The Greatest Hard Court Player of the open era for you

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Laurie, May 5, 2012.

?

Who's the greatest hard court player of the open era for you?

  1. Ivan Lendl

    3.3%
  2. Andre Agassi

    2.5%
  3. Roger Federer

    83.3%
  4. John McEnroe

    2.5%
  5. Jimmy Connors

    2.5%
  6. Pete Sampras

    5.8%
  1. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    You might recall I did an article on the greatest hard court players of the open era two years ago, which proved very popular. I also managed to have it published on Eurosport tramlines last September which was nice. For those who never saw it, article is here http://burnstennis.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/greatest-hard-court-players-of-open-era.html

    The guys I chose were Agassi, Federer, Lendl, McEnroe, Connors, Sampras. All of these players have the credentials to be considered top man. I want to know who you consider top man and why, I've put a poll in so you can choose.

    I just want to add one thing about Federer, a lot of his titles on hardcourts have come indoors, the other guys won most of their indoor titles on carpet, so the distinction is slightly more pronounced. I accept that San Jose and Memphis were on indoor hardcourts but they were exceptions no?
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  2. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Is this even a question?

    Federer has the most Australians, US Opens (5 conescutive!), WTF's in history. Most titles on hard courts, most IW, Cincinnati, 14 MS on hard courts (2nd to Agassi's 16), the longest winning streak, most HC titles in a season. I mean seriously what does Sampras, Connors or McEnroe have that Federer hasn't on HC?
     
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  3. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Since the title is "best" not most accomplished. Just like how Borg has no stat in his favor over Nadal on clay at this point, and is behind in most, yet some still want to argue Borg as the clay court GOAT over Nadal. Just like how Sampras has more Wimbledons titles than Federer, while playing on real grass vs a far tougher grass court field, and yet Federer fans still want to argue him as better on grass.
     
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  4. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    So it's Federer's fault that the speed has decreased, now I heard everything. One might think that his record is even more valuable as he had to go through a bunch of clay courters on this joke of a grass court while Sampras could serve his way through his titles against grass giants like Henman and Ivanisevic.

    The funny part is that the only advantage Sampras has over Federer is the number of Wimbledons. If Federer wins 1 more title, he's got the same no of Wimbledons but more finals, more victories/finals in a row, most titles (already he has won more than Sampras in his career), a winning streak of 65 or something.
     
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  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    much tougher competition
     
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  6. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras' tough grass competion is a myth.
     
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  7. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    In my opinion, Federer.
     
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  8. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    You mean clay courters like Andy Roddick who he played in 3 of his Wimbledon finals .
     
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  9. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    So Goran isn't tough competition? Even as big of a headcase he was he's still stronger on grass than the vast majority of opponents Federer faced. Guys like Richard K, Agassi, and Rafter were also tough. Not to mention dangerous floaters/specialists like Henman who were capable of beating very good players on grass.
     
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  10. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Sampras faced Becker, Edberg, Agassi, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Rafter, Philippoussis, Martin, Henman on grass.

    Federer faced Nadal, Roddick, and Hewitt.

    Ivanisevic is probably only 4th or 5th best of that first group, while Roddick is 2nd best of the second group. Yet Ivanisevic is a much better grass court player than Roddick, especialy post Gilbert Roddick.


    Anyway this is a thread on hard courts, not grass. I would give Sampras the edge on Federer on fast hard courts. Their results are similar, but Sampras's game was just bigger and more explosive and that is what wins on that surface. Slower hard courts Federer would have the overall edge. So overall it is close between them. McEnroe at his best probably was better than anyone but didnt sustain it long enough. Connors didnt have as many opportunities on hard courts unfortunately. Lendl was great but too prone to getting overpowered and beaten when up against other tough opponents.
     
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  11. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    No contest, easily Federer. Sampras is not even second.
     
