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ark_28
12-22-2011, 04:11 AM
It is from a Interview for the ATP site earlier this year.

Many talk about technology today, and how it has killed serve and volley tennis.

They asked Pete how he thought his game would hold up in this generation and he said that he feels his game would hold up in any generation but most interesting of all, he believes that while racket techology does help guys from the baseline it would give him more stick on his volleys too.

It is an argument that we often over look of course you would need to have fantastic reaction like Pete to pull this off as the ball is coming at you that much faster.

But would do you guys think of Pete's theory that today's racket technology also helps serve and volleyers and it should in theory "even things out"??

Here is the interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E6jqz9HIuk

SLD76
12-22-2011, 04:18 AM
It is from a Interview for the ATP site earlier this year.

Many talk about technology today, and how it has killed serve and volley tennis.

They asked Pete how he thought his game would hold up in this generation and he said that he feels his game would hold up in any generation but most interesting of all, he believes that while racket techology does help guys from the baseline it would give him more stick on his volleys too.

It is an argument that we often over look of course you would need to have fantastic reaction like Pete to pull this off as the ball is coming at you that much faster.

But would do you guys think of Pete's theory that today's racket technology also helps serve and volleyers and it should in theory "even things out"??

Here is the interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E6jqz9HIuk


the serve and volleyer still has to contend with the slower surfaces.

Then again , I saw florian mayer destroy Nadal in shanghai using serve and volley and general net play so....

Bobby Jr
12-22-2011, 04:34 AM
Yeah, the modern string thing has turned what used to be out-wide 1 in 20 chance shots into 1 in 5 shots.

If people thought Pete had a great serve using a PS85 with gut then imagine how good it would be if he had all the option players have today.

Lastly, while people get more shots back, they hit on-average much higher over the net too - which could prove an advantage in many case to a player like Pete who closed off the net so well. Sure, there'd be fast dipping balls, but doing it every point when faced with such pressure would result in a lot more errors from the baseliners too imo.

DjokovicForTheWin
12-22-2011, 04:45 AM
There were more powerful racquets than the PS85 in Pete's day too

wings56
12-22-2011, 05:02 AM
love how at the start of the vid you can see pete swinging a non blacked out babby. wilson had to love that...

wings56
12-22-2011, 05:03 AM
scratch that, throughout the video. ha

AM95
12-22-2011, 05:06 AM
pets becoming senile. guys like rafa and roger would absolutely crush his serve and volley game. its not just the racket tech. surfaces have changed, and the quality of play and talent has increased. thats why we don't have 18-19 year olds winning slams anymore. pete was a great player in his generation. thats about it. he would not be able to hang with todays players who can transition from defense to offense faster than pete's own serve.

DjokovicForTheWin
12-22-2011, 05:06 AM
Pete said courts seem pretty much the same as when he played

Big_Dangerous
12-22-2011, 05:18 AM
pets becoming senile. guys like rafa and roger would absolutely crush his serve and volley game. its not just the racket tech. surfaces have changed, and the quality of play and talent has increased. thats why we don't have 18-19 year olds winning slams anymore. pete was a great player in his generation. thats about it. he would not be able to hang with todays players who can transition from defense to offense faster than pete's own serve.

I disagree with this, because one thing Pete had, was an amazing serve.

LameTennisPlayer
12-22-2011, 05:28 AM
I disagree with this, because one thing Pete had, was an amazing serve.

And the likes of Roddick/Isner/Karlovic don't??? You need more than an amazing seve to compete in todays game.

zcarzach
12-22-2011, 05:29 AM
Pete said courts seem pretty much the same as when he played

Came here to say this. Interesting point, if true.

ark_28
12-22-2011, 05:30 AM
And the likes of Roddick/Isner/Karlovic don't??? You need more than an amazing seve to compete in todays game.

They all have amazing serves but none of the, have they ability to volley anywhere near as well as Pete.

Totai
12-22-2011, 05:39 AM
And the likes of Roddick/Isner/Karlovic don't??? You need more than an amazing seve to compete in todays game.

Pete has a better second serve than all those guys, and he also served smarter. Also, pete had the ground game to back his serves up.

Isner: Serve, and forehand. No backhand, bad movement
Karlovic: Same as Isner
Roddick: Serve and pusher(post 2004), no volley

Magnetite
12-22-2011, 05:51 AM
A champion is a champion. If Pete played at the top level today, he would adapt his game to win. It would take him a couple of years to master the proper shots and tactics, but he would do it.

He may not win as many titles and slams as before, but he'd be a serious contender.

fed_rulz
12-22-2011, 05:58 AM
It is from a Interview for the ATP site earlier this year.

Many talk about technology today, and how it has killed serve and volley tennis.

They asked Pete how he thought his game would hold up in this generation and he said that he feels his game would hold up in any generation but most interesting of all, he believes that while racket techology does help guys from the baseline it would give him more stick on his volleys too.

It is an argument that we often over look of course you would need to have fantastic reaction like Pete to pull this off as the ball is coming at you that much faster.

But would do you guys think of Pete's theory that today's racket technology also helps serve and volleyers and it should in theory "even things out"??

Here is the interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E6jqz9HIuk

Pete will talk crap to remain relevant at a time when Federer has far surpassed him and Rafa is on his way. Some points:
1. more powerful racquets existed in Pete's time too (as already noted)
2. luxilon was available in the late 90s, and Pete refused to use it calling to "cheatalon"
3. for all his talk, Pete won "only" 2 slams during the slow-court season (jan - june), and he needed to avoid his arch rival in doing so. Now imagine stretching that for the entire year --- yeah, that's how well his game will hold up in today;s conditions. Add to the mix better returners and athletes who can retrieve the ball faster than a well-trained dog, and can make his life truly miserable.
4. Most importantly, Federer made the switch in 2004 to a predominantly baseline-oriented game, and laments about today's conditions for lack of S & V. I'd take a currently active top player's assessement of today's conditions as opposed to a former great's who still wants to be in the news

sunof tennis
12-22-2011, 05:58 AM
Obviously Pete knows what he is talking about. However, I disagree slightly, I think the new racquets and especially the new strings gave an advantage to the returner that didn't exist in Pete's day. It would not surprise me if the average return is now 10 mph faster than in the 90's. With the prevelance of larger head sizes and poly strings, the guys can hit out and still keep the ball in the court. For the same reason, serve and volley is harder today because if you don't make a great first volley, todays' player will almost always pass the guy on the second shot.
Pete, because he had the best serve of the open era and volleys better (at least more consistently) than anyone today, would still do well today.
I would love to watch him play Nadal. If Nadal stays 8 feet behind the baseline in the deuce court, Pete would just constantly swing it wide, forcing Nadal to take his second hand off the racquet and probably hit a weaker return that Pete would easily put away.

fed_rulz
12-22-2011, 05:59 AM
A champion is a champion. If Pete played at the top level today, he would adapt his game to win. It would take him a couple of years to master the proper shots and tactics, but he would do it.

He may not win as many titles and slams as before, but he'd be a serious contender.

no he wouldn't. He'd adapt as much as he adapted on clay during his times.

ark_28
12-22-2011, 06:15 AM
Pete will talk crap to remain relevant at a time when Federer has far surpassed him and Rafa is on his way. Some points:
1. more powerful racquets existed in Pete's time too (as already noted)
2. luxilon was available in the late 90s, and Pete refused to use it calling to "cheatalon"
3. for all his talk, Pete won "only" 2 slams during the slow-court season (jan - june), and he needed to avoid his arch rival in doing so. Now imagine stretching that for the entire year --- yeah, that's how well his game will hold up in today;s conditions. Add to the mix better returners and athletes who can retrieve the ball faster than a well-trained dog, and can make his life truly miserable.
4. Most importantly, Federer made the switch in 2004 to a predominantly baseline-oriented game, and laments about today's conditions for lack of S & V. I'd take a currently active top player's assessement of today's conditions as opposed to a former great's who still wants to be in the news

Federer was a capable serve and volleyer but to be fair he never proved himself as being as accomplished at that facet of the game than Pete!

I don't think it is a case of Pete wanting attention he is a 14 time major champion and has played many greats from different eras so of course he is in a good position to make a good call.

As Pete said a couple of years ago "I can compete with Roger at 37 (playing serve and volley) so I think I would have been fine aged 27".

SLD76
12-22-2011, 06:19 AM
As Pete said a couple of years ago "I can compete with Roger at 37 (playing serve and volley) so I think I would have been fine aged 27".

What else would you expect a former champion to say???

zagor
12-22-2011, 06:21 AM
And the likes of Roddick/Isner/Karlovic don't??? You need more than an amazing seve to compete in todays game.

They don't have Pete's disguise and placement. Regardless, he backs his serve much better than either of those guys.

no he wouldn't. He'd adapt as much as he adapted on clay during his times.

Clay does not = slow HC which is the way most surfaces play today. Pete's record at AO was still pretty good (he lost some AOs to greats there, like Edberg and Agassi).

As Pete said a couple of years ago "I can compete with Roger at 37 (playing serve and volley) so I think I would have been fine aged 27".

If Pete said that I think he's delusional with that statement, competing with 25-26 Fed in an exo is one thing, another one is playing a real match. That said, of course Sampras would be a big factor in any era you put him, he's one of the greatest players of all time.

