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View Full Version : was watching fed vs sampras...


dima
02-18-2007, 08:13 PM
and it's a good thing they slowed down the courts at Wimbledon, it's either aces, or unreturnables, or 2 punch plays, no rallies at all, maybe a few.

AJK1
02-18-2007, 08:20 PM
Nah, it's just the two best grass court players of the last two decades nullifying each others games. Beautiful!

Nick Irons
02-18-2007, 08:31 PM
That match was a nightmare for men's tennis; both player's registered over 25 Aces (yawn).

dima
02-18-2007, 08:32 PM
That match was a nightmare for men's tennis; both player's registered over 25 Aces (yawn).

Well, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either, 50 aces is a LOT.

ne1410is
02-18-2007, 09:42 PM
I'm sure it FELT great for each player to PLAY that match. But yeah to watch it was painful. I prefer seeing rallies. And the bloodlust hatred that certain women players have for each other.

caulcano
02-19-2007, 01:44 AM
I'm sure it FELT great for each player to PLAY that match. But yeah to watch it was painful. I prefer seeing rallies.

Try telling that to the "S&V" lovers....

Lambsscroll
02-19-2007, 06:31 AM
That match shows Fed has Petes strengths but doesn't have his weaknesses.

drakulie
02-19-2007, 06:51 AM
Yeah, and people have the nerve to say Pete didn't serve well.

chair ump
02-19-2007, 07:09 AM
That match shows Fed has Petes strengths but doesn't have his weaknesses.

This analysis is spot on.

dima
02-19-2007, 07:43 AM
Yeah, fed was returning unbelievably well in the first 2 sets.

nickb
02-19-2007, 10:47 AM
Good match but not really a good analysis of who would be the better player in their prime. People use the match to say Federer is better but you cant really say that as sampras was coming to the end of his career.

drakulie
02-19-2007, 10:47 AM
There is more to serving than the Ace count; 1st Serve %, how many times you had to go to the 2nd Serve, double faults all factor into the serve success. Pete was not in Pistol from that day.

I beg to differ. Pete's serve percentage in that match was a whopping 69%, which is incredible. In fact, it was better than any match in his 7 Wimbledon titles. Additionally he was routinely hitting second serves in the 120's.

Nick Irons
02-19-2007, 10:59 AM
Yawn this conversation

What are you begging to differ on ?

1st Serve percentage isn't what interests me personally, what does interest me is the Points Won stat for 67%.

Everyone with half a brain ..... (Broken Record)

drakulie
02-19-2007, 11:12 AM
^^^^ Interesting, you are the one that brought up the whole serve thing, and didn't include the TOTAL points won.

However, even if he would have had a first serve perecntage of 100% you would still say he had a bad service day? LOL

ChiefAce
02-19-2007, 11:41 AM
Yawn this conversation

What are you begging to differ on ?

1st Serve percentage isn't what interests me personally, what does interest me is the Points Won stat for 67%.

Everyone with half a brain ..... (Broken Record)

Pete served unbelievably, but Roger returned better. Roger beat Pete for the same reason that Hewitt had his number, he was able to make a high enough percentage of returns to win the match. Thus the reason why Agassi lost his career head to head with Pete, he would hit some spectacular big returns but never got a high enough percentage back in play. And the Agassi is the best returner in history theory is garbage, you can't give that title to a guy who gave up 51 aces in one match.

Nick Irons
02-19-2007, 12:16 PM
Blah blah blah

No one is changing or dodging Rainman. Now go take your medicine.

shakes1975
02-19-2007, 12:37 PM
nick irons,

i don't want to butt in, but couldn't help it. an interesting arguement was developing between u and drakulie. i wish u would substantiate ur statements with some logic or stats rather than calling drakulie names. at least he's putting up stats to bolster his point.

sampras served at 69 % and hit some 2nd serves at 120 mph. which is something he never did in his prime. fed returned a very high %age of serves.

sampras didn't lose that match bcos of his serve. he lost it bcos he lost some footspeed and couldn't get to the net quickly enough to close out the volley.

btw, fed and agassi have their strengths in returns. fed is better than agassi in getting back even the biggest serves into play (fed has longer range, and doesn't guess as much as agassi) but agassi is better than fed in punishing the slightly slower serves (read 2nd serves) and gaining control of the point outright. IMO, against servers like sampras, ivanisevic, phillippoussis etc., it's better to have a return like fed's than agassi's. OTOH, against servers like henman, edberg, rafter etc., it's better to have agassi's returns.

