New York: Spaniard Rafael Nadal’s name should be mentioned in any debate on the greatest tennis player of all time, according to former world No. 1 Pete Sampras.
Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras, who himself is considered one of the greatest of all time in the sport, has said that he used to always think that Roger Federer is the greatest but after Rafael Nadal’s recent achievements he has started to give the Swiss maestro tough time in the debate.
“I would say that, with Rafa doing what he’s been doing, he has an argument to be in the conversation,” Sampras said.
“Rafa isn’t done yet. He has a long way to go. He could win more Majors. He’s got a winning record against everyone that he has played in his generation. He’s won the Davis Cup, he’s won the Olympics.”
Nadal, 27, won his 13th Grand Slam this year after capturing an eighth French Open and second US Open and is closing in on the 32-year-old Federer’s record of 17.
The American added, “He’s got a winning record against everyone that he has played in his generation. He’s won the Davis Cup, he’s won the Olympics. It’s such bar-room talk. You look at Rafa and what he has been able to do, you look at Roger and the fact that he did what he did for so long, winning all those Majors.”
Sampras was considered the greatest of all time by many tennis fans and experts as he had the record for most Grand Slams, most weeks as world No. 1, most Wimbledon titles, most straight year end number one finishes and many others.
However, Federer has broken or equalled most of them. The Swiss thrashed the Grand Slam record by winning his 15th title at 2009 Wimbledon.
He equalled Sampras’ record of most Wimbledon titles by winning at the All England Club for the seventh time last year and with that he also levelled the American’s record for most weeks as world No. 1. Later on he broke that record too.