Patrick Rafter: I can see Pete Sampras coming back

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by TheNatural, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Sampras would have a good chance of winning it if he played Wimbledon now.With his new bigger racket he does some things even better than he used to in his prime. No one else playing now is a natural on the grass the way Sampras is even at his current age.

    Patrick Rafter: I can see Pete Sampras coming back
    19.06.09

    Patrick Rafter has revealed that 14-times grand slam champion Pete Sampras believes he could still compete on the ATP Tour.

    The Australian, who lost successive Wimbledon finals in 2000 and 2001 and now plays on the seniors tour, claims 37-year-old Sampras has pondered a return.

    Rafter said: “I was in the locker room talking to Pete and he would love to come back and play at Wimbledon. People talk about the game moving on but there is definitely a part of Pete who thinks he could still compete at that level.

    “I said to him, What about the power of the top players?' He said, Well, they have got strength but it doesn't mean much if they can't return my serve'.

    “Serve-volleyers may have gone out of fashion as the courts have slowed down but they are still quick enough to play to his strengths — and trust me, he can still hit the ball hard.”

    * You can watch Patrick Rafter play at The Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall 1-6 December. For tickets, call 0208 233 5882, or visit the website www.themasterstennis.com
     
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  2. luckyboy1300

    luckyboy1300 Hall of Fame

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    only 1 word i can say: "COME!"
     
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  3. VivalaVida

    VivalaVida Banned

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    He can come, only to lose in the first round....
     
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  4. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Pete would lose in the first round. Talk is cheap. I want to see it happen.
     
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  5. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    well the draw is already out.

    2010 is a long ways away
     
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  6. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    No kidding. He's delusional. But that kind of uncompromising self belief is what made him a champion. Except now, he doesn't have the gas, young legs, and the timing that comes from hitting a lot to back it up.
     
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  7. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    Give him center court. He will make it to at least R16.
     
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  8. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    sampras would teach the young guns how to play serve-and-volley on a grass court OR maybe the young guns would prove to sampras that serve-and-volley is dead and buried :)
     
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  9. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    if martina navratilova can play main draw singles in her late 40's and win a set, i think Pete could at least win a match at 37.

    Afterall, Connors made that run to the semi's at the age of 39. Pete has the advantage over all these old guys because his serve is still a nuclear weapon.
     
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  10. forehand_dude

    forehand_dude Rookie

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    Really? After he beat Federer in that exhibition, I don't see how people can say he's delusional. His serve is still there. The biggest issue would be the fitness to last through two weeks of five set matches.
     
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  11. tudwell

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    Where's Edberg505 with his facepalm gifs?
     
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  12. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    This is the men's tour. Much stronger than the women's and it is much stronger than it was 18 years ago.
     
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  13. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    He doesn't have the court coverage or groundstrokes to be able to
    compete anymore. Breaking serve would be REALLY hard for him.
    The grass courts would have to get a lot faster to give him a chance.
     
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  14. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    Don't you mean, 9yrs ago.. When Pete won his last Wimby title?
    You really hate Sampras, don't you???
     
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  15. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    I was talking about when Connors won it at 39. You can't get to the Semis in this days field close to that age.
     
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  16. Tennis_Bum

    Tennis_Bum Professional

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    I really hope Pete will come back and play on ATP, even small events in California, well, Indian Wells, yes I know it's s master. I really want to see him matched up against current players so he can prove to us he still got it.

    At least do it then you know Pete. Either put up or shut up. We would like to see if you can do it too. I don't think he can compete at this level, but again I would like to see him prove me wrong too. So at least I know for sure if he can or he can't.

    If Pete is going to play on the ATP, then I wish he would shut the fvck up and let the current players have their moments in the sun, he certainly did.
     
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  17. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    I do not understand. This guy won 13 majors. He has been into tennis at a very high level for a long time. I would assume he knows much better than anyone where he stands now in terms of his abilities vis a vis what he sees in the tour.
    Show the man some respect.

    I saw Santoro play in a warm up tournament the other day. The guys was in Semis with his game.
     
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  18. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    i would compare sampras playing at wimbledon now to basically Ivo Karlovic in terms of how the matches would play out.

    Sampras serving big, ground game would be average. A lot of unforced errors as well as a good share of winners due to trying to end points early.
     
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  19. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    It'd be interesting to see it happen and Sampras losing to some random punk in the first 2 rounds, I suspect a lot of Sampras fans would STFU or make more excuses than Nadal fans allegedly do.
     
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  20. World Beater

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    i hope he comes.

    seriously. the guy lost to bastl his last yr.

    give me a break.

    sampras the original ego king.
     
