The biggest myth in the ongoing Sampras-Federer debate....

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Indio, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Indio

    Indio Rookie

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    is that PS faced considerably better opposition during his reign than RF faced during his. The standard tactic of the PS advocate is to exaggerate the quality of PS's opponents and to minimize that of RF's, and to someone who hasn't done much research on the subject, it can be fairly convincing. I know that in my own case, it did raise enough doubt to cause me to dig deeply into what actually took place and to come up with the facts.
    As I see it, strong opposition comes mostly from players who are having good years, with good match W-L records, several tournament wins, few 1st and 2nd round losses, and good results in the majors, preferably, but not necessarily, three or four. And a player's resume surely makes no differerence whatsoever. If, for example, Player A has won some majors in the past, and Player B hasn't, how is Player A's performance superior to Player B's if both he and Player B have similar results in a particular year?
    In addition to players having good all-around years, there'll be clay-court and grass-court specialists (although there don't appear to be any of the latter anymore), and there'll be players making unexpected runs to finals despite having otherwise mediocre years. PS himself is an excellent example of this in his US 2002 win. The more power there is at the top of the rankings,as there is now, the less likely it is that there'll be a surprise finalist.

    PS's peak period was from 1993 to 1997, when he won two majors per year, with the exception of 1996, and RF's was from 2004 to 2007, when he won three majors per year, with the exception of 2005. Let's begin with PS's opponents. Were they the tennis giants that PS supporters claim they were?

    Courier: Contrary to popular belief, Andre Agassi wasn't PS's chief rival during his best period--JC was. Fron 1993 to 1997, PS was 5-1 vs JC in majors, but only 2-1 vs AA. JC did have a great year (in the majors) in 1993, winning the Australian and reaching the finals of both the French and Wimbledon, but it was to be his last great year. Here are his results in the majors from 1993 to 1997:
    1993 W F F 4
    1994 SF SF 2 2
    1995 QF 4 2 SF
    1996 QF QF 1 --
    1997 4 1 1 1

    Edberg: PS was 0-2 against SE in majors.

    Stich: They played only once in majors, PS winning in 1992 at Wimbledon.

    Ivanisevic: GI was surely the most one-dimensional Top 10 player in the Open era of tennis. He did well at Wimbledon when his serve was on, but was exposed for what he really was at the hard-court majors, reaching the SFs just once, in 24 tries. He beat no Top 10 players in a major between Wim. 1995 and Wim. 2001. Only once did he lose fewer than 21 matches in a year. He did actually go 77-26 in 1996, winning five titles, but played 29 events to do it. On grass, he had a winning percentage of 72. Andy Roddick, usually the favorite target of the PS advocates, had one of 79.6.

    Becker:
    1991 W SF F 3 3 of 15
    1992 3 -- QF 4 6 of 20
    1993 1 2 SF 4 12 of 23
    1994 -- 1 SF 1 10 of 21
    1995 1 3 F SF 5 of 19
    1996 W -- 3 -- 9 of 19

    As you can see, BB's results dropped off sharply in 1992, so that, with the exception of a three-majors recovery from Wim. 1995 to Aus. 1996, he achieved some success only at Wimbledon, and even that was less impressive than it had been, when, with the exception of 1987, he was either a winner or a finalist. The final column of the table shows the number of early defeats in tournaments. It speaks for itself.
    PS was 3-0 vs BB in majors, but one of those came at Wim. 1997, when BB was clearly near the end of the line.

    Chang: MC won French 1989, but then made only one SF or QF run per year until 1995, when he did well in three majors. In fact, in 1996 and 1997, he was probably PS's biggest rival, finishing at #2 in 1996 and #3 in 1997. PS won three majors in those two years. How many do you think RF would likely have won had MC been his biggest worry?
    MC was a very good player, but never a great one. I believe he's comparable to the Andy Murray of 2008 to 2010, at least in terms of results.

