Greek tennis sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas has revealed that American legend Pete Sampras was his idol growing up.

Tsitsipas and Sampras were both born on 12 August, although the 23-year-old Greek is 27 years the junior of Sampras (50).

After reaching the quarter-finals of the Toronto Masters 1000 event on Thursday, Tsitsipas revealed he grew up watching lots of video footage of Sampras.

“He was always there,” Tsitsipas told media in Toronto. “We always saw him as a big legend of our sport.

“His flamboyant game. I enjoyed watching his serve-and-volley game. People say Roger Federer is effortless. I also feel like Pete Sampras was very effortless and just making the game so beautiful to watch.”

WATCH | 50 unreal Pete Sampras shots and rallies

Tsitsipas was only five years old when Sampras won his final Grand Slam at the 2002 US Open, so understandably did not get to watch the American play live.

However, Sampras was an idol for Apostolos Tsitsipas, the father and coach of Stefanos.

“[Pete] was a player that he really liked to watch and he (my father) passed it on to me,” Stefanos Tsitsipas said. “Both of us grew up watching him. I grew up being given Pete as an example.”

Sampras never played professional tennis again after beating Andre Agassi in that US Open final to win his 14th Grand Slam.

He was only 31 at the time but Tsitsipas said it was the best possible way to bow out.

“That was the best ending of someone’s career, to be honest with you, to win a Grand Slam title and just call it a day. He did it in unbelievable style. Doesn’t get any better, I think.”

Tsitsipas, who is the third seed in Toronto, beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-2, before beating 6th-seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-1, 6-4 on Friday to sail into the semi-finals.

WATCH | Tsitsipas loses epic 28-point tiebreak but rebounds for revenge

Picture: National Bank Open – Twitter