Sampras serve only?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pj80, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. pj80

    pj80 Semi-Pro

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
    #1
  2. Mad iX

    Mad iX Semi-Pro

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    Highlight reels don't always tell the whole story. I remember a lot of the time Sampras could be quite boring to watch, playing like he could care less.
    Still, you'd think 14 slams would be quite convincing of the fact he had a lot more than his serve.
     
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  3. kabob

    kabob Professional

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    If Sampras was a "serve only" player his career would mirror that of Goran Ivanesivic. People who label him as such don't know what they're talking about.
     
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  4. pj80

    pj80 Semi-Pro

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    so what if it is highlights only...its not like sampras didnt play these points.
     
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  5. tintin

    tintin Professional

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    no he wasn't all serve
    he had everything going for him but thing is he was really not that much of all court and certainly not an all surface player like Federer is but Roddick the Sampras wannabe will never come close to doing what Sampras did when he was young and even at the end of his career.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
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  6. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Watch 2001 USO QF with Agassi, then talk.
     
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  7. pj80

    pj80 Semi-Pro

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    what about it?
     
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  8. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    wayne arthurs was just a serve.Sampras was just better than everyone else in nearly every possible way: strategy, always rose to the challenge, forehand was the best in the world, serve was one of the best, running forehand was ridiculous, never beat himself, backhand was a weapon when it was needed, lightening fast etc
     
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  9. jelle v

    jelle v Hall of Fame

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    I would say that this is a very underestimating post of Ivanisevic. No way that Goran was a serve only player. His forehand and backhand were very good.
     
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  10. Fries-N-Gravy

    Fries-N-Gravy Semi-Pro

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    sampras was a serve and forehand, and one of few people who could volley well especially at the service line after a serve.

    people didn't like him because he didn't show his emotion too much but his forehand was one of the deadliest. agassi would pretty much always lose the point if they got into a forehand rally. I wouldn't go as far to say he had a great backhand but he definitely had excellent feel and control when the ball was low.
     
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  11. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that was a little harsh. Arthurs is definitly a better candidate for the only has a serve dept., although you could definitily include Karlovic in that category.
     
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  12. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    karlovic is a good baseliner now, about as good as llubijic
     
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  13. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    No one ever said he was a "'serve only player"', you were the one that made the random statement, then countered it.

    I have my own statement...Federer is a "forehand only" player. Wait, he has an awesome serve, volley and backhand too. Very impressive for a "forehand only player".
     
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  14. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    Nobody has ever called Sampras just a serve. Some people debate how some aspects of his game that are not as dominant, like his groundstroke game, or his return game, compare to people like Federer, Agassi, etc....However nobody has called him just a serve.
     
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  15. iamke55

    iamke55 Professional

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    Funny that a serve-only game can keep you in the top 5 for 4 years and counting, even getting to year-end number 1 once, even when your serve is very predictable and readable and only blocking it back into play is a guaranteed win against it. Meanwhile, Sampras' average ranking is only better by about 2 spots than that for the course of 6 years, despite having a much better serve, a better all-court game, and amazing tactical ability. So why should anyone bother developing any part of their game other than a huge(but easily predictable) serve, given this?
     
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  16. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Federer - serve only?

    I don't think so.

    (enough with the stupid threads)
     
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  17. kabob

    kabob Professional

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    Did you even watch him play? He was a total serve and volley player.
     
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  18. pow

    pow Hall of Fame

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    It's a bad exaggeration to say anyone on the ATP tour was only a serve especially Sampras. You simply can't get that far on being good at one aspect of the game.

    Even Roddick has some redeeming values to the rest of his game.
     
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  19. omniexist

    omniexist Semi-Pro

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    Interesting statement that. Roddick's baseline game (as others have noted) seems to have deteriorated.

    Sad to say but Sampras has (had) far more game than Roddick ever will. Not only did Sampras SV but it seems he was even better from the backcourt. Sampras' FH is (or was) better than Roddick's. A monster flat FH that was definitely more powerful than Agassi's (not saying it was better in other aspects). Loved that patented running crosscourt FH Sampras would whip up!

    But anyway, Roddick if he could get back to max form should be able to win a slam or two.
     
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  20. NadalForever

    NadalForever Banned

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    Anybody who says that Sampras was only serve is nothing but a Sampras hater. Sampras was an all court player just like Federer. The only difference being is that Sampras preferred to finish points at the net whereas Federer prefers to finish points from the baseline.
     
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  21. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Really? I haven't been able to see him play lately because of my inability to access both the internet and decent cable/satellite.
     
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  22. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Sure, why not? I'll bite. It's been fun before and I'm sure it will be this time. And there are only a few opinions on these boards I worry about - most of you are mere children and people who ride the bandwagon of the US guy with the most Slams.

