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View Full Version : Would Sampras have won the French with a 2HBH?


Chauvalito
12-11-2006, 11:20 AM
I apologize if this has been discussed already.

Also, if he would have stayed with the 2-hander, how would that have affected his performance at the other slams, or in general?

Thanks for you comments and Discussion

I realized that my question might be too narrow, so if someone wants to address any reason they think caused Sampras not to win the French, that would be cool as well.

Other reasons might include his fitness, the ilness he had-I cant remember what is was called etc. Thanks

JohnS
12-11-2006, 11:42 AM
I apologize if this has been discussed already.

Also, if he would have stayed with the 2-hander, how would that have affected his performance at the other slams, or in general?

Thanks for you comments and Discussion


No, i wouldnt think so. If he stayed with 2 hands, i dont think his volleys would be as great, it woud still be good but more like todd martin, and his forehand wouldnt be as heavy and lethal. His right arm would be a little bit smaller and so will his shoulders and muscles on the right side of his body. Ive noticed that using a 1hbh really builds up muscles on that side of the body. my left side is noticably weaker. So FO, NO

As for the others: He would still rack up a lot of GS's, but i think that the wimby count wouldnt be as high.

JohnS
12-11-2006, 11:44 AM
Also, 1hbh feels a lot better than 2hbh. It's a harder shot but it feels more "free". Sampras already loves to hit that forehand and doesnt care too much about the backhand. A 2hbh would only constrain him.

noeledmonds
12-11-2006, 12:02 PM
Its strange that Sampras never really tried to win the FO. In my opnion this is why he did so well else where, he did not make sacrifices to try and win the FO. Others tried to win the elusive final grand slam and failed. This probabely sacraficed other tournaments, for example Lendl stopped playing the FO to prepare for SW19, but never quite made it.

I dont think that Sampras would have won the FO with his orginal doublehanded backhand. I think it was more mental, whether he had the game, we will never really know because he did not take risks and make sacrifices to try to win Rolland Garos

Chauvalito
12-11-2006, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the thoughts all, both valis points...the mental aspect of this question is very important...I got the sense sometimes that Sampras gave up after however many tries...

AAAA
12-11-2006, 12:57 PM
Kuerten, Muster, Carlos Costa, Andres Gomez and Lendl to name but a few won French Opens and they all used 1 handed backhands. To suggest Sampras didn't win the FO because of his one handed backhand implies it was a weak shot. Some people think it is weak while others disagree. Sampras is retired so we'll never know.

The funny thing is on non-clay courts Sampras is considered a much better mover than Courier and Moya and have the better forehand yet on clay courts Courier and Moya were able to run around their backhands to hit forehands. It's strange why Sampras couldn't do the same thing if he did infact doubt his backhand on clay. Maybe he was never truly comfortable moving on clay?

If players can be ready for the Aus Open with less than one month of tournaments then there is no reason why they can't be ready for the FO which has almost two whole months of clay court events leading up to it.

AAAA
12-11-2006, 01:00 PM
Thanks for the thoughts all, both valis points...the mental aspect of this question is very important...I got the sense sometimes that Sampras gave up after however many tries...

It's always more difficult to be mentally strong when the court surface doesn't play to a player's natural strengths. When the conditions are against you that's when you see real mental strength.

drakulie
12-11-2006, 01:16 PM
Sampras did not win the French because his ground game was not as solid as other players of his generation.

DashaandSafin
12-11-2006, 01:21 PM
Kuerten, Muster, Carlos Costa, Andres Gomez and Lendl to name but a few won French Opens and they all used 1 handed backhands. To suggest Sampras didn't win the FO because of his one handed backhand implies it was a weak shot. Some people think it is weak while others disagree. Sampras is retired so we'll never know.

The funny thing is on non-clay courts Sampras is considered a much better mover than Courier and Moya and have the better forehand yet on clay courts Courier and Moya were able to run around their backhands to hit forehands. It's strange why Sampras couldn't do the same thing if he did infact doubt his backhand on clay. Maybe he was never truly comfortable moving on clay?

