Nadal vs. Sampras: Who's The Greater Player

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by TMF, Mar 8, 2014.

?

Who's Greater ?

  1. Sampras

    49.2%
  2. Nadal

    50.8%
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  1. Tenez101

    Tenez101 Hall of Fame

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    Raffer, given the caliber of his competition.

    Pete's playing style is more fun to watch though.

    Both are the two mentally strongest players in history.
     
  2. urundai

    urundai Professional

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    Pete for now, though it's very close. Expect Rafa to overtake before his career is done.
     
  3. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    It depends what you value. 6 years of being #1 is huge to me. The value of different tournaments, even slams changes with time. In fact, it was Sampras passing Emerson's record (which no one had particularly noted before then) that made winning slams particularly important.
    Sampras by a mile.
     
  4. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's perfectly fine to say Sampras is still ahead(for now), but your last sentence is laughable. These two players are very close. It's similar to comparing Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, it's hard choose who's greater/better because you can argue for either one.
     
  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    As I said, it depends what you value. How many times was Nadal year-end #1?
     
  6. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    You may value YE #1, but other fans value career slam, titles, or winning 3 slams/year. Both players have unique accomplishments, and have their own flaws(holes). Try to be objective since they both have pros and cons.

    For you to say Pete is a mile ahead is a joke.
     
  7. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Sampras is greater than Nadal, but it's close between them and Borg for 2nd greatest player among pure Open Era men. Any one of the three (Sampras, Nadal, Borg) could reasonably be argued as the 2nd greatest of the Open Era.
     
  8. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    I think it's more interesting to see if Nadal can catch Federer GS record. Nadal is a 2-3x GS final a year guy. He should equal Sampras record in a few months maybe overtake by end of year at USO. Currently 13 to 17, so should make it by 30. He could play into his mid 30's if he's very selective on tournaments. I still think Fed can get one more GS. I think Djokovic's form over the next 3-4 years is the determining factor and Nadal's injury avoidance.
     
  9. President

    President Legend

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    Both players who were perfectly suited to their era, as opposed to all rounders like Federer and Lendl. I think Nadal will go down as the greater and more remembered player though, because he is so iconic and charismatic.
     
  10. fed_rulz

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    Nadal is greater than Sampras by some margin.

    Despite having pathetic competition for almost 50% of his career, Pete is barely ahead of Nadal in the slam count, and that should tell something. That you can suck for 1/4 of the season and still end up #1 (barely edging out no-slam winners along the way) should call into questioning this very comparison. I'm not even going to mention clay. If I were a Pete fan, and am honest, I'd be grateful with Pete's place in history (Tier II great) and not throw his name in the hat with the big boys. It gets quite ugly very fast.

    Nadal has the h2h advantage over his greatest rival, much more than Pete did against his, so the nod should go to Nadal (this is not my criterion - it's what the Pete fans came up with for why Federer cannot be greater than Sampras), yet we have many posts arguing Pete to be the greater one. Funny how the goal posts keep moving with the Pete fans...
     
  11. helloworld

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    Bitter Fed fan talking down on Sampras huh? Now, that's something new! :twisted:
     
  12. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    As of right now, I still have Pete Sampras a step above Rafael Nadal. Nadal's still got a good number of years though. His career's not over yet.
     
  13. merlinpinpin

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    Pancho Gonzales says hello. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  14. MrFlip

    MrFlip Semi-Pro

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    Nadal less hair loss?
     
  15. fed_rulz

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    Nothing compares to butt-hurt Sampras fan trying to keep Sampras still relevant in GOAT discussions through ridiculousness and hypocrisy..
     
  16. Chico

    Chico Banned

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    Obviously Sampras. That is quite clear to anyone impartial. Not even debatable.
     
  17. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    The term was coined because of Agassi and the general marketing hype around him. In reality, many players then didn't give a crap about it. Federer cared about it for obvious reasons-his chances (or rather Switzerland's chances) of winning DC have always been bleak. Still, he has medals in both singles and doubles which is not bad at all especially given that he doesn't play much doubles.
     
