Sampras v Muster at Senior Sao Paulo; Says Leave Federer Alone
by Richard Vach | June 19th, 2008
  • 38 Comments

Pete Sampras will face fellow former world No. 1 Thomas Muster in the round-robin stages of the BlackRock Tour of Champions in Sao Paulo, Brazil this week, Sampras’ debut on the European senior tour.

In his round-robin group Sampras will also face-offf against Brazil’s Fernando Meligeni and German Marc-Kevin Goellner at the hardcourt event.

“I have only been here only for a day, but as far as I can see, Sao Paulo is a beautiful big city,” said Sampras, who is also-making his first-ever trip to a South American event. “I will probably be a little rusty in the first couple of matches, because I injured my back some weeks ago, but I can see myself as one of the favorites.”

In the opposing round-robin group are former No. 1 Marcelo Rios, Jaime Yzaga, Andrei Cherkasov and Jaime Oncins, making for a likely Sampras vs. Rios final. Sampras beat Rios in both of their ATP career meetings, edging the Chilean in three sets in 2001 at Stuttgart, and beating him in straight sets on clay at the French Open in 1994.

Sampras also revealed he would like to be present when (and if?) Roger Federer finally breaks his record of 14 career Grand Slam titles.

“There is a burning desire in Roger to break my record, and when he does it I would like to be there,” Sampras told the BlackRock Tour of Champions. “I told Roger to just make sure it’s in New York or London! Australia is a long way to go! If it worked out like that, I would fly there. I would just let him enjoy it as it’s his moment but (I would want to be there) just to respect the record and what he was able to do and to just say ‘congratulations.’”

Sampras said he would like to see Federer break the record at Wimbledon next year.

“I think if I were to step back on that court at Wimbledon it would bring up a lot of emotion,” Sampras said. “Just because of what the place meant to me and how big it was to the sport of tennis. It was such an important place to me as an athlete, it was our Superbowl. It had such a big effect on me as a kid and seeing Borg and McEnroe play and seeing Becker win there at 17 and 18, it had a huge effect on me. Now, at 36 years old, to go back there with my kids one day would be very emotional. As much as I’m a full-blooded American and I love the US Open, there’s just a certain romance that I’ve always had with Wimbledon. I didn’t always express it with words but I think internally I just felt a great connection with the place, the court and the arena. I felt like that was what tennis was all about for me and I look forward to going back and enjoying that experience.”

Sampras says that despite Federer’s recent results and the media criticism, the Swiss is not on the decline.

“He’s created this monster of winning so many tournaments and so many majors and doing it with ease,” Sampras said. “As great as Roger is he’s going to have his losses and his bad days, it’s just human nature to go through some lulls. The media need a story and something to grab onto, like he’s lost his edge. He hasn’t lost his edge. If he goes through the next few months and he’s losing a lot and he doesn’t contend for tournaments then maybe but I don’t see that happening. I think when push comes to shove in the majors, he’s still the guy that’s most likely to win them. He’s lost a couple and if anything that’ll do him some good, it’ll get him going and fired up. He’ll be just fine.”


Also Check Out:
Sampras ‘Mans-Up’ for First Euro Senior Tour Appearance
Borg Makes Official Senior Tennis Appearance This Week
Sampras Goes Greek for New Senior Tour Event
Rafael Nadal Enters The Brasil Open In Sao Paulo
Roger Federer Practices with Pete Sampras Ahead of Indian Wells [Photos]

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38 Comments for Sampras v Muster at Senior Sao Paulo; Says Leave Federer Alone

Von Says:

“He’s created this monster of winning so many tournaments and so many majors and doing it with ease,” Sampras said. “As great as Roger is he’s going to have his losses and his bad days, it’s just human nature to go through some lulls. The media need a story and something to grab onto, like he’s lost his edge. He hasn’t lost his edge. If he goes through the next few months and he’s losing a lot and he doesn’t contend for tournaments then maybe but I don’t see that happening. I think when push comes to shove in the majors, he’s still the guy that’s most likely to win them. He’s lost a couple and if anything that’ll do him some good, it’ll get him going and fired up. He’ll be just fine.”

