Pete Sampras is the Greatest Tennis Player of All Time

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Rodeo, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Rodeo

    Rodeo Guest

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    In a career that spanned three decades PETE SAMPRAS rewrote the record books of the Men's game and redefined the word "Champion". His quiet confidence, unfailing courage and unparalleled commitment to excellence defined him as a player and a person. Sampras' 14 GRAND SLAM titles are a mark which are likely to stand for all time, as will the legacy of a man who graced the sport of tennis with his singular brilliance and class.

    :D
     
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  2. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    Agreed. Greatest ever.

    Not the best, however.
     
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  3. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    I will say that he had one of the best serves of all-time.The guy had perfect placement.Aces where always a thing with him.I liked his game all-around.Sometimes it would be boring because he just dominated with his big serve.
     
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  4. menelaos

    menelaos Rookie

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    He's the definitely great, but, with all due respect, his game is not better than Fed's -nor Agassi's for that matter.
    This is another thread to spur Sampras-Fed controversy.
     
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  5. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    If he is so great why did he choke in the 5th set vs federer at wimbledon?
     
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  6. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe Roger will surpass Pete but too say that Agassi's game is better then Sampras is a big time joke!Agassi has more flare and is more known but Pete did it the quiet way, Agassi could never figured out Pete in the big matches.The only thing that Agassi can claim is of course the french open championship.
     
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  7. Michael Haller

    Michael Haller Banned

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    He didn't win FO even once.
    But Rod Laver won TWO grand slams.
    And we must not forget Sampras played in a time with weak competition.

    Federer is set to break Sampras's records in the near future.
    And there goes another dream of U.S. superiority ..... :p
     
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  8. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    Because he's human, damn him...
     
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  9. Backcourt Pickup

    Backcourt Pickup New User

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    I think Pete Sampras was one of the greatest players of all time, but in sports, everyone is always seeking to break records that stand. With new technology, fitness (Pete was never really known for his fitness), and technique in general, players like Federer, who has so much talent and is able to be so fit, and has such a complete game, are destined to eventually topple the legends of the game.
     
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  10. TennisAsAlways

    TennisAsAlways Professional

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    Also, has anyone ever heard that a person can grow older?

    Good day now. 8)
     
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  11. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    Pete was great. In my opinion federer's volleys and half volleys aren't even half as good as Pete's. And I think people really underestimate his baseline game. He beat Andre in many of those baseline rallies. He came up with some nice angles on the forehand side. Another part of his game that was understimated was his return game. He was so unpredicable on the return of serve. He would chip 2 return of serves and then on the third one he would suddenly crack one down the line.

    But I really think Andre chocked in two of those US open finals against him. Those were Andre's to win and he just came out flat in the beginning and Pete ran away with it once he got ahead. And he was really unlucky to be in Hewitt's half of the draw in that last US open. If Pete was in that half he would never have beaten Hewitt. Hewitt was hot that season and pete's serve would never have held up against Hewitt return. That was a bad match up for Pete cuz I think Hewitt had equally good return as Agassi and much better passing shots. That was an exhausting match that Andre played against Hewitt and everyone was so excited about the prospect of Sampras/Agassi final that they forgot how much energy agassi had left in the tank.
     
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  12. bdog

    bdog Rookie

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    After watching the Aus open, one thing stood out in my mind. Roger got broke a lot.......I wonder if they have a stat for holding serve in majors. Be intersting to see. What I remember is Pete holding serve and if he lost a set, it was in the tie-breaker (Roger gets beat 6-2 plenty). A great stat to compare pros with, is who had the highest percentage of points won on second serve. Pete's was very high.....
     
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  13. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

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    You know, I'm not even one of those "if you don't love everything about America, get out of our country" folks but Mr. Haller, why are you on an American website if you hate Americans and America so much? When you say something inflammatory, please back them up. Don't just say things to get attention. Although I think Federer is better than Sampras, Pete Sampras played at time when, Becker, Chang, Agassi, Edberg, Kafelnikov, and Kuertan played. His competition was not weak. If anything, it can be argued that Laver played against weak competition. Frankly, there just weren't as many ppl playing back then. #100 was not as good then as #100 is now.
     
