Tennis

Report: Sampras' memorabilia stolen

NewsCore Los Angeles Times
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Thieves have stolen the majority of tennis great Pete Sampras' trophies and memorabilia from a public storage facility in West Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Sampras still has 13 of his 14 grand slam trophies, but has lost most of the hardware from winning 64 tour titles, two Davis Cups, an Olympic ring and six trophies for finishing world No. 1 in the year-end rankings from 1993-1998.

"My first Australian Open trophy is gone, and so is everything else," Sampras, 39, told the newspaper.

The theft occurred three weeks ago, with dozens of boxes stolen from the two units he rents at the storage facility. Everything but large furniture he had stored there was gone.

"We've had some housing issues and we stored things while we were sorting that out," said Sampras, adding that he thought the facility was safe.

"I was like, 'What?' I thought there were security cameras. I thought these things were locked up tight. I was shocked."

Sampras, who retired in 2003 and claimed his final grand slam title at the 2002 US Open, said it was most upsetting because he would have liked to have shown the trophies to his children.

"I'm not one to gloat about trophies, or show them off," Sampras said. "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.

"Losing this stuff," he added, "is like having the history of my tennis life taken away."

The stolen items were not insured, Sampras said, because it was not possible to assess their value.

"For me to have it for my kids is priceless," he said. "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."

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