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View Full Version : Sampras' US Open crushings.


War, Safin!
06-23-2007, 09:31 AM
2000: Safin 6-4 6-3 6-3
or
2001: Hewitt 7-6 6-1 6-1

I havent seen either match so I can't comment....but I heard that Safin played a one-off 'perfect' match on his night and Sampras came back and sorted him out the following year.
However, the Hewitt defeat was in the the middle of a 4-match run of defeats...

So....who busted Pete up worse?

Japanese Maple
06-23-2007, 10:55 AM
Those defeats had more to do with playing both Saturday and Sunday without any rest after two long weeks. The USOpen is the only grand slam tournament that gives no rest after semi-finals which clearly will favor the younger players like Safin and Hewitt. I am not sure Pete would have beaten Safin but most definitely Hewit. It really stunk that you follow a tournament for two weeks then have those kind of finals all because of TV revenue!

lostinamerica
06-23-2007, 11:49 AM
Heaven Forbid!!! World class athletes being forced to play 2 matches in 2 days for millions of dollars. Life doesn't get any more unfair than that.

As to the original person, I think Hewett gave a large whuppin.

travlerajm
06-23-2007, 12:09 PM
I agree with Maple. It was the back-to-back semi and final format that did in Sampras in 2000 and 2001. A 30-year-old doesn't recover as fast as a 20-year-old.

In 2002, Sampras finally got to play someone older than himself in the final!

In the 2001 quarterfinal against Agassi, Sampras averaged 115mph on his SECOND serve. In the final that year against Hewitt, Sampras averaged 85mph on the 2nd serve. ... a 30-mph dropoff. And 85mph 2nd serves were right in Hewitt's comfort zone, so Sampras got passed on returns many times in that match. Do you think that extra 30 mph would have made a difference? Of course it would have! Sampras was similarly gassed in the Safin match, but not quite as obviously as in the Hewitt match.

In other words, it's what might happen to a major league pitcher if he has to start two days in a row. A 20-year-old pitcher can do it, but a 30-year-old probably can't do it as well.

I watched both matches, and I say that Sampras would have waxed both Hewitt and Safin had he had a day of rest before the final.

Zimbo
06-23-2007, 12:58 PM
I agree with Maple. It was the back-to-back semi and final format that did in Sampras in 2000 and 2001. A 30-year-old doesn't recover as fast as a 20-year-old.

In 2002, Sampras finally got to play someone older than himself in the final!

In the 2001 quarterfinal against Agassi, Sampras averaged 115mph on his SECOND serve. In the final that year against Hewitt, Sampras averaged 85mph on the 2nd serve. ... a 30-mph dropoff. And 85mph 2nd serves were right in Hewitt's comfort zone, so Sampras got passed on returns many times in that match. Do you think that extra 30 mph would have made a difference? Of course it would have! Sampras was similarly gassed in the Safin match, but not quite as obviously as in the Hewitt match.

In other words, it's what might happen to a major league pitcher if he has to start two days in a row. A 20-year-old pitcher can do it, but a 30-year-old probably can't do it as well.

I watched both matches, and I say that Sampras would have waxed both Hewitt and Safin had he had a day of rest before the final.

Where did you get the info concerning Pete's ave 2nd serve speed?

travlerajm
06-23-2007, 01:13 PM
Where did you get the info concerning Pete's ave 2nd serve speed?

It was posted on TV during those matches, which I watched at the time.

laurie
06-23-2007, 01:19 PM
I think 2000 was worse because it was a bigger shock to everyone (me included) and signalled the end of an era. I don't think anyone saw this defeat coming other than hardened Safin fans. Even Safin has said he was surprised by how he won.

Ironic that Pete beats Hewitt in straight sets in 2000 semi and then loses to Safin. In 2001 Pete beats Safin in straights sets in the semi and then loses to Hewitt. So what it shows is that he's capable of beating both players.

In 2002, not only playing Agassi in the final helped Pete but two other factors:

the 1st factor was this time he had an easy quarterfinal against Roddick whereas in 2000 and 2001 he had difficult quarterfinals against Krajicek and Agassi. Then in the semi he beat Schalken in straight sets in 2 hrs, this time playing first whereas in 2000 and 2001 he played second on Super Saturday.

The 2nd factor for me was that he amended his gameplan. He must have discussed this with Annacone before the Open. Against Rusedski, Haas, Roddick he stayed back on second serves on hardcourts more than he had done for 2 whole years! He played himself into rallies, he cut down on the chip and charge, he used his second serve to get the forehand into play, especially down the line - he basically played himself into form and conserved energy. In 2000 and 2001, I don't think he played smart, he was obsessed with coming in all the time hours on end. In the semi against Schalken, he didn't stay back on second serve as in the other matches but he and Scheng played some beautiful basline rallies. That's why when he played Agassi in the final he was playing his best Tennis since 1999.

travlerajm
06-23-2007, 01:23 PM
I think 2000 was worse because it was a bigger shock to everyone (me included) and signalled the end of an era. I don't think anyone saw this defeat coming other than hardened Safin fans. Even Safin has said he was surprised by how he won.

