PDA

View Full Version : Who had/has tougher rivals: Sampras or Federer?


Pages : [1] 2

armand
01-31-2006, 08:19 PM
I think the choice is obvious but it seems some would disagree.

Max G.
01-31-2006, 08:32 PM
Hehe. The choice is obvious to many people - the problem is that to different people, it seems obvious in opposite directions :)

(I'm not voting in the poll, I have no clue what the answer is or how to determine it)

K!ck5w3rvE
01-31-2006, 10:19 PM
The players now are better, but in comparison...

jukka1970
01-31-2006, 11:22 PM
I voted for Federer having slightly tougher rivals, but I must admit this is one of the closest comparisons between the 2. I gave the edge to Federer, only because of the time each of them played. In Sampras time, it seemed that the best were starting to exit while the upcommers were just starting to get there. If Sampras reign had started say 5 years earlier, I'd given the edge to Sampras.

John

Matt Riordan
01-31-2006, 11:28 PM
I went for Sampras having tougher rivals, not least because he had to face all-courters and serve-volleyers as well as baseliners. It's true that Pete caught a few of the 80's greats in their waining years but they were still threats and he suffered a few defeats into the 90's. Of the 80's players he had to contend with, Lendl, Becker & Edberg were still up there in the early 90's, not to mention he had to contend with Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Stich, Kafelnikov, Muster, Bruguera, Courier & Agassi when all were in their primes, and Safin, Hewitt & Rafter in his twilight playing years. That's pretty stiff competition for anyone!

arosen
01-31-2006, 11:41 PM
I find it funny that neither Sampras nor Federer had any trouble beating the living daylights out of Roddick.

urban
01-31-2006, 11:57 PM
Its difficult to measure the competition. I think, one has to divide the 90s into two periods: pre and after say 1994. In the eary 90s there were some very good fastcourters like Sampras, Stich, Ivanisevic, with Becker and Edberg as hangovers from the late 80s, and some very decent hard and clay courters like Courier, Agassi and Bruguera, too. All these players were able to compete on fast and slow courts. But due to injury, lack of motivation, head problems, age or something else, all these players had faded at around 1995, with the lone exeception of Sampras. The game virtually divided into two circuits: fast and clay, with Sampras no real competition on clay vs. Muster, Kuerten or Moya.The later 90s were quite a low in mens tennis, in 1998 you had no clearcut Nr. 1, several one slam wonders and Sport Illustrated wrote about the death of tennis. Agassi's resurrection in 1999 revitalised tennis, Sampras played better then in the years before. In 2002 it looked like a bright future with 6-8 young guns to shoot it out. But like in 1994, injuries and burn-outs have taken their toll. We can only hope, that Safin, Haas, Johansson or Ferrero (and Nadal) can come back and re-establish themselfs, to form a group of decent challengers to Federer.

superman1
02-01-2006, 12:05 AM
I didn't follow tennis when Sampras was dominating, but it seems like he had tougher rivals. There is more depth in men's tennis now, but 10 years ago there were more champions to contend with. Federer still has to deal with Agassi, but Sampras dealt with Agassi back when he was quick on his feet. And everyone is always injured these days. Sampras also had to contend with Safin and Hewitt later on, and they were playing better than they are now (if Safin was still playing).

troytennisbum
02-01-2006, 01:13 AM
Federer has tougher rivals because the players on the men's ATP tour as a whole nowdays are stronger and more competitve then ever.

Of course it's all relative....one could argue that Federer doesn't really have any "tough" rivals because, I believe, as do others, that he is simply the most talented tennis player to have ever lived.

But definitely, the men's competiton as a whole is stronger then it ever has been.

Galactus
02-01-2006, 05:18 AM
Firstly, Federer doesn't have a tennis 'Hall of Famer' like Agassi to compete with.
Secondly, it's hard to compare Federer with today's guys because he seems to be so far ahead of the pack.

With Sampras, at least he got beaten from time-to-time, usually between 10-20 times per year...with Federer, he hardly ever loses: just 10 times in the last 2 years - that's an incredible statistic.

Checking the respective opponents, for Sampras we have top-flight guys like Courier, Chang, Agassi, Becker, Rafter, Ivanisevic, Philippoussis.
Federer has Philippousis, Agassi, Roddick, Safin, Hewitt.

Both resumes look good but I think we can only really look back and make true compaisons when Federer has retired.

opiate
02-01-2006, 05:25 AM
Firstly, Federer doesn't have a tennis 'Hall of Famer' like Agassi to compete with.
Secondly, it's hard to compare Federer with today's guys because he seems to be so far ahead of the pack.

With Sampras, at least he got beaten from time-to-time, usually between 10-20 times per year...with Federer, he hardly ever loses: just 10 times in the last 2 years - that's an incredible statistic.

Checking the respective opponents, for Sampras we have top-flight guys like Courier, Chang, Agassi, Becker, Rafter, Ivanisevic, Philippoussis.
Federer has Philippousis, Agassi, Roddick, Safin, Hewitt.

Both resumes look good but I think we can only really look back and make true compaisons when Federer has retired.

That's true. The players today maybe the HoFers of the future? who knows. I mean, surely many of those who played during Sampras's era wasn't a HoFer at that point in time?

Although, the way Fed sweeps through the ATP tour with no mercy like that... it's going to be hard for the HoF committee to find a reason why this person or that person should be inducted. If GS wins are a qualification, then... well, Fed's got the most of it and leaves very little to others. If Masters titles are a qualification, well... last year Federer and Nadal left little for anyone (who must be thanking their stars that Federer and/or Nadal are or were otherwise engaged). Oh well, a little sweeping exaggeration there.

Thankfully there's a Davis Cup route. Seeing that Federer isn't too excited to play a DC tie... well... there you go.

:)

Mr Topspin
02-01-2006, 05:45 AM
good topic OP.

this is very subjective matter but I would go for Sampras on the basis that he was dealing with more experienced and highly decorated hall of famers. In Sampras era he had to contend with Mcenroe, Connors, Lendl, Becker and Edberg. He also had a competitive pool of young peers such as, Agassi, Chang, Courier, Ivanevesic, Rafter, Kraijeck and Kefelnikov.

In contrast Federer is only dealing with one legend, Andre Agassi who has 8 slams to Federer's 7. Thus, although it might be argued that the players are tougher, fitter and have better racket technology than in bygone years. The fact remains that they are inexperienced at the highest level. Sampras had to deal with players who had over 34 slams between then - that is a huge pool of experience. Whilst, Federer is dealing with a lot of single slam winners, Agassi aside and Hewitt and Safin on 2 slams each.


In Federer's favour is the fact that the generation after Sampras/Agassi i.e Moya, Enqvist, Johansson et all, never fulfilled their potential and so after the Sampras era there were no threats to the new generation, Agassi aside. So guys like Fererro, Roddick and Federer had a clear run for the GS titles.

thejuice
02-01-2006, 06:00 AM
I agree with Galactus and opiate, Sampras had quite a few HOFers he had to compete against. I also noticed someone mentioned that Edberg was an 80s hangover on his way out in the 90s, but if I recall, he won at least two majors in the 90s (I didn't look this up but I think I remember a Wimbledon and a US Open). One can say that throughout Pete's whole career he has had some very stiff competition and was a participant in possibly the best rivalry of all time: Sampras v. Agassi.

With that said, Federer is way more exciting to watch.

Rabbit
02-01-2006, 06:01 AM
I think there were more guys peaked around Sampras than Federer. Meaning that the pack was closer in level back then. Tennis has gotten deeper, but has suffered at the top of the game.

Babblelot
02-01-2006, 06:20 AM
TBD

Who's to say? All we can hope for is that Federer's rivals will get tougher as he gets older, and that very well may happen.

At this point in Fed's career, however, it's no contest--Sampras was on top during tennis' 2nd best decade ever (Edberg-Agassi-Courier-Becker-Kuerten-Rafter). The only period that supersedes Sampras' rivals was the Connors-Borg-McEnroe-Lendl-Wilander era.

It's funny when you think about it. After Sampras' retirement, and between Federer's emergence as the dominant player on the tour, Hewitt filled the void. Now, the only thing stopping Hewitt from racking up more slam titles is Federer. In other words, Hewitt was the beneficiary of a tour lacking a group of dominant players like the Sampras or McEnroe era's. The only difference now is that Roger is the head of a weak class.

Galactus
02-01-2006, 06:25 AM
1 - In contrast Federer is only dealing with one legend, Andre Agassi who has 8 slams to Federer's 7.

2 - Thus, although it might be argued that the players are tougher, fitter and have better racket technology than in bygone years. The fact remains that they are inexperienced at the highest level.
1 - And an old Agassi, at that.

2 - Racquet technology (larger sweetspots, better materials) making up the fact that today's player's aren't as good as previous decades.

pero
02-01-2006, 06:28 AM
Sampras' rivals were much better

i'm 100% sure they were, nowadays they all suck

i watched gasquet yesterdey who's 17 player in the world and he sucks, he won sanguinetti who's even worser

and i've seen becker live, who rocked, for example

random1
02-01-2006, 06:36 AM
I find it funny that neither Sampras nor Federer had any trouble beating the living daylights out of Roddick.
Roddick has/had a 2-1 edge against Pete.

Grimjack
02-01-2006, 07:14 AM
Roddick has/had a 2-1 edge against Pete.

Roddick had an edge over Pete.

Hewitt had an edge over Pete.

Safin had an edge over Pete.

Federer had an edge over Pete.

Pete was from an older era, and by the time he retired, he possessed the last straggling remains of the serve and volley relic that would soon and permanently disappear from relevance. It's testimony to his greatness that he was able to go out with one final hurrah!, but the modern power baseline game was quickly relegating him to irrelevance. He wasn't ancient when he retired -- he was simply just about over, and he knew it.

When Pete was in his prime, he dominated a list of successful champs from past eras who were fine and varied players, all of whom built up impressive resumes because no REAL legend was there to take away their chances. They built their resumes in a vacuum. When Pete arrived, he quickly proved that the "legends" from the 80's were simply capable placeholders waiting for a true champ to come along. Likewise, when the power baseliners REALLY came into their own, they proved that "ordinary" top ten talents in the modern (2000's) era were more than sufficient to dismiss the likes of Sampras.

The Hewitts and Safins and Roddicks and even Nadals would run so roughshod over dinosaurs like Edberg and Becker and Rafter in their primes that those "legends" would look like qualies. None of those guys would be a top 20 player now.

Not only are all the best players today better than the best of Sampras's rivals, they are all better than Sampras, and proved it on the court. And guys like Safin and Hewitt did it before their primes. The fact that they are better players now than when they were demolishing Pete, and STILL can't get a sniff of a title today just goes to show how Fed is light years ahead of Pete, talent-wise.

At least the ten best players who ever stepped onto a court are actively playing today.

Steve Dykstra
02-01-2006, 07:16 AM
i'm 100% sure they were, nowadays they all suck

Nice argument, I am totally convinced...
<sarcasm>

drexeler
02-01-2006, 07:44 AM
The Hewitts and Safins and Roddicks and even Nadals would run so roughshod over dinosaurs like Edberg and Becker and Rafter in their primes that those "legends" would look like qualies. None of those guys would be a top 20 player now.

At least the ten best players who ever stepped onto a court are actively playing today.

I agree with most of what you are saying except the last statement. Sampras is better than anyone today except Fed. True he had a matchup problem with Hewitt, but even Fed has a matchup problem with Nadal.

Donnie Darko
02-01-2006, 07:56 AM
I find it funny that neither Sampras nor Federer had any trouble beating the living daylights out of Roddick.


Why is that funny?

Mr Topspin
02-01-2006, 08:06 AM
Roddick had an edge over Pete.

Hewitt had an edge over Pete.

Safin had an edge over Pete.

Federer had an edge over Pete.

Pete was from an older era, and by the time he retired, he possessed the last straggling remains of the serve and volley relic that would soon and permanently disappear from relevance. It's testimony to his greatness that he was able to go out with one final hurrah!, but the modern power baseline game was quickly relegating him to irrelevance. He wasn't ancient when he retired -- he was simply just about over, and he knew it.

When Pete was in his prime, he dominated a list of successful champs from past eras who were fine and varied players, all of whom built up impressive resumes because no REAL legend was there to take away their chances. They built their resumes in a vacuum. When Pete arrived, he quickly proved that the "legends" from the 80's were simply capable placeholders waiting for a true champ to come along. Likewise, when the power baseliners REALLY came into their own, they proved that "ordinary" top ten talents in the modern (2000's) era were more than sufficient to dismiss the likes of Sampras.

The Hewitts and Safins and Roddicks and even Nadals would run so roughshod over dinosaurs like Edberg and Becker and Rafter in their primes that those "legends" would look like qualies. None of those guys would be a top 20 player now.

Not only are all the best players today better than the best of Sampras's rivals, they are all better than Sampras, and proved it on the court. And guys like Safin and Hewitt did it before their primes. The fact that they are better players now than when they were demolishing Pete, and STILL can't get a sniff of a title today just goes to show how Fed is light years ahead of Pete, talent-wise.

At least the ten best players who ever stepped onto a court are actively playing today.


I don't know how you can presume that Hewitt and co are better than Sampras and co based on h2h or playing styles. I think the comparison is unbalanced. It's like suggesting that Agassi and Sampras were far better than Connors, Lendl and Mcenroe based on a few results.

You have to factor in the fact that the players from the older generation are past their peak i.e Henman, Sampras, Costa, Clement and are more likely to lose to up and coming replacements i.e Murray, Roddick, Nadal and Monfils.

Furthermore, depending on how you determine the word 'better' suggests it's relative. The players today are more one dimensional than in the 80's. Does this mean that the 80's players are better because they have more rounded games? It is IMHO relative? That is why a 35 going on 36 is able to compete with the twenty something's today.

kbg
02-01-2006, 08:16 AM
You know this argument seems like a Chicken and Egg type of thing. The reasoning behind saying that Federer is the head of a "weak class" is because there are very few multiple GS winners active. However, did anyone stop to think that the reason why there are very few multiple Slam winners is because the field IS super competitive so that it becomes even more difficult to win multiple majors? Also note that a lot of the guys who are active now also had the misfortune of starting their careers in the late 90s where Pete and Andre were still pretty much dominating everything.

Sampras had Chang, Agassi and Courier to contend with whereas Roger has Nadal, Hewitt, Safin, Baghdatis, Nalbandian and a whole host of other talented players from the new generation to contend with: there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the new players are much better than the older ones during their respective peaks.

Carley1986
02-01-2006, 08:29 AM
Well I gotta give the edge to Federer. The way people play and the way people hits serves are different. Pete Sampras who was hitting serves in the 200-210km/h region was at the time considered one of the fastest server in the game. Forehands that was hit at the 140s were considered one of the fastest forehands. These days you can see anyone hitting those consistently. So I guess you'd have to have better hand and eye coordination. Just my 2 cents *shrugs*

Oscar
02-01-2006, 08:41 AM
When Pete was in his prime, he dominated a list of successful champs from past eras who were fine and varied players, all of whom built up impressive resumes because no REAL legend was there to take away their chances. They built their resumes in a vacuum. When Pete arrived, he quickly proved that the "legends" from the 80's were simply capable placeholders waiting for a true champ to come along. Likewise, when the power baseliners REALLY came into their own, they proved that "ordinary" top ten talents in the modern (2000's) era were more than sufficient to dismiss the likes of Sampras.

The Hewitts and Safins and Roddicks and even Nadals would run so roughshod over dinosaurs like Edberg and Becker and Rafter in their primes that those "legends" would look like qualies. None of those guys would be a top 20 player now.

Not only are all the best players today better than the best of Sampras's rivals, they are all better than Sampras, and proved it on the court. And guys like Safin and Hewitt did it before their primes. The fact that they are better players now than when they were demolishing Pete, and STILL can't get a sniff of a title today just goes to show how Fed is light years ahead of Pete, talent-wise.

At least the ten best players who ever stepped onto a court are actively playing today.

I disagree 100%. How can you say the ten best players who ever stepped onto a court are playing today? That is funny, very funny. Maybe you think tennis began 10 years ago. Give a wood racquet to Safin or Nadal or Hewitt and see how they play 25 or 30 years ago. I would love seeing Nadal or Roddick playing in Wimbledon against McEnroe or Borg or Edberg. Different eras, you can´t compare.

legolas
02-01-2006, 08:48 AM
sampras all the way

Kobble
02-01-2006, 10:03 AM
There were more mentally tough players(Muster, Kuerten, Krajicek, Larsson Courier, Lendl and Edberg) in Sampras's era than Federer's. At least that is what I believe, because Safin, Roddick, Kiefer and many others fold at times. Also, more dangerous floaters existed in Pete's day as well. Remember Magnus Larsson? Or maybe even Rios? I think that is the difference, less dangerous players making a serious commitmnet to the game.. Most of the players today are consistent like Ferrer or Andreev, and maybe a big forehand or two. However, less big guys exist who can attack and keep constant pressure on the other player. The greater diversity of styles produced all of the above. So, many big serves, big forehands, net rushers, speed demons and grinders to deal with.

oscar_2424
02-01-2006, 10:06 AM
i think Sampras had tougher rivals

drexeler
02-01-2006, 10:24 AM
There were more dangerous big-serving net rushers in the 90's than today. I think this is because of fast surfaces and carpet tournaments. (The other day I was looking at the breakdown of Sampras and Federer's career. Both had about the same # of titles at age 24, but Sampras had 11 carpet titles to Fed's 1!) There are big-serving netrushers today as well - Dent, Ancic, Karlovic, Lopez, Mirnyi, Moodie etc. - but they are beaten out by players like Gaudio, Ferrer, Gonzalez etc. who can accumulate more points on the slower surfaces. That's why more and more we are seeing big servers stay back - J. Johansson, Ljubicic, Monfils come to mind.

drexeler
02-01-2006, 10:47 AM
In Federer's favour is the fact that the generation after Sampras/Agassi i.e Moya, Enqvist, Johansson et all, never fulfilled their potential and so after the Sampras era there were no threats to the new generation, Agassi aside. So guys like Fererro, Roddick and Federer had a clear run for the GS titles.

How can this be in Federer's favor? If Moya, Enquist, Rafter et al had been better than what they turned out to be, they would've reduced Sampras and Agassi slam counts from 96 to 02 (just like Sampras, Agassi, Courier reduced the tally of Edberg and Becker). By 2004, they would have been in the twilight of their careers anyway.

Munkeren
02-01-2006, 10:52 AM
For me it doesn't matter who of them had tuogher rivals. I just watch them play ( i have many federer and sampras matches) and there is no doubt in my mind that Federer is a better player. Sampras had clearly hols i his game (backhand) which Federer has not, and Federer makes winnershots in a way Sampras never did.
Agassi who has played many big matches against them both says Federer is the best. He knows what we are talking about =:-)

devila
02-01-2006, 12:14 PM
Fed fan boys sound exactly like Brad Gilbert and Mary Carillo. Fan boys really convinced themselves that a true beat down is blowing a lethargic, injured opponent off the court.
Pat McEnroe and Jim Courier's large tongues impress Tommy Haas too.

Andres
02-01-2006, 02:12 PM
I don't care. They are/were both the most dominating player at the time.
Whose rivals are tougher? i don't know... and I can't care less...

Why all u guys always love to think about the things which never actually happened? Ahh what if Bagman have won over Federer!? Ohh at their peak: Graf/Seles... Federer/Sampras...


BLAAAAH!! You're making me kinda sick :p

Let the pro's be. The things happened the way it happened, and that's the point of no return...

Chadwixx
02-01-2006, 03:11 PM
A 120 mph serve was amazing back when sampras played, now even santoro hits them. The players are better and much stronger than the players of the 1990's, all you have todo is look at the speed the ball is traveling now a days. Look at how easily hewitt handled sampras's serve. Say what you want about the rest of pete's game, but he was serving harder when hewitt beat him than he was in the past.

Agassi maybe reguarded as a hall of famer but am i the only one who remembers him taking every other year off in the 90's?

FedererUberAlles
02-01-2006, 03:12 PM
Sampras, most definitely.

rlbjr
02-01-2006, 04:18 PM
An aging and time worn Agassi is still competitive against todays players. Look at the GS singles records of the guys Sampras had to beat; Edberg, Lendl, Courier, Becker, Agassi, Rafter et al. How many of todays players can compare to even one of those guys? Who in todays game will win more than two slams?
Federer really has no competition today except on clay.

snark
02-01-2006, 04:38 PM
Well I gotta give the edge to Federer. The way people play and the way people hits serves are different. Pete Sampras who was hitting serves in the 200-210km/h region was at the time considered one of the fastest server in the game.


You are quite mistaken. Michael Stich in the early 90's had 140mph serves
(and not much else arguably). The record was 145mph, I think. Roddick's serve is only marginally faster, and most players don't hit nearly as hard.

Sampras and Ivanisevic, two of the best servers had only moderately fast serves. There were always people who served faster and harder.

devila
02-01-2006, 05:29 PM
Hewitt, Baghdatis, Kiefer, Safin and Davydenko can't compare with Lendl, Edberg, Becker and Rafter.

Nadal's always injured. Safin's bored. Roddick has the attention span of a flea. Berdych is unfit and impatient on the court.

vkartikv
02-01-2006, 05:41 PM
The problem is you are in a forum with a lot of teens who probably never got to watch Sampras, Edberg, Becker and the rest battle it out in the late 80s and all the way through the 90s. True, men's tennis does have depth now but certainly not the class that the 90s did. Its all baseline bashing 2 handed backhands out there, no elegant Edberg, no smooth volley Rafter and last but not least, no Ivanisevic....

Given that, it is not Federer's fault that he came into this era, so long live Fed... and Marat owes us all another slam

RiosTheGenius
02-01-2006, 06:55 PM
I think tennis is better today overall, the players ranked 140 or 180 are really good, challenger events are of great level these guys give some serious trouble to the top guys, but is there where I find that today's players are a bit weak.
right underneath Federer we have people like Safin and Hewitt who I consider true legends, but that's about it. then in the top 10 there's people like Roddick, Davydenko, or Ljubicic who despite being decent players are no Muster, Bruguera or Rafter.

if you look at the top 30 players of 1996 you can probably say that Sampras had much more to worry about.

1 SAMPRAS, PETE USA 4865
2 CHANG, MICHAEL USA 3597
3 KAFELNIKOV, YEVGENY RUS 3564
4 IVANISEVIC, GORAN CRO 3492
5 MUSTER, THOMAS AUT 3166
6 BECKER, BORIS GER 2983
7 KRAJICEK, RICHARD NED 2380
8 AGASSI, ANDRE USA 2364
9 ENQVIST, THOMAS SWE 2191
10 FERREIRA, WAYNE RSA 2149
11 RIOS, MARCELO CHI 2114
12 MARTIN, TODD USA 2039
13 COSTA, ALBERT ESP 1757
14 EDBERG, STEFAN SWE 1567
15 SIEMERINK, JAN NED 1530
16 STICH, MICHAEL GER 1518
17 GUSTAFSSON, MAGNUS SWE 1515
18 MANTILLA, FELIX ESP 1505
19 BERASATEGUI, ALBERTO ESP 1477
20 WASHINGTON, MALIVAI USA 1472
21 PIOLINE, CEDRIC FRA 1455
22 ROSSET, MARC SUI 1406
23 CORRETJA, ALEX ESP 1385
24 KORDA, PETR CZE 1332
25 HAARHUIS, PAUL NED 1312
26 COURIER, JIM USA 1299
27 WOODFORDE, MARK AUS 1287
28 MOYA, CARLOS ESP 1283
29 HENMAN, TIM GBR 1243
30 PHILIPPOUSSIS, MARK AUS 1242

kbg
02-01-2006, 09:21 PM
Wow, thanks for putting up that list RiostheGenius. I remember watching a couple of old Masters Cup tourneys and the competitions were so tight that those who went on to the SFs were often determined on the basis of sets and games they won because hardly anyone ever went undefeated in those things. In marked contrast today's MC features wipeouts like Gaudio's double bagel. It makes you think, doesn't it?

The new generation of players that will peak in about two or three years time seems to be more promising though. Imagine the MC four years from now: Nadal, Berdych, Gasquet, Baghdatis, plus some of the leftovers from this generation... Should be very interesting.

Mr Topspin
02-02-2006, 06:14 AM
How can this be in Federer's favor? If Moya, Enquist, Rafter et al had been better than what they turned out to be, they would've reduced Sampras and Agassi slam counts from 96 to 02 (just like Sampras, Agassi, Courier reduced the tally of Edberg and Becker). By 2004, they would have been in the twilight of their careers anyway.

They did reduce Sampras' and Agassi's GS slam tally. Rafter beat Agassi in several Wimbledon SF in 5 sets. He also beat Sampras in the US Open 98 SF. Moya contested a OZ Open final with Sampras. The point i'm making is that these players never flourished after their early promise although it might be argued that Rafter over achieved. But the other guys like Enqvist, Moya and Kuerten to an extent never kicked on and so Fed and co never had the same experienced HOF's to contend with.

