If Sampras playes today like in his prime, what will be his ATP ranking?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by sureshs, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    A comment in an article in Inside Tennis got me thinking. It said today's level of competition is much higher than the Sampras vs Agassi matches. Seeing that Sampras cannot win anything in WTT against unknown players, and Agassi is making a quick exit in every tournament, what really would be Pete's ranking today if he played like he did in his prime (not how he might have adapted and played today)?
     
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  2. 8PAQ

    8PAQ Banned

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    He would be one the players fighting for #3 spot.
     
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  3. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    its tough to compare past players to players now. players back then didnt have all the advantages that the next gen has.
     
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  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    He is not that far back. When did he retire, 3 years ago? Racquets are pretty much the same, and he didn't use modern ones even when he could. Strings are probably a little better. He had access to coaching and prize money just like today's players.

    Anyway, what would be his ranking?
     
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  5. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    I would say top 3 ranking, him and Fed would battle for that number 1 spot, like someone said, its hard cause he hasnt played some of these players that are playing, guys like Nadal, etc.
     
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  6. Tennis_Goodness

    Tennis_Goodness Semi-Pro

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    I would put him close to the number 3 position and I know people might think why number 3, he's one of the best in history, but I think Federer would be edging him in some of the slams and Nadal would be taking the French Open.

    Pete being number 3 behind Nadal would be misleading because I think Pete would be playing better and is a better player then Nadal, the rankings wouldn't show that because of Federer!

    There have been occassions where the number 3 player was better then the number 2, even some cases of the Number 2 being better then the number 1, and I think this would be one of those cases! Pete never played as many tournaments as Federer and Nadal does a year!
     
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  7. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Pete would be #2.
     
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  8. Marat Safinator

    Marat Safinator Banned

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    no.1 probably, tennis isnt as competetive as it was 6-7 years ago.
     
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  9. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    Either 1 or 2, depending on how he did against Federer.
     
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  10. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Pete would have more problem with Federer than with Nadal, IMHO.
    (on faster courts. On clay, Nadal will dominate, of course)

    Other than that, we simply do not know whether current #1,2 would
    dominate him or he would dominate Federer or Nadal, IMHO.

    One thing for sure though is that neither Federer nor Nadal would dominate
    over Sampras like they do to other players on the tour now.

    Pete's game is simply too dangerous and has too much venom for anybody to handle.
     
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  11. Watcher

    Watcher Semi-Pro

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    I'm sorry, saying that Pete's age had less competition is simply untrue. It was far more competitve than what we have today. Back then you had Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Patrick Rafter, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Jim Courier, Goran Ivanisevic, Michael Chang, Carlos Moya, Gustavo Kuerten, and so on. At the beginning of that age you still had the remnants of the past age in Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Mats Wilander and the like still doing a damn good job. And at the end of that age the up and comers who are today's best, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, etc., were pushing them.

    What do we have today? Nothing nearly that good. But for Agassi and Moya, pretty much all of the remnants of the last age are gone, and the up and comers are still getting flattened by the already established. You can't even begin to compare today with back then in terms of competitiveness. It was MUCH more copetitive back then. It's not even a contest.
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think the depth of the game today is much more than in the past. I don't see a Chang winning FO with Nadal around, or Agassi winning a Wimby with Federer around. The balls are just hit much harder and the players are much faster. I don't see Pete doing well against the top players today.
     
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  13. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Yeah but Chang did beat both Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg to win the 1989 french open and those two guys would hit the ball pretty hard.
     
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  14. TrueAce

    TrueAce Rookie

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    Agassi was beating most of the top players today up until a couple of years ago and he was over 30...I don't see that much of a difference in todays players cause if that was the case Andre wouldn't have been able to keep competing after 30 when the rest of his peers retired....hes now 36......If he was in his prime he'd defeat Roger and Nadal probably more than any other guy besides the greatest champion of all time Sampras.

