Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by AJK1, Jun 8, 2008.
I think not.
No he isn't but people here don't remember Pete's numerous losses at the FO and on clay in general(to MUCH,much worse players then Nadal) while Fed gets ripped everytime for losing to possibly the greatest claycourter ever because his losses are still fresh in people's minds.
I don't think hes pathetic but I think the fact that he only ever made one semi completely rules him out of being one of the greatest of all time....Federer at least has made 3 finals and lost to Nadal of all people....I know there are a lot of Sampras fan boys but realistically its the truth, you have to look beyond the numbers.....compare surfaces, opponents, games, etc
Do you remember that Pete won the Italian Open in 1994? I didn't think so.
He did pretty well on red clay playing Davis Cup, too.
Pete-bashing is so easy to do, isn't it? Too bad American kids learn tennis on hardcourts and not clay.
At least Roger beat Nadal in a claycourt final once. Remember?
these are the fan boys i was referring too, relax dude, winning the italian open once is nothing compared to the FO, ridiculous argument, and again who cares that roger beat nadal once not at the FO, your points are irrelevant to the thread
was the Italian Open even a master series?
i think at that time it was called a super 9
Why rip pete or roger how about Nadal for not winning on any other grand slam. They are all great players. just to win one grand slam in your life is great I am thrilled to win a USTA match
nadal is still quite young, fed only had one slam at that age
ya man..neither did John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, and Boris Becker...what a bunch of pathetic hacks
so we have Mac, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, and Fed not winning the French. If anything, that just illustrates the French is just an anomoly Major, especially considering the number of one time winners and winners who didnt win any of the other Majors nor do well on any other surface
I agree but realistically neither Sampras or Federer is the best ever. A player who can win on all surfaces vs the best like Laver is. Borg's complete dominance on the polar opposites of grass and clay is even more impressive then what Sampras or Federer have done.
its a valid argument, i lean towards federer though...
flyer, I am relaxed. Just don't slam me for pointing out some of Sampras' achievements on red clay. I'm sorry that you obviously knew of them earlier....
not winning a grand slam title is not pathetic but losing a set 6-0 in a grand slam final without putting up a fight is pathetic *
*not my view -- this was the view of the poster who had created that thread
my view is nadal was just too good today.
Federer will be remembered as the GOAT when it's all said and done if he breaks Sampras's record. Only a few hackers on boards like this will make a fuss.
Add Connors to that list too. Still the all-time singles titles leader, but zero FOs to his name.
Meanwhile, most of the FO champs have zero other GS titles - Chang, Muster, Bruguera, Kuerten, Ferrero, Gaudio, Costa, Nadal, although a few have come through on clay and other surfaces - Lendl, Wilander, Agassi.
I think people let sampras's losses on clay fly because his game was strictly serve and volley which doesn't translate well on clay. Federer however grew up with clay as it was a common surface in basel. Also his game is more of an all around game compared to sampras. People believe that federers shot making ability should allow him to win the french. I truly think its mental. I also believe that his racquet is greatly limiting some of his strengths.
The reason for that is NOT talent though in neither my opinion nor Robert Landsdorp's, famous archetype of "classic" FLAT champions' strokes like Davenport, Sharapova, Sampras, and Austin.
The reason is because while it's definitely possible to succeed on clay with non-extreme strokes (see guys like Lendl and Wilander who had exceptional athleticism, fitness, court coverage, mental attributes, strategic court sense, and consistency), history has proven that it's virtually impossible to consistently win on fast stuff (meaning anything that's not clay) with extreme strokes. The reason being that extreme grips simply take too much time to get off under pressure or on bad days. Many elite clay courters through the years have shown that on their good days, they can be just as formidable on fast stuff as on the slow stuff. The problem, however, is that they can't maintain that form with any consistency from match to match, simply because if they're even a little off with their timing/movement on any given day, their extreme grips become death traps for them under pressure.
The thing about clay is that, in tennis there are far worse things to complain about than having time to setup all your shots to the best of your ability. As Mac has said about playing on the oversized French center court, on your good days, it's great because you feel like you can just toy with your opponent. On your bad days, it's a sinking feeling. Point being, it's better to feel like you have a chance to hit your shots than to have no time at all. An extreme gripper on the grass of yore, for example, would be comparison be at a *significantly* greater disadvantage on grass than say a net rusher like Rafter or Henman (surprise-surpise, BOTH surprise French semifinalists before proving my point that if even the lowly Henman could do it when he got hot...) on clay.
