Tennis players are the best athletes, says Sampras

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by diggler, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. diggler

    diggler Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Sydney
    #1
  2. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,406
    #2
  3. McBrat

    McBrat New User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    58
    #3
  4. Dreamcastin

    Dreamcastin Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    396
    "This is the very man whose clutch serve, breathtaking backhand and unrivalled work ethic delivered him 14 grand slam titles, a record six successive year-end No.1 rankings and $US43 million in prize money during a career statistically inferior only to the mighty Roger Federer."

    whoops, lol.
     
    #4
  5. Cantankersore

    Cantankersore Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    513
    I can't imagine him being that bad at boxing. Good hand-eye coordination, strength, physical conditioning et cetera. On the other hand, it isn't like boxers would get many points off of Federer, or that Federer would get many Points in a basketball match with LeBron or Kobe or something. They're all incredibly skilled, specialized athletes.
     
    #5
  6. NonP

    NonP Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,146
    And both wouldn't have a snowball's chance of executing a half-somersault in diving. There seem to be a little too many best athletes.
     
    #6
  7. ChrisCrocker

    ChrisCrocker Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Messages:
    160
    considering in professional tennis the players cannot last that long on the tour, i would say he has a very strong arguement.
     
    #7
  8. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,230
    They have the best VO2 Max from what I've heard

    *Compared with other college athletes
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #8
  9. Dark Victory

    Dark Victory Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    249
    Among tennis players, Pete is the best athlete ever.
     
    #9
  10. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,715
    I stopped reading once I got to "breathtaking backhand".
     
    #10
  11. jserve

    jserve Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    It very much depends on what your definition of athlete is. Tennis players have great agility and hand eye coordination, but don't have the same physical strength or aerobic fitness as a lot of other sports.

    Personally I think MMA fighters top the list as the most athletic people in the world. Strength, both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, speed/agility, hand eye coordination, mental toughness.

    Pretty much any sport can make claims to having the best athletes since at the top of any sport are some of the worlds fittest competitors.
     
    #11
  12. doom

    doom Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    268
    Tennis players are some of the most rounded athletes, but would not be the best at many athletic skills, except maybe hand eye coordination.
     
    #12
  13. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,670
    They are the most all-rounded athletes, but I'm not sure about being the best. If by best means most balanced then tennis players are indeed the best athletes.
     
    #13
  14. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,878
    I believe 1 on 1 sports bring out the most in athletes, you have the most pressure, everything is down to you.. No teammates to fall back on, no one to carry you, it's all you.

    That said, he might actually have a point. The main 2 sports that come to mind in this situation are boxing and tennis; however, boxing seems to be one of the sports where there is a real dependence on your physical ability. Fast twitch muscle fibers, reach, etc. While tennis is more technique, and is probably the hardest solo sport to learn and play even at an amateur level.
     
    #14
  15. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,581
    Location:
    London
    That's because Federer is not a boxer. He's a tennis player. A boxer is going to get crushed by Federer on a tennis court. Since when does boxing define what athleticism is?
     
    #15
  16. diggler

    diggler Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Sydney
    The boxer wouldn't win a point, but it sure as hell beats getting your head punched in.

    Ultimately this argument is just as idiotic as all those GOAT discussions that pervade this message board.

    Perhaps the real test is how well a sportsman would be able to compete in other sports. Given that tennis players need speed, endurance, eye hand coordination, mental toughness, maybe they would do well in most sports
     
    #16
  17. ac3111

    ac3111 Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Greece
    Federer could last 1 minute boxing because boxer could not catch him. Boxer could not win a point though against Roger on a tennis court... I mean a heavy weight boxer.
     
    #17
  18. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    I don't agree with Sampras. If that were the case, I wouldn't routinely lose to 60 year olds. No way these 60 year old tennis players that can beat me are more athletic than me. They have just put in more time on the court and have developed more consistent shots. Thats a skill, not athleticism.
     
    #18
  19. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,026
    Location:
    Basel/Switzerland
    and sampras is a tennis player, therefore he certainly says tennis. a footballer would say football too. a squash player squash and so on.
     
    #19
  20. Lotto

    Lotto Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,217

    We're talking about tennis at the highest levels, are you saying you're a world class professional? Not trying to attack you or anything, just making a point that there's a big difference between Pro tennis and Amateur tennis.
     
    #20
  21. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,581
    Location:
    London
    Yes, but you're an amateur. Most points at the amateur level are won or lost on unforced errors, because technique is not sufficiently developed. At the professional level, technique is considerably better, so points are mainly won or lost by the force of play, which is where one's athleticism can play a significantly bigger role.
     
    #21
  22. McBrat

    McBrat New User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    58
    And Tiger?
     
    #22
  23. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,026
    Location:
    Basel/Switzerland
    tiger would say tennis, as he strongly believes in federer's abilities adn certainly knows it's not golf provides the best athletes ;)
     
    #23
  24. Bjorn99

    Bjorn99 Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,443
    I think Federer is the greatest athlete of all time. Certainly the most enjoyable to watch.
     
    #24
  25. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    Still, it takes more effort to become a pro tennis player than probably every other sport because skill is more important than athleticism and takes a long time to develop, especially because there are many skills needed to be learned for the game.
     
