In Roger Federer's words: 'My idols were Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg'

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In Roger Federer's words: 'My idols were Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg'

Winning or losing, Roger Federer has always been trying to keep the points on his racquet and dictate the pace in the rallies. Growing up, Federer admired Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras, having a chance to compete only against the latter one in that famous fourth-round clash at Wimbledon 2001.

Six of the first seven ATP finals for Roger came on the fast indoor surface, winning junior Wimbledon in 1998 and finding the balance between the aggressive baseline hitting and net rushings that would turn him into one of the greatest players of all time.

Asked about his favorite players while growing up, Roger mentioned the German, the Swede and the American, ready to face another tennis star Andre Agassi in the fourth round of the US Open 2001. In the third round, Federer produced a tight 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 victory over Sjeng Schalken to book that clash against one of the most prominent players of the previous decade.

Following that victory over Pete Sampras at Wimbledon, Roger said he would give his best to topple the other great American, feeling good on the court after missing the previous six weeks due to a groin injury suffered at Wimbledon that forced him to miss Canada and Cincinnati.

"Beating Pete Sampras at Wimbledon was something exceptional. He was my favorite player while growing up, together with Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg. On the other hand, my game is entirely different from Agassi's, I could never compare myself to him; it would be huge if I can beat him here.

Not much has happened since Wimbledon as I was injured for about six weeks, taking treatment and not working on my game."