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sureshs
02-15-2007, 04:59 PM
"I think Federer is much better than Sampras. He's hitting the ball much harder." - March Tennis mag, pg 22.

Lots more ammunition in this issue:

In another article (sure to inflame the oldie supporters):

"While advancements in racquet technology receive much of the credit (or blame) for the rise of power tennis, studies by the ITF and others show that the chief causes are the improved strength and increased size of players, better training, and refined technique." - pg 67.

So much for the "oldies had more talent" theory. Note "refined technique".

On watching old tennis footage: "They look like little old men playing compared to the speed and the strength of today's athletes." - pg 67

And here is one for the Nadal haters:

Robert Lansdorp: "You get a guy like Nadal, and Nadal is built, and right away people say, 'He must be doing steroids.' I say, 'You're crazy.' Look at his uncles. Look where he is coming from. These guys have legs like tree trunks. He's one of those guys who's lucky enough to have a great build. People are so quick to put a label on people who are successful because they aren't successful."

All this shows how much this board is detached from reality.

rrhstennis
02-15-2007, 05:02 PM
Good thing your balls don't determine how good you are then.

scaino
02-15-2007, 05:10 PM
Though I usually respect Wilander's observations, this is a pretty extreme statement in my opinion. I rate Federer above Sampras, but only slightly, more on the basis of consistency than raw ability. Sampras could reach the same peaks as Federer, or at least close, as in San Jose 1996, where he played some of his best baseline tennis that I can remember. I also recall points from the 2001 US Open, before falling to Hewitt, where Sampras made unbelievable shots, much like the Federer 'fun house' moments on TV. Even Sampras's backhand could be as deadly as Federer's, though again, it was less consistent, and it seems Federer is still improving his stroke. I would like to know why Wilander thinks Federer is hitting the ball 'much harder' than Sampras. I see no proof.

drakulie
02-15-2007, 05:12 PM
Great post suresh. I agree. People who say the oldies were better are full of it. Fed would destroy Laver, Budge, Emerson, Pancho, etc, etc, etc. Those guys would not have a prayer.

sureshs
02-15-2007, 05:13 PM
This thread should get interesting very quick.

drakulie
02-15-2007, 05:14 PM
Even Sampras's backhand could be as deadly as Federer's, though again, it was less consistent,

"Deadly"??? LMAO.

Sampras' backhand was far from 'deadly". It was a loopy topspin rally shot at best.

sloe_torture
02-15-2007, 05:35 PM
All this shows how much this board is detached from reality.

Actually we collectively have a sense of what's going on and can debate both sides of issues on end. This March issue sounds like several discussions we (TW Talk Tennis Board) had last Fall, around Aug./Sep. on the skill and conditioning of today's athletes compared to athletes of yesteryear. The notion was also heavily discussed on the Navratilova racquet regulation thread.

As far as I see it Tennis Magazine (and other periodicals) lag behind current topics. It's possible that this board feeds a lot of ideas to the editors.

Nick Irons
02-15-2007, 06:20 PM
Wilander is one of my all time greats. I gotta listen to what he says; even I cannot subscribe to all of it.

All valid points.

scaino
02-15-2007, 06:20 PM
To Drakulie:

With such a comment, I cannot believe you have seen much of Sampras.

I found highlights of the '96 confrontation I referenced above:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZAtTegC3OH0

Look for Sampras dictating a point from the baseline against Agassi with the backhand, finally unleashing a perfect down-the-line backhand winner. I agree, not as consistent a weapon as Federer's, but it could be just as effective when he was in the zone. I have not done the research, but knowing Federer hits few backhand winners (usually several times more off the forehand), I suspect their backhand stats were quite similar if you compare them through 1997/2007. Certainly nothing at which to "L" your "AO."

Nick Irons
02-15-2007, 06:30 PM
I agree scaino

Sampras' one handed backhand was brutal.

Think about it haters; you're making soffing remarks about the current GOAT of tennis even if it is arguably. The man just retired 5 years ago; you think the game has evolved that much in 5 years ?

Roger is looking like he is gonna be the goat when it is all said and done; but today ? He ain't it.

Sampras was lethal.

drakulie
02-15-2007, 06:34 PM
To: scaino
From: drakulie

Re: sampras backhand.

Highlight are highlights. They are there to show us the great shots hit in a match . I could assure you, his backhand was a weakness, and a rally shot at best.

His backhand was riddled with errors, and a loopy shot. Sure he hit winners. I wouldn't expect a pro player who played so long and be the # 1 player to never hit a winner off that side. However, for every amazing winner he hit on the backhand side, he had about 15 errors.

Oh, and by the way he along with agassi are my favorite players of all time.

PS: I have seen him play live several times, and practice.
PSS: I have a ton of his matches on DVD.
PSSS: I watch them very frequently.

whistleway
02-15-2007, 06:36 PM
To Drakulie:

With such a comment, I cannot believe you have seen much of Sampras.

I found highlights of the '96 confrontation I referenced above:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZAtTegC3OH0

Look for Sampras dictating a point from the baseline against Agassi with the backhand, finally unleashing a perfect down-the-line backhand winner. I agree, not as consistent a weapon as Federer's, but it could be just as effective when he was in the zone. I have not done the research, but knowing Federer hits few backhand winners (usually several times more off the forehand), I suspect their backhand stats were quite similar if you compare them through 1997/2007. Certainly nothing at which to "L" your "AO."

I had a chance to look at some youtubes as well. It is so easy to forget Sampras and how great he played because of the artistry and pure skill shot making that Federer brings to the court.
Nonetheless, I feel sad for Sampras after watching these clips. He deserved to be at the top for more time, than what, a couple of years, before media crowned Fed as the next sampras. Sampras was awesome and it is an understatement.

35ft6
02-15-2007, 06:45 PM
Though I usually respect Wilander's observations, this is a pretty extreme statement in my opinion. I rate Federer above Sampras, but only slightly, more on the basis of consistency than raw ability. This goes without saying for everybody. It's consistency that distinguishes the greats from one another, since on any given day, they might be able to beat one another, but who is the one who will have more of those days. If it was simply a matter of being able to reach the highest peak, guys like Leconte and Korda might be talked about in the same breath as Sampras and Laver. Ditto for more recent examples like Safin and Gasquet.

Sampras' backhand was at its best when he could really get low and power through it, so it was fine on grass and faster surfaces. The slower the surface and higher the bounce, the less effective it became. To say Sampras' backhand is as good as Federer's is to only be thinking of Sampras at his best on his favorite surfaces, completely discounting, uh, clay.

Feña14
02-15-2007, 06:54 PM
...Oh, and by the way he along with agassi are my favorite players of all time.

Same.

As I keep saying Sampras is my favourite player of all time thanks to all the great memories he gave me whilst growing up but to be honest, I think Federer is just a better version of Sampras.

It's not easy for me to say but I think Federer's sheer genius would be too much if they played in their prime.

The Gorilla
02-15-2007, 06:55 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPN9ZfOqVg8&NR

why couldn't he smile once in a while after hitting those great shots?Then he would have been proclaimed an artist and a genius.

Sampras's game adds up to more than fed's, better serve, equal forehand, consistant backhand that was a weapon Sampras needed it, equal movement, better volleys.

drakulie
02-15-2007, 06:56 PM
Here are some stats I did to prove to people like you, Sampras did not have a great or “deadly” backhand. I watched 9 matches and counted every rally from the baseline in each match. For each error (forced or unforced) the player received one unforced error. For every clean winner, he received one winner.

Here are Sampras’ stats for each match.

95 US Open vs. Agassi
3 backhand winners vs. 9 backhand errors

Sampras vs Agassi famous "no breaks of serve" US open match.
3 backhand winners vs. 14 backhand errors

Sampras vs Courier Australian Open match.
2 backhand winners vs. 27 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1994 Miami Final
1 backhand winners vs. 11 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1999 Wimbledon Final
2 backhand winners vs. 6 backhand errors

1999 ATP year End Championship (Finals)
4 backhand winners vs. 5 backhand errors

Indian Wells 2001 Finals
5 backhand winners vs. 20 backhand errors

1999 Mercedez Benz Classic Finals
2 backhand winners vs. 8 backhand errors

1995 Newsweek Finals
3 backhand winners vs. 18 backhand errors

Total: 25 winners. 118 errors


Oh, by the way, his forehand didn’t do that much better.

Here is the thread if you would like to read the entire discussion:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100334&page=15&highlight=sampras+ground+game

Bye bye!

scaino
02-15-2007, 07:01 PM
35ft6,

I do think there is something to be said for the heights reached by a player. I rate McEnroe above Connors, despite Connors's far greater longevity and superiority in most statistical categories (excluding doubles). But there is a minimum level of consistency required before one can really talk about an all-time great. Safin does not qualify, Rios even less so, while Vines and Hoad certainly do, and McEnroe behind them. I would say that Sampras was capable of shots nearly as good as Federer's best, though he did it less often. And no, I have never said it was the equal of Federer's, only that it COULD be as deadly. Yes, I am thinking of faster surfaces, when the conditions were optimal. Federer's backhand may be sturdier, but it too has been known to break down at times, especially on clay. He seems to have improved it over the last six months, and I am anxious to see how it holds up over the coming clay season.

BigServer1
02-15-2007, 07:06 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPN9ZfOqVg8&NR

why couldn't he smile once in a while after hitting those great shots?Then he would have been proclaimed an artist and a genius.

Sampras's game adds up to more than fed's, better serve, equal forehand, consistant backhand that was a weapon Sampras needed it, equal movement, better volleys.

I really disagree that Pete's game added up to more than Roger's game. Roger has the better forehand, better backhand, is arguably more consistent on both sides, has a better return of serve and moves better. You're right about Sampras' serve and volleys, but that's it. Everything else has to favor Federer. There are highlight reels and there's real life, and in real life Roger is just a little bit better.

scaino
02-15-2007, 07:07 PM
Drakulie,

Sampras and Federer both are known to have made many backhand errors, with a low ratio of winners to errors, because their opponents are continually attacking that side. If you could present a side-by-side comparison of both players, it would be more useful. I know that one winner to every four errors is not uncommon for Federer off the backhand, similar to some of Sampras's stats. The point is that both COULD be deadly off that wing, when they were 'in the zone.'

The Gorilla
02-15-2007, 07:07 PM
how about this formula for rating players:

rate them between 1-10 for their level of play

+

([rate them between 1-10 for their dominance over the field]
[rate their rivals collectively between 1-10 and subtract this from their dominance rating])

+

rate them between 1-10 for longevity of their peak.

= G.O.A.T

drakulie
02-15-2007, 07:18 PM
Drakulie,

Sampras and Federer both are known to have made many backhand errors, with a low ratio of winners to errors, because their opponents are continually attacking that side. If you could present a side-by-side comparison of both players, it would be more useful. I know that one winner to every four errors is not uncommon for Federer off the backhand, similar to some of Sampras's stats. The point is that both COULD be deadly off that wing, when they were 'in the zone.'

Nice try. Funny how when one disagress the comeback is always something like what you stated>> "I'm sure you have never seen Sampras play."

I don't need to do a side-by-side of Fed and Sampras. I have eyes and could clearly see Fed has a way better backhand than Sampras. And like I showed with the stats I provided, "my memory" of Sampras was much clearer than posters like you who argued in that other thread that Sampras' ground game was deadly and consistent, and his backhand was "lethal".

It wasn't until I decided to do these stats and post them, that people stopped arguing tooth and nail.

Sorry, I love Sampras but am realistic. His backhand was not deadly. It was a rally shot until he could go for broke on a forehand. Period.

Too many people watch youtube highlights and want to assume or "believe" that the player was making shots like the ones in the video throughout the course of the match.

tricky
02-15-2007, 07:20 PM
I would say that Sampras was capable of shots nearly as good as Federer's best, though he did it less often.

Honestly, there are shots that Fed that probably nobody else in the game can do. In regards to his FH, the combination of pace, spin and strike height variability is unlike anything the game has ever seen.

The point is that both COULD be deadly off that wing, when they were 'in the zone.'

On a fast, low bounce surface, I don't think there's any player's one-handed BH right now that can consistently win a crosscourt battle against Fed's one-handed BH. It's not quite the weapon of Gasquet, but he can mix up DTL and crosscourt shots as well as anybody, and his slice is better than perhaps everybody else in the game. He tore apart Roddick with just his BH alone.

Both Sampras and Fed's BHs would be faulty on clay. But Fed wins out due to his defensive slice.

Fed doesn't have Sampras's running FH. That was truly a magnificient shot.

35ft6
02-15-2007, 07:44 PM
35ft6,

I do think there is something to be said for the heights reached by a player. I rate McEnroe above Connors, despite Connors's far greater longevity and superiority in most statistical categories (excluding doubles). But there is a minimum level of consistency required before one can really talk about an all-time great. I agree. In that regard, you're right that Federer and Sampras are closer than Korda and Sampras, but Federer has achieved heights in terms of sustained excellence, measured in different ways, that Sampras never came close to.I would say that Sampras was capable of shots nearly as good as Federer's best, though he did it less often. And no, I have never said it was the equal of Federer's, only that it COULD be as deadly. That was in response to somebody else.Yes, I am thinking of faster surfaces, when the conditions were optimal. Federer's backhand may be sturdier, but it too has been known to break down at times, especially on clay.But not nearly as shaky as Sampras' backhand on clay. Not saying Pete's backhand on clay was rubbish, but in case you're suggesting that because Federer's backhand has broke down in the past against Nadal, that he and Sampras are more or less in the same boat, I just want to point out that IMO Federer's backhand is much better. I give a slight edge to Sampras's serve and volleys, but a huge edge to Federer in forehand, defense, overall movement, backhand, and fitness (mostly due to Sampras' condition). I might even say Sampras' first step was more explosive, but I think it's negated by Federer's superior anticipation. After these two, though, there's really nobody else. I'm not marginalizing Sampras at all. BTW, I also give Federer the edge in the transition game dept. Anything short is a winner. Sampras used to more often to set up a volley but it wasn't necessarily lights out as often as with Roger.

TheNatural
02-15-2007, 07:44 PM
The theory is that the current string technology gives the ball a lot more spin and control. SO in response to that players are able to then swing much harder with different refined technique AND still keep the ball in. Players can also use more powerful rackets or more lead etc to complement these strings. So they technology gives them the potential to hit much much harder with more margin for error, so naturally they should hit the ball much harder than players did 5 or 10 or more years ago with lesser technology. The technology also means they should natutally be able to create faster paced shots with more extreme angles etc, due to the extra spin and control. So its no surprise that Fed and others hit the ball harder.

Oldies have more talent as they needed to hit with more precision. If todays players try to hit the way they are hitting now , with old technology that demanded more precision, the ball would miss a lot more.



"I think Federer is much better than Sampras. He's hitting the ball much harder." - March Tennis mag, pg 22.

Lots more ammunition in this issue:

In another article (sure to inflame the oldie supporters):

"While advancements in racquet technology receive much of the credit (or blame) for the rise of power tennis, studies by the ITF and others show that the chief causes are the improved strength and increased size of players, better training, and refined technique." - pg 67.

So much for the "oldies had more talent" theory. Note "refined technique".

On watching old tennis footage: "They look like little old men playing compared to the speed and the strength of today's athletes." - pg 67

And here is one for the Nadal haters:

Robert Lansdorp: "You get a guy like Nadal, and Nadal is built, and right away people say, 'He must be doing steroids.' I say, 'You're crazy.' Look at his uncles. Look where he is coming from. These guys have legs like tree trunks. He's one of those guys who's lucky enough to have a great build. People are so quick to put a label on people who are successful because they aren't successful."

All this shows how much this board is detached from reality.

scaino
02-15-2007, 09:21 PM
To Drakulie:

Your stats did not surprise me, and I have never argued that Sampras consistently struck winners off the backhand. That is in fact the opposite of what I have said. We agree that Federer has a better backhand than Sampras: it is more versatile, it breaks down less often, and he can hit flashy winners more frequently. All I have said, is that when Sampras was on, he could hit the same flashy winners that Federer does. I really don't think you and I disagree much, in what we see, it is just the wording. I rate Federer's backhand higher, and Federer higher overall as a player, though I do not see the 'gap' as being as wide as you do. Let's leave it at that.

drakulie
02-15-2007, 09:39 PM
^^^^ I agree Sampras could hit some flashy winners as well on the backhand side. However, his backhand for the most part was not lethal or deadly. There were several times when he went for broke on the backhand and it worked. Case in point-- the year end championships in 99 against AA. He decided before the match he was not going to allow AA to push him around on that side and break him down. If you remember AA had beaten him earlier in the tourney. Anyway, he went for broke merely every time he got a backhand, and his shots were landing in. He hit some amazing shots. However, matches like these were a very rare occurence, because more often than not>> this strategy did not work for him.

Federer's backhand is a very different animal than Sampras'. It is much more rounded and polished than Sampras' ever was, and with much more variety. In no way, is it the same type of "weakness" as Sampras' was. As AA said in an interview, "With Pete you could go to his backhand, and at least increase your chances of maybe pulling out a victory. With Fed there is nowhere you could go." (I'm paraphrasing)

Fed's backhand essentially is what Sampras' backhand never was >>> a weapon. What is scary is that his backhand is getting even better. Like you said, in the past 6 months it has improved.

Peace!

stormholloway
02-15-2007, 09:44 PM
I agree. Sampras seemed like if he didn't hit a winner of the backhand, it would eventually break down in a rally. The same was the case against AA at the AO in '00 (does that rhyme?). Backhand to backhand Andre would lay waste to him, which is why Pete would try to rip his backhand down the line early on.

Federer's backhand is a thing of pure beauty. It is so loose and fluid. He commits to it. Sampras always ends his backhand with both arms high in the air as if to say "well, there it was I guess". I don't think Sampras committed himself to thinking that stroke through.

Federer has him in every department except serve.

drakulie
02-15-2007, 09:48 PM
^^^^^ Sampras for the most part used his backhand as a purely defensive shot until he could get a forehand and go for broke.

and I agree, Fed has him in every dept. except the first and second serve.

Volleys I would probably give a slight edge to Sampras, but it is due to the fact that he came to the net more.

stormholloway
02-15-2007, 09:53 PM
Smart guys knew to pick on the Sampras backhand. You're right his backhand was basically defensive, but he didn't want to hit backhands all day and if they kept coming he would often look for the line, and often went wide, at least in the matches I've seen against Andre.

I guess his volleys were better, but when Roger hits a volley, it looks perfect to me. It's a matter of practice I suppose. I've got the Sampras/Fed match and Roger's backhand looks better even at that stage in Roger's development.

NoBadMojo
02-15-2007, 10:22 PM
"I think Federer is much better than Sampras. He's hitting the ball much harder." - March Tennis mag, pg 22.

Lots more ammunition in this issue:

In another article (sure to inflame the oldie supporters):

"While advancements in racquet technology receive much of the credit (or blame) for the rise of power tennis, studies by the ITF and others show that the chief causes are the improved strength and increased size of players, better training, and refined technique." - pg 67.

So much for the "oldies had more talent" theory. Note "refined technique".