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  14. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    You are right. Pete was never afraid to go for it on the 2nd serve and some times he would even come to net volleying behind his 2nd which Federer never does. That's how confident Pete was about his serves. Sampras broke people a lot at at 4-4, 4-3, 5-5, and 5-4 because he put so much pressure on the other guy by holding his own service games so easily.

    But I think Roger is far better returner. The guy is just content to get the ball back in play because he's so certain that he's a better player from the back, front and any part of the court.
     
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  15. Nalbandian

    Nalbandian Guest

    Michael Haller used to be known as Joe Pike is a known NAZ-I trash obsessed with Graf.... He is so notorious in posting Anti US /Anti Seles posts all over various message boards... This guy is a lunatic....
     
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  16. jukka1970

    jukka1970 Professional

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    This is as bad as what Tennis magazine did, giving him the ranking of 1 ignoring the woman, and giving him the rank because he's male. The man couldn't even win the french open, heck he never made it to the finals.
    There isn't even a need to make a comparison between other players to him. The fact that he couldn't win the French Open takes away the title of "greatest tennis player of all time" away from him. He's not even the greatest male tennis player of all time, let alone greatest tennis player. Two women have better records then he does in just about every department except for prize money. And gee, I wonder why he has more prize money, could it be because the amounts differ by gender in the slams? the answer is yes, of course it made a difference. And whether it's looked at over the entire time of tennis, or just the last 40 years, he's still not going to be the best tennis player.

    He's also about as arrogant as you can get. Never mind that he hasn't given anything back to the sport after "retiring". He was on the tennis channel and was asked about Federer, Sampras comment was, "he reminds me of me". Can't get much more arrogant then that, not to mention he can only dream that the statement was true.
     
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  17. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    what is he supposed to say?He remind me of someone better than me?which is actually no one?!
     
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  18. Michael Haller

    Michael Haller Banned

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    But I don't hate Americans and America at all!

    As a matter of fact Reagan, Weinberger, George W. Bush, Rumsfeld and C. Rice are my all-time favourite politicians (not Hillary of course or that Kerry dude!!)
    I read almost only U.S. literature.
    I'm sipping a Ernst & Julio Gallo wine.


    Actually I can't stand the French and the Russians .....
     
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  19. Nalbandian

    Nalbandian Guest

    Gunther Pike....You copied and pasted this from your previous old post from another message board.
    Do you think your twisted old deceitful ways will still work on the posters of this message board? LMAO Na-zi boy.
     
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  20. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

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    He could be, or Borg may be, or Laver might be, or even Rosewall or Gonzalez might be for those who consider what they may have achieved but for the pro-amateur split back then. There isnt one undisputed choice as of yet.
     
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  21. Michael Haller

    Michael Haller Banned

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    Yes, his failing to win FO at least once or at least making the finals is a big let-down. And there were even 4 women who were far more successful than him - Court, Evert, Navratilova and Graf.

    But I don't think he is arrogant. He seems to be quite a nice and modest guy. His reference to Federer is in no way arrogant.
    BTW, this "giving back to the sport" crap is obviously an American thing. What do you mean by that?
     
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  22. Infinite42

    Infinite42 New User

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    Karsten Braasch already proved that he would be ranked higher than most, if not all, of the women.
     
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  23. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    Pete played with a blood disorder that kept him from being as fit as other players. He developed a game that allowed him win points and matches quickly so that his physical weakness was rarely a factor when he played. Pete held the number one position for 6 straight years, and I agree with Jon Wertheim that this accomplishment is often overlooked and Pete is never given enough credit for it.

    It is very possible that Roger Federer will one day break many of Sampras' records, but I prefer to wait until his career over so that we can compare the totality of their accomplishments. What Roger is doing right now is incredible and I would love to witness a complete Grand Slam in my lifetime, but for me Pete is still the best (and Rod Laver is a very very very close second).
     
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  24. Nalbandian

    Nalbandian Guest

    Navratilova and Evert are closest to Sampras in terms of greatness....