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  12. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    I don't see how Ivanisevic is that much tougher than Roddick.
    Krajicek? He played out of his skin once in 1996 and that's it. He didn't even get to play Sampras apart from that 1 occasion at Wimbledon.
    Rafter? The first time he won a 4th round at Wimbledon was in 1999:) (he didn't even face Sampras that year), played Pete once in 2000 when Sampras had to rely on a choke in the final to win.
    Henman? Please...
     
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  13. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Well Henman was only about the 9th best grass courter of the Sampras era so might as well compare him with who would be the 9th best of the Federer era. Who would that be, Sebastien Grosjean, Scheng Schalken, LOL! An old Henman beat a prime Federer twice in late 2003 and early 2004, and not even on grass, and reached the top 5 at age 30 in the Federer era, so he cant suck that much (or if he does that is even more telling).
     
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  14. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Can we really make a statement like this? A much better grass court player than Roddick?

    It is important to note that Roddick, at the age of 18 , played a very competitive match against Ivanisevic in 2001, the year Goran won the title.
     
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  15. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    That's what Sampras has built his grass legacy on - by having his fanboys claim that he faced Edberg at Wimbledon which luckily for Pete HE NEVER HAS.
     
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  16. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Cmon Nam, can you say with a straight face that Henman would've beaten Peter at Wimby?
     
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  17. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Ivanisevic was a wild card for that tournament and Roddick was the heavy favorite to win that match but lost. Ivanisevic's serve was even a shadow of its 92-96 self in 2001. Ultimately if anything it is telling Ivanisevic could win a Wimbledon at the start of the Federer generation (Hewitt, Roddick, etc...)grass era while WAY past his prime, but couldnt do it during the Sampras era.

    What does Roddick do better than prime Ivanisevic on grass? Serve? Definite no. Return? Even bigger no. Movement? Defininite no. Transition game or volleys? Obviously no. Maybe the forehand from 2004 to earlier, and that is it, and after 2004 definitely no here too. On hard courts Roddick is easily better overall and more consistent but Ivanisevic wasnt even a top 20 hard court player of the Sampras era anyway.
     
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  18. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    2003-2004 is a period when Henman got his most consistent results, who cares he beat Federer once or twice, Federer was only starting to dominate. That doesn't change the fact that he's not a world beater. Name me the big wins he had in majors in his career. Beating teenage Federer at Wimbledon?
     
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  19. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    Of course you can't. But when one lacks a brain, all sorts of crazy things sputter out of the mouth.
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    This is about Hard not Grass, isn´t it? Why not discuss grass on another thread? First, which grass, old or new? then we can start off
     
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  21. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    The only reason Ivanisevic won Wimbledon in 2001 was because Federer took out Sampras in the 4th round. I would love to know who would beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001 and take the title, as sure as hell not Ivanisevic who had a mental block and choked a lot of the time against the American.

    Even Pete himself said that he was playing good enough to win the title, he was serving nothing worse than in the previous editions, Federer just kept himself in the match and didn't choke in the end like Ivanisevic.

    Btw LOOOL at Roddick being the "heavy favorite" to beat Ivanisevic at Wimbledon in 2001. Where did you got that info from? Your a**?
     
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  22. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    My favorite was Agassi (especially on outdoor hard) but Federer is certainly the most consistent and the one with the best results. # of titles on hard court:

    1- Federer: 51 (slams: 9)
    2- Agassi: 46 (6)
    3- Connors: 43 (3)
    4- Sampras: 36 (7)
    5- Lendl: 29 (5)
    6- Edberg: 23 (2)
    7/8- McEnroe/Djokovic: 22 (4)
    9- Chang: 22 (0)
    10- Roddick: 20 (1)

    One has to remark though that at the time of Connors/Lendl there were not that many events on hard: lots of grass, clay, carpet. The extensive use of hard is relatively recent. Even AO/USO were played on grass (or clay) for a number of years in open era. Also AO was not a popular slam for a while, a lot of top players skipped it.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
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  23. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Wait so if Roddick reached 3 Wimbledon finals after 2001 maybe the surface isn't that slow after all? What do you define as "real grass" - grass that Sampras won his Wimbledons on?
     
