ESPN’s Ravi Ubha spoke to tennis great Pete Sampras who opined on several topics, including Roger Federer’s chances of matching his record seven Wimbledon titles.
Calling Federer the “slight” favorite, Sampras said the Swiss is in good form after his French Open final.
“When Wimbledon comes around, you have to put Roger as the man to beat on that surface,” Sampras told ESPN.com. “He played extremely well in the French Open final and lost to one of the greats of all time on clay. I see him oozing with confidence.”
“Oozing” might be a little strong, but Federer has to be feeling better now than he has all year after beating Djokovic and playing well against Nadal in Paris.
“I see different things, especially in the final of the French, that Roger is trying to do — be a little more aggressive, take the ball earlier, which is obviously tougher to do against Rafa on clay,” Sampras continued. “And I like what I see. He wants to improve, and he still enjoys it. I think Paul has helped him with the mental side, just talking about strategy. Paul knows what it’s like, he knows what a great player goes through, and it’s really helped Roger in my mind.”
Annacone, who has coached Tim Henman in addition to Sampras, will make his debut with Federer this Wimbledon.
Federer begins his quest to tie Sampras on Tuesday against Mikhail Kukushkin.
In the article Sampras also gives his take on Rafael Nadal (“he’s a machine”, Pete says) and Novak Djokovic (“Mentally he’s figured it out”) and Andy Murray (“He’s dealing with a lot more than the other guys”).
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