Tennis

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Pete Sampras thinks only one man could have stopped Federer winning Wimbledon

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This will always be the year Roger Federer will remember for claiming a record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title.

Federer was level with Pete Sampras on seven triumphs at SW19 before 2017, but the 36-year old Swiss supremo dispatched of Marin Cilic in straight sets in the final to surpass the American as the ‘King of Wimbledon’.

Federer’s path to the final this year did contain a few potential banana skins. He got past adversaries such as Mischa Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych all in straight sets before lifting the trophy, but he was able to bypass some notable names in the meantime.

Rafael Nadal exited in the fourth round to Giles Muller, and Andy Murray succumbed to American Sam Querrey at the quarter-final stage.

Federer’s most notable adversary in recent years on the grass, Novak Djokovic, was also taken out before the final. The Serbian retired from his last eight tie with Berdych due to an elbow injury, and hasn’t seen competitive action on a tennis court since.

And Sampras is of full belief that despite Federer being an all-time great, a fully-fit Djokovic was the only man who had a chance of stopping history being made in July.

“If I was surprised that Roger won the Australian Open, I wasn’t that surprised he won Wimbledon just because of the surface and his experience,” Sampras told the official Wimbledon website.

“When he’s playing well and feeling good, he really should win Wimbledon every year.

TENNIS-GBR-WIMBLEDON

“He had run into Novak Djokovic in the final a couple of times in recent years, and he didn’t have to play him this time.

“And who else can beat Roger on grass? There’s really no one.”

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Sampras and Federer only crossed paths once in their illustrious careers, and that was in 2001, a year after Sampras won his final ever Wimbledon crown.

The then-19-year old Federer got the better of 29-year old Sampras over five sets in Round 4 of Wimbledon, and in-turn ended Sampras’ 31-match winning streak at the event.

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Topics:
Rafael Nadal
Andy Murray
Novak Djokovic
Wimbledon
Roger Federer
Tennis

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