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  24. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    You do understand that Goran was actually an underdog in that match right? I wouldn't say he was a heavy underdog, but Roddick was considered a favorite by sheer virtue of ranking and form going in.
     
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  25. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    I never said he wasn't. But it's blasphemy to claim that Roddick was the "heavy favorite to win" as 2001 was his first full year on the tour, Andy was still a kiddo at the time and Ivanisevic despite being in a slump still had that giant serve to give him a shot in the match, especially given Roddick's mediocre return.
     
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  26. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Tough to say.. Numbers wise its Fed.. But Sampras and Connors have a say in this as well.

    Both had better competition IMO throughout their primes. You can also take into account, Feds main HC opposition was Roddick for a long time. Good player, but even he was destroyed by an old Sampras and Agassi on the hards.

    Nadal didn't really come into his own until 2009 or so as far as hardcourts were concerned.. Prior to that he couldn't even make a slam semis.
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Wimbledon grass was one kind of grass from 1877 to 2000.They changed it to a much much slower and higher bouncing grass, benefitting clay courters like Nadal and Djokovic and letting Federer win without a real volley.
     
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  28. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Pete playing good enough at wimbledon that year? He almost went out to some bum in an earlier round.. Doubt Pete was going to win it that year. His grass game clearly hit a dead end by 2001
     
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  29. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    You think that Federer was happy about the speed of Wimbledon? He would love the grass courts to be as fast as they were in the 90's as it would give him a far better shot at Nadal/Djokovic at Wimbledon. His great serve would be even harder to return.
     
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  30. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Federer has only lost to Nadal once at Wimbledon as it is, and that was during a year long strech he couldnt beat Nadal on any surface. Change to a faster court and Nadal probably doesnt have as big a lead to choke, and ends up winning in 5 sets the normal way rather than choking badly and still winning in 5 sets anyway. Federer has never lost to or even played Djokovic at Wimbledon to date so WTF is that about. As for his other losses:

    2010- Overpowered by Berdych. Would have been even moreso on a faster court.

    2011- Overpowered by Tsonga in last 3 sets. Would have been even moreso on a faster court.

    On the other hand he might well have lost one or both the 2004 and 2009 Wimbledon finals to Roddick on a faster court. Federer's serve isnt that overpowering and relies more on placement and disguise anyway, but the much faster Roddick serve would have gained much more by the fast grass, especialy when this forum seems to think Roddick had an Ivanisevic level serve on grass. We also might have had alot more serve and volley players if we were in an era of faster grass, and while Federer might have been a good one, he never was going to be the most comfortable at net.
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree.On old grass, and against true grass courters, Nadal and Djokovic would be happy to make a semifinal in their whole career.Fed would win a couple of titles, though.
     
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  32. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Did you watch that tournament? It was the greatest tennis tournament I've ever seen. Sampras nearly lost to Barry Cowan in the second round, and he wasn't playing all that well at the time, while Goran had rolled back the clock to the mid-1990s during the tournament.

    Goran was the underdog in 6 matches in a row at 2001 Wimbledon. He wasn't expected to beat Moya, Roddick, Rusedski, Safin, Henman nor Rafter, yet he went through them all and served a record number of aces for a Wimbledon tournament. Against Roddick, Goran was in control on serve and once he won the first set tiebreak, the result never seemed in doubt. Roddick's big serve looked powderpuff in comparison and had commentators shocked. It was hilarious how John Lloyd kept predicting Goran would lose and he would win every time. Goran beating Rusedski was the funniest of all.
     
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  33. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras being forced to 5 sets isn't really an indication of his form at Wimbledon, he wasn't really that dominant from start to finish.

    In 1993 he played a tough 4-setter against Neil Borwick in the 1st round, in the quarters he was pushed to 5 by a dead-wrist Agassi.

    In 1995 he lost sets to Braasch, Palmer, Matsuoka in the first couple of rounds (was pushed to 5 sets in the SF by Ivanisevic)

    In 1996 he lost sets to Reneberg and Kucera before being handed a straight set beatdown by Krajicek.

