Articles Comments

Samprasfanz » Archives 2003 to 2011 » Sampras Says Federer Can Match His Long-Term Dominance

Sampras Says Federer Can Match His Long-Term Dominance

December 2004
PARIS (Reuters) – Seven-times Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras believes Roger Federer could match his long stint as the world’s dominant tennis player.

Federer’s haul of three grand slam wins this year — taking his overall tally to four — has prompted suggestions that he could eventually surpass the American’s record haul of 14.

“I think so, yes,” Sampras, 33, who retired two years ago after beating Andre Agassi to win the U.S. Open, told French sports daily l’Equipe on Wednesday.

“Of course, he can have an off day in a big tournament and be surprised but over the whole season, he is head and shoulders above the others.”

“He is the best athlete, the one who moves best on court. What’s impressive is that he can play at the highest level without using too much energy while his main rivals use a considerable amount,” added Sampras, of the 23-year-old Swiss.

Sampras said the two had much in common. “There are plenty of similarities. We have the same temperament, the same way of making it look easy.

“He can do just about anything he wants with a racket and he dominates everybody as I did several years before.”

Federer, like Sampras, has yet to win the French Open, though, and it may prove just as difficult a mountain to climb.

“There are really so many claycourt specialists who are capable of hitting it heavy from the back of the court that it will be the biggest challenge of his career.”

Sampras thinks his fortunes at Roland Garros could have improved if he had tried a racket with a bigger head which would have given him more power off the slow surface.

“I was really used to mine and I never dared (change). I was too stubborn. I was scared of losing control, that it would take me too long to master it.” Sampras said he had barely picked up a tennis racket of any kind since his epic victory over Agassi at Flushing Meadows crowned his dazzling career.

“There was a little clinic organized by Paul Annacone (his former coach) near here about six months ago. I hit for about 10 minutes.”

Sampras, who finished year-end world number one a record six times from 1993 to 1998, said he has no yearning to return to the game on a more regular basis.

“Not at all. I’m offered quite a few opportunities on the seniors tour or exhibitions but it is too early for me, much too early.”

He added: “I’m not sick of a sport which made my fortune and my fame. But I am tired of tennis, it was all-consuming. All those years spent winning and keeping my place as number one

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Leave a Reply