Stats for Federer-Sampras (2001 Wimbledon)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Moose Malloy, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Federer d Sampras 7-6(7) 5-7 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5

    Federer was 19, Sampras 29.

    Sampras was ranked 6, but seeded 1. Federer was ranked & seeded 15.

    My stats:

    Federer had 42 non service winners: 21 fh, 10 bh, 5 fhv, 6 bhv
    Sampras had 41: 12 fh, 9 bh, 8 fhv, 9 bhv, 3 ov

    Sampras had 17 passing shot winners, Federer had 23.

    Sampras had 8 return winners, Federer 12.

    Winners by set:
    Federer - 10, 9, 5, 8, 10
    Sampras - 7, 9, 9, 6, 10

    Both players had 25 aces.

    Aces by set:
    Federer - 5, 5, 3, 7, 5
    Sampras - 8, 7, 1, 8, 1

    Sampras had 60 unreturned serves, of which I judged 14 as service winners.
    Federer had 64 unreturned serves of which I judged 7 as service winners.

    Break point conversions by set:

    Sampras
    1st set: 0-1
    2nd set: 1-5
    3rd set: 1-1
    4th set: 0-2
    5th set: 0-2

    Federer:
    1st set: 0-3
    2nd set: 0-6
    3rd set: 2-4
    4th set: 0-0
    5th set: 1-1

    Fed's only break point of the 5th came in the last game of the match. It was the first break point he had since 4-4 in the 3rd.

    NBC's stats:

    after 2 sets

    Sampras had 38 winners, 18 unforced
    Federer had 31 winners, 15 unforced
     
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  2. Murray_Maniac

    Murray_Maniac Banned

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    Nice. I thought about doing stats for this match, but the match is too long for me to do it on. Watching it earlier this year, it was a very high quality match. Great Job.

    Im planning on doing stats for their exhibition in Macau at the end of July.
     
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  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    These are extremely close stats. You've got Federer leading by 1 non-service winner, and you've got them both at 25 aces. And they drew almost the same number of return errors, 64 to 60 in Federer's favor.

    The ATP actually has Sampras at 26 aces, and that would put the two men each at 67 clean winners.

    The ATP has Federer winning 10 pts. more than Sampras overall, so if they were so close in winners, it looks like Federer just barely kept his errors lower than Sampras.

    The margin is so little that we can almost count all of it. He had 4 fewer errors on the return, and per the ATP he had 6 double-faults to 9 by Pete.

    Did you count their doubles?

    I also found it interesting that Sampras lost even serving at 69% (to Federer's 62%), per the ATP. When he lost in '96, his service percentage was lower than Krajicek's (61 to 66).

    So Roger has 31 ground stroke winners and 11 volleys. Pete has 21 off the ground and 20 volleys/overheads.

    No real surprise but it's nice to see the breakdown. And the biggest stroke of the match was Fed's FH.
     
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  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    BBC stats

    Took these down from my copy:

    Federer’s first-serve percentages by set through 2-3 in the fifth: 53, 65, 63, 65, 85.

    Sampras’ first-serve percentages by set through 2-3 in the fifth: 65, 76, 56, 78, 82.

    (ETA: those fifth-set stats look extremely high, at least through five games; I wonder if they kept their percentages that high through the end. But it does look like Sampras starting in the fourth set was serving up close to the 80% range).

    At 3-4 in the fifth, Federer had won 6 service games at love, Sampras one.

    Federer had 12 service return winners for the match (I completed that stat myself when Fed hit one on match point).

    At 2-3 in the fourth, Federer was getting 46% of first serves and 71% of second serves back. Sampras was at 41% and 64%.

    At 4-5 in the fourth, Federer had won only 24 of 51 points at net, Sampras only 33 of 76. The announcers said that since first serves were generally not coming back, Roger and Pete were playing most of their volleys on second serve. That suggests that return errors were not counted in the net stats; if they were counted, you'd see higher net stats.

    Anyway, we know already from Moose's stats that the volley winners were not that high; each man had more winners from ground strokes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
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  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Agence France Presse -- English

     
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  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    You got the same number for Federer as the BBC (which did not give a figure for Sampras).

    That's all the stats I can find.
     
