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laurie
07-13-2005, 05:37 AM
A contentious article for you lot to read.
http://www.thedartmouth.com/article.php?aid=2005071203010
Read on

Note: there is one factual error in this article.

baseliner
07-13-2005, 05:42 AM
Thomas Johansson has in fact made it past the 4th round in a GS--he won the AO!

laurie
07-13-2005, 05:44 AM
Make that two factual errors.

rhubarb
07-13-2005, 05:47 AM
I think they already changed the other error, which was that Fed lost to Ivanisevic in 2001 Wimby, when of course it was Henman who actually beat him.

As for the rest of it, hmmm, some rather silly assumptions.

x Southpaw x
07-13-2005, 05:51 AM
The article really only applies to grass: the dying surface.

littlelleyton
07-13-2005, 06:06 AM
The article really only applies to grass: the dying surface.

grass is a dying surface? maybe i will be able to sell my back garden soon then....haha just kidding. what makes you say this, do people not want to play on grass anymore?

GotGame?
07-13-2005, 06:21 AM
grass is a dying surface? maybe i will be able to sell my back garden soon then....haha just kidding. what makes you say this, do people not want to play on grass anymore?

Grass is slowing up. Did you see all the claycourters in the second week at this year's Wimbledon? Ferrero, Gonzo, Coria, and though Lopez's game is suited to grass, he was a surprise also. Grass used to be all about serve and volleying, and this year, Roddick approached the net the most out of the semifinalists? That's a joke.

Christopher
07-13-2005, 06:27 AM
Sampras having a better forehand than Federer?

Very, very debateable.

Basically, the article is saying that all these players should be suited to hard court, and that the roster at the moment leans towards hard court players (and clay courters) and Federer has won the Australian and US allready.

Once he wins theFrench, and I believe he will, I think he may have surpassed Sampras in many peoples eyes.

littlelleyton
07-13-2005, 07:49 AM
Grass is slowing up. Did you see all the claycourters in the second week at this year's Wimbledon? Ferrero, Gonzo, Coria, and though Lopez's game is suited to grass, he was a surprise also. Grass used to be all about serve and volleying, and this year, Roddick approached the net the most out of the semifinalists? That's a joke.

yes the game is changing but is it dying? i think that most of the pros enjoy Wimbledon and hold it highly as the tournament they would like to win. the game on grass is changing as much as the players are. do you think that there are as many players who want to serve volley these days? i think that the quality in the baseline play, the slower courts and the willingness of players to serve and volley has changed the grass court game. i think that in the past it was though that you had to serve and volley to win on grass but i think if you at wimbledon in the last few years you can see that general play, rallys etc have become longer and more played out. for a while through the 90s the serve was so dominant on grass that when Andre won he shocked the world as they said no baseliner would ever win wimbledon but i think now that there are more players with a top drawer serve, and they have also adapted their returning game to cope better with these big serves. i find that wimbledon, even though Fed dominated, to be more enjoyable this year due to the fact there were longer rallys and more played out points. of course the art of serve and volley is something i would hate to see die, i think that if anything they way the game has changed has improved grass court tennis, all we need now is someone to challenge Fed more.

x Southpaw x
07-13-2005, 08:01 AM
Everyone start pumping iron! Everyone start using eastern forehand grip and one handed backhand! Everyone practice serving all serves using the same toss! Everyone keep practicing volleys till the cow comes home!

May the first Sampras-double take on Federer!!

Cavaleer
07-13-2005, 08:10 AM
While I agree with the writer's assessment of the overall state of men's tennis, esp. at Wimbledon, I'm not so certain about his conclusions on how Federer would have handled the competition.

To say Hewitt and Roddick wouldn't stack up well against Rafter and Ivanisevic is clear. But to say that Federer would have only been average or slightly above par against them is too much.

The only conclusion one could reach on such speculation is that the matches would have been superb and they would have forced Federer to use all his talents and perhaps discover some new ones. Rafter and Ivanisevic and Krajciek (sp) would have charged Federer's second serve again and again and thus pressured his first serve. They also would have pressed him relentlessly on their serves and even with their groundstrokes. It would have been superb, just as those matches were with Sampras.


Cavaleer

littlelleyton
07-13-2005, 08:17 AM
Sampras having a better forehand than Federer?

Very, very debateable.

Basically, the article is saying that all these players should be suited to hard court, and that the roster at the moment leans towards hard court players (and clay courters) and Federer has won the Australian and US allready.

Once he wins theFrench, and I believe he will, I think he may have surpassed Sampras in many peoples eyes.


i think that he must win more slams than sampras before people will think he has surpassed him. Until he proves himself over the timescale that sampras did, and win the amount of slams (which is what most tennis fans rate the all time greats) that he will not pass him in list of all time greats.

by the way this does not mean i dont think he will do this i just think this is the on paper facts arguement that he himself has made reference to.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-13-2005, 08:23 AM
Everybody is entitled their opinion. This writer has one, others might a different one from that, others a different one from both. It is always interesting to read different points of view, I would take each one with a grain of salt though.

Nonethless the number of blatant factual, not opinionated, factual errors makes me suspect this writer is far from an expert on the game. Someday who does not even know the T. Johansson won the AO once, as uninspiring as it may have been to many; and who Federer lost to at the Wimbledon he took Sampras out; probably has little true knowledge of the current field to begin with.

Bertchel Banks
07-13-2005, 08:32 AM
Rafter and Ivanisevic and Krajciek (sp) would have charged Federer's second serve again and again and thus pressured his first serve.

I didn't read the article, but I'm surprised you didn't used Agassi as a measuring stick. Andre has beatern all those guys on grass. Andre went toe to toe with Rafter at Wimbleedon in 2001 (at age 31), had him beat, but failed to serve it out. Like Andre Federer has the hands, the return, and the footspeed. Roger also has a bigger serve, and more reach. Federer, no contest.

Nyl
07-13-2005, 09:28 AM
the article surely does point out that the competition in men tennis nowdays is less intense than the olddays. the gap between first and second player is huge. HOWEVER, it is not indicating the second player these days is any worse than those in olddays. players r getting better over generation. the article also ignored the fact that the grass in wimbledon has become slower throughout these years. that's y baseliner can step up.
by the way, i dun recall ivanisevic a all-round player period. neither is rafter.
does that guy actually watch tennis ?????????????

plus the record between
federer vs sampras
federer vs agassi
hewitt vs sampras
hewitt vs agassi
federer vs hewitt
knowing the fact that hewitt is a better player now than he was when he beat sampras at usopen final.... logically speaking federer is on top of many of the legendary players.

menelaos
07-13-2005, 09:35 AM
His comments are out of date. Federer had to adjust to competition....with the racquets players have today, they can pass you easily if you attempt to serve and volley. That's what Fed said in his interview after the Hewitt match. Fed adjusted his game against Roddick the past couple of Wimbledons. As far his skills on shots and intangibles, the only thing that Sampras had better was speed of serve....Fed's serve is equal in placement. Sampras possessed the heart of a champion..which Fed has. All other categories Fed is equal or better to Sampras. People seem to forget that Sampras multiple US Open titles against baseliners (Hewitt, Safin etc)...because his baseline game was not up-to-par with the rest of his skills.

dozu
07-13-2005, 09:59 AM
The author knows nothing about tennis and had his logic backwards. The evolution of anything, including tennis, takes the path of the least resistence. The modern racket technology determines that today, the game is played from the baseline. All those "great" S&Vers were great during THEIR era, but will be eaten alive by the returns from today's tour pros.

There are some remaining S&Vers in the tour, and the lack of any consistent success is the proof.

I think there was a post here regarding an article written by Navratilova, saying that during her peak years, a deep approach shot = 90% chance of winning the point, while today it's only 50%... you factor in the percentage of approach shots that are not very deep, it's inevitable that today pure S&V is a losing game before the first ball is hit.

Any arguments saying that past #1 is better than the current #1 is plain silly. By that I mean there is no way Sampras can compete with Federer, just as there is no way Rod Laver can compete Borg, no way Borg can compete with Sampras.

The game always evolves forward and leave past great champions behind. It's a fact, like it or not. The great champions are only great forever in terms of their achievements, but NOT their technical capabilities.

Fedubai
07-13-2005, 10:08 AM
I read this earlier as well. I noticed the errors that, while they may seem insignificant in number, are very important to his overall point, that Federer wouldn't be able to stand up very well against yesterday's players like Ivanisevic, Rafter, and Sampras at Wimbledon. Federer didn't lose to Ivanisevic, he lost to Henman, so what does that prove about Ivanisevic. And it's pretty clear to most people that Federer was NOT the player then that he is today.

He seems to shove off TJ as some classic baseliner of the '90's who can't really cut it. The fact is he's won a Grand Slam and challenged Roddick seriously in the semis of another. And if you take the time to watch him play, you'll see that he's no pushover of a player, whatever his style, at least not on grass.

Also, Roger Federer, who had already been picked as the next potential great, lost to Tim Henman in 2001 in the middle of a run which put him as the favorite to win Wimbledon that year. This alone is clear evidence that Roger Federer would not have been able to dominate in years past.

"Clear evidence"? Come on. That was 2001. Four years ago, Federer was a kid, 19 years old. He's almost 24 now and he's a champion. That is a very contentious point that the author makes there.

Even Federer himself is not a strong matchup against players of the past.

This must be some collegiate project, no professional journalist writes these things. This is merely the author's opinion and cannot be stated as fact.

In addition, he falls behind Sampras in nearly every category.

This is, again, highly debatable.

What does all of this mean? Roger Federer is an extremely talented player, but his dominance at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club has come at a time when the competition is far less tough. Federer has emerged as the king of a new breed of baseliners who cannot take advantage of the grass as in days past.

The grass has changed since 2001. Serve/volleyers are few and far between, and the grass has slowed down. That is indisputable. Whether the serve/volleyers of the past would be able to dominate as they once did is not known, so to say that the new breed cannot take advantage...take advantage of what? It's speed? Grass is slower now.

So to sum up, this sounds like a collegiate project, and while interesting at some points, the writer has, in my opinion, ignored some key facts about today's grass court game, and he seems to make a lot of points that are clearly his opinions and then state them as if they were fact.

Hardball
07-13-2005, 10:18 AM
A few word for the writter of that article....PUT DOWN THE CRACK PIPE and actually watch the matches.

snark
07-13-2005, 10:41 AM
All those "great" S&Vers were great during THEIR era, but will be eaten alive by the returns from today's tour pros.



You are saying Sampras around 1995 would have difficulty with modern returns? I don't see much evidence that Roddick, etc have better returns then , say, Agassi.

ty slothrop
07-13-2005, 11:20 AM
can anyone say "balderdash"?

yeah, the game is slipping somuch that agassi, rafter, and even hewitt (who was not only around at the end of the sampras era, but was number 1) all wax poetic at how the game gets harder every year. it's a patently ridiculous argument.

laurie, as someone who has expressed repeated admiration for the greatness of sampras, what do you think about the article?

newnuse
07-13-2005, 11:26 AM
I would take Sampras over any of these players any day of the week. Always favor the guy with the biggest weapon. Sampras had the biggest weapon of them all. His serve was just great. The first and second serves combination were by far the best I've seen. You can talk about Roddick's mph, but it is just not about raw power. The power, placement, spin and variety of Pete's serve was amazing.

Great returners like Chang and Agassi got basically blown away by that serve. I don't see how any of the current players would fair any better. Sampras would win his sets by only one or two breaks. His opponents would win 3,4,5 services games in a row, but one sloppy game was all that Sampras needed. Once he got up a break, the set was basically over.

The Sampras serve was the difference maker. I don't care how good of an all court game Fed plays.

By the way, if you read some of my earlier posts, you know that I'm not really a Sampras fan. But I must acknowledge his greatness, especially on grass.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 11:26 AM
A few word for the writter of that article....PUT DOWN THE CRACK PIPE and actually watch the matches.

Agree. This guy wrote almost garbage. Whoever wrote today's player can't beat yesterday's player is garbage to me. How do you know? No one knows. To write it in a definite, self assured way is pure garbage.

dozu
07-13-2005, 11:27 AM
You are saying Sampras around 1995 would have difficulty with modern returns? I don't see much evidence that Roddick, etc have better returns then , say, Agassi.

Roddick's return game is among the poorest on the ATP tour, give me the returns of Federer, Safin, Hewitt, Coria, Nalbadian (they all return BETTER than Agassi), and I am willing to bet my wallet against Sampras' service game.

newnuse
07-13-2005, 11:34 AM
Roddick's return game is among the poorest on the ATP tour, give me the returns of Federer, Safin, Hewitt, Coria, Nalbadian (they all return BETTER than Agassi), and I am willing to bet my wallet against Sampras' service game.

Agassi at his peak was widely consider the best returner in the game. I would take his return game over any of these guys.

Who is the best return guy right now?

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 11:38 AM
I would take Sampras over any of these players any day of the week. Always favor the guy with the biggest weapon. Sampras had the biggest weapon of them all. His serve was just great. The first and second serves combination were by far the best I've seen. You can talk about Roddick's mph, but it is just not about raw power. The power, placement, spin and variety of Pete's serve was amazing.

