Sampras now in the boat Borg vacated at Wimbledon last year.
Posted by tennisplanet on June 11, 2009
No matter how gracious and magnanimous Sampras may make himself out to be after co-holding No. 14, deep down he wants to at least not get trumped.
Just pulling up is bad enough, but Federer has dropped a truck load of salt into that wound by winning Roland Garros of all the freaking titles.
And that is not even the end of the ordeal. No. 15 will be the knock out punch to banish any hope Sampras now has to be even mentioned at the GOAT meeting.
But just like the slump Federer was in for sometime that forced McEnroe to declare that ‘Sampras may be sleeping a lot better these days’, this Roland Garros title does not guarantee No. 15.
There were a lot of factors at this win that still leaves the door open for Sampras to continue dreaming of co-hosting the top summit. Certainly Sampras would have liked the No. 14 to come anywhere except at the FO.
But maybe that hard pill is what he needed to swallow as compensation for still being at the top – jointly.
Sampras may be in luck, for in Nadal’s absence - which may be longer than even Nadal expects - Murray, by default has emerged as a worthy foil to what Federer has planned from now on.
Clearly Wimbledon is the ideal hunting ground for Federer to add to his Slam total for obvious reasons, although US Open may not be too far behind. With both Murray and Djokovic still to match their hard court showing on grass and with Nadal out or weakened, this may be as close to Roland Garros title Federer can ever get to.
Murray’s best showing at three appearances at Wimbledon has been the quarters – last year (losing to Nadal in straights). With a great start this season, the home crowd expectations, six straight wins over Federer, Murray has to be the new obstacle for Federer this year.
So Sampras is still hanging by a thread with the red dirt still showering continuously. He would love to vacate this boat just like Borg and have something to hold on to – at least statistically.