Pete Sampras: Has The Time Been Unkind

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by FedLIKEnot, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. FedLIKEnot

    FedLIKEnot Rookie

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    I am new to this forum and in a sense new to tennis as well. But even though I played the major team sports in hs and on into college one of my favorite athletes right up there with Jordan was Sampras.

    So my question is this, why at least among this collection of the tennis society is his accomplishments and his game as a whole viewed so much different now.

    Is Fed blowing him out of the water? Is Nadal? I saw someone say Murray was better then Sampras. Has the time since his retirement changed the conversation on his career?

    He is hardly mentioned in GOAT conversations and I find that personally laughable. GOAT? hard to tell as it is difficult to span generations, extrapolate equipment changes, but he has to be top 5 or 10 ever......
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Great player, aggressive all court, but weak for his level on clay.
    Some player's only play clay court tournies.
    His serve among the best, as was his volleys and running forehand. One of the fastest serving second serves, and it worked in the clutch moments.
     
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  3. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    It's the whole newer is better scenario, modern fans haven't seen enough of Sampras to know how great he was. Plus even since Federer dominated things like the prestige of Wimbledon, the important of the YE #1 etc...Have not been forgotten but lessened.

    I also think the current homogenization will allows top players to be threats everywhere has made Pete's lack of success at the FO look worse than it was.

    He's one of the GOAT without a doubt. Anyone who is fan of tennis history can tell you that.
     
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  4. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Professional

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    Just a lot of fanboys on this forum. If you hang out long enough, you'll find the "Pete Sampras is the GOAT" crowd. Having watched tennis actively since around 1980, I put Sampras in the discussion of greatest ever, but I agree with Agassi that Sampras lacked the patience for clay - the clay of his time.

    Don't feel bad when people slam Pete. Many Fed fans think he'd easily beat Sampras. I personally think a fantasy tournament of prime Sampras, McEnroe, Lendl, Connors, Borg, Edberg, Becker, Federer, Agassi, Hewitt, Rafter, Courier, and Nadal would produce different winners every time, especially if the courts were varied...

    Good tennis is always fun to watch, and Sampras was definitely one of the best ever.
     
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  5. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Very true. I still think that Sampras is the best fast court player of all time (and I am a huge Federer fan)
     
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  6. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    I still consider 1999 Sampras to be the greatest on fast grass.
     
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  7. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Fed has surpassed Pete in almost every category, he's really got nothing on Fed. Even Wimbledon he lost. LOL
     
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  8. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    They're still tied at 7 Wimbledons aren't they?
     
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  9. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Yes, however Fed has the edge as he beat Pete at Wim 01. Fed also has an extra Wim final so Fed wins.
     
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  10. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    I consider them tied for now, but Sampras won 7 Wimbledons in 8 years. And he did so against grass court threats like Ivanisevic, Becker, etc.
     
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  11. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    I doubt many people would bet on prime Federer beating prime Sampras on fast grass. Sampras was one of the greatest big points players ever.
     
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  12. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    I would. None of the statistics I've seen show that Sampras is better than Fed on "big points." Simple observer bias from fans.

    With that said, Sampras is one of the best ever. I just hate all these big points, when it mattered nonsense that is not supported by anything other than things commentators said and what you think you saw but is not backed up by any data. He and Fed are probably the top two for me, but that is unofficial, of course, as opinions that leave out certain other players are not allowed here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
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  13. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Nothing? You may want to rethink that word. How bout this....how many players owned Sampras in his career and have a huge advantage in major finals...zero. Zero=nothing. Now that is appropriate use of the word.
     
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  14. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Both have 5 USO. oh, I think Pete has 6 year end #1...how many does roger have?

    Pete has six year ends #1 in a row to boot...Roger has how many?

    What was that word you used... Nothing
     
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  15. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Pre-prime Fed beat the defending champion Sampras on fast grass playing his own game. Good enough for me.
     
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  16. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Let's see:

    17>14 ( 4 AO> 2 AO, 1 RG >0, both have 7 Wim each and 5 USO each.).

    Pete was a clown on clay.

    302 > 283 weeks at #1

    6 WTF >5.

    And umm Krajicek owned Sampras, thrashed him straights in 96, one of my all time favourite beat downs.
     
