Sampras vs. Nadal

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Nadalgaenger, May 15, 2013.

  1. Nadalgaenger

    Nadalgaenger Professional

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    Who wins? On clay it is obvious. On grass it is obvious (probably).

    Probably the fairest matchup would be a slow HC, no?

    I think the result might have looked a bit like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO6lalt5f6M
     
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  2. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Sampras would tear him up in his prime. Not on clay though....it would be the reverse.
     
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  3. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Sampras on fast grass or faster indoor, especially if both limited to full sets of gut only, otherwise, anything slower and Nadal has the edge. Clay would be ugly.
     
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  4. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras would win on fast courts but lose on slow ones, not consistant enough off the ground to beat Nadal. Sampras' backhand would be torn up by the Nadal forehand.
     
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  5. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    If Sampras/Nadal played in Sampras' time, then Sampras would win his usual suspects:

    Wimbledon
    Queens/Halle
    US Open
    WTF
    Madrid/Hamburg

    Sampras would get raped everywhere else without a doubt. Sampras' backhand was nowhere near as good as Federer's.

    If Sampras/Nadal played on today's surfaces, I think Sampras maybe wins on grass and nowhere else. I just don't see S&V working anywhere else. Not even indoor hard. Nadal's passing is way too good.
     
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  6. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    So you think the US Open has slowed down then? How do you think Agassi would far against Nadal? Do you think it would be a matchup issue?
     
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  7. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    Tough to predict, really.

    Sampras just didnt play a player of the calibre of nadal.

    Whereas nadal has played federer and djokovic. Both of whom were at least as dominant during a year as pete sampras.

    They have each played a player of a similar gamestyle - for sampras - muster, bruguera, corretja etc.

    for nadal - tsonga, federer.

    Sampras beat and lost to all those guys on his favorite surfaces.

    Nadal can beat tsonga but not federer indoors, but he can still challenge him.
     
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  8. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    The US Open has slowed a little, but Sampras' serve is far superior to Federer's. Sampras could merely serve his way to victory there against Nadal.

    As far as Agassi, I strongly believe he had the best (baseline) forehand and backhand in the history of the game. If Nadal were in Agassi's era, I think Nadal would have been reduced to a clay specialist who may not have even entered the big hardcourt or grass events.

    At an old age, Agassi gave Nadal fits being able to hit clean winners off of both wings. I honestly think prime Agassi would have destroyed Nadal anywhere else but clay.
     
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  9. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Nadal is a much better mover than Agassi ever was. I think it would be a fun match up as both can belt it off both wings.
     
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  10. President

    President Legend

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    What a ridiculous post, Agassi lost both matches he played against Nadal relatively decisively. His 2006 loss at Wimbledon can be excused but the 2005 Montreal match was a final and Agassi would go on to make the USO final that year; he was certainly in decent form. Nadal himself was still not even close to the hard court or grass player he would eventually become in 2008-present, and he still handled Agassi pretty easily at age 19. They would have competitive matches on HC IMO, with Nadal cleaning up on clay and leading clearly on grass. The players who can dominate Nadal on hard court (basically only Djokovic and Davydenko) have MUCH better movement than Agassi, Andre wouldn't be able to do what these guys did to Nadal because he simply doesn't cover the court as well.
     
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  11. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Um, you realize that Agassi was 35 AND 36 YEARS OLD, right? He was so far past prime (and from decent form) that it wasn't funny. For goodness sakes, he retired in the US Open 2006.

    I watched Agassi during his entire career. I've watched Nadal his entire career. During Agassi's prime, he would have eaten Nadal alive. Nadal has no S&V game. The only style of game that beat prime-Agassi was S&V.

    The absolutely only reason that Federer has not been able to dominate Nadal is because Roger's backhand is not up to the task. Agassi, with probably the best backhand in the history of the game, did not have that weakness.
     
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  12. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    What Tsonga did to Nadal en route to the AO final, that's what Pete would do to Nadal routinely on faster courts.
     
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  13. helloworld

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    Prime Sampras would eat Nadal alive on fast courts.
     