Great returners like Chang and Agassi got basically blown away by that serve. I don't see how any of the current players would fair any better. Sampras would win his sets by only one or two breaks. His oppenents would win 3,4,5 services games in a row, but one sloppy game was all that Sampras needed. Once he got up a break, the set was basically over.

The Sampras serve was the difference maker. I don't care how good of an all court game Fed plays.

Another garbage. How do you know for sure? Chang was a great returner? Who gave him that title? It seemed Hewitt and Safin returned Sampras' serve pretty well. Yes, I know, you are going to say Sampras passed his prime, or whatever.

I honestly don't know how to compare players from different era. No one has come up with the criteria. Circustances change over time. Even grass court at Wimbledon changed dramatically.

Sampras was the greatest champion of his era, and has the most grand slam titles in the history of tennis. Just leave it there. Whether he would beat older generations of players or today's players, NO ONE KNOWS.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 11:41 AM
Agassi at his peak was widely consider the best returner in the game. I would take his return game over any of these guys.

Who is the best return guy right now?

I would take Safin, Hewitt, and Federer's return right now. Agassi is one of the greatest gambling returner, and also gets aced more than any other top returners.

Aykhan Mammadov
07-13-2005, 11:43 AM
To post 1.

Stupid conclusion in that article. It is not true that Fed dominates because there are not good players. Conversely, every of these players such as Hewitt, Roddick, Johansson, Safin,Coria and etc.. could give a tough battle against predecessors. Say even Nadal on grass could be enough for Edberg.

Simply Fed is higher for 1 head.

AngeloDS
07-13-2005, 11:47 AM
You have to also compare the courts back then and now.

The grass courts now are near perfect and replicate hard surfaces. A few hits skid, but there's hardly any bad bounces. I think there would be more serving and volleying if there were dead spots and more bad-bounces and skidding.

newnuse
07-13-2005, 11:51 AM
Okay, Chang was just a "good" returner. Why do I know that. That's his game. Chang was not a S&V player if you don't know that. BTW, he made it to #1 for awhile. I'm sure that wasn't due to his poor return game. Agassi was widely considered the best during his peak.

You guys act like Sampras played in the wooden age. It was not that long ago. It's not like we are comparing Borg to Fed. The Sampras serve was the best. He would get so many easy points.

dozu
07-13-2005, 12:59 PM
regarding the games of Agassi and Chang:

Agassi: true, at his peak, his return was considered the very best, and the qualifier is "during his peak". Also, the definition of "the best returner" is probably measure by % of service breaks. In that sense, Agassi against the entire tour, he was the best returner of his time, but against Samprass, Agassi's game does not match up well on fast surfaces, Agassi does not have the foot speed and the reach needed to track down the bullets off Sampras' racket. Against other players, who don't serve as big and as accurate and with as much disguise, Agassi was able to take the ball early and he was the ultimate ball striker and he was able to put the server on the defensive instantly.. but he was not able to do that against Sampras.

The new generations of players, like Safin and Hewitt, has better foot speed and longer reach and was able to deal with Sampras serve, not to mention Federer has even better reach than the above two, plus much more superior anticipation. Fed's win over Sampras at Wimbledon, on Sampras' best surface, when Fed's game was still developing and he was still in the middle of the pack in the top 100, shows that the torch has been passed.

Chang: Chang was the ultimate retriever, but again the qualifier is of his era. In the years near his retirement, it was clear that the game has way passed him. the modern version of Chang is Hewitt, who is just as fast as Chang, if not faster, but with bigger serves and bigger ground strokes than Chang. We also have the clay version of Hewitt in Coria, whose movement on the dirt is unmatched by anybody on the tour. By the way Chang never reached #1 ranking, he was very close one year but lost to Sampras in the US Open and it was downhill for him ever since. If Chang were still active on the tour today, with the same game he had in the 80's and 90's, he will not make top 50. and against the top gun Federer, his fate will be even worse than Hewitt, who has coughed up multiple 6-0 sets to Fed..

I think we casual fans can debate over this till the end of time without reaching a conclusion one way of the other, but if you look at the players' point of view, the consensus is that the tour today is much deeper than 10 years ago. I reach this consclusion from reading many of Safin's post-match interviews. The guy is considered the most straight-forward-say-whats-on-his-mind on the tour, and you can clearly see his sentiment that in today's tour the top seeds have to battle from round 1, while during the Sampras/Agassi/Courier era, the top seeds mostly walk over the initial rounds.

We can somehow see this evolution in today's WTA tour, it's gradually evolving from a scene of the "usual suspects" in the semi's and finals, to a situation where more top seeds may face upset crisis in the early rounds.

Back to the Fed being No Sampras topic. it's true that Sampras was dominating not too long ago, and the difference in the game maybe very subtle. But over long period of time, the difference adds up and it is big. I was one day watch ESPN Classic a Wimbledon match between Evert and Nav, and I couldn't believe now SLOW the ball goes back and forth. Yes the difference maybe subtle, but at the very top, all you need is 1 more mph on the serve, 1 more foot in court coverage and 1 more degree of shot angle to win the match up.

Imagine a match up between today's Fed against Sampras at his peak. Sampras will need to have a VERY good serving day to stay ahead in his own service game. If his serve does not immediately put Fed on the defensive, and they get into a baseline battle, I'd say Fed has 75% odds of winning the point. I don't see Sampras' return game will generate more than 2 breaks over a 5-set match. This will result in 1 or 2 tie-breaks, if his own serve holds up. My guess is if the peak Sampras is active today, he'd have 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 chance against Federer.

I wish I could have 1-on-1 talk with guys like McEnroe/Cash or even someone like Bud Collins (if they are unbiased) and get a feel what their opinion is. These people understand pro tennis and maybe able to give some verdict over this... I feel most of the posts (maybe including my own) are biased one way or the other, based on personal preference, and without much deep understanding of the pro's game.

newnuse
07-13-2005, 01:18 PM
I don't know how much faster these players are now. Agassi was pretty fast during his peak. Having good foot speed does not equate to being a good returner. That is not a valid point. Service return is more about reaction time and technique.

Better reach, foot speed, anticipation? How did you come to that conclusion?

Please don't compare Evert/Nav vs Sampras. Those two grew up with the wooden racket and made their WTA debut almost 20 yrs before Sampras.

You guys make it sound like these great players of today would return anything. They would handle the Sampras serve with ease. You guys have been smoking too much Fed butt crack.

The server has a huge advantage. This still applies today. I don't care how good of a returner you are, a big server has a huge advantage. They always did and always will. That is why it's so hard to break. This is more so on grass.

Sampras was good enough to break his opponents serve. His return game was pretty decent. He could and would have broken Fed's serve. Can you say the same about Fed's return game vs the Sampras serve? I couldn't with as much confidence.

Oh yeah, Chang was #1 for a brief period if I recall correctly. He wasn't #1 at the end season though. I remember Mac giving him crap as being not worthy. Or was that because he reach #2? Any ways that's not important.

Kevin Patrick
07-13-2005, 01:43 PM
First, the original article is rather silly(& from a college paper, so don't know why any of you are getting riled up)

But some of the posts in this thread are absurd. Yes, it's unfair to say today's players aren't better than past players. But, it's also unfair to say that just because a player plays TODAY he can easily beat Chang, Agassi, Sampras of just a few years ago(playing with virtually the same equipment)
Sampras won the 2002 US Open at the age of 31, when he clearly wasn't the player he was in, say '95. Yet, when Federer won 2003 Wimbledon, Sampras becomes a player from a different era, who can't compete with "modern" players? What happened in 9 months? Did everyone get so much better stronger, etc? Complete BS.

Dozu, I sat ********* during a Chang Davis Cup match vs. Philippoussis in '97. Flipper could get it up to 140 in '97. Chang's returning was amazing. Not as flashy as Agassi, but he could get anything back. He was able to return truly massive serves (Ivanisevic, Krajicek, etc) on much faster surfaces than today. Yeah, I'm sure he couldn't compete with these ultra modern players of today. Injuries that took away his speed were responsible for his decline, not the game passing him by.

I can't believe you brought up a women's match from the 80s to demonstrate how much "faster" the game has become. I just watched an indoor match between Sampras-Becker from '95. It made Roddick-Federer look slow. You are either very young or didn't watch tennis much in the 90s. It was anything but "slow."

Also, your comment "while during the Sampras/Agassi/Courier era, the top seeds mostly walk over the initial rounds" is ridiculous. If anything the depth is less today than it was in the 90s. Go look at some drawsheets from slams in the 90s. They had upsets galore, Sampras/Agassi/Courier didn't have anything easy.

AAAA
07-13-2005, 01:45 PM
Against a rising chorus of past pros, journalists, and fans already claiming Federer as the best they've ever seen, the article is an attempt to swing judgements the other way.

BreakPoint
07-13-2005, 02:08 PM
What? No mention of Edberg in the article? A pretty glaring omission IMO.

Talk about a guy that had a decent volley. :o

BreakPoint
07-13-2005, 02:13 PM
Oh yeah, Chang was #1 for a brief period if I recall correctly. He wasn't #1 at the end season though. I remember Mac giving him crap as being not worthy. Or was that because he reach #2? Any ways that's not important.

Chang NEVER made it to #1, even for a day, AFAIK. His best chance was in 1996 at the US Open final. Had he beat Sampras in that final, he would have been ranked #1 the following day for the first time. Since he lost, he stayed at #2. He was #2 in the world for quite some time, though.

fastdunn
07-13-2005, 02:25 PM
It's not really possible to compare players from different era and make
any conclusion. But I guess it's still entertaining to compare them.

I just have couple of things to add in this thread.

Chang has somewhat strange game. He may be in retriever's mold
but his true color is attacking kind. When he won french, he carefully
chose moments to hit winners. We all remember him having a muscle
cramp and retrieving balls. He kept trying to sharpen his attacking games.

During Chang's career, his best records are hard courts. he was top 3 hard
court specialists. I can not dispute if someone calls him a retriever but
I just want to point out that his true color was not and he had attacking
frame of mind. Just played a role of retireving. This is subtle thing.
But he is different from Hewitt whose game firmly based on percentage
tennis.

Agassi at his peak was a true monstor returner. I have never seen
a tennis player whose return game can be as huge threat as Agassi.
I have yet to see a player who can use opponent's service game
as one's advantage like Agassi.

All monster servers of 90's were litterally "serving" for Agassi to be
eaten alive. Even Sampras did not really serve AND volley against
Agassi. He basically went all for 2 1st serves. I have never seen
returner's eyes as scary as Agassi's waiting for serves.


Going back to original topic: I don't think the article is written
intelligently but I tend to agree its general sentiments.
Tennis in Wimbledon is strange now. All baseliners and even former
serve and volleyer's playing baseliners. It's very strange time.
And I don't think Federer would be as successful as now
if he played among all these super S&Ver's of 1990's:
Becker,Edberg, Krajicek, Sampras, Ivanisvich, Stich and so on...

Stuck
07-13-2005, 03:01 PM
Fed sux
Samp rules

zorroman
07-13-2005, 03:20 PM
To post 1.

Say even Nadal on grass could be enough for Edberg.

Simply Fed is higher for 1 head.

Aykhan, please stop embarrasing yourself with these comments!! Edberg is the only player since the Connors-Borg era who possibly volleyed better than John Mcenroe. Nadal would be easy pickings for Edberg at Wimbledon.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 04:07 PM
Okay, Chang was just a "good" returner. Why do I know that. That's his game. Chang was not a S&V player if you don't know that. BTW, he made it to #1 for awhile. I'm sure that wasn't due to his poor return game. Agassi was widely considered the best during his peak.

You guys act like Sampras played in the wooden age. It was not that long ago. It's not like we are comparing Borg to Fed. The Sampras serve was the best. He would get so many easy points.

Get your fact straight first. Chang never got to No. 1, not even for a week. The highest he got to was No. 2.

Sampras has one of the greatest serve, no one argues about that. But you got carried away by sounding like no one among today's players can break his serve.

Yes, it was very difficult to break his serve at W. The grass was different back then. Overall, Sampras didn't rank No. 1 in holding serve most of years he dominated. Ivanesevic's serve was as good if not better. But other parts of Sampras' game was so much better than the like of Ivanesevic's.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 04:22 PM
Going back to original topic: I don't think the article is written
intelligently but I tend to agree its general sentiments.
Tennis in Wimbledon is strange now. All baseliners and even former
serve and volleyer's playing baseliners. It's very strange time.
And I don't think Federer would be as successful as now
if he played among all these super S&Ver's of 1990's:
Becker,Edberg, Krajicek, Sampras, Ivanisvich, Stich and so on...

Well, I guess there are always blind people who refuse to accept the concept that grass at W has changed completely starting in 2002. Grass at W is a medium hard court with some bad bouce right now. It's completely different from the soft grass I grew up playing on where coming to the net had great advantage.

