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GeoffB
04-18-2009, 07:58 PM
I know, I know, another thread on an old topic. But I found this comparison interesting:

In 1998, Pete Sampras finished #1 in the world for the last time. His results in the tournaments played (major and masters level) so far this year were

Sampras:

Australian Open: QF
Indian Wells: 3R
Miami: 3R
Monte Carlo: 3R

Fed's results have been (so far this year)
Australian Open: F
Indian Wells: SF
Miami: SF
Monte Carlo: 3R

This isn't to knock Sampras or to laud Federer... it's just to put it in a bit of perspective. Even when he was #1, Sampras had slower starts than Fed has had so far this year.

All in all, this is actually a strong start to a year. It just seems weak compared to Fed of couple years ago, or Nadal of, well, now ;)

Chelsea_Kiwi
04-18-2009, 08:01 PM
Thats interesting. Just shows how strong the competition is atm.

luckyboy1300
04-18-2009, 08:09 PM
I know, I know, another thread on an old topic. But I found this comparison interesting:

In 1998, Pete Sampras finished #1 in the world for the last time. His results in the tournaments played (major and masters level) so far this year were

Sampras:

Australian Open: QF
Indian Wells: 3R
Miami: 3R
Monte Carlo: 3R

Fed's results have been (so far this year)
Australian Open: F
Indian Wells: SF
Miami: SF
Monte Carlo: 3R

This isn't to knock Sampras or to laud Federer... it's just to put it in a bit of perspective. Even when he was #1, Sampras had slower starts than Fed has had so far this year.

All in all, this is actually a strong start to a year. It just seems weak compared to Fed of couple years ago, or Nadal of, well, now ;)

in all honesty i think the sampras fans (especially the *****) are in a very sweet position today in that they can observe the current tour as it occurs, so the miniscule details of this year can be seen, yet the same details of past years have been overlooked. all we know is that pete sampras finished number 1 in 1998 just by winning only 1 slam, while today we know federer has been losing week in week out, and everyone especially sampras ***** are jumping all over him regarding how weak he is and how he can't handle the current competition, overlooking the fact that federer is still making deeper runs at the tourneys than their idol.

chiru
04-18-2009, 08:10 PM
I know, I know, another thread on an old topic. But I found this comparison interesting:

In 1998, Pete Sampras finished #1 in the world for the last time. His results in the tournaments played (major and masters level) so far this year were

Sampras:

Australian Open: QF
Indian Wells: 3R
Miami: 3R
Monte Carlo: 3R

Fed's results have been (so far this year)
Australian Open: F
Indian Wells: SF
Miami: SF
Monte Carlo: 3R

This isn't to knock Sampras or to laud Federer... it's just to put it in a bit of perspective. Even when he was #1, Sampras had slower starts than Fed has had so far this year.

All in all, this is actually a strong start to a year. It just seems weak compared to Fed of couple years ago, or Nadal of, well, now ;)

I think anyone who is even a little bit objective about the fed vs. sampras thing realizes that federer's records are incomparable compared to pete's. his domination of the men's game is far greater than pete (and imo anyone else) has ever achieved (save for mac's '84, but that's just one year).

the issue isn't whether or not federer is more dominant, it's whether federer is the best player of his generation. i really don't think goat debates are fruitful. there are too many variables. e.g. how many more majors would rod have had if he lived during the open era? how many more majors would pete have had if he played right after rod (where 3 out of 4 majors were contested on grass?). the what ifs go on and on and on.

for me there are 3 guys that were the best of their eras. there asterisks next to all of these. Rod was arguably the best of his gen, but i don't know you can say that he was head and shoulders above emo and rosewall. Borg was arguably the best of his, but the way he retired really calls into question his fabric as a champion. Pete was undoubtedly the best of his gen, but failed pretty miserably at clay.

roger dominated his 'gen' for about 4 years. It is very telling that during these years he had a very consistent nemesis that he lost to most of the time: nadal. federer didn't sorta fall out of his prime; he was chased out by an outrageous nadal. nadal, even as a teenager gave TMF fits that noone else could dream of. if we consider nadal and federer as happening in the same generation, then the argument can be made that federer is not the best of his gen, because he didn't consistently demonstrate the ability to out class his rivals when it counted.

