sampras vs. federer: trophy watch + pete goes down swinging

The clash of the titans came and went… did anyone really feel it? Pete Sampras and Roger Federer performed in the much-anticipated Asian exhibitions this past week. First in Seoul, where Roger easily won 6-4, 6-3.

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Then there was Kuala Lumpur, where Roger was probably a$ked to act less smug and make it a closer match. The scoreline: 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5).

Couldn’t Nike have given Sampras something from this season to wear on the court? That black/white shirt is almost a year old!

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And in Macao — where they staged the exhibition at The Venetian, — Sampras finally wins 7-6, 6-4.

A few press conference bits…

Sampras talked to AP/Reuters about his plans to stay retired, and also commented on the state of tennis:

“Serve and volley is extinct,” he said. “In my day, we had some great serve-and-volley players. There was myself, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic and others. But with the size of racquets getting bigger, junior players these days are only taught to hit the ball as hard as they can. There are some players who come in, but they are not natural serve-and-volleyers.”

And he knocks all the Federer GOAT talk?

Sampras insists Federer’s opposition falls short of the standard of Rafter, Agassi, Edberg, Becker and Courier, who formed the American’s main challengers when he dominated in the 1990s and early part of this decade. “I had more major winners up against me versus the rising stars behind Roger.” (The Scotsman)

Below (left to right): Macau trophy ceremony, Kuala Lumpur trophy ceremony, Kuala Lumpur Press Conference.

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(photos by Getty Images)

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