On watching old tennis footage: "They look like little old men playing compared to the speed and the strength of today's athletes." - pg 67

And here is one for the Nadal haters:

Robert Lansdorp: "You get a guy like Nadal, and Nadal is built, and right away people say, 'He must be doing steroids.' I say, 'You're crazy.' Look at his uncles. Look where he is coming from. These guys have legs like tree trunks. He's one of those guys who's lucky enough to have a great build. People are so quick to put a label on people who are successful because they aren't successful."

All this shows how much this board is detached from reality.

While your post seems structured to be more instigating than informational, it is pretty easy to counter in a number of respects

Wilander has said other controversial things and may have some jealousy of Sampras

Actually you could build a case for tennis today not really being power tennis and more safe tennis..the spin rate and ball speed are ball speed are higher tho for sure...serves are the same and returns are much better. it's certainly a lot more about shot safety now and endless baseline ralleys with big net clearance than ever before which also makes comparing even Sampras' ue's to Feds non sequitor as Pete went for more as did many other older players...ended points sooner..played more serve/volley and higher risk tennis.

landsdorp's statement is just pure speculation. there's tons of juicing on tour...gotta keep up with the competiton. i would say there is more than a 50/50 chance that Nadal is a juicer, and it has nothing to do with how his body looks..i am shocked that landsdorp doesnt seem to know that you can have the body of Petr KOrda and be a juicer, especially since Wodstock was busted for steroids....all 6'2 160 pounds of him or whatever he was

Just to counter what Wilander said, how about what I recently heard in a Courier radio interview...Courier knows Pete's game a little and knows a bit about tennis too.
-He gives the edge to Samps on the grass
-He gives a big edge to Fed on the dirt
-He gives a small edge to fed on hardcourt
I assume he is comparing Sampras in his prime to the current Fed

illkhiboy
02-15-2007, 11:43 PM
Here are some stats I did to prove to people like you, Sampras did not have a great or “deadly” backhand. I watched 9 matches and counted every rally from the baseline in each match. For each error (forced or unforced) the player received one unforced error. For every clean winner, he received one winner.

Here are Sampras’ stats for each match.

95 US Open vs. Agassi
3 backhand winners vs. 9 backhand errors

Sampras vs Agassi famous "no breaks of serve" US open match.
3 backhand winners vs. 14 backhand errors

Sampras vs Courier Australian Open match.
2 backhand winners vs. 27 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1994 Miami Final
1 backhand winners vs. 11 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1999 Wimbledon Final
2 backhand winners vs. 6 backhand errors

1999 ATP year End Championship (Finals)
4 backhand winners vs. 5 backhand errors

Indian Wells 2001 Finals
5 backhand winners vs. 20 backhand errors

1999 Mercedez Benz Classic Finals
2 backhand winners vs. 8 backhand errors

1995 Newsweek Finals
3 backhand winners vs. 18 backhand errors

Total: 25 winners. 118 errors


Oh, by the way, his forehand didn’t do that much better.

Here is the thread if you would like to read the entire discussion:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100334&page=15&highlight=sampras+ground+game

Bye bye!


Here's the problem with your stats, Drakulie. First of all, they don't take into account the first three shots of the point. So all return winners are discounted. I can understand if you want to eliminate the 3rd shot of the point, which in Sampras' case would normally be a putaway, and it might be misleading to suggest that those winners prove how strong his groundstrokes were.

Here's my second problem with your stats, you cluster the unforced errors with the forced. So in a scenario where Sampras was lunging for a ball - that most players would not get to - with his backhand and hit it into the bottom of the net you would count that as an "error." So instead of getting credit for getting his raquet on a ball most wouldn't get to, your discrediting Sampras for making an "error."

Lastly, you didn't count the number of times Sampras' strokes forced an error from his opponent. What about the backhand shots his opponent couldn't return? And what about those backhand shots that opened up the court and set up the putaway volley?

I agree that Sampras did not have a great backhand, but using you're stats to prove that point is not a great way to go about it IMO. Of course, I might be wrong.

TheNatural
02-16-2007, 12:45 AM
I agree Feds topsin backhand is stronger than Sampras. But dont forget hes playing with new string technology that gives that ball better control, so hes able to swing a bit more freely and still gett he ball in. Either was his topsin backhand is more fluent and better than Sampras's. Fed also uses the backand as a rally shot and uses his other big shots to win. In the AO final vs Gonzo I think his only backhand winner when both were at the back was the last point of the match. He rarely even hits backhand winners on returns of serve. A few times a match he'll go for broke on a backhand, he makes them half the time and misses half the time. I think Sampras had a better slice, but Roche has been helping Fed steadily improve his slice.

christopher07
02-16-2007, 01:25 AM
I think that this discussion as a viable debate exists only in the minds of Americans, to be absolutely frank. Everyone that i know who plays (and teaches) tennis (including ranked juniors, coaches and people that simply follow tennis) understands Roger Federer to be in totally different league, technically to Sampras - and certainly far better in terms of being being a complete player. The only feature/fundamental stroke in which Sampras was superior was on serve, which was of astonishing quality.

I find it incredible that this is even being debated ....

It is worth noting that Agassi stated that Federer was the 'best ever', the best player that he had ever played during his long career. I hardly think this is said through 'jealously' (as maybe suggested), either - as, before Federer, Agassi clearly viewed Sampras as the 'best player', certainly of his generation.

deluxe
02-16-2007, 02:34 AM
Here's my second problem with your stats, you cluster the unforced errors with the forced. So in a scenario where Sampras was lunging for a ball - that most players would not get to - with his backhand and hit it into the bottom of the net you would count that as an "error." So instead of getting credit for getting his raquet on a ball most wouldn't get to, your discrediting Sampras for making an "error."

Lastly, you didn't count the number of times Sampras' strokes forced an error from his opponent. What about the backhand shots his opponent couldn't return? And what about those backhand shots that opened up the court and set up the putaway volley?


Very true. Winners vs Errors is a completely meaningless statistic. You should check out John Yandell's stuff about the "Aggressive Margin". In fact he has done some charting of both Federer and Sampras matches, split by shot.

illkhiboy
02-16-2007, 02:39 AM
Thanks, I will check it out.

caulcano
02-16-2007, 02:42 AM
I had a chance to look at some youtubes as well. It is so easy to forget Sampras and how great he played because of the artistry and pure skill shot making that Federer brings to the court.
Nonetheless, I feel sad for Sampras after watching these clips. He deserved to be at the top for more time, than what, a couple of years, before media crowned Fed as the next sampras. Sampras was awesome and it is an understatement.

At least 3 years more .... hopefully in that time, FED would have won a calendar GS & surpassing SAMPs GS total.

35ft6
02-16-2007, 02:54 AM
I think that this discussion as a viable debate exists only in the minds of Americans, to be absolutely frank. Everyone that i know who plays (and teaches) tennis (including ranked juniors, coaches and people that simply follow tennis) usnderstands Federers to be in totally different league, technically - and certainly in terms of being being a complete player. The only feature/fundamental stroke in which Sampras was superior was on serve, which was of astonishing quality.

I find it incredible that this is even being debated ....

It is worth noting that Agassi stated that Federer was the 'best ever', the best player that he had ever played during his long career. I hardly think this is said through 'jealously' (as maybe suggested), either - as, before Federer, Agassi clearly viewed Sampras as the 'best player', certainly of his generation. Welcome to the boards. Post often. Get your friends to register.

galain
02-16-2007, 03:43 AM
Drakulie's stats are interesting.

As much as I love Fed and as much as I want him to just keep on winning everything in sight to cement his legacy, it's really hard imagining him matching Sampras at Wimbledon in 99. Maybe I'm fogged by memory and old age, but as a non fan of Sampras, i was so incredibly impressed with his play that day it left a pretty deep impression on me.

Consistently I think if his brain and nerves held up (and who's going to forget his matchpoint against Safin a few years ago at the AO?) he'd win more than he'd lose against Sampras - but that Wimby final - to make Agassi look like an observer at the baseline was something else.

caulcano
02-16-2007, 04:25 AM
Drakulie's stats are interesting.

As much as I love Fed and as much as I want him to just keep on winning everything in sight to cement his legacy, it's really hard imagining him matching Sampras at Wimbledon in 99. Maybe I'm fogged by memory and old age, but as a non fan of Sampras, i was so incredibly impressed with his play that day it left a pretty deep impression on me.

Consistently I think if his brain and nerves held up (and who's going to forget his matchpoint against Safin a few years ago at the AO?) he'd win more than he'd lose against Sampras - but that Wimby final - to make Agassi look like an observer at the baseline was something else.

He was "In The Zone". I'm sure AA has been "In The Zone" & beaten SAMP.

David L
02-16-2007, 05:00 AM
Drakulie's stats are interesting.

As much as I love Fed and as much as I want him to just keep on winning everything in sight to cement his legacy, it's really hard imagining him matching Sampras at Wimbledon in 99. Maybe I'm fogged by memory and old age, but as a non fan of Sampras, i was so incredibly impressed with his play that day it left a pretty deep impression on me.

Consistently I think if his brain and nerves held up (and who's going to forget his matchpoint against Safin a few years ago at the AO?) he'd win more than he'd lose against Sampras - but that Wimby final - to make Agassi look like an observer at the baseline was something else.

Well, of course he made Agassi look like an observer. Sampras plays grass court tennis, Agassi does'nt. Agassi does not have the weapons to hurt Sampras on grass, Federer does. It was always going to be an up hill struggle for Agassi on a surface like grass. Had they played on clay, the story would have been different. In any match up, you can't discount what an opponent will allow the other to do. This is not golf.

sureshs
02-16-2007, 05:31 AM
landsdorp's statement is just pure speculation. there's tons of juicing on tour...gotta keep up with the competiton. i would say there is more than a 50/50 chance that Nadal is a juicer, and it has nothing to do with how his body looks..i am shocked that landsdorp doesnt seem to know that you can have the body of Petr KOrda and be a juicer, especially since Wodstock was busted for steroids....all 6'2 160 pounds of him or whatever he was


Accusing people of doping without evidence (more than 50% claim is basically accusation) is pure speculation.

The article interviews many people, including the enforcers. There is not a shred of evidence.

As I said, there is much nonsense on this board which cannot stand up to reason when required to present on an edited, accountable forum (like a tennis magazine).

bluegrasser
02-16-2007, 05:51 AM
"I think Federer is much better than Sampras. He's hitting the ball much harder." - March Tennis mag, pg 22.

Lots more ammunition in this issue:

In another article (sure to inflame the oldie supporters):

"While advancements in racquet technology receive much of the credit (or blame) for the rise of power tennis, studies by the ITF and others show that the chief causes are the improved strength and increased size of players, better training, and refined technique." - pg 67.

So much for the "oldies had more talent" theory. Note "refined technique".

On watching old tennis footage: "They look like little old men playing compared to the speed and the strength of today's athletes." - pg 67

And here is one for the Nadal haters:

Robert Lansdorp: "You get a guy like Nadal, and Nadal is built, and right away people say, 'He must be doing steroids.' I say, 'You're crazy.' Look at his uncles. Look where he is coming from. These guys have legs like tree trunks. He's one of those guys who's lucky enough to have a great build. People are so quick to put a label on people who are successful because they aren't successful."

All this shows how much this board is detached from reality.

Interesting and true to a degree - I really don't like comparing players from different time periods. The game has evolved and if those same players were born in this time period, they would hace succeeded much the same IMO.

sureshs
02-16-2007, 05:54 AM
Interesting and true to a degree - I really don't like comparing players from different time periods. The game has evolved and if those same players were born in this time period, they would hace succeeded much the same IMO.

Assuming they would also have been bigger due to better health and nutrition facilities? Would Rod Laver have succeeded today if he was still 5'9" but enjoying newer racquets, training, medical help and prize money? I have my doubts.

bluegrasser
02-16-2007, 05:59 AM
Assuming they would also have been bigger due to better health and nutrition facilities? Would Rod Laver have succeeded today if he was still 5'9" but enjoying newer racquets, training, medical help and prize money? I have my doubts.

I think so - Chang comes to mind, and other great players in that size - Hewitt also and others. Maybe Laver wouldn't be numero uno,but he'd be there with the big boys battling.

kaiotic
02-16-2007, 06:02 AM
I really disagree that Pete's game added up to more than Roger's game. Roger has the better forehand, better backhand, is arguably more consistent on both sides, has a better return of serve and moves better. You're right about Sampras' serve and volleys, but that's it. Everything else has to favor Federer. There are highlight reels and there's real life, and in real life Roger is just a little bit better. Pete's serve and volley is most likely what is required to beat Fed on a regular basis. so, the decision still goes to Pete even though he has the more inconsistent but heavier groundies.

shavenstringer
02-16-2007, 06:15 AM
I rate Mickey Mouse above both of them in sheer backhand power.

ACE of Hearts
02-16-2007, 06:33 AM
Fed's performance last year in the masters cup final against Blake told me how lethal his backhand can be.I agree, its not even an issue on the backhand, i favor it for Fed.

drakulie
02-16-2007, 07:14 AM
Here's the problem with your stats, Drakulie. First of all, they don't take into account the first three shots of the point. So all return winners are discounted.

You are correct. There is a problem with the stats I did. If I took into acount, as you suggested, the retrun of serve >>>> his numbers would be even worse on both wings. If you seriously think the number of winners he hit on return of serves to "error ratio/non-returned serves" would somehow "balance out" his ground game in his favor >>>>you are seriously mistaken.

But just to get a kick out of this I went ahead and did his return of serve stats. I looked at what Pete himself called his "best match ever">> the 99 Wimbledon final where he crushed Agassi. Here are his return of serve stats for that match:

Backhand winners= 1
Backhand errors= 16

So doing it your way, as I stated above, his numbers would look worse than what I originally posted: Backhand winners= 2, Backhand errors= 6

Now counting his return of serve stats for that match with ground stroke rallies here are his numbers:

backhand winners= 3
backhand errors = 22

You guys seriously need to get out of the clouds in thinking Sampras' backhand was lethal, deadly, or whatever.

Bye, bye! Have a nice day! :)

illkhiboy
02-16-2007, 08:38 AM
Drakulie,

Those backhand "errors" that you count, they also include forced errors right? So if Sampras lunged for a backhand and miraculously got to it, but still missed it, you would count that as an error right? Ditto for a service return he got a raquet on but couldnt put into play, right?

Anyway, I never claimed that Sampras' backhand was "lethal" or "deadly" as some others have claimed. If it was, then Sampras would simply be beating every player 0, 1 and 0.
Fact is though, when he was on Sampras could hit great shots off his backhand like against Moya at the Australian Open Final, '97.

Drakulie,

I remember a few days ago Laurie cited some points in the Wimbledon final where Sampras made backhand winners off the return. He cited at least 3 points, and likely more. You did not refute his claim, but instead said that you were not counting return winners. I don't have the match on me. So which one of you is right, how many backhand return winners did Sampras actually hit? You're saying 1, Laurie said a higher number (you didn't refute his claim).

Also, wouldn't it make more sense to count Sampras' backhand shots that forced errors from Agassi?

The Gorilla
02-16-2007, 08:44 AM
according to my dream match tennis pro game, all return winners sount as winners, all return errors don't count unless the ball is served at < 45mph, if you just hit the ball out and are not on the run then it is an unforced error, if you are running from one side of the court to another then it is a forced error and is not counted.

the problem with the way drakulie is taking the the score is he is using his judgement to decide whether or not he considers the shot is an unforced error or a forced error, and we all know from boxing how subjective that method is.

The Gorilla
02-16-2007, 08:48 AM
from tennis magazine, interview with the industries head statistician:

http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/asktheeditors/asktheeditors.aspx?id=1432

Designation of an Unforced Error

Q. What are the criteria for designating a shot an unforced error?
-Rolland LeBlanc, Saratoga Springs, NY

A. For this one we deferred to the industry expert, the renowned Dr. Leo Levin of IDS Sports, who does or has done statistics for all of the major tennis tournaments and then some. He's also the person who came up with the term "unforced error" in 1982. Here's what he said.

"By definition, there are only three ways to end a point - with a winner, forced error or unforced error. The idea of an error being either forced or unforced is to place the blame for the error - who is responsible for the missed shot? Was the error forced by the aggressive play of the opponent or was it unforced, just a mistake by the player who hit the shot?"

"This is how we train our staff to judge an unforced error. An unforced Error is when the player has time to prepare and position himself or herself to get the ball back in play and makes an error. This is a shot that the player would normally get back into play. The real keys here are time and position. When the opponent takes away time by hitting the prior shot with extra pace this can result in a forced error. Also, when the opponent forces the player out of position with placement (depth and/or angle) this can result in a forced error."

"As examples, most missed returns of first serves are considered to be forced errors - forced by the pace and placement of the opponent's serve. Many, if not most return errors against second serves, would be unforced errors since most second serves are just means to get the point started and do not put extra pressure on the receiver."

"Other examples, most passing shot attempts that fail would be classified as forced errors, forced by the opponent's aggressive play (the exception would be when an opponent hits a weak approach and the player has time to setup and then misses the shot, that would be unforced). Most approach shot errors would be unforced because the player is attempting to hit an aggressive shot and misses."

"Another way to look at it is this. Would you classify the prior shot as "weak" or just "in play" Or would you say it was "forcing" or "aggressive"? An error made off of a "weak" or "in play" shot would be unforced. An error resulting from a "forcing" or "aggressive shot" would be forced."

"By definition double faults are unforced errors."

RMB
02-16-2007, 08:53 AM
To Drakulie:

With such a comment, I cannot believe you have seen much of Sampras.

I found highlights of the '96 confrontation I referenced above:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZAtTegC3OH0

Look for Sampras dictating a point from the baseline against Agassi with the backhand, finally unleashing a perfect down-the-line backhand winner. I agree, not as consistent a weapon as Federer's, but it could be just as effective when he was in the zone. I have not done the research, but knowing Federer hits few backhand winners (usually several times more off the forehand), I suspect their backhand stats were quite similar if you compare them through 1997/2007. Certainly nothing at which to "L" your "AO."

Thanks for the link. Watching the video I'm certain that Pete's backhand can not be compared to Roger's. He did not dictate with his backhand it was his forehand who dictated the play. Two winners from the backhand, but a lot of slices and loops from that side, which was the norm.

fastdunn
02-16-2007, 08:56 AM
You and your stupid stat again...

Here are some stats I did to prove to people like you, Sampras did not have a great or “deadly” backhand. I watched 9 matches and counted every rally from the baseline in each match. For each error (forced or unforced) the player received one unforced error. For every clean winner, he received one winner.

Here are Sampras’ stats for each match.

95 US Open vs. Agassi
3 backhand winners vs. 9 backhand errors

Sampras vs Agassi famous "no breaks of serve" US open match.
3 backhand winners vs. 14 backhand errors

Sampras vs Courier Australian Open match.
2 backhand winners vs. 27 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1994 Miami Final
1 backhand winners vs. 11 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1999 Wimbledon Final
2 backhand winners vs. 6 backhand errors

1999 ATP year End Championship (Finals)
4 backhand winners vs. 5 backhand errors

Indian Wells 2001 Finals
5 backhand winners vs. 20 backhand errors

1999 Mercedez Benz Classic Finals
2 backhand winners vs. 8 backhand errors

1995 Newsweek Finals
3 backhand winners vs. 18 backhand errors

Total: 25 winners. 118 errors


Oh, by the way, his forehand didn’t do that much better.

Here is the thread if you would like to read the entire discussion:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100334&page=15&highlight=sampras+ground+game

Bye bye!

