Stats for Kafelnikov-Sampras (1996 RG semi)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, May 27, 2009.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Kafelnikov d. Sampras, 7-6 (4), 6-0, 6-2

    By my count:

    Kafelnikov won 105 points overall, Sampras 71.

    (The ATP has different numbers because they counted aces and df's twice).


    SERVICE

    Kafelnikov won 58 of 76 points on serve: 35 of 41 on first serve (85%) and 23 of 35 on second (66%).

    Sampras won 53 of 100 points on serve: 33 of 58 on first serve (57%) and 20 of 42 on second (48%).


    Kafelnikov served at 54%, making 41 of 76 first serves. Percentages by set: 52, 67, 47.

    Sampras served at 58%, making 58 of 100 first serves. Percentages by set: 56, 65, 56.


    Kafelnikov converted 5 of 13 break points.

    Sampras didn’t earn any break points. He got his first serve into play on 8 of 13 break points.


    Kafelnikov had 12 aces and 12 other unreturned serves, of which I judged 1 a service winner.

    Sampras had 9 aces and 20 other unreturned serves, of which I judged 2 as service winners.


    Kafelnikov had 2 double-faults, Sampras 9.


    WINNERS

    Kafelnikov made 27 clean winners apart from service: 16 FH, 8 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV.

    Sampras made 10 clean winners apart from service: 2 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV, 3 BHV.

    Kafelnikov's winners by set: 11, 4, 12
    Sampras' winners by set: 6, 2, 2

    (In addition to the clean winners, I gave judgment calls on a FH and a BH by Kafelnikov.)

    Kafelnikov made three clean return winners (2 FH), all passes. He made 6 other passing shots (4 FH).

    Sampras made one clean return winner, a BH. It was not a pass but he made two BH passing shots.


    Stats from Australia's Channel Nine:

    In the first set, Kafelnikov made 12 unforced errors, Sampras 17. After almost two sets, Kafelnikov had made 14, Sampras 26.

    They had Kafelnikov at 12 aces, Sampras at 9. I have the same, though the ATP put Kafelnikov at only 10.

    And they had Kafelnikov at 2 df’s, Sampras at 9. I have the same, though the ATP put Sampras at only 7.


    Per the New York Times it was the fifth bagel of Sampras’ career. They report that the temperature of 92 degrees equaled an 1873 record for this date in Paris, and that Sampras had spent five hours more oncourt than Kafelnikov:

    Sports Illustrated:

     
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  2. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    Thalassemia Minor
     
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  3. julesb

    julesb Banned

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    Poor Kafelnikov. He would have won more Frenchs if he didnt lose 3 times in the next years to Kuerten, and always in a really close match.
     
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  4. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    How great is the possibility -- according to peoples opinion here -- that Pete's "medical condition" had anything to do with his somewhat tired performance in this match?

    I also wonder how his Wimby performance might've been affected by fact that he went deep at RG this year, minimizing his transition-time to the extremely fast old grass at Wimby two weeks later?

    I've always thought Krajicek made a stunning perf against Pete there -- but I also thought Sampras had played much better, he usually did always at Wimby. If Pete had been in, say 1994-95-99-Wimby-form during the Richard-battle I just wonder if the end result would've been the same.

    Maybe the always draining RG took some steam out of the Sampras-locomotive at Wimby 1996...
     
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  5. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    This is probably true. I believe this was the only year out of that 93-00 stretch that Pete missed Queen's.
     
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  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I think it's likely. We're so accustomed to seeing Pete pull out great wins even when he's dead tired (eg, Corretja), sometimes on little more than his mental strength, that his collapse after one set against Kafelnikov suggests that something physical happened to him there.

    In his book he mentions having unbelievably strong cravings the night before the semifinal, for something like a burger or a greasy pizza. He kept to his discipline and didn't have one, but he thinks that maybe at that point his system was missing something, probably fat.

    So yes I think his blood condition was a factor, but if it was a deal-breaking factor here, and not elsewhere (at least not in the 90s), then I think it's worth emphasizing, as you always do, how draining the French Open is.

