Originally Posted by FiveO
Sampras*: big server/s & v/net attacker/big fh baseliner
*Federer has caused me to re-think Sampras as a pure all-courter. Sampras was never willing to play defense and retrieve like Federer or Rafter and almost never drew opponents forward with short balls or drop-shots as Fed does regularly. While Sampras was more all-court than his contemporaries and predecessors, Federer simply utilizes more elements in his game than Pete did.
I beg to differ a bit here. Federer might be as good as one can get
for a *all-courter* in terms of tennis of last 5 year or so(baseline
oriented game). But in terms of whole tennis history, Sampras
is still the guy who successfully implemented the most optimal
and complete balance of S&V and baseline style.
Federer's more balanced in terms of defense and offense game but
then again he has to be (his service game can get vulnerable).
He has other varieties but he has not been tested in the S&V game
yet. It's hardly played these days but I think it's major style in terms
of whole tennis history. So it's too early to say Federer is such
a all court player.
I disagree Sampras never willing to play defense and retrieve like
Federer or Rafter. He does less often but the very few points he
played as retriever or defense have huge weights. Like 7th game
of a set. See how Sampras run in break points. Sampras' foot speed
is very underrated. I think Sampras is actually faster than Federer
(who has astute movements largely based on superb anticipation)
About the "drawing" opponents using drop shots from baseline,
it's done by all top players these days simply because every body
is playing basleine these days. It's become popular last 5 years.
Federer indeed has very interesting varieties but in terms of
*solid* repitoire of basic elements in tennis, Sampras had that
ideally optimal implementation of classic textbook tennis, IMHO.