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  14. President

    President Legend

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    Yes, and Agassi was playing good tennis (he reached the FINAL of the tournament) and would reach the final of the US Open a few weeks later (giving a prime Federer a tough match). It wasn't until 2006 that Agassi's form really went down the toilet. I'm not suggesting that 2005 was prime Agassi, but he was playing some great ball and was certainly not in horrible form. Not saying Nadal would beat Agassi every time, but that match leads me to say that Agassi wouldn't dominate Nadal by any means. Nadal was FAR off his best hard court form in that match as well (only 19 years old, wouldn't reach a HC slam semifinal for 3 more years), he would only reach it in 2009-present. Like I said, players who have given Nadal fits on hard court have all had one attribute in common, great movement. There are plenty of players with great backhands who Nadal dominates because they cannot keep up with him athletically. Agassi didn't even have a great serve, which could somewhat compensate for the movement disadvantage he had against Nadal. I think Nadal would solidly lead the H2H when accounting for all surfaces, Agassi may have a slight edge on HC but Nadal's edge on clay and grass (modern grass, at least) would be a lot bigger.
     
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  15. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I'm sorry, but these statements are extremely inaccurate.

    And his form was very sub-standard. He had some moments of brilliance, but nothing like his prime. To say otherwise is absolutely inaccurate. The guy was a walking cortisone injection by 2005. He could hardly move and was only relying on his sheer power on both flanks to beat people.

    The only reason he made it into the finals of the USO in 2005 was because the draw opened up for him and gave him some cakewalk opponents.

    BTW, Agassi was my idol. I'm not dissing him at all. It was incredible that he was able to do what he did at a late age.
     
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  16. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Faultless logic!
     
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  18. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    You are right. How ether, Agassi moments of brilliance where shiner during his prime, but he wasn't the most consistent player either. I don't know what would be the outcome of peak Agassi vs peak Nadal, but tennis is not about who is better when he is at his best against another who is at his best too, it's about who is more able to often bring a great level to the court. And Nadal is better at that.

    On a different matter, how do you know the total number of points available each year for your percentage of points won by the top 10 calculation?
     
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  19. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    ah chopin..I think you're the one with the cool story bro.

    the real question is...put nadal in the nineties..would he even make far enough thru the draw to reach agassi. heck, we're talking about aguy...already a double grand salm winnner..who could barely make it past a guy ranked 300 in the world s&v(kendrick) ...pretty pathetic really...and you really think nadal would hae no problem getting past scud, krajicek,goran etc so he could even get to dre?

    How do we know this? because muster was right up there with dre and pete in the rankings in the mid nineties..and NEVER made it far enough thru the draw to get to pete or dre....he was ALWAYS tripped up by a stich or a rafter like figure who thrashed him.

    overall I think nadal would give agassi a hard time on clay..but on hc's, especially hard like US..dre would be running nadal around.
     
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  20. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    It is flawless logic. You can't transport this version of Nadal vs 95 version of Sampras. Of course Nadal wins probably. Evolution of tennis.

    But consider this. Annacone said this. That greats will be greats no matter what era you put them in. They have this something special.

    They all would've adapted to different conditions. If you put Nadal in 95 he doesn't have the strokes and technique of today. Nor the same fitness levels.Nor the knowledge of the game from previous eras. Of tactics, mentality...

    So if you put Nadal in the past his level wouldn't be as good. But also level of his competition wouldn't be as good. Evolution of tennis. New era is stronger not greater or better.

    So at the end if you put two greats in the same era, they would have taken titles from each other. You can extrapolate from their results. For fun but it is pointless.

    5 years Nadal vs Sampras. There are 20 slams. 5 each. So extrapolating from their results.
    Sampras Nadal
    RG : 0 3
    W: 3 1
    USO: 4 1
    AO: 2 1

    9-6 in slams. Other 5 slams for the opposition.
     
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  21. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I looked up the end-of-year standings of the Top-100 on the ATP world tour website and imported each year's list into separate Excel worksheets. Then, on the main worksheet, I have the overall formulas and graphs which will build from the data on the underlying worksheets.
     
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  22. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    WHAT?

    Sampras isnt winning on clay against nadal regardless what color, altitude or if there is a roof.

    Have you seen him move on the stuff?
     
