Sampras believes his competition was better!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by PRADEEPKUMAR MANI, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. PRADEEPKUMAR MANI

    PRADEEPKUMAR MANI New User

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    http://sport.scotsman.com/tennis.cfm?id=1846412007

    I don't see why Pete has to be so insecure. He is one of the tennis greats, his legacy lives. Yet he is always condescending in his opinions of Roger's achievements- he always seems to praise Roger, but adds a caveat that implies that Roger has it easier now ("tougher" competition during Pete's time, lack of S & V players, etc.). I don't understand how S & V tennis is an guaranteed recipe for success. It is true that players don't S & V now - but they have become that much better at the baseline. The more he shoots off his mouth like this, the more I lose respect for him.

    Some one posted this at http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A26834592:


    Couldn't agree more!
     
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  2. Morrissey

    Morrissey Guest

    He says that because Fed makes his competition look weaker compared to Pete's generation. Fed would have smoked Pete's competition. I can't believe I'm defending the guy.
     
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  3. Heavy Metal Tennis Star

    Heavy Metal Tennis Star Professional

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    ofcourse, he wasnt good enough to stop his peers!, if roddick was playing in petes era, he would have 3 slams, not 1.
     
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  4. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Sampras is correct on this matter. Absolutely, no doubt about it.
     
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  5. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I have to agree. It's a hell of a lot harder to be dominant when the surfaces are all polarized and your opponents all have different styles. Doesn't matter if Yzaga isn't a big name, he was probably on fire that day, and Sampras probably wasn't at his best.
     
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  6. Nickognito

    Nickognito Rookie

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    no doubt that Federer in 2003-2007 is better thant Pete in 1993-97.

    After that, we have eight years. Sampras' 1990-92 and 1998-2002

    In this period Sampras won 25 tournaments, including 2 Us Open, 3 Wimbledon, 2 Masters and 1 Grand Slam Cup, reaching each year at least a grand slam final, and being top10 in 7 years.

    if we exclude 2004-2007 period for Federer, the Swiss won 4 atp tournaments, without any grand slam semifinals and being just 1 time a top10.

    Federer is yet very young, so let's wait 7 years, and see.

    c.
     
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  7. PRADEEPKUMAR MANI

    PRADEEPKUMAR MANI New User

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    I do not think the surface is that different from what Sampras played. During the 90s, we had 2 fast surfaces (Wimby and USO), 1 med-fast (AO) and 1 slow (FO). Now we have 1 fast (USO), 2 med-fast (Wim, AO) and 1 slow. When you compare, not much has changed..

    Most of the guys that sampras lost to (in the above list) were predominantly baseliners. So "different" styles did not seem to have much of an effect on Sampras - seems like only one style did!

    IMO, simply the presence of multiple GS winners during an era does not imply that the era was better. It only means that the players during that era were closely matched in terms of ability. It does not tell you anything about the absolute ability of a player. Then you can only draw conclusions about a player's ability based on playing style, weaknesses, etc.

    IMO Fed dominates because he is that much better (except nadal on clay) than everyone else, not because his opponents are weak. None of his weapons (bar his FH) is the best in history, yet the sum total of all his weapons exceeds anyone else in history! (Not that I'm presenting new "evidence" in the GOAT/ Fed vs. Samp debate... This has been discussed a lot on these boards, without any conclusion. Just wanted to share my thoughts nevertheless :) )
    .
     
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  8. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    The year Sampras lost to Yzaga was the year he sprained his ankle badly at Wimbledon, and sat out the entire summer hardcourt season, save one doubles tourney, I think Long island, just to kinda get used to the pace of the game before the Open. FYI.
     
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  9. jukka1970

    jukka1970 Professional

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    Ok, I don't care for Sampras at all, but I will say this. In my opinion Sampras isn't condescending about Federer. Sampras does have a lot of respect for Federer. There are times that things are going to look different by the way stuff is printed. At one time I thought Sampras was pretty arogant, but as other posters showed some more interview materials, I changed my view on that. So I would simply say, not to read to much into one specific interview, but judge things on groups of interviews whether in print or in video format, and it's probably better if the group contains both.