    In 1997 he was pushed to a 5-setter by Kodra in the 4th round

    In 1999 he was being killed by Philippoussis before Mark caught an injury.

    In 2000 he lost sets to Kucera, Gimelstob and was forced into a tough 4-setter against Jan-Michael Gambill.


    So once again, I don't see how this one 5-setter is a proof of him not playing well enough to win the championships, given that he won the other 2 matches fairly easily, in fact he led 6-3 6-2 in that match when he was pushed to 5 sets, one can assume he lost focus after winning so easily.
     
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  34. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Best hardcourt player of the open era has to be Federer, by the way.
     
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  35. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Ok so there's only exception of a non-serve-and-volleyer winning Wimbledon in a 20 year span of 1982-2001 (which is Agassi - an aggressive baseliner) but you assume a grinder like Nadal would make the final and beat Federer in 5 sets. Jesus. The speed of grass wouldn't just change the pattern of the final, it would change the pattern of each round, you're so sure that Nadal would have a walk in the part in the first 6 rounds given that there are tons of guys with a better serve than him on the tour?

    I never said that Federer would struggle against Djokovic at Wimbledon, I just claimed that if he was to play him at Wimbledon, I'd favor his chances even moreso if it was on old grass.

    You can't assume that Berdych/Tsonga would overpower Federer "even moreso" on the 90's grass just because it's faster. Don't forget that it would also benefit Federer who has a tremendous serve and it would be twice as difficult to break.

    This is way too hypothetical. As I wrote before, Roddick's serve would be more devastating on grass but Fed's would get more pop on it as well.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
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  36. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras wasn't playing "all that well" at Wimbledon quite a few times yet he's won almost every edition in an 8 year time span. Let's assume Sampras beats Federer in the 4th round, who takes him out in the tournament? Henman in the quarters? Ivanisevic in the semis? Or Rafter in the final? You know it would take a major upset for that to happen.
     
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  37. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Uh? Because he dropped some sets? Sampras in 2001 was playing worse than he had in years. Even before he lost to Federer, people were saying Sampras wasn't playing as good and wouldn't be surprised if he didn't win the tournament. Of course, when Federer beat him, it was still a shock anyway because Sampras had lost at Wimbledon, and that was a very rare thing.

    All were capable, but probably Ivanisevic in the semi finals. He has beaten Sampras at Wimbledon before, you know.
     
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  38. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Since the grass field at the time was was a terrible one with almost no threats whatsoever (actually has been that way for the entire Federer era on grass) yeah I dont see any issue with Nadal coasting to the final that year, no matter what kind of grass it is. The few big servers with decent games like Roddick who would have benefited form the faster grass were playing some worthless ball at the time.

    As for comparing Agassi to Nadal, Nadal's athleticsm and overall movement is light years beyond Agassi's, and that is a big factor on grass too. Nadal is the 2nd best grass courter of the Federer era, and Agassi only about the 6th best of the Sampras era, so if you think Agassi > Nadal on grass (even the hypothetical only old grass) then that is already telling in itself, and helps prove my point even further.


    They have never played at Wimbledon so it is irrelevant. We all know before 2010 Federer would have always spanked Djokovic at Wimbledon if they met anyway. Mention Djokovic when he actually plays Federer at Wimbledon.


    Federer's ground game was crap those years. Nothing would have saved him. Berdych and Tsonga were serving atleast as big and hitting off the ground much bigger those years, so how on earth would a faster court have helped Federer in those matches.


    Roddick's serve is a speed serve. Federer's is a precision serve. It isnt hard to figure whose would benefit more from faster grass.
     
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  39. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras: Rafter, Agassi, Henman, Kracijek, Ivansevic, Martin.
    Federer: Nadal, Roddick, Hewitt.

    Yes Sampras had announced grass courters except for Agassi....yet they couldn't push Sampras most of the time. They **** their pants when they faced Sampras. I can't call that competition but I can say they were better grass courters than Federer competition.