Where in Sampras’ quote did he mention “Leave Federer alone”?


freakyfrites Says:

I think it’s cool that Pete is so complimentary of Roger.


aarontennis Says:

I look forward to seeing Federer’s new hair style at Wimbledon that reporters have been talking about. They say he got a perm about a week ago and has fluffy curls now. It will not be enough to ease through the draw, but at least it is a change up.


funches Says:

We can infer from Sampras quote that he is telling the media to leave Federer alone.

I suggest reading comprehension 101.


SONJA, GO ROGER! Says:

That’s right Pete!
Go Sampras! The media is so bad with Roger, I mean he lost couple of matches because he had mono and I’m sure that if he hadn’t got mono he would win AO and everything else.
And RG is other story, because it really wasn’t his day, he couldn’t serve like he does and Nadal played great that day, like a machine.
I really believe that he’s playing like he always did and that he will win more tournaments from now on.
And I’m sure that if he hadn’t got mono nobody would say that he’s era is over.
And I also know that he will show them that he’s still the best and that he lost AO just because he had mono.
So please leave Roger alone!
Just wait and see THE COMMING OF THE KING!
GO ROGER! I LOVE YOU! GOOD LUCK AT WIM! :) :) :)


andrea Says:

“I pick Rafael Nadal as winner and my second choice is Novak Djokovic, my third is Roger,” Borg was quoted in British media on Thursday.

“For (Roger) to beat those guys at Wimbledon he needs to play much better than he did last summer. He knows he will have to play some unbelievable tennis to win again. This is the most open Wimbledon for years.”

Borg, who retired in his mid-twenties, thinks Federer can overhaul Pete Sampras’s record of 14 grand slam titles — if he keeps playing.
this is an excerpt from a borg interview:

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Roger came out next year and said: ‘I’m not going to play tennis any more’, Borg added.

“It probably won’t happen but if Roger decides to retire that wouldn’t shock me at all. People expect him to win all the time and that is mentally and physically tiring.

“It’s not going to be like before when he used to win nearly every match he played. That time has gone.”

is it just me or has everybody had enough of borg? go back to retirement buddy! all your hackneyed predictions and ‘insights’ are as tedious as trashy television.

maybe you retired at your peak cos you couldn’t handle all the stress and anxiety. what purpose does trying to transfer all your past insecurities and disappointments to a totally different person?

when your clay court record will be under threat from nadal will you be preening from your perch insisting that he is going to retire as well? i hope roger wins wimbledon just so he can surpass you and maybe you’ll shut yer trap.


Skorocel Says:

Von said:

“Where in Sampras’ quote did he mention “Leave Federer alone”?”

I totally understand your amusement (or is it anger?), but still, this one’s pretty okay in my opinion :) I mean, do you remember that one piece which some fan posted a link to cca 1 month ago, and whose title was saying something like: “Federer: Nadal will wilt at FO”? :) I just couldn’t hold my laugh when I saw how concerned some people were after reading that article – despite Fed not mentioning anything like that… A classic example of stupid & flashy journalism! You would never have thought how many of such idiotic articles are on our country’s sports servers…

Btw, “European senior tour” in Sao Paulo? Hm… :)


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

LOL
all of a sudden the Federer fanboys love Pete.


JHens Says:

I think it’s obvious the criticism for Roger is a little excessive, but at the same time understandable.

It all deals with expectations, and the truth is, based on historical records, and based on an all court style of play, NOBODY in the recent era, including Sampras has had as successful of a 5 year span as Federer. How does a couple youthful, energetic and talented up and comers completely dismantle the fact that Roger has BEATEN Djokovic AND Nadal in the largest stages in tennis, other than the French Open, all in the process of reaching 16 consecutive Semi Finals?