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  17. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Yea you could win YE#1 in Pete's era by being an absolute mug on clay. Plus all surfaces were quick which suited Pete's 1D fast surface game. Nice era to be in. With all that said, that's the only stat where Pete's ahead, everywhere else he's either trailing or equal. Advantage Fed.
     
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  18. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    You think Federer could've beaten Krajicek that day? He was zoning that tournament.
     
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  19. monfed

    monfed Guest

    IDK but Im sure he wouldn't have been straight setted.
     
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  20. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    OK..so the word "nothing" has been changed to advantage. That's fine.

    AO was not quick. It's obvious you never watched Pete play...ever.
     
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  21. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    He clearly doesn't know the meaning of owned. He didn't watch that W tournament. Richard was simply unstoppable. Too bad he played Washington and not a top tier player.
     
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  22. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Right...you don't know.
     
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  23. monfed

    monfed Guest

    AO on Rebound Ace is certainly quicker than plexicushion. Never said it's quicker than the USO.
     
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  24. monfed

    monfed Guest

    And you don't either. So what are you on about?
     
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  25. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    OK, its official. You are on my ignore list. Every single post is garbage. I can't imagine the other 6, 00+. Good evening.
     
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  26. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Pete was straight setted on his beloved grass in his beloved Wimbledon in his absolute peak by a guy who had never won Wimbledon. Oh I'm quite familiar with the word, thanks.
     
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  27. monfed

    monfed Guest

    I gleefully accept your defeat, but I'm disappointed that you bowed out rather meekly. :lol:
    Have a nice day!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2014
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  28. jxs653

    jxs653 Rookie

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    Because it is human tendency to forget things of the past. What's more, the younger generations has had little opportunity to watch Sampras play and what can we expect?
     
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  29. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    People tend to overrate the active players and underrate past players. With historians though, it's the other way around.
     
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  30. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Professional

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    OP, note how quickly your thread was hijacked. Like I said, fanboys.
     
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  31. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    I think when posters or commentators say "big points" it has to be indicative of Pete' s mental game. It wasn't that his physical game rose on big points, but his mental game certainly did. I agree you can't measure big points with statistics...its impossible. But there is no denying that Sampras had the strongest mental game of his era. While there is not stat, there are personal observations and people go with that. And I don't mean the YouTube generation that more than half this board is. They never watched Pete play. Watching matches with the known outcome is completely different than live.

    The only issue is Sampras best on big points in his era and not sure Federer is in his (I believe Nadal is).
     
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  32. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    How many of those big points were on Pete's own serve? Could they not simply be a byproduct of his serve being so good.

    What constitutes a big point to? Break points saved and one? It's all subjective really, Federer has won more big titles etc...One could argue that means he's won more big points. On the flip side Pete had a better 5 set record etc...
     
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  33. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Maybe Pete and Rafa are the mentally toughest of all time, I don't know. For all the flak Federer gets for being a mental midget he has some impressive records that would speak against that, such as his career tiebreak percentage.

    All I'm suggesting is that it is a bit ridiculous to say that one player is better than another at something that you can't even define. I actually think some of these concepts can be defined, but pretty much any attempt to do so in a thread goes like this:

    OP:
    Player X is mentally tough because of this and that, I'm sure the statistics would back that up.

    Someone else:
    Someone sifts through the data and says, hmm, actually players Y and Z are better at this and that.

    OP:
    Statistics aren't everything, offers other random excuses and anecdotes.

    Now, I agree that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics, but basing arguments on ideas that can't be proven even in principle doesn't add anything meaningful to a discussion.

    Pete was great, was better at some things and worse at others than Fed. Fed's record is better in my opinion, but he also had Pete's target to shoot for. I definitely don't understand the animosity between some Pete and some Fed fans.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
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  34. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Sergei Stakovski owned Fed at Wimbledon. Verdict? Stakovski > Fed on grass. Good enough for me.
     