    Jukka
     
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  10. tHotGates

    tHotGates Rookie

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    Sampras is right but he should dial down the talk or come up with a more PC/softer answer to some of these inevitable questions.
     
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  11. MasturB

    MasturB Hall of Fame

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    Seriously, why is Pete so insecure?

    He's the GOAT until Fed wins #15 (if that ever happens).

    Fed has won all of these slams in a handful amount of years. Sampras won them a bit more spread out in his career.

    Of course there's going to be less players Fed is going up against who are winners of majors.

    Roddick has a few more slams, Nadal has a few more slams, Joker has a slam, Safin maybe another. Then you can say Fed did it in an era as strong as Pete's, but then again at the same time you say Fed wasn't dominant because he doesn't own those slams.
     
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  12. Rhino

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  13. iamke55

    iamke55 Professional

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    I'm sure the guy who designed the Pentium 1 would think the same if the raw numbers measuring such performance didn't exist and there were legions of fanboys who think Civilization 1 actually looks better than Gears of War.
     
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  14. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    I don't think Sampras is necessarily wrong. Courier, Rafter, Agassi, Kafelnikov, Brugera, Kuerten are better than the current crop - with the exception of Nadal. HOWEVER, Becker (his best years were in the mid-late 80's), Edberg (whose peak years weren't during Sampras's time), Lendl, McEnroe, Noah, Leconte, Mecir, Cash, Wilander and Connors were infinitely better than the guys Sampras had to play against. HOWEVER, that's nowhere near as tough as the early days of pro tennis when you had Laver, Newcombe, Nastase, Gonzalez, Emerson, Ashe, Stolle, Roche, Rosewall, etc, etc.

    So, Federer mightn't have the tough opposition Sampras faced (forgetting that Courier flamed out within 4 years, Rafter only lasted 5 years at the top, Eberg was done by 92 and Agassi was pretty much AWOL until he hit 30) but Pete was equally lucky when compared to other generations.
     
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  15. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    I would remove Kafelnikov, Bruguera, Kuerten from your first sentence personally. Bruguera and Kuerten are only better then top players of the Federer time on clay, nothing else, in fact on other surfaces they are generally worse. Kafelnikov I dont think is any better either, and am frankly amazed he won 2 slams. However other then that I agree with everything you said.
     
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  16. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

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    I like pete as much as the next guy, but he is starting to sound like a female.
    ________
    MARIJUANA VAPORIZER
     
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  17. friedalo1

    friedalo1 Semi-Pro

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    There were more champions during Sampras time. Edberg, Becker, Lendle, Agassi, goran, rafter and so on. Federer had Hewitt, Nadal, and Roddick.
     
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  18. mattyc

    mattyc Rookie

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    I think comparing generations of tennis players to others is a very stupid idea.

    The best players are able to adapt to do what it takes to win. Had Nadal been around when the likes of Agassi and rafter were dominant. He would have adapted and still challenged at the very top of the game. If rod laver was playing these days, he would have adapted physically and technically to challenge the top players nowadays.


    All these guys are outstanding talents. Roger, Federer, Nadal, Agassi, Lendl, Borg, Laver, Connors etc.


    If all were in their prime, who knows how the rankings would pan out. I am certain that on the fast courts, the likes of Sampras would have taken out Nadal, but on everything else I am not sure it would be the case.


    Whilst it is natural to look for a number 1 and all that, we need to just appreciate all champions for what they bring/brought to the sport. Personally I think Federer has a more complete game than Sampras. Having said that I don't believe one or the other would have been much better than the other in terms of results (apart from the French/clay where Fed would kick sampras' ass.
     
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  19. babolat15

    babolat15 Hall of Fame

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    i think pete had better competition also
     
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  20. redclay

    redclay New User

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    Do I have to be the one to point out that many of you on this board have not actually seen the players Sampras played against, except on grainy youtube clips... They were all fantastic talents.

    Federer, because of his talent, is able to dominate the current generation in a way never seen before. It's a new development, brought about by all the reasons you guys argue about on here...

    For Sampras, he can say what he wants. He's the guys who set the standard for over a decade, and while Federer is right there, and has surpassed S. in many areas, I still have my doubts that he will win more than seven wimbledons. And for me, I guess I'm a little old school, but wimbledon is still the measure that everyone will be looking up in 50 years.
     