    Court and Graf both have inflated records.....

    Tennis Magazine did a AMAZING job in their rankings...

    Sampras and Navratilova are #1 and the Greatest in their respective fields....
     
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  25. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

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    While I dont agree with those who say Roger is already the best ever when he has won only half the slams Sampras has, it it worth noting the same was done for Sampras back in the day. After 94 alot were already saying he was the best ever, and he had only 5 slams, just under half what Laver and Borg had.
     
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  26. stalliondan

    stalliondan New User

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    greatest server....no doubt, greatest slam winner...yes, greatest player ...no
     
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  27. tenalyser

    tenalyser Rookie

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    I have to disagree with you on this one, I remember that Sampras didn't get mentioned as one of the greatest untill he won 10 Slams. The main difference between Sampras and Federer is that Roger had a more complete game than Sampras at the same age but he was such a Head case even worser than Safin (I remember a match between the two and the commentator made joke saying witch of the two player will break the most rackets) but you're right when you say that federer isn't the best player yet. Only time will tell and hopefully he will be preserved from serious injuries and from boredom.
     
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  28. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Certainly the greatest I've ever seen. I can't comment on Laver because
    I never really watched him playing. I also think he played the most
    complete all court tennis I've ever seen. Certainly the most optimal
    and efficient all court game that a any human being ever implemented.
    Federer does not play much net game kind of like Sampras in his
    early days. Sampras successfully adopted net game into his game
    as his career progressed. I'll have to see how Federer game evolves.
    But then if he can win 20 slams with his baseline game, why net game ??


     
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  29. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

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    Well I dont know about overseas but here in the U.S my impression was there was some talk of Sampras maybe being the best ever as early as 94. Donna Doherty and Peter Bodo wrote alot of articles in Tennis Magizine suggesting he might already be that great. Sally Jenkins, S.L Price also did the same. Fred Stolle and Cliff Drysdale said so numerous times on their ESPN telecasts when covering Sampras.
     
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  30. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    It really doesn't matter what year it is, if there is a dominant player on the scene, the question "Best ever?" is always raised. It was raised about Connors back in 74 because of his dominant performance, power, and all out attacking game, it was raised about Borg because of his dominance over the French and Wimbledon, it was asked about McEnroe because of his talent. The key is perspective. Perspective about a career can't be accurate until that career is over or almost over. Yes, Borg at 25 looked to become the greatest player to ever step on court, and he very well may have been, but he retired at 26 so he opens the doors for questions. The same arguments can be made of any player who was touted at one time or another.
     
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  31. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    This is certianly not true. Pretty much right after he won 1990 US Open,
    tennis experts started to mention his potential. It was just general public
    who didn't really understand the greatness of his game.

    However, when he got to 8 or 9 slams, experts did question Sampras'
    fitness. They said Sampras definitely did not have fitness level of
    top world class player and needed to be improved. Sampras probably
    was not born with one. But he overcame it with his hard work and
    efficiency of importance weighted all court game.
     
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  32. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    They certainly did including Mary Carillo. They tried to promote
    Sampras as much as possible yet his image to general public was
    "he wins too easily" or "boring" or "he doesn't care to win"...

    In Federer's case, both general public and some experts somehow
    got greatly inspired and truely "hope" he will achieve truely
    out-of-this-world tennis.

    I personally with Haas on Federer. Federer might not be that good
    as people hope to be. Odds are favoring Federer now.
    Comfortable dominance over current top 10 and the tour is
    also favorable(slow surfaces, slow balls) but who knows how
    things will change and really test Federer...
     
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  33. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    I recently saw an old Sports Illustrated article written just after Wimbledon in either 1994 or '95, where Mats Wilander (I believe) was quoted as saying that Sampras was, in his opinion, the greatest tennis player after Rod Laver. If you like, I can double check for you to determine exactly which year it was and verify that it was Wilander, but hopefully I've provided enough to make you second-guess your memory.
     