    Krajicek: RK beat PS in the Wim. 1996 QFs and went on to win the title, the only time in his career that he reached the finals of a major, and the only tournament of any kind he won in 1996. At the end of the year, with a W-L record of 46-28, he was ranked #7, the only time he finished higher than #10.
    Despite the less-than-stellar career, RK was PS's nemesis. After losing their first match, he won six of the next seven, from 1993 to 1999, which includes all of PS's years at #1. PS won the final two, including US 2000.

    Martin: TM had a big year in majors in 1994, with a Final and two SFs, but his record in the 2nd tier of tournaments, the Masters, was a pathetic 3-5. This is probably why he was ranked only #10 at the end of the year. He didn't have another big year in the majors till 1999.

    Rafter: PS didn't score a majors win over PR until 2000, so he doesn't really fit into this part of the presentation.

    Agassi: I'll save most of my AA comments for the RF section of this presentation, if I do one.
    PS played AA (in majors) only three times between 1993 and 1995, and not at all from 1996 to 1998. AA did have his greatest year in 1995, going 73-9, with seven Ws in 16 events, and only one early knockout. He and PS split Ws at the Australian and the US. Inexplicably (yes, I have read his book), he fell to 38-14 next year.

    That's more than enough for now. I believe that I've shown (and I have a hell of a lot more data) that PS's road to tennis glory wasn't quite as challenging as his advocates say it was. If there's enough interest in this thread, I'll continue with the RF part.
     
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  2. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    There is no "ongoing debate" about Sampras vs. Federer. The debate was over in 2009. There are a bunch of side debates about grass, about clay, about WTF, about USO, about year-end #1, etc. but their overall careers are already past the point of comparison.
     
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  3. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    I agree with Netspirit, but there is no harm in presenting your data, Indio. I will check up from time to time, at least.
     
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  4. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    OP this is outstanding analysis and very informative to people (like myself) who didn't follow tennis as closely in the 90s as later. Thanks for the hard work.

    I for one would love to see your analysis of Federer as well.
     
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  5. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

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    so where's the Federer analysis?
     
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  6. lidoazndiabloboi

    lidoazndiabloboi Semi-Pro

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    probably still writing it.

    Awesome analysis by the OP.
     
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  7. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    IT is always interesting to see when someone chooses something like this as a very first post. Therefore I would assume they are well versed to forums and / or just want to stir up a bit of controversy.

    Every player loses tennis matches.
     
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  8. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    I've said this for a while. OP is just reaffirming my stance. Would like to see the RF analysis (good and bad).
     
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  9. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    'twas thinking the same thing.



    __________________
     
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  10. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    This is true. The ongoing GOAT debate (if there is one) is Federer vs. Laver.
     
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  11. severus

    severus Rookie

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    Federer>Petros infact Djokovic>Petros.
     
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  12. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    First one, yes. Second one, no way!
     
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  13. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    There Is No Ongoing Debate,

    17>14 ....get Over It, :):)
     
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  14. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    EXCELLENT analysis OP. Finally a voice of reason chiming in. Actually the most interesting part of this thread is the few Petetards who have already lurked in and opined on whether the OP is a previous member rather than the content of the post. LOL, facts can hurt a lot when they expose your favourite player :oops:
     
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  15. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Its well presented, but its nothing I havent read before.
     
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  16. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    The most important part that is overlooked here ALL THE TIME is this:

    Between 1993 and 1998 - ALL of Sampras' year-end-no-1 seasons, he only faced Agassi a total of 3 times in the majors.

    Three. freaking. Times. Once at Wimbledon in 1993 when Agassi played with a broken wrist and pushed Sampras to a 5th set. Once when he beat him at the AO in 1995. And once when Agassi was drained after his SF win against Becker in the US that year. That's it. 3 times. For comparison - Federer faced Nadal 3 times in majors in 2005-2006 and that was just the beginning of their major meetings.