Put it this way how many of the current crop are going to have 6 or seven slams apart from Fed? How many will be future HOF's? Sampras had a whole different class of players to deal with. Edberg won the 93 US Open. Becker won the 96 OZ Open to name but a few. Federer in contrast is not meeting too many experienced GS winners unless you consider a part-time legend, Agassi, Lleytton Hewitt and the unpredictable Safin.

One attribute some people have missed is experience. It is arguble whether today's players are better than yesteryear's because of the marginal differences they share in power, groundstokes and fitness. But experience and a champion's mentality cannot be underestimated. Don't believe me just ask M Hingis.

random1
02-02-2006, 07:26 AM
Put it this way how many of the current crop are going to have 6 or seven slams apart from Fed? How many will be future HOF's? Sampras had a whole different class of players to deal with. Edberg won the 93 US Open. Becker won the 96 OZ Open to name but a few. Federer in contrast is not meeting too many experienced GS winners unless you consider a part-time legend, Agassi, Lleytton Hewitt and the unpredictable Safin.
Edberg and Sampras played twice in a GS. They were both between Pete's first and second GS wins, and I believe Pete credits losing to Edberg as a turning point in his focus/preparation. But I digress....

Lots of you guys mention Becker. All I can ask is whether any of you saw him play. While he did somehow manage to spend about 3 months of his career as No. 1, if I recall correctly it was while Edberg was off the tour for a bit due to some ailment, where he couldn't protect some points(not 100% sure of my memory on this).
Becker had a lousy forehand that couldn't reliably stay on court, but he did have the best serve of anyone up to the time he played. Strictly one-dimensional, and when you have to talk about Becker as defense of depth of the game, you've lost the argument already.

drexeler
02-02-2006, 07:43 AM
But the other guys like Enqvist, Moya and Kuerten to an extent never kicked on and so Fed and co never had the same experienced HOF's to contend with.
Fed, Safin, Hewitt, Roddick did play with two of the highest caliber HOFers (higher than Edberg & Becker) - Sampras and Agassi. All 4 of them have a winning record over Sampras.

Put it this way how many of the current crop are going to have 6 or seven slams apart from Fed? How many will be future HOF's? Sampras had a whole different class of players to deal with. Edberg won the 93 US Open. Becker won the 96 OZ Open to name but a few. Federer in contrast is not meeting too many experienced GS winners unless you consider a part-time legend, Agassi, Lleytton Hewitt and the unpredictable Safin.
How many slams did Edberg, Becker win during 93-98 when Sampras finished #1? Just 1. As Grimjack pointed out, they won their slams in an earlier era when there was no dominant champion like Sampras or Federer. Sampras beating Becker is not any greater than Fed beating Agassi.

Federer is simply a dominant champion in the mold of Sampras and Borg that would keep his opponents from picking up slams. I mean he has won 6 of the last 7 non-clay slams!! So I don't think it's fair to ask who among the current crop can win 6 or 7 slams.

troytennisbum
02-02-2006, 08:23 AM
Fed, Safin, Hewitt, Roddick did play with two of the highest caliber HOFers (higher than Edberg & Becker) - Sampras and Agassi. All 4 of them have a winning record over Sampras.

How many slams did Edberg, Becker win during 93-98 when Sampras finished #1? Just 1. As Grimjack pointed out, they won their slams in an earlier era when there was no dominant champion like Sampras or Federer. Sampras beating Becker is not any greater than Fed beating Agassi.

Federer is simply a dominant champion in the mold of Sampras and Borg that would keep his opponents from picking up slams. I mean he has won 6 of the last 7 non-clay slams!! So I don't think it's fair to ask who among the current crop can win 6 or 7 slams.

Exactly.
Yeah, this idea that today's men's pro tour is weak because only Fed is winning slams is nonsense. I mean DUH !!!! Federer is the MOST talented human being to have EVER picked up a racket and he is IN HIS PRIME right now. SO of COURSE there are not going to be a whole lot of other guys who are going to be winning slams !!!!!!!!!!!!! Common sense no ?

The fact is that today's top 100 in the men's tour is the most competitve group to have ever played this game period. The fact that an unknown could reach the FINALS at the AO is truly a testimony to this fact. And whats even more amazing is that, according to Federer (when he was sharing his thoughts on Marcos Bagdatis) there are A LOT of guys out there capable of doing this. On any given day, just about any guy in the top 10 (with perhaps the exception of Fed) can be beat by just about any guy in the top 100. This is what makes today's men's tour so exciting for me at least.

And I know this next comment is going to ruffle some feathers on this board, but I'm going to say it anyways. Even IF Sampras were in his prime today (age wise) and playing at the top of HIS game, there is NO WAY he would be enjoying the same degree of success that he did back when he played. Sure, he would still be competitve, and he would still be in the top 10 competing for Slams. But he sure wouldn't be winning 14 of them against today's men's field of players.

As an aside though, there is one guy who comes to mind from a past era who I think could make great rival for anyone today and that would be
Borg....he was truly a man ahead of his time IMO.
EOM.

tennishack
02-02-2006, 08:24 AM
Cmon with the hypothetical questions already - don't you have anything better to do?

devila
02-02-2006, 09:40 AM
Federer played poor matches for a year. Still, he squeaked by a dozen matches in Dubai, Miami, Halle, Cincinnati, US Open, Masters Cup and Australian Open. In 2004 and 2005, except for Nadal, Hewitt and Agassi, the players who've won a set from Federer have rarely made the quarterfinals of Masters and slam tourneys.

Safin and Roddick aren't fit and competitive enough.

Kiefer, Mirnyi, Haas, Ancic, Zabaleta, Ljubicic, Davydenko, Blake, Berdych, Nalbandian and Gaudio don't win many tournaments.

Soderling, Minar, Gasquet and Monfils are lucky to reach semifinals and finals of small tournaments the last year.

dora_75
02-02-2006, 10:40 AM
I think many "kids" on this message board don't know how to play tennis properly and don't recognize great tennis!!! Sampras a much tougher competition than Federer, in those days there was MUCH more versatility. And just because Fed won on game vs Sampras doesn't mean *****. Tennis has declined in my opinion, nowdays players prefer to stay back and rarely do anything else ... just check the grass close to baseline during Wimbi.

Just somethin I wanted to say for a long time: how many of you have tried to play SV during a game not many I gues, otherwise you would appreciate Sampi more.

Sampi to me is like Kobe he made tennis look easy - charging the net is no easy task when you play against AA.

Brettolius
02-02-2006, 11:06 AM
I think many "kids" on this message board don't know how to play tennis properly and don't recognize great tennis!!! Sampras a much tougher competition than Federer, in those days there was MUCH more versatility. And just because Fed won on game vs Sampras doesn't mean *****. Tennis has declined in my opinion, nowdays players prefer to stay back and rarely do anything else ... just check the grass close to baseline during Wimbi.

Just somethin I wanted to say for a long time: how many of you have tried to play SV during a game not many I gues, otherwise you would appreciate Sampi more.

Sampi to me is like Kobe he made tennis look easy - charging the net is no easy task when you play against AA.

Curious, do you think there may be a REASON no one comes to the net all the time anymore? Other than a few guys, none of whom are in the top ten? Reason being that it just doesn't work anymore, returns are too big, you have to pick your spots to come in. Could you imagine Rafter out there today with his groundies? He wouldn't get TO the net. Like others have mentioned, guys that Fed owns now did pretty well vs. Samps, granted he was a little past his prime, but didn't that seem to happen quite suddenly? He was just barely over 30.

Freedom
02-02-2006, 11:12 AM
Probably Federer, because he has to contend with guys like Agassi.

But wait, you say. Pete played Agassi more than Federer.

True, but on average, Federer has weak rivals - Hewitt, Roddick, Lubijiccilic (the bald Ivan guy)...Agassi and Nadal are really the only other guys on tour capable of giving Federer a match.

Sampras just blew everyone away, including Agassi. Most of Fed's "rivals" aren't much of a threat, but they're closer than Pete's rivals...

random1
02-02-2006, 11:17 AM
I think many "kids" on this message board don't know how to play tennis properly and don't recognize great tennis!!! Sampras a much tougher competition than Federer, in those days there was MUCH more versatility. And just because Fed won on game vs Sampras doesn't mean *****. Tennis has declined in my opinion, nowdays players prefer to stay back and rarely do anything else ... just check the grass close to baseline during Wimbi.

Just somethin I wanted to say for a long time: how many of you have tried to play SV during a game not many I gues, otherwise you would appreciate Sampi more.

Sampi to me is like Kobe he made tennis look easy - charging the net is no easy task when you play against AA.
On the contrary, too many people equate power with greatness. Everyone sees power players hit some winners and aces that look spectacular, without looking at the whole package. It's why people who don't play don't appreciate McEnroe, or in today's game, people like Hingis. People talking about Stich, Ivanisevic, etc. as examples of the great depth and difficulty of tennis in the 90's is truly ridiculous. It's not just that Fed beat Sampras, it's that Hewitt and Safin made Sampras look like a hack in US Open finals. Even the one-dimensional Andy Roddick gave Sampras all kinds of trouble.
Sampras was obviously great, but Agassi was the only great player he had to contend with, and he disappeared for a couple of years, and typically choked against Pete.

Brettolius
02-02-2006, 11:27 AM
Probably Federer, because he has to contend with guys like Agassi.

But wait, you say. Pete played Agassi more than Federer.

True, but on average, Federer has weak rivals - Hewitt, Roddick, Lubijiccilic (the bald Ivan guy)...Agassi and Nadal are really the only other guys on tour capable of giving Federer a match.

Sampras just blew everyone away, including Agassi. Most of Fed's "rivals" aren't much of a threat, but they're closer than Pete's rivals...

Yeah, 'cuz Pete had only ten losses in two years when exactly? Sampras lost more than Fed during his reign, so I'm not sure I understand your point.

devila
02-02-2006, 11:38 AM
Nalbandian and Roddick are the big chokers. Agassi and Federer don't choke much.

Tennis_Goodness
02-12-2006, 03:39 AM
The players are physcially tougher and bigger then any time before in tennis. Nadal is clear evidence of that and I think many people have a better all court game these days. You can't really compare era's though, and hindsight is 20/20.There were some greats playing with Sampras that weren't considered great at the time and that's probablly going to happend with some players from Federer's era. I think it's tougher to be and stay number one these days then any time before.

devila
02-12-2006, 09:55 AM
Federer's struggling with 12 titles won in 14 months? That must be toiugh.

Andres
02-12-2006, 10:12 AM
Just somethin I wanted to say for a long time: how many of you have tried to play SV during a game not many I gues, otherwise you would appreciate Sampi more.

I play S&V for about 85% or 90% of my service games :)

ACE of Hearts
02-12-2006, 10:15 AM
Andres, u talking too another serve and volley player here as well.;)

vllockhart
02-12-2006, 10:31 AM
This is hard to say. Sampras played with guys who were future hall of famers. Federer is playing with guys who are future hall of famers. Who's to say which bunch is tougher?

vllockhart
02-12-2006, 10:31 AM
This is hard to say. Sampras played with guys who were future hall of famers. Federer is playing with guys who are future hall of famers. Who's to say which bunch is tougher?

alienhamster
02-12-2006, 11:18 AM
I usually avoid these threads--because there is almost no way to come to a consensus on the criteria we'd use to evaluate these questions--but I like the specifics of this one.

I honestly see a lot of parallels between the two sets of rivals, and I think if a lot of the critics/haters/fans were honest with themselves, they would be leveling similar criticisms in both eras.

Courier--obvious strengths, but game is so one-dimensional. (Who does that sound like today?)

Chang--total pusher.

Agassi--such a talent, but a headcase at times.

Now, just to be clear here--I don't actually have these criticisms. But I'm certain if the internet tennis boards had existed back then, we would have seen this kind of stuff all the time. (In addition to conspiracy theories from Proto-Barry.)

As a thought experiment, I was imagining both Sampras and Federer playing against each other in each of these eras against the different rivals. My gut tells me that Federer would be more dominant in either case, though Sampras would be more successful in the earlier era (since the technology has produced so many good returners these days).

devila
02-12-2006, 01:16 PM
Nalbandian would be beaten badly by Sampras in 1999.

joe sch
02-12-2006, 04:35 PM
Tennis today is full of great baseliners.
Federer is the best baseliner, except for when the surface is clay.
Sampras was never the best baseliner or best serve/volleyer but his complete allcourt game made him the top slam winner against many mulitslam winners who were better baseliners and better serve/volleyers. Federer simply does not have to play any multislam winning serve/volleyer's. He probably will never have to face the variety of top competition that Sampras faced. I really dont think there is a comparison in strenght of opponents. This is one reason why the Sampras vs Federer comparision will go to Sampras even if it remains on the same pace or even if Federer ends up winning 15 slams. Thats my opinion.

Babblelot
02-13-2006, 05:20 PM
TBD

Who's to say? All we can hope for is that Federer's rivals will get tougher as he gets older, and that very well may happen.Up to the point both Pete and Roger turned 24, their careers mirror one another. Both born in August, by the end of the calendar year of their 24th birthday, Pete had won 7 slams (thru 1995 USO) while Roger had won 6 (thru 2005 USO).

Now let's turn to the question of who had the tougher competition. The way to measure this is to look at each's cohorts. Here, let's assume a cohort is +/-2 years. For Roger, born in August 1981, his cohort was born between 1979-1983, and by 2005 USO, here are their slam results:

Safin-4 Finals (2 wins)
Hewitt-4 Finals (2 wins)
Roddick-3 Finals (1 win)
Ferrero-3 Finals (1 win)
Nalbandian-1 Final
Coria-1 Final
Totals-6 opponents; 16 Finals (6 wins)

For Pete, born August 1971, his cohort was born between 1969-1973, and by 1995 USO, here are their slam results:

Courier-7 Finals (4 wins)
Agassi-7 Finals (3 wins)
Bruguera-2 Finals (2 wins)
Chang-2 Finals (1 win)
Ivanisevic-2 Fianls
Martin-1 Final
Pioline-1 Final
Berasategui-1 Final
Totals-8 opponents; 23 Finals (10 wins)

Anyway you slice it, at the same point in their careers, Pete's rivals were both stronger and deeper.

1. 8 different opponents from Pete's cohort made at least one slam final by 1995 USO; Roger had 6 different opponents from his cohort make at least one slam final.

2. Pete's cohort made 23 slam finals while Pete won his first 7 titles; Roger's cohort made 16 slam finals while Roger won his first 6 titles.

3. Pete's cohort won 10 slams while Pete won his first 7 titles; Roger's cohort won 6 slams while Roger won his first 6 titles.

Despite the claim by many that the men's game is deeper today than ever before, Pete's cohort was deeper.

Chadwixx
02-13-2006, 05:34 PM
Ya but the guys of today would beat those guys pretty badly. Hewitt was hitting winners off petes serve with ease, yet struggles against some today.

Agassi, courier are the only ones that would have a chance. The way agassi played back then he wouldnt be effective. He was like hewitt with no serve and couldnt volley to save his life. Courier had a great inside out forhand (still effective today), big serve and a solid overall game. He was in great shape too which puts him the best on that list in that time period vs the players of today.

Babblelot
02-13-2006, 06:14 PM
Hewitt was hitting winners off petes serve with ease, yet struggles against some today.The problem with this argument is that Hewitt didn't beat Sampras until 2000, when Pete was nearing the end of his career and Lleyton had just cracked the Top 10 for the first time in his young career.

You can't say Hewitt and Sampras were "rivals." You can say Sampras and Courier were rivals just as Federer and Hewitt are rivals.

For those of you who just don't "get it," I don't know that I can help you.

Grimjack
02-13-2006, 07:22 PM
Anyway you slice it, at the same point in their careers, Pete's rivals were both stronger and deeper.

1. 8 different opponents from Pete's cohort made at least one slam final by 1995 USO; Roger had 6 different opponents from his cohort make at least one slam final

...etc...

Pete's cohort was deeper.

Nonsense. Pete's rivals appeared "deeper" artificially precisely because they were able to win slams in the pre-Sampras era, when there was no legend around to grab all the trophies.

Federer's early-career rivals had no such luck, as they had to try to win slams in the Sampras era. Only a few were able, and they (Hewitt, Safin, et al) were the ones who drove Sampras from the game at an early age, while they themselves were still just pups. But then came Federer, so they weren't able to amass GS titles like the Couriers, Agassis, Edbergs, and Beckers were.

The guy who comes after Federer will face the same criticism -- his rivals will have pitiful resumes. But why? Because they're not good players? No, because they will never have had a chance at most of the GS trophies, because Federer will have a room full of them.

For those of you who just don't "get it," I don't know that I can help you.

Don't put on airs when the logic you use to dismiss others is so poorly thought out. You come off like an idiot.

el_profe
02-13-2006, 10:51 PM
There is two problems with discussing this question on this board:
1. The lack of tennis knowledge from many of the posters.
2. The age of many of the poster, who I would say more than 50% never watched tennis before 2000 and if they did they where to young to really remember anything.

The comparisons of Hewitt and Safin beat Sampras so the competition is better is kind of ridiculous, considering Sampras was without at the end of his carrer when these losses happened. By that time the type of game hewitt played was precisely the type of game that Sampras did not want to play, long grinding matches, his body just could not do it. Safin just outplayed Sampras but it was just 1 game and if we are measuring by that standard, Berdych or gasquet or Nalbandian are next in line for tennis HOF immortality...

Also the talk about the speed of servers is obviously ignorant, considering Rusedski among others where serving over 140 mph before 2000. And most players today have the same tyle, baseline game with no variety, I think this will change a bit but for the moment its true. Remember we are comparing just 10 years ago, the truth is the game has not changed dramatically in 10 years so dont make that claim especially those who didnt even see a game played pre 2000.

I think what we must do is compare the players "Golden Era" or dominent Era this would include the time when they where still regularly active on tour, still winning and at the age where the body is suppose to be at its peak level for sports, that age is middle 20's 23-28.

Obviously Federer has just reached that age so we must compare those years with the sampras years.

I mean if we really want to go just by opponents, you can say sampras played with Connors, Mcenroe, Stich,Lendl, Wilander etc. With the exeption of Stich, all these guys where at the end of their carrers and it would be unfair to compare Sampras with them based on any matches he won against them at the en of their carrers, much like comparing federer's win over sampras, or safin's etc.

Sampras had much better players to deal with in his 23-26 prime years than federer has, had that might change but without a doubt you cant compare the top 15 today with top 15 in 1995, I mean it would be unfair to all the grand slam winners, finalist and overall great players of that era. Are you going to compare a Gaston Gaudio or Coria with muster or chang? or Roddick with courier, ivanisevic, agassi, stich? no. Nadal has only plaeyd one year so I guess we can compare him with Guga and Brugera, but we still need to see how he follows up on last year.

Just look at the top 15 in 1994 when Sampras was 23 and had started his dominance compared to the top 15, 2 years ago when federer was that age and had started his dominance:
1994: 2004:
1 Sampras, Pete 1 Federer, Roger
2 Agassi, Andre 2 Roddick, Andy
3 Becker, Boris 3 Hewitt, Lleyton
4 Bruguera, Sergi 4 Safin, Marat
5 Ivanisevic, Goran 5 Moya, Carlos
6 Chang, Michael 6 Henman, Tim
7 Edberg, Stefan 7 Coria, Guillermo
8 Berasategui, Alberto 8 Agassi, Andre
9 Stich, Michael 9 Nalbandian, David
10 Martin, Todd 10 Gaudio, Gaston
11 Kafelnikov, Yevgeny 11 Johansson, Joachim
12 Ferreira, Wayne 12 Canas, Guillermo
13 Courier, Jim 13 Robredo, Tommy
14 Rosset, Marc 14 Hrbaty, Dominik
15 Medvedev, Andrei 15 Grosjean, Sebastien

1997: 2006(so far)
1 SAMPRAS, PETE 1 Federer, Roger
2 RAFTER, PATRICK 2 Nadal, Rafael
3 CHANG, MICHAEL 3 Roddick, Andy
4 BJORKMAN, JONAS 4 Nalbandian, David
5 KAFELNIKOV, YEVGENY 5 Ljubicic, Ivan
6 RUSEDSKI, GREG 6 Davydenko, Nikolay
7 MOYA, CARLOS 7 Coria, Guillermo
8 BRUGUERA, SERGI 8 Agassi, Andre
9 MUSTER, THOMAS 9 Gaudio, Gaston
10 RIOS, MARCELO 10 Ferrer, David
11 KRAJICEK, RICHARD 11 Hewitt, Lleyton
12 CORRETJA, ALEX 12 Kiefer, Nicolas
13 KORDA, PETR 13 Johansson, Thomas
14 KUERTEN, GUSTAVO 14 Robredo, Tommy
15 IVANISEVIC, GORAN 15 Gonzalez, Fernando

Now anyone who actually saw tennis during the tie periods shown or even if you just go by the numbers of the players in terms of slams won and finals played at that time no one in there right mind can say that the competition for Federer has been tougher. Now out of the top 15, I see only Nadal as a guy that will win more slams, maybe Roddick might sneek in 1 or 2 but the rest are just okay players who will not win a slam. The new generation of players coming up is a promising one and we will see how they pan out but I give the Murray, Djokovic, baghdatis, Monflis, Gasquet, Del Potro, Berdych group, much better chances of winning a slam than everyone on that list except hewitt, nadal and maybe roddick.

There really is no argument to be made here, yes Federer might be the most talented player ever to play and is on his way to becoming the best player ever but Pete Sampras without a doubt faced much tougher competition.

kbg
02-14-2006, 12:04 AM
Nonsense. Pete's rivals appeared "deeper" artificially precisely because they were able to win slams in the pre-Sampras era, when there was no legend around to grab all the trophies.

Federer's early-career rivals had no such luck, as they had to try to win slams in the Sampras era. Only a few were able, and they (Hewitt, Safin, et al) were the ones who drove Sampras from the game at an early age, while they themselves were still just pups. But then came Federer, so they weren't able to amass GS titles like the Couriers, Agassis, Edbergs, and Beckers were.


This is so true. Consider that between Sampras and Agassi they amassed 22 Slams: it's like they took a chunk of five and a half years when noone else was allowed to win a slam. There's no doubt in my mind that someone like David Nalbandian or Marcos Baghdatis could easily beat a Krajicek, Ivanisevic or Michael Chang. Can you imagine Courier or Chang winning Roland Garros up against the likes of Nadal, Kuerten, Nalbandian, Ferrero, Gonzalez, Safin and countless other specialists? No way.

As for Babblelot's list of contemporaries, I find it quite erroneous because the criteria for making it seems so arbitrary: the artificial constraint he's imposed on the data makes it look extremely skewed. Why not include Gustavo Kuerten (3 Slams) or Gaston Gaudio (1 Slam) or Tomas Johansson (1 Slam), players who were contemporaries of Federer during his period of dominance? Why not include Nadal and Baghdatis too for that matter? It makes no sense to create an arbitrary definition of "contemporary," a contemporary is someone you play the game with at a similar time period, none of this +2/-2 nonsense.

Polaris
02-14-2006, 12:06 AM
I think that the question posed at the top of the polls "Who had/has tougher rivals?" is fundamentally different from the alternatives, which actually answer the question "Who had better rivals?".

I would interpret "better rivals" as "better players", and in this respect, I think that the players of today are better than the players of tomorrow not only because of better technology but because they learn from the mistakes of the past generations. This is based on the assumption that, since there is not much difference between the popularity of tennis in the 1990s and the 2000s, the talent pool that tennis attracted contained approximately the same number of highly talented players in both decades. If this assumption is blown to bits, then I can't answer the question.

By "tougher" rivals, I mean players who give/gave Federer/Sampras a hard time. Here, it appears from the records that Sampras has tougher rivals than Federer, but the reason might be that the difference between Sampras and his peers is less than the difference between Federer and his peers. Put another way, the records (so far) show that Federer is way better than his peers, while Sampras was sufficiently better than his peers to build a legendary record.

Now, I don't wish to be drawn into saying who faced "greater" players. That is yet another can of worms. I am definitely not saying that Federer's rivals are "greater" players than Sampras's rivals, or vice versa.

armand
02-14-2006, 04:52 AM
As for Babblelot's list of contemporaries, I find it quite erroneous because the criteria for making it seems so arbitrary: the artificial constraint he's imposed on the data makes it look extremely skewed. Why not include Gustavo Kuerten (3 Slams) or Gaston Gaudio (1 Slam) or Tomas Johansson (1 Slam)...Gustavo Kuerten a contemporary of Federer? No way! Even if he weren't at the end of his hobbling career now, he still had his best years during Sampras' time.

Babblelot
02-14-2006, 05:38 AM
Nonsense.You continue to promote this weak *** theory without supporting it, Jack. Theories vary, but numbers don't lie.

At the same point in their careers, Sampras' rivals were both deeper and tougher. You may not know this, but Pete was on the tour in 1990, the year he captured his first slam at age 19.

Now go spin. (ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) *Yawn* ...and keep in mind, while you flail away at your windmill, the knot on top of your head impedes your ability to manage your hysteria.

Babblelot
02-14-2006, 05:49 AM
This is so true. Consider that between Sampras and Agassi they amassed 22 SlamsThat's why you don't look past what either (Sampras and Agassi) had accomplished post-1995 USO. You have to compare apples to apples-what Pete's cohort accomplished by the time Sampras turned 24 versus what Roger's cohort accomplished by the time he turned 24.

