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g14
02-21-2004, 10:46 AM
Hi. Recently players like Goran Ivanesevic, Pat Rafter and John McEnroe said that Federer has a greater talent than Sampras. Incidentally, these are players Sampras beat on a regular basis. For instance, Sampras had a 12:4 advantage over Rafter and beat Goran regurlarly in 2 Wimbledon finals and a Wimbledon and US Open semifinal. Is it called sour grapes?

Ariel
02-21-2004, 10:55 AM
No, it's just a fact. Federer may or may not achieve the same sucess as Sampras did, but his game is more solid from the backcourt making the transition to the net without problems. His return game is also better, but he does not have a Sampras-like serve, perhaps the most perfect serve of all time.

Federer also, and I believe this is the most important, can modelate his game to adapt it to a specific surface and to a particular opponent, Pete was never able to do this sucessfully.

AAAA
02-21-2004, 03:09 PM
I just think recent glowing comments about Federer from well-known players has put the noses of many Sampras fans out of joint.

Nosoupforyou
02-21-2004, 03:51 PM
Federer did beat him in the only time they played

Anonymous
02-21-2004, 04:15 PM
Just comparing Sampras with someone a decade younger shows you how good Sampras was. Sampras in his prime would consistently beat any Federer that I've seen so far. I mean, even Tim the Tiger beats Federer. But seriously, they are completely different players. Sampras played an old skool game just about to perfection while Federer varies much more in every sense. I think it is accurate to say that Sampras' game style, although very skillfully executed, was somewhat limited, while Federer's has seemingly no bounds. He is more of a rollercoaster to watch. There's usually not any dips; you just wonder what amazing shot he will hit next. As for Sampras, most people who don't know about the upper limits of hitting a tennis ball will find Sampras' serve speed mediocre, etc. Sampras did not react as much to his opponents as Federer is able to mesh for "more exciting" matches. That's the best I can put into words my comprehension of such great players.

g14
02-22-2004, 07:54 AM
Its absolutely impossible for me to agree that Sampras' game was limited. How do you beat the greatest players in the world with a limited game?

Anonymous
02-22-2004, 07:58 AM
I didn't say the limits were low. :D

Kobble
02-22-2004, 08:39 AM
Federer can adapt to more surfaces, but as Sampras has proved, you do not need to be extremely verstile to win alot. IMO, Federer is somewhere between Sampras and Agassi's games, which makes for wonderful tennis.

wkbrdr14
02-22-2004, 08:57 AM
I don't think those guys were the only players Sampras beat on a regular basis :D It's hard to say. Federer has a ton of game. His groundstrokes are maybe better than those of Sampras but he has a loooong way to go before he can match Pete's status as the greatest champion in the history of tennis.

-Ben

g14
02-22-2004, 09:18 AM
Kobble, I like your comments. Its makes a lot of sense. I would just add that Sampras won on all surfaces including clay in 1994 and 1998. Thats twice in his career. He also won the Davis Cup on clay in 1995. The only way to realise how good Sampas' groundgame was is to look at videos from the early to mid nineties. People would then have to reassess some of the comments they make. Of course that isn't going to happen. Maybe the Tennis Channel in the States might help ythat situation by showing Sampras matches in future. Remember, this is a man who started as a baseliner. This explains why he won so much. A really great but out and out serve and volleyer like Edberg won 6 slams and 35 tournaments. The fact Sampras had more to his game shows why he won twice as much as Edberg - 14 slams and 64 tournaments.

Mike Bulgakov
11-27-2007, 11:55 PM
The debate never ends...

SempreSami
11-28-2007, 03:05 AM
TBH Sampras had to beat some of those players in five sets while Federer has a tendency of steamrollering his closest rivals on a regular basis.

PimpMyGame
11-28-2007, 03:31 AM
For me, Federer is able to couple playing the game elegantly with consistency and tenacity. I wouldn't call Sampras's game "elegant" and I wouldn't call, say, Tiger Tim's game "consistent". That's why Roger is different to anyone since McEnroe.

TheNatural
11-28-2007, 05:01 AM
I don't think its sour grapes.

But now in just a few matches Sampras has show the limitations in fed's competition.

barbadosan
11-28-2007, 05:19 AM
I don't think those guys were the only players Sampras beat on a regular basis :D It's hard to say. Federer has a ton of game. His groundstrokes are maybe better than those of Sampras but he has a loooong way to go before he can match Pete's status as the greatest champion in the history of tennis.

-Ben

You're absolutely right! Fed is 26 with 12 GS under his belt. By the time he reaches Pete's age when he won his 14th GS, Heaven only knows what more TMF would have achieved.

christos_liaskos
11-28-2007, 05:22 AM
TBH Sampras had to beat some of those players in five sets while Federer has a tendency of steamrollering his closest rivals on a regular basis.

