Sampras' rivals. Who beat him?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by GS, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Good points.
     
    #51
  2. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Roddick and Hewitt was still young and developing. Sampras still was a slam material, and later won Wimbledon and USO. So yes, they have to be included.
     
    #52
  3. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Pete was good, just not as good as Federer. Please stop making excuses for his losses. your theory pinning his losses on "extremely risky and offensive game" is BS, because it does not explain his losses to no-namers... what is the need to play at extremes against journeymen?

    "take all or nothing"? so you admit Pete has no plan B -- always the same style regardless of circumstance? in other words, Pete wasn't as good as Federer!
     
    #53
  4. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    In the 80s, we had 2 guys win 3 slams in one year. In the 60s, we have 2 CYGS won. there was at least one guy in the 70s who did it. I suppose it was easy to be consistent then too? No one did it in the 90s, simply because the top guy in the 90s was not GOOD enough. you make excuses for the 90s, simply to explain away the inconsistencies of your hero.

    Please explain the need to play a higher risk game against the likes of Yzaga or Schaller.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
    #54
  5. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    what is your measure of "absolute high level"? points won differential? number of games lost? sets lost? time taken to win? by any measure, Federer has demonstrated an "absolute high level" thats way beyond what Pete has ever shown. Perhaps, what constitutes "absolute high level" is visible only to the Pete and anti-Fed brigade... that should explain the heavy reliance on nostalgia and detachment from reality that is employed in claiming "Pete's absolute highest level is higher than Federer"...
     
    #55
  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think only Mats Wilander won three majors in one year in 1988. I don't think anyone else won three majors in a year in the 1980's.

    To be fair to Sampras, I don't think of him as a one trick pony.
     
    #56
  7. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    Gosh, these two are like the Chuckle Brothers, a real doubleact.
     
    #57
  8. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    My bad, I was thinking McEnroe, but realized (checked) he didn't play the AO. But the point still stands.

    I don't think of Sampras as a one trick pony as well. But to put a positive spin on his short comings and short-changing others who had actually accomplished what he could not, is not acceptable to me.
     
    #58
  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    McEnroe was so dominant in 1984 I think a lot of people would think he won three majors that year. No big deal. Easy mistake for anyone to make. I think Mac's year in 1984 was better than Wilander's year in 1988.
     
    #59
  10. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    You need to put things into perspective.

    In Pete's day, going from tournament to tournament, from slam to slam, was like going from day to night, or night to day. In Fed's era, it is like going from night to night or day to day.

    In the current era, with the slow down of most courts, which has resulted in basically one style of play, the cream rises to the top. The cream is Fed, Nad, Djok and Murray. If those 4 players are fit and firing, they'll make the semis of any tournament 9 times out of 10. In Sampras day, each tournament was different, each had its players to look out for and each had its floaters. Honestly when was the last time we heard the term "floater" used when discussing a draw? In Pete's day, and in eras before him, it was used often. In Pete's day, there was no one style of play. At the FO, you had to contend with dirt rats who did bugger all all year except during the clay season. These guys simply did not give a damn about Wimbledon. Then you would head over to England, the dirt rats having disappeared for another 10 months, and then you had the guys with the bullet serves who would rush the net. Do you think Becker had any idea who Doohan was prior to June 1987?

    So today, in the current tennis environment, if you are good enough, you will rise to the top, because basically you are playing players who play just like you, but are simply not as good as you. This breeds repetition, which in itself breeds consistentcy. In Pete's day, hopping from slow courts to fast to very fast to medium back to slow, to slower, then to fast, didn't augur well for consistentcy. This has alot to do with why Federer is consistent and why Sampras was not as consistent.

    But has already been said, Sampras had the game to blow any one off any any court, and on a consistent basis too. He would have been a top player today, or in Laver's era, or in Borg's era or in the 80s. So before you go quoting any more stats, forget the stats, Sampras didn't always care too much about winning. He was happy to get the monkey off his back remember? He even said in his own book that he didn't go out onto court against Edberg in that USO final to give it is all. So again, forget the stats. Look at Sampras' game, when he was on, he was the most devastating and aggressive player I've ever seen and that includes the guy depicted in your username.
     