This stuff isn't that complicated, fellas.

...well, not for everyone--clearly, some of you struggle mightily.

Galactus
02-14-2006, 06:55 AM
Looking at both Sampras' and Federer's competition at the same stage of their career (in terms of the 7th Slam won, not years, in which Federer is faster by 2) it's close:
Sampras:
USO - Agassi - 6-4 6-3 6-2
Wimbledon - Courier - 7-6 7-6 3-6 6-3
USO - Pioline - 6-4 6-3 6-3
AUSO - Martin - 7-6 6-4 6-4
Wimbledon - Ivanisevic - 7-6 7-6 6-0
Wimbledon - Becker - 6-7 6-2 6-4 6-2
USO - Agassi - 6-4 6-3 4-7 7-6

Federer:
Wimbledon - Phillippoussis - 7-6 6-2 7-6
AUSO - Safin - 7-6 6-4 6-2
Wimbledon - Roddick - 4-6 7-5 7-6 6-4
USO - Hewitt - 6-0 7-6 6-0
Wimbledon - Roddick - 6-2 7-6 6-4
USO - Agassi - 6-3 2-6 7-6 6-1
AUSO - Baghdatis - 5-7 7-5 6-0 6-2

I think we can agree that Pioline and Martin can be equated with Phillippousis and Baghdatis, it's the next set of 5 opposition that causes the debates.
With Sampras, we have Courier, who at that time in '93 was a 4-time Slam winner; Ivanisevic wasn't the finished article yet, playing in only his 2nd final; Becker was a 6-slam 'Hall of Famer' and winding down his career; Agassi in '90 was a beginner - but in '95 he was already an established Slammer with 3 to his resume.
Moving onto Federer, we've accounted for Phillippoussis and Baghdatis, which leaves us with Safin with one crushing slam against Sampras himself and not much else; Roddick in almost the same boat, albeit more final appearances and Hewitt, who in 2004 was a 2-slam winner.

It's close and both players dropped 3 sets apiece during their slam final wins, but Sampras wins this one, just for the simple fact that his level of opposition at the time of his 7th slam victory were multi-slam winners themselves.

fastdunn
02-14-2006, 10:06 AM
I know this is some somewhat stupid thread but then I like
stupid question which answer is obviously "We don't know"
simply because Federer just started his prime time of career.

But I'd like to add the "lefty" factor. We have unusually low
number of top lefty players right now. Lefty is always a factor.
Laver was lefty and McAnroe was lefty. People do not realize
how big threat the lefty Ivanisevic was at Wimbledon for Sampras.
How about steroid juiced up Korda who stopped at least 1 slam
for Sampras ? And other dangerous huge lefty servers like Rudseski ?

Federer enjoyed no-good-lefties period for a while and then hit
a little bump called Nadal.....

mr2union
02-14-2006, 10:15 AM
I'm confused as how we can measure the players from different decades. Comparing Pete to Federer is fun, but unrealistic. Pete's era focused on complete game, there were many S&V'er-Edberg, Becker, Henman, Martin, Rafter and Pete himself. There were also many baseliners-Courier, Agassi, Chang, Pioline, Kelvinekov (spelling). And there were also many heavy servers-Ivanisevic (spelling), Phillipussissi...etc. Beating most of these players, Pete was obviously in a class of its own.

However, Federer also has great competitors-Agassi, Hewitt, Roddick, Nelbandian, Ferrero, Safin..etc. The competitions may be more one dimensional, but nonetheless very competitive. Federer is just too good for all of these players.

I don't think it's fair to compare their competitions so we indirectly compare the two top players in different time periods because the games were played very differently.

To compare, one must factors in the mentality of the players too. In the 90's they focused mostly in tennis skills, not so much about fitness and strength. I wonder how many players did weigh-training back then. However, it is mostly about power, endurance, strenght in recent times. How can you compare these two catagories?

If one has to compare, one needs to assume Federer as of now, subtract his quickness, subtract his fitness, subtract the technology of the equipments (rackets & balls), subtract the difference in court condition (even Wimbledon's grass is very different than before; AO now has retractable roof to block the heat..etc.). If one can accurately make the above adjustments, only then the comparison is meaningful. Otherwise, the arguement can go on with no value added.

Babblelot
02-14-2006, 12:43 PM
I'm confused as how we can measure the players from different decades. Comparing Pete to Federer is fun, but unrealistic.I totally agree and refrain from doing so. The topic of this thread is: who had/has the tougher rivals?, not "are today's players better than yesterday's?", which some are finding it difficult to differentiate between the two.

If Jack wants to debate whether today's players are better than yesterday's he should start his own thread.

Chadwixx
02-14-2006, 02:56 PM
How about steroid juiced up Korda who stopped at least 1 slam for Sampras ?

You mean the steroid the atp trainer gave him on the court? He should have sued them, im going to assume they paid him off for their error. He was on his way up when they took him out with some bs.

Chadwixx
02-14-2006, 02:59 PM
I totally agree and refrain from doing so. The topic of this thread is: who had/has the tougher rivals?, not "are today's players better than yesterday's?", which some are finding it difficult to differentiate between the two.

If Jack wants to debate whether today's players are better than yesterday's he should start his own thread.

Wouldnt better players = tougher rivals?

Rival wise sampras was clearly better because no one can beat fed, while pete lost regularly. But if we are rating their competition then feds is tougher because they are better players.

dmastous
02-14-2006, 03:17 PM
I think tennis is better today overall, the players ranked 140 or 180 are really good, challenger events are of great level these guys give some serious trouble to the top guys, but is there where I find that today's players are a bit weak.
right underneath Federer we have people like Safin and Hewitt who I consider true legends, but that's about it. then in the top 10 there's people like Roddick, Davydenko, or Ljubicic who despite being decent players are no Muster, Bruguera or Rafter.

if you look at the top 30 players of 1996 you can probably say that Sampras had much more to worry about.

1 SAMPRAS, PETE USA 4865
2 CHANG, MICHAEL USA 3597
3 KAFELNIKOV, YEVGENY RUS 3564
4 IVANISEVIC, GORAN CRO 3492
5 MUSTER, THOMAS AUT 3166
6 BECKER, BORIS GER 2983
7 KRAJICEK, RICHARD NED 2380
8 AGASSI, ANDRE USA 2364
9 ENQVIST, THOMAS SWE 2191
10 FERREIRA, WAYNE RSA 2149
11 RIOS, MARCELO CHI 2114
12 MARTIN, TODD USA 2039
13 COSTA, ALBERT ESP 1757
14 EDBERG, STEFAN SWE 1567
15 SIEMERINK, JAN NED 1530
16 STICH, MICHAEL GER 1518
17 GUSTAFSSON, MAGNUS SWE 1515
18 MANTILLA, FELIX ESP 1505
19 BERASATEGUI, ALBERTO ESP 1477
20 WASHINGTON, MALIVAI USA 1472
21 PIOLINE, CEDRIC FRA 1455
22 ROSSET, MARC SUI 1406
23 CORRETJA, ALEX ESP 1385
24 KORDA, PETR CZE 1332
25 HAARHUIS, PAUL NED 1312
26 COURIER, JIM USA 1299
27 WOODFORDE, MARK AUS 1287
28 MOYA, CARLOS ESP 1283
29 HENMAN, TIM GBR 1243
30 PHILIPPOUSSIS, MARK AUS 1242

Now add to that the top 50 from 1990...
1 Edberg, Stefan (SWE)
2 Courier, Jim (USA)
3 Becker, Boris (GER)
4 Stich, Michael (GER)
5 Lendl, Ivan (TCH)
6 Sampras, Pete (USA)
7 Forget, Guy (FRA)
8 Novacek, Karel (TCH)
9 Korda, Petr (TCH)
10 Agassi, Andre (USA)
11 Bruguera, Sergi (ESP)
12 Gustafsson, Magnus (SWE)
13 Rostagno, Derrick (USA)
14 Sanchez, Emilio (ESP)
15 Chang, Michael (USA)
16 Ivanisevic, Goran (YUG)
17 Wheaton, David (USA)
18 Prpic, Goran (YUG)
19 Gilbert, Brad (USA)
20 Hlasek, Jakob (SUI)
21 Cherkasov, Andrei (USSR)
22 Mancini, Alberto (ARG)
23 Arrese, Jordi (ESP)
24 Camporese, Omar (ITA)
25 Volkov, Alexander (USSR)
26 Siemerink, Jan (NED)
27 Reneberg, Richey (USA)
28 McEnroe, John (USA)
29 Svensson, Jonas (SWE)
30 Clavet, Francisco (ESP)
31 Chesnokov, Andrei (USSR)
32 Sanchez, Javier (ESP)
33 Skoff, Horst (AUT)
34 Krickstein, Aaron (USA)
35 Muster, Thomas (AUT)
36 McEnroe, Patrick (USA)
37 Haarhuis, Paul (NED)
38 Caratti, Cristiano (ITA)
39 Steeb, Carl-Uwe (GER)
40 Krajicek, Richard (NED)
41 Delaitre, Olivier (FRA)
42 Perez-Roldan, Guillermo (ARG)
43 Santoro, Fabrice (FRA)
44 Bergström, Christian (SWE)
45 Järryd, Anders (SWE)
46 Jaite, Martin (ARG)
47 Champion, Thierry (FRA)
48 Connors, Jimmy (USA)
49 Washington, MaliVai (USA)
50 Ferreira, Wayne (RSA)

superman1
02-14-2006, 03:43 PM
And look at Agassi, he was only ranked #8 in 1996. He barely played in 2005 and still had that same ranking. Did he get better with age or did the competition get more shallow?

Babblelot
02-14-2006, 04:23 PM
Wouldnt better players = tougher rivals?

Rival wise sampras was clearly better because no one can beat fed, while pete lost regularly. But if we are rating their competition then feds is tougher because they are better players.It's all relative, so here's how you have to approach this question.

Let's refer to the advances in the game: speed, technology, etc.. as the "skills set."

For any cohort, then, the "skills set" is your control variable. In this way, you can compare "who had the tougher competition?"

When the "skills set" is no longer your control variable, then you can address "are today's players better than yesterday's?"

TGV
02-14-2006, 07:23 PM
Wimbledon: Becker, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Agassi > Roddick, Hewitt, Ancic

Other slams: Safin, Roddick, Hewitt, Nadal, Nalbandian, Agassi > Agassi, Courier, Chang, Pioline, Muster, Kafelnikov.

(Didn't consider guys like Rafter & Korda who became formidable rivals for Sampras only after '97. For Federer, Gasquet, Berdych etc. could turn to be similar caliber rivals)

random1
02-15-2006, 06:28 AM
Rival wise sampras was clearly better because no one can beat fed, while pete lost regularly.
Sampras was better because he lost more?:confused:

Babblelot
02-15-2006, 06:31 AM
The list of guys around in 1995 still playing in 2005

DOB … player ... 1995 age ….. rank … 2005 age ... rank … +/-
1970 … Agassi ………. 25 ….. 2 ………. 35 ………. 7 ….. -5
1971 … Arthurs ………. 24 ….. 752 ………. 34 ………. 97 ….. 655
1972 … Santoro ………. 23 ….. 102 ………. 33 ………. 58 ….. 44 …*
1972 … Sanguinetti ………. 23 ….. 290 ………. 33 ………. 44 ….. 246
1972 … Bjorkman ………. 23 ….. 30 ………. 33 ………. 64 ….. -34
1973 … Rusedski ………. 22 ….. 37 ………. 32 ………. 37 ….. 0
1974 … Henman ………. 21 ….. 95 ………. 31 ………. 36 ….. 59 … **
1974 … Kucera………. 21…..79 ……….31 ……….310 …..-231
1974 … Spadea ………. 21 ….. 81 ………. 31 ………. 75 ….. 6
1974 … Mantilla ………. 21 ….. 92 ………. 31 ………. 117 ….. -25
1975 … Novak ………. 20 ….. 53 ………. 30 ………. 48 ….. 5
1975 … T. Johansson ………. 20 ….. 117 ………. 30 ………. 13 ….. 104
1976 … Moya ………. 19 ….. 61 ………. 29 ………. 31 ….. 30
1976 … Schuettler ………. 19 ….. 446 ………. 29 ………. 96 ….. 350
1977 … Kiefer ………. 18 ….. 206 ………. 28 ………. 22 ….. 184
1977 … Mirnyi ………. 18 ….. 399 ………. 28 ………. 34 ….. 365
1977 … Gambill ………. 18 ….. 556 ………. 28 ………. 192 ….. 364
1977 … Gimelstob ………. 18 ….. 577 ………. 28 ………. 104 ….. 473
1977 … Clement ………. 18 ….. 652 ………. 28 ………. 69 ….. 583
1978 … Hrbaty ………. 17 ….. 315 ………. 27 ………. 18 ….. 297
1978 … M. Zabaleta ………. 17 ….. 381 ………. 27 ………. 83 ….. 298
1978 … Wessels ………. 17 ….. 638 ………. 27 ………. 145 ….. 493
1978 … Bracciali ………. 17 ….. 951 ………. 27 ………. 81 ….. 870
1979 … Scrichaphan ………. 16 ….. 937 ………. 26 ………. 42 ….. 895

*Santoro reached first QF in 54 slams 2006 AO at age 33 (#41)
**ranked YE #6 2004 at age 30

Santoro, Arthurs, Sanguietti, Rusedski, Bjorkman and Henman among others, are worth noting.

Like Rusedski, Novak isn't going away; hard to believe "journeymen" like Spadea would make a dent against the greatest players of all time.

Babblelot
02-15-2006, 07:27 AM
Ya but the guys of today would beat those guys pretty badly. Hewitt was hitting winners off petes serve with ease, yet struggles against some today.

5. 2000 US Open, Hard S Sampras 7 6 6 4 7 6 (Pete leads 4-1 at age 29)
4. 2000 Queen's Club, Grass, F Hewitt 4 6 4 6 (Pete leads 3-1)
3. 2000 Miami, Hard, S Sampras 6 3 3 6 6 1 (Pete leads 3-0)
2. 1999 Queen's Club, Grass, S Sampras 4 6 6 4 7 6 (Pete leads 2-0)
1. 1998 New Haven, Hard, R32 Sampras 6 1 7 6 (Pete leads 1-0)


Now what was it you were saying about Hewitt peppering Sampras' serve? Arguing with some of you goofs is like arguing one of my ex-girlfriends.

Galactus
02-15-2006, 08:16 AM
Ya but the guys of today would beat those guys pretty badly. Hewitt was hitting winners off Pete's serve with ease, yet struggles against some today.

Agassi, Courier are the only ones that would have a chance. The way Agassi played back then he wouldnt be effective. He was like Hewitt with no serve and couldnt volley to save his life. Courier had a great inside out forhand (still effective today), big serve and a solid overall game. He was in great shape too which puts him the best on that list in that time period vs the players of today.
Agreed - even looking at the difference in the last 10 years of the biggest servers in the men's game shows this:
Rusedski, Phillippousis, Krajicek, Rosset, Sampras, Alonso, Stich, Moya, Becker, Henman, Ivanisevic were all regulary serving in the 125+mph range all the way up to 145mph.
But compare these with today's guys: Roddick, Dent, Guccione, Kiefer, Johansson, Gasquet, Blake, Federer, Karlovic...in fact, pretty much everyone serves on or around those speeds.

It appears that overall speeds havent increased that much, but two factors have:
1 - Number of players who have 125mph+ serve
2 - Number of players who can return these serves better (in fact, it'd be interesting to compare the return-of-1st-serve percentages of today's guys against those 10 years ago)

Chadwixx
02-15-2006, 08:39 AM
5. 2000 US Open, Hard S Sampras 7 6 6 4 7 6 (Pete leads 4-1 at age 29)
4. 2000 Queen's Club, Grass, F Hewitt 4 6 4 6 (Pete leads 3-1)
3. 2000 Miami, Hard, S Sampras 6 3 3 6 6 1 (Pete leads 3-0)
2. 1999 Queen's Club, Grass, S Sampras 4 6 6 4 7 6 (Pete leads 2-0)
1. 1998 New Haven, Hard, R32 Sampras 6 1 7 6 (Pete leads 1-0)


Now what was it you were saying about Hewitt peppering Sampras' serve? Arguing with some of you goofs is like arguing one of my ex-girlfriends.

Hewitt was 15 when their first match was played, how about you list the results after hewitt hit puberty?

Chadwixx
02-15-2006, 08:41 AM
Sampras was better because he lost more?:confused:

No, sampras rivals were better cause pete lost more.

Babblelot
02-15-2006, 08:47 AM
Hewitt was 15 when their first match was played, how about you list the results after hewitt hit puberty?15, eh? You're not worth it.

Chadwixx
02-15-2006, 09:21 AM
My mistake he was 17. Many male pro players are developed at that age, lol.

Funny you neglect to mention hewitts thrashing of pete at the us open, pete's home court.

Also amusing you forget hewitt beat sampras twice on a grass court. Hard to believe hewitt could neutralize that huge serve on grass. The only time pete beat hewitt on grass was when hewitt was 18 years old and it still took a 3rd set tiebreaker.

Hewitt even bageld pete in 2000. Sorry, but the goat doesnt get bageled.

The stats say it all

http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/headtohead/head2head.asp?player1=Hewitt%2C+Lleyton&player2=sampras

Babblelot
02-15-2006, 09:43 AM
My mistake he was 17. Many male pro players are developed at that age, lol.

Funny you neglect to mention hewitts thrashing of pete at the us open, pete's home court.

Also amusing you forget hewitt beat sampras twice on a grass court. Hard to believe hewitt could neutralize that huge serve on grass. The only time pete beat hewitt on grass was when hewitt was 18 years old and it still took a 3rd set tiebreaker.

Hewitt even bageld pete in 2000. Sorry, but the goat doesnt get bageled.

The stats say it all

http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/headtohead/head2head.asp?player1=Hewitt%2C+Lleyton&player2=samprasYou really enjoy picking on old man Sampras. :p :p

Let me make it easier for you. Go back to my post(s) comparing Pete's accomplishments by age 24 to those of Federer. That's a good place to start.

Double K
03-10-2006, 03:20 PM
Federereerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Morpheus
03-10-2006, 04:03 PM
Fed makes his "rivals" look average. I think they would fare very well against the top tier in Pete's era.

fastdunn
03-10-2006, 04:18 PM
It would be impossible to compare Fed's rivals against Sampras rivals.

But I think so far some objective observations, IMHO, are
1. Sampras had opponents with more variety of styles
2. Sampras had taller and bigger top 10-20 players

5-6 out of top 10 players are now under 6 foot.
In 90's, it was often just Chang struggling against tall
players...

prostaff1
03-12-2006, 06:28 AM
The rivals of Sampras were much better. There is no debate.
And to clarify, Edberg won Wimbledon in 90, and back-to-back US Open's in 91 and 92...defeating none other than Pete Sampras, who won his first Open in 1990.
Also, who beat Pete in the Australian Open semi's in 93- following that US Open defense?--Stefan Edberg.

Babblelot
04-03-2006, 04:43 PM
Well I gotta give the edge to Federer. The way people play and the way people hits serves are different. Pete Sampras who was hitting serves in the 200-210km/h region was at the time considered one of the fastest server in the game. Forehands that was hit at the 140s were considered one of the fastest forehands. These days you can see anyone hitting those consistently. So I guess you'd have to have better hand and eye coordination. Just my 2 cents *shrugs*
I've been away, but have always intended on returning to this topic.

Serve speed seems to gain a lot of attention in this thread.

True, the serve speeds today may be about 15 mph greater than during the mid-90s. However, baseline returners of this era stand about 8 feet behind where returners during Pete's time stood.

Then net effect is negligible.

Reaction time facing a 135 mph serve from a moder baseliner ~ 0.43 seconds.

Reaction time facing a 120 mph serve from the mid-90s ~ 0.44 seconds.

BFD, fellas. Seriously.

A player on the baseline and not several feet behind is in a much more advantageous position.

fastdunn
04-03-2006, 04:59 PM
1. The ball speed slows down about 50% after it bounced.
The surface is much slow now. So it loses more than before.

2. There is no true reference machine for measuring ball speed.
Even if they clock higher speeds on modern machine, that's
not always faster than serves of past. For example Agassi
serving speed has increased a lot as he gets older ???

Morpheus
04-03-2006, 05:00 PM
I've been away, but have always intended on returning to this topic.

And here I was just thinking..."more cowbell!" Welcome back.

tlm
04-04-2006, 06:19 AM
Sampras had tougher rivals,the mens field today is very weak!

Brettolius
04-04-2006, 07:41 AM
Sampras had tougher rivals,the mens field today is very weak!
Thanks for the input, brilliant post! pfft

rj_md
04-04-2006, 06:45 PM
i think federer's are harder...just coz it's a faster and harder game these days...

Rhino
04-04-2006, 07:08 PM
"Federer has no rivals" - Sampras

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/4878104.stm

Rhino
04-04-2006, 07:12 PM
15, eh? You're not worth it.
Don't start something you can't finish, junior.

Galactus
04-05-2006, 01:38 AM
"Federer has no rivals" - Sampras
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/4878104.stm
"I don't see anyone with a big enough weapon to hurt him," said Sampras, "They're just staying back and Roger is able to dictate well enough. You just have to serve well and attack him."

:mrgreen:

superman1
04-05-2006, 02:41 AM
We got proof of that with Ljubicic. If Ljuby was a serve and volleyer, who knows...

joy
04-05-2006, 07:40 AM
"I don't see anyone with a big enough weapon to hurt him," said Sampras, "They're just staying back and Roger is able to dictate well enough. You just have to serve well and attack him."

:mrgreen:

Seriously, Is Sampras not aware of a person called Rafael Nadal?

Galactus
04-05-2006, 07:45 AM
Seriously, Is Sampras not aware of a person called Rafael Nadal?
Nadal stays further back than anyone....and his serve is not his biggest weapon.

I actually think Ljubicic did a great job in the Nasdaq-100 final - he just paused at that moment when he should have been aggressively attacking more and gace Federer some 'nothing' grounstrokes to capitulate upon. As soon as he began to have doubts, he let Federer dictate every time.

If he continues to play like that, I'd love to see him have a crack at Federer at Wimbledon this year...

opiate
04-05-2006, 07:45 AM
an interruption to your usual transmission.

now. do you think nadal can run sampras down? i mean, chase all his balls and basically outlast him on court?

or any other thoughts.

can nadal "dominate" sampras the way he "dominates" federer.
okay the word is probably too strong. but it's there for added drama.

:D

Galactus
04-05-2006, 07:54 AM
an interruption to your usual transmission.

now. do you think nadal can run sampras down? i mean, chase all his balls and basically outlast him on court?

or any other thoughts.

can nadal "dominate" sampras the way he "dominates" federer.
okay the word is probably too strong. but it's there for added drama.

:D
I havent seen stats, but it appears that Nadal can deal with Federer's 'new' serving style. 'New' as in he has cut down on speed and mixes up speed/spin a lot more.
I couldn't see Nadal chasing down everything from Sampras, but if he could return well and aggresively, then I'd fancy his chances...

joy
04-05-2006, 08:06 AM
Nadal stays further back than anyone....and his serve is not his biggest weapon.

I actually think Ljubicic did a great job in the Nasdaq-100 final - he just paused at that moment when he should have been aggressively attacking more and gace Federer some 'nothing' grounstrokes to capitulate upon. As soon as he began to have doubts, he let Federer dictate every time.

If he continues to play like that, I'd love to see him have a crack at Federer at Wimbledon this year...

Actually I could not understand Sampras comment that Federer has no rivals, when there is actually Nadal giving him a lot of troubles and threatening to dethrone him in the short future. Federer has beaten Nadal only once and that too not convincingly. Nadal is also capable of beating anybody else on his day and can dominate to the same extent as Federer. Remember he won the same no of titles as Federer last year (11) and is unbeatable on clay and any other slow surface. With that being the case, how can anyone say that Federer has no rivals. In fact Nadal is far far more threat and difficult for Federer than Agassi (or any body else for that matter) ever was to Sampras during his prime.

AAAA
04-05-2006, 08:16 AM
Hewitt is 5-4 lifetime against Sampras. He played Sampras twice in majors, lost the first meeting by a close score line 7-6(7) 6-4 7-6(5) and then thrashed Sampras in the second meeting 7-6(4) 6-1 6-1.

Using the 'logic' seen here that goes something along the lines of 'well luby can really trouble Federer so no doubt Sampras would beat him' then so too must the follow be true 'well Nadal is at least as fast as Hewitt and is much stronger and has a much more powerful forehand, and has lefty spin and lefty players did cause Sampras problems so no doubt Nadal can handle Sampras's game.

fastdunn
04-05-2006, 09:48 AM
"I don't see anyone with a big enough weapon to hurt him," said Sampras, "They're just staying back and Roger is able to dictate well enough. You just have to serve well and attack him."

:mrgreen:

I think Sampras' comment is right on the money.
There is no one who can dismantle Federer's defense. That's
the key right now. Nadal neutralizes Federer's offense.

