I’m looking at the Olympics as the farewell year for several players. Something to aim for.

    You’d never get them to admit any of this of course. And failing can never be nice. Why does Petko keep on trying to qualify ? Does she just enjoy the travel ? She must have plenty of other options.

    Men seem a little different. Some don’t seem to mind hanging around in the lower ranks and playing Challengers etc. Doesn’t matter if they have families.

    Scheuttler isn’t terribly visible as Angie’s coach and you get the impression he’s a kind of fill-in. Definitely someone she chose for a reason – she’s the boss. But he’s not going to help her win Paris.

  • catherine · January 29, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Murray’s had a metal implant – in London a day or so ago. I wonder if this is going to hold up in singles play ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 29, 2019 at 9:20 am

    If the hip is shot for singles, pretty sure he will focus on doubles. There is no way Murray’s competitive fire is even close to burning out. He’s a very good doubles player too. Hopefully he does not have a disdain for doubles like Sock expressed last week. It’s too early for Murray to depart the scene.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 29, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    I’d be very surprised after hip-resurfacing surgery that Murray will comeback and play singles. I’m surprised Bob Bryan is back after having one and playing doubles. Be interesting to see how Bryan Brothers do now as that extra step, that extra jump is going to be harder for BB especially at 40.

    For Murray to have this operation at 31 tells you there’s too much hard court playing going on . This never happened in past, but this surgery has only become used in past 15 years. I know hard courts are the most fair surface, but they are taking its tooll on players gips.

  • Hartt · January 29, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Further to our discussion about Naomi Osaka, I just saw her press conference at the beginning of the AO. After a question about her being more comfortable at preesers, and Naomi saying she was still uncomfortable with one on one small talk, she put the press in their place. With a smile she said she did not want to be rude, but when she was sitting there “it’s like you guys aren’t real people.”

  • Dan Markowitz · January 29, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Hartt

    As a reporter who’s sat through his share of pressers, when I hear Osaka say that I think, “Uh oh, she doesn’t get what these meetings with media are all about.”

    The exchange is best when the reporters treat the players as human beings with a job to do and the players see the reporters in the same vein. We’re trying to learn more about Osaka than what we see on the court. But if she thinks these exchanges with reporters are play or games, then she’s not going to give a true accounting of herself. Maybe that’s better for her not too think to deeply. She also said she really doesn’t listen to what her coach tells her before a match. But for a player really to make a connection with reporters and thus fans, it’s best if players treat these pressers like real exchanges of ideas and insights. Most reporters are pretty intelligent so Osaka should see them as real people.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 29, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Dan, it’s not too much hard court play by Murray it’s most likely too much hard training over the years, all the sprint work and track work and beach work and of course all the long physical grinding matches and long points. Veterans like Dr. Ivo, F Lo, Paulo Lorensi, Kohlchreiber, Verdasco are still going strong. Kuerten also had the hip surgery and retired by 30, I was told he overtrained as a kid and in his career. Too much time on court.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 29, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Dan, I’m not sure most of the players don’t see reporters as parasites, living off their talents. As Rios told Henman. Most press conferences are very dull and it’s the same questions just about every time, except for an oddball type who shows up. Very few players enjoy press conferences and only do it because they know they have to. As the saying goes, You learn more about a person in an hour of play than a year of words. Or something like that. Osaka has a charm now because it’s all new but I guess in about a year or two she will lose patience with the process and get tired of the same old questions over and over and over. Like Sharapova said, she doesn’t even think about answering the questions she gets, she goes on like on auto pilot and just gives the answer she knows she has to and can without even thinking. Bottom line, press conferences are monotonous.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 29, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    It is interesting that Svitolina is involved in a row with the Ukraine federation and won’t play Fed Cup. Maybe she wants to spend more time with Monfils or it is his doing. I believe that Catherine had said that Sloane Stephens’ boyfriend was heavily involved with her career so this could be a similar situation.

  • Hartt · January 29, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Actually, Naomi does give thoughtful answers to questions at press conferences. She often considers her replies before answering, rather than giving a stock reply. I think she just meant that it was easier for her to deal with the formal setup of a presser than trying to make small talk with one person. I used to find it relatively easy to give a speech to a large group for much the same reason.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 29, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Hartt,

    I don’t think a player of Osaka’s status now does too many one on one interviews. The little I’ve seen of her, yes, she usually does give unique answers to questions.