    #60
  11. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, except you have :

    soderling RG 2009
    rosol wimbledon 2012
    for rafa

    kohlschreiber RG 2009
    melzer RG 2010
    for djoker

    cilic USO 2009
    wawrinka USO 2010
    verdasco AO 2009
    etc for murray


    and the courts have been even more homogenized or rather slower in the past few years than when in fed's peak ....

    it is valid to some extent, but that isn't the main reason. The main reason is federer *is* more consistent, more versatile and has more options in his game ...

    again borg/connors/mac/lendl in their best years didn't have as many losses as sampras did ........ they were simply more consistent in their best years ...the surfaces in their time weren't homogenised either

    no denying that he'd have been a top player in any era, he's an ATG and had an excellent A-game, but his consistency and surface versatility is lesser than that of fed/borg/laver etc ... and surface versatility lesser than the 2nd best of his generation, agassi ...
     
    #61
  12. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    that's your opinion. I disagree. I think fed's A game is better than that of sampras overall, on any surface ..... yeah, would vary from opponent to opponent and all depending on how they matchup..... but I'm saying overall ....
     
    #62
  13. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    That's your opinion and I disagree. I think Sampras' best level is better than Federer against the variation of different types of opponents Sampras faced.

    In Steve Flink's book The Great Tennis matches of all time, he named his greatest players, he had Federer at 1 and Sampras at 2. Interestingly he said that even though Federer was at number 1 because of achievements etc, he thought Sampras' best level was the best of any player he's seen including Federer.

    I think some Federer fans have to learn to accept that not everyone thinks Federer is the absolute greatest or played the very best tennis, there are different opinions out there.
     
    #63
  14. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Sampras's best game was better than Federer on grass, carpet, indoors, fast hard courts. Federer's best game was better on clay, and slow Australian hard courts, though the latter is very close IMO. About equal on medium hard courts.
     
    #64
  15. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    that's pretty rich coming from a Sampras fan... for a change, I'd like for Pete fans to base their opinions on data that already exists, instead of constructing arguments purely out of nostalgia.

    getting a 100% consensus is an exercise in futility; so no one really cares if not everyone can agree on Federer; the vast majority do, and it's of no consequence if a few bitter Pete fans differ in opinion!
     
    #65
  16. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    davey25 indulging in Fed-trolling as usual...
     
    #66
  17. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    that's a load of BS. If conditions were so different in the past, please explain why Sampras could not even come close to what Agassi did: win the career slam, and reach the finals of all slams multiple times? Lendl and Edberg reached all slam finals at least once. Somehow the "day and night" variations seem to rear it's ugly head only when Sampras played. how convenient.

    some other gems:
    "Sampras never really cared about winning" -- really? is that why he begged Becker to relinquish his spot in a mm tournament in 1998 so that he could finish YE #1?

    "forget stats" -- :) this one takes the cake. why? because it does not favor you? as always, let's make merry by indulging in hyperbole based on nostalgia!

    I've seen enough of Federer and Sampras, and can see daylight between his absolute best and Pete's. Here's the thing about Federer -- one can easily point out matches where Federer mercilessly massacred his opponent at the biggest stages, and the score shows it. For Sampras, the only match I keep hearing often is the Wimbledon finals in 1999, and tbh, it was great, but not something that makes me awestruck (for some it might; fair enough, different strokes for different folks), BUT the score does not show it...

    somehow, the notion that one should not seek proof, but just accept the word of Pete fans simply does not cut it.
     
    #67
  18. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    Obviously Steve Flink is bitter then.

    Always the same, pretty boring stuff, obviously you do care.

    By way of observation, you (along with a couple other dudes) seem to have police almost every thread to make the same comments over and over, surely if Federer is so way ahead you wouldn't have to do this as the stats would speak for themselves no?
     
    #68
  19. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    Also, there's a whole host of matches where Sampras played at an unbelievable level (thrashing his opponent), off the top of my head:

    1997 ATP final
    1999 ATP final
    1997 Davis cup semis
    1990 US Open semi
    1993 US Open quarterfinal
    1997 Australian Open semi
    1997 Australian Open final
    1996 San Jose final
    1998 Vienna quartefinal
    1994 Foro Italico final
    1994 Australian Open semi
    2000 Wimbledon 4th rd
    1991 ATP semi

    Many more than those mentioned as well.