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  7. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    My count was the same as the atp site.

    NBC had them both on pace for higher errors than that after 2 sets.

    My ace count was the same as NBC's(they updated the ace count late in the match, when it was 25-25) There were no aces in the last 6 games I believe.

    Its kinda odd that the BBC counts net points this way. They had a low number for both players late in the 5th of the '95 Goran-Sampras W SF as well.

    Like you've said in the past, many missed returns are the result of a player coming in, you can't not count those as net points won.
     
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  8. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Interesting stats Moose. It was a fairly balanced match as the statistics show. One of the most overrated matches in recent times though. Neither player was anywhere near their best. It was never the clash of titans that some people portray it as.
     
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  9. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    True, but the stats do show that both players had far more winners than errors though. Every break point felt like a set point(which was often the case in the faster grass era)

    I wonder if this stat is important, in terms of matches he loses.
     
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  10. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    The quality of the match wasn't that good to be honest. I saw Sampras missed his trademark overhead twice, when he usually missed that once or twice a year. His volleys were horrible throughout most of the match, and he blew his chances quite a few times. Federer on the other hand, was sloppy at times. I'd say the exhibition match they played in Asia is better in terms of quality.
     
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  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    And this is Wimbledon.org's boxscore for the match, archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20010719175415/www.wimbledon.com/scores/stats/day8/1113ms.html. The ATP stats are identical except that they have Sampras at 26 aces.

    [​IMG]

    So this match was only 6 points shorter than the 1980 final.

    The main problem with this boxscore is that the Winners are presented as including service, but they can't: they line up almost exactly with Moose's count of winners apart from service.

    (The same thing happened later with the final: Wimbledon.org and USA Today published boxscores in which Rafter was given 49 winners "Including Service", while Cox News Service gives him 66 winners, which they probably got by throwing in his 13 aces and a handful of service winners; see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2512597#post2512597).

    It also looks like Wimbledon.org did not include Sampras and Federer's double-faults in their Unforced Errors category, though at least that category is not described as including service.

    NBC does look like it's including df's:

    After two sets, per Wimbledon.org, Federer had 10 Unforced Errors and 5 Double-Faults -- so that lines up nicely with NBC.

    Sampras does not line up so well. Wimbledon gave him 11 Unforced Errors and 3 Double-Faults: only 14 compared to NBC's 18. But the problem is the same: NBC appears to be including double-faults while Wimbledon.org does not.

    I think that you can click through each individual set of the boxscore but I've had trouble with archived pages, so this is the breakdown by set:

    Sampras:

    Aces - 8, 7, 1, 8, 1
    DF's - 1, 2, 2, 2, 2
    UE's - 6, 5, 5, 4, 2
    Winners - 7, 10, 9, 6, 10

    Federer:

    Aces - 5, 5, 3, 7, 5
    DF's - 1, 4, 1, 0, 0
    UE's - 4, 6, 2, 4, 0
    Winners - 10, 9, 5, 8, 10

    From this it looks like what won Federer the match is that he made no unforced errors of any kind in the fifth set.
     
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  12. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    What !? :shock:

    It was a good match, sampras didn't volley badly either.
     
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  13. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    This match is in the vein of Becker (85 Wimbledon), Edberg (85 Aus Open), Chang (89 French Open), Sampras (90 US Open) and Safin (00 US Open) except that Federer didn't go on to win the title.

    Federer like the above players played beyond his years, and while Sampras was beyond his best years, he still played well. Stats are blown out of the proprtion, like Pete's 1st serve %. He held routinely through the 1st set, and Roger was aided by a net cord in the tie break. T

    In the 2nd set, was where Roger really returned well, but Sampras came up with the goods to to save numerous break pts and hold, and then steal the set. Sampras all but gave the 3rd set away, being broken twice in that set. How often does that happen. He missed makeable volleys, double faulted a few times in the games he was broken, and missed an overhead to hand Roger the set.

    Federer kept up his stellar play, but from that point he did not see another until the last game of the match, where Sampras missed 2 volleys he'd normaly make. Not to mention the sitting pass at break point at 4-4 in the 5th that Pete hit right back to him. Thugh credit has to be given to Roger cuz he kept his level of play up.
     