SLD76
12-22-2011, 06:24 AM
If Pete said that I think he's delusional with that statement, competing with 25-26 Fed in an exo is one thing, another one is playing a real match. That said, of course Sampras would be a big factor in any era you put him, he's one of the greatest players of all time.

All of this here, but especially the bolded part.

nereis
12-22-2011, 06:28 AM
Luxilon was widely available in the 90s and so were powerful rackets so that isn't it.

Greater fitness and footwork on the baseline due to the overwhelming focus on a good ground game has also changed things. A guy like Chang used to be called the fastest guy in the game, yet I wouldn't be surprised if Del Potro at twice his size could match him on defense. So, what used to be winning volleys are now being swung at, which brings us to the main cause of the death of the serve-volley game (I don't call occasionally serve-volleying or coming in behind a hard hit approach shot anywhere close to the real thing as done by Edberg and Rafter).

Technique on groundstrokes as improved to the point where professionals can consistently control where the ball ends up, with what pace and with how much spin. That luxilon gives them that extra spin to work with is merely a bonus as plenty of passing shots today are still hit flat.

That skill used to be a very rare thing and limited only to a few top players per generation, who themselves may only have been able to do it consistently off of one wing or whose main advantage over competitors was being able to hit quality returns and passing shots (see Agassi). Now everyone and their mother has learnt how to do it and it is no longer special being able to consistently pass someone off of an under-120 mph serve.

That is simply the nature of the arms race. Eventually, guys the size of Karlovic but the athleticism of Nadal will appear (it is only a matter of time) and we will see another resurgence of big serve + putaway winning slams.

zagor
12-22-2011, 06:32 AM
Eventually, guys the size of Karlovic but the athleticism of Nadal will appear (it is only a matter of time) and we will see another resurgence of big serve + putaway winning slams.

LOL, honestly I've been hearing that from comentators and "experts" since I was kid. Yet since around 1984 the most dominant players were all similar height-Lendl, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, there's probably a good reason for that.

I sincerely doubt we'll ever see "giants" dominating tennis for any extended period of time.

ark_28
12-22-2011, 06:35 AM
They don't have Pete's disguise and placement. Regardless, he backs his serve much better than either of those guys.



Clay does not = slow HC which is the way most surfaces play today. Pete's record at AO was still pretty good (he lost some AOs to greats there, like Edberg and Agassi).



If Pete said that I think he's delusional with that statement, competing with 25-26 Fed in an exo is one thing, another one is playing a real match. That said, of course Sampras would be a big factor in any era you put him, he's one of the greatest players of all time.

He did say it here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqVaLv0PTNs

quest01
12-22-2011, 06:35 AM
As much as I like Pete he wouldn't have fared very well playing a serve and volley game in this generation. Pete has an excellent serve but its no way he could consistently serve and volley on both his first and second serves, if he could you would see a lot more players playing this kind of style. There is too much spin and power from larger head sized racquets, thicker beams, and string technology such as co poly's, etc.. Pete would have to adapt to the changing times of playing more of an all court game like Federer to have any success. I think if Pete played in this generation its possible he could have won a few slams, but he wouldn't have had the kind of success he had during the 90's.

fed_rulz
12-22-2011, 06:36 AM
They don't have Pete's disguise and placement. Regardless, he backs his serve much better than either of those guys.



Clay does not = slow HC which is the way most surfaces play today. Pete's record at AO was still pretty good (he lost some AOs to greats there, like Edberg and Agassi).



If Pete said that I think he's delusional with that statement, competing with 25-26 Fed in an exo is one thing, another one is playing a real match. That said, of course Sampras would be a big factor in any era you put him, he's one of the greatest players of all time.

bold 1: yes, but his record is poor there compared to USO or wimbledon. For starters, he has never beaten Agassi there and lost to him a few times. And I don't see him beating any of the current top 5 there as well.

bold 2: that's a fallacious argument at best. The fact that he's an all-time great came about because he did well in his time because conditions suited his game, not because he could play well regardless of the prevailing conditions. In other words, Pete does NOT have a game that transcends time and conditions; you could make an argument for Laver, Borg, Lendl, Agassi, Federer (and to some extent Djoker) that their games will work in any era.

fed_rulz
12-22-2011, 06:37 AM
Luxilon was widely available in the 90s and so were powerful rackets so that isn't it.

Greater fitness and footwork on the baseline due to the overwhelming focus on a good ground game has also changed things. A guy like Chang used to be called the fastest guy in the game, yet I wouldn't be surprised if Del Potro at twice his size could match him on defense. So, what used to be winning volleys are now being swung at, which brings us to the main cause of the death of the serve-volley game (I don't call occasionally serve-volleying or coming in behind a hard hit approach shot anywhere close to the real thing as done by Edberg and Rafter).

Technique on groundstrokes as improved to the point where professionals can consistently control where the ball ends up, with what pace and with how much spin. That luxilon gives them that extra spin to work with is merely a bonus as plenty of passing shots today are still hit flat.

That skill used to be a very rare thing and limited only to a few top players per generation, who themselves may only have been able to do it consistently off of one wing or whose main advantage over competitors was being able to hit quality returns and passing shots (see Agassi). Now everyone and their mother has learnt how to do it and it is no longer special being able to consistently pass someone off of an under-120 mph serve.

That is simply the nature of the arms race. Eventually, guys the size of Karlovic but the athleticism of Nadal will appear (it is only a matter of time) and we will see another resurgence of big serve + putaway winning slams.

great post, especially the bolded part.

Rattler
12-22-2011, 07:05 AM
And the likes of Roddick/Isner/Karlovic don't??? You need more than an amazing seve to compete in todays game.


Pete's first serve was great, but his second serve was one of a kind...unquestionably the greatest second serve in the sport has seen.

Sartorius
12-22-2011, 07:12 AM
Good point on how his volleys would have more stick on them. I guess that's true.

However I believe the main problem for S&V'ers (or net players in general) in today's game is that they almost always have to volley from their feet, particularly the first volley. Everyone can hit with spin nowadays which forces the player at the net to play at least 2 or more volleys, eventually making him a sitting duck.

Mike Sams
12-22-2011, 07:12 AM
pets becoming senile. guys like rafa and roger would absolutely crush his serve and volley game. its not just the racket tech. surfaces have changed, and the quality of play and talent has increased. thats why we don't have 18-19 year olds winning slams anymore. pete was a great player in his generation. thats about it. he would not be able to hang with todays players who can transition from defense to offense faster than pete's own serve.

Just hard to imagine a guy with 14 Slams and 286 weeks at #1 being "crushed" by Rafa and Roger.

ark_28
12-22-2011, 08:35 AM
Just hard to imagine a guy with 14 Slams and 286 weeks at #1 being "crushed" by Rafa and Roger.

Agree totally :)

fed_rulz
12-22-2011, 08:50 AM
Just hard to imagine a guy with 14 Slams and 286 weeks at #1 being "crushed" by Rafa and Roger.

but somehow, the idea of a 10-slam winner with 100+ wks as #1 being "destroyed" by Pete on old grass seems very likely to some Petetards?

On a related note, Safin and Hewitt did "crush" Pete in his backyard. I'm sure Roger and Rafa can do it too.

BeHappy
12-22-2011, 08:57 AM
If Pete said that I think he's delusional with that statement, competing with 25-26 Fed in an exo is one thing, another one is playing a real match. That said, of course Sampras would be a big factor in any era you put him, he's one of the greatest players of all time.

Did you see that exo though? He played absolutely incredibly well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRL2yngo_qo#t=03m58s

marc45
12-22-2011, 09:13 AM
what's forgotten is sampras was not a pure s+v guy like edberg and rafter for a good part of his career, he was comfortable from the baseline....nobody can be a pure s+v today but guys could mix it up much better, and it would make the game much more exciting

Mike Sams
12-22-2011, 09:50 AM
but somehow, the idea of a 10-slam winner with 100+ wks as #1 being "destroyed" by Pete on old grass seems very likely to some Petetards?

On a related note, Safin and Hewitt did "crush" Pete in his backyard. I'm sure Roger and Rafa can do it too.

Safin also "crushed" elite level Federer too.:) And Djokovic is crushing Nadal like his red-headed step child. :lol: And most guys on this board don't even think Djokovic is as good as Safin at his best.

Mike Sams
12-22-2011, 09:53 AM
but somehow, the idea of a 10-slam winner with 100+ wks as #1 being "destroyed" by Pete on old grass seems very likely to some Petetards?

On a related note, Safin and Hewitt did "crush" Pete in his backyard. I'm sure Roger and Rafa can do it too.

Well Djokovic did smash the crap out of Nadal on clay-like grass in the finals of Wimbledon this year. No surprise why many would think Sampras would tear apart Nadal on real grass. And Djokovic isn't even regarded as a grass-great.

fed_rulz
12-22-2011, 10:12 AM
Safin also "crushed" elite level Federer too.:) And Djokovic is crushing Nadal like his red-headed step child. :lol: And most guys on this board don't even think Djokovic is as good as Safin at his best.

Safin never "crushed" Federer, but he did "crush" Sampras (and so did Hewitt). There is no doubt in my mind that Pete will get his ***** handed to him if he plays today using his S & V style. If he resorts to playing baseline tennis, then most players today will have a field day with his BH.

I don't really care about the rest of the comparisons (Djoker, Safin etc.), so you're free to imagine whatever makes you feel better - FWIW, I believe you're just making up stuff about Djoker and Safin.

fed_rulz
12-22-2011, 10:15 AM
Well Djokovic did smash the crap out of Nadal on clay-like grass in the finals of Wimbledon this year. No surprise why many would think Sampras would tear apart Nadal on real grass. And Djokovic isn't even regarded as a grass-great.