    The players with a personality actually usually like talking to the press. You see this with Federer as he often displays his keen sense of the game and his humor in interviews. Djokovic can be charming after earlier in his career being somewhat immature. Sloane Stephens is so relaxed with the media that when she was out for a long time last year, she worked for the Tennis Channel. I think the smart and unguarded players actually understand the role the media plays in letting players open up more than they can usually on the court.

    Does anyone know what’s happened to the Qualis in Challenger events? It seems like there’s now only four players in the Quali draws. Stefan Kozlov gets a win in Cleveland Challenger and Dudi Sela in Australia. Got to love Sela making comeback.

    Also, on Murray, getting a hip-resurfacing so quickly after Bautista match tells me he was either in a lot more pain than we saw or he’s thinking comeback and wanted to have it done as quickly as possible. Also, I read Nadal had ankle surgery in off-season. Amazing, he came back so soon from it.

  • Hartt · January 29, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Dan, I don’t think Naomi was talking about one on one interviews, but just chatting in a social situation. She said after she said “hello, how are you” she did not know what else to say.

    The small number of players in Challenger qualies is part of the new ITF system. The whole thing seems very complicated, and I’ve yet to find a clear description of how it works. But my understanding is that the number of players in the main draw of Challenger tourneys has increased, with some spots made available to players with what is called an ITF ranking.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 29, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Naomi is a sweetheart in the press and part of that is because she is young and fresh. I believe that will change once she becomes a familiar and dominant force, though perhaps she will be as well respected as a Kim Clijsters was throughout her career.

    I can’t imagine Murray playing competitively again. It quite honestly doesn’t make sense. I do hope his presence is still in the sport since him and his mu have been good forces for equality and positive publicity in tennis. Plus it helped to have a British player do well since their media covers the sport the most.

    Jack Sock is not in Cleveland but at the X Games in snowy Minneapolis.

    Dan good point on Tiafoe. Him, Kyrgios and Kokk were caught on the Aussie Open Twiter going nuts over an NBA game. All the young players seem to love the NBA and video games more than tennis. That’s another thing that will be missing once Roger, Nadal and Djokovic all leave since they all love the sport so much. Not sure any of these other players do except Tsitsipas, although he is a bit too arrogant in my view.

  • catherine · January 30, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Coaching changes: Monica Puig and Kamau Murray; Sloane Stephens and Nick Saviano. Maybe this is the push that Sloane needs.

    I didn’t know about Svitolina’s row with Ukraine but since she’s lived in London for 3 years and seldom visits her homeland it makes a kind of sense. It’s a shame in a way but it gives Yastremska a chance to play Fed Cup and become the Ukrainian No 1. I don’t like to see players turn their backs on the their countries unless there’s a very good reason.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two other coaching changes actually. But no names no packdrill 🙂

  • catherine · January 30, 2019 at 2:27 am

    Scoop – I know we’ve discussed this before but I agree with you about press conferences. They are mainly just to give reporters some quotes, which are of course all the same anyway, and I’ve always believed you can write a good report of a match without speaking to the players at all.

    Many players do not hold the media in high regard and if you look closely you can see the contempt which peaks out occasionally from behind the manicured facade. Especially true when a player has lost. Eg Kerber’s response to Ben Rothenberg’s question about her bathroom break after she’d lost to Collins. And many other examples which can be inspected on Youtube.

    To me, media credentials are for watching the matches and picking up bits and pieces around the grounds and chatting to people, which is more like real reporting. Not choreographed press conferences. (Same with politics although we won’t go there.)

  • Wayne Bradford · January 30, 2019 at 3:36 am

    Catherine, I agree with you but you have to remember we are the knowledgeable tennis fans. We don’t need the press conferences since we know they are a waste of time.

    But the press conferences are there for the non-tennis fans and they are of value. Quite obviously, Roger gives the greatest press conferences and his fans appreciate it. It has certainly added to his legend. Now I am a big Roger fan for sure but I am referring to the casual Roger fan who enjoy the opportunity to see how articulate and intelligent he is.