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  21. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    I agree w. much of what you said, but dont agree at all that the surfaces arent much different now than then. They've homogenized the surfaces to a larger degree even though they are made of different materials. This then creates less variety and diversity of play, and making tennis easier to play now than then in many respects..a big thing now is they can just chip/float/block service returns without danger of someone volleying <with few exceptions>. Essentially <with few exceptions> you prepare for one match against one player about the same as you prepare for any player and the strategy is the same....so with more of a singleminded game of tennis <low risk tennis from the backcourt and a fitness grind> tennis is easier and less athletic I feel

    In my mind this all started when Wimbledon, in an effort to appease the claycourters who threatened to boycott Wimbledon, made the grass slower and higher bounding. so now you have the Aussie Open which I bet will play much like the grass at W, which will play a lot like the USOpen hardcourts, and I think they may have even sped up the terre batu at the French Open....

    The game needs at least one Major on a lower bounding surface to encourage some serve/volley and so the extreme grippers dont have the advantage. I hope the Aussies come up with a surface like that, but I suspect it will be just another higher bounding med speed surface
     
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  22. Heavy Metal Tennis Star

    Heavy Metal Tennis Star Professional

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    the reason pete sampras' era had more champions is because pete wasnt good enough to stop his peers from getting many slams, federer stopped a lot of people, hewitt woulda had more than 2, roddick woulda had more than 1, and gonzo woulda had 1, blake prolly woulda had one too, and we all know about rafa.
     
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  23. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    He is lucky to have one...
     
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  24. Sanyi

    Sanyi Banned

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    I see a ton more choking today than I did 10 yrs ago. That's fo sho
     
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  25. Dilettante

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  26. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    This is a lose-lose for Federer. If he wins all the slams, then his competition is weak because they haven't won alot of slams. If he lets them win some slams, then he is no longer dominating.
     
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  27. PimpMyGame

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    Yup, and chocolate bars were bigger when I was a kid.
     
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  28. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

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    It's only a lose-lose if you believe what Sampras has to say.

    Personally I think Pete has a point. IMO there was more depth in men's tennis when Pete was playing. This however takes nothing away from (again IMO) Roger being a better player than Pete.
     
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  29. Maestro Nalbandian

    Maestro Nalbandian Professional

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    Agreed. That one would've been Agassi's if Ferrero didn't take him out in the semis.
     
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  30. FedForGOAT

    FedForGOAT Professional

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    most people agree that overall, the depth in men's tennis has increased (so a guy ranked around 50 nowadays would be better (compared to the competition) than a guy ranked 50 20 years ago. What pete is saying is that that on the higher levels, roger has less competition to face, i.e. there are less outstanding players now.

    But if you think about it, who out of Sampras' competition (Agassi, Goran, Rafter, Courier, Kuerten... (Becker, Edberg, Mac, and Lendl were way past their primes)) could give Federer in his prime a challenge? I think Fed would defeat them just as easily as he defeats his current opponents.

    About "Laver, Newcombe, Nastase, Gonzalez, Emerson, Ashe, Stolle, Roche, Rosewall", I can see Federer defeating all of those easily except for Laver and Gonzalez, and these players' primes weren't even in the same time.

    My point is basically that if you took Federer and had him replace any great player in history, he'd win against that player's competition just as easily as he wins today.
     
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  31. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Regardless of what Pete say or how his comments maybe construed, I think deep inside he knows that a player of better caliber has came along and on the way to break his records. And oh yeah Federer did beat him at Wimby so yeah he was part of Federer's competition.
     
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  32. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    Pete's right. His biggest competitor was Agassi. Fed's biggest competitor is Rafa. Compare Rafa with Agassi. Rafa so far has just won the FO... Agassi won ALL 4 slams... So Agassi was a threat to Pete at all 4 Slams. While Rafa has been a threat only at the FO..... Rafa has also reached 2 Wimby finals but lost both....
     
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  33. JohnP

    JohnP Rookie

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    That reminds me of onetime I was watching some sportswriters arguing over who was more dominant, Tiger Woods or Roger Federer. I thought it was hilarious that one of them said it was Tiger Woods because "Roger Federer has no competition". Isn't that the point behind "dominance"?
     