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  14. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    I agree. Federer wasnt even a top 10 player yet, had something like 1 dinky tournament title, and wouldnt even make another slam quarterfinal for another 2 full years. Sampras would soon drop out of the top 10, would only win 1 tournament the final 2 years of his career (granted it was the U.S Open) and would lose to George Bastl next year. Neither player was even half the player they were in their primes. The most insanely overrated match ever.
     
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  15. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    110 mph 2nd serves on average. Holy sh"·$"·$"!!
     
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  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Ah, but it’s not exactly giving credit to Roger to say only that he played stellar tennis, mentioning none of his errors while listing Pete’s. A little balance please. Sampras lost the third set, and you say he handed it away. You could have said the same about Federer in the second set; instead you give Pete the credit for stealing it with good play; but in that last game of the set Roger double-faulted twice and put out an easy volley on set point.

    I don’t happen to think that sets were given away in this match; but if it’s going to be put that way, the second set certainly fits.

    I just think that in a long match, even great players make errors – everyone from Rod Laver on down. Grasscourt tennis in particular, because service breaks are so rare, is about holding your concentration just a little better than your opponent in a close match – just hold it long enough, because eventually someone makes an error and the set or the match is gone quickly; there’s nothing unusual about that. This is especially true when great players are facing each other. What would be sloppy work against a lesser player is merely two great players putting heavy pressure on each other and drawing understandable errors.

    That’s why I also would argue with your comment about Pete missing volleys in the last game that he would “normally” make. I’d say that about the first volley that he missed, which was not technically difficult (same with the critical overhead in the third set). The second volley, though, was a 15-30 point on which Federer did just what you should do, when you’re two points away from victory: get that return low and put the pressure on your opponent. On another day, without any pressure, Pete can make that volley without trouble; the trouble here was that this was match game, with 4 consecutive titles on the line. He missed it, and I saw nothing particularly noteworthy about that. He might have made it; he might not; but in either case I don’t think it’s possible to speak about missing what he “normally” makes, because there is no normal here. It’s not a normal situation. It’s a match with high stakes in which one great champion draws what I think is an understandable error (not a choke) from another great champion after 59 draining games, and then pounces to barely take the ribbon. A match that certainly could have gone either way.

    At 4-all in the fifth you say Sampras had a “sitting pass”; and I didn’t recognize what you were describing. So I put in the DVD. I did have this in my notes, but I had seen it very differently. Sampras ripped a low return and I saw Roger making a great half-volley. Pete moved forward, still looking for a kill, but that half-volley came back at him very fast, which is why he was unable to direct his backhand in either direction – something I’ve seen happen many times to the greatest players. It was no sitting pass; that makes it sound like Pete had time and merely did something lame.

    Basically I’m going into this detail to make the point that the match should be described in a balanced way; but I have to stop there because I think the “key” moments in this match are usually over-analyzed. Moose and I have been doing stats now for some time, and I can’t recall seeing a match that was so close, statistically. The temptation with this match – particularly because it’s been overblown with meaning that no single match could bear – is to pick out tiny details and say that the match could have gone the other way. And sure, it could have gone either way: I just think that in a match this close, ANY of the points could have gone differently, not just the obvious “errors” and “sitters” and such. At any stage a shot could have had been different by mere inches, and you’d have other stuff to talk about. That’s why debating little points could literally go on endlessly – and pointlessly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
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  17. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    GSM krosero
     
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  18. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Maybe "stellar" was understating it, but Roger played well, hence I referenced to oter great performances of others who played well before they peaked.

    Yes I fell Pete "handed" the 3rd set way, due to the fact he got broken twice. Once on his double faults and the 2nd missing a volley and an overhead he can with his left hand. I said Pete "stole" the 2nd set, not necessarily meaning he did it with great play. I said Sampras came up with the goods to save the 5 or 6 break pts he saved in that set, then stole it. Yes I think he came up with winners in the 12th game, but Roger did miss badly on the volley down set pt.

