• Tennis

Federer can win 18th grand slam - Sampras

ESPN staff
February 19, 2014
Roger Federer was knocked out in the semi-finals of the Australian Open by Rafael Nadal © Getty Images

Pete Sampras believes Roger Federer can silence the doubters by claiming an 18th grand slam title this year.

Both men have won the Wimbledon title seven times, the most in the Open era. Federer's last grand slam crown came at the All England Club in 2012, and he suffered a second-round exit there last year during a poor season which saw many write off his hopes of winning another.

An encouraging run to the semi-finals at the Australian Open in Melbourne, where he lost to Rafael Nadal, has seen Federer, 32, put his name back in the mix for a potential grand slam win in 2014, however.

Sampras said: "As long as he is enjoying it and he's healthy, I can see him playing for two [to] four more years. He truly loves the sport.

"I thought his level [in Australia] was quite good. When you're playing against Rafa and if you're not quite on your game then it can seem like you're struggling. Rafa's a rock.

"But I do see Roger building from that, I think he's going to do well this year.

"Things need to fall into place and he needs to play well but I do think he can do it [win a grand slam]. I think it is what he's playing for.

"He's done everything in the game and he could walk away feeling great but he still wants to travel and compete and I'm in awe of it.

"Clearly the majors are his motivation but he's happy to still travel and play the other events. I found myself getting tired at 30 or 31."

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