  18. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    I will always go for aggressive players over defensive players. Defense seems like a leech's game to me. I have always preferred players that take the initiative. So Sampras it is.
     
  19. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    OP, simply saying slams 14 to 13 in Sampras' favour is not painting the full picture, and is unfair on Sampras IMO.

    If you were to break it down by slam, that IMO gives a truer picture of the their respective slam achievements.

    W: Sampras 7, Nadal 2
    U: Sampras 5, Nadal 2
    F: Sampras 0, Nadal 8
    A: Sampras 2, Nadal 1

    So whilst Sampras only has one more Slam than Nadal, he actually has won more W, U and A than Nadal. Nadal's F x 8 is the only thing keeping him in contention, it's an outlier however I don't have a problem with it. But, like I said, you need to break it down to show the true picture. And whilst Nadal has the career slam, the true picture shows that Sampras has dominance over Nadal in 3 of the 4 slams.

    Throw in 5 WTFs to counter the Olympic Gold and 6 World Championships and I give the nod to Sampras. Even if Nadal was to surpass Sampras in slams won, with the FO that will most likely happen, I still give the nod to Sampras because he has dominance over Nadal in 3 of the 4 slams.
     
  20. timnz

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    I find it really interesting that you don't list Sampras 5 WTF wins, even though you list Nadal Masters 1000's, even though the Masters 1000's are a lesser event compared to the WTF.
     
  21. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Very classy.
     
  22. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    I vote Nadal, although a GS behind he's had a much harder field to compete against. Usually I prefer to reserve the review when they retire but I think that current evidence puts Nadal ahead clearly enough. I go with

    Federer >= Nadal > Sampras >= Borg

    Still not convinced there way about Federer v Nadal or Sampras v Borg, I find Borg hard to rate because his short career.
     
  23. Dedans Penthouse

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    ^ This +100. And so typical of a know nothing, one-track-mind fanboy punk.

    Haha. And what's even more pathetic and revealing is that the fanboy coward doesn't even have the stones to vote on his own instigating thread, the punk.
     
  24. President

    President Legend

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    This is one of the funniest posts I've seen on TT.
     
  25. fed_rulz

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    As expected Sampclowns in full flow :). Wipe the hurt that's flowing out of your butt.. calling me names won't help Sampras. Winning more titles in an era when his "biggest" rival (lol what a joke) was a meth head would've surely helped, but alas he wasn't good enough to take advantage of an opportunity that was presented in a platter. I mean, don't get me wrong, he surely did well capitalizing on the other gifts he got (mental giants like Stich and Ivanisevic as opponents, not to mention Pioline waiting to bend over in a couple of slam finals, or winning Wimbledon beating players ranked 140 on avg, or having the perennially injured Krajcek as his biggest nightmare; I'm not even going to mention how he ended up #1 in 1998...).. jeez, losing to giants like Delgado repeatedly on clay surely helps his case :)

    The rest of your post is garbage. Ferreira pwns Sampras indoors, and he plays nowhere near the style of Sampras, and was near even in h2h overall. Bruguera must've been a great S&V'er as well, per your claim, as he did give Sampras a lot of trouble. Cannot forget Haarhuis, can we?

    There, you've been refuted....
     
  26. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Sampras by a long way. Sampras has 5 WTF and roughly 5 years ranked as #1. Nadal's dominance is still primarily on clay. Yes, he has won Wimby, USO, AO, Olympics but 8 of 13 majors are on clay which clearly shows his dominance.

    Without poly strings and slower grass and cement, Nadal may have been just another Spanish player who win Roland Garros.
     
  27. Fiji

    Fiji Legend

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    Sampras by far. He ended 14-4 in slam finals with the 4 losses coming to players who were multiple slam winners and eventual #1s like Edberg, Agassi, Safin and Hewitt. Sampras had many more weeks as #1 than Nadal, many more YECs and many more WTF.
     
