Wimbledon 2001 4th round: Federer defeats Sampras
This was the moment when the Wimbledon baton was passed from me to him
From Sampras‘ autobiography ” A champion’s mind”:
” I got a great draw at Wimbledon. I had, in successive matches, Francisco Clavet, a clay courter, Barry Cowan, a British long shot in through a wild card, and Sargis Sargsian. Beating those guys brought me up against a young Swiss guy I’d already heard good things about, Roger Federer.
From what I’d been told, he was very talented, but he ran a little hot and cold. I expected to win, but very early in the match I realized that I was up against a kid with a complete game and talent to burn.”
“Early in the match, Federer was serving big and hitting the ball hard. He was also attacking – rushing the net in a way he would not do at Wimbledon in later years.
It was a good, tough match. I had one sniff at a break point in the fifth set, but I let that slip way, and he played a great game to break me and ultimately win 7-5 in the fifth.
Federer had halted my bid to equal Borg‘s record of five consecutive Wimbledons, but that record didn’t mean much to me.”
“The loss hurt, but I had to admit I liked this kid’s style. He was poised and dignified, yet he played with great flair. I was very impressed. The win was an important step in Roger’s path to greatness , and looking back on it, this was the moment when the Wimbledon baton was passed from me to him.”