Sampras Boring? Look at the Rivalries Man

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by laurie, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. laurie

    laurie Guest

    A few people have been coming here saying how boring Sampras was. So I say to them, fine. I have a challenge for them. And the challenge is to come here on the message board and argue against this:

    Sampras v Agassi was undoubtedly the greatest rivalry of the 1990s and along with McEnroe v Borg and McEnroe v Connors was among the greatest rivalries in the history of men's tennis. Sampras v Agassi you had to choose one or the other. It was like Rangers v Celtic, Man Utd v Liverpool and so on. It was a rivalry which got sport fans in general talking not just tennis fans. They played in finals and semifinals all over the world and played some of the best tennis together people have ever seen.

    So, how is that possible if Sampras was boring and his game boring to watch. That would not be possible would it? Lets not forget the great rivalries Sampras also had with Becker, Edberg, Goran, Rafter, Krajicek, Chang and Courier.

    So, come on, I invite you to say this is all nonsense I'm talking and that Sampras was too boring to make this all possible. BUT, you must have very good arguments.
     
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  2. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    laurie i dont think anyone who knows tennis even a litte bit would say that the play of sampras was boring..i think they are saying that the part of his personality that he displayed on court and in his interviews was errrrr hmmmm understated??
     
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  3. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    sampras is definitely not boring. His game is exciting. Me and my friends would always try his running skying slam dunk looking smash. I lost count of how many people would try and emulate his serve especially his toe in the air. He was exciting to me that's for sure. The only thing is he is quite the quiet person on the court and does look like he's hunched over almost ready to fall asleep and then BAM BOOM WHAM!! game set match.
     
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  4. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Laurie.I AGREE!!!!
     
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  5. rhubarb

    rhubarb Hall of Fame

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    The reason the Sampras/Agassi rivalry was interesting was because of Andre ;)
     
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  6. wan321

    wan321 New User

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    Laurie you're right!!!

    I don't know why people keep saying Sampras is boring. Maybe they just missed a lot of great matches in Sampras's Prime.

    Start from 90 US Open, you could see how a young 19 kid won the champion by getting through those tennis legends. (Lendl, McEnroe and his main rival Agassi). All fans were cheering at the moment and felt excited.

    During his prime, he won several grand slam titles because of his tremendous shots. His combination of serve, running forehand, pretty good backhand, volley and overhead brought him what he deserved. You guys may say Sampras's backhand is bad. However, when you watch his old match, his backhand is much more stable, powerful and faster than his down period. It's impossible for a guy with poor backhand to won 14 GS titles.
    (eg. Jim Courier)

    When he was in his down side, he can still get into the finals of US Open in 2000 and 2001. Remember what he did in 2001 US open? How he get thru Rafter, Safin..etc? How his killed ROddick in 3 sets?
    All I remember were the cheering from the fans because of his fantastic shots.
     
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  7. wan321

    wan321 New User

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    rivalry between Sampras and Andre

    I think the reason that the rivalry is so exciting between Sampras and Agassi is because of their playing style instead of only Andre.

    Excellent serve VS Excellent return; Running forehhand VS Powerful forehand; Flexible single backhand VS Powerful doublebackhand; Server & Volleyer VS baseliner; Sampras is good in speed game and Andre is good in energy. Andre couldn't bit sampras in Wimbledon and US Open; Sampras couldn't bit Andre in Australian and French. That's what make them excited.

    Besides, maybe Sampras is a very quiet person. It's good for him that his can calm down easily and concentrate in his game. People as emotional as Safin is not easy to be a great player.
     
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  8. wan321

    wan321 New User

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    MISTAKE

    Clarify: Sampras Killed Roddick in 3 sets in 2002 US Open. He won the title by bitting Roddick, Hass, Rusedski and Agassi.
     
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  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    You forgot to include Lendl in that mix. Compared to that rivalry, Sampras v Agassi was boring. While McEnroe, Connors, and Lendl liked Borg and Borg liked them, McEnroe, Connors, and Lendl hated each other. Now that makes for a great rivalry....a blood feud!
     
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  10. rhubarb

    rhubarb Hall of Fame

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    Whether or not Sampras was boring is not a point for debate, it is merely a subjective, personal view. I would not wish to attempt to convince you, laurie, that Pete was boring, because to you, he clearly wasn't. As for me, I don't really care whether he had great rivalries or not, the fact is that he just left me cold. That doesn't mean he is boring to everyone, but he is to me.
     
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  11. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yes, I agree Rabbit. Those were true rivalries.

    While I did not find Pete boring and I very much enjoyed his matches against Agassi. There rivalry was one more of hype and commercials than an actual on court battle. They played far to few times in big matches. This wasn't Pete's fault but due to the on/off nature of Agassi's career. Compared to the great rivalries their's was just the occasional skirmish.
     
