PETE Sampras will not change his personality just to comply with the critics who claim modern tennis is short on charismatic 'characters'. 'Guys like Jimmy Connors, Ilie Nastase and John McEnroe were considered characters on court, but they didn't behave in a way I would like my kids to behave,' said the world number one before practising at Victoria Park yesterday. Sampras, a five-time Grand Slam winner, is in Hong Kong for this week's Marlboro Championships. He hopes they will mark the beginning of his return from a relative slump in form caused by tendonitis and shin splints. Sampras heads a 16-man field which includes Swede Stefan Edberg, a semi-final loser last week to Goran Ivanisevic at the Seiko Super tournament in Tokyo, Spain's double French Open holder Sergi Bruguera and Australian Open finalist Todd Martin. The outdoor Victoria Park event will be a low-key way for Sampras to ease back into competition. Reflecting on the state of the game at large he admitted to mixed feelings about the ATP Tour's experiments aimed at jazzing it up - such as music during play. 'I don't think music is the answer. It's all right when you walk on court but once you're playing I'm sure people prefer to watch.' But not surprisingly he doesn't like suggestions aimed at tempering the powerful serve and volley game, which has proved so rewarding for himself, by using softer balls or less tense racquet strings. 'That whole debate came up because of this year's Wimbledon final when I played Goran [Ivanisevic] which had no rallies. You had two of the biggest servers in the world so it should have been no surprise.' But fans at Victoria Park need not fear rally-free play. 'I remember the court here being medium paced so there ought to be a lot of good rallies.'