Originally Posted by Nathaniel_Near
Maybe, I dunno. The main problem I have is that I'm just too far removed from that era to remember exactly just how strong Sampras was mentally (in matches of at least moderate importance, we know how Sampras didn't pour his best efforts into all the tournaments). What I would say is, Sampras' style of play - I see it being the type that would drive Nole up the wall much like how Tommy Haas was able to do in the 2009 Wimbledon quarter-finals. I don't think Nole's passing shots are at an elite level, personally, and I think Sampras could have stripped him of enough time to notch those 2011 levels of mental strength down. Another example from recent times would be Isner against Nole at Indian Wells. In short, I think Nole's amazing mental strength was built around playing in a great rhythm and knowing he could out-rally anyone. Pete might have just taken any such rhythm away from him. Worth a short discussion.
yes, rhythm is an important part of djoker's play. I'd agree with your statement provided it is on a sufficiently fast enough surface.
Otherwise djoker's return and baseline game would overwhelm sampras on slower surfaces IMO ....
the other thing is a 3 setter vs 5 setter. It is not easy to keep up an elite level of attacking tennis vs djoker for an extended amount of time/sets ...