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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    The "although" in your first sentence is the wild card. From what I see, hitting very hard is a prerequisite to enter the top these days. If that is indeed the case, older players would have been blown away.
     
    #51
  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is not my idea. This is from Inside Tennis and the rest of the article seemed as if it was written by a very knowledgeable guy, not a blind Sampras fan. In fact, the sentence almost made fun of the Sampras-Agassi rivalry compared to the level today.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But the old tapes show levels relative to each other. I mean, I watch Lendl's serve, and I think how slow it is compared to today's serve.

    Fact is, Agassi has been beaten by Federer and Nadal multiple times. Today's players were not around 20 years ago, so we cannot conclude anything. But even matches from 5 years ago look tame by today's standards.
     
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  4. nadalgirl26

    nadalgirl26 Banned

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    He and Nadal would bea fighting for #1. Losers like fruity Federer, homophobic Hewitt, sutipd rat face Roddick, and too cookcoo Safin would be fighting for #3.
     
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  5. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Hmm, ok so almost mid-30s Davide Sanguinetti was just "blasting" the ball by Paradorn Srichihpan at the US Open last year? And Paradorn Srichiphan's form against Agassi at Wimbledon several years ago wasn't better?

    And Sanguinetti who easily defeated Kevin Kim at Wimbledon this year, that same Kevin Kim came very close to defeating a "modern" player like Mario Ancic at the Nasdaq this year?

    And how did John McEnroe at his age come back and actually WIN his first tournament back in doubles in how many years? Was Wayne Arthurs "modern" serve not modern enough for him too handle? The guy was OVER 40! Does that not say something? Lendl's racket? I'd like to see any of today's pros try that one with any success. I mean Lendl even as his back was giving out, managed to beat basically all the "modern" pro players. And now players are saying their more modern. And yet, how to explain Sanguinetti of no power and straw arms at almost mid 30 defeating a "modern" Srichiphan?
     
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  6. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone really know, or know how to determine where he would be?

    The condition has changed since Sampras retired.
     
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  7. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    No No Nope. He was a baseliner when he started out. He happens to have
    the unreal serve. I wouldn't stay at the baseline all the time with that
    kind of serve. But he had "gabbage volleys" up until mid-90's.
    (The late Arthur Ashe comments on Sampras volleys in 92 Master's final).


    Well, everybody got their 1st impression in 1990 US Open when Sampras
    was zoning, executing all shots perfectly. McEnroe's comment after he got
    beaten in 1990 US Open : "The serve was obvious. But what really impressed
    me was how strong he was from baseline."
    No mention on his volleys.
    Even in his peak years, Sampras volley were just blocking that
    finishes a point that is aleady 99% over.

    Other comments by Drysdale around late 90's: "Is he just
    pretending to be a S&Ver at Wimbledon only, fooling everybody ?"
    .

    I followed his career from the beginning. To me, he is slightly
    more of baseliner because it was the 1st impression on him in 1989-1990.
    Mary Carrillo said couple of times in 90's: "He is a baseliner pretending to
    be S&V at times. When he get pressured, he often resorts to the baseline."


    I agree with her. He would S&V un-important poins away but in a few
    crucial points of a match, he won them from baseline lots of time
    in his peak years. He had the "perfect" serve. That gives casual
    viewers an impression of S&Ver. But he never was a true S&Ver in his blood.

    If you also look closely into matches with Agassi,
    you'll see his S "AND" V doesn't really work against Agassi on hard courts.
    He won them with his big serves and baseline points by moving
    Agassi left and right.


    Toward the end of his career, his physical abilities deteriated
    and increasingly depended on S&V game.
    Not because he really
    wanted to... He successfully fooled everybody including you...
    He was true "all courter". You can not classify him as baseliner or S&Ver.
     
    #57
  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    1. We are talking about singles, not doubles. Martina does well in doubles, but lost miserably in a singles tournament last year. In doubles, people serve at 80% speed for 1st serve %tage and a whole lot of other factors are at work. JMac also did not play against the Bryans.
    2. Racquet is part of the issue. Today's players may not be able to play as well as Laver with a wood racquet. Comparison is with the equipment today.
    3. Sanguinetti and the other guy (what's his name - the 2 handed forehand unorthodox guy) give trouble, but they are not top 10 or maybe not even top 20 players.

    Players (ATP and WTA) are just pounding the ball. That is the threshold. Finesse and strategy come later.
     
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  9. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    There's some serious sample bias going on in this thread. But it's fun!
     
