Comparing Sampras' and Federer's head to heads against top rivals

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by lessthanjake, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    People make a big deal out of the fact that Federer has a bad head to head against Rafael Nadal. And he does. People say that if he can't beat his biggest rival, then he cannot be the GOAT. That logic is silly for various reasons, mostly that the Nadal/Federer head to head is greatly affected by the fact that the individual matchup favors Nadal. So what is a better way of using head to head? Well, I think the best way to measure dominance of top rivals is to take into account EVERY top rival of the era, and see how much a player dominates those rivals. That way, individual matchup issues with one or two players do not skew the results very much.

    So what I have done here is compiled Sampras' and Federer's head to heads against their top rivals while they were at their peaks. Sampras' peak is defined as the 1993-1998 period in which he was #1 in the world. Federer's peak is defined as 2003 Wimbledon onwards. Only matches from those periods are counted here. I also created a very strict way to determine who was a top rival in each era. In order to be considered here, a player must have either been top 5 in the world at year-end at some point during one of these player's peaks (ie. 1993-1998, or 2003-2009) OR have made a slam final during one of those periods.

    So here it is:

    Sampras' Head-to-Head Against His Rivals From 1993-1998

    Courier: 10-2
    Agassi: 10-6
    Bruguera: 2-2
    Muster: 6-2
    Becker: 9-4
    Kafelnikov: 8-1
    Krajicek: 2-4
    Rafter: 7-4
    Korda: 7-2
    Stich: 1-2
    Edberg: 5-2
    Ivanisevic: 9-3
    Chang: 9-2
    Bjorkman: 7-1
    Moya: 2-1
    Rios: 1-0
    Corretja: 3-1
    Martin: 16-2
    Pioline: 5-0
    Rusedski: 6-1
    Philippoussis: 5-1
    Washington: 4-0

    TOTAL: 134-43 (75.71%)


    Federer's Head-to-Head Against His Rivals From Wimbledon 2003 Onwards:

    Hewitt: 13-0
    Safin: 7-1
    Ferrero: 7-1
    Gaudio: 5-0
    Roddick: 16-2
    Davydenko: 11-0
    Gonzalez: 12-1
    Baghdatis: 6-0
    Coria: 3-0
    Soderling: 11-0
    Agassi: 8-0
    Ljubicic: 9-1
    Blake: 9-1
    Ferrer: 9-0
    Moya: 5-0
    Philippoussis: 1-0
    Tsonga: 1-1
    Djokovic: 8-4
    Nadal: 7-13
    Murray: 3-6

    TOTAL: 151-31 (82.97%)


    As you can see, even with the negative head to heads with Nadal and Murray, Federer still has a significantly better total head to head against his main rivals than Sampras did. Federer may have lost a lot to Nadal, but Sampras was reasonably vulnerable to every one of his rivals. The vast majority of them took at least 2 matches from him at his peak. On the other hand, besides Nadal and Murray, Federer is virtually unbeatable by the rest of his rivals. Because of this, Federer has managed a higher winning percentage against his rivals than Sampras. As such, it is obvious that Federer is more dominant over his rivals than Sampras was, despite his individual matchup issue with Nadal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
    #1
  2. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    federer against his own generation had won something insane like 25 straight matches or some such stat against the top 10...this was before the time murray, nadal, djok showed up though.
     
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  3. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    Very nice compilation.
     
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  4. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    By the way, without Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic, Federer has won an ABSURD 95% of his matches against his biggest rivals.
     
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  5. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    federer and roddick are the only two players of their specific generation (new balls) still in the top 10.

    how much older is sampras than safin? sampras also struggled against the younger peer group - hewitt, safin etc.
     
    #5
  6. tata

    tata Professional

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    Tennis is about winning tournaments/slams, not just about beating a single player. So what if nadal has a good record against Fed? Tennis isnt based on how many times you beaten one person, its the tournaments and slams.
     
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  7. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

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    You read latest issue of Tennis magazine didn't you ;)
     
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  8. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    A tennis tournament is about being able to do 2 things:

    1. NEVER lose to the lesser players in early rounds.
    2. Virtually dominate the great players that you will inevitably always see in later rounds

    Federer has not lost to a player outside of the top 5 in the world in a slam since he lost to Kuerten in 2004 RG. Sampras frequently lost to lower ranked players, even in slams.