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  34. devila

    devila Banned

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    He is not alone in pondering why the surface on which he originally learnt the game as a child poses the most problems

    “I know the importance of winning the French and what it would do to my career,” “But I’m not going to change anything in my game very much.”

    “Physically I feel I can make the transition to clay quite easily,” he said. “The way I move makes it very natural for me, but because the serve doesn’t bring as many free points as it does on other surfaces, I must be more patient, mentally and physically. It’s a different game on clay and you have to get used to that.

    Of course I prefer grass or a hard court, where I have the feeling
    that I if I hit a good shot, then the point is normally won. On clay
    the way people can counter-punch is quite extraordinary. You can hit a
    great shot, but the guy is on the run, he slides and totally gets back
    in the rally, so sometimes you have to win the point not once but twice
    or three times."
    “The disappointment is in control. I’m not going to destroy the locker room and never play tennis again.”

    “The first 11 clay-court matches of my pro career ended in defeat,” he recalls. “There was Gstaad in 1998 and ’99, a bad loss in Monte Carlo to Vince Spadea (7-6 6-0) and then another at Roland Garros to Patrick Rafter after I was given a wildcard entry. In 1999 I also got beaten in both (Davis Cup) rubbers when we played Belgium on clay in Brussels, and then in 2000 I lost to Andrei Medvedev in Rome and Andrei Pavel in Hamburg.

    “At the time playing indoors was not a problem for me; neither was grass or hard court. But on clay I could not create surprises, because you have to hit too many balls and both physically and mentally you have to be so tough. Back then I simply wasn’t, but now I am so much stronger, and know I can play well in Paris.” -Federer http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-2025305,00.html
     
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  35. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    Still Sampras is the greatest, because of the results. Agree.

    Anyhow Federer is obviously much more talented. He has very good chances to beat 14 GS record and become real greatest ( if he win also RG).
     
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  36. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    I disagree only because the records by which we measure Sampras's greatness (14 major singles titles, finishing six years ranked No. 1) cannot be used to measure the greatness of previous champions. No one before Sampras seriously went after Emerson's then-record 12 major singles titles; quite literally, no one really cared about it (Emerson even claims he didn't know he HAD the record until Sampras broke it). Part of this has to do with the fact that, for a large chunk of the sport's history, most great tennis players had a few stellar years as amateurs and then turned professional (notably Vines, Perry, Budge, Kramer, Gonzalez, Rosewall, Hoad, and Laver). Likewise, Sampras's "record" six-year reign atop the rankings is restricted to the Open Era; most experts agree that Pancho Gonzalez was clearly the No. 1 player in the world for a span of at least eight years in the 1950s.

    One achievement which actually HAS mattered to every great champion since the 1930s is the Grand Slam, and Rod Laver is the only player, male or female, to have one two of them. For that reason alone (not to mention his other superior achievements, both as an amateur, on the early professional tours, and during the early years of the Open Era), I think he is almost certainly the safest choice for "Greatest of All Time."
     
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  37. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Are people confusing greatness with "talent" or "ability" or "completeness" in one's game?

    When people say that Sampras is the greatest but not the best player, it seems a contradiction to me. Results are results. It's hard to argue with them. If he weren't the best (singles) player then he wouldn't have the results.

    Look at Brad Gilbert: No great shots, but won matches. He wasn't "talented" per se, but he did get to #4 in the world. He showed that he could PLAY the game.

    Federer seems to have more game than Sampras. Sampras' greatness is reflected in his results, albeit on non-red clay surfaces. Federer's got the potential to catch and potentially surpass Sampras. Only time will tell.

    As for questioning Sampras' fitness, with his thalassemia minor and less than top-notch work ethic, I think he was still one of the fittest athletes in the world at the time. Didn't some fitness organization test various athletes for fitness levels and Courier and Sampras were among the top?

    The "experts" in the game are labeling Federer as the best player ever to pickup a racket. His talent, accomplishments, and domination are obvious. That makes me wonder how much Sampras paced himself throughout the season. Sampras made it a point to always peak at the right time (meaning during Grand Slam tournaments). It seemed a conscious effort to make his game "efficient." Quick points, shorter matches = less wear and tear = longevity in one's career.

