For a few years Roger Federer had no rivals, says Pete Sampras



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For a few years Roger Federer had no rivals, says Pete Sampras

The former world No. 1 Pete Sampras recalled Roger Federer's career start. The Swiss player won 13 Grand Slam titles from 2003 to 2008. "For a few years Roger didn't really have anyone contesting him and he won so easily.

For three years - no disrespect to Mark Philippoussis and Andy Roddick - but they weren't Nadal. I think each generation has its guy. Borg was the player of Lendl generation, I was probably the player of my generation in the 90s.

I felt like I was gonna win that match. I just felt pretty confident, he was pretty young at the time but Roger was just very tough. I was caught off guard, he was serving huge, moving great, he was returning my serve with ease, I just felt a little bit overpowered", said Sampras.

Federer' former coach Paul Annacone added: "Roger, when he takes the Centre Court of Wimbledon, looks so relaxed, just embraces the environment and does it in a way that doesn't use extra energy. Rafa is someone with high energy, high intensity, we see what he does with the bottles on the court, who likes things in certain order, wants lot of stuff done certain ways."

The expert Heinz Gunthardt concluded: "When Roger Federer was 16, people were already talking about him. He had won Wimbledon juniors. In Switzerland we didn't expect people to win big tournaments at the time especially.

We like to be precise to the max, and you are supposed to be humble. So it's interesting when he came along and he basically said, I want to win big tournaments. He was not really humble about it. One of the first matches he played was in Basel against Andre Agassi and he went out there to win, which was almost like, What you are trying to do. You are playing against Andre Agassi and you are supposed to lose."