    And that's in any year, not to speak of the great heat in '96.

    In a way, by baking the courts hard and making them friendly to attacking players, the heat helped Pete advance that far, and brought him down all the harder at the end.
     
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  7. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    I thought this as well...

    I didn't think Pete was his usual self here -- he could lose of course, but not really in this style. Out of character IMO. Pity.

    What about this RG and it's effect on the Krajicek-match in Wimby right after this?

    Could this RG possibly taken some edge off his game there? I just get the feeling that Pete wasn't really he's typical self in that match either...

    Borg always said "You don't want to see a tennis-ball after RG. All that concentration against all the specialists, all those draining rallies. I'm finished in body and head. That's why I practice so much -- to be able to handle such slumps, clay-season's like getting cancer for the rest of the year and the really fast Wimbledon is two weeks away."
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
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  8. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    It would ironic if Pete's system was missing fat going into that match if he would have better off succumbing to his temptation and having a greasy pizza or burger.
     
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  9. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Bruguera said he allegedly trained up to eight hours a day with his physio during the 96 off season to get back his condition and form...he pooped out like a locomotive without oil at the VERY end of the first set with the set on his racket in a scintilating tie-breaker. The last point of that set he barely even moved. Think about that, all that alleged conditioning work in the offseason, and he couldn't even hold out for ONE more point with the light at the end of the tunnel just STARING him in the nose. His body couldn't be bothered to move a lick the next two sets, and the commentators were almost certain that he'd probably just retire and call it a day Justine Henin style at any moment.

    ...yes, yes, I know he wasn't exactly some kind of diseased specimen like Sampras, but the point is yes, yes, I know, Sampras was handicapped. But imo, it should not be used as an excuse as for why he lost so badly to Kafelnikov. Imo, that's a horrible excuse, because it gives Kafelnikov NO CREDIT whatsoever!

    Believe it or not, A LOT of player poop out at various times throughout their career. Hell, even the endurance maniac Courier said he was pooped out after battling Kuerten on clay in Davis Cup the same year Kuerten would go on to win his first French. He said that if he hadn't closed out that fourth set, that was it, he had absolutely NOTHING in the tank, he was DYING in the heat and had to immediately get IV's.

    The great Kobe Bryant who is FAMOUS for playing through injuries like no other NBA player alive today, who is FAMOUS for NEVER taking time off.

    Guess what? He is POOPED out now. He said he'd never been so exhausted after a game two games ago. The commentators were like what the heck? Kobe looks EXHAUSTED for once.

    Guess what...it happens, to EVERY athlete, no matter how well conditioned.

    It is NOT an excuse though. It's a footnote worth mentioning, but not an excuse imo.

    Sampras had unusually favorable conditions that year, Bruguera would have a career worst year up to that point so in obviously poor form, Courier obviously not in the form or confidence that won him back to back RG crowns in a row, etc. The court conditions that year could not have played more like a hard court than if Sampras had dreamed of it. I mean seriously, WHAT does he have to complain about?

    If he pooped out when the court conditions were so favorable that year, that was HIS fault. He shouldn't have messed around in the earlier rounds then. He should have put his opponents away easier then. To me, if a player poops out later in a tournament, that's his own fault. If Bruguera had a grueling three setter with Sampras the day before in near one hundred degree heat in the semis, and then faces maybe the most cardio-maniacal player of all time in the finals in equally scorching hot weather, that is his OWN fault. Period. I don't care if it's Sampras. If he didn't want to be tired, then he should have put him away 6-0, 6-0. What about Chang cramping like a banshee against Lendl at the French? He was going to quit you know, he said there's no point, who am I even kidding, what's the point, ESPECIALLY when the guy on the other side of the net was the then most cardio-maniacal player of all time.

    The French media called him a trickster after that and little slant eyes. I call it, say what you want, but he managed to get in Lendl's head. He managed to find more inspiration and reserve when there was no reserve than he ever had in his life before or since. And for a guy who is known for trying as hard or harder than anyone in history out there, EVERY match out, that is REALLY saying something.