NoBadMojo
02-16-2007, 08:58 AM
Accusing people of doping without evidence (more than 50% claim is basically accusation) is pure speculation.

The article interviews many people, including the enforcers. There is not a shred of evidence.

As I said, there is much nonsense on this board which cannot stand up to reason when required to present on an edited, accountable forum (like a tennis magazine).

oh..like everyone else in this thread isnt speculating, and i certainly made no accusation at all...quite a stretch there. so i guess you belieive everything you read even in a really lame mag like tennis mag

drakulie
02-16-2007, 09:01 AM
illkhiboy, the reason I didn't refute Lauries claims is because I hadn't watched the match again. Additionally, the purpose of me first doing these stats was for another thread. The dynamics of that discussion were different than the ones being discussed here. We were discussing ONLY baseline rallies.

I did the stats of both players in each match--- not just Sampras'. I also purposely picked or allowed other posters to choose the matches, so long as Sampras was the winner of the match. Of the 9 matches I did he won all of them except one. My reasoning for this was to:

1. prove Sampras did not win his matches off the ground, rather by attacking the net.
2. his FH and BH were not as good as "youtube" highlights reflect.

In EVERY match Sampras had more errors than his opponent off both wings, and less winners. Remember, the same "rules" applied to both players when I did the stats so they are relative to one another.

As for the stats of I just did related to the "return winners">>>> I watched the match after reading your post and immediately posted the results. So Laurie must be making stuff up.

Here are Sampras' forehand return stats for that match:

3 winners
15 errors

NoBadMojo
02-16-2007, 09:03 AM
Published match stats can be way off base. If people would know about the lack of ability of some of the people recording stats in these events, they would realize the stats can be reasonable, excellent, or way off base. also comparing stats from even when samps was in his prime to players right now, is pretty meaningless i feel. things like aces and time of the match are usually accurate, pretty much everything else may or may not mean much, particularly a stat like UE's. quite often the most important key to a match, is forcing shots, and that isnt even a stat. also what really renders stats as meaningless is often the point in the match when a winner is hit or a UE made
Example: saw Roddick hit his biggest serve of the whole chamionship on a 40-15 point. not the best use of his bigest serve. not a crucial point. Compare that to someone serving an ace when down breakpoint which someone like Samps excelled at (as does Fed)

drakulie
02-16-2007, 09:06 AM
the problem with the way drakulie is taking the the score is he is using his judgement to decide whether or not he considers the shot is an unforced error or a forced error,

No, I am not using my "judgement". When I did the stats, if the player hit a clean winner he got a "point". When he didn't he got an unforced error. I applied this to BOTH players>> not just Sampras.

And using this method two things were conclusive:

1. Sampras' opponents hit more winners than him off both wings.
2. Sampras' opponents had less "errors" than him off both wings.

The Gorilla
02-16-2007, 09:16 AM
No, I am not using my "judgement". When I did the stats, if the player hit a clean winner he got a "point". When he didn't he got an unforced error. I applied this to BOTH players>> not just Sampras.

And using this method two things were conclusive:

1. Sampras' opponents hit more winners than him off both wings.
2. Sampras' opponents had less "errors" than him off both wings.



I'm not saying that you did, I'm just saying that the possibility exists, even if you don't mean to do it.

Is there a website with an archive of the stats so we can make sure of this info?

In fairness you did compile the return winners/losers info incorrectly but I don't know how much of adent this made in the overall total.

fastdunn
02-16-2007, 09:16 AM
I agree today's players are quicker and stronger.
You have to be very strong and quick runner for todays game.

The problem is that there is less room for variety.
Today's top players are all strong and quick runners.
Not much variety of players.

But I disagree today's players are bigger.
I agree today's players hits "harder" but its pace is not necessarily
quicker by the time the ball reaches players. It has huge amount
of spin and very accurate but not necessarily directional bigger pace.

And the typical tennis physique has changed. Typical tennis physique
was tall and somewhat slim like Edberg, Sampras and Graf.

Now it's more like soccer physique: Nalbandian and Nadal.
Today game: you have to be a very strong runner
with good upper body strength, IMHO.



"I think Federer is much better than Sampras. He's hitting the ball much harder." - March Tennis mag, pg 22.

Lots more ammunition in this issue:

In another article (sure to inflame the oldie supporters):

"While advancements in racquet technology receive much of the credit (or blame) for the rise of power tennis, studies by the ITF and others show that the chief causes are the improved strength and increased size of players, better training, and refined technique." - pg 67.

So much for the "oldies had more talent" theory. Note "refined technique".

On watching old tennis footage: "They look like little old men playing compared to the speed and the strength of today's athletes." - pg 67

And here is one for the Nadal haters:

Robert Lansdorp: "You get a guy like Nadal, and Nadal is built, and right away people say, 'He must be doing steroids.' I say, 'You're crazy.' Look at his uncles. Look where he is coming from. These guys have legs like tree trunks. He's one of those guys who's lucky enough to have a great build. People are so quick to put a label on people who are successful because they aren't successful."

All this shows how much this board is detached from reality.

Moose Malloy
02-16-2007, 09:29 AM
Very true. Winners vs Errors is a completely meaningless statistic. You should check out John Yandell's stuff about the "Aggressive Margin". In fact he has done some charting of both Federer and Sampras matches, split by shot.

can you post any of this(or anything that you remember)? thanks

but Federer has achieved heights in terms of sustained excellence, measured in different ways, that Sampras never came close to.

This is true. But the same can be said of Laver, Borg, Connors, Mac compared to Sampras. He never had years where he completely dominated, week in, week out, like they did. I said it it another thread, Sampras was a strange player, he seemed so disinterested throughout the year except at majors. Not fair to the fans that paid to see him at New Haven or Indianapolis & the like, but I guess that attitude served him well in Flushing & SW19.

Wilander has said other controversial things and may have some jealousy of Sampras


I think Federer is a better player as well, but you are correct, Wilander has always had some bias towards sampras(& becker) for many years.

I remember when he first lost to Becker, he decried the direction tennis was going, saying that Becker was brainless brute who relied purely on power & that fans wanted to see long rallies not that kind of tennis.
Fast forward to when he lost the Sampras at the 1989 US Open, he said the exact same thing! Throughout sampras' entire career, he rarely said anything positive about him. Federer plays a game that involves much longer rallies, Wilander likes the players "earn" their points rather than win with one or 2 shots.

There was an interview with him on a bbc website a few years ago, where he reiterated his views, putting down both becker & sampras basically because he just didn't like the way they played.

drakulie
02-16-2007, 09:42 AM
I'm not saying that you did, I'm just saying that the possibility exists, even if you don't mean to do it.

Is there a website with an archive of the stats so we can make sure of this info?

In fairness you did compile the return winners/losers info incorrectly but I don't know how much of adent this made in the overall total.

Gorilla, when I did the stats I took "peronal judgement" out of the equation. I applied this to both players.. not just to Sampras. "Unforced errors" in and of themselves are open to debate. What one official scorer may deem as an unforced error, another will not. Therefore, even "official stats" related to this topic are open to debate.

Applying the same "rules" for both players I eliminated this possibility, because their were "forced and unforced" errors being applied to both players, not just Sampras. If you will, or if it makes more people at ease, let's just call them points that the players was not able to get back in play.

Here are the totals of those 9 matches:

BACKHAND
Sampras:
25 winners----118 (was unable to get the ball back in play).

Opponent:
28 winners----66 (was unable to get the ball back in play).

FOREHAND
Sampras:
37 winners----105 (was unable to get the ball back in play)

Opponent:
63 winners-----64 (was unable to get the ball back in play)

drakulie
02-16-2007, 09:44 AM
I remember when he first lost to Becker, he decried the direction tennis was going, saying that Becker was brainless brute who relied purely on power & that fans wanted to see long rallies not that kind of tennis.
Fast forward to when he lost the Sampras at the 1989 US Open, he said the exact same thing! Throughout sampras' entire career, he rarely said anything positive about him. Federer plays a game that involves much longer rallies, Wilander likes the players "earn" their points rather than win with one or 2 shots.

There was an interview with him on a bbc website a few years ago, where he reiterated his views, putting down both becker & sampras basically because he just didn't like the way they played.

Not that I necessarily disagree with you, but in all fairness>>>Wilander has made some fairly harsh comment about Federer as well. In addition, has made very harsh comments about Agassi.

fastdunn
02-16-2007, 09:50 AM
This whole debate will be determined in one side, Federer or Sampras,
within 2 or 3 years, I think.

I personally want to see those new Young Guns get mature within
a few years and see how Federer plays against them..

TheTruth
02-16-2007, 09:53 AM
How about the fact that Sampras was a better all around champion? Not constantly telling everyone how great and unbelievable his shotmaking ability was, and how even he couldn't believe how great he was. True champions do more than pat themselves on the back and gloat over their talents. Roger is classless, and always will be!

JCo872
02-16-2007, 09:54 AM
the chief causes are the improved strength and increased size of players, better training

This argument makes no sense to me. Federer isn't exactly the strongest looking guy around. How about guys like Coria, Agassi, Hewitt. These guys have just average to smaller than average builds for men in general. Coria can really rip the ball and he is built like a 12 year old.

I just don't get this argument at all that these guys are so big and strong.

Jet Rink
02-16-2007, 09:55 AM
[QUOTE=sureshs;1254818 ... All this shows how much this board is detached from reality.[/QUOTE]

And how's your day bro? :confused:

Jet

sureshs
02-16-2007, 10:02 AM
This argument makes no sense to me. Federer isn't exactly the strongest looking guy around. How about guys like Coria, Agassi, Hewitt. These guys have just average to smaller than average builds for men in general. Coria can really rip the ball and he is built like a 12 year old.

I just don't get this argument at all that these guys are so big and strong.

The rest of the sentence had the other factors!

Moose Malloy
02-16-2007, 10:12 AM
Not that I necessarily disagree with you, but in all fairness>>>Wilander has made some fairly harsh comment about Federer as well. In addition, has made very harsh comments about Agassi.

The difference is Wilander lost to Sampras when he was the defending US Open champion, & he has never played Federer. I think he really believed if Sampras didn't have a serve he would be able to beat him(which many Sampras foes have said over the years)
Regardless of results, Wilander enjoys watching Federer play & clearly doesn't like Sampras' game. Which isn't an uncommon view.

I think in some warped way, he thinks there is a similarity in the way he played & the way Federer plays(both do have great defense, make incredible gets), while there is nothing remotely similar between him & sampras.

He has also said that he thinks agassi is more talented than sampras as well.

This argument makes no sense to me. Federer isn't exactly the strongest looking guy around. How about guys like Coria, Agassi, Hewitt. These guys have just average to smaller than average builds for men in general. Coria can really rip the ball and he is built like a 12 year old.

I just don't get this argument at all that these guys are so big and strong.

yes, these types of arguments are rather silly. tennis is a skill sport first & foremost & has always been so. we aren't talking about nfl or nba here, where guys are actually timed & actually are required to weight train or they don't make the cut. my entire high school football team could bench more than federer & none are pro athletes. his body is rather pathetic compared to vilas, who hit like a girl compared to federer despite his much superior strength. yeah the power/spin that has come into tennis is all due to better, stronger athletes;)

a tennis court is extremely small, its mostly about anticipation not speed. its a shame tennis players aren't actually timed over the years, I bet no one on tour is faster than old farts like nastase, borg, or gerulatis were in 1975. and no doubt that vilas or noah are stronger than anyone on tour today.

the fact that john mcenroe at 47 could probably beat john mcenroe that was #1 in 1984, proves what nonsense this argument is. he is not better at 47, he has better equipment & has embraced the technology/training.

i saw laver in an exo in 1986, he was hitting the ball 100 times harder than he was when he won the grand slam in 1969. tennis players don't exist in some kind of vacuum where timestands still, so old footage doesn't begin to explain how good they are or how they would do if they were born today. equipment has changed tennis far more than any other sport, because it is an equipment based sport more than any other sport.

its funny no other sports fans are like this(and we are generally talking much more athetic sports, that draw better athletes) no one honestly thinks ted williams, wilt, jackie robinson, joe louis are some old fogies who wouldn't be among the best if they were playing today. guess tennis players are so much better than other athletes that they seem to "evolve" so much every 5 years.

I bet some loonies on here think that 3.5/4.0 players today are better today than 3.5s from 20 years ago. I'm waiting to here how some 5'6 dude who works 9-5 & plays 4 times a week type has "evolved" into a better athlete than his counterpart from 20 years ago.

lambielspins
02-16-2007, 10:25 AM
The difference is Wilander lost to Sampras when he was the defending US Open champion, & he has never played Federer. I think he really believed if Sampras didn't have a serve he would be able to beat him(which many Sampras foes have said over the years)
Regardless of results, Wilander enjoys watching Federer play & clearly doesn't like Sampras' game. Which isn't an uncommon view.

If Mats thinks he would have beaten Sampras without an amazing serve then he is right. Could you imagine Sampras with the same serves as any of Federer, Agassi, Wilander, playing them and having to win the match by winning enough baseline rallies with no serving edge, or having to find ways into the net often enough and winning enough points there with the same serves they had? Good luck.

stormholloway
02-16-2007, 10:28 AM
This is less about Sampras' weaknesses but rather Federer's talent.

The Gorilla
02-16-2007, 10:30 AM
This argument makes no sense to me. Federer isn't exactly the strongest looking guy around. How about guys like Coria, Agassi, Hewitt. These guys have just average to smaller than average builds for men in general. Coria can really rip the ball and he is built like a 12 year old.

I just don't get this argument at all that these guys are so big and strong.

yeah, but henman's serve hasn't increased in speed at all in 10 years of competetive play, surely if it was the technology his serve speed would have increased.
I don't know, I'm having a hard time deciding one way or the other.

NoBadMojo
02-16-2007, 11:25 AM
The difference is Wilander lost to Sampras when he was the defending US Open champion, & he has never played Federer. I think he really believed if Sampras didn't have a serve he would be able to beat him(which many Sampras foes have said over the years)
Regardless of results, Wilander enjoys watching Federer play & clearly doesn't like Sampras' game. Which isn't an uncommon view.

I think in some warped way, he thinks there is a similarity in the way he played & the way Federer plays(both do have great defense, make incredible gets), while there is nothing remotely similar between him & sampras.

He has also said that he thinks agassi is more talented than sampras as well.



yes, these types of arguments are rather silly. tennis is a skill sport first & foremost & has always been so. we aren't talking about nfl or nba here, where guys are actually timed & actually are required to weight train or they don't make the cut. my entire high school football team could bench more than federer & none are pro athletes. his body is rather pathetic compared to vilas, who hit like a girl compared to federer despite his much superior strength. yeah the power/spin that has come into tennis is all due to better, stronger athletes;)

a tennis court is extremely small, its mostly about anticipation not speed. its a shame tennis players aren't actually timed over the years, I bet no one on tour is faster than old farts like nastase, borg, or gerulatis were in 1975. and no doubt that vilas or noah are stronger than anyone on tour today.

the fact that john mcenroe at 47 could probably beat john mcenroe that was #1 in 1984, proves what nonsense this argument is. he is not better at 47, he has better equipment & has embraced the technology/training.

i saw laver in an exo in 1986, he was hitting the ball 100 times harder than he was when he won the grand slam in 1969. tennis players don't exist in some kind of vacuum where timestands still, so old footage doesn't begin to explain how good they are or how they would do if they were born today. equipment has changed tennis far more than any other sport, because it is an equipment based sport more than any other sport.

its funny no other sports fans are like this(and we are generally talking much more athetic sports, that draw better athletes) no one honestly thinks ted williams, wilt, jackie robinson, joe louis are some old fogies who wouldn't be among the best if they were playing today. guess tennis players are so much better than other athletes that they seem to "evolve" so much every 5 years.

I bet some loonies on here think that 3.5/4.0 players today are better today than 3.5s from 20 years ago. I'm waiting to here how some 5'6 dude who works 9-5 & plays 4 times a week type has "evolved" into a better athlete than his counterpart from 20 years ago.

really enjoyed your post..lots of excellent points.

chaognosis
02-16-2007, 11:31 AM
its funny no other sports fans are like this(and we are generally talking much more athetic sports, that draw better athletes) no one honestly thinks ted williams, wilt, jackie robinson, joe louis are some old fogies who wouldn't be among the best if they were playing today. guess tennis players are so much better than other athletes that they seem to "evolve" so much every 5 years.

I bet some loonies on here think that 3.5/4.0 players today are better today than 3.5s from 20 years ago. I'm waiting to here how some 5'6 dude who works 9-5 & plays 4 times a week type has "evolved" into a better athlete than his counterpart from 20 years ago.

Hear hear! This is what I have been saying all along. And just minutes ago I was responding to a guy in the Former Players thread who thinks exactly that--Budge's backhand is the equivalent of a 4.5 backhand today. Pathetic.

drakulie
02-16-2007, 11:45 AM
Moose, although I agree with most of your post>> one question has always troubled me about this "gear debate".

MANY older players and greats including analyst say the following:

>Tidlen served over 160 mph and consitently hit his serves well over 100 mph with a wood racquet.
>Pancho consistently hit his serve over 120 mph with a wood racquet.
>Pancho along with many others consistently hit forehands over 100 mph, and and don't even consider Pancho's forehand anywhere near being the fastest.

These are feats that players today with the "new technology" have not been able to duplicate.

So, how is it that players today have an "advantage" because of their equipment?

ACE of Hearts
02-16-2007, 11:52 AM
Sampra was boring, the guy never smiled.Roger is the opposite.I was a big Sampras fan but to call Federer classless is a joke.Thetruth ur an idiot.The guy has doned alot of off-the field stuff.

iscottius
02-16-2007, 11:53 AM
wilander was a pusher

Moose Malloy
02-16-2007, 12:02 PM
MANY older players and greats including analyst say the following:


I think you are pulling a comment out of wikepedia(written by who knows) & embellishing. Please cite names or links of these "many." In an 1958 article in World Sport, Gonzales is cited at serving 112. There have been many different measuring devices/methods over the years, some more accurate than others.

I get the sense you aren't a young guy drakulie, so you should know how the equipment has changed the game. if it hasn't why aren't players still playing with wood or early graphite racquets at the pro or recreational level? why are sampras & mcenroe saying that are hitting the ball better now than they were when they were #1?

I've seen nalbandian play with a woodie in a doubles exo in argentina, he had no clue at all, like he was playing a different sport.
you could have served faster than him, I'm sure, judging from your videos.

drakulie
02-16-2007, 12:19 PM
Moose, I did not pull it out of wikipedia, and yes I am an older guy (37). I grew up playing with wood racquets in the late 70's.

But this information is coming from books, interviews in magazines, televised interviews, videos, etc (you get the idea). They include PLAYERS as well as guys from Bud Collins to Braden (who as you know is heavy into studying speed, technique etc), to Landsorp, etc, etc, etc. It isn't just one source saying these things.

I personally don't buy it, and unless there is conclusive evdience to support their claims>> I will never buy their claims. In my mind there is no fricking way these guys were consistently hitting serves over 120, much less a 160+ serve. Addtionally, no way they were consistently hitting FH over 100. I've seen too many mathces of the past. And although the ball doesn't look like it is traveling that fast on TV or vid, one could clearly see the pace from the past is way, way, slower than that of todays game.