Good glad we agree - so, now tell me again why Rafa & Roger wouldn't smash the crap out of Sampras on ANY court today? Safin & Hewitt did it on super-fast USO courts, and they are not even considered as greats on those surfaces.

Mike Sams
12-22-2011, 10:30 AM
Safin never "crushed" Federer, but he did "crush" Sampras (and so did Hewitt). There is no doubt in my mind that Pete will get his ***** handed to him if he plays today using his S & V style. If he resorts to playing baseline tennis, then most players today will have a field day with his BH.

I don't really care about the rest of the comparisons (Djoker, Safin etc.), so you're free to imagine whatever makes you feel better - FWIW, I believe you're just making up stuff about Djoker and Safin.

No I'm not. There was a poll on this forum 2 months ago. Safin won by a landslide. Most of the community here thinks Safin at his best is better than Djokovic at his best.

TMF
12-22-2011, 10:35 AM
Since Pete struggled against Agassi from the baseline, I'm sure he would struggle against the elite baseliners today. Unlike in the old days, todays conditions are favorable for the baseliners, which Pete's style would take a big hit.

The argument about there isn't any player that can volley as well as Pete is weak. Of course you can't find one since the dominant baseliners doesn't allow this to happen.

mattennis
12-22-2011, 10:36 AM
If Pete thinks "exhibition match = real match" then he is delusional.

He could say he won the USOPEN'02 (not so long ago) doing serve and volley on first and second serves.

He could say he won Miami'00 (perhaps the slowest hardcourt) doing serve and volley on first and many second serves.

But to think that beating Federer in an exhibition match means something...is quite delusional.

And again, to think that Wimbledon and USOPEN play exactly the same speed than in 90s (contrary to what every active player say) is wierd.

I think he would do better (in today's condition) playing more like he played from 93 to 97 (staying back on second serve and rallying with a bit more patience from the baseline) but maybe I am wrong (Henman won Paris M-1000 in 2003 doing serve and volley and got to the SF of the USOPEN'04 doing serve and volley on first serves, and Henman was far away from Pete's tennis talent). In reality nobody knows.

In my opinion, if it were possible (to win many GS today doing serve and volley on first and second serves, chip and charge on returns...) Federer would have done it, because he said many times that he loved playing that style, and he has the talent to had done it if it were possible.

But then, you see Tommy Haas making Wimbledon'09 SF playing serve and volley, as well as a 34 years old Bjorman making Wimbledon'06 SF with that style, or Philippoussis making Wimbledon'03 Final....and then you wonder....

DjokovicForTheWin
12-22-2011, 10:47 AM
If anybody watched the EXHIBITION matches between Fedal last year, especially the second one in which the TV time was running out so the 3rd set ended conveniently enough at 6-1. Tells you the value of exhibition matches and how they can fool idiots.

pvaudio
12-22-2011, 11:42 AM
I think that some of you guys forget that while Sampras likely has the greatest serve (1st and 2nd combined) of all time and is definitely a top 5 volleyer (I'd say Edberg, McEnroe......you fill in the rest), he was still a monster off the ground. His BH got picked on because it was weak, yes, but a terrible ground game doesn't get you the 2nd most successful career in the history of the sport.

Bobby Jr
12-22-2011, 12:27 PM
LOL, honestly I've been hearing that from comentators and "experts" since I was kid. Yet since around 1984 the most dominant players were all similar height-Lendl, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, there's probably a good reason for that.

I sincerely doubt we'll ever see "giants" dominating tennis for any extended period of time.
I agree - I've heard it from commentators and coaches for decades and it's not happened yet. Once you get over about 6 ft 2 the chance of niggling knee/hip/back etc injuries seems to rise pretty quickly, as does the reduction in both speed and endurance.

Becker I think was the last great player who was in the over 6 ft 2 club. And even he was hampered by his reduced mobility at times.

Subventricular Zone
12-22-2011, 01:22 PM
A champion is a champion. If Pete played at the top level today, he would adapt his game to win. It would take him a couple of years to master the proper shots and tactics, but he would do it.



Quoted for truth.

Same way that today's champions will still find a way to adapt their games to win if they were magically transported back to an earlier era.

What differentiates champions from ordinary tennis players is not technology but what's between the ears.

ark_28
12-27-2011, 12:26 PM
Quoted for truth.

Same way that today's champions will still find a way to adapt their games to win if they were magically transported back to an earlier era.

What differentiates champions from ordinary tennis players is not technology but what's between the ears.

Agreed totally, a great player finds a way no matter what the era, they just get it done. Pete would have had his share of wins and slams no matter what decade he played in.

gregor.b
12-27-2011, 01:00 PM
It is from a Interview for the ATP site earlier this year.

Many talk about technology today, and how it has killed serve and volley tennis.

They asked Pete how he thought his game would hold up in this generation and he said that he feels his game would hold up in any generation but most interesting of all, he believes that while racket techology does help guys from the baseline it would give him more stick on his volleys too.

It is an argument that we often over look of course you would need to have fantastic reaction like Pete to pull this off as the ball is coming at you that much faster.

But would do you guys think of Pete's theory that today's racket technology also helps serve and volleyers and it should in theory "even things out"??

Here is the interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E6jqz9HIuk
I think Pete would be competitive in any era. His serve was so good,even by today's standards that he would be able to take chances on the opposition's serve. Maybe he would not be quite as dominant,but certainly a chance for the Majors (except French).

mellowyellow
12-27-2011, 01:40 PM
Just a few points, I would look at what Pete accomplished in his 2001 run to the final, beating Safin, Agassi, Rafter. No one ever bested 3 USO champs in a draw before that. He also beat Hewitt the year before in the semi. In 2002 he beats AA, not Hewitt because Hewitt couldn't make it, and where was Safin?. He also beat ARod, Rusedski, Haas who was #3 at the time. The AusO is kind of a hit or miss for Pete, I don't think at the end of his career he was even playing matches before it started. Not to mention the higher bounce and courts were a little slower back then. I think the courts as they are now would suit Pete a little better than they did back then. The other point that is so hard to qualify is that Pete off the ground would have benefited from the racquets they have today. Many good 90/93 frames that would have suited his game. His 1hbh is clearly better today when he comes over the ball than before.

ark_28
12-31-2011, 09:44 AM
Just a few points, I would look at what Pete accomplished in his 2001 run to the final, beating Safin, Agassi, Rafter. No one ever bested 3 USO champs in a draw before that. He also beat Hewitt the year before in the semi. In 2002 he beats AA, not Hewitt because Hewitt couldn't make it, and where was Safin?. He also beat ARod, Rusedski, Haas who was #3 at the time. The AusO is kind of a hit or miss for Pete, I don't think at the end of his career he was even playing matches before it started. Not to mention the higher bounce and courts were a little slower back then. I think the courts as they are now would suit Pete a little better than they did back then. The other point that is so hard to qualify is that Pete off the ground would have benefited from the racquets they have today. Many good 90/93 frames that would have suited his game. His 1hbh is clearly better today when he comes over the ball than before.

Agree with what you say that run back in 2001 was very underated carving up 3 past champions!

I do feel even in today's game with the technology his serve and volley game would hold up just fine.

Devilito
12-31-2011, 10:30 AM
Some of you are snorting some premium Agassi meth. Petros is with Federer as the best player to have ever lived and he couldn’t compete today? Wow. I mean, I thought they stop performing lobotomies at the dentist but some of you must have frequent customer cards. YAY! The modern game! Please explain to me how much more modern Murray’s game is than Agassi's. Or Soderling, or Berdych. Or how about Stepanek who cleaned up hard court matches last year playing 1970s tennis. You guys are delusional. Petros in his prime would only have competition from the current top 3 and that’s it.

West Coast Ace
12-31-2011, 12:25 PM
If Pete thinks "exhibition match = real match" then he is delusional.Pretty much sums it up.

If anybody watched the EXHIBITION matches between Fedal last year, especially the second one in which the TV time was running out so the 3rd set ended conveniently enough at 6-1. Tells you the value of exhibition matches and how they can fool idiots.Thank you. Exo's are laughable.

...Sampras ... he was still a monster off the ground...LMAOROTF! Thanks for one last 2011 laugh. Yeah, his groundies were so great he had to have another room built onto his mansion to hold all his clay court trophies... *rollseyes*

And now, 'Glory Days' by Bruce Springsteen...

Devilito
12-31-2011, 01:05 PM
LMAOROTF! Thanks for one last 2011 laugh. Yeah, his groundies were so great he had to have another room built onto his mansion to hold all his clay court trophies... *rollseyes*


The quality of your groundies had nothing to do with winning on clay. Itís a different game all together. Something people now adays have no concept of with the lack of diversity in surface speed and game styles. You cannot compare Petros' era with the modern era that way

Sid_Vicious
12-31-2011, 01:17 PM
The quality of your groundies had nothing to do with winning on clay. Itís a different game all together. Something people now adays have no concept of with the lack of diversity in surface speed and game styles. You cannot compare Petros' era with the modern era that way

This is true. Safin's groundstrokes are amazing but he was very poor on that surface compared to HC.

West Coast Ace
12-31-2011, 04:32 PM
The quality of your groundies had nothing to do with winning on clay.Please. Of course there are other variables - but when you have a substandard BH like Sampras did, it certainly does.

