Pete Sampras believes he holds one record Djokovic, Federer and Nadal will never break
14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras feels he has one remaining achievement that will be “the only record he’s going to have left.”
When he retired following the 2002 US Open, Sampras had won a record 14 Grand Slams, 64 tour-level titles and had a match record of 762 wins to 222 losses.
However, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal then began to break most of his records. Most notably, all of the ‘Big Three’ currently hold 20 Grand Slam titles each. Moreover, Federer now leads in tour-level titles with 103, whilst Nadal, who has 88, and Djokovic, who has 86, have also overtaken Sampras’ 64.
Additionally, Djokovic recently claimed a record-breaking seventh Year-End number one title at the Paris Masters, surpassing Sampras’ record of finishing in the position a total of six times.
Although, Sampras still holds one achievement that hasn’t been matched nor bettered. Sampras won his six year-end number one titles in consecutive years between 1993 and 1998.
Djokovic has won back-to-back Year-End number one titles on two separate occasions, in 2011 and 2012, as well as in 2014 and 2015, but his streaks were interrupted first by Nadal and then by two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray.
Sampras told the ATP Tour that he thinks his record of six straight Year-End number one titles will be extremely difficult to break and praised himself for having achieved such a feat.
“I think that’s the only record I’m going to have left,” Sampras joked.
“Now that I look back on it, knowing how difficult it is to finish number one once or twice, but to do it six years in a row.
“The consistency that I had, the endurance, the will … I think it is one of my best achievements.
“I always based my year on the majors and the bonus beyond that was to finish number one.”
Sampras has recently praised Djokovic for breaking his record total of Year-End number one titles and for doing it in a time “where he dominated Federer and Nadal”, but feels his remaining achievement will be difficult to surpass.
“Novak has seven, but not in a row. Over time, I think it will be tough to break six straight.”
“When I did it two, three, four times, I just felt like there was a minute there where I was just really mentally, physically dominating.
“I just felt like I was ‘The Man’, from Year Two to Year Five.”
“Once I got to six, I was done. I was done chasing it (Jimmy Connors’ record of five consecutive Year-End number one finishes). I let up a little bit and just tried to win majors. No question, that took a lot out of me,” Sampras explained.
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