Those past masters Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg are likely to merit honorable mentions in 1995, a year which presents the current leading men with stimulating targets.
No male has won each of the major championships of Australia, France, Wimbledon and the United States, let alone strung the four together, since Laver's second Grand Slam, in 1969.
Sampras, fancied to emulate Laver in 1994, fell short in Paris, where he was unable to match the clay-court expertise of Jim Courier, and in New York, where Jaime Yzaga capitalised on the Californian's physical exhaustion.
The world No 1 will start the year favoured to make a successful defence in Australia, ailments permitting. If he can rise to his greatest challenge, at the French Open, his collection of the major trophies will be complete.
Andre Agassi has emerged as a serious rival. Having overcome problems with injuries and commitment to add the US Open title to his 1992 Wimbledon triumph, the Las Vegan approaches the new campaign ranked No 2.
He is due to make his first appearance at the Australian Open, where the rubberised concrete courts sufficiently resemble those at Flushing Meadow to suit his game. The Paris clay demands stamina and patience as well as punishing groundstrokes, as Agass i knows from his experience as a finalist in 1990 and 1991. …