    My observation is the women have been less media trained and are not used to it along with the questions they get about their love life. Like these reporters trying to be clever asking Svitolina about Monfils when they don’t do that at the male press conferences. The women have to deal with so much more nonsensical questions that I see where they hate it while the men get more respect so it shows how the media is biased towards men for sure.

    But these conferences are needed to sell the sport which is losing interest in this day and age to video games and reality TV, scavenger hunts and cooking shows.

  • catherine · January 30, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Wayne – I wouldn’t call myself that knowledgeable but I used to edit a tennis magazine and although I wasn’t a regular tennis reporter I did cover tournaments and I did attend some press conferences. I can’t remember any of these charades where I learned one thing that I didn’t know already. But times change I suppose and the public demands more (illusory) access so we have mandatory pcs. You can be sure if they were not mandatory few players would turn up. And I’m not sure if press conferences really affect the game’s popularity among casual fans. TV coverage is much more important.

    Re women – they have been getting media training for as long as the men and the reason that they seem uncomfortable at times, as you point out, is that women are open to far more intrusive questioning than men and tend to be more defensive. It’s been a long time since the ‘tennis questions only’ rule was instituted (more honoured in the breach etc)and that was in part because of the treatment Martina Navratilova got from the tabloid media in England. Not just Martina, but she was the most targeted at the time. Men generally don’t get asked about their love lives (it’s assumed they all have one) and neither are they exposed to suggestive questioning on other subjects. So yes, they have things easier.

    (At AO I had to laugh when I saw Naomi sit patiently through an endless rambling query from some guy and at the end she just smiled and said ‘ Well you’ve kinda answered your own question there.’)

  • Hartt · January 30, 2019 at 8:18 am

    One time I do enjoy a press conference is when an analytical player like Milos dissects the match he just played. It is interesting to see the match from his perspective.

    And for now, Naomi’s press conferences are fun. Catherine has an excellent example of how she can deal with some of the nonsense with charm and a smile.

    I think the players have the patience of Job to answer the same questions dozens and dozens of times. Fed is especially amazing, he rarely shows impatience with this. And often he has to go through it in 3 languages at a presser.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 30, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Yes, Nadal sure was having a very hard time with that ankle in the first six matches at Ao. He could barely walk and oh, he didn’t lose one set. Djokovic was never immature, I did a Biofile with him after he beat Monfils at US open when both were teenagers. Not even close to immature, very professional already. Dudi Sela is ranked 239 right now, lowest he’s been in a long time.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 30, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Catherine, you have been warned about infecting our site with political talk, For that your activities will be suspended again for an hour. Thank you for your patience. 🙂 I think we have the same idea of the use of media credentials. Like I said, You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than a week’s worth of conversation.

  • catherine · January 30, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Weirdest score so far in WTA – Penko bt Kiki 6-1 0-6 6-0 🙂

    (St Petersburg)

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 30, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Could you imagine Dan sitting through that one and then writing about it?

  • Dan Markowitz · January 30, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    I usually get a kick talking to new players I haven’t met before. I remember the first time I met Spadea, I had requested an interview with him because I was working on an article about players who are coached by their dads. Anyway, five minutes after sitting down with I realized he was a colorful different guy who’s a great and willing storyteller. I’d just finished writing a book with John Starks of the Knicks and that was difficult because John is not particularly colorful except when he played basketball. Spadea was the other way around. On the court, he was not. Olorful, but off it, I found he had quite a personality which had nort really been reported on.

    So if you just watched Spadea play, you would now he was a big character. Same thing’s true with a Tursunov and a Gulbis, they were more colorful off the court than on. Even a guy like Sampras, if you never talked to him you wouldn’t know the guy had a dry sense of humor and definitely liked women and his language was inflected with heavy sexual overtones. So it depends what story you’re going to write. If it’s simply a match summary then you don’t necessarily have to talk to the players, but if it’s a profile, you better ask a few questions either in a presser or better yet, in a personal interview. The good guys, the Noah’s, Ashe’s, Spadea’s and Gimelstob’s (good if you need a quote) even the Evert’s and Federer’s will give you their attentions and for most part, their true opinions and insights.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 30, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Dan how on earth did you surmise that Sampras language was heavy in sexual overtones? No idea how you came up with this. Agree Spadea was very interesting and amusing off court, contrary to his court demeanor which was bland to say the least. I did a Biofile with him in about 99 and he was the most normal person I ever interviewed in tennis. Could tell he was cut off from all the other players, a lone wolf. He opened up and gave a very colorful amusing funny insightful Biofile. still remember his answers about making a move on girl watching his match her name was Sunshine. One on one interviews are always more revealing and special than press room questions. More intimate.

