London:Pete Sampras hailed Roger Federer as the greatest player of all time on Sunday after the Swiss superstar surpassed his Grand Slam record with a sixth Wimbledon title.
Federer claimed a 15th major with an epic 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 16-14 win over America's Andy Roddick in a 4hr 16min final which featured the longest concluding set in a men's final here.
"In my book, he's the greatest of all time. He has his critics and people point to Rafael Nadal beating him, but for me he's the greatest. He is a legend and an icon," said Sampras, who won seven Wimbledon titles in his career.
"He is a great champion and a good guy. He's very humble, which I like."
Sampras predicted that Federer, who is still only 27, can go on and set more Grand Slam records.
"He can win 17, 18 majors at least. He's only 27 and he can do it if he stays healthy."
The American, who played his last Wimbledon in 2002, flew in overnight to see Federer launch an assault on his record of 14 which Federer equalled when he won a first French Open in June.
"He is effortless when he plays. He serves big, has a great forehand and his backhand. I'm a fan of how he plays, what he's about... he's a class guy on and off the court.
"He's fun to watch. Just his athletic ability, what he's able to do on the run. I think he can and will break every tennis record out there."
Australian legend Rod Laver, the only man to win two calendar Grand Slams, praised the Swiss star's ability on the court.
"Roger is one of those players who keeps the ball in play, has miraculous forehands and backhands," said the 71-year-old.
"It was a great final. Andy is a threat with that serve of his but I think he was very tired by the end."
Bjorn Borg, a five-time Wimbledon winner, predicted many more titles for Federer.
"He can play for three more years at least. If he stays away from injury and is eager to win there will be many more finals," said the Swede.
Borg added: "He simply does not have any more weaknesses left in him. It is such a pleasure to see him play. To me, Roger Federer is the right model for anyone aspiring to be a tennis player.
"It is such a pleasure to just watch him play. His shot-making has got better and I doubt there is any shot he cannot make in any part of the court."