No truely attacking player who has enough fire power.
Especially, Federer's service game is very attackable.
If he ever drops out of current domination, it will be
because of his service game, I predict..

fastdunn
04-05-2006, 09:52 AM
no doubt Nadal can handle Sampras's game.

I seriously think Sampras can take out Nadal easily even now at 34
(on non-clay surface).

Nadal shows what Federer does not have but Sampras has: greater
and more versatile attacking game.

TGV
04-05-2006, 10:17 AM
I seriously think Sampras can take out Nadal easily even now at 34
(on non-clay surface).

Nadal shows what Federer does not have but Sampras has: greater
and more versatile attacking game.

Game-wise, I think Sampras matches up better than Federer against Nadal but a 5-setter with Nadal will test his physical strength and endurance like never before. Remember, Sampras nearly collapsed after long battles with Yzaga, Chesnakov (Davis Cup) and Corretja.

Nadal is a beast and he will punish you physically by extending rallies, hitting punishing high-kicking topspin FH's and has enough hand skills and shotmaking ability from awkard positions to turn seemingly lost rallies into winning ones.

fastdunn
04-05-2006, 10:43 AM
Sampras struggled with attacking players and hardly with defensive
players. When Sampras struggled with the lefty Korda, it was becasue
of Korda's shot making ability with his flat shots(besides his leftiness).

Despite his somewhat questional fitness problem, Sampras had great
5 set records as i recall. Typical Sampras is, when the resistence is great,
he would scroll thru his opponents serving game non-chalantly
and finish it in a tie-breaker with great serving. You know he is
super-efficient...


Game-wise, I think Sampras matches up better than Federer against Nadal but a 5-setter with Nadal will test his physical strength and endurance like never before. Remember, Sampras nearly collapsed after long battles with Yzaga, Chesnakov (Davis Cup) and Corretja.

Nadal is a beast and he will punish you physically by extending rallies, hitting punishing high-kicking topspin FH's and has enough hand skills and shotmaking ability from awkard positions to turn seemingly lost rallies into winning ones.

kooyah
04-05-2006, 11:55 PM
How in the world would anyone expect to be able to answer this question? Federer wins so much against just about everyone that of course it looks as though his rivals aren't as tough as Sampras's rivals. Basically, by saying his rivals aren't as good as Sampras's rivals, Federer's being penalized for being too good next to the rest of his competition.

ctbmar
04-06-2006, 06:18 AM
Connors, 19 yrs older than Sampras, played until mid 1993 at age of 41.
McEnroe, 12 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1992 at the age of 33.
Lendl, 11 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1994 at the age of 34.
Wilander, 7 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1996 at the age of 32. These hall of famers are mentioned because Sampras is older than Federer by 10 years.
Edberg is 5 yrs older and Becker is only 4 yrs older than Sampras, so I will not compare them with Sampras as Sampras is older than Federer by 10 years.
Now Sampras is saying that he had better rivals than Federer and these better rivals comprises of Hall of Famers like Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander.
So first of all, Sampras should stop discrediting Federer's competition and come back to the tour like what his predecessors - Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander have done for Sampras which was to continue playing until 32, 33, 34 when Sampras was in his prime and allowing Sampras to give them a beating. Instead his bunch of 90s hall of famers chose to retire early, left only Agassi who is playing at age 35 to compete against Federer, and now he has the cheek to say Federer does not have any Hall of Famers competiting with him??? Of course because all you 90s players retired before the age of 30. So instead of just talking behind the interview table, pick up your racket Sampras and compete against Federer. Put actions behind those words of yours. Chang, Courier, Rafter, Goran, Rios & Sampras who are all roughly 6 to 10 years older than Federer should come back to tour and let Federer have the honour to give them a beating like what Sampras was able to beat but still lose to Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg & Becker occasionally. Don't hide behind retirement.
2nd point is that Hall of Famers after reaching retirement age are easy pickings for the world no. 1. Sampras started beating Lendl when Lendl was growing old and thrashed McEnroe when he was past his prime. So Hall of Famers who are past their primes are generally weaker competition. All these up & coming players or single GS winners eg. like Baghdatis, Nadal, Berdych, Blake, Nalbandian, Roddick are in no means lower in skill or less capable of upsetting the no. 1 player. When Sampras played Becker when he was past his prime, it was a sure win for Sampras, even Becker knew it. But did McEnroe, Connors, Lendl complained why Sampras had no true rivals or that Becker was past his prime and easy picking for Sampras? No they did not make such comments, because that will discredit Sampras and make his win less worthy. The only advantage Hall of famers have over the young pretenders are their experience in grandslams but the young ones have abundant energy and fighting spirit, which equally make up for their lack of taste in holding up a Major trophy. So these GS Hall of Famers are just icons past their prime, have good GS resumes, and when Sampras beats them, he is beating a legend. But is the legend past his prime just as comparable as a up & coming young star? In fact, Sampras still had a hard time winning Lendl, Edberg and Becker, even though they were past their prime, but Federer has been thrashing Henman, Hewitt, Agassi, never losing to these players past their prime for the past 3 yrs. This only shows how dominating Federer can be against old adversaries past their prime unlike Sampras who can still lose to his old adversaries past their prime. You only look as good as long as your opponent lets you. If Sampras competes with Goran for 5 sets and long matches in Wimbledon, does that say that Goran is a strong competitor? If Federer crushes Roddick or Lubjicic, that means they are weak competitors? Comeon, sacastically, no wonder Federer is starting to make his matches look more competitive by dropping sets.
3rd point is that the men's tour is always 1 or 2 lightyears in front of the Women's tour. In the 80s, I only can remember 2 names: Navratilova & Evert. These 2 women dominate the tour, hardly loses and always play each other in the finals, hardly lost to lower competition. In the 80s, there are 4 good men competiting: Lendl, Borg (retired early, replaced by Wilander) , McEnroe, Connors playing each other in the finals, hardly losing to lower competition. In the 90s, there were still 2 old guards & 2 new guards Navratilova, Evert, Graf & Seles dominating the tour, hardly losing to lower competition. For ATP in the 90s, the old ATP guards still around in the early 90s, Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Chang. These top 10 ATP players will occasionally get upset by someone ranked 30 to 50, but on the women's tour, that rarely happens. Now the 2000s WTA players are like the men in the 90s. A bigger pool of better top 20 players but these top 10 players are still dominating the early rounds like the 90s ATP players. At least nowadays the WTA top 10 players can be occasionally upset by a top 30 player, same as the men in the 90s. Now the 2000s ATP player is in a evolving stage ahead of the WTA. By right, the pool of ATP players have grown in depth and any top 60 player can beat the top 10 on any given day.
The reason why no Hall of Famers have stayed on until mid 30s except Agassi is that they simply cannot compete with the young guns now unlike Laver, Rosewall, Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, all played until they are mid 30s or early 40s because they could still compete well with the young stars of their generation. That's also the reason why we don't see any women players winning more than 10 Majors in today's tennis as compared to Navratilova, Evert, Graf. The depth of the men's and women's game have evolved that there should not be a dominating force left on the tour, grabbing all the trophies like in the 80s and 90s but there is an anti-defying player called Federer that simply defies the evolving stages of the tennis world. If you see this point of how Federer manages to gain a stranglehold of the competition when the competition has more depth than in the past, only then you will appreciate his greatness.
Actually, Federer is self motivating and history is propelling him to strive harder. He is crazy about breaking records and I think Sampras discrediting Federer's competition will only cause Federer to have that extra drive to achieve whatever achievements that eluded Sampras, eg. the French, breaking Sampras 14 Major record, achieve the 4 Majors consecutively or the Calender GS. So Sampras may have unwittingly give Federer that extra anger, drive and determination to prove Sampras wrong, to make him no. 2 in tennis records, to be a greater achiever than Sampras.
Last point, Sampras only thinks that his prime serve and volley game can hurt and beat Federer. A prime Federer is a better returner, retriever, defence player than Hewitt or Agassi who are capable of drubbing Sampras even when he is at his prime. Federer is like Micheal Jordan, supreme in both offence and defence, unparallel skills seen before. Sampras should count his lucky stars that Federer did not born on the same year as him. Sampras's grand total of 14 would probably be less than half that amount. Sampras and all serve & volley fans regard that S&V is the achilles heels in defeating Federer but they never think that maybe, yes maybe Federer could be S&V ultimate nightmare...Sampras could be left standing, feet stranded, eyes astonished, mouth open, lungs gasping, total amazement at every ball passed him when he reached the net. Sampras will not know what hit him when the Federer express train runs all over him. Sampras should return to tour, ask for sponsors to create an exhibition match with Federer, get a 2 point handicap advantage in his favour for each game, play 1 set with Federer, then ask all his 1990s baseline buddies & S&V buddies to take turns to play a set with Federer and see how dominating Federer can be, instead of just making discrediting comments about Federer obliterating his so called "weak" tennis field.

Morpheus
04-06-2006, 07:58 AM
Points well taken, but unfortunately, the game is tougher on the body than in the old days. The number of matches, the rackets and style of play is grinding these future hall of famers.

I would have loved for Rafter to stick around but his shoulder blew up.

Let's be honest, though, Sampras was a fantastic player and he would and Fed would have some great matches. Fed may be good, but he's no MJ either.

Brettolius
04-06-2006, 09:29 AM
How in the world would anyone expect to be able to answer this question? Federer wins so much against just about everyone that of course it looks as though his rivals aren't as tough as Sampras's rivals. Basically, by saying his rivals aren't as good as Sampras's rivals, Federer's being penalized for being too good next to the rest of his competition.

Word up, exactly. The rest of the field still struggles with each other. He is the one who has set himself far apart. I just can't see how the level of world class tennis players could have regressed when the sport has been opened up to MORE different places than ever.

The other argument that doesn't hold water is the comparison to the NBA. It's asked whether or not the level of play is as high as when Jordan and Magic and Bird were playing. But I don't think that's a fair comparison, mainly because the fundamentals are lacking these days because these guys grow up playing street hoops with little or no coaching foundation.

Now on the other hand, there isn't one top pro tennis player that grew up playing T with his buddies at the local park. They all had tons of coaching in their developemental years. Even the Williams sister had their dad there to point them relatively in the right direction.

All in all, the game has changed and that is the reason you just simply can't play certain ways anymore. It hasn't regressed, worst case is that it hasn't gotten better, but it sure hasn't gotten worse. And notice as well that it has been a steady progression away from S&V since the advent of graphite. Not because these guys are less skilled, but because returns are so ridiculous these day that it just wouldn't be feasible to do it full time if you wanna win. These guys do what it takes to win. Feds volley isn't as good as Pete's, mainly because he doesn't use it nearly as much.

fastdunn
04-06-2006, 09:33 AM
.....
Now Sampras is saying that he had better rivals than Federer and these better rivals comprises of Hall of Famers like Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander.
So first of all, Sampras should stop discrediting Federer's competition and come back to the tour like what his predecessors - Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander have done for Sampras which was to continue playing until 32, 33, 34 when Sampras was in his prime and allowing Sampras to give them a beating.
.....
.

When did Sampras say "he had better rivals" ?
When did Sampras discredit Federer's competition ?

All I know is he said there is no one who can take it up to Federer
right now. It could means Federer is just too good, you know...

stoffer
04-06-2006, 10:55 AM
............

jasonbourne
04-06-2006, 09:23 PM
In his pre-Ginepri match interview, Sampras responded to a question that tour players now are better than 10 years ago (when he was in his prime).

serchflores
04-06-2006, 09:30 PM
In his pre-Ginepri match interview, Sampras responded to a question that tour players now are better than 10 years ago (when he was in his prime).
Pete can say anything nowadays, but honestly who can challenge Roger? Only Rafa, Roddick is going down fast in the rankings, Safin with his injuries and mental game no way!!! Nalbandian? Roger was hurt at TMC in Shanghai. Honestly, Pete's rivals were better.

ATXtennisaddict
04-06-2006, 09:41 PM
In his pre-Ginepri match interview, Sampras responded to a question that tour players now are better than 10 years ago (when he was in his prime).

Now players are more fit, the racket technology is better. The game has advanced.

David L
04-06-2006, 09:48 PM
In his pre-Ginepri match interview, Sampras responded to a question that tour players now are better than 10 years ago (when he was in his prime).

Yes I saw that as well. He seemed pretty genuine when he said it. Was not a glib remark.

sarpmas
04-07-2006, 02:48 AM
......Now Sampras is saying that he had better rivals than Federer and these better rivals comprises of Hall of Famers like Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander......
......Sampras should return to tour, ask for sponsors to create an exhibition match with Federer......
Wow ctbmar, hold your horses for a moment. I think you've mis-interpreted what Sampras meant. By no means is he belittling Federer because of his so-called weaker competition, on the contrary, he is always full of praise for Federer, indicating how Federer is head and shoulder above his peers. If you have watched his exhibition match at River Oaks and listened to his interviews, you will know that Sampras was trying to explain why Federer is so dominant and his reason being Federer's competition simply do not have big enough weapons to trouble or push Federer. In fact, Sampras was thinking so highly of Federer that he believed Federer will definitely solve the Nadal puzzle eventually. Last but not least, when he was asked about a potential charity match with Federer, Sampras does not hide behind his retirement like you painted him to be, in fact, he was so enthusiastic about the match that he spontaneously agreed to this opportunity to play against Federer. Do check out the video and the interview at the USTA website for more details.

Mr Topspin
04-07-2006, 06:25 AM
I disagree with the assertions that today's players are better than the past. The word better is relative. Most players today are either baseliners or claycourters with a handful of all courters. The game is very much polarised. Going back 10 years there were far more all court players and S&V players.

The reason for the decilne in S&V is due to a number of factors and not just on racket technology. Firstly, the ATP has been slowing the courts down from the late 90's. Secondly, there are fewer indoor carpet tourney's as before. Thirdly, coaching has changed and adopts a baseline bashing game with extreme grips.

Where are all the flat hitters? even Fed hits with topspin but no where as extreme as Nadal or even Roddick. The fact is players are not playing the fast court tennis anymore which suits a S&V style. Instead its about long rallies and angles. This was encouraged by the ATP as i guess in their wisdom, the huge serving and big forehands symbolised by the Courier years were deemed as boring as were the subsequent Sampras boom.

As a result players are far more limited in their playing style. Few have the acumen or skill to play S&V and most rely on their tried and trusted baseline game. ALL this means that any decent baseliner with a knack for S&V will do well; enter Roger Federer.

Federer has an all court game in an era when it is deemed as ineffective. If it is so ineffective why is it that the players that defeated him in the past few years all implemented s&v in their game plan.

It stand s to reason that if the governing body had not allowed thet game to disband into two groups and catered for a variety of tennis players; then Federer would have to deal with more willing and more diverse game styles.

In conclusion, if the courts were as varied as they were in the 90's then Federer may well struggle to beat Henman, Rusedski et all.

Brettolius
04-07-2006, 09:49 AM
Who deemed all court ineffective in todays pro game? Serve and volley is ineffective in todays game for the most part. The reason most people don't play an all court game is because they can't. Back in the day, for the most part serve and volleyers were usually pretty weak from the backcourt, and like today, baseliners aren't too adept at net. You don't find alot of guys who can play world class from the baseline and the net.

ACE of Hearts
04-07-2006, 09:58 AM
If Fed was in the 90s, his game would look exactly like Pete's game, it was all a serving contest back then, the courts have slowed down now.I could have alslo seeing Fed play serve and volley, now its hard for a serve and volley player, players hit that passing shot all day.

fastdunn
04-07-2006, 03:13 PM
If Fed was in the 90s, his game would look exactly like Pete's game, it was all a serving contest back then, the courts have slowed down now.I could have alslo seeing Fed play serve and volley, now its hard for a serve and volley player, players hit that passing shot all day.

I strongly disagee it was *all* serving contest.
We had pretty even number of baseliners (Agassi, Chang, Bruguera, Muster,
Kuerten, Rios), Serve and volleyers(Becker, Stich, Krajicek, Rafter, Ivanesvic),
and all courters(Sampras). We now have 90% baseliners..

I would think Federer will do equally well even if he played in 90's.
But I would think he would do more of baseline game than net game.
Or Fed could successfully transform himself from baseliner to S&V
like Sampras did. But probably not as successfully as Sampras who
had great serves...

federerhoogenbandfan
06-22-2006, 12:10 PM
I seriously think Sampras can take out Nadal easily even now at 34
(on non-clay surface).

Nadal shows what Federer does not have but Sampras has: greater
and more versatile attacking game.

Even though Sampras won the U.S Open in his final year, he was struggling to stay in the top 20 most of that year, and that was at age 30-31. I hugely doubt at age 34 he would be any threat to the #1 or #2 players in the World. If he played Nadal on clay today it would be a triple bagel.

Agassi is freak in a sense, you arent supposed to be that good still into your mid-30s.

KBalla08
06-22-2006, 03:14 PM
after reading this whole topic, its just seems like one of those questions that doesnt have a definite answer due to all the changes through the times... but my opinion would be Sampras' rivals were slightly better....

superman1
06-22-2006, 03:31 PM
I think it's a pretty simple answer. Sampras' rivals were better. Just look at the names he faced in his career, my God. That's a Hall of Fame list.

Guys today in general are a bit stronger and (most importantly) have better racquet/string technology, so the depth of tennis is higher now. But the top of men's tennis throughout the 90's was filled with champions. These were guys who KNEW how to win. Guys today, they're happy if they get far enough in the draw to meet Federer and give him a good test. Back then, they weren't happy unless they were holding up the trophy.

fastdunn
06-22-2006, 03:40 PM
Even though Sampras won the U.S Open in his final year, he was struggling to stay in the top 20 most of that year, and that was at age 30-31. I hugely doubt at age 34 he would be any threat to the #1 or #2 players in the World. If he played Nadal on clay today it would be a triple bagel.

Agassi is freak in a sense, you arent supposed to be that good still into your mid-30s.

It's all about match-ups. If Sampras had been playing until now,
he probably had power game to blow off Nadal on fast courts much like Blake.
(By the way, did you miss "on non-clay" mentioned from my previous posting?)
He would not let Nadal's forehand bother his backhand via
true all court game.


Anyway, going back to original topic. You can NOT say current competition
is better or worse than 90's. You can notice, however,
1). top 20 players of 90's are taller
2). top 20 players of 90's have variety of styles including poer baseliner.
however,
3). current power baseliner game of top players probably much better
than 90's due to newly evolved modern forehand.


However, I think it's easier to dominate in today's tour because
you would have to deal with one style only (baseliner) - we would
have less number of upsets. (Wait, hoogenbandfan, don't jump into
conclusion about my posting again). However, it would be HARDER to extend
the dominance with the same reason(you're stuck with only one otption
baseliner game).

In that sense, I'm more surprised by the duration (almost 3
years) of Federer's dominance than the degree(how much) of his dominance...

fastdunn
06-22-2006, 03:42 PM
I think it's a pretty simple answer. Sampras' rivals were better. Just look at the names he faced in his career, my God. That's a Hall of Fame list.

Guys today in general are a bit stronger and (most importantly) have better racquet/string technology, so the depth of tennis is higher now. But the top of men's tennis throughout the 90's was filled with champions. These were guys who KNEW how to win. Guys today, they're happy if they get far enough in the draw to meet Federer and give him a good test. Back then, they weren't happy unless they were holding up the trophy.

If you look back current times in 2010 or later,
you might be saying same thing, don't you ?
(since current top players might end up with a few slams...)

Ammo
06-22-2006, 03:54 PM
Well I gotta give the edge to Federer. The way people play and the way people hits serves are different. Pete Sampras who was hitting serves in the 200-210km/h region was at the time considered one of the fastest server in the game. Forehands that was hit at the 140s were considered one of the fastest forehands. These days you can see anyone hitting those consistently. So I guess you'd have to have better hand and eye coordination. Just my 2 cents *shrugs*

Couldn't read all the replies so sorry if someone already said this but, it's quite obvious that the players today would be able to hit faster balls since they have better racquets and strings. BTW, Smapras's serve would stilll
dominate; it wasn't about the speed, it was the accuracy and the way he could change it up.

superman1
06-22-2006, 03:56 PM
Since 2004, there are only 2 people other than Federer/Nadal to win a Slam: Gaudio and Safin. Here are the finalists: Safin, Coria, Roddick, Hewitt, Hewitt, Puerta, Roddick, Agassi, Baghdatis, Federer. Sampras has played all of those guys except for Coria, Puerta, and Baghdatis. Puerta is suspended for doping and Coria has crashed out.

Now look at Sampras' Grand Slam opposition: Agassi, Edberg, Courier, Pioline, Martin, Ivanisevic, Agassi, Becker, Agassi, Chang, Moya, Pioline, Ivanisevic, Agassi, Rafter, Safin, Hewitt, Agassi. He beat 14 of those guys and lost to Edberg, Agassi, Safin and Hewitt.

You tell me who had stiffer competition.

chaognosis
06-22-2006, 08:27 PM
Since 2004, there are only 2 people other than Federer/Nadal to win a Slam: Gaudio and Safin. Here are the finalists: Safin, Coria, Roddick, Hewitt, Hewitt, Puerta, Roddick, Agassi, Baghdatis, Federer. Sampras has played all of those guys except for Coria, Puerta, and Baghdatis. Puerta is suspended for doping and Coria has crashed out.

Now look at Sampras' Grand Slam opposition: Agassi, Edberg, Courier, Pioline, Martin, Ivanisevic, Agassi, Becker, Agassi, Chang, Moya, Pioline, Ivanisevic, Agassi, Rafter, Safin, Hewitt, Agassi. He beat 14 of those guys and lost to Edberg, Agassi, Safin and Hewitt.

You tell me who had stiffer competition.

You're comparing a 2 1/2 year period with a 12 year period; clearly Sampras is going to have a more impressive list of foes when you're looking at such unequal spans of time. Wait and see how Federer's competition looks in hindsight ten years from now, and then we can really talk.

superman1
06-22-2006, 08:34 PM
What I'm saying is how can you say Federer's rivals are tougher than Sampras' rivals when most of the Federer's rivals also played Sampras? Safin and Hewitt were probably better 5-6 years ago then they are now.

Phil
06-22-2006, 09:25 PM
Okay, let's LOOK at who Federer's competition is these days...
Lleyton Hewitt-a scrappy baseliner who can win on toughness, but completely wilts in the face of superior shotmaking COMBINED with a will to win (i.e. Federer).
Roddick...too one-dimensional
Haas
Safin - 95% of the time, no, 5%, definitely. Guy's never around, though.
Keifer
Nadal - The nemisis on clay, but in most cases, absent from grass/hardcourt.
Miryani
Nalbandian - Extremely dogged, tough, but not exactly a HofFamer.
Agassi - At this point, not at his best...nothing near what he was when Sampras played.
Henman - Owned Fed. early in his career, but Federer has him figured...no challenge now.
James Blake, Robby Ginepri, Anyone from Spain - No, No and no.
Rich Gasquet - One day, soon...maybe

To me, that bunch is not all that impressive, other than, say, Nadal on clay. Then you look at Sampras...
Agassi in his prime, Edberg, Ivanesevic, Stich, Kriaijeck, Chang, Courier, Lendl, Becker, Muster, Kuerten (in his prime, could play on hard courts),

Of the guys I listed for Federer's "challengers", there's 15 slams won by that bunch. For Sampras, 39. Is that an accurate measuring stick? Only in that the bunch that Sampras contended against was much more competitive in majors, while Fed is playing a lot of slamless wonders...most of 'em. They may be bigger and stronger, but that means NOTHING in terms of tennis skills...I would put the guys, in their prime, who Sampras played, against today's player any day, and Sampras' contemporaries would basically wipe the floor with 'em. If you ask me, and you didn't, of course, I'd say today's talent pool is pretty thin compared to 1989 - 1999's.

JayxTheKoolest
06-22-2006, 09:47 PM
I think Fed's rival (Nadal) is much harder because Fed's game style is really hard to play against Nadal's (classic stroker with one handed backhand versus heavy spin)

Fischer76
06-22-2006, 09:56 PM
Okay, let's LOOK at who Federer's competition is these days...
Lleyton Hewitt-a scrappy baseliner who can win on toughness, but completely wilts in the face of superior shotmaking COMBINED with a will to win (i.e. Federer).
Roddick...too one-dimensional
Haas
Safin - 95% of the time, no, 5%, definitely. Guy's never around, though.
Keifer
Nadal - The nemisis on clay, but in most cases, absent from grass/hardcourt.
Miryani
Nalbandian - Extremely dogged, tough, but not exactly a HofFamer.
Agassi - At this point, not at his best...nothing near what he was when Sampras played.
Henman - Owned Fed. early in his career, but Federer has him figured...no challenge now.
James Blake, Robby Ginepri, Anyone from Spain - No, No and no.
Rich Gasquet - One day, soon...maybe

To me, that bunch is not all that impressive, other than, say, Nadal on clay. Then you look at Sampras...
Agassi in his prime, Edberg, Ivanesevic, Stich, Kriaijeck, Chang, Courier, Lendl, Becker, Muster, Kuerten (in his prime, could play on hard courts),

Of the guys I listed for Federer's "challengers", there's 15 slams won by that bunch. For Sampras, 39. Is that an accurate measuring stick? Only in that the bunch that Sampras contended against was much more competitive in majors, while Fed is playing a lot of slamless wonders...most of 'em. They may be bigger and stronger, but that means NOTHING in terms of tennis skills...I would put the guys, in their prime, who Sampras played, against today's player any day, and Sampras' contemporaries would basically wipe the floor with 'em. If you ask me, and you didn't, of course, I'd say today's talent pool is pretty thin compared to 1989 - 1999's.