  • catherine · January 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    I haven’t seen a profile of a major (and current) player for a long time – not in newspapers, magazines or online, not the kind of stories you used to see. The access has been shut down. One to one interviews don’t happen anymore. The exceptions are big general interest magazines or fashion mags and those stories are not written by tennis journalists.

    (I except your Biofiles Scoop)

  • Wayne Bradford · January 30, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    Come on Catherine, you and everybody else here know their tennis. If we aren’t knowledgeable, who is?

    One thing in the favor of women’s players for creating a media presence is they can do these girlie magazines since they are so famous. Even Naomi did Teen Vogue or something like that, it is great for their brand.

    The men have no such equivalent plus many of them do not have beefcake bodies that men’s fitness mags promote. Of course they are healthier than those male models but that is besides the point. Djokovic in particular looks somewhat skinny still.

    Dan, the Sampras sexual overtones part I have never heard of before? How can you come to that conclusion? I was a big fan of Pete but I found his personality a bit stale. Fed in contrast has been a breath of fresh air. But Agassi was ore of a womanizer than Sampras, no? That’s what I always believed.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 30, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks Catherine for the Biofile shout out. I think a Biofile tells more about a person than a four page spread sometimes. Kozlov lost in Cleveland to Schnur again 67 57. Roy Smith beat Donald Young 76 in the third in Cleveland too. Smith is a rising force. DY is becoming a stepping stone.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 31, 2019 at 3:48 am

    Big news concerning Bernard Tomic. He will appear on 60 Minutes in Australia this weekend and is set to further expose Hewitt after the Davis Cup this weekend. How will Hewitt survive another onslaught? Should be explosive material for sure.

    It made me think the last time a U.S. player was on 60 minutes here? Maybe Serena? McEnroe?

  • catherine · January 31, 2019 at 4:11 am

    Wayne – I like to think I’m reasonably knowledgeable about human nature but the technical tennis stuff, unless its fairly obvious, I leave to other pens – I also don’t see as much live play as I used to.

    I’m not sure about treating players as ‘brands’ – I’ve never felt happy about that and I think, for women in particular, it can lead to problems. Not for all, but for some. An appearance in ‘girlie magazines’ is probably the last thing some young players should aspire to. And as a regular reader of T-P you probably know my feelings about Kerber and her love for the glossies – is it coincidence that every time she appears in one her performance on court takes a dive ?

    Tennis can tend to the trashy sometimes – what was Anna Wintour doing at the AO ? Thank heavens for Wimbledon where no one can speechify except Sue Barker and the players.

    That Tomic stuff is riveting – can see a lot of lawyers out there rubbing their hands in anticipation of $$$$ to come.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Catherine, the players gravitate to the modeling world because they are looking for new adventures outside the tennis world which can become mundane after a while. Travel, practice hotels, matches. Some of these players also want to expand their images to beyond just being a tennis player. Like Bryan Cox said a long time ago about the National Football League, it’s “marketball.” Marketing is the doorway to opportunity.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Anna Wintour appears to be trying to latch on to the Djokovic and Serena bandwagons. Good smart marketing for her to leapfrog to the next big thing now that she’s calculated that Federer’s days at the top are probably over. Wintour is a fame junkie.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Tomic must have some major evidence to be talking the way he’s been talking and then to schedule a date to expose Hewitt even more on 60 Minutes reminds of the movie Scarface where that guy was exposing all the drug kingpins. Gotta feel a little worried right now for Hewitt. Tomic seems to have a vendetta.

  • catherine · January 31, 2019 at 9:41 am

    I understand that Scoop, but tennis players are not natural models, wrong shape and you have to start young (Kate Moss started at 14), and modelling is a pretty dumb job anyway. It’s going to places in planes, getting out of the plane, trying on clothes, posing around, getting back on the plane…..