However, they do say it for whatever reason. Maybe it is to glorify the past greats?? I don't know. One thing is for sure>>> as long as they continue to say stuff like this, they make the "new technology" argument less credible. On one hand they state the old greats did what modern players CAN'T do with new technology, and on the other hand they say that the "new technology" is the reason players today are able to do what they do.

And yes, I agree it is much harder to play with a wood racquet than with a modern racquet>>> in all aspects of the game. I for one, never intend to go back to one. Too happy with my new K90. :)

sureshs
02-16-2007, 01:57 PM
The difference is Wilander lost to Sampras when he was the defending US Open champion, & he has never played Federer. I think he really believed if Sampras didn't have a serve he would be able to beat him(which many Sampras foes have said over the years)
Regardless of results, Wilander enjoys watching Federer play & clearly doesn't like Sampras' game. Which isn't an uncommon view.

I think in some warped way, he thinks there is a similarity in the way he played & the way Federer plays(both do have great defense, make incredible gets), while there is nothing remotely similar between him & sampras.

He has also said that he thinks agassi is more talented than sampras as well.



yes, these types of arguments are rather silly. tennis is a skill sport first & foremost & has always been so. we aren't talking about nfl or nba here, where guys are actually timed & actually are required to weight train or they don't make the cut. my entire high school football team could bench more than federer & none are pro athletes. his body is rather pathetic compared to vilas, who hit like a girl compared to federer despite his much superior strength. yeah the power/spin that has come into tennis is all due to better, stronger athletes;)

a tennis court is extremely small, its mostly about anticipation not speed. its a shame tennis players aren't actually timed over the years, I bet no one on tour is faster than old farts like nastase, borg, or gerulatis were in 1975. and no doubt that vilas or noah are stronger than anyone on tour today.

the fact that john mcenroe at 47 could probably beat john mcenroe that was #1 in 1984, proves what nonsense this argument is. he is not better at 47, he has better equipment & has embraced the technology/training.

i saw laver in an exo in 1986, he was hitting the ball 100 times harder than he was when he won the grand slam in 1969. tennis players don't exist in some kind of vacuum where timestands still, so old footage doesn't begin to explain how good they are or how they would do if they were born today. equipment has changed tennis far more than any other sport, because it is an equipment based sport more than any other sport.

its funny no other sports fans are like this(and we are generally talking much more athetic sports, that draw better athletes) no one honestly thinks ted williams, wilt, jackie robinson, joe louis are some old fogies who wouldn't be among the best if they were playing today. guess tennis players are so much better than other athletes that they seem to "evolve" so much every 5 years.

I bet some loonies on here think that 3.5/4.0 players today are better today than 3.5s from 20 years ago. I'm waiting to here how some 5'6 dude who works 9-5 & plays 4 times a week type has "evolved" into a better athlete than his counterpart from 20 years ago.

Lots of opinions (100 times faster - measured with a precise instrument of course, no one stronger than Vilas etc etc), strawman debates (who said 3.5s are better today?), but NO facts.

As the article said, STUDIES have shown that equipment is not as important a factors as bigger, more athletic pros with more refined strokes. That is it - "STUDIES". Not opinion, not speculation, not exagerrated comparisons, not humor - but STUDIES.

Old is better seems to be cherished only by some posters here - facts and opinions of ex-players and now commentators are the opposite. They are people who actually played back then at a high level.

pj80
02-16-2007, 04:51 PM
Here are some stats I did to prove to people like you, Sampras did not have a great or “deadly” backhand. I watched 9 matches and counted every rally from the baseline in each match. For each error (forced or unforced) the player received one unforced error. For every clean winner, he received one winner.

Here are Sampras’ stats for each match.

95 US Open vs. Agassi
3 backhand winners vs. 9 backhand errors

Sampras vs Agassi famous "no breaks of serve" US open match.
3 backhand winners vs. 14 backhand errors

Sampras vs Courier Australian Open match.
2 backhand winners vs. 27 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1994 Miami Final
1 backhand winners vs. 11 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1999 Wimbledon Final
2 backhand winners vs. 6 backhand errors

1999 ATP year End Championship (Finals)
4 backhand winners vs. 5 backhand errors

Indian Wells 2001 Finals
5 backhand winners vs. 20 backhand errors

1999 Mercedez Benz Classic Finals
2 backhand winners vs. 8 backhand errors

1995 Newsweek Finals
3 backhand winners vs. 18 backhand errors

Total: 25 winners. 118 errors


Oh, by the way, his forehand didn’t do that much better.

Here is the thread if you would like to read the entire discussion:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100334&page=15&highlight=sampras+ground+game

Bye bye!


here he come with an obvious fake statistic...you really think people are stupid to buy that made up s&it?

fastdunn
02-16-2007, 04:59 PM
I think there should be a new religion called Federism or something.

I understand Federer is such a special player but this is nearing
madening love of God.

drakulie
02-16-2007, 05:10 PM
here he come with an obvious fake statistic...you really think people are stupid to buy that made up s&it?

No. They are stupid enough to watch a "highlight reel" on youtube and actually think that Sampras hit winners every time they hit to his backhand. Or make themsleves believe that his backhand is anywhere near the level of feds. Kind of like you.

illkhiboy
02-16-2007, 08:02 PM
If you watch the game Agassi got broken at 3-4 in the first set of the Wimbledon final..First point Agassi serves outwide to the Sampras forehand, hits a hard on the up shot off the return to the Sampras backhand into the open court that's low and skidding, Sampras hits a flashy on the run backhand that Agassi can't pick up.
This you would have counted as an Agassi backhand error since he barely got his raquet on it, but the credit belongs to Sampras' backhand. See what I mean? For the other thread, your stat made sense. For this one, not so much.

15-15, Agassi gets a short ball off the return but instead of going to Sampras' "loopy rally shot backhand" he goes for a quick winner on the forehand side and misses.

15-40, Agassi tries to rush a forehand that was aimed at Sampras' backhand and hits the net. He did not really have to rush the shot to go to Sampras' backhand. He could have hit a loopier shot. But there was a sense of urgency there, he wanted to take time away from Sampras knowing the capabilities of Pete's shotmaking off both sides.

Again, I am not suggesting Sampras' backhand was as good as Federer's. All I am stating is that it really wasn't one of the worst or one of the more mediocre backhands in the game as people have suggested. Let's agree on this, Agassi worried more about the Sampras backhand than the Roddick backhand.

stormholloway
02-16-2007, 08:19 PM
Sampras hits a flashy on the run backhand that Agassi can't pick up.

He did not really have to rush the shot to go to Sampras' backhand. He could have hit a loopier shot. But there was a sense of urgency there, he wanted to take time away from Sampras knowing the capabilities of Pete's shotmaking off both sides.

Let's agree on this, Agassi worried more about the Sampras backhand than the Roddick backhand.

Dude, everyone here has hit a flashy on the run backhand that their opponent can't pick up. In the second paragraph, you're just speculating. You're in Andre's head now? In the third paragraph, you're just lowering the bar.

The Roddick backhand? The words "Roddick" and "backhand" should never be used together to illustrate a point, ever.

Pete had a sound backhand, but it wasn't great. Roger's backhand is the greatest of its kind in history.

drakulie
02-16-2007, 08:31 PM
If you watch the game Agassi got broken at 3-4 in the first set of the Wimbledon final..First point Agassi serves outwide to the Sampras forehand, hits a hard on the up shot off the return to the Sampras backhand into the open court that's low and skidding, Sampras hits a flashy on the run backhand that Agassi can't pick up.
This you would have counted as an Agassi backhand error since he barely got his raquet on it, but the credit belongs to Sampras' backhand. See what I mean? For the other thread, your stat made sense. For this one, not so much.

15-15, Agassi gets a short ball off the return but instead of going to Sampras' "loopy rally shot backhand" he goes for a quick winner on the forehand side and misses.

15-40, Agassi tries to rush a forehand that was aimed at Sampras' backhand and hits the net. He did not really have to rush the shot to go to Sampras' backhand. He could have hit a loopier shot. But there was a sense of urgency there, he wanted to take time away from Sampras knowing the capabilities of Pete's shotmaking off both sides.

Are you fricking kidding me? You honestly think that the only one who was forcing errors in that match was Sampras? There were situations like the ones you described on both sides!!!!!! They don't only apply to Sampras!

Anyway you cut it, the numbers are not going to favor Sampras. NEVER! His strength was not the ground game.

Taking your logic into consideration, I would have to apply the same to Agassi. What are you not getting?

The numbers are NEVER going to favor Sampras. Not ever!

You could give me every possible situation you could think of and the numbers are never going to swing to favoring him.

I love Sampras too!! I would rather watch him play against AA all day than the current players. BUT HIS BACKHAND WAS A WEAKNESS THAT WAS EXPLOITED TIME AND TIME AGAIN!

Why the hell do you think he NEVER MADE IT TO THE FINAL OF A FRENCH???????

ANSWER= HIS GROUND GAME COULD NOT STAND UP TO OTHER PLAYERS OF HIS GENERATION. AND WITH HIS SERVE NEUTRALIZED HE WAS TOAST!!!

AND DON'T COME BACK AND TELL ME HE DIDN'T DO GOOD ON THAT SURFACE BECAUSE HE PLAYED WITH AN 85 SQUARE INCH RACQUET. BECAUSE COURIER WON 2 FRENCH OPENS WITH THE SAME RACQUET!!

BYE!

TheTruth
02-17-2007, 09:02 AM
Sampra was boring, the guy never smiled.Roger is the opposite.I was a big Sampras fan but to call Federer classless is a joke.Thetruth ur an idiot.The guy has doned alot of off-the field stuff.

Maybe Sampras was boring to you, he wasn't to me. I find Roger to be the biggest bore around. Anyway, anyone who always has to tell you how good he is has serious issues with insecurity. And stop with the off the field crap, many tennis players do things off the field. Chanda Rubin, who is not as well known for her results does a lot off the field, the Williams Sisters, Agassi, give me a break. It seems to me that you're the one in question, if your response to someone with a differing opinion is to call them an idiot. It makes sense why you don't know what classless is.

illkhiboy
02-17-2007, 09:20 AM
Are you fricking kidding me? You honestly think that the only one who was forcing errors in that match was Sampras? There were situations like the ones you described on both sides!!!!!! They don't only apply to Sampras!

Anyway you cut it, the numbers are not going to favor Sampras. NEVER! His strength was not the ground game.

Taking your logic into consideration, I would have to apply the same to Agassi. What are you not getting?

The numbers are NEVER going to favor Sampras. Not ever!

You could give me every possible situation you could think of and the numbers are never going to swing to favoring him.

I love Sampras too!! I would rather watch him play against AA all day than the current players. BUT HIS BACKHAND WAS A WEAKNESS THAT WAS EXPLOITED TIME AND TIME AGAIN!

Why the hell do you think he NEVER MADE IT TO THE FINAL OF A FRENCH???????

ANSWER= HIS GROUND GAME COULD NOT STAND UP TO OTHER PLAYERS OF HIS GENERATION. AND WITH HIS SERVE NEUTRALIZED HE WAS TOAST!!!

AND DON'T COME BACK AND TELL ME HE DIDN'T DO GOOD ON THAT SURFACE BECAUSE HE PLAYED WITH AN 85 SQUARE INCH RACQUET. BECAUSE COURIER WON 2 FRENCH OPENS WITH THE SAME RACQUET!!

BYE!


Why do you get so mad? Sampras isnt even one of my favourite players, Agassi is though. All I am saying is, Sampras' backhand was not a weakness. Never said it was a strength. Sure it could be exploited at times, especially later in his career.

And the French argument you make is pretty much nonsense. Good ground game does not equal into success on clay. If that was the case, then James Blake, Robby Ginepri, Thomas Johannson, Lleyton Hewitt i.e. good baseliners would have had more success on the surface. Clearly that is not the case. Carlos Moya does not have a great backhand, some say it's a weakness, how come he has won the French and is considered a clay specialist?

dysonlu
02-17-2007, 10:04 AM
Here are some stats I did to prove to people like you, Sampras did not have a great or “deadly” backhand. I watched 9 matches and counted every rally from the baseline in each match. For each error (forced or unforced) the player received one unforced error. For every clean winner, he received one winner.

Here are Sampras’ stats for each match.

95 US Open vs. Agassi
3 backhand winners vs. 9 backhand errors

Sampras vs Agassi famous "no breaks of serve" US open match.
3 backhand winners vs. 14 backhand errors

Sampras vs Courier Australian Open match.
2 backhand winners vs. 27 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1994 Miami Final
1 backhand winners vs. 11 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1999 Wimbledon Final
2 backhand winners vs. 6 backhand errors

1999 ATP year End Championship (Finals)
4 backhand winners vs. 5 backhand errors

Indian Wells 2001 Finals
5 backhand winners vs. 20 backhand errors

1999 Mercedez Benz Classic Finals
2 backhand winners vs. 8 backhand errors

1995 Newsweek Finals
3 backhand winners vs. 18 backhand errors

Total: 25 winners. 118 errors


Oh, by the way, his forehand didn’t do that much better.

Here is the thread if you would like to read the entire discussion:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100334&page=15&highlight=sampras+ground+game

Bye bye!


Great post with an effort of showing facts to back your point!

Making an assessment based simply on a few highlights is as laughable as classifying Pete's backhand as a deadly shot.

topspin kid
02-17-2007, 11:18 AM
i think that the only reason fed is rated so good is because there is not as much players that could run with him as there was a lot that was in sampras time.

ACE of Hearts
02-17-2007, 01:12 PM
No, its because Fed is that much better then Sampras.

stormholloway
02-17-2007, 01:16 PM
I think it's a combination. Players just aren't that savvy these days. They don't mix it up. They don't vary their game or use their heads.

People keep saying Roddick is his biggest threat. Have you seen Roddick's crosscourt approaches? He looks like a baby in the deep end of the swimming pool.

I think any of the great S&V players would be better challenges for Roger. I think he's the greatest player ever but Nadal is the only one out there right now with the guts and the tools to beat him.

Mick
02-17-2007, 01:20 PM
to me, Sampras is like Mozart and Federer is like Beethoven
Beethoven > Mozart
Federer > Sampras
All were geniuses in their field.

Nick Irons
02-17-2007, 01:23 PM
I think it's a combination. Players just aren't that savvy these days. They don't mix it up. They don't vary their game or use their heads.

People keep saying Roddick is his biggest threat. Have you seen Roddick's crosscourt approaches? He looks like a baby in the deep end of the swimming pool.

I think any of the great S&V players would be better challenges for Roger. I think he's the greatest player ever but Nadal is the only one out there right now with the guts and the tools to beat him.

100 % Agree

There isn't a player on the tour that takes a chance against Federer, they all want to slug it out while he dissects them.

Player's need to be willing to take chances; attack him, goto the net, drop shots, lobs. I'm starting to think junk ball might **** him off. :grin:

catspaw
02-17-2007, 01:41 PM
100 % Agree

There isn't a player on the tour that takes a chance against Federer, they all want to slug it out while he dissects them.

Player's need to be willing to take chances; attack him, goto the net, drop shots, lobs. I'm starting to think junk ball might **** him off. :grin:

Do you think that's really true, though? Gonzales, for example, had a magnificent Australian Open, playing some wonderfully versatile tennis against a diversity of players. He tried to play with as much variety in the final, but Fed just wouldn't let him, had an answer for everything. Gonzo nearly cracked it in the first set, but Fed found a way wrench it away from him, and then took his usual control in the 2nd and 3rd sets.

As for simply slugging it out, isn't that exactly what Nadal does???

drakulie
02-17-2007, 01:42 PM
Why do you get so mad? Sampras isnt even one of my favourite players, Agassi is though. All I am saying is, Sampras' backhand was not a weakness. Never said it was a strength. Sure it could be exploited at times, especially later in his career.

His backhand was exploited at all stages of his career. Just look at the stats I did. from 94 - 2001.

Believe what you want. Keep watching youtube highlights.

And the French argument you make is pretty much nonsense. Good ground game does not equal into success on clay. If that was the case, then James Blake, Robby Ginepri, Thomas Johannson, Lleyton Hewitt i.e. good baseliners would have had more success on the surface. Clearly that is not the case. Carlos Moya does not have a great backhand, some say it's a weakness, how come he has won the French and is considered a clay specialist?

All those guys you mentioned lost to other guys who HAD BETTER GROUND GAMES! IT IS NOT NONSENSE! YOU HAVE NO SENSE!

Hot Sauce
02-17-2007, 01:48 PM
Here are some stats I did to prove to people like you, Sampras did not have a great or “deadly” backhand. I watched 9 matches and counted every rally from the baseline in each match. For each error (forced or unforced) the player received one unforced error. For every clean winner, he received one winner.

Here are Sampras’ stats for each match.

95 US Open vs. Agassi
3 backhand winners vs. 9 backhand errors

Sampras vs Agassi famous "no breaks of serve" US open match.
3 backhand winners vs. 14 backhand errors

Sampras vs Courier Australian Open match.
2 backhand winners vs. 27 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1994 Miami Final
1 backhand winners vs. 11 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1999 Wimbledon Final
2 backhand winners vs. 6 backhand errors

1999 ATP year End Championship (Finals)
4 backhand winners vs. 5 backhand errors

Indian Wells 2001 Finals
5 backhand winners vs. 20 backhand errors

1999 Mercedez Benz Classic Finals
2 backhand winners vs. 8 backhand errors

1995 Newsweek Finals
3 backhand winners vs. 18 backhand errors

Total: 25 winners. 118 errors


Oh, by the way, his forehand didn’t do that much better.

Here is the thread if you would like to read the entire discussion:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100334&page=15&highlight=sampras+ground+game

Bye bye!
I'm neutral here, but it looks like you picked out certain matches that proved your case. If possible, it would be great to see the statistics for a lot more final matches.

Nick Irons
02-17-2007, 02:04 PM
Do you think that's really true, though? Gonzales, for example, had a magnificent Australian Open, playing some wonderfully versatile tennis against a diversity of players. He tried to play with as much variety in the final, but Fed just wouldn't let him, had an answer for everything. Gonzo nearly cracked it in the first set, but Fed found a way wrench it away from him, and then took his usual control in the 2nd and 3rd sets.

As for simply slugging it out, isn't that exactly what Nadal does???

He did have a magnificent Open, until he got into a tie break in the first Set. I think Gonzo froze even though I don't think he could have beaten him anyway.

Interesting, at the net:

Federer won 34 of his 43 net approaches for a success rate of 79 % (Awesome)

Gonzalez won 14 points from 22. That an impressive 64% success rate (Impressive in that it is actually successful), yet he only attacked the net 22 times in 3 sets.

Federer attacked twice as often and attacked 21 times in the 1st set alone. Another interesting note; is that in the 1st Set, Gonzo put half his serves up the middle for 51.6 %, while in the other sets he put only 21 % and 20 % respectively.

=

Of course Nadal slugs it out; and also hits moonballs which throws Federer waaaayy off pace, and has most of his success on clay, and has won one Match in a 7-5 tiebreak NOT TOO MENTION he just is a freak; again, an exception, not a rule. ....

But Federer is figuring out Rafa I think (cannot wait for the French).

illkhiboy
02-17-2007, 07:00 PM
His backhand was exploited at all stages of his career. Just look at the stats I did. from 94 - 2001.

