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Rediff.com  » Sports » Can Federer ever overtake Sampras?

Can Federer ever overtake Sampras?

February 03, 2009 08:04 IST

Rafa Nadal, for now, quashed Roger Federer's dreams of equalling Pete Sampras's record of 14 Grand slam titles on Sunday, winning a thrilling five-set Australian Open final.

Following is a selection of newspaper and website headlines illustrating global media reaction to the news.

SWITZERLAND

BaslerZeitung -- NADAL SETS THE BENCHMARK

Roger Federer now seems unable to win against Rafael Nadal. What everyone was talking about Federer achieving not long ago, now seems possible for Nadal. If Federer does manage to equal or better Sampras's record, it seems we already know the name of the man who will challenge it next.

Blick -- TEARS FOR THE FUTURE

Almost all legendary sports stars had their legendary rivals. The pain of yesterday's defeat will be temporary. Nadal is the Joe Frazier of the present day. He is strong, he is young and he is winning. But the greatest, the unequalled, the Muhammad Ali of tennis? In the end that will be Federer.

TagesAnzeiger -- NADAL MAKES FEDERER SUFFER

After already toppling Federer from the top of the world rankings, and replacing him as Wimbledon champion, Nadal has now stormed Federer's last stronghold by beating him at a hardcourt Grand Slam tournament. But Federer's chances of breaking his sport's most important record remain good.

The consistency which he has shown in recent years is unique and will not be matched by Nadal.

SPAIN

Marca -- GOD NADAL

Federer cannot fathom how his perfect tennis can be defeated again and again by the fury of Nadal. That's why he was crying. And it hurts Nadal. But he will carry on beating him because he cannot help himself.

ENGLAND

Daily Telegraph -- RAFA FINISHES THE REVOLUTION

Tennis has entered the neo-Rafaelite age. Only five men have won all four Grand Slam titles over their careers - Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Don Budge and Andre Agassi. Now Nadal, and not Federer, is the more likely to join that quintet.

The Guardian -- NADAL'S HOLD OVER FEDERER MAKES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE

So much has been written and discussed about the possibility of Roger Federer being, or becoming, the greatest player of the modern era that Rafa Nadal's extraordinary career has hardly been considered in that light. Yet here he is, at 22 years old, having just won his sixth major at the Australian Open. At this age ­Federer had won two.

ITALY

Gazzetta dello Sport -- NADAL MAKES FEDERER CRY

It will be interesting to see in the next tournaments how Federer reacts to the new situation. The tears which he could not stop during the ceremony were a surprise but also a moment of weakness, or maybe of anger for a title which eluded him.

Corriere della Sera -- FOR THE SWISS IT IS A NIGHTMARE

Certain moments last forever. Roger Federer left us suddenly after four hours and 23 minutes of an incredible video game that is not for sale.

FRANCE

L'Equipe -- NADAL, REAL TOUGH NUT

If he [Federer] does not change anything, it may harm his chances in the important matches of beating a rival who now is the only master of the field.

Rafael Nadal can see higher, further. He now is in the best position to take over from Rod Laver and complete a Grand Slam.

AUSTRALIA

Melbourne Herald Sun -- FEDERER GOES TO WATER

Rafel Nadal was born to play Roger Federer. There is no other player on the planet whose style, approach and mind bruises Federer's silken craft as often or as menacingly as the unmerciful Moroccan.

UNITED STATES

New York Times -- NADAL DEFEATS A TEARFUL FEDERER IN AUSTRALIA

Nadal said that he was convinced Federer would beat Sampras's record. Perhaps Federer will, but for now Nadal, however respectful, keeps blocking his path.

SOUTH AFRICA

The Times -- NO TIME FOR TEARS OF THE FED

Federer was entitled to his tears. Tennis is a game of great tensions, especially when it runs to five sets in a Grand Slam final. Win or lose, you need release and a bit of weeping is better than smashing your racket against a wall.

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