This is true. Safin's groundstrokes are amazing but he was very poor on that surface compared to HC.True. But he was a real big dude - tough to get stopped and change directions. Same reason he didn't play that well on grass. His power game should have been ideally suited for it - but the movement got him.

mellowyellow
12-31-2011, 08:36 PM
Please. Of course there are other variables - but when you have a substandard BH like Sampras did, it certainly does.
The problem with your line of thinking is that his 1hbh would be exactly the same. That is not likely, in fact in most cases the greats of their time like Pete generally have no real weakness,his 1hb was not substandard for that time period. His 1hbh would have developed differently in this time period out of necessity. It did not create the winners like the more modern 1hbh have, but they are a creation of the current equipment and surfaces. I would in fact say for his time Pete's bh was not viewed as the weakness as Fed's has been against his peers.

Cup8489
12-31-2011, 08:55 PM
And the likes of Roddick/Isner/Karlovic don't??? You need more than an amazing seve to compete in todays game.

Don't compare those serves to Sampras'. They don't back it up, Roddick doesn't come in (nor does he have the best accuracy), Isner doesn't come in, Karlovic is terrible at covering the net (but, he's 6'10". Agile would not be a word I'd use to describe him)

helloworld
01-01-2012, 04:56 AM
Pete was not a S&V in his entire career. At his peak, he was an all-court player. He could beat anybody from the baseline or come in to finish the point. He became more of a Serve and volleyer as his SERVE got bigger and bigger over the years. I think the main reason that separate Pete from Federer is the fact that Pete's serve was so big that he could have it easy by finishing the point at the net. Federer's serve on the other hand is not big enough to allow him to always finish the point at the net. So to say that Pete playing today would be serve and volleying is wrong. He could play from anywhere on the court. His only problem was movement on clay. He always felt the court was slippery and that he couldn't move at will. I think part of that is because he wasn't trained to play on clay at young age, while Federer was practically raised on clay.

nadalwon2012
01-01-2012, 05:48 AM
Imagine Sampras' forehand with today's racquets. Best forehand in the world. Sometimes his backhand too, like 1999 Wimbledon.

anantak2k
01-01-2012, 06:38 AM
The problem with your line of thinking is that his 1hbh would be exactly the same. That is not likely, in fact in most cases the greats of their time like Pete generally have no real weakness,his 1hb was not substandard for that time period. His 1hbh would have developed differently in this time period out of necessity. It did not create the winners like the more modern 1hbh have, but they are a creation of the current equipment and surfaces. I would in fact say for his time Pete's bh was not viewed as the weakness as Fed's has been against his peers.

Fed's BH has never been viewed as a weakness EXCEPT against 1 SHOT. And that is Nadal's LEFTY TOPSPIN Forehand.

Federer's BH can hold on its own and at times even look amazing against all the other BHs in the game which are supposedly considered a great shot such as Djoko's 2 hander or Murray's or Nalbandian's or Davydenko's or Gasquet's and so on and so forth.

helloworld
01-01-2012, 06:43 AM
Fed's BH has never been viewed as a weakness EXCEPT against 1 SHOT. And that is Nadal's LEFTY TOPSPIN Forehand.

Federer's BH can hold on its own and at times even look amazing against all the other BHs in the game which are supposedly considered a great shot such as Djoko's 2 hander or Murray's or Nalbandian's or Davydenko's or Gasquet's and so on and so forth.

Wrong. Federer's backhand has been considered a weakness as Federer himself stated many times. It has improved over the years, but it is still by far the weakest part of his game.

anantak2k
01-01-2012, 06:47 AM
Wrong. Federer's backhand has been considered a weakness as Federer himself stated many times. It has improved over the years, but it is still by far the weakest part of his game.

When you have as amazing of FHs as Federer or Sampras... obviously an average or slightly above average BH shot is going to look weak. :rolleyes:

Yes its a weakness compared to their respective FHs but that's not saying much.

Nostradamus
01-01-2012, 06:48 AM
Fed's BH has never been viewed as a weakness EXCEPT against 1 SHOT. And that is Nadal's LEFTY TOPSPIN Forehand.

Federer's BH can hold on its own and at times even look amazing against all the other BHs in the game which are supposedly considered a great shot such as Djoko's 2 hander or Murray's or Nalbandian's or Davydenko's or Gasquet's and so on and so forth.

Federer's backhand was a weakness in the beginning of his career but as he became top 10 player, his backhand became a weapon and was one of the best 1-hander in tennis ever. but now as he is getting close to retirement, NOW it is once again becoming a weakness. in 2012, that shot will cost him many matches and lose him Grand slam matches.

anantak2k
01-01-2012, 07:32 AM
Federer's backhand was a weakness in the beginning of his career but as he became top 10 player, his backhand became a weapon and was one of the best 1-hander in tennis ever. but now as he is getting close to retirement, NOW it is once again becoming a weakness. in 2012, that shot will cost him many matches and lose him Grand slam matches.

This I can definitely agree with. Not to mention he has one of the best slice BHs ever.

helloworld
01-01-2012, 08:14 AM
Federer's backhand was a weakness in the beginning of his career but as he became top 10 player, his backhand became a weapon and was one of the best 1-hander in tennis ever. but now as he is getting close to retirement, NOW it is once again becoming a weakness. in 2012, that shot will cost him many matches and lose him Grand slam matches.

Federer considers his serve and forehand as his biggest weapons, yet his serve isn't even top 5, and you think his weakest shot is the best all-time? :shock:

mellowyellow
01-01-2012, 10:58 AM
Fed's BH has never been viewed as a weakness EXCEPT against 1 SHOT. And that is Nadal's LEFTY TOPSPIN Forehand.

Federer's BH can hold on its own and at times even look amazing against all the other BHs in the game which are supposedly considered a great shot such as Djoko's 2 hander or Murray's or Nalbandian's or Davydenko's or Gasquet's and so on and so forth.
Yes it has, by himself, and by his opponents. You also lost what I was saying in an attempt to defend Fed. Comparatively speaking, Pete's 1hbh was less of a weakness in his era than Fed's is in his own era of tennis. If Pete were to develop his game exactly when Fed did, you would have to assume his 1hbh would have developed into a more penetrating ball than the looper he had that was just good enough to keep point neutral. You also have to look at the strategy back then vs now. The thought process of being conservatively agressive to open the court up and use a weapon shot dominates now. Back then it was more about waiting for a short ball in a more neutral type rally or being outright agressive. This changed due to equipment/surface/training.

DRII
01-01-2012, 11:27 AM
No, I disagree with Sampras.

The main advantage of today's technology is the ability of players to have dramatically increased racquet head speed, mostly from a lateral position, and still keep the ball in the court with more spin.

These 'benefits' don't have nearly as substantial affect on the serve or typical volley which are not lateral or horizontal strokes but more vertical or up and down motions.

DRII
01-01-2012, 11:39 AM
pets becoming senile. guys like rafa and roger would absolutely crush his serve and volley game. its not just the racket tech. surfaces have changed, and the quality of play and talent has increased. thats why we don't have 18-19 year olds winning slams anymore. pete was a great player in his generation. thats about it. he would not be able to hang with todays players who can transition from defense to offense faster than pete's own serve.

Dream on! Sampras had/has the single greatest shot in modern tennis history! One where the player has the most control over, ie the player's talent is all that is on display.

helloworld
01-01-2012, 11:57 AM
No, I disagree with Sampras.

The main advantage of today's technology is the ability of players to have dramatically increased racquet head speed, mostly from a lateral position, and still keep the ball in the court with more spin.

These 'benefits' don't have nearly as substantial affect on the serve or typical volley which are not lateral or horizontal strokes but more vertical or up and down motions.

You're right. Pete would not have been as successful playing serve and volley tennis, otherwise Federer who was a serve and volleyer early in his career would have gone that path. It's all about how a player adjust their game to suit the conditions and equipment. Pete was a baseliner with 2 handed-backhand 2 years before he turned pro, and he changed his whole game just to win Wimbledon. It could have been entirely different if he sticked to being a baseliner with 2 HBH. The point is a great champion can adjust their game based on how and what conditions they want to excel. This applies to all-time greats in any era.

West Coast Ace
01-01-2012, 12:31 PM
pets becoming senile. guys like rafa and roger would absolutely crush his serve and volley game.+1. Except it would be more than just the top guys. Someone on this board or a blog mentioned Guga was one of the 1st to switch to Luxillon on that famous weekend in Lisbon when he beat Pete and Andre back to back. He was hitting a lot of dipping shots that made volleying extremely difficult. Pete would be getting plenty of that - any returnable serve would be ripped back at him.

Pete was not a S&V in his entire career. At his peak, he was an all-court player. He could beat anybody from the baseline or come in to finish the point.This is complete BS. Pete had a 2HBH as a junior but dumped it when he decided to commit to S&V. And again, if his groundies and footwork were so great, he would have won a few French Opens - he had no Borg or Rafa to contend with.

