Wimbledon Re-Lived 2001: Federer Comes Of Age

The only ever meeting between Pete Sampras and Roger Federer came at Wimbledon in 2001, when Sampras was a 7-time champion in the twilight of his career, and Federer was an emerging talent who hadn’t yet fulfilled his potential.

Looking back now, it can be seen as a changing of the guard moment, with Federer prevailing in five sets. Is that how it was covered at the time? In what way did Federer grow as a tennis player on that day? And why did it take him another two years to win his first Grand Slam title?

We speak to Paul Annacone, who was on Sampras’ team at the time and would go on to coach Federer a decade later, about how aware he and Pete were of the challenge a young Federer might pose on that day, and how they felt during the match. Annacone also tells a story about when he took Federer and Sampras out for dinner together many years later.

Finally, David recalls his trip to Switzerland towards the end of 2001 to profile Federer. The article he wrote is up now on our website – https://www.thetennispodcast.net/blog/2020/7/6/federer-comes-of-age-2001

The Tennis Podcast is presented by Catherine Whitaker and David Law, and features Matt Roberts. It is produced weekly year-round, and daily during the Grand Slam tournaments. It is crowdfunded by listeners each December. 


We will be doing daily shows throughout the original Wimbledon dates. Pete Sampras vs. Roger Federer is available in full, here. Tomorrow’s focus, the 2001 final between Goran Ivanisevic and Pat Rafter can be watched in full on YouTube


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