A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis

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9780307383297: A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis

Pete Sampras is arguably the greatest tennis player ever, a man whose hard-nosed work ethic led to an unprecedented number one world ranking for 286 weeks, and whose prodigious talent made possible a record-setting fourteen Grand Slam titles. While his more vocal rivals sometimes grabbed the headlines, Pete always preferred to let his racket do the talking.

Until now.

In A Champion’s Mind, the tennis great who so often exhibited visible discomfort with letting people “inside his head” finally opens up. An athletic prodigy, Pete resolved from his earliest playing days never to let anything get in the way of his love for the game. But while this single-minded determination led to tennis domination, success didn’t come without a price. The constant pressure of competing on the world’s biggest stage—in the unblinking eye of a media machine hungry for more than mere athletic greatness—took its toll.

Here for the first time Pete speaks freely about what it was like to possess what he calls “the Gift.” He writes about the personal trials he faced—including the death of a longtime coach and confidant—and the struggles he gutted his way through while being seemingly on top of the world. Among the book’s most riveting scenes are an early devastating loss to Stefan Edberg that led Pete to make a monastic commitment to delivering on his natural talent; a grueling, four-hour-plus match against Alex Corretja during which Pete became seriously ill; fierce on-court battles with rival and friend Andre Agassi; and the triumphant last match of Pete’s career at the finals of the 2002 U.S. Open.

In A Champion’s Mind, one of the most revered, successful, and intensely private players in the history of tennis offers an intimate look at the life of an elite athlete.

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About the Author:

PETE SAMPRAS holds the distinction of being the youngest male player (at age nineteen) to win the U.S. Open. During his career he won sixty-four top-level singles titles (including fourteen Grand Slams, eleven ATP Masters Series titles, and five Tennis Masters Cup titles) as well as two doubles titles. Currently he makes his home in Los Angeles with his wife, Bridgette, and their sons, Christian and Ryan.

PETER BODO is a senior editor and chief columnist at Tennis magazine.

From AudioFile:

Handsome and talented tennis champion Pete Sampras always preferred to let his racket do the talking. His memoir finally allows tennis fans into the life of this elite athlete. Written in a strictly chronological order, the material includes some stories that belie the calm that Sampras always tried to show on the court. His first meetings with his wife are rather humorous. The descriptions of his matches against Andre Agassi remain as compelling to hear as they were to watch. Narrator Mark Deakins delivers a straightforward narration with no vocal characterizations and tightly controlled energy. Listeners may get the feeling this audio presentation is exactly like watching a Pete Sampras tennis match: perfectly executed, occasionally exciting, sometimes interesting, but rather unemotional. M.R.E. AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine

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