    It's hard to say who'd be number one but it would a lot tougher for Fed cause Nadal would still dominate on clay but you can almost guarantee Pete wouldn't lose all 7 of those Wimbledon and 5 US open titles that he captured. I think in the end Pistol Pete would still come out on top finishing number 1.
     
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  15. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I think he'd be battling for the #1 spot with Federer. Their head-to-head would be pretty close, but Federer would probably be #1 most of the time and Sampras #2 just because Fed is more consistent throughout the year and gets good results during the claycourt season. Don't think Nadal would give Sampras too much trouble (he seems to hate big serve/volleyers), so it would just be Fed and Sampras at the top. And you've got to figure that Sampras would be unhappy with anything lower than #1 so he'd probably lift his level for even small tournaments to get his points up.

    If you're asking how Sampras would do against the rest of today's field, he'd crush them.
     
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  16. tarheels2323

    tarheels2323 Semi-Pro

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    He'd be #2. He would have a problem with Federer but be able to beat Nadal and the rest of the field. Federer would continue his dominance of all players except Nadal (who would be knocked out in the semi's of a tournament by Sampras) and keep his #1 ranking. Nadal would drop to #3.
     
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  17. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    #1 or #2. pete was one of the best big match player in history. does anyone ever remember him losing a match where he had match points or had a big lead late?
     
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  18. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    He'd definitely find a way to beat Federer. I don't know how you can say he'd be dominated by Fed as this is the guy people call the greatest ever. He beat up on Agassi in his prime, and Agassi at 35 years old showed that he was possibly slightly better than Federer off the ground. Too bad he was 35 with a hobbled back, otherwise he could have won that match. Sampras would have found a way to win and be #1. Federer would have picked up points during the clay season and gone back to #1. IMO, it would go back and forth.
     
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  19. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Um, Borg was basically an Olympic caliber sprinter...yeah, everyone's just so much faster these days...

    Especially that Mac.
     
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  20. bleno567

    bleno567 Rookie

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    Sampras was #1 for 6 years when he was in his prime. As good as he is, Federer does not have numbers like that. Superman1 said that fed is more consistent, but i disagree. 6 years at #1 should extenguish any doubt of just how consistent sampras could be. The claim that the game wasnt as competitive back then as it is today is just plain ignorant. The game never got easier, peoples memories of the game just got distorted. To answer the question, Sampras would without a doubt in my mind be back at #1 if he was back in his prime.
     
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  21. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Fed is more consistent because he wins almost everything he enters, unless he's playing Nadal.

    Sampras didn't win everything. He wasn't unbeatable.

    However, if a guy like Federer came and pushed Sampras back to #2, you can be sure that Samps would step it up a notch and do what it took to reclaim that #1 spot. At his best, I'd say Sampras was more unbeatable than anyone in history, including Federer.
     
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  22. Watcher

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    Are you suggesting Fed is unbeatable? Because that would be a major contradiction on your part.
     
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  23. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Um, Kuerten didn't hit the ball hard then? Even now, did you see his match against that power monster Paul Goldstein at the US Open last year? Who had more power? The REAL problem is that because of injuries; he's no longer able to move like he used to so *of course* you're going to fall in the rankings and competitiveness. This does NOT mean that everyone is so much better now...and remember Chang actually beat Kuerten in his prime too. Goldstein recently beat a low confidence Hewit. Do you think Chang in his prime was a worse player than Goldstein, not faster than Goldstein? I don't.

    I think what's forgotten is just how very little separates the top from the bottom. If you slip just a little with injuries, age, confidence, and/or burn out that's all it takes.Agassi barely plays now and age and burnout HAS finally caught up with him in terms of injuries that his old contemporaries suffered when they retired so many years ago. Now we see what happens when a hobbled Agassi low on confidence goes out there against hungry young lions. He's still competitive though. Is he the same guy that made the US Open finals just last year though? No. Would he be able to put up games and competitive sets against that Agassi of last year though? YES.

    There is a HUGE difference in terms of quantifiable results in tennis, that isn't as apparent in the actual decline of a player's level. Like I said, you slip even just a little, and that's all it takes. For the longest time, most pro matches have been decided by the break a set rule, it's honestly just a few points here and there. When you lose your confidence in the clutch, that's all it takes.

