Sampras says Federer still has Slams left

Pete Sampras predicts Roger Federer still has a few more Grand Slam titles to win despite his recent loss in the U.S. Open final.

“Roger is going to win some more majors. Maybe he’s not going to be quite as dominant as he once was,” Sampras told a media conference in Hong Kong Tuesday via telephone from Los Angeles. The seven-time Wimbledon champion was promoting his upcoming exhibition match against Andre Agassi in the nearby southern Chinese gambling enclave of Macau on Oct. 25.

Top-ranked Federer lost in five sets to Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro in the Sept. 14 U.S. Open final.

“When push comes to shove, I still like Roger at these majors,” Sampras said, adding that Federer may find it hard to motivate himself given his already stellar record.

Federer won his first French Open earlier this year to complete a career Grand Slam, then won Wimbledon to break Sampras’ record of 14 major titles.

Asked if it hurt to see his record broken, Sampras, who watched Federer’s five-set Wimbledon victory over American Andy Roddick from courtside, said it was expected.

“I think we all knew it was going to happen. It was inevitable that he was going to break the record,” the American said. “I was actually happy to be there and witness it.”

Sampras said he also expects Rafael Nadal to linger at the top of the rankings despite his recent struggles with injury.

“He’s going to be around in the top two or three in the world for as long as he wants to be,” he said. “He’s an animal, a great athlete, a great player. He’s going to go through different lulls in his game, but when push comes to shove, you’re always going to see Rafa in the last couple of days of the event.”