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  34. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    They used to say the same about Schumacher. That he dominated F1 because he had no competition. Now they say that about Fed. He dominates tennis because he plays in a weak era against no competition but weak players.... :-?:-?
     
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  35. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Sampras has played Mcenroe, Connors, Becker, Edberg, Lendl, Wilander, Agassi. These guys are considered the all-time great. Which all-time great has Federer played apart from an old Agassi ??
     
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  36. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agassi wold have given him trouble seeing how he could hang with him at the age of 35,now I'm not saying Agassi was your average 35 year old seeing how he won 5 slams from 1999-2003 and for sure Agassi wasn't a consistant force throughout the 90's but 1995 and 1999 Agassi would surely give Federer a challenge.Rafter even though he was a very late bloomer would definitely cause Fed trouble with his kick serve that would make the ball jump high to Fed's backhand,now I would expect Fed to beat him most times but he would certainly pose more of a threat than Roddick who at the net looks like a fish on the dry.Kuerten at his best would beat Fed on clay.Although Kuerten was not nearly as consistant force on clay as Nadal,at his best he was at least as impressive as Nadal.Goran would also if his serve was on challenge Federer on grass,he gave Sampras a five set match almost every time they played although Federer is a better returner than Sampras there ain't a whole lot you can do when Goran hits first serves.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
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  37. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    But I bet all the players mentioned would fight their hearts out and it makes a difference. Most players today think they have little chance against Fed. They concede before the match. It's always unfair to compare skill levels from different eras but it's quite clear to me on the mental side, today's players are not as competitive as those in Pete's era. One can argue Fed's dominance destroy their confidence as a validation of how good Fed is and might have some truth in it. But anyone has followed games and careers of those guys, Agassi, Goran, Rafter, Courier, Kuerten, Becker, Edberg, Mac, Lendl... you know they will only come out and fight harder, the day they concede to a single player is the day they concede tennis.
     
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  38. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    So you are comparing the achievements of a 21 year old vs a retired player. Agassi had won squat at 21, all he had done is choke away 3 slam finals. Nadal is already far more dominant on clay then Agassi ever was on any surface. Nadal has already made the same # of Wimbledon finals as Agassi did his whole career at only 21, and his were back-to-back and he faced tough-as-nails Federer in both as opposed to Goran "choke" Ivanisevic in 1 of his 2. Nadal at 21 already has 3 Masters titles on hard courts (his worst surface) to to only 1 for Agassi on clay. Yet Nadal having achieved this at only 21 is somehow supposably vastly inferior opposition to Agassi, ROTFL!!!
     
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  39. JamaicanYoute

    JamaicanYoute Rookie

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    Why are we using 94-97 & 04-07 as the measuring stick? Is it because that's when they both stacked up the most slams (for themselves) in those years? If so, to me that's not really how it should be measured. For example, I think Pete had an amazing year in '99. If he wouldn't have gotten injured he for sure would've gone on to win the US. That year he made Agassi (who was playing well) look like an amateur. That summer leading up the open he dominated all the tournaments and consecutively took out Rafter & Agassi quite easily.

    I digress. While I think that players are generally better today (IE, the top 50) I believe that there are less people once you get to the top. I think other than Fed today, the only other champion that should be there is Nadal & Safin. I think if Safin had a few good brain cells then Fed would have half the GS that he does. There were better "champions" back then. I think if you were to take say Sampras, Agassi, Rafter, Kafelnikov & Krajicek on their best days and put them against the top 10 today, they would beat today's players. While I'll agree that there are more fit players, there is less talent IMO.

    Part of the problem is that there is no diversity in people's games and the surfaces have all been turned down a few notches so as to "make it better for spectators". That's ridiculous. Federer, who is one of the better volleyers on the singles tour, isn't that great a volleyer. Why do you think it you see Nadal in the finals of Wimbledon?(which I believe he could win it BTW). Every tournament is the same thing and it's just a matter of who has a good enough week to take on Fed.