many people argue that federer and nadal's generations are different, because federer was a dominant force for long enough, and the new generation seems to have that top 4 of djokovic, murray, and nadal: all youngsters 22 and below, while roger is 27. i'm not sure that 5 years is enough to seperate a generation. more importantly, i'm really not convinced that roger just sort of whithered away due to age or something: i really feel like nadal beat roger last year at his best, and that this confidence breaker THEN led to roger's overall decline vs. other opponents. it's a mental thing, i really don't think roger is any less capable than he was a year or two ago.

but that's the argument, if nadal and federer are of the same gen, then you can really make the claim that fed isn't the most dominant player of his gen. if not...then clearly federer is the most dominant.

CyBorg
04-18-2009, 08:15 PM
Sampras had a whole different mentality to him.

He'd lose some early matches, but you knew that he'd turn it up somewhere along the way.

Federer is different. He's losing and he clearly has no idea what to do in order to win again. He doesn't have that extra gear, or weapon to go at important moments.

Either his whole game works or nothing works.

egn
04-18-2009, 08:19 PM
Sampras had a whole different mentality to him.

He'd lose some early matches, but you knew that he'd turn it up somewhere along the way.

Federer is different. He's losing and he clearly has no idea what to do in order to win again. He doesn't have that extra gear, or weapon to go at important moments.

Either his whole game works or nothing works.

Agree Fed is a more consistent dominant week in and out player..Sampras lived more for the moment and besides 1998 was a weak year with no disrespect meant to Sampras. Sampras was past his best and was really struggling it was the start of his decline. If it had not been for the other failing newcomers that year Sampras might have lost the number 1 *cough* Marcelo Rios *cough* You know guys who just needed to win one of the two slams people thought they would *cough* Marcelo Rios *cough*...yea man wonder who I am talking about.

luckyboy1300
04-18-2009, 08:39 PM
Sampras had a whole different mentality to him.

He'd lose some early matches, but you knew that he'd turn it up somewhere along the way.

Federer is different. He's losing and he clearly has no idea what to do in order to win again. He doesn't have that extra gear, or weapon to go at important moments.

Either his whole game works or nothing works.

i don't understand this. last year federer is also struggling like this and then went on to win the us open.

GeoffB
04-18-2009, 08:40 PM
but that's the argument, if nadal and federer are of the same gen, then you can really make the claim that fed isn't the most dominant player of his gen. if not...then clearly federer is the most dominant.

I definitely agree - with both the statement and the qualifier that they might not be of the same generation of players. There's only 5 years difference, but that's enough to separate them in their prime.

My big problem with using Nadal's H2H against Fed is that when Fed was most dominant, Nadal often wasn't around. Because Nadal was usually the #2 seed, he wouldn't meet Fed until the final of most tournaments - and usually, that was clay. Now that Nadal is tearing it up, they may meet in more hardcourt majors, and Nadal may well win these. But the W-L record may simply reflect Fed's *presence* in major finals where and when Nadal was strongest, and Nadal's *absence* from these finals where and when Fed was strongest.

Of course, there's also a different possibility - that Fed has always matched up badly against Nadal, and that he could only win tournaments if someone else took him out. I don't buy this - I think that in 2004-2007, Fed would have beaten Nadal in the AO and USO and improved his W-L if Nadal had managed to make the finals.

We'll never really know - but I do think that the Fed/Nadal H2H is potentially misleading.

helloworld
04-18-2009, 08:49 PM
Federer used to be consistent at winning. Now he's consistent at losing! :lol:
Seriously, Federer is not the Sampras type who can lose 3 tournaments and win the big one out of nowhere. He needs to get his winning rhythm or he won't be winning at all.

VivalaVida
04-18-2009, 08:52 PM
Federer used to be consistent at winning. Now he's consistent at losing! :lol:
Seriously, Federer is not the Sampras type who can lose 3 tournaments and win the big one out of nowhere. He needs to get his winning rhythm or he won't be winning at all.
ROFL. that is exactly what happened last year after wimbledon. Federer lost to Simon, KARLOVIC!, Blake ! and people were digging up federer's grave and Boom! federer won the USO.

