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3-min read

I still see the top three of tennis dominating the game: Pete Sampras

Sampras also said that he meets a lot of Indian fans all around the world and they all love their tennis.

Vivek Mishra | IBNLive Sports@VVK29

Updated:December 8, 2014, 10:15 PM IST
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I still see the top three of tennis dominating the game: Pete Sampras
Sampras also said that he meets a lot of Indian fans all around the world and they all love their tennis.
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New Delhi: The 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras feels that there are lot of young players who can win big events but he still sees the top three - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - dominating the game.

"Novak is the obvious choice for the No. 1 position, Federer is very motivated, Rafa is uncertain with his health but I feel once he is fit he will be in the mix," Sampras said on Monday.

"Grigor Dimitrov is showing signs, he has got the talent but he needs to learn how to win. But I still think other players are only threatening them. And when push comes to shove I still see those three guys will be dominating."

"Novak, Rafa and Federer are still the cream of the crop, They have got the experience and they want to win it," added Sampras.

When asked about his performance last night where he was thrashed by Patrick rafter 6-2, Sampras said that he was rusty and jet-lagged and was still getting used to this new format.

"Last night I was not quite ready, it was hard for me to find my range and rhythm. The format is different, you have to be on your toes. It is an exciting format and I'm happy to be a part of it," he said.

When asked about the format of the International Premier Tennis League and any changes in the rules that can seen in the near future, Sampras said that Tennis is a very traditional sport and he don't see the rules getting changed in the near future.

"There is a time and place for having these rules and I think now is the time and the place to have anything like IPTL. Look at the history of the game, the Wimbledon and the US Open the real heart beat of the tour. It's a very traditional sport, tennis, and I don't think them changing any rules or hearing that horn that we hear," he said.

"It's exciting, it's fun, it's different but when it comes to the heart of the game it is what it is not going to change anytime soon."

Answering about change in game from serve and volley to the baseline play, Sampras felt that this generation has grew up watching Federer and Nadal playing from the baseline so they have got used to it.

"We grew up watching John McEnroe and Stefan Edberg playing serve and volley. Our generation was much about serve and volley, a little more contrast, I played Boris one day and I play Andre the next. So every man is a little different while in today's game everyone plays the same its just the 3-4 guys who are so much better than the rest," he said.

Talking about the Indian tennis fans, Sampras said he meets a lot of Indian fans all around the world and they all love their tennis. "It's good to be here and I Would love to be back here."

Answering on Roger's comment that Sampras is and will always be his idol, he said that Federer is a great player and a role model.

"We are good friends and I think at some stage in his life as junior he looked up to me and now he is at a stage where everyone looking at to him. He is a good man and a great role model and an ambassador for the sport."

Sampras said in order to be successful in today's tennis, one needs to have a good forehand . "A good serve helps and you need to be in good shape."

He also said that no American player is going to win a Grand Slam in the near future. "We're not in the 90's anymore, we're not producing young professional with potential, its a phase and I hope it doesn't last for long."

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