    The reality is - the only reason Sampras "main rival" Agassi looks actually like a main rival is because he racked up slams in his 30's when Sampras was past it. Imagine if Agassi went down on himself and retired in 1997 or 1998 after some humiliating losses and his ranking falling to 127 or something. The next in line after Sampras who won the most majors in the 90's would be a guy who won a total of 3 majors which is laughable. Now, while Federer is at 17, Nadal is at 11 (Nadal is VERY MUCH a part of Federer's generation - he's been there since 2005), Djokovic at 6 and Murray is surely going to win a couple.
     
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  17. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Fed is one tier above Sampras.
     
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  18. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Great analysis by the OP!! but the debate was really over June 7, 2009 after Fed won RG
     
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  19. powerangle

    powerangle Legend

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    Federer > Sampras in almost all the objective stats. It's not even close.
     
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  20. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I am a big Sampras fan - he was the first tennis superstar I watched when getting into the game - however I cannot deny the above.

    When Sampras hit his (then) record-equalling 12th slam at Wimbledon 1999, the next best of his generation were Agassi and Courier at 4 each. All credit to Agassi for getting his career to a respectable level by winning another 4 in its latter stages, but let's not pretend he was a constant threat to Sampras throughout the latter's dominant period.

    By contrast, Federer has had to face a man who has won 11 slams during the same timeframe, and has faced him many times in slams.

    A hypothetical historical equivalent would be Sampras having to face Borg throughout his career, with both at peak/close to peak around the same time. If that had been the case, Sampras would not have finished with 14 majors - probably around 10.
     
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  21. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I watched Laver play alot last night, MAN what a shock, he made todays guys look weak. I know they aren't, and they would probably get him, but how many have really watched Laver in different matches, dude was a MACHINE, slams it to where his opponent could barely get it, he'd go to the net, then make these insane gets. I realize the ball was slower so he had more time, but still want entertainment, geez, just awesome, so much better than todays "modern" game of pong:)
     
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  22. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Pete had a huge advantage playing on faster courts, to this there is no doubt. Competition probably hasn't changed that much. If Fed were playing of fast courts today he'd still be dominant, probably have 25+ slams
     
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  23. biaggi35

    biaggi35 New User

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    Back then every top player was in danger in the first rounds of Slams because of the faster conditions. When you consider this, you realize Courier and Becker's stats were very good. Ivanisevic was one-dimensional, but he was a beast at Wimbledon (look at his results) and that's where Sampras won half of his GS. Stich was defending champion in 1992 when Pete beat him. Rafter, Agassi, Krajicek, Todd Martin weren't the most consistent players, but no doubt Pete had some great matches against them during different parts of his career. And don't forget guys like Philippoussis, Henman, Rusedski who were always dangerous on grass. Not to mention Muster and Kafelnikov on HC and clay.

    Finally and most importantly, if I start to do the same thing with Federer's rivals between 2004 and 2007 it will become really funny. I'm talking about Safin (nothing outside of the two Australias and is 1-1 against Fed there; 1-0 actually because he had no fuel in the 2004 final and would have lost to anybody), Blake (0 Slam SF in his WHOLE carrer), Ljubicic (never even faced Federer in a Slam, only one lucky semi in Paris). Hewitt was done after 2005. Nadal was still very young and was getting crushed by big hitters on hard courts (first HC Slam final and match against Fed was in 2009). Ferrero was finished after 2003. He faced Agassi three times in Slams, same like Pete (but a 34/35 years old Andre, not the one from 1995 and 1999). The only consistent players in that period were Roddick, Nalbandian and Davydenko.
     
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  24. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    Prisoner of Birth strikes again
     
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  25. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    fixed it for you...
     