    Most tennis players, they’re just tennis players. If they try to step out of that role they often end up looking silly. And by the time you’re around 30+ you’re finished anyway.

    Tennis is a full time job, if you’re any good. Lose your top ranking you’ll find the phone will stop ringing. Kerber gets in Vogue because she won W’don and she was ranked No 2 and happens to be photogenic. But if she doesn’t up her game pretty soon the glossies will be looking elsewhere. Hard fact of life.
    Be the face of German tennis Angie. Until you retire, that’s where you belong.

    And as I said before – today’s magazine cover is tomorrow’s recycling 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Catherine, Rene Lacoste was more than just a tennis player. So too were Jack Kramer, Agassi, Billie J King, Ana Kournikova, Yannick Noah, etc. Tennis is just a short part of life. Smart players try to use it as a stepping stone to life after tenis careers. Remember other tennis player exploits. Jim Courier tried to be a musician. McEnroe was an art dealer, musician and game show host. Ellis Ferreira started a children’s tennis clothing company. Venus is/was an interior designer. Dolgopolov is an interior designer. Mardy Fish tried golf.

  • catherine · January 31, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Sabalenka bt Van Uytvanck in SS, St Petersburg. Aryna is a bit erratic, impulsive, she’s not as calm as Naomi but it’s possible she could end up the better player. Her serve is probably fastest of all the women and she does like to go to the net, where she can volley well.

    She’s heavyish in build but not more so than Serena was. I’d say she won’t win the big titles yet and she can have some surprising losses but I enjoy watching her play. She grins a lot. A winning personality but very different from Osaka.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Osaka moves better and is cooler under pressure. A little smoother game.

  • catherine · January 31, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Can’t see Angie in any of those roles Scoop. Maybe she’ll just retire into private life. She could give her name to a sports clothing line of course. Sport Angie.

    BTW McEnroe didn’t really make it as an art dealer or a musician.He admitted himself, somewhat wryly, that he ended up doing the things he swore he’d never do – playing veterans and doing commentary – so he WAS just a tennis player 🙂

  • catherine · January 31, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Sabalenka can look clumsy but she does get across the court fast. She has a better forecourt game.

    But both are 20/21 so time will tell and it’ll be interesting.

  • Hartt · January 31, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    The Canadian youngsters, 18-year-old Felix and 19-year-old Shapo, will have a tough teat in the Davis Cup tie against Slovakia. They will play both singles and doubles. Pospisil recently had back surgery and Milos is concerned about switching to clay with his problem knee. It will be the first time Felix has played a DC match, but fortunately he likes playing on clay.

    The Slavaks, with Klizan as their No. 1 , have to be favourites.

  • Hartt · January 31, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Should be a tough “test.”

  • Dan Markowitz · January 31, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    You don’t remember that old NYTimes Magazine article about Sampras and Agassi that actually showed that Sampras with his old girlfriend, the one who was a brunette, a lawyer, Mulcahey maybe, very cute, had a very frisky relationship while Agassi was actually, at least in this article, shown to be somewhat prudish. Sampras made comments about getting horizontal after matches and then he did marry a looker, in his current and only wife, Kim Wilson, I believe, who was an actress.

  • Hartt · January 31, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Sampras’ wife’s name is Bridgette Wilson. In his autobiography Sampras talks about being smitten when he first saw her on TV, I think it was, and managed to arrange to meet her.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 31, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Yes, but his girlfriend was Mulcahy and she was a lawyer, Delaina, and he won seven majors when he was dating her. Sampras was quite a lady’s man, he also dated Kim Williams of Father of the Bride.

  • catherine · February 1, 2019 at 2:41 am

  • Chazz · February 1, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I don’t see Sock listed in the Dallas challenger event. He wasn’t in Cleveland either. If he thinks he’s above playing in challengers, his singles career is over. He won’t get in the main draw of anything other than maybe the next 1-2 slams. And since he said he won’t play tennis anymore if it’s just doubles, he might as well look for another job.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 1, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Pete dated then married Bridget Wilson not Kim Williams. In my Facing Sampras book Jeff Tarango said Pete was not a partyer or a nightlife guy at all, he’d train hard and go out to eat for pasta or pizza, he led a quiet serious life on the Tour. He was not one to carouse and chase skirts.

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