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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 June, 2003, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Sampras' future still uncertain
Pete Sampras, US Open champion
I don't want to totally close the door
Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras will take a decision on his future at the end of 2003.

The 31-year-old American, who has won a record 14 Grand Slam titles, will not play at this year's Wimbledon or at the US Open, where he is the reigning champion.

But he has not completely ruled out a return to tennis, although he will never play at the French Open again.

"I've given myself to the end to the year to make a decision on whether to stop or not," Sampras told French sports daily L'Equipe.

"I don't want to totally close the door."

Sampras, who has won 64 ATP titles and more than $43.2m during his career, admitted that domestic happiness with wife Brigitte and nine-month old son Christian Charles had affected his motivation for the game that he dominated.

"Two months ago I started training again seriously with the aim of going back to Wimbledon. But it didn't last, my heart wasn't in it any more.

When I think about tennis it's usually about Wimbledon - on the first day of the tournament it will torment me
Pete Sampras

"This decision not to go to Wimbledon was followed immediately by that not to play in 2003, because If I can't motivate myself for the tournament that I put above all the others, it's not even worth thinking about the rest.

"I stayed at home, I stopped training. I didn't have any aim, I can no longer have any aim after all that I achieved in my career and what happened in the US Open."

Perhaps the greatest moment of Sampras' career came at last year's US Open, where he beat Andre Agassi in the final after being written off at the start of the tournament.

The American, who said if he returns it will be to contest Wimbledon or the US Open, expanded on his decision not to go for the French Open title.

"It's final. You won't be seeing me again at Roland Garros," said the Los Angeles-based player.

"I came every year for nearly 15 years, I did everything I could to win this title, so I can forget it without having any regrets."

And he admitted he will be tormented about not being at Wimbledon this year.

"When I think about tennis it's usually about Wimbledon.

"At the moment I've no feelings. But the first day of the tournament I know that I'm going to be thinking about it a lot, it will even torment me."


SEE ALSO
Sampras pulls out of Wimbledon
16 May 03  |  Tennis
Sampras plays waiting game
20 May 03  |  Tennis

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