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  12. antontd

    antontd Semi-Pro

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    rhubarb, what did I tell you? You are the only one who finds Pete boring.
    Anyone else? speak now!
     
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  13. rhubarb

    rhubarb Hall of Fame

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    I'm not, really. Go and read some other tennis boards and you'll soon come across others. But, I guess you'll just believe what you want to anyway :roll:
     
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  14. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    They played in quite a few big time matches. out of 34 head to head matches 20 of them were either semis or finals matchups.

    7 of which were grand slam events. It was a lot of hype but the problem was that they were good sportsmen and good friends that they didn't really have bad blood against one another so there wasn't that feeling of rivalry like per say a lakers/celtics matchup back in the day.

    http://www.atptennis.com/en/players....asp?player1=Sampras,+Pete&player2=agassi
     
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  15. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    if u found pete exciting then ur in the minority. its common knowledge that pete sampras was a boring player, pete himself will tell u that in interviews that people thought he was too boring on court. in the 93 wimby final the engish named his win 'boring on the 4th of july'... nike marketing tried to spruce him up with denim shorts in the mid 90's and he was told to look more excitable on court and when he tried he looked to manufactured when he did it his game isnt the most exciting to watch esp at the end of his career when he'd only move 3 steps left or right during a point . he had the roddick serve, but unlike roddick he wasnt a scrapper or hustler. he needed an exciting player to play against to create a rivalry. and finally, he was the greatest player of all time unarguably and how many times was he on the cover of SI ? like 2 or 3 times ? why ? cuz putting him on the cover doesnt sell magazines cuz the public thinks he's boring.

    i saw him play one night a few years ago and i was bored in the bleachers freezing my ass off. either he would hit a service winner or on his second shot he would go either hit a winner or hit it in the net. his serves were amazing but his game doesnt make u want to get out of ur chair and start hollering. like roddick , hewitt, agassi, connors, etc.
     
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  16. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yes, that's true...but that was over the course of 13 years! 7 slam meetings in 13 years! I'd rather see a Mcenroe vs. Borg who were 7-7 in 3 yrs, ALL of which were in semis or finals. Of the 8 meetings from the end of 79 to 81, 6 of the meetings were at either grand slam events or the masters.
     
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  17. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    This rivalry thing is only in the minds of some fans and marketers. I'm sure that if asked, neither Pete nor Andre would agree that there was a rivalry. Professional tennis is a game of playing for yourself, by yourself, with no interest in any of the other players. (that's why none o f them ever look at the draw, whoever comes on the court is fine). Federer would never even think he had a rival, nor would Hewitt, Moya, Safin or Henman. They play in their own self-centred world, and like golfers compete in order to see how great they can get, not how great then can be in comparison to someone else. The rivalry idea is artificial and is promoted by the media in an attempt to generate viewers/readers/money in other ways. A concept , not a reality.
     
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  18. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Tell you the truth, I'd rather see Mac vs. Lendl or Mac vs. Borg or Mac vs. Connors or Connors vs. Lendl or Connors vs Mac.

    Anybody else remember when Lendl was in his prime and Connors played and lost to him at the Open and Connors said "I can't believe all he does is bunt the ball now....". Lendl? Bunt? Surely you jest....

    Those were the days my friend
    We thought they'd never end
    We'd sing and dance
    Forever and a day
     
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  19. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    Connors vs. Lendl was a very overrated rivalry, IMO. There were many 6-1 or 6-0 sets throughout the rivalry(some outright tank jobs like the 4th set of the '83 US Open Final)
    For whatever reason, the two couldn't play great tennis at the same time on most occassions. I remember Tennis Magazine had an article about rivalries, they named Connors-Lendl as the worst rivalry.
     
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  20. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    LOL, denim shorts? Is this some Sampras erotic dream you had?
     
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  21. Bertchel Banks

    Bertchel Banks Semi-Pro

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    Sampras is as exciting as a carpenter hammering a nail.

    It's not his fault the other players couldn't return his serve. But that weapon retarded the rest of his game from flourishing in a way that would excite fans.
     
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  22. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    nope, he wore em at the 95 us open :)
     
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  23. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Ted, I believe those are light blue cotton shorts you're thinking of. I can see how you could think them denim on TV....but I really don't think they were an attempt to spruce him up in an exciting way....they are typical understated Sampras!

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. I'm still laughing here.. Sampras was like a cat on court ready to pounce, which he did all too often for his opponents. That's when the point wasn't finished already on a Sampras winner. Perhaps it's Sampras' playing style that you don't find interesting? Or the fact that he rarely argued calls, even when he knew it was wrong? (Sampras probably had much better eye sight than the average line judge.) Forgive him for his medical condition which was obvious more and more as Sampras went about his career. Nobody has control over things like that, but I think it's safe to say that during his career Sampras overcame such a condition. Sampras was exciting on the court and in interviews. He was too good and witty not to be.
     
