14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras admits he preferred to be "a lone wolf" during his playing days. Before Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were introduced to the tennis world, Sampras set the all-time record for most Grand Slams won.
Following Sampras's retirement, some thought there would never be a player to win 14 Grand Slams. But Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have all far surpassed Sampras' record, as they all have more than 20 Grand Slams. "You look at Roger, Rafa and Novak today and they are much more social and outgoing than me, and maybe it's because of social networks and where we are in society," Sampras told LA NACION.
"Maybe if I was playing now, I'd be more like these guys. It's just a different mindset. In my generation everyone was a little more separated, but now Roger has Rafa's phone number and everyone texts and has Instagram." Sampras, who finished his career with seven Wimbledon titles, loved the atmosphere at The All England Club as the tournament reached its final stages.
"Knowing Roger a bit, I guess he can be the life of the party in the dressing room. I was more in a corner, away from everyone, and I loved the last weekend of Wimbledon, when there was no one in the room. I'm a lonely wolf. I get energy being alone.
I like to be alone. That's how I'm connected and how it's always been," Sampras explained. Sampras enjoyed a dream career ending defeating Andre Agassi in the 2002 US Open final to cap his great career with his 14th Grand title.
Slam. Although Sampras' Grand Slam record has been surpassed by three players, he is still considered one of the greatest players in tennis history.
Querrey speaks about Federer
Sam Querrey recalled a story from 2007 when Roger Federer welcomed him to the ATP tour.
“I remember he introduced himself to me. He said, ‘Hey Sam, Roger, welcome to the Tour’, something along those lines. ‘It’s good to see you here’,” Querrey said. “It was pretty cool for a guy like that to come up to a new player like myself”.
Federer and Querrey went on to lock horns on four occasions, with the Swiss winning each of those meetings. Roger Federer will return to action at the Laver Cup this year, which will start on September 23. The 41-year-old will later compete at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, which will also feature Carlos Alcaraz.