Present=Weak Era Voiced by Wilander, Sampras

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Well I guess with 'Safon' md ment 'Safin, when he's on'. BTW that's the most frequently posted term in which Safin is mentioned on TT. In reality, it happened as often as Ivan Lendl smiles in a tennis stadium.
     
    #51
  2. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Athletes are not normally the most educated people. They tend to know a great deal about their own eras, but otherwise can be quite bullheaded and ignorant about other eras.

    I suppose that Pete is, at best, being biased. I certainly don't think him stupid.

    Addressing the actual points I made would have been nice. Is it untrue that Pete did not have anything approaching a decent rival in many years?
     
    #52
  3. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Oh, good for you. Your reasoning skills are now good enough to pass fourth grade.
     
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  4. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    The only thing I miss about the 90s is the clay court tennis. And Pete had nothing to do with it.
     
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  5. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I salute you and your very good post.
     
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  6. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Bueno does not belong to the 1970s. But a fantastic player. Some say she was the most aesthetical one at all.
     
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  7. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    A couple of quotes from the OP link that some may have missed:

    "Maybe you're a traditionalist who has watched tennis for decades.

    Your paradigm looks through magical lenses that neutralize conditions from all eras. You believe that if technology, court surfaces, knowledge of fitness and training techniques were leveled, we could identify the G.O.A.T. and rank the legends.
    "

    "Tennis fanatics are especially invested in the great debate. We can't help it. But the reality is that there is no G.O.A.T.

    It's a mythical label of hubris spread amongst radical members of the Federer and Nadal fan bases.
    "

    Xcellent points, NatF.
     
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  8. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I'd say it's spread across the Federer fan base. Rarely do you hear tennis fans calling Nadal the GOAT. Many simply point out that Federer can't be the GOAT since Nadal has dominated him from day 1.

    OK, carry on :)
     
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  9. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Nice spin. However, the article was not referring to "tennis fans" in general. It was referring to "radical members" of both fan bases. All you have to do is spend a little time in TWs own General Pro Player forum to see Nadal fanatics declaring Rafa as GOAT.
     
    #59
  10. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Azzy, Welcome back!

    Yes, brilliant strategy: baseline bash, baseline bash, baseline bash, baseline bash, baseline bash, baseline bash, baseline bash, (frustration and impatience set in), baseline winner or error. Point over.
     
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  11. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    I think the criticism works better in helping to explain some of Tiger's domination in golf. Nicklaus has said some of the same things that Wilander and Sampras said. Golf has had a ton of one-and-done guys the last 15 years. In Nicklaus' day, he was going up against guys who had their own war chests full of major trophys -- Palmer, Player, Watson, Trevino, Ballesteros, Floyd, Irwin, Casper, etc.

    In tennis, Federer, Nadal, Novak, and Murray have won almost everything over the last decade. So yeah, I'm not convinced it is because the rest of the tour sucked. IMO, it is because we had the four greatest players of all time fighting over the same prizes. I look at a guy like Tsonga and see a better version of Boris Becker and Tsonga looks helpless most of the time against the top four. The one thing I can't explain though that gives Wilander and Sampras credence is Tommy Haas. How has he been able to do what he has done the last couple of years?
     
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  12. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    With same technology and training, there is no way Tsonga even comes close to Becker.
     
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  13. Graf=GOAT

    Graf=GOAT Professional

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    Sampras played in possibly one of the weakest eras ever and still failed to win FO. Calling Federer's era weak who faced prime Roddick, Nalbandian, Safin, Murray, Nadal and Djokovic is simply sour grapes.
     
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  14. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    LOL, Roddick and Nalbandian? Sampras played against all kinds of great players including Lendl, McEnroe, Wilander, Edberg, Becker, Agassi, Courier, etc. he has positive H2H vs them all. What's Federer H2H against Nadal, Djokovic and Murray?
     
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  15. Graf=GOAT

    Graf=GOAT Professional

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    Except all of those were washed up by early 90's and Agassi was busy smoking meth rather than playing tennis. Where was Sampras' competition in mid to late 90's? Hell, Agassi was better player in 2000's than in the 90's and gave Fed more problems. Also Nadal is tier 1 great with 13 slams. Where was Sampras' main rival? Federer destroyed everyone on clay in his prime except Nadal. Sampras couldn't make a FO final.