    Federer at least was pushed very hard from Nadal, Roddick and Hewitt. Except for Roddick....they didn't bend over for him. They pushed him because the grass surface was slower. If it was still fast....Federer would never lose to any of them except Roddick playing the match of his life.

    Federer grass court prowness and ability on grass is 10 percent better than Sampras. Just unfair that the slowed grass gives Federer crappier competition better chance than Sampras competitors had.
     
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  40. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Fair enough, I still don't see who would beat a "slumping Sampras" at Wimbledon that year.


    Listen, I was a huge fan of Ivanisevic but he's the last man who could beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001. I've seen him choke too many times against him to think otherwise. Btw that 1 victory Ivanisevic had over Sampras at Wimbledon was a long way back in 1992 when Sampras wasn't as much "pistol" as he would become in the next couple of years.

    If somebody was to take out Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001 it would have to be someone new who Sampras hadn't built a mental advantage on. Federer was just the man.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
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  41. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Once again, this is way too hypothetical to predict. I'll leave it at that.

    Agassi is 6th? Based on your opinion? Name me the other players who won Wimbledon, reached another final and were a constant quarter/semifinalists. Becker won all of his Wimbledons in the 80's, he didn't even get to play Sampras at Wimbledon before 1993. Ivanisevic made a couple of finals but also had some blowouts, didn't even win his only title till 2001 when Fed took Sampras out of the way. Who's left?

    See reply no 1. A different type of grass would mean different conditions. Right now to win a point on grass not only you have to hit a good serve but you have to follow it up with a decent forehand or backhand, in the 90's this wasn't the case. It would also change the mentality of the top players - they'd know that hitting a good serve would give them free points straight away rather than having to work for it.

    Roddick's serve is big as it is. A 140 mph serve is still damn hard to return no matter what the surface.
     
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  42. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Its funny, Pete's grass game went downhill and hit a dead end the last two years of his career.. For the past few years, Fed's grass game hit a dead end as well.. Its almost as if, its too hard to keep the level up on that surface once you hit a certain age.. Yet both Pete and Roger somehow kept a high level on hardcourts (even connors as well) during the twilight of their careers
     
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  43. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sampras was certainly playing better at 1992 Wimbledon than he was at 2001 Wimbledon. A lot better. He dismantled Stich, the defending champion, in less than 90 minutes, and Sampras has a losing career head-to-head against Stich.
     
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  44. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Ivanisevic played way better in 1992 compared to 2001 as well.
     
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  45. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'm not so sure about that. Goran played great in both tournaments. In 1992, he beat Lendl and Sampras without even facing a break point, and beat the tournament favourite, Edberg. In 2001, though, he beat 6 favoured opponents.
     
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  46. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    What does him beating 6 favoured opponents have to do with his overall form? He was the underdog for a reason.
     
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  47. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    He was the underdog because his form had been awful for 18 months or so, was ranked 125 in the world and needed a wildcard to enter the tournament. Goran served his record number of aces at a Wimbledon tournament in 2001 with 213, beating his 206 from 1992.
     
    #47
  48. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
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    A more interesting stat would be the no of aces per set/match he served in 2001 compared to 1992. It's not that difficult to hit that many aces when every match is a 4 or 5 setter.
     
    #48
  49. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Sampras was never winning Wimbledon in 2001. There is nothing that indicates he was going to. He nearly went out to Barry Cowan, who isnt even a tour journeyman in the previous round before losing to Federer. It doesnt matter if previous Wimbledons he had a lost set to guys like Palmer and Matsuoka, those guys are far better players than Cowan (Matsuoka was a grass specialist, their match that year was in the quarterfinals), while Braash and his awkward game can be a challenge for anyone. You cant compare guys who have all been top 50 players, many top 30 players, to a top 300 player. Sampras does play casually in early rounds sometimes, but not to that extreme. He also went out to Baastl the very next year, so it is obvious his grass game was already going down the crapper in a big way. His hard court game was still there on occasion, not as consistently as before.
     
    #49
  50. Def

    Def Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    452
    seems like a close poll
     
    #50

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