Ironic that Pete beats Hewitt in straight sets in 2000 semi and then loses to Safin. In 2001 Pete beats Safin in straights sets in the semi and then loses to Hewitt. So what it shows is that he's capable of beating both players.

In 2002, not only playing Agassi in the final helped Pete but two other factors:

the 1st factor was this time he had an easy quarterfinal against Roddick whereas in 2000 and 2001 he had difficult quarterfinals against Krajicek and Agassi. Then in the semi he beat Schalken in straight sets in 2 hrs, this time playing first whereas in 2000 and 2001 he played second on Super Saturday.

The 2nd factor for me was that he amended his gameplan. He must have discussed this with Annacone before the Open. Against Rusedski, Haas, Roddick he stayed back on second serves on hardcourts more than he had done for 2 whole years! He played himself into rallies, he cut down on the chip and charge, he used his second serve to get the forehand into play, especially down the line - he basically played himself into form and conserved energy. In 2000 and 2001, I don't think he played smart, he was obsessed with coming in all the time hours on end. In the semi against Schalken, he didn't stay back on second serve as in the other matches but he and Scheng played some beautiful basline rallies. That's why when he played Agassi in the final he was playing his best Tennis since 1999.


All good points. I was shocked also at the Safin match. The Hewitt match made me cringe to watch it because Pete was such a shadow old his dominant self. Slow and helpless.

Then the 2002 Wimby match against Bastl was even sadder than the Hewitt match. I thought Sampras had played too long. So I was equally shocked to find him rediscover enough form to win the 2002 USO several months later. The fact that he retired after that was unsurprising, because he must have worked his *** off that summer to give himself a chance at one last hurrah.

Japanese Maple
06-23-2007, 05:08 PM
It really bothers me that the USOpen is the only grand slam that sells their soul to tv and profits and totally disregards the best interests of the players and their ability to play at their best with adequate rest and recover. Sampras's matches against Hewitt and Safin really upset me because Sampras was a shadow of himself because at age 30 he could not possibly recover in one day after two weeks of competing and I wasted two weeks of watching tennis to see a pathetic final!

Buckeye10s
06-23-2007, 07:19 PM
I really hated watching those matches... Safin and Hewitt made Pete look OLD. Pete was by far the better player... but they just caught lightning in a bottle! To answer the question Safin gave him the bigger beating. He was on fire that day! I'd like to see him play like that for one more tournament...

ACE of Hearts
06-23-2007, 07:52 PM
I think an in-form Hewitt and Safin can give Sampras problems.Both guys where in-form during that time.I dont like excuses because Sampras won the U.S Open in 2002.Either way, even in his prime, i think both these guys would play Pete tough.

travlerajm
06-23-2007, 10:24 PM
I think an in-form Hewitt and Safin can give Sampras problems.Both guys where in-form during that time.I dont like excuses because Sampras won the U.S Open in 2002.Either way, even in his prime, i think both these guys would play Pete tough.

You must not have watched many Sampras matches if you believe that. Hewitt and Sampras in top form are no match for Sampras when he shows up with his game. The Sampras we saw in those two finals wasn't the same guy who showed up in the semi's the day before.

War, Safin!
06-24-2007, 03:27 AM
Look at Safin and Hewitt's respetive run-in before facing Sampras in the final:
2000 - Safin:
Guardiola (#141)
Pozzi (#49)
Grosjean (#28 )
Ferrero (#12)
Keifer (#14)
Martin (#32)

2001 - Hewitt:
Gustafsson (#81)
Blake (#95)
Portas (#25)
Haas (#15)
Roddick (#18 )
Kafelnikov (#7)

If you then look at Sampras' run-in for each years:
2000:
Damm (#69)
Gimelstob (#88 )
Calleri (#72)
Lee (#182)
Krajicek (#23)
Hewitt (#9)
I consider Safin just got lucky that day.

2001:
Boutter (#55)
Sa (#111)
Youzhny (#65)
Rafter (#6)
Agassi (#2)
Safin (#3)
Hewitt also got lucky due to Sampras' fatigue - look at the last 3 opponents!

krosero
06-24-2007, 06:59 AM
So how on-form or off-form was Safin when Pete beat him in the 2001 semis?

War, Safin!
06-24-2007, 07:11 AM
So how on-form or off-form was Safin when Pete beat him in the 2001 semis?
2001 record to that point: 28-19.
Fair to say his form was 'inconsistent'.

Compare this to the next time they met, 5 months later at the Australian Open:
Safin 6-2 6-4 6-7 7-6 Sampras

Safin was 20-6 and was on a streak....Sampras, I think it's safe to say was pretty much on-the-slide at this point and had only played 8 times since the last meeting.