Ultimately, the bottom-line as Landsdorp says is that the public thinks the elite claycourters have less talent than the great hard court players, but he says that's actually not true. He says that the REALITY of pro tennis is that at the pro level, if you have extreme grips you're only real chance at greatness is on clay, but if you're taught a less extreme, "simpler" technical style you get many more whiffs at glory. Remember, three of the four slams, and the year ending championships, ALL heavily favor more "normal" stroking styles. That's not conjecture, that's fact. I don't care if you're talking a slow or fast hard court, a hard court is still a hard court, and if a flat ball hitter with compact, efficient strokes gets on a roll on a hard court, he's going to have an advantage over the extreme gripper if their BASE level of "natural" talent and athleticism is the same. To me, that's just a fact, plain and simple.
It's why my old coach, who comes from a family of touring pros, used to always drill through my head over and over that there has NEVER been a "legend" type player who used a full western grip. Why? Because, it's too crippling outside of ANYTHING but clay. As I've said many times on here, if there's going to be one TRUE extreme gripper (and btw, Borg does NOT fall into that category) who will break this "insider's secret" rule of tennis, it's going to be Rafa Nadal. Why? Because, Rafa's no ordinary dude! Rafa's a freaking MONSTER. Sometimes when he's at his best, it almost feels like it's the Incredible Hulk out there playing with boys.
Rafa's athleticism, mental toughness, and fitness are all bordering on GOAT territory, which when you think about it is about equivalent to starting every match two breaks up on his opponents. And yet even he, this absolute once-in-a-generation type freak of nature, STILL hasn't won a slam outside clay nor a year-ending masters, AND this mind you with MUCH slower conditions than it used to be. Watch some highlights from the 94 year ending semis, Becker vs. Bruguera, and tell me that if the indoor masters surface was as slow then as it is today, Bruguera wouldn't have had an awful good chance of taking home that year-ending masters.
The point is, that even with the much fairer and more neutral surface conditions of today and with all of his gifts, Nadal has been prone to get in trouble against FLAT ball-strikers with simple, efficient strokes on an "on" day. That's Landsdorp's point. The elite clay courters have shown that when they get hot on faster stuff, they're every bit as talented as the guys we traditionally think of as being transcendent legends of our sport, BUT that their grips make it virtually IMPOSSIBLE for them to *maintain* it. Meaning, that sooner or later, they're going to have an off day and a flat-ball striker an on day, and then they're going to get Yhouzny'd before they get a chance to lift the trophy.
Again, Nadal though is a special bird. If there's one guy who's got the talent, the athleticism, the fitness, the drive, and the mental toughness to overcome the limitations imposed by his grip outside clay; it's going to be Nadal. I really think if not for his grip, his pure talent level and athleticism level and mental toughness level put him in GOAT territory. He's truly THAT special, and there's NO ifs ands or buts about it. If it ends up that Nadal like all the other dominant clay courters through the years can't ever achieve legend status outside just clay, then that will mean UNEQUIVOCALLY that Robert Landsdorp was right all along. That, it's not talent that the elite claycourters have lacked, it's their coaches not having enough sense to tell them that they would be putting a strict CAP on their ultimate career potential by using extreme grips.
Except for his inability to win the US Open. that makes them about even.
Wow !Tym...Spot on..
I really don't believe that it was all nadal yesterday. I think Nadal was at his best, and Fed just wasn't in it. I correlate this match to Rocky III when he lost to clubber badly.
Poor Roger... I really feel for the guy after seeing the expression of defeat on his face...
I'll be in mourning until he gets a hold of that gold holy grail...
Going back to what ITym said..
I think the next bunch of players are the ones who can hit groundies with a variety of different grips and strokes/swing patterns...
Nice one Tym! It's a matter of the height of the bounce. Extreme grips work better on higher bounding courts like the clay at the FrenchOpen. Setting up the grass at Wimby for the ball to bounce higher brings clay courters into the fray and the reason why nadal produces good results there as a clay courter...dont think he would do well dealing with the low skidding balls at W not so many years ago.
Also, these younger guys have learned with extreme grips. To me, that makes it much tougher to learn the transition game and the net game. People who learned the traditional way w. milder grips seem to pick up volleys quicker because it doesnt involve nearly as huge a grip change
He's not pathetic but his record at the French should probably disqualify him from the running for GOAT. Clay surface is a huge part of tennis. IMO, performance on clay is more important than grass prowess since way more events are played on it.