    #59
  10. RiosTheGenius

    RiosTheGenius Hall of Fame

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    I think there's a few things we can't ignore:
    there were certain things about Pete Sampras on serve which would make him a top10 player in any era, against Laver, Vilas, Federer and in 2045.
    Sampras was never bothered by pace, in fact many times used his opponent 's pace to produce shots.
    I also want to say, just because many of you have said much about the racquets, surfaces, and balls, that those factors have not really changed since his hey-day, let lone his retirement year (c'mon 2002??).
    now, the S&V thing... wrong, Pat Rafter would still be kicking butt today if he didn't get bored of tennis and changed it for surfing and family time.
    as for the competition...I'm not sure if the top ten guys of today would have much to say against guys like Kafelnikov, Rafter, Chang, Ivanisevic, Becker, Agassi, Krajicek, or Muster at their prime
    check this link out and tell me that today the #1 and #2 players have a tough competition compared to let's say 7 yrs ago
    http://www.atptennis.com/3/en/rankings/entrysystem/
     
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  11. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    I keep a big collection of tennis matches ranging about 20 years.

    I don't know about you, but when I watch some of the old matches, I say, "Wow, who are these people that keep saying that today's matches are so much faster than the olden days' matches?"

    True, today's players hit faster, but not by much.

    You can even watch a Borg vs. Mac with wooden racquets and the ball is flying surprisingly fast.
     
    #61
  12. HollerOne5

    HollerOne5 Semi-Pro

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    Does anyone think Sampras would personally have a harder time against Nadal than Federer? Nadal makes you play a baseline game either way you look at it. At least Federer is able to do this against Nadal. Sampras on the other hand, if he was playing someone as consistent and hard as Nadal is from the back court, he would be coming up short everytime.

    I think Sampras vs. Fed would actually be a more even head-to-head than Sampras vs. Nadal, just the same way it is against Nadal vs. Federer. However, this doesn't mean Nadal would be #1, but just head-to head, I think he would have the edge against both players. Against the rest of the field though, I think all 3 would be pretty closely ranked at the top.
     
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  13. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I think Kendrick proved at Wimbledon that a big serve and volleyer gives Nadal tons of trouble. Since Sampras is 100X the player Kendrick is, you can see how that would go.

    But Nadal would give anyone in history a LOT of trouble at his current level. I'd go as far as to say that he'd beat most of the greats of the past if you could somehow equalize the playing fields. He is just a machine out there. Sampras would probably hold serve most of the time but he'd be hard-pressed to break Nadal. It's incredibly hard to run Nadal off the court and that's what Sampras liked to do with that screaming forehand. Nadal would run those down and come back for more.
     
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  14. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    That match with Kendrick was strange. I've never seen Nadal returned serve so poorly before. Something is totally wrong with Nadal that day. He's one of the best returner today, but his returning ability in that match was horrible.
     
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  15. ctbmar

    ctbmar Semi-Pro

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    If Sampras was in his prime today, he will be fighting with Federer very closely for the No. 1 spot. I can't see Nadal beating Federer and Sampras in the same tournament, played on synthetic, hard, grass, carpet. Federer may lose to Nadal in head-to-head but Federer has a chance in every match he played against Nadal. For Nadal to beat 2 of the greatest players of all time is really a tall order at Australian, Wimbledon, US Open. Nadal will still dominate the French and Federer will be his main competitor and not Sampras. However, for the rest of the 3 Majors, Federer and Sampras will be fighting over these trophies. Some years, Federer will win 2 Majors, Sampras will win 1 Major, while some years, Federer will win 1 Major, Sampras will win 2 Majors. Federer and Sampras will split the remaining 3 trophies quite evenly. The same scenerio could be said about Edberg and Becker who both won 6 Majors and at least 1 Major except for the French. Sampras and Federer should count their lucky stars that they are born in a different era, otherwise they will end up like Edberg & Becker with less Majors.
     
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  16. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Look, an Agassi past his prime put up a great fight against Federer in the US Open last year. If Agassi were in his prime, who knows? The same goes for Sampras.

    If Sampras were in his prime he would have all the tools to be number 1, but only real match play could determine that. From there it's mental.
     
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  17. clayman2000

    clayman2000 Hall of Fame

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    i would think sampras would fight for the #2 spot wiht nadal cause fed would have such a big lead in points...however if they started on square foot i would have all three of them fighting for first
     
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  18. The Grand Slam

    The Grand Slam Hall of Fame

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    He will be ranked #0, in that he will be nonexistant because nobody (that is to say, I) don't care about PETEY YEAH COME ON PETEY!.
     