Nice list... add there Korda, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Bruguera..... and I guess the list goes on

dannyjjang
06-22-2006, 10:03 PM
Federer is a hitler..and all other players are his jews in his concentration camp...
And Nadal is the Schindler...

well any ways the fed games are really boring because his so dominating...so whenever I download a match i make sure its not Feds...
I watch James Blake vs Nadal-yeah very exciting, but when James plays Fed there is no excitement..there is no epic tie breaker, no drama. I think Sampras Agassi Mcenroe Chang Becker Edberg Muster should get a baby boy in same time TRAIN the hell out of them and send them to pro circuit ..that would be really cool


Pete Sampras Jr. def Andre Agassi Jr. 6-7 7-6 7-6(5) 6-7 7-6

Well by the way are there any pro tennis player whoes father was also a pro?

Fischer76
06-22-2006, 10:06 PM
Federer is a hitler..and all other players are his jews in his concentration camp...
And Nadal is the Schindler...

well any ways the fed games are really boring because his so dominating...so whenever I download a match i make sure its not Feds...
I watch James Blake vs Nadal-yeah very exciting, but when James plays Fed there is no excitement..there is no epic tie breaker, no drama. I think Sampras Agassi Mcenroe Chang Becker Edberg Muster should get a baby boy in same time TRAIN the hell out of them and send them to pro circuit ..that would be really cool


Pete Sampras Jr. def Andre Agassi Jr. 6-7 7-6 7-6(5) 6-7 7-6

Well by the way are there any pro tennis player whoes father was also a pro?


LMAO funny very funny

superman1
06-22-2006, 10:13 PM
Sampras pretty much played every single great player from the 1980's onward, except Borg and some other exceptions.

Federer is great, but he's lucky that he is peaking in a time when everyone seems to have some excuse as to why they're not winning anything. Nalbandian has only won a handful of titles. He's obviously a very good player, but what's with that? It's not like Federer plays every single tournament. Federer plays less than most guys. You've got Ljubicic who "coincidentally" only really surfaced last year despite being a pro since 1998. Other than Nadal, there's not really anyone great. Guys like Safin and Hewitt and Roddick were the up-and-comers when Sampras was fading. Roddick and Hewitt were easily better a few years ago than they are now, and people still say Safin played his best match 6 years ago against Sampras. Since then it has been up and down.

Federer does have a ton of competition since the depth of tennis is higher, and what he has done is an amazing feat worthy of vaulting him to the top 5 in tennis history, but you can't really argue that he is facing the caliber players Sampras faced on a consistent basis. Maybe once a year Safin will play well enough to meet him, maybe Agassi when his back is feeling good can give Federer a good lesson for a set and a half, but overall it has been smooth sailing for Federer.

Phil
06-22-2006, 10:29 PM
Nice list... add there Korda, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Bruguera..... and I guess the list goes on

Yeah, I figured I would have overlooked a few important ones-add another 7 majors to the list of players that Sampras had to regularly face.

Phil
06-22-2006, 10:31 PM
Federer is a hitler..and all other players are his jews in his concentration camp...
And Nadal is the Schindler...

That's a really, really, really poor analogy for the current state of ATP tennis. You, sir, are a complete moron.

newnuse
06-22-2006, 10:40 PM
I voted Sampras rivals as being much better. I don't really think you can argue with that if you were around during the Sampras years.

But to Fed's defense, he has many more years at the top. There might be some new worthy challengers to step up still. The current crop of so call rivals are very weak... Nadal is terrific but only on clay so far.

It's not Fed's fault his rivals are so weak. I think that tennis is just on the decline. I see it on the courts of Southern California. There are far fewer players now. The kids these days have so many different sports, hobbies and games to choose from.

I wonder if tennis is also on the decline in other countries.

Chang
06-23-2006, 12:20 AM
this is a question where you can't make a definite judgement. You really have to be in the players' minds to make a definite conclusion about "Who had tougher rivals?"

Pete had players closer to his level and the points were closer than Fed's almost 3000 point lead, so he's had to face some pretty tough competition.

Fed does have a major points lead but it doesn't mean his matches were easy, he also has a lot of pressure like trying to make a calender grand slam.

Ztalin
06-23-2006, 12:32 AM
I find it funny that neither Sampras nor Federer had any trouble beating the living daylights out of Roddick.

Roddick has a winning record against Sampras...

Ivanišević
06-23-2006, 12:46 AM
Firstly, Federer doesn't have a tennis 'Hall of Famer' like Agassi to compete with.
Secondly, it's hard to compare Federer with today's guys because he seems to be so far ahead of the pack.

With Sampras, at least he got beaten from time-to-time, usually between 10-20 times per year...with Federer, he hardly ever loses: just 10 times in the last 2 years - that's an incredible statistic.

Checking the respective opponents, for Sampras we have top-flight guys like Courier, Chang, Agassi, Becker, Rafter, Ivanisevic, Philippoussis.
Federer has Philippousis, Agassi, Roddick, Safin, Hewitt.

Both resumes look good but I think we can only really look back and make true compaisons when Federer has retired.

no, that's not incredible statistic-that's a lack of real competition! when i look top 10 players and see davydenko, robredo, gonzo... i can't see no real competition!
and u're telling that federer has Philippousis, Agassi, Roddick, Safin, Hewitt!! philippousis&agassi are far from what they used to be, roddick-his results tells enough, and safin was injured and ranked 87 at the moment!!
i can't belive u're claiming that they're competition for federer-federer is from another planet comparing to them!

ShooterMcMarco
06-23-2006, 12:48 AM
Samp's rivals were much tougher, option #3.

Ivanišević
06-23-2006, 12:49 AM
If you look back current times in 2010 or later,
you might be saying same thing, don't you ?
(since current top players might end up with a few slams...)
i simply can't see davydenko or stepanek or robredo in the hall of fame in 2010!
but i definitlly can see lendl, agassi, becker, stich, courier, edberg, muster... and so on..

laurie
06-23-2006, 05:19 AM
Looks like the democracy of the Tennis Warehouse message board has spoken. These results are pretty conclusive.

I think Sampras had the tougher rivals by far.

AAAA
06-23-2006, 05:57 AM
Looks like the democracy of the Tennis Warehouse message board has spoken. These results are pretty conclusive.

I think Sampras had the tougher rivals by far.

They are opinions.

laurie
06-23-2006, 06:29 AM
I noticed you voted Federer so you won't be too happy.

The opinions that Sampras had tougher rivals outweighs the opinion Federer has tougher rivals.

That's pretty conclusive however you look at it or try to put a spin on it.

ksbh
06-23-2006, 06:32 AM
I voted Sampras rivals are 'much' better. It isn't even worth arguing over it.

I noticed you voted Federer so you won't be too happy.

The opinions that Sampras had tougher rivals outweighs the opinion Federer has tougher rivals.

That's pretty conclusive however you look at it or try to put a spin on it.

AAAA
06-23-2006, 08:12 AM
I noticed you voted Federer so you won't be too happy.

The opinions that Sampras had tougher rivals outweighs the opinion Federer has tougher rivals.

That's pretty conclusive however you look at it or try to put a spin on it.

Agassi and Becker have way more slams and bigger titles than Stich, Krajicek and household name Wayne Ferreira.

However results indicate Sampras had a less difficult time beating Agassi and Becker rather than Stich, Krajicek and Ferreira. Fact is Stich, Krajicek and Ferreira were tougher opponents for Sampras than Becker or Agassi.


The whole point of this thread is to try and bump up Sampras's slam titles vs. Federer's slam titles based on the opinion that opponents with more titles are automatically and inherently tougher to beat. Fact is Sampras's own head to head experiences do not prove that.

siber222000
06-23-2006, 08:19 AM
sampras of course

laurie
06-23-2006, 08:33 AM
Agassi and Becker have way more slams and bigger titles than Stich, Krajicek and household name Wayne Ferreira.

However results indicate Sampras had a less difficult time beating Agassi and Becker rather than Stich, Krajicek and Ferreira. Fact is Stich, Krajicek and Ferreira were tougher opponents for Sampras than Becker or Agassi.


The whole point of this thread is to try and bump up Sampras's slam titles vs. Federer's slam titles based on the opinion that opponents with more titles are automatically and inherently tougher to beat. Fact is Sampras's own head to head experiences do not prove that.

Ahem, as Siber222000 said, Sampras, of course.

Not even worth discussing actually.

ksbh
06-23-2006, 08:47 AM
Told you so :)

Not even worth discussing actually.

FiveO
06-23-2006, 09:01 AM
Depth? For an indicator look at the end of year rankings ten years apart. Look at the highlighted names and where they fell at the end of each completed year. The GS titles and F's indicated were what each player had accumulated by those dates and on the Sampras 1996 year just the major finishes from the time he won his first at the 1990 USO.

Year End 1996..................................Year End 2005

Rank Player
---- ------
1 SAMPRAS, PETE-(8GS/2F).............1 Federer, Roger-(6GS/1F)
2 CHANG, MICHAEL-(1GS/3F)...........2 Nadal, Rafael-(1GS)
3 KAFELNIKOV, YEVGENY-(1GS)........3 Roddick, Andy-(1GS/2F)
4 IVANISEVIC, GORAN-(2F)............. 4 Hewitt, Lleyton-(2GS/2F)
5 MUSTER, THOMAS(1GS).............. 5 Davydenko, Nikolay
6 BECKER, BORIS-(2GS/3F).............. 6 Nalbandian, David-(1F)
7 KRAJICEK, RICHARD-(1GS)........ 7 Agassi, Andre(+5GS/3F)
8 AGASSI, ANDRE-(3GS/4F)....... 8 Coria, Guillermo -(1F)
9 ENQVIST, THOMAS..................... 9 Ljubicic, Ivan
10 FERREIRA, WAYNE..................... 10 Gaudio, Gaston -(1GS)
11 RIOS, MARCELO......................... 11 Gonzalez, Fernando
12 MARTIN, TODD(1F).................... 12 Safin, Marat-(2GS/2F)
13 COSTA, ALBERT........................ 13 Johansson, Thomas-(1GS)
14 EDBERG, STEFAN-(3GS/3F)......... 14 Ferrer, David
15 SIEMERINK, JAN........................ 15 Ginepri, Robby
16 STICH, MICHAEL-(1GS/2F).......... 16 Gasquet, Richard
17 GUSTAFSSON, MAGNUS.............. 17 Ferrero, Juan Carlos-(1GS/2F)
18 MANTILLA, FELIX........................18 Hrbaty, Dominik
19 BERASATEGUI, ALBERTO-(1F).......19 Robredo, Tommy
20 WASHINGTON, MALIVAI-(1F)........20 Stepanek, Radek
21 PIOLINE, CEDRIC-(2F)................ 21 Ancic, Mario
22 ROSSET, MARC......................... 22 Kiefer, Nicolas
23 CORRETJA, ALEX....................... 23 Blake, James
24 KORDA, PETR-(1F)..................... 24 Berdych, Tomas
25 HAARHUIS, PAUL....................... 25 Grosjean, Sebastien
26 COURIER, JIM-(4GS/3F).............. 26 Andreev, Igor
27 WOODFORDE, MARK.................. 27 Rochus, Olivier
28 MOYA, CARLOS........................ 28 Nieminen, Jarkko
29 HENMAN, TIM.......................... 29 Dent, Taylor
30 PHILIPPOUSSIS, MARK............... 30 Monfils, Gael
31 STOLTENBERG, JASON............... 31 Moya, Carlos(1GS/1F)
32 RENEBERG, RICHEY.................... 32 Verdasco, Fernando
33 BOETSCH, ARNAUD.................... 33 Lopez, Feliciano
34 CLAVET, FRANCISCO................. 34 Mirnyi, Max
35 MEDVEDEV, ANDREI................... 35 Hanescu, Victor
36 WOODBRIDGE, TODD................. 36 Henman, Tim
37 SANCHEZ, JAVIER..................... 37 Rusedski, Greg
38 O'BRIEN, ALEX.......................... 38 Volandri, Filippo
39 PRINOSIL, DAVID...................... 39 Chela, Juan Ignacio
40 FURLAN, RENZO........................ 40 Acasuso, Jose
41 ULIHRACH, BOHDAN................... 41 Rochus, Christophe
42 GUMY, HERNAN.........................42 Srichaphan, Paradorn
43 WOODRUFF, CHRIS.................... 43 Youzhny, Mikhail
44 BLACK, BYRON.......................... 44Sanguinetti,Davide
45 VOINEA, ADRIAN....................... 45 Haas, Tommy
46 LARSSON, MAGNUS....................46 Mathieu, Paul-Henri
47 TILLSTROM, MIKAEL.................. 47 Malisse, Xavier
48 RUSEDSKI, GREG.......................48 Novak, Jiri
49 DREEKMANN, HENDRIK................49 Serra, Florent
50 DAMM, MARTIN.........................50 Martin, Alberto

Fed and Nadal would add one slam each and Fed another final in '06. But to put depth, diversity and quality into further perspective:

Becker won 2 of his 6 GS titles and reached 3 of his 4 GS finals between '90 and '96. Edberg won 3 and finalled in 3 other GS's in those same years bringing his total to 6 GS titles and 5 finals.

Martin would reach his second slam final (AO '94 and USO '99) during Sampras's career. Rusedski would even reach his one GS final at the '97 USO and like Nalbandian's '02 Wimbeldon final it occurred during Sampras's playing career and prior to Federer winning a major.

Moya would go on to lose to Sampras in the final of the '97 AO and then win RG in '98 making him a 1GS/1 F in Sampras's time.

Korda would win the AO title in '98 giving him 1GS and 1F again in the Sampras era.

Kafelnikov would win his second slam at the '99 AO and reach the '00 final in defending it, making his tally during the Sampras era 2GS/1F.

While Sampras lost the career h2h with Roddick by a "landslide" 2/1, he won the last meeting, the only which took place at a major, at the '02 USO and by the scores of 3, 2 and 4. Roddick won his sole GS title the next year.

Ivanisevic would reach his 3rd Wimbledon final in '98 and finally bring home the title there in '01, the same year Federer beat Sampras in 5 on the same courts.

Hewitt won his two slam titles '01 USO and '02 Wimbledon, and may have peaked prior to Sampras winning his last USO title in '02. Safin also won the USO in '00 and reached the AO final in '02 losing to Thomas Johansson prior to Sampras' last GS title.

Suffice it to say, that about half of GS credentials owned by Fed rivals came during Sampras playing career. Only Nadal, Roddick and Ferrero's came exclusively after Sampras retired.

Federer is great. He is a better clay-courter than Sampras was. He is the most talented player I've seen to this point, surpassing Sampras in that category. In the end Fed may end up the undisputed G.O.A.T. of all time but is not yet there IMO. Federer is still chasing a few guys for that title.

Today's draws are deep. The depth of competition in the Sampras era was immense. Just look at the highlighted names and their rankings. If the fields are so much deeper ten years later what are those guys, now well past their primes, doing ostensibly in the same spots they held ten years ago?

Moose Malloy
06-23-2006, 09:37 AM
This thread won't die. But some nice posts about both players.

1). top 20 players of 90's are taller


Its not just top 20 actually, top 100 of 1995 was taller than top 100 of 2005. Hops has a chart on his site. So much for today's players being bigger & stronger. Most players today arecloser in size to Davydenko than Philippoussis.

Today's draws are deep. The depth of competition in the Sampras era was immense. Just look at the highlighted names and their rankings. If the fields are so much deeper ten years later what are those guys, now well past their primes, doing ostensibly in the same spots they held ten years ago?

Another great post Five O. The Sampras/Fed arguments never end. It really isn't fair(or relevent to compare) the competetion since ultimately it doesn't matter. You beat who you beat & thats it.
But your post makes it clear that they really didn't play in a different era. Sampras won his last GS in '02 & Fed won his first in '03. its funny guys on here act like sampras played with wood racquets many years ago.

The one consensus that I find odd is that so many say the depth today is better throughout the top 100 than it was 10 years ago. This is baffling to me, since so many upsets happened throughout the 90s in all rounds of the slams. '96 Wimbledon was a GS final between 2 unseeded players!
The #66 player won the '97 French. The list goes on.

Sampras played many 4 & 5 set matches in the early rounds of slams.
So many low ranked players made it to the later rounds of slams. I posted some stats on biggest upsets (in terms of ranking diff) in slams, the 90s had some really big ones.

So how can top 100 be deeper today? Your top 50 list makes it clear how deep the tour was, & the top 100 was just as deep. No freebies then & none today, you had to be on your game from round 1.

Arafel
06-23-2006, 11:28 AM
Of all the no. 1's since I've followed tennis (80 on), I'd say Federer has the weakest rivals of the bunch. Most people go on the court with Fed and have lost before they even hit a ball in the warm-up. Why? They don't think they can win. Look at these comments from Blake today:

"Maybe Roger Federer is the only guy who can stop him," said James Blake, a title threat if the Swiss star somehow falters. "Because if he's playing well, I don't see any one of us stopping him. He needs to have a bad day, I think."

"He has played a ton of tennis lately," Blake said. "That's maybe in the back of all of our minds. Hopefully one of these matches he'll just kind of mentally not be totally there or just physically be a little worn down, and we could kind of take a shot at him."

Contrast that with Jimmy Connors for instance, after Borg crushed him in the 78 Wimbledon finals:

"I'll follow him to the ends of the earth."

Even when McEnroe was having the most dominant year ever for a player, back in 84, his rivals, Connors and Lendl, refused to concede the match before it was played; they went out fully expecting to win.

From 88-93, you had Becker, Edberg, Sampras and Agassi, as well as Wilander in 88, who were all strong mental players and some of the best of all time. None of them conceded a match before playing it because the other player was better.

93 on Sampras was still challenged by players like Agassi, and later Rafter, not to mention Goran, Chang, and some others.

No, Fed's competition, while strong physically, is completely weak mentally. But that's OK, because Fed isn't the strongest mentally either. Witness his meltdown at Roland Garos last month.

federerhoogenbandfan
06-23-2006, 11:44 AM
If the fields are so much deeper ten years later what are those guys, now well past their primes, doing ostensibly in the same spots they held ten years ago?

Agassi was NOT playing that well in 1996, his biggest showings were making two slam semis, where he struggled mightily at the 96 Australian to reach that round, and took advantage of a scandalous draw at the 96 U.S Open if you recall, before not even taking a single set off Chang in either semi, and winning the Olympics in a bogus field. I would have no problem with saying Agassi in 2000-2005 at his supposed old age was easily playing better then Agassi played in 93, 96, 97, and 98, although clearly below 94, 95, and 99 but then again he was ranked 1 or 2 in the World those years, not 7 or 8.

Henman and Rusedski, and probably Moya, are past their primes now, but they were certainly not in their primes in 96 either. Henman`s quarterfinal of Wimbledon that year was the first team he was even noticed at all in the tennis World. Moya also was far from the player he was in 97-2004. Even an aging Edberg embarassed him on CLAY at the French Open that year.
Rusedski was far away from his breakthrough in 97.

illkhiboy
06-23-2006, 12:37 PM
I havnt read most of the posts in this thread so I may be repeating a few things but as someone else pointed out, this comparison is not fair because the list of Sampras' competitors is made from a 12-14 year period while Federer's challengers are obviously the ones who have been playing the last three years or so. Obviously it seems like Sampras had tougher competitors. It would be more worthwhile to compare Sampras' challengers from 1993-1996 to Federer's from 2003-2006 (their dominant eras).

So whom did Sampras beat from 1993 to 1996 to win his 6 slams?

Agassi - Who had a mediocre period after winning Wimby and only really came back in late 1994 and then again fell off in late 1995 and had an ordinary 1996. He did however, give Sampras a tough match at the 1993 Wimby. I would say he had an edge over Sampras in 1995, having a 3-2 record with all those victories coming in finals.

Pioline - Sampras beat him to win a Wimbledon in 1994 and a few years later at the US Open. As good as he was, no one really expected Pioline to win a Grand Slam. He was a Davydenko/Gonzales type player, who could beat top players but was never really a Slam contender.

Todd Martin - I followed tennis till 1996 and until then Martin never came across to me as a Grand Slam contender. He did beat Edberg to reach the 94 Aussie Final but lost to Sampras easily. In 1996, he choked a 5-1 lead against Malivai Washington in the final set of a semi at Wimby. Just not champion material. In 1999 he gave Agassi a run for the money at the US open Final which I did not see, maybe he matured more then but I think there is a good reason he did not win a Slam. He was never consistently in the top 5 either was he? IMHO, comparable to D Nalbandian though I think David will rank higher than Martin as an all-time tennis player before his career is over.

Jim Courier - Sampras consistently beat this 4-time Grand Slam champion, including two GS QF wins at Courier's favourite Slams from the brink of defeat. Overall he had something like 18-4 H2H record against Jim C. Very impressive. Anyone remember those long rallies where Courier would be hitting inside out fourhands and Sampras his loopy crosscourt backhands? They always had good matches but except for Courier's win at the RG QF in 1994 when Sampras was gunning for the GS, Sampras was too good for him. Who's Federer's Courier? Hewitt perhaps, who finished No. 1 in 2001 n 2002 and would probably have a won a few more Slams if not for Federer.

Stephan Edberg - My favourite player until he retired and the reason I stopped following tennis after '96. An awesome player, but just not the same deal after 1993-94. After reaching the Aussie Semis in 1994, his next QF appearance at a Slam was in his last GS when he lost in straights to Ivanesivic. Sampras did not face Edberg ina slam after he lost to him at the Aussie 93. Ofcourse Sampras really became dominant after Wimby 93 and Edberg NEVER factored as a Samras rival after that.

Boris Becker - Becker was a great player but was on a decline after 93-94 IMO. He did have very impressive runs in major tournaments til 1996-97 though and even won the Aussie Open in 1996. And Sampras did handle this foe very handily as well, hardly ever losing to him. Infact Becker had made 6 out of 7 finals at Wimby winning 3 coming into the 93 tournament when Sampras beat him in the Semis dethroning him in a way and again beating him in the 95 final. But just as Federer has a mental hold over his competitors right now, few thought Becker could win that '95 final. Agassi would have been a much tougher player for Sampras to overcome. Thus Sampras, even though he lost a set, won the match quite easily. I guess there is no Becker equivalent these days..maybe Agassi of today is Federer's Becker. Actually Agassi is probably stronger.

Ivanesivic - Ivan was a great player but outside of Wimby, where else did he perform? He made the US Open Semis in 1996 but thats it. He was a total headcase, why else would he tank a Wimby final? 7-6, 7-6, 6-0! He did mature later IMO and subsequently had better results i.e. in 1998, 2001.
Comparable to Roddick, though Roddick has consistently made his mark at other Slams and even gotten to the top of the rankings. I would say Karlovic, Ljubicic and Ancic are all Ivanesivic like and Fed has handled all of these pretty well.

Kracijek - People keep mentioning him a great challenger to Sampras but thats all he was, a good challenger to Sampras. His game just matched up well against Sampras'. He is pretty much a one-slam wonder in my book. As much as I love this guy, I cannot put him up there as a Hall of Famer. Did he even win a TMS event? Thomas Johansson anyone?

Ok I need a break, will post some more thoughts later. I gotta agree with Fedhoogenbandman's previous post.

Moose Malloy
06-23-2006, 01:08 PM
Todd Martin - I followed tennis till 1996 and until then Martin never came across to me as a Grand Slam contender.

Martin reached the semis in 3 of 4 majors in '94(not exactly a common achievement)
He beat Sampras in the final of '94 Queens, so there were a lot of expectations when he played Sampras at W a few weeks later.

In 1999 he gave Agassi a run for the money at the US open Final which I did not see

You missed a great match. One of the highest quality GS finals, ton of winners, very few errors. Agassi didn't lose serve once over 5 sets.

the reason I stopped following tennis after '96

When did you start following again?

Becker was a great player but was on a decline after 93-94 IMO. He did have very impressive runs in major tournaments til 1996-97 though and even won the Aussie Open in 1996. And Sampras did handle this foe very handily as well, hardly ever losing to him. Infact Becker had made 6 out of 7 finals at Wimby winning 3 coming into the 93 tournament when Sampras beat him in the Semis dethroning him in a way and again beating him in the 95 final. But just as Federer has a mental hold over his competitors right now, few thought Becker could win that '95 final.

Becker was favored vs Sampras in the '93 W SF. Becker ended '94 ranked 3. ended '95 ranked 4. was still a great player. Made W final in '95, US Open SF in '95, won AO '96. Then he got injured at W '96(after winning queens). Injuries were more responsible for his decline than any other factor & he retired '97, when he still could have been a major factor on tour. Many great battles with sampras indoors from '93-'96.

Did he even win a TMS event?

