Pete Sampras: Has The Time Been Unkind

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

  1. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    To his credit, Sampras was the dominant player of his era/generation.
     
  2. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Nice Post OP
     
  3. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    Because when I see statements made without justification, I feel it justified.
     
  4. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    This post should be pinned as a billboard message at the entrance to this website and at the entrance to all the different forum sections on this website.
     
  5. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I still rate Sampras as #3 all-time behind Federer and Laver.

    I think the fact that Federer came in the immediate generation after Sampras and broke his slam and wks at #1 record (although not *all* his records, as some are claiming - he still has the consecutive yrs as #1 in the Open Era, and is tied for most Wimbledons) has led to Sampras being dismissed as some kind of 'staging post' for GOAT contenders to pass, rather than being a GOAT contender himself.

    Remember that Sampras set out to break all Open Era records and did just that. His only weakness was not winning the FO.

    So while I agree he can't quite be GOAT, he is still one of the all-time titans of the sport, and many are diminishing him for no good reason.

    He is definitely - along with Pancho Gonzales - the greatest fast court player of all time in the men's game.
     
  6. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    poofytail a.k.a. NadalAgassi is a huge Nadal fan, who tries to claim he has indisputably overtaken Sampras and is almost level pegging with Federer. I'd just ignore what he writes.

    It's obvious that Sampras remains greater than Nadal as of today.
     
  7. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    the only other player to win all 4 in the 90s when it was the toughest accomplishment was Agassi. Fed, Nadal or Djokovic could win all 4 and it wouldn't count in the same way as Agassi as it is FAR easier to do that now if you're at the top of the sport than it was in the 90s. That is why Petros not winning the French has no bearing on his GOAT status unless you put Agassi ahead of Petros. That being said, top 3 is still a toss up between Fred, Petros and Rod.
     
  8. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Correct. Any dismissal of Sampras' overall status for not winning the FO, without taking into account the circumstances of his era is too simplistic, and doesn't make sense.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  9. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    One of the main charasteristic things about Sampras, that sets him apart from other great servers and great volleyers of his era, is that he made (at least in his prime years) winners from everywhere in the court. He was the iconic example of all-court player.

    He would make a lot of volley winners of all kind, of course a lot of aces and service winners of all kind, but also a lot of baseline forehand winners, many running forehand winners, some baseline backhand winners, forehand return winners, backhand return winners, forehand passing-shot winners, backhand passing-shot winners, forehand lob winners, backhand lob winners...

    And in those prime years of his, it was his movement what also set him apart. He just moved better than all the rest.

    Just three examples:

    http://splashurl.com/lq38uxk

    http://splashurl.com/pb4ypwa

    http://splashurl.com/oeaoufn

    During the 1997 WTF, Nastase said: "Sampras is the most complete player I have ever seen since Laver".

    As I said in a previous post, sadly many people only remember the last few years of Sampras career, when he was 3 or 4 steps slower, when his movement was not the best anymore, when he refused to play his characteristic all-court game and started to serve-and-volley on both serves and chip-and-charge everything like a kamikaze.

    History repeats itself now with Federer. Many people now only remember the Federer of the last 2 or 3 years. Many people seem to have forgotten how Federer moved and how he played in his prime years.

    It will be the same with Nadal in few years. When Nadal is 30 or 32 (if he is still playing by then) and starts losing with low-ranked players here and there, and starts moving way slower, and having many more "bad days", new tennis fans by then will think Nadal was never something special to begin with, nothing compared to the current top players of the game.

    History repeats itself all the time.
     
  10. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Correct.

    It was hard to break Sampras' game down to a strictly nuts and bolts level, because his game was based not on solidity and consistency (other than his serve and volley), but rather WILD CARDS from all parts of the court...even his backhand. Just a very unpredictable player, EXCEPT for on the KEY points and momentum changing games. Then, you KNEW he was going to bring it, and the Sampras you knew leading up to that point was not the Sampras you were going to get now in this MOMENT.

    That's why I don't believe in these straight-up comparisions of players: serve vs. serve, FH vs. FH, BH vs. BH etc. It is the whole game and the execution that matters.
     
  11. TadDavis

    TadDavis New User

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    True. Brad Gilbert has said that Sampras was impossible to scout against because against Andre he suddenly had the greatest backhand in the world. Sampras was one of the all time great shot-makers and was dangerous from anywhere on the court.
     
  12. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    People do this incessantly with boxers. All they ever remember is losses. A guy is 44-1 and all anyone remembers is who he lost too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  13. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Yes, a similar thing is going on with the Sampras backhand. The rest of his game was so good, that to be considered kind of 'human' is backhand was often mentioned as 'mediocre at best'. While he was still always in the top 5 one handers during his era, and produced the most incredible shots when it really mattered. If there was any 'weakness' in his game it was lack of stamina, due to a blood condition called thalassemia. The only reason why the FO is not on his record of achievements.
     
  14. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Often it seems people argue most ferociously about players they never saw. I saw Sampras play in person a few times and on TV dozens of times. I don't ever remember thinking his bh was "weak". I don't remember commentators ever saying it either. Pete was just a very confident player and his bh always looked really good to me. HE could do pretty much anything with it.
     
  15. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Now that you say it, I can't remember commentators talking about 'a weak backhand' either. It's all in retrospect that people have mentioned this, just to find some kind of flaw in his game that actually wasn't there.
     
  16. caugas

    caugas Semi-Pro

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    is it me or does Pete look like he's been partying in vegas for the last few years... ?
     
  17. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    The "flaw" is more that there were others with better backhands rather than Sampras' backhand being weak.
     