On the last part of your posting, playing on what type of grass, soft grass the ball skids or firm grass the ball sits up? Federer as an immature player still beat Sampras on soft grass in 2001. I know excuse is coming up. I just don't see what proof you have with that claim. Maybe just your guess.

Give me some proof, or concrete evidence, then I might buy your guess.

Fedubai
07-13-2005, 04:25 PM
Look, this is getting rediculous. Current players are not better than past players by definition. Just because time ticks on and things in the game are changing doesn't mean that the players are better. This logic is faulty.

The bottomline is that perspective is needed. We can seriously argue all day about this and NEVER get an answer. It's just that simple. Pretty much everything is an opinion. That's why definitive statements like ones that the author made always lead to arguments.

And lastly, I have noticed some people becoming completely rediculous when talking about Federer. He isn't Sampras. This seems to be hard for some people to take but it's the truth! There is no reason for old Pete fans to be turned away from Federer by a few over-zealous fans, and I see no reason for Federer fans to disrespect Pete by jumping the gun and saying Federer is better. Stroke by stroke analysis is great and fine, but that's about where it stops IMO.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 04:32 PM
First, the original article is rather silly(& from a college paper, so don't know why any of you are getting riled up)

But some of the posts in this thread are absurd. Yes, it's unfair to say today's players aren't better than past players. But, it's also unfair to say that just because a player plays TODAY he can easily beat Chang, Agassi, Sampras of just a few years ago(playing with virtually the same equipment)
Sampras won the 2002 US Open at the age of 31, when he clearly wasn't the player he was in, say '95. Yet, when Federer won 2003 Wimbledon, Sampras becomes a player from a different era, who can't compete with "modern" players? What happened in 9 months? Did everyone get so much better stronger, etc? Complete BS.



I didn't hear anyone who actually says today's players can beat the likes of Sampras easily. They are trying to counter the idea that today's players are inferior to players in the 90s. You got carried away, no one said Sampras can't compete with modern player. They are talking about player in general term, as time goes by, overall play level goes up.

As of Chang, one of few players you actually can compare, I'd take Hewitt any day.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 04:38 PM
And lastly, I have noticed some people becoming completely rediculous when talking about Federer. He isn't Sampras. This seems to be hard for some people to take but it's the truth! There is no reason for old Pete fans to be turned away from Federer by a few over-zealous fans, and I see no reason for Federer fans to disrespect Pete by jumping the gun and saying Federer is better. Stroke by stroke analysis is great and fine, but that's about where it stops IMO.

How do you know Federer isn't Sampras? I am not saying he is and will be. You have to wait and see how much Fedferer can achieve when his career ends.

The argument goes both ways when compare them. Federer is only 23 years old. Those who say he is better than Sampras are the same as those who say he difinitely isn't.

I would like to hear people who honestly say I just don't know how to compare them.

Dr.Lobster
07-13-2005, 04:42 PM
i personally like grass, you can do many things with it

araghava
07-13-2005, 04:52 PM
There's been so much debate about how the grass in wimbledon has slowed down and provides more true bounce. I wonder how the officials at wimbledon feel about this. I think they overreacted to the speed of the game during the 90's and are now paying the price.

For all intents and purposes wimbledon is just another hard court tournament. There was a time when you could watch wimbledon and watch grass court tennis. That's no longer true. We might well be nearing the day when wimbledon replaces it's grass just as the US open and Australian did.

Dr.Lobster
07-13-2005, 04:54 PM
i hope that doesn't happen, i think there's room for every court surface

Fedubai
07-13-2005, 05:03 PM
I did not say he will never "be Sampras" as in beat the record. I said he isn't.

newnuse
07-13-2005, 05:15 PM
First, the original article is rather silly(& from a college paper, so don't know why any of you are getting riled up)

But some of the posts in this thread are absurd. Yes, it's unfair to say today's players aren't better than past players. But, it's also unfair to say that just because a player plays TODAY he can easily beat Chang, Agassi, Sampras of just a few years ago(playing with virtually the same equipment)
Sampras won the 2002 US Open at the age of 31, when he clearly wasn't the player he was in, say '95. Yet, when Federer won 2003 Wimbledon, Sampras becomes a player from a different era, who can't compete with "modern" players? What happened in 9 months? Did everyone get so much better stronger, etc? Complete BS.

Dozu, I sat ********* during a Chang Davis Cup match vs. Philippoussis in '97. Flipper could get it up to 140 in '97. Chang's returning was amazing. Not as flashy as Agassi, but he could get anything back. He was able to return truly massive serves (Ivanisevic, Krajicek, etc) on much faster surfaces than today. Yeah, I'm sure he couldn't compete with these ultra modern players of today. Injuries that took away his speed were responsible for his decline, not the game passing him by.

I can't believe you brought up a women's match from the 80s to demonstrate how much "faster" the game has become. I just watched an indoor match between Sampras-Becker from '95. It made Roddick-Federer look slow. You are either very young or didn't watch tennis much in the 90s. It was anything but "slow."

Also, your comment "while during the Sampras/Agassi/Courier era, the top seeds mostly walk over the initial rounds" is ridiculous. If anything the depth is less today than it was in the 90s. Go look at some drawsheets from slams in the 90s. They had upsets galore, Sampras/Agassi/Courier didn't have anything easy.

Good post Kevin,

Sampras sounds like a dinosaur according to some of these post. These guys are killing me. It just was not that long ago.

These current crop of players are faster, quicker, stronger....etc... I didn't know humans evolve that quickly. Chang was the fastest player I've seen. I'll put his foot speed up against anybody.

The draw by then had many more upsets due the variety of players. The tops seeds would go up against a big serving S&V'er and lose early ... here and there.

Nobody is saying the players don't get better with time. It has not been that long!!!! An old guy like Agassi is still a top ten player. According to your logic, Agassi should not be able to compete. Sampras is the equivalent of Bob Beamon, the guy who set the long jump world record that stood forever. Just because there are a new crop of players, it does not mean they are better. Some world records last a long, long time.

You need to recognize the importance of the serve, especially on grass. It's very hard to break serve against a good server, even if you are Agassi. This is not the ladies game where service breaks are frequent. The serve is the ultimate weapon. Look at Roddick. The rest of his game is pretty much average, yet he is #3. (yes he does have a pretty good FH). I don't care how many aces Goran had. Sampras had the best serve. His 1st was good, but many S&V'ers had good serves at that time. His second serve was far superior to any. He backed it up with a solid volley game. He ruled Wimbledon and still would today.

newnuse
07-13-2005, 05:16 PM
i personally like grass, you can do many things with it

This is the best post of this thread. :mrgreen:

fastdunn
07-13-2005, 05:22 PM
First, the original article is rather silly(& from a college paper, so don't know why any of you are getting riled up)

But some of the posts in this thread are absurd. Yes, it's unfair to say today's players aren't better than past players. But, it's also unfair to say that just because a player plays TODAY he can easily beat Chang, Agassi, Sampras of just a few years ago(playing with virtually the same equipment)
Sampras won the 2002 US Open at the age of 31, when he clearly wasn't the player he was in, say '95. Yet, when Federer won 2003 Wimbledon, Sampras becomes a player from a different era, who can't compete with "modern" players? What happened in 9 months? Did everyone get so much better stronger, etc? Complete BS.

Dozu, I sat ********* during a Chang Davis Cup match vs. Philippoussis in '97. Flipper could get it up to 140 in '97. Chang's returning was amazing. Not as flashy as Agassi, but he could get anything back. He was able to return truly massive serves (Ivanisevic, Krajicek, etc) on much faster surfaces than today. Yeah, I'm sure he couldn't compete with these ultra modern players of today. Injuries that took away his speed were responsible for his decline, not the game passing him by.

I can't believe you brought up a women's match from the 80s to demonstrate how much "faster" the game has become. I just watched an indoor match between Sampras-Becker from '95. It made Roddick-Federer look slow. You are either very young or didn't watch tennis much in the 90s. It was anything but "slow."

Also, your comment "while during the Sampras/Agassi/Courier era, the top seeds mostly walk over the initial rounds" is ridiculous. If anything the depth is less today than it was in the 90s. Go look at some drawsheets from slams in the 90s. They had upsets galore, Sampras/Agassi/Courier didn't have anything easy.

I totally agree. Federer is an amazing talent but this phenomenon
around Federer is losing touch with a reality....

Fedubai
07-13-2005, 06:20 PM
I say just watch him play and enjoy his career, or not. When he's done, then we can talk. But until then, this kind of talk is, in his words, a burden.

newnuse
07-13-2005, 08:13 PM
I say just watch him play and enjoy his career, or not. When he's done, then we can talk. But until then, this kind of talk is, in his words, a burden.

Yeah, but then what else can we talk about? :mrgreen:

Besides there is nothing as entertaining as getting the Fed defenders all wild up. It's like watching a swarm of killer bees.

Oh yeah, Fed might not beat Martina N. on grass. That great S&V game would eat up Fed. His lack of experience against a good S&V like Martina would definitely show.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 08:54 PM
i personally like grass, you can do many things with it

I agree. Grass is the most natural surface for tennis in my opinion. I love the old soft grass court where you can really feel the ball.

newnuse
07-13-2005, 08:59 PM
I agree. Grass is the most natural surface for tennis in my opinion. I love the old soft grass court where you can really feel the ball.

A Tennis Dude,
I don't think Crabby was talking about that.

Now I feel my pro-Fed adversaries are on the level of Hewitt & Roddick. Now I know how Fed feels.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 09:09 PM
Good post Kevin,
The serve is the ultimate weapon. Look at Roddick. The rest of his game is pretty much average, yet he is #3. (yes he does have a pretty good FH). I don't care how many aces Goran had. Sampras had the best serve. His 1st was good, but many S&V'ers had good serves at that time. His second serve was far superior to any. He backed it up with a solid volley game. He ruled Wimbledon and still would today.

If Roddick just had a pretty good forehand, he wouldn't be ranked at #4 right now.

Sampras still would rule Wimbledon today? What happenned to him in 2001 and 2002? He won US Open in 2002, but he got passed by a journey man baseliner left and right when new firm grass were introduced in 2002.

Sampras is my favorite player of all time. However, for those who accuse whoever praise Federer as being out of touch, remember the opposite about Sampras is true too.

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 09:13 PM
A Tennis Dude,
I don't think Crabby was talking about that.

Now I feel my pro-Fed adversaries are on the level of Hewitt & Roddick. Now I know how Fed feels.

I don't want to get down to what Crabby as you called him implied. I'd like to think he likes grass court. Not many people do. People who I know played on grass all hated it.

I guess you want to put me in pro-Fed. Actually I am not. I love both Sampras and Federer's game, two most talented players I have ever watched. I do feel those exclusive pro-Sampras people sound like Sampras was unbeatable. He almost was on fast grass. However, he never dominated the tour like Federer has in the last two years. I remember I never wondered in 90s when Sampras was going to lose like many people do with Federer now.

iscottius
07-13-2005, 09:24 PM
Sampras having a better forehand than Federer?

Very, very debateable.

Basically, the article is saying that all these players should be suited to hard court, and that the roster at the moment leans towards hard court players (and clay courters) and Federer has won the Australian and US allready.

Once he wins theFrench, and I believe he will, I think he may have surpassed Sampras in many peoples eyes.

I don't even think this is debateable--fed's forehand is better, more variety, pace & angles

The tennis guy
07-13-2005, 09:34 PM
It is difficult to say whose forehand is better. Their forehands are different. Sampras hit more flat, with more power and penetration, but Federer's has more spin, more consistent, and sharper angle. Federer hits the ball on the rise more than Sampras.

This is the problem, people have to argue which is better.

littlelleyton
07-14-2005, 02:16 AM
There's been so much debate about how the grass in wimbledon has slowed down and provides more true bounce. I wonder how the officials at wimbledon feel about this. I think they overreacted to the speed of the game during the 90's and are now paying the price.

