Roger Federer recalls: ‘Passing Pete Sampras felt great back then’

Roger Federer skipped the second part of 2016 due to a knee injury, making a strong return in 2017 and extending his tennis legacy. Between the Australian Open 2017-2018, the Swiss veteran claimed three out of five Major crowns, standing on 20 most famous trophies and moving further in front of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. After an early 2019 Melbourne loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roger was keen to embrace a deeper run in 2020 and seek another notable trophy. A couple of weeks before the Australian Open, Roger Federer spoke about the Major race and the moment he passed Pete Sampras and topped the charts. The Swiss admitted it felt great to move in front of the American and add as many titles as possible in the previous ten years. Federer’s first Major crown came at Wimbledon 2003, and he attached 15 more in the next seven years to stand on 16 after the 2010 Australian Open 2010.

Roger Federer shared thoughts about passing Pete Sampras’ 14 Major titles.

In six years between 2004-2009, Federer lifted 14 Major trophies and passed Pete Sampras after that epic Wimbledon 2009 final before winning another at the 2010 Australian Open. Between Roland Garros 2010 and the US Open 2016, the Swiss star had managed to celebrate at only one Major (Wimbledon 2012), allowing Nadal and Djokovic to decrease the deficit in the previous decade but remaining in front of them thanks to late titles in Melbourne in 2017 and 2018. Roger praised his greatest rivals and said it would be fine if they match or pass his record, although he felt confident about chasing more Major trophies in the next couple of years. Federer’s last Major final came at Wimbledon 2019 when he squandered two match points against Djokovic in that epic title clash. For the past two years, the Swiss has struggled with a knee injury, playing only six tournaments and reaching the Australian Open semi-final and the Wimbledon quarter-final.

“Of course, at the time, it was a big deal for me to equal or pass Pete Sampras’ record. Since then, it has been about adding what I can to that tally, but I enjoy tennis and like it a lot. I hope I can still play for a little longer, and it would be great if I could add more Majors. Still, it’s not an attempt to fend off the others; if Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal pass me, I’m fine with that,” Roger Federer said.

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