    And overall, Federer dominated the top players more than Sampras did, as this thread was meant to show.
     
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  9. tata

    tata Professional

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    Actually i didnt :twisted:
     
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  10. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    14 of Sampras' opponents you listed won a slam.
    9 of Federer's opponents won a slam.

    Of that total you split Agassi and Moya. Moya and Agassi won 0 slams since the time Federer won his first.

    13 of the 14 Sampras' slam-holding competitors won slams during the period that Sampras was a slam contender. If anything, this just further proves Sampras' opponents were much higher caliber than Federer's lapdogs, I mean, competition.
     
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  11. DaysofGrace

    DaysofGrace Banned

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    And the glaring 7-13 h2h, and what is it? 2-6 vs Nadal at the slams? Not a pretty thing. Thats the achilees heel for Fed
     
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  12. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    That represents a complete failure in logic.

    Yes, Federer's opponents have won less slams. Why is that? BECAUSE FEDERER HAS BEEN WINNING EVERYTHING! The fact that Federer's opponents havent won many slams just indicates that Federer dominated his opposition more than Sampras did, which is the point of this thread in the first place.

    There are 4 slams a year no matter what. Remember that. A higher overall quality of players does not result in more slams being played/won. That means the the number of slam winners can inherently not be related to the quality of the players.

    Let me further illustrate. Let's say the tour were made up of EVERY all time great player in the history of tennis (Federer, Laver, Borg, Nadal, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Lendl, Rosewall, Wilander, Sampras, Agassi etc etc) as well as a 100% PERFECT tennis player. That 100% perfect tennis player would dominate the slams because, well, the player is 100% perfect. That would leave all the all time greats with very few slam wins. Using your absolute failing logic, that would means that all those all time greats aren't very good, because they can't win many slams. But would that be the case? No. Those players would STILL be just as great; they just would be significantly less good than someone else. This is how it is with Federer. His opponents ARE good enough to win slams; they just don't because Federer is better than them.

    That is obviously due to the bad individual matchup, and the preponderance of matches on Nadal's best and Federer's worst surface.

    The fact is that EVEN WITH THE NADAL HEAD TO HEAD, Federer still dominated his best rivals more than Sampras did. This thread clearly shows that.
     
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  13. Michael Bluth

    Michael Bluth Semi-Pro

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    I think you may be forgetting a couple of people from Fed's list.

    Nalbandian: 10-4 since Wimbledon 2003.
    Tsonga: 1-1.
     
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  14. DaysofGrace

    DaysofGrace Banned

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    So what?? A a hole in the resume is a hole in the resume. And its even worse when that hole in your resume is against your main rival. Can I use the same excuse for Andre having to deal with Pete who was a bad matchup for him? You still have to beat who is in front of you
     
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  15. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    I didn't forget Nalbandian. He didn't make any slam final from 2003-2009, nor did he end any year during that period in the top 5. We may consider him a rival, but I defined a rival in a certain way, and Nalbandian didn't fit the bill.

    I DID miss Tsonga. I'll correct that. It won't change anything.
     
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  16. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    Yes, you do have to beat who is in front of you. And Federer has beaten who was in front of him more than any other player in history.

    The fact is this. Federer has the misfortune of having the best other player of his era happen to match up PERFECTLY against him. Sampras didn't have that. He matched up badly with some players, of course, but they were lesser quality players than Nadal is, so the head to head didn't end up as badly. These facts don't make Sampras better AT ALL.

    The head to head by itself also doesn't put a hole in his resume at all. This is a case of double counting with you Sampras fans. Federer has already had his head to head issues with Nadal be punished by the fact that he has lost in slams against Nadal 6 times. If Nadal hadn't been there (or if Federer matched up well with him), Federer would probably have 20+ slams and two straight calendar slams from 2006-2007. He doesnt because he hasn't been able to beat Nadal due to matchup issues. So his failures with Nadal have already hurt his legacy. It is double counting that problem to further use the bad head to head against him as well.

