How well would Sampras do against Nadal?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by _maxi, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. _maxi

    _maxi Banned

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    I think Sampras was great, but I think that if you put him in his prime against prime Nadal, Sampras would have it very difficult on HC, and obviously he would't even win a set on clay. On HC I don't think he could win a match, maybe 10-15% of the total matches played there. On grass it would be 50%+ for Pete, but it's difficult to say because they played on different kind of grass.

    But besides the results, I don't think Nadal is more talented than Pete, I just think that Pete would have a terrible match-up problem against Nadal, even worse than Federer has. Nadal would destroy Pete's backhand everytime. On the other hand, if I compare Agassi instead of Pete, I don't think he would lose so much to Nadal, they would be even I think. Just to point out that it's all about matchups in these cases.

    what do you think?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
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  2. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    It would depend entirely on surface speed. On clay, Nadal would win pretty much always. On fast grass like Sampras played on at W for most of his career, Sampras would win pretty much always. In between, well, it would be in between those two extremes.
     
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  3. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    if Petros played today he wouldn't even be as good as Hanescu so he'd probably get quadruple bageled every match. Nadal hits topspin and Petros has never seen topspin before so he’d be thrown off. Plus Nadal is the best returner in tennis and would be hitting passing shot return winners of anything Petros could serve at him. Not much hope if you ask me.

    Your last point is totally true too. Agassi always did well against grinders like Courier and Muster while Petros always struggled with grinders. He rarely won a match against someone like Muster who kept getting the ball back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
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  4. marc45

    marc45 Hall of Fame

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    "on hc i don't think he could win a match"...we're talking about a 7 time hc major winner
     
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  5. marc45

    marc45 Hall of Fame

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    if you think nadal is the best returner in tennis you need to get off your meds
     
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  6. _maxi

    _maxi Banned

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    So? Nadal would destroy Petros backhand, he would have so much fun doing it, on medium and slow HC. On fast HC and indoors, it would be even maybe.
     
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  7. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    AO: Pete wins 6/10
    FO: Pete wins 0/10
    W: Pete wins 8/10
    USO: Pete wins 8/10

    i.e. Pete wins 22/40.

    Of course, we know the nadal would make sure they met 40 times on clay and nowhere else.
     
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  8. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Seth

    Seth Hall of Fame

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    These cheap shots, regardless of who they are against, are nauseating.
     
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  10. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree with the French Open and Wimbledon. With the Australian Open, I'd say 5/10 for both players, and with the US Open 7/10 for Sampras. That's 20/20 by my count.
     
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  11. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    I don't buy into this "Nadal's return is too strong" BS.

    Server controls the tempo of the rally, returner has to react.

    It's a passive role. Server is active.

    Petros would fare better than the Rafanatics (tm) think.
     
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  12. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    People are underestimating pete's game here. Sure, his backhand was his weakest shot, but he could hit it with pace, and more importantly, his net game was superior to virtually every player on tour today. I mean, Fed has some success with coming forward against Nadal, why wouldn't Pete?

    Pete's serve would give Rafa trouble, especially as Rafa tends to just try and put the return back into play, not necessarily hit an offensive shot off the return. That would play into pete's hands..

    the guy had so many options, and weapons, it's ludicrous to think he couldn't go toe to toe with Nadal and be successful.
     
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  13. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    LMAO so true
     
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  14. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It must be said that the poly strings have improved the potentcy of service returns a great deal.
     
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  15. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I thought the "wisdom" on TT was that Sampras "sucked" on clay ;)
     
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  16. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Nadal's return is horrible. He stands 20' back and either floats back slices or spins balls back deep to reset the point at 50/50. Works amazing against baseliners and would get eaten up by a serve and volleyer. Who ever said Nadal had a good return?
     
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  17. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    on grass it is more like 9/10 if they are boht in prime.
     
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  18. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    compared to Nadal, yes Sampras "sucked on clay". But Petros being Petros would probably do better on clay now then back then because clay is actually a lot easier to play on now than it was in the early 90s. It was almost as extreme as grass in the other direction. Like playing in a swamp. Clay plays a lot cleaner now and actually a tad faster than it i did then. Specifically the French Open.
     
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  19. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    90s grass 10/10. Current grass 8/10
     
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  20. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not on grass. He stands much closer to the baseline and clearly puts more emphasis on the return than he usually does. He also steps into the court a lot more to be aggressive.
     