    I can't actually believe Sampras has the balls to call Federer's era weak. Beating guys like Martin and Pioline in slam finals surely indicates a strong era :-?
     
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  16. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I really can't agree with this. Federer and Nadal belong to the select group of the greatest players of all time, but so far neither Djokovic nor Murray do. I disagree especially with the idea that Tsonga is better than Becker, I think their is a huge gap between them. Tsonga is not prevented to win slam by only the top guys. He loses regularly to guys like Klizan, Dolgopolov, Wawrinka, Nishikori, etc.

    And with the Tommy Haas case, so what? The guy plays well in his mid 30's. Their is always an old guy to perform well. It's a testament of their value, not of the lack of value of their opposition.
     
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  17. fezer

    fezer New User

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    How can anybody rate Tsonga higher than Becker?
    Becker proved that he can WIN BIG TITLES! 6 Majors, 3 WTF, 4 Wimby Finals, 5 WTF Finals.
    Yes im a huge Boris Fan, but also among his critiques. But Tsonga? Please...
    Jo-Willi is a nice player to watch, and i really like him. But he is not even close to Becker.

    And for me thats also the point in the debate: Sampras dominated guys like Becker, Courier or Agassi. Later Rafter et al. These guys had shown that they CAN WIN! Federer dominated guys that delivered a nice match here and there, but NEVER WON.
    I dont rate Sampras over Federer! Its to tough to handle for me. They both belong in the goat-league for sure.
    But as long as competition is concerned i go with Wilander et al. Federer never met a triple champion in Wimbledon three times (!) and beat him every time!
     
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  18. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Totally agree with the first part, but the second part your opinion that Rafter is better than Hewitt or Safin for example is 100% subjective.

    Sampras had it tough in the beginning of his career. The field was loaded with an aging but still worthy Lendl, Becker, Edberg, peak Courier, Agassi. He would certainly have rose to the top faster with a weaker field.

    But come the mid 90's, and Lendl, Edberg and Courier were gone. Agassi was up and down. Chang, Kafelnikov, Moya, Ivanisevic, Rafter, Becker, Korda, Rios, Rusedski, Philipoussis, Pioline all good but their isn't really a strong argument that they are better than the slam winners and finalist of the mid 00's. Remains Becker who definitely was a bigger semi-finalist threat than Bjorkman, but was old.

    Finally Sampras retired facing the generation against whom Federer rose to success.

    In comparison, Federer's competition in 2003-2005 were easier that Sampras's competition at the beginning of his career (I would say similar to Sampras competition at the end of his career), but it wasn't long that he had Nadal, Djokovic and Murray who are all pretty formidable foe and helped greatly to his fall.

    At the end if you compare the players who competed with Pete you have Courier, Edberg, Becker, Agassi, Pioline, Ivanisevic, Rafter, Safin, Hewitt, Chang, Kafelnikov, Martin, Corretja.

    For Fed you have Nadal, Roddick, Djokovic, Hewitt, Safin, Agassi, Murray, Del Potro, Davydenko, Nalbandian, Soderling, Coria, Ferrero. Pretty good list too.
     
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  19. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    People who post statements such as this one should not be allowed to have a good screen name like Rosewall. :)
     
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  20. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    I partially agree with what Sampras is saying. I do think that the current era of the "top 4" is a rather weak one. Those 4 players have been winning pretty much everything over the last 8 years, the fact that no one else is able to really challenge them can make the level of competition questionable. The top 4 have not only been dominating in the slams, but even at the MS-1000 level.

    Where I don't completely agree with Sampras, it's about him competing in a stronger era. Yes, they're was more variety in slam winners, but then again, surfaces were different back then. The transition between clay/grass/hard is seamless these days as they all play the same or so, always between slow and medium court speed, back in the days, you had surface specialist which you don't have today. That alone explains why they're was more variety in tournament winners during the 90's than now.

    As I said in previous post, the fact that Nadal, who's obviously a clay specialist can win RG which is supposed to be slow and Wimby a couple of weeks after, which is supposed to be fast, playing pretty much the same way shows how minimal the differences between the surfaces today are.
     