    And Sampras wasn't a bad matchup for Agassi. He returned well and had great passing shots, which are both great to have against serve and volleyers. Sampras had great running shots which limited Agassi's plan to try to move players around the court a lot. So in a way, both of them matched up well in neutralizing each other's strategies. Agassi wasnt behind in that head to head because it was a bad matchup. He was behind because he was not quite as good, and also not as consistent year to year as Pete.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
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  17. DaysofGrace

    DaysofGrace Banned

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    Well i think it depends on the surface between Pete and Andre. Andre could obviously neutralize Pete more on the slower surfaces like clay and rebound ace.. However, once he had to deal with Pete on grass, USO, and indoors, then we saw what happened. So in way I think on certain surface, the matchup favored Pete.. Then on other surfaces the matchup favored Andre.
     
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  18. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, that is true. Sampras' style worked best for fast surfaces, Agassi's baseline style worked better on slower surfaces. So obviously that affected their matchups on individual surfaces.

    But that is different than Federer and Nadal. Obviously Nadal is better suited to fast courts and Nadal is suited to slow courts more. So that affects things. But regardless of the surface, Federer matches up badly with Nadal for reasons that are independent of the surface.

    Anyways, read the bolded paragraph in my last post. I edited it and added it after you responded I guess based on what you quoted.
     
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  19. ChrisCrocker

    ChrisCrocker Rookie

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    not sure if you realize it, but the reason he is winning everything means that it is a weak era.

    if no one challenges him besides 1 player in slams then that's a weak era. who has beaten him since 2005? safin, djokovic and nadal? safin once djokovic once and the rest is nadal. sounds pretty weak.

    sampras on the other hand was challenged by many players, meaning it was a strong era.
     
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  20. edberg505

    edberg505 Legend

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    And around and around we go, where we stop nobody knows!
     
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  21. DaysofGrace

    DaysofGrace Banned

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    I agree with your bolded . Be it the h2h in general or Nadal's slam wins over Fed, whatever you want to say hurts. I just dont care much for the matchup issue excuse. A true great should figure it out. I mean you play someone enough times, you should know what to expect. Fed should know what to expect against Nadal playing him so many times. If his BH is off and the topspin is affecting it, well then you have to play more agressive.. Keep Nadal on his heels. Ive seen Fed resort too many times to try to outhit Nadal from the baseline.. Sometimes he has had success, but most of the time its usually been Nadal with the success.
     
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  22. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    The matchup kills him though.

    Federer's normal game is based on a few things:

    1. Short cross court slices to get players out of position or to use as an approach shot.
    2. Aggressive inside out forehands
    3. Defense to offense

    Here's the problem for Federer. Nadal is a lefty, so the cross court slices go to Nadal's forehand. Here's the issue with that. Federer's slice works because it goes low to people's backhands, which stops them from being able to put on the topspin necessary to make an aggressive shot from that position. When it goes to the forehand, Nadal can create the topspin to make an aggressive shot off of it, which makes it a bad shot to play. Federer CAN slice down the line to Nadal's backhand. But that is a MUCH harder shot to do than cross court, and it gets someone less out of position off of court anyways so it's less effective.

    Federer's inside out forehands are less effective against Nadal for similar reasons. When a shot like that goes to someones backhand, it will elicit a weak response if the person DOES get to it. When it goes to the forehand, as it does with Nadal, it will be less effective, because the other player can hit a decent shot off of it more. Furthermore, one has more reach on their forehand than their backhand, so it is harder to hit a winner against Nadal from that (not to mention the fact that Nadal's amazing movement makes it tougher too).

    Most importantly, though, Federer's defense to offense game is neutralized by Nadal. When you are on the defensive, you don't have a chance to put much of your own pace on the ball. Because of this, defense to offense relies on using a player's pace against them. Nadal plays very loopy shots with less pace than other players. Because of this, the defense to offense game is way less effective against him. You can't hit winners while on the defensive because you can't generate enough pace off his shot to create winners. This is compounded further by the fact that Nadal has GOAT movement. These two things make the defense to offense game very ineffective against Nadal.

    So Federer's normal gameplan of staying on the defensive until pulling the trigger on a defense to offense shot or aggressive slice doesn't work. What can he do instead? Well, he has a few options, but none of them are good.