    Federer seems to want to win every tournament that he plays. I wonder if he'll end up with the same fate as Borg.

    If Federer wins Roland Garros (ever) and eventually gets to double-digit singles slam titles or wins a calendar year slam (this year? - 10 GS titles by the end of '06) and falls short of 14 total, he'll still be considered the greatest given his game and domination.

    I just wished he could (would) serve and volley more. Just my preference.



    .....oh, I agree with chaognosis too. It's hard to compare eras.
     
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  38. Wrong. He made the competition appear weak. In fact, he weakened the competition: weakened their belief they could beat him, by his sheer will to win.
     
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  39. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Circular thought. Sampras faced more multiple slam winners than Federer. Federer keeps people from winning more slams.



    In the end it's like I've said in the past....Federer is fulfilling his potential and Sampras is the measuring stick.
     
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  40. jukka1970

    jukka1970 Professional

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    Oh really, and how exactly would he be ranked higher. Where is the proof? I couldn't find one record he has more of then money earned. I'm not even sure who this Karsten Braasch is, I had to look it up. according to some stats this guy never made it past the first round in the french open in singles. How exactly does someone like that prove that Sampras was better then the women. The man is obviously clueless

    John
     
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  41. jukka1970

    jukka1970 Professional

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    How many examples would you like? He could have talked about what he liked in Federer's game, disliked in Federer's game. What was the reason that he had to make the comparison other then arrogance. Here let me be fair and give another example of arrogance. Now I love Navratilova, but she was a horrible commentator. She was arrogant as a commentator because each time she talked about a certain play she would always mention what she would have done. And my answer was so what, you're not playing, someone else is, stop talking about yourself. I should mention this was the only thing I didn't like about Navratilova.

    You can keep dreaming that no one was better then Sampras, there were people in tennis history better then him. And again, he never won the French open or even made the finals, so that about kills the much for better then everyone else speech.

    John
     
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  42. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Sampras (or better: the fans of him) can claim this tag because of his records, of which i find the 7 Wimbies and 6 year end Nr.1 more imposing than the 14 majors, which players like Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall or Laver quite certainly could have toppled if eligible. It's a matter of personal choice and living memory, to find out the best out of 5-6 players on the top echelon. I personally prefer the ideal of the truly universal player, who can compete on all surfaces and under all conditions. Tilden, who never won RG (since 1925), but was World champion on clay in 1921 und won US clay 8 times, was such an universal players, as were Budge, Laver, Rosewall and Borg (who won Canadian Open on hard 63 63 over Mac in 1980). Gonzales has the benefit of the doubt, because of his long absence, although he never won clay pro at Roland Garros. So Sampras with his great fast court record should be ranked in the top 5, but imo not in front of Laver, Tilden and Borg.
     
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  43. jukka1970

    jukka1970 Professional

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    This thing about Court and Graf having inflated records is complete bull. If you think that way, then one could say the same thing about Sampras.

    And for as much as I couldn't stand Sampras, one good thing that I can say is he had competition just like everyone else in tennis had. I know that Sampras worked for his wins, no one has it easy. Just because they win a lot, doesn't mean the rest of the field was horrible. So sorry but this inflated comment is just utter bull.

    Sports Illustrated said that about Graf, yeah a sports magazine that covers 4 tennis matches a year really has an idea of the playing field, Not.

    John
     
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  44. Infinite42

    Infinite42 New User

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    Keep looking. In fact, look up "Karsten Braasch" and "Serena Williams" and "Venus Williams." I wouldn't throw a random name up there. You are obviously clueless.
     
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  45. VolklVenom

    VolklVenom Semi-Pro

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    Greatness isn't measured by the number of wins you have or prize money you make. It is measured by how well your game is valued by future champions.

    Sampras idolized Laver and possibly mimicked his game.
    Federer idolized Laver and in turn has mimicked Sampras in alot of respects.
     