Won 2-'98 Stuttgart & '99 Key Biscayne. Check out who he beat in Stuttgart:

R32 Norman, Magnus (SWE) 6-4 6-1
R16 Agassi, Andre (USA) 6-3 6-4
Q Ivanisevic, Goran (CRO) 7-6(3) 7-6(5)
S Sampras, Pete (USA) 6-7(2) 6-4 7-6(5)
W Kafelnikov, Yevgeny (RUS) 6-4 6-3 6-3

AAAA
06-23-2006, 01:14 PM
Because you can't.

illkhiboy
06-23-2006, 02:22 PM
Martin reached the semis in 3 of 4 majors in '94(not exactly a common achievement)
He beat Sampras in the final of '94 Queens, so there were a lot of expectations when he played Sampras at W a few weeks later.


I guess he was a contender for Slams. 3 major semis in 4 tries? That sounds like Nalbandian.
Sure Martin beat Sampras at Queens but thats a whole lot different than beating him at a Grand Slam. Sampras did not win Queens more than twice.
Ok the ATP website finally worked for me. I checked out some of his results.
In the Aussie Final he lost to Sampras in straights. Since then, made the QF down under just twice more with his 2nd one in 2001 when he lost to Agassi in straights. He did beat Sampras in the previous round. I wonder how, perhaps Sampras was just out of it by then.
Martin must have mentally weak since he had game but his results were up and down throughout his career. And when he did peak, he was never good enough to take the final steps towards a GS title.




You missed a great match. One of the highest quality GS finals, ton of winners, very few errors. Agassi didn't lose serve once over 5 sets.


I know man. Missed a lot of great tennis until I fell back in love with the game in late 2004.




Becker was favored vs Sampras in the '93 W SF. Becker ended '94 ranked 3. ended '95 ranked 4. was still a great player. Made W final in '95, US Open SF in '95, won AO '96. Then he got injured at W '96(after winning queens). Injuries were more responsible for his decline than any other factor & he retired '97, when he still could have been a major factor on tour. Many great battles with sampras indoors from '93-'96.


Well I did compare him to Agassi, who's finished the past three years ranked 4, 8 and 7 (though before TMC he was 5).
Here's Becker GS record from 1993-1996.
AUS RG WIM US
93 1ST 2ND SF* 4TH
94 DNP DNP SF* 1ST
95 1ST 3RD FNL* SF
96 WON DNP R32** DNP

So outside of Wimby, and outside of his great stretch from Wim 95 to Aus 96, Becker never even made it past the quarters at a GS event in those 4 years. How big a rival was he to Sampras?

*Lost to Sampras, Ivanesivic and then again Sampras handily on each of these occasions. Was this Becker playing at his best as it is made out to be? I think he was past his prime but still good enough to raise his level a few times per season.
** He was injured and retired hurt that match.



Won 2-'98 Stuttgart & '99 Key Biscayne. Check out who he beat in Stuttgart:

R32 Norman, Magnus (SWE) 6-4 6-1
R16 Agassi, Andre (USA) 6-3 6-4
Q Ivanisevic, Goran (CRO) 7-6(3) 7-6(5)
S Sampras, Pete (USA) 6-7(2) 6-4 7-6(5)
W Kafelnikov, Yevgeny (RUS) 6-4 6-3 6-3

My bad. But hey, til' 96 he had'nt won those! Relating that to my original point, I would say the careers of Johanssons and Ferreros are not over. Maybe they will win a few more major titles or atleast challenge Federer more often cause I don't think he's losing his grip on tennis anytime soon.

I personally am still not sure who had the better rivals. Just thinking, Sampras was seemingly more prone to losing to hot guys like Phillipousis like at the '96 Australian. Just wondering.

Moose Malloy
06-23-2006, 03:01 PM
Martin must have mentally weak since he had game but his results were up and down throughout his career.

Also had a lot of serious injuries from '96 to '98. missed almost all of '97 I think.

Sure Martin beat Sampras at Queens but thats a whole lot different than beating him at a Grand Slam. Sampras did not win Queens more than twice.


We're just concentrating on '93-'96 though. Sampras won '93 W, losing the queens final in '94 was big news(esp since the 1st half of '94 was the most dominant stretch of Sampras career) Imagine if Fed lost a grasscourt final to Hewitt or Roddick or anyone in '04, then played them at W. The anticipation would be a lot more, pressure would be a lot more. Martin was one of the favorites for W that year. Almost all queens winners (up to that point) had gone on to win W at some point in their career.

Missed a lot of great tennis until I fell back in love with the game in late 2004.


Did Fed get you back in the game?

How big a rival was he to Sampras?

Well, he was still in those draws(even if they didn't play that often in slams) & was still a dangerous player. He certainly was a rival indoors, they played some great matches at year end championship(beating sampras twice there)

He was injured and retired hurt that match.

I think he would have won W that year if he didn't get injured(won queens the week before). Maybe he wasn't as good as Goran or Sampras, but he was the 3rd best grasscourt player of the 90s. The draw really opened up when sampras & goran lost that year('96)

Just thinking, Sampras was seemingly more prone to losing to hot guys like Phillipousis like at the '96 Australian.

Maybe there were more dangerous floaters in sampras' time than today. Who today is capable of beating any top player on any day like Philippoussis at '96 AO or Krajicek at '96 W? Heck Philippoussis beat Grosjean, one of the best grasscourters, last week. And Flipper is now ranked outside top 200.

They seed 32 now which makes it easier, & most of the time I don't think there are many good early round matches (but Gasquet-Federer is certainly one) I really don't think top guys today worry about where Mathieu or Youzhny or Alberto Martin are in the draw. They certainly worried about where Krajicek or Larsson or Arazi were.

I personally am still not sure who had the better rivals.

Overall I think they are about equal.

illkhiboy
06-23-2006, 05:27 PM
We're just concentrating on '93-'96 though. Sampras won '93 W, losing the queens final in '94 was big news(esp since the 1st half of '94 was the most dominant stretch of Sampras career) Imagine if Fed lost a grasscourt final to Hewitt or Roddick or anyone in '04, then played them at W. The anticipation would be a lot more, pressure would be a lot more. Martin was one of the favorites for W that year. Almost all queens winners (up to that point) had gone on to win W at some point in their career.


Right.


Did Fed get you back in the game?


No, it was Agassi. Only recently that I have really started to appreciate Fed's genius.


Well, he was still in those draws(even if they didn't play that often in slams) & was still a dangerous player. He certainly was a rival indoors, they played some great matches at year end championship(beating sampras twice there)

I think he would have won W that year if he didn't get injured(won queens the week before). Maybe he wasn't as good as Goran or Sampras, but he was the 3rd best grasscourt player of the 90s. The draw really opened up when sampras & goran lost that year('96)


Agree.



Maybe there were more dangerous floaters in sampras' time than today. Who today is capable of beating any top player on any day like Philippoussis at '96 AO or Krajicek at '96 W? Heck Philippoussis beat Grosjean, one of the best grasscourters, last week. And Flipper is now ranked outside top 200.

They seed 32 now which makes it easier, & most of the time I don't think there are many good early round matches (but Gasquet-Federer is certainly one) I really don't think top guys today worry about where Mathieu or Youzhny or Alberto Martin are in the draw. They certainly worried about where Krajicek or Larsson or Arazi were.

Overall I think they are about equal.

Well, I think there are plenty of dangerous floaters these days. Baghdatis at AO this year took out Roddick, Ljubicic and Nalbandian but Federer was too good for him though I think fatigue caught up with Baggy in that match. How about Gonzalez? He on his day is very dangerous and has beaten top players including Roddick (in '04) and Nalby but is never able to dismantle Federer. Last year he looked very solid at Wimby, came into the QF without losing a set. Played a superb match but still lost in 3 close sets. Same at the French a couple weeks prior to that. He would have beaten just about anyone but could not handle Fed's variety.
I saw highlights of the Fed-Berdych match at RG this year and of what I saw, Berdych would have ripped most top players a new one that day but Fed lost just 8 games. Keep in mind, Berdych took a set off Nadal on clay in Stuttgart last year.
Paradorn was in superb form at Indian Wells, beating Nalby on his way to the semis but couldnt do much against Fed. And this guy has had wins over the likes of Agassi and Hewitt in the past.
On clay, David Ferrer is a top notch player. Probably top 5. Fed just crushed him at Monte Carlo.
Last year at Hamburg, Gasquet was on fire. He was handing out bagels left and right enroute to the final. Fed stopped him.
Tommy Haas and Ljubicic were in great form early in the year, their only losses coming to Federer.
James Blake on hard courts can beat anybody these days. He was on song at IW and Key Biscayne, losing to Fed on both occasions.
I think Agassi on his day can beat anyone, and he has proven that even in the last couple of years. But Federer's scalp is one he will never have.
People talk alot about how everyone is scared of Federer these days and does not believe they can beat him. Well check out this draw from the Aussie Open '94.

R16 Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS) 11 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4
Q Nalbandian, David (ARG) 8 7-5 6-4 5-7 6-3
S Ferrero, Juan Carlos (ESP) 3 6-4 6-1 6-4
W Safin, Marat (RUS) 86 7-6(3) 6-4 6-2

Alright, Safin was fatigued. The rest were in fine form but Federer just blitzed through them.

Check out Fed's Hamburg draw in 2004. Both of the eventual FO finalists were beaten by him. And Gonzelez and Moya are no slouches on clay, Moya coming of a win at Rome that year.
Gaudio, Gaston (ARG) 34 6-1 5-7 6-4
R32 Lapentti, Nicolas (ECU) 67 6-3 6-3
R16 Gonzalez, Fernando (CHI) 14 7-5 6-1
Q Moya, Carlos (ESP) 8 6-4 6-3
S Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS) 17 6-0 6-4
W Coria, Guillermo (ARG) 3 4-6 6-4 6-2 6-3

Phillipousis at Wimbledon is scary for anyone, especially when he's in the final having beaten Agassi on the way. Fed goes through him in straights.

His draw at Wimby next year was not easy either.
R32 Johansson, Thomas (SWE) 123 6-3 6-4 6-3 Stats
R16 Karlovic, Ivo (CRO) 62 6-3 7-6(3) 7-6(5) Stats
Q Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS) 10 6-1 6-7(1) 6-0 6-4 Stats
S Grosjean, Sebastien (FRA) 13 6-2 6-3 7-6(6) Stats
W Roddick, Andy (USA) 2 4-6 7-5 7-6(3) 6-4

Those 5 are/were amongst the top grass courters in the world.

His Hamburg draw from last year.
R64 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP) 48 6-4 6-3
R32 Berdych, Tomas (CZE) 46 6-2 6-1
R16 Robredo, Tommy (ESP) 16 6-2 6-3
Q Coria, Guillermo (ARG) 8 6-4 7-6(3)
S Davydenko, Nikolay (RUS) 20 6-3 6-4
W Gasquet, Richard (FRA) 56 6-3 7-5 7-6(4)

That is just insane. Robredo, Davydenko, Coria live off of clay.

Perhaps Sampras's rivals were better. But it's not like Federer does not have to contend with dangerous floaters. He's got plenty of those to deal with, it's just that he is succeeds 95 pc of the time and makes it look easy.

superman1
06-23-2006, 05:49 PM
I don't like when people say, "oh, he wasn't in his prime that year, he wasn't nearly as good as he was 3 months later, etc etc." That's all BS. The only exception I'll make is Agassi when his ranking dropped way down and he was playing qualifiers with no ball boys. Otherwise, these guys are among the best players ever, so it's overanalyzation to say, "oh, he wasn't at his best at that time, he stubbed his toe the night before, and a fly flew into his eye right before the match." Blah blah blah.

The fact is, Sampras played pretty much everyone you've heard of that does not currently have a wrinkled face and arthritis.

And Federer's competition is very stiff, but it's not in the same league. Guys today are mostly headcases that play well one day and then crash out the next.

Steve Dykstra
06-23-2006, 06:20 PM
Well, I think there are plenty of dangerous floaters these days. Baghdatis at AO this year took out Roddick, Ljubicic and Nalbandian but Federer was too good for him though I think fatigue caught up with Baggy in that match. How about Gonzalez? He on his day is very dangerous and has beaten top players including Roddick (in '04) and Nalby but is never able to dismantle Federer. Last year he looked very solid at Wimby, came into the QF without losing a set. Played a superb match but still lost in 3 close sets. Same at the French a couple weeks prior to that. He would have beaten just about anyone but could not handle Fed's variety.
I saw highlights of the Fed-Berdych match at RG this year and of what I saw, Berdych would have ripped most top players a new one that day but Fed lost just 8 games. Keep in mind, Berdych took a set off Nadal on clay in Stuttgart last year.
Paradorn was in superb form at Indian Wells, beating Nalby on his way to the semis but couldnt do much against Fed. And this guy has had wins over the likes of Agassi and Hewitt in the past.
On clay, David Ferrer is a top notch player. Probably top 5. Fed just crushed him at Monte Carlo.
Last year at Hamburg, Gasquet was on fire. He was handing out bagels left and right enroute to the final. Fed stopped him.
Tommy Haas and Ljubicic were in great form early in the year, their only losses coming to Federer.
James Blake on hard courts can beat anybody these days. He was on song at IW and Key Biscayne, losing to Fed on both occasions.
I think Agassi on his day can beat anyone, and he has proven that even in the last couple of years. But Federer's scalp is one he will never have.
People talk alot about how everyone is scared of Federer these days and does not believe they can beat him. Well check out this draw from the Aussie Open '94.

R16 Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS) 11 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4
Q Nalbandian, David (ARG) 8 7-5 6-4 5-7 6-3
S Ferrero, Juan Carlos (ESP) 3 6-4 6-1 6-4
W Safin, Marat (RUS) 86 7-6(3) 6-4 6-2

Alright, Safin was fatigued. The rest were in fine form but Federer just blitzed through them.

Check out Fed's Hamburg draw in 2004. Both of the eventual FO finalists were beaten by him. And Gonzelez and Moya are no slouches on clay, Moya coming of a win at Rome that year.
Gaudio, Gaston (ARG) 34 6-1 5-7 6-4
R32 Lapentti, Nicolas (ECU) 67 6-3 6-3
R16 Gonzalez, Fernando (CHI) 14 7-5 6-1
Q Moya, Carlos (ESP) 8 6-4 6-3
S Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS) 17 6-0 6-4
W Coria, Guillermo (ARG) 3 4-6 6-4 6-2 6-3

Phillipousis at Wimbledon is scary for anyone, especially when he's in the final having beaten Agassi on the way. Fed goes through him in straights.

His draw at Wimby next year was not easy either.
R32 Johansson, Thomas (SWE) 123 6-3 6-4 6-3 Stats
R16 Karlovic, Ivo (CRO) 62 6-3 7-6(3) 7-6(5) Stats
Q Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS) 10 6-1 6-7(1) 6-0 6-4 Stats
S Grosjean, Sebastien (FRA) 13 6-2 6-3 7-6(6) Stats
W Roddick, Andy (USA) 2 4-6 7-5 7-6(3) 6-4

Those 5 are/were amongst the top grass courters in the world.

His Hamburg draw from last year.
R64 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP) 48 6-4 6-3
R32 Berdych, Tomas (CZE) 46 6-2 6-1
R16 Robredo, Tommy (ESP) 16 6-2 6-3
Q Coria, Guillermo (ARG) 8 6-4 7-6(3)
S Davydenko, Nikolay (RUS) 20 6-3 6-4
W Gasquet, Richard (FRA) 56 6-3 7-5 7-6(4)

That is just insane. Robredo, Davydenko, Coria live off of clay.

Perhaps Sampras's rivals were better. But it's not like Federer does not have to contend with dangerous floaters. He's got plenty of those to deal with, it's just that he is succeeds 95 pc of the time and makes it look easy.

Great post!

armand
06-24-2006, 07:25 PM
I absolutely believe that Sampras had tougher rivals. But it appears now that Federer has the tougher rival(as in singular, as in Rafael Nadal). I mean, did Sampras ever have anyone to give him a serious beatdown, losing 7 straight(or whatever) matches to one player?

Of course, it's mostly on clay blah, blah, blah and it's too early to tell if Nadal will seriously impede Federer in his quest for 14 slams.

superman1
06-24-2006, 11:25 PM
Sampras wouldn't have allowed anyone to put the beatdown on him that many times in a row. What Sampras had that Federer doesn't have is the ability to get ****ed and bring his game up a couple notches so that he could crack a serve and put away the volley or just slam dunk the overhead. Didn't matter who he was playing or on what surface, if he was playing at his absolute best there was no stopping him.

GroundMaster
06-25-2006, 12:08 AM
Both have their fair share of tough rivals to contend with, but you can also draw the parallels between them both.

They are level headed and very rarely show their emotions on court. It also takes a lot to ruffle their feathers.

No disrespect to his abilities, but Federer has a bit of an easier time than Sampras as his only consistent main rival seems to be Nadal.

illkhiboy
06-25-2006, 12:28 AM
Both have their fair share of tough rivals to contend with, but you can also draw the parallels between them both.

They are level headed and very rarely show their emotions on court. It also takes a lot to ruffle their feathers.

No disrespect to his abilities, but Federer has a bit of an easier time than Sampras as his only consistent main rival seems to be Nadal.

Simply because he has eliminated every one else. Nadal is quite an extraordinary player. Has anyone in the history of tennis had a top spin fourhand like Nadal's? It's not as easy shot to handle. Consider this, Nadal does not lose too often either. His only losses this year have come to Clement indoors when he was playing his first tourny in months, Blake who matches up well against him, Moya who knows his game inside out and Hewitt and that too because he was injured. So Nadal is not the run of the mill sort. Neither is he like Courier or Chang in the sense that he does not lose often. Did Sampras ever get pushed like that? By Agassi, who did have an edge over him in 1995 beating him in 3 out of 5 finals. The year Agassi went 73-8.

superman1
06-25-2006, 02:57 AM
Nadal is an excellent player but has shown time and again that he is vulnerable if the guy he's facing is very aggressive. Agassi even played Nadal in Montreal and said he didn't have any problems with Nadal's spin, but it was his speed that threw him off and caused him to go for too much. Nadal said it was a grueling match (only 3 sets, but a ton of running on his end) and that he had a lot of problems with Agassi's down-the-line backhand. So I think Nadal's dominance is mostly due to his athleticism and talent, but also due to a lack of guys ready to step up and match his aggression. Federer is unwilling to raise his physicality, but someone like Sampras would do that from the start.

Ivanišević
06-25-2006, 03:47 AM
many players (including Sampras) said that Sampras had a tougher rivals..
so, i guess, they know better
Federer is a great player, no doubt about it, but his competition nowdays is ridiculous..

Steve Dykstra
06-25-2006, 10:28 AM
Sampras wouldn't have allowed anyone to put the beatdown on him that many times in a row. What Sampras had that Federer doesn't have is the ability to get ****ed and bring his game up a couple notches so that he could crack a serve and put away the volley or just slam dunk the overhead. Didn't matter who he was playing or on what surface, if he was playing at his absolute best there was no stopping him.

On clay, Sampras would not stand a chance against Nadal. Don't be delusional.

teedub
06-28-2006, 04:05 AM
Felt like adding a bit more fuel to the fire here. Safin's thoughts on contemporary competition and a decade ago.

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/interviews/2006-06-27/200606271151439297515.html

Excerpt from his last answer:

"But also in the years that he played was much more competition than probably right now, with the players like Rafter, Rusedski, Kafelnikov, Agassi, Sampras, Rios. It kind of was tough for him. But he managed to be there and to be in even top four."

AAAA
06-28-2006, 04:56 AM
Felt like adding a bit more fuel to the fire here. Safin's thoughts on contemporary competition and a decade ago.

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/interviews/2006-06-27/200606271151439297515.html

Excerpt from his last answer:

"But also in the years that he played was much more competition than probably right now, with the players like Rafter, Rusedski, Kafelnikov, Agassi, Sampras, Rios. It kind of was tough for him. But he managed to be there and to be in even top four."


The question isn't whether Agassi faced tougher competition, it's whether Sampras faced tougher competition than Federer.

The Sampras fans somewhat contradict themselves by saying in one instance he is way better than Becker, Edberg, Agassi and all the other names they like to list, that is he was peerless BUT when it's convenient to do say they then say he had genuine rivals.

kpoladia
01-25-2007, 08:13 AM
Clearly one of the indicator to guage the quality of the opponent faced by Sampras and Federer is the Wimbledon court itself.

In Federer's time only the baseline of the court is worn out. Whereas in Sampras's time the entire court was ripped apart (the middle of the court, baseline of the court). Which only suggest the player's in Sampras's generation played all-court tennis!!!! Meaning they were multi-dimensional in their style & strategy. Whereas today's player are one-dimensional in style & strategy!

Net play comparison: It is appaling and disgraceful to see the approach shot of today's player, horrendously flawed may I say! Including some of Federer's approach shots as well.

Serve comparison: Tom, Dick & Harry can break Federer's serve, even today as I write this. Tom, Dick & Harry dare to break Sampras's serve!!!! Sampras's serve was faced by the greatest returner of all time in the history of tennis. When one can break the serve how can one hold on to the match ?????

oberyn
01-25-2007, 08:25 AM
It's impossible to determine, IMO. The only way to determine it would be to invent a time machine and let Sampras' rivals play Federer's rivals and/or let Sampras in his prime compete against Federer's rivals and Federer compete against Sampras' rivals.

Is Federer more dominant because he's facing weaker competition? or

Does Sampras' competition appear more impressive because Sampras himself was less dominant (i.e., providing his competition more opportunities to amass more slams, tounament wins, etc.)?

Like I said, it's impossible to determine.

ACE of Hearts
01-25-2007, 08:30 AM
I followed Pete's career but the guy was all about the slams.I think Roger by far is a better returner then Pete Sampras.Sampras had a dominant serve but i like watching Federer's shot making ability.

ksbh
01-25-2007, 08:39 AM
I couldn't agree more :p

When a former number 1 wins a mere 6 games in the Austalian open semis and a clay court specialist who can't play hard courts if his life depended on it is number 2 in the world (!), you have to wonder.

Clearly one of the indicator to guage the quality of the opponent faced by Sampras and Federer is the Wimbledon court itself.

In Federer's time only the baseline of the court is worn out. Whereas in Sampras's time the entire court was ripped apart (the middle of the court, baseline of the court). Which only suggest the player's in Sampras's generation played all-court tennis!!!! Meaning they were multi-dimensional in their style & strategy. Whereas today's player are one-dimensional in style & strategy!

Net play comparison: It is appaling and disgraceful to see the approach shot of today's player, horrendously flawed may I say! Including some of Federer's approach shots as well.

Serve comparison: Tom, Dick & Harry can break Federer's serve, even today as I write this. Tom, Dick & Harry dare to break Sampras's serve!!!! Sampras's serve was faced by the greatest returner of all time in the history of tennis. When one can break the serve how can one hold on to the match ?????

ckthegreek
01-25-2007, 08:44 AM
Sampras had Chang, Agassi and Courier to contend with whereas Roger has Nadal, Hewitt, Safin, Baghdatis, Nalbandian and a whole host of other talented players from the new generation to contend with

Are you 12 years old? Chang, Agassi and Courier huh? Safin at his prime lost to Sampras and beat Sampras. Safin is now well past his best but always gives Fed a scare when they play (last 5 matches between them have tie breaks). See Aus 2005 SF.

Sampras also had:
1) Ivanisevic
2) Moya
3) Kuerten
4) Kafelnikov
5) Rafter
6) Roddick
7) Bruguera
etc, etc

Hewitt is well past his best. Bagh has not won anything yet, Bandy the same. Nadal has a better H2H against Fed.

Rybo
01-25-2007, 08:44 AM
It's impossible to determine, IMO.

I could not agree more. It makes for interesting conversation of course, but that's about it. In the end, you can't determine what era is better as a whole, because it's different players playing other different players at different times in their careers in different environments, and the differences go on and on and on. All we can do is look at each era and appreciate the great players in those eras.

ACE of Hearts
01-25-2007, 08:47 AM
Ivanisevic has to be the most overrated player in tennis, the guy was a choker.I dont see much comparison in the top 10 to that of Sampras.Some guys had a winning record against Roger but that was 2002.Kuerten would get smoked along with Rafter if they played Roger now.

Swinging Simian
01-25-2007, 08:54 AM
There's no question about it. Sampras' Rivals were tougher. After saying that I say his Rivals were tougher because he had Rivals. Federer has none. Closest thing Federer has to a rival is Nadal? And it isn't even a real rivalry. Nadal is more like an obstacle to Federer. Tougher Rivals? The only real Rival Federer has right now is himself. It's too bad as well, because tennis is at least a 2 person game. To truly see a masterful match you need two equal Talents to play. That is what a rivalry is. People who are equals who try to out do each other or at least match the other's accomplishment. Anything less than that is just an exhibition of one man's talent.

ACE of Hearts
01-25-2007, 09:01 AM
Put Fed in Sampras's era and i guarantee u, he would have doned better then Sampras.Of course, pre-fed 2004.

dima
01-25-2007, 09:21 AM
This is so ********, his rivals were only better because HE, himself, nobody else let them be better, there's no other way around it, he let them get those slams, now this can't be said about roger, if roger won slams at the pace Sampras did, Roddick would have at least 3 and be considered a legend, hewitt 3 or 4, and many other players would have at least one.

fastdunn
01-25-2007, 10:03 AM
Like I said, it's impossible to determine.