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  23. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Sampras would have the decisive advantage overall on every surface but clay. His serve and attack and nerves of steel holding Serve would be the x-factor

    Slow or fast grass-Sampras
    Slow-Medium HC- Sampras
    Indoors of any type (Hardcourt or Carpet) Sampras
    Fast HC- Sampras
    Clay-Nadal
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
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  24. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Madrid is a fast-rated court. That is why Nadal hasn't been so successful there and other fast HC players (like Federer) have been successful there. It really is the exception to all of the rest of the clay courts.

    They say that Madrid is as fast (or faster) than the US Open.
     
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  25. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    People are thinking I'm trying to diss Nadal. Not at all.

    I'm just saying that in Sampras' generation, the HC and grass competition was insanely good. Not only that, but the clay competition was also very good. Certainly the clay field back then was better than the mugs and cupcakes (outside of Federer) that Nadal has had to face. The same goes for Federer on grass.

    Nadal still would have been awesome, but he has far less of a chance of winning 7 FO. He *definitely* has far less chance of winning two Wimbledons.

    It shocks me that people disagree with me on this. I mean, that field was awesome.
     
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  26. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    LMAO.

    faster than the usopen? No. Who is they?

    Yes, federer wins there. Therefore sampras wins there? Uh no.

    Federer is dominant on fast HC. But he is an excellent clay court player. Sampras? Lets not talk about pete on clay. Speed is not the only factor. Pete didnt know how to move on clay regardless of speed and bounce.

    Pete has virtually no chance on clay in madrid against nadal. And Nadal's record isnt bad in madrid anyways. Having won there twice and gone to the final twice. He only lost on blue clay early, which happened once. He also had won hamburg, which is very slow.

    Pete on a slow hamburg clay court? LOL.

    Federer is a far superior player to sampras on clay. Just because fed does well on clay, doesnt mean pete would do well. One guy grew up moving on the surface, the other gets stuck in the sand.

    What has pete done on clay? Win a grand total of one Rome masters series. Somehow that translated into him beating nadal in madrid where nadal has had very good success losing to only two other excellent clay courters on red clay - djokovic and federer.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
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  27. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Pete did alright on clay from 92-96.

    Beat Muster, Agassi, Bruguera, Courier. Won Rome,Davis Cup, got deep at the French.

    He did alright. Not a MUG on clay in his prime
     
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  28. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    The clay field was much tougher back then. Clearly Pete decided to save himself for non-clay events quite often... and just not enter clay events.

    But when you look at H2H and his record, it isn't that bad. Of the matches he played, he was 63% win for his career.

    I'm not sure why he didn't try to get better on clay. His S&V ability was unreal. I know his backhand wasn't anything special, but I don't think it was as much of a liability as people make it out to be.
     
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  29. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Yea it was more deep back then.

    In fact, the clay field overall has SUCKED since then.

    Muster, Agassi, Kafelnikov, Medvedev, Bruguera, Courier, then Guga later on.

    There hasn't been a time since where you had depth of a clay field like that. Since the 00's its been pretty good as far as hardcourt goes. Grass, clay and indoors? Heehh. A different story.

    Thats why I always said it was more difficult to dominate back then. EACH SURFACE had depth to do it because of the specialists who excelled on a surface. Now you only have depth on one surface (hard courts). With no depth on any other. And there hasn't been depth of competition on all surface since the 90s
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
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  30. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lol wut ?

    nadal has won madrid twice on red clay and made two other finals ..

    only on blue clay in 2012, where courts were under-prepared it was fast ...
     
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  31. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    63% record IS bad for an all time great.

    He didn't get better on clay because he wasn't good enough , the movement wasn't there , he lacked patience and of course was susceptible to the high ball especially on the BH side ...
     
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  32. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    on slow HC, nadal ripping apart sampras' BH could be the x-factor.

    its pretty close b/w them on slow HC ..
     
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  33. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I hear what you're saying, but I just don't know if it is accurate.

    I always wanted to read his book "A Champions Mind" to see if he talks about his efforts on clay. I'd love to read in his own words what issues he faced. Why he chose to play the events he did. Why he bowed out of others.
     