If players can be ready for the Aus Open with less than one month of tournaments then there is no reason why they can't be ready for the FO which has almost two whole months of clay court events leading up to it.

I don't think Sampras was a man to run around his backhand alot. I don't really see him hitting much inside outers like Moya or Courier who patented it.

jmsx521
12-11-2006, 01:24 PM
He wouldn't feel comfortable hitting 2HBH with that racket; that small Wilson head-size sq.in. is meant for a 1HBH.

laurie
12-11-2006, 01:32 PM
He wouldn't feel comfortable hitting 2HBH with that racket; that small Wilson head-size sq.in. is meant for a 1HBH.

Chris Evert won the French using that Pro Staff 85. Mary Pierce had a lot of sucess too winning the Aussie Open in 1995 and getting to the final of the French in 1994 using the Pro staff 85. They both have double handed backhands so I don't think that was Sampras' problem.

In the end he gave up because maybe he felt he wasn't good enough to win it. I think AAAA is right, I think he always felt uncomfortable moving on that surface. There are a lot of players today like Sharapova, Clijsters, Roddick, Venus and Davenport who play great on hardcourts but don't enjoy the movement on clay as much.

drakulie
12-11-2006, 01:34 PM
Chris Evert won the French using that Pro Staff 85. Mary Pierce had a lot of sucess too winning the Aussie Open in 1995 and getting to the final of the French in 1994 using the Pro staff 85. They both have double handed backhands so I don't think that was Sampras' problem.


Courier won 2 french opens with the 85 as well.

AAAA
12-11-2006, 01:37 PM
I don't think Sampras was a man to run around his backhand alot. I don't really see him hitting much inside outers like Moya or Courier who patented it.

many Sampras fans reckon 'Sampras always found a way to win'. But it doesn't matter so much now because it's not like Sampras can try alternative game plans.

AJK1
12-11-2006, 03:01 PM
Sampras said recently he should have used a racquet with a bigger head at the French. Interesting comment! He also said he was bitterly disappointed he never won it.

edmondsm
12-11-2006, 04:35 PM
Sampras did not win the French because his ground game was not as solid as other players of his generation.

Totally true. I can't believe he never even got to the final. You would think that he would be able to put together enough great serving to give himself a shot at the championship match.

It's important to note that he did beat two of the best clay-courters in the world at the time to win that Davis Cup final against Russia. So maybe its not that he couldn't beat everybody on clay its just that the surface made him a little more streaky

Dark Victory
12-11-2006, 11:19 PM
Sampras did not win the French because his ground game was not as solid as other players of his generation.
Sampras' ground game was very good. It's just that the way he used his backcourt game was never meant for clay. Pete could trade with anyone from the baseline, but he just couldn't employ his groundstrokes independently of his big serve and net game. Hence, the often high risk-high reward shots that resulted in fewer rallies.

Too bad clay restricts that kind of game.

More often than not, you can't just hit a huge serve or booming forehand off the backcourt and expect it not to return. The slower conditions will make you play and move around a bit, and if you can't rally and trade strokes without the "let's end this right away" and "go for broke" mindset, you're going lose more than you're going to win.

West Coast Ace
12-12-2006, 03:59 AM
Sampras' ground game was very good. It's just that the way he used his backcourt game was never meant for clay. Pete could trade with anyone from the baseline, ...Not sure what matches you watched. His backhand was clearly inferior to the baseliners in his era. Due to poor footwork, in BH to BH rallies, he'd eventually get stuck hitting a weak slice and get worked over. You Sampras fan(atics) can play Revisionist History all you want - but if it weren't for his huge serve, Pete wouldn't have many Slam trophies, if any.

If your assertion were right, his maid would be dusting off 2 or 3 FO trophies - she's not.

Back to the OP: no. If he'd stayed with the 2-hander, he probably wouldn't have worked as hard on his serve and volley.

Chauvalito
12-12-2006, 06:57 AM
Sampras said recently he should have used a racquet with a bigger head at the French. Interesting comment! He also said he was bitterly disappointed he never won it.