Believe what you want. Keep watching youtube highlights.



All those guys you mentioned lost to other guys who HAD BETTER GROUND GAMES! IT IS NOT NONSENSE! YOU HAVE NO SENSE!

Yeah, when logic fails you you resort to CAPS. Lol.

Anyone knows a good ground game doesn't mean = success on clay. Agassi was arguably the best baseliner of the 90's, and although he was "succesful" on clay, his record didn't reflect his mastery of groundstrokes. Why? Because movement amongst other factors matters a lot on clay.

Sampras' strokes were not really meant for clay. Though ofcourse he did beat Jim Courier at the French.

drakulie
02-17-2007, 08:32 PM
I'm neutral here, but it looks like you picked out certain matches that proved your case. If possible, it would be great to see the statistics for a lot more final matches.

Actually I didn't pick ANY of those matches. They are stats I did for another thread. The matches were "picked" by other posters who swore Sampras was dominant off the ground in those matches, and throughout his career. WHY? Because they saw youtube highlights.

In addition, 7 of those 9 matches are FINALS. Including two where Pete himself said he played his greatest tennis>>> The 99 Wimbledon Final, and Year end Finals of 99. By the way, he won 8 of those 9 matches.

drakulie
02-17-2007, 08:41 PM
Anyone knows a good ground game doesn't mean = success on clay. Agassi was arguably the best baseliner of the 90's, and although he was "succesful" on clay, his record didn't reflect his mastery of groundstrokes. Why? Because movement amongst other factors matters a lot on clay.

What are you smoking? During the 90's in 8 attempts, Agassi made the French Open Finals 3 times, an additional semi final and quarter final. Additionally had a 51-16 record at the French.

Oh, by the way>>>> he won the French once.

Ted Ghost Shackley
02-17-2007, 08:46 PM
In 1992, I partied with a cousin of Wilander in Copenhagen for several days (she was on her way back to Sweden after doing volunteer work in Africa). A very nice and attractive red-haired woman. When she heard that I played tennis my whole life she told me Wilander was her cousin and said he was a nice guy, but did too many drugs.

Maybe he was on a cocaine binge, or just down from another bad gig by his Stockholm "rock" band lounge act, when he so easily dismissed Sampras.

Sampras knocked players out with power and quickness. Everyone is too mesmerized by Fed's artistry. Sampras in his prime was faster and more powerful. Prime-time Sampras beats Fed on every surface but clay.

If Fed wins the French, I'll bow to him and consider him G.O.A.T. This will never happen. Fed may pass the Sampras G.S. record, and then dwelve in the realms of Rod Laver; but until Fed proves himself, Sampras is above him.

illkhiboy
02-17-2007, 08:47 PM
What I am saying is, a good baseline game does not equal success on clay. Plenty of baseliners who do fine on hardcourts don't do as well on clay. Agassi has a fine record on clay, but it does not match his success on hardcourts.

I am not just talking about the French, I am talking about clay courts. His hardcourt record is far superior to his success on clay. Are you saying his ground game is weak? No, there are other factors than just the strokes that come into play on clay.

stormholloway
02-17-2007, 08:59 PM
but until Fed proves himself, Sampras is above him.

Until Federer proves himself? Are you expecting him to cure cancer or something?

He's had the most dominant 3 year span in open history.

drakulie
02-17-2007, 09:18 PM
What I am saying is, a good baseline game does not equal success on clay.

Dude, your posts are getting more and more absurd. If a good baseline game does not equal success on clay, then what does?

Name one player in the last 20 years who won the French with a crappy baseline gameo out of the list below:

1986 Ivan Lendl Mikael Pernfors 6-3 6-2 6-4
1987 Ivan Lendl Mats Wilander 7-5 6-2 3-6 7-6
1988 Mats Wilander Henri Leconte 7-5 6-2 6-1
1989 Michael Chang Stefan Edberg 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-2
1990 Andrés Gómez Andre Agassi 6-3 2-6 6-4 6-4
1991 Jim Courier Andre Agassi 3-6 6-4 2-6 6-1 6-4
1992 Jim Courier Petr Korda 7-5 6-2 6-1
1993 Sergi Bruguera Jim Courier 6-4 2-6 6-2 3-6 6-3
1994 Sergi Bruguera Alberto Berasategui 6-3 7-5 2-6 6-1
1995 Thomas Muster Michael Chang 7-5 6-2 6-4
1996 Yevgeny Kafelnikov Michael Stich 7-6 7-5 7-6
1997 Gustavo Kuerten Sergi Bruguera 6-3 6-4 6-2
1998 Carlos Moyá Alex Corretja 6-3 7-5 6-3
1999 Andre Agassi Andrei Medvedev 1-6 2-6 6-4 6-3 6-4
2000 Gustavo Kuerten Magnus Norman 6-2 6-3 2-6 7-6(6)
2001 Gustavo Kuerten Alex Corretja 6-7(3) 7-5 6-2 6-0
2002 Albert Costa Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-1 6-0 4-6 6-3
2003 Juan Carlos Ferrero Martin Verkerk 6-1 6-3 6-2
2004 Gastón Gaudio Guillermo Coria 0-6 3-6 6-4 6-1 8-6
2005 Rafael Nadal Mariano Puerta 6-7(6) 6-3 6-1 7-5
2006 Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6(4)


I am not just talking about the French, I am talking about clay courts. His hardcourt record is far superior to his success on clay.

I would hope so since he played MANY MORE HARDOCURT TOURNAMENTS.

Are you saying his ground game is weak? No, there are other factors than just the strokes that come into play on clay.



uhmmmmm???? WHAT YOU SMOKING BEAVIS?

Ted Ghost Shackley
02-17-2007, 09:19 PM
[QUOTE=stormholloway;1259820]Until Federer proves himself? Are you expecting him to cure cancer or something?

He's had the most dominant 3 year span in open history. Roger needs to break the Sampras G.S. record before he is placed above him. Seems likely now, but no easy task. The Agassi career G.S. is another landmark. No easy task. Rod Laver's two G.S. years ago is untouchable.

Yes, the game is better now; but it will also be better twenty tears from now. Fed needs to pass Sampras before he is fitted for the crown.

drakulie
02-17-2007, 09:28 PM
No easy task. Rod Laver's two G.S. years ago is untouchable.

Untouchable because 3 of the 4 slams when Laver played were on grass.

If Fed does win a calendar slam>>>> to me it will be more impressive than Laver because of the 4 different surfaces.

justineheninhoogenbandfan
02-17-2007, 09:31 PM
He's had the most dominant 3 year span in open history. Roger needs to break the Sampras G.S. record before he is placed above him. Seems likely now, but no easy task. The Agassi career G.S. is another landmark. No easy task. Rod Laver's two G.S. years ago is untouchable.

Yes, the game is better now; but it will also be better twenty tears from now. Fed needs to pass Sampras before he is fitted for the crown.

To be honest Fed winning only 5 more slams, at this point in time, does seem like a pretty easy task for me. The Agassi career G.S is likely to happen, Nadal cant win the French Open every year, Federer is clearly one of the dominant 2 or 3 players on clay, so at some point will have to win it. I dont even think Lavers's 2 grand slams are untouchable for Federer, unlikely to do, but not impossable.

scotus
02-17-2007, 10:00 PM
If nadal doesn't take good care of his injuries, he may not make it to the French Open final this year. I think this may be the best chance Federer has to win the French.

ispaht
02-17-2007, 10:05 PM
I'll go back in this thread once Federer ends his career.

TheTruth
02-18-2007, 12:26 AM
can you post any of this(or anything that you remember)? thanks



This is true. But the same can be said of Laver, Borg, Connors, Mac compared to Sampras. He never had years where he completely dominated, week in, week out, like they did. I said it it another thread, Sampras was a strange player, he seemed so disinterested throughout the year except at majors. Not fair to the fans that paid to see him at New Haven or Indianapolis & the like, but I guess that attitude served him well in Flushing & SW19.



I think Federer is a better player as well, but you are correct, Wilander has always had some bias towards sampras(& becker) for many years.

I remember when he first lost to Becker, he decried the direction tennis was going, saying that Becker was brainless brute who relied purely on power & that fans wanted to see long rallies not that kind of tennis.
Fast forward to when he lost the Sampras at the 1989 US Open, he said the exact same thing! Throughout sampras' entire career, he rarely said anything positive about him. Federer plays a game that involves much longer rallies, Wilander likes the players "earn" their points rather than win with one or 2 shots.

There was an interview with him on a bbc website a few years ago, where he reiterated his views, putting down both becker & sampras basically because he just didn't like the way they played.

Which is why I have a problem listening to other players opinions. They're usually tainted by bias. Wasn't Wilander saying last year that Federer had no #$#@s and he wasn't being pushed by the competition. Yeah, I would listen to Wilander. He has zero credibility with me.

lambielspins
02-18-2007, 12:49 AM
Wilander is a hypocrite. Last year after Federer lost the French Open final to Nadal he said he had no balls, and that if they were shriveled like a prune he would win more matches vs Nadal. So basically when the Federer bandwagon showed just a couple glitches to it he jumped off it. Then after Federer has won his 3rd straight slam, giving him a total of 10, and won his last 2 meetings with Nadal, he now says he is much better then Sampras. It isnt his opinion either way that is the biggest problem, it is that he comes across as a hypocrite who just jumps on wherever the bandwagon is at the time to make himself look smartest.

lambielspins
02-18-2007, 12:55 AM
Anyone knows a good ground game doesn't mean = success on clay. Agassi was arguably the best baseliner of the 90's, and although he was "succesful" on clay, his record didn't reflect his mastery of groundstrokes. Why? Because movement amongst other factors matters a lot on clay.

What are you smoking? During the 90's in 8 attempts, Agassi made the French Open Finals 3 times, an additional semi final and quarter final. Additionally had a 51-16 record at the French.

Oh, by the way>>>> he won the French once.

Yeah but he is saying Agassi was probably the best baseliner of the 90s, so if clay court success was a foolproof reflection of baseline excellence then Agassi would probably have the best record there. He doesnt though, an excellent record but clearly not the best. Kuerten, Courier, Bruguera, Muster all have better records on clay then Agassi does, and only Muster of those 4 doesnt have a better French Open record. So if not winning the French Open is a reflection of Sampras's ground game being unexcellent, then would not having the best record at the French Open, or on clay in general reflect Agassi being less outstanding a baseliner then Kuerten, Courier, Bruguera, and maybe Muster?

Rataplan
02-18-2007, 02:54 AM
Which is why I have a problem listening to other players opinions. They're usually tainted by bias. Wasn't Wilander saying last year that Federer had no #$#@s and he wasn't being pushed by the competition. Yeah, I would listen to Wilander. He has zero credibility with me.Are some of you guys still whining about that "balls" comment from Mats Wilander?

No, you need to listen to that entire interview because that's not what he said exactly.
He was talking about one match in particular, not about the entire competition, not the entire season...1 match.

Sheesh..everybody who doesn't totally worship Federer gets branded as an idiot in these parts, just like I risk getting attacked just for this reply probably.
Why are some of you so oversensitive when talking about Federer? You can't stand any sort of criticism. Nothing but praise is what you seem to expect.

catspaw
02-18-2007, 03:28 AM
Originally Posted by TheTruth
Which is why I have a problem listening to other players opinions. They're usually tainted by bias. Wasn't Wilander saying last year that Federer had no #$#@s and he wasn't being pushed by the competition. Yeah, I would listen to Wilander. He has zero credibility with me.


Are some of you guys still whining about that "balls" comment from Mats Wilander?

No, you need to listen to that entire interview because that's not what he said exactly.
He was talking about one match in particular, not about the entire competition, not the entire season...1 match.

Sheesh..everybody who doesn't totally worship Federer gets branded as an idiot in these parts, just like I risk getting attacked just for this reply probably.
Why are some of you so oversensitive when talking about Federer? You can't stand any sort of criticism. Nothing but praise is what you seem to expect.

I think you'll find that The Truth is the reverse of a Fed fan. I AM one, though, and I expect constant criticism of Roger, and I'm never disappointed.:p

tricky
02-18-2007, 03:38 AM
All I have to say is, if competitors and HOF guys have no credibility, then who does? Media pundits? Writers who don't play? Anonymous people on the Internet? Some have said Fed is better; some have said Sampras is better. Did anybody think any consensus would be unanimous or unilateral?

Maybe the only credible position is that most of us have already decided who is GOAT for the time being (and we all allow ourselves to change our minds more results come in), and that we'll cite anything and everything -- people, stats, hypothetical posturing -- as authority for that position. When has anybody ever changed their mind over something somebody said? And when will a mod just do the easy thing and create a subforum to move all the Fed vs. ? traffic there.

Rataplan
02-18-2007, 03:45 AM
think you'll find that The Truth is the reverse of a Fed fan. I AM one, though, and I expect constant criticism of Roger, and I'm never disappointedPerhaps yes. It's a matter of viewpoint, isn't it? You take more notice of the criticism of your favorite player and you tend to be able to read the criticism on other players with more ease.

Just from my viewpoint: other than a couple of comments here and there, I honestly don't see it much (Roger criticism) and anybody who dares to criticize Roger in this place gets bashed like no Roger fan gets bashed.
It's perhaps logical with Roger being such a strong number one perhaps. The winner is always right, as the saying goes.
But it would be great - but it's never going to happen - if a discussion about tennis would be a bit more objective from time to time and not a "I will attack your player because you haven't been nice to my player" sort of discussion.



Agreed with the idea to move all the Fed vs ? to another section in this place. A subforum. Not going to happen either, I think.

illkhiboy
02-18-2007, 04:29 AM
Dude, your posts are getting more and more absurd. If a good baseline game does not equal success on clay, then what does?



A good baseline game is not the only thing required to win on clay. Movement, patience, ability to out-grind dirtballers etc. is important if one wants to have a succesful game on clay. Sampras did not have that. His movement was not quite fluid on clay. And you are right, his backhand was a problem.
Sampras' backhand was worse on CLAY than other surfaces. On surfaces where the ball stayed low, he did fine at most times. On clay not quite so much. In fact even his forehand was not such a big threat on that surface. It does not mean he had bad groundstrokes, they were just less effective on clay than other surfaces.
Similarly, Hewitt in his prime had a top 2-3 baseline game on a hardcourt like Deco Turf. On Rebound Ace and clay, he was not top 2-3. So did he have a bad game? No, other players were simply better on slower surfaces than Hewitt. See what I mean? Other baseliners were better than Sampras on clay.

Name one player in the last 20 years who won the French with a crappy baseline gameo out of the list below:

1986 Ivan Lendl Mikael Pernfors 6-3 6-2 6-4
1987 Ivan Lendl Mats Wilander 7-5 6-2 3-6 7-6
1988 Mats Wilander Henri Leconte 7-5 6-2 6-1
1989 Michael Chang Stefan Edberg 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-2
1990 Andrés Gómez Andre Agassi 6-3 2-6 6-4 6-4
1991 Jim Courier Andre Agassi 3-6 6-4 2-6 6-1 6-4
1992 Jim Courier Petr Korda 7-5 6-2 6-1
1993 Sergi Bruguera Jim Courier 6-4 2-6 6-2 3-6 6-3
1994 Sergi Bruguera Alberto Berasategui 6-3 7-5 2-6 6-1
1995 Thomas Muster Michael Chang 7-5 6-2 6-4
1996 Yevgeny Kafelnikov Michael Stich 7-6 7-5 7-6
1997 Gustavo Kuerten Sergi Bruguera 6-3 6-4 6-2
1998 Carlos Moyá Alex Corretja 6-3 7-5 6-3
1999 Andre Agassi Andrei Medvedev 1-6 2-6 6-4 6-3 6-4
2000 Gustavo Kuerten Magnus Norman 6-2 6-3 2-6 7-6(6)
2001 Gustavo Kuerten Alex Corretja 6-7(3) 7-5 6-2 6-0
2002 Albert Costa Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-1 6-0 4-6 6-3
2003 Juan Carlos Ferrero Martin Verkerk 6-1 6-3 6-2
2004 Gastón Gaudio Guillermo Coria 0-6 3-6 6-4 6-1 8-6
2005 Rafael Nadal Mariano Puerta 6-7(6) 6-3 6-1 7-5
2006 Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6(4)

Oh I see...you have facts and stats. Sorry, you're right.

I am wrong, I lost..wait..what's the relevance of this? Did I say a player with a crappy baseline won the French? Though Stefan Edberg, who led 2-1 sets against Chang, did have a crappy forehand from the baseline. And Moya is considered by many to have a crappy backhand.


I would hope so since he played MANY MORE HARDOCURT TOURNAMENTS.

I am talking percentage wise, I am not talking of the number of matches won. I'll say it, since you have a tendency to twist words..Agassi, considered by many to have the finest groundstrokes for so many years, had a fine record on clay.
But, according to your theory, he should have been the king on clay. Not quite. Though steady, Agassi won ONE French Open and ONE Masters Series Title on clay during his entire career. His winning percentage was not extremely high either. He often lost before the Quarter-Finals in clay court tournaments. He even lost to Sampras the last two times they played on clay.

whistleway
02-18-2007, 06:34 AM
I don't care if Fed is much better than Sampras or not. Why does it matter? In 15 years or so, someone will be much better than both. That's the way things work. If not 15 years, 30 years.. Whatever.

I don't need Federer to be the best ever to enjoy watching his game. I like his style and if that happens to be the most dominant of his era, well and good. Comparing eras and fighting on who's the best ever is kind of silly.

Not many argue about the fact that Jordan is the greatest ever, since he transcended the sport. Federer won't do that and he is in the realm of tennis, as far as I know. So, we have to wrestle with stats, matches etc.. to offer him that greatest ever mantle. Federer is a great great player and outside of the small tennis world, no one gives a crap about him.. neither for Sampras nor for Laver.

I am very happy I get to see Federer live as well as on TV. And the way he plays and handles himself off the court gives a fresh hope that soon atleast some emerging players might follow that trend.

If anything, tennis is better off for having Federer. Much more people would agree to that statement than they would for Sampras. So, he is now better than Sampras. Not just stats, but the way he played his game. QED :)

sugmasterflex
02-18-2007, 06:49 AM
Sampras always had the game to win the French, but not often the fitness.

stormholloway
02-18-2007, 07:53 AM
Untouchable because 3 of the 4 slams when Laver played were on grass.

If Fed does win a calendar slam>>>> to me it will be more impressive than Laver because of the 4 different surfaces.

I think you overestimate this point. Would Laver really have had a problem playing on a hard court? And his competition was equally grass experienced. I have a match where a ~36 year old Laver holds his own from the baseline against Borg. Laver could hit brilliant groundstrokes and was well suited for slower surfaces.

Mick
02-18-2007, 08:10 AM
i know Rod Laver was a fantastic player and is one of the GOAT but it is difficult for me to accept that a 5 feet 8 player could dominate the sport the way it is played today.

drakulie
02-18-2007, 08:43 AM
A good baseline game is not the only thing required to win on clay. Movement, patience, ability to out-grind dirtballers etc. is important if one wants to have a succesful game on clay. Sampras did not have that.

Good to see you finally got it.

avmoghe
02-18-2007, 03:18 PM
Here are some stats I did to prove to people like you, Sampras did not have a great or “deadly” backhand. I watched 9 matches and counted every rally from the baseline in each match. For each error (forced or unforced) the player received one unforced error. For every clean winner, he received one winner.

