Pete Sampras Reveals He Never Expected Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal to Surpass Him

Published 07/13/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


World No.1 Novak Djokovic created history in London by winning his 20th Grand Slam title. It is his sixth Wimbledon Championships title and with this, the Serbian legend has equalized Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam tally. Djoker defeated Matteo Berrettini in the finals in four sets to win the title. The final scoreline of the match was 6(4)-7(7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

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In a recent interview, tennis legend Pete Sampras hailed Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer for their phenomenal performances on the court in the last 18 years. The 14-time Grand Slam admitted that if someone would have told him that three players will break his Grand Slam record just two decades after his retirement, he certainly would not have believed that.

Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Roger Federer at the net following victory in his Men’s Singles final. Day thirteen of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“If you would have asked when I walked off with 14 majors if three guys would pass me in the next 15 to 19 years, I would have said, no way,” said Sampras in the interview.

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When Sampras retired in 2003, nobody really thought that one will so easily surpass him in the Grand Slam tally. However, the ‘Big Three’ have proved why they are the three greatest athletes of all time.

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“Amazed at this generation”- Pete Sampras on Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal

Sampras further said that he is quite amazed looking at the superstars of this incredible generation. Even though players were of top quality even during his time, no one saw this type of intense and neck-to-neck rivalry back then.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi-final match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

“I’m just amazed at this generation,” added the former World No.1 player.

In the last 18 years, the ‘Big Three’ have won 60 Grand Slam titles- which is more than 90% of the Grand Slams. Their record is splendid and what is even more astonishing is the fact that they still continue to dominate the sport.

Interestingly, Novak Djokovic is on the verge of accomplishing a Golden Slam if he manages to win the Olympic Gold and the US Open 2021 title. Will he be able to end his career with the most number of Grand Slam titles?

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Anshul Singh

1090 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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