    You didn't hear Bruguera saying, oh man, it's not fair, I had a tough match during the day the day before and Muster got to play at night and won easily, it's soooo not fair, not to mention I had to play a better player too!

    No, he just gave all the credit to Muster after the match. Said that knowing how good his fitness is...all the credit. Do you realize how foolish he would've sounded if he said I got gyped knowing the Muster wasn't even supposed to walk again? That his knee was freaking obliterated by a drunk driver, that one leg was now shorter than the other, and that he still walks with a slight limp as a result to this day? I mean, REALLY, now.

    Sampras was blessed with MORE than enough "gifts" that imo him having a disease or whatever shouldn't be used an excuse. That's his OWN genetic "fault." Jim Abbot was born without a hand.... Matt Hammil was born deaf. I mean really...poor, poor Sampras. If ONLY for not being given such a raw deal by God, he would've won the French and then been the undisputed GOAT. The injustice of it all...poor, poor, Chang believing in God all those years, trying to serve big like Sampras all those years, poor, poor Sampras to bad he wasn't 6'1" but genetically GIFTED with the wingspan of a condoor, of a wingspan equal to a player 6'5" which allowed him to serve that much bigger, which gave him that much more margin. Poor, poor Sampras with the rubber shoulders that allowed him to serve like a God without his shoulder falling off.

    Imo, Sampras' condition was a PART of him. That's not an excuse, that's a PART of him. Chang was short, that's a PART of him, you have to accept that.

    Sampras' condition is much more common to persons of Greek lineage from what I remember...ok, fine, then he shouldn't have been born Greek.

    Do you see the problem here when you start making excuses for a GOAT caliber player who DOESN'T need it? Imo, it just makes him look worse, and gives more credence to Rafter's reason for not appreciating Sampras very much.

    You know, EVEN IF your opponent is pooped out, you STILL have to PUT HIM AWAY. Even IF your opponent is playing God awful that day and choking like a dog and all but BEGGING to give you the match on a silver platter like Gaudio was in that French Open final, like Agassi was in that French Open final, you know, you STILL have to PUT HIM AWAY.

    It's not as easy as it sounds to continue keep your focus and not letting yourself get sucked into your oppoent's apparent malodies...ahem, just ask Courier what he thinks about that and Sampras' tendency (in his opinion, NOT mine) to lull guys into his malodies on the court, before turning around and zapping you. Kafelnikov didn't get sucked into nothing, he didn't get self-conscious in his own play, he PUT HIM AWAY. He did not stutter and think oh my gosh, my opponent is all but GIVING me the match gift wrapped...WHAT SHOULD I DO? ...a la, Coria.

    Give credit where credit is due. Not saying you should applaud Kafelnikov for an awesome match, just that his victory shouldn't be made to look like an asterik victory, like it shouldn't really count, that he got lucky, that really the victory was a foregone conclusion for Sampras and all his glory except that he didn't actually win it....
     
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  10. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    All good points, Tym.

    To Kafelnikov's credit, he started off the match in more confident form than he had their Davis Cup several months earlier, maybe because since then he'd recently beaten Pete for the first time, in World Team Cup. Fred Stolle was saying how such a match might not seem like an important loss for someone like Sampras, but for Kafelnikov it could be big; and he wondered whether he'd learned something there because now (at RG) he was standing in close to take Pete's serve aggressively. Even in the first set Sampras had to serve more points than Kafelnikov (50 to 42), and he had to fend off two break points. Meanwhile Yevgeny faced no break points, in that set or the match as a whole.

    The examples you gave of other athletes pooping out give some perspective.

    How do you like Pete's chances against Stich in the final? I know that speculating like that goes against the grain of your post, which basically looks at things as they were, not as they might have been; and if we put Pete in the final, it presupposes an energy that he didn't have even after five rounds, much less six. But it's more that I'd like to hear your thoughts about the matchup, particularly on clay.
     