    There's two school's of thoughts. You have the "logical" types like Todd Martin who'll say oh the game's always improving, and that you improve right along with it. And then, there's the Courier feeler type who'll say that when he was at his peak, he just wasn't missing in the clutch, that pro matches are decided by those key moments, and back then he had the REP that he just didn't miss on those points, which spooked other players, and thus led to "dominance." He said that once you start losing just a little bit of confidence though, and start messing up a little on the big occasions, it makes a HUGE difference in the locker room perspective, that you can feel yourself losing "it" and the other players do too; that it makes all the difference.

    I tend to agree more with Courier's take, when Courier says he believes that there's no one today other than maybe Federer in top flight he couldn't have taken if he were at his best back in the day.

    Do you think Kuerten would take a typical day from today and say that oh, yes, that's best I could play? Of course not. He said that the way he played in the 97 French final, his first, that he couldn't believe it, that there was no way he could play like that again now that the INJURIES and THINKING have set in, the self-doubt, the age, etc. This still doesn't mean that he can't put up GAMES now. Huge difference between putting up games though and making it to the final sunday though at this level.

    Remember, Rios' last match on tour he freaking lost to a guy ranked in the 700s from his own country...ouch that had to have hurt. YET, it was NOT that long ago that he had taken Safin to a third set tie-break at a masters series event, and the look on Rios' face then was one of encouragement, like hey it's coming back. And not that long ago where he was toying with Agassi in the semis of the "fifth grand slam" JUST as he had during his prime several years earlier at the same tournament. Then what happened? Rios' knee flared up again, he had to retire due to injury.
    Back then, Agassi was still considered in his "prime," and an elite player, while Rios had fallen by the wayside. Yet, he still had it in bits and spurts. Remember since their first Lipton encounter, Agassi was then too an elite player. The difference is that Agassi continued to MAINTAIN his elite form, whereas Rios' elite form fell by the wayside due to injury.

    I think what some players mistake as the game improving is actually their own game declining. And what Agassi might consider, constantly adding to and improving to his game during the time period between his two Lipton meetings with Rios, was actually a case of Rios losing his form during that time and not being able to practice as much as he'd like due to injury, and Agassi thinking he's always improving when really he was more so just treading water. I say this because at least to my logic, it looked to me more like Rios was RE-finding his form again from 98 in their re-match at the Lipton, wheras all of that so-called improvement Agassi must have been doing during that time Rios was off with injury just wasn't showing in this match.

    You can point to GENERALITIES such as there's so much more power, everyone's so much faster now, etc., etc.; and yet there is *actual* evidence too between intersecting top players of various generations, one getting old, injured, and burnt-out meeting the new generation of top players. The key to me is that there have been plenty of competitive *enough* matches in such case examples whereas I feel like just maybe the alleged improvement is more in the head. The fundamentals of talent remain, hand-eye coordination, and as long as there is that, somehow the match can end up decently competitive.

    Barring INJURIES, BURN-OUT, or LACK OF FIRE IN YOUR BELLY, then the ability to hold your own is always there between generations in my opinion. You have to remember that a lot of times when you see an aging pro on the way out, they're just not giving it their all anymore. I mean was Muster just as fired up in his last days as he was during his prime? Of course not. And remember also that Muster played his best ever tennis on hard courts that Lipton, was behind only Sampras in terms of dominating the hard court swing in 97, then all of a sudden he goes to clay, and he's losing left and right. He changed his racket, just slight tweaks in your game can make HUGE differences in your ACTUAL results at this level. Kevin Kim switched from the racket he had been using practically his whole life on a lark, then poof, just like that he's feeling more confident, and winning matches left and right on the challenger circuit. Note, that it's not like he was sudennly winning love and love. Set scores were always competitive, the difference is in the regularity of who pulls through on the KEY points that determines "winning streaks" or when we say a player has gotten "on a roll." He said that to be honest the only thing he really changed during the whole time of all those years of treading water was his racket, that it just gave him a little more confidence...um, that's all it takes at this level.

