10 Questions for Pete Sampras

The tennis legend, now retired, looks back on his life in the game--and his record 14 Grand Slam titles--in a new memoir, A Champion's Mind. Pete Sampras will now take your questions

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Amanda Friedman for TIME

Pete Sampras

Whom did you enjoy playing against the most? Francis Eleazar HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL.

Andre Agassi was my rival in the '90s, and I think as we got older we sort of transcended the game. He was probably the best player I ever played over my career. There's a list of players that were tough, but Andre, certainly, he was the most unique.

Did a time come when you felt you had had enough of competitive tennis? Nico Neethling RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

After I went through two years of not winning an event, what kept me going was winning one more major. Once I won that last U.S. Open, I spent the next six months trying to figure out what was next. Slowly my passion for the sport just vanished. I had nothing left to prove.

How do you feel about retiring from your career at the same age that others fully engage in theirs? Vince Jordan, LOS ANGELES It's not easy to retire at 31. In one respect I was glad I was done. But after a few years of having fun, I got a little restless. When you're 33, 34, and you don't have a focus, you can get kind of lost. As a man, you feel a little bit unfulfilled.

Do you think it unfair that others got more attention based on their off-the-court antics? Matthew Dale, AUSTIN, TEXAS There are some players who add a bit more just to get more p.r. I wasn't about that. My major goal was to hold up that trophy at the end, and I didn't want anything to get in the way of that. I kept it pretty quiet. I kept it simple.

Over your career, what was the most difficult situation you experienced? Haydee Serona, MANILA

Probably my last couple years on tour. I wasn't playing well, and I had just gotten married, and the press was on my wife about it--that [I was losing] because I married her. You can attack me all you want, but don't bring my wife into it.

Have you given any thought to becoming a commentator? Jonathan Racasa WEST COVINA, CALIF.

I've been asked to do a little commentating. It's not something that's in my blood. John McEnroe does a great job, and I think he's got that pretty much honed. I've thought about it but not realistically.

Whom do you consider to be the next superstar of men's tennis? Jeff Mollerup, MEMPHIS, TENN.

Obviously right now we have Roger Federer. After him, you look at Rafael Nadal, who's only 22, Novak Djokovic, who's 21. Those two guys are going to carry the torch when Roger's done.

Has the new racquet and string technology helped or hurt the modern game? Faith Ginsberg, LOS ANGELES

It's obviously helped guys hit the ball harder, with a lot more spin and a lot more control, than the racquets I played with. We've maybe lost a bit of finesse in the game. No one's looking to come in and volley.

You've played on the world's best tennis courts. Which was your favorite? Jen Reinhard, SAN FRANCISCO

Centre Court of Wimbledon. Just love the atmosphere, love the intimacy of it. It had a huge effect on me as a kid seeing that court on TV. Not to disrespect the U.S. Open and the French, but that one is the most unique. It hasn't changed in a hundred years.

As the Olympic torch generates much political heat, do you think athletes should take positions on major world issues? E.D. Mathew MONROVIA, LIBERIA

I don't personally. It's not my place to tell you whom to vote for, to take any political stand, to tell you what religion to believe in. I'm an athlete. I can influence certain things, but when I see other athletes and celebrities telling you whom to vote for, I actually get a bit offended.

Video at Time.com To watch a video interview with Pete Sampras, listen to the 10 Questions podcast on iTunes and submit questions for our next subject, go to time.com/10questions