    Why is Sampras automatically the GOAT just because he has the most Slams? What about like Laver that wasn't allowed to play? Or Borg if he wouldn't have stopped in 81? Etc, etc. If and when Fed. breaks the record, that doesn't mean he's the GOAT.

    Yeaaaah.. Right. Roddick is lucky to have one and is even more lucky to be in the top 10. It's so funny because I always have this argument with friends about Roddick & the other day I caught the interview with Fed before the 2nd Sampras match. Did anyone else hear what he said about Roddick? I believe it went something like this: "It would be nice if we had another American who was better". After he realized what he said he went on to say "I mean, Roddick is fantastic... but it would be nice to have some GS champions". LOL.

    You're absolutely right, they are 2 different topics. While I don't want to start getting on the other topic I do believe that Sampras playing his best would consistently beat Fed playing his best.

    I think there was def. more depth back then. It would've been nice to see Fed playing with all of them. It would have been very nice tennis to watch.

    My 2 Cents...
     
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  40. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    You say an "old Agassi" yet have the nerve to bring up some of the names you just did directly after saying that. I see your ignorance has not faded with time. McEnroe and Connors were retired by the time Sampras won his 2nd slam in 1993 and began to dominate. They were WAY past their prime even at the time of that first slam in 1990, much more then Agassi was when Federer faced him. Wilander was pretty much finished by 1990. Lendl was way past his prime by 1993 when Sampras won his 2nd slam and began to dominate, again much more then Agassi was by 2003-2005 when Federer played him often.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
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  41. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    double posting...
     
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  42. fishuuuuu

    fishuuuuu Hall of Fame

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    Sampras can take his beliefs and stick em where they belong. Until he gets back on the court, registered with the tour again and winning matches thats where his beliefs are staying.
     
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  43. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    You're not serious are you?

    If Federer says that Sampras could come back on tour and be top 5 now (as of 11/07) doesn't that say something......Roger's opinion, NOT Sampras'.
     
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  44. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Roger also said he played very good tennis after losing to Volandri 6-4, 6-2 this year. He also said back in 2004-2005 when Roddick and Hewitt were his main rivals on non-clay surfaces after each easy win over Hewitt or Roddick he was shocked "how easy it was", pleaaassseee! Even a Roger fan would admit Roger's word in press conferences is worthless, he always says the PR thing, in fact annoyingly much so. People bash Serena Williams but atleast she is honest, rather then being such a goody goody it becomes pathetic at times.
     
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  45. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    Old Pete?? :-?:-?
     
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  46. theone

    theone Banned

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    I think there was more variety in the past, but I think there is greater depth in mens tennis today.
     
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  47. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    I'm a Nadal fan and I would love to see him win another slam besides the FO but I'm not sure he can or will...
     
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  48. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    1. The odds of a 21 year old who has already reached 2 Wimbledon final and given incredibly close matches, and who has 3 Masters titles, 5 Masters finals, 2 Masters Cup semis on hard courts already, never winning a slam outside the French, are extremely low. It would take a major injury to prevent this probably.

    2. I dont really care, all I know is at 21 Agassi had compared squat to what Nadal has now (Federer even had done nothing compared to Nadal at this age) and while you cant say for sure that means he will have a better career, it is also completely unreasonable to compare the career achievements of a 21 year old to a guy who is done his career, or already deem him clearly inferior.

    3. Nadal is much more dominant and hard to beat on clay then Agassi ever was on any surface, hard courts, clay, or grass. Whatever challenge Agassi in his prime could give Federer he would never be the near instoppable wall on any surface to Federer the way Nadal on clay has been to Federer, not even close. Nadal has already been in the same # of Wimbledon finals as Agassi at only 21, so I find it hard to believe Agassi on the old faster grass is better or even as good as Nadal on the new slower grass. Nadal outside the slams has performed better on hard courts then Agassi ever did on clay in fact, it whether he can translate that into the slams now. I just dont see anyway Agassi is head and shoulders above Nadal except for his long career which he was able to slowly pile up the accomplishments over 20 years or so, something completely unreasonable for Nadal who has only been on tour 4 years or so.
     
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  49. Off lawn. Onion, belt. Etc.
     
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  50. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

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    actually, neither is GOAT until they win the French. OOhhh...Trumped :D
     
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