In an interview the 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras recalled his 2001 Wimbledon fourth round loss to Roger Federer. The American former player said: "Very difficult. At the time it was just a tennis match. From today's point of view, it was the end of an era, for me it was the end at Wimbledon, Federer's time started.
One year after I lost to George Bastl in the second round. That was the lowest point, my worst Grand Slam match." Asked if he is angry Federer beat a lot of his records, Sampras replied: "If you set a record, you would like it to last forever.
I would lie if I said differently. But I cannot do anything about it. I admire Roger, we like each other, I am still in contact. That makes it a bit easier." Clay was never Sampras's favorite surface. How much hurts not having won in Paris? "In the end of my career it bothered me.
Conditions were tough for me. But most of all, it was a mental thing. I always had an enormous pressure there. Wimbledon or US Open were like my home. I headed into the court and I felt light. In Paris, I was blocked and results could be seen.
It can be very hot and dry in Paris. So balls bounce high. The game is faster. In Wimbledon the balls do not bounce that high. They become heavy when it's wet. The game is slower. Serve and volley times have ended. I would not say it disappeared forever, but younger players are copying the best players. And the following generations will follow them."