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  34. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yes, so awesome that pioline, martin etc were making multiple finals and getting crushed. so awesome that washington made a wimbledon final.

    so awesome that kafelnikov could become #1 after 7 defeats in a row. so awesome that moya could become #1.

    spare me the bunch of baloney. the 90s was no stronger than the 2000s. It was more diverse, but less consistent.

    sampras' greatest competition on grass was the headcase goran, a weaker player on 90s grass than federer's greatest competition on grass of today, nadal.

    Agassi was MIA in majors from 93-mid 94 and then again from 96-1998

    courier burnt out after 93 though he did ok till 96.

    edberg was done by mid-93

    becker was only consistently threatening in indoor conditions in the mid-90s, only occasional good performances elsewhere

    krajicek was perennially injured ... stich had his focus problems. if any of these 2 or both got their head/body together, it would've been big time trouble for sampras.

    for instance , goran barely got through krajicek in 98 wimbledon semi, but choked vs sampras in the final. If krajicek had got through instead, we could very well be talking about 6 time wimbledon champion sampras, not 7 time ..

    similarly the case with stich/pioline in 97 wimby. pioline played well to take out stich in the semi, but surrendered meekly in the final. If it was stich in the final instead, it could very well have been a different story.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
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  35. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Grass: Sampras
    HC:Sampras
    Clay: Ralph

    Don't wanna talk about slow HC because HC shouldn't be slow in the first place.
     
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  36. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    When there is a lot of ups and downs, surface specialists, real differences in surfaces, and half the amount of seeds in the majors (first round upsets were a norm), and different styles of play.....your going to have inconsistant results in the slams because of the depth. The next thing you know there are a whole bunch of guys with majors.

    There late-early 90s and the late90s-early 2000s is the most depth tennis has ever seen. In those times there were 8-10 different guys who could come through at the majors be it they already had titles or were just getting started.

    Top players now have it easy. They are well insulated from upsets early in the tournamnet if they do their part. Everyone basically plays the same game on every surface. In the 90s you could not stay back at wimbledon, you could not play all defence at the Open. You should watch some old matches from those eras I meantioned....hell....watch Conners 91 US Open run.....hes at the net all the time...that was Conners! Lendl had to change his entire game to serve and volley to do well at Wimbledon and even skip the French. Can you Imagine Djokavik having to completely change his game and skip a major?

    Thats the difference between then and now.

    Lendl would have won Wimbledon a couple of time in this era.

    Chang would have a US Open title.
     
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  37. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lendl would have won a couple of wimbledons in this era ( given no federer) .

    But chang winning a USO ? nah, doubt it .

    the 70s and 80s had lot of variety as well, but there were far more consistent contenders than in the 90s.

    which is why I think while it being more varied was part of less consistency in the 90s when compared to the 2000s , it isn't the whole story at all. Its just being used an excuse for the inconsistency in the 90s

    was agassi not making a slam final in 93-mid 94 and 96-98 because of the variety ? no, it was just because he was inconsistent, 'headcasey', injured ...he was certainly the most surface-versatile player in that time .

    was courier's burn out because of variety ? no, it was just his style ..

    were stich/krajicek's injury/consistency problems because of variety ? no , that's who they were ...
     
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  38. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    You dont seem to understand the complexities of the issues I bring up.

    These players in this era are for the most part one dimensional players. The willingness to come to the net is rare. It was just not possible to dominate with one dimensional games in those eras.

    Add to that the fact that because the field is one dimensional court positioning is very much neglected. Modern players move great but court positioning is not as good as it once was because nobody is looking to come to the net given the chance. I would like to see a player on todays tour exploit this. Edberg was the best I have ever seen at this. One wrong shot and he was making you pay for it...not with power or spin but with good positioning and a desire to take the court awat from you.

    I will give you another one....the challange system. It protects the top players where one bad call can turn a match around. There were many an upset in the pre challenge system days when a line call was close and a player freaked out. Plus...like I said....half as many seeds meant dangerous players could pull off an upset.

    I have been watching tennis for a long time and the last ten years have really screwed up how awesome the sport once was to witness. What we see now is very similar to how the juniors were played out in those years. In short its become the WTA.

