Sport » Tennis

Updated: October 18, 2009 15:15 IST

Sampras says tennis players are sports' best athletes

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Pete Sampras
AP Pete Sampras

Former world no. 1 Pete Sampras has claimed that tennis players are the finest athletes in the world.

“People don’t talk about it. I mean, in tennis, these athletes are incredible. I think tennis players are the best athletes, in my opinion. "I’m not being biased. I know what it takes, I know hand-eye coordination. In an individual sport, you can’t hide,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Sampras, as saying.

"What these guys do on the run ... the guys that aren’t maybe playing well and they come back - they’re down two sets to love and they have the resolve to come back and can go on and on,” he said.

“It was huge. I did it for five years and it was a close race at the end of the sixth year; (Marcelo) Rios was pushing me and I remember I was over in Europe and I played like seven straight weeks to get it,” he recalls.

"And I wanted it. (Jimmy) Connors had five; I wanted six. And to be consistent in any sport is tough to do, and six years in a row is a lot of work, some stress involved and a great achievement.” "To dominate for the six years was not easy. I sacrificed and worked hard and won some tennis matches along the way, but it wasn’t easy,” he added.

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