I havent looked at all his results but Sampras won 8 of his 14 slam finals in straights sets, that seems pretty dominant to me.

On another point, I think many people, including myself are guilty of thinking Sampras is just a 'serve' and not much more. Ofcourse his serve was his biggest weapon but you dont win 14 slams and be contender for greatest player ever just because of your serve. Karlovic would have a pretty good shout to be named the greatest player ever in that case.

Iced_jacob
11-28-2007, 05:24 AM
IMO Federer plays like this because he has to find a way to beat aggressive baseliners like nadal nalby etc
If he was playing in the mid-90's he would prob be a SnV guuy too!!:P

PimpMyGame
11-28-2007, 05:31 AM
If he was playing in the mid-90's he would prob be a SnV guuy too!!:P

Maybe this is why he gets so much respect from his peers and also from the senior players. We all know he has the true ability to change his game when needed.

However, clay is proving a little difficult, particularly against one of the best ever players on that surface. But I think he'll get there in '08 or '09. Seriously, he only needs to win RG once doesn't he?

Katlion
11-28-2007, 05:40 AM
Federer Will Rule The World! Muahahahahahahahahahaha!!

cknobman
11-28-2007, 05:49 AM
Fed does have greater talent than Sampras and he has proven it with his all court game and ability to beat a wide variety of player on any given surface(even Nadal on clay, although only once).

Pete did have great talent(no one wins 14 slams without it) but not as much as Fed. Pete did although learn how to maximize the talent he had and develop a very tough to beat playstyle.

MEAC_ALLAMERICAN
11-28-2007, 05:51 AM
No, it's just a fact. Federer may or may not achieve the same sucess as Sampras did, but his game is more solid from the backcourt making the transition to the net without problems. His return game is also better, but he does not have a Sampras-like serve, perhaps the most perfect serve of all time.

Federer also, and I believe this is the most important, can modelate his game to adapt it to a specific surface and to a particular opponent, Pete was never able to do this sucessfully.

Great post, and I agree :)

Clintspin
11-28-2007, 05:54 AM
Let's look back in a few years and have this discussion. Federer stills has his work cut out for him. It is not easy to win Grand Slams. One bad day and you are out. Also, soon a new player will pop up out of nowhere and become the next Federer, Sampras, Agassi, Edberg, Mac, Borg or Connors.

TheNatural
11-28-2007, 05:57 AM
We may as well just watch and appreciate their games. Theres opinions from both ends of the spectrum:

Septermber 2006
Carlos Moya on Pete Sampras:

"He was a class apart. Federer and Nadal are good, but not in his league."


October 2006
Gustavo Kuerten on Pete Sampras:

Sampras was "much better" than Federer.
"In Formula 1, Schumacher took advantage of Senna's death to conquer his triumphs, just like Federer took advantage of the vacuum left by Sampras to obtain his victories. Both are good players, but I prefer Sampras."

rommil
11-28-2007, 07:40 AM
Hi. Recently players like Goran Ivanesevic, Pat Rafter and John McEnroe said that Federer has a greater talent than Sampras. Incidentally, these are players Sampras beat on a regular basis. For instance, Sampras had a 12:4 advantage over Rafter and beat Goran regurlarly in 2 Wimbledon finals and a Wimbledon and US Open semifinal. Is it called sour grapes?

It's just saying as it is. Andre Agassi who has played both a number of times even said that Federer is a better player. It's only sour grapes because some people want it to be. Roger is a better player and a better ambassador for tennis.

rommil
11-28-2007, 07:43 AM
I don't think its sour grapes.

But now in just a few matches Sampras has show the limitations in fed's competition.

Oh yeah you wouldn't be talking about that EXHIBITION are you?

caulcano
11-28-2007, 07:54 AM
Hi. Recently players like Goran Ivanesevic, Pat Rafter and John McEnroe said that Federer has a greater talent than Sampras. Incidentally, these are players Sampras beat on a regular basis. For instance, Sampras had a 12:4 advantage over Rafter and beat Goran regurlarly in 2 Wimbledon finals and a Wimbledon and US Open semifinal. Is it called sour grapes?

Add to that list Agassi, who said Federer is the best he ever played:

http://sify.com/sports/tennis/usopen2005/fullstory.php?id=13938572

Ask yourself this, did Laver or Borg (some of the greats in tennis) come to watch Sampras in his prime?

Also, I can't seem to remember Sampras, in his prime, receiving the hype that surrounds Federer at the moment.

