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Sampras Tribute To Federer

Sampras Pays Tribute

Roger Federer and Pete Sampras© Getty ImagesRoger Federer took out Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001 in their only pro meeting. spoke to Pete Sampras about Roger Federer's record-tying 14th Grand Slam title after Roland Garros.

Q. How does it feel to share your record and once you retired with 14, did you think it would be less than seven years before your record would be matched?
A. I didn't think it would only take seven years to tie it. It feels like I'm in good company with Roger. If there was someone I would want to be tied with and maybe one day my record to be broken, I hoped it would be someone like Roger.

Q. Now that he's reached 14, how many do you think Roger will end up with before he retires?
A. It's hard to put a number on it. But now, I know it's a different sport, he might have his eyes on (Jack) Nicklaus' 18 Grand Slam record.
Q. You had Andre and Roger has had Nadal as main rivals, what do you think it would have been like if both of you were out there playing in the same era?
A. I think when you have two great players, playing at the same time. I think I would have had my fair share of wins, and he would have had his fair share of wins. We have similar temperament and contrasting styles of play which would have made for a great rivalry. Our rivalry potentially would have transcended the sport.
Q. Could you talk about Roger's amazing stretch of reaching 15 of the past 16 Grand Slam finals?
A. It's incredible. I never would have thought that someone would be as consistent as Lendl's eight US Open consecutive finals. But this surpasses it and to do it on all surfaces, it's a reflection of his game and his career.
Q. What about Roger's performance in Paris to complete a career Grand Slam, to pull out two five-setters and win a couple of other tight matches. Did you follow his matches throughout the tournament?
A. I followed his results and saw some highlights. People were saying that he was struggling, but as great players normally do, they find a way to win. I believe in destiny and it was Roger's time to win in Paris.


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