Good point AJK1, I have thought the same thing about Federer as well...although he already has 5 square inches over the PS 85.

I really dont think a similarly balanced racket with a larger head size would throw off Federer'd game...that much, it might give him the slight edge he needs to handle the irregular bounces off the clay...and the spin from Nadal...

JohnS
12-12-2006, 07:54 AM
Sampras said recently he should have used a racquet with a bigger head at the French. Interesting comment! He also said he was bitterly disappointed he never won it.


To be quite frank, i think he said that because of the threat Fed poses on the GOAT title. Fed has a greater chance at FO than Sampras has ever had. Sampras might be the sure GOAT of Grass (maybe for now, but i hope he will continue to for a longer period of time), but The GOAT has been flying around and Sampras hasnt enjoyed that long enough imo. Seriously, Fed has come up quickly as the next dominant player once Sampras as left. It usually takes a period of time before the next designated GOAT would appear.

i.e. womans tennis: Navratilova late 70's to mid 80's? ---> mid 80's to early 90's ---> Graf early 90's to late 90's ---> No delegate for next possible goat 00's to present

where as mens tennis: Laver, Borg, and Sampras as a good distance of years between them. But Sampras to Federer is only like 2 years of difference.

Examples might be a little bit rusty/off, but you know what im trying to say...
Sampras might not be able to enjoy the present GOAT status for long since his retirement.

SC in MA
12-12-2006, 08:30 AM
Robert Lansdorp has said that he wouldn't have changed Pete's two-hand backhand. I don't recall this for sure, but I thought Lansdorp also said that he thought that Pete would have won the French with this 2HBH. I could be wrong about that though. And though Lansdorp is best know for his pupils who hit with two-hand backhands, he also taught a couple of top 10 one-hand backhand, serve and volleyers in Eliot Teltscher and Brian Teacher, so Lansdorp has shown that he knows how to teach a 1HBH and S & V.

Ripper
12-12-2006, 08:52 AM
Kuerten, Muster, Carlos Costa, Andres Gomez and Lendl to name but a few won French Opens and they all used 1 handed backhands. To suggest Sampras didn't win the FO because of his one handed backhand implies it was a weak shot. Some people think it is weak while others disagree.

Crazy Gaudio, too... lol. 1 hand backhands are more difficult to master. You are going to see many people with 1 hand backhands (slicers should be counted in a 3rd category, imo), but you're going to see very few of them with excellent 1 hand backhands. Does that mean it's weak? I don't think so. And the reason it can't be weaker is because a good 1 hand backhand is superior to a good 2 hand backhand any day of the week. I'd say there's a balance in that there's always going to be 10 good 2 hand backhands for every 1 good 1 hand backhand. Specifically, talking about Sampras, maybe, he should have stuck to the 2 hand backhand he had in his early days. However, as some have pointed out, it wouldn't have been the Sampras we knew, for worst, probably.

capriatifanatic
12-12-2006, 10:24 AM
I think Sampras was not as comfortable moving on clay as the clay court specialists. Movement on clay is totally different them moving on hard courts or other surfaces, the ability to slide and cover the court on clay is a very specialized kind of movement. Sampras's groundstrokes could be hit some different ways, not just very flat and hard, but they were not really ever hit the way a typical clay courter does with excessive topspin.

AJK1
12-12-2006, 12:54 PM
Clay neutralised Sampras's biggest weapon, his serve. He won so many free points with it on other surfaces, but clay is an evener, so then he had to find other ways to win, and he couldn't.
Pat Cash once said you only have to look to see how many "ordinary players" have won the French.
Federer is a European with a clay court background, and his serve isn't his only weapon. Federer will win the FO one day. He's too good not to.

Chauvalito
12-13-2006, 06:47 AM
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AAAA
12-13-2006, 08:21 AM
Clay neutralised Sampras's biggest weapon, his serve. He won so many free points with it on other surfaces, but clay is an evener, so then he had to find other ways to win, and he couldn't.
Pat Cash once said you only have to look to see how many "ordinary players" have won the French.
Federer is a European with a clay court background, and his serve isn't his only weapon. Federer will win the FO one day. He's too good not to.