For all intents and purposes wimbledon is just another hard court tournament. There was a time when you could watch wimbledon and watch grass court tennis. That's no longer true. We might well be nearing the day when wimbledon replaces it's grass just as the US open and Australian did.

i dont think you really understand just how highly the All England Club hold tradition and are proud of their club. they will never do away with the grass courts. they have the most famous tournament in the world along with the the most famous court in tennis history and they, wether its right or wrong in any one elses opinion, will not move away from tradition no matter how the courts change. they sell out every year for every day and turn people away that want to come and experience the tournament and as long as players want to play and people want to watch nothing about the tournament will change.

obackvalobasha
07-14-2005, 04:35 AM
I don't think federer is next sampras. I think federer is federer. you can not compare him to any one else. He deserves to be on his own league. He is amazing he doesn't play like any one in the history of tennis. So lets just enjoy his tennis. Because like Sampras he too will become history.

littlelleyton
07-14-2005, 06:21 AM
exactly, Fed will stand along side the greats in tennis history as he is his own player and not a clone of anyone else. it is a nice debate to talk about how players from history would match up but i think fans let their aligences get in the way when they hear something that puts down their hero or one of their favourites. i know i have done it. anyway your right Fed and cos tennis should be enjoyed.

fastdunn
07-14-2005, 11:46 AM
Federer is a exceptional talent. But some fans are overboarding.
Some middle aged guys get excited about Federer's tennis
like elementary school kid. From tennis greats like McAnroes
to my girl friend who never really played tennis. All of these
people are excited by Federer's tennis. I've never seen anything
like this in this sport. Frankly speaking, I sometimes get annoyed
by all these over-excitements and they spoil my quite enjoyment
over this game....

federerhoogenbandfan
07-14-2005, 12:21 PM
The funniest thing of the article is saying Roddick is a 2-shot wonder, serve and forehand. If the serve consistitutes only 1 shot, than perhaps Goran Ivanisevic is a half-shot wonder, first serve. His 2nd serve, he tried to hit just like a 1st serve, and double faulted often, and had little spin or reliability with it; his groundstrokes and returns were dangerous at times but wild and all over the place mostly; he didnt volley well; and his mental game was a flake. I laugh when I read people say Goran's game was interesting, his game started with an ace and ended with a double fault, what is so interesting about that; that puts todays top players to shame, LOL!

federerhoogenbandfan
07-14-2005, 01:06 PM
Okay, Chang was just a "good" returner. Why do I know that. That's his game. Chang was not a S&V player if you don't know that. BTW, he made it to #1 for awhile. I'm sure that wasn't due to his poor return game. Agassi was widely considered the best during his peak.

You guys act like Sampras played in the wooden age. It was not that long ago. It's not like we are comparing Borg to Fed. The Sampras serve was the best. He would get so many easy points.

Chang never reached #1 in the World.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-14-2005, 01:14 PM
As for returning Sampras's serve everybody would have an extremely tough time with that, I agree with that much. That being said, I definitely think Safin, Hewitt, and Federer, especially Hewitt and Federer are better defensive returners than Agassi at his peak; meaning they could get connect on more exceptional serves and put them back in play, than Agassi did, However Agassi is the best offensive returner, he is able to put more pressure on from the return than anybody else, when he is able to latch onto the return. Against most servers Agassi is the best returner of the group, but against an oustanding server like Sampras I would rather have the returns of Federer or Hewitt personaly.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-14-2005, 01:21 PM
Oh yeah, Fed might not beat Martina N. on grass. That great S&V game would eat up Fed. His lack of experience against a good S&V like Martina would definitely show.

Now you are really going insane. ;)

newnuse
07-14-2005, 03:28 PM
As for returning Sampras's serve everybody would have an extremely tough time with that, I agree with that much. That being said, I definitely think Safin, Hewitt, and Federer, especially Hewitt and Federer are better defensive returners than Agassi at his peak; meaning they could get connect on more exceptional serves and put them back in play, than Agassi did, However Agassi is the best offensive returner, he is able to put more pressure on from the return than anybody else, when he is able to latch onto the return. Against most servers Agassi is the best returner of the group, but against an oustanding server like Sampras I would rather have the returns of Federer or Hewitt personaly.

That's an interesting take on the return of serve. On grass, I don't think you can be very defensive with your return. Sampras S&V on grass. If you hit a defensive return, odds are Sampras would hit a volley winner. Not only did Sampras have the best serve, he backed it up would good volleys at Wimbledon. The challenge in breaking his serve was
1) getting to the serve.
2) hitting a good enough return to pass his 6'3" frame.

You can float a return back against a baseliner and still be in good position. You can't against a S&V.

Roland
07-14-2005, 03:51 PM
why does everyone think Federer ONLY slices or floats back the return?
He can be very offensive on the return, but most of the time he is content to poke it back because no one S&V any more. Considering how superior federer is to most players on tour, he probably figures he can get a higher % of serve returns back and he'll get his chances to break.
Why risk points with a lower % return when it's not necessary most of the time.

P.S. Agassi in his prime was an over-all better returner ( he put a ton of pressure on most players), but Federer has more game once the rally starts.

newnuse
07-14-2005, 04:49 PM
why does everyone think Federer ONLY slices or floats back the return?
He can be very offensive on the return, but most of the time he is content to poke it back because no one S&V any more. Considering how superior federer is to most players on tour, he probably figures he can get a higher % of serve returns back and he'll get his chances to break.
Why risk points with a lower % return when it's not necessary most of the time.

P.S. Agassi in his prime was an over-all better returner ( he put a ton of pressure on most players), but Federer has more game once the rally starts.

I hope you were not directing this at me. I only said you couldn't float or basically be defensive on your return against a S&V'er.

I agree with you about how great Agassi's return game was. Even if you think Fed has a slightly better return game, you must concede Agassi is at least very close.

Agassi in his prime couldn't handle Sampras serve. Sampras would hold serve with ease most of the time. I don't see how anybody could do much better on that surface.

newnuse
07-14-2005, 04:51 PM
Now you are really going insane. ;)

Based on the logic of some of the Fed defenders, this makes perfect sense. :mrgreen:

rhubarb
07-14-2005, 11:52 PM
That's an interesting take on the return of serve. On grass, I don't think you can be very defensive with your return. Sampras S&V on grass. If you hit a defensive return, odds are Sampras would hit a volley winner. Not only did Sampras have the best serve, he backed it up would good volleys at Wimbledon. The challenge in breaking his serve was
1) getting to the serve.
2) hitting a good enough return to pass his 6'3" frame.

You can float a return back against a baseliner and still be in good position. You can't against a S&V.

Small point: Sampras was actually 6'1", just like Federer.

laurie
07-15-2005, 05:45 AM
Dozu, you asked an interesting question. Like the people, the experts also argue incessantly about Federer and Sampras. Plus the media of course. At Wimbledon this year (and last year) that was the argument for two weeks. Its almost as if Sampras is still playing because they are not talking about the other players.

I've kept a documentation of ex players and media men who have stated who they prefer and gave their reasons.

In Federer's corner there is:
Cliff Drysdale
John McEnroe
John Lloyd
Pat Rafter
Mats Wilander
Todd Martin
Tracey Austin
John Newcombe

In Sampras' corner
Pat Cash
Bud Collins (I corresponded with him via email last year)
Kafelnikov
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Pam Shriver
Luke Jensen
Jimmy Connors
Bill Threllfall

Its an interesting mix. Stich takes Sampras on grass but Federer on other surfaces. Becker and Edberg are more neutral. They appreciate Federer a lot but also have first hand experience of what Sampras was capable of doing on a tennis court. Becker wrote an article in the Times newspaper after Wimbledon that he regarded Sampras' last two opponents in the Wimbledon final in 1999 & 2000 more highly than Federer's two final opponents (i'm just passing on what he said, the article is easily available over the net). Mike Agassi always says positive things about Sampras.

My personal view is that because grass plays more like a hardcourt now, Sampras would have been competitive. Like Lendl he got to 8 US Open finals, plus 3 Aussie finals playing a slightly differernt game ( he stayed back a lot more). So maybe he would not have won 7 Wimbledons but could have still won a few as he's second behind Agassi on the all time list for hardcourt titles (35).

The only thing that really disappointed me was listening to the commentary of the final. I've never heard a match where so many experts are identifying so many technical faults with Roddick's game. Connors even suggested woodshedding. Cash, Stich, Becker, Lloyd all weighed in with their thoughts.
For a player who is number 3 in the world it disappoints me that he has so many technical faults.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-15-2005, 06:49 AM
That's an interesting take on the return of serve. On grass, I don't think you can be very defensive with your return. Sampras S&V on grass. If you hit a defensive return, odds are Sampras would hit a volley winner. Not only did Sampras have the best serve, he backed it up would good volleys at Wimbledon. The challenge in breaking his serve was
1) getting to the serve.
2) hitting a good enough return to pass his 6'3" frame.

You can float a return back against a baseliner and still be in good position. You can't against a S&V.

Actually that is a good point. Federer is excellent at chipping back alot of the biggest of serves, but against Sampras that probably would not be that effective on grass, it would lead to alot of easy volley putaways; it is against his chief rivals now since they are also baseliners, and that kind of return is good at neutralizing a point often. It would be interesting to see him play a true serve-volleyer with a truly top notch serve, to see if he could drive back that quality of serve often enough to be successful. There is nobody in the current field who presents that sort of challenge.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-15-2005, 06:51 AM
The only thing that really disappointed me was listening to the commentary of the final. I've never heard a match where so many experts are identifying so many technical faults with Roddick's game. Connors even suggested woodshedding. Cash, Stich, Becker, Lloyd all weighed in with their thoughts. For a player who is number 3 in the world it disappoints me that he has so many technical faults.

What about Ivanisevic? He reached #2 in the World and his game was full of technical flaws galore; but masked by an incredable first serve which was almost impossable to read.

Robert Jones
07-15-2005, 07:29 AM
Fed. beat a older Sampras that was on a slide down. Sort of like when Rocky Marciano beat the old washed up Joe Lois. The next year federer lost in the first round. After that he got his act together.



Everybody is entitled their opinion. This writer has one, others might a different one from that, others a different one from both. It is always interesting to read different points of view, I would take each one with a grain of salt though.

Nonethless the number of blatant factual, not opinionated, factual errors makes me suspect this writer is far from an expert on the game. Someday who does not even know the T. Johansson won the AO once, as uninspiring as it may have been to many; and who Federer lost to at the Wimbledon he took Sampras out; probably has little true knowledge of the current field to begin with.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-15-2005, 07:31 AM
Sampras was well past his prime, and Federer was well before his prime, when they played at Wimbledon 2001. Sampras was an aging past-his prime player, but Federer was also a green very raw talent at the time. I dont think it is fair to look at that match for either player, it is almost irrelevant when comparing them.

drexeler
07-15-2005, 08:35 AM
In Sampras' corner
Pat Cash
Bud Collins (I corresponded with him via email last year)

Bud Collins might be leaning towards Federer after this year's Wim Final. This is what he wrote:
"Right now Id put Federer in the company of players like Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, and Pete Sampras - all Hall of Famers.

But the thing about Federer is that he has more to his game than those players did so if he stays on course at his current rate, unless he gets bored and loses motivation or gets injured, he certainly could become the greatest to ever play the game."
Full article at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8455431/

I was surprised by this because Bud is a big fan of Sampras, and hasn't come across as liking Fed so far.

Also in Fed's corner are Goran and Safin.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-15-2005, 08:49 AM
I think what could work in Roger's favor vs Pete, in the long run, is he may be more comfortable on slower surfaces, he seems to enjoy playing on them more, and have a better outlook towards them. Even at the AO Pete's record, while great, is nothing like his U.S open record even which is also on hard courts; and he complained often about the heat, the sticky surface, the speed of the courts, etc......Of course this thread is mostly about how they would compare on grass anyway.

newnuse
07-15-2005, 10:02 AM
What about Ivanisevic? He reached #2 in the World and his game was full of technical flaws galore; but masked by an incredable first serve which was almost impossable to read.

I don't remember Goran's game as full of technicial flaws. He was a bit of a head case but very talented. His strokes were fairly solid as I recall. His serve was awesome and was the main reason he got to #2.

This is further proof that the serve is the ultimate weapon in Tennis. Roddick, Goran can reach #2,3 with it.

What I wouldn't give for a prime Sampras right now.

rhubarb
07-15-2005, 10:20 AM
What I wouldn't give for a prime Sampras right now.

You've got a VCR, haven't you? ;)

Please don't ask for Sampras back. It was a very boring time imo.

prostaff85
07-15-2005, 10:23 AM
Another writer trying to get some attention by trying to raise a silly arguement about how players are not as good as they were 10 years ago.

Another writer will write an article how its really the new and improved Strings that make Federer win all the grand slams.

I wish for once , writers would stop comparing Federer or any current player to players of the past. It is silly nonsense and I am sick of reading about it.

newnuse
07-15-2005, 10:23 AM
You've got a VCR, haven't you? ;)

Please don't ask for Sampras back. It was a very boring time imo.

No, meant Prime Sampras vs Fed at the Big W... the current crop of so call rivals are jokes

rhubarb
07-15-2005, 10:29 AM
No, meant Prime Sampras vs Fed at the Big W... the current crop of so call rivals are jokes

I was just ribbing you.

I don't think they are jokes, but would agree that the level of competition Sampras had at the beginning of his career (early nineties) was probably stronger on grass than Federer's competitors guys are.

Still, in a few years time we may look back and think Federer's competition was pretty stiff, after all, they'll have had time to build a legacy themselves then.

Hindsight (which is what we're using to gauge Sampras' opposition) is a luxury we don't have yet for Federer.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-15-2005, 11:48 AM
I don't remember Goran's game as full of technicial flaws. He was a bit of a head case but very talented. His strokes were fairly solid as I recall. His serve was awesome and was the main reason he got to #2.

This is further proof that the serve is the ultimate weapon in Tennis. Roddick, Goran can reach #2,3 with it.

What I wouldn't give for a prime Sampras right now.

