Originally Posted by timnz
Your question: Should Sampras really be placed amongst the GOATs?
Why?: Pluses - second highest number of Slams won in Open Era - 14
- second highest number of year end championships - 5
- Highest (Equal) number of Wimbledons won - 7
- Highest (Equal) number of US Opens won in Open era - 5
Minuses - No French Open win
- Relatively low number of Masters 1000's won (11 - there are at least 11 guys in the Open era who have won more)
The Minuses are really not big minuses (given those most GOAT candidates have some hole in their CV) - so Yes