Yes, it's impossible to conclude. This discussion's fun is not in arriving
at the conclusion. IMHO, it's fun to exchange insights in the process.

First, Federer is so good that he makes his competition look like
club players. Even if they improve, Federer also improve.

But when I look at the talent and effort levels of current top 10
from #3 to #10, I have to wonder if they are really good players.

Compare current top 10 with new generation players ranked #11-#30
like Gasquet, Murray, Baghadatis and Djokovic etc.
Current top 10's are mostly late bloomers. Not really smashing talents.


Current top 10 players really want to win slams or they are just happy
with current status ?

Are they trying enough ? They never return Federer's serve convincingly,
100% passed by Federer, always fail to retrieve Federer's forehand.
But they still do not pick a spot and gamble. Do they want to win
or just want to save their faces ?

Do they have variety ? How come Roddick, who have the best serve
in this generation, serve 100% of his 2nd serve into Federer's backhand ?
And always kicker. Why doesn't he vary direction or throw in some flat
bombs ?

I don't know man. This is worst top 10 talents and effort levels I've ever
seen in 20 years of my tennis viewing.

drakulie
01-25-2007, 10:07 AM
Federer has no rivals. Therefore, Sampras wins by default.

ACE of Hearts
01-25-2007, 10:10 AM
I think Fed's forehand has become legendary.Players are scared to hit it to his forehand side.I think he makes it look easy.Roddick would have 6 GSs if it wasnt for Federer.

noeledmonds
01-25-2007, 10:11 AM
It is very difficult to determin how tough Federer's rivals are until all their caerres are over. If Gonzo went in to win 7 slams (unlikely i agree), suddenly Federer might have a rival we considered tough. However looking at the situation right now I think Sampras definelty seemed to have tougher rivals. Sampras had Agassi, and noeone compares to that on the ATP tour right now. Federer has Nadal, but Sampras also had Kuerten. I think Sampras's competition was better, but Federer is more dominant over his rivals.

oberyn
01-25-2007, 10:13 AM
Federer has no rivals. Therefore, Sampras wins by default.

:D Very good post.

fastdunn
01-25-2007, 10:19 AM
I think Fed's forehand has become legendary.Players are scared to hit it to his forehand side.I think he makes it look easy.Roddick would have 6 GSs if it wasnt for Federer.

I think Roddick has been lucky to win that US Open.

Roddick does not have variety and is very predictable.
I never seen a gland slam champion with that bad footwork.

And Roddick serves 99% of his 2nd serve into his opponents'
backhand side always kicker only whether he is playing Federer
or not.

fastdunn
01-25-2007, 10:22 AM
All I can say is that Sampras had more variety of players: S&Ver's, power
baseliners, crafty all courters, more lefties.

Federer has to beat fellow power baseliners mostly righthanders...

It is very difficult to determin how tough Federer's rivals are until all their caerres are over. If Gonzo went in to win 7 slams (unlikely i agree), suddenly Federer might have a rival we considered tough. However looking at the situation right now I think Sampras definelty seemed to have tougher rivals. Sampras had Agassi, and noeone compares to that on the ATP tour right now. Federer has Nadal, but Sampras also had Kuerten. I think Sampras's competition was better, but Federer is more dominant over his rivals.

AAAA
01-25-2007, 10:52 AM
Nadal is a harder to beat opponent for Federer than Agassi is for Sampras.

lenbo01
01-25-2007, 10:56 AM
thisis obviously a debate that will go on forever. you guys give sampras's rivals too much credit for what they did before sampras came on the scene. with the exception of agassi, who exactly were the great players pete played? you could match up every great play pete played a decade ago with one today.
chang=hewitt
roddick=krajcek
ivanisevic=safin
i could go on and on.

dozu
01-25-2007, 10:57 AM
you know, this rivalry thing is chicken-and-egg.

many posts here have listed a bunch of name of the top players in the '90s, with the pretence that they are 'better' players than the top players in the '00s.

The chicken-and-egg aspect of this, is that if Federer were playing in the '90s, those names would not have gone down as great players in that decade, but they will be remembered as the great chokers of that decade, or the weak peers to an utter dominance. they should all be thankful that they have a chance into the tennis hall of fame, because Federer was still a junior back then.

The top guys today, Roddick, Safin, Hewitt, would have more slam trophies, and would have the same hall of fame status as those names in the '90s. Not to mention the likes of Nalbandian, Ljubicic and so-on, who are still fighting for the title of the best slamless player, and could arguably won some slams if not for the Fed.

So, back to the original poll. I voted 'Fed's rival slightly better', simply because as the progress, the players ALWAYS run faster, get stronger, have better nutrition/training, with better equipments.

And for those of you who voted 'Sampras' rivals better, and thinking that

1. the rivals are better because those names have more combined slams.... see above

2. the rivals are better, which proves that Sampras is a better player... think chicken-and-egg, it just proves the opposite... Sampras was not as good as Fed and therefore was NOT as dominant as Federer.

TennisandMusic
01-25-2007, 10:58 AM
I think Fed's forehand has become legendary.Players are scared to hit it to his forehand side.I think he makes it look easy.Roddick would have 6 GSs if it wasnt for Federer.

Which is the perfect argument as to why this era of tennis is so horrific overall. Roddick would have 6 slams!

ACE of Hearts
01-25-2007, 11:18 AM
No, Fed makes it easy.Roddick also played Sampras tough and u Sampras lovers come up with excuses that he was old.

Chadwixx
01-25-2007, 11:23 AM
Roddick would have alot more slams if he played in the sampras era when courts were made out of glass. Pete's serve was really impressive, but imagine roddicks. Its 20mph faster on avg. Back then you could win with one weapon, that would highly favor roddick.

A-Rod6600
01-25-2007, 12:10 PM
2nd Nadal , R.
3rd Davydenko , N.
4th Ljubicic , I.
5th Blake , J.
6th Robredo , T.
7th Roddick , A.
8th Nalbandian , D.
9th Gonzalez , F.
10th Ancic , M.

This is the actual ranking. Tell me apart from nadal who starts to suffer from physical problems due to his physical tennis and roddick, who is powerful but he has not a lot of talent and is bad at the net,who are the tough, the talented player federer should face, davydenko maybe? Sampras opponent were much better,guys like davydenko, ljubicic and robredo are ridicolous compared to Rafter, krajicek, Agassi, Kuerten, Chang, Courier, ivanisevic, Kafelnikov not to mention others. As many posters said they were more all courter, less predictable..to me it is clear that Federer with that opponent would have much more problems than with the actual top-ten.

NamRanger
01-25-2007, 12:19 PM
Roddick would have alot more slams if he played in the sampras era when courts were made out of glass. Pete's serve was really impressive, but imagine roddicks. Its 20mph faster on avg. Back then you could win with one weapon, that would highly favor roddick.


Roddick's serve is faster because he hits through the ball on his serve. If you actually watch Sampras serve in slow motion, you would know he's hitting a topspin serve at 120+ mph consistently. He broke Rafter's strings because his ball spun so much for crying out loud.



Federer's competition may be stronger and fitter, but none of them are mentally strong enough (other then Nadal) to compete with the greats of the 80s/90s. Borg and Lendl were literally robots on the court, Rafter would Serve and Volley, chip and charge every point, despite getting passed or lobbed. He would just pressure you into mistakes. Chang would fight even though he's cramping and nearly about to fall over and die, Agassi could run forever and just run you around with his baseline game. These guys all had some sort of a special tactic that is signature to them, the only person I've seen so far who has some sort of a signature tactic other then Federer is Nadal (extremely heavy topspin).

NamRanger
01-25-2007, 12:31 PM
Simply because he has eliminated every one else. Nadal is quite an extraordinary player. Has anyone in the history of tennis had a top spin fourhand like Nadal's? It's not as easy shot to handle. Consider this, Nadal does not lose too often either. His only losses this year have come to Clement indoors when he was playing his first tourny in months, Blake who matches up well against him, Moya who knows his game inside out and Hewitt and that too because he was injured. So Nadal is not the run of the mill sort. Neither is he like Courier or Chang in the sense that he does not lose often. Did Sampras ever get pushed like that? By Agassi, who did have an edge over him in 1995 beating him in 3 out of 5 finals. The year Agassi went 73-8.



Bruguera and Muster could easily reach 3700 rpms, Bruguera having the much higher average rpm due to his crazy grip.

tricky
01-25-2007, 12:37 PM
Actually I think Nadal's RPM is on average even higher than Bruguera. The cool thing about Nadal's FH is that he can pretty much return any ball from his knees to above his head. And if he wants, due to not pivoting around the elbow, he can also hit the ball pretty flat to put short balls away.

lambielspins
01-25-2007, 12:39 PM
It is not like all those players were at their best at the same time here or now. Players like Hewitt and Safin are no longer at their best, but players like Courier and Chang were not at their best at a point in Sampras's reign either. Lets look at rankings 10 years ago:

1. Pete Sampras
2. Patrick Rafter
3. Michael Chang
4. Jonas Bjorkman
5. Yevgeny Kafelnikov
6. Greg Rusedski
7. Carlos Moya
8. Sergei Bruguera
9. Thomas Muster
10. Marcelo Rios

or 9 years ago:

1. Pete Sampras
2. Marcelo Rios
3. Alex Corretja
4. Patrick Rafter
5. Carlos Moya
6. Andre Agassi
7. Tim Henmen
8. Karol Kucera
9. Greg Rusedski
10. Richard Krajicek

This is your tougher competition? Please, todays competition is better then that group, eliminating both Sampras and Federer.

People think Davydenko at #3 is a joke but Corretja and Bjorkman at #3 and #4 arent?
Or players like the ordinary Kafelnikov-maybe the worst 2 time slam winner in history, or the injury prone Krajicek were better over the course of a number of years then players like Hewitt and Roddick and Safin? People think Rios or Rafter is a stronger #2 then Nadal?

AAAA
01-25-2007, 12:48 PM
He broke Rafter's strings because his ball spun so much for crying out loud.


A freak event unless of course it happened often to other opponents as well.

tricky
01-25-2007, 12:51 PM
Just wanted to add that every generation has been viewed as weaker than the previous. Yes, when Sampras was king, older fans argued that he played a weaker field than the 80s. And even then, people complained that the rackets were killing the virtues and nuances of the game.

That being said, I think the top 90s players were overall better than the current generation.

lambielspins
01-25-2007, 12:56 PM
Sampras opponent were much better,guys like davydenko, ljubicic and robredo are ridicolous compared to Rafter, krajicek, Agassi, Kuerten, Chang, Courier, ivanisevic, Kafelnikov not to mention others. As many posters said they were more all courter, less predictable..to me it is clear that Federer with that opponent would have much more problems than with the actual top-ten.

How much trouble would Federer have with those players:

Rafter-at U.S Open where Rafter played his most inspired tennis might be a challenge, everywhere else Fed no problem. Rafter took until the very end of his career to even get past the 4th round of Wimbledon or the Australian Open.

Krajiceck-the injury prone sparatic Dutchman who moved clunky and didnt return serve well? At Wimbledon the 1 or 2 times his whole career Krajiceck actually got hot at the event Fed could have his hands full. Other then that no problem for Fed.

Chang-please a weaker Hewitt when Hewitt was at his peak still in 2004-2005, who Fed only occasionaly lost a set to. Federer would make mincemeat of the B+ Hewitt.

Courier-in 1993 maybe some good matches between them, after that no problems for Fed as Courier goes in long gradual decline to retirement.

Ivanisevic-a weaker Roddick, one trick pony with less game to back up his serve then Roddick has, although a better first serve then Roddick(when it went in), much lower percentage of first serves then Roddick, and far less reliable second serve then Roddick. Federer is maybe the best defensive return of serve since Connors, not as exceptional an offensive returner as Agassi perhaps but defensive return maybe the best in about 30 years. Would return Ivanisevic's serve better then either Agassi or Sampras did IMO, and especialy better then Sampras did.

Kafelnikov-Federer vs Kafelnikov?!? What a joke, remember some of the embarassing beatdowns Kafelnikov took at the hands of Sampras, Agassi, and even Rafter when they were "on". Federer would do the same, Kafelnikov has NOTHING that would bother Federer in his arsenal.

Agassi-sure in 1995 or 1999 he gives Federer some good competition. Maybe 1994 a bit too. 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, basicaly most of the time Sampras was on top, no chief competitor for Fed either assuming career carried same path.

Kuerten-Federer has a player who is already stopping him from winning the French Open in Nadal. Unlike Nadal Kuerten sometimes gets upset on clay, he would probably have rather had Kuerten then Nadal since atleast Kuerten could get upset at the French(98 and 99, almost in 2000 and 2001 even)unlike Nadal.

AAAA
01-25-2007, 01:20 PM
How much trouble would Federer have with those players:

Rafter-at U.S Open where Rafter played his most inspired tennis might be a challenge, everywhere else Fed no problem. Rafter took until the very end of his career to even get past the 4th round of Wimbledon or the Australian Open.

Krajiceck-the injury prone sparatic Dutchman who moved clunky and didnt return serve well? At Wimbledon the 1 or 2 times his whole career Krajiceck actually got hot at the event Fed could have his hands full. Other then that no problem for Fed.

Chang-please a weaker Hewitt when Hewitt was at his peak still in 2004-2005, who Fed only occasionaly lost a set to. Federer would make mincemeat of the B+ Hewitt.

Courier-in 1993 maybe some good matches between them, after that no problems for Fed as Courier goes in long gradual decline to retirement.

Ivanisevic-a weaker Roddick, one trick pony with less game to back up his serve then Roddick has, although a better first serve then Roddick(when it went in), much lower percentage of first serves then Roddick, and far less reliable second serve then Roddick. Federer is maybe the best defensive return of serve since Connors, not as exceptional an offensive returner as Agassi perhaps but defensive return maybe the best in about 30 years. Would return Ivanisevic's serve better then either Agassi or Sampras did IMO, and especialy better then Sampras did.

Kafelnikov-Federer vs Kafelnikov?!? What a joke, remember some of the embarassing beatdowns Kafelnikov took at the hands of Sampras, Agassi, and even Rafter when they were "on". Federer would do the same, Kafelnikov has NOTHING that would bother Federer in his arsenal.

Agassi-sure in 1995 or 1999 he gives Federer some good competition. Maybe 1994 a bit too. 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, basicaly most of the time Sampras was on top, no chief competitor for Fed either assuming career carried same path.

Kuerten-Federer has a player who is already stopping him from winning the French Open in Nadal. Unlike Nadal Kuerten sometimes gets upset on clay, he would probably have rather had Kuerten then Nadal since atleast Kuerten could get upset at the French(98 and 99, almost in 2000 and 2001 even)unlike Nadal.

Excellent points. Kuerten only played Sampras 3 times and never in a slam event. Already Federer has played Nadal 9 times and 2 of those matches were slam finals and 1 was a semifinal. A genuinely tough competitor is someone you have a losing record against. Federer faced such a opponent in Nadal in 3 majors.

noeledmonds
01-25-2007, 01:38 PM
How much trouble would Federer have with those players:

Rafter-at U.S Open where Rafter played his most inspired tennis might be a challenge, everywhere else Fed no problem. Rafter took until the very end of his career to even get past the 4th round of Wimbledon or the Australian Open.

Krajiceck-the injury prone sparatic Dutchman who moved clunky and didnt return serve well? At Wimbledon the 1 or 2 times his whole career Krajiceck actually got hot at the event Fed could have his hands full. Other then that no problem for Fed.

Chang-please a weaker Hewitt when Hewitt was at his peak still in 2004-2005, who Fed only occasionaly lost a set to. Federer would make mincemeat of the B+ Hewitt.

Courier-in 1993 maybe some good matches between them, after that no problems for Fed as Courier goes in long gradual decline to retirement.

Ivanisevic-a weaker Roddick, one trick pony with less game to back up his serve then Roddick has, although a better first serve then Roddick(when it went in), much lower percentage of first serves then Roddick, and far less reliable second serve then Roddick. Federer is maybe the best defensive return of serve since Connors, not as exceptional an offensive returner as Agassi perhaps but defensive return maybe the best in about 30 years. Would return Ivanisevic's serve better then either Agassi or Sampras did IMO, and especialy better then Sampras did.

Kafelnikov-Federer vs Kafelnikov?!? What a joke, remember some of the embarassing beatdowns Kafelnikov took at the hands of Sampras, Agassi, and even Rafter when they were "on". Federer would do the same, Kafelnikov has NOTHING that would bother Federer in his arsenal.

Agassi-sure in 1995 or 1999 he gives Federer some good competition. Maybe 1994 a bit too. 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, basicaly most of the time Sampras was on top, no chief competitor for Fed either assuming career carried same path.

Kuerten-Federer has a player who is already stopping him from winning the French Open in Nadal. Unlike Nadal Kuerten sometimes gets upset on clay, he would probably have rather had Kuerten then Nadal since atleast Kuerten could get upset at the French(98 and 99, almost in 2000 and 2001 even)unlike Nadal.

Federer would probabely not stuggle much against these opoents, but he does not struggle much against his own. It is all realtive, and I think he would struggle a little more against Sampras's. After all Federer has no equvilant to Courier and had very little, if any, exposure to a peak form Agassi. This is about who's competition is better, not "if Federer could beat Sampras's competition"

Doc Hollidae
01-25-2007, 01:53 PM
To have a rivalry, usually the other opponent wins sometimes. Sampras and Agassi was a rivalry. Federer has no rivals, he just beats the s**t out of everyone. In the Sampras era, Rank 2-20 (give or take 5) were all solid players capable of winning a Slam. With Federer, there's Federer and then everyone else, with the exception of Nadal and the French.

chaognosis
01-25-2007, 01:56 PM
Sampras's career was much longer than Federer's heretofore, so of course he played more great players -- but he never had to face them all at the same time. Federer's competition is nothing to scoff at. He beat Sampras at Wimbledon in a classic match when Sampras was the No. 1 seed. He played and beat Agassi many times, post-1998 when Agassi was a more disciplined and arguably better player than during most of the Sampras era. He has contended with Hewitt and Nadal (sure-fire Hall of Famers), Safin and Roddick (probable Hall of Famers). He has held hugely talented and explosive youngsters at bay (Ancic, Gasquet, Baghdatis, Djokovic), and he has dominated some of the hardest hitters the game has ever seen (Blake, Gonzalez). Give Federer five more years, and I guarantee that numbered among his opponents will be a catalog of great players just as impressive, if not more so, than those faced by Sampras.

What is most impressive about Federer, and what we should be paying most attention to, is that he works his magic on every surface, at every event he plays throughout the calendar year. His level of play doesn't rise and fall; if anything, it steadily increases. All things considered, the show Federer put on last night against a well-prepared, confident, first-class opponent, proves that he is well on his way to standing alongside Tilden and Laver as tennis's greatest all-court, all-surface champions. Perhaps no players other than Vines, Hoad, and McEnroe, wowed their contemporaries with such effortlessly magnificent performances. Federer has the power of Vines and Hoad, and the artistry of McEnroe, but he is tougher and more consistent than any of them. He makes even the most one-sided victories entertaining, and he does it regularly, and we should thank him for that.

AAAA
01-25-2007, 01:57 PM
This is about who's competition is better, not "if Federer could beat Sampras's competition"

Tough competitors are those with winning or close head to head scores. I'm sure you agree.

lambielspins
01-25-2007, 01:58 PM
Federer would probabely not stuggle much against these opoents, but he does not struggle much against his own. It is all realtive, and I think he would struggle a little more against Sampras's. After all Federer has no equvilant to Courier and had very little, if any, exposure to a peak form Agassi. This is about who's competition is better, not "if Federer could beat Sampras's competition"

I definitely agree Courier at his peak was better then Federer's opponents today. Well vs Nadal not sure who is better on clay or grass, but hard courts definitely Courier. However Courier's peak was 91-93, and Sampras's period of almost all his biggest success was 93-2000. So Sampras only played Courier 1 year at his peak. Courier of 94-96 was still a top 15 player but not any better then todays top players any longer.

You are right on Agassi. Agassi was at his peak only about 3 of those 8years, but still atleast that is more then Courier, and Agassi at his peak was definitely better then todays top players, except for Nadal on clay. Maybe Roddick on grass because of Roddick's serve, but then again Agassi lost after having a match point playing Roddick on grass in 2003 IIRC when arguably on the downside a bit by then.

So I see your point, but Courier imparticular had very short time at his peak during Sampras's 8 year period of being at #1 or close to #1, and winning 1 or 2 slams every year. Only 1 year of that time was Courier any better then todays top players IMO.

Rafter also might be tougher then todays opponents somewhat, particularly at the U.S Open, but like I said he had a hard time getting past the 4th round anywhere but the U.S Open. His last 2 Wimbledons and last Australian Open(and 1 French Open earlier on but he would be no threat to Fed there)were finally the exceptions to that.

So I guess you are right, relative some of those might have been tougher at certain points in time, but some of those other players like Kafelnikov, Krajicek, Chang, Ivanisevic, I dont see it.

lambielspins
01-25-2007, 02:09 PM
In the Sampras era, Rank 2-20 (give or take 5) were all solid players capable of winning a Slam. With Federer, there's Federer and then everyone else, with the exception of Nadal and the French.

In the Sampras era there were only around 5 players in the top 20 who were not solid players capable of winning a Slam; while today only Nadal at the French has a hope? That statement is ludricious and a gross exaggeration of the truth. Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, even Nalbandian or Davydenko, at the very least are much more capable of winning any given slam title by a long shot then the likes of Medvedev, Pioline, Ferreira, Martin, Washington, Enqvist, Rios, Bjorkman, Moya, Rusedski, Rosset, Corretja, Costa, Kucera, Korda, and probably around 12 of the top 20 at all times was made up with players like that. Nadal is more capable of winning a slam outside the French then Bruguera or Muster were. Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, are more of a threat to win at any particular slam(outside the French)then Ivanisevic and Krajicek or Stich who you thought only had a shot at 1 slam a year at most.

grand slam federer
01-25-2007, 02:12 PM
Sampras Era Was Harder You Just Have To Look At The Players
Then Agassi Rafter Kuerten Todd Martin Courier Chang
Ivanisevic Rios Kafenikov And Henman At His Best
There You Go

ACE of Hearts
01-25-2007, 02:12 PM
I dont get it.The 90s era was a joke.People overhype it.I dont see much of a difference.I think Roger would get the most out of all the players.One thing that gets lost about Roger's game is his ability to read serves.Thats the scary part, that has gotten so much better.

lambielspins
01-25-2007, 02:13 PM
Excellent points. Kuerten only played Sampras 3 times and never in a slam event. Already Federer has played Nadal 9 times and 2 of those matches were slam finals and 1 was a semifinal. A genuinely tough competitor is someone you have a losing record against. Federer faced such a opponent in Nadal in 3 majors.

I agree. I would think you can almost discount Kuerten or Bruguera or Muster as tough opponents for Sampras since outside the French they rarely contended, while Sampras rarely contended at the French. Federer on the other hand, unlike Sampras, is a real contender at the French and Nadal is a legit obstacle Fed had to face already by virtue of his losing possable French titles to Nadal, something that couldnt happen to Sampras when there was no possable French title for him to speak of(the one year there was he lost to Kafelnikov). Facing Nadal in one Wimbledon final is already about on par with facing Muster in one Australian semi, so that is a wash about.

ACE of Hearts
01-25-2007, 02:15 PM
Number of slams for Henman, Rios?Ivanisevic was a choker,Whats the difference between Chang and Hewitt?Rafter was a late bloomer, he beat a green Fed.He would be toast if he played during this era.

noeledmonds
01-25-2007, 02:19 PM
I definitely agree Courier at his peak was better then Federer's opponents today. Well vs Nadal not sure who is better on clay or grass, but hard courts definitely Courier. However Courier's peak was 91-93, and Sampras's period of almost all his biggest success was 93-2000. So Sampras only played Courier 1 year at his peak. Courier of 94-96 was still a top 15 player but not any better then todays top players any longer.

You are right on Agassi. Agassi was at his peak only about 3 of those 8years, but still atleast that is more then Courier, and Agassi at his peak was definitely better then todays top players, except for Nadal on clay. Maybe Roddick on grass because of Roddick's serve, but then again Agassi lost after having a match point playing Roddick on grass in 2003 IIRC when arguably on the downside a bit by then.

So I see your point, but Courier imparticular had very short time at his peak during Sampras's 8 year period of being at #1 or close to #1, and winning 1 or 2 slams every year. Only 1 year of that time was Courier any better then todays top players IMO.

Rafter also might be tougher then todays opponents somewhat, particularly at the U.S Open, but like I said he had a hard time getting past the 4th round anywhere but the U.S Open. His last 2 Wimbledons and last Australian Open(and 1 French Open earlier on but he would be no threat to Fed there)were finally the exceptions to that.

So I guess you are right, relative some of those might have been tougher at certain points in time, but some of those other players like Kafelnikov, Krajicek, Chang, Ivanisevic, I dont see it.

I think this is a fair assesment.