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  21. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    It isn't about how many Pete have won, but it's about the matchup issue against a particular player. The same with Davydenko gave Nadal trouble on hc. Obviously, Nadal's style would be a nightmare for Pete, especially on slow and high bounce surfaces.
     
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  22. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    haha so you average and get 9/10
     
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  23. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    You are very easily nauseated. Have it checked out.
     
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  24. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    I could go with that...
     
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  25. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    nadal's return would have to be perfect, because pete is going to net everytime for sure.
     
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  26. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Nadal would win something close to 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 on clay, but on other surfaces Sampras would have the edge IMO. Rebound ace would be close though.
     
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  27. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    would aus be blue or green courts?
     
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  28. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ironic that you say that, seeing as Sampras' best years at the French Open were 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996, when he got to the quarter finals or semi finals. From 1998-2002, he couldn't get past the Round of 64 at the French Open, losing to guys like Ramon Delgado and Galo Blanco, and being match points down against Cedric Kauffmann, a guy who hardly anybody had heard of before and hasn't been heard from since.
     
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  29. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    by that time in his career i got the feeling get totally gave up on clay. The surfaces were still the same at that point so it's irrelevant to how he would do today in his prime against current competition. I say he’d do better, but what the means is up in the air.
     
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  30. Netzroller

    Netzroller Semi-Pro

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    I think there have been at least 10 threads on Sampras vs. Nadal now...

    There are lots of statistics clearly showing that Nadal is one of the best return players ever. He might not hit winners off the return but he is incredibly good at neutralizing the serve and gain control over the point from there on. And based on what kind of opponent he is playing, he can adjust. Needless to say that his passing shots are amazing.
    If S&V was so effective against Nadal, why doesn nobody do it against him? Federer once beat Sampras playing it, why wouldn't he use it to beat Nadal? Why does the guy have great stats against big servers?

    true
     
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  31. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Cedric was a beast:)
    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Ka/C/Cedric-Kauffmann.aspx
     
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  32. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    Nadal couldn't even beat qualifiers 6-0 6-0 6-0 in FO2008 and you expect him to beat Sampras by that score? You're getting stupider every day.
     
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  33. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    I don't even think that's possible...he's reached the summit of asininity years ago (as davey25)...
     
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  34. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Silly thread. Pete Sampras was the greatest tennis player in the 90s era. Sampras dominated fast courts like Nadal dominated clay... His 7 Wimbledon(fast grass), 5 year-end championchip(indoors), 5 US Open(fast hard) speaks for itself. Nadal has ZERO year-end championship, 1 US Open, and 2 SLOW grass Wimbledon. It's not even close on fast courts. Sampras will stomp all over Nadal, who has a weak return but could get away with his raw speed. Against Sampras, it wouldn't happen. It's a landslide win for Sampras on fast courts. On slow courts, well Nadal is probably the best ever on clay, so Nadal wins there. That's it. Anywhere else, Nadal loses.
     
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  35. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    still fun to think about though.
     
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  36. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah, I don't agree Sampras would received a triple bagels by Nadal. Sure, Nadal is head and shoulders better than Sampras on clay, but triple bagels are extremely rare at the slam, and I'm curious to know how many times has it ever occurred in men's tennis.

    Ridiculous claims !
     
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  37. Ripster

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    As much as Federer is the opposite gamestyle wise as Nadal, Sampras is even more opposite. Their rivalry would be COMPLETELY dependent on the surface.

    French Open, Nadal would obviously own Sampras - every time. At Wimbledon Sampras would win most of the time as I've witnessed players with half the serve and volley skills of Sampras, challenge Nadal on grass. I think Sampras would win most of the time at the US Open as well. Nadal would edge Sampras at the Australian though. Rebound Ace just isn't a great surface for serving and volleying. Agassi had most of his success against Sampras at the AO and I think the slower higher bouncing court would be in Nadal's favour.
     
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  38. Djokolate

    Djokolate Professional

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    Clay: Nadal > Sampras
    Grass: Sampras > Nadal
    HC: Most of the time it would be Sampras > Nadal
     
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  39. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    This, also, was my first thought.
    The combination of Pete's weight of ball and accuracy on serve would probably let Pete enjoy considerable success simply by deuce serving Rafa out wide and ad serving up the middle all day long. Think of returning a ball that consistently has the weight of Murray's very best first serves (pretty heavy) and has the accuracy of Federer's serves; and think of returning this aimed at your backhand 70% of the time.
     