    The 15-30 volley at 5-6 in the 5th. First Pete was a step slower getting to net, and though it was a good return by Roger, I've seen Pete come up with clutch shots for damn near 10 years, so maybe I just expect it from him. That's like saying when Jordan missed the final shot in game 1 of the 1991 NBA finals. You don't talk about pressure, cuz Jordan has been there before. "Pressure" not for someone as mentally strog as Pete and has been there time and time again, save those excuses for James Blake. That's just my perspective.

    About the pass at 4-4 in the 5th. The only thing I can say is watch the 1996 ATP World Championship final vs Becker at 4-4 in the 5th, on break point. Almost identical situation and shot, but Sampras execution was different in both matches. Maybe it's me, but that's I pass that I don't only think Pete should make, but expect him to.

    My initial post were to 2 other guys posting, and as well as Roger played, Pete made mistakes (and got unlucky at crucial times). The net cord in the 1st set tie breaker, missing an overhead that sealed the 3rd set, and the pass and volleys in the 5th. Yes Roger played extremely well, and "stellar" may have benn understating it, but I just call a spade a spade.
     
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  19. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    yep. Holy Sh... is right :). and even then he won only 46% of 2nd serves.
     
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  20. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I think that the problem when anyone watches his favorite player is exactly this expectation. I'm not putting you down: anyone with a favorite player is just going to look at a failed shot and remember (esp. if they've seen a lot of him) times when he made similar shots. Then you ask, Why didn't he make that? Someone else can tell you: he didn't make it because he didn't make it. He's human. No big deal. Maybe it comes down to a different philosophy but I think sometimes you make shots and other times you don't (because you're human; and the other guy has to make some shots, too). Tennis is still won on errors and no one has ever eliminated unforced errors in one of his matches. The definition of an unforced error is a shot that, in your judgment, such a player "should" make. But 10 or 20 or 30 times in match, even Sampras and Borg and Laver unavoidably make them. And very rarely do they falter on key points; but key points over a career add up to hundreds, and no human is going to play all of those points with exactly the same skill; unavoidably some are going to be less well played than others. Maybe there will even be a choke; Rod Laver said in the 70s that he chokes, always has, and always will; everyone does; though in this case we're not even talking about that.

    This situation is a lot more simple. You noted yourself how Roger saw no break points in the last two sets until the final game. Of course those break points did not come up then as mere coincidence. They came up because it was match game, and one player went for his opportunity and the other faltered a little. Countless matches are won that way. On another day (if they'd had a rematch, for example), maybe Sampras is more likely to get out of that game. Every situation is different.

    4-all in the fifth set in Hanover: I figured you were comparing to great shots in his career but I didn't think you'd bring up that one. He was set up for that one, had more time, and Becker had done nothing unusual. And I said before, the story of that break point at 4-all in this match, when I watched it, was Federer's half-volley; it surprised me a little that he came up with it; and it came back fast enough so that Sampras had no time. Sampras did nothing wrong; he was still boring in as he should; he was just left with little time (and was possibly surprised given how strong his return had been). On another day, another shot, he passes Federer. Big deal. That's how I expect it to go when two players of comparable skill meet more than once.

    But I do want to make clear, as much as it delicious to talk about the mechanics of the tennis, ultimately there's no "identical" shot from the past -- not even one that was physically identical. There's the whole mental aspect that you're not bringing in; the full context. And the context never repeats itself. He only played with 4 Wimbledons on the line, against Federer in a fifth set, once in his career. The best comparison, I think, is the loss to Krajicek; but even that match was very different.

    He won the contest with Becker; he lost this one with Federer. Somehow your list of Pete's errors, and comparison with the past, seem to suggest that Pete should win all of his great matches; or express a regret that he didn't win all of them. But that is certainly too much to expect of any tennis player.

    Especially when one GOAT comes up against another. One of them has to lose.

    And even in those fantasy matches where we like to pair up players at their peaks, I think if these matches could actually happen you just might see moments in which the critical break occurred on an error rather than a winner; and the simplest thing in the world would be to search the past and find a physically similar shot that the player had made on another day, but misses on this day. Tennis is still won on errors, and even GOAT's at their peak are not going to be superhuman on every key point.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a Federer now, more than when he was #1, which is when I saw this match. I was not a Sampras fan when he was #1 but he's won me over a lot by watching and re-watching so many of his past matches on video.
     