Hewitt has a western grip, so does Roddick. But your point probably still stands. I think Nadal is simply too worn out by the time the US Open comes around. Not sure what his deal with at the Aussie, though.
The flak Federer gets on this board for losing in the final for 3 years in a row is from memory far worse than what Sampras got for losing in the first week several times. Sampras didn't even make one final.
How many of the ATP Masters and GS's are played on clay??? 4 out of 14. Less than 30%. That is not a huge part of tennis. Sorry.
Grass has no masters events and the grass court 'season' is far shorter than the clay court season. On clay, players have at least 6 weeks to prepare by playing Masters* events before the big one. On grass there are no Masters events.
*Masters, super-nine , what ever it's called now.
The lack of grass court events compared to clay court events supports 35ft6's point.
Edit:I was probably out of line with my response to this post here so I erased it.
No, Sampras is not pathetic ... but he just isn't the G.O.A.T which some Federer fans like to claim
You said it! The athletic accomplishments of the players that people call pathetic make anything we do pale in comparison. How would we like it if someone said how we performed in our career/line of work was pathetic?
All this debate about who is the GOAT is worthless. Is it Borg? Is it Sampras? Is it Laver? Is it the next up and coming star? What difference does it make? Just enjoy the tennis.
Whether Sampras won the French or not is irrelevant. Federer hasn't won it yet either. Three French finals is fine, but he hasn't lifted the trophy yet, and while it's fine that we know recent history, in a decade or so when people remember Nadal's 4-peat, they may or not remember who he beat to get them. The reason? It's just not important!
In Pete's best year at Roland Garros, he lost 7-6, 6-0, 6-2 to Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the French Open semifinals.
He was the favorite in that match and went into it with a 4-1 career h2h edge against Kafelnikov and less than one year removed from beating Kafelnikov in straight sets on clay in the Davis Cup final.
Pete was my favorite player, but Federer is a much, much, much better clay court player with much, much better clay court results.
Considering most of the people posting here are in high school(check out some of the topics in odds & ends), I doubt many here know much about Sampras(he retired in '02, which must seem like ages ago for the average teenager)
Plus, from memory, teenagers seem a little melodramatic on their opinion on most things. I'm surprised that so many seem to think what is written here really reflects what tennis fans think. I play a lot, & attend a lot of events, I never hear the sort of negative stuff I hear from fans there. Of course most of the fans I talk to aren't teenagers.
see above. and what was the state of the internet(& message boards) in the 90s? The slams had very primitive websites until 1998 or so. Sampras would have gotten far more flak in his time if there was actually a way for fans to voice their opinions in his time. I don't think I ever even read a message board until 2002 or so.
Well, he was physically fried. Last 2 sets took like 20 minutes, it was sort of like a walkover.
The counter argument, now that we have web access, is that people who are obsessed with talking about how good Sampras was do so without drawing attention to a woeful FO record for a GOAT contender there by not giving a complete account.
Sampras doesnt suck just cuz he didnt win a fo. thats like saying federer sux cuz he never won fo
I first posted on one in 1999.
The hilarious (and truly, truly ironic) thing is that I spent most of my time defending Pete for:
1. Perceived lack of competition in the men's field from 1993 onwards.
2. His lack of results on clay.
A few people were convinced that Sampras deliberately tanked in the early rounds at the French Open because he wanted to save his energy for Wimbledon.
The argument was that because Pete lost to Kracijek at Wimbledon in 1996 after making it to the semifinals at Roland Garros, he'd obviously made up his mind not to try very hard in Paris.
I pointed out to these people that Sampras lost to Kracijek in a match played over the course of two days in which fatigue didn't seem to be an issue, but no one ever really paid much attention to me.
This is exactly the sort of stuff i'm talking about. Moose is a guy who once told me 'Chang had plenty of power' to backup/win an argument against me. I read his posts with a more discerning approach.
I'll not be the one to defend Sampras very often as I dislike the fact that most of his fans here seek to undermine Fed's greatness in one way or the other but he was spent by that semi against Kafelnikov as he played 3 five-setters at the FO that year against Martin,Bruguera and Courier(where he cameback from being down 2 sets to love).I agree though that Federer is much better on clay.
Sampras was pathetic on clay, that's for sure. He was great on hard and grass because of his serve. Even at AO he struggled and Agassi had the edge over him there.
Great post !Tym.
I think Pete's "struggles" at the Australian Open are greatly exaggerated.
