Would Sampras have won the 2002 US Open IF...

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by MTF07, Aug 1, 2012.

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Would Sampras have beaten Hewitt

  1. Yes

    41.2%
  2. No

    58.8%
  1. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    Hewitt had beaten Agassi in the semifinal? I know Pete was in excellent form throughout that tournament, but Hewitt had his number at that point, beating him 4 straight times, including that destruction in the US Open final the previous year.

    I really have a hard time seeing Sampras beating Hewitt if they had played again. Hewitt was in top form, and he had the perfect return to neutralize Sampras' serve and volley attack. I think Pete was very fortunate that Agassi came through that match with Hewitt.
     
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  2. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    The scores may suggest the semis was close but Agassi played the big points much better than Hewitt.

    In the finals, Sampras did what Agassi did in the semis. It was Sampras's day and it fell in place for him.
     
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  3. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    I remember that semifinal being very competitive. Really long intense baseline rallies, and yes Agassi was better in the big moments.

    Pete had his day in the final, but he was going against Agassi, who he's very comfortable playing and had never lost at a fast court major. Hewitt annihilated Pete in the finals the previous year.
     
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  4. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    Ah crap, I just voted yes by accident. I think Hewitt wins in three or four sets if Pete served really really well.
     
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  5. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    If Hewitt was in 04-05 form...I give Sampras no chance.

    If he was in 01-02 form....Sampras wins in 04. The 01 final....was due to Sampras being tired.
     
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  6. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Sampras was always known for handing his opponent's butt back to him.

    IMO the only reason he lost to Hewitt in 2001, was because of how draining and brutal his draw was.

    I mean he played Rafter ( A former 2 time USO champ), Agassi (who was playing INCREDIBLE tennis, arguably maybe the best tennis he ever player there and had just straight setted Roger with ease), and Safin (the defending champ) and I believe it was all back to back to back.. I dunno who could have done that draw, and have a whole lot left for the finals (including Roger, Nadal, Andre, Nole or anyone else)

    Pete had a MUCH easier draw at the USO the following year in 2002 so he would have had MUCH more in the tank. I think he would have whiped Hewitt off the court, considering a much easier draw he had and he would have been out for revenge.. Sampras out for revenge was crazy to watch.. I mean look at what he did to Safin in 2001 at the USO (the year after Marat beat him in the finals)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
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  7. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    Hewitt's way of returning means that Sampras' motion won't be able to throw him off. His reaction time is just too fast and unlike Agassi he seems to always get consistently good returns down at a net attacker's feet. Rather than the big, flashy return he just keeps making it hard for you to do anything productive with the first volley, which like the final the year prior would just have worn down at Pete.

    Moreover, he was lightning fast and had no real weak side to attack. Pete would not have won staying back and trying to go for hail mary forehands.

    Hewitt was a terrible matchup for Pete. To beat him Pete would have had to play like Agassi. Stalk the baseline, spread the court out and try to push Hewitt back. Given his backhand at that time, I think 9 times out of 10 that wouldn't have worked.
     
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  8. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Hewitt was more of a bad matchup for an OLDER Sampras.. But we don't know about a younger Sampras in his prime.. Who knows.. Sampras did beat Hewitt in 2000 at the USO. I still mainly attribute Hewitt's win over Sampras in 2001 in Flushing due to the ridiculous difficulty of a draw Pete drew that years
     
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  9. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    Hewitt had beaten Sampras 4 times in a row at that point and 5 times out of 6. Sampras on the other hand had beaten Agassi the last two times they had played. He also had beaten Agassi every time at the US Open, twice in finals and just the eyar before.

    Sampras would have been tired after the semi final as well. Putting that aside, Agassi matches up poorly with Sampras at the US Open. Hewitt matches up very well. I think Pete would probably lose in 5 or 4 if Hewitt had made it.
     
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  10. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    Hewitt is a bad match up for any Sampras. Peak Sampras had a slightly weaker serve, but was obviously faster. Sampras being in his prime does not really change the match up problem. Sampras would win more simply, because he was better back then, but the all the match up problems remain.
     
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  11. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    Well, I'm not asking about a prime matchup... that's all speculation. I think Hewitt's game would have always given Pete probems though.

    Sampras himself said that Hewitt was really unlucky with how the game transitioned from attacking tennis to the slug fests from the baseline. Hewitt owned just about every serve and volleyer he played.
     
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  12. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think Hewitt would have been the favourite to beat Sampras if they had met in the 2002 US Open final. I was bitterly disappointed in how Hewitt lost that semi final match to Agassi considering how well he had started the match in the opening games. Hewitt should have won both the first 2 sets, but lost both, and when he looked dead and buried in the third set, managed to pull it out with amazing fight. Then, with hopes of a comeback, he was flat in the fourth set and lost. What made it even more disappointing is that Hewitt had won his recent matches against Agassi, and seemed to have his number at the time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
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  13. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Well... I think Hewitt would do fine in this era if he was at his best.. Problem with Hewitt was injuries got ahold of him quick and we never got to see much longevity with Hewitt.. At his peak he was an extremely good player.. I mean didn't he make a big run (way past his prime) just a few years ago at wimbledon? Hell, he beat Roger just a few years ago at a big event.. And I believe he just took Nole to 3 set.. Not bad for a guy damn near 10 years past his prime. ROFL

    Many will say Hewitt was at his best during 2004-2005.. Ive always disagreed at least in terms of level.. I always felt Hewitt's best tennis came at about 2001-2002 under Cahill.