    When Pioline and Bruguera were both in their last days and coming off surgery, they both ended up saying almost the same thing. Pioline was initially encouraged when he took Novak who was then at his peak, and top ten, to a close three setter. He said, it was just a few points here and there, that he just wasn't confidence on the important points, but that's natural and it'd come back. Of course it didn't. He ended up that year losing to a nobody in the first round of qualifying at the US Open. When Bruguera was on his way out, he said that he had trained for one last charge, that he barely lost to Moya and Ferrero in three separate matches in the third set where he said the difference was that he wasn't confident on the important points anymore, but that's natural, that you just need to play more matches and it'd come back. Of course, it didn't.

    The thing you have to realize is that when players get older, their resilience isn't the same as it once was. The more knocks you take, the more injuries you've had, etc. You're NOT going to have the same fire in your belly as a 22 year old coming back from surgery as you would as someone who's in tennis old age. This is what Thierry Champion said in an old Tennis Magazine article on the challenger circuit. He was then in tennis old age, coming off surgery, and had to work his way up on the challenger circuit. He said that it wasn't competition that he lacked, losing first round, but rather that just didn't know if he still had it in him, the heart, the drive, you need to BREAK THROUGH again. He was at an age he said where he still like to play, still liked the stadiums and all that, but at his age he had also already seen it all many times before; that the will just wasn't as strong anymore, and he didn't know if he could summon it up from within for one last go of it. He said when he was in his early 20s, he also had surgery, but that it was different then because he was young, and determined, and he was so HUNGRY to prove himself and get out there and see the world.

    That's the thing with aging players, they kinda want it, but you can't fake it at this level, that kinda wanting it is the same as REALLY wanting it. The cave man clubbing to put a meal on the table will in the end out club the cave man whose cell phone rings and he's just curious enough to answer it.

    I mean look at Leconte's last stand against Bruguera in the Paris Indoors before he retired. Bruguera was still a top player back then, but Leconte had fallen by the way side, he had a noticeable belly, and yet? The crowd support was so singularly "magical" for this one match, that it INSPIRED Leconte, it re-ignited the FIRE in his jiggling belly for just this ONE match. And in this fired up belly state, he played an AMAZING second set, and truly came up with some vintage, "magical" Leconte trademark tennis. And? And surprise, surprise, it was still effective. We forget that a former top player's old best could still be effective today; because usually the last thing we ACTUALLY see is a shy teenage Sissy Spacek "lifting" for the overhead "smash," ahem Sampras vintage 2006.
     
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  24. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Ultimately, just remember this. Think about whenever a top player "falls" from grace. What almost always coincides with that fall? 1) Burn-out (see Wilander). 2) Declining confidence (Muster and his racket + plus burn-out, Safin when he switched to Dunlop). 3) Injuries (duh) 4) Love life, marriage, kids, etc. other interests, like I want to see the rest the world has to offer, tennis is boring me now (Stich, Medvedev, Kafelnikov).

    And then ask yourself this, if tennis were to continue on in a bubble, in a vacuum, with no change ever occuring in any of the above "I'm still a human being" variables; why wouldn't these former top players continue on being top players? You could see, oh the game has improved so much...maybe. Yet, why is it then that it usually takes one of the above to turn a top player into any other player? I don't think it's just a coincidence.

    Like I've said many times before, I truly believe that there is an elite level of play, it's just that players because they ARE human, can't maintain that indefinitely. I mean does the battery in your mp3 player last forever? Of course not.
     
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  25. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    I dont know if he would dominate the field.U just cant say that, Hewitt was a guy that read Sampras's serve very well.
     
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  26. bleno567

    bleno567 Rookie

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    one long response

    Holy crap man, I have written real essays shorter than this. You gotta have alot of time on ur hands. Just had to give u props for that. How long did it actually take you.
     
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  27. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    ^ Yeah, but his posts are dope.