!Tym
11-28-2007, 08:31 AM
Why can't people just accept that they're BOTH darn great, and that world class players, even those well past their prime, are STILL capable of playing a good game every NOW AND THEN. It's just that good days become far fewer in between with old age.

In virtually all other major sports except tennis, elite players have proven capable of still playing at an elite level even when in their mid thirties.

The REAL reason top tennis players seem to diminish overnight in their capabilities is NOT that they are no longer capable so much, but rather that the tennis season is so by far and away the most grueling of all major professional sports it would seem with NO real offseason. This leads to premature burnout, and not enough time to sufficiently recover from injuries without fear of being left behind (pro team sports players for example routinely use the offseason for surgeries and too recuperate both physically AND mentally.

The reality is that top players of every generation are capable of taking down one another on their best day. You can argue who is better till you're blue in the face, but the more accurate reality is that there really is not better per say as much as there is a decidely boring thing called, relative competitiveness. In other words, it's probably safe to say that top players of every generation would be relatively competitive, which is just another way of saying that they'd probably exchange victories with each other if both were at their peak.

veritech
11-28-2007, 09:03 AM
We may as well just watch and appreciate their games. Theres opinions from both ends of the spectrum:

Septermber 2006
Carlos Moya on Pete Sampras:

"He was a class apart. Federer and Nadal are good, but not in his league."


October 2006
Gustavo Kuerten on Pete Sampras:

Sampras was "much better" than Federer.
"In Formula 1, Schumacher took advantage of Senna's death to conquer his triumphs, just like Federer took advantage of the vacuum left by Sampras to obtain his victories. Both are good players, but I prefer Sampras."

it's pointless presenting players' opinions of the two players. players like agassi are quoted in saying they fear federer much more than pete.

avmoghe
11-28-2007, 09:15 AM
Add to that list Agassi, who said Federer is the best he ever played:

http://sify.com/sports/tennis/usopen2005/fullstory.php?id=13938572

Ask yourself this, did Laver or Borg (some of the greats in tennis) come to watch Sampras in his prime?

Also, I can't seem to remember Sampras, in his prime, receiving the hype that surrounds Federer at the moment.

He didn't. And anyone who claims that Sampras was praised anywhere near as much as Federer is a liar.

People appreciated Sampras' greatness, no doubt. But he wasn't given the godly status that Federer has (nor did he deserve it).

Sampras relied far more on his serve's power to hold his own service games. And the rest of his game was usually good enough to come up with 1 break in a set. Even if it went to a tiebreak, the serve gave him an advantage. Sampras wasn't known as the artistic genius that Federer is.

People were quite frankly BORED of him (especially at Wimbledon) - far more people than the trolls we have on this forum claiming 'Roger is boring' and what not. You need only look at the British media coverage to see this.

Worse still, Sampras never had a legitimate shot at the French Open.. Yes he made it to the semi-final once (hell, someone like Henman made the quarters/semis too). But he was never a real threat.

Federer on the other hand is a serious threat. He has been twice two sets away from '4 slams in a row' - and an almost unanimous GOAT designation. His dominance is complete - not just at slams - other tournaments as well. I need not mention how complete his game is - and he produces incredible angles and shots (yes, far superior to ones that Sampras made). When people watch him, they see aesthetic beauty in tennis that Sampras could never deliver.

There is quite simply no comparison - Federer is a far more complete, far more dominant, and far more aesthetically pleasing master of the game than Sampras ever was. If you are argue this, you are nothing short of a Sampras fanboy (Hell, as I've said before on these forums, Sampras is and remains my favorite player.. but I cannot deny the above)

What Sampras does have over Federer is a significantly better serve, better volleys, and 2 more slams. The latter of these will probably disappear in the next year. Then of course, we have the ever present debate about how Sampras' competition was better than Federer's... 80's competition was better than 70's... etc.

desilvam
11-28-2007, 09:28 AM
Out here in the US, I think sampras was underhyped because of agassi. Most folks here loved agassi more than sampras. Also, sampras initially was just one of the crowd (courier, agassi, chang...) till he separated himself from them.

Fed is a bit overhyped but very deservedly so. The only thing that sampras did/does better than Fed is the serve. Fed would have volleyed at pete's level if he was not forced to change his game more towards the baseline, due to the current balls/courts/strings etc.

Head to head in their primes, I think Pete would win on indoor fast courts and fast grass courts (90's wimbledon).. Fed would win on slow grass (current wimbledon conditions), clay and outdoor hard courts irrespective of speed.

i.e. if they were to meet in every slam final at their peaks, Pete would win wimbledon and Fed the other 3..