You Sampras Jock Sniffers and your revisionist history looking back at his career are amazing. Next you'll be telling us Pete did as many interviews and signed as many autographs as Roger. There's no doubt he was a great player and decent guy. But he came into the game at the right time - the conditions suited his game - Wimby was still fast grass, hardcourts were fast and there was a long indoor season with super slick carpet.

mellowyellow
01-01-2012, 01:26 PM
Rafa [/U]Jock Sniffers and your revisionist history looking back at his career are amazing. Next you'll be telling us Rafa did as many interviews and signed as many autographs as Roger. There's no doubt he was a great player and decent guy. But he came into the game at the right time - the conditions suited his game - Wimby was not fast grass, hardcourts were slow and there was no indoor season with super slick carpet.
I fixed this for you, though I do not understand why you suddenly started talking about Rafa :) when this was about Pete....

fed_rulz
01-01-2012, 01:34 PM
I fixed this for you, though I do not understand why you suddenly started talking about Rafa :) when this was about Pete....

glad you see the similarities b/n Pete & Rafa, that they were beneficiaries of the conditions that existed in their time -- meaning, their games do not transcend time. though, i'll be more inclined to believe that Rafa would make the changes necessary for faster surfaces, than Pete to slower surfaces (we all know how well Pete "adjusted" to clay in his time).

ark_28
01-01-2012, 01:53 PM
glad you see the similarities b/n Pete & Rafa, that they were beneficiaries of the conditions that existed in their time -- meaning, their games do not transcend time. though, i'll be more inclined to believe that Rafa would make the changes necessary for faster surfaces, than Pete to slower surfaces (we all know how well Pete "adjusted" to clay in his time).

He won Rome on a pretty fast Clay surface, clay these days plays a little faster would play right into Pete's hands the movement would have been a factor but no doubt he would have adapted.

Roger is a good match up for Pete (Pete's own words on Charlie Rose) Pete would come in and that is a style of playRoger doesnt relish, someone coming at him chip and charge serve volley.

Pete's game would stand up in any era, he could serve volley and win in today's game because he was a superb serve and volleyer.

However as has been mentioned here he is also an outstanding baseline so he would have had many options and no doubt won many majors has he played in this era

helloworld
01-01-2012, 02:13 PM
This is complete BS. Pete had a 2HBH as a junior but dumped it when he decided to commit to S&V. And again, if his groundies and footwork were so great, he would have won a few French Opens - he had no Borg or Rafa to contend with.


You obviously don't know what you are talking about. The reason Pete didn't win the French Open has nothing to do with his groundstrokes. The problem was his movement on clay. He was not comfortable moving on clay. Pete's groundstrokes can hold up against anyone just fine as long as he doesn't have to move on clay. Why are you posting something that you have no clue about? You're just going to show your stupidity to other people. Again, you have been embarrassed by your own post. :oops:

sureshs
01-01-2012, 02:56 PM
How can a guy who played with a 1 handed BH coach someone who is a 2 hander?

West Coast Ace
01-01-2012, 03:07 PM
The reason Pete didn't win the French Open has nothing to do with his groundstrokes. The problem was his movement on clay. He was not comfortable moving on clay. Pete's groundstrokes can hold up against anyone just fine as long as he doesn't have to move on clay.LMAOROTF! So footwork isn't part of hitting the ball? What bizarre universe do you live in? You obviously don't play the game. His BH wasn't that great on hardcourts either.

Devilito
01-01-2012, 03:28 PM
But he came into the game at the right time - the conditions suited his game

Lol and Federer and Nadal didnít come at the right time? Petros came in what is arguably the most stacked era in the history of tennis. Federer and Nadal got a lot of free rides after that generation retired.

West Coast Ace
01-01-2012, 03:32 PM
Federer and Nadal got a lot of free rides after that generation retired.I see your LOL and raise you. The good, old, tried and true 'weak generation' argument. Keep drinking that kool aid.

TMF
01-01-2012, 03:41 PM
Lol and Federer and Nadal didnít come at the right time? Petros came in what is arguably the most stacked era in the history of tennis. Federer and Nadal got a lot of free rides after that generation retired.

I disagree. It's Nadal who gain a lot for the slow court and high bounce, which suit perfectly for his style. Had the condition was fast and slow bounce, Fed would still thrive, and maybe even more since he'll be more success against Nadal. Plus, Fed proved that he can s/v and play behind the baseline. His well rounded game is what suit him, not because of the condition.

fed_rulz
01-01-2012, 05:02 PM
He won Rome on a pretty fast Clay surface, clay these days plays a little faster would play right into Pete's hands the movement would have been a factor but no doubt he would have adapted.

Roger is a good match up for Pete (Pete's own words on Charlie Rose) Pete would come in and that is a style of playRoger doesnt relish, someone coming at him chip and charge serve volley.

Pete's game would stand up in any era, he could serve volley and win in today's game because he was a superb serve and volleyer.

However as has been mentioned here he is also an outstanding baseline so he would have had many options and no doubt won many majors has he played in this era

bold 1: there's no evidence to sugges that pete would've adapted -- he showed no adaptation on clay during his time. OTOH, Nadal adapted to modify his game to suit faster conditions

bold 2: LOL, your assertion that Federer doesn't relish someone charging the net is based on what? seriously, you're just making things up.

bold 3: sorry, that's just BS. you just have to look at Pete's results on clay during his prime to get an idea of how much S & V would've helped him -- it did not help him much in his own era, so to claim that it would "stand up" in any era is nothing short of ridiculous.

there's a lot of "Pete is a great, so he'd do well in any era" hand-waving explanations that you're laying out. Not really compelling when you have to explain "why"

markwillplay
01-01-2012, 05:23 PM
I don't think that Pete is delusional. He played against some great base liners and returners and is not that far removed from the game folks...come on...grief, he played against Fed and even though fed had yet to come into his own, I am sure Fed was hitting hard and returning quite well. And there were others at the end of Pets career who were very powerful hitters off the ground. He played against one of the best returners of all time and was able to domnate him at times. I think we throw around the Nadal and Joker names a bit much. Most of the pro's now are not like those guys and are not on their level...and NONE of them face someone with as natural and effective first and second serve with an extremely capable volleyer coming in behind it. NONE OF THEM. And maybe I am delusional but the power of the return is not the issue. Many of those guys back then using gut were smacking returns pretty darn fast.You are telling me that Becker and Agassi could not return serve with power???? even Lindle?? Come on...Poly strings do let you swing harder with more control, no doubt, but those guys had been hitting balls all their life with gut strings too and I think were quite capable of controling their returns with the added power of gut. Maybe more guys now are better returners (I will certainly give you that) but they ain't all Nadal and Joker. I think the main difference now is the surface.... plain and simple. First serves and even aggressive second serves just don't hurt as much when the surface is slower...that is why Pete never won the French and why the grinding style of Nadal has always dominated there. Every time this comes up, I always ask the same question, who is the great serve and volleyer out there now who can' no longer compete???? answer: "There ain't one"...it is not a style that is taught in the juniors and there is no switching mid career. Most of these guys look awkward at net because they did not win their junior tournaments that way and never changed once they had success. When Joker comes to net, he looks like he is completely out of his element...and he is. Nadal has improbved his net game but everything is relative. It is a debate only because you will probably never see it again..but I stand by the theory that Pete, in his prime, could compete against the very best in any era and that includes the guys at the top today.

West Coast Ace
01-01-2012, 05:34 PM
Had the condition was fast and slow bounce, Fed would still thrive, and maybe even more since he'll be more success against Nadal. Plus, Fed proved that he can s/v and play behind the baseline. His well rounded game is what suit him, not because of the condition.Thank you. Fed would be over 20 majors by now. And he never would have lost the YE #1 if he had the indoor carpet season Sampras did to make up ground.

bold 1: there's no evidence to sugges that pete would've adapted -- he showed no adaptation on clay during his time. OTOH, Nadal adapted to modify his game to suit faster conditions

bold 2: LOL, your assertion that Federer doesn't relish someone charging the net is based on what? seriously, you're just making things up.

bold 3: sorry, that's just BS. you just have to look at Pete's results on clay during his prime to get an idea of how much S & V would've helped him -- it did not help him much in his own era, so to claim that it would "stand up" in any era is nothing short of ridiculous.

there's a lot of "Pete is a great, so he'd do well in any era" hand-waving explanations that you're laying out. Not really compelling when you have to explain "why"Thank you. Your statement about them 'making things up' pretty much covers this group.

swordtennis
01-01-2012, 06:11 PM
Have to be a NadFan or FedFan on this forum?
All others inferior?
Sampras was all natural jock.
One of the last pure great tennis players.
Serve was ranked with the greats if not the greatest.
He would have won 7 Wimbledons even with Federer and Nadal playing back then.

helloworld
01-01-2012, 07:45 PM
LMAOROTF! So footwork isn't part of hitting the ball? What bizarre universe do you live in? You obviously don't play the game. His BH wasn't that great on hardcourts either.

You're not even showing any sign of intellectual capacity here. If footwork and hitting groundstrokes are one and the same thing, guys like Soderling and Del Potro would be GOAT, and Nadal would be nowhere to be found. Again, you have no clue what you're talking about. My discussion with you ends here. I feel embarrassed just to reply to your silly post. :oops:

NLBwell
01-01-2012, 07:46 PM
Serve and volley is now more difficult than in Sampras' time. However, Pete was more of an all-court player until the end of his career. Pete would still win - maybe even more - with the modern equipment. His game would be adjusted a little bit, though.

Nostradamus
01-01-2012, 08:38 PM
Federer considers his serve and forehand as his biggest weapons, yet his serve isn't even top 5, and you think his weakest shot is the best all-time? :shock:

Andre Agassi has said, roger's backhand is a weapon he feared

helloworld
01-01-2012, 09:53 PM
Andre Agassi has said, roger's backhand is a weapon he feared

That's funny considering he was the one who picked on Federer's backhand all the time. It didn't work when he got too old though.

