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Old 11-11-2012, 07:24 AM   #61
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,175

Originally Posted by zagor View Post
No, winning slams gets harder and harder over time, when you get into 15+ territory and especially at the twilight stage of Fed's career every additional slam has tremendous value.

Also remember, Fed grew up idolizing Sampras and thus very likely values slam count above everything else.
People aren't really going to remember when Federer won his slams, though. Can you name all of Sampras's slams off the top of your head?

In 40 years, when players are playing into their 40s regularly, more than one player will pass Federer's slam count, be it 18 or 19.

Sorry, but SOG just doesn't have anywhere near the same historic value as slams do,
That's because it hasn't been around very long. Come talk to me in 40 years.

if we look at the history of the sport the vast majority of tennis greats couldn't even compete at the Olympics, tennis simply wasn't an Olympic sport for the majority of its existence (was till 1924 then wasn't all the way until 1988 ).
And the majority of the tennis greats didn't give a rat's *** about the Australian Open back in the day, either.

I know Fed haters like yourself obsess over SOG because that's one of the rare things Fed doesn't have but that's your subjective view influenced heavily by your personal bias.
I'm a Federer fan, actually. I'm just stating my opinion on which would be better for Federer's legacy.

It doesn't matter whether anyone can take your SOG away from you or not, when comparing tennis greats the "meat" of the career is about slam performances (# of slams won, Calendar Grand slam, Career Grand Slam etc.), overall dominance (time spent as the world's best player) etc. SOG is a bonus, it's only the highlight of one's career if you're Nicholas Massu or something.
In terms of ranking the greats, it does. Andre Agassi has a permanent place in the pantheon of tennis greats thanks to his career golden slam. Take away the Olympics gold and it loses some of its shine. Take away the French Open and it loses all of its shine - his career becomes real a disappointment given his potential.

No, it's definitely not the same, here you're arguing about slams not about bonus stuff like SOG, DC, H2H etc.
Winning all of the biggest events is what makes a complete career. The Olympics have gained a major prestige in tennis over the last 8 years, and they'll continue to do so as time passes. When looking back on Federer's career, it'll be noteworthy that he never won the gold medal in singles.

Variety/completeness in slam performances, the main knock on Sampras was always him being a non-contender at FO (made one measly FO SF in his entire career) and arguably the lack of truly dominant tennis seasons (like for example Laver's CYGS, Fed's 3 slam years, Novak's 2011, Nadal's 2010 etc.) , not because he didn't have a SOG or trails in masters record when compared to Nadal, Fed, Lendl and Agassi for example.

Besides that's hardly the only area in which Fed has the edge over Sampras, here's the list of the top of my head:

-3 more slams
-More weeks at #1
-5 USOs in a row
-5 Wimbledons in a row (was regarded as one of the greatest achievement in the history of tennis when Borg did it in his day)
-3 years in which he won 3 slams (compared to zero)
-2 years in which he reached 4 slam finals (compared to zero)
-Their performance at their weakest slam- FO (5 finals and a title compared to one final)

And if Federer struggled as much as Sampras on clay, all of a sudden, his argument for GOAT is an intense debate for everyone. As of right now, only the Sampras ***** are really trying to claim Sampras > Federer.

You don't compare players solely by their strengths (otherwise Nadal is the GOAT basically because no one dominate any surface to the degree he did clay), you look at players' overall careers, not to mention that it's your subjective opinion Sampras gets the edge in faster slams, many would disagree on that.
That's right - the weaker aspects of Federer/Sampras's careers are what make the difference. If they were even in those weaker parts, the debate is no longer one-sided in Federer's favor. In fact, it's a dead heat.

Sampras has 8 US Open finals and 5 titles to Federer's 6 and 5. Federer has 8 Wimbledon finals and 7 titles to Sampras's 7 and 7. Same number of faster major slam totals, but Sampras has one more final. So I give Sampras a very slight edge to this point.
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