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  21. fezer

    fezer New User

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    i would never rate Rafter over Hewitt or Safin. They belong in the same category. and as u said any rating here is 100% subjective.
    but in my eyes your Fedlist dries out rapidly, whereas your Sampraslist misses major champs like Stich, Krajicek, Muster, Kuerten, Bruguera, Korda. These guys easily reach a higher level than Nalb, Davydenko, Soderling or Coria. Of course injuries shortened the careers of the last ones dramatically.

    An aging Guga beat Fed in straights, a Methusalem Becker beat Hewitt straights, Rafter never lost a match vs Fed ON GRASS (3:0).
    I think 80-96 was a little tad tougher than 2000-2006.
    Most of the players you named did not what i expect a great player to do...
    WIN A BIG TITLE!
     
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  22. Bobby Jr

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    The comparison between Becker and Tsonga in playing terms is more apt than some might want to accept. Becker was a great player but who also lost poorly very often - far more often than the likes of Federer and Nadal - and routinely from 1990 onwards. To claim he was a much superior opponent for Sampras to beat than Tsonga was to Federer or Nadal is very subjective - specious in fact if you refer to their results as final evidence of their actual playing ability.

    Citing Becker's results alone as evidence of his greatness is irrelevant if you use the same logic that people use to show Federer played a weak era. The more dominant a player is the weaker his era appears - that is a given but something many people here only accept when it suits them. It either always works or it doesn't.

    The fact so few players managed to win majors in the 2004-2010 period is a testament to the amazing consistency of Fed/Nadal which is also seen year-round, not just at the majors. Sampras by contrast could never manage the season-long dominance Federer did, especially across surfaces. The fact he was able to retain the year-end #1 spot for 6 years is just as easily an indication of a more divided (surface preference-wise) field in Sampras's era which means the points he did get couldn't be assailed by any single other person often enough. Whether that means they were worse players (by comparison to today) or Sampras was just better is purely subjective but looking at pure results, as the example of Becker and Tsonga demonstrates perfectly, misses the point completely that Tsonga is a superior player to Becker in most ways except results.
     
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  23. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    This is a frivolous statement. This is like saying that I'm better than you at math when I know how to do the problems, but fail every test and quiz.

    In terms of tennis, the college recruitment vids are prime examples. Some of those players look excellent, but in reality, the video doesn't really matter.
     
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  24. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Becker played in one of the toughest, most competitive eras ever. Some of you people are nuts.

    He defeated Lendl in back-to-back Wimbledons and owned Edberg in H2H.

    Stop the nonsense.
     
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  25. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    It's a testament to consistency, but gives no objective understanding of the strength of the field. Which is pretty much unknowable anyway or very difficult to empirically prove.

    My personal opinion is that Federer's era is top-heavy, but weak on depth.
     
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  26. Bobby Jr

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    Correct. It gives no understanding either way. The evidence that the era was weak because the results of a few were so good are just as debatable as claiming a few were GOATs who denied otherwise great players any chance.
    Refer to my comment above. I agree that the recent eras have been generally top heavy but I also believe the disparity in surfaces in particular in the 90s made some individual majors easily at top heavy in terms of the field of competence on that surface. Grass in particular.

    To me logic that works year-long must also generally be true on a single surface or tournament when viewed over many years. This is why when people claim Sampras had better grass-court competition therefore it is proof he was greater on grass than Federer (despite having basically the same results) is specious at best. Sampras did not have tougher opponents on grass generally - it just appears historically that he played in more tournaments which featured more multiple slam winner, regardless of the blatantly obvious that in the 90s most of them were either past their prime or were far less consistent in form. Becker is the perfect example. From 1991 onwards he was basically a non-event for 5 years... yet people claim he was a bigger hurdle for Sampras at Wimbledon than Roddick was to Federer despite them only playing each other once in something like 18 straight majors.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
    #76
  27. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Yes, after 1990, Becker was extremely inconsistent due to personal problems. Not much of a rival to Sampras, especially on grass. He did give Pete was difficulties on indoor surfaces in the mid-90s.
     
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  28. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Yeah it's true that the 90's have seen more slam winners than the 00's, but the 90's didn't had Nadal, Federer and later Djokovic who shared all the recent titles. So as Bobby Jr said, the question is "did these players succeeded to snatch a slam here and there because they were better that their equivalent of the 00's, or because they had more opportunities?". This can't be answered with certainty, but I have an idea.

