Daily Bagel: Sloane Stephens could look to Pete Sampras as example
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• Video: A compilation of the eight championships points Rafael Nadal has celebrated in Monte Carlo. He's going for his ninth straight title next week.
• Peter Bodo thinks it's time for Sloane Stephens to look to Pete Sampras as an example of how to deal with pressure.
Great players don’t want to operate under the radar. They want to be in the spotlight. Their response to pressure is to cry out, “Bring it on!” That’s something Stephens will have to understand, and an attitude she’ll have to learn to embrace if she hopes to join the elite.
Perhaps it’s a good time for the 20-year-old to look to Pete Sampras as a role model. The 14-time Grand Slam champion stunned the tennis world when he won the U.S. Open in 1990, at barely 20 years of age. The following year, Sampras lost in the quarterfinals to Jim Courier, then declared in a painfully frank press conference that he felt uncomfortable with the pressure of being defending champ. He was relieved to lose. It was like “a ton of bricks had been lifted off my shoulders.”
A few minutes later, when the comment was related to Courier, he remarked, “There are a lot of guys out there wishing they had that load on their shoulders.” Others chimed in as well, and the incident became the first controversy of Sampras’ career. By the time it played itself out, Sampras came to see how that pressure to which he alluded was an honor, not an impediment.
• Doug Robson reports that the ATP has narrowed its CEO search to Mark Young and Laurent Delanney.
• Good profile on the Pliskova sisters at Tennis Grandstand.