  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree timnz. I didn't list the 5 WTF doesn't mean that I wasn't aware that it's an incredible achievements. Had I went through and made a long list of their achievements, of course the WTFs would be on the list. The initial post is to kick start the debate by letting other members fill in.

    I know you have Sampras above Nadal, and stated your reasons. I've no quarrel against anyone who pick one over the other, but annoyed by a few fans who think Nadal can't hold Sampras's jock strap.
     
  29. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't think winning % in the final is has merit, because that would fault for players consistently making many finals. Lendl would get docked for having a poor win/loss % in the final, so instead of being 11 time finalists, he should have lost in the early round in order to have a high winning %. Doesn't make sense to lose points for making more finals, right? Also Sampras wasn't able to make a single final on his worst surface(FO), while Nadal was able to make a few on his worst surface, thus increases his chances of losing in the final.

    The last part of your post is fine...weeks at #1 and WTF are good arguments for Sampras.
     
  30. WhiskeyEE

    WhiskeyEE Legend

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    Sampras has 19 Big 5 titles, including his 5 WTFs.

    He has 280 some weeks at #1 and dominated both grass and hard courts (indoor and outdoor). He also has 7 titles at the most important event, Wimbledon.

    Nadal has only dominated clay and has half the time at #1. Both him and Sampras have 1 weak surface that they have failed to succeed on (indoor and clay). And Nadal has had the advantage of playing through the surface homogenization era.

    Sampras >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nadal
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  31. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Actually

    Actually I have the two very close. The question to reflect on for me is does Nadals 26 Masters 1000's counter Sampras' 5 WTF's (and 11 Masters 1000's).....it is an interesting question, not sure I know the answer. The other thing is that Sampras dominated (won at least 4 each ) 3 out of the 5 top titles, whereas Nadal has just dominated 1 out of the top 5 events.

    I had Nadal at tier 2 until august/sept 2013... But then he got to 26 Masters 1000's - that was just too great an achievement to be denied...hence he is now in tier 1 in my mind...amongst Sampras and Borg...not sure what order to put them subjectively. In my ranking list based on objective tournament achievements weighted at current ATP POINTS - i have Nadal ahead of Sampras and Borg. Sampras' lack of Masters 1000 hurt him in that list.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  32. WhiskeyEE

    WhiskeyEE Legend

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    70% of Nadal's masters are on clay. Imagine how many masters Sampras would've won if there were 3 grass masters each year.
     
  33. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras didnt care for Masters, Rafa doesnt care outside of clay

    Sampras is co-GOAT on 3 of 5 surfaces, Nadal is GOAT in 1

    Sampras has 5+ majors on 2, while Nadal does not even have 3 on 2 majors

    Sampras has 5WTF, Nadal has 0

    Sampras has 6 YE No1, Nadal has 2

    Sampras has 287 weeks at No 1, Nadal does not even half

    Sampras dominated his era while Nadal is an eternal bridesmaid to Fed and Novak.
     
  34. captainbryce

    captainbryce Semi-Pro

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    With all due respect, I think that's kind of a silly argument considering that Nadal has utterly dominated the "rivalry" with Federer. Sampras had a winning record over Agassi sure, but it wasn't nearly as one sided. Agassi was closer to Sampras than Federer is to Nadal. And still, Sampras was able to finish 6 consecutive years at world number 1.
     
  35. merwy

    merwy Legend

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    It's stupid to just list their best achievements in the opening post if you don't list the according achievement of the other player so that we can compare. I'm talking about Nadal's weeks at #1, Sampras' M1000 wins, etc.
     
  36. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Agassi spent most of the 90's ranked at the edge of the top 10 or outside it completely. That's how Sampras could rack up 6 YE #1 finishes.
     
  37. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    It's tough to compare them. They were playing in different conditions.

