Pete Sampras Picks Federer to Win Wimbledon, Says Roger’s “Oozing With Confidence”
by Tom Gainey | June 18th, 2011, 9:17 am

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 “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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43 Comments for Pete Sampras Picks Federer to Win Wimbledon, Says Roger’s “Oozing With Confidence”

Tony Says:

Pete is probably right.

Huh Says:

pete my 2nd most fav playr of all time, lov him. but at d same time, hope its not n effort 2 put pressure on roger. why’re all the greats pickin poor fed to win when pretty much everyone knows that fed may not beat nadal even thou fed’s one of the most talented players in tennis history, one of the mentally strongest too n capabl of dominatin pretty much everyone except nadal! nadal is the worst thing to have happened to fed in his professional life.

Huh Says:

M not overjoyed to say this but I PICK NADAL TO WINnWIM 11.
God save Federer if he again faces Nadal in final. At the same time, as a Fed fan, I hope n I wish someone other than Rafa wins WIM, but my gut feeling’s NADAL WILL SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND HIS WIMBLEDON CROWN.

Huh Says:

If JMDP cant beat Rafa, then I would say Rafa remains unbeaten at WIM this. For my poor Fed, I’d say he shoulda beaten n should beat Nadal every time he faced him outside of RG, but he didnt n probably wouldnt ever again. Hopefully Fed’ll give me the happiest of my tennis-fan life by provin me wrong.

madmax Says:


have a bit more faith please.

Firstly, Federer is NOT the favourite. If you look at the majority, RAFA is favourite, THEN Fed, Murray and Novak are tied second or third depending on who you read.

No pressure for fed. It’s on rafa and so it should be as world number 1.

Just hope, like you that Fed is able to play great tennis on his favourite surface. And you shouldn’t refer to him as ‘poor fed’.

madmax Says:

I just cannot abide watching Bartoli in the final, shadow boxing shots all over the place. It’s annoying to say the least. People laughing in the commentary box about what she is doing. I would imagine if they were the opposite side of the net, they wouldn’t be laughing. She has got to be the most annoying female player on the tour. It’s a toss up between what she does on the court and sharapova’s screaming.

madmax Says:


I’ve just read that MURRAY is favourite and supported by Tim Henman (not surprising I know), but usually Tim is not so partisan.

Then also read that Novak is the favourite.

To keep everyone happy it should be ‘joint four favourite!’.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Madmax always the Fed faithful when some of us lose it. Keep that fire going max!:)


Nice props to Fed but don’t jinx him! Oh wait….that’s Sean Randall………Hee hee…shaaammmooonnn!

Kimmi Says:

I was thinking the same thing..jinx, aaaargh!

Kimmi Says:

wimbledon website does not have good photos of players practicing and what not. other grandslams would have a lot of photos going around on a weekend before the start. wake up wimbledon!!!

dari Says:

Love ya, Pete, but I wish you would keep your mouth shut ;)
Kimmi, skeeze,I see you guys are all bracketed in. I have mine in but may make some changes, I tell you, I’m THIS close to taking out Rafa to kohlschreiber!

madmax Says:

Hey skeeze! Long time no speak! How are you?


check out the photo of fed above in telegraph, it’s really great. I love shots of fed practising, so calm and collected. And I love the green on white T-shirt with jacket. He looks…so classy as usual.

Everyone is the favourite skeeze, I don’t pay too much attention to it to be honest. All the top 5 and the outsiders have a chance! There won’t be any jinxing. Don’t believe in superstition. Fed seems to have needed the rest after the French Open, as did Novak.

I think they both did the right thing.

Fed’s game though is tailored to grass. He just makes it look so easy. I absolutely believe that last year against Falla, he was shocked at how he played and that he will think of that in his first round.

No round is an easy round in a slam, not for anyone.

dari, I see you post a lot on gototennis and you make me laugh! You are so pro fed!

I love it!

The weather next week is supposed to be rain and sun on monday, changeable for most of the week.

I am at wimbledon on Friday everyone, so will report back when I am there.

Skeeze, you’ll be the first to know!