    One thing I'll say in response to !Tym's general idea is that one can argue that he has the carriage pulling the horse. I mean, I agree that just the slightest dip in confidence can devastate a player's ranking, but could "the tour" getting stronger be a major factor in this, a player losing their confidence?

    Same thing with "burnout" -- could a player start burning out because the wins just aren't happening anymore due to stronger players, making a tour that's a grind at best suddenly become unbearable?

    I think they're all related and it's arguable which comes first, the loss of confidence then the losses, or the losses therefor a loss in confidence. And maybe the losses come because the tour is getting better, etc.
     
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  28. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    And I agree with the people who say Sampras would be about 2 or 3. Wimbledon has gotten slower, and although Sampras did plenty well on hard courts, too, you've gotta think a slow Wimbledon is going to mean a greater chance of him getting upset in the earlier rounds. Nadal would still dominate on clay and maybe his forehand could even manage to bully Sampras' backhand on hard courts. Who knows?

    Yeah, when Pete was on he was about the most dangerous attacking player I've ever seen. He made it look incredibly easy. And he's one of the best male athletes this sport has ever seen, but Pete didn't go out of his way to win every single match and tournament, he saved it all for the Slams, and by doing well at the Slams is how he managed to be number 1 all the time. With Federer around, and a slower Wimbledon, it's not like he would be a lock to win. He'd definitely lose in the French. So who knows. Maybe he could even be as low as 5.
     
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  29. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras would be #1, Federer #2.


    If you are saying today's game is so much better then before, you are sorely mistakened. Today's game has no variety on it other then Federer and Lubicic who are willing to come to net on all surfaces.


    Back in the day you had guys like Goran, Rafter, Chang, Courier, Sampras, Agassi in his prime, Henman in his prime (who was a very dangerous player on grass and indoor surfaces), and many more. There wasn't just power baselining, there were great serve and volley players, more then just one great counter puncher, and even more. There were so many guys out there at the time that the whole top 50 was a threat. Competition was more fierce, and although they didn't hit as hard as today, they sure as heck were more consistent and more strategic then just trying to blast winners on the other guy (like most up and coming new guys are doing, except Baghdatis).
     
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  30. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    So you're saying Sampras would beat Federer at Wimbledon?
     
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  31. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras in his prime at Wimbledon on lockdown. Federer even though young beat a Sampras out of his prime, he still struggled to beat him. Samprs I believe would beat Federer at Wimbledon, if they reverted the conditions back to before 100%. If they keep it as it is now, I'd call it 50/50.
     
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  32. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    The old timer tennis greats didn't like how Roger Federer played Wimbledon this year. He did not utilize his serve and volley game. Unlike him, Sampras would live and die at the net.
     
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  33. RiosTheGenius

    RiosTheGenius Hall of Fame

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    there's no difference, this thread is pointless... anyone who knows abit about tennis knows that Pete Sampras would be somewhere between #1 and #5.... not difficult to imagine.
    don't go by his recent results, these guys lose a ton when out of the competition. but once on tour competing every week and training as he used to, he would beat all those guys. no doubt
     
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  34. RiosTheGenius

    RiosTheGenius Hall of Fame

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    where did you get the idea that the competition is much higher nowadays?.. I think you're very wrong. let's see:

    Federer's Competition Today:
    Nadal, Nalbandian...mmmm .... that's it, everybody else is hot and cold, retiring, or looking good in the future.

    Sampras' Competition:
    Ivanisevic, Muster, Krajicek, Rafter, Safin, Kafelnikov, Rios, Moya, Kuerten,

    I know few of the players mentioned in the Sampras era are still active, but their real days of glory were during the time Sampras was #1 and do not represent a threat to Roger Federer today... except for Safin actually.... he's got such good hands that he will be a threat when he's 85 yrs old.
     
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  35. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    sureshs, that's the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. Agassi is retiring in a few months and you're judging him as a player now? Dude, he's been around for 20 f'ing years, where were you then? The guy bagelled Malisse just this week and lost 7-5 in the third to Gonzo, he's 36 years old, and you say that he's no good because the depth of tennis is higher. You read an article and it said the level of competition was higher. How about buying a tape of an old match and watching it for yourself?
     