  18. 1477aces

    1477aces Hall of Fame

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    sampras was a great great player and a legend to the game, but the reason his status has suffered is that federer (essentially) did whatever he did better, so there is less for him to stand out.
     
  19. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    This one nails it. Tennis isn't maths. A whole game is more than the sum of its parts.. and in some cases, less.
     
  20. MachiA.

    MachiA. Banned

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    Brugera had same amount of TS as Nadal (study linked here somehwere)
    and yet he could not abuse Sampras BH (85er racket, full gut)
    as Nadal does it with Fed´s (98er racket, gut/poly).

    Sampras played in most diverse conditions with a blood anomaly = less stamina (on COURT!).

    Today they would treat it with EPO, because everybody these days gets the treat - even without blood anomaly. :)

    KR
     
  21. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Isn't Peter partying in Vegas? :lol:
     
  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras has better cigars.
     
  23. mavsman149

    mavsman149 Semi-Pro

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    Before I share my thoughts I have to admit I was never a Sampras fan when I started playing the game myself in 99. As to why not I really can't explain, I loved watching all the serve and volleyers and I'm also an American, however my favorite players were Rafter and Henman. That said Sampras has to be the greatest fast court player I have ever seen and his knack to win big points can only compared to Tiger Woods putting to win a major in golf.....meaning I can't really remember seeing Pete lose the point or Tiger missing such a putt.

    While I think Federer has already eclipsed Pete in terms of overall greatness and I believe Nadal will soon follow suit, Pete will always be one of the greatest to ever play the game and he was certainly the best player of his generation by far. I'm not really going to say where he stands overall though because I only started watching tennis in either 98 or 99 and the only people who belong in the GOAT discussion that I have personally watched are Fed, Nadal and Pete. I can't comment on Laver and Borg since I never really watched them outside of a brief clip or 2 on the tennis channel.

    To the OP, whoever said Murray is better than Sampras has never watched the game or doesn't know how to look up stats at all. Murray has 2 slams and has never even reached number 1. He is a great player but even comparing him to Sampras is asinine.
     
  24. Bertie B

    Bertie B Semi-Pro

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    Yes. And I for one am very happy with the way things have turned out for him. Thank you, Roger.

    re: Wimbledon '96. Krajicek wasn't some journeyman having the tournament/match of his life. In fact he was doing what he usually does - beat an opponent (Sampras) he usually beats when on. Krajicek owns the h2h and they've played more than a handful of times.
     
  25. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Krajicek only have a very slight edge against Pete in the H2H and their slam meeting H2H is even at 1-1. It's not like the H2H is 23-10. Now, that's what I call getting owned. :lol:
     
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Sampras couldn't dream beating a good version of Bruguera on any clay
     
  27. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Good point. Federer's winning percentage against Nadal is a abyssimal 30%, while Sampras's winning percentage against Krajicek is a very admirable 40%.

    And don't forget that Krajicek was quiet a talent in comparison with the weak monosurface player that is Nadal!
     
  28. Matthew Bance

    Matthew Bance Rookie

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    no don't think its that as I put him third and im only 16
     
  29. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Sampras was too busy dreaming about winning Wimbledon's, breaking Emerson slam record and finishing the year ranked number 1.

    No one cares that he couldn't beat Brugera in Monte Carlo on clay.

    BTW Sampras was 1-2 vs Sergi on clay :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  30. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    HE also beat Brugera at the French Open. When did Sergi beat Sampras at Wimbledon or the Us Open?
     
  31. bjsnider

    bjsnider Professional

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    I don't know if this has been posted yet, because I didn't read all 7 pages of this thread, but yesterday, after an embarrassing performance against Agassi, Sampras explained that he 'doesn't play much anymore'.

    His serves missed by feet, not inches. His backhands were way off. It's disappointing to see a player who worked his *** off for his place in history to be seen on a tennis court doing that. If he doesn't want to play, fine. But don't come onto a court and get blown out by a guy whose spinal column is in medical textbooks.

    I know that tennis has become so demanding on a brutha's body that to play it effectively, you have to be one of the 5 fittest people in history, and strong enough that you can juggle heavy construction equipment. I get it. But then don't show up. Leave me my good memories.
     
  32. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Krajicek led Sampras 6-2 at one point. If he didn't have the injury issues he may have continued to dominate him h2h.
     
  33. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    Has The Time Been Unkind
    Unkind to him?...and you're "very happy?"

    Unkind to Sampras? That's pretty funny considering:

    you, stuck in a gloomy, nondescript dump with your snide personality that could serve as an effective form of birth control vs. Pete living the llfe of Reilly.

    Nice try fanboy....fail +1 .........lmao!

    Does the French Open qualify as "on any clay" kuckoo kiki with kaka-for-brains?.... : )
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  34. larlarbd

    larlarbd Banned

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    Sampras has NEVER lost a Wimby Final to a clay-baseliner, so..... Pete wins.
     
  35. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    And Federer never lost to a W Final to a s/v player, so.... Fed wins.
     
  36. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Nadal is just a terrible matchup for Fed. And Wimby 2nd week grass plays nothing like the 1st week let alone pre 02 grass. Do you really think Fed would lose to Rafael on low skidding first week grass?

    BTW Pete's never played a clay monster with the greatest passing shots of all time on high bouncing grass so your premise is flawed.
     
  37. MachiA.

    MachiA. Banned

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    He won against Brugera at Roland.

    Brugera played with same amount of spin as Nadal.

    KR
     
  38. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Brugera is right handed.
     
  39. MachiA.

    MachiA. Banned

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    I see, a lefty is confusing Fed´s girly brain.

    KR
     

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