    Hewitt at his peak, was kind of deadly for anyone. I think if we are taiking a peak 2001-2002 Hewitt, he could give anyone on tour today fits. He was that dang good at his peak.

    I certainly think he would be a top player today and one of the favorites at least for some slams.. I mean if MURRAY is one of the favs, I don't see why a peak 20-22 year old Hewitt couldn't be as I always felt he was a better player then Andy
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
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  14. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    I agree. People really underrate just how good Hewitt was in his prime.
     
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  15. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hewitt parted ways with Darren Cahill at the end of 2001. Jason Stoltenberg was Hewitt's coach for the next 18 months after that. Agassi parted ways with Brad Gilbert in January 2002 after 8 years, and Cahill became Agassi's new coach in February 2002. In fact, that 2002 US Open semi final was dubbed as "Cahill's revenge on Hewitt" in some circles.

    Hewitt's best tennis was 2004-2005, in my opinion, in terms of playing level. Roger Rasheed was Hewitt's coach at that time. 2001-2002 was the period of his best results, without prime Federer on the scene.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
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  16. Federererer

    Federererer Banned

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    Hewitt would have won.
     
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  17. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    Agreed Hewitt is very underrated, but injuries quickly finished him. It is amazing what he can do now with just his ball striking ability and game intelligence. However, now he cannot even be considered one of the quicker plays. At his peak he was one of the fastest players in the last 20 years and had the mental toughness to go with it.
    He did not have Cahill for 2002. In 2001/2002 he had many very poor results at slams. In 04/05 he grew into his body more and put more power into his strokes. His serve got better and he was still as fast as ever.

    Results wise if it was not for Federer, it would have been his best period ever. He lost 6 slams to the eventual winner, with the exception of clay, it took great performances to stop him.

    What exactly did Hewitt do better in 01/02 than in 04/05?
     
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  18. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    I wish I could change my vote to no. Hewitt would have won comfortably.
     
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  19. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hewitt missed the last few months of 2005 through injury, which was his second such spell out with injury that year, having also missed the clay-court season. When Hewitt returned in 2006, he was noticeably slower around the court, and it's gotten worse over the years. But he is a very stubborn individual and it helps him win some matches against very tough players even today. He never thinks he's beaten, even now.

    I agree. He lost all 7 majors he played in 2004-2005 to the eventual champion. Whereas in 2001-2002, he lost matches in majors to Moya, Ferrero, Escude, A. Martin, Canas and Agassi, none of whom went on to win the title after beating Hewitt.
     
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  20. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    Yeh I know, but unlike say Wilander, Borg or Courier even; Hewitt still had the will and the fire in his belly at a young age. The other three perhaps burnt out. As you said after US Open 05 he was never really the same again. He was still only 24 at that point. Still he loves the game and loves competing. As long as he wants to play then fair play to him.
     
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  21. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Oh absolutely.

    Hewitt's mentality on the court has impressed me since the moment I first saw play on a 1998 ATP highlights show. I honestly thought, right then, that he would be the best player of the next generation, after Sampras, once he got bulkier and got some experience. Hewitt was mentally ready for the elite even when he was a teenager, and as you say, even once his body started to let him down, his will and enthusiasm has never wavered.
     
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  22. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    Agreed. I hope he sticks around for awhile. It's going to be a sad day when Hewitt retires from tennis. I appreciate him now so much more than I did when he won majors. He's been great for the sport. Hope him and Roger retire together in their mid 30s.
     
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  23. benmarks1984

    benmarks1984 New User

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    I think, Hewitt would have beaten Sampras. Lleyton was great against the serve and volley players and gave Sampras lots of problems. Pete even admits that in his autobiography.

    If Hewitt's peak had been in the 90s with more server and volley players and faster surfaces I think he would have been a lot more successfull. After Sampras retired in 02, how many top serve and volley players were still around? Not many. He had to change his game to play powerful guys from the back of the court, and did a great job in 2004 and 2005, before he started always getting injured.

    For me lleyton made a few career errors aswell. Parting company with Darren Cahill in 2001 was a big mistake, though I think his parents had fallen out with Cahill. And also in 2003 he seem to give up on his number 1 ranking, hardly playing any tournaments after falling out with Mark Miles and the ATP. Plus since he got with his wife at start of 2005 tennis at times seemd to come second, compared to when he was with another player like Cljisters.

    Be interesting to know if Sampras would have still retired if he had lost to Hewitt in the US final. By guess is he would have carried on until he won another major.
     
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  24. Tombers

    Tombers New User

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    I think sampras in 4 or 5. Hewitt's win over pete in the 2001 final was a win over a tired pete. Saying that though, i think hewitt would of given pete a harder time than andre did. Andre struggled against pete at the slams.
     
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