53 Interesting Facts About Pete Sampras

Last updated on March 20th, 2022

How much do you know Pete Sampras, the legendary tennis player? Most people have heard about Pete Sampras but still don’t know everything about his personal life, career, and achievements. Here is a list of interesting facts about Pete Sampras you may like to know.


1. His Grandparents Are Both Immigrants

Pete’s grandfather Costas Sampras was from Greece, and his grandmother, Sarah Steinberg from Poland, lived in America. Most people know about Pete Sampras and his outstanding record but people hardly think about his heritage.

2. His Mother Is An Immigrant

Pete Sampras’s mother, Georgia Sampras, is an immigrant from Greece. When Georgia was 25 years, she and her six siblings moved from Greece to Canada. At that time, Georgia was 25 years old. After some time, they relocated to the United States.

3. He Has Three Siblings

Pete is the second born in a family of four children. He has two sisters and one brother. The eldest and youngest children are girls, and the third sibling is his brother.

4. Parents Don’t Watch His Games Often

Though his parents are happy about him and his success, they do not watch his live matches often.

5. His Elder Sister Also Works With Tennis

Pete’s elder sibling Stella, a late bloomer, had made her name coaching the women’s tennis team UCLA. Tennis is also her passion, and that is why she has decided to teach others how to be great at this game.

Pete Sampras plays in the 2012 Powershares QQQ Challenge at the United Center on October 17, 2012 in Chicago.
Pete Sampras plays in the 2012 Powershares QQQ Challenge at the United Center on October 17, 2012 in Chicago. Photo © Max Herman

6. His Brother Works With Him

Pete’s brother Gus has worked as a sports marketing executive for a long time. However, the two brothers have formed a management company based in California known as the Sure Sports Management LLC.


7. He Was Born In the United States

Most people question the nationality of Pete since both his grandparents and his mother are immigrants. But Pete was born in Potomac, Maryland, United States, making him an American citizen. Besides, his father is an American.

8. He Grew Up in Rancho Palos

Pete was born in Potomac, Maryland, where his father worked. But when he was seven – the entire family moved to Rancho Palos, where Pete and his siblings grew and went to school.

9. His Father Changed His Career

The Pete Sampras family relocated because his father changed his career. At first, he worked as a civil aerospace engineer for the U.S Air force. Later he took a job in the Aviation industry.

10. Pete Spent Most Time Outdoors

Rancho has a warmer climate than Potomac, which led to Pete and his siblings spending most time outdoors and in the Peninsula Racquet Club, where they started taking tennis lessons.

11. Pete’s Aptitude For Tennis

After taking lessons from the country club, Pete’s aptitude for tennis was evident. It is no wonder that his parents hired a pediatrician and a tennis buff, Peter Fischer, to train him.

12. Even At a Young Age He Had Passion For Tennis

The first time Pete held a tennis ball was when he was three years. He used to knock it against the basement wall. This was one of his favorite pastimes.

Tennis star PETE SAMPRAS at GQ Magazine s 5th Annual Men of the Year Awards in New York.
Tennis star Pete Sampras at GQ Magazine s 5th Annual Men of the Year Awards in New York. Photo © Featureflash

School and College Life

13. Pete Went To Palos Verdes High School

Pete went to Palos Verdes High School, and during the time he was here, his tennis skill grew significantly. Due to his growth in tennis, he left the school in 1988 to start his professional career.

14. He Never Went To College

Pete never went to college after starting his career; his primary focus was to ensure that he thrived and be the best tennis player. Since his focus was his career, he did not bother with college life.

15. He Has Read A Few Books

Pete had admitted that he spent most of his time working out or practicing tennis. That is why he did not have time to read books. It is no wonder he has read a few books in his life.

Tennis Career

16. Pete’s Interest in Tennis Started In 1978

Pete’s interest in tennis started in 1978 after his family moved to Southern California. Since he showed interest in the sport, his father hired an amateur coach player to train him.

17. A Pediatrician Helped Him Kick Off His Career

The first person hired to Coach Pete Sampras tennis was Peter Fischer. Fischer’s career was as a pediatrician, but he also had an interest in tennis. Training Pete was the first time Fischer has coached anyone to be a tennis player.

tennis racquets and balls.

