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Reliving the Wimbledon Classic: Roger Federer Vs. Pete Sampras 2001 6

Posted on July 01, 2010 by JA Allen

Winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit––Edwin Louis Cole

Wimbledon 2001 Federer defeats Sampras in the 4th round. It marked Sampras' earliest exit from the tournament.

If you were lucky, you were there at the inception, when the first moments of brilliance blossomed.  The teenage phenom from Switzerland sporting a bandanna, his long hair swept back in a ponytail, bit at his lower lip, serving, dancing along the baseline on Centre Court.

The young challenger waited, seeing the ball as if in slow motion––coiled, poised on the balls of his feet, ready to move forward if the grizzled champion on the other side of the net returned the ball short.

Roger Federer’s main worry centered on containing his own anxiety, of staying in the moment, the point at hand and living each shot as it happened,  He could not afford to anticipate beyond the slight movement to the left or the right of the champion, Pete Sampras, who waited on the other side of the net.

From time to time the champion’s serve cracked, blasting through the court, ricocheting off service lines, often beyond the teenager’s ability to lay a racket on it.  All the while Sampras sent  an unmistakable message that he did not intend to go “gentle into that good night,” as urged by Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet.

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    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

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