This was not a Wimbledon final or a semi-final, yet it had all the ingredients to be one of the historic matches in Wimbledon. Two of the greatest tennis players were going to take on each other. One had already made a name in the world of tennis, the other had just begun on his quest to conquer the world. Pete Sampras was playing Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Wimbledon 2001.
It is believed that this was the match in which Sampras passed the torch to Roger Federer and rightly so. The Swiss went on to win 17 Grand Slam tournaments, which is one more than how many Sampras got in his playing career. Federer also has 7 Wimbledon titles at his side, equaling another Sampras record. The upcoming Wimbledon could make FedEx cross Sampras in terms of overall titles earned.
Coming to this particular game, Federer had a tough outing against Sampras, despite the former’s young age. Sampras was in touching distance to retirement but made it as tough for the young Swiss as possible. The American legend took two sets to tie-breaks and the last one to 5-5 before losing the game.
Federer had arrived and how. It was tough to guess at that stage that this boy was going to clinch 19 Grand Slams in his career and 8 Wimbledon titles. It is a reality now.