Pioline Genuine Rival to Sampras?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by AAAA, Jun 7, 2007.

?

Is Pioline a genuine rival to Sampras

  1. Pioline is a genuine rival

    3.8%
  2. Pioline is not a genuine rival

    96.2%
  1. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,389
    Pioline has played Sampras 9 times and lost all 9 times. Over the course of 9 matches 24 sets were played between them and Pioline won 3 of them making it 21-3 in sets to Sampras.
    Had Pioline won 1 set in each of the 9 matches he'd have 9 sets against Sampras but he only has 3 sets to his name.

    Does this make Pioline a genuine rival to Sampras?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
    #1
  2. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,540
    Location:
    Mar del Plata, Argentina
    That doesn't make any sense!
    How's Pioline a genuine rival for Sampras is Sampras won 100% of the matches and 87.5% of the sets played!?
     
    #2
  3. z-money

    z-money Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    Kansas
    yea do the math. if i play a guy and i win 88% of the sets i dont think i would be worried. ever
     
    #3
  4. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,389
    I read somewhere that Pioline was a rival to Sampras so I decided to see how evenly matched their head to head score was. You're right , what I read didn't make sense.
     
    #4
  5. pj80

    pj80 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    491
    i remember watching a match in 1998 where andre agassi beat pioline 6-0, 6-0
     
    #5
  6. ohlori

    ohlori Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    171
    Piolinie was a talented player, but he couldn't win anything until he was 27 - no killer mentality.
    Mcenroe disliked him, maybe because of that.
     
    #6
  7. ohlori

    ohlori Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    171
    He leads Sampras' nemesis Krajicek, 5-2. That's tennis ;)
     
    #7
  8. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,837
    Pioline reached two Grand Slam Finals (US Open 1993, Wimbledon 1997) and got his clock cleaned by Pete both times. Maybe if he'd played someone else he'd have won one!
     
    #8
  9. andreh

    andreh Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,089
    I've seen Pioline play up close. He's very good, of course. But obviously not a rival for Sampras.
     
    #9
  10. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,697
    One of the elite talents, but his biggest problem was that his concentration/focus level was UP then DOWN...then UP...then DOWN, over and over and over again throughout a match, throughout his career. In other words, tune in for a few points, and he looks all fired up and playing and moving like his life is on the line, take a peanut butter and OJ (orange juice) break, and five minutes later, the same guy is in a lull, moping, swaying from shoulder to shoulder, looking like he is literally half-awake, sleep walking out there.

    Against, Sampras and Agassi; he just didn't match up well style wise. Against Agassi you've got to do something extreme to get him out of his comfort zone, but Pioline didn't do anything extreme, he was just immaculately fluid from all parts of the court and good at everything but not really SCARRY at anything. He was like a well-oiled machine when he was on, all the parts fit together into a beautifully coherent whole.

    When he was off or in "one of his moods" he looked and played like the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, all gangly with mismatched parts, AND soul...he played some times like the soul was missing, with nothing to hold all the pieces together.

    Against Sampras, Sampras was just too much of a dominant personality for Pioline in my opinion, and also like Agassi, you needed to be able to do something in an extreme manner to make Sampras uncomfortable, but Pioline's game just isn't of that nature. Pioline's typical groundies also tended to sit right in Sampras and Agassi's ideal clock zones.

    Pioline's serve while very good was not super sonic great, and Sampras got into trouble playing guys with all-court games only if they had a huge serve of his caliber, or maybe a guy like Edberg or Rafter who could at least kick the ball really high to his backhand (and, of course, the volleys to back them up).

    Pioline's performance against Courier in the 93 Open quarters and Stich in the Wimbledon semis and final two set performance against Safin at the French showed what kind of pure talent the guy really had. When he was on, he got into one of his oh, there goes Pioline getting into one of his superman modes again. Well you know what I mean, that's what it felt like when he got all geared up. Laconic Clark Ken suddenly busts open suit with his broad, Ramboesque chest, then takes off up and away without looking back.

