Pete Sampras

Today in Performance Sneaker History: Pete Sampras Defeats Ivan Lendl at 1990 US Open Quarterfinals in Sergio Tachinni

On September 5, 1990, Ivan Lendl had made his way to the finals of the U.S. Open on eight straight occasions, and looked to be heading to his ninth as he met Pete Sampras in the quarterfinals of the 1990 event.

Unfortunately for Lendl, the quarterfinals would be as far as he got that year, as Sampras defeated him in five sets, 6-4, 7-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2. After facing one of his toughest opponents yet, Sampras continued to impress through the U.S. Open. In the semifinals, he faced John McEnroe and was able to defeat the legend in four sets. From there, Sampras met Andre Agassi in the finals, where he would go on to win in three straight sets and capture the first Grand Slam title of his historic career.

For Sampras, his 1990 U.S. Open win marked the beginning of one of the most successful professional careers of all time. Sampras would go on to win the U.S. Open four more times, and also picked up 7 Wimbledon and two Australian Open men’s singles wins. In all, Sampras won 14 Grand Slam titles over a 14 year career, establishing him as one of the all time greats.

Known for his Nike endorsements throughout the ’90s, Sampras wore tennis sneakers from Italian brand Sergio Tachinni during the early years of his career. In the late 1980s, Sergio Tachinni signed Pete Sampras to a multi-year deal, which he made the most of by donning the brand’s sneakers and apparel at many of his breakthrough events.

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