Back then, even in 2005-2006 he faced the scrutiny of not having competition, and now once he loses occasionally to the competition everyone hated on him for not having, he is now unable to compete at their level? How is this so? When he has beaten Djokovic on HIS best surface, destroyed Nadal on hard courts, and shown the talent and fortitude to make it through the Wimbledon final against the hottest player in the game?


JHens Says:

Everyone knows Nadal is coming up, and is clearly on the brink of winning more than just the French. Butt we act as if this is a surprise to have a talented player posing a threat to a champion’s streak.

Roger made it look easy. That’s the problem, but what about a few years ago when he lost to Safin? Was he falling off then, or did he just lose a tennis match to a good player? When he loses to Djokovic, Mono or not, he is ”falling off”.

Nadal makes winning the French look extremely easy, due to that, the casual Nadal fan, and the believer in Federer’s loss of dominance rarely notices that Federer is a 3 time runner up to the 1st or 2nd greatest clay court player in history, while a legend, and a consensus GOAT in Sampras was never even able to offer competition at that stage.

I also find it humorous with Bjorg’s commentary consistently waning on the fence of how he will support or view any matches. It’s obvious Nadal’s impression at the French was a lasting one to Bjorg. As it should be, Nadal is clearly a better player on Clay than Federer. But then again, there were obviously alot of better players on clay then Sampras.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

do you remember that one piece which some fan posted a link to cca 1 month ago, and whose title was saying something like: “Federer: Nadal will wilt at FO”?
———–

LOL and then Federer was humiliated so bad in the final


JHens Says:

Well for one, anyone expecting Federer to win obviously doesn’t follow tennis. I expected him to compete, but unless you watched the match, it’s hard to see how hard Nadal was to beat that day. He just didn’t miss, and Federer made alot of unforced errors.

Every rally I expected Federer to hit an unforced error, and when Nadal did it seemed like it wasn’t meant to be that way.

And being h”umiliated” against Nadal in the French really isn’t that bad, considering Federer has thrown a 6-0 set at Nadal in a Wimbledon final as well, it’s just the way tennis works. Momentum can carry a set and make it end like that. Especially when you’re playing as confident as Nadal was.

What about the beating Nadal took by Tsonga at Australia, if Federer loses to Tsonga like that, does that mean he got ” humiliated ” there too?


Von Says:

Funches:

“We can infer from Sampras quote that he is telling the media to leave Federer alone.

I suggest reading comprehension 101.”

Comprehension 101 has nothing to do with my question. When a journalist states a direct quote as coming from a speaker, and headlines it, the quoted speech should appear in the text. Nothing should be inferred. Journalism 101 for you bro! Inference has legal complications and should not be printed. It’s one person’s perception.


JHens Says:

Von is obviously nit picking about something that the subject of this post has absolutely nothing to do with.

It’s clear that Sampras is implying that Federer is under alot more pressure than he needs to be:

“He’s created this monster of winning so many tournaments and so many majors and doing it with ease,” Sampras said. “As great as Roger is he’s going to have his losses and his bad days, it’s just human nature to go through some lulls. The media need a story and something to grab onto, like he’s lost his edge. He hasn’t lost his edge.”

Unless you have no understanding of vocabulary, it’s obvious to understand what Sampras’ intentions were based off of this quote from his mouth. He’s implying this: ”Everyone is saying Federer is done, but I’m saying he isn’t done, it’s normal to lose matches.”


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“I totally understand your amusement (or is it anger?), but still, this one’s pretty okay in my opinion.”

I’m not angry. I feel that it’s wrong for a journalist to write an article using inference. Nowhere in that article did Sampras say “Leave Federer alone.” It’s misleading journalism. If we’re reduced to inference then journalism becomes questionable and legal ramifications can occur.


JHens Says:

Federer’s last few years are untouchable. Even by Sampras, and sorry, to even say Nadal is better than Federer is laughable, based off statistics, records, dominance and historical streaks.