    #25
  26. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    In the article he said he wasn't being biased. I'll tell you one thing, some of the comments made by Sampras the last few months show what an ego he has. He says things like, "I would take out Federer on grass in my prime", blah blah. The guy is trying to make himself feel more important by making statements such as these. No doubt he was one of the greatest tennis players ever, but I question his motives for making the comments he makes.
     
    #26
  27. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,639
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Bjorn Borg is the greatest pure athlete in the history of Tennis. Roger Federer is not the athlete Bjorn Borg was for many reasons. He is not as fast or quick as Borg, and he has much less stamina, hands down.

    Federer does possess unbelievable racket control and eye hand coordination overall. In that one "athletic department", I would put him in the very top tier with McEnroe, Borg, and Laver.

    Watch Borg on video run back for overheads for example. Just watch how Borg could lace first serves, hit stretched returns extremely hard and dipping with topspin, hit running passing shots outstretched from everywhere, as well as serve and volley at Wimbledon against McEnroe/Connors, while being able to hit any shot in the book on the red clay of the French Open. He did all this without hardly EVER getting really tired on the Court. When does he look like he's even breathing hard?

    NO PLAYER could ever outlast Borg in terms of stamina. Just look at his record in five set matches where his opponents, guys like Vilas, McEnroe, Connors, and Lendl would be tired, facing a surging, stronger Borg.

    I would put Borg at #1, with Nadal (though quite injury prone may be #2. Federer is possibly top five, maybe #3 in my book.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
    #27
  28. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,670
    Borg was hands down the best athlete in the world. He once beat an olympic hurdler in a hurdling race!! The dude was a superhuman.
     
    #28
  29. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Messages:
    26,016
    Location:
    Weak era
    I'm not sure if I'd put Fed so high in the athleticism department(top five of all time)because IMO one of Fed's greatest assets is his amazing anticipation,how well he reads the game and the opponent.That's why he reaches balls some players who arguably have better footspeed and are more explosive than him can't,he also has great hands that when he reaches those balls he does something special with it and transitions from defense to offense in the blink of an eye.
     
    #29
  30. LiveForever

    LiveForever Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    656
    lol. Nadal is probably the greatest athlete ever in the sport of tennis. Injuries have messed him up but he is faster, more powerful, and has more stamina than Borg.
     
    #30
  31. akv89

    akv89 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,587
    Source? :shock:
    It would be more believable if Borg was running a dash and the hurdler was running hurdles simultaneously.
     
    #31
  32. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3,029
    Location:
    somewhere in calif
    His competition includes Daly, Michelson, Waldorf, Stadler. Not exactly well toned athletes. :) Tiger may be a great athlete and probably would be great at tennis, but golf does not need great athletic ability.
     
    #32
  33. btangel

    btangel New User

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    46
    I agree with Sampras.

    To be a top tennis players you have to possess a bit of everything. You need the footwork of a boxer, stamina of a marathon runner, speed of a sprinter, hand eye coordination of a archer on a horseback, court sense of a NFL QB, and the mental strength of a gladiator to go out there and fight on your own. In a sense, they may not need to be amazing on every front, but they need to be very good at every department.

    In other words, a tennis player that plays at the top requires you to be a more complete athlete than other sports.

    I strongly believe someone with the athletic ability the likes of Federer has the capacity to go pro at pretty much any sport he chooses.
     
    #33
  34. maddogz32

    maddogz32 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    texas
    if fed got in a boxing match he would start crying before they even punched him

    [​IMG]
     
    #34
  35. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,176
    Location:
    Texas
    i don't agree with him at all.

    soccer, anyone?
     
    #35
  36. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,827
    And how often do they even actually compete in any given year? To realy see how good their hand eye coordination is you would have to see what percentage of strikes are landed.

    I guarantee that a tennis player is landing way more strikes than the average MMA fighter. As for speed, are you refering to striking or running speed. Once again MMA are not that fast at all, compare to Olympic level boxer or wrestler and they will be faster than the MMA fighter.

    As for mental toughness, a fighter does not fight for 8hrs, does not compete as much as other sports in any given year, does not fight around the world at6:00am 12:00am, then fly some where else and do it again the next day.
     
    #36
  37. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    behind your curtain
    tennisplayers are not even close to being the greatest athletes on earth.. not at all
     
    #37
  38. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    behind your curtain
    you are comparing matches vs fights.. MMA and boxingtraining is so much tougher than tennistraining and matches, these guys have an insane schedule everyday all year long. they train their fighting-skills, they run, they work out. many fighters say they dont have a life besides fighting, you must be 100% fit at all times.. AND you can never tank a fight!!!!
     
    #38
  39. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    6,902
    Location:
    In an in between place.
    Hey look, an athlete patting himself on the back, trying to say that he is superior to other athletes. Jeez, I haven't seen this before.

    Here's my argument:

    Soccer players have the largest pool of competitors to play against. To be an elite soccer player means that you proved yourself against more athletes than any other sport. Therefore soccer players are the best athletes in the world.

    End thread.
     
