Pete Sampras is cheering for Roger Federer to win his fifth Wimbledon title in a row and the retired US tennis legend says he expects the Swiss superstar will shatter his all-time Grand Slam mark.
Sampras, speaking in a conference call with reporters, on Tuesday said that he thinks Federer will capture 18 major singles titles before his career is over, as many as Jack Nicklaus has taken to lead golf's all-time major list.
"Inevitably, he is breaking all my records," Sampras said. "I think he's on his way to breaking my 14 and winning as many as Nicklaus."
Federer, seeking his 11th career Grand Slam title this week at Wimbledon, will face Sampras in November in Asian exhibition matches at Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Macau.
"I'm a fan of his game. I am a fan of the type of player that he is," said Sampras. "I think he's going to win his fifth (at Wimbledon). I think he will break any foreseeable tennis record that's out there.
"I don't see anyone really threatening him seriously."
Sampras is playing every other day and working himself into better shape than he has had after three years away from the sport following his 2002 retirement, thinking he might stand a chance against ATP players under certain conditions.
"Grass is such a unique surface, I can probably still be competitive against anyone in a two out of three match," Sampras said. "I can still hold serve and that's one of the things I am still doing well."
"I'm curious more than anything. I would like to play a set with one of these guys and see. I'm still serving pretty hard and volleying pretty well and moving pretty well. That's kind of half the battle."
"I think I would be fine. I would be OK. I think if I give myself a legitimate chance to practice, to get in shape and serve and volley a ton and do the things I used to do, for one match, I can do OK."
Sampras admits he misses being at Wimbledon instead of watching on television.
"I still miss Wimbledon," he said. "I will miss it when I am 45 and 55."