    1. Federer can decide not to do defense to offense, but instead duel with Nadal on a neutral basis from the baseline until he gets a good chance to unleash a winner/aggressive shot. The problem with that is that Nadal will win such exchanges. Nadal can abuse Federer's one handed backhand with his HUGE topspin lefty forehand. He can just pin Federer down to his backhand and win most rallies. So Federer would not be advised to try that.

    2. Federer can instead decide to get very aggressive to forego having his backhand abused. This would involve attacking the net a lot. There are a few problems with that. First, it is hard to hit a decent approach shot when your backhand is being pummeled. But even if he could, Nadal's other big strength is his amazing passing shots. Even the best net player would have a hard time winning when they go to the net a lot against Nadal.


    So Federer has no good options. His normal defense to offense strategies don't work because Nadal is a lefty with a loopy shot and great movement. He will lose from the baseline because Nadal is a lefty with huge topspin that can abuse his one handed backhand. And he will lose if he attacks because Nadal can pin him to his backhand and has godly passing shots if he does make it to the net.

    It is not a matter of being unable to figure it out. It is a matter of having to take the lesser of a few evils and then far outplay Nadal in order to beat him.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
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  23. DarthMaul

    DarthMaul Professional

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    I agree with you except the number of the options. He found a way to beat Nadal, as we saw in Madrid. He started to attack Nadal's backhand constantly. He did to Nadal the exact same thing Nadal does against him. Pretty simple, huh?
     
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  24. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    It doesn't work both ways though. Nadal's backhand can't be abused as much by topspin because it is two-handed (notice that Nadal can't abuse people with two handed backhands in the same way) and Federer puts on a lot of topspin but not quite as much as Nadal.

    Certainly, Federer would be well advised to hit it to Nadal's backhand a lot, but it wouldn't hurt Nadal as much as Nadal's shot hurts Federer because Nadal uses a two handed backhand.
     
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  25. ThePerfectMan (unlike me)

    ThePerfectMan (unlike me) New User

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    lessthanjake : Wow, this is one the most interesting thread I've read, brilliant analysis, thank you very much !
     
    #25
  26. Jchurch

    Jchurch Guest


    I believe Federer usually flattens out his forehand. I know he can put insane amounts of spin on the ball, but the majority of the time it it pretty flat and that is how he gets the pace on it he does.
     
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  27. Rippy

    Rippy Hall of Fame

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    And you can't tell if that's because Federer was so good, or his peers were so bad.
     
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  28. fedfan08

    fedfan08 Rookie

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    IMO these arguments are so pointless. Is Fed dominating because he's part of a 'weak era' or is it because he's just that good? You could ask the same question about Tiger Woods. But how do you objectively answer that question? If you're a Fed fan you'll argue that he's just that bloody good. If you're a non-Fed fan or neutral you might answer that his competition is just weak. At the end of the day it comes down to personal opinion or creating an argument to support your view.
     
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  29. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Actually if anything it proves that Sampras couldnt dominate his opponents nearly as well as Roger did his. His opponents(as an overall group) werent any higher caliber than Rogers. In fact a few of the slam winners during Sampras "contender perios" were joke 1 time wonder slam winners and dont go calling Roddick a joke either, true hes only won 1 slam but he has been in 4+ finals and been in the top 10 for 6 straight years.

    Plus Sampras was kinda lucky to have his great rival as Agassi because Agassi dissappeared from the game for a few years during his prime.
     
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  30. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Federer's group has produced some really WEAK top 5 players. Nalbandian, Davydenko, Ljubicic, Blake, Ferrer, Robredo??? Heck Haas was #2 in 2002 for winning all of one MS.

    Davydenko is considered to be an Agassi clone (a very poor one at that), yet it seems everybody in the top 10 owned him yet he was at #3 for a couple of years. Nadal and Federer were probably begging to have him for slam/Masters SF because they knew that was a gimme.

    Federer and Nadal have won 20 of the last 23 majors. Federer has "only" won 15 of the last 52 Masters, but his peers (the ones his age +/- 2) have only picked up 10 of the 37 he didn't win. Nadal's peers have picked up 10 already. For Federer's group to not be scooping up the Shields during their prime years puts another hole in the "Federer's Competition is SOOOOO Tough" theory.
     