    Where it goes from here is only down if they dont get the surfaces straightened out. The sad part is the game will have to completely die off for it to happen....if ever. I dont see a day when this sport truelly gets exciting again without different styles of play on different surface speeds. Variety is the spice of life afterall and the way they are going now they should just be done with it and make it all one surface.

    It aint the string....it aint the racquets....polyester and widebodies have been around for a looooong time. Rafter played against both and did just fine.
     
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  39. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Fragile bodied shotmakers that could get hot in a tournamnet and blow guys off the court. Their bodiers would never hold up in this era. They were extremley dangerous though and could take out top seeds when healthy

    Also...because of the surfaces and different styles of play you had some truely great servers that would mix things up far more than today. Todays servers are very predictable. This was not the case with the great servers of the 90s.
     
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  40. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    based on what ? I said he'd win a couple of wimbledons, if there was no federer, because the wimbledon of today suits his play better than it did in his generation . But I just don't see him getting past federer in a best of 5 on grass

    not even close to reality , plenty of players in this era could blow chang off court :

    federer, older agassi, safin, nalbandian, roddick, soderling, berdych, tsonga, ljubicic, gonzalez, blake, djokovic, del potro, cilic, fish, raonic, gulbis, janowicz etc.

    even nadal, murray, hewitt have easily more power than chang did


    they were simply better and more consistent than the 90s, though the conditions in the 70s and 80s were varied widely. Hence the point about major part of 90s being inconsistent because that's how the players were, rather than only putting the focus on the more varied conditions.

    that was my point.

    mid and late 90s ..... which was mainly the part where sampras dominated. so his competition was not tough.

    yeah, so if the 2nd best player of that decade was so hot and cold, what does it say about consistency in that decade .

    exactly. But they were hugely inconsistent. Hence though the names are mentioned frequently, they were less of a force on a consistent basis than what it is made out to be.


    it was both physical and mental. he had dead arm problem by 93 .

    no one in the spanish armada in the 90s had anywhere close to the success that courier did.

    that is total BS IMO. I find it ridiculous how much the serving of this generation is under-rated.

    The servers of today are just as good and vary their serve just as well as did the 90s generation

    roddick, karlovic, isner, ljubicic, federer, johansson, safin, raonic, janowicz, gulbis, soderling, lopez, fish, ancic, dent
     
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  41. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I don't under-rate this at all. I do think nadal, djokovic have benefited the most out of this.

    federer has better all-court and varied skills to deal with the varied conditions and would've done almost as well in any other era. Probably more upsets in best of 3 matches, but best of 5, I really don't see that much of a difference.

    even the likes of murray, hewitt etc. would've benefited from faster conditions

    totally lopsided and biased.

    How about in the olden times if a wrong call went against the lesser player. The lesser player is more likely to lose to it than the better player, don't you think ?


    agree with this. But again this only difference b/w the 2000s and 90s. doesn't explain why the drop off in consistency in 90s from 70s and 80s ....
     
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  42. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe the drop off in consistency is psychological or motivational. Maybe it was popular being a specialist. Or maybe we have placebo effect. I mean beliefs are contagious. Maybe ppl for some reason believed it is impossible to be consistent therefore didn't even try. Psychological limits.

    Just my two cents.
     
    #42
  43. Srinivas

    Srinivas New User

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    24
    It should be a 5 set match each set played on different courts.
    Grass-Sampras
    Clay-Nadal
    Fast HC-Sampras
    Slow HC-Nadal
    Indoor HC-Sampras
    Sampras wins in a 5 Setter classic
     
    #43
  44. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
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    Location:
    Far away
    http://www.stevegtennis.com/head-to-head/men/Andre_Agassi/Thomas_Muster/

    Referring you to Agassi's record against another lefty baseliner known for his endurance and topspin. Is Nadal not better than Muster?

    I recognize that you cannot transplant matchups directly, however to assert that Nadal would have no chance against Andre because of how he plays just doesn't hold water. Nadal's level of baseline play is higher than virtually everybody that Andre ever played against.
     
    #44
  45. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,188
    This is not necessarily true. Courier did very well against Agassi and Nadal plays a very similar style, if not arguably better. I modeled my forehand after Agassi and he was my favorite player but I don't pretend he's unbeatable.
     
    #45

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