    Funny that these threads materialized more often when Fed is poised to get 1 Slam closer to Sampras' 14. If there's any 'hate' maybe it comes from the Sampras 'athletic supporter' sniffers who can't face reality. Of course you also get the 'Fed's competition isn't anything like Sampras' was - that Pioline - what an animal!' :)

    His backhand was below average for an ATP pro. I watch at least 50, if not 100 of his matches on TV, and often remember him *****ing them, or hitting them with a weak sidespin or just a Steffi-like slice. When Agassi said "there's no where to go with him (Fed)", he might as well have said "if you could get in a rally with Pete and work his BH, he was very easily beatable." His return of serve was nothing to write home about. If his ground game was as strong as you guys claim he would have won at least 1 French. And he didn't have someone like Nadal owning the French like Fed has.

    If in '96 Pete had wandered over to UCLA and asked to rally with their #1 player at the time - no serves, no volleys, just groundies - and you flew in a few people from Tibet who'd never seen tennis, no way they'd know who was the #1 player in the world with a bunch of Slams and who was the wannabe. In fact, depending who the college kid was (no clue who the #1 was at UCLA at the time), more may have picked him.

    Name calling - sure sign someone isn't very comfortable with their argument

    I said it - in the past - but I added 'volleyer' to it.

    Sure you can. If it's the thing that starts the point.

    More name calling. I dole out my hate sparingly - for Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, murderers, kidnappers, etc. With Sampras it's more of a lack of respect. Similar to the Williams clan, it's all about them. If Pete was 'bored' (what he said when he decided to come back to the Fossils' Tour) why didn't he instead call the USTA and ask them what he could do to help grow the game? Why? Because there's NOTHING in that for him. Just like the 'Anatomy of a Pissed Off Champion' story in Tennis Magazine, where he whined (and had members of his team do it for him afterwards) about not getting the same respect from the media and fans that Jordan and Gretsky (sp?) got. I also remember Pete deciding not to go to play the Australian Open at the last minute - wanted to play the Bob Hope Pro-Am golf tournament. Too bad for any fans who saved their money and bought their tickets and made their travel plans. I also remember him entering tournaments he had no desire to play late in the year (at least two years) to secure the season-ending #1 - like that was some big deal that would finally get the non-tennis press to hail him. I'm sure Americans would have been p*ssed if the tennis season ended on clay (and had a disproportionate number of fast court tournaments) and some S. American or Euro did the same thing.
     
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  23. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I think most folks would be able to tell that Sampras had a better ground game than Justin Gimelstob. Most people could tell just by comparing their physiques.
     
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  24. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    It's important to realise certain thingsabout Sampras. Sampras' game was obviously geared towards fast courts. Like Connors and McEnroe before him, the 2 tournies he really cared about were Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows. Sampras had a superb all round attacking game. Even his backhand was a big weapon on a fast court. Sampras would go for his shots and would actually hit alot of backhand winners. Watch his last match against Agassi: he hit many backhand winners.

    His only weakness on fast courts was his return: he pretty much just floated them, but he could get quite a few serves back, and if the server didn't punish Sampras' return very quickly Sampras could change from defence to offense quicker than anyone.

    On slower surfaces Sampras was not as effective: because he couldn't blast winners and had to get into rallies, and high balls to the backhand were a weakness.

    Too many people focus on Sampras at the end of his career when he could barely win on clay. But when he was more of a baseliner from early to mid 90s Sampras was very easily a top ten player on clay (some years even top five). He never was the best claycourter and so never won the French, but he wasn't a total disaster on the red stuff either, though it looks that way if you compare hisclay record to other surfaces.
     
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  25. _skunk_

    _skunk_ Rookie

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  26. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Is the player with one of the greatest running forehands of all time, serve only? Of course not. Sampras's backhand was nothing special, and on the slower surfaces it could easily be exploited, but on the faster surfaces, it was a technically sound shot which he used to plenty of winners. His forehand, either down the line or crosscourt was outstanding. Sampras was able to outhit and outmanoeuvre Agassi from the back of the court on several occasions that they met.
     
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  27. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I'll ride along on that bandwagon. Not just the most slams...14 of 'em...and 6 straight year-end no. one. Yeah, that's a "bandwagon" worth riding on.

    Pete was probably sleep walking through the session. I'm sure the people from Tibet would have picked the right player as the ATP #1...or anyone who knows a thing or two about tennis. You, however...I don't know...

    I remember mentioning, on another tennis board, how messed up it was that Pete did this, and got a lot of gruff for it...from facist Sampras fanboys...but it was a bad decision on his part.

    Most tennis pros play in tournaments they don't necessarily want to be at...you're saying that Sampras simply engineered his #1's. I don't think it's that easy...there are, well, there are...let's see-OTHER PLAYERS who kinda stand in the way of a player being able to do that. He was #1 because he was...#1 in those years.
     
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  28. gsquicksilver

    gsquicksilver Semi-Pro

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    roddick is like the Rodimus Prime of American tennis, trying to replace sampras as Optimus Prime. haha:D
     
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  29. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Dunno, maybe Rafter for '98, despite his computer ranking.
     
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