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  40. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Spot on :)

    On a serious note, in the 90's Sampras would win all or almost all meetings at Wimbledon, the majority of the AO/US encounters and 0 at the French (not sure he'd won a set). Had they played nowadays, Nadal would have the advantage everywhere except the US Open.
     
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  41. ManFed

    ManFed Rookie

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    People understimate Sampras game and skills.
    Nadal has had a lot of troubles with Karlovic this year, and also with Fish who don't have 10% of Sampras skills at S&V. Except on clay and slower HC, Sampras would crush Nadal.
     
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  42. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Exactly. Fish couldn't even beat 40 year-old Sampras in their exhibition this year. Yet, Fish gave tons of trouble to Nadal every time they played. Sampras is 10x the player of Fish. Nadal can't handle that. Ever.
     
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  43. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I sort of agree with you. Pete's backhand is not as good as Federer's and Nadal would murder it. But, Pete might be able to minimize impact by attacking, but Nadal's spin is hard to volley. I think on today's hard courts excluding grass, Nadal might end up about even or slightly ahead. I think on the faster hard courts from a few years ago, Pete would kill Nadal like 80% of the time. I also think Pete would kill Nadal on the old faster grass and Pete would still have a small advantage on today's slower grass.

    I also agree that a prime Agassi would be tough on Nadal. Davydenko gives Nadal fits and Agassi is like Davydenko on steriods as Agassi has better server, more power and consistency off the ground, and takes the ball as early or earlier than Davydenko. Djoko is comparable to Agassi and we have seen what Djoko does to Nadal this last year.
     
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  44. ZeroSkid

    ZeroSkid Banned

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    I think they would have great matches on grass and indoor but other than that Nadal would dominate Sampras
     
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  45. _maxi

    _maxi Banned

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    That's because Nadal can't abuse Fish's backhand. It's not the case of Sampras. It's not required to be so smart to understand that once Nadal hits a loopsy cc Forehand to Pete's backhand, he's got the edge of the point by far.
     
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  46. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    A prime Sampras on outdoor hardcourt would not be dominated by Nadal. Maybe Nadal does well on todays slower and higher bouncing courts, but Pete would still hold his own on today's courts. Pete's serve in his prime was an incredible weapon - Nadal would not even be able to take advantage of Pete's 2nd serves. Even the US Open courts from 2 or 3 years ago were fast enough that Nadal would struggle against Pete. Sampras' game was designed to protect his weaknesses. He attacked to keep opponents off his backhand and to exploit his serve and forehand weapons. This strategy executed at Pete's prime level would work even in the polyester string era.
     
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  47. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    The Australian Open courts are actually faster than rebound ace. If Pete would have the edge in the 90s at the Australian he sure would now.

    I think he would have the edge at Wimbledon even on todays grass. People exagerrate the difference, as someone like Roddick would never do so well if it were that slow.
     
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  48. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Nadal before this year destroyed Fish everytime they played. Nadal has fallen apart somewhat in the 2nd half of this year, which is how Fish is able to be competitive when normally he wouldnt be.
     
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  49. ManFed

    ManFed Rookie

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    I also believe people understimate Sampras backhand. Pete used it primarily for defense and for prepare his attacks. He used a lot of slice with incredible angles to the baseline and occasionaly he might finish points with it. Also, he hit very high balls that looked like moonballs to the opponents backhand. Overall, perhaps Sampras backhand was more effective than Federers.

    He didn't use it the same way Federer does. Federer is more aggresive with his backhand, that is the reason he make a lot of errors, also he uses a different grip.

    Regards.
     
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  50. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    No matches won on the main tour, a career high ranking of 195 in the world, but 3 match points against Sampras at the 2001 French Open. What a beast :);)

    In majors:

    1968 French Open R128: Nikola Spear def. Daniel Contet (6-0, 6-0, 6-0)
    1987 French Open R64: Karel Novacek def. Eduardo Bengoechea (6-0, 6-0, 6-0)
    1987 Wimbledon R128: Stefan Edberg def. Stefan Eriksson (6-0, 6-0, 6-0)
    1987 US Open R128: Ivan Lendl def. Barry Moir (6-0, 6-0, 6-0)
    1993 French Open R64: Sergi Bruguera def. Thierry Champion (6-0, 6-0, 6-0)


    There was also that July 2011 Davis Cup match between Britain and Luxembourg, where Andy Murray beat Laurent Bram 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. NadalAgassi's claims that Nadal would triple bagel Sampras at the French Open are absolutely laughable.
     
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