Huh Says:

Hi Dear Maxi, I say poor Fed in the sense that he’s unfortunate w.r.t. his rivalry with nadal, too bad when Fed was at his real best n was leading Nadal 5-2 in surfaces outside clay n was beatin him coming from behind two-sets to nil (miami 2005), then nadal escaped that scary good federer. But Fed’s so good even now that he’s facin peak nadal at his fave surface of RG, but loses. I have many things to say but neithr enuf time nor space for it. But I can at least say that Fed in my opinion is a far superior player to nadal, technicaly as wel as talent-wise or even mentally, but he’s been ill-fated to lose to nadal so many times, cant believ how its hapening, but this shi# is really happening and this is hurtin me to see that of all the players, Nadal, whose style I least like, is dominatin him! I hate this fact. But my love for Fed’ll always remain, ABOVE ALL OTHER…
No matter what happens in future n from now onwards, but I do think Fed is perhaps the best tennis player ever besides Laver, Borg n Pete.

Kimmi Says:

Madmax – yeas I swa that pic. he looks great. Lets hope his game looks the same..

Kimmi Says:

its cold and rainy in the UK, not ideal conditions to start wimbledon. Thanks god for the roof, play should not be stopped on the center court.

Kimmi Says:

its cold and rainy in the UK, not ideal conditions to start wimbledon. Thanks god for the roof, play should not be stopped on the center court.

dari Says:

Just played a great match- lost in straights to the guy, but he usually gets me like 1 and 2 and it was today 5 and 4. don’t think I’ve ever felt better about a loss. I attribute to very good serving, taping my ankles and new ADIDAS outfit ;)
Mmax- hello! You’re going to wimbles?! NICE. have fun hope you see all the best matches! Yes, I am silly here but even more silly over there! Hehe
POOR JANKO didnt see match, but I feel so sad for him to never have gotten a title :/

Kimberly Says:

Madmax, have a blast and some champagne stawberries and cream, i am green with envy.

Dari-congrats on your match. The Ana Wimbledon outfit? Do you find it short? I’ve worn it twice because it is very good for the heat but a little on the short side yes? I actually prefer the purple and green Adizero out of her outfits.

I am picking a Venus Sharapova final on the women’s side! Probably wishful thinking. Prob Bartoli will end up winning it all. Yuck!

madmax Says:

Hi Kimberley! It’ll be Pimms for me – £8 a glass – ridiculous prices! BUT the strawberries and cream are lovely! I have been so lucky. I went last year and couldn’t believe it then! Am happy to report back. The weather doesn’t look too good, a mix of sun and showers, but we are used to it over here.

Plus. I have myself a Roger Federer BANNER! You don’t know how long I have waited to get my hands on one of these. It looks so real. He is here. In my House. Right now! A well threaded material with Fed screaming with delight. Ha. What am I like?!!!

I agree. Bartoli. Yuck. I cannot think of a more unelegant player out there. I don’t even know how she won the match yesterday. Probably psyched her opponent out with her ridiculous jumping. They need to rewrite the rule book on that one.

Huh, it’s just a different way of thinking (and this is NOT to take away from rafa’s achievements, who is the BEST on clay), but take away the clay wins and you have a h2h of 6:5 to roger. If the tournaments had been on hard or grass (there are so many more on clay), it could be so different.

But it is what it is.

HUH! Fed has said Murray can win wimbledon!

All the players are now nominating each other!

It’s so funny!

Queen Mirka Says:

Yessss! Well said Pete! Roger Federer will win this year’s Wimbledon without losing a set. Nadal will go out in the first round.

madmax Says:

Top News
INTERVIEW-Reuters Q & A – Federer back to reclaim his crown
Sat, Jun 18 20:00 PM BST
By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) – A Wimbledon final without Roger Federer almost seemed unthinkable 12 months ago but the ‘unthinkable’ happened last July when the most gifted player to have picked up a tennis racket discovered he was no longer on the guest list for the showpiece match at the grasscourt grand slam.

But the man who enjoyed the privilege of opening Centre Court proceedings at the All England Club for seven successive years – including 2009 when Rafa Nadal was unable to defend his title – is now back to reclaim his crown.

The six-times Wimbledon champion purposefully strode into the grounds on Saturday at 1027 GMT and even the miserable British weather did not dampen his spirits as he went through his paces during a 30-minute hit with his friend Tommy Haas.

Just in case Federer had forgotten the identity of the current holder of the title, Nadal navigated his way through the couple of hundred people jostling for space around the outside court and the Spaniard was soon nodding his head in appreciation as Federer finished off the session with a flurry of aces.

Job done for the day, Federer exchanged high fives with his great rival and walked off court knowing that he was just seven matches away from drawing level with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw’s record of seven men’s titles.

Dressed in an all white track suit, Federer settled into a green chair in a bunker of the All England Club to have a chat with Reuters about how much he wants to win back the Wimbledon crown, his desire to reclaim the world number one ranking, his various records and how he combines his on court commitments with fatherhood.