I recall a quote from Cliff Drysdale, "if you get Goran's serve back, he is out to sea." That is exactly how I feel about his game. His game is even more one-dimensional than Roddick for me, the one thing I give him kudos for though is even though he volleyed poorly he still came into net off his serve, which you should do when you have such an outstanding serve, the volleys probably will be a breeze against most people. You are right on one thing though. The success of Roddick and Ivanisevic does show the importance of service in mens tennis.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-15-2005, 11:52 AM
I was just ribbing you.

I don't think they are jokes, but would agree that the level of competition Sampras had at the beginning of his career (early nineties) was probably stronger on grass than Federer's competitors guys are.

Still, in a few years time we may look back and think Federer's competition was pretty stiff, after all, they'll have had time to build a legacy themselves then.

Hindsight (which is what we're using to gauge Sampras' opposition) is a luxury we don't have yet for Federer.

Yes playing Jim Courier to win your first Wimbledon is such a tough final matchup on grass, just murderous. :rolleyes: Also such sharks as Cedric Pioline in the finals, and Todd Woodbridge in the semis; as was the case in 97; and had it not been for Krajiceck in 96 Pete would have had the daunting task of disposing of Jason Stoltenberg in the semis, and Malivia Washington in the finals.

rhubarb
07-15-2005, 12:11 PM
Yes playing Jim Courier to win your first Wimbledon is such a tough final matchup on grass, just murderous. :rolleyes: Also such sharks as Cedric Pioline in the finals, and Todd Woodbridge in the semis; as was the case in 97; and had it not been for Krajiceck in 96 Pete would have had the daunting task of disposing of Jason Stoltenberg in the semis, and Malivia Washington in the finals.

I was only talking about the early nineties. As time wore on, I think Sampras had thinner opposition at Wimbledon (and elsewhere). Yes, Courier wasn't exactly a tough prospect on grass, but if you look at the field in 1993 which included several previous champions, it does seem quite strong. This year the only other champion in the field was Hewitt.

Not that any of this denigrates Federer's achievements, however, let me be clear about that.

newnuse
07-15-2005, 01:00 PM
Sampras did have a stronger field to compete against in his early years. There were more grass court players.

I recall Goran having better volleys than Roddick. He was not great at the net, but superior to Roddick. Maybe my memories of his game is faulty though.

ShooterMcMarco
07-16-2005, 01:51 PM
I just watched a celebrity golf tournament on NBC, and sampras was playing. they interviewed him and asked about roger, this isn't in verbatim, but he said, "yeah, federer is by far the best player in the world, he has no competition" then when asked about playing roger, he said, "he stays back a little bit, i don't mind that....i still like my chances"

federerhoogenbandfan
07-16-2005, 05:44 PM
Sampras was good enough to break his opponents serve. His return game was pretty decent. He could and would have broken Fed's serve. Can you say the same about Fed's return game vs the Sampras serve? I couldn't with as much confidence.

Pete could break alot of opponents serves, but this does not automatically mean he would have an easy time breaking Roger's serve. Roger has played arguably better returners than Pete and they found a very hard time to break his serve, he has lost serve only 1 or 2 times in his last 9 sets vs Hewitt, and I would consider Hewitt a better returner than Pete. Roger holds serve comfortably not due to only a very good serve, he has an excellent overall serve, but not at the level of Sampras's serve, but his overall game, and how well he backs his serve up. I know you will say Andy broke Roger's serve 4 times in the Wimbledon final last year, but that was an extremely subpar Federer.

I think Roger could do just fine holding serve vs Pete.

newnuse
07-16-2005, 06:07 PM
Breaking serve at the big W is very hard. I recall Edberg losing a match to Stich without losing his serve once.

Hewitt is good returner. The difference is Sampras puts more pressure on the opponent's serve. Hewitt stays back and trades strokes with Fed. That plays right into his hand. Sampras attacks. Second serves are made for attacking (unless it's Sampras). Sampras would not stay back and rally all day with Fed.

I recall Sampras would go through several matches without dropping a service game.

The difficulity in breaking Pete's serve also puts so much pressure on the server. 1 break and the set is pretty much lost. Sampras had a knack for turning it on just at the right time to get that break.

I recall Sampras would go through several matches without losing serve.
Wimbledon matches are usually decided by 1 or 2 breaks. The server as I mentioned before has such a huge advantage. I think the odds of Sampras breaking anybody's vs the odds of somebody breaking his serve are ... .well I'll put my money on Pete.

I agree Fed would hold his serve against Pete the majority of the time. Most players did against Pete. I've seen many matches where Pete & his opponent would take turn holding serve with ease. But suddenly, a double fault here, an unforced error there .. a Sampras winner and the set was Pete's.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-16-2005, 06:16 PM
Federer is not "most players" though. He is highly unlikely just to give Sampras the set by playing a loose service game, even if he is having a hard time on Sampras's serve. Sampras would have to hit almost all winners to win the game, and even then Roger himself is extremely good at digging down on those points. I dont recall seeing Sampras attack second serves often at all, occasionaly, but not with any regularity, even in a key return game. I dont see him being any tougher on a return game than Hewitt or Safin in any way personally. He also tends to be more focused on his serve game against the tougher opponents.

Also Federer is better at getting his raquets on the best serves and spitting more of them back than anybody else. Agassi is a better offensive returner, but I definitely think Federer is a better defensive returner than even Agassi was. Pete would still be hard to break, but I think he would have to play more points and shots on his own serve than vs almost all other opponets as well.

drexeler
07-18-2005, 07:13 AM
Number of sets LOST in their first 3 Wimbledon championship runs:
Sampras - 9 (taken to 5 sets twice)
Federer - 4 (never taken to 5 sets)

(Borg lost 11 sets).

Robert Jones
07-23-2005, 09:48 PM
All I know is when a beat up old aging Agassi is the only player to really test Fed from the back court something is wrong. The only diff between them is the serve if Agassi had his serve then he would have won the last few meetings.

Whats that say about the rest of the field?

newnuse
07-24-2005, 11:16 AM
All I know is when a beat up old aging Agassi is the only player to really test Fed from the back court something is wrong. The only diff between them is the serve if Agassi had his serve then he would have won the last few meetings.

Whats that say about the rest of the field?

:mrgreen: Amusing how the players of today are supposedly so superior to the players of the Sampras reign, yet Andre the fossil is one of the few that can test Fed.

DanEd
07-24-2005, 07:03 PM
:lol: what are you saying? Federer defeated agassi the last seven matches
agassi could not even win a set in the last three matches (not even a tiebreak!!)

:mrgreen: Amusing how the players of today are supposedly so superior to the players of the Sampras reign, yet Andre the fossil is one of the few that can test Fed.

newnuse
07-25-2005, 09:46 AM
Dan, I was going off what Robert Jones wrote. I'm not a stat guy. I don't know what matches RJ was referring too, but I have no reason to doubt him or your posts.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-25-2005, 09:55 AM
:mrgreen: Amusing how the players of today are supposedly so superior to the players of the Sampras reign, yet Andre the fossil is one of the few that can test Fed.

That is completely false. Of Agassi's last 6 matches with Federer, he has only tested him in 2 of them(and Roger was far from his best in both). The other 4 Roger won quite comfortably, and two of them were somewhat embarassing.

newnuse
07-25-2005, 11:33 AM
That's more than Hewitt or Roddick I'm guessing... but regardless... he's an ancient fossil from the age of Sampras.. obsolete compared to today's models. :)

"You are only as good as your 2nd serve"... and we all know who had the best

The tennis guy
07-25-2005, 12:38 PM
Breaking serve at the big W is very hard. I recall Edberg losing a match to Stich without losing his serve once..

Wimbledon grass is completely different since 2002. Since then break of serve has occured more often. Sampras lost to George Bastl in 2002.

Hewitt is good returner. The difference is Sampras puts more pressure on the opponent's serve. Hewitt stays back and trades strokes with Fed. That plays right into his hand. Sampras attacks. Second serves are made for attacking (unless it's Sampras). Sampras would not stay back and rally all day with Fed. ..

Yes, Sampras will not stay back with Federer on grass. Both of them serve and volley on almost every point, and Federer won on soft fast grass in 2001. Now grass is firmer and slower, which definitely favors Federer a little bit. I am not saying Federer is definitely better than Sampras on grass - I don't know about who would win. To say Federer can't hold his own against Sampras on grass is pure speculation. I base on my opinion on fact, not by speculation.

newnuse
07-25-2005, 05:38 PM
Wimbledon grass is completely different since 2002. Since then break of serve has occured more often. Sampras lost to George Bastl in 2002.



Yes, Sampras will not stay back with Federer on grass. Both of them serve and volley on almost every point, and Federer won on soft fast grass in 2001. Now grass is firmer and slower, which definitely favors Federer a little bit. I am not saying Federer is definitely better than Sampras on grass - I don't know about who would win. To say Federer can't hold his own against Sampras on grass is pure speculation. I base on my opinion on fact, not by speculation.

I'm not so sure if Fed would S&V all the time from what I've seen of him. I don't know how you can come to that conclusion based on watching him play this year.

I don't know what the difference is between your opinion and mine. Why is yours based on fact and mine on speculation????

I give you some facts. The server has a HUGE HUGE HUGE advantage. I don't care what kind of grass it is. Roddick made it to the finals. I don't think anybody can honestly tell me his serve was superior to Sampras, never mind the rest of his game. I don't care how good of a return of serve Fed has. People at like the return of serve is such a weapon. I've seen way too many great returners get blown away by a great server on grass.

Sampras had the best serve ever. You can't return a 120 mph serve that paints the corner. It comes down to serve on grass. Fed is the guy who has shown he can be shaky on serve, ex. 3 double faults in a row. If it came down to a tiebreak, my money is on Sampras. He lost less points on his serve. Sampras at his best would beat anybody on grass.

Name me one great S&V Fed played against on grass this year.

The tennis guy
07-25-2005, 07:18 PM
I'm not so sure if Fed would S&V all the time from what I've seen of him. I don't know how you can come to that conclusion based on watching him play this year. I don't know what the difference is between your opinion and mine. Why is yours based on fact and mine on speculation????
.

I watched Sampras vs Federer at Wimbledon in 2001. Federer was serving and volley on almost every point, same style as Sampras, and won. This is not my opinion, it is fact. That was on soft fast grass.

I give you some facts. The server has a HUGE HUGE HUGE advantage. I don't care what kind of grass it is. Roddick made it to the finals. I don't think anybody can honestly tell me his serve was superior to Sampras, never mind the rest of his game. I don't care how good of a return of serve Fed has. People at like the return of serve is such a weapon. I've seen way too many great returners get blown away by a great server on grass.

Sampras had the best serve ever. You can't return a 120 mph serve that paints the corner. It comes down to serve on grass. Fed is the guy who has shown he can be shaky on serve, ex. 3 double faults in a row. If it came down to a tiebreak, my money is on Sampras. He lost less points on his serve. Sampras at his best would beat anybody on grass.

Name me one great S&V Fed played against on grass this year.

The court has changed since 2002. Sampras played on this type of court in 2002, and lost early. He came back to win US open in the same year. This is also fact, not my opinion.

I am not saying Sampras wouldn't be as dominating on slow firm grass, more likely than not. To assume he defintely will is opinion, not fact.

Here is my opinion. Federer's best surface is medium to fast court, like firm slow grass and Australia Open rebound ace, followed with US Open fast hardcourt, then clay. Sampras' best surface is super fast court, like soft fast grass and US Open fast hardcourt, followed with Australia rebound ace, then clay.

laurie
07-26-2005, 04:41 AM
Sampras winning 7 Wimbledons will always give the impression the fast grass was his favourite surface. Wimbledon is Sampras' favourite tournament without a doubt.

Hardcourt is Sampras' favourite surface. He has stated this throughout his career. I've seen him say that in interviews at least three times. He grew up on hardcourts. He took four years to adapt to grass because like a typical hardcourt player, Sampras had long swings on both forehands and backhands. By the end of 1992 Sampras had won one US Open, played a US Open final, won Cincinatti, won Indianapolis twice and won the Mercedes Benz Cup in Los Angeles. At the same time Sampras won a grass court tournament in Manchester (which is now gone) and played just one semifinal at Wimbledon.

That shows me that despite 7 victories at Wimbledon hardcourt is the surface where Sampras was comfortable. Besides they only play grass for four weeks a year out of around 40 weeks of tennis.

Besides, despite the super fast hardcourt argument that people always make when they about to try to justify Sampras' style of play, Sampras won 4 US Opens before the new Arthur Ashe stadium was built which seasoned watchers will know is a considerably faster surface than the old stadium court which was medium paced. Therefore Sampras won 6 majors on medium paced hardcourts (4 US Opens + 2 Australian Opens). His fifth US Open was no doubt on a fast hardcourt where he served and volleyed all the time.

With his three victories in Key Biscane and two in Indian Wells on medium paced hardcourts (even Indian Wells got rid of their old stadium at the end of the 1990s), I have no doubt at all were Sampras playing today, his style of play on grass would have been similar to his style of play on hardcourts. Just like everyone else. He would have stayed back a lot more on his own serve and brought his big forehand into play as opposed to serving and volleying continously. I think that would also apply to the likes of Krajicek and Becker.

