Originally Posted by 90's Clay
Sampras had already broken the record by 29 year of age, and no one was around him in the slam count or even CLOSE overall to what he accomplished.
Different scenario with Roger.. Rafa was breathing down his neck for quite a while and DESTROYED him on the big stage on all surface more times then not. He was breathing down his neck in terms of legacy so the drive was there for Roger to continue trying to keep the record out of reach.
Pete had Andre but Pete got the best of Andre more then vice versa when it matter and overall in the h2h count. Rafa has been around pushing Rog to the limit for quite a few years now (with only injuries stopping Rafa from achieving more). Pete had systematically silenced all his main rivals time and time again on the big stage.
Fed's more motivated now then Pete was (mainly after he got married in 2000) but I think Fed HAD to be motivated. Rafa breathing down his neck.
I like how you highlighted the word destroyed by capatalising it, but apparently you have an odd definition of it. The only times Nadal has destroyed Federer are RG 2008 and Miami 2011 and maybe 2004. Even something like MC 2008 (7-5 7-5) is a fairly comfortable win but not a destruction.
I do agree Sampras had a lack of motivation though, but I think even if Federer had no Nadal to deal with, I think he'd still be motivated to deal with the youngsters like Djokovic and Murray. I don't think Federer has tired of the feeling of competing and winning titles. In the 90s the world of tennis was different, it's become insane these days, where the top guys must be playing every evernt and in the semis/finals all the time or something is wrong and they are "finished". There is ever more pressure to win and break records these days.