So dominant is Federer at this stage of his career that he might well conquer every single title and break records of significance.
But with due respects to what Federer has achieved and will achieve, nothing should be taken way from what Sampras has achieved. Why?
Sampras had to face opponents of greater stature than Federer.
While it is easy for one to say that you can compete with the opposition that is available during your time, Sampras played and won over Jim Courier, a four-time Grand Slam champion in his first-ever Wimbledon final in 1993. His other final opponents were Boris Becker (six Grand Slam titles), Goran Ivanisevic (one), Andre Agassi (eight) and Pat Rafter (two). Sampras’ final opponents together won 20 Grand Slam titles. In comparison, the Swiss’s final opponents have won only four (Nadal three and Roddick one).
All this leaves us with a simple question: who is the greatest champion of all time?
Here is my choice: Roger Federer.
I believe if Sampras and Federer had met at their respective peaks at Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, the former would have won 22 out of 40 times. Roger Federer would have beaten Sampras 7/10 times and 8/10 times at the Australian and French Opens respectively. However, the results would have been in Sampras’s favour both at Wimbledon (7/10) and US Open (6/10) times respectively.