Former World No.1 Kim Clijsters said no one really expected there would be another player to beat Pete Sampras’ Grand Slam record. Sampras, who retired from tennis after winning the 2002 US Open, retired with 14 Grand Slams.
Sampras came out in style and with the all-time Grand Slam record. After Sampras played his last match, he was hailed as the GOAT of tennis and many thought his record would never be broken. In 2003, Roger Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.
In 2009, Federer held the all-time Grand Slam record.
Clijsters on Federer beating Sampras’ record
«I don’t think anyone really expected it,» Clijsters told Eurosport. «I remember when Pete Sampras played his last Wimbledon, I remember he was sitting in the players’ area at the top of Court 2 at the time, and when he played his last match there, I remember the interviews, all the broadcasts saying, ‘Nobody he’s going to be able to top what he’s done and no one will be able to even come close to what he’s done because this is so legendary’
And then right away, there’s already a guy waiting, so I don’t think anyone really expected it because it was an incredible record to break. To see what he’s done, and the way he carried himself through it all, and the way he grew up and became this amazing, graceful tennis player on and off the court.
Very funny, it’s great. And again, it’s sad, right? It’s sad to see him retire but at the same time you feel very lucky to have been able to witness it. I feel very lucky to have been able to sit near the courts where he played finals against Rafa and great moments in tennis history.» Federer has 20 Grand Slam titles in his collection, two less than Rafael Nadal and one less than Novak Djokovic.