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  31. Enigma_87

    Enigma_87 Professional

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    How about Muster, Rios, Kafelnikov, Moya, Rafter as world #1?
    Norman, Chang, Kiefer, Rusedski, list goes on.

    What did Muster, Rios, Kafelnikov, Moya, Rafter did to claim the #1 ranking in the world at some time? How many slams did Rios win to be #1?

    And some people are laughing at Safina. Isn't Rios the same? What does that tell you?

    Who won the masters since 03?

    Federer - 15
    Nadal - 15
    Roddick - 4
    Djoko - 4
    Murray - 4
    Agassi - 2
    Ferrero - 2
    Coria - 2
    Safin - 2
    Davydenko - 2
    Nalby - 2
    Hewitt - 1
    Mantilla - 1
    Moya - 1
    Berdych - 1
    Henamn - 1
    Robredo - 1
    Tsonga - 1

    Apart from Henman(Sampras era holdover), Mantilla(same), Berdych, Robredo, Coria and Davy that's one hell of a players in that list - either slam winners or finalists.

    That's 8 MS that have been won by lesser players.

    Now from 93 till 99.
    Courier - 2
    Bruguera - 1
    Stich - 2
    Pernfors - 1
    Chang - 4
    Ivanisevic - 1
    Sampras - 10
    Medvedev - 4
    Becker - 2
    Agassi - 8
    Muster - 6
    Carreteiro - 1
    Ferreira - 1
    Enqvist - 2
    Rios - 5
    Corretja - 1
    Woodruff - 1
    Costa - 1
    Scud - 1
    Krajicek - 2
    Korda - 1
    Rusedski - 1
    Rafter - 1
    Johansson - 1
    Moya - 1
    GUGA - 1

    So what do we have
    14 MS won by nobodies like Rusedski, Costa(had 2 QF's in slams till 99), Pernfors, Woodruff, Scud, Medvedev, Carreteiro, Corretja, Enqvist etc.

    Then we have Goran who has only 1, Korda, Krajicek with only 2, Moya 1(yet #1 in the world), Rafter only 1?

    So when we had Agassi and Sampraas winning only 18 MS during that time. Where were all those great players in Pete's era, hall of famers, to take the rest? Why Ivanisevic, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Courier, Bruguera, Becker, were severely under performing at those tournaments?

    When it comes to slams since 03 we have:
    Federer - 15
    Nadal - 6
    Safin - 1
    Djokovic - 1
    Roddick - 1
    Ferrero - 1
    Gaudio - 1

    Apart from Gaudio all of the rest are hall of famers material. All of them multiple slam finalists.

    now let's see the 93-99 period(till 99 USO)

    Sampras - 11
    Agassi - 3
    Bruguera - 2
    Muster - 1
    COurier - 1
    Krajicek - 1
    Kafelnikov - 2
    Moya - 1
    Korda - 1
    Becker - 1
    Rafter - 2
    Guga - 1

    So we have a fluke winners like Krajicek - no other GS final, Korda- only one GS final but not in that period and that was even more lucky, Moya, well he's no Ferrero that's for sure, Kafelnikov(the worst 2 times GS slam winner with no MS title to his name), and Bruguera and Muster, the former being owned by the latter but yet winning 2 times more slams than him.

    In other words, where were those great players that won numerous slams and Masters? Even though Agassi and Sampras won 7 slams less than Federer and Nadal, there were only 3 players to win more than 1 slam(2 in total), and that were Rafter, Bruguera and Kafelnikov. Certainly not world beaters with lot of holes in their resumes.

    The deception that there were many great champions is because there were players like Becker and Edberg who didn't call it a day like Sampras and continued playing in the early 90's(unlike Sampras retiring rather early). Along with Agassi who won 5 of his 8 slams after pete's prime 99-onward(and whose career is done, unlike Murray, Djokovic and Roddick) creates the perception that the early 90's were "better". As for the latter - 96-99 they were arguably worse than what we have at the WTA at the moment. With Rios, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Moya passing each other the #1 spot.
     
