Tennis great Pete Sampras nagbigay ng tribute kay Roger Federer

Photo: File photo of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras / AFP

Nagbigay ng tribute sa magreretiro nang si Roger Federer ng Switzerland, ang 14-time Grand Slam US great na si Pete Sampras na ang paghahari sa Wimbledon ay tinapos ni Federer noong 2011.

Si Federer na winner ng 20 Grand Slam titles at isa sa pinakamahusay na tennis player sa kasaysayan ay may farewell appearance sa Laver Cup ngayong Biyernes, bago siya tuluyang magretiro.

Sinamantala ni Sampras ang pagkakataon para gunitain ang kanilang paghaharap. Ito ay nang talunin siya ng 19-anyos pa lamang noon na si Federer sa fourth round ng All England Club.

Sa isang video tribute ay sinabi ni Sampras kay Federer, “Not really sure where to begin, so I’ll just start from the very beginning. When I first played you, you were 19 years old, an up-and-coming player and people were talking about you. And we had a great battle on the Centre Court of Wimbledon. And you took me down. Tough five-setter. And I just remember walking off the court, feeling like I met my match.”

Si Sampras ay nanalo ng isa pang Grand Slam title sa US Open noong 2002 bago nagretiro. At pinanood niya ang pag-usbong ng tennis career ni Federer sa loob ng sumunod na dalawang dekada.

Sinabi pa ni Sampras kay Federer, “Little did I know, 20 years later, that you would have 20 majors, be number one for years, dominate our sport — basically do it all, you’re truly a special player”.

Pinuri rin nito ang dedikasyon ni Federer sa pagsasabing “Your famously fluid game disguised the rigorous work that produced it. You’re going to be missed in our game.”

© Agence France-Presse

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