    You guys are something else :p
     
    #69
  20. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    guess you've been living under a rock then? that's not how things work at TT. Some Pete aficionados refuse to acknowledge that Federer has surpassed Pete by some distance, despite the mountain of stats that support such a possibility. Stats speak for themselves only for those that do not wear Pete-tinted glasses. Sorry, but that's the truth. You had Pete fans claiming that Pete would've won a FO in this era. That's how deep nostalgia and delusion runs!

    Reg. Steve Flink -- it's his opinion, and I don't have an issue with it. But I would pose the same questions I posed here -- anytime you indulge in framing rankings of some sort, you need to quantify your metrics so that you know how each candidate scores...
     
    #70
  21. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    unbelievable level =/= greater than Federer's. Is there a single match in here that showed a higher level than Federer's highest level? Please, quantify what you mean by "highest level". How many bagels were delivered? I can remember at least 3 matches where Federer has delivered double bagels... all to grand slam champions.

    You're confusing a few issues here. I never said Pete couldn't play unbelievable tennis; just that it isn't as good as Federer's. I don't much care for some mythical level of tennis that Sampras possessed, but chose to never show it on court (really, this irks me more than anything else.. claiming that he could if he wanted to...)
     
    #71
  22. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Roger Federer have bageled his apponents 58 times. He also holds the record for most bagels in a season at 18.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Bagel_Award

    I doubt that Sampras has remotely close to the Roger's ridiculous number.
     
    #72
  23. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    So? Sampras doesn't need to bagel his opponents. only needed one break to win a set. He knew that his serve was unbreakable, and that one break is enough for him to win. Unlike Federer who needed multiple breaks because his own serve is not unbreakable.
     
    #73
  24. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    So winning a set at 6-4 is more impressive than 6-0 ?
    That doesn't necessary explain Pete playing high level.

    Yeah, he only needed one break, but if couldn't break he either loses that set or facing a tie-breaker. And his career he played more tie-breaker and faced more 5 setters. Fed on the other hand, won more matches in straight sets.
     
    #74
  25. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Winning by decisively margins are important. Incidentally I just checked Borg's full 1978 season and if I counted correctly he had 31 6-0 sets that year. In the French Open alone he had six bagels.
     
    #75
  26. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Laurie, I agree that there are different opinions about strongest player. There are followers of Federer and Sampras, but there are also followers of Laver, Rosewall, Gonzalez, Hoad and Borg. I think these seven players were the strongest players in history.
     
    #76
  27. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    so explain how someone who breaks just once per set has displayed a higher level of tennis than someone who delivers bagels <i don't expect a response from you, but still had to ask.. -- you always run away when challenged>

    yeah, Federer got broken during bagel sets, that's why he needed multiple breaks per set. the hilarity continues...
     
    #77
  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    #78
  29. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    for federer, on top of my head :

    vs safin @ hamburg 2002 final
    vs safin @ AO 2004 final
    vs roddick @ wimbledon 2003 final
    vs roddick @ wimbledon 2005 final
    vs roddick @ AO 2007 SF
    vs roddick @ TMC 2007 RR
    vs roddick @ basel 2002 sf (?)
    vs scud @ wimbledon 2003 final
    vs agassi @ TMC 2003 F
    vs agassi @ AO 2005 QF
    vs agassi @ dubai 2005 SF
    vs hewitt @ hamburg 2004 SF
    vs hewitt @ USO 2004 F
    vs hewitt @ IW 2005 F
    vs hewitt @ TMC 2004 F
    vs nadal @ TMC 2007 SF
    vs nadal @ TMC 2011 RR
    vs nadal @ hamburg 2007 F ( last two sets )
    vs djoker @ cincy 2009 SF
    vs djoker @ cincy 2012 F
    vs djoker @ TMC 2010 SF
    vs murray @ cincy 2009 F
    vs murray @ USO 2008 F
    vs murray @ AO 2010 F
    vs blake @ TMC 2006 F
    vs ferrer @ TMC 2007 F
    vs nalbandian @ USO 2005 QF
    vs nalbandian @ basel 2008
    vs nalbandian @ madrid 2006 SF
    vs ancic @ wim 06 QF
    vs haas @ wim 09 SF
    vs tsonga @ AO 2010 SF
    vs berdych @ wim 06 4R
    vs berdych @ paris 2011 SF
    vs davydenko @ US Open 2006 SF
    vs del potro @ AO 2009 QF
    vs gaudio @ TMC 2005 RR

    that's way more than twice the number of matches you could recall for sampras on top of your head ..... :twisted:

    funnily enough, not many sampras fans seem to recall his 92 wimbledon QF performance vs stich , which was a darn good one .....
     