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  32. DaysofGrace

    DaysofGrace Banned

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    I dont think Sampras retired rather early.. It was the perfect time to go out winning the USO and against his main rival his whole career. He was 31 years old. Did the grind of the tour and was on top for most of that time. 6-8 years or so in or around the top spot and he had already broke the slam record by that point. Roger and Pete essentially started their domination at the same age. You think Roger is going to play much long beyond 30 years old as well? Doubtful.

    The grind is much moreso these days than in Laver or Pancho's time where you could playing winning tennis even into your 40s.
     
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  33. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Pwnage. Thanks for going to great detail and pointing it out for the short memory and hard headed people.
     
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  34. Fedfan1234

    Fedfan1234 Rookie

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    So if a player would come along that would win all 4 slams for 10 consecutive years he would not be GOAT because he wins too much slams??? Something is seriously wrong with your logic. I can understand you like a player, but this is ridiculous.
     
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  35. DaysofGrace

    DaysofGrace Banned

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    I can understand where he is coming from and there has been a serious lack of threats against Fed slam wise over the years. this is undisputable. Of course you can say well... Its all because Fed has been so dominant. And I argue, well expalin guys like Djoker and Murray losing out to players they SHOULD DEFEAT en route to getting to Fed?

    And should we even count Djoker and Murray? They werent around at least at the top until Fed was working on slam 12 or 13. So essentially they shouldnt really be included. Nadal was at least workin on slams during Fed's domination if only clay and grass.


    Safin- Not consistent but was a big threat at one time. Just once every half a decade.

    Davydenko- No threat at all

    Roddick- Yea Roger took some slams but was never good enough to prove he could overcome Fed even when he had a match in his hands (this years wimbeldon)


    Hewitt- No threat once Fed hit his stride and then he got injured and that was it for him

    Blake- How many quarterfinals did he reach during that time

    Nalbandian- A threat at the masters.. No to little threat at the slams.. Undisputable


    So essentially all Fed had to worry about the whole through was Nadal. No on else. But Nadal is way below what he was before last year or earlier this year and you have Fed taking advantage of that obviously. Yea you had Roddick there.. But I dont think anyone is going to categorize Roddick as a great or on the same level as other rival.. Regardless of how much u love Fed
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
    #35
  36. dadozen

    dadozen Hall of Fame

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    Gee... a very nice compilation, a great piece of work and all this fu**ing discussion starts all over again.

    Lessthanjake, congratulations for you excellent job. You must have put a lot of time into this.
     
    #36
  37. Steve132

    Steve132 Professional

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    Enigma_87 has already addressed all of your arguments in his latest post. I won't bother repeating what he says. I would only add that the criticisms you make of Federer's contemporaries can be made just as easily about Sampras.' In the mid and late 1990's many unexceptional players were able to win majors and even reach no. 1. Indeed, it was easier to achieve these feats in the 90's than it has been in the current decade, because Federer is a far more dominant no. 1 than Sampras ever was.
     
    #37
  38. フェデラー

    フェデラー Hall of Fame

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    you arent too bright are you?
     
    #38
  39. msc886

    msc886 Professional

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    Enigma already addressed your points. Besides I'm pretty sure Federer era guys could match 90's era guys. As Enigma mentioned, the 90's had some guys who weren't that strong and won slams and became no.1s. For example, I doubt a guy like Chang could become no.2 in Federer's era. Also conditions have changed so although today players may struggle to 90's conditions, I'm pretty sure 90's players would also struggle in today's conditions.
     
    #39
  40. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    or that sampras wasn't as strong and as good as federer... if you put federer in sampras' time, i fully expect fed to dominate as he is doing now (even more, because nadal won't be around)

    EDIT: LOL Gamesampras , sorry Daysofgrace, got banned again :)
     
    #40
  41. Enigma_87

    Enigma_87 Professional

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    Well the whole argument is based on players whose career is done and players like Lendl, Becker, Edberg, who continued to play in their past prime years.

