His big serve brought Pete Sampras the biggest paycheck in tennis. Then Sampras showed he also has a big heart.
After winning $2 million with Sunday's straight sets victory over Brad Gilbert in the Grand Slam Cup final, the U.S Open champ said he was donating $250,000 to a cerebral palsy foundation."This is something my father Sam and I talked about for a long time," Sampras said after his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Gilbert. "His two sisters passed away from the disease and it's the least I could do when I win $2 million."
Sampras never lost his serve and took just 1 hour, 43 minutes to beat Gilbert, who received $1 million of the record $6 million purse.
"It's been a great year and this is icing on the cake," Sampras said. Gilbert came to the tournament as a replacement for the injured Andre Agassi. "I'll send him a Christmas card," Gilbert said after reaching the final.
The 19-year-old Sampras, ranked fifth in the world, broke Gilbert in the seventh game of the first set and again in the fifth of the second to go two sets up.
He served 15 aces and broke Gilbert in the third and seventh games of the third set as he beat Gilbert for the first time in three career meetings.
"I was very confident, everything I hit turned to gold," Sampras said. "I was serving very well. Sometimes I'm amazed at the shots I take."
Sampras was never in trouble against Gilbert and faced only one break point, in the opening game. He combined sizzling backhands and forehands form the back court with brilliant touch volleys on the net.
As two aces thundered past Gilbert in the fourth game of the third set, Gilbert shouted, "Stop hitting aces." Two more followed.
"When I am serving like that, there is little the other guy can do," Sampras said.
Gilbert said Sampras had "star quality" and was a natural talent.
"He's got ice water in the veins," Gilbert said. "He just won $2 million and he's not even excited. I'd bought some bad stock in my life, but I'd like to buy some stock in him. He is the guy of the future. He was drilling the ball."