:) But this is all big IF's and fun arguing :)

alfa164164
11-28-2007, 09:28 AM
Seems like alot of people forget that you can win and be very successful (especially on fast surfaces) with "half a game" - namely serve and forehand (or serve and volley). A great example today is Roddick.
The simple fact is that you don't need a complete game to win. Roddick doesn't nowadays, and Pete (who clearly has more weapons than ARod) didn't in the past. The fact that Federer is possibly the most complete player in the history of the sport doesn't necessarily mean he's going to win every time out, but IMO it does make for the most entertaining brand of tennis to watch.
A great half game at times will still beat someone with a complete game. How well you can mask, hide, or run around your deficiencies is key. Seems like Federer has a keen ability to get to his opponent's weak spots, not sure if Federer really has any weaknesses.

tHotGates
11-28-2007, 10:00 AM
Such short memories on Pete. Laver was full of praise for Pete as were other former & contemporary greats. Pete had won 13-15 slams & at the time was projected to finish somewhere between 16-20 slams (sound familiar). By 2002/03 Pete was considered by many as the GOAT. There are plenty of articles (just go to one of numerous Sampras sites for reference) written at the time extolling Pete's game. Talk about sour grapes? Whatever.

FiveO
11-28-2007, 10:31 AM
Great is great.

Throughout history the greats have always tested the greats of the next generation of player or two.

Pancho Gonzalez, coming out of semi-retirement was able to beat Laver when the Rocket was the undisputed #1 in the world.

Laver beat Borg and remained competitive with all the top guys into his later thirties.

Connors did what he did against the next two generations.

Lendl into the next two generations.

Agassi into the next two generations.

There is historic precedence.

A great tennis player is a great tennis player.

Sampras in his time was viewed as the best AND most complete player since Laver.

However, absolute completeness has never been an absolute requirement for greatness, i.e. Connors, Lendl, Agassi.

This repeated historical trend has always sparked dialogue about what if A played B in their primes.

The trend has never ended making it unlikely that it has now.

The bottom line is that as rare as it is, Great is Great.

hoosierbr
11-28-2007, 11:24 AM
Worth noting Sampras said last week that Fed has dominated the game more than he ever did.

World Beater
11-28-2007, 05:56 PM
We may as well just watch and appreciate their games. Theres opinions from both ends of the spectrum:

Septermber 2006
Carlos Moya on Pete Sampras:

"He was a class apart. Federer and Nadal are good, but not in his league."


October 2006
Gustavo Kuerten on Pete Sampras:

Sampras was "much better" than Federer.
"In Formula 1, Schumacher took advantage of Senna's death to conquer his triumphs, just like Federer took advantage of the vacuum left by Sampras to obtain his victories. Both are good players, but I prefer Sampras."

kuerten changed his mind, you know.

moya has also said federer plays on a higher level than sampras....some of these players waver themselves.

drakulie
11-28-2007, 06:02 PM
Hi. Recently players like Goran Ivanesevic, Pat Rafter and John McEnroe said that Federer has a greater talent than Sampras. Incidentally, these are players Sampras beat on a regular basis. For instance, Sampras had a 12:4 advantage over Rafter and beat Goran regurlarly in 2 Wimbledon finals and a Wimbledon and US Open semifinal. Is it called sour grapes?

Sampras has also been quoted as saying Fed is a more complete player than he was. "Incidentally" (lol), Sampras also has a losing record against Fed.

FedForGOAT
11-28-2007, 06:54 PM
Sampras in his time was viewed as the best AND most complete player since Laver.

I don't know how he was viewed, but I know how he deserves to be viewed. In his prime, he had a pretty well rounded all-court game and a backhand that was definitely not a liability, but to go as far as calling him the most complete player since Laver is a bit of a stretch, IMO. I can see a couple of arguably more "complete" players in between the two, like:

Connors
Nastase
Vilas
McEnroe
Becker (did better in FO, 3 times semifinalist)

But Smapras' overall game was on a higher level, and he compensated for his weaknesses with his athleticism.

FiveO
11-28-2007, 08:24 PM
I don't know how he was viewed, but I know how he deserves to be viewed. In his prime, he had a pretty well rounded all-court game and a backhand that was definitely not a liability, but to go as far as calling him the most complete player since Laver is a bit of a stretch, IMO. I can see a couple of arguably more "complete" players in between the two, like:

Connors
Nastase
Vilas
McEnroe
Becker (did better in FO, 3 times semifinalist)

But Smapras' overall game was on a higher level, and he compensated for his weaknesses with his athleticism.

Tools. Tools. As in a complete set of tools.

No one's serve game rivals Sampras in total.