I disagree about clay neutralising the big serves. Sampras himself served many aces and unreturnables when he beat Courier at the FO. Andres Gomez used his big lefty serve to take Agassi wide off the court and then hit into the open space(FO final 199x). Also Kuerten's big serve was a big advantage he had over all his FO final opponents. Clay slows down the serve but it doesn't neutralise it. Sampras apparently has the most powerful serve of all time according especially to his manty fans. Coupled with the massive spin he imparted on serve and the odd bounces on clay sampras's serve should have been more of a weapon on clay. Also Martin Verkerk when he made the final ripped right through the clay courters with power serving and a big forehand.

I do agree though about the generally true point of Sampras being unable to find another way to win without the mental comfort of easy points on the serve.

fastdunn
12-13-2006, 11:09 AM
Mary Carrillo said couple of times "If Sampras raises his 1st serve % higher
than 70, he wins French Open".

What she actually meant was Sampras should take some off from his 1st
serve.

I think Sampras did not really love the surface and did not really adjust
his game and mental attitude on the clay successfully.

I don't think it was because of his ground game. He is a complete player.
He simply was not patient enough and failed to adjust on clay.
It is clearly a big hole in his resume.

His issue with the blood disorder may not be a major problem overally but
I think it played pretty significant factor in his clay court game.
His body is just not built for the grinding. He was about efficiency.
As he got older, the problem got bigger.

I think Sampras was probably the best "all courter" in history.
I have yet to see a player who can do ground and net game as
equally good as Sampras did.
But one big deficiency in his game was his fitness level and (consequently) his
failure to adjust on clay.

Chauvalito
02-06-2007, 02:46 PM
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capriatifanatic
02-06-2007, 03:09 PM
It is interesting Sampras could not ride his serve to atleast a French Open final though when Verkerk made a French Open final almost entirely because of his serve. The rest of Sampras's game is much better then Verkerk's, Verkerk probably does nothing as well as Sampras. So regardless how one argues Sampras's ground game, movement on clay comparing to some of the best clay courters or baseliners it is strange he could not ride his all time great serve to the final, when Verkerk rode his huge serve and much weaker overall game to a final. I guess part of it is just luck of the draw and a "no pressure" mentality a player like Verkerk probably had.

alwaysatnet
02-06-2007, 03:16 PM
Mary Carrillo said couple of times "If Sampras raises his 1st serve % higher
than 70, he wins French Open".
His issue with the blood disorder may not be a major problem overally but
I think it played pretty significant factor in his clay court game.
His body is just not built for the grinding. He was about efficiency.
As he got older, the problem got bigger.

I think Sampras was probably the best "all courter" in history.
I have yet to see a player who can do ground and net game as
equally good as Sampras did.
But one big deficiency in his game was his fitness level and (consequently) his
failure to adjust on clay. People will shriek and there will be much gnashing of teeth and wailing and they will rend their own garments...but I agree. As great as Federer is his game is basically built around his ground strokes whereas Sampras was a runty groundstroker first and when he grew and trashed his clone two handed backhand his genius was able to emerge. It's revisionist conventional wisdom now to trash Pete's groundstrokes but there were very good and he held his own with the best. But that's only when he had to. His mentality was geared towards ending points quickly and efficiently the way a lion ends the kill. If you want to see what he could do on clay look at the infamous Davis Cup tie played in Moscow on quicksand. He won that tie himself,basically. But if you stretch out that tie to having to win five more times to take a crown like the French than it just becomes too grueling and onerous for a man with Pete's psychology and physiology. It's the hole in his resume but what a resume. You should have such a resume.I'm pleased he will still be seen playing on the seniors circut but that won't be the real deal Pete. That will be Pete as a dilettante getting a chance to get out of the house and away from the wife and kids. Still, it's good enough for me.

stormholloway
02-06-2007, 03:23 PM
There was a lot of talk about Sampras' inability to hit the high backhand. I just think the surface didn't fit his style of putting a point away. He didn't grind, and didn't care to win on a grinder's surface.