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  21. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I think this is a misunderstanding. I was not saying that you understated Roger's play; to the contrary I said that you didn't talk about his errors at all (while listing all of Pete's).
     
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  22. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    I understand what you're saying, and you made strong points about expecteations. But in most sports (if not all) where do these "expectations" come from?? A players ability, reputation of what we've seen them do. If you're down by one with 10 seconds to go and you can put the ball in Jordan's hands, you feel somewhat comfortabe. Why???

    -he can go one one with anyone
    -he can draw a double team
    -he's been there before

    This isn't to say he hasn't missed, but in bag games and clutch moments we expect great athletes to what their supposed to do, as that what makes them great. The reason I talk about the 4-4 pass, was that it was big a big point, and the level of difficulty was not that high. He had another break point after that and hit a running forehand into the net, How many running forehands has Pete hit in his life?? But Roger attacked ahort return and hit a low deep forehand. Now even I've seen Pete make more difficult running forehands, but if he made that one, it would have taken a great effort, the backhand not so much.

    Yeah favourite player may have something to with it, but I felt the same way watching Roger at Roland Garros. Now I don't expect him to beat Nadal, but I expect more from him. When after the match a stat shows 93-94% of Rafa's serves were directed at his backhand, I don't think, I expect him to do something to at least change that. Or hen Nadal is working over his backhand. I don't think he should just take it, I expect him to get off the mat and fight. I don't care if Roger starts hitting backhands to Spain, it's better than getting your back pounded to the point your moving back, dumping them into the net and shanking them. My level of respect for Roger increased at Wimbledon, cuz he went down swinging. After losing the first two sets he was like "I may go down, but I'm gona fight", which is what I expect.

    Anyway back to great players making an missing shots, I agree can't make them and win them all. But what makes them great is their ability not only make them more times than not, but do it when it matters. If Pete hit a better pass, not even a good one, and Roger made the volley, then that's how it goes. But he hit it right back to him. For players the lebel of Sampras, Federer, Borg, Laver, Gonzales etc. that's a shot I expect them to make when they need to as that is why they are in the class that they are, and others aspire to reach that level.

    If you look at the 4-4 game, he had 2 break pts. I expect Sampras to make the backhand pass, but not necessarily the running forehand. Federer hit a deep penetrating forehand (and follwed it in), which would've forced Sampras to come up with something special, I don't feel the backhand was. He hit a return which eve forced Roger to volley up.

    I don't don't if you watch football, but if you have you've seen Jerry Rice make spectacular cathes, one hand, in double coverage etc. Now if a big game 4th quarter on 3rd down, he drops a ball that you've seen catch 100 times, I put that on him. As I "expect" him to do so. Now if it's in double coverage, or a catch that forces him to come up with something special then I can see it.

    You're right maybe another day he makes that shot, maybe another day vs Becker he may not make the pass, I see what you're saying about that being the nature of the game. That's sports, that's why we love them, and why we have these discussions.

    Understood. I was just moreso talking about it from a Sampras perspective, in conjuction to what one other poster said to another earlier in the thread.
     
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  23. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    This is a good point; expectations go beyond our favorite player. And I felt the same way about that match.

    I see what you're saying about what expectations are based on, I just think that we look at the same points and see different things, and I've pretty much described the reasons I see this match (or others) as I do. If you expected something else from Sampras, I don't have a problem with that; I just usually want to see some balance when players or matches are discussed, or to inject another perspective myself.
     
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  24. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Just looking at the highlight reels (which can often be misleading), it looked like Fed has a lot of nice BH service return winners.
     
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  25. I get cramps

    I get cramps New User

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    He did, he was fabulous returning off the backhand. Trust me on this one :confused:
     
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  26. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Set-by-set stats

    delete post
     
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  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Set-by-set stats

    Using the official stats from Wimbledon.org.
    (Federer won 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5)

    SET 1

    Federer served at only 53% in this set, his low for the match. Yet he won the set.

    In this set each man was at his lowest point in net success: Sampras won 6 of 15 net approaches (40%), Federer 7 of 16 (44%) (Federer hit 44% again in the fourth set).


    SET 2

    In this set Sampras bottomed out at 20% success on 2nd serve (yet he won the set). Federer also hit his low mark on 2nd serve, at 38%.


