Commentary

Federer-Sampras timeline

Updated: July 5, 2009, 4:06 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

WIMBLEDON, England -- The day before his over-the-top triumph, Roger Federer admitted he was a bit nervous.

"Tension always comes back for any Grand Slam final," Federer said Saturday. "Knowing I only have one match to go, it definitely changes your mindset. You don't have to think of maybe a possible match coming after that.

"Records are part of this great match right now, so it's obviously even more of an incentive to try really hard."

And try hard he did. Federer handled Andy Roddick a 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 marathon loss on Sunday to win his sixth Wimbledon title. Oh, did we mention it was also the Swiss champion's 15th major, giving him one more than Pete Sampras?

And counting. Here's a look back at their Grand Slam titles.

Looking back at the Grand Slam histories of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras
ROGER FEDERER

Roger Federer
Federer

1. 2003 Wimbledon: Only 21, Federer blisters Andy Roddick in the semifinals, then takes out Mark Philippoussis in the straight-sets final.

2. 2004 Australian Open: Six month later, he wins Down Under, thrashing Marat Safin in straight sets.

3. 2004 Wimbledon: Beating Andy Roddick for the first time in the final at the All England Club, he needs four sets -- and a well-paced rain delay -- to prevail.

4. 2004 U.S. Open: In the ultimate major match of the season, he bagels Lleyton Hewitt twice in a blistering straight-sets victory and finishes the year with three Grand Slam titles.

5. 2005 Wimbledon: After losing in the semifinals in Melbourne and Paris, he wins his third straight title here, beating Roddick again in the final.

6. 2005 U.S. Open: Andre Agassi is the victim in a four-set final as Federer wins his second consecutive U.S. Open.

7. 2006 Australian Open: Marcos Baghdatis is the surprise finalist here, and Federer takes him out in four sets for his second Aussie Open win in three years.

8. 2006 Wimbledon: Winning his fourth straight at All England, he dusts Rafael Nadal in the first of three straight finals between the two rivals.

9. 2006 U.S. Open: Roddick is the victim in another final, as Federer wins his third New York title in a row and, for the second time, captures three of the four majors in a single year.

10. 2007 Australian Open: He goes back to back in Melbourne, dusting Fernando Gonzalez in straight sets.

11. 2007 Wimbledon: For the fifth consecutive time, he wins the title here, but, ominously, it takes five sets to beat Nadal.

12. 2007 U.S. Open: Novak Djokovic advances to his first Grand Slam final, but he is erased in straight sets. This is Federer's fourth straight in New York.

13. 2008 U.S. Open: Just when it seems his season -- his career -- is in tatters, he returns to the top with a fifth consecutive title. Andy Murray, a first-time major finalist, is the loser.

14. 2009 French Open: With Nadal -- who had beaten him four straight times in Paris -- knocked out of the tournament, Federer breaks through with his first win at Roland Garros. He beats Robin Soderling, the man who dispatched Nadal, in straights.

15. 2009 Wimbledon: With defending champion Nadal resting his sore knees at home in Spain, Federer -- a month shy of his 28th birthday -- breaks Pete Sampras' record with a victory over Roddick.

PETE SAMPRAS

Pete Sampras
Sampras

1. 1990 U.S. Open: Sampras, 19, beats John McEnroe in the semifinals, then dusts Andre Agassi 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

2. 1993 Wimbledon: Ten majors are contested before he wins again, this time at Wimbledon. He beats Andre Agassi in the quarters, Boris Becker in the semifinals and Jim Courier in the four-set final.

3. 1993 U.S. Open: He goes back to back with a relatively easy win in New York, beating Cedric Pioline of France in the straight-sets final.

4. 1994 Australian Open: Wins his first crown Down Under -- and third major in a row (for the only time in his career) -- handling Todd Martin in the final.

5. 1994 Wimbledon: Collects his second straight title at All England with some lights-out serving, defeating Goran Ivanisevic in the final and prevailing in both tiebreakers.

6. 1995 Wimbledon: Make that three straight Championships. Sampras survives a five-set semifinal with Ivanisevic and takes out Becker in four in the final.

7. 1995 U.S. Open: Wins back-to-back majors, beating Agassi in a four-set final.

8. 1996 U.S. Open: Takes his second straight title in New York, with Michael Chang providing token resistance in the final.

9. 1997 Australian Open: He wins his second (and last) Aussie title, dropping only eight games to Carlos Moya in the final.

10. 1997 Wimbledon: After failing in the quarterfinals the year before, Sampras starts a new win streak at the All England Club. He dispatches Pioline in a straight-sets final.

11. 1998 Wimbledon: Beating Mark Philippoussis, Tim Henman and Ivanisevic in his last three matches, he lifts -- as they say in the British sporting press -- his fifth Wimbledon trophy.

12. 1999 Wimbledon: Another three-Pete for Sampras. This time the order of the last three is: Philippoussis, Henman, Agassi.

13. 2000 Wimbledon: Wins his seventh Wimbledon, his fourth in a row, surviving a four-set match with Patrick Rafter in the final.

14. 2002 U.S. Open: At the age of 31, following a long drought, Sampras recaptures his form one last time. He masters Agassi in a back-to-the-future, four-set final. It turns out to be the last match of his career.

Greg Garber

Writer, Reporter
Greg Garber joined ESPN in 1991 and provides reports for NFL Countdown and SportsCenter. He is also a regular contributor to Outside the Lines and a senior writer for ESPN.com.