Andre is so scared of Roger's backhand that he hits 90% to Roger's backhand just to avoid instant winner from Roger's forehand. :confused:

ChiefAce
01-02-2012, 12:27 AM
Everyone basically serves 130+ these days, that certainly wasn't the case in Pete's day, and Sampras was never a great returner, he was a go for broke returner who connected enough times to break serve. Agassi was not a great server, this is one of the key reasons why Pete owned him head to head, Andre was always susceptible to being broken while having to "guess" on Pete's serve games.

There are so few one handed players today that Pete would be getting broken more often while not collecting nearly as many breaks with so many guys serving bombs consistently.

Could Pete beat Rafa or Roger with everyone in their prime in a one off match? Sure, could Pete get through a 128 grand slam draw to the semis or finals to do so on a regular basis in the modern game? No, and that is the main problem with the entire argument.

During Pete's time there were a handful of huge servers, now everyone is a huge server, and the new breed is a hell of a lot better off the ground on both sides as well. How many guys in todays game in the top 20 can't hit 120mph+ on the gun and have a forehand or backhand that is considered weak?

This is a different era, you can't make it in this era having a weak side, just ask Andy Roddick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka7YNxKT2gI Safin/Sampras 2011

helloworld
01-02-2012, 01:50 AM
Everyone basically serves 130+ these days, that certainly wasn't the case in Pete's day, and Sampras was never a great returner, he was a go for broke returner who connected enough times to break serve. Agassi was not a great server, this is one of the key reasons why Pete owned him head to head, Andre was always susceptible to being broken while having to "guess" on Pete's serve games.


Actually, serving 130+ today is equivalent to 120+ in the past considering today's radar gun has been amped by at least 5-10 mph.

nadalwon2012
01-02-2012, 03:06 AM
Sampras was never the fastest server on tour in his day either. Rujetski had the fastest by far. Sampras had something nobody else had - accuracy. His accuracy allowed him to take major risks on the 2nd serve. Nobody painted the lines like Sampras, and nobody even comes close today.

helloworld
01-02-2012, 04:50 AM
Sampras was never the fastest server on tour in his day either. Rujetski had the fastest by far. Sampras had something nobody else had - accuracy. His accuracy allowed him to take major risks on the 2nd serve. Nobody painted the lines like Sampras, and nobody even comes close today.
Exactly. The top players in the 90s were much better server than players today. I don't know how he get the idea of players today are serving better... :confused:

mellowyellow
01-02-2012, 05:11 AM
Andre Agassi has said, roger's backhand is a weapon he feared
That was the meth talking, you would know that if you read the book.

mellowyellow
01-02-2012, 05:21 AM
That's funny considering he was the one who picked on Federer's backhand all the time. It didn't work when he got too old though. Exactly, Fed had also realized that going up the line with the backhand, often hurt Andre more than exposed himself. Had Fed picked this up earlier like Guga, Enqvist, Rios..... He could have started winning a little earlier possibly.

mattennis
01-02-2012, 08:59 AM
Someone said earlier that Guga started using Luxilon strings in the Lisbon Masters'00. This is wrong. He was using Luxilon strings as early as 1997 and Albert Costa as early as 1996.

Indian Wells and Miami are not much faster than clay, but playing on clay is totally different because of the movement on clay.

I say this because Sampras showed many, many times that he could play from the baseline on the slowest hard courts (Miami and Indian Wells) against the best baseliners of his time (Agassi, Courier, Chang, Muster, Kuerten, Korda, Kafelnikov,...), matches where 70% of the poinst were baseline exchanges.

He rarely could do it on clay, even though clay is not that much slower than these two hardcourt tournaments. But his movement on clay was clearly atrocius. If you don't control your body movements on clay, you can not setup properly your shots (specially low-margin-of-error shots like those of Sampras). That was (in my opinion) Sampras biggest problem with clay (along with his lack of stamina-fitness).

Curiously he was a great mover on grass (one of the best) and a very good mover on hard courts (much better than what he looked, he made it look easy, effortless).

helloworld
01-02-2012, 09:21 AM
Someone said earlier that Guga started using Luxilon strings in the Lisbon Masters'00. This is wrong. He was using Luxilon strings as early as 1997 and Albert Costa as early as 1996.

Indian Wells and Miami are not much faster than clay, but playing on clay is totally different because of the movement on clay.

I say this because Sampras showed many, many times that he could play from the baseline on the slowest hard courts (Miami and Indian Wells) against the best baseliners of his time (Agassi, Courier, Chang, Muster, Kuerten, Korda, Kafelnikov,...), matches where 70% of the poinst were baseline exchanges.

He rarely could do it on clay, even though clay is not that much slower than these two hardcourt tournaments. But his movement on clay was clearly atrocius. If you don't control your body movements on clay, you can not setup properly your shots (specially low-margin-of-error shots like those of Sampras). That was (in my opinion) Sampras biggest problem with clay (along with his lack of stamina-fitness).

Curiously he was a great mover on grass (one of the best) and a very good mover on hard courts (much better than what he looked, he made it look easy, effortless).

Yep. Sampras was one of the fastest mover in his era. His explosive sprint especially to the running forehand side was phenomenal. His only problem was he never figured out how to move on clay. It was basically the kryptonite for him. On any other surface apart from clay, he was superb in the movement department.

Laurie
01-02-2012, 09:24 AM
Someone said earlier that Guga started using Luxilon strings in the Lisbon Masters'00. This is wrong. He was using Luxilon strings as early as 1997 and Albert Costa as early as 1996.

Indian Wells and Miami are not much faster than clay, but playing on clay is totally different because of the movement on clay.

I say this because Sampras showed many, many times that he could play from the baseline on the slowest hard courts (Miami and Indian Wells) against the best baseliners of his time (Agassi, Courier, Chang, Muster, Kuerten, Korda, Kafelnikov,...), matches where 70% of the poinst were baseline exchanges.

He rarely could do it on clay, even though clay is not that much slower than these two hardcourt tournaments. But his movement on clay was clearly atrocius. If you don't control your body movements on clay, you can not setup properly your shots (specially low-margin-of-error shots like those of Sampras). That was (in my opinion) Sampras biggest problem with clay (along with his lack of stamina-fitness).

Curiously he was a great mover on grass (one of the best) and a very good mover on hard courts (much better than what he looked, he made it look easy, effortless).

Good observation about Kuerten. Was he also one of the first players to have their racquet strung at a low tension to generate more power on slower surfaces? I understand many players get their racquets strung at a lower tension in this era because of the slower / higher bouncing surfaces being prevelant. I also remember Becker saying that players in the 1990s strung their racquets much tighter than today on average. I think he mentioned that whilst commentating during a match at Wimbledon.

mellowyellow
01-03-2012, 02:37 AM
Someone said earlier that Guga started using Luxilon strings in the Lisbon Masters'00. This is wrong. He was using Luxilon strings as early as 1997 and Albert Costa as early as 1996.

Indian Wells and Miami are not much faster than clay, but playing on clay is totally different because of the movement on clay.

I say this because Sampras showed many, many times that he could play from the baseline on the slowest hard courts (Miami and Indian Wells) against the best baseliners of his time (Agassi, Courier, Chang, Muster, Kuerten, Korda, Kafelnikov,...), matches where 70% of the poinst were baseline exchanges.

He rarely could do it on clay, even though clay is not that much slower than these two hardcourt tournaments. But his movement on clay was clearly atrocius. If you don't control your body movements on clay, you can not setup properly your shots (specially low-margin-of-error shots like those of Sampras). That was (in my opinion) Sampras biggest problem with clay (along with his lack of stamina-fitness).

Curiously he was a great mover on grass (one of the best) and a very good mover on hard courts (much better than what he looked, he made it look easy, effortless).
Some of what you say is true, but the serve on a hardcourt, no matter how slow will not lose nearly the speed, and unless intended too, will not kick up the way it tends too on clay. On a slow hard you can still get a skidding flat serve, on clay that ball still becomes a lingering ball and bounces higher making the flat bomb a useless serve. That is why most first serves on clay have more than usual spin and rarely do you see flat serve but from the biggest of servers.

mattennis
01-03-2012, 06:52 AM
Some of what you say is true, but the serve on a hardcourt, no matter how slow will not lose nearly the speed, and unless intended too, will not kick up the way it tends too on clay. On a slow hard you can still get a skidding flat serve, on clay that ball still becomes a lingering ball and bounces higher making the flat bomb a useless serve. That is why most first serves on clay have more than usual spin and rarely do you see flat serve but from the biggest of servers.

Yes, that is true too.

To Laurie: Yes, as far as I know Kuerten used low string tension, and Bruguera even lower (for the standars of 90s, because today you see many players using about 50 pounds, probably because of the slowness of courts and balls of today).