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  11. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Yeah -- great post !Tym. Well written and jam-packed with very valid points. I just never really thought about if his "condition" did have an effect on his RG-behaviour/results. I've always resented Pete a bit before -- since I felt he kind of just dismissed RG, IMO arrogant and a waste since a player with his great skill, highly competitive-clutch-ability and innate tennis talent could penetrate RG if he worked on it with a purpose. But then I started thinking that this context might've had something to do with it.

    Yeah we all have Akilles-heels too. Or "bad luck" as some also call it. We're only human...
     
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  12. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Usually I agree but this time I don't. I mean are you reaaly trying to argue science and medicine?? Yeah the conditions favoured Pete, I'm she he was loving those 5 setters in 90 degree heat?!?

    Now with that said it's not a slight on Kafelnikov, as he played very and should be given credit. Who knows if Sampras would have won at full stregth anyway. If I'm not mistaken Sampras gave credit to Kafelnikov as he always gave to the opposing player when he lost. In 2000 Aus Open SF Pete tore his hip flexor in the 1st set, and was out for a month after the match, and si mply siad "Agassi played better".

    So yes is disorder may have been a facor, but still gotta give full marks to Kafelnikov.
     
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  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    In his book he mentions neither this nor the much worse injury at the '98 USO, when he lost to Rafter; simply says Rafter got him there. Don't know what he said in '98 (though I don't know that he needed to mention his injury at all, it was so plain to see).
     
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  14. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    The 2000 injury actually became more of Sampras vs. McEnroe than Sampras vs. Agassi. After the match Mac accused him of faking and said he just didn't want to got Zimbabwe and play DC. Sampras was offended cuz he said he gave Mac his word, and he designed his schedule that year so he could play DC. After x-rays showed it wasn't a pull or a strain, but something like 30% of the muscle was torn from the bone, and Pete missed a month after, that pretty much ended the issue.

    http://www.geocities.com/hovav13/art-ao00agassi.html
    3 Articles, the last says the most on the subject.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
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  15. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    tym, you have to admit Kafelnikov was rather lucky that year, not because of Sampras' condition, but because of the fact that Muster got upset early. Until Nadal came around, Muster in '96 had the most dominant claycourt season leading into the French over the last 10 years. And he destroyed Kafelnikov later that summer in Kitbuhel. I'm not saying he deserves an *, just putting it into perspective. This is not unlike Vilas winning RG without having to face Borg(except Vilas was one of the best ever on clay, while Kafelnikov was thought of as rather an average clay player - he seemed as shocked as anyone that he won the French that year. that was when the french was thought of as a specialist's event - something that Yevgeny certainly wasn't)

    And going back to Sampras & his condition at the '96, we shouldn't ignore the fact that he had almost no preparation going into the French(partly due to Gullikson's death, it happened only a month before the French I think)

    So he wasn't just worn down by those long matches, he was also not match fit. there have been many players, who after a long layoff hit the wall after 4 or 5 matches in a row. Match play is a lot different than practice.

    So I don't think Sampras was unlucky to hit the wall there, more like lucky that he even got that far with so little preparation(it reminded me of the '94 USO, he couldn't play any events that summer & just hit the wall vs Yzaga)

    And going back to his condition, I can see why you get riled up by his fans mentioning it so much, but you have to admit it was rather odd to see when it happened. I've followed Sampras from the beginning of his career, & he got incredibly fit around '92(with Pat Etcheberry as his trainer, how could he not be?) but yet time & time again, he looked like he was about to keel over, even in some best of 3 set matches on hardcourts. I've never seen any other great player(even the notoriously 'unfit' Mac) look as exhausted on court as often sampras did. It was so unusual, how can we not mention it?