Here are Sampras’ stats for each match.

95 US Open vs. Agassi
3 backhand winners vs. 9 backhand errors

Sampras vs Agassi famous "no breaks of serve" US open match.
3 backhand winners vs. 14 backhand errors

Sampras vs Courier Australian Open match.
2 backhand winners vs. 27 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1994 Miami Final
1 backhand winners vs. 11 backhand errors

Sampras vs. Agassi 1999 Wimbledon Final
2 backhand winners vs. 6 backhand errors

1999 ATP year End Championship (Finals)
4 backhand winners vs. 5 backhand errors

Indian Wells 2001 Finals
5 backhand winners vs. 20 backhand errors

1999 Mercedez Benz Classic Finals
2 backhand winners vs. 8 backhand errors

1995 Newsweek Finals
3 backhand winners vs. 18 backhand errors

Total: 25 winners. 118 errors


Oh, by the way, his forehand didn’t do that much better.

Here is the thread if you would like to read the entire discussion:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100334&page=15&highlight=sampras+ground+game

Bye bye!

Does anyone have Federer's famous matches recorded along with some free time?

It would be great to see similar statistics collected for 'Federer at his best' matches. Of course, the criteria for counting the backhand winners or errors need to be kept the same.

tlm
02-18-2007, 04:23 PM
Hey nobadmojo, how is it there is a 50/50 chance that nadal is a juicer?These guys are tested all the time, i read an interview with roddick + he said there were times he was getting tested 2 times a month, be pretty tough to get away with anything.

A lot of the players that have been busted were taking some legal supplements or cold medicines, some of the amounts of the supposedly illegal substances were next to nothing.

I would say that you stating there is a better than 50/50 chance of nadal being a juicer is the the real speculation.Were is your evidence that there is tons of juicing on tour?

sureshs
02-18-2007, 04:36 PM
The same issue has an interview with Andy Murray, which further confirms what I was saying:

"One of the real hard things for this generation is that it's a much more physical game. The Borgs and McEnroes were in good shape, but it's a much quicker pace now. The guys are hitting the ball much harder. If you watch videos from then and now, you can see it. It is the one thing that stands out and makes it difficult to stay on top for so long."

See, this is how top players feel. I don't think he is being arrogant. He is just saying it as it is.

sureshs
02-18-2007, 04:36 PM
Hey nobadmojo, how is it there is a 50/50 chance that nadal is a juicer?These guys are tested all the time, i read an interview with roddick + he said there were times he was getting tested 2 times a month, be pretty tough to get away with anything.

A lot of the players that have been busted were taking some legal supplements or cold medicines, some of the amounts of the supposedly illegal substances were next to nothing.

I would say that you stating there is a better than 50/50 chance of nadal being a juicer is the the real speculation.Were is your evidence that there is tons of juicing on tour?

That is right. It is just speculation. No evidence.

sureshs
02-18-2007, 05:08 PM
And one more from Paul Goldstein's tennis.com blog about 10 years of pro tennis:

"The physical demands have increased dramatically since I started on the tour."

Bjorn99
02-18-2007, 08:54 PM
Hey post some of that Borg/laver match wouldja? That would be cool to see.

Both Federer and Sampras have a smarminess about them that won't transcend the sport. Jordan was anything but smarmy.

Federer tries so hard, but he just comes off as a bit of a nerd, and Pete was just a complete arse off the court. Just like Evert. Complete fakes. Tennis needs someone REEL.

Nick Irons
02-18-2007, 09:33 PM
Hey post some of that Borg/laver match wouldja? That would be cool to see.

Both Federer and Sampras have a smarminess about them that won't transcend the sport. Jordan was anything but smarmy.

Federer tries so hard, but he just comes off as a bit of a nerd, and Pete was just a complete arse off the court. Just like Evert. Complete fakes. Tennis needs someone REEL.

I agree on most points; I found Evert to be truly a great warrior; humble and cool even in victory, but I agree with the rest of your points.

Tennis just lacks personality these days; no Connors, no Mac, Agassi had that charisma and style. Yes, Pete has always been a bore.

Anyone remember the Jensens brother's when they were actually playing for about 5 minutes ? They'd come out with their Raider's jersey's playing!

I agree; Tennis lack's any personality

illkhiboy
02-19-2007, 03:14 AM
Why the hell do you think he NEVER MADE IT TO THE FINAL OF A FRENCH???????

ANSWER= HIS GROUND GAME COULD NOT STAND UP TO OTHER PLAYERS OF HIS GENERATION. AND WITH HIS SERVE NEUTRALIZED HE WAS TOAST!!!



...the French argument you make is pretty much nonsense. Good ground game does not equal into success on clay.


..YOU HAVE NO SENSE!



Anyone knows a good ground game doesn't mean = success on clay. Agassi was arguably the best baseliner of the 90's, and although he was "succesful" on clay, his record didn't reflect his mastery of groundstrokes. Why? Because movement amongst other factors matters a lot on clay.

Sampras' strokes were not really meant for clay. Though ofcourse he did beat Jim Courier at the French.

What are you smoking? During the 90's in 8 attempts, Agassi made the French Open Finals 3 times, an additional semi final and quarter final. Additionally had a 51-16 record at the French.

Oh, by the way>>>> he won the French once.

What I am saying is, a good baseline game does not equal success on clay. Plenty of baseliners who do fine on hardcourts don't do as well on clay. Agassi has a fine record on clay, but it does not match his success on hardcourts.

I am not just talking about the French, I am talking about clay courts. His hardcourt record is far superior to his success on clay. Are you saying his ground game is weak? No, there are other factors than just the strokes that come into play on clay.

Dude, your posts are getting more and more absurd. If a good baseline game does not equal success on clay, then what does?


A good baseline game is not the only thing required to win on clay. Movement, patience, ability to out-grind dirtballers etc. is important if one wants to have a succesful game on clay. Sampras did not have that. His movement was not quite fluid on clay.


Good to see you finally got it.

No Drakulie, my stance was consistent throughout the debate. It's good to see you finally saw my perspective. But it's not too good that you're dishonest about it. You basically backed down because of this post:

Yeah but he (me, IllKhiBoy) is saying Agassi was probably the best baseliner of the 90s, so if clay court success was a foolproof reflection of baseline excellence then Agassi would probably have the best record there. He doesnt though, an excellent record but clearly not the best. Kuerten, Courier, Bruguera, Muster all have better records on clay then Agassi does, and only Muster of those 4 doesnt have a better French Open record. So if not winning the French Open is a reflection of Sampras's ground game being unexcellent, then would not having the best record at the French Open, or on clay in general reflect Agassi being less outstanding a baseliner then Kuerten, Courier, Bruguera, and maybe Muster?

drakulie
02-19-2007, 05:56 AM
No Drakulie, my stance was consistent throughout the debate. It's good to see you finally saw my perspective. But it's not too good that you're dishonest about it. You basically backed down because of this post:

LOL. OK dude. Your stance was consistent (cough).

1. First you say he has a good backhand>>>. I show you stats.

2. You see stats and say I didn't count all his return winners. LMAO >> I show you his return winner vs. unreturned serves.

You don't like that so you change your stance again.

and again,

and again,

and again,

and again,

and again,

etc, etc, etc.

Get a life.

Mick
02-19-2007, 06:13 AM
1. First you say he has a good backhand>>>. I show you stats.


check out this match between Lendl and Sampras.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e10DgfCVMpI

It appears that Lendl hit most of the balls to Sampras' backhand. Sampras would hit some backhands and then run around and hit the forehands.

I am sure Lendl didn't hit the ball the Sampras' backhand because he thought it was as good as his forehand.

drakulie
02-19-2007, 07:08 AM
Nice vid Mick!

Sampras would typically loop his backhand back and almost bait his opponent to go down the line, so he could hit that big running forehand.

illkhiboy
02-19-2007, 11:45 AM
LOL. OK dude. Your stance was consistent (cough).

1. First you say he has a good backhand>>>. I show you stats.

2. You see stats and say I didn't count all his return winners. LMAO >> I show you his return winner vs. unreturned serves.

You don't like that so you change your stance again.

and again,

and again,

and again,

and again,

and again,

etc, etc, etc.

Get a life.

Drakulie I know your not a complete idiot, so quit acting like one. I have seen some good posts from you before. But right now you're on some troll sh*t.

TheNatural
02-19-2007, 11:30 PM
I dont think agassi had much charisma ON court. He was a super clean stiker with a methodical game. He was pedantic about where ballboys stood, didnt even pump his fists, or do slam dunk smashes. Sampras had a lot more style about his shots. I think Nadal, hewitt, bagdadis , ROddick etc have more personality on court.

I agree on most points; I found Evert to be truly a great warrior; humble and cool even in victory, but I agree with the rest of your points.

Tennis just lacks personality these days; no Connors, no Mac, Agassi had that charisma and style. Yes, Pete has always been a bore.

Anyone remember the Jensens brother's when they were actually playing for about 5 minutes ? They'd come out with their Raider's jersey's playing!

I agree; Tennis lack's any personality

jaisrh
02-20-2007, 04:18 AM
Sampras had a great service game but his return game was weak. He was great at winning a lot of close sets and matches but it cost him sometimes by not getting many returns in play or getting back a lot of weak returns.

Federer finished at or near the top in both holding and breaking serve stats for 2006 which is why he is more dominant on a consistent basis than Sampras was. That explains why he sometimes just destroys other top players whereas Sampras often had much closer set and match scores. It also explains why he rarely gets upset in the early rounds like Sampras did.

Federer's stats on holding and breaking serve are even more impressive when you consider that he faces more top players than anyone else every year because he almost always gets to the finals now. Other players lose most of the tournaments they play by the early or middle rounds before they play a top player. Sampras usually lost a few early round matches every year and some more in the middle rounds. He had 64 titles in his career, almost all of them came in the 90s so he averaged about 6 per year in the 90's out of the 18-20 tournaments per year that he played. Federer has averaged 11 titles out of 16-17 tournaments played per year the last 3 years and he looks like he can keep it up for another 4+ years since he is only 25 years old. He might average even more if he can start beating Nadal on clay which he is getting close to doing.

Federer has the better forehand because his is more consistently deadly. Sampras at his best maybe had an equal forehand but he tended to be streaky with his forehand. I remember seeing Sampras sometimes making a ton of errors on his forehand but still squeak by matches because of his serve.

Federer's backhand holds up better under attack than Sampras' backhand and is more of a topspin drive than Sampras' rolling looper that was more likely than Federer's to land short.

Sampras has the edge on serve and volley but Federer's serve is underrated as he was I think 3rd on the tour in aces in 2006. His volley is pretty good although a bit below Sampras because Pete volleyed much more often.

In terms of holding serve, Sampras probably has a slight edge in percentage of service games held but Federer has a huge edge in breaking service games. So it comes down to Federer being more likely to break Sampras' serve than vice versa.

The Gorilla
02-20-2007, 04:37 AM
I think it's important to remember that Sampras was much better at playing the all court game Federer's playing now than serve and volley.After Guillickson died he turned himself into a pure serve and volleyer under paul annacone and his dominance plummeted.

Playing Federer's style he was pretty much exactly as dominant as Federer, as a serve and volleyer he was nowhere near as dominant.

Sampras says in that interview that he was playing the best tennis of his life in that 2002 US open title, he probably was playing the best SERVE AND VOLLEY of his life but he was only playing to about 3/4 of his potential.

Wimby
02-20-2007, 06:29 AM
I think it's important to remember that Sampras was much better at playing the all court game Federer's playing now than serve and volley.After Guillickson died he turned himself into a pure serve and volleyer under paul annacone and his dominance plummeted.

Playing Federer's style he was pretty much exactly as dominant as Federer, as a serve and volleyer he was nowhere near as dominant.

Which year of Sampras was as dominant as Federer's 2004 or 2006?

2004: 3 slams, 3 MS, TMC without losing a match, 74-6
2006: 3 slams, FO final, 4 MS, TMC without losing a match, 92-5

The Gorilla
02-20-2007, 08:26 AM
Which year of Sampras was as dominant as Federer's 2004 or 2006?

2004: 3 slams, 3 MS, TMC without losing a match, 74-6
2006: 3 slams, FO final, 4 MS, TMC without losing a match, 92-5

Sampras vs. Federer at 25 Years Old
------------------------Sampras-------Federer
Grand Slams---------------9-------------10
Weeks, No. 1------------ 159----------- 160
Titles-------------------- 45------------ 46
Win pct. ----------------79.0---------- 80.0
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Wimby
02-20-2007, 09:02 AM
So, Federer leads in all categories - this despite trailing very far at the beginning of 2004. So where did you get the idea that "Sampras was much better at playing the all court game Federer's playing now".

On the other hand, I do agree that Sampras posted much better results playing an all-court game than pure serve-volley. With the former style, he won 5 HC slams, reached 3 Qtrs and a SF at French Open whereas with the latter he won only 2 HC slams and no Qtrs at FO.

The Gorilla
02-20-2007, 01:20 PM
So, Federer leads in all categories - this despite trailing very far at the beginning of 2004. So where did you get the idea that "Sampras was much better at playing the all court game Federer's playing now".

On the other hand, I do agree that Sampras posted much better results playing an all-court game than pure serve-volley. With the former style, he won 5 HC slams, reached 3 Qtrs and a SF at French Open whereas with the latter he won only 2 HC slams and no Qtrs at FO.




But I didn't say that he was playing much better than Federer, I said he was pretty much exactly as dominant:

I think it's important to remember that Sampras was much better at playing the all court game Federer's playing now than serve and volley.After Guillickson died he turned himself into a pure serve and volleyer under paul annacone and his dominance plummeted.

Playing Federer's style he was pretty much exactly as dominant as Federer, as a serve and volleyer he was nowhere near as dominant.

Sampras says in that interview that he was playing the best tennis of his life in that 2002 US open title, he probably was playing the best SERVE AND VOLLEY of his life but he was only playing to about 3/4 of his potential.


See, we're not in disagreement here are we?

drakulie
02-20-2007, 01:28 PM
Drakulie I know your not a complete idiot, so quit acting like one.

You are the one that suggested I didn't count his return winners, therefore the numbers were "skewed" to prove my point. As I showed, his numbers got worse when coutning return winners.

You are the one who continues to try and make a different exuse, or provide another "way to look at it", each time a point is provided that goes contrary to your argument.

The Gorilla
02-20-2007, 01:31 PM
You are the one that suggested I didn't count his return winners, therefore the numbers were "skewed" to prove my point. As I showed, his numbers got worse when coutning return winners.

You are the one who continues to try and make a different exuse, or provide another "way to look at it", each time a point is provided that goes contrary to your argument.


I don't know how you compiled the numbers Drakulie, could you tell me how you classified the returns of serve?

drakulie
02-20-2007, 01:52 PM
Gorilla, here you go:

Regarding the stats I did, someone suggested the numbers for Sampras looked "bad", because I didn't take into account all the winners Sampras hit on return of serves.

So I viewed the match he referred to and did the stats again, counting the winners he hit on return of serves off both sides. Here is the post I referred to:

You are correct. There is a problem with the stats I did. If I took into acount, as you suggested, the retrun of serve >>>> his numbers would be even worse on both wings. If you seriously think the number of winners he hit on return of serves to "error ratio/non-returned serves" would somehow "balance out" his ground game in his favor >>>>you are seriously mistaken.

But just to get a kick out of this I went ahead and did his return of serve stats. I looked at what Pete himself called his "best match ever">> the 99 Wimbledon final where he crushed Agassi. Here are his return of serve stats for that match:

Backhand winners= 1
Backhand errors= 16

So doing it your way, as I stated above, his numbers would look worse than what I originally posted: Backhand winners= 2, Backhand errors= 6

Now counting his return of serve stats for that match with ground stroke rallies here are his numbers:

backhand winners= 3
backhand errors = 22

You guys seriously need to get out of the clouds in thinking Sampras' backhand was lethal, deadly, or whatever.

Bye, bye! Have a nice day! :)

The Gorilla
02-20-2007, 01:58 PM
yeah, that sounds good, as long as you didn't count any mistakes he made off returns of serve as unforced errors?

illkhiboy
02-20-2007, 02:22 PM
You are the one that suggested I didn't count his return winners, therefore the numbers were "skewed" to prove my point. As I showed, his numbers got worse when coutning return winners.

You are the one who continues to try and make a different exuse, or provide another "way to look at it", each time a point is provided that goes contrary to your argument.

Listen, perhaps there is a misunderstanding here. I had said, that in my opinion, your stats looked skewed because you didn't count returns. I also said, that errors vs. winners don't tell all that much since you didn't account for the times his backhand set up putaway volleys or forced errors. You replied by posting his opponent's stats and Sampras' return stats. Fair enough. I accepted that.

But..I insisted that Sampras' backhand was not a weakness like you claim. It doesnt really matter if he had bad stats from the baseline against Agassi and Courier. Agassi and Courier are in the top echelon of baseliners. Though Sampras won a fair share of rallies against these two and other premier baseliners, especially on hard courts though he beat them both on clay as well (against Agassi it could be argued that once they played with fast American balls and the other time Agassi was on his comeback).

If Sampras' backhand was such a weakness, how come he was able to give Courier such a tough fight at the French from the backcourt in '94? He even beat Courier at '96 French in the quarter-finals.

I was basically saying that Sampras' backhand, though not a strength, wasn't a weakness either. You replied by randomly pulling your "SAMPRAS DID NOT WIN A FRENCH" card.

Here's what you said, pretty randomly:

Why the hell do you think he NEVER MADE IT TO THE FINAL OF A FRENCH???????

ANSWER= HIS GROUND GAME COULD NOT STAND UP TO OTHER PLAYERS OF HIS GENERATION. AND WITH HIS SERVE NEUTRALIZED HE WAS TOAST!!!


Since I was done with the old discussion (more about his backhand than anything else) I pointed out the fallacy in your NEW argument. After me (and Lambielspins) repeatedly pointed out your fallacy you finally admitted that I was right but acted as if it was you're point (about groundstrokes not being the only factor, and movement on clay being important as well etc.) and not mine.

illkhiboy
02-20-2007, 02:29 PM
yeah, that sounds good, as long as you didn't count any mistakes he made off returns of serve as unforced errors?

He has compiled all the errors into one category. So if a player got his raquet on lots of balls because of speed he would:

(a) commit more "errors"

(b) put the ball into play, but normally allow his opponent to increase their winner count.

drakulie
02-20-2007, 02:33 PM
Since I was done with the old discussion (more about his backhand than anything else) I pointed out the fallacy in your NEW argument. After me (and Lambielspins) repeatedly pointed out your fallacy you finally admitted that I was right

Please point out to me any post where I stated you were right without being sarcastic?

FiveO
02-20-2007, 02:44 PM
These are stats from the '95 US Open Final of Sampras v. Agassi, where Agassi came in to the event as the #1 (from Apr. 10 through Oct. 30) player in the world and ahead of #2 Sampras who ranked #1 the remainder of 1995.
Both players at their respective peaks.

My criteria:

My definition of a baseline rally, going into this, was four hits in court: serve, return, 1 groundie by the server and 1 groundie by the returner. This eliminated one-two combos, chip and charges and serve and volley points for both players. It includes any forays to net by either player after that rally number was reached. I simply scored it by who won the point, by any means: winners, forced errors and unforced errors.