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  26. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    if you lot want a bit of a laugh..its time for you to visit wikipedia :)

    wimbly 2000 mens singles..have a look at all grass court gibbons who sampras played and their rankings :shock:..and apart from that year>>

    <<apart from agassi going on his lost weekend, and a mentally washed up courier in the mid 90s..pistol pete got to play only easybeats like pioline and how lucky was sampras getting a default off philippoussis when the scud was a set up in the 99 wimby sf with a bad knee injury...like he said ..'i dodged a bullet' there'...

    and we wont mention samps not winning the FO (oop :twisted:) or losing to federer at wimby..

    oh yes..sampras has a 100% losing record in the H2H with federer.:|
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  27. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    someone remind me who's double account severus is? I've forgotten. but i know he is a double.
     
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  28. biaggi35

    biaggi35 New User

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    Every great player has had luck with draws in his career. I don't get the point. I gave you a lot of facts and you reply to all that with Wimbledon 2000?!?

    And if you have a closer look at that particular tournament, you'll see that Pete faced Kucera and Bjorkman in the first week (Bjorkman played in a Wimbledon SF against Federer when he was 34, that's because Fed's era was so much tougher :D), Gambill (a very talanted player, but injuries ruined his career) in the 1/4 finals, who destroyed Hewitt in straight sets before that, and Pat Rafter in the final, who defeated Agassi in the semis in an all-time classic. One of the best matches I have ever seen.

    Sampras has a great record against Philippoussis, especially at Wimbledon. In the 1999 QF he lost the first set and was 1-1 or 2-2 in the second, he wasn't down by 2 sets and a break... He lost the first set to Henman in the SF as well.

    And if Courier was mentally washed up, so were Hewitt and Roddick.
     
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  29. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    That there may have been greater parity of competition throughout Pete's era of relative dominance which saw multiple slam winners actively competing against each other does not explain why most authorities on the sport currently agree that the level of play due to the quality of athlete has been steadily rising to where the sport today is significantly different than it was ten years ago...but then again, any player can only defeat whoever is in front of him, and so, it seems a fool's errand to me making cross-generational comparisons. I do however believe that there was a particular stretch in Roger's period of activity that coincided or coalesced like a perfect storm with arguably drastic evolution taking place in terms of how the sport is played, seeing the explosion of more powerful frames strung with poly's, and that because of this coincidence, Roger possibly appears to have taken more lumps than Pete who, for his part, seems to me to have ridden off into the sunset just as poly's were starting to become popular among pros, and before the Babolat bomb fell.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  30. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    it wasnt all on 2000..what are you on :confused:

    if you think post prime demotivated courier in the mid 1990s is on the same level as roddick then you need to wake up..roddick was never demotivated thats why he was world top10 for 9 plus years :confused:

    sampras in 2000 wimby played a load of stiffs..he didnt play a seed until the final...and he still lost to federer in 2001 when sampras became a stiff himself :).
     
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  31. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    There is no ongoing debate. It's closed.
    Have a good day.
     
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  32. biaggi35

    biaggi35 New User

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    There were only 16 seeds in 2000 and most of them didn't like playing on grass, so it's not strange Pete didn't face them.

    I didn't know you were inside Courier's head, but the fact is he had solid GS results from 1991 to 1996. Very similar to Hewitt's career, who was a force from 2000 to 2005/2006 and was gone after that.
     
