Brad Gilbert had no doubts about the winner of the potential Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras on the grass today. The American would give the advantage to Federer, saying he had already beaten Sampras on fast grass and giving him the advantage on the bouncier surface.
Roger and Pete are the most successful Wimbledon players of the Open era, along with Novak Djokovic, with 15 titles between 1993 and 2018. Two legends met only once, on July 2, 2001, in the fourth round of Wimbledon. The young Federer dethroned the king of Wimbledon 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 in three hours and 41 minutes, ending Sampras’ 31-match winning streak at the All-Time!
England Club! Roger conceded Pete’s earliest loss at Wimbledon since 1991, playing daring and aggressive tennis and coming out on top in decisive moments. Federer won ten more points than Sampras. The Swiss turned down nine of 11 break opportunities and made four of the 14 he had to cross the finish line and dethrone the legend.
Both won 174 serves on 370 points (89 Roger and 85 Pete), and on 47% of the points there was no rally! Additionally, 325 exchanges ended in shorter range, as many as four shots, and the Swiss carved out a crucial 170-155 lead.
He did more damage with the opening forehand or volley to make the essential difference. Pete had a 24-19 advantage in midrange rallies from five to eight shots, not enough to get him to the finish line. Only two points came on the ninth shot, an excellent indicator of how fast the match went.
Roger needed a good start in his first match on Center Court, and he delivered four service winners in the first game to send a clear message.
King Roger is a true legend
Speaking on The Big Deal – Australian Sports Business Podcast, Cahill heaped praise on 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer and described how his pupil reacted.
“I can’t remember the score but Andre lost, absolutely got thumped by Federer,” Cahill said. “I was shocked at the level that Federer played, just took the racquet out of Andre’s hand. It was one of the best displays of tennis and I walked into the locker room afterwards and tapped him on the shoulder.
I just said, ‘Bad luck, mate. Roger was too good’ He just looked at me and started laughing and he went, ‘What the hell was that? I have never seen tennis played like that before. This guy is going to change the way tennis is played’
He saw and felt it before Roger sort of became Roger. He lifted tennis to a level that we had never seen,” Cahill added.