After McEnroe's 1982, I think that Sampras's 1998 is probably the weakest ever season put together by a year end no. 1 since the ATP ranking computer was created in 1973.
I'm not even sure Sampras was the best player that year. I would probably give it to Rafter, due to his superior title haul (he won 1 slam, 2 super 9 titles and 3 other titles, as opposed to Sampras's 1 slam, 0 super 9 titles and 3 other titles). Plus he beat Sampras in both their matches that year, their Cincinnati final and US Open semi-final.
Had Rios won his Australian Open final against Korda and not played so pathetically, then 1998 would have been his year.
Sampras played subpar tennis for most of that season. Ivanisevic really should have beaten him in the Wimbledon final I felt. His best tennis probably came when he won the Vienna title during his gruelling European indoor season, especially his QF demolition of Henman. Of course he was lucky to be even playing at that event in the first place, as Becker donated his wildcard to him.
If an active player did that for Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, imagine how heavily they would be criticised.
Last edited by Gizo : 10-22-2012 at 10:33 AM.