If Federer isn’t the best until he wins the French, Nadal isn’t better than Federer until he wins the rest of the slams. And if Federer isn’t the best based on losing 4 years in a row to the best clay court player of all time, then Sampras certainly can’t be the best with his best result being one Semi Final.


Von Says:

JHens

“Von is obviously nit picking about something that the subject of this post has absolutely nothing to do with.”

The subject of the post has everything to do with what I’m stating. If you want to state differently and comprehend it as such be my guest, but don’t expect others to do so.

“It’s clear that Sampras is implying that Federer is under alot more pressure than he needs to be:”

To imply and state as fact are two different things. Sampras’ statement is clear that Federer is under a lot of pressure, and I don’t have a problem with that statement. However, the statement “to leave Federer alone”, are the journalist’s words, and I have a problem with that; he has worded his headline as spoken directly by Sampras and that’s wrong and misleading. When someone makes a statement and it is quoted, it should appear in the quote.

You like that headline because it goes to the heart of your thinking and what you would like to see written and spoken by Sampras or any other past champion; however, dream on, it’s not what Sampras said. Imply and infer as much as you want, Sampras DID NOT say “leave Federer alone’ in the quote written in the foregoing article. Maybe you’re reading a different article.


jane Says:

SONJA GO ROGER! -

” The media is so bad with Roger, I mean he lost couple of matches because he had mono and I’m sure that if he hadn’t got mono he would win AO and everything else.”

The media are “bad” with most things and with most players. The media is, frequently anyhow, sensationalistic, and personally that’s how I understood Von’s point: Pete is not cajoling the mean media to “leave Federer alone”; he’s simple stating his opinion on where Roger’s at presently, and Pete concludes that Roger is just fine. That Sampra implies Rog is under a lot of pressure, that pressure could be self-induced or created for all we know.

The media, when Roger was dominating, were just the opposite – they glorfied Roger and spoke in hyperboles while waxing poetic about the racquet weilder that is Federer.

Now they speculate and sensationalize that he’s “slumping” or the “era is over”.

Take the media, Sampras, Borg, etc with a grain of salt; if you believe the media is objective, you’re in for a rude awakening. It never has been; it never will be. The perceiver always colors the perception or Einstien said something similar about the observer.


jane Says:

Catchy, sensationalistic (or glorifying) headlines also make money for the particular publication, as they grab people’s attentions. Such is the way with us, alas.


fed is afraid Says:

what does sampras know? he isn’t the greatest ever anyway since he never won the french.


Jack Says:

What does a guy who thinks Fed is afraid know about tennis?

Next post please!


Ryan Says:

I think fed should chill out.The pressure is affecting him really bad.The strokes are not what it used to be.Its all coz of the pressure.2005 was the same type of year as now where he lost to safin in the semis of ao and nadal in fo semi like Jhens mentioned.I think he can still come back and kick it in the other 2 opens.


Ryan Says:

Its sad to see everyone coming out and saying that sampras should be out of the GOAT list.I think sampras should be in the list because he has the highest number of grandslams.People talk like as if winning 14 slams is nothing.So what if he had a poor french open record.Federer borg etc grew up on clay.Sampras grew up on hard courts was a wimbledon specialist and won it 7 times.How can people dismiss him like that as if he’s nothing.I think he is the best whether he performed in the french or not.He is not selfish like borg saying something like nadal and djokovic can prevent roger from reaching 14 slams eventhough he once said that fed does not have enough competition.Thats true if we consider that fed didnt really have to deal with serve volleyers.Sampras is in the GOAT list alongside borg and federer.Besides this GOAT does not even make sense.How can we compare different people of different times with each other.


Fruitcake Says:

Borg has turned into a bandwagoner like the rest of the so called media experts et al. I see now that he didn’t mind his record being EQUALLED but surpassed? Heavens, no! That would mean Federer would stand above him in Wimbledon history and that’s obviously more than he can take. I’m not a bandwagoner and will stick with Fed … even if he doesn’t get his 6th title at SW19.