The fun with watching players like Sampras and Becker was that they would change their style of play depending on the surface. I would love to see players doing that today.

laurie
07-26-2005, 04:57 AM
If I can just elaborate about Sampras' long swings. The reason he had such long loopy swings especially on the forehand was because with the racket he uses in particular, thats how he generated his power and topspin on his groundstrokes. The running forehand is a great example. To generate that power from awkward angles requires a long swing and preparation and long follow through.

In 1999 after Sampras gained revenge against Rafter in Cincinatti final (match where ball went through Rafter's strings and injured his shoulder because of the shock through his arm and shoulder) Cliff Drysdale interviewed Sampras. It was a very hot day and Drysdale asked him about playing in those conditions and that it would suit his game more. Sampras replied that contrary to what people think that he actually preferred a slower hardcourt because it gave him more time to set up his shots. (I have the match on disk)

That would tie in with why his grass game improved when Tim Gullickson worked on his game from 1992, shortening his swings; particularly on return of serve where he would learn to block the return and use the pace of the big servers to get the ball back at their feet as they were about to rush the net. Also, McEnroe gave Sampras a talking to in 1992 when he was considerably moaning about grass and its uneven bounces. Sampras said that helped him as well.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-26-2005, 06:37 AM
Fed is the guy who has shown he can be shaky on serve, ex. 3 double faults in a row. If it came down to a tiebreak, my money is on Sampras. He lost less points on his serve. Sampras at his best would beat anybody on grass.

3 double faults in a row? I apparently missed that instance, since I have never seen Roger hit 2 double faults in a row, let alone 3. What match are you referring to.

I also believe Roger's tiebreak record is excellent. He lost a tiebreak to Kiefer, but he tends to be a bit less focused for the unthreatening type of opponents.

rhubarb
07-26-2005, 06:55 AM
3 double faults in a row? I apparently missed that instance, since I have never seen Roger hit 2 double faults in a row, let alone 3. What match are you referring to.

Roland Garros qf against Hanescu...Federer was serving for the match, had match point and eventually lost the game. Fortunately he'd got a double break so was able to serve it out the next time around.

drexeler
07-26-2005, 07:09 AM
newnuse is making it sound like Sampras never double-faulted. Take a look at the following stats from the 2000 Wim final vs. Rafter

Statistics from Pete Sampras' 6-7 (10-12), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-2 win over Patrick Rafter
Category Sampras Rafter
1st Serve Pct. 62 57
Aces 27 12
Double Faults 12 8
Unforced Errors 79 55
Winners 40 29
Break Points 3-14 0-2
Net Approaches 28-49 39-93
Total Points 160 138
Time of match: Two hours, 52 minutes

Granted this is a match towards the end of Pete's prime, but the numbers are poor across the board, 12 double faults, 79 errors vs 40 winners etc.

Even in the first 3 championship runs, Pete lost 9 sets (pushed to 5 sets twice) whereas Fed dropped only 4 sets (no 5 setters). So, contrary to newnuse's claims, Sampras either had his serve broken more times or lost more tiebreak sets than Fed.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-26-2005, 07:17 AM
Roland Garros qf against Hanescu...Federer was serving for the match, had match point and eventually lost the game. Fortunately he'd got a double break so was able to serve it out the next time around.

Ok thanks, I didnt see that. However that was a no pressure match for him, it was an opponent he could beat in a wheelchair, LOL! I have never seem him do anything like that in an even slightly threatening matchup.

rhubarb
07-26-2005, 07:43 AM
No, indeed, I was really surprised. I think he was going for second serve aces, at least on the match point(s), which probably triggered the double.

newnuse
07-26-2005, 09:03 AM
newnuse is making it sound like Sampras never double-faulted. Take a look at the following stats from the 2000 Wim final vs. Rafter

Statistics from Pete Sampras' 6-7 (10-12), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-2 win over Patrick Rafter
Category Sampras Rafter
1st Serve Pct. 62 57
Aces 27 12
Double Faults 12 8
Unforced Errors 79 55
Winners 40 29
Break Points 3-14 0-2
Net Approaches 28-49 39-93
Total Points 160 138
Time of match: Two hours, 52 minutes

Granted this is a match towards the end of Pete's prime, but the numbers are poor across the board, 12 double faults, 79 errors vs 40 winners etc.

Even in the first 3 championship runs, Pete lost 9 sets (pushed to 5 sets twice) whereas Fed dropped only 4 sets (no 5 setters). So, contrary to newnuse's claims, Sampras either had his serve broken more times or lost more tiebreak sets than Fed.

Everybody double faults. I've never said otherwise.

I said he had the best serve ever. I said the server has the huge advantage on grass.

You pick stats from a match when Sampras was already past his prime. Stats from 1 match do not mean much. I don't see how that that applies. BTW, how many times did Rafter break Sampras during that match??? How many times did Sampras face break point??? Your example backs my point of how dominant the Sampras serve was.

I said Sampras at his best on grass would beat anybody and I stick to that.

newnuse
07-26-2005, 09:04 AM
No, indeed, I was really surprised. I think he was going for second serve aces, at least on the match point(s), which probably triggered the double.

What, did he think he was Sampras or something.... :mrgreen:

federerhoogenbandfan
07-26-2005, 09:11 AM
I said Sampras at his best on grass would beat anybody and I stick to that.

Fair enough, just like those of us who disagree with you, will continue to stick to the opposite.

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 09:23 AM
Sampras winning 7 Wimbledons will always give the impression the fast grass was his favourite surface. Wimbledon is Sampras' favourite tournament without a doubt.

Hardcourt is Sampras' favourite surface. He has stated this throughout his career. I've seen him say that in interviews at least three times. He grew up on hardcourts. He took four years to adapt to grass because like a typical hardcourt player, Sampras had long swings on both forehands and backhands. By the end of 1992 Sampras had won one US Open, played a US Open final, won Cincinatti, won Indianapolis twice and won the Mercedes Benz Cup in Los Angeles. At the same time Sampras won a grass court tournament in Manchester (which is now gone) and played just one semifinal at Wimbledon.

That shows me that despite 7 victories at Wimbledon hardcourt is the surface where Sampras was comfortable. Besides they only play grass for four weeks a year out of around 40 weeks of tennis.

Besides, despite the super fast hardcourt argument that people always make when they about to try to justify Sampras' style of play, Sampras won 4 US Opens before the new Arthur Ashe stadium was built which seasoned watchers will know is a considerably faster surface than the old stadium court which was medium paced. Therefore Sampras won 6 majors on medium paced hardcourts (4 US Opens + 2 Australian Opens). His fifth US Open was no doubt on a fast hardcourt where he served and volleyed all the time.

With his three victories in Key Biscane and two in Indian Wells on medium paced hardcourts (even Indian Wells got rid of their old stadium at the end of the 1990s), I have no doubt at all were Sampras playing today, his style of play on grass would have been similar to his style of play on hardcourts. Just like everyone else. He would have stayed back a lot more on his own serve and brought his big forehand into play as opposed to serving and volleying continously. I think that would also apply to the likes of Krajicek and Becker.

The fun with watching players like Sampras and Becker was that they would change their style of play depending on the surface. I would love to see players doing that today.

No one said Sampras was not great on hardcourt. It's all relative. You put all records to show how great Sampras was on hardcourts, but you failed to take consideration that there were so many more hardcourt events than grass. For a time period, Sampras were virtually unbeatable on grass, but he couldn't reach that status on hardcourts.

Don't tell me Federer and Safin don't change their styles of play depending on the surface. As of Becker, he probably tried to change his style of play on clay too much, thus failed to win a clay court tournament anywhere in his career. He should have been sticking with his serve and volley which he did the best instead of slugging out from baseline where his footspeed and consistency were not as good.

By the way, US Open hardcourt at Flushing were never medium paced. They were always fast, but since 1997 it has been super fast. Australia Open rebound ace is truely medium paced. I played on US Open courts before 1997 and after 1997, the difference is big. They are always faster than Aussie rebound ace. Thus Sampras won 12 grand slam titles on fast (4 US Open), and super fast (1 US Open, and 7 Wimbledon), and 2 on medium (2 Australia Open).

Kevin Patrick
07-26-2005, 09:42 AM
drexeler,
Can you provide a link? I have that match on tape, will check those stats. I think you misread that stat. I don't think it's possible for Sampras to have 79 errors, 40 winners. Both players S&Ved every point, there weren't enough opportunities to make errors. I remember the Wimby website was way off on the stats one year, I will check my tape from NBC.

As far as stats go:
'93 Wimbledon Final:Sampras was broken 2 times
'94 W Final: 0 times
'95 W Final: 0 times(did lose a tiebreak set, but Becker never got to break point the entire match)
'97 W Final: 0 breaks, 0 break points
'98 W Final:2 breaks, lost 2 sets(1 tiebreak)
'99 W Final: 0 breaks
'00 W Final: 0 breaks

newnuse
07-26-2005, 09:42 AM
Fair enough, just like those of us who disagree with you, will continue to stick to the opposite.
It's all good federerhoogenbandfan.

Makes this board interesting.

I still have not seen anybody counter my point about the importance/dominance of the serve on grass. I still have not seen anybody counter my point about the superiority of the Sampras serve.

When somebody does, I will reevaluate Sampras vs Fed on grass.

newnuse

newnuse
07-26-2005, 09:48 AM
drexeler,
Can you provide a link? I have that match on tape, will check those stats. I think you misread that stat. I don't think it's possible for Sampras to have 79 errors, 40 winners. Both players S&Ved every point, there weren't enough opportunities to make errors. I remember the Wimby website was way off on the stats one year, I will check my tape from NBC.

As far as stats go:
'93 Wimbledon Final:Sampras was broken 2 times
'94 W Final: 0 times
'95 W Final: 0 times(did lose a tiebreak set, but Becker never got to break point the entire match)
'97 W Final: 0 breaks, 0 break points
'98 W Final:2 breaks, lost 2 sets(1 tiebreak)
'99 W Final: 0 breaks
'00 W Final: 0 breaks

Thanks for the stats Kevin

Evidence of the Sampras serve. The great Becker could not even reach breakpoint vs Sampras. Zero chances in 97. Five times he did not lose 1 service game.

Kevin Patrick
07-26-2005, 09:53 AM
tennis guy,
I'm not sure your assesment of court speed is entirely relevant. The US Open prior to '97 was labeled medium(& some years down right slow)
Many fast court players(Ivanisevic, Becker, Edberg) complained about the speed from '93-'95 & many claycourters/baseliners went deep those years.
There was confirmation from tennis writers that the court was slowed(more sand on the top layer) those years, possibly because the USTA wanted to help Agassi(& it payed off in '94)
The Australian hasn't always been considered slow. Many players(inc. Sampras complained about the fast court in '00)

As far as the "superfast" conditions at the US Open from '97 on, Sampras was one of the most vocal critics, he didn't like courts that were too fast. Surprsingly Agassi never complained about the speed change. You should check out this site asapsports.com - it includes players transcripts from the slams for the last 10 or so years.

drexeler
07-26-2005, 09:59 AM
Kevin, here's the link for the 2000 Wim Final match stats:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/2000/wimbledon/news/2000/07/09/men_final_ap/

As you suspect, the winners and UE's might be reversed.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-26-2005, 10:11 AM
Thanks for the stats Kevin

Evidence of the Sampras serve. The great Becker could not even reach breakpoint vs Sampras. Zero chances in 97. Five times he did not lose 1 service game.

So you believe even an aging and declining Becker returns serve better than Federer?

I think Federer would be clearly better in that area, even in Becker's prime(and I have seen him play in lots of late 80 tapes when he was at his peak).

newnuse
07-26-2005, 10:31 AM
So you believe even an aging and declining Becker returns serve better than Federer?

I think Federer would be clearly better in that area, even in Becker's prime(and I have seen him play in lots of late 80 tapes when he was at his peak).

C'mon FHBF.. apologies to Hewitt

Becker was an attacking player, well suited to grass. His return was not as good as Fed of course. Becker had very solid ground strokes though. The point was that the Sampras serve was so good, he did not even face breakpoint. You have to admit that is impressive, especially against a great grass court player like Becker. Before you mention his age again, he was good enough to make it to the finals that year.

Do you believe Sampras did not have the best server ever?
Do you not believe the serve is the most important/dominant factor at Wimbledon?

drexeler
07-26-2005, 10:56 AM
A dominant serve is very important but it's not the only factor, otherwise Goran, Krajicek, Philippoussis, Karlovic, Ancic would have better records at Wimbledon.

In a specific matchup, what's more important, I believe, is how your serve game (holding ability) stacks up against your opponent's return game (breaking ability), and vice-versa. To illustrate this, coming into 2003 Wimbledon SF & F, everybody (rightfully) thought that Roddick and Flipper had a huge advantage over Fed on serve. But what happened was Roddick and Flipper (served 70% first serves) had many more problems holding (broken 3 and 2 times respectively), while Fed faced just one break point in the two matches. They were also outaced 17-4 and 21-14 respectively. Fed also won the 3 tie-break sets in the two matches because he was winning more points on the opponents' serves than he was losing on his serves.