    One a side note, I have his 5 setter with Courier on tape. Late in the 5th you can hear Courier say, 'guy looks like he going to fall over, yet he's still hitting f****** aces' And he gave Sampras a rather curt handshake afterwards(but stopped by his chair as he was leaving the court to pat him on the back)
    I get the sense that a lot of players were rather annoyed at losing so often to a player who looked ill. Sampras always gave credit to those who beat him, but the media necessarily didn't(& when a guy stumbles around the court punch drunk throughout a match, & you win, you have to figure on getting a lot more questions about his play than yours)

    I recall more than a little criticism of sampras after the corretja match. there were negative letters to tennis magazine('you shouldn't play if you aren't fit, it was gamesmanship', etc) & on message boards(yes there were places for tennis fans to vent on the internet in 1996)

    I've seen him lose a few matches at Miami & Cincinnati where it looked to be a factor. And then there was the Yzaga match.

    Going back to the stats, those aren't that bad serve numbers for Sampras(57% on 1st, 48% on 2nd? I've seen lots of players win matches during this claycourt season with similar stats)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
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  16. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I agree that Sampras' behavior annoyed some players especially Courier, who was the victim quite often. To me it looked quite often that Sampras played a bit possum. In the 1992 USO sf Sampras had the flu and obviously was feeling ill, but still beat the then favorite Courier. In the 1993 Wim final with Courier Sampras almost doubled over at some points late in the third and in the fourth set, and yet he hit ace after ace. In the 1995 AO he did quite the same. Sometimes it looked that he couldn't continue being in tears; even Courier said: Lets finish it tomorrow. And still he hit ace after ace. The irony of the French open 1996 match is, that the real injured player was Courier, who pulled a hamstring injury midway through the match, which put him out for a few weeks later on.
     
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  17. DBH

    DBH New User

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    In Grand Slam events, Kafelnikov was 16-10 (61.5%) on grass, 52-16 (76.5%) on hardcourts, and 31-10 (75.6%) on clay. As Moose says, he was not a clay specialist, but a fine all-around player who was quite good on clay. Running into Kuerten multiple times was his big bugaboo at the French post-1996.

    DBH
     
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  18. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Sampras as always had that disinterested, hang dog look about him. Sometimes he's really hurt or suffering, and others he can be fine but just looks that way. Even as child Pete Fischer always used to get on Sampras for what seemed his lack of interest. Once during a junior match Ficsher asked Sampras' brother Gus (I think) "What's the score of the match on the other court?", to which Gus looked at like I don't know, he's there to watch Pete. Fischer looked at him and said "I bet your brother knows".

    Look at the 1999 Wimbledon final, there are stretches where he was just walking around aimlessly, not seeming to care, yet he was playing out of his mind. Win the point, walk over to the ball boy get 3 balls... analyze.... give 2 back.... one bounce..... and serve. Wash, rinse and repeat. It became monotonous.
     
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  19. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Kafelnikov is easily one of the luckiest players to win 2 majors. There are some players with 0 majors arguably better than him, and most players with only 1 major are. Many of those from his own era of players. He couldnt beat any of the big guns in a slam on their preferred surfaces. You could never imagine him, nor did he ever, beat any of Sampras, Agassi, prime Rafter, Becker, or Chang in a hard court slam. Likewise at the French he would never beat a Kuerten, Muster, Ferrero, Bruguera, or even Moya or Agassi. His biggest win ever in a grand slam is Todd Martin on hard courts and Sampras/Stich/Krajicek on clay and yet he has 2 slams. Hope he kept that horseshoe around for the rest of his life.
     
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  20. Thomas Tung

    Thomas Tung Rookie

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    Well, the Y-Man did do 2 things better than many "should-have beens" who didn't win the finals or semi-finals they were in -- he won the match, "inferior" opposition or otherwise. Sometimes, if indeed you are given a "dream draw", you toss that advantage away. That happens more often than most would admit, even with players like Alex Corretja, Cedric Pioline, Todd Martin, Thomas Enqvist, Mark Philippoussis, et al. Remember Martin's massive choke against MaliVai Washington in the Wimbledon semis of '96? 'Nuff said.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
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  21. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    This is true. Kafelnikov really only had 2 shots ever to win majors. They were when he was presented with dream situations by the draw and the way the event panned out. He took full advantage of both. Kudos to him for that.
     