The only things I would say are that Kafelnikov (yes, the worst 2 slam player), is a spitting image of Davydenko who of course is currently world no.3

Ivanisevic could also serve and stay back on non-grass surfaces (most people foget that Goran reached to doubles FO finals, proving he could play on the dirt). Goran also had some of the most powerfull groundstrokes I have ever seen. Having said all this he is probabely still insuperor to Roddick.

Chang was certainly worse than Hewwit, allthough Chang is one of the better one slam wonders, he did not dominate like Hewwit (80 weeks at no.1)

Krijeck was just Sampras's Achiles heal, holding the best H2H against Sampras (and thats still only 6-4). Federer would thrash a baseliner like him.

Overall though Sampras's competition was harder, as it stands. Of course Federer may develop more rivals as his career continues.

bballhawk
01-25-2007, 02:32 PM
I think Sampras had better competition, but I still think that the best of Federer beats Sampras in his best day. I don't know why people confuse those things.
I think Safin is the most talented player after Fed but he is injury prone and incosistent.
Nadal - I am not sure about him. His best days are ahead of him but there have been many playrs that play really well for a year or two and then disappear.

I don't think Federer has any weaknesses. Taller Agassi that can serve and volley. Scary stuff.

AAAA
01-25-2007, 03:01 PM
I agree. I would think you can almost discount Kuerten or Bruguera or Muster as tough opponents for Sampras since outside the French they rarely contended, while Sampras rarely contended at the French. Federer on the other hand, unlike Sampras, is a real contender at the French and Nadal is a legit obstacle Fed had to face already by virtue of his losing possable French titles to Nadal, something that couldnt happen to Sampras when there was no possable French title for him to speak of(the one year there was he lost to Kafelnikov). Facing Nadal in one Wimbledon final is already about on par with facing Muster in one Australian semi, so that is a wash about.

Exactly the point. Some of his fans do no more than list a whos who of 90s tennis and expect everyone to believe all those players played Pete many many times when Pete and they were at their primes. When results, times played and rankings are checked the truth is less rosy and aromatic.



Facing Nadal in one Wimbledon final is already about on par with facing Muster in one Australian semi, so that is a wash about.

lambielspins, comparing Muster's match as par to Nadal's match in the above is being far too generous to the level of competition posed by Muster. Here are facts

When Muster played Sampras at the Aus Open in 1997, Sampras already owned Muster to the tune of 6-1 (3 hard, 2 carpet and 1 clay)
http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/players/headtohead/?player1=sampras&player2=muster

However when Federer played Nadal in the 2007 Wimbledon final , Federer
was losing 1-6 h2h against Nadal (4 clay, 2 hard). Admittedly it was their first meeting on grass but the grass courts no longer disadvantage baseline play.
http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/players/headtohead/?player1=Nadal&player2=Federer

Again reality is far different from the monet-esque recollections of some sampras fans.

bagung
01-25-2007, 04:53 PM
federer has much easy time, nobody can challenge fed...
only nadal from times to times...
safin is another candidate...
the rest is a joke....

prosealster
01-25-2007, 05:32 PM
Roddick would have alot more slams if he played in the sampras era when courts were made out of glass. Pete's serve was really impressive, but imagine roddicks. Its 20mph faster on avg. Back then you could win with one weapon, that would highly favor roddick.

I agree.... he would have taken some of the Wimbledon titles away from Pete

travlerajm
01-25-2007, 05:57 PM
People tend to forget that post-1997 Sampras was just a shadow of his former self. He had noticeably lost a step or two, and noticeably gained about 20 lbs.

His winning a US Open and reaching 4 grand slam finals in this decade with a beat-up, slowed-down body was impressive, and comparing his record to the young guns like Hewitt, Safin, Roddick and Fed that never faced him in his prime is unfair to Pete.

Let's hope that Fed takes better care of his body in his late twenties than Pete did.

anointedone
01-25-2007, 06:01 PM
Yeah old men Sampras almost beat Federer in his prime at Wimbledon 2001. This proves if they played in Sampras's prime he would have crushed Federer. Even Haas or Hewitt or Roddick in their primes would beat Federer.

armand
01-25-2007, 07:01 PM
The main difference between today and yesterday is mental toughness. Yesterday we had Ivanisevic who was considered a big time choker in his day but by today's standard, he would be totally normal.

Forehands, fitness, blah, blah, blah. When all the chips are down and you gotta perform when all the weight of the world is on your shoulders, that's when it matters.

AAAA
01-26-2007, 03:15 AM
People tend to forget that post-1997 Sampras was just a shadow of his former self. He had noticeably lost a step or two, and noticeably gained about 20 lbs.


Rafter was 4 -12 head to head against Sampras. 3 of Rafter's wins came post 1997 so Rafter shouldn't even be on the list of pete's rivals.

Sanyi
12-06-2007, 03:26 AM
yes there is already a poll on this topic!

Maestro Nalbandian
12-06-2007, 03:58 AM
In the Sampras era there were only around 5 players in the top 20 who were not solid players capable of winning a Slam; while today only Nadal at the French has a hope? That statement is ludricious and a gross exaggeration of the truth. Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, even Nalbandian or Davydenko, at the very least are much more capable of winning any given slam title by a long shot then the likes of Medvedev, Pioline, Ferreira, Martin, Washington, Enqvist, Rios, Bjorkman, Moya, Rusedski, Rosset, Corretja, Costa, Kucera, Korda, and probably around 12 of the top 20 at all times was made up with players like that. Nadal is more capable of winning a slam outside the French then Bruguera or Muster were. Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, are more of a threat to win at any particular slam(outside the French)then Ivanisevic and Krajicek or Stich who you thought only had a shot at 1 slam a year at most.

Don't need anymore discussions I think. This guy summarised it pretty well.

Zaragoza
12-06-2007, 05:31 AM
You cannot compare their rivals yet because Federer´s era is not over. You will probably need to add some more names in the next years, then Federer´s competition will look tougher.

cknobman
12-06-2007, 06:00 AM
Feds rivals dont appear to be as good because Fed makes them look bad. Fed's rivals as a field though still are a mare talented pool of players than Pete faced (after say 92).

Maestro Nalbandian
12-06-2007, 07:36 AM
Connors, 19 yrs older than Sampras, played until mid 1993 at age of 41.
McEnroe, 12 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1992 at the age of 33.
Lendl, 11 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1994 at the age of 34.
Wilander, 7 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1996 at the age of 32. These hall of famers are mentioned because Sampras is older than Federer by 10 years.
Edberg is 5 yrs older and Becker is only 4 yrs older than Sampras, so I will not compare them with Sampras as Sampras is older than Federer by 10 years.
Now Sampras is saying that he had better rivals than Federer and these better rivals comprises of Hall of Famers like Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander.

So first of all, Sampras should stop discrediting Federer's competition and come back to the tour like what his predecessors - Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander have done for Sampras which was to continue playing until 32, 33, 34 when Sampras was in his prime and allowing Sampras to give them a beating. Instead his bunch of 90s hall of famers chose to retire early, left only Agassi who is playing at age 35 to compete against Federer, and now he has the cheek to say Federer does not have any Hall of Famers competiting with him??? Of course because all you 90s players retired before the age of 30. So instead of just talking behind the interview table, pick up your racket Sampras and compete against Federer. Put actions behind those words of yours. Chang, Courier, Rafter, Goran, Rios & Sampras who are all roughly 6 to 10 years older than Federer should come back to tour and let Federer have the honour to give them a beating like what Sampras was able to beat but still lose to Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg & Becker occasionally. Don't hide behind retirement.

2nd point is that Hall of Famers after reaching retirement age are easy pickings for the world no. 1. Sampras started beating Lendl when Lendl was growing old and thrashed McEnroe when he was past his prime. So Hall of Famers who are past their primes are generally weaker competition. All these up & coming players or single GS winners eg. like Baghdatis, Nadal, Berdych, Blake, Nalbandian, Roddick are in no means lower in skill or less capable of upsetting the no. 1 player. When Sampras played Becker when he was past his prime, it was a sure win for Sampras, even Becker knew it. But did McEnroe, Connors, Lendl complained why Sampras had no true rivals or that Becker was past his prime and easy picking for Sampras? No they did not make such comments, because that will discredit Sampras and make his win less worthy.

The only advantage Hall of famers have over the young pretenders are their experience in grandslams but the young ones have abundant energy and fighting spirit, which equally make up for their lack of taste in holding up a Major trophy. So these GS Hall of Famers are just icons past their prime, have good GS resumes, and when Sampras beats them, he is beating a legend. But is the legend past his prime just as comparable as a up & coming young star? In fact, Sampras still had a hard time winning Lendl, Edberg and Becker, even though they were past their prime, but Federer has been thrashing Henman, Hewitt, Agassi, never losing to these players past their prime for the past 3 yrs. This only shows how dominating Federer can be against old adversaries past their prime unlike Sampras who can still lose to his old adversaries past their prime. You only look as good as long as your opponent lets you. If Sampras competes with Goran for 5 sets and long matches in Wimbledon, does that say that Goran is a strong competitor? If Federer crushes Roddick or Lubjicic, that means they are weak competitors? Comeon, sacastically, no wonder Federer is starting to make his matches look more competitive by dropping sets.

3rd point is that the men's tour is always 1 or 2 lightyears in front of the Women's tour. In the 80s, I only can remember 2 names: Navratilova & Evert. These 2 women dominate the tour, hardly loses and always play each other in the finals, hardly lost to lower competition. In the 80s, there are 4 good men competiting: Lendl, Borg (retired early, replaced by Wilander) , McEnroe, Connors playing each other in the finals, hardly losing to lower competition. In the 90s, there were still 2 old guards & 2 new guards Navratilova, Evert, Graf & Seles dominating the tour, hardly losing to lower competition. For ATP in the 90s, the old ATP guards still around in the early 90s, Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Chang. These top 10 ATP players will occasionally get upset by someone ranked 30 to 50, but on the women's tour, that rarely happens. Now the 2000s WTA players are like the men in the 90s. A bigger pool of better top 20 players but these top 10 players are still dominating the early rounds like the 90s ATP players. At least nowadays the WTA top 10 players can be occasionally upset by a top 30 player, same as the men in the 90s. Now the 2000s ATP player is in a evolving stage ahead of the WTA. By right, the pool of ATP players have grown in depth and any top 60 player can beat the top 10 on any given day.

The reason why no Hall of Famers have stayed on until mid 30s except Agassi is that they simply cannot compete with the young guns now unlike Laver, Rosewall, Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, all played until they are mid 30s or early 40s because they could still compete well with the young stars of their generation. That's also the reason why we don't see any women players winning more than 10 Majors in today's tennis as compared to Navratilova, Evert, Graf. The depth of the men's and women's game have evolved that there should not be a dominating force left on the tour, grabbing all the trophies like in the 80s and 90s but there is an anti-defying player called Federer that simply defies the evolving stages of the tennis world. If you see this point of how Federer manages to gain a stranglehold of the competition when the competition has more depth than in the past, only then you will appreciate his greatness.

Actually, Federer is self motivating and history is propelling him to strive harder. He is crazy about breaking records and I think Sampras discrediting Federer's competition will only cause Federer to have that extra drive to achieve whatever achievements that eluded Sampras, eg. the French, breaking Sampras 14 Major record, achieve the 4 Majors consecutively or the Calender GS. So Sampras may have unwittingly give Federer that extra anger, drive and determination to prove Sampras wrong, to make him no. 2 in tennis records, to be a greater achiever than Sampras.

Last point, Sampras only thinks that his prime serve and volley game can hurt and beat Federer. A prime Federer is a better returner, retriever, defence player than Hewitt or Agassi who are capable of drubbing Sampras even when he is at his prime. Federer is like Micheal Jordan, supreme in both offence and defence, unparallel skills seen before. Sampras should count his lucky stars that Federer did not born on the same year as him. Sampras's grand total of 14 would probably be less than half that amount. Sampras and all serve & volley fans regard that S&V is the achilles heels in defeating Federer but they never think that maybe, yes maybe Federer could be S&V ultimate nightmare...Sampras could be left standing, feet stranded, eyes astonished, mouth open, lungs gasping, total amazement at every ball passed him when he reached the net. Sampras will not know what hit him when the Federer express train runs all over him. Sampras should return to tour, ask for sponsors to create an exhibition match with Federer, get a 2 point handicap advantage in his favour for each game, play 1 set with Federer, then ask all his 1990s baseline buddies & S&V buddies to take turns to play a set with Federer and see how dominating Federer can be, instead of just making discrediting comments about Federer obliterating his so called "weak" tennis field.

Note his reasonings in the 3rd point about the evolution of mens tennis today. Very well said.

Sanyi
12-06-2007, 07:46 AM
Note his reasonings in the 3rd point about the evolution of mens tennis today. Very well said.agreed, however, not as well said as the poll results

helloworld
12-06-2007, 07:59 AM
Sampras has shown us that serve and Volley can really trouble Federer, and if anyone refuse to see the truth, then it's your choice. I'm not going to go blind and say Federer is god and nothing can trouble him.

hyogen
12-06-2007, 08:40 AM
I think tennis is better today overall, the players ranked 140 or 180 are really good, challenger events are of great level these guys give some serious trouble to the top guys, but is there where I find that today's players are a bit weak.
right underneath Federer we have people like Safin and Hewitt who I consider true legends, but that's about it. then in the top 10 there's people like Roddick, Davydenko, or Ljubicic who despite being decent players are no Muster, Bruguera or Rafter.

if you look at the top 30 players of 1996 you can probably say that Sampras had much more to worry about.

1 SAMPRAS, PETE USA 4865
2 CHANG, MICHAEL USA 3597
3 KAFELNIKOV, YEVGENY RUS 3564
4 IVANISEVIC, GORAN CRO 3492
5 MUSTER, THOMAS AUT 3166
6 BECKER, BORIS GER 2983
7 KRAJICEK, RICHARD NED 2380
8 AGASSI, ANDRE USA 2364
9 ENQVIST, THOMAS SWE 2191
10 FERREIRA, WAYNE RSA 2149
11 RIOS, MARCELO CHI 2114
12 MARTIN, TODD USA 2039
13 COSTA, ALBERT ESP 1757
14 EDBERG, STEFAN SWE 1567
15 SIEMERINK, JAN NED 1530
16 STICH, MICHAEL GER 1518
17 GUSTAFSSON, MAGNUS SWE 1515
18 MANTILLA, FELIX ESP 1505
19 BERASATEGUI, ALBERTO ESP 1477
20 WASHINGTON, MALIVAI USA 1472
21 PIOLINE, CEDRIC FRA 1455
22 ROSSET, MARC SUI 1406
23 CORRETJA, ALEX ESP 1385
24 KORDA, PETR CZE 1332
25 HAARHUIS, PAUL NED 1312
26 COURIER, JIM USA 1299
27 WOODFORDE, MARK AUS 1287
28 MOYA, CARLOS ESP 1283
29 HENMAN, TIM GBR 1243
30 PHILIPPOUSSIS, MARK AUS 1242

Thank you for this list. Wow, you look at the people in the top 10 and look at their points besides Federer and it's laughable. How does the #4 player in the world double fault how many serves in a row? Even Blake and especially Roddick being in the top 10 speaks volumes.

Today's tennis is nothing compared to Sampras' era.

caulcano
12-06-2007, 09:10 AM
Thank you for this list. Wow, you look at the people in the top 10 and look at their points besides Federer and it's laughable. How does the #4 player in the world double fault how many serves in a row? Even Blake and especially Roddick being in the top 10 speaks volumes.

Today's tennis is nothing compared to Sampras' era.

I don't think you should include double faults as a measure of how good/bad players are.

IMHO, today's game requires a better serve (though not as much on clay) than ever before. Why? Today's players are much better at returning serve (with the aid on technology). So in effect you either need to go for your second serve a bit more or the returner will return the ball with interest.

flyer
12-06-2007, 09:19 AM
Its actually quite hard to say bec ause the best Clay Courter ever is quite a rival but before that he had Roddick and Hewitt, Safin could have been but he is just beyond words...he mgiht be the greatest waste of talent in tennis history...the up and comers look pretty good though, the djokovic and murray have already slain the dragon

flyer
12-06-2007, 09:30 AM
Maybe Sampras had more rivals but its been established by many former pros have said that todays tennis players and much more athletic and well rounded than they were, Courier said the first time he saw Safin play he was "scared" because he had never seen a combination of so mcuh speed and firepower in one player, and Leif Shiras just said at this years Davis Cup on air that he thought todays players were "just better"

superman1
12-06-2007, 10:15 AM
Retired pros like Agassi say that the depth of tennis is better now, and that's pretty much agreed on, but none of them say that the top players are any better. I don't think we've ever had a player as talented as John McEnroe. McEnroe, by the way, is the first guy to heap praise onto guys like Federer and Nadal and Djokovic, but he also says that it ****es him off when players in the locker room say things like Borg wouldn't have been as good in this era. Young'ins today (myself included) have no clue how good those guys were. Watching Andy Murray talk about his ideal player, it was just pathetic. Yeah Andy, you have the best backhand of all time...

lambielspins
12-06-2007, 10:33 AM
Not much difference either way. Todays field is one of the weaker mens fields relatively speaking. The mid-late 90s is also one of the weaker mens and seems to be the most overrated field in history by people on TW. Neither had anywhere near the competition players like Laver, Connors, McEnroe, Borg, Lendl, had. So I will say there isnt much difference, just that one people seem to acknowledge as a weaker field, one people seem to have deluded fantasies about its quality which never really existed. It is most hilarious to read someone say people who didnt realize how good the 90s were must not have watched tennis then, then go on to proposterously overrate Ivanisevic, Chang, Kafelnikov, and a horde of the 90s players as if they are somehow a giant cut above skill wise the players who win 1 or 2 slams today. Fortunately I also followed tennis during that time so I am not fooled.

Sanyi
12-06-2007, 11:42 AM
Maybe Sampras had more rivals but its been established by many former pros have said that todays tennis players and much more athletic and well rounded than they were, Courier said the first time he saw Safin play he was "scared" because he had never seen a combination of so mcuh speed and firepower in one player, and Leif Shiras just said at this years Davis Cup on air that he thought todays players were "just better"this is exactly what fools people. Safin is the psychological equivalent of a glass jaw which is a far greater weakness if he had a bad forehand.

And the tour is full of them today, not to the extent of mental weakness perhaps, but then they don't have the talent in the 1st place.

avmoghe
12-06-2007, 12:36 PM
Connors, 19 yrs older than Sampras, played until mid 1993 at age of 41.
McEnroe, 12 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1992 at the age of 33.
Lendl, 11 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1994 at the age of 34.
Wilander, 7 yrs older than Sampras, played until 1996 at the age of 32. These hall of famers are mentioned because Sampras is older than Federer by 10 years.
Edberg is 5 yrs older and Becker is only 4 yrs older than Sampras, so I will not compare them with Sampras as Sampras is older than Federer by 10 years.
Now Sampras is saying that he had better rivals than Federer and these better rivals comprises of Hall of Famers like Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander.
So first of all, Sampras should stop discrediting Federer's competition and come back to the tour like what his predecessors - Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander have done for Sampras which was to continue playing until 32, 33, 34 when Sampras was in his prime and allowing Sampras to give them a beating. Instead his bunch of 90s hall of famers chose to retire early, left only Agassi who is playing at age 35 to compete against Federer, and now he has the cheek to say Federer does not have any Hall of Famers competiting with him??? Of course because all you 90s players retired before the age of 30. So instead of just talking behind the interview table, pick up your racket Sampras and compete against Federer. Put actions behind those words of yours. Chang, Courier, Rafter, Goran, Rios & Sampras who are all roughly 6 to 10 years older than Federer should come back to tour and let Federer have the honour to give them a beating like what Sampras was able to beat but still lose to Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg & Becker occasionally. Don't hide behind retirement.
2nd point is that Hall of Famers after reaching retirement age are easy pickings for the world no. 1. Sampras started beating Lendl when Lendl was growing old and thrashed McEnroe when he was past his prime. So Hall of Famers who are past their primes are generally weaker competition. All these up & coming players or single GS winners eg. like Baghdatis, Nadal, Berdych, Blake, Nalbandian, Roddick are in no means lower in skill or less capable of upsetting the no. 1 player. When Sampras played Becker when he was past his prime, it was a sure win for Sampras, even Becker knew it. But did McEnroe, Connors, Lendl complained why Sampras had no true rivals or that Becker was past his prime and easy picking for Sampras? No they did not make such comments, because that will discredit Sampras and make his win less worthy. The only advantage Hall of famers have over the young pretenders are their experience in grandslams but the young ones have abundant energy and fighting spirit, which equally make up for their lack of taste in holding up a Major trophy. So these GS Hall of Famers are just icons past their prime, have good GS resumes, and when Sampras beats them, he is beating a legend. But is the legend past his prime just as comparable as a up & coming young star? In fact, Sampras still had a hard time winning Lendl, Edberg and Becker, even though they were past their prime, but Federer has been thrashing Henman, Hewitt, Agassi, never losing to these players past their prime for the past 3 yrs. This only shows how dominating Federer can be against old adversaries past their prime unlike Sampras who can still lose to his old adversaries past their prime. You only look as good as long as your opponent lets you. If Sampras competes with Goran for 5 sets and long matches in Wimbledon, does that say that Goran is a strong competitor? If Federer crushes Roddick or Lubjicic, that means they are weak competitors? Comeon, sacastically, no wonder Federer is starting to make his matches look more competitive by dropping sets.
3rd point is that the men's tour is always 1 or 2 lightyears in front of the Women's tour. In the 80s, I only can remember 2 names: Navratilova & Evert. These 2 women dominate the tour, hardly loses and always play each other in the finals, hardly lost to lower competition. In the 80s, there are 4 good men competiting: Lendl, Borg (retired early, replaced by Wilander) , McEnroe, Connors playing each other in the finals, hardly losing to lower competition. In the 90s, there were still 2 old guards & 2 new guards Navratilova, Evert, Graf & Seles dominating the tour, hardly losing to lower competition. For ATP in the 90s, the old ATP guards still around in the early 90s, Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Chang. These top 10 ATP players will occasionally get upset by someone ranked 30 to 50, but on the women's tour, that rarely happens. Now the 2000s WTA players are like the men in the 90s. A bigger pool of better top 20 players but these top 10 players are still dominating the early rounds like the 90s ATP players. At least nowadays the WTA top 10 players can be occasionally upset by a top 30 player, same as the men in the 90s. Now the 2000s ATP player is in a evolving stage ahead of the WTA. By right, the pool of ATP players have grown in depth and any top 60 player can beat the top 10 on any given day.
The reason why no Hall of Famers have stayed on until mid 30s except Agassi is that they simply cannot compete with the young guns now unlike Laver, Rosewall, Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, all played until they are mid 30s or early 40s because they could still compete well with the young stars of their generation. That's also the reason why we don't see any women players winning more than 10 Majors in today's tennis as compared to Navratilova, Evert, Graf. The depth of the men's and women's game have evolved that there should not be a dominating force left on the tour, grabbing all the trophies like in the 80s and 90s but there is an anti-defying player called Federer that simply defies the evolving stages of the tennis world. If you see this point of how Federer manages to gain a stranglehold of the competition when the competition has more depth than in the past, only then you will appreciate his greatness.
Actually, Federer is self motivating and history is propelling him to strive harder. He is crazy about breaking records and I think Sampras discrediting Federer's competition will only cause Federer to have that extra drive to achieve whatever achievements that eluded Sampras, eg. the French, breaking Sampras 14 Major record, achieve the 4 Majors consecutively or the Calender GS. So Sampras may have unwittingly give Federer that extra anger, drive and determination to prove Sampras wrong, to make him no. 2 in tennis records, to be a greater achiever than Sampras.
Last point, Sampras only thinks that his prime serve and volley game can hurt and beat Federer. A prime Federer is a better returner, retriever, defence player than Hewitt or Agassi who are capable of drubbing Sampras even when he is at his prime. Federer is like Micheal Jordan, supreme in both offence and defence, unparallel skills seen before. Sampras should count his lucky stars that Federer did not born on the same year as him. Sampras's grand total of 14 would probably be less than half that amount. Sampras and all serve & volley fans regard that S&V is the achilles heels in defeating Federer but they never think that maybe, yes maybe Federer could be S&V ultimate nightmare...Sampras could be left standing, feet stranded, eyes astonished, mouth open, lungs gasping, total amazement at every ball passed him when he reached the net. Sampras will not know what hit him when the Federer express train runs all over him. Sampras should return to tour, ask for sponsors to create an exhibition match with Federer, get a 2 point handicap advantage in his favour for each game, play 1 set with Federer, then ask all his 1990s baseline buddies & S&V buddies to take turns to play a set with Federer and see how dominating Federer can be, instead of just making discrediting comments about Federer obliterating his so called "weak" tennis field.


Very well made point about the relative ages... and its effect on perceived "competition". Props!

One nitpick though... I'm not sure if you meant to claim that Federer is a better returner than Agassi... but if so, I disagree. He does have better defense (lot better in fact), but he is not a better serve returner.

World Beater
12-06-2007, 07:53 PM
ctbmar, chaognosis and chadwixx have made the best posts in this thread.

people laugh at roddick and blake.

what about rusedski and ivanisevic.


LOL. they are far worse