Since then, Fed has shown that this was not an anamoly. For the past two years (from ATP site stats) he has been holding 90% of his serve games (only Roddick better at 92%), first in winning 2nd serve points at 60%, in the top 10 in returns breaking 31% (all those above him in breaking are clay courters). (Does someone have stats from Sampras's peak years?)

federerhoogenbandfan
07-26-2005, 11:09 AM
Do you believe Sampras did not have the best server ever?
Do you not believe the serve is the most important/dominant factor at Wimbledon?

I agree he has the best serve in the last 25 years atleast. It is hard to say whether Gonzales or perhaps Vines may have had a better serve or not, since you have to take into account the time frame they played in. I have seen old tapes of Vines play, and opponents could not even see his serve often. Certainly undisputably in the last 25 years, and arguably all time though.

Is the serve the most important/dominant factor at Wimbledon? It could be, it would either be that or the return of serve. When I see Roddick only losing to Federer on grass, and that he would have won the last 3 Wimbledons but for Federer, it makes me think it clearly is the serve. Then I think about Rusedski reaching only 1 quarterfinal at Wimbledon, Krajiceck doing practically nothing at Wimbledon for so long until his incredable 96 victory, Rosset one of the biggest serves back in the mid 90s with such a sluggish Wimbledon record, and a players like Joachim Johansson so far having been so dissapointing at Wimbledon, it makes me wonder about that theory though. I am a bit in both minds on it to be honest.

Of course some of those players are examples of really, for elite contender standards, weak all around games. Sampras has much more overall game than that group, and even somebody like Roddick has more skills outside his serve than that group(minus perhaps Krajiceck but even he was quite medicore returning serve and moving around the court).

newnuse
07-26-2005, 11:18 AM
Drexeler,

You cite examples of a bunch of guys with good serves and little else. How much better should their records be a Wimbledon? Those guys won it, made it to the finals. What more do you want? That is pretty good evidence of the importance of the serve.

So Roddick is #1 in service holds. He has a good serve and little else. How does that not support my claims of the importance of the serve?

Matchups- Once you return a serve, the point is pretty much neutral after a few groundstrokes exchanges. If you try to win against Fed from the baseline by working the point, it plays right into his game. Nobody constructs a point better than him at this moment.

Sampras S&V on grass. You can't just block back a return like you could against a guy who stays back. Like I mentioned before, could he:

Return the Sampras serve & pass Sampras at the net?

Sampras was just not a serving machine. He was very good at the net. His groundies were very solid and underrated. He used to be a baseliner. His return of serve was also solid. His groundstrokes were superior the guys you mentioned.

To me, the chances of Fed breaking Sampras is less than Sampras breaking Fed.

newnuse
07-26-2005, 11:27 AM
I agree he has the best serve in the last 25 years atleast. It is hard to say whether Gonzales or perhaps Vines may have had a better serve or not, since you have to take into account the time frame they played in. I have seen old tapes of Vines play, and opponents could not even see his serve often. Certainly undisputably in the last 25 years, and arguably all time though.

Is the serve the most important/dominant factor at Wimbledon? It could be, it would either be that or the return of serve. When I see Roddick only losing to Federer on grass, and that he would have won the last 3 Wimbledons but for Federer, it makes me think it clearly is the serve. Then I think about Rusedski reaching only 1 quarterfinal at Wimbledon, Krajiceck doing practically nothing at Wimbledon for so long until his incredable 96 victory, Rosset one of the biggest serves back in the mid 90s with such a sluggish Wimbledon record, and a players like Joachim Johansson so far having been so dissapointing at Wimbledon, it makes me wonder about that theory though. I am a bit in both minds on it to be honest.

Of course some of those players are examples of really, for elite contender standards, weak all around games. Sampras has much more overall game than that group, and even somebody like Roddick has more skills outside his serve than that group(minus perhaps Krajiceck but even he was quite medicore returning serve and moving around the court).

A big serve is important but you need to S&V to take advantage of it. I don't see many players doing that these days. After a few groundstrokes, the point becomes neutral so the server loses the advantage.

You forgot to mention Goran. Big serve and little else. His volleys were rather strange. He won it. Krajiceck was a head case but he did manage to put it all together that year and won.

If you have any question of the importance of the serve vs return game: Ask yourself this. How many big time servers have won, made it to the final, advance deep at the big W? How many great returners have done the same? It's not really very close.

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 11:31 AM
tennis guy,
I'm not sure your assesment of court speed is entirely relevant. The US Open prior to '97 was labeled medium(& some years down right slow)
Many fast court players(Ivanisevic, Becker, Edberg) complained about the speed from '93-'95 & many claycourters/baseliners went deep those years.
There was confirmation from tennis writers that the court was slowed(more sand on the top layer) those years, possibly because the USTA wanted to help Agassi(& it payed off in '94)
The Australian hasn't always been considered slow. Many players(inc. Sampras complained about the fast court in '00)

As far as the "superfast" conditions at the US Open from '97 on, Sampras was one of the most vocal critics, he didn't like courts that were too fast. Surprsingly Agassi never complained about the speed change. You should check out this site asapsports.com - it includes players transcripts from the slams for the last 10 or so years.

My court speed assessment is generally true. I didn't take consideration of balls used or one year variation. As of US Open 93-95, those were the first years using heavy duty balls to slow down the game. I remember Edberg, Ivanesevic complained about hurting their arms and shoulders.

I was at Australia Open in 2000. The court was fast for a rebound ace that year, but nowhere near as fast as US Open court. That year, they used inflated Slazenger balls to speed it up. I don't remember Sampras complaining abut too fast, he and many others complained about the condition there were not consistent with past. They went back to old court speed and regular balls the next year.

I remember Sampras and many players including past players like McEnroe came out criticizing US Open being too fast in 1997. It still is. I still believe Australia Open medium speed court produce the highest quality of tennis overall which give offense and defense equal opportunity.

Every grand slam tweaks with court. Even French Open does. The year with fastest court and ball produced Kalfenikov (winner), Stich, and Sampras as semifinalists. However, they usualy don't change as significantly as US Open did in 97.

The point is court speed doesn't determine everything, however it does affect outcome.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-26-2005, 11:36 AM
A big serve is important but you need to S&V to take advantage of it. I don't see many players doing that these days. After a few groundstrokes, the point becomes neutral so the server loses the advantage.

You forgot to mention Goran. Big serve and little else. His volleys were rather strange. He won it. Krajiceck was a head case but he did manage to put it all together that year and won.

If you have any question of the importance of the serve vs return game: Ask yourself this. How many big time servers have won, made it to the final, advance deep at the big W? How many great returners have done the same? It's not really very close.

Your right, I forgot about Goran. He is a great example, and just as Roddick would have the last 3 Wimbledons but for Federer, Goran would have probably won 4 but for Sampras(94, 95, 98, 2001).

As for the last part, I guess if you were to break down since 1990 the players who have won Wimbledon, if one had to seperate between great servers and great returners based on selecting which area the player was superior in, it would be something like:

Returners-Edberg(1990), Agassi(1992), Hewitt(2002), Federer(2003), Federer(2004), Federer(2005),

Servers-Stitch(1991), Sampras(1993), Sampras(1994), Sampras(1995),
Krajiceck(1996), Sampras(1997), Sampras(1998), Sampras(1999), Sampras(2000), Ivanisevic(2001)

So it would be 10-6 for the servers, respectable showing for the returns, but fairly comfortable win for the servers.

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 11:41 AM
Your right, I forgot about Goran. He is a great example, and just as Roddick would have the last 3 Wimbledons but for Federer, Goran would have probably won 4 but for Sampras(94, 95, 98, 2001).

As for the last part, I guess if you were to break down since 1990 the players who have won Wimbledon, if one had to seperate between great servers and great returners based on selecting which area the player was superior in, it would be something like:

Returners-Edberg(1990), Agassi(1992), Hewitt(2002), Federer(2003), Federer(2004), Federer(2005),

Servers-Stitch(1991), Sampras(1993), Sampras(1994), Sampras(1995),
Krajiceck(1996), Sampras(1997), Sampras(1998), Sampras(1999), Sampras(2000), Ivanisevic(2001)

So it would be 10-6 for the servers, respectable showing for the returns, but fairly comfortable win for the servers.

Since 2002, the court gave pure baseliner and returner fair chance. Before that, the court heavily tilted toward to big server.

Kevin Patrick
07-26-2005, 11:44 AM
Fair enough, tennis guy. I just had an issue with your using "fast" & "superfast" to breakdown Sampras' slams. I truly believe(based on players comments) that the US Open prior to '97 was a fair surface, a medium one.
All styles of play suceeded. The Australian may have been a touch slower, but the players really didn't harp on the differences much.

Here's Sampras' comment at Australia, 2001:

Q. Last year you had problems with the balls. How do you think the court is playing this year?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think the court is playing a little bit slower, still goes through the court pretty good. But I think there was a lot of complaints last year to the tournament organizer, they definitely slowed it down a touch. Last year I thought was too fast. I was serving some 30, 35 aces a match. It was nice to have it a little bit slower to have some more time to play.

newnuse
07-26-2005, 11:46 AM
That is a good list. Thanks for taking the time compile it.

I would not put Edberg in the returner category. He was an attacking S&V player. He had a terrific kick serve. I don't think anybody remembers Edberg for his return game. Remember when he lost to Stich without getting his serve broken?

Everybody on your return list has won it during the last few years (except AA). This coincides with the decline of the S&V player. The S&V is a dying breed. Most of the world's tournaments takes place on dirt or hard courts.

Prior to that, when you had a good mix of players, the S&V dominated. The big servers dominated.

You could look at the guys who advance far at W. Most of those were big servers as well.

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 11:57 AM
Fair enough, tennis guy. I just had an issue with your using "fast" & "superfast" to breakdown Sampras' slams. I truly believe(based on players comments) that the US Open prior to '97 was a fair surface, a medium one.
All styles of play suceeded. The Australian may have been a touch slower, but the players really didn't harp on the differences much.

Here's Sampras' comment at Australia, 2001:

Q. Last year you had problems with the balls. How do you think the court is playing this year?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think the court is playing a little bit slower, still goes through the court pretty good. But I think there was a lot of complaints last year to the tournament organizer, they definitely slowed it down a touch. Last year I thought was too fast. I was serving some 30, 35 aces a match. It was nice to have it a little bit slower to have some more time to play.

You just confirmed my memory that 2000 Aussie Open was more of the inflated ball than the court.

I would agree US Open court before 97 was fair court but on the fast side. It should be differentiated from Aussie court where high bounce makes it difficult to put away volley. Even though they speeded up a little bit for Rafter, he still couldn't get further. US open definitely tilted toward vollyer (55-45) while Aussie open definitely titled toward baseliner (reverse 55-45).

The players don't complain much if the courts and balls are what they have expected. No one complains about US Open anymore since it is expected to be super fast. Aussie Open is expected to have high bounce, medium speed court. Those are the conditions players are prepared for.

Kevin Patrick
07-26-2005, 12:03 PM
I think almost everyone who won W prior to the slow grass days was a pretty good returner. Sampras struggled in his early years there because of his return. Becker, Edberg, Stich, Ivanisevic were all pretty good returners for fast grass. They would take a few big cuts on the return & get a break. Krajicek was one of the weaker returners of the fast grass W winners, but he was solid in '96.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-26-2005, 12:17 PM
I think almost everyone who won W prior to the slow grass days was a pretty good returner. Sampras struggled in his early years there because of his return. Becker, Edberg, Stich, Ivanisevic were all pretty good returners for fast grass. They would take a few big cuts on the return & get a break. Krajicek was one of the weaker returners of the fast grass W winners, but he was solid in '96.

The players that have won Wimbledon since the start of the "slow grass" days are very good returns as well though.

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 12:30 PM
I truly believe(based on players comments) that the US Open prior to '97 was a fair surface, a medium one.
All styles of play suceeded. The Australian may have been a touch slower, but the players really didn't harp on the differences much.


US Open prior to 97 was fair, but fast, not medium. It was still the fastest outdoor court at the time.

Aussie court is not just a touch slower, serveral touches. But the key feature is the ball bounces really high, flat hitting ball doesn't skid like even prior 97 US Open court. Those differences separate Sampras and Agassi. Agassi couldn't beat Sampras on any US Open court before or after 97, but could do that at Aussie Open.