    Rafa was helped a lot by homogenization. But Sampras had easier competition and wasn't good on clay, but in contrast he dominated other stuff a lot more than Rafa.

    I would say they seem pretty equal. Djokovic is on the level of Agassi probably.

    It's crazy, that Fed had to deal with Sampras and Agassi equivalents next to old Agassi himself, Hewitt, Murray, Roddick, Ferrero, Safin...

    And still won the most vs this crazy competition. Fed was a bit unlucky he had to deal with such champions, that's the only reason he underachieved a bit.
     
  38. Straight-Arm-FH

    Straight-Arm-FH Banned

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    Before I weigh in on this debate, I would like to declare I am an equal opportunity fan. I enjoy all types of competitive tennis and styles.

    To me, Nadal along with Novak are probably two of the most competitive and sound minded pros on tour. (Meaning they don't get high on themselves, which IMO Sampras, Fed do.)

    Who is greater, Sampras or Nadal? I like Sampras style of play. He's got game. I like Nadal's competitiveness and his relentlessness. Mastery of all surfaces is Nadal.
    Unfortunately the two never met, maybe in the seniors?

    I'd imagine Sampras probably could take Nadal if he could handle the high moonballs. Provided both are at their prime.

    At this point, it is anyone's guess.
    Maybe Nadal if his body doesn't collapse.
     
  39. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    Where is the option they are equals?
     
  40. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    It's not just about how they would do vs each other, it's also how they would do vs the field both in the same era.
     
  41. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Debatable on the easier competition in my opinion.
     
  42. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I agree. Stuff like competition can't be proven 100%.

    We have objective way of comparing greats, like numbers, which can't be debated.

    And we have subjective ways like competition, homogenization, other conditions, which can be debated.
     
  43. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Level of competition is subjective. However if forced to pick, most fans believe Federer competition is greater than Pete in the 90s. The depth is greater due to more athletes competing, and players are more fitter and more athletic.
     
  44. helloworld

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    Everything is subjective when we compare 2 players from very different eras. These kinds of threads should be moved to tennis fantasy land forum.
     
  45. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nope. Just because you don't like the idea of comparing two great players(Nadal & Sampras) doesn't mean it needs to remove. Fact is in any sport forum, players are being compare to their peers and past players are common. It's all part of debate and discussion, and one doesn't necessary has to agree.
     
  46. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    I guess you forgot about a guy named Agassi.
     
  47. phnx90

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    Couldn't decide, so went heads or tails.

    Voted Nadal.

    Too close to call at the moment, but I think I should've voted Sampras for now. Once Rafa hits 14 slams or more though, and I'd be in favour of Rafa.
     
  48. rodrigo_palacio88

    rodrigo_palacio88 Rookie

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    I loved andre and his tennis.

    but andre is not close to player of the level of federer and nadal.....

    even djokovic if he keeps mantaining his level can surprass andre if he not surprassed andre now....

    andre was an amazing player but always was a headcase , in his younger age and in normal peak ages with the exception of 1995 he was with his head in other places.

    he hated tennis when he was young and was full of personal problems incluiding drugs.

    sampras never faced player like nadal or roger
     
  49. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Oh come on. Agassi is great, but you can't be serious in comparing him to Federer who is a better caliber player. Nadal faced much tougher opposition than Sampras. His ranking numbers are lacking mainly because Federer had a strangle hold at the #1, not to mention 5 YE #1. Had Federer was playing in the 90s and Agassi in 00s, I'm pretty sure this wouldn't be a debate since Nadal would be greater than Sampras(slam count and ranking numbers).
     
  50. Jam

    Jam Semi-Pro

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    As things stand about the same. I think nadal is a better player though and will surpass him in slams quite easily. I expect Nadal will win 2 or 3 more French opens and 2 or 3 more off clay. So he'll end up with a total of 17-19 slams. If Fed want to protect his slam record in my opinion he needs at least 1 more. But all this is conjecture. As it stands they are about the same.
     
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