This is Michael Russell in RolandGarros 2011:

Michael Russell: "I think Guga was the first big name player to use Luxilon, and I believe I was the first American to use Luxilon. String and equipment have revolutionized the sport. The entire game has changed because of the equipment, and not just the speed and power. Tournaments have made the courts slower and tennis balls heavier to counteract the power, spin and speed of the new strings and racquet compositions. The courts and balls used to be faster, but the racquets not as powerful. Today, the average string tension is probably around 50 pounds whereas 10 years ago it was 60 pounds. Players are using polyester or polyester-gut hybrids strung loose to be able to hit the balls harder through the slower courts and heavy tennis balls."

morten
01-03-2012, 07:16 AM
clueless comment from Pete(again) and i love s and v tennis more than anyone... the new strings, slower surface all work against the volley so much the benefit of bigger headsize is close to none... Bigger rackets were available then too(Tauziat, Novotna, Rafter all volleyed well with that) but volleyplayers generally want precision and control, feel... Pete should know this... He wants attention and has a big ego. I am a 38yo former nationally ranked serve and volley player and play much better with my ps85s than any new modern stick fyi

yellowoctopus
01-03-2012, 07:29 AM
I say give the great Champion (Mr. Sampras, that is) some respect and let him say what he needs to in order to feel that he can still compete with the youngsters today. He deserves that much, at least.

http://jmeltz.chez-alice.fr/photos/pete34.jpg

morten
01-03-2012, 07:33 AM
to make that clear i liked his tennis a lot, and he would be top 3 today too.... just a shame tennis has changed too much...

scotus
01-03-2012, 07:41 AM
clueless comment from Pete(again) and i love s and v tennis more than anyone... the new strings, slower surface all work against the volley so much the benefit of bigger headsize is close to none... Bigger rackets were available then too(Tauziat, Novotna, Rafter all volleyed well with that) but volleyplayers generally want precision and control, feel... Pete should know this... He wants attention and has a big ego. I am a 38yo former nationally ranked serve and volley player and play much better with my ps85s than any new modern stick fyi

What clueless comment? Sounds like you did not watch the interview.

Pete never says in the interview that the new technology would help him stick the volley better. That was OP's own interpretation/conjecture.

Pete only said that the technology that helps the opponent would help him as well. For all we know he may simply had in mind that it would have helped him with his groundstrokes, return of serves, defense, etc.

morten
01-03-2012, 07:44 AM
ok, then i might have been too hard on him...

jackson vile
01-03-2012, 07:44 AM
Sampras was never the fastest server on tour in his day either. Rujetski had the fastest by far. Sampras had something nobody else had - accuracy. His accuracy allowed him to take major risks on the 2nd serve. Nobody painted the lines like Sampras, and nobody even comes close today.

Don't forget disguise. One of the stat guys should look up most 2nd serve aces per average over all games played.

IMO best damn serve ever period.

scotus
01-03-2012, 07:48 AM
Don't forget disguise. One of the stat guys should look up most 2nd serve aces per average over all games played.

IMO best damn serve ever period.

That's incredibly important.

It's amazing to me how the top 10 players today can correctly guess which direction Roddick's 140-mph serve is going.

With Pete, it was impossible to guess.

markwillplay
01-03-2012, 08:01 AM
true, and how many people just get Roddick's serve back with a slice of deep floater to start the point!!!! Even Fed has done that to him for years...where as with Pete, he would be at net ready to knock that "floater" off..thus putting more pressure on the returner to do something with it. This is the crux of the entire argument to me. The combination og as serve that has power and is difficult to read plus an extremely athletic (quick to net) and able volleyer is a difficult thing to deal with. I think this is why someone like Edberg had such success. Of course he never had the serve tha Sampras did but you were under constant pressure of haveiing to hit winner after winner on the return. When Pet's serve was on, he was almost impossible to beat when he played agressive...just ask Andre. Not that guys could not beat him, sure, but with that serve coming at you and then having to not just get it back deep but actually hit a pass, tough to do.

BeGreat
01-03-2012, 09:18 AM
people place way too much emphasis on technology. unlike the move from wood to metal, changes in technology haven't been fundamental since then. only minor. same with strings.

if a regression analysis was done, i'd take a rough guess and attribute about 10% of the change in the game on technology. even lesser on surface changes.

the game has simply evolved to a different type. this isn't due fundamentally to technology. i can give an economic argument for the evolution of the game, but, because it'll be based on logical introspection rather than marketing hype, it'll be readily dismissed by most people on this forum...so i won't.

mellowyellow
01-03-2012, 05:48 PM
people place way too much emphasis on technology. unlike the move from wood to metal, changes in technology haven't been fundamental since then. only minor. same with strings.

if a regression analysis was done, i'd take a rough guess and attribute about 10% of the change in the game on technology. even lesser on surface changes.

the game has simply evolved to a different type. this isn't due fundamentally to technology. i can give an economic argument for the evolution of the game, but, because it'll be based on logical introspection rather than marketing hype, it'll be readily dismissed by most people on this forum...so i won't.
In and of themselves, you are probably correct, but these things collectively add up to a greater total than their actual sum. As in 10% tech + 7% strings + 5%surface equals 30% not 22%. I am also surprised people haven't argued Pete's thalasemia? Or the fact that he lost to many eventual or past champions through his career at the French

Bendex
01-04-2012, 06:51 AM
They had radar guns 10 years ago. Speeds aren't that much different.

The difference is there are 3 guys in the world now who have phenomenal passing shots.

morten
01-04-2012, 09:24 AM
They had radar guns 10 years ago. Speeds aren't that much different.

The difference is there are 3 guys in the world now who have phenomenal passing shots.

clueless comment, the radar guns shows speed off the racket, the whole point is the bounce is slower(and some say balls) making returns and passingshots a lot easier now, making baselineplay almost the only option, this has ruined the diversity in tennis IMO, the top 3 now would be top 10 back then too, but the rest would be outside top12...

coloskier
01-04-2012, 12:41 PM
And the likes of Roddick/Isner/Karlovic don't??? You need more than an amazing seve to compete in todays game.

The difference between Pete's serve and Roddick/Isner/Karlovic is huge. While Roddick et al can bomb a serve at 150, Pete could hit it steadily at 135 AND he hit corners ALL THE TIME!! Roddick et al hit most of their bombs in the center of the service court, unless they are in Service God Mode. Pete was in Service God Mode pretty much 75% of the time.

mtommer
01-04-2012, 06:54 PM
I think that if Sampras claimed(s) to be competitive at 37 then there is probably a pretty darn good reason for that which probably involves actual experience, probably with current players.

If Sampras thinks his game is good enough to play in "today's" generation then most likely it is. Given that Sampras was never really one for embelishments, and given that this held true during periods of time when such behavior would show itself (ala Agassi in his playing days regardless of what he "claims" or how he feels about it), then I reckon Pete isn't trying to bolster himself like many posters here seem to believe. If Pete were to play today he would absolutely be top 3 and the number of Slams he would win is highly indeterminable given the talent of Nadal and Federer (and potentially Djokovic if he can maintain his level of play - not necessarily dominance - through the next two or three years).

TennisD
01-04-2012, 09:58 PM
I think that if Sampras claimed(s) to be competitive at 37 then there is probably a pretty darn good reason for that which probably involves actual experience, probably with current players.

If Sampras thinks his game is good enough to play in "today's" generation then most likely it is. Given that Sampras was never really one for embelishments, and given that this held true during periods of time when such behavior would show itself (ala Agassi in his playing days regardless of what he "claims" or how he feels about it), then I reckon Pete isn't trying to bolster himself like many posters here seem to believe. If Pete were to play today he would absolutely be top 3 and the number of Slams he would win is highly indeterminable given the talent of Nadal and Federer (and potentially Djokovic if he can maintain his level of play - not necessarily dominance - through the next two or three years)
The 'darn good reason' that Pete sincerely thinks he'd still be competitive at 37 is because he has a massive ego and can't let go of the past. If 37-year-old-Pete showed up at the Australian Open this year he'd get absolutely pumped, and that's without even taking into consideration how different the surfaces are now, nor how the game has changed since he's left it. The idea that he'd be in the top 3 is completely asinine. The game is completely different than it was a mere 5 years ago, let alone back when Pete last won the US Open, or was in his prime.

Quite frankly I'm tired of players like Pete and Navratilova harping on about how technology has changed the game when, quite frankly, it hasn't had nearly the effect they'd like to think it has. It reeks of trying to bolster their own reputation and achievements/attempting to put down the champions that have come after them or frame the new generation as somehow "inferior" to themselves. Nobody is ever going to question Pete's place as one of the greatest players ever, so it's baffling that he constantly feels the need to ****-talk the players that have come after it. It's a very tired act, and yet it still goes on.

helloworld
01-04-2012, 10:09 PM
The 'darn good reason' that Pete sincerely thinks he'd still be competitive at 37 is because he has a massive ego and can't let go of the past. If 37-year-old-Pete showed up at the Australian Open this year he'd get absolutely pumped, and that's without even taking into consideration how different the surfaces are now, nor how the game has changed since he's left it. The idea that he'd be in the top 3 is completely asinine. The game is completely different than it was a mere 5 years ago, let alone back when Pete last won the US Open, or was in his prime.

Quite frankly I'm tired of players like Pete and Navratilova harping on about how technology has changed the game when, quite frankly, it hasn't had nearly the effect they'd like to think it has. It reeks of trying to bolster their own reputation and achievements/attempting to put down the champions that have come after them or frame the new generation as somehow "inferior" to themselves. Nobody is ever going to question Pete's place as one of the greatest players ever, so it's baffling that he constantly feels the need to ****-talk the players that have come after it. It's a very tired act, and yet it still goes on.