During Sampras' most dominant years, 1993-1997, his record at the Australian Open was:
1996: 3rd Round
In his early round loss in 1996, it's not like Pete struggled because of the surface. He got blasted off the court by a guy (Philippoussis) with an even bigger serve who was firing on all cylinders.
Pete often struggled in the heat, and, as he got older, let's face it, his lack conditioning also did him in. By comparison, Agassi's dedication to fitness in the latter stage of his career meant he always showed up in Australia in top condition.
Anyway, after that victory at the 1997 U.S. Open, the only slam besides Wimbledon that Pete won was the 2002 U.S. Open.
It's why I have a hard time supporting arguments that Federer is playing in an era of watered-down competition. The same thing gets said about every tennis "generation".
10 years ago, people were saying Sampras was boring and that he was simply dominating a weak field.
Sampras never won FO: Is he pathetic?
hahahahahahahaha, that title made me laugh out loud (not in a sarcastic way).
Yes, but there's a difference. Roddick for one has the biggest serve since Zeus. Would he have beat Nalbandian or Ferrero with that serve? No WAY. Roddick's serve is as good an equalizer as there is. If Roddick didn't have his serve, he wouldn't have the time he did to uncork on his forehands the way he did in his one slam win. Hewitt has a western grip, yes, but would you really call it truly extreme? There's a difference. Berasategui, Bruguera, Kuerten, Muster, etc. there's a definite difference not just in the extremities of their grips, but also the extremities of their swings. Hewitt's kind of got *******-child looking strokes to me. He has a western grip, but he prepares and swings it methodically and mechanically like he has a wedgie on both his forehand and backhand. His strokes are not what I'd call extreme, but rather robust. If he had the *loosey goosey* extreme technique that many of the elite clay courters through the years to generate the whippiness on their shots, there would be NO WAY POSSIBLE that he could return as well as he did during his peak. Notice, by the way, that while Hewitt's plodding, methodical, rigid technique helps him on fast stuff in lining up to the ball time after time cleanly, he's always been very susceptible to the SQUIRELLY, *unpredictable* high-ball bouncing of heavy "extreme" style topspin on clay...and sometimes not even on clay. Why is that? It's not becauseh he's too short, imo; he's tall enough; it's because his technique is so rigid that he's like a ballroom dancer taught to keep his upper body taught vs. a hip-hopper. The loosey-gooseyness of Kuerten for example allowed him to easily adjust mid-flight to all kind of funky bounces on clay.
Anyway, continuing on this thread, remember Courier? Western grip too right? Yep, no escaping it, BUT the thing to note is that it's a different adaptation from all the others. Courier's one of those exception to the rule types like Hewitt. Courier muscled the ball and basically PRE-loaded his wrist in the cocked back 90 degree angle position of contact (for ALL grips, on contact this is how your wrist angle should be like relative to the ball, it's just that western grippers typically are coming into that final contact position from under the ball vertically vs. in-line with it horizontally). Because of this, Courier more or less muscled the ball from a FIXED wrist-position. As a result, he actually had amongst the most compact swing paths in history. It was his bullish tempermant and body type that gave him power, and NOT his grip. Courier is one of those guys with a technique that worked for him and nobody else, so it's hard to right rules about his technique. As Jimmy Arias always says about Courier, he's never seen a guy who could fight off jammed forehands better than Courier. I completely concur. The reason is because of his el weirdo technique, it's because he already starts his swing with his wrist cocked back into the ideal 90degree laid back position, that he needs so little time to get his swing off. This by far more than any other reason is why Courier wasn't limited to just clay. Bruguera needed a lot of time to get his forehand off, which is why he'd inevitably chip all his forehand returns on fast stuff, Courier didn't. Huge difference at this level that that makes.
Nalbandian had a match point in the semis against Roddick and Ferrero had to play like 4 days in a row coming into the final because of USTA scheduling. But hey, a win's a win.
From 2006, the last year I could find figures for:
That's 66 events total, 23 of them on clay, which is 34.8%, about a third, of all events. That's huge to me. Hard courts accounts for 46.9%.
Sampras had the flu during Aus Open '97.
Sampras was pretty lucky that Agassi didn't care about the Australian Open most of the time, and didn't care about tennis in '96 and '97.
Sampras was definitely a better fighter and stronger mentally than Federer, but he wasn't as fit as Federer, maybe because of that blood disorder. You also have to consider that maybe Sampras didn't work as hard on clay as he could have, because he was thinking ahead to Wimbledon. The one year he went deep at the French, he lost at Wimbledon.
Sampras had ugly groundstrokes.
That makes him pathetic.
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