    Take the example of Krajicek. He was a very dangerous player, but inconsistent in slams. He reached the QF or better nine time, including 2 SF and 1 title at Wimbledon. To win Wimbledon, Krajicek defeated Sampras in the QF. Then he played Jason Stoltenberg in the SF and Malivai Washington in the final to win the titles. He also had to beat Stich in the R4.

    Then compare with Berdych, an inferior player but not by much. Dangerous too but inconsistent as well. He reached the QF or better eight time, including 2 SF and 1 RU at Wimbledon. Exactly like Krajicek, Berdych had to beat a dangerous grass courter in the R4 (Hewitt), the defending champion Federer in the QF. But after that, he still had to beat Novak Djokovic in the SF, only to lose in the final.

    The same is true for several of the one slam winner of the 90's. The 8 quarterfinalist of the 1998 AO were Sampras, Rios, Korda, Escudé, Bjorkman, Bruguera, Kiefer, Kucera. So you had a pretty good chance to see a new slam winner already in the quarters.

    Finally, Bruguera, Muster and Kuerten were very good players but what was their impact on Sampras career, and what was the impact on Sampras on their careers? I wouldn't call them rivals of Pete, as they weren't really relevant outside clay and Sampras wasn't on clay.

    And really finally, Nalbandian and Davydenko won the master cup, which I consider a big title.
     
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  29. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Add Courier to that list for Sampras also. When he was already basically done and dusted at majors Sampras had only won 2 majors. From there Sampras won 12 more and Courier managed just two semi-finals in the remaining 22 majors he competed in - 13 of which he didn't even make it past the 2nd round.

    Basically, a competitive Courier wasn't present for one minute of Sampras' prime so far as majors are concerned (across all tournaments he never beat Sampras again except twice - both played on clay). His results once Sampras got rolling were worse than what Tsonga, Berdych or Ferrer achieved during the Fedal years.
     
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  30. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I cannot but agree.
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Tennis and Golf Golden Eras go just hand in hand.Early 70´s till late 80´s.
     
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  32. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    CyBorg: Becker played in one of the toughest, most competitive eras ever. Some of you people are nuts.

    I should have known the disdain I would generate for suggesting the current era is the toughest of all time in Former Pro Player Talk. :) As much as I loved watching Boom Boom, I still think Tsonga is slightly better. I am not a fan boy of either. To me, they are very similar players -- big guys that can either overpower opponents from the baseline or have the talent and athleticism to serve and volley. Maybe Tsonga needs Lendl to coach him. Seems to have gotten Murray over the mental hump. McEnroe has said Tsonga has the talent to win multiple slams.
     
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  33. MachiA.

    MachiA. Banned

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    Are you a man of some color?

    No other explanation for your false conclusion.

    KR
     
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  34. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    So according to you ANDRE AGASSI is crap? You don't consider him a decent rival? Andre had one bad section of his career that spanned a little over a year. Other than that I would never consider him not "decent". Lol...really.
     
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  35. Azzurri

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    Mac also said that about a certain American player and he ways way off. How many slams has Tsonga won and how many did Becker at same age?
     
    #85
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It is so completely ridiculous to compare a good player like Tsonga against an all time great like Becker.Some people here needs to wake up to reality.
     
    #86
  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    it is like comparing Teltscher to Nadal or Djokovic
     
    #87
  38. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    And what after Agassi?

    Clearly I am referring to the years in which Agassi was a non-factor. And this was the case in more than one year.
     
    #88
  39. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    This is not even interesting to react against.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
    #89
  40. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    I love to watch Tsonga play, but until he wins something I'm not sure he can be compared to BB who won on the tough grass at 17 years old against a deep field.

    Granted he may have sorta slipped under the radar at the time, as can happen, but he had the cojones to finish the deal. That is greatness.
     
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  41. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Roddick had the talent to win multiple slams, he just didn;t have the talent to beat Federer.

    Agassi won 3 slams during Sampra's best years. He wasn't there in 1993 and half of 1994. He was barely there in 1996 compared to what a main rival should be. In 1997 he was completely gone and in 1998 he was on the ascention but hardly a big title challenger.
     