Von Says:

Ryan:

“Besides this GOAT does not even make sense.How can we compare different people of different times with each other.”

I’ve argued this topic several times using your rationale. There are too many variables to take into consideration; however, it’s a lost cause. People will believe what they want and argue their beliefs unceasingly, and along the way, will do their utmost to convince others that their points are valid and worthy of merit.


JHens Says:

To Ryan:

”People talk like as if winning 14 slams is nothing.So what if he had a poor french open record.”

When I spoke earlier:

”If Federer isn’t the best until he wins the French, Nadal isn’t better than Federer until he wins the rest of the slams. And if Federer isn’t the best based on losing 4 years in a row to the best clay court player of all time, then Sampras certainly can’t be the best with his best result being one Semi Final.”

I was mainly alluding to all the criticism regarding Federer not able to be the ‘best’ until he wins the French. I think Sampras is widely considered the best player of all time, although it’s obviously argueable. My point was just that Federer has accomplished nearly as much as Sampras on other surfaces, and even more than him on clay, so why does he need to win the French to be considered the greatest?


JHens Says:

and Von:

I understand what you mean about the title, I agree as well, and apologize for replying in the way that I did. I was just mainly implying that based off of the tone from the Sampras quotes, it would be easy to understand why that headline may have been used to examplify what his thoughts were.


JHens Says:

”He is not selfish like borg saying something like nadal and djokovic can prevent roger from reaching 14 slams eventhough he once said that fed does not have enough competition.”

I agree with this alot, not just because of Borg but the media in general.

During the first 2-3 years everyone said that Federer had no competition and that inflated his success. Then once he started facing people like Nadal and Djokovic, people who could beat him, he was beginning to become painted as someone who was falling off, and that his time at the top was up.

The thought of Federer not winning 2 or 3 slams a year makes it appear that he is not as dominant of a player, but why should it be? If you look at the history of great players, namely Sampras, he was involved in a 12 or 13 year period to gain all of his 14 slams. Federer is currently in his 5th year since he has won his 1st slam, and is now at 12. Sampras did not win all 7 of his Wimbledons, in fact had a period where he lost in a tournament in between that streak. I imagine if Federer is to lose at Wimbledon, there will be an overwhelming feeling that Djokovic or Nadal has raised their games beyond what Federer is capable of. Tennis is very quick in terms of who is hot at the moment, and the momentum in the media and the perception can change very quickly, because the matchups between the top 3 are usually always in the largest stages.


Hypnos Says:

That would be an amazing moment for tennis, Sampras in the stands cheering if and when Federer breaks his GS record.


Justin Says:

How ready was Federer for the French Open final? I remember he was talking before the match that he was quite unhappy over Switzerlands loss at Euro 2008. I wonder if that effected him in some way?

Secondly, its clear Fed has made it imperative upon himself to always try to win Wimbledon. That is his main objective. Everything else had been a bonus.Losing the French final clearly didn’t bother him, especially since he played almost flawless at Halle. Djokovic said Fed is worried. I don’t think Fed showed any distress on his grass transition, despite the humiliating thrashing just 3 days before he got on the grass.

Thirdly, Nadal won Queens over some good players. But Andy has been nursing a back injury (not enough practice for any match, no matter what surface), Djokovic not enough experience on grass, etc etc.

Lets not too much value over what pundit says what. But to take stock of Fed’s comments. The big man talks, we HAVE to give him the benefit of the doubt. Nadal shows this respect as he should. We should too.

What do you think?


Ryan Says:

I think this is more like a major conspiracy of some kind by the media and his rivals like djokovic to knock fed off.I mean in australia he suffered mono and he lost in straight sets (understandable) and then in the french open he still reached the final.

Now the media is talking like as if its such a huge failure from fed’s side he didnt win a title this year, to the players he lost to etc.How many times has he got to repeat that he had mono and this is what produced the dip in his form.People could argue that he has gotten over it and still lost.Now who knows whether he has gotten over it.What if he said it so that players dont come out attacking him thinking that he’s sick and beatable.Even if he has gotten over it ,it may take some time for him to produce the form that he came out with and played in last november.