1. Pete is one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
2. Pete doesn't have to brag about himself. People brag for him. He's one of the most successful tennis players of all time.
3. You misunderstood Pete's point. He meant that in his prime, he'd hold his own in this era, not now at 40 years of age. It's impossible, and if you thought so, then you're dillusional.

TennisD
01-04-2012, 10:15 PM
1. Pete is one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
2. Pete doesn't have to brag about himself. People brag for him. He's one of the most successful tennis players of all time.
3. You misunderstood Pete's point. He meant that in his prime, he'd hold his own in this era, not now at 40 years of age. It's impossible, and if you thought so, then you're dillusional.

1) As I already said, there is absolutely no denying this.
2) I wouldn't say he necessarily brags per se, but he very much does have that sort of attitude; we're talking about the guy who manages to show up late to the Wimbledon final on the day that Roger Federer broke his record. Not a chance that was an accident. Every time I hear about something he's said in regards to the modern game, there's always this air of...what's the best way to put it...he doesn't seem to think much of today's game. And that's a ridiculous attitude to have.
3) Again, I'm not the one saying he'd hold his own at 37, but it seems that other posters here might. Even if we assume that everyone is on the same page and believes that if transported Pete Sampras from, let's say, 1997, into the modern day and plunked him on the tour, we're still not looking at a guy who is realistically going to be in the top 3. The game is just too different.

mellowyellow
01-05-2012, 06:12 PM
1) 3) .... Even if we assume that everyone is on the same page and believes that if transported Pete Sampras from, let's say, 1997, into the modern day and plunked him on the tour, we're still not looking at a guy who is realistically going to be in the top 3. The game is just too different.
Maybe that is why it would be so effective. He had the best package of 1st+2nd serve/footspeed/volleys/baseline play of his time. Part of being a great player is adapiting your play to the current need, and making your oponent play your tennis, feel uncomfortable playing their tennis. Pete did this very well mixing play up and doing damage from all areas of the court, from either fh/bh side. Il just say that if you think that Pete's serves would be returned by these guys the way you see them return the cheese that is called a great serve today you are mistaken. Pete was much more accurate and more knowledgable about where the opponent could go off his accurate serves. In fact I have seen quite a bit of net play later in the year of 2011. More than I remember seeing previously, but not to the point of being a resurgence so to speak.

wangs78
01-05-2012, 06:57 PM
Among the top S&Vers of the game (eg, Edberg, McEnroe) Pete was more dominant (14 Slams and most year-end #1s) because he had one thing none of the others had: a dominant serve. Even in today's game where baseline play is arguably stronger than in the past, most players including the top ones can do little more than block back a well hit serve. So Pete, if he were still playing at a high level, can potentially still run with the top dogs, in my view. Of all the great tennis players in history, he had the most efficient combination of skills needed for long-term dominance: a great serve (which does not diminish with age) and a ground and net game that were quite good. His only weakness in the end was his desire to keep competing. Fed on the other hand has a more well rounded combination of skills. He does everything very well and his ground game is clearly better than Pete's resulting in dazzling winners that are just a sight to behold. But his serve isn't as good as Pete's. Since a ground game declines as a player gets older, age has taken a greater toll for Fed versus Pete. With that said, I think Fed's desire to compete at 30 is much higher than what Pete had and so he's more than made up for it and so his performance at 30 is still better than Pete at 30.

jackson vile
01-06-2012, 09:24 AM
I think that is the true point, even Roddick with his relatively poor serve compared tot histories top servers can almost alone take him to finals.


Among the top S&Vers of the game (eg, Edberg, McEnroe) Pete was more dominant (14 Slams and most year-end #1s) because he had one thing none of the others had: a dominant serve. Even in today's game where baseline play is arguably stronger than in the past, most players including the top ones can do little more than block back a well hit serve. So Pete, if he were still playing at a high level, can potentially still run with the top dogs, in my view. Of all the great tennis players in history, he had the most efficient combination of skills needed for long-term dominance: a great serve (which does not diminish with age) and a ground and net game that were quite good. His only weakness in the end was his desire to keep competing. Fed on the other hand has a more well rounded combination of skills. He does everything very well and his ground game is clearly better than Pete's resulting in dazzling winners that are just a sight to behold. But his serve isn't as good as Pete's. Since a ground game declines as a player gets older, age has taken a greater toll for Fed versus Pete. With that said, I think Fed's desire to compete at 30 is much higher than what Pete had and so he's more than made up for it and so his performance at 30 is still better than Pete at 30.

droliver
01-06-2012, 08:19 PM
even Roddick with his relatively poor serve compared tot histories top servers can almost alone take him to finals.

You're kidding right? Say what you want to about Roddick, but he's got one of the all time great serves in the game. We kind of take him for granted, but we've never seen someone hit the ball so hard with such accuracy. His service % for someone consistently in the 130-145 mph range is kind of stunning.

helloworld
01-06-2012, 08:24 PM
You're kidding right? Say what you want to about Roddick, but he's got one of the all time great serves in the game. We kind of take him for granted, but we've never seen someone hit the ball so hard with such accuracy. His service % for someone consistently in the 130-145 mph range is kind of stunning.

The problem with Roddick's serve is that it's not very accurate compared to other former great servers. People know that his serve won't hit the corners all the time. That's the problem with his serve. He doesn't hit corners nearly as well as former greats(eg. Goran, Pete).

Agassifan
01-06-2012, 08:33 PM
Pete would, no doubt compete well with the top guys now... but I don't think he'd have a chance at the Aussie Open or French... and might find it somewhat difficult at Wimbledon and the 2011 version of the USO

mellowyellow
01-07-2012, 05:38 AM
You're kidding right? Say what you want to about Roddick, but he's got one of the all time great serves in the game. We kind of take him for granted, but we've never seen someone hit the ball so hard with such accuracy. His service % for someone consistently in the 130-145 mph range is kind of stunning.
Pete, Goran, Rafter, Edberg, Becker..... all time great serves,

Roddick, Philipousis, Mirnyi, Rusedski, Karlovic...... great servers, but not all time great.

TMF
01-07-2012, 09:23 AM
Pete, Goran, Rafter, Edberg, Becker..... all time great serves,

Roddick, Philipousis, Mirnyi, Rusedski, Karlovic...... great servers, but not all time great.

Just the 1st serve, Karlovic is the best.

droliver
01-07-2012, 04:31 PM
Pete, Goran, Rafter, Edberg, Becker..... all time great serves,

Roddick, Philipousis, Mirnyi, Rusedski, Karlovic...... great servers, but not all time great.

You're out of your mind! Roddick, Isner, & Karlovic all serve with 65%+ 1st serve percentage at over 140 mph. That is a stunning thing to think about. Roddick is #3 all time for aces, and will finish #2 when his career is over (ahead of Sampras but behind Goran)

The career ATP leaders for % service games held (source ATP Match Facts (http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/MatchFacts.aspx))
1. Karlovic 91%
2. Roddick 90%
3. Isner 90%
4. Sampras 89%
5. wayne Arthurs 88%

Everyone on that short list would be in a discussion of the best serve of the last 30 years.

The take home point: By every objective metric you can think of for evaluating the serve, Roddick has an all time great serve

mellowyellow
01-07-2012, 05:24 PM
delete post

mellowyellow
01-07-2012, 05:35 PM
Thats funny, and a great point for people that want to use stats to back their argument. Only 1 player on that list could be considered an alltime great server based on his accomplishments. Maybe look at breakpoints saved. Breakpoints against, then compare the average level of competetion, then the average of where the players exit the tourneys. Then you could look at the stats of surface played. Their are many more stats to look at than what you offered if you are going to solely base an argument on stats. The take home point, stats are skewed in some fashion or another. People could say Pete's serve alone won him many slams, if Roddicks is better where are all of his? He had a few chances..... I think more than a few on here know that Roddick's serve barely won him 1 slam on the fastes HC against a claycourter who was accomplished somewhat on HC, and that was a stopgap point in the tennis timeline.

droliver
01-08-2012, 10:36 AM
Thats funny, and a great point for people that want to use stats to back their argument. Only 1 player on that list could be considered an alltime great server based on his accomplishments. Maybe look at breakpoints saved. Breakpoints against, then compare the average level of competetion, then the average of where the players exit the tourneys. Then you could look at the stats of surface played.

Heaven forbid someone actual make an evidence-based argument using statistics. Accomplishments over a career IS NOT a basis for comparing the effectiveness of a serve as you suggest, as it is the sum of a number of too many other elements and actually correlates more with % of return games won then the serve. This makes sense when you see that the performance difference between average and great is much bigger on the return side then the serve side. For example, Pete Sampras' rankings nosedive in the last years of his career occurred with a minimal change in service % held but a big drop in his % breaking opponents

The serve, like an at bat in baseball, is such a discrete event that it lends itself to more SABERMETRIC type evaluation. I agree that you have to be careful looking at any one type of stat to look at this, but when you see the same people at the top of every category, it's silly to keep trying to dismiss it. Everyone on the top of that list of service % games held are all subjectively considered among the best of the best, and they are backed up with years of performance data which substantiate it. The averages of service % held by surface hovers in the high 70's (clay) to low 80's (HC) to mid 80's (grass) on the ATP tour. These guys are several standard deviations from the mean in that respect.

The data on breakpoints saved (which you suggested was as important) gives you the same list of suspects.
1 Karlovic, Ivo 70%
2 Roddick, Andy 68
3 Sampras, Pete 68
4 Isner, John 68
5 Arthurs, Wayne 67