    #79
  30. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    and there are plenty of others who think federer's best level is better than that of others ..

    for example, agassi said that while he could go to sampras' BH, had a place to go to ; he had nowhere to go with federer when federer was playing well .....

    actually, it goes the other way around, many sampras fans want others to accept that his higest level on faster surfaces is better than any one else ....

    I just disagreed with that ..... I never said others had to accept what I said .....
     
    #80
  31. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I don't quite agree with this ...... on slower surfaces yes ..... but on faster surfaces, there really isn't that much separating their absolute best levels ...
     
    #81
  32. fed_rulz

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    RoS and defense is what would separate them, IMO. I'd imagine both holding serve with relative ease, but at his absolute best Federer is a scary return beast. Federer plays better defense even when not at his best. Hence my reasoning - and the scores during dominating wins reflects that.
     
    #82
  33. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, but sampras' serve and volleying are superior to fed's ......which compensate to an extent for federer's RoS and defense being superior , even more so on faster surfaces.... which is why I don't see that much of a gap b/w fed/sampras on faster surfaces - peak to peak ...
     
    #83
  34. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not necessarily who beat him the most but I'd say Sampras' main rivals were Ivanisevic at Wimbledon (far more than Becker IMO) and Agassi and to a lesser extent Courier at HC slams, at FO I never saw him as a serious contender for the title but if pushed I'd probably say Courier.
     
    #84
  35. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    On very fast surfaces, superior defense and RoS isn't going to help much. Sampras' serve and volleying will just be too much for Federer to defend. Federer will have to play out of his comfort zone to hang with Sampras on very fast surfaces. His finesse and ballet dances aren't going help...
     
    #85
  36. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    Just like his ballet dances didn't work at Wimbledon in 2001 right? ;). Or was Samprass too old then? Btw his ROS was killer in that match.
     
    #86
  37. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    Come on now, those macthes are much more recent, its easier to remember things that took place not too long ago, plus more of those matches have been available on digital television as opposed to the 1990s where there was much less tennis on TV. Now this looks like a numbers game again (which you guys seem to love ;) Did you write this down before posting? Wasn't the Davydenko match in 1996 a nervy affair?

    Indeed, Sampras' performance against Stich was excellent but that is 20 years ago so slipped my mind...

    More matches I can recall?:

    1996 US Open final
    2000 US Open semi
    2001 US Open 4th rd
    2001 US Open semi
    1990 US Open final
    1991 Philadelphia semi
    1997 Wimbledon quarterfinal
    1997 Wimbledon final
    1997 Grand slam cup final
    1999 Cincinnati semi
    1999 ATP round robin (v Kuerten)
    1999 ATP semi
    1993 US Open semi
    1993 Wimbledon semi
    1995 Davis cup (v Italy)
    1995 Indian Wells final
    1999 Wimbledon final
    1997 Philadelphia final

    I wasn't originally including matches with lots of tiebreaks in it but you seem to have done that. That's ok but it makes the list longer of course.

    Then of course there are matches where it was tight all the way through but he played brilliant and should be mentioned like:

    1994 Miami final
    1994 ATP semi
    1994 ATP final
    1999 Los Angeles final
    1996 ATP final
    2000 US Open quarterfinal
    2000 Miami final (thrashing Kuerten for almost two sets then it got tight)
    1995 Davis cup final
    1995 US Open final
    2002 US Open final (thrashing Agassi for 2 and a half sets then it got tight)
    2002 US Open semi
    2000 Miami semi

    Again, I'm sure there are many more but not sure if they have been documented because there was less tennis on television. For instance, I heard he played great matches in 2000 Miami against Rusedski and Moya but have never seen them so can't mention them.
     