And opportunistic people like djokovic want to take advantage of this situation and try to create a self doubt in fed’s mind by coming out with statements like fed is not what he was like.Fed is finished.He was an imposter who won because his opponents were scared of him blah blah….If these statements can pull fed down along with the media then better for djok.Its sad to see.Media can put you up but when it puts you down it puts you down hard.


Shital Green Says:

Ryan,
Your last post is not a fair account. You sound irrationally angry as if Djoko were to be held responsible for Fed’s losses. A meth-induced conspiracy theory would even say Djoko implanted mono in Fed. As a Djoko supporter, I find your remark offensive. The fact is the media, including this blog, is not a Fed’s kingdom exclusively devoted to his panegyrics or encomiums. We sang the last eulogy a while ago and soon will be sculpting an epitaph commemorating his achievement. Immortality is just a wishful thinking, meaning your guy will not be forever No. 1. Get real.
Keep making excuses until there will be none remaining sooner or later.


Skorocel Says:

To Ryan:

Why do you think Fed’s played THAT good in November last year? Yes, he dismantled Nadal in that Shanghai TMC semi, but a win (even a convincing one) over Roddick, Davy, and Ferrer was still pretty much expectable I guess… Don’t know about you, but I certainly consider Fed’s performances at SW19 and USO 2007 to be way better than what he produced in Shanghai (where it was pretty much only his serve what did the trick)… And you can bet that you’re hearing this from a hardcore Fed fan! :)


Ryan Says:

I was trying to bring an excellent performance from fed which was the most recent.He played very well in the shanghai masters.Yeah he did play us open and wimbledon well too last year.


andrea Says:

the shanghai final against ferrer was hardly all serve. there are many amazing rallies with even more amazing gets from federer.


Skorocel Says:

To andrea:

I agree, but Ferrer is simply an ideal opponent for Fed. His one-dimensional, grinding game is simply no match for the Swiss (as his flawless H2H vs the Spaniard indicates)… But then again, who isn’t an ideal opponent for Fed? :)


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Yes, he dismantled Nadal in that Shanghai TMC semi, but a win (even a convincing one) over Roddick, Davy, and Ferrer was still pretty much expectable I guess…”

Deja vu. We’ve been here before on that TMC, and you’ve again forgotten Fed’s lackluster performance against Davydenko, who couldn’t serve at that time — he could just roll the ball in, but Fed looked like he was wearing cement shoes, and played rather poorly. If I’m not mistaken, Ryan had mentioned the quality of that Davy/Fed match. Also, don’t forget Gonzo’s powerful performance against Fed. Roddick’s performance, even though a Fed win was inevitable, was not up to par. It was questionable whether Andy would play at the TMC due to a foot and back problem. Ferrer asked Andy after beating Roddick, how his back was doing. So all in all, let’s just say Fed’s TMC performance was good, but not outstanding. :)


jane Says:

i think it’s utterly disrespectful of tennis fans to slag Borg just because he has an opinion other than theirs (ie, that Roger may not be the favorite to win Wimby this year). The guy is a beacon in this sport, and he’s entitled to his opinion; he’s surely earned the right to voice it! He knows a lot more about playing tennis that any of us – good lord!! People who say he should retire from speaking to the media are foolish. We’re lucky he’s around as an ambassador of the sport past and present. I also think it’s silly when people say he doesn’t want Roger to break his record. That record was set a long time ago and I am certain he knows that one day someone will break it and why not Fed? He was extremely gracious to Rafa this year, presenting the trophy and giving him a hug. I’d imagine he’d be just as gracious to Roger if he were to surpass Borg’s amazing feat of 5 straight Wimbledon titles, a few of which were preceded by French titles – something Roger has not been able to do. He was amazing as a player and is wonderful as a representative. People should stop seeing him through “fan’s” eyes and see him for the champion that he was and still is.

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