Legendary men’s singles tennis player Pete Sampras has given an outstanding tribute to Roger Federer ahead of the Swiss Maestro’s last career match on Friday. Sampras had some kind words for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who ended his four-year winning streak (1997-2000) at Wimbledon on his very first centre court appearance in 2001.
Sampras gives fantastic tribute to Federer
In a conversation uploaded by ATP on their official Twitter handle, seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras said, “Not really sure where to begin, so I’ll just start from the very beginning. When I first played you (Roger Federer), you were 19 years old, an up-and-coming player and people were talking about you. And we had a great battle on the Centre Court of Wimbledon. And you took me down in a tough five-setter. I just remember walking off the court, feeling like I met my match.”
Federer’s 2001 win over Sampras at Wimbledon at the age of just 19 was a major breakthrough in his career as he defeated an individual who had won seven titles from 1993 to 2000 at the All England Club. While the Swiss Maestro did not go on to win the title the same year, little did anyone know that he would dominate the sport for years to come.
With that in mind, Sampras added, “Little did I know, 20 years later, that you would have 20 majors, be number one for years, dominate our sport – basically do it all. You’re going to be missed in our game.” After hearing the 51-year-old’s emotional tribute, Federer thanked Sampras and said that he missed him.
Federer to play last match at Laver Cup
In his last career match, Roger Federer would be teaming up with longtime rival and friend Rafael Nadal in a doubles contest against the American duo of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe during the Laver Cup 2022. The match will begin live at 12:50 AM IST on Saturday, September 24. Below are the teams for the Laver Cup:
Team Europe: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Matteo Berrettini, Bjorn Borg (captain)
Team World: Felix Auger-Aliassime, Frances Tiafoe, Diego Schwartzman, Alex de Minaur, Taylor Fritz, Jack Sock, John McEnroe (captain)