“I thought Pete Sampras was boring, you guys make it seem that way, but he’s really not”


Serena Williams once opened up about how her initial perception of Pete Sampras, influenced by his portrayal in the media, couldn’t be further from the truth.

During her campaign at the 1999 Evert Cup, now known as the Indian Wells Open, Williams progressed to the final with a dominant 7-5, 6-1 win over Sandrine Testud, setting the stage for a blockbuster title clash with Steffi Graf.

Serena Williams, who had launched her very own newsletter ‘Tennis Monthly Recap’ with her sister Venus Williams in 1998, found common ground with reporters during her post-match press conference.

After sharing her thoughts on her victory over Testud, the American opened up about her experience of interviewing Pete Sampras during the tournament. Having initially perceived Sampras as boring due to the way he was painted by the media, she highlighted his surprisingly funny and cheerful nature.

“Oh, Pete’s a great guy. I thought Pete was boring. You guys really make it seem that way. But he’s really not. He’s funny. He was laughing the whole time. He’s a great person,” Williams said.

Williams also expressed her deep admiration for Sampras and humorously suggested that perhaps the media didn’t hold him in as high regard as she did. She debunked their depiction of Sampras, emphasizing that his real personality differed greatly from it.

“I really admire Pete. I guess that you guys just don’t. He’s totally not what you guys write him to be. He’s so much different than that,” she added.

Despite sharing insights from her interview with Pete Sampras, Serena Williams refrained from giving out any details about its content, encouraging everyone to check out the article in her newsletter instead.

“That’s for our newsletter. You can check out the article. It’s going to a be a feature Wimbledon article, tennis monthly recap, we’re exclusive, we can get all kinds of interviews,” she said.

A brief look at Serena Williams’ campaign at the 1999 Evert Cup

The American won the 1999 Evert Cup
The American won the 1999 Evert Cup

Serena Williams kicked off her campaign at the 1999 Evert Cup with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Jessica Steck. She next upset second seed Lindsay Davenport in the second round, winning 6-4, 6-2.

The American advanced to the quarterfinals with a dominant 6-0, 7-5 win over Cara Black. She beat Mary Pierce 7-5, 7-6(1) to reach the semifinals.

The American set up a blockbuster title clash against Steffi Graf with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Sandrine Testud. In their second and final tour-level encounter, Serena Williams beat Graf 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to win the Evert Cup.

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