17 Jul 2012

Federer passes Sampras with ranking milestone

6:43 am on 17 July 2012

Roger Federer has added another record to his collection, beginning his 287th week as world tennis number one.

The 17-times grand slam winner returned to the pinnacle of the rankings after a two-year absence by beating the Scot Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final last week.

The seventh title at the All England Club for the Swiss legend, who turns 31 next month, ensured he would equal and then pass Pete Sampras's record of 286 weeks at the top of the rankings.

With the Olympics and US Open fast approaching, Federer shows no sign of his passion for the game waning despite being the second oldest man after Andre Agassi to hold the world number one ranking.

Federer holds a 75-point lead over world number two Novak Djokovic and now has an ATP Tour-best five titles in 2012, including his 20th Masters crown in Madrid in the run-up to the French Open.

He has compiled a 63-6 match record since last year's US Open, going 17-0 at the end of 2011 and is 46-6 this season.

Federer, who first topped the rankings in February 2004, says he's extremely proud and honoured to have beaten Sampras's record as he was his childhood hero and he's always looked up to him.

Sampras won 14 grand slam titles in a 14-year tour career and the American great says the hardest thing to do in sports is the ability to stay on top and Federer has been able to do so by great play and durability.