The-Champ
04-18-2009, 08:53 PM
Sampras had a whole different mentality to him.

He'd lose some early matches, but you knew that he'd turn it up somewhere along the way.
Federer is different. He's losing and he clearly has no idea what to do in order to win again. He doesn't have that extra gear, or weapon to go at important moments.

Either his whole game works or nothing works.


I thought Roger won the USO....or was it just in my dreams.'

CyBorg
04-18-2009, 08:54 PM
i don't understand this. last year federer is also struggling like this and then went on to win the us open.

No, he wasn't struggling "like this". Right now he's really struggling.

CyBorg
04-18-2009, 08:55 PM
I thought Roger won the USO....or was it just in my dreams.'

See above. Roger's game has been in an evident downturn for some time.

helloworld
04-18-2009, 08:56 PM
No, he wasn't struggling "like this". Right now he's really struggling.

Agreed. 10 chars.

luckyboy1300
04-18-2009, 11:55 PM
No, he wasn't struggling "like this". Right now he's really struggling.

well i see no difference to what's happening to him now and last year. also, since it's the first time that this so-called struggling has happened to him, how can you be so sure he can't bounce back? to me he's struggling more after the wimby loss, then won the us open. there are no indications that the same thing won't happen again.

380pistol
04-19-2009, 12:06 AM
Why are comparin 1998 to 2009??? If Sampras and Federer are born 10 years apart, shouldn't we go with with 10 year intervals???

Anyway 1998 vs 2008. Yes Sampras won just one slam, but Nadal would have to into SW19 and dethrone Sampras to have a shot at #1, so unless someone is gonna explain to me how that happens, there's the 2nd hole in your theory (the 1st was not going by 10 year intervals).

I love how many forget that Pete was leading Rafter 7-6,4-6,4-2 before a leg injury.
http://theclassicmatch.blogspot.com/2007/10/us-open-sf-1998-rafter-def-sampras.html
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/1998/usopen/news/1998/09/10/usopen/ -The Preview
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/1998/usopen/news/1998/09/11/mens_semis/ -The Preview
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/1998/usopen/news/1998/09/12/usopen_sampras/ -The Match

... and despite all those losses it probably would have been another 2 slam year for Sampras. And in 1999 he started off injurred (missed Aus Open), yet went 4-1 vs #1 Agassi that year. Currently in 2009 Roger is 0-1 vs the world #1.

edberg505
04-19-2009, 12:19 AM
well i see no difference to what's happening to him now and last year. also, since it's the first time that this so-called struggling has happened to him, how can you be so sure he can't bounce back? to me he's struggling more after the wimby loss, then won the us open. there are no indications that the same thing won't happen again.

Dude, it's useless. You can't discuss this topic reasonably with out some Captain SavaPete jumping in here to say Pete is a deity. To be honest I just don't get it. Belittling the guys accomplishments because he's so close to breaking Pete's record? That's just crazy. I'm a fan of both guys. I can appreciate they way they both play tennis. Honestly, I don't see why these Pete fans watch the tennis nowadays anyways. Just go back and pop in a few old DVDs of some Sampras matches. I have plenty and would gladly make you guys some copies.

el sergento
04-19-2009, 12:56 AM
Sampras had a whole different mentality to him.

He'd lose some early matches, but you knew that he'd turn it up somewhere along the way.

Federer is different. He's losing and he clearly has no idea what to do in order to win again. He doesn't have that extra gear, or weapon to go at important moments.

Either his whole game works or nothing works.

Agreed, Pete's game was far simpler, and his weapons (serve) more effective.

If anything, Feds slump has demonstrated just what a defensive player he really is/was. Feds magic came/comes from his ability to turn defense into offense; that tactic requires peak physical form and a complete array of shots; and therefore more variables that can break down.

Pete on the other hand, could just walk on court and blow you away with his serve and half the time he wouldn't even bother trying to break you, thus conserving energy.

Fed's only chance at longevity is to develop an effective attacking game; that means serving bigger and solidifying his FH. He also has to improve drastically at net.

swedechris
04-19-2009, 01:09 AM
Sampras had a whole different mentality to him.

He'd lose some early matches, but you knew that he'd turn it up somewhere along the way.