Nick Irons
02-19-2007, 02:39 PM
I agree !

But when it's over, it's over. It's not suddenly 'Kind of over'.

tricky
02-19-2007, 02:54 PM
I remember watching some clips of that match recently, and what struck me was how average Fed's footwork (great speed but stood up a bit too much) was then as well as his tendency to slice his BH rather than drive. But, then what also struck me was his hand/eye coordination was so damn good that he could block back Sampras's running FH better than almost anybody I've ever seen. I guess it's clear to me that Fed's overall technique was nowhere near the level of his 2004 self.

Sampras looked tired throughout, and his volleying wasn't crisp. But he played a very good match, certainly a terrific first week match. In any case, that game could have swung either way, and maybe the result swings 50/50 had they played a number of times then.

aramis
02-19-2007, 04:24 PM
Well, to be honest, Fed was returning with a lot more conviction in that match than what he does now. If Fed were to return Pete's serve the way he returns Roddick's (by just floating it back deep), wouldn't Pete be able to punish him with his volleys? I guess my real question is that against a strong serve and volleyer, wouldn't it be better to return aggressively like Agassi or like Federer did in that match, rather than just settle for putting the ball back in play?

Tennis_Goodness
02-19-2007, 04:31 PM
Well, to be honest, Fed was returning with a lot more conviction in that match than what he does now. If Fed were to return Pete's serve the way he returns Roddick's (by just floating it back deep), wouldn't Pete be able to punish him with his volleys? I guess my real question is that against a strong serve and volleyer, wouldn't it be better to return aggressively like Agassi or like Federer did in that match, rather than just settle for putting the ball back in play?


I think Federer returns MUCH harder and with more conviction now then he ever has. You can see the difference just by watching a video of Federer now and then.

35ft6
02-19-2007, 04:33 PM
It was pretty boring IMO.

tricky
02-19-2007, 04:39 PM
I guess my real question is that against a strong serve and volleyer, wouldn't it be better to return aggressively like Agassi or like Federer did in that match, rather than just settle for putting the ball back in play?

Yeah, I think it's better to take on the serve like Agassi, because a good S&Ver is going to control majority of his points anyway if the passing shot isn't too fine.

Fed's return game actually wasn't nearly as exceptional in that match. For example, Fed's passing shots, particularly on the BH side, are now hit with more angles and spin than at that time. The difference was that Sampras just wasn't moving as well as he normally did on his approach shots. Slower to react and so he was passed more than normal.

Again to reiterate: Fed was very, very average for him in that match. And Sampras looked like a guy who just played a marathon the match before. Neither was near their peak.

Chadwixx
02-19-2007, 05:20 PM
Yeah, I think it's better to take on the serve like Agassi, because a good S&Ver is going to control majority of his points anyway if the passing shot isn't too fine.


If he doesnt hit a winner he is stuck in no mans land on one side of the court, making typical volley a winner. At least when you hang back some you have a better shot at the pass.

Fed and hewitt do it right, keep the ball low and win the pt on the 2nd shot.

VGP
02-19-2007, 05:26 PM
Honestly, I think Federer zoned that day. He even alluded to that in his interview clips from the "Legends of Wimbledon: Pete Sampras" program.

His consistent level of play in 2001 was not what it is now.

Good for him to be able to really tap into the potential he had in '01 and be able to work it over the whole year.

Sampras was pushed and just dropped his level on his last service game. He got himself in a hole at 15-40 and his slice serve just slipped right into Federer's forehand. One swipe and it was over.

ACE of Hearts
02-19-2007, 05:28 PM
Fed had so many break chances in the first 2 sets, he could have been up 2 sets to start.

mileslong
02-19-2007, 08:52 PM
Good match but not really a good analysis of who would be the better player in their prime. People use the match to say Federer is better but you cant really say that as sampras was coming to the end of his career.
neither man was in his prime, sampras had just passed his and federer had yet to reach his, so who is/was better?

jaisrh
02-20-2007, 10:43 AM
Sampras only won 1 title in 2000 which was at Wimbledon and none in 2001. He went two years without a title from Wimbledon 2000 until US Open 2002. Compare that to the 90's when he averaged about 6 titles a year. He still won 5 titles in 1999 even though he missed over 2 months near the end of the year because of a back injury before the US Open. I remember he had beaten Agassi 3 straight times in winning 3 titles in a row. He beat Agassi in the Wimbledon final, Agassi again in the LA final, Agassi in the Cincinnati semifinals and Rafter in the finals of that tournament. He had to retire against Spadea in Indianapolis and did'nt play again until the Paris indoors in early november. Sampras was shaping up to be the heavy favorite at the US Open that year after beating Agassi 3 straight times, 2 of them on hard court while also beating 2-time defending US Open champion Pat Rafter in straight sets at Cincinnati. Those two guys were the 2 favorites after Pete. His injury allowed Agassi to take the '99 US Open otherwise Pete very likely would have gotten another Slam and ended up number 1 for the 7th straight year instead of dropping to a year end number 3.

