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Pete makes Roger revelation

20.06.2008 | Off Court

As he prepared to make his debut on the BlackRock Tour of Champions in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday, Pete Sampras revealed that he would like to be present when Roger Federer finally breaks his record of 14 career Grand Slam titles.


“There is a burning desire in Roger to break my record, and when he does it I would like to be there,” said Sampras.

“I said him to just make sure it’s in New York or London! Australia is a long way to go! If it worked out like that, I would fly there. I would just let him enjoy it as it’s his moment but (I would want to be there) just to respect the record and what he was able to do and to just say ‘congratulations’.”


“I think if I were to step back on that court at Wimbledon it would bring up a lot of emotion, just because of what the place meant to me and how big it was to the sport of tennis." But, he is not concerned about losing the record that he worked so hard to post. “I jokingly tell Roger that he could have let me enjoy the record for a few more years!” said Sampras.


“But, I am at peace with it because I did everything that I could in my generation. I have so much respect for Roger as a player and as a person. We both have a dry sense of humour and there’s a side to Roger that I didn’t really know. All I knew was that he was a really nice person but there’s an out-going side that people don’t really see. He’s funny, he’s articulate, he likes to tell stories. I have respect not just for his game but for the way he carries himself on and off the court. He’s a great role model for kids all around the world. He’s great with sponsors, the media, the kids, the tournaments. When you’re the best player in the world there’s a lot asked of you and I think I tended to keep everyone at a distance whereas I think he’s a little more open about it and a little more embracing. Just the fact that we get along great and I respect him is the reason I’d want to be there to see him break the record.”


He also dismissed those that have suggested that Roger is on the decline. “He’s created this monster of winning so many tournaments and so many majors and doing it with ease,” said Sampras. “As great as Roger is he’s going to have his losses and his bad days, it’s just human nature to go through some lulls. The media need a story and something to grab onto, like he’s lost his edge. He hasn’t lost his edge. If he goes through the next few months and he’s losing a lot and he doesn’t contend for tournaments then maybe but I don’t see that happening. I think when push comes to shove in the majors, he’s still the guy that’s most likely to win them. He‘s lost a couple and if anything that’ll do him some good, it’ll get him going and fired up. He’ll be just fine.”




With kind permission of BlackRock Tour Champions



To see the interview just click on the link below.


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