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  33. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    That is true but only in 2 slams out of the 4. He didn't face him at AO until late in his career (after his 2004/2007 prime years) and he never faced him at USO. Even on grass, they only met 3 times total. Most of the rivalry happened on clay (almost exclusively dominated by Nadal) and at WTF (entirely dominated by Fed ).
    In any case, Nadal is the toughest competition anyone could have ever faced on clay and he's also a better player on grass than Stich, Ivanisevic or Agassi (maybe not as good as Becker but Becker was mostly Edberg's main competition during the pre-Sampras years).
    Where Fed had a weak competition was on hard court pre-2007 (= pre-Djokovic). None of Davydenko, Blake, Roddick and co were anywhere near as good as the triad Agassi/Courier/Chang and more particularly Agassi who played Sampras at every major hard court event and who is one of the greatest hard court players ever. Hewitt and Safin could have been tougher if they hadn't been flashes in the pan incapable of longevity (and Safin DID beat Fed at AO). But those 2 players didn't last and nobody else was there to provide credible opposition on hard until AFTER Fed's prime years (prime years being when Fed won most of his titles of course). I've always thought, Fed was not that exceptional on outdoor hard and that he would have won less if he had had to handle more talented players. Imo, Fed's best surfaces are grass and indoor hard. He could have done better on clay without Nadal and he would have been less dominant on outdoor hard if he had had to cope with a player of Djokovic's stature during his prime.
    Definitely not enough of an argument to put Sampras ahead of Fed. Fed is the more complete player by far. But it's a valid point to be made nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  34. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    yep, i live inside jim couriers head..and the talking never stops in there.
     
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  35. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    You can make a point about Laver or Gonsales (even Borg) being better than Federer. But Sampras not really. He is pretty much better at everything and the opposition he faced wasn't very different in terms of level.
     
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  36. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Yea but Fed's wins over Nadal on grass came BEFORE Nadal was the grass player he would be come later from 2008 and 2010 etc. I wouldn't say Diaper rash Nadal in 2006/2007 is superior to Stich or Peak Goran, in the mid 90s at wimbledon.

    In fact, I wouldn't even say baby Nadal is better then mid 90s, 1999 Agassi on grass either.

    Even in 2007, Nadal had the match but he choked it away. In 2006, he was only in his 4th or 5th grass court tournament ever at wimbledon.. So the Nadal that Fed beat at wimbledon, was not the "great" Nadal of wimbledon he would later become.

    Fed didn't beat Nadal after 2007. So did Fed actually have to deal with a supposedly "Greater" Nadal then Goran, Stich, Agassi etc..? Pete had to deal with Goran, Becker, Agassi a few times.

    I would still say Older Becker is certainly more formidable on grass then a baby Nadal is

    Fed's grass peak coincided with a diaper rash Nadal still learning how to play off of clay, Roddick, Hewitt, Phillipousisis, then later on with Murray and Nole ( who isn't that good on grass). I dont think thats better then Goran, Stich, older Becker, Agassi, Rafter etc.
     
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  37. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Stich met Sampras at Wimbledon one full year before he won his first. Not sure why you bring it up? How is the guy who never reached the Wimbledon final during Pete's winning years better than the guy who actually did reach the final twice (diaper rash or not... diaper rash Nadal won the FO twice already.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  38. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    btw, the biggest myth in the ongoing Sampras-Federer debate is the fact that Sampras is still relevant to the debate :)
     
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  39. Emet74

    Emet74 Professional

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    Well I wouldn't put Courier and Chang above the Roddicks, Hewitts and Davydenkos of the world. As for Agassi, Fed beat him 8 times in a row on outdoor hard; once he got his first win he never lost again. Sure Agassi was past his best but hardly a cripple in those matches - in 2003 TMC he was a finalist; in the four hard court majors he played 2004 - 2005 he only lost to Fed (3 times) and to Safin (once in a five-setter).

    Overall I don't think Fed's competition during his peak years was especially strong, but neither was Pete's.

    The post 2008 years, especially tournaments when all "big 4" players have been fairly in form, have been tougher to win slams in IMO.
     
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  40. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    What?? Courier has 4 slams and was deadly at his peak.. Hes got more slams then Hewitt, Roddick and Davydenko COMBINED.

    And he accomplished all this in a shorter career really compared to what those guys had.. Especially prime for prime
     
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  41. Emet74

    Emet74 Professional

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    I don't mean his overall resume is equivalent to theirs but in terms of the threat he presented to Pete at Pete's peak.

