Another Wimbledon title on Sunday could make Roger Federer the best player in the history of the tournament, even better than Pete Sampras.
Whenever you compare two players in sports who have accomplished similar goals, examining the quality of their competition is a good way to determine whose run is more impressive.
Here is a breakdown of Sampras' and Federer's triumphs at Wimbledon.
|1993||Jim Courier||7–6, 7–6, 3–6, 6–3|
|1994||Goran Ivanišević||7–6, 7–6, 6–0|
|1995||Boris Becker||6–7, 6–2, 6–4, 6–2|
|1997||Cédric Pioline||6–4, 6–2, 6–4|
|1998||Goran Ivanišević||6–7, 7–6, 6–4, 3–6, 6–2|
|1999||Andre Agassi||6–3, 6–4, 7–5|
|2000||Patrick Rafter||6–7, 7–6, 6–4, 6–2|
|2003||Mark Philippoussis||7–6, 6–2, 7–6|
|2004||Andy Roddick||4–6, 7–5, 7–6, 6–4|
|2005||Andy Roddick||6–2, 7–6, 6–4|
|2006||Rafael Nadal||6–0, 7–6, 6–7, 6–3|
|2007||Rafael Nadal||7–6, 4–6, 7–6, 2–6, 6–2|
|2009||Andy Roddick||5–7, 7–6, 7–6, 3–6, 16–14|
I would have to give the edge to Sampras when you look at the quality of these two player's competition at Wimbledon.
Sampras had to defeat quality players such as Andre Agassi (8 singles titles), Boris Becker (6 singles titles), Jim Courier (4 singles titles), and Patrick Rafter (2 singles titles) for his seven Wimbledon titles.
Federer has defeated Nadal twice at Wimbledon, which is quite impressive since the Spaniard is one of the sport's all-time best. Nadal was able to defeat Federer in 2008 in arguably the best Wimbledon final ever. Federer's other opponents, Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis, have a combined one Grand Slam singles title. In the end, Sampras had to defeat tougher opponents for his Wimbledon titles.
It's tough to compare eras, but Sampras' run is a bit more impressive than Federer's right now. However, since Federer's career isn't over yet, he could pass Sampras with an eighth title in the near future. That would make him the best Wimbledon player ever.