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  36. sarpmas

    sarpmas Rookie

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    Is competition really much higher nowadays? Players maybe faster, more powerful, but does it translate to being better?

    Even Bjorkman, a player well into his 30s and considered to be in the Agassi/Sampras Era, still managed a Wimbledon semis this year, I really have my doubts.

    Perhaps we should ask ourselves this question: How will a PRIME Agassi fare against today's best? Frankly, even Agassi now is still giving young top players a really hard time.
     
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  37. joy

    joy New User

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    If the same Pete Sampras had born 10 years later and played in the current era, I don't see him being successful. I doubt whether he would be winning any slam at all. Please don't be surprised but I will explain. I say this not because today's players are any better than him but because of the surface, type of balls and the racquet technology used these days. Sampras's key strength was his serve and volley but the modern racquets, slow surface and the heavy balls used these days would nullify his key strengths. So, he would not be allowed to take advantage of his key weapons in today's conditions and would be forced to play out of his comfort zone i.e. from the baseline. This is very much evident from the fact that players who served and volleyed a few years ago like Federer, Henman etc are no longer doing it and have tranformed into baseliners because they found serve and volley no longer effective in today's conditions. The same would happen to Pete if he plays today. Thus even though today's players Federer and Nadal cannot be termed to be better than Sampras or Agassi, but still the surfaces, balls, racquets and playing conditions have totally changed which would play aginst Sampras's strengths and therefore he may not be very successful against Federer and especially against Nadal. Got my point? Remember how slow the Wimbledon played this year almost like a slow hard court? I don't think Sampras in his prime would have dominated this kind of Wimbledon surface even though he is unbeatable even today without a doubt on the traditional Wimbledon grass used in 90s. So it's not that the players are better today but the conditions have totally changed. In fact, I feel that is one of the key reasons why Sampras retired early (when he was still good enough to carry on for a few more years) because he sensed correctly that his serve and volley game would not work out well in today's slow and heavy conditions. I hope you all agree.
     
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  38. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Good point. Serve & volleyer just can't survive in today's tennis. The balls are much heavier and the courts are getting slower. But, we all have to agree that the competition today is not as high as in Sampras's era.
     
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  39. sarpmas

    sarpmas Rookie

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    If Sampras would really have been born 10 years later, he would ADAPT to the current condition and play whatever style necessary to win. He may use a babolat and stick with his 2hb. :)
     
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  40. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Federer beat him before he was Federer. Meaning, before he became a legend in the making.
    Good question. I think they may have less skills but are probably "better" in that I think they would beat their counterparts from 15 years ago. I think the very top guys are pretty much the same, I think where the tour has improved is from rank 30 and below.
    Well, Malivai Washington reached the finals 10 years ago.
     
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  41. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    No, Sampras had talent on playing serve & volley style. If Sampras changed his style and play like agassi(baseliner), he would have become nothing more than an average joe pro.
     
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  42. sarpmas

    sarpmas Rookie

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    I'm still skeptical. I would say depth wise, players nowadays are more evenly matched, from the baseline, I must emphasized. But it is still an uncertainty when these players are to match up with passed players that are not baseline bashers.
    At least Washington is just 27, still in his prime some would argued.
     
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  43. sarpmas

    sarpmas Rookie

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    You're under-estimating Sampras's talent, he's more than SV. There is still the devasting serve, the killing fh and possibly the much consistent 2hb. But we'll never know, won't we?
     
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  44. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    2hb? Dude, are we talking about the same Sampras?
     
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  45. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Big serve and big forehand isn't enough to be a top baseliner pros and if he's good with 2 hb, he wouldn't have changed. This is not even a debate. Your post is stupid. It's like saying that Agassi could be as great being serve & volleyer as he is as a baseliner if he wanted to.
     
