• Dubai Tennis Championships

Federer buoyed by Sampras backing

ESPN staff
February 25, 2014
Roger Federer through to second round in Dubai

Roger Federer insists the recent backing of Pete Sampras has given him "extra confidence" as he aims to win his first title of the year this week in Dubai.

The record 17-time Grand Slam champion defeated Benjamin Becker in straight sets in his quest for a sixth triumph at the Dubai Tennis Championships. Recently Sampras said that Federer could break his tally of seven wins at Wimbledon.

Federer equalled the record back in 2012 when he beat Andy Murray in the final, but despite a Grand Slam triumph since then, Sampras also backed the Swiss to add to his record number in majors at SW19.

Federer, who only won title in 2013 after suffering early-round exits and battled with a back injury, is pleased to know that a legend like Sampras is rooting for him, and someone he can turn to.

"I'm happy he's being positive about my game. I think it does say something," Federer said. "It counts. It gives me extra confidence to know that someone like him believes in me, is in my corner, and I can always call him up and ask him for any advice."

Federer added that surpassing Sampras' record at Wimbledon is something he has not given much consideration, saying: "I don't want to break his records necessarily. That's not what I'm playing for. I'm playing for myself, for my team, for my country, you name it. I'm happy things are going better now again this year."

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