Former 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras admits he preferred being "a lone wolf" during his playing days. Before Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic introduced themselves to the tennis world, Sampras set the all-time record for most Grand Slams won.
After Sampras retired, some thought that there would never be a player who would win 14 Grand Slams. But Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have all topped Sampras' record by far as they all have 20+ Grand Slams. "You look at Roger, Rafa and Novak today and they are much more social and outgoing than me, and maybe it's through social media and where we are in society," Sampras told LA NACION.
"Maybe, if I were playing now, I would be more like these guys. It's just a different mindset. In my generation everyone was a little more separated, but now Roger has Rafa's phone number and everyone texts each other and has Instagram."
Sampras: I was a lone wolf, would find energy by being alone
Sampras, who finished his career with seven Wimbledon titles, loved the vibe around The All England Club when the tournament would reach its final phase. "Knowing Roger a little bit, I guess he can be the soul of the party in the locker room.
I was more in the corner, away from everyone, and I loved the last weekend of Wimbledon, when nobody was in the dressing room. I am a lone wolf. I get energy by being alone. I like to be alone. That's how I'm connected and how it's always been," Sampras explained.
Sampras enjoyed a dream end to his career as he defeated Andre Agassi in the 2002 US Open final to cap off his great career with his 14th Grand Slam title. Even though Sampras' Grand Slam record has been broken by three players, he is still widely considered as one of the greatest players in tennis history.