REUTERS: Roger, last year was the first time in eight years that you were not involved in the final weekend at Wimbledon. What was that like for you?

FEDERER: “Honestly I did not even think of that. First you’re disappointed you lost, then you move on and then you’re like ‘okay, I’m going on vacation’. Then you don’t think about it. Only later did I hear so many people telling me ‘uh, a final without Federer is not the same’. That’s just the Federer fans or my supporters who felt that. I didn’t think about it too much and it hasn’t come to my mind much this year. What you play for is really to be in a Wimbledon final, walking out on that Sunday, that’s so special. I’ve been fortunate enough to be there so many times. But (Tomas) Berdych played a great match against me and deserved to be in that final against Rafa. Obviously it hurt a bit but it didn’t hurt not being in the final. It hurt not winning that match against Berdych.”

REUTERS: Is that something that you have been dreading for the last few years – that your run of reaching seven consecutive finals would eventually end?

FEDERER: “I was disappointed but life goes on. I’ve had an amazing run here. I did so much better than I ever thought I would. The important thing is that you learn from defeats like this. You take the right decisions after that and that you don’t panic. Many times what can also happen is you lose a match and whole thing just goes sideways.

“You (think) ‘I’ll change everything around me. I’ll change my coaches, I’ll change the way I travel, I’ll change the tournaments I play because I made so many mistakes’.

“But the important thing is to really be able to pinpoint what didn’t go well, what I could have done better. You just lay out all those things in the table and you take the right decision for next time. Sometimes you have to accept that a guy played better on the day than you. (Alejandro) Falla played fantastic in the first round (last year before losing in five sets) and Berdych played an amazing match against me. Ok, maybe I wasn’t playing at my very best but I was playing not bad. I didn’t make it easy for those guys to beat me.”

REUTERS: When you see that people are not talking about you as a potential champion of an event, as was the case in the build up to Roland Garros – does that irritate you?

FEDERER: “I felt I was (in contention). I was quite surprised (how people) said ‘oh you have no pressure’. I would have had less pressure anyhow because I wasn’t defending champion, Novak (Djokovic) was on an (unbeaten) streak and Rafa was defending champion. I’ve already beaten the all-time grand slam record (by winning 16 majors), I’ve won the French Open before so I’m going into this French Open regardless of how I did before. That I was such a small favourite, only later did I hear that. It surprises me a bit and it seems sometimes people are very short sighted and they look at only the last three weeks instead of looking at the last three years. That’s unfortunately how tennis is, it’s very volatile in terms of the rankings, and that can change a few things. I know I have a chance for world number one if I play well from now till the U.S. Open. The players know that but sometimes people tend to forget.”

REUTERS: Out of all the records you have achieved, which is the one you are proudest of?

FEDERER: “Let’s wait and see when I finish. Then maybe I’ll say ‘this one is my favourite one’. I’m still going and I’m still able to re-write history. But I guess it’s the ones (streaks) that last five or seven years, that you know you only get one chance in a lifetime to do, like Sampras’s six straight year end number one rankings. You’re not going to miss one year and then get another six. It’s almost impossible to do. You only get one chance for those kinds of things.

“I have short term records, like at one point I think I beat 24 top 10 guys in a row. Or once I made the finals, I won 24 finals in a row. Those kinds of records are also unbelievable for me when I look back. There are many of them but I don’t know which one to choose from.”

REUTERS: Out of all your many records, which is the one do you think will last the longest and why?

FEDERER: “I wouldn’t know because sometimes you think ‘this is the one’ but then it won’t. It doesn’t matter too much to me.”

REUTERS: What about the streak of reaching 23 successive grand slam semi-finals?

FEDERER: “Maybe that one. Yeah, maybe you’re right. If it gets interrupted once after a few years, then you won’t get it again. That will be a tough one to beat.”

REUTERS: If you had to pick one career defining shot/point you have played during your career, which one would it be and why?

FEDERER: “Uhhmmmmm (laughing). For me the biggest shot was unfortunately against Tommy Haas, who’s a good friend of mine, at the French Open (in 2009). You probably know which one I’m talking about, on break point (at two sets and 3-4 down in the fourth round), the forehand inside out. I couldn’t hit any more forehands for some reason I completely lost it. That’s the one I needed and I remember I fist pumped and thought ‘this is it’. This is what was going to put me back into the match and into the tournament. Who knows, maybe I would have still won the French Open later on but it just all seemed so perfect to win that year. The way I had to battle against Haas, against (Juan Martin) del Potro, against (Jose) Acasuso, against (Gael) Monfils, against (Robin) Soderling, all those players. It was just a very tough tournament and still very vivid in my mind.”

