| By Steven Kaplan

It's now official, Pete Sampras is without doubt the second best player that East Hampton, N.Y. native Paul Annacone has coached, as Roger Federer extended his record of major titles to 17 with a brilliant 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win over British hope Andy Murray. Federer now also ties Sampras and 1880's player William Renshaw with seven Wimbledon titles.

Federer returns to number one in the world and will share the all-time title of 286 non-consecutive weeks with Pete Sampras.

This is the first major title that Federer has won with Annacone as coach and perhaps not the last. Federer is only 30-years-old and he plays with such an efficient style that he might last another five years at the highest level. I seem to remember reading about a study conducted several years ago in which Federer had the softest landing impact force after striking the ball of any top 100 player. Not surprisingly, Rafael Nadal had the hardest landing impact force of all players in this study.

In early 2011, Coach Annacone was quoted as saying "20 Grand Slam titles or more is well within grasp of Roger Federer." Two weeks ago, most onlookers might have dismissed this prediction as wishful thinking, but I'm not so sure now.

Roger Federer was masterful. Happy 17th Team Federer ... may you enjoy many more!

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.