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  19. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    Fed could read the biggest serves.I think he would win the head to head matches but it would be competitive.I just like Fed's game better overral although i was a big Pete fan.People bring Pete's competition, no doubt there was alot of different types of play but its hard to read different generations.I thought there where alot of overrated players during his era, meaning Sampras.
     
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  20. harryz

    harryz Semi-Pro

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    Sampras was awesome at his best but

    he had liabilities. Lefties gave him fits, especially on the BH since Pete had an unusual swing (like other Lansdorp proteges, such as Eliot Teltscher). Yet Sampras also had a huge will to win big matches and slams. How can anyone forget that first set point with Agassi at the US Open final in '95? Each angle more amazing than the last, until Pete won the point (maybe the pivotal point of the final) with an amazing BH.

    The rivalries would probably depend upon the surface; he'd be up there on hard courts and certainly grass with Federer but Nadal on slower hard courts would be tough. Fed would pick on Pete's BH return and short BH in rallies, so Pete would have to serve really big to beat him regularly. It would have been really fun to watch.
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But the balls lacked the killer power that you see today, and that too even from lower ranked players.
     
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  22. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    Sampras would be #1

    If Sampras was in his prime right now I would say he would be the number 1 player in the world with Federer number 2 and Nadal number 3. Sampras would still be dominating at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open while Nadal still winning on clay(the only surface he's really any good on) and Federer would probably win the Australian Open consistently. If Sampras came out of retirement right now I would say he would be a top 20 player in the world. I think if he received a wild card at the U.S. Open he could probably make it to at least to the quarterfinals.
     
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  23. ckthegreek

    ckthegreek Rookie

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    Sampras would rather play now than back then.

    #1
     
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  24. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Nadal had serious trouble in returning serves during the entire Wimbledon.
    That was on of key factors why he lost to Federer.
     
    #74
  25. callitout

    callitout Professional

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    Hes just learning to play on grass.
    The transitive property of tennis would lead you to believe that Kendrick is better than Baghdatis, Agassi, Niemenen because Kendrick got 2 sets against Nadal; Nadal smoked the others in straights. Clearly Nadal had an off day and Kendrick had a great day. Im not sure we can generalize and say guys with good serves give Nadal tons of trouble. He does pretty well against Fed on hardcourts and Fed's serve is pretty good.
     
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  26. Phillip=Tennis guy

    Phillip=Tennis guy Rookie

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    #5............
     
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  27. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    #1- No one could match his strength of will.
     
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  28. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    I think Sampras would be #1 if Federer and Nadal played
    on 90's polarized conditions. Sampras would dominate on Wimbledon,
    long indoor seasons, US Open and do fairly well on AO.
    Then Rafa will do good on FO and AO.
    This will bring Federer down to #3.
     
    #78
  29. jhhachamp

    jhhachamp Hall of Fame

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    In my opinion Sampras playing today would be ranked either 2 or 3. I do not know who would have the edge between him and Federer, but I do believe that Federer would have a much better overall record against the rest of the field than Sampras, and would comfortably be #1. Federer is much more dominant currently than Sampras ever was. I am not sure if Sampras was consistent enough to get more points than Nadal either. Sampras wasn't a huge factor on clay, which is where a huge amount of Nadal's points come from, so I don't see Sampras' presence making a huge impact on Nadal. He would probably have more of a dent in Federer, because they excel on similar surfaces. I think Sampras would be tight with Nadal for #2 and Federer would still be #1 (but not as big a lead).

    Of course, if Sampras did have the edge on Federer in head to heads and was able to beat Federer in Grand Slams, that might be very harmful to Federer's confidence, and he might not perform as well against the rest of the tour and at smaller events, so Sampras could still end up #1 if he could take down Federer.

    I am really not sure, but I will say for sure he would be top 3 with Nadal and Federer. No one else on tour can come close to his top level.
     
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  30. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    AO: Fed. beats Sampras
    RO: Fed. beats Nadal (who beat Sampras in the semis)
    Wimbledon: Fed and Sampras win alternate years
    USO: Sampras beats Fed.

    So Fed. would be # 1 and Sampras #2. Nadal would walk out of tennis with his tail tucked between his legs...
     
    #80
  31. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    It would be close...