REUTERS: That shot was a bit like Tiger Wood’s miracle birdie at the 16th — when ball appeared to teeter tantalisingly over the edge of the hole before, a second later, dropping into the cup — during the final round of the 2005 U.S. Masters.

FEDERER: “Yeah, maybe, although mine went a bit quicker. It was all over in a hurry. Second serve, bang, bang and it was over. But it was huge.”

REUTERS: Lots of people have said they wished they could have played like you. Is there any player or a particular shot of a player – past or present – that you are envious of.

FEDERER: “I am very happy with what I have. Sure I cannot hit a double handed backhand, I wish I could. But it’s fine. I wish I had a serve like

Rafalicious Says:

Vamos Rafa!!!!!!!!

SomewhatAnonymous Says:

I really hope that Annacone hence he has worked with Sampras and Henman, has worked a lot on his netgame including the dropvolley! I think it´s a shot he should develope more sting to instead of mostly using it for putaways or thinking too much of where he places it! He has to add so many shots to his repertoiar that can shorten points as possible, he has the serve and big precise forehand, amazing slice, and a amazing dropshot! But after watching videos of last years Wimbledon i really think that his netgame especially has to be much sharper this year! Easier said than done ofcause. Then there´s the backhand and mental aspects, which i consider more important than dropvolleys ofcause, but it´s def a shot he could make better use of imo and get better at.

dari Says:

Congrats on losing a match, thanks Kimberly! Yes, that’s the dress, was a little short, but it was hot and muggy so it was what I needed. Ana must have hers made custom cause she is 6′ I can’t imagine how short it is on her.
Hey funk/trunk guys- Andy Murray won queens and played a magical match against A-Rod, roger didn’t play at all!

madmax Says:


I’ve found this interview from Fed, pre-wimbledon. It’s pretty good.

madmax Says:


this is the better version, which finishes of the above….’I wish I had a serve like…Sampras, etc.
FEDERER: “I am very happy with what I have. Sure I cannot hit a double handed backhand, I wish I could. But it’s fine. I wish I had a serve like Sampras but I’m happy with mine. I wish I had volleys like (Tim) Henman or (Stefan) Edberg or (Pat) Rafter but I’m happy with what I have. I have tried to become the best player I can be over all these years and I think I did really well. I’m surprised how well I actually did.

“I grew up in the era of Sampras, Henman and (Richard) Krajicek and all those guys who kept coming in, I would have loved to have played an even better serve and volley game. Even though I know I can play it well. I don’t know if surfaces have slowed down or if my volleys are just not good as the other guys or if the guys return so much better today. I guess it’s a combination. I would like to play much more moving forward but it is very difficult in this day and age.”

REUTERS: In less than two months you turn 30? Are you dreading it?

FEDERER: “No, no problem. I can only smile about it. Do I feel 30? I guess I do. I feel ripe like a grape for (a good quality) wine. I feel like I’m in a really nice place right now. Everybody who’s 20 wants to stay 20 and everybody who turns 30 wants to stay 30. That’s the feeling I get. It’s a wonderful age to be. You’ve already experienced a lot but there’s still a lot to come. It’s a wonderful age and I’m looking forward to the next 10 years.”

REUTERS: What has been your lowest point in your tennis career?

FEDERER: “I have had a few tough losses and the other night I was having dinner and (my friends) were saying ‘oh I remember that loss, and this one and that one and this one’ and I was like ‘oh God, we’re only talking about my losses.’ With all the 950 plus matches I have played, I’ve had a lot of losses and a lot of heart breaks. To pick the toughest one, was it here against Nadal (in the 2008 five-set final described as the best ever tennis match)? Possibly, but at the same time it was such a special match to be part of it doesn’t hurt as much down the stretch. In the very moment it hurts but not later on.”

REUTERS: How does Roger Federer the tennis player differ from Roger Federer the father?

FEDERER: “I’m as patient a father as I am on the tennis court. It takes a lot for me to get really upset but sometimes kids can get you really cross if they really keep bugging you. As they get older, they push the limits more. So it’s more a matter of setting boundaries for the kids then getting really upset with them. But you have to pretend that you’re a little bit upset sometimes.

