Sampras: Icon Roger is undoubtedly the best ever

PETE SAMPRAS hailed Roger Federer as the game&rsquo;s best-ever player after watching the Swiss star surpass his record of 14 Grand Slam titles.<br /><br />&ldquo;The guy&rsquo;s a legend and now he&rsquo;s an icon,&rdquo; the seven-time Wimbledon champion said after dropping in on Centre Court for the first time in seven years yesterday.&nbsp; &ldquo;He&rsquo;s got 15 majors, that&rsquo;s a lot of majors, that&rsquo;s a lot of work. He&rsquo;s a credit to the game.&rdquo;<br /><br />Asked who he thinks should go down as the greatest, Sampras added: &ldquo;The critics say Rod Laver, and Rafael Nadal beat him a few times in majors, but he Federer has won all the majors, he&rsquo;s going to win a few more here, so in my book he is. <br /><br />&ldquo;Roger&rsquo;s a friend, he&rsquo;s a great player, and he is a good guy. He&rsquo;s got 15 now; he can get 17 or 18 majors. If he just keeps it going and stays healthy, he could go to 18, 19, actually.&rdquo;<br /><br />Indeed, the praise for the 27-year-old kept coming thick and fast from the host of dignitaries and former champions who graced the Royal Box on Centre Court. Commentator and three-time champion John McEnroe said: &ldquo;He&rsquo;s the most gifted player I&rsquo;ve ever seen. I played against the Samprases, Beckers, Connors&rsquo;, Borgs. This guy could be the greatest of all time.&rdquo;<br /><br />Borg, who won five Wimbledon titles and 11 Grand Slams, added: &ldquo;For me Roger is the greatest player ever who played the tennis game. We are going to see so much more of Federer in the future, he is going to win more Grand Slam tournaments.&rdquo;<br /><br />Finally, Rod Laver, the only player in the modern era to have claimed all four Grand Slams in one calendar year (twice in 1962 and 1969), added: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s amazing what sort of shots he can come up with from impossible positions. It&rsquo;s an unbelievable effort to have 15 Grand Slam titles.&rdquo;