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  22. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Uh he beat a #1 Agassi in the French Open QF. He didn't win in that year as he lost to Muster in SF, but he did get Dre.
     
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  23. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Sorry I forgot about that one. Now that you remind me and I remember that match now though Agassi had a serious hip injury for that match. Still that is Kafelnikov's biggest win at a major I guess, an injured Agassi on clay. His biggest wins in the 2 majors he won are still Todd Martin on hard courts and Sampras on clay.
     
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  24. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I missed a lot of the second half of Pete's career when it was happening, and one thing I've never understood is what happened to him at the French Open after '96. That's particularly true because his losses after '96 are more obscure, all of them before the fourth round. Through '96 he made three QF's and one SF, but strangely, after the balls and the courts were sped up in '96, his performances got worse.

    A couple of key things happened for Pete around '96.

    1) Annacone replaced Gullikson as his coach.

    2) He had his only defeat in eight years at Wimbledon, and it's often suggested that his deep run at the French had taken something out of him.

    3) He learned of his blood condition, after the Corretja match at the USO.

    However Pete doesn't link his blood condition to his French Open troubles, and in his book he seems positive about it after getting tested:

    When it comes to his French Open defeats after '96, he mentions them, and he notes somewhat ruefully that his days of mixing it up with the likes of Courier and Bruguera on clay seemed to be over, but he doesn't really explore why his performances went downhill.

    Anyone know more about this?
     
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  25. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    what proof do you have that the balls & courts were sped up in '96? and are you implying that it was the same 'fast' conditions from '97 on? It certainly seemed pretty slow in '97, '98, etc. '96 was just about the unusual weather I thought.

    His game changed dramatically under Annacone(started S&Ving on 1st & 2nd serve on all surfaces - before he just did that on grass. even started chipping & charging, which was rare for him pre '97)
    I'm sure that didn't help matters in Paris.

    I think was also a factor(though perhaps not a conscious one)
    Wimbledon was THE tournament for Sampras, not winning it in '96 was a huge blow to him. I've read interviews with him saying how boring he thought the French was when he was a kid(watching Lendl & Wilander) & how he never really dreamed of winning it. Think his exact words were "I thought why would anyone want to win it?"
    I don't think Sampras loses sleep over not winning the French.

    He looked pretty bad physically during his loss to Norman in '97.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
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  26. krosero

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    During the '96 sf, Trabert said that the balls were faster (lighter) and that there was less top dressing on the courts. During the final Dyrsdale also talked about how the courts had been made faster and how pleased he was about it, because it allowed for more attackers, and more interesting tennis.

    The Sky Sports announcers for the 1997 Grand Slam Cup, Bill Threlfall and Gerry Williams, said that most European claycourt tournaments, “in coercion, and very sensibly,” had sped up their courts.

    Don't recall offhand if more such comments were made during later editions of the French.
     
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  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    No question that Annacone pushed him to attack. But Pete says he was always somewhat resistant to Annacone's advice, and what I was wondering was to what extent Pete took the advice at the French. And if he did more attacking, I wonder, how much of it was actually bad (for his chances)?
     
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  28. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I went to the New York Times archives to see what I could find, and found reports on all of Pete's losses after '96. Most interesting for me, as I know very little about them.

    What surprised me was how much effort he made in 2002, and his level of frustration that year.

    I think, at least, that disproves the charge that he gave up on the French.

    These are just excerpts -- maybe these will jog some memories.

    1997

    1998


    1999


    2000

     
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  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2001


    2002

     
    #29
  30. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Interesting. I thought the Medvedev match was on Center.

    My memories of the Norman match were mainly of Sampras' poor condition/body language throughout(probably due to the diarrhea)
    I'm pretty sure Sampras had one of his racquets(maybe all of them) in a fridge courtside(anyone know what the benefit would be for doing that?)
    I remember the image of him getting a racquet from there & pressing it against his head as he walked back. Anything to cool down I guess.
    He looked awesome in his 1st 2 matches there, & it was pretty hot & dry conditions. And there were a ton of upsets there, so it was sort of another blown opportunity.

