In their only clash of two tennis legends, Roger Federer defeated Pete Sampras in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2001 for his second consecutive Major quarter-final. The youngster dropped the seven-time champion 7-6 (7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5 in three hours and 41 minutes to make a name for himself and earn all the headlines. Competing at Wimbledon for the third time, the 1998 junior champion found his A-game to outrun the legend and one of his idols, staying focused on the final stages of the decider to advance and secure one of the most emotional triumphs of his long career. . Federer arrived in London after reaching the Roland Garros quarter-finals, eager to show his best tennis and enduring all obstacles against the legendary rival. It was the worst result for the American in his beloved tournament since 1991, winning 31 matches in a row in the cathedral of tennis before this loss and suffering the first loss in five sets as well! Roger saved nine of 11 break opportunities, produced his best tennis when it mattered most and took a big step forward after saving a set point in the first set tie break. They landed a service-winning serve by nearly half the points on the fast grass court, with Federer having the upper hand on those dominant short exchanges. In that segment, he took ten more points than Sampras and repelled two break point opportunities at 4-4 in the decider to stay alive. Pete had to pay the price for those wasted opportunities, experiencing a break at 15 in Game 12 and allowing Federer to close the deal with a surprising winning return that propelled him to the quarters.
Dimitrov opens up on Federer
World No. 28 Grigor Dimitrov recently admitted he has grown tired of the “Baby Fed” nickname bestowed on him for the similarities between his game and Roger Federer’s. “I thought I’d proved myself over the years to be a completely different player than he is,” Dimitrov said. “That’s why I was very happy that this nickname died,” he added. His resentment of the “Baby Fed” nickname notwithstanding, Grigor Dimitrov has the utmost respect for Federer. The Bulgarian revealed that he considers the Swiss an amazing role model from whom he can learn a lot. “Roger Federer is a very good role model, and I always try to look up to him,” Dimitrov said. “He’s been the role model in our sport itself and I think you can learn a lot from him. He used to be rebel from what I heard, when he was at a younger age. But for me, I think I’ve kept that still in my personality,” Dimitrov said.