Pete Sampras Says He Could Have Beaten Roger Federer: Not Likely

jordan hammondCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2009

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JULY 05:  Roger Federer of Switzerland (2R) celebrates with the trophy alongside Bjorn Borg (L), Pete Sampras (2L) and Rod Laver (R)  after the men's singles final match against Andy Roddick of USA on Day Thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 5, 2009 in London, England. Federer won 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14, to claim his 15th Grand Slam title.  (Photo by AELTC/Pool/Getty Images)

In a recent conference call, Pete Sampras said that Roger Federer doesn't see true serve and volley players, and no one could beat him in his prime.

"I think one thing Roger doesn't see on grass is a true serve-and-volleyer, someone that's willing to come in and put pressure on him, make him pass and return. With these big serves, I don't think anyone really scares him. I think my game could make Roger a little uncomfortable. I would come in on both serves, put pressure on his backhand, and go from there.

"Do I think I could have beaten Roger in my prime? Sure. I don't think anyone could beat me in my prime on grass. I felt unbeatable in the mid '90s. But he would be a tough guy to beat, especially when he is hitting 50 aces like he did at Wimbledon. It would be a great matchup."

I find this truly comical.

Roger has to be the most rounded player the world has ever seen. He is not only a brilliant baseline player, he is incredible at the net too. He has every shot imaginable and can adapt his game to suit or beat any player around.

Roger has beaten Sampras on grass at Wimbledon before, but yes, that was an out of prime Sampras. However, what Sampras is forgetting is that he is matching himself up with the current Roger Federer, not the Federer of '04, '05, '06, and most of '07. I don't think any male player in the history of the game since the Open Era has ever had a year like Roger did in 2006.

Sampras says he would attack Roger's backhand, but he seems to forget that the current backhand is nowhere near as consistent as it once was. Roger pretty much won the majority of his Grand Slams with his backhand alone! He would have to rethink his entire game strategy!

Of course Sampras would think he was unbeatable in the mid '90s on grass, but Roger has made seven consecutive finals at Wimbledon and won his sixth one at only 27 years of age.

If Roger was not able to see true serve and volley players, he would never have annihilated Tim Henman at Wimbledon back in 2007 in the second round.

Sorry Pete; you may have ruled back in your day, but an in-prime Federer would beat an in-prime Sampras on grass any day.