18. Pete Has Had Eight Coaches

Fischer was Pete’s first coach; he trained Pete Sampras to play tennis. But he only taught it from 1980 to 1989; he has seven more coaches who have helped him become well and a pro at playing tennis.

19. He Started With Two-Handed Backhand

When Pete started playing tennis, he had a two-handed backhand. But his first coach Fischer trained him on how to be a one-handed one.

20. He Went Pro In 1988

After playing numerous friendly tennis tournaments, Pete decided to go pro in 1988. That was when he was 16 years old, and from then, he strived to be the best in the game.

21. His First Rank Was 893

After going pro, Pete trained hard to improve his tennis rank of 893th to top 100. His career started slowly during the first five years, but he got a breakthrough in 1990.

22. He Won The 1990 U.S. Open

In 1990 when he was just 19, Pete won the U.S. Open. This made him the youngest ever male champion to ever win the tournament. He defeated his career-rival Andre Agassi, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. This was the stepping stone of his career.

23. He Has Won Numerous Grand Slam Titles

Pete has won numerous grand slam titles throughout his career as a tennis player. His achievements are said to be due to his dedication and hard work. He is always trying to improve his skills.

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24. He Spent 286 Weeks As The Number One Tennis Player

Pete is one of the greatest tennis players. This is the third-highest total ranking behind Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. He aimed to become the number one tennis player in the world.

25. Pete Plays Aggressive Volley

Though Fischer was not a trained coach, he is the one who helped Pete turn his tennis career around. He even helped him change from a baseline player to a serve and volley player.

Personal Life

26. He Liked His Wife before Meeting Her

Pete went to the movies in 1999 with his friend to watch Love Stinks, a film where his wife was staring. He liked her and told his friend that he would like to meet her. Pete’s friend was able to set it up.

27. His Wife Is A Retired Actress

Bridget Wilson is a retired beauty pageant winner. She got her fame by winning the Miss Teen USA pageants in 1990. She also used to act, but now she is retired.

28. He Has Two Children

Together with his wife Bridgette, Pete has two children. His firstborn is Christian Charles Sampras, and his last child is Ryan Nikolaos Sampras.

29. He Has Had Two Relationships In The Past

Pete is a public figure, and like most public figures, he tries to keep his personal life private. According to the information available, not much is known about his past relationships. However, he has had two relationships before getting married.

30. He Is Retired

Pete had a surprise win at the 2002 U.S Open. However, this was also the time he was retiring. However, he made his retirement official in 2003 from being a professional tennis player. Sampras became the fifth oldest champion in history at 31 years, 27 days, and the oldest since his idol Rod Laver (31 years, 1 month) in 1969, when Sampras defeated Agassi to win the 2002 US Open.

31. He Has Thalassemia

No one expected Pete to retire in 2003. However, his early retirement is due to a blood disease known as Thalassemia. The symptoms of this condition include fatigue and shortage of breath.

Major Titles

32. Pete Won Seven Wimbledon Title

During his career, Pete has won seven Wimbledon titles in eight years. He won the titles in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000. However, are you aware of the fact that during his first three years at Wimbledon, Pete only won one match?  He lost twice in the first round and once in the second. 

33. Has Won Five Titles at the U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is a hard-court tennis tournament, and Pete has managed to be part of the game and won five titles. He won these titles in 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002.

Melbourne Park home of the Australian Open
Melbourne Park home of the Australian Open. Photo © GordonBellPhotography

34. He Has Won Two Australian Open Titles

Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually at Melbourne Park in Australia, and Pete became the male’s singles champion here in 1994 and 1997.

Some more interesting tidbits

35. Never Ending Debate With The Sister

Before going pro, Pete used to play tennis games with his older sister. The sister claims to hold an unofficial mark for most wins against Pete. But Pete denies these claims.

36. He Is An Introvert

Pete has been dull due to his introverted nature. But his fans claim that he is misunderstood, and it was his nature to be disciplined and like to keep to himself.

37. He Envisioned a Career as a Tennis Player When He Was Young

Pete envisioned his career as a tennis player from when he was young. It was when he was training with Fischer and his father. It is no wonder he worked hard to be the best in the game.

38. He Rose Rapidly In the Junior Rankings

Pete started his tennis playing as a junior in 1980-1984. But he rose quickly to the top. By the time he was 12, he was used to play with the 14-year-olds.

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