    SET 3

    Astonishingly, Sampras won only 50% of his 1st-serve points in this set (10 of 20). In fact he had greater success on 2nd serve (56%) than on 1st – the only set in which that happened to either man.

    Sampras’ service percentage in this set was only 56%, his low for the match.

    Not a surprise that Sampras lost this set (and by the easiest margin of any set).


    SET 4

    In this set Sampras hit his highs in service percentage (78%) and success on first serve (90%), as well as in net success (71%).

    Federer hit his low on 1st serve success (77%) and in net success (he won 8 of 18 approaches, or 44%).

    Not a surprise that Sampras won this set.


    SET 5

    Federer served at 69% in this set, his high for the match. He also hit his high for success on 2nd serve (70%), as well as his high in net success (63%).

    Including double-faults, each man played his cleanest tennis in the fifth set – Sampras with 4 unforced errors and Federer none.
     
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  28. Limpinhitter

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    It's funny because, watching the match, the thing that stood out most for me was how poor Sampras' return game seemed to be on that day compared to Federer's, even though Sampras was serving much bigger than Federer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
    #28
  29. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    +1. To me, the main difference in this match was regarding the fact that Sampras was a step slower in closing to the net. At 30 yrs and for a S/V'er that makes a significant difference in how well you can hit that 1st volley. He had a great serving day that kind of made it that close, but if he had been younger, his 2nd serve performance would've been better.

    Also, they were in different places mentally. One was the Open Era GOAT" at the time, satisfied at having achieved all that he thought possible, was married, lost that edge from his hunger/desire for the game, while the other was a up-and-coming youngster, keen to make a mark, charged up at the prospect of upsetting the "GOAT", closer to his athletic peak.
     
    #29
  30. rst

    rst Rookie

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    110 mph 2nd serves on average. Holy sh"·$"·$"!!


    yep. Holy Sh... is right . and even then he won only 46% of 2nd serves.


    to me, it seems that preparing for a an avg 110mph second serve and i assume doing well with them (sampras winning only 46%) is a tremendous feat. and that was a bruiser to sampras' style of play.?
     
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  31. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Sampras winning % off 2nd serve was even worse against Agassi in the 1999 Wim F. So, it might not always indicate everything.
     
    #31
  32. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    And, my understanding is, that was when they were measuring service speed when the ball crossed the net, rather than right after contact as they do today.
     
    #32
  33. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Lol was just watching some highlights from this match cause bored, decide to look on former player section and this thread was bumped up..... was surprised that Fed broke Sampras in the final game, even scoring two fantastic returns off the Sampras serve.
     
    #33
  34. rst

    rst Rookie

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    "And, my understanding is, that was when they were measuring service speed when the ball crossed the net, rather than right after contact as they do today."


    i have no such understanding or information regardign such.
     
    #34
  35. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Federer's speeds in that match are not different than what it is today.. if anything, it points to guns being juiced then :)
     
    #35
  36. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    you seem to try very hard to fight evidence that maybe Federer would've handled Pete's serve easier than all of Pete's contemporaries did? Is that why you come up with this load of cr@p ? Federer has always been good at handling big servers -- go watch his matches against Ivanisevic and Krajicek around the time of the Pete match.

    Sampras would go on to play possibly the best match of his career a few weeks later at the USO, and reached the final as well, so most of the "reasons" you post for Sampras' loss sound like butt-hurt excuses.

    Face it, Pete's famed serve did not pass the test against an arguably superior returner.
     
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  37. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    At some point in the early 2000's, the measurement of service speeds changed from being measured at the net to being measured right after contact. That's why such monster servers like Becker, Sampras, Ivanisevic, Filippoussis, and a few more, were regularly clocked below 120 when it is obvious that they were serving much bigger than, for example, the Fed/Nadal/Murray serves being clocked in the 120's and 130's today.
     
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  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's wrong. Federer regularly serves in the mid 120's to 130+ today.
     
    #38
  39. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Roger won fair and square despite being a huge underdog in 2001. Dismiss his win over Sampras is like dismissing a 19 years old Sampras beat Lendl at the 1990 USO.
     