    #39
  40. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    behind your curtain
    soccerplayers?? no no no thats even more ridiculous.. but it depends how you define greatest athlete? its not about what kind of competition you have to face at all. the greatest athlete is the one thats faster, stronger(both physical and mentally), has more endurance, has that winner-instinct that makes him believe he can win no matter what and has more skills than the rest..
    not many posses all these factors.. lets take tennis: Federer has more skills than the rest, but Nadal is bar far the best athlete in tennis today.. why? hes faster, stronger(again both physically and mentally) and his stamina is among the best out there, but his biggest force is the killer-instinct he posseses. that you can never learn, its something only very few are borned with.
    when you posses that you are a winner by nature and you are able to befeat other athletes that is more talented than you. thats why Nadal had his brekthrough as early as he did. had he been boxing, playing soccer or something else he would have been very good at it..

    you can find great athletes in pretty much every sport, but some more than others.. in boxing and MMA you will find more of them than in tennis and soccer for sure..
     
    #40
  41. LiveForever

    LiveForever Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    656
    MMA and boxing is a joke compared to soccer. Soccer players run their asses for 90 minutes and have to work on their conditioning like maniacs. Soccer and Basketball athletes are top.

    MMA and boxing are pathetic sports IMO. Both sports bring out the savage nature in humans. Watching two people beat the crap out of each other is sick and twisted.
     
    #41
  42. Tilden

    Tilden New User

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Ellsworth Vines. #1 in tennis #1 in college basketball and #1 in golf
     
    #42
  43. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,026
    Location:
    Basel/Switzerland
    best argument so far.
     
    #43
  44. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916


    This is a joke. You seriously think tennis is harder than MMA?
     
    #44
  45. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,878
    You mean football, right? :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
    #45
  46. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,616
    Of course Pete is going to say that hes a former professional tennis player. I don't think tennis players are the best athletes, I would say football, hockey, and soccer players are more physically demanding then tennis. Tennis is tough physically but not a contact sport like football and hockey.
     
    #46
  47. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,356
    A (former) Tennis player said that Tennis players are the best athletes.

    Huh.
     
    #47
  48. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,616

    Ahh very clever, I like that.
     
    #48
  49. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,248
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    Tennis players ARE the best athletes. How many people can perform their sport in 100+ degree weather, on multiple different surfaces and with about 20+ muscularly memorized motions in split seconds, on a 95% basis? In basketball, football, baseball, soccer (on a smaller scale for goalies), hockey (with, again, smaller scale for goalies), if you did what you were trying to do and did it on a 95% basis, you would be GODS! 95% hitting in baseball is mind blowing for TEE BALL let alone MLB. 95% shooting is about the highest % in the NBA for free throw shooting and layups. In football, if you threw 95% completion percentage in a game, you would set an NFL record. So the fact that pro players can hit forehands and backhands generally with a 95% success percentage is amazing and under the circumstances they must do it in (balls coming at them very fast, sliding depending on the court, etc.) is amazing.

    In terms of conditioning, it's not even close. No athlete really has to do what tennis players do, with maybe the exception of soccer players. In basketball, you play 40-48 minute games (and very rarely do basketball players play full games, I believe the highest mpg avg in the nba was in the low 40s last season) and you have timeouts, turnovers, quarterly and halftime breaks, tv breaks, foul breaks all to rest. Tennis players have a few seconds between serves and a couple minutes between change of court to take breaks. Some matches last under an hour for women's matches or an hour and a half in men's, but thats when someone is completely overmatched and it's not even really a competition anyways. Most pro matches are about 2+ hours with very little interruption in play. Also, you have to run full speed just about nonstop in tennis, whereas sports like basketball you can setup a half court offense and generally be able to stand around half of the possession or baseball where you're standing in place on defense 70% of the time or, in your team's batting portion of the inning, only hitting once every nine times and generally only hit every other inning, or in some cases, every three innings.

    And how many athletes can claim they have to react to objects flying at them at over 100+ mph? Baseball hitters don't face pitchers that can throw 100 on a regular basis; there are very few people who can throw a baseball 100mph, but you can go anywhere and find someone with a 100mph serve.

    So, in reality, we are the best athletes. When you play tennis, you're competing in sprints which together total a marathon. You must be able to complete more difficult athletic feats on a more consistent basis than any other athlete, and you must be better conditioned than any athlete, and those are the things that pretty much define athleticism.
     
    #49
  50. Noveson

    Noveson Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,241
    Lol first of all please don't compare yourself with a professional tennis player. Anyway...

    The 95% argument is ridiculous. Maybe baseball players don't hit 95% because the ball is going faster than in tennis? or because they have a shorter distance to see the ball? or MAYBE JUST MAYBE because they are hitting with something that has a tiny surface area compared to a tennis racquet. I'm not even going to start the arguments for all your other ridiculous stats.

    Then you follow that up with another brilliant argument, the stamina of tennis players compared to basketball players, where you talk about how many breaks they get. Tennis players get 20 second breaks between EVERY POINT, plus between games and sets. Running full speed in tennis? Are you kidding me? Almost never is a tennis player running at full speed, and if they are it's for a tiny distance
     
    #50

Share This Page