Mc was one of the best two volleyers of all-time but Sampras is in the top 4 and was better in every other element.
Connors and Vilas may have had an edge off the ground but that's it.
Nastase may have rivalled Sampras in raw athleticism but that's it.
Sampras was a tick better than Becker in every department.

If your comment centers on clay and Sampras's lack of an RG title:

FYI Sampras beat every RG champion who won that title during his career on clay aside from Kuerten and Moya (who he never faced on dirt).

And as far as Becker's superiority on clay, in their only meeting on clay in the final of Rome '94, Sampras won the title 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

Career Titles by Surface

Becker:

Hard (16)
Grass (7)
Clay (0)
Carpet (26)


Sampras:

Hard (37)
Clay (3)
Grass (10)
Carpet (14)

No it ain't alot of clay results but three is better than zero.

Polaris
11-28-2007, 09:29 PM
Sampras was a tick better than Becker in every department.

I thought Becker's backhand was better than Sampras's bent elbow monstrosity. But the rest of the post makes sense.

!Tym
11-28-2007, 10:29 PM
I don't know how he was viewed, but I know how he deserves to be viewed. In his prime, he had a pretty well rounded all-court game and a backhand that was definitely not a liability, but to go as far as calling him the most complete player since Laver is a bit of a stretch, IMO. I can see a couple of arguably more "complete" players in between the two, like:

Connors
Nastase
Vilas
McEnroe
Becker (did better in FO, 3 times semifinalist)

But Smapras' overall game was on a higher level, and he compensated for his weaknesses with his athleticism.

Sampras' real strength was not his first serve, but rather his SECOND serve. As the saying goes, "You're only as good as your second."

Goran's first serve was near unreturnable if he was on due to how sneaky quick his motion was and the EXTREME amount of angle he could generate going out wide...with pace.

However, his second serve was only so-so, he didn't have but a decent kicker, and under pressure his second serve could become a liability and he'd double fault a lot at critical junctures...the same dillema can be said for Philipoussis.

Becker said what made Sampras' serve so tough was that his second serve felt like first serve. In other words, not a significant drop-off in quality (the extreme example of this is Chang, who had a decent first serve WHEN he could get it in...but man, oh man, did opponents literally start licking their chops at the thought of his second).

Think about it this way, if Chang's second serve were nearly as good as his first, how much difference would it have made in his career? I think a HUGE one. Rios' serve to me was much more effective, because his first and second serves were nearly interchangeable.

If Philipoussis and Goran didn't choke so many second serves in their career at inopportune times, they would have won a lot more than a total of one slam between the two of them. The HUGE achilles heel with Philipoussis for me has always been that you know he'll eventually double fault away a critical break at a critical juncture of the match when he gets nervous...heck, even when he doesn't. It's almost inevitable at some point.

Off the top of my head, I can think of several players whose first serves were as good or better than Sampras'...Forget, Rosset, Goran, Krajicek, Becker, Ivanisevic, Stich, Philipoussis. The difference is that none of those guys had quite the same RELIABLE second serve ace capabilities on BIG points as Sampras.

It makes a huge difference over the long haul of a career. I truly believe what made Sampras so great over any other shot or attribute he had was a shot no one really talks about when considering greatness of player, because it's not flashy, and that's the second serve. With Goran and Philipoussis everyone talks about how great their serves are...until they miss their first and now have to serve a second...on a crucial point.

alfa164164
11-29-2007, 09:30 AM
I think what made Sampras' 2nd serve so great, was that most of the time he simply went for another 1st serve. He was willing to give away a few double faults, because he knew what an incredibly high percentage of the points he was going to win if he didn't double fault. It was a basic cost vs. benefit analysis - had Pete taken the mustard off his second serve, his second serve winning percentage would have dropped significantly. He was simply better off going for second serve aces, it was the logical strategy for him to employ. I don't think enough current players "do the math" on this and implement the same strategy (it does make for some boring tennis to watch though).
Here are some numbers:
Scenario A- (going for big 2nd serves) Let's say you double fault 40% of the time because you are going for such a huge second serve and say you win 85% of the points when you get it in - over 100 points that means you are going to win 51 points (85% of 60)
Scenario B- (playing conservatively, spinning the ball in) Let's say you only double fault 4% of the time this way, but that you only win 50% of the remaining points - over 100 points you will only win 48 points (50% of 96)
Bottom line is you are going to win more points going for broke, and probably with a bigger margin than noted above because the stats are conservative in favor of Scenario B. In reality the double fault ratio in A would probably be lower and the winning % in B would be lower, so the actual advantage of "swinging for the fences" is even greater.
MORAL: Grip it and Rip it!