Nick Irons
02-06-2007, 03:29 PM
Clay neutralised Sampras's biggest weapon, his serve. He won so many free points with it on other surfaces

Booya.

That's it in a nut shell.

I think Sampras was probably the best "all courter" in history.

You mean except for Clay, right ?

FiveO
02-06-2007, 03:32 PM
Movement and his inability to recover were Sampras' achiles heel which got the better of him on red clay. He is a sure footed mover and was never comfortable sliding. It's not unusual. Hewitt and Blake are other examples of players accustomed to moving on hardcourts, Hewitt even on grass, but clay were their big limiters. The style of movement is its own and players not at home on it are fighting bigger battles with themselves than their opponents.

He could beat anyone on anything. Stringing seven matches together were his problem. Between '93 and '97 he had one bad loss at RG. In '96 he won the battle v. Courier in the QF but Courier won the war, taking so much out of Sampras in that 5 setter that Sampras had nothing left in the SF v. Kafelnikov who he had beaten soundly on slower red clay in DC a few months earlier.

Also, during his career Sampras beat every RG champion from his era on clay, except for Kuerten and Moya who he never met on that surface.

FiveO
02-06-2007, 03:34 PM
Booya.

That's it in a nut shell.



You mean except for Clay, right ?

"all-courter" relates to game style not all-surface virtuosity.

tricky
02-06-2007, 03:44 PM
Yeah, I'd put Federer ahead of Sampras due to his movement and transitional game. Because of it, he can switch between pusher, grinder, net, etc, with remarkable fluidity. If he's not as solid at the net as he could be, he's exceptional in every other aspect of the game and is legit world top-2 on every surface.

Budgerigar
02-06-2007, 04:10 PM
i doubt 2HBH or not pete no prolonged grinding abilities that why never won.

TheNatural
02-06-2007, 04:26 PM
mabe now with the improved string technlogy he can come back now and win the French.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/tennis/wires/02/05/3000.ap.ten.seniors.sampras.1st.ld.writethru.0691/index.html
(Posted: Monday Feb 5, 2007 )
"I know that he can beat most of these guys still - certainly at Wimbledon - so there's a temptation for him to want to do that,'' McEnroe said. "I know he's right. He can handle these guys but that's his call.''

Sampras did play some exhibitions and World Team Tennis last year.

"I've been hitting the ball pretty well and using the bigger racket with the new technology string,'' Sampras said. "It's really given me the ability to hit the ball better today than I did in my prime.''

Dunlopkid
02-06-2007, 04:29 PM
mabe now with the improved string technlogy he can come back now and win the French.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/tennis/wires/02/05/3000.ap.ten.seniors.sampras.1st.ld.writethru.0691/index.html
(Posted: Monday Feb 5, 2007 )
"I know that he can beat most of these guys still - certainly at Wimbledon - so there's a temptation for him to want to do that,'' McEnroe said. "I know he's right. He can handle these guys but that's his call.''

Sampras did play some exhibitions and World Team Tennis last year.

"I've been hitting the ball pretty well and using the bigger racket with the new technology string,'' Sampras said. "It's really given me the ability to hit the ball better today than I did in my prime.''

You've got to laugh at that piece of bogus Wilson promoting crap.

drakulie
02-06-2007, 04:34 PM
Sampras wouldn't be able to win the French with a 3-handed backhand. LOL

champy511
02-11-2007, 05:50 AM
The movement is one of the biggest problem, the same as you see with any hard court players that are having problem with clay. All great clay court players, will most of the times, slide toward the ball, and able to time his or her stop as they hit the ball, which put them already in the state of readiness for the next shot.
While hard courter tends to run through the ball (Pete's running FH), which causes no problem on hard, but on clay that is an extra one or more steps, that could hurt you.

