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Pete Sampras Cries on Court, Then Wins at Australian Open – January 24, 1995

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After losing the first two sets (both tie breakers) to Jim Courier in quarter finals of the 1995 Australian Open, Pete Sampras fought back and won the third set 6-3 and the fourth set 6-4. At the start of the fifth set, Sampras heard a fan call out “C’mon do it for your coach.”

A few seconds later Sampras, sitting on a stool at center, held a towel to his face, and was sobbing uncontrollably. Sampras’s coach, Tim Gullikson had just been flown home after being hospitalized for dizzy spells. Gullikson died the following year (at the age of 44) from a brain tumor that had caused his dizziness.

‘Do It for Your Coach’ : An Emotional Sampras, With Ailing Gullikson on His Mind, Rallies From Two Sets Down to Beat Courier in the Australian Open

Pete Sampras stood still on center court at the Australian Open as if naked, his emotions exposed, his face awash with tears, his chest heaving.

“C’mon, honey, get in there,” his girlfriend, Delaina Mulcahy, said gently from the front row.

Across the net, Jim Courier shouted jokingly to his friend and rival, “Are you all right, Pete? We can do this tomorrow.” It was a gesture of love by Courier, who knew how much Sampras was hurting inside and wanted to help him stop crying. Read more LATimes

Sampras splashed some ice water on his face, got his composure back and won the fifth set (6-4) and the match.


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