Kevin Patrick
07-26-2005, 12:45 PM
I just don't think surface speed is the only factor why Sampras beat Agassi or vice versa. They've played on so many different hardcourts, Agassi has beaten Sampras on indoor carpet. It's tiring to hear Sampras could only beat Agassi at the US Open because it was a fast hardcourt. Sampras beat Agassi at the Lipton, the slowest hardcourt.
Wilander beat Edberg/Lendl at the US Open.
Agassi beat Stich/Becker at the US Open.
There are no absolute reasons why player A beats player B. These are great professional players, & these are very slight differences in speed as you said (55-45)

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 02:47 PM
I just don't think surface speed is the only factor why Sampras beat Agassi or vice versa. They've played on so many different hardcourts, Agassi has beaten Sampras on indoor carpet. It's tiring to hear Sampras could only beat Agassi at the US Open because it was a fast hardcourt. Sampras beat Agassi at the Lipton, the slowest hardcourt.
Wilander beat Edberg/Lendl at the US Open.
Agassi beat Stich/Becker at the US Open.
There are no absolute reasons why player A beats player B. These are great professional players, & these are very slight differences in speed as you said (55-45)

Neither did I say surface speed is the only factor. There are so many factors in win or loss. The point I was trying to make is when everything else equal, surface speed does affect the outcome.

It seems you are so sensitive to any hint of negative comment about Sampras - I don't even think what I said was negative comment at all. Look at his career objectively, there is no denial that he is generally better on faster surface than slower surface - he can play on slower surface but just not as consistent, otherwise he would have won more Aussie Open, while Agassi is generally better on medium to slower surface than on fast surface, without comparing them head-to-head.

Indoor carpet is difficult to judge without playing on them, which is why I usually don't comment on them as one surface. To say all indoor carpets are fast is like saying hardcourts are all the same. There are very slow indoor carpet, and there are very fast indoor carpet.

If you use data from different players at different events, of course you can't draw conclusion. But with two players in limited events, it does tell you something. Edberg won US Open in 91, 92 beating Courier and Sampras in finals, but lost in 92 and 93 finals in Australia Open to Courier both times. The difference was the court. Courier just had one or two touches of time to pass Edberg at net on rebound ace. Could Edberg win over Courier on rebound ace? Of course he can if he plays out of this world or Courier doesn't play as well. But that is not the point. The point is it is tougher for Edberg's style to win on rebound ace with high bounce.

Kevin Patrick
07-26-2005, 03:16 PM
Sorry if I seemed "sensitive," if was probably due to the thread, "Who had the better career-Sampras or Agassi" where so many harp on this slow/fast hardcourt stuff.

I get what you're saying, but far too much gets made of the fact that Sampras was better than Agassi at the US Open & Agassi was better than Sampras at the Australian Open. Fact is, Agassi won the US Open twice(once on 'superfast' harcourts) & Sampras won the Australian twice. They were both pretty darn good on any kind of hardcourt. Also Sampras' 2 losses to Agassi at the Australian were extremely close. And Agassi was very close in 3 of the 4 US Open meetings. So, I don't think any of their meetings at those events was affected that much by surface speed, esp when you're talking about a few points. If the matches were lopsided, like say a Federer-Nadal US Open rematch vs their French Open SF, the difference would be more apparent.

The Paris Indoor match that Agassi won against Sampras was extremely fast court (according to the players interviews)
And sampras beat agassi at the lipton, according to you, the "slowest hardcourt." Does your theory justify those results?

I think you're overgeneralizing the factors between Edberg & Courier '91/'92.
Edberg was at his best at the '91 US Open. Courier was at his best in the '93 Aussie Final. Edberg played pretty lousy '92 Aussie(where he was heavily favored) And Edberg beat Courier at '91 Aussie. I think the age difference + Edberg's S&V style becoming obsolete was a factor. It played right into Courier's strengths.

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 08:25 PM
Sorry if I seemed "sensitive," if was probably due to the thread, "Who had the better career-Sampras or Agassi" where so many harp on this slow/fast hardcourt stuff.

I get what you're saying, but far too much gets made of the fact that Sampras was better than Agassi at the US Open & Agassi was better than Sampras at the Australian Open. Fact is, Agassi won the US Open twice(once on 'superfast' harcourts) & Sampras won the Australian twice. They were both pretty darn good on any kind of hardcourt. Also Sampras' 2 losses to Agassi at the Australian were extremely close. And Agassi was very close in 3 of the 4 US Open meetings. So, I don't think any of their meetings at those events was affected that much by surface speed, esp when you're talking about a few points. If the matches were lopsided, like say a Federer-Nadal US Open rematch vs their French Open SF, the difference would be more apparent.

The Paris Indoor match that Agassi won against Sampras was extremely fast court (according to the players interviews)
And sampras beat agassi at the lipton, according to you, the "slowest hardcourt." Does your theory justify those results?

I think you're overgeneralizing the factors between Edberg & Courier '91/'92.
Edberg was at his best at the '91 US Open. Courier was at his best in the '93 Aussie Final. Edberg played pretty lousy '92 Aussie(where he was heavily favored) And Edberg beat Courier at '91 Aussie. I think the age difference + Edberg's S&V style becoming obsolete was a factor. It played right into Courier's strengths.

We are not far off on Sampras. I even don't read the thread of who had better career, Sampras or Agassi. There is no comparison there. It's not worth of reading the opinion of anyone who thinks their career were comparable in achievement.

However, without reading anything in that thread, I have to admit overall Agassi was better at French with 1 title and 1 final, better at Australia Open with 4 titles vs Sampras' 2. That doesn't mean Agassi had better career than Sampras, Sampras was just SO MUCH better at Wimbledon and US Open. It is very telling to me that Agassi never was able to beat Sampras on US Open court while managed to beat him twice at Australia Open.

Sampras can play really well on medium to slower surfaces, that says about his greatness. However, you have to admit he was far less consistent, and far less at his best on medium to slower surface than on fast and super fast surfaces.

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 08:42 PM
Also Sampras' 2 losses to Agassi at the Australian were extremely close. And Agassi was very close in 3 of the 4 US Open meetings. So, I don't think any of their meetings at those events was affected that much by surface speed, esp when you're talking about a few points. If the matches were lopsided, like say a Federer-Nadal US Open rematch vs their French Open SF, the difference would be more apparent.


My take is just opposite of yours on this. If both player were playing reasonablely well, when a match is lopsided like a potential US Open Federer vs Nadal, it just tells me the winner is just so much better overall as a tennis player; if the matches were close, then the winner might not win on slightly different surface. Regardless of how good Agassi is on fast surface, the closeness he got with Sampras on fast/super fast US Open would tell me he would have the edge on medium/slower surface. The opposite is true too. The closeness Sampras got with Agassi on medium Aussie court would tell me Sampras would have the edge on faster surface.

I use the same logic to Nadal vs Federer at Nasdaq. The closeness Nadal got to beat Federer there just told me Federer would have big problem with Nadal on clay.

By the way, don't interpret my posting to extreme. I don't equate having a edge as definitely win - there are other factors affect someone playing well.

laurie
07-27-2005, 04:25 AM
Damn, this happens to me a lot! I think I start off an interesting discussion and talking points but because of the time zones (I'm in London) I always seem to miss out on the meat of the discussions. Oh well, never mind.

Kevin, Tennis Guy, FH, newnuse, good discussions.

newnuse
07-27-2005, 03:11 PM
Damn, this happens to me a lot! I think I start off an interesting discussion and talking points but because of the time zones (I'm in London) I always seem to miss out on the meat of the discussions. Oh well, never mind.

Kevin, Tennis Guy, FH, newnuse, good discussions.

Sure laurie, I bet you just like to start threads like this to get the natives all wild up... then sit back and watch the ensuing carnage ;)

35ft6
07-27-2005, 04:34 PM
Article says:Also, Roger Federer, who had already been picked as the next potential great, lost to Tim Henman in 2001 in the middle of a run which put him as the favorite to win Wimbledon that year. This alone is clear evidence that Roger Federer would not have been able to dominate in years past. "This alone?" How about when Federer beat Sampras in 2001. Beating the greatest grass court player at the age of 19 can "alone" be proof that he could hang with any generation. Most former pros seem to be under this impression.Andy Roddick, who has indisputably been the second-best grass court player over the last three years, essentially possesses two strokes: the serve and the forehand. Sounds like Sampras.Even on his serve, his most feared weapon, he clearly lags behind players in the past. Although he can hit a 150 mph rocket, he has never put up the numbers that Sampras and Ivanesevic were able to do with 125 mph serves. He's comparing him to the arguably the two greatest servers of all time. Did any lefty ever have a nastier lefty serve than an "on" Goran? Anybody person period ever have a greater serve than Sampras? He dogs on Roddick for being nothing but a serve and forehand then says nothing of Goran, who was also a serve and a forehand.Even Federer himself is not a strong matchup against players of the past. Huh!?Federer does possess a good serve... blah blah blah... However, he does not possess nearly as good a serve as Ivanesevic, who won Wimbledon only once, nor does he possess nearly as good a volley as Rafter, who never won Wimbledon. Huh? This statement is meaningless. His volleys are arguably as good or better than Rafter's, and Borg won Wimbledon several times with an inferior serve to Goran and worse volleys than Rafter. But none of this means anything. This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. He heard some people on the tennis team talking and he's being glib about a sport he's not intimately familiar with/In addition, he falls behind Sampras in nearly every category. BS. He's arguably better than Sampras in EVERY category but for the serve.Roger Federer is an extremely talented player, but his dominance at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club has come at a time when the competition is far less tough. So the 70's must have been horrible since Borg, the "prototypical" baseliner was able to dominate. And Agassi got lucky that one year, too. Not to mention Hewitt. Sports have a tendency to evolve. I would take the top five of today over the top 5 of just about any other generation.

35ft6
07-27-2005, 04:41 PM
You are saying Sampras around 1995 would have difficulty with modern returns? I don't see much evidence that Roddick, etc have better returns then , say, Agassi. Sampras did struggle with the new crop of young baseliners with good returns, his losses in the finals of US Open against Hewitt and Safin being prime examples.

35ft6
07-27-2005, 04:51 PM
regarding the games of Agassi and Chang:
I wish I could have 1-on-1 talk with guys like McEnroe/Cash or even someone like Bud Collins (if they are unbiased) and get a feel what their opinion is. These people understand pro tennis and maybe able to give some verdict over this... I feel most of the posts (maybe including my own) are biased one way or the other, based on personal preference, and without much deep understanding of the pro's game. Every veteran pro that I've read a quote from, guys who've been around 6 or 7 years, maybe even longer, have consistently said the tour gets tougher every year. Everybody is stronger, taller, and fitter. You're right, even 20 years ago the top seeds would be on cruise control for the first 3 or 4 rounds of a Grand Slam.

Bottom line, for me, is that legends are created by winning lots of big titles. Today's players simply don't live in a time when accumulating lots of Grand Slams is easy (haven't gotten to Federer yet) so their accomplishments seem to pale in comparison to the immortals of the past, even recent past, but cut them slack. They're battling from the get go.

What Federer is doing is unbelievable at times. He's a freakishly good player the likes of which I'll never see again, and I never felt that way while watching Agassi, Becker, Sampras, or anybody else.

(I have felt that way watching Mac and to a lesser extent, Rios...)

newnuse
07-28-2005, 08:34 AM
35ft6,

Please don't insult Sampras by comparing him to Roddick. Sampras was just a forehand and serve???? You cannot be serious

BTW, is that Rod Sterling?

laurie
07-28-2005, 09:08 AM
35 FT6, I know Federer fans feel like you do but there are things Pete did on the court which I have yet to see since his retirement. I haven't seen anyone do these things consistently:

Serve second serves at 120mph on the line, even on break points.

Serve aces down the centre of the ad court where the ball goes away from the returner leaving them grasping for thin air. The speed at which Sampras serves means its not always noticeable to the casual watcher. But it was amazing how fast the ball curves away after pitching. Just like a fast bowler in cricket using the seam for deception against batsmen.

Hit clean winning running forehands down the line and crosscourt from seemingly impossible or very defensive situations

Hit stop volleys over and over again at net on both forehand and backhand side

Hit brilliant half volley pick ups from low returns and still win the point, sometimes with that shot alone without having to hit another volley.

Hit slam dunks moving into the ball and jumping 3 feet in the air as opposed to backing off to smash which is more conventional when a player hits a lob.

These are things that I miss watching by anyone on the tour.

I would also add that since Edberg's retirement I have yet to see anyone volley with his amazing skill and grace.

Federer is not the only player who plays tennis that no one else can. He's the only player left playing a unique brand of tennis.

The tennis guy
07-28-2005, 09:25 AM
I haven't seen anyone do these things consistently:

Serve second serves at 120mph on the line, even on break points.



Sampras did so many things brilliantly, no question. However, serving second serves at 120 mph on the line CONSISTENTLY is not one of them. That's an exxegeration, I have to say.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-28-2005, 11:09 AM
I would have to agree with tennis guy on that one, I honestly dont recall Sampras hitting 2nd serves of 120 mph on the line consistently, he hit them occasionaly. His 2nd serve was still incredable, and the best I have seen from any other player, but I find that estimate of it a bit exagerrated.

newnuse
07-28-2005, 04:49 PM
I do agree about him hitting the 120mph serve consistently. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but Laurie's point is still right on. The Sampras 2nd was by far the best I've seen.

You could not judge how good his serve was simply by speed. He had great placement, deception and the serve was a very heavy serve.