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Monday / December 18.
  • Federer on Brink of Tennis History

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    Roger Federer leaped into the air and slammed a skyhook overhead to punctuate his 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 over Tommy Haas in the Wimbledon semifinals.

    Now Federer stands on the brink of history.

    On Sunday he can break Pete Sampras’ all-time record by winning his 15th Grand Slam title against American Andy Roddick.

    Federer holds an 18-2 record against Roddick, including victories in two Wimbledon finals (2004 and ’05).

    “I”ve had a lot of pressure every year so this is just another great opportunity for me to get into the history books,” Federer told ESPN. “Going for something that big this coming Sunday is quite extraordinary.”

    Federer, who tied Sampras’ mark of 14 majors by winning the French Open last month, can break Sampras’ mark and set the all-time record.

    “He might come around [to the final], he might not,” Federer said of Sampras. “I’d love to see him because he’s a good friend of mine.”

    By winning the French, Federer won the career Slam and is now in the conversation with Australian Rod Laver as to who is the greatest player ever.

    Sampras won Wimbledon seven times, but never won the French.

    Federer captured Wimbledon five straight years from 2003-7 before losing last year’s championship to Rafael Nadal in what many people consider the greatest tennis match ever played.

    Nadal was installed as the No. 1 seed this year, but withdrew with a knee injury.

    Federer had extended his record of 21 staight Grand Slam semifinal appearances and has now appeared in six of the last seven major finals.

    Haas took the first two sets from Federer in their French Open match this year, but Federer played the big points too  well in this one.

    “I think Tommy was playing extremely well and since Paris that’s why I’m so happy that I came through,” Federer said. “I’m very happy with my performance and it’s unbelievable to be back in another Wimbledon final.”

    GRAND SLAM SCORECARD

    MAJOR VICTORIES

    Roger Federer – 14

    Pete Sampras – 14

    Roy Emerson – 12

    Rod Laver – 11

    Bjorn Borg – 11

    Bill Tilden – 10

    WON CAREER GRAND SLAM

    Fred Perry

    Don Budge

    Rod Laver

    Roy Emerson

    Andre Agassi

    Roger Federer

    (AFP contributed)

    ***

    Venus and Serena Williams continued their domination of the tournament by cruising to the women’s doubles title with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over the top-seeded team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber.

    The sisters will meet for the women’s singles title on Saturday.

    Venus is the two-time defending champion, having beaten Serena in last year’s final. Venus has won Wimbledon five times.

    Serena captured the title in 2002-3.

    .

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.