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View Full Version : When did Sampras lose a step?


VictorS.
03-28-2009, 06:22 AM
I suppose this thread could have gone under the Former Players Discussion, however I think it does tie in to the current tennis scene. I was a huge Sampras fan during his career, however being a bit younger myself, I was never congnizant of his diminishing skills. He was obviously a bit slower when he won his last grand slam title in NY.

Now obviously Sampras after his mid 20s began to concentrate almost solely on the grand slams rather than ranking points & master series shields. However, when you watch some of his matches in his late 20s such as the 1999 Wimbledon final vs. Agassi, you realize that physically he was no doubt still the premier athlete in the game. So my question to you all is: when did Sampras lose a step? Do you think his game lent itself to more longevity than Federer's?

I personally still think Federer is quite young & can regain his previous form, albiet perhaps on a less consistent basis.

GameSampras
03-28-2009, 06:25 AM
About 29 years old in 2000. Many regard his "Prime" as 93-98. But I dont buy it. He had an off year in 98. But 99 he played unreal tennis, arguably some of the best hes ever played aside from maybe 94. But he was injured during alot of 99. But if you watch his wimby performance and YEC performance, that was some kick arse tennis

In 2000, you could noticeably see Sampras was going downhill a bit. His movement wasnt what it was and his overralll game became affected by this. But he still had the serve-attack and ability to keep points quick which kept him winning and making deep runs in the slams. His 2000 wimbeldon performance was ok but not great. His USO 00 performance was average IMO. I thought he performed better the following year at the USO beating Andre, Rafter, Safin all in a row.

Later in his career, the serve-volley game kept him afloat. Without it, I dont think he would have been around to be honest. His baseline game suffered quite a but from 00 on.. Maybe 99 on.

Sampras said, The pete of 2002 USO could have beaten the Pete of 1996 USO. I HIGHLY DOUBT THAT. He was wiser and smarter in his later years in terms of game strategy when his overrall game began to go . But overrall more efficient in the mid 90s

flyer
03-28-2009, 06:33 AM
sampras by style had/has more longevity, federer's game is more based on movement than sampras' was so when federer loses a step it will effect his results more, like the above poster said because sampras had such a strong serve and was not very fast to begin with he could get away with being slightly slower, so i don't think federer will be winning slams as long as sampras was, especially considering the difference in competition

GameSampras
03-28-2009, 06:36 AM
sampras by style had/has more longevity, federer's game is more based on movement than sampras' was so when federer loses a step it will effect his results more, like the above poster said because sampras had such a strong serve and was not very fast to begin with he could get away with being slightly slower, so i don't think federer will be winning slams as long as sampras was, especially considering the difference in competition

I agree... I dont think we will be seeing Fed winning slams at 31 years of age. Even 30 years old to be honest. His style of game most likely wont permit it. His game does rely more on movement. He has a good serve but not a great serve and his net game isnt all that efficient. But who knows. I just dont believe it. Fed by 29 years old may be finished winning slams.

He is still one of the best. But he has obviously lost a step or two to his game. Not good considering his style of game in terms of longevity

VictorS.
03-28-2009, 06:40 AM
sampras by style had/has more longevity, federer's game is more based on movement than sampras' was so when federer loses a step it will effect his results more, like the above poster said because sampras had such a strong serve and was not very fast to begin with he could get away with being slightly slower, so i don't think federer will be winning slams as long as sampras was, especially considering the difference in competition

Sampras was not very fast to begin with? You sure about that one?

GameSampras
03-28-2009, 06:43 AM
Oh Pete was fast. He could cover the court unbelieveable in his prime physical years. 94-95 or 96. He didnt have the defense and anticipation that Roger had. But he could move out there

Ocean Drive
03-28-2009, 06:59 AM
Sampras was not very fast to begin with
? You sure about that one?

Haha, hahaha, hahahaha, HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HAHAAGAHGHAHAHAHA

bolo
03-28-2009, 07:07 AM
That's a good question. He was still an incredible mover in 99, you saw it at wimbledon and you also saw it at the year end tournament in the match he won against agassi. I think he only lost a step in a substantial way (affects his game) when he was no longer motivated by the record, so probably at some point after wimbledon 2000 (still at a high level at the 2000 U.S. open).

Has roger lost some speed? maybe a little . I would only draw strong conclusions from his grand slam matches and he is stilll playing at a high level in those matches. At this point in federerr's career the tour matches are just not that important. Even so you have to wonder if the way he is losing these 3rd sets to murray will affect him at the grandslams.

He also has to manage that back carefully-actually now the reduction in clay makes a lot of sense, playing a full clay court season would have been brutal for his back.

pmerk34
03-28-2009, 07:48 AM
sampras by style had/has more longevity, federer's game is more based on movement than sampras' was so when federer loses a step it will effect his results more, like the above poster said because sampras had such a strong serve and was not very fast to begin with he could get away with being slightly slower, so i don't think federer will be winning slams as long as sampras was, especially considering the difference in competition

Federer has already lost a step which is why he isn't getting the same results as he used to.

obsessedtennisfandisorder
03-28-2009, 09:40 AM
Doesn't this belong in pro-section?

Pete "lost a step" in 99 prior to US open when a disk slipped in his back.

unfortunately for the tour...it didn't matter....in fact...it just made pete
even more aggressive....in the late 90's there were suspicions pete was
really going for it on second serves but 2000 on this was confirmed........

In other words....pete was more and more aggressive as his career progressed

Mansewerz
03-28-2009, 09:52 AM
sampras by style had/has more longevity, federer's game is more based on movement than sampras' was so when federer loses a step it will effect his results more, like the above poster said because sampras had such a strong serve and was not very fast to begin with he could get away with being slightly slower, so i don't think federer will be winning slams as long as sampras was, especially considering the difference in competition

Agreed, sampras could live off his serve. It didn't really have off days. Federer no doubt has an amazing serve, but it's not as effective as Sampras. Also, the courts then were faster, helping Sampras' serve and keeping points short.

380pistol
03-28-2009, 11:51 PM
Depends. Comparing Pete and Roger in this regard is like apples and oranges. With athletes (and in general) power is the last thing to go.

Sampras was more dependent on power than Federer, so that carried him. Fed incorporates movement into his game more than Sampras did, so when he loses a step it's more apparent.

So I would say around mid 1999, when his body started to break down, and moreso into 2000. This wasn;t that apparanet as Sampras serve, abilty (and style of play) shorten points, made it less of a factor.

danb
03-29-2009, 07:53 AM
Sampras was not very fast to begin with? You sure about that one?

He was so slow - he never EVER hit a running forehand. He just couldn't run.
C'mon people - Pete was a beast. Faster and stronger than Fed or Murray.