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  46. sarpmas

    sarpmas Rookie

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    Nope, this is a hypothetical Sampras that is supposed to be born 10 years later into the Federer era. A follow-up post originated from joy a few posts earlier.
    Sampras is inspired by all the great classic players like Laver and Ken Rosewall. Wimbledon is also his most tressured Slam. He did not change to a 2hb because it is not good. He changed because 1hb gives him the best opportunity to win Wimbledon playing the traditional SV game.

    Everything I posted is my opinion, just like yours. I disagree but respect your opinion. I hoped you do likewise.

    I supposed you have been following the last few posts, they are all related to joy's post. We are all just speculating.

    Edit: added reply to helloworld
     
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  47. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    I can only speculate but if I had to pick, it'd be Sampras at No. 1 in the world. I think he would get the better of Federer more times than not.

    But well, seeing how Nadal has lifted his game in the past few months and if he continues that improvement, we'd have a new factor to figure in!

     
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  48. emcee

    emcee Semi-Pro

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    Roger and Pete would battle for #1 and unlike the current "rivalry", it'd actually involve some nice-looking tennis! Ultimately, I'd have to pick Pete for #1 though...while both Sampras and Fed make the game look too easy, it seems pretty obvious that Sampras had a lot more fire in his belly than Fed did.
     
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  49. FiveO

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    Interesting premise. IMO given today's conditions and the field staying exactly the same, he would be fighting it out for #1 with Fed and Nadal. His RG results would stay about the same, but I think he would beat Fed 6 or 7 of 8 at Wimbledon. Sampras was the "most successful" s&v practitioner of the open era. On grass he wouldn't let the other guy play and picked apart baseliners of varying ilks while on offense and merely waited for one opening for a break confident in his ability to hold. Even with the conditions at Wimbledon as they are today I think he would still force the issue. Nadal though he would want to would not be able to prolong points, point to point, win or lose. Fed would not be able to merely get into the point off the return as he can now so frequently because no one comes forward relentlessly. Yes Fed has a great sense when someone is s&v'ing point to point, i.e. Ancic, but the 100 times or more behind the Sampras serve would tip the balance of points, which is all Sampras wanted/needed, in Pete's favor. Also Fed would most likely be forced to come forward a higher percentage of the time merely to prevent Sampras from doing so, while equally or even more talented as compared to Sampras, doesn't seem to be in his "A game comfort zone" under THESE conditions.

    I think the US Open would be more a push between the two. But again, Fed would now be forced to hit quality passes by an excellent volleyer a ton of times. Has he got 50 passes in him? Yeah. Sampras would probably then force him to answer the 60 or 70 pass question. But I could see those meetings going 3/3 give or take another.

    The AO would probably fought out between Fed and Nadal as I think it will be in the future if both players stay healthy and hold their form. Those conditions even in Sampras's time shifted the edge to a prime time AA taking enough of the edge off his entire game. So I think Sampras would be more vulnerable to more players earlier but might sneak through for 1.

    I think it would be a jumble each year between Sampras, Fed or Nadal. 1 major a good year and whoever took two majors ending up #1 as 3 out of 4 would become less likely.

    It's all speculation of course. But wouldn't it have been great to see how it played out? A supreme near full time s&v, all-courter and baseliner battling for the top. That would have been something.
     
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  50. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras could easily still Serve and Volley on the U.S. Open courts, Henman did it not too far back (2004 I believe) and got to the semis. Sampras has a much bigger, consistent, accurate serve, and his volleys are pretty darn good, right up there with Henman's.


    Wimbledon, it depends on how the conditions are. I'm pretty sure most fans were pretty ticked off at how much slower the grass was, considering when we saw the supposed "Serve and Volley" matches they ended up baselining over 70% of the time.


    Sampras was an allcourt player, just because he serve and volleyed more because the surfaces tended to favor that doesn't mean he couldn't play a good game of baselining. Sampras was one of the few players who could keep up with Agassi on the baseline, sometimes even beat him with an amazing running forehand or two.


    I mean, he didn't win the French but he did get pretty far into it (I think semis or something like that).
     
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