“I really enjoy time with the kids and I’m really happy I’ve only missed them for three weeks in the last two years. I’ve been very fortunate to have such a wonderful wife (Mirka) who is so supportive and so willing to pack all the bags and come on the road with us and make it work. It’s a lot of organisation but I don’t want to be away from the kids, I don’t want to be away from Mirka and it’s just a nice time and I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. I think I’m patient, good husband and good father but your have to ask others about it.”

REUTERS: Are you a strict dad?

FEDERER: “I think the strictness will grow as they grow, unfortunately for them.”

Marijane Says:

I agree with you Mirka. Nadal will lose, and Fed the winner, no doubt.

Thangs Says:

Rafa would win the tourny again. Vamos Rafa!

Queen Mirka Says:

Thank you Marijane. And @Thangs, keep dreaming. Nadal will go out within the first 3 rounds. He almost went out in the first round at the Roland Garros. Federer will end up winning 25 grand slams.

Huh Says:

I came here just to read your posts for me. And I’m glad that you’ve such wonderful posts for me with the links, they made for a great reading. I really hope Fed can win this n increas his slam gap with Rafa. Fed, as always very honest n sweet in his interviews.

thark Says:

does anyone know if there is anything to see on the middle sunday of wimbledon? i have a friend with a 24 hour layover in london but unfortunately it just happens to fall on the middle sunday. i was thinking maybe there would be some practice sessions or the like he could check out. any recommendations by those who have been?

Kimberly Says:

I have never been to GS but if I went to one I would want it to be WImbledon. The most class and tradition. Must be an amazing experience. I can imagine the prices would be outrageous for everything. Even at the sony ericsson it was ridiculous.

I guess if I did go to one though and invest the time/effort/money it would prob be wise to go RG, to assure my fav does well!!!!!!

madmax Says:

“When Wimbledon comes around, you have to put Roger as the man to beat on that surface,” Sampras told “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.”

For the superstitious among you, Sampras doesn’t say that Fed is going to win, so there is no jinx, just that he is the man to beat.

There are 4 of them to beat, Rafa, Novak, Roger and Andy, each of them in their interviews nominating the other to win! It’s hilarious!


just for you.

thark Says:
does anyone know if there is anything to see on the middle sunday of wimbledon? i have a friend with a 24 hour layover in london but unfortunately it just happens to fall on the middle sunday. i was thinking maybe there would be some practice sessions or the like he could check out. any recommendations by those who have been?

June 19th, 2011 at 3:43 pm


there is NO PLAY at wimbledon on a middle sunday as it is traditionally a day of rest.

Interestingly, read this

but, I suspect if there is a lot of rain, there COULD be some players playing, especially if there is a backlog of matches.

madmax Says:

Any decision to play on Sunday would have had to been made by mid-afternoon on Saturday at the latest in order to allow sufficient time for police and local authorities – as well as All England Club – to make the necessary security arrangements.

rogerafa Says:

thark, your friend must pray for a lot of rain in the first week so that the organizers are forced to schedule play even on the middle Sunday which is aka People’s Sunday due to cheap and easily available tickets and unreserved seating for the show courts. Given the gloomy forecast, your friend could be in for some luck although the probability is still remote. We have had only three such occasions(1991, 1997 and 2004)in the entire history of Wimbledon.

Kimmi Says:

ridiculous middle sunday. i am not a fan of it.

I don’t watch live tennis the whole week..hoping to catch some live tennis on saturday and sunday. tennis on sunday. middle sunday sucks.

thark Says:

are the grounds closed off? i didn’t know if the no play rule included practice sessions, or if anyone could even get in to watch them – i’ve never been so i don’t know how the venue is set up.

Michael Says:

I just hope for the sake of his fans Federer goes on to win his Seventh Wimbledon time. He can do it even at this age. He has the game to make that happen. Federer is absolutely a different animal on Grass. Last year, I was quite shocked to see his performance on Grass losing of all to Berdych. But if you see that match closely, Federer lost a match he should have won comfortably. However, it is good that he lost, because he was not in the best of his form and would not have lasted against Nadal. But this year, things are different and Federer is in fantastic form while Nadal is playing below his level. The only threat to Federer on Grass can only be Nadal.

rafa's unconditional Says:

Federer is out, he was the king on grass though ???? who is the king now?

skeezerweezer Says:

rafa conditional…..

2 Wimby titles doesn’t make you King of Grass, Sampras holds 7 and Fed 6, he’s King of Clay though for sure ;)

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