You see this in Pete, Blake, Roddick, and Agassi. Also most of the hardcourt player. Now on the opposite, for the claycourter, suprisingly this includes Federer too, they would tend to slide even on hardsourt. I am not an american, and I practiced a lot on clay, even though I don't call myself a claycourt player, due to that I found myself slid a lot even on hards. You'll see this in Monfils, Clijsters, all the Spainiards. etc.

So, those running shots that tend to produce winners on hard, where he doesn't have to recover, on clay, that shot were not as lethal as on hard. In that case he really have to recover faster.

But that is just one reason, he could get away from that problem for a couple matches. As someone had mention, he did beat all the RG champion, on their own court, but he ran out of gas after those matches.

For some of you that read his book, he did spend time on clay in 1994 or 95, in order to win the RG, but he believed it turned him too much into a claycourter, and he stopped being aggresive, and it also gave him some foot injury when he came back to play Davis Cup on hard court too close to the clay season. I believe it caused him the US Open, or even Wimbledon. He regretted that decision. Well we could see his priority was not on the RG.

The year he made the semis, actually was the year where he did not have any matches on clay, and he serve and volleyed his way to the semis. He stayed true to himself. It has been proven the serve and volley is tougher for your phisycal and mental state, especially on clay. I believe that was why he ran out of gas in the semis.

I also read somewhere that Federer asked wilson to make a bigger head size for his PS 85 back then, because he believed it will help him better on the return of serves and on clay. So there is a chance that maybe it would've helped Sampras as well. But his game is just so different than Fed's.

For the record: Pete beats Bruguera, Courier, Martin, all in five sets on his way to the semis. He beat Muster, I believe in 1991 or 2.

Chauvalito
02-11-2007, 07:47 PM
The movement is one of the biggest problem, the same as you see with any hard court players that are having problem with clay. All great clay court players, will most of the times, slide toward the ball, and able to time his or her stop as they hit the ball, which put them already in the state of readiness for the next shot.
While hard courter tends to run through the ball (Pete's running FH), which causes no problem on hard, but on clay that is an extra one or more steps, that could hurt you.

You see this in Pete, Blake, Roddick, and Agassi. Also most of the hardcourt player. Now on the opposite, for the claycourter, suprisingly this includes Federer too, they would tend to slide even on hardsourt. I am not an american, and I practiced a lot on clay, even though I don't call myself a claycourt player, due to that I found myself slid a lot even on hards. You'll see this in Monfils, Clijsters, all the Spainiards. etc.

So, those running shots that tend to produce winners on hard, where he doesn't have to recover, on clay, that shot were not as lethal as on hard. In that case he really have to recover faster.

But that is just one reason, he could get away from that problem for a couple matches. As someone had mention, he did beat all the RG champion, on their own court, but he ran out of gas after those matches.

For some of you that read his book, he did spend time on clay in 1994 or 95, in order to win the RG, but he believed it turned him too much into a claycourter, and he stopped being aggresive, and it also gave him some foot injury when he came back to play Davis Cup on hard court too close to the clay season. I believe it caused him the US Open, or even Wimbledon. He regretted that decision. Well we could see his priority was not on the RG.

The year he made the semis, actually was the year where he did not have any matches on clay, and he serve and volleyed his way to the semis. He stayed true to himself. It has been proven the serve and volley is tougher for your phisycal and mental state, especially on clay. I believe that was why he ran out of gas in the semis.

I also read somewhere that Federer asked wilson to make a bigger head size for his PS 85 back then, because he believed it will help him better on the return of serves and on clay. So there is a chance that maybe it would've helped Sampras as well. But his game is just so different than Fed's.

For the record: Pete beats Bruguera, Courier, Martin, all in five sets on his way to the semis. He beat Muster, I believe in 1991 or 2.

That is very interesting. I was not aware that Pete even beat such great clay players. Who did he play in the semi's by the way?

jelle v
02-12-2007, 02:32 AM
It is interesting Sampras could not ride his serve to atleast a French Open final though when Verkerk made a French Open final almost entirely because of his serve. The rest of Sampras's game is much better then Verkerk's, Verkerk probably does nothing as well as Sampras. So regardless how one argues Sampras's ground game, movement on clay comparing to some of the best clay courters or baseliners it is strange he could not ride his all time great serve to the final, when Verkerk rode his huge serve and much weaker overall game to a final. I guess part of it is just luck of the draw and a "no pressure" mentality a player like Verkerk probably had.

