History to be re-written
Pete Sampras – he is the man I love and consider as best from the day I have started to know about and watched tennis. First time I have heard about him on winning the US open in 1993, I think. In a news I have seen him holding the cup high over his head. From then onwards I never missed any grand slams that is telecasted in DD metro. They usually telecast the semi-finals and finals of every grand slam. I never missed the Wimbledon finals as all the time Sampras was there. In 1996, I went to my native village and heard that Sampras has been defeated by Krajicek. Not able to believe it as I know whenever Sampras plays in Wimbledon he wins the tournament. When he won the last of wimbeldon open and surpassed the Emerson’s 12 grand slam title I was really happy and thought that it will take many a years for someone to break that record.
In 2001, Sampras faced Federer, who at that time wouldn’t have guessed that he is his successor and will broke the record. Federer has beaten him in fiercely fought 5-setter. I thought about Sampras that his time is over. But he had his last punch on the U.S. open with a win over his rival Agassi by 2002 and by that he ended his career fairly. By not winning French open and also his bizarre record on clay made everybody to leave him aside when talking about greatest ever player to be played and rightly so. He never reacted much when winning a cup.. he always show up his arm up in triumph and thats it. The character of him not getting over-reacted made me to like Sampras more.
Watch the video of the match that foreseen the future:
I think Federer has waited just for the retirement of Sampras. He first own the Wimbedon open in 2003 and from there, there is no looking back for him until Nadal threatened to look good in every other surface. If Sampras’s game is depended on 1-2 game of huge first serve and volley, Federer is always content with playing a baseline tennis not that he is not good at net but he prefers to stay back to play his shots. He is really magical and the way he places some of the balls are really breathtaking. And that is the reason why many were still finding it difficult play against him. He has every shot at his armoury and it took the physical ability of Nadal to make everybody realise that he too can lose a match.
There is a unfair criticism on Federer that his opponents are not as tough as the ones whom Sampras has faced. But the truth is Federer’s versatality made everyone to surrender regardless of the surface. If Sampras has faced Agassi, Becker, Rafter, Ivanisevic… Federer has also faced the quality opponents like Roddick, Djokovic, Nadal, Hewitt… But his wonderful ability made them to look like easy opponents. Only Nadal was able to prevail over him and he was the only one who has a better head-to-head record against Federer in the current lot.
I never liked him taking away the record from Pete Sampras of winning the most grand slam in a life time. But still it’s better that he takes the record, arguably the best the tennis world has seen. In the current arena, Roddick has the best serve. Today Federer is facing him. But he never lost to him in a Grand Slam. Even though my heart says that Federer will lose the match, my mind says he will re-write the history today.
Even though I am now confessed that Federer was the best, I will remain as the fan of Sampras ever.