Tennis legend Pete Sampras struck by trophy theft | sports | Hindustan Times
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Tennis legend Pete Sampras struck by trophy theft

sports Updated: Dec 08, 2010 14:53 IST

Tennis legend Pete Sampras has revealed that a lifetime of trophies have been stolen from two locked and secured storage units, where they were being stored during a change of home. The 39-year-old told the Los Angeles Times the unexplained theft occurred last month in west Los Angeles. "Losing this stuff is like having the history of my tennis life taken away," he said. But the American, who retired in 2002 with a then-record 14 Grand Slam titles, still has 13 of his trophies from the majors, which were not inside the units. His 1994 Australian Open trophy however is among those stolen.

"For me to have it for my kids is priceless. I just hope it hasn't already been destroyed. That's why I wanted to get the word out now. I know this is a long-shot, but I'd regret it if I didn't at least try. Maybe somebody knows something. That's all I can hope for. I'm not one to gloat about trophies, or show them off," he added. "I've never been like that. I just want them for my kids to see. They didn't see me play, but I'd like them to see these things."

The Sampras loot was being stored as the family moved home, with the former player never suspecting that his goods would not be safe. Police have offered few leads and Sampras has no idea if his trophies were specifically targeted. The loot also included medals, plaques, crystal, rings and media clippings stored in dozens of boxes inside the unit.

But there is a bright side. "I have 13 of my 14 Grand Slam trophies. Some are at home and some up at NikeTown (in Portland). My first Australian Open trophy is gone, and so is everything else." The winner of 64 career titles said he was shocked at the theft. "I was like, 'What?'" he said. "I thought there were security cameras. I thought these things were locked up tight. I was shocked."