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  21. IvanAndreevich

    IvanAndreevich Legend

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    Sampras didn't say this. Rafter did.
     
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  22. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    And even more relevant is that its only 7 years since he won the US Open in a dominant performance and hes been crushing people with his new bigger racket when he gets a bit of practice in. Federer knows all about it!
     
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  23. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    I think old man Sampras and crippled Nadal should have an exhibition on Center Court at Wimbledon.

    Who would you put money on?
     
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  24. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    old man Sampras... only because Nadal's knee problem is gonna make it way too difficult if Sampras is S&V'ing.

    Hate to say it, though.

    I still think a prime Nadal can beat a prime Sampras at LEAST half the time, if not more, at Wimbledon (I know I'm going to get flamed for this comment/slow surface/pusher/make Nadal look like a fool/can't touch his serves/Petey owns Wimbledon!!!!/serve and volleying pwns everything/weak era, etc, etc, etc...)
     
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  25. IvanAndreevich

    IvanAndreevich Legend

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    On this slow grass MAYBE. On the old grass not a chance in hell.
     
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  26. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Sampras beat Federer, Ginepri, Fish, Stepanek, Haas, Roddick and others in exhibitions so has already shown that he has the skill to beat them all. Grass would play to his strengths even more.
     
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  27. World Beater

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    read the article carefullly.

    rafter is saying this is what sampras thinks...

    ive followed enough of pete to know he is very capable of saying such stuff.
     
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  28. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Of course he is,that's why he was so succesfull.

    On topic,actions speak louder than words.Talk is cheap Pete,I'm sure every tournament in the world be ecstatic to give you the wildcard so there's nothing stoping you from coming back.
     
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  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    14 Majors.
     
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  30. Defcon

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    I pity the fools who think Sampras would lose 1st round (maybe if he drew a top 5 seed) - there's very little chance of that.

    Sampras had the best serve in history, his volleys weren't far behind Edberg and he had a much more lethal ground game. If the grass played like the 90's, he'd blow people like Nadal away.

    And the only reason he lost to George freakin Bastl was the damn graveyard court ;)
     
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  31. Polaris

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    E-x-h-i-b-i-t-i-o-n. Enough said.
     
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  32. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    For the sake of getting into a big discussion and hijacking this thread, I'll refer you to a thread I made before where I discuss that issue.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=262632&page=1

    And since you discussed the issue on that thread, also, it saves us the time of debating Wimbledon's grass speed. Just refer to the thread.

    Anyways, I'm saying that Nadal would have a chance to beat Sampras at Wimbledon, regardless of what the date is.

    But, I'm being fair and saying that the H2H would most likely be 50-50. I really believe Nadal is a freak of nature who could beat a good S&V'er and stop the bombardment of serves by wearing down his opponent physically and mentally. However, Nadal in a S&V era would have to play long, tight, matches and would probably have a significantly shorter prime. So in that hypothetical prime, I think he'd beat Sampras half the time.

    To be fair, I am a Nadal fan so I have my biases. But I refuse to live up to the hype that Sampras would beat guys consistently these days if he was still around in his prime. He'd be either #3 or #4 right now, IMO. Fed could beat him consistently and Nadal too, most likely.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
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  33. Cenc

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    something tells me sampras at 37>bjorkman at 34(or 35 not sure)...
    and bjorkman played semis...
    however i doubt sampras is fit enough at the moment
    and stop such threads, he is not coming back
     
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  34. Cenc

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    right, if he lost to someone in a best of 5 match at age of nearly 38 it would be a real proof how weak he was on grass
    dont get it wrong but i dont see fed winning titles 10 years from now :D
     
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  35. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Prime Sampras vs Prime Nadal on any fast surface such as old grass, carpet, indoor hardcourt, or American hardcourts is a total slaughter fest. 94-95 Sampras destroys Nadal 99/100 times on any fast hardcourt. There is no way Nadal tires out Sampras on a fast court; Sampras simply makes everything a 1-2 stroke ralley.


    Nadal simply

    A. Does not return well enough to bother Sampras
    B. Does not serve well enough to keep up with Sampras; he will be broken.
     
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  36. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    I compare Pete Sampras coming back to Michael Jordan coming back for the Wizards. Could he still be a good player? Of course, because of the natural talents he has and will always have. But could he still be "Pete Sampras"? Of course not. Yeah, maybe lightning would strike every once in a while, and he'd knock off a DelPotro here or Djokovic there. Just like Jordan had a 40 pt outburst every once in a while during his comeback. But would he still be a top 10, top 20 player? No, of course not. Top 30, top 35 maybe. But there'd be a lot more of old man Pete getting passed by the likes of Albert Montanes and Frederico Gil's of the world while S&Ving than I think Sampras fans, or Pete himself should even stand for. A Sampras comeback would do more harm than good and ultimatly do nothing to advance his legacy.
     