    Fed has an amazing record in Slam finals, but Sampras's was awesome as well. It would all hinge on who would win in their head-to-head when they played in the finals - the guy that took home the Slams would end the year #1, and the guy that didn't would suffer enough of a hit to his confidence to lose in other places as well.

    And I'm certainly not qualified to guess who would do better if they both played each other in their primes... I don't think any of us here are.
     
    #81
  32. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    We'll know better by the end of both Federer and Nadal's career.
     
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  33. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    The balls did not "lack" the killer power. Today's players just have a little more of it. But you are correct in saying that today most players across the board from #1 down to #300 hit harder. The previous generations, I think, had a more pronounced discrepancy in power between the top players and the rest of the field.

    But Lendl's groundies from 20 years ago will still have sufficient killer power today. Agassi's, Courier's, and Sampras' shots from 15 years ago will still wreak havoc today. Becker will still be the "boom-boom," and Edberg will still be charging the net and winning.
     
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  34. vle1234

    vle1234 New User

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    I think John mac would own everyone if he was at his prime.
     
    #84
  35. aRod36

    aRod36 New User

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    no doubt in my mind that johnny mac would dominat in his prime:mrgreen:

    but

    i would say
    sampras at #1
    nadal at #2
    fed at #3

    sampras would take out fed in the finals grand slams on hard and grass
    so fed wouldnt have many gs's and nadal would take out sampras and fed at RG.

    just my .2
     
    #85
  36. MaxT

    MaxT Rookie

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    #2. #2. #2. #2. #2. #2. #2. #2. #2.
     
    #86
  37. laurie

    laurie Guest

    I read these sort of comments often so I want to put this into perspective. Despite the fact that Sampras didn't win every match on tour or play in every single final of evry tournament he entered like Federer does, Sampras won 762 matches and lost 222 matches. Taking into account that Sampras didn't win a tournament from 2000 to 2002, bringing down his percentage, that is a staggering win loss ratio.

    That tells me that Sampras would get to number 1 in any era.
     
    #87
  38. ckthegreek

    ckthegreek Rookie

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    Some more names: Becker, Edberg, Courier ;)
     
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  39. jhhachamp

    jhhachamp Hall of Fame

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    Sure Sampras had a great overall record, I did not say anything that would suggest he did not. Federer's record over the last couple years is well over 90%. Sampras was surely better than his overall career winning percentage of 77% during his prime, but he never approached a 90% winning percentage for any extended period of time as Federer has (note: I did not research this, but am pretty certain this is true). I stand by my point.
     
    #89
  40. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Sampras did everything he needed to do to remain #1 for 6 six years. One can imagine that if he also had Federer and Nadal to deal with, he'd take it up a notch and work a little harder at the smaller tournaments to bring his points up.

    On today's slow surfaces, he'd have more trouble with Fed/Nadal. If you put Fed and Nadal back in time on the faster courts, you'd have to give Sampras the edge.
     
    #90
  41. acetennisman

    acetennisman Rookie

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    I would hope that sampras would be number 2. Federer would play more tournaments and do better in the ones he played(because sampras tried during a lot of big tournaments but didnt go all out like he did during the slams). I would love to see sampras kick Nadals ass on grass or hard. I think that a player that knows how to take returns, and cream the ball into the corner could take nadal down. I think that nadal would pass sampras, but not enough times to get the break(especially the fact that his placement isnt the best(because he uses alot of clearance), and because his defensive looping shots are easily put away by a competent vollyer who doesn't choke. I would think that even fed would have some problems with sampras because of the constant pressure(and the non-choking aspect), and his serve(even though fed is the best at returning, we never watch him play a huge server who can apply constant pressure off the return).
     
    #91
  42. onkystomper

    onkystomper Hall of Fame

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    The Sampras Serve alone was so dangerous that he would be competing for top spot with federer. It would really be a Golden age if there was Nadal Federer & Sampras all competing.
     
    #92
  43. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    Im a sampras fan but roger would still be number1.. His baseline skills are much better than sampras was but not only that feds much more dangerous than your typical baseliner like agassi with more weapons. If agassi was in his prime too fed would beat him more easily than sampras could. Sampras at wimbledon of course with his greatest serve ever, determimation, will power, hunger,would give fed problems but i still would bet money on fed. So i say sampras top 5 with agassi. Feds acomplishments on clay is also incredible for his style. His 1-0 win over a in prime sampras at wimbledon also holds weight. Also look at his record vs agassi vs samp agassi.
     
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  44. Roy

    Roy Semi-Pro

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    No. 2 behind Fed.
     
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