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  25. Those shorts are awesome. I have a good pair here that I will play in today. They are no Wranglers, but they sure look like denim and are composed of 100 percent cotton. That picture is tough to see since Agassi was just then likely burned out. Then again, we might not have seen Agassi III had Agassi II not materialized. In the Nike clothes of the mid 90's, they look like a couple of stoners at some weird concert, heh.
     
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  26. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    I found him totally boring. It is why I really want Roger to break his records. He is more interesting to watch and a much nicer and more insightful human being.
     
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  27. blueskaterboy

    blueskaterboy New User

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    he had the roddick serve? thats just blasphemy.

    its boring when hes just too good for his opponent, not his fault.
    yeah i dont like his backhand, but his serve is the best undisputed. exact same motion no matter which line he was aiming at. he could completely blast his way out of a hole even if he was at love-40 2nd serve. eastern forehand, pure power. serve-volley is the correct way to play tennis. it can be exciting especially now it is the minority that plays this way. i think it is very respectable that he didnt show too much emotion and wasnt obnoxious on court.

    main disadvantage i think he wasnt too fit. not enough endurance, when he played well he didnt really need it.

    i've been watching my tapes of the australian open semifinal agassi vs sampras. it might be my favorite match to watch. they just completely destroy each other. and it is NOT boring.

    no rivalry? how about when agassi beat him at the australian open, later sampras won wimbledon, and at the end they pretty much played the us open for the number 1 spot? you think they didnt feel anything? i think when there is pretty much only ONE man that can stop you from getting a grand slam or being number 1, and you are the same to them. thats rivalry right there. it is true the atp attempts to create rivalries to make money... i thought that new balls/old guard nonsense is the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard
     
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  28. dax_q

    dax_q Rookie

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    I am sorry, but most times in the Sampras/Agassi rivalry, one of them was not on top of their game and most matches did not result in a memorable match.
     
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  29. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    While I don't share this sentiment, I DO understand it (other than the Roddick serve part-that's dead wrong). Yeah, to many he was boring because he was too good for his opposition-just wham, bang, thank you ma'am. But I really enjoyed watching him, even when he demolished his foes. It was just a display of near-perfect tennis-and not just the serve. The groundies, vollies, overhead-all were perfect. To see perfection in sports is UNCOMMON, and some people just don't appreciate it. I think the baseline players who came up starting in the mid-90's and proliferate today are boring. They CAN'T play perfect tennis-no one else can (other than Federer) and this style is all they can do. It's limited, but effective. Watching Pete, you weren't watching "limited but effective"-you were watching...poetry. But I ramble...
     
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  30. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    I agree Phil, I just came across this:

    "6. Pete Sampras v Andre Agassi, Wimbledon final, 1999
    Agassi was at the peak of his powers. He played tennis of such a high standard that it was almost perfect. Sampras, however, was better than that. He played perhaps the finest three sets of grass-court tennis that have been played, and three sets were all he needed. It was a match that lacked drama. It didn’t swing one way and then the other. You were never in doubt as to who would win. It was better than that: it was the refined, distilled essence of sporting excellence. For Agassi, perfection was not enough. Sampras showed us that the greatest champions of all have something beyond mere perfection.

    Lesson: there is a difference between great drama and great sport."

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8303-1345721,00.html
     
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  31. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    The 99 Wimbledon final was grossly overrated. Pete just served so well he could pick his game to break and that was it. Agassi also is very beatable on grass even at his best. Rafter is 2-1 against him at Wimbledon which says it all.
     
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  32. Peter Samprer

    Peter Samprer Rookie

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    are you tryin' to be funny? c'mon now! agassi is one of the best players and won it all. how could you say he's "very" beatable on grass even "at his best"? i'm not a big agassi fun but this is bullsh!t. :roll:
     
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  33. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    Agassi won Wimbledon once, wow that really makes him one of the all-time greats on grass. Agassi's best would lose to alot of top player's bests on grass.
     
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  34. laurie

    laurie Guest

    Davey, out of interest, tell us who your favourite players are and why they are your favourites.
     
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  35. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    It's not graf hehehe :wink:
     
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  36. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    My favorites:

    Roger Federer-he is a very genuine person. His tennis is very smooth and stylish to watch. He also has power, athleticsm, he is the whole package for me.

    Monica Seles-handled a tragedy with such class and grace. Love the power and accuracy off her groundstrokes, especially in her prime. Great reflexes and coordination at her best.

    Justine Henin-Love her determination and defiance. She doesnt give a s*&t she is so small, she wants to win and be the best. She is very agressive on the court with her style, yet has great variety and feel to go with it.

    Lindsay Davenport-very insightful and fair in her comments. Great clean hitter off the ball, nice strokes to watch being hit. Always a reliable threat near the top of the game, very few wild up and downs.
     
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