    I don't believe any of the Delgado match was televised(I remember it was late in the day & USA had to leave the air), but I remember how cold & rainy it was that day.

    The Philippoussis match was how you would expect them to play on hardcourts, very few rallies. Sampras double faulted on match point.

    Think only a few games of the Blanco match were shown. He had a nice one handed backhand if I remember correctly. I have images of Sampras getting passed by some great passing shots in that one.

    Not sure if the Gaudenzi match was shown live or in its entirety, but I definitely remember watching some of it. And it was played with rain throughout I think.

    Pete never seemed sure what to do in many of these matches. I'd be curious to see net stats, I don't think he ever committed fully to S&V on clay. And his movement always seemed awkward on clay, like he was stuck.

    Just looking at the rather high unforced errors mentioned in some of the matches, it may indicate how much he stayed back.
    maybe he should have tried that larger racquet.

    thought this was interesting:

    have you ever come across someone making this many ue's? I know Connors made a hundred vs Krickstein.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
    #30
  31. rwn

    rwn Semi-Pro

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    The real problem for Sampras was lack of belief he could really win Roland Garros. Of course many people don´t accept this because this goes against the theory that Sampras was a mental giant under all circumstances. On clay he was often very ordinary in the mental department because his confidence totally rested on his amazing serve. And of course on clay his serve wasn´t as effective as on other surfaces.
     
    #31
  32. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Turns out that Sampras, in his book, says that he did not even enter the French Open in 2002. And like you've pointed out, Moose, a lot of former champions have faulty memories about stuff like what year a certain match took place, or what time of day. But this is really odd, particularly because Sampras never skipped the French Open from the time that he started winning Slams.

    And it's just so at odds with the description in the 2002 aticle.

    That article has actually made me more of a fan of his, seeing that he did care about winning the French (to the point of visible frustration), and was trying to win it, right up to the end of his career.

    I think in his book he's doing himself a bit of a disservice because by barely mentioning the clay season and saying that he skipped the French, it all fits in with the popular opinion that he did not care about it, or stopped caring about it, or gave up on it, etc.
     
    #32
  33. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    He did, he made 106. Safin made 117 once at RG against Mantilla:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french04/news/story?id=1811261.

     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
    #33
  34. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    i believe it was the '98 loss to delgado that told him that he'd never win at roland garros.

    sampras' ground strokes from '93 - '96 were really solid, even his backhand. starting in '97, the consistency on his groundstrokes went down big time. i'm guessing it had something to do with annacone's aggressive strategy but it really hurt his results on clay. some of those french open losses are embarrassing for one of the greatest players of all time.
     
    #34
  35. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Very true but off by a year. His groundstrokes up until 1997 were fine. Yes Annacon wanted to implement a more aggressive net attacking style than Pete already had (not that he wasn't attacking before), but it became more apparent with Annacone.
     
    #35
  36. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I agree that is what Annacone wanted and while it was with good intentions perhaps I dont think it made Pete a better player. Other than the summer of 99 before being injured, which IMO might have been his greatest tennis ever, his greatest tennis for me was clearly 1993-1997 period. He was still a great player from 1998-2000 especialy of course, but I liked his tennis better and it produced more success from 1993-1997 when he was more of an "all courter". His groundstrokes gradually diminished after 1997 with his Annacone's insistence on attack-attack. Like I said I think it was with good intentions but unfortunately was probably too much based on the kind of player he had been, one of those who had to get to the net on everything since he coundnt rally for jack from the back, which obviously is very different from Pete.
     