    #39
  40. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Handling big servers is not a common denominator where you can directly draw analogies between players. Because what makes a hell of a difference is how the big server backs up his big serve. Fed's "superior" returns have done squat against Nadal who has one of the weaker serves among top champions. This is because Nadal backs up his serve with a tremendous game.

    The entire premise of my argument is that a younger, faster & fitter, "hungrier" Sampras would've backed up his 2nd serve better than he did in this match. He would've been able to close in to the net a little faster, putting himself in a position to hit better volleys.

    Also, Fed's not a superior returner to Agassi against big servers. He gets back more returns, which is useful when the server doesn't have great volleys or a great groundgame (see Roddick, Ivanisevic, Krajicek) to back up his serve.

    At that stage of Fed's career - 2010 - Fed lost to Berdych in the Wim QF. By your token, I think we can agree that Fed's famed game did not pass the test against an arguably superior player.
     
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  41. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    LOL @ your point on Krajicek. you would go to any extent to make excuses for Sampras, wouldn't you?

    I'm not seeing the connection to the Berdych loss. The Berdych loss shows that he could trouble Federer, and he has gotten him a few times on important occasions (duh). Sampras' loss to Federer, shows that Pete's serve would likely not work as well against Federer, as it did against the others of his time. Hewitt already exposed how Pete would fare against good returners who were also fast on their feet. it's not hard to extrapolate that Federer would enjoy more success.
     
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  42. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    That was rude, as Sampras was Lendl's house guest at the time.
     
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  43. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    29 yrs old Sampras WAS hungry to defend his Wimbledon, especially when it's his favorite slam. He lost to a better player(Fed) that day. Deal with it.

    Fed is a better returner than Agassi against Sampras on grass. He proved it in 2001.


    Fed losing to a Berdych who was in his prime career isn't as bad as Sampras losing to a 19 yrs old Fed. And don't forget past prime Fed > past prime Sampras(his ranking plummet while Fed is consistently in the top 3).
     
    #43
  44. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, he proved that in one match

    And they played on same grass.. for sure
     
    #44
  45. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    2001 grass was still fast. The surface gradually slow down by the year and bounce higher. The only fact we have is Agassi and Fed played Sampras on grass and Fed handle his serve better than Agassi.
     
    #45
  46. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    That 2001. match was indeed very fast, no doubt. One of the last true matches of this tournament. But we can't judge by one match
     
    #46
  47. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Had Fed never won Wimbledon, then you have a point, but Fed went on to win 7 titles. So his win over Sampras count, because that was the passing of the torch. Remember Pete beat Lendl in 1990 USO and they met only 1 time, that was also the point of passing the torch since Pete went on to win 5 titles.

    Rosol beat Nadal at wimbledon, that's just one match and upset does happen. However if Rosol managed to win multiple Wimbledons in the future, his win is just as good as Federer over Sampras.
     
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  48. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    How does one mere match prove Federer was the superior returner to Agassi versus Sampras on grass?

    Is Rosol a superior returner on grass versus Nadal than Federer is, by that logic? Do you think over the course of 10 matches versus Nadal on grass (lets say both Federer and Rosol play 10 matches against Nadal), that Rosol would have won a higher percentage of his return games versus Nadal?

    It's one match, dude. One match.
     
    #48
  49. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Agassi broke Sampras 5 times at the start of his grasscourt peak in '93, at Wimby. Just because he couldn't do it against Sampras having one of the serving match of his life (1999 Wimby final, altho his performance was a tad overrated), doesn't necessarily mean Federer had a better return versus Sampras. Nobody is perfect. Everyone has an off day. Fed broke Roddick what, 1 time in 38 return games in 2009? Does that mean he's not a great returner? No, he just had an off day and Roddick was serving incredibly well. And Fed was clearly a better returner at 27-going on-28 than he was at 19-going on-20.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
    #49
  50. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    If you're going to head that route by saying one match doesn't tell the whole story then there's no argument to say Agassi is better returner than Fed on grass. In that case Del Potro isn't > Nadal at the USO or Cash isn't > Lendl at Wimbledon because it's only one match. If you feel that way, fine. For me, one match is better than nothing, at least we have some data to look into.
     
    #50

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