    Courier's slams were all won before the begining of the Sampras Era, which I'd date as his win over Courier at 2003 Wimbledon. That was also the last slam final Courier ever played.
     
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  42. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lol, wut ?

    federer faced hewitt, nalbandian, ferrero and safin in a row at AO 2004
    faced hewitt & agassi at USO 2004
    faced agassi & safin @ AO 2005 ( barely losing to safin)
    faced nalbandian, hewitt and agassi at USO 2005
    faced davydenko, in-form baghdatis in AO 2006
    faced roddick and in-form blake at USO 2006

    and agassi in USO 2004 QF was better than a tired agassi in USO 2002 final ( thanks to hewitt ) or a clueless looking agassi in 1990 and I daresay, at a similar level , actually a bit better than the peaked earlier than required agassi in USO 95 final ....

    only 2001 USO was the one where he played close to his best vs pete at the USO ...

    the 2 times they met at the AO, agassi actually beat him ...

    and again, federer beat djoker thrice in a row at the USO : 2007-09 .....absolute peak djoker struggled to beat 30 year old federer there, had to save MPs

    @ the bold part, what ? roddick is better than courier/chang @ the USO, ..an in-form davydenko or nalbandian are actually more dangerous than chang ... courier was done in HC slams after 95 ...

    and safin/hewitt were also pretty much there in 2004-05 ...

    federer is easily the best on outdoor hard .....at his peak, he was just as good there as he was indoors ...only thing is past his peak, he's quite a bit better indoors (mainly because the conditions help his serve and help reduce the problems in consistency )

    sampras is close on fast HC; djoker/agassi on slow-medium HC, but combined , they don't come close ...
     
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  43. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    That is one of the most insanely idiotic things ever written.

    Ivanisevic made 3 French Open QFs and the finals in Rome.

    The most one-dimensional Top 10 player in the open era of tennis? Without even getting into what a good all-around player he was, I'll just say the words, "John" and "Isner" and let you get a clue.
     
    #43
  44. Indio

    Indio Rookie

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    Before I present my take on Federer's opposition, I want to respond to some of the comments that have appeared in this thread, beginning with the most recent one questioning my sanity, concerning the one-dimensional Ivanisevic.
    First of all, why was John Isner brought up? In which year did he finish in the Top 10?? And if GI isn't the most one-dimensional Top 10, who is?? What would have been his Plan B had his serve not been firing on all cylinders?? Watch some of his stuff on Youtube.
    Biaggi35: How do you know how much Safin had left for the Australian 2004 final? Did he tell you?? The guy was about 24 years old at the time. Was he already over the hill? By the way, Safin finished 2-10 versus RF. If there was an anomaly at the Australian Open, it took place in 2005, not 2004, but in my opinion, each winner was fully deserving of his victory.
    Federer did play Safin again at a major, Wimbledon 08.
    Greg Rusedski was not a big threat at Wimbledon. He reached one QF. The US final he reached in the same year was the last time he got past the 4th round in any major.
    Bjorkman, SF at Wimbledon vs Federer: You forgot to mention the semi-finalist PS played at the 2000 Wimbledon. It was Voltchkov, and he was ranked 237th.
    Ferrero did decline badly in 2004, but not until after the Australian, where he reached the SF.
    You're correct about Ljubicic: He and Federer never met in a major. He was notoriously weak in the majors, so I doubt that anyone thinks of him when discussing RF's opposition.
     
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  45. Bursztyn

    Bursztyn New User

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    Indio, I am not sure if you can make conclusions on the relative strength of PS and RF eras based on evidence that you presented.

    If top players in the 1990 s were more prone to lose in the early rounds of tournaments as compared to top players ten years later, then three kinds of effects may be mentioned to explain such a pattern.

    - top players from the 1990 s weren't as consistently strong as their counterparts a decade later,
    - the field was deeper in the 1990 s then ten years later,
    - surfaces were less similar in the 1900 s

    How can you tell wchich is the case with the data you showed?
     