    #36
  37. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I did stats on the last 2 sets of Sampras-Courier(too many games were missing in the 1st 3 sets to make it worth while. It was USA's broadcast - Seles-Novotna was on Lenglen at the time & they frequently went over there during this match)

    Sampras was 23 of 30 on 1st serve(77%), 18 of 27 on 2nd(67%)
    Courier was 27 of 31(87%) on 1st serve, 6 of 17 on 2nd(35%)

    Sampras had 16 winners(6 fh, 2 bh, 4 fhv, 2 bhv, 2, ov)
    Courier had 10(6 fh, 3 bh, 1 fhv)

    at 2-1 in the 4th, they had this stat:
    Sampras 44 winners, 42 unforced errors
    Courier 41 winners, 31 unforced errors

    at 3-1 in the 5th:
    Sampras 60 winners
    Courier 56 winners
    (the difference between the winner stat in the 4th & this number lined up very closely with the amount of clean winners I counted in that span)

    Sampras had 8 aces in the last 2 sets(2 on 2nd serve)
    Courier 11

    at 3-1 in the 5th, they also flashed ace counts, having Sampras at 23 & Courier at 24. Counting the rest of the way I have them finishing with 27 & 29(atp has them at 28 & 27) USA's commentator agrees with my final count(he kept saying the ace total for each player after they hit an ace in the 5th set.

    they also showed total points won by both players then, I might go back & count the rest of the way to see if they match atp's stats on that.

    at 1-1 in the 5th, they flashed net stats,
    Sampras was 42 of 73
    Courier was 11 of 17

    By my count, Sampras was 22 of 29 at net in the last 2 sets, so it looks like USA was counting them similar to my way throughout. If you add my count from the time they flashed that graphic, Sampras would finish at 49 of 83.

    Mac said he was missing a lot of volleys in the 1st 2 sets, but he was great at net in the last 2. Lots of impressive half volleys, despite his fatigue. And some pretty long rallies as well. Despite his body language in between points he moved fine during them(only in the last few games did he start letting balls go by him)

    This match has one of the most impressive shots of Sampras' career, imo.
    At 3-4 in the 4th, he was down break point & broke a string on a 1st serve fault. He got a new racquet & then hit a 2nd serve ace. Courier seemed rattled by this & made some easy errors to get broken in his next service game.

    His mood got worse in the 5th, lots of cursing(USA has some great on court microphones during this match, the ball striking sounds were very crisp in this match, it sounded like they were absolutely crushing the ball)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
    #37
  38. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I'd be interested to see this because a few ATP matches from that year ('96) have correct stats. But in this one they've got an average number of points per game that is higher than what you got for the last two sets.

    You had asked about net stats for his losses, and I managed to pull up 2000 and 2002 at webarchive:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010418005018/www.rolandgarros.com/fr/scores/stats/day1/0063ms.html

    Sampras 61 of 100 (Philippoussis 35 of 47), five-set match

    http://web.archive.org/web/20020606094045/www.rolandgarros.com/en/scores/stats/day1/0008ms.html

    Sampras 48 of 84 (Gaudenzi 24 of 29), four-set match

    Those are somewhat higher numbers of approaches than what he had against Courier, though like you mentioned, net stats can differ depending on how they're counted.
     
    #38
  39. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    at 3-1 in the 5th:
    Sampras 140 pts
    Courier 135

    looks like the atp site is way off on total points played for this match. I counted only 51 points in the 5th set - & they have 365 total for the match.

    Throughout this match, Mac was criticizing Sampras for not coming in more. I think he said that Sampras only chip & charged one Courier 2nd serve through the 1st 3 sets. He didn't do much of that in the last 2 either.

    I think those net stats you posted are probably correct - Sampras had a very different mindset under Annacone(even on clay).

    I hope to get to Stich-Muster eventually(I have a complete version of that) I like to find out net stats for attacking players on clay vs baseliners(net stats vs someone like Philippoussis are a different matter)

    So far we have Mac at 87 of 144 in the '84 Final(nbc)
    Edberg 156 approaches in '89.
    And 83 for Sampras in this match.
     
    #39
  40. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    web.archive.org - that is a gem . Thanks for mentioning it krosero
     
    #40
  41. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    This was probably Pete's best ever win on clay. Courier was well past his best, but still a top 10 player whereas Bruguera and Muster were kind of nowhere when Pete beat them.
     
    #41

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