It has often been said on these boards that this era lacks "champions," boasts of "chokers" and that the past era - of Sampras et al - was far more competitive. Some contend that Sampras' competition had a lot of champions, and thus he wasn't as dominant as Federer. Ergo, some contend that, Sampras is a greater player than Federer. However, looking up Sampras' record, it's plain to see it's not only heavyweights that bothered him, but infact he often lost to mediocre players. These are some of the matches he lost in his best years. 1993 Montreal Masters - Loses to Brett Stevens - Rank 45 Indianapolis - Loss to P. Rafter - Then ranked 139 and not a top player until 3-4 years down the road Stockholm - Loss to C. Costa, a claycourt specialist on Carpet 1994 Loses to Karim Alami at Doha in the first round Philadelphia - Loses to doubles specialist Jacco Eltingh Queen's - Loses to Todd Martin, dubbed by many on TW as a 'choker.' Grand Slam Cup - Loses to Magnus Larson 1995 Memphis - Loss to Todd Martin Philadelphia - Loss to Paul Haarhuis, Eltingh's doubles partner ranked 47 Loses to Random players in claycourt season, which is often the aspect of Sampras' career that gets overlooked it seems. The GOAT that barely ever performed on clay. Indianapolis - Loss to Karbacher, ranked 27 Lyon - Loses to W. Ferriera, rank 13 If you look up 96 an '97 you ll find some more losses to ordinary players. It's a bit of a myth IMO that Sampras wasn't as dominant as Federer because of a tougher competition. Now it's true that Becker, Stich and Courier beat him occasionally but the supposed GOAT also lost to players like Haarhuis and Leander Paes, both of whom never amounted to anything in singles. I 'm not denigrating Sampras, he is ofcourse one of the best of all time, but I just wanted to discuss this whole "Sampras had to compete with more champions" thing.