Sampras' 1999 matches http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity.asp?prevtrnnum=0&year=1999&query=Singles&selTournament=0&player=S402&x=14&y=3

Anyway, Sampras met his future wife while rehabbing in LA and I think that was the beginning of the end for his career. Sampras came back strong to win the year-end championships beating Agassi in the final but he only won 2 titles in his last 3 years from 2000-2002 (inclusive) vs the 6 per year he averaged in the 90's. Personally I think he lost his focus and singlemindedness about tennis as opposed to losing it physically. He used to be obsessed about winning but lost some of that after his injury and meeting Bridget Wilson. They were engaged by June 2000 and married before the end of that year. I think he was less committed to putting in the same intensity and effort in training he used to do and it showed in his results. Besides the US Open in 1999 that he probably would have won if not for his injury, Pete could have won a few more than he did from 2000-2002 if he had'nt lost his obsession with winning before his injury and meeting his future wife.

So Sampras was definitely past his peak when he faced Federer in 2001.

Federer on the other hand was still 2-3 years from the complete game he has shown today. He played well that day but his overall game was a notch or two below his current level. His backhand and serve have both improved and I am comparing his average level back then to his average level now as opposed to individual matches where his level can spike or dip below his average. Federer is scary nowadays because of how high a level he can consistently maintain. Even when he struggles it's hard to other guys to beat him whereas Sampras usually lost at least a handful of early round matches per year even in the 90's. Federer gets to the finals almost every time and wins them most of the time.

Anyway those two guys are my all-time favorite players to watch. Sampras was my favorite serve and volley player. Federer is my favorite all court player. Sampras had the edge on serves and volleys where Federer has the edge on his groundstrokes and return game. Even though Sampras had the better serve and volley, Federer has a pretty good serve and net game of his own so he is more well-rounded. Federer has both a strong service game and a strong return game which is the main separation point between him and Sampras.

35ft6
02-20-2007, 03:48 PM
10 Minute Highlight of Match on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XSje6Aptac&mode=related&search=). It seems to be focused more on Federer so lets not use this as evidence, but it's a lot more entertaining than the match itself I think. Comment left for video:It is a myth that Sampras had to compete with hall of famers day in and day out. He won two slams against Cedric Pioline (!) for God's sake! Edberg and Becker were nearly done when Pete hit his prime. Goran was a left-handed Roddick but less consistent. Todd Martin? Please. Chang? Gimme a break. It was Agassi and little else. Federer would be just as dominant in that era. If not moreso.

scotus
02-20-2007, 04:02 PM
Sampras looked tired throughout, and his volleying wasn't crisp. But he played a very good match, certainly a terrific first week match. In any case, that game could have swung either way, and maybe the result swings 50/50 had they played a number of times then.

Sampras probably looked tired, because he was playing a nobody, hence no motivation. Federer, on the other hand, was playing against a living legend, so he was maximally motivated.

Had Sampras known that he was up against a future king of tennis, one who could possibly break his record, then he would have come into the match with a different mindset.

tricky
02-20-2007, 04:28 PM
I figured Sampras playing a marathon match prior affected his movement too. Probably should be noted, Sampras played well in that match. Given that players at that time were still either/or when it came down to baseline and net approach styles, Sampras hadn't worked out a strategy against this kid. As you and Fastdunn have said another time, Sampras would have played Fed much differently were they to meet again.

fastdunn
02-20-2007, 08:17 PM
I figured Sampras playing a marathon match prior affected his movement too. Probably should be noted, Sampras played well in that match. Given that players at that time were still either/or when it came down to baseline and net approach styles, Sampras hadn't worked out a strategy against this kid. As you and Fastdunn have said another time, Sampras would have played Fed much differently were they to meet again.

Yeah, as I said, I think Sampras under-estimated fed's return game.
I think many people didn't notice his return game in Fed's early days.
(scotous, I don't know if Fed was nobody at the time, though.
AFAIK, Sampras was #10 and Federer was #15 or something like that...)