    And the 80's were deep enough and there were players who won multiple slams at the time. That's the reason why the early 90's were considered "great". On the other hand there were two players out of the young lot who stepped up during 91-93. And that were COurier and Edberg. Courier after 93 was pretty much washed up and made only 3 SF's and 3 QF's till the end of his career, and he was the guy who ended YE #1 in 92. Courier peak lasted for a mere 3 years, afterward 94- till the end of his career he didn't win even a single MS title.

    Courier used the void between the generations(with Lendl over the hill, Becker fading away, Andre and Pete maturing) to win his slams. He was also aided being a bad matchup for Edberg and that he got an young Agassi and Petr Korda in the French finals.

    After that, not only Agassi and Sampras failed to dominate the field(7 slams less), but they also failed to dominate the MS.

    Yet most of them were won by players like Chang, Medvedev, Rios and Muster. All of the others MS winners won it 2 times at most.

    If we take a look at those I don't think they even compare to Roddick, Djokovic and Murray.

    So when people find the excuse that Federer and Nadal are dominating the field because it's too weak to strike back, why no one in the 90's stepped on the plate? THe most consistent MS winners(super 9) at the time were Chang(slamless in the 90's), Muster(dominated the clay masters), and Rios the most overrated player since the last century. In the slams we had 3 multiple slam winners Kafelnikov, Rafter and Bruguera. Well we talked about them.. If we had that much depth in the field like the 80's and 70's then shouldn't those great players be winning MS and slams when the big guns miss out? And Agassi was missing out all right. Or was it because players like Korda, Krajicek, Kafelnikov, Moya won their slams because the favorites didn't perform well and were eliminated early for anyone to take it?

    If we take it even further we'll have the finalists in slams (93-99,03-09)
    AO(93-99): Enqvist, Moya, Rios, Chang, Sampras, Martin, Edberg
    AO(03-09): Schüttler, Safin, Hewitt,Baggy, Tsonga, Gonzo, Federer.
    RG(93-99): Courier, Berasategui, Chang, Stich, Bruguera, Corretja, Medvedev
    RG(03-09): Verkerk, Coria, Puerta, 4 x Federer.
    Wim(93-99): Courier, 2 x Ivanisevic, Agassi, Pioline, Washington, Becker.
    Wim(03-09): Scud, 3 x Roddick, 2 x Nadal, Federer.
    USO(93-99): Pioline, Stich, Agassi, Chang, Rusedski, Scud, Martin
    USO(03-09): Ferrero, Hewitt, Agassi, Roddick, Djokovic, Murray

    SO what do we have. At the AO, minus Federer and Sampras we had 2 absolute flukes - Moya and Schüttler, then Baggy and Enqvist(3rd tier opponents), then I think it's the 2nd tier - Tsonga(red hod tournament), Gonzo as well, Hewitt and Safin. On the other hand we have Chang, Rios, Martin, Edberg. Apart from Edberg it's a pretty weak field taking into consideration Martin, Rios and Chang's weapons there.

    At the RG, we have 2 flukes - Stich and Verkerk. Then someone like Puerta and Berasategui who are at about the same level. Then we have Coria who's better than Chang and Medvedev on clay and Federer who's better than anyone listed.

    At Wimbey, I don't think it's even comparable with the likes of Washington, Pioline and Courier(on grass).

    US Open is the worse case for the 90's.

    And I don't think the finalists in the MS would help their case either.

    Overall the 00's have a clear edge in who met who in the finals. The lack of domination of the best player in the era - Sampras, and Agassi gone AWOEL most of the time, resulted more 2nd or 3rd tier players to make finals and win slams.

    I mean, when a certain player like Chang on all, and I mean all surfaces significantly faster than today, makes 3 finals(more than anyone else), followed by Stich(not even on WImbledon), Martin and Pioline you'll certainly get the picture. Sure there have been some finalists like Verkerk, Schüttler and Baggy, but so there were such in the 70-s and 80's as well, especially at the AO.

    With the emergence of Djokovic and Murray, who won 4 MS each in2-3 years time and have reached multiple SF's(Djokovic even made it to multiple finals and won slam at 22) I don't think some die hard Sampras fans would even have a case in 2-3 years time, when we could have something like the golden years of tennis with Nadal, Federer, Murray and Djokovic battling for the slams on pretty much all surfaces. ANd if Murray and Djokovic have won around 4-5 slams when their career comes to an end, would someone seriously consider 90's as a better era? Really?
     