I disagree, not because I'm Dutch, but because Verkerk had something that Sampras did not have: a topspin backhand that was able to hit winners throughout the match. I don't think highly of Verkerk, but his groundstrokes that French Open were better than Sampras ever played at the French. Verkerk was hitting crosscourt and longline winners with his backhand the whole tournament, never saw Sampras do that at French Open, because Sampras could not cope with the high topspin balls on his backhand, he just sliced them or just played them back without much pressure. (I'm not saying that Verkerk was better, I'm just saying that I have never seen Sampras playing as good as Verkerk that French Open. Verkerk was a one-hit wonder and i don't like him).

On-topic:
In my opinion Sampras his weak backhand on clay was the main reason why he didn't win the French (plus a few other factors). His serve wasn't as big a weapon as it was on hard-court so that left him falling back on his baseline game more, with the backhand just being too weak for gravel. A double-handed backhand would have really helped i think. Don't know if he would have won the French, but I think he would have gotten a lot closer. Sampras switched from double-handed to one-handed backhand very late in his youth I seem to recall (wasn't he like 15 or 16 or so?), and one could see it wasn't a natural swing he had. Probably, if he would have just stick to his double-handed backhand, he wouldn't have been so weak on his backhand.

champy511
02-13-2007, 02:40 AM
That is very interesting. I was not aware that Pete even beat such great clay players. Who did he play in the semi's by the way?

He lost to Kavelnikov, whom he just beat at the davis cup about 6 months prior to RG. He had sooo many chances in the first set, but when he lost it, I believe it was either 7-5 or 7-6. He just pretty much stooped trying. He said he ran empty on gas. Guess who Kavelnikove beat in the final, Michael Stich. That would've been a great chance for Pete.

BounceHitBounceHit
03-23-2007, 06:40 PM
I apologize if this has been discussed already.

Also, if he would have stayed with the 2-hander, how would that have affected his performance at the other slams, or in general?

Thanks for you comments and Discussion

I realized that my question might be too narrow, so if someone wants to address any reason they think caused Sampras not to win the French, that would be cool as well.

Other reasons might include his fitness, the ilness he had-I cant remember what is was called etc. Thanks

Definitely, yes he would have won the French with a two hander. Thing is he would NOT have won all those other majors. ;) CC

Chauvalito
09-28-2007, 07:59 PM
Definitely, yes he would have won the French with a two hander. Thing is he would NOT have won all those other majors. ;) CC

Just wanted to restart this thread...

CyBorg
09-28-2007, 09:35 PM
Sampras would have made a French final in a weaker era. He played very well at RG in 94 and 96 before his backhand broke down in the latter years. Long exhausting rallies just weren't his thing in general - serving and volleying allowed him to end points early. For this reason he would still s & v today if he was playing.

BTURNER
09-30-2007, 06:16 PM
Remember a passing shot is a groundstroke.
One of the great tests of a groundstroke is its capacity to pass an incoming attack. You don't win that many wimbledons without folks exploiting a weak backhand on every approach. on hard courts Sampras proved his capacity to rally with those groundies against Agassi, chang, Courier etc. At the french he had three other problems. His serve came back DEEP onclay. His volleys were not as potent and varied as MacEnroe or Edberg. Both of them actually played a lot of youthful tennis on clay and learned to slide when young. After about 6 years, the problem became mental and all the clay courters knew they had a shot if they could extend Sampras to 5.

Chauvalito
11-23-2007, 08:23 AM
Just wanted to bring this thread back, it's more pertinent now given Sampras's return to exhibition play.

drakulie
11-23-2007, 10:37 AM
^^^ The answer is still the same. No, he wouldn't have won the french with a two-hander. His game, which made him a legend was not suited for clay.