Federer is different. He's losing and he clearly has no idea what to do in order to win again. He doesn't have that extra gear, or weapon to go at important moments.

Either his whole game works or nothing works.


very true. sampras when he lost , he lost with a certain amount of dignity. i dont see that with fed really.

edberg505
04-19-2009, 01:18 AM
very true. sampras when he lost , he lost with a certain amount of dignity. i dont see that with fed really.

Except for that Cin. match against Rafter. LOL

lawrence
04-19-2009, 01:26 AM
Federer used to be consistent at winning. Now he's consistent at losing! :lol:
Seriously, Federer is not the Sampras type who can lose 3 tournaments and win the big one out of nowhere. He needs to get his winning rhythm or he won't be winning at all.

haha, guess you didnt watch much tennis last year :p

P_Agony
04-19-2009, 03:17 AM
I think anyone who is even a little bit objective about the fed vs. sampras thing realizes that federer's records are incomparable compared to pete's. his domination of the men's game is far greater than pete (and imo anyone else) has ever achieved (save for mac's '84, but that's just one year).

the issue isn't whether or not federer is more dominant, it's whether federer is the best player of his generation. i really don't think goat debates are fruitful. there are too many variables. e.g. how many more majors would rod have had if he lived during the open era? how many more majors would pete have had if he played right after rod (where 3 out of 4 majors were contested on grass?). the what ifs go on and on and on.

for me there are 3 guys that were the best of their eras. there asterisks next to all of these. Rod was arguably the best of his gen, but i don't know you can say that he was head and shoulders above emo and rosewall. Borg was arguably the best of his, but the way he retired really calls into question his fabric as a champion. Pete was undoubtedly the best of his gen, but failed pretty miserably at clay.

roger dominated his 'gen' for about 4 years. It is very telling that during these years he had a very consistent nemesis that he lost to most of the time: nadal. federer didn't sorta fall out of his prime; he was chased out by an outrageous nadal. nadal, even as a teenager gave TMF fits that noone else could dream of. if we consider nadal and federer as happening in the same generation, then the argument can be made that federer is not the best of his gen, because he didn't consistently demonstrate the ability to out class his rivals when it counted.

many people argue that federer and nadal's generations are different, because federer was a dominant force for long enough, and the new generation seems to have that top 4 of djokovic, murray, and nadal: all youngsters 22 and below, while roger is 27. i'm not sure that 5 years is enough to seperate a generation. more importantly, i'm really not convinced that roger just sort of whithered away due to age or something: i really feel like nadal beat roger last year at his best, and that this confidence breaker THEN led to roger's overall decline vs. other opponents. it's a mental thing, i really don't think roger is any less capable than he was a year or two ago.

but that's the argument, if nadal and federer are of the same gen, then you can really make the claim that fed isn't the most dominant player of his gen. if not...then clearly federer is the most dominant.

That's a good post, but I disagree with some of it. I think Fed was passed his prime as soon as 2008 came. His game was just different. Forehand was more often off, backhand was hardly as good as it was in 2007 (IMO Fed's best backhand year), serve was just as good, but not enough. His confidence, as a result, went down. He started losing to more than just Nadal - Roddick, Blake, Stepanek, Fish, Karlovic - guys who he usually owns. Nadal got a lot better sure, but I think had Nadal, at Wimbly 08, faced the 2006 Federer, the story might be a bit different. Same goes for AO 09.

Now, if we go by my defintion of Fed's generation (until TMC 2007), then Federer is the leader of his generation, because he had a winning records over Nadal on 2 surfaces against Nadal's lead on just one surface.

Of course, my definition of Fed's generation may not be the correct one (it is to me). But I think anyone who thinks Fed is the same player as before and only the competition got stronger is in denial. It is simply not true. Federer's prime (not peak, just prime) is long gone. There are glimpses of it at some points in a match, but nothing consistent anymore.

The fact that Federer, after his prime, with low confidence and less than good form, has managed to step it up and win the US Open is simply amazing and just shows how great Fed really is. If he, with his current form (which most will agree is simply lousy) can still somehow reach GS finals, it shows too how great he is.

Of course, people have very short memories, and once Nadal's form begins to suffer everyone will bury him like they do Roger now. I guess it's only human nature.