    #87
  38. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    You will find that in many of Sampras' best performances including many slam finals, he played many matches where he did multiple breaks, not as many bagels as Federer but he did his fair share, especially in the early to mid 1990s, in earlier rounds of many tournaments. I have quite a few matches where he bagelled opponents too.

    But is also valid to say that he raised his level late in sets to serve it out with one break. But if you look closely at his career under Annacone, he often liked to get a break right away to establish his superiority, then look for another break later in the set to rub it in. I think annacone has tried to get Federer to do the same thing. In the 2012 ATP world tour final against Djokovic, that tactic almost payed off.
     
    #88
  39. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    I agree with you. I think their games match up well on hardcourts. For this reason:

    Due to human nature always looking for categorisation as opposed to seeing the whole picture (don't know why, it could be a combination of bandwagon jumping and and an acceptance of what the mainstream media presents us, which isn't always honest either). In other words, Federer's serve is totally underestimated which I find incredible, and Sampras' speed and movement is also totally underestimated often which really doesn't make any sense. At their best they play a similar game, they both rely on all of their skills to win the biggest matches.

    There are plenty of examples where both guys show incredible offence and defence in the same match.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
    #89
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The Sampras match against Federer isn't really that valuable in my opinion because Sampras was losing to a lot of players in those days. In my opinion on a fast court it would be a very tough match for both.
     
    #90
  41. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Sampras was already losing to a bunch of nobodies by the time he faced Federer in Wimbledon 2001, but ****s like to bring this up because their man barely won the match against the old guard, who would have thrashed Fed cleanly had he not been old. ;)
     
    #91
  42. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    But Pete who was going for his 5th straight Wimbledon was not playing against a prime Fed either, who was only 19. Sampras was not only the heavy favorite to beat an inexperience Fed, but to win the title.
     
    #92
  43. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    are these people forgetting the dude was defending champion when he lost to Fed and at that point grass GOAT? :confused: what's with the undermining of that loss?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
    #93
  44. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I think neither Pete nor Fed were at their peak in that match in 2001, so they were quite evenly matched. No excuses can be made for either player and Fed was a deserving winner, as I'm sure Pete would agree (unlike his fanboys).
     
    #94
  45. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes. Borg 5 straight Wimbledon was snapped by Mac in 1981. But no one is making excuse for his loss. It's only Petards have excuses because they don't like Federer.
     
    #95
  46. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Correct. They are 10 years apart so none of them can be in their prime at the same time. Unlike comparing Fed to Nole/Murray/Nadal, where they are 5 and 6 years apart, which Fed's prime years are at a different time frame from them.
     
    #96
  47. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    hmmm.. I think we're discussing different things. you're probably referring to how their matchup would look like at their absolute best, while i'm talking about who has shown a higher peak. my point is at his best, fed can hold serve as emphatically as pete but do much more while returning and defending. to me, the # of bagels/sticks delivered during his peak years validates my point.

    on the fed vs pete matchup on faster surfaces, I agree that it'd be close. i'd place money on fed to win more often than not due to his all-round excellence.
     
    #97
  48. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    I think I said this before in General Pro Player section but I think it would help if you acted a bit more manly on this board and not make generalised statements in a schoolboy way.

    For instance, I like Sampras but it is obvious Federer deserved to win the match in 2001. These things happen. Just like when a 19 year old Sampras beat Lendl in the 1990 US Open quarterfinal, I'm sure Lendl fans would say Sampras deserved that match. In fact, it's a bit of a pity no real incredibly talented teenagers are coming through because of the way tennis has gone in the last few years (ranking points distribution etc etc).

    So lets cut out the schoolboy stuff. Everyone here has respect for the opponents, we know how good they are, even if there are disagreements on certain aspects, its to be expected, not everyone agrees about everything.
     
    #98
  49. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,367
    ^
    Yes, I shouldn't generalized. I should have said SOME of his fans discredit Fed's win. We all know who they are so I'm not going to mention any names.
     
    #99
  50. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,551
    It's a valid point, but you know what a lot of members (not trying to generalize lol, but really just about everybody has had moments where they generalize) make various "school boy" claims, just scroll around most threads and you'll see.
     

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