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  42. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I think Becker is the second youngest slam winner, after Chang.?
     
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  43. Azzurri

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    Oh, I see. Now Pete needs more than one rival and you consider an all time great with easily the best hand/eye coordination....crap...again. Until Nadal came, Federer had nothing. Oh, and Nadal owns Federer..so that blows the whole rivalry thing. Pete was the best in his era and he had a great rival in Agassi...same can't be said for Federer.

    From 88-05 Agassi finished in the top ten 16 times.
    Finished top three 6 times.

    I clearly and factually stated he had one bad year or so. He finished 24 one year because of injury...so once again you are wrong.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
    #93
  44. Azzurri

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    Agassi was his main rival and an all-timer. He won the grand slam when there were 4 different surfaces/speeds. Pete HIMSELF considered Andre his rival. Now, don't argue with, e. Call Pete and tell him the guy that made him play his best tennis and is considered one of the best players ever was not his rival or at least not good enough. Because you know more than Pete. He considers Andre his rival and you don't think much of him...pretty sure he would just look at you, turn around and walk away.

    3 slams? You're clueless. He won 5 from 94-00. Pete's prime. 6 if you count 92 just as Pete entered his prime years. Seriously, go read something.

    I meant Donald Young...Mac said he would win majors. Oh, again...go read something.
     
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  45. Mr.Lob

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    No they don't have a point, just a bunch of sour grapes. Prime Federer nobody would have been able to handle... past or present. Too good.
     
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  46. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Donald Young is still well young...I assumed you meant someone who had retired. Not that I expect him to amount to anything.

    I'll do some reading and you get your head out your a**. Agassi was nowhere to be found for several years of Pete's prime. It's undeniable. It's laughable infact that you would big up Agassi so much considering that Andre's ranking in Sampras' prime years was;

    1992: 9
    1993: 24
    1994: 2
    1995: 2
    1996: 8
    1997: 110
    1998: 6
    1999: 1
    2000: 6

    I didn't think many considered 2000 to be a prime year for Sampras but I'll include it. Agassi was most often ranked in the bottom half of the top 10. Agassi was Sampras' main rival, they met 34 times spanning 13 years. But let's not pretend that Agassi was a consistant threat for the majority of the 90's. He was good enough when he showed up. He was around more consistantly as Sampras was leaving his prime.

    Compare this to Nadal who has been a consistant #2 or #1 since 2005. No comparison who is the more formidable rival and admittedly it shows in the h2h...
     
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  47. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I will leave you to your delusion. No reasonable, unbiased person would agree with you.
     
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  48. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    This is the interesting thing about Federer's rivals since about 2007 (Nadal alone since 2005). They are consistently holding strong in the top 5: Nadal, Murray, Djokovic. There was nothing remotely like them in the 1990s. Sampras's rivals came and went, but Federer's are always there.
     
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  49. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    If you really twist the numbers, sure you can make Agassi look better.

    The thing with Agassi was that he really was unpredictable. Even by 2000 when he supposedly got his act together and won the trifecta of the French, US Open, and Australian, he would go a full year without winning a tournament (between the two Australians of 2000 and 2001).

    This was Agassi in a nutshell. A great player, but not as tough a rival as Nadal (obviously), nor Djokovic for that matter.
     
    #99
  50. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Late to the discussion I know. But I disagree, most era's had a handful of players that dominated ie. in the 70's it was Connors, Borg and McEnroe.

    Maybe it is not so much the field was weaker but the dominant players were not as dominant. Maybe the issue is that the years Wilander and Sampras played they were not as good as they think. I was around during the years of Wilander and he was not much more than a very good defensive player, with a small serve but quick around the court with good accuracy off his ground strokes. Not exactly an offensive threat. Back in the late 70's we had Harold Solomon and Eddie Dibbs both in the top 10. Talk about a weak field.

    The game has changed a lot in the those years and I don't think that Wilander would survive in the current game. And Sampras would compete but would probably be in that second tier.

    I believe that Roger was a blip in history someone doing what he was meant to do. There are a lot of great athletes out there but they might not ever fall into that one thing that makes them a GOAT. We are lucky to have witnessed this genius.
     

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