Former 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras says he prefers to be a “lone wolf” during his playing days. Before Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic introduced themselves to the tennis world, Sampras held the all-time record for most Grand Slam wins.
After Sampras retired, some thought no player would ever win 14 Grand Slams. But Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have all won 20+ Grand Slams, tying Sampras’ record. “Today you look at Roger, Rafa and Novak and they’re more social and outgoing than me, and maybe that’s where we are in social media and society,” Sampras told LA NACION.
“Maybe, if I were to play now, I would be like these people. It’s just a different mentality. In my generation, everyone is a little separated, but now Roger has Rafa’s phone number and everyone writes to each other and has Instagram.”
Sampras: I was a lone wolf, I get energy from being alone.
Sampras, who finished his career with seven Wimbledon titles, was loving the atmosphere around The All England Club as the tournament reached its final stages. “I know Roger a little bit so I guess he can be the soul of the party in the locker room.
I was in the corner away from everyone and I loved the last Wimbledon weekend, no one was in the dressing room. I am a lone wolf. I get energy from being alone. I like being alone. That’s how I’m connected and that’s how it’s always been, Sampras explained.
In the year Sampras had a lifelong dream when he beat Andre Agassi in the 2002 US Open final and capped his career with his 14th Grand Slam title. Although Sampras’ Grand Slam record is broken by three players, he is still widely regarded as one of the greatest players in tennis history.