Sampras returns to San Jose

February 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
He has been retired for several years, but Pete Sampras is still very popular and was back playing an exhibition game on Monday night at the SAP Open in San Jose.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion talked about what keeps him coming back.

"It's fun for me. I mean I still enjoy playing some tennis. I've won here a couple of times and to play someone like Fernando [Verdasco] tonight is not going to easy. I mean, he's ninth in the world, he's got a big serve, a big forehand. I just hope I can make it competitive and enjoy it. I still enjoy playing it, I mean, I'm retired now and I'm not doing a whole lot, so to come up here -- which is an easy trip -- it's still quite fun," said Sampras.

Roger Federer just won his sixteenth major in Australia and kind of cruised through the tournament. When asked if Federer could win a Grand Slam this year, Sampras replied, "You know it's possible, not probable. I mean anything's possible with him, I mean he's a freak of nature."

When asked if Sampras were in his prime would he beat Federer, Sampras replied, "Well, listen, I always say if you asked me in my prime, I felt unbeatable. You ask Laver, he felt unbeatable. You ask Borg, you ask Roger, he's unbeatable. So, you know it's hard to answer that. It depends on the surface, but you know he's a freak right now, I mean he's won 16 and counting. But in my prime, I felt unbeatable."

Andre Agassi wrote a book where he dissed Sampras a bit. When asked about that he said "It's not a big deal. I mean I was a little bit surprised. I talked to Andre about it and he wanted me to read the book and look at the whole big picture of it. Listen, I was a little perturbed for a little bit, but it's not a big deal."