    #45
  46. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    As I had the chance to point that out, if the Federer vs Sampras thing is up for debate, then EVERYTHING is.
     
    #46
  47. biaggi35

    biaggi35 New User

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    Look at Safin's draw and results that year. Anyway, this isn't important, the fact is he is 1-1 against Federer in Slams during the 2004-2006 period. They played a few times after that when Safin was nowhere near the top 10 and was losing to journeymen every week...

    Greg Rusedski WAS a threat at Wimbledon, he was underachieving at all the Slams (a bit like Ljubicic). But he had one of the biggest serves in the history of the game and a great touch at the net, so he was always dangerous on grass.

    I didn't say Voltchkov is better that Bjorkman. I'm just pointing out that Pete played against Bjorkman at Wimbledon '00, the same guy who was a semifinal opposition for Federer six years later, at the age of 34, so his draw clearly wasn't that easy when you also consider that he faced Gambil (destroyed your favourite LH 0-3 in R1) and Pat Rafter in the finals. Still, can't understand what kind of argument is Wimbledon 2000? Yes, I agree that Pete Sampras, during his 15 year career, has had draws which weren't that difficult, just like Federer.

    Ljubicic was number 3 in the world. Ljubicic WAS one of Federer's biggest rivals and they never ever met in Slams. Pathetic.
     
    #47
  48. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    Ljubicic was a rival for about a year, two tops. Stop acting like he was a consistent presence in the top 10.
     
    #48
  49. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    Who said anything about finishing the year Top 10?

    Anyway, Muster was more one-dimensional. Take away his forehand and what does he do?

    Michael Chang was more one-dimensional. Take away his speed/defense and what does he do?

    David Ferrer is more one-dimensional. Take away his speed/defense and he's toast.

    Goran had more all-around game than any of those guys. He not only had the huge serve, but he was extremely athletic for his size, he had a big forehand, he had a good backhand, and his return game was above average.

    His problem was his mental toughness (or lack thereof). And when part of his game went off because of his lack of mental toughness, it was usually the serve that went first. When his serve was going in, the rest of his game followed suit almost invariably.

    You don't have his results with just a serve. Isner, Raonic, and Karlovic dominate with their serves every match (unlike Goran, who would have matches where his serve was more a liability than a weapon, with double faults galore), yet their results aren't even close to what Goran achieved. They never (and will never) sniff #2 in the world.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
    #49
  50. Indio

    Indio Rookie

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    Bursztyn: When I check a player's early-round loss total, I look to see whether there has been a dramatic increase (or decrease if it's in the early part of his career) in the number of such losses. It's usually a good indicator that perhaps his best days are behind him. It has nothing to do with comparing eras. I'm sure you'd find it holds true regardless of era. As an example, I'll look at Goran Ivanisevic's numbers, as the 2nd part of this post will be about him anyway.
    1989 14 of 23 tournaments ended in early losses for him
    1990 11 of 24
    1991 11 of 24
    1992 7 of 23
    1993 9 of 23
    1994 8 of 26
    1995 10 of 24 one of them due to retirement with injury
    1996 8 of 29
    1997 10 of 24 one of them due to retirement
    1998 16 of 29

    1998 was the year that GI regressed significantly. His W-L record also took a hit.

    RF 2004-06: Your assessment of GI's physical skills in no way comes close to matching the reality, and I'm talking about what ultimately counts in sports--the wins and losses columns. If GI actually had the things you credited him with, he surely would have done better than to finish his career with a 599-333 record, to go with 22 titles. Of those 22 victories, 15 came indoors. I trust you can draw the proper conclusion. In addition, his outdoor hardcourt winning % is a meager 58.2, one of the worst I could find for a Top 10 player. Finally, his clay-court % is 61.8. Even the much-maligned Andy Roddick did better, at 63.6. That mental toughness must have been absent far too often.
     
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