As you said earlier tricky, I found Fed's footwork was not as good as
today's. To me, Fed's footwork looked a bit stiff compared to today.
When he served, for example, his footwork was kinda stiff, almost
reminded me of Brad Gilbert's serving motion.... (Ok not that bad.but..)

ibemadskillzz
02-20-2007, 08:23 PM
pete played so bad that day. he looked way too stiff, even missed a slam dunk.

drakulie
02-20-2007, 08:29 PM
Yeah, Pete played horribly THAT particular day, and especially played horribly THOSE 3 sets he lost.

The two set he won>>>>> he just happened to be in his prime.

fastdunn
02-20-2007, 08:40 PM
drakulie, I've seen some good postings by you but you seem to have
unusual fixation on this issue....

what are you trying to prove here ? you want to prove even immature
Federer can beat Sampras in prime ? Do you want everybody in this
world agree with you ?

drakulie
02-20-2007, 08:43 PM
fast, just calling it like I see it. Your opinion>> he played horribly.

My opinion>> he played very well, and served extremely good. Just so happens as it often does, you can't win every match. In this case, he came up short.

PS: I didn't start this thread, and am replying in it as I see fit>>>>>> same as you. :)

fastdunn
02-20-2007, 08:55 PM
fast, just calling it like I see it. Your opinion>> he played horribly.


Making your own opinion is fine but don't make a false accusation.

I did not say he played "horribly". I said he did not play his best game
that day and he was already off his prime. In fact, I said neither of
Sampras or Federer played their best game that day...

drakulie
02-20-2007, 09:04 PM
^^^^ OK. I think you get my point.

TheNatural
02-20-2007, 09:08 PM
I think people place way too much importance on one single match. All a single match shows is that one player was in slightly better form that particular day. Fed or Sampras would both have their hands full each time they played if they were to have played more. Fed has his hands full against a young Murray, nevermind a 14 time slam winner.

One thing that really stood out in that Fed Sampras match was Feds aggresive returning. He looked to be in the zone that day. He blocks way more now.


..and I migth just add that I think Fed would make a fantastic cricketer with those superb blocks.

fast, just calling it like I see it. Your opinion>> he played horribly.

My opinion>> he played very well, and served extremely good. Just so happens as it often does, you can't win every match. In this case, he came up short.

PS: I didn't start this thread, and am replying in it as I see fit>>>>>> same as you. :)

slice bh compliment
02-20-2007, 09:16 PM
^Good point about RF's returns.^

I think he blocks a lot more now because it is a better and safer way to get into points against big servers who do not come in very much.
Against a guy like Pete, who could volley well enough to take RF out of a point quickly, I think the more aggressive returning was a calculated risk.

These days, Rog mixes in some aggressive returning.....just depends upon the opponent and the circumstance. You do not find him blocking as often against a Mirnyi, a Henman or a Bjorkman....at least not when it is time for a break.

drakulie
02-20-2007, 09:45 PM
I think people place way too much importance on one single match. All a single match shows is that one player was in slightly better form that particular day. Fed or Sampras would both have their hands full each time they played if they were to have played more.

Great point, however you unfortunately contradicted yourself with the following statement:

Fed has his hands full against a young Murray, nevermind a 14 time slam winner.

The aforementioned is ONE match, and he did beat a 14 time slam winner.

fastdunn
02-21-2007, 10:30 AM
^^^^ OK. I think you get my point.

No, I'm afraid that's not the case. It's not about agreeing on issues.

The whole point is that it's hard to get your point from your postings.
You often lose some control in your posting fixating on Federer's greatness.

iamke55
02-21-2007, 10:53 AM
Wasn't Sampras on a 31-match winning streak before he lost to Federer? If that's not his prime, then the competition must have been terrible in 2001. Sampras also did much better in slams that year than Federer did, making you wonder which player was really closer to his prime.

drakulie
02-21-2007, 10:57 AM
The whole point is that it's hard to get your point from your postings.
You often lose some control in your posting fixating on Federer's greatness.

What is so hard to understand from my posts??

Here it is again>>> I feel Pete served very well, and well enough to win.

Maybe what is confusing you is that I don't make excuses for Pete losing.

Lambsscroll
02-21-2007, 03:26 PM
pete played so bad that day. he looked way too stiff, even missed a slam dunk.


Playing against Fed will make you look bad.