How Tinker Hatfield Got Pete Sampras In The Nike Air Oscillate

How Tinker Hatfield Got Pete Sampras In The Nike Air Oscillate

Pete Sampras used one racket type for his entire pro career - a Wilson Pro Staff. If he'd had his way at Nike, the same could have been said for his sneaker choice.  

The legend of the Air Oscillate reads something like this - Tinker Hatfield created the Air Oscillate specifically for Sampras, but did so without athlete input as Pete wasn’t looking for change. Hatfield instead worked with a variety of tennis athletes across all competitive levels on prototypes hoping (and praying) Pete would eventually be wiling to try the new shoe.  In the end, Hatfield used a friendly game of pick-up of basketball as an excuse to get Pete into the prototype Oscillate. Evidently, Pete was into it. Pete showed up at the Australian Open wearing the new shoe and won.  He wore the shoe for seven more years.

Why tell this story now? Simple, Mr. Sampras turns an even 40 today. 

Tags: tinker-hatfield, nike, pete-sampras, tennis, nike-air-oscillate
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