Federer will inevitably break my record: Sampras(Australian Open Diary)

January 19th, 2009 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger FedererMelbourne, Jan 19 (IANS) American tennis legend Pete Sampras is sure that Swiss star Roger Federer will surpass his record of 14 Grand Slams.Federer is just one Grand Slam title behind Sampras’s record and is outright favourite to equal that landmark in Melbourne following a ruthless display in Saturday’s Kooyong Classic final.

Sampras, however, predicted Federer would find it a difficult proposition but is relaxed with the prospect of losing the record.

“Rafael Nadal is going to push him, and now (Andy) Murray is sort of in the mix. But he’s going to do it. Wimbledon is always going to be a major that he can rely on to potentially win even when he’s past his prime.” Sampras was quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph.

“It’s exciting for the sport, at my expense, I guess, but I’m OK with it. If there’s someone deserving, it’s a guy like Roger, who’s obviously a great player and a great role model.”

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Murray won’t win Australian Open this year: Cash

England’s rising star Andy Murray might have been tipped by many to win the Australian Open but former Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash begs to differ.

Cash expects the Dunblane right-hander to join the greats - sooner than later - but not in Melbourne.

The Australian said Murray has all the attributes to win the tournament, but questions the Scot’s ability to sustain Grand Slam-winning excellence over seven matches.

“I am just not yet convinced he is strong enough to show the bounce-back ability,” Cash, who is a dual finalist here wrote in his column in Sunday Times. “I think back to three matches last year and wonder.

“The first was his lacklustre exit from Wimbledon against Rafael Nadal a couple of days after sending the nation’s imagination into overdrive with that sensational fightback to beat Richard Gasquet in five sets.

“The second was the US Open final in September when, having finally overcome the Spaniard who was the man of the moment, he could not offer any great resistance to the supreme Roger Federer.

“And the last was the Tennis Masters Cup semi-final in Shanghai a couple of months later when, after beating Federer so magnificently, he was reduced to mush a day later when he faced Nikolay Davydenko.

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Roddick in hunt for another Grand Slam victory

Former World No.1 Andy Roddick, who Monday became the first men’s seed to move in the Australian Open second round, said adding that another Grand Slam title to his 2003 US Open win is his ultimate goal.

“I’m 26, so I am not quite over the hill. I battled some injuries last year that made it tough getting back and able to train,” Roddick, the three-time semi-finalist here , said after his straight set win over Swedish qualifier Bjorn Rehnquist .

“Winning Slams is the ultimate goal and I’m excited to start here.

Roddick, the world number eight, was shocked in last year’s third round by Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber after reaching the semi-finals in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

He faces a possible third-round re-match with Kohlschreiber, with second seed Federer and third-ranked Novak Djokovic the main threats in his half of the draw.

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