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  46. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Although I agree Federer has potential AND experts also agree,
    I (despite nobody in tennis world) am not so convince that
    Federer has more game than Sampras. Right now, Wimbledon
    is being played from baseline by everybody and the indoor seasons
    are shorted. We simply do not know how much of net game Federer
    has. As long as the tour is being kept this way, I think Federer can
    break Sampras' record. But some conditions change, I'm not so
    sure.

    Of course, he is in top shape. I remember a Tennis magazine article by
    two experts and they said Sampras certainly needed to improve his
    fitness if he wanted to win 11 slams or more.

    I don't think it's necessarily about "quick points". He has imprtance
    weighted text book tennis. His priority was 1. serve 2. forehand
    3. backhand and volleys. He focused on holding his serve 1st
    and optimal effort to break his opponent. He also cleaned up
    flash shots of his eraly days and formulated his game into
    couple of solid weapons for which the late Tim Gulikson contributed
    a lot reportedly... In AO 2006, Federer seems to have started
    cut down flash shots and play somewhat conservative tennis.
     
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  47. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    I remember the "controversy" with Karsten Braasch and the Williams sisters. Braasch was a good choice. Lower ranked and he used to smoke on the changeovers.

    I think he kinda proved Stefan Edberg correct.

    (I know, this is off topic.)
     
    #47
  48. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,118
    I think Fed is a better player then Sampras, while many Sampras fans might defend this, he will put any doubt when Federer wins the French Open.I think he will do that.

    In terms of Sampras, his game was beautiful to watch.Serve and volley followed by his tradional running forehand.Also he sliced the ball very deep.If u watched Roger from the beginning, he was serve and volley then he decided to win from the baseline, i expect him to come to the net later on during his career.
     
    #48
  49. tenalyser

    tenalyser Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    112
    Ooh please don't make laugh, you really think that you can compare the men's level of play with the womens? It is true that Navratilova was a great athlete but the fact remains that men's are physically and mentally stronger (well there are some exceptions)than women in tennis . If you don't see the difference between the ATP and the WTA then I have to make the conclusion that you don't know much about tennis. A decent 400th player could beat anyone in the women's tour. And Karsten Braasch did a battle of sexes against the williams sisters and he was ranked 203rd . The score was 6-1 6-2 and that was during the williams sisters prime. They played the best they could but at the end he made them look like little kids without breaking a sweat, here is the article if you don't believe me

    http://muscles_at_work.tripod.com/html/menvswomen.html
    /1998: Williams Sisters vs Karsten Braasch.

    The Williams sisters challenged 203rd-ranked German Karsten Braasch during the Australian Open. First Serena, then Venus challenged Karsten and he beat them both. Serena fell 6-1, Venus 6-2. They played as intensely as they could, while Braasch performed with gentlemanly restraint. "It was extremely hard," said 16-year-old Serena. "I didn't know it would be that hard. I hit shots that would have been winners on the WTA Tour, and he got to them easily." That didn't stop her from boasting that, "this time next year I'll beat him. I have to pump some weight. ... I have to work hard to be on the men's tour." Venus, 17, wasn't about to concede too much, either, especially since she broke Braasch once. "I can beat men in the 300s and up," she said. "He thought we couldn't get a point. He didn't think we could play. We showed him we could." Braasch smiled at their claims. "Against anyone in the top 500, no chance," he said. "Because I was playing like 600 today."
     
    #49
  50. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    Actually, I'm convinced Federer will win French Open.
    In fact, I think Federer is just unlucky to have Nadal last year.
    I actually think Federer can win 2 or more French Open.
    He actually strucked me as a top-spinning baseliner when I
    1st saw him (and still see him that way especially when you compare
    him with Sampras).

    But I think Federer has been lucky in faster courts (becuase they
    got much slower recently) and he has not played much of indoor
    carpet yet. Plus reportedly ATP tour is now using slightly bigger
    balls favoring baseliners.

    These conditions may be kept for a while because public seems to
    love long rallies. Personally I miss more variety of players.
    Who knows. Maybe this is the way tennis will be played now.
    As long as general public like this and more revenue draws in,
    we're fine, right? Federer is destined to be the greatest then....
     
    #50

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