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  37. LanceStern

    LanceStern Professional

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    I don't know about the others, but the one with Federer was played jsut like an exhibition (i.e. Federer holding back)
     
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  38. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    people talk of the game having changed so much. it hasn't. the only mildly interesting addition since sampras retired has been nadal and his extreme topspins. even that is really nothing unique (re: courier).

    the game has not changed much. the only thing that would prevent sampras from playing at the top of his game is simply his physical fitness and his mentality.

    just because meatheads are hitting hard and bashing the ball from every corner of the court, does not mean it hasn't been done before.

    obviously, in terms of talent, sampras would probably have to try everythign to beat nadal and federer. but there is no way a guy with 14 majors, with the last one being in 2002, would lose to guys like sam friggin querry or del friggin potro. gimme a friggin break.

    there's also the issue of confusion he would impose on most players with his 2-3 stroke points. sure he would get passed. but the sheer relentlessness of his attacking game would put a lot of pressure on most players. i'm a big nadal fan. but i don't think nadal would be able to beat sampras on a non-clay surface. as someone said, his serve game is not threatening, and his return game is not offensive. i imagine a couple of "sampras sets" (all is well and slow until 4-3, at which point sampras breaks to take the set 6-4).

    federer would obviously pose the biggest threat. but it isn't because the game has changed and he's doing something revolutionary. it's because he's simply incomparably talented and can execute shots more consistently than almost everyone else in the world.

    the game has not changed much, if at all. yes, more players are hitting hard. but you don't play against 7 guys at once.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
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  39. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    Too much fed following!
     
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  40. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Well here are some of the guys he lost to in 2002:
    Nicolas friggin Kiefer
    Paul Henri friggin Mathieu
    George friggin Bastl
    Andreas friggin Gaudenzi
    Wayne friggin Arthurs
    Max friggin Mirnyi
    Felix friggin Mantilla
    Andy friggin Roddick
    Fernando friggin Gonzalez
    Wayne friggin Ferreira

    So yes, he could lose to "del friggin potro" if he lost to some of these guys in 2002.
     
    #40
  41. DoubleDeuce

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    Elvis is alive.
     
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  42. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Um...Federer also has 14 Majors.
     
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  43. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Hmm.. I would like Pete Sampras to play with a wildcard once more, and see him make third or fourth round, but I don't want him to be all talk about how he can still compete. If he plays it should be because of his desire to play tennis, not because he wants to show that he's still the best, because he isn't and it will only do him harm if he tries.
     
    #43
  44. jelle v

    jelle v Hall of Fame

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    Sampras would not stand a chance of getting far.. Maybe a 3 round or so, but no way is he getting far in the tournament.

    I would love to see it happen though. So please people of Wimbledon, give Sampras a wildcard next year :)
     
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  45. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    If Sampras wants a wildcard, he can get five I'm sure
     
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  46. MT319

    MT319 New User

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    Pete could not take Roger in a serious match nowadays...exhibition is just that...exhibition...it's not even close to the same level of intensity or tenacity that goes into a match when your the one who's favored to win like in Roger's case. As a result it makes a world of difference in terms of how close the match can be because it lowers the overall level of "competitiveness" from the player who's favored to win, particularly in a sport like Tennis, where an individual's level of performance is so heavily tied into their active mental state.
     
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  47. forehand_dude

    forehand_dude Rookie

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    #47
  48. Slayer

    Slayer New User

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    Let me get this straight. We're actually arguing about what one retired guy said to another retired guy in a locker room?
     
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  49. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    The crap that online newspapers will put on their websites...
    Come on people, lets put an end to this stupid debate...
    SAMPRAS IS NOT COMING BACK. THE END.
     
    #49
  50. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Fabrice Santoro what? Still playing at 36 and doing fine - and he's nowhere near the level of a Sampras. I don't get people out here. Are all of you like twelve years old out here? 38 isn't that old - even in sports. Tennis players just burn out these days by their late 20's because of the wear and tear on their bodies and minds of being on the tour since age 16 or so. There is no reason unless someone is injured or just not there mentally - that they can't compete well into their 30's.

    Could Pete win W now? I kinda doubt it. But would he be a factor? If he trained and took it seriously - sure. And you never know if he got in a grove and his body didn't betray him, it could get real interesting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
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