Federer eyes majors mark

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MADRID, Spain - Roger Federer thinks 2008 will be a tough year to make history.

Roger Federer said Saturday he thinks it will be difficult to break Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam wins next year, even though he is just three shy of the mark. The top-ranked player in the world will defend his Masters series title in Spain next week.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Roger Federer said Saturday he thinks it will be difficult to break Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam wins next year, even though he is just three shy of the mark. The top-ranked player in the world will defend his Masters series title in Spain next week.

The top-ranked Federer is three Grand Slam victories shy of breaking Pete Sampras' record of 14 for a career and will go into the new year knowing a perfect start would leave him in a position to better that number at Wimbledon.

But to do that, he needs to win the French Open for the first time, the one Grand Slam that has eluded him in an already distinguished career.

"It's still far off, but I'm confident and a positive thinker and I know I have a chance to win the Australian Open and the French Open and then we'll see," Federer said on Saturday ahead of defending his Masters series title next week. "It doesn't matter if I do it next year or in 2020, it doesn't matter to be honest as long as I get it."

A win at Roland Garros would make Federer only the sixth player to record a career Grand Slam and the first since Rod Laver in 1969. He could also break Bjorn Borg's record of five consecutive trophies with his sixth win in row at the All England Club.

But to win all four Grand Slams in a calendar year will be even tougher since the Olympic Games in August will tighten the calendar.

"The Olympic Games is a special year and honestly I don't envision the Golden Slam, but if it's there to take I'll try, but it's a tough schedule," he said. "It's hard to do, almost impossible."

Federer was looking forward to competing in his third Games. A fourth Olympic Games in 2012 in London is likely for Federer with tennis being played on the grass at Wimbledon.

Asked about the allegations of match-fixing and gambling in tennis, Federer said he has never been approached and hopes other players will come forward quickly with information if they are.

"The people who are in the dressing rooms, the people who are in the tournaments shouldn't be allowed to gamble," he said "It's very disappointing if players would be involved in such a thing."

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