After beating the reigning champion Pete Sampras in five sets two years ago, 19 year old Roger Federer, was hailed as the next Wimbledon champion. He then proceeded to loose his next match to Tim Henman in the 2001 Wimbledon quarterfinals. In Wimbledon 2002, he lost in the first round.

Today that prediction of a Wimbledon crown for Federer–made by myself at the start of this year’s tournament, and also made by a “retired” Pete Sampras–became a reality, as Roger Federer defeated Mark Phillipousis in straight sets in the Gentleman’s final to the tune of 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 7-6 (7/3).

Federer outplayed Phillipousis from the backcourt with vicious topspin backhand service return winners off high kicking serves, from the net with deft touch shots and volleys that pinpointed the corners, and from defensive positions with offensive angled crosscourt forehand passes made on the dead run. The Swiss superstar even outserved Phillipousis by scoring more service aces!

Writes Boris Becker for the BBC:

I am convinced [Federer] will be around for a long time and I am convinced he will win many more Wimbledons, US Opens and other Grand Slam titles. In a way, he has an old-fashioned technique. He does not just play heavy topspin, he is very versatile. He can serve and volley, he can stay back, he can slice, he can play drop shots. That is a good example for any junior watching. You don’t need to serve at 135 mph, you don’t need heavy topspin to become a complete player.

We have seen the future – it arrived today.

Federer is the greatest talent in one of the greatest individual sports–he is a combination of Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, and John McEnroe. He can do anything humanly possible with a tennis racquet. If any man playing today has a chance win the Grand Slam in one year–that is all four Grand Slam events in one year–it will be Roger Federer.

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