sarah_lennon wrote:Unbelievabl from Federer today. To totally throw away the final set and then to blub like a baby. Number 14 is going to hang over him till WImbledon and we'll see if he's had the time to get to grips with the pressure
Unless he wins one this year, I would have serious doubts as to whether Federer will ever get to 14. It's going to be very difficult for him to improve much more at this stage of his career. It now looks very unlikely that he will get beyond 14 anyway.
To be honest though, I really don't think that he deserves to take the record away from Sampras. Federer has been a great player, don't get me wrong, but he has also been incredibly fortunate in terms of the period of tennis history into which his career fell. The overall depth in men's tennis for the bulk of his career has been comparatively very poor; until 2006, his only real rivals were a rapidly fading Leyton Hewitt, a sub-standard Andy Roddick and a mentally unstable Marat Safin.
Compare that to Sampras, who's career overlapped with several of the other all-time greats as well as some top-class specialists on every surface - McEnroe, Agassi, Courier, Edberg, Becker, Stich, Ivanisevic, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Kuerten... the list is endless. Sampras had nowhere near as many easy matches in Grand Slams as Federer has done; needless to say, Federer often makes things easy for himself but he has also come up against some seriously weak opponents at the business end of big tournaments. The fact that Davydenko and Ferrer have been number 3 and 4 in the world respectively pretty much says it all.
"Hickie, scorching down the wing... God, I've missed saying that!" - Ryle Nugent