if you can't say anything nice…

I’m sure the ATP Tour players are all in love with Pete Sampras right now. In a New York Times article published yesterday, he scoffed at how Wimbledon has unfolded so far this year:

In summary, Sampras doesn’t think much of the grass-court tennis currently being played. He doesn’t sound terribly convinced that he — soon to turn 36, five years after he walked away from tennis after winning his 14th Grand Slam title at the United States Open — couldn’t still get to the net against these guys, put away vintage Pistol Pete volleys.

The “sad” problem, as Sampras sees it, is that players have surrendered to the slower conditions, the stronger rackets, the fear of risk. He has been watching Federer hang on the baseline, toy with lesser players who won’t dare push him the way Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg and Goran Ivanisevic and Patrick Rafter used to chip, charge and challenge Sampras across the 1990s.

Smart move, Pete. Put your mouth where the money is. Now I can’t wait to see you play Federer in those Asian exhibitions this fall.

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