Pete Sampras in the Nike Air Max2 Sweeps

Today in Performance Sneaker History: Pete Sampras Wins 1994 Wimbledon in the Nike Air Max2 Sweeps

Former world no. 1 Pete Sampras was one of the most dominant tennis players of the ’90s. In fourteen years of professional tour play, Sampras won just as many Grand Slam singles titles. Even more, Sampras holds an Open Era record for the longest run as the year-end world no. 1 player with six consecutive rankings. And when it comes to Wimbledon, well, the only player of the Open Era to capture as many singles titles as Sampras (7 in all) is none other than Roger Federer.

Often considered the most successful male player of Wimbledon history, Sampras was always right at home on grass courts. After winning his first Wimbledon title in 1993, Sampras looked to repeat the following year and found himself pitted against Goran Ivanišević in the finals on July 3, 1994. Sampras would end up victorious after three sets with a final score of 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-5), 6-0. After earning his second men’s singles title, Pete’s Wimbledon success would continue throughout the decade. From 1993-2000, Sampras won the men’s singles title every year except for 1996, where he fell in the quarterfinals to Richard Krajicek.

Sampras is most commonly associated with the Nike Air Oscillate, which can be seen as his unofficial signature model. But in 1994, he opted for a model with sturdy Max Air cushioning in the form of the Air Max2 Sweeps. As the story goes, Sampras struggled to find Nike models that fit him comfortably, and would often modify sneakers from other brands such as Wilson, adding Swooshes and other Nike branding to fit his contract. However, apparently the Air Max2 Sweeps was one of the Nike models that worked well for Sampras, as his success in the style is undeniable.

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