    #41
  42. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    To be honest, I think Nadal's H2H with Fed is a hole in Fed's resume. So what, does that mean Fed can't be considered GOAT? No, not necessarily. *******s should stop trying to make Fed look perfect; Nadal's H2H over Fed is a blemish in Fed's career. But *******s / Samprastards should also stop trying to use that to prove that Fed can never ever be GOAT.
     
    #42
  43. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Semi-Pro

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    Bjorkman was #3 at one point in the 90s. All eras have weak people occasionally make it high up in the rankings.

    What are you talking about? Federer's peers have been recently overshadowed by Nadal's peers. That is expected. But, by my count, Federer's peers have won 24 Masters Series titles overall. You forget that Federer was a late bloomer. Many of his peers were good at a younger age and winning well before he was winning much. And when you are arguing that his peers were bad, you must take those wins into account too. Here's the list:

    Safin: 5
    Ferrero: 4
    Roddick: 4
    Hewitt: 2
    Coria: 2
    Davydenko: 2
    Nalbandian: 2
    Haas: 1
    Robredo: 1
    Grosjean: 1


    Considering that his peers played their peak years during the peak years of Federer and Nadal, they actually won a lot of Masters Series titles. Let's think about it. Federer's "peers" IMO are players who were born from 1978-1982. That is a 5 year period. You would expect players from an average 5 year period to win 5 years worth of Masters Series events. That is 45 Masters Series'. So far, Federer's era has won 40 Masters Series events. They will almost assuredly pass 45 by the time all is said and done, given that most players from that era have a good 2-3 good years left. If they do that, then it will be an above average era in terms of Masters Series.

    That is absurd logic. It is very hard to get through 5 or 6 straight matches you "SHOULD" win. If it wasn't then the top 4 seeds would almost always been in the semis of every slam. In fact, that rarely happens. You cant possibly expect players to make the semis or finals to face Federer EVERY time. That is just ridiculous.

    Here's the problem. Those were all great players. With the expection of Blake, they have all lost frequently to Federer in slams they could easily have won. Just because Federer dominates these players does not mean that they are lame non-competition.

    For instance, Hewitt was #1 for over 70 weeks at one point. He was obviously an amazing player. And he was arguably at his best in 2004 and 2005. He didn't win anything in those years because of Federer. He wasn't lame competition; he just couldnt beat Federer. End of story.

    A perfect tennis player would never have to worry about beating ANY player, even a Federer or Sampras or Borg or Laver. Would that make those 4 players bad? No. It would make the perfect tennis player good. Try again.
     
    #43
  44. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    LessThanJake I commend you. Youve come to these boards with more sound arguments based of logic and fact than 90% of the people on this board. You have proven your point more than once and have continually and soundly argued your point to prove people wrong.

    BUT I fear its all in vein. Your arguing against people who are so very opinionated they dont consider logic and sound reasoning as valid points. The only points they consider are their own biased opinions and slanted out of context hand picked statistics.

    Im glad your on these boards and hope you dont let some of the blind fools on this site discourage you.
     
    #44
  45. Steve132

    Steve132 Professional

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    I agree entirely. LessThanJake is one of the most impressive posters on the board.
     
    #45
  46. Jake Gittes

    Jake Gittes Banned

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    Excellent thread. 5 stars.
     
    #46
  47. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Ah! Another convenient account! Must be "protect Federer" mode!
     
    #47
  48. Jake Gittes

    Jake Gittes Banned

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    [​IMG]
     
    #48
  49. Day Tripper

    Day Tripper Semi-Pro

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    The argument against Federer being GOAT based on his H2H with Nadal so ridiculous. I think of it like this. If you asked all current and past ATP players whose record they would most covet..

    Federer's
    Sampras'
    Laver's
    Nadal's

    I think you could safely say that the overwhelming majority INCLUDING Nadal and Sampras would say Federer.
     
    #49
  50. Omega_7000

    Omega_7000 Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. So even when Fed was past his prime, his head to head was better than Sampras' head to head against his rivals...Interesting.
     
    #50

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