The Numbers:

First Set won by Sampras 6-4

Pure baseline points won:

Agassi: 7
Sampras: 6 (including 22 stroke rally to break Agassi on set point/the 22nd stroke was a Sampras x-court topspin bh into Agassi's bh corner which AA did not run for.)

Sampras net appoaches after rally:

Won: 0
Lost: 0

Agassi net approaches after rally:

Won: 1
Lost: 1

First set subtotals:

Agassi: 8
Sampras: 7

Second Set won by Sampras 6-3

Pure baseline points won:

Agassi: 5
Sampras: 7

Sampras net appoaches after rally:

Won: 3
Lost: 1

Agassi net approaches after rally:

Won: 1
Lost: 1

Second set subtotals:

Agassi: 7
Sampras: 11

Third Set won by Agassi 6-4

Pure baseline points won:

Agassi: 6
Sampras: 3


Sampras net appoaches after rally:

Won: 3
Lost: 1

Agassi net approaches after rally:

Won: 1
Lost: 0

Third set subtotals:

Agassi: 8
Sampras: 6

Fourth Set won by Sampras 7-5

Pure baseline points won:

Agassi: 9
Sampras: 8

Sampras net appoaches after rally:

Won: 0
Lost: 1

Agassi net approaches after rally:

Won: 1
Lost: 1

Fourth set subtotals:

Agassi: 11
Sampras: 9

Match totals/points won via baseline rally (4 hits or more):

Agassi: 34
Sampras: 33

67 total baseline rally points over 4 sets and it was Agassi by +1.

Also factor in that it was a markedly windy final, which by most accounts would favor Agassi's game over Sampras's.

IMO these stats are more indicative of how Sampras applied his ground game during his prime and in this case against the best hardcourt baseliner at his best. These stats include forcing balls and Sampras's "quick" strike brand of tennis. No, he wasn't ever going to say to himself, "I'm going to grind a baseliner down from the backcourt". Instead he was going to break them down off the ground as soon in the rally as he could, either with a winner, forced error, the few UE's a prime Agassi would yield from the back, and short balls he would draw. Risk/reward, going for more, earlier in points. I believe that these stats rather than a ping-pong "4 balls off the ground" minimum criteria is more indicative of an all-courter (i.e. playing from all parts of the court) vs. a devout baseliner and Sampras's game in his prime.

FiveO
02-20-2007, 03:23 PM
It has taken some time for Wilander to come around to this opinion. And as opinions go he has modified his, several times. It's interesting how unimpressed he was with Sampras initially and how wrong he was after first losing to him:How would you rate your opponents like McEnroe, Lendl, Edberg and Becker? Who was the toughest to play with?
Sundar, USA

How would you rate your opponents like McEnroe, Lendl, Edberg and Becker? Who was the toughest to play with?

I think Boris Becker was. Ivan Lendl was the best player I ever played. He was the first guy to bring the game to more of a power level and you could know that if he played really well you could get blown off court and that wouldn't happen against John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors or even Bjorn Borg or Guillermo Vilas.

Lendl was able to do that. Then Becker came along and he was a kind of similar player to Lendl although he came to the net a little more. The difference with Becker was that he hit these shots from both sides. He had a very modern way of thinking on the tennis court. He would hit certain shots very hard that we thought you weren't supposed to do. It was like wow, you can't play tennis like that. I remember the first time I saw Pete Sampras I was defending the US Open in 1989 and I lost to Pete in five sets.

They were saying he was the next star. I totally disagreed at the press conference because I said there's no way you can play like that - you can't hit two good shots, then hit one bad one into the fence, and then hit another bad one and then two great serves and you suddenly win the game. I thought that's not the way to play tennis. But he changed the game and I think Becker was the first guy to do that. I had big problems with Boris Becker's power game and not knowing what he was going to do next.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/sports_talk/3693007.stm

In October of 2005 MW said this:

Pete Sampras (1-2): You have to put him as the best player in the world. Level wise, it is very difficult to say if it is Pete Sampras or Rod Laver. They won a lot of majors. Or Bjorn Borg, for that matter. But if you talk about the level that Pete Sampras played at, I would have to say that, when he played well there was no way Roger Federer would have beaten him. Not yet!

Sampras would have been able to play Federer's serve. When Pete Sampras played at his best, it was different tennis. If Sampras is playing 90 percent and Federer is playing 90 percent, I would say Federer is a much better player. But so far, nobody has reached the level attained by Sampras.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/tss/tss2842/stories/20051015000502000.htm

I'm not implying that MW wrong now or that Fed's last year wasn't good reason for his change of opinion. MW's an oft quoted tennis personality and I find it interesting to observe his flow of thought.

drakulie
02-20-2007, 03:30 PM
These stats include forcing balls and Sampras's "quick" strike brand of tennis. No, he wasn't ever going to say to himself, "I'm going to grind a baseliner down from the backcourt". Instead he was going to break them down off the ground as soon in the rally as he could, either with a winner, forced error, the few UE's a prime Agassi would yield from the back, and short balls he would draw. Risk/reward, going for more, earlier in points. I believe that these stats rather than a ping-pong "4 balls off the ground" minimum criteria is more indicative of an all-courter (i.e. playing from all parts of the court) vs. a devout baseliner and Sampras's game in his prime.

FiveO. Nice job. I agree with your assessment above, and stated this in the other thread.

Sampras' style was to go for broke early. He had a "blitzkrieg type" mentality. This constant pressure from his service game, to his mind set on return games was what made his game very unique. And, he was good enough to win with this style, which is never seen in the ATP.

35ft6
02-20-2007, 05:50 PM
It has taken some time for Wilander to come around to this opinion.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/sports_talk/3693007.stm

In October of 2005 MW said this:

http://www.hinduonnet.com/tss/tss2842/stories/20051015000502000.htm

I'm not implying that MW wrong now or that Fed's last year wasn't good reason for his change of opinion. MW's an oft quoted tennis personality and I find it interesting to observe his flow of thought. I don't see how people can read these comments and see Wilander as anything other than a thoughtful, honest journalist of the game. We've all watched Federer improve, so it's not surprising Wilander would notice the same improvement and change his opinion accordingly. I think America is too in love with "stay the course." Geez. Should new information and developments have relevance to the formation of a thought? Crazy idea.

FiveO
02-20-2007, 06:09 PM
I don't see how people can read these comments and see Wilander as anything other than a thoughtful, honest journalist of the game. We've all watched Federer improve, so it's not surprising Wilander would notice the same improvement and change his opinion accordingly. I think America is too in love with "stay the course." Geez. Should new information and developments have relevance to the formation of a thought? Crazy idea.


I think you read more into that post than was there. "America"?

fastdunn
02-20-2007, 07:47 PM
to me, Sampras is like Mozart and Federer is like Beethoven
Beethoven > Mozart
Federer > Sampras
All were geniuses in their field.

Hmm, interesting analogy.

Although I don't agree Beethovan > Mozart, I like Mozart-Beethovan thing.

When Sampras and Courier were playing each other,
some people compared them as Mozart and Salier(? don't know the spelling,
you know the movie...)

fastdunn
02-20-2007, 07:50 PM
FiveO. Nice job. I agree with your assessment above, and stated this in the other thread.

Sampras' style was to go for broke early. He had a "blitzkrieg type" mentality. This constant pressure from his service game, to his mind set on return games was what made his game very unique. And, he was good enough to win with this style, which is never seen in the ATP.

No, not really. Sampras played patient games if he played against
big attackers. He played Chang's role in his return game against many
tall attackers. Remember we had quite a few big tall attacking players
in 90's ??

drakulie
02-20-2007, 08:01 PM
^^^^ I agree. However, and maybe I didn't make a very good point. >>>

Sampras played as some choose to call it "very lazy"--although I disagree with this. However, I will use that to illustrate my point.

Opponent holds serve.
Sampras hold serve.
Opponent holds serve.
Sampras holds serve.

This goes on until 4 all. Boring tennis right?

Wrong!

Sampras attacks first point and gets to net. Love 15.
Opponent misses first serve. Second serve, Sampras hits slice down the line> opponent hit crosss court, Sampras hits blazing running forehand winner. Love-30.
Opponent double faults. Love-40
Sampras hits return winner. Game
Sampras serves out the set.

As a spectator, it was like...... When is this guy going to wake-up, and THEN BAM! He gets a break at 4 all, he serves and the set is over. It was like a blitzkrieg.

TheTruth
02-20-2007, 10:02 PM
I dont think agassi had much charisma ON court. He was a super clean stiker with a methodical game. He was pedantic about where ballboys stood, didnt even pump his fists, or do slam dunk smashes. Sampras had a lot more style about his shots. I think Nadal, hewitt, bagdadis , ROddick etc have more personality on court.

Totally agree! I never understood the Agassi had charisma theory. He was boring as $%##! Hitting the ball from side to side all ninety-six minutes of the match did make for good rhythm to go to sleep on though. Agassi was better at putting me to sleep than Sominex. Personally, I think his "charisma factor" came straight from the commentator's booth and unfortunately they got a lot of people to go along with it!

Zimbo
02-20-2007, 10:02 PM
It has taken some time for Wilander to come around to this opinion. And as opinions go he has modified his, several times. It's interesting how unimpressed he was with Sampras initially and how wrong he was after first losing to him:How would you rate your opponents like McEnroe, Lendl, Edberg and Becker? Who was the toughest to play with?
Sundar, USA



http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/sports_talk/3693007.stm

In October of 2005 MW said this:



http://www.hinduonnet.com/tss/tss2842/stories/20051015000502000.htm

I'm not implying that MW wrong now or that Fed's last year wasn't good reason for his change of opinion. MW's an oft quoted tennis personality and I find it interesting to observe his flow of thought.


Good post. I was looking for those links myself to post but you beat me to it. You can tell Mats has total respect for both Becker and Sampras. I don't know where people get stuff like Mats just "jealous."

By the way I agree with Mats about Pete, it would be pretty damn hard to beat him if he's %100.

TheTruth
02-20-2007, 10:09 PM
Are some of you guys still whining about that "balls" comment from Mats Wilander?

No, you need to listen to that entire interview because that's not what he said exactly.
He was talking about one match in particular, not about the entire competition, not the entire season...1 match.

Sheesh..everybody who doesn't totally worship Federer gets branded as an idiot in these parts, just like I risk getting attacked just for this reply probably.
Why are some of you so oversensitive when talking about Federer? You can't stand any sort of criticism. Nothing but praise is what you seem to expect.

First off. You got me pegged all wrong. I can't stand Federer. Secondly, I'm not taking Mats comments out of context. When someone speaks one thing one week and then turns around and speaks something totally different I tend to be wary of them. Sorry, I can't stand bandwagon people.

illkhiboy
02-21-2007, 12:30 AM
Please point out to me any post where I stated you were right without being sarcastic?

What I am saying is, a good baseline game does not equal success on clay. Plenty of baseliners who do fine on hardcourts don't do as well on clay. Agassi has a fine record on clay, but it does not match his success on hardcourts.

I am not just talking about the French, I am talking about clay courts. His hardcourt record is far superior to his success on clay. Are you saying his ground game is weak? No, there are other factors than just the strokes that come into play on clay.

Dude, your posts are getting more and more absurd. If a good baseline game does not equal success on clay, then what does?


A good baseline game is not the only thing required to win on clay. Movement, patience, ability to out-grind dirtballers etc. is important if one wants to have a succesful game on clay. Sampras did not have that. His movement was not quite fluid on clay.


Good to see you finally got it.

You're basically an idiot troll. Though I must say, you have been learning to restrain yourself a bit of late.

avmoghe
02-21-2007, 01:15 AM
IMO these stats are more indicative of how Sampras applied his ground game during his prime and in this case against the best hardcourt baseliner at his best. These stats include forcing balls and Sampras's "quick" strike brand of tennis. No, he wasn't ever going to say to himself, "I'm going to grind a baseliner down from the backcourt". Instead he was going to break them down off the ground as soon in the rally as he could, either with a winner, forced error, the few UE's a prime Agassi would yield from the back, and short balls he would draw. Risk/reward, going for more, earlier in points. I believe that these stats rather than a ping-pong "4 balls off the ground" minimum criteria is more indicative of an all-courter (i.e. playing from all parts of the court) vs. a devout baseliner and Sampras's game in his prime.

Thank you for the stats. While I've never claimed that Sampras had anything but a good groundgame, I suggest that this particular match may not be representative of an 'average' match that Sampras played in his prime. The overall goodness of a player's ground game should be based on an "average" match that Sampras played in his prime. Whether the above match is an "average" representation of Sampras' prime ground game is suspect to me. After all, if we use statistics from Gasquet's defeat of Federer while he was number 1, we may come up with a skewed picture of the excellence of Gasquet's ground game.

If you happen to have the time and energy, I would be interested to see such stats for other matches from 1993-1998. Of course, we are still restricting ourselves to matches Sampras won on non-clay surfaces. I do not expect the stats to do anything other than confirm my belief (formed after watching Sampras for years) that Sampras did have a good ground game. It's just that if we collect 'baseline statistics' for other matches, it may lead to a more comprehensive discussion. Thanks again.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 01:40 AM
I think you read more into that post than was there. "America"? I shouldn't have even quoted your post. It was what provoked my response, but I wasn't really agreeing or disagreeing with anything you wrote per se.

Ted Ghost Shackley
02-21-2007, 02:10 AM
Sampras has said that he is hitting the ball better than in his prime using his larger racquet and Luxilon strings. He is moving much worse and not playing better, but can hit it harder and with more control. I think Wilander meant that Federer is playing much better than Pete did, but not necessarily a much better player.

I would be very interested to see how Sampras and Fed would match-up in their prime with each playing P.S. 85's with gut or with the larger heads with Luxilon. Federer is lighter on his feet (moves like Borg) and has better touch, but Sampras was more explosive in speed and power. He played the attacking game to challenge Fed, unlike Fed's current competition.

The modern strings are a huge factor in the improved game today, more so than the racquets. This changes what shots people can play, and the match statistics. I think Fed beats Pete at the French and A.O.; Pete beats Fed on the old Wimbledon grass, at the U.S. Open and on most indoor courts. Maybe a draw on the new slow Wimbledon courts.

poplar
02-21-2007, 05:56 AM
Sampras has said that he is hitting the ball better than in his prime using his larger racquet and Luxilon strings. He is moving much worse and not playing better, but can hit it harder and with more control. I think Wilander meant that Federer is playing much better than Pete did, but not necessarily a much better player.

I would be very interested to see how Sampras and Fed would match-up in their prime with each playing P.S. 85's with gut or with the larger heads with Luxilon. Federer is lighter on his feet (moves like Borg) and has better touch, but Sampras was more explosive in speed and power. He played the attacking game to challenge Fed, unlike Fed's current competition.

The modern strings are a huge factor in the improved game today, more so than the racquets. This changes what shots people can play, and the match statistics. I think Fed beats Pete at the French and A.O.; Pete beats Fed on the old Wimbledon grass, at the U.S. Open and on most indoor courts. Maybe a draw on the new slow Wimbledon courts.


haha. People seem to assume that Fed is the only one who benefits from the new technology. yes, new racquets may be better, but everybody is using them. so the whole field plays better with them. and the players have to play each other, so the benefits even out. another reason we can't compare greats from different era. Laver might be more dominant or he might not be so great with today's technology. same applies to all other former greats.

bluegrasser
02-21-2007, 06:11 AM
haha. People seem to assume that Fed is the only one who benefits from the new technology. yes, new racquets may be better, but everybody is using them. so the whole field plays better with them. and the players have to play each other, so the benefits even out. another reason we can't compare greats from different era. Laver might be more dominant or he might not be so great with today's technology. same applies to all other former greats.

Maybe put it on the flip side - how would todays players do with wood racquets.

drakulie
02-21-2007, 08:32 AM
You're basically an idiot troll. Though I must say, you have been learning to restrain yourself a bit of late.

For all to see; Here is what you said:


I pointed out the fallacy in your NEW argument. After me (and Lambielspins) repeatedly pointed out your fallacy you finally admitted that I was right

Point out which post I "admitted you were right".

You have been wrong from the moment you suggested the number of Sampras backhand return winners would be enough to sway the argument in order to prove your point>>>>> that he had an awesome backhand. (cough)

As I already pointed out he hit ONE in what Pete himself considers the greatest match he ever played. Oh yeah, in case you didn't get the memo:

He had 16 unreturned serves on that side.

ACE of Hearts
02-21-2007, 08:51 AM
Why is it that everyone gives Sampras the edge on faster courts?I think its 50-50 on grass and hard courts.Fed has broken Sampras's hardcourt record.

fastdunn
02-21-2007, 09:33 AM
Why is it that everyone gives Sampras the edge on faster courts?I think its 50-50 on grass and hard courts.Fed has broken Sampras's hardcourt record.

When you say "faster", is it 90's faster or current meaning of "faster".
In a way, today's surfaces are all slow courts, relatively speaking...

fastdunn
02-21-2007, 09:41 AM
Drakulie I know your not a complete idiot, so quit acting like one. I have seen some good posts from you before. But right now you're on some troll sh*t.


Drakulie is experiencing withrawl symtoms because Federer has not
been on TV for a few weeks now. He(or she) is helpless Fed-addict.

drakulie
02-21-2007, 09:45 AM
Drakulie is experiencing withrawl symtoms because Federer has not
been on TV for a few weeks now. He(or she) is helpless Fed-addict.

Quite the opposite. Contrary to what you continue to believe>>> Sampras along with Agassi are my all-time favorite players. I have said this on many occasions.

I'm just a bit more realistic than the die-hards who sleep with Sampras blow-up dolls, and make themsleves believe that Sampras or any other player for that matter is better than what they actualy were.

illkhiboy
02-21-2007, 01:12 PM
For all to see; Here is what you said:



Point out which post I "admitted you were right".

You have been wrong from the moment you suggested the number of Sampras backhand return winners would be enough to sway the argument in order to prove your point>>>>> that he had an awesome backhand. (cough)

As I already pointed out he hit ONE in what Pete himself considers the greatest match he ever played. Oh yeah, in case you didn't get the memo:

He had 16 unreturned serves on that side.

You're so obsessed with you're "Sampras never won the French" and "Sampras' ground game was weak and his backhand was exploited over and over" that you don't think about the points others are making. I NEVER said the revised stats would make Sampras' backhand look "awesome." I NEVER called Sampras' backhand awesome.
You keep misqouting me it's like I am Al Gore and you're Fox News. But I think Sean Hannity & co. deserve a de-bunking. Frankly I am done with you. I just wonder whether you actually believe all the lies you keep repeating.

illkhiboy
02-21-2007, 01:18 PM
Drakulie is experiencing withrawl symtoms because Federer has not
been on TV for a few weeks now. He(or she) is helpless Fed-addict.

He definitely has issues. I think he stays up all night trying to come up with ingenous ways to make Sampras look bad/insult other people..like:

"CAN YOU CALCULATE HOW MANY TIMES SAMPRAS WON THE FRENCH? LOLOLOLOL. ANSWER ME!! WHAT IS 0 TIMES 1, LOLOL!!"

"YOU HAVE NO SENSE!!!"

