Pete Sampras is one of the greatest tennis players of all time and enjoyed an illustrious career during which he won 14 Grand Slam singles titles. The American was arguably the best-ever to have played the game until the dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.
Amongst his many notable achievements is the fact that he was the year-end World No. 1 for six consecutive years. The American was at the top of the rankings from 1993 to 1998, and this feat is yet to be repeated.
While speaking on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast, Sampras said that being that consistent on the tour was not easy and he had to work hard and sacrifice a lot.
"Being consistent in any sport is tough to do and six years in a row was a lot of work, some stress involved, and a great achievement. I mean, to really dominate that six years was not easy, and I wanted it, I sacrificed and worked hard and won some tennis matches along the way. But it wasn't easy," Pete Sampras said.
"I think it will be tough to break" - Pete Sampras on his record of being the year-end World No. 1 for six consecutive years
Pete Sampras said earlier this year that it would be tough to break his record, as that level of consistency is difficult to maintain.
"I always based my year on the majors and the bonus beyond that was to finish No. 1. Novak has seven, but not in a row. Over time, I think it will be tough to break six straight," the American said.
Sampras joked that being the year-end World No. 1 for six consecutive years might be the only record he will have left. The 14-time Grand Slam champion stated that the feat was among the best achievements of his career.
"I think, that’s the only record I’m going to have left. Now that I look back on it, knowing how difficult it is to finish No. 1 once or twice, but to do it six years in a row, the consistency that I had, the endurance, the will, I think it is one of my best achievements," the American said.
Sampras held the World No. 1 position for a total of 286 weeks during his career.