Originally Posted by li0scc0
Who knows how good he would have been? Probably not as good as he was, of course. But from a young age he would have worked on being, say, a power baseliner. And thus developed his skill in that manner.
The real answer is..we do not know. Certainly there are players I know of who 'converted' from serve and volleyers to baseliners, with success. And, of course, vice-versa. But not everybody can. Could Pete Sampras have done so? Maybe, maybe not. Nobody knows, however.
You are correct. In Pete's book he clearly states he did not have a serve until the year he won his first USO. He was a marginal server. I was also a bit surprised and re-read it to be sure...he somehow grea this monster serve just a few months before the Open. He already HAD a power baseline game because he was not a great server until near age 19. I always thought he was born that way...he always had a big serve, not true according to Pete.