35ft6
02-21-2007, 02:12 PM
Wimbledon is given too much weight in determining a player's greatness. I wonder how people would feel about Sampras if he won 7 Roland Garros trophies but zero Wimbledon?

Personally, I think that since there are wayyyyyyyy more clay court tournaments on the ATP tour, winning on clay says more about where exactly you stand in the modern game. There's like 4 grass court tournaments a year. This goes for Federer as well.

drakulie
02-21-2007, 02:14 PM
I just wonder whether you actually believe all the lies you keep repeating.

Actually I have just been teasing you. In the 99 Wimbledon match Sampras hit 35 backhand return winners. :)

drakulie
02-21-2007, 02:15 PM
"CAN YOU CALCULATE HOW MANY TIMES SAMPRAS WON THE FRENCH?

Well, can you?

ACE of Hearts
02-21-2007, 02:28 PM
I think faster courts makes Fed even more unbeatable.Can u imagine his forehand on a faster court?

Zimbo
02-21-2007, 05:04 PM
Why is it that everyone gives Sampras the edge on faster courts?I think its 50-50 on grass and hard courts.Fed has broken Sampras's hardcourt record.

I give Sampras the edge on faster surfaces because of his serve. Please bear in mind I hate Sampras, but I gotta give the guy some props. When he was at his best........Damn. That said Fed will go down as the GOAT when he retires.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 05:25 PM
Is grass a fast court? Because they actually played on that surface once. :p

BeckerFan
02-21-2007, 05:34 PM
Wimbledon is given too much weight in determining a player's greatness. I wonder how people would feel about Sampras if he won 7 Roland Garros trophies but zero Wimbledon?

Personally, I think that since there are wayyyyyyyy more clay court tournaments on the ATP tour, winning on clay says more about where exactly you stand in the modern game. There's like 4 grass court tournaments a year. This goes for Federer as well.

Wimbledon is by far the most important title in tennis, and it has been since the beginning. (It was the only title for a while!) It is the world championship of the sport, the grandest stage of all, and most players have always seen it that way. I don't think too much weight could possibly be given to the Wimbledon trophy. A 'great' player who retires without having won at SW19 is the equivalent of an NFL quarterback who retires without having won the Super Bowl. Every other tournament in the entire year could be played on quicksand, for all I care, and the Wimbledon trophy would still be the ultimate mark of achievement.

tricky
02-21-2007, 05:38 PM
As I see it . . .

Low bounce courts favor Federer because it helps stabilize his 1H BH. Even when his FH is shanking, he can then count on his 1H BH to control the point. Since most fast courts are indeed that, Fed is almost unbeatable at 2-wing baseline exchange.

But, true fast surface game still favors an aggressive net game, if not all-out S&V. Therefore peak Sampras has edge on fast grass surface.

Wimbledon is by far the most important title in tennis, and it has been since the beginning. (It was the only title for a while!)

It's still the jewel, but the glory gap between W and the US Open has shrunk significantly since the 80s, I imagine.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 06:51 PM
Wimbledon is by far the most important title in tennis, and it has been since the beginning. (It was the only title for a while!) It is the world championship of the sport, the grandest stage of all, and most players have always seen it that way. I don't think too much weight could possibly be given to the Wimbledon trophy. A 'great' player who retires without having won at SW19 is the equivalent of an NFL quarterback who retires without having won the Super Bowl. Every other tournament in the entire year could be played on quicksand, for all I care, and the Wimbledon trophy would still be the ultimate mark of achievement. The Super Bowl analogy isn't good but, yeah, I understand what you're saying even though I don't feel the same way. To me, grass is a true anomaly on the tour, and I know it's the oldest tournament, but on a strictly practical sense, it's IMO arguably the most irrelevant as well.

BeckerFan
02-21-2007, 07:10 PM
You are right, and perhaps my analogy was too extreme. But I do feel the common epithet 'greatest player never to win Wimbledon' carries some of the same gravity as 'greatest quarterback never to win the Super Bowl.' I think there is something to the old wisdom that you can't be considered the 'greatest' unless you've won the most important title of them all.

In other words ...

Exhibit No. 1: Borg never won the second most prestigious tournament in tennis (US Open), but he still has a very legitimate claim to be the G.O.A.T.

Exhibit No. 2: Lendl won the US Open three times and reached the final eight straight times. He also won the French Open three times (though Borg won six) and won almost twice as many overall titles, but he never won Wimbledon and therefore has no real claim to be the G.O.A.T.

Granted, even if Lendl HAD won Wimbledon, I still think Borg's resume would be stronger, but the prestige of that Wimbledon trophy remains the biggest single thing standing between them.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 08:50 PM
^ So do you think Kraijeck is "greater" than Safin, Rafter, or Kafelnikov? Is Stich greater than Nadal?

BeckerFan
02-21-2007, 09:55 PM
Well no, but none of those players are in the G.O.A.T. league to begin with. I think the 'greatest player never to win Wimbledon tag' applies to guys like Von Cramm, Gonzales, Rosewall and Lendl. Still, all other things being equal, I do feel that the Wimbledon championship counts for somewhat more than the others. In the years when four different players win each of the four majors, the ITF world champion is usually the one who won Wimbledon. SW19 seems to be the place where the best do the best ... there are more periods of dominance by a single player than at the other majors, and fewer one-time 'fluke' winners. Also, the player who dominates at Wimbledon tends to be the one universally hailed as the greatest player of his era: Federer, Sampras, McEnroe, Borg and Laver. The one exception is probably Becker, who most rate beneath Lendl as an overall player, though he was clearly 'the man' at Wimbledon in the late 1980s.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 11:28 PM
Well no, but none of those players are in the G.O.A.T. league to begin with. It's not about the GOAT, I'm asking to see just how exactly Wimbledon counts for more so I picked guys with one Wimbledon trophy and was asking how they stack up against guys who win two Grand Slams, but neither is Wimbledon. SW19 seems to be the place where the best do the best ... there are more periods of dominance by a single player than at the other majors, and fewer one-time 'fluke' winners.The US Open has even less fluke winners. Since 1980, Roddick (who was still year end number 1 at least) is the only one Slam winner whose one slam is the US Open, whereas Wimbledon has Krajieck, Stich, Goran, and Cash, none of whom were ever number 1 but perhaps specially gifted for grass, in the same way the French has more "fluke" winners, comprised of clay court specialists. The Slams listed by allowance of fluke wins, from most to least, it's the French, then Wimbledon, Australia, and, finally, the US Open. It can be said that only the truly exceptional win the US Open, all of its champion since 1980 have been ranked number 1. Can't be said for the other three.Also, the player who dominates at Wimbledon tends to be the one universally hailed as the greatest player of his era: Federer, Sampras, McEnroe, Borg and Laver. The one exception is probably Becker, who most rate beneath Lendl as an overall player, though he was clearly 'the man' at Wimbledon in the late 1980s.Additional exceptions would be Connors and Lendl. Not sure if that premise holds up. I think the US Open is only won by number 1 players is because it's the most neutral surface, so if a player does reasonably well and grass and clay, then they'll do well at the US Open, and, therefor, well have done well the whole year. Grass, even more so than clay, rewards a very specific type of tool set, or at least it used to before they slowed it down, so it'll let certain players win even if they're not so good on other surfaces.

BeckerFan
02-22-2007, 08:22 AM
I think Connors is a good case in point. He finished number one in the computer rankings five straight years [1974-1978], but for most of that time he languished in Borg's shadow. Consider 1976 alone: Connors won 12 titles, had an 82-6 record, and beat Borg in the US Open final; Borg won 6 titles and had a 49-10 record. Yet Borg won Wimbledon, and the ATP named him 'Player of the Year'. Something similar, though less dramatic, happened the previous year. Connors won 9 titles and reached the finals in all three of the majors he entered, while Ashe won 8 titles. Yet Ashe won Wimbledon, and he was the runaway pick for the year's top player. Such was the power of that one title, though I admit it's dimmed a bit since then. By earlier standards, my guess is that Federer would have won the award over Roddick in 2003.

Maybe the best evidence comes from the mouth of Rafael Nadal: "My tennis dream is to win Wimbledon."

illkhiboy
02-22-2007, 09:33 AM
^^ I am with 35ft6 here.

Wimbledon is no doubt the most prestigious tournament in tennis, most players would be content if they could win that one tournament. But..all that has to do with feelings. From childhood, it's been drilled into our minds that Wimbledon is the thing to win. It's not an objective way of evaluating players. Michael Stich, Pat Cash were good players no doubt, but are they greater than Safin, Kuerten or even Nadal? No they are not. It only means that they played great grasscourt tennis - better than their counterparts. Imagine if Roddick beat Federer (or faced someone else) at the 04/05 Wimbledon finals. He would then have 2 Wimby's. Would he be greater than Agassi? As great as Edberg? Better than Lendl?

BeckerFan
02-22-2007, 09:47 AM
I think you are missing my point, illkhiboy, and really we agree more than you think. Anyone who wins Wimbledon is not automatically 'better' or 'greater' than anyone who doesn't win Wimbledon; however, it is certainly the highest prize in the sport. The importance of winning Wimbledon increases as the greatness of a player increases. For Safin and Kuerten, it is not such a damning hole in their resumes, b/c no one rates them among the all-time players. For Lendl and Rosewall, not winning Wimbledon matters a LOT ... far more than, say, Borg's not winning the US Open or Sampras's not winning the French.

To go back to my (admittedly flawed) football analogy ... there are plenty of quarterbacks who never win the Super Bowl, but that's OK, b/c no one expects them to. And there are plenty of quarterbacks who win the Super Bowl, but who will never be classed among the all-time greats. When it really counts is when you're looking at a guy like Dan Marino, or before this year, Peyton Manning: guys who are making a charge at history. Wimbledon is the only tournament in tennis that has even remotely the same power; it had even more power back in the days when three of the four majors were on grass. Great players know they won't be admitted to the very highest echelon if they haven't won the Wimbledon title at least once. Lendl certainly knew it, and he became obsessed with it. Rosewall knew it before him. Jack Kramer threw all his might at winning Wimbledon in 1947, b/c he knew he needed to do it at least once before turning pro. Pancho Gonzales made the mistake of turning pro before he won it, and his reputation suffered as a result.

federerfanatic
02-22-2007, 10:25 AM
Sampras's game is garbage compared to Federer's. Sampras had a great serve and great volleys, everything else was good compared to some players but nothing compared to Federer's game. Federer's ground game is probably 5 times better, I laugh imagining a baseline rally between those two, his movement and mental game are way better, his return of serve is way better, he plays way smarter tennis, he has better touch and feel. Plus Federer has great serves and volleys too even though he doesnt serve-volley.

The Gorilla
02-22-2007, 10:31 AM
Sampras's game is garbage compared to Federer's. Sampras had a great serve and great volleys, everything else was good compared to some players but nothing compared to Federer's game. Federer's ground game is probably 5 times better, I laugh imagining a baseline rally between those two, his movement and mental game are way better, his return of serve is way better, he plays way smarter tennis, he has better touch and feel. Plus Federer has great serves and volleys too even though he doesnt serve-volley.



If players like Tim Henman, Llodra and Lopez can't win on grass serve and volleying, then there is absolutely no way Federer would be half the player he is as a serve and volleyer.Pete Sampras wasn't half the player he was when he became a pure serve and volleyer.

federerfanatic
02-22-2007, 10:41 AM
If players like Tim Henman, Llodra and Lopez can't win on grass serve and volleying, then there is absolutely no way Federer would be half the player he is as a serve and volleyer.Pete Sampras wasn't half the player he was when he became a pure serve and volleyer.

Sampras won 6 slams in 6 years in 97-2002 being a pure serve-volleyer and won 7 slams in 7 years in 90-1996 as a true all courter who played from the baseline some. No difference at all. Only thing similar is he won almost the big matches he won with huge help from his dominating serve without which alot of players could have beaten him.

I agree with you on one thing. You couldnt do as well today being a pure serve-volleyer which is why Federer the great is so smart to not be a pure serve-volleyer and pick his spots. He shouldnt be faulted for being smart and not going through with what you even admit is an impossable strategy to dominate with these days anyway. Oh yeah Henman, Lopez, and Llodra are a bunch of hacks compared to the great Federer.

Moose Malloy
02-22-2007, 11:04 AM
BeckerFan is making great points, I'm not sure how any knowledgable fan can really argue against Wimbledon being the most important slam & a major factor in ranking alltime greats.

All through the 70s/80s anytime Borg was written about/talked about anywhere, he was always mentioned as 5 time W champ Borg, not 11 time major winner, or 6 FO Winner. He was probably the world's most famous athlete(inc the US) circa 1980 & outside of hardcore tennis fans, I doubt many casual fans even knew he won the French Open. Or what the French Open even was. The fact that he retired partly due to losing his W title, shows how much bigger it was than the other slams. He was clearly the best claycourter in the world when he retired, but he had no interest in adding to that count, only in winning Wimbledon. He even skipped the French in 1977 to play WTT & concentrate on defending his W title.

and how can anyone forget Lendl, probably the world's best claycourter at the time, actually skipping the entire claycourt season to try to win there in 1990? In 1987 Lendl, the #1 player in the world, 2 time US & French Open champ at the time, actually said 'if I could lose every match I play this year & just win W, I would take it' And Lendl was still missing an Australian at the time, so this quest wasn't about winning all 4, but in winning the most important one.

Like BeckerFan said, even when grass was used for 3 of the 4 slams, Wimbledon towered over all the other slams. Surface isn't the reason why it was/is important, it is the event itself. Also in Borg's time clay was also far by the most common surface on tour, yet the world champ of tennis was always considered the W champ, not the French.

Federer, each of the last 3 years, has said his main goal in each year was just to win Wimbledon, & that everything else was secondary. He knows its the big one.

When Davenport won it in '99 she was already a US Open champ, & said that she was shocked at how much more attention winning W brought her by the media, fans etc compared to the US Open. many champs there have gotten far more endorsements by winning w, than those that won the other slams.

also wimbledon is broadcast in more countries than the others slams, has by far the largest amount of press gathered there to cover it than the other slams.

and just an FYI for those that think grass was a common surface on tour when 3 of the 4 slams were grass, it wasn't, there were only a few events outside of the slams that used grass(very expensive to use grass you know, no grass warmup event prior to the us open) Laver played far more of his matches during a year on clay, hardcourt, & carpet than grass, so in a way its always been irrelevant, if % of tour events on a particular surface is what you think is important. there are actually more grass court events on tour today compared to then, surprisingly.

Wimbledon is given too much weight in determining a player's greatness. I wonder how people would feel about Sampras if he won 7 Roland Garros trophies but zero Wimbledon?

Don't know what teenagers on a tennis message board would think, but the true greats of the game probably wouldn't ranking him that high.

The Gorilla
02-22-2007, 11:28 AM
Sampras won 6 slams in 6 years in 97-2002 being a pure serve-volleyer and won 7 slams in 7 years in 90-1996 as a true all courter who played from the baseline some. No difference at all. Only thing similar is he won almost the big matches he won with huge help from his dominating serve without which alot of players could have beaten him.

I agree with you on one thing. You couldnt do as well today being a pure serve-volleyer which is why Federer the great is so smart to not be a pure serve-volleyer and pick his spots. He shouldnt be faulted for being smart and not going through with what you even admit is an impossable strategy to dominate with these days anyway. Oh yeah Henman, Lopez, and Llodra are a bunch of hacks compared to the great Federer.




no.


pete sampras won one gs in 1990

from '93 to '97 as an all courter he won 9 GS's

from '98 to '02 as a pure serve and volleyer he won 4 GS's

Moose Malloy
02-22-2007, 01:16 PM
Consider 1976 alone: Connors won 12 titles, had an 82-6 record, and beat Borg in the US Open final; Borg won 6 titles and had a 49-10 record.

I've been trying to get the most accurate win/loss records. For 1976 I have Connors at 100-12, Borg at 63-14. Borg played Wimbledon with an ab injury that year, & played a limited schedule the rest of the year to help it.

The ITF created its World Champion award in 1978 because so many disagreed with Connors #1 ranking in 1977.

BeckerFan
02-22-2007, 02:20 PM
Thanks for the updated statistics. Out of curiosity, where are you looking for more complete records? One of my great frustrations is that the 'best' reference book out there, the encyclopedia by Bud Collins, has such chronically incomplete data ... and doesn't admit it! For example, the book says Laver won 10 titles in 1969 and had a 31-0 record. Yet I know Laver won more than 10 titles and lost several times to Roche that year alone. Even an asterix would be nice next to some of these figures, plus a few suggestions on where to look for more complete information. There may be another reference book I'm not aware of, perhaps in a different language, with a better presentation of the facts from those early open years.

35ft6
02-22-2007, 04:44 PM
BeckerFan is making great points, I'm not sure how any knowledgable fan can really argue against Wimbledon being the most important slam & a major factor in ranking alltime greats. Nobody is disputing this. We're wondering if this is justifiably so. Appeal to tradition is not enough IMO.Like BeckerFan said, even when grass was used for 3 of the 4 slams, Wimbledon towered over all the other slams. Surface isn't the reason why it was/is important, it is the event itself. To me, the surface is borderline archaic at this point, and that's why I think attributing extra greatness to Wimbledon is arbitrary.

BeckerFan
02-23-2007, 09:22 AM
There's a simple solution: hold more tournaments on grass!

urban
02-23-2007, 09:51 AM
'Total tennis' is a good reference book, for the most parts. The statistical annex however is quite imcomplete and un-transparent.Best reference books for the early open era are the World of Tennis yearbooks, by John Barrett and Lance Tingay since 1968. For the pro era including 1968 Joe McCauley's book sets new standards, on the basis of L'Equipe French writer Michel Sutter has compiled many events since 1946 (1st edition 1991, now 2006 he has a out new edition). As Moose pointed out, the ITF webside has more events and draws than the ATP webside. One should compile both: For 1970 and Lavers record: ITF hasn't Philadelphia, South African Open and Queens, which Laver won, and which the ATP has documented, while ATP misses several others. The Wimbledon champs were even more important before the 80s, when some weight shifted to the USO, where mostly the Nr.1 was crowned since then. And grass became an increasing anachronistic surface. The French and Davis Cup was quite important even in the early days of press rankings: Cochet was ranked as Nr. 1 between 28-31, although he won only one Wim in that period. While the British press mostly ranked the Wim champion top, the US press often crowned the US Champ.

BeckerFan
02-23-2007, 10:07 AM
Thanks so much, urban!

I bought the McCauley book last year, though I haven't been able to track down the Sutter text you mentioned. And good to know that the ITF and ATP websites should be cross-referenced.

On a personal note, though I only recently decided to start contributing, I've been reading this forum for quite a while. You, Moose Malloy, and a few others have done a wonderful job bringing a historical perspective to the discussion here. If only I could find someone in 'real life' with half your knowledge to converse with ...

35ft6
02-23-2007, 03:05 PM
There's a simple solution: hold more tournaments on grass! I actually think this is a great idea. There should be a proper grass season.

tangerine
02-24-2007, 05:53 PM
As far as I'm concerned, the only player who can give a good honest opinion about just how good today's players are compared to the last generation is Andre Agassi because he is the only one who has played them all at their peak (almost all of them).

FedFan_2007
02-24-2007, 06:12 PM
So basically the only part of Sampras' game that was dominating was the serve and volley.