Originally Posted by The tennis guy
No one said he was a grinder. The argument came when it depends on whom you are comparing him with.
Overall he is smooth and athletic. However, he is not as smooth and graceful as Federer.
Not true at all, Barry Flatman, the Times journalist in the UK called Sampras a grinder when interviewed on national radio in September 2003 and asked to assess Sampras' career. He also said he was not a fan of his type of play. Then last year I had that argument with another Times journalist, Simon Barnes who wrote a piece here in England and blatantly claimed Sampras' game was all about grind and Federer's game was about flow only. I plastered my reply to Simon Barnes on both this and BBC message boards. Needless to say, Simon contacted me quite quickly and we had a correspondence going for about a week.
These journalists have the ability to influence people's thinking, especially the fickle. And they can also use their dislike of a player to do them down if they wish.
By the way, I disgaree with you (ah, the beauty of opinions). I've seen both players live and Federer is as smooth as Sampras, Sampras is as smooth as Federer. There is no question in my mind about that. It's easy to say Federer is smoother because he's still playing and Sampras is retired, so we can't see a 25 year old Sampras in real life and make a comparison.
By the way, I still have the Simon Barnes correspondence somewhere in my emails.