Originally Posted by Mustard
It's true that Sampras' all-time standing has taken a hit, because there's very little that Sampras has now done that Federer hasn't equalled or surpassed. Only 6 calendar years as world number 1 is left, I think.
However, Sampras made it known that for him, it was "all about the slams", especially Wimbledon, and that was his attitude. I think it's obvious that he never expected anyone to get to 13-14 majors for a long time, given the way the tennis landscape looked from 1998-2003.
Many people including myself don't expect any player to break his slam record, and certainly not a span of 6 years(2003-2009). This is the reason why his goat status went down. Especially when his era is comparable to Federer(eg slams having 3 surfaces, no split fields).
Had Fed never broke Sampras's record, or let say he won only 12 slams, but he managed to win a Grand Slam. Guess what? The situation between Laver and Sampras would be reverse. Sampras would still be strong in contention as a goat, because he still has his 14 slam records. But Laver, his most impressive achievement is the 69 GS is overshadowed by Roger's modern GS. Laver would take a big hit. No doubt.
Tier1(goat): Federer; Tier 1.5: Laver, Gonzales, Sampras, Nadal, Borg;
Tier 2: Lendl, Connors, Rosewall, Tilden; Tier 2.5: McEnroe, Agassi