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Roger Federer vs Pete Sampras | Greatest of all time

Roger Federer vs Pete Sampras, The Greatest of all times. Roger Federer and Pete Sampras might just be two of the biggest tennis icons that ever have played the game. Let's try to deep dive into their greatness.

Last updated: 22.02.2021
Roger Federer vs Pete Sampras | Sports Social Blog

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These two sporting legends easily will be in Top-5 tennis players of all time in everyone’s lists. These two have dominated the game in their respective eras. While one was wiping the floor with the best in front of the world, the other was idolising him and building himself up for even more greatness than his hero. Roger Federer and Pete Sampras might just be two of the biggest tennis icons that ever have played the game. They have not only achieved everything there is to achieve but also transcended the game unlike no others. The younger generations are reaping the fruits of their greatness. But today let’s stake up these legends against each other and look at who was the most impactful and greatest of all time.

Pete Sampras:


Pete Sampras began his professional career in 1988 and ended at the 2002 US Open, which he won, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final; he is the only man in the open era to have won the final Grand Slam tournament at which he competed. Sampras won 14 Grand Slam singles titles during his career, which was an Open Era record at the time of his retirement: seven Wimbledon, two Australian Opens and a joint Open Era record five US Open titles. He won 64 singles titles in total. He first reached world No. 1 in 1993, and held that position for a total of 286 weeks (third of all time), including an Open Era record of six consecutive year-end No. 1 rankings from 1993 to 1998. A right-handed player with a single-handed backhand, his precise and powerful serve earned him the nickname "Pistol Pete".

Sampras captured his first Grand Slam title, at the US Open. Along the way, he defeated sixth-ranked Thomas Muster in the fourth round and third-ranked Ivan Lendl in a five-set quarterfinal, breaking Lendl's streak of eight consecutive US Open finals. He then defeated 20th-ranked McEnroe in a four-set semi-final to set up a final with fourth-ranked Agassi. Sampras beat Agassi in straight sets to become the US Open's youngest-ever male singles champion at the age of 19 years and 28 days. He was most notably known for winning 7 Wimbledon titles. He won his first Wimbledon title in 1993 when he defeated fellow American and former world no.1 Jim Courier in the final. Thus began a love affair with the luscious greens of SW19 that transcended the game and visiting fans year on year were treated to perfection. His 1997 Wimbledon final against fellow legend and his biggest rival has been etched in the memories of fanatics as one of the greatest final performances of all time. He also played one of the greatest finals of all times in 2000 Wimbledon when he defeated Australian Pat Rafter in 5 enthralling sets just as the night skies were upon the city of London.

Roger Federer:

“The greatest player of all time” “The most talented player to have ever graced the sport and held a racquet” “The most important player in all sports right now”.

The above mentioned accolades are reserved for a certain Swiss named Roger Federer who idolised Pete Sampras when he was a kid. The only reason he had a single handed backhand was because of his heroes including Sampras. Federer’s game has been described as the most beautiful and complete game in tennis. The shots he produces in his matches are worth remembering. His victories make grown men weep in the sofas. His movement on the court has been compared to a ballet dancer. He has won 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, an all-time record shared with Rafael Nadal. Federer has been No. 1 in the ATP rankings a record total of 310 weeks – including a record 237 consecutive weeks – and has finished as the year-end No. 1 five times. Federer has won 103 ATP singles titles, the second-most all-time behind Jimmy Connors and including a record six ATP Finals.

A Wimbledon junior champion in 1998, Federer won his first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 2003 at age 21. In 2004, he established himself as the best player in men's tennis by winning three out of four major singles titles and the ATP Finals, a feat he repeated in both 2006 and 2007. Over a stretch from 2005 to 2010, Federer made 18 out of 19 major singles finals. During this span, he won his fifth consecutive titles at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

He completed the career Grand Slam at the 2009 French Open after three previous runner-ups to Nadal, his main rival. At age 27, he also surpassed Pete Sampras's then-record of 14 Grand Slam men's singles titles at Wimbledon in 2009. From mid-2010, he only won one major title through the end of 2016. During this period, Federer and Stan Wawrinka led the Switzerland Davis Cup team to their first title in 2014, adding to the gold medal they won together in doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Federer also has a silver medal in singles from the 2012 London Olympics, where he finished runner-up to Andy Murray. After taking half a year off in late 2016 to recover from knee surgery, Federer had a renaissance at the majors. He won three more Grand Slam singles titles over the next two years, including the 2017 Australian Open over Nadal and a men's singles record eighth Wimbledon title in 2017 later that year. He also became the oldest ATP world No. 1 in 2018 at age 36. A versatile all-court player, Federer's perceived effortlessness has made him highly popular among tennis fans. Originally lacking self-control as a junior, Federer transformed his on-court demeanour to become well-liked for his general graciousness, winning the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award 13 times. He has also won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award a record five times. Outside of competing, he played an instrumental role in the creation of the Laver Cup team competition.

Federer vs Sampras:

Unlike many other legends, Pete and Roger have actually played each other. In the only ATP Tour meeting between the two grass-court giants, Federer beat Sampras 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 to send shockwaves around the tennis world. The Swiss was a teen playing arguably the biggest match of his career then, but he kept his composure on the fast grass and played a career-defining match. It would take Federer one more year to win his first Wimbledon and go on a five-year winning streak himself.

“I think Roger is something extra-special,” Sampras had said after the match. In the years to come, their names would be taken in the same sentence more and more often. In the years to come, Federer would go on to break several records the American held. In the years to come, the two would get to know each other better.

This match has been seen as the passing of baton or passing of greatness. Just like the players playing it, the match has been remembered as one of the biggest upsets of all time but also one of the best. Federer has eventually surpassed the “Greatest of all time.”

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