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  35. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    you watched that match and thought Petros played at his peak?
    [​IMG]
     
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  36. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

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    I don't know who, among Fed, Sampras or Nadal is goat but to think the Krajicek defeat reflected anything but how hot Krajicek was that day is absurd. No one on that day, in the history of tennis, could defeat Krajicek on grass that day. He was that hot. He was clocking winners on forehand and backhand (his much weaker side). He was hitting running forehand/backhand winners, which was something for a 6'5" guy not known for speed. He was serving lights out.

    Fed, if you remember, lost to Nadal, a slower court player for the most part with 110 mph first serves, during the peak of his career. Before, you say Nadal is a very good grass court player, look up who he lost to last year. And he's still in the prime of his career.
     
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  37. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Fed also surpassed Sampras in losing to his rival on ALL surfaces. Yay !!
     
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  38. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    No one cared about his level on clay when played. A french Open would have just been a feather in his cap.
     
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  39. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    i remember that match. he was zoning no question. but i don't think you can say for certain that a different player might have posed different challenges. federer or hewitt might have put more of those big serves back into play, and the complexion of the match could certainly have changed.
     
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  40. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Pete was the deadliest medium-Fast surface player I witnessed personally.. NO ONE comes close IMO. A true authoritative dictator of a player that could literally take the opponent completely out of the match and play on his terms (didn't matter who it was) The only reason I don't have Pete for GOAT candidacy is simply because his lack of a French Open title. He had things though in his resume that Fed didn't have with the main one being he wasn't completely demolished and EMBARRASSED at the hands of a main rival as Fed has been his entire career

    If Pete would have managed 1 French Title I would possibly have him as the GOAT. Or at least tied with Laver, Rosewall, and Pancho for potential candidacy.

    Regarding clay, Pete could definitely play on it.. He beat EVERY main clay great of his era (minus Kuerten who came later). From Agassi to Kafelnikov, Bruguera, Muster, and Courier. The main heavy hitters on clay at the time
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
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  41. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    I don't know, but you make it sound negative. Yes, Pete had a big serve. So you count that against him? Its still mental. Pete has chocked on his serve...he's not perfect.

    You sound argumentative with me...I agree with your points. I said there is no way to quantify it...I never did, so I'm not sure what your point is...towards me.
     
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  42. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    You and I are in agreement. It's a matter of what a person has witnessed over time and what kinds of big matches that player has won. Federer is no mental midget, he's right behind Nadal. I don't know where people get that. I tease the fed morons that Nadal makes him cry because he does, but not because he's mentally weak. Good post by the way.
     
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  43. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    I think the death of Gully basically stamped his future on clay. Annacone one was far too aggressive to ever see Pete win the FO. Had Gully not died, he would have been better coached for clay. Shame....
     
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  44. Azzurri

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    Nice post Clay. Yea, I don't think there is a true goat. There are issues for all of them.
    Good point on Sampras's wins on cost. You can't win against those kinds of players if you can't play on clay. Yea, never saw Pete cry Cruz another opponent beat his *****
     
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  45. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    I feel time is always unkind to players. Their accomplishments have to hold up against the achievements of future players who work towards breaking their records.
     
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  46. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

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    No, I don't think a different player would have mattered. Remember, this is grass. When a big hitter is on, it's not like being fast or a good returner mattered. He was not letting Pete get into rallies. You could barely sniff his serve that day and you couldn't rally with him because he'd clock a winner the first chance he got. To this day, I've never seen a hotter player in a single match. Maybe Safin the day he beat Pete at the US Open finals but that's the only similar match I can think of.
     
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  47. Kalin

    Kalin Professional

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    Don't forget that Krajicek was the biggest thorn in Pete's side in general. He is one of very few people to have a winning record against him (Wayne Ferreira, of all people, was another).
     
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  48. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    Prime for prime in the final, Sampras vs Federer would make Nadal vs Federer look close and nail biting. Sampras does not lose once in the final of Wimbledon.
     
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  49. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    It wasn't meant to sound argumentative.

    And ofcourse Pete's serve being the weapon it was isn't a negative. However having such a reliable weapon on big points takes away some of the mental aspect IMO.
     
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  50. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    I personally was a Sampras hater because he thrashed all my favorite players from the 80's and 90's but still I find it rather sad how he is so often disrespected on this boards by some. Maybe it's ignorance? I really don't see the how Fed and Nadal are any better than Pete was as a whole. Different times is all.
     
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