Just a couple of days before Christmas, when the news of the Edberg-Federer partnership was not official yet, Pete Sampras was interviewed by Steve Flink and gave his views on what Stefan's help could bring into Federer's game.
This is the most interesting excerpt of their conversation:
"Stefan is a great guy and one of the best serve-and-volleyers ever. But I feel like Roger is always going to be more comfortable staying back and not really looking to come in too much. Maybe Stefan would shed some light on movement up at the net because playing the net is about movement and intuition. There may be some other things Stefan could help Roger with. When push comes to shove and you get nervous, you always rely on what you do best. I don’t see Roger really changing his game and he doesn’t have to, but if there is a way he can utilize Stefan with some chip-and-charge it could help against some of these guys. Stefan has such a great temperament and that would be a good match if Roger decided to have Stefan travel and work with him. I have a lot of respect for Stefan and his knowledge of the game."
Sampras also drew a comparison between his tennis era and today's game:
"It is a Golden Era now because you have all of these great players winning majors. Part of it is the nature of the game. Everyone is playing pretty much the same way but these two or three guys are just so much better at it than the other players. It seems at times like they have won their matches before they even walk out there on the court. Back in my day there was more of a contrast. One day you would play Andre and the next you would face Boris. You were dealing with different styles of play and dangerous players like Goran Ivanisevic and Richard Krajicek. Those guys could take the racket out of your hands. They had the capability of doing that. You look at Rafa playing David Ferrer now and you feel Ferrer has no chance against Rafa. Rafa is so much better at playing the same game. The second tier with Tsonga and Berdych is not dynamic enough to really scare the top guys. That is where the game is at."
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