Pete Sampras tells BBC that he is a fan of incredible Rafael Nadal

REUTERS/David Gray
REUTERS/David Gray

Pete Sampras is currently in Melbourne, invited by Tennis Australia as a guest of honor to present the Men’s Singles Championship trophies at the Australian Open on Sunday. On Friday, the day of the Nadal-Federer semifinal, he was asked in a press conference whom he supports, and he revealed then that he didn’t quite know Rafa as much as he did Federer. It was also revealed that he had never watched the two play each other live, and further, that he had never seen Rafa play live before. This interview is a follow up from the BBC after the match.

“I think he’s incredible,” Sampras told BBC Sport. “I saw him play live for the first time on Friday night and the movement he has is incredible. “He’s able to adjust his shots on the run. I’ve never seen anything like it. To see him play – he hits a very heavy ball, serves pretty well, he does everything. He’s mentally tough – he has the whole package.”

And Pete is in little doubt that Rafa, who will go for a ninth French Open title in June, has many more Grand Slam titles in him. “He’s not looking at 14, he’s looking beyond. Realistically, he could very well get 17, 18 majors when it’s all said and done. He’s a credit to the sport. I’m a fan.”

Nadal v Sampras Grand Slams

Nadal Sampras
1 Australian Open 2
8 French Open 0
2 Wimbledon 7
2 US Open 5
13 TOTAL 14

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  1. I didn’t think I could admire you
    More. But u did today
    You are a awesome person and a great
    Tennis player. Get some rest at your home. We will see you lifting the
    Trophy soon
    We love you#⃣1⃣

  2. Once was called one dimensional player, Rafa shut them off! Once was called, he is only good on clay, Rafa shut them off! Once was called his injured and done, Rafa came back not just once but more than 3 times. he’s a great role model, a true champion, gladiator and a living legend. i can not ask for more….. he works so hard and still play with great passion. to top it all, he is really concern about the future of tennis and tennis players! Rafa rocks tennis!!! =)

  3. I find it hard to believe that Sampras had never watched Rafa play live before – that’s astonishing. But like so many others he is now a believer in Rafa’s amazing talent …, good on you Pete! 🙂

  4. +What else can I say Rafa. I love watching you play too. There is something about your character that is incredibly genuine and honest. You are a good person and it shows. – it comes out through your tennis. Your passion and intensity for the sport is amazing. You are very dedicated. Please do what you need to do to play your very best tonight and make it your AA Game. I love you. Marylynn.

  5. He can “give credit” but was also the same one saying players today look like they’re “throwing rocks.” He seemed to be quite condescending in that regard, which came as a surprise to me.

  6. Sampras knows how to give credit, where credit is due. He is such a gentleman and a true lover of the sport. I still admire you until now for what you have accomplished as a tennis player, and as a good role model to those who have witnessed your greatness on the tennis courts.

  7. That’s really saying something coming from another great champion. I love Rafa Nadal because he is the best in this sport and always will be. His is just the beginning of better things to come. Vamos Rafa!

  8. rafa incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

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