Tennis – “You leave tennis in good hands”: Pete Sampras pays tribute to Roger Federer

Since the announcement of his retirement, Roger Federer continues to receive tributes from the world of tennis. Among them, some therefore resonate louder than others. And there is no doubt that the one published by Pete Sampras on social networks this Thursday evening is one of them. The American legend, who has won 14 Grand Slam titles, has published a long video where he recalls, in particular, his only confrontation at Wimbledon in 2001, during which his reign in London stopped.

“I don’t know where to start so I’m going to talk about the first time we played each other. You were only 19, you were a promising player but we were already talking a lot about you. We fought a big battle on center court at Wimbledon and you beat me in five sets”began by recalling Sampras, who had won the previous four titles on English turf to take his record there to seven.

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You can be very proud of yourself

“I remember leaving the court with the feeling of having played my match. I had no idea that, twenty years later, you would have won so many Majors, that you would be number one for years, that you dominate our sport. In fact, that you would have done everything.”a praised Pistol Pete, calling Federer a “Really special player”.

“Federer was never as much Federer as that day”

“You have sacrificed your body. What you have achieved is extraordinary. You have always been noble, whether in victory or in defeat. You have lived your career by remaining yourself and never forgetting to where you came from. You can be very proud of yourself. It’s sad to see you quit now but we know it’s part of the sport. You will be missed in tennis but you left it in good hands.” Sampras finally concluded on the eve of Federer’s farewell match, which he will play in doubles with rival and friend Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London this Friday.

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