    Medvedev said he hated playing Pioline, basically saying he was like the worst opponent for him and the guy he hated playing the most similar to Bruguera saying Muster was his least favorite matchup, but for different reasons. Medvedev said that Pioline was so tough for him because he was so very balanced and good at everything, that there was nothing to pick on. Which when you think about it makes sense. Medevedev had similar attributes, but hit a harder, clearner ball on average from the baseline but with less fluidity at net. Just a bad matchup for him, he didn't take the ball as early as Agassi nor go for broke enough from the baseline or serve huge enough to really get Pioline out of his comfort zone. Medvedev's game made it easy for Pioline to settle into a groove in other words. Every player has a certain comfort zone, and as MMA is now showing as the number of top notch competitors grows, the more and more apparent, it's becoming that individual style matchups rather than individual greatness is reigning supreme at the highest levels of the game.
     
    #10
  11. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,026
    I would call Pioline a contemporary of Sampras'.

    Loved that guy's game (on the good days).
    Went deep in many tournaments, on all surfaces.....finals of the 93 US Open, finals of the 97 Wimbledon.....semis of Roland Garros in, what 98 or so?
    Nice touch, fairly big game, attacked well, solid on defense...and a backhand that makes a grown man swoon.
     
    #11
  12. MEAC_ALLAMERICAN

    MEAC_ALLAMERICAN Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    9,040
    9-0... Head to Head

    Their career head to head is 9-0 in favor of Sampras with Pioline winning only 3 sets.

    As talented as Pioline was he could push Sampras but not enough to beat him must less be a genuine rival, I think Pioline was the opponent that Sampras loved to play, something similar to Federer vs Roddick.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
    #12
  13. laurie

    laurie Guest

    in the 1993 Antwerp semifinal, Pioline was outplaying Sampras and served for the match at 5:3 in the second set, got broken and went on to lose the 3rd set 6:1. That's the closest he came to beating Sampras.
     
    #13
  14. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Why was this question even asked??? The answer is a resounding NO. What a pointless thread. :roll: :roll: :roll:
     
    #14
  15. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,389
    When ever the competition level of Sampras and Federer is compared the discussion degenerates into a shouting match and the majority the points regarding either man are not checked for accuracy or validity. So to that end I've taken the first step and decided to take one point in isolation and put it up for discussion. So starting with one of the weakest links, Pioline, his head to head record is shown here just to show how much a rival he WASN'T for Sampras.
     
    #15
  16. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,260
    The OP seems much more a statement than a genuine query.

    slice bh compliment's post is an accurate assessment of the Sampras/Pioline relationship. Much like Laver/Ashe though both are hall of famers or Gerulaitis/Borg while they played one of the best, closest and most entertaining matches ever played in the SF of Wimbledon in 1977.

    If someone elected to pose an actual question it would be more reasonable to select Becker, Agassi, Chang and Courier and to a lesser degree and shorter periods of time, Edberg, Stich, Krajicek, Korda, Rafter, Ivanisevic all players who actually won slams and who Pete also played at least nine times.
     
    #16
  17. ohlori

    ohlori Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    171
    Jaime Yzaga and Jacco Eltingh were bigger rivals than Pioline:

    http://www.atptennis.com/3/en/players/headtohead/?player1=Sampras%2C+Pete&player2=yzaga
    http://www.atptennis.com/3/en/players/headtohead/?player1=Sampras%2C+Pete&player2=Eltingh

    Even Federer wouldn't seem much of a rival for Nadal if he had played all of his matches against him on clay.
    Courier only won 4 out of 20 matches against Sampras, but he was number one in the early nineties - not Sampras.

    Head-to-heads aren't that important. Pro players before the open era played head-to-head competitions against eachother, but not today.
     
    #17
  18. laurie

    laurie Guest

    #18
  19. ohlori

    ohlori Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    171
    #19
  20. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    OK, I've been burned pretty badly by Federer fans whenever I said this:
    when Federer just came out on tour, the 1st player he reminded me of
    was Pioline.
     
    #20

Share This Page