Better athlete: Federer or Sampras

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by dangalak, Sep 17, 2012.

?

better athlete?

  1. Sampras

    52 vote(s)
    28.1%
  2. Federer

    133 vote(s)
    71.9%
  1. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

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    It's just not a fair comparison because of Sampras' condition.

    I would say Sampras was more more explosive (leaping/lunging) but Federer is by far the better mover overall (balance/speed/fitness/footwork).
     
  2. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    why? it is what it is -- the sum total of the strengths, weaknesses (including health conditions) are what made Pete Sampras what he was in his heyday. would you consider it an unfair comparison between Olivier Rochus' serve vs Pete Sampras, simply because of Rochus' height?
     
  3. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with this assessment. Talking from a purely ball-striking POV (as in the ability to hit the ball early, hard, consistently) Agassi is probably the best I've seen. That's why he could jerk his opponents around like a yo-yo.

    And that's also why, even at 35 yrs old, he could beat players much younger than himself and go on to make slam SF's/F's with a beaten up back & awful movement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  4. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    I guess it comes down to opinion now. Me, I think that Agassi's drive backhand was one of the greatest of all time -- in fact both his fh and bh wings are in contention (altho Fed's fh is definitely better), and to me that opens the flood gates in the comparison. I just think that Agassi didn't get consistently out-gunned at the baseline against other players (until his twilight years), whereas Fed lost a lot of battles to Nadal, Djoko, Murray etc. He had guys on a string more than anybody I've ever seen. There were more ways to beat Andre than Fed...but if some guy decided to be coy and play with no variety and battle him only from the baseline, Agassi would almost invariably win, whereas if ******** arrives you feel as if you had a feasible chance battling him from the back of the court. Agassi's fh/bh combo and ability to run guys ragged was just amazing to me, and I think strictly from the baseline he's a little bit better than Fed, although you make some good points and I respect the opinion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  5. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    yeah, agreed. agassi had a lot of limitations as a player (not an elite serve, net game, not a great mover), certainly more than fed. to me his calling was his greatness from the back of the court -- thats how he paid his bills.
     
  6. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    If we're going to simply talk about strokes and leave out every aspects of the game from the baseline then I would say Safin. At their best, Safin beat Agassi. His power makes the difference. He was the one who could sneak a win over prime Federer in 2005. Agassi never beat Fed again at the end of 2003.
     
  7. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yeah really good comparision since Agassi at 34 and 35 years old was at his peak when he played prime Federer. :lol: I would say taking a prime Federer to extra sets in half your matches with him in your mid 30s is more impressive than having a career 2-10 record vs Federer who you are almost the same age as. Also telling prime Safin lost about half his matches to an old 30 something Agassi.

    Safin is a great player the 5% of the time he plays well. So was Henri LeConte and many others. Safin makes Agassi look the all time beacon of consistency though. Atleast Agassi when he was out of his slumps sustained a very high level for a year, usually multiple, and pursued top notch fitness and mental focus from match to match for his whole non slum periods. Safin didnt even do this in his best years for a whole year.

    PS- in a Agassi vs Safin match, if Safin wins, he usually had alot of help from the serve, and as his most of his wins were tough 5 setters like the 98 French and 2004 Australian, and with the help he had from his serve, it isnt even really truly winning wholy from the baseline. Also when did Safin EVER beat Agassi at his best. Did he ever play Agassi in 1990-1992, 1994-1995, or even beat him from 1999-2002? The answer is no. A 34 year old Agassi and an Agassi starting the year at #122 is not Agassi at his best, sorry. Even Hewitt had more success vs Agassi at something close to his best than Safin managed, despite that most of Safin's true peak was 2000-2002.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2012
  8. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Wasn't doing that at all, I just think Agassi's advantages from the back of the court makes up for the advantages Federer had. I'm disregarding serve and net play because they have little to do with how they match up at the baseline.

    I don't get what point you're making. Safin at his best was a virtuoso from the baseline, but he was far too inconsistent to merit a comparison as somebody who consistently out-gunned Agassi (which tended to happen near the end of Agassi's career, obviously). Peak Safin would deserve a comparison though, no doubt.

    So? He was 34 years old and gave Federer all he could handle two consecutive years at the Open. I mean all the credit to Federer dominating Agassi, who was still a formidable player (not a broken back cripple like some people make him out to be), but I don't think it's all that surprising.
     
  9. mr_fro2000

    mr_fro2000 Rookie

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    wow i can't believe this thread is still going...

    but now with more players! more tennis talk! less "athlete" talk!
     
  10. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    There is not a snowballs chance in hell that Roddick had a better overhead than Sampras. Federer also isn't aas decisive with his putaways.

    Doesn't move well enough.

    :lol: His backhand was way weaker. Their FH are close.
     
  11. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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  12. ICanBeSerious

    ICanBeSerious Rookie

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  13. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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  14. tennissportsrog

    tennissportsrog Rookie

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    anazing Sampras's 46 vote.
     
  15. FEDisanAlien

    FEDisanAlien Rookie

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    the results of the poll reveals the obvious
    federer is by far the better athlete .
    pete has only left with the 1st serve and that is debatable
     
  16. jankustra

    jankustra New User

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    sampras is still the best player ever... its not fair or nice to say about current player that he is best ever...
     
  17. dimeaxe

    dimeaxe Semi-Pro

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    They're both great athletes, but for me, Roger is the best white male athlete, and along Michael Jordan, the greatest athlete ever born.It's so simple to spot on.I've never seen in my life that someone has such a great upper/lower body coordination.He's almost never off the balance.He has great hands, and legs, he's gliding on the court.He can do whatever he wants, and I think he would succeed in any sport.Yes, I know about Pete's great dunks, but it was his thing, not Rogers, that's why he didn't play this so often. I'm Djokovic fan, he's my countryman, but believe me, I'm watching sports for almost 25 years, and I've never seen in any of them more naturally gifted guy than Roger.
     
  18. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    not fair? why not? because you say so?
     
  20. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Sampras had never surpassed Laver as best ever anyway, so he was never this in the first place even after he retired.
     
  21. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras was stronger.
    Fed is smoother.
     
  22. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon New User

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    Pete Sampras is the best pure athlete to ever play the game of tennis.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon New User

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    Then I have to hear your definition of athleticism.

    Here is my very unofficial standard for whether ia person is a great athlete. Could they play in the NFL? Or, even better, could they play in the NFL on the defensive side of the ball?

    I could see Nadal as a strong safety. I could see Djokovic as a cornerback. I could see Sampras as a free safety. If Federer is to play in the NFL, he would have to have a cannon for an arm, because I can only see him as a QB.
     
  24. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon New User

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    I agree with this guy. I would just point out that the attributes he associates with Sampras are the attributes that define -- or are generally accepted to define* -- what it means to be a pure athlete.



    *One could argue that John Daly is the best athlete in the world, but one would have a different formulation for what it means to be an athlete than what is widely accepted.
     
  25. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Does an NFL defensive lineman have the hand skill coordination to do anything special with a tennis ball? Different athletic qualities required for different sports.

    Also how underrated is Fed's racquet head speed to make the ball go up and down when he's really close to the net? Woosh.
     
  26. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon New User

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    You've made my point. The reason that I ask whether they could play in the NFL is because the NFL is not about hand-eye coordination, but rather about raw athleticism: speed, agility, explosiveness

    This thread asks who the better athlete is. Not who the better shotmaker is.




    Is this in response to something I wrote?
     
  27. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    Okay in my point of view:
    Forehand (including slice) : Federer
    Backhand (including slice): Federer
    Serve: Sampras
    Volley: Sampras
    Return of Serve: Equal
    Footwork (positioning) : Federer
    Speed (running to balls around the court) : Federer
    Consistency: Federer
    Overheads: Sampras
    Athleticism (shots that require a decent amount of energy): Sampras
    Variety: Federer

    Federer slightly wins. Sorry Sampras fans.
     
  28. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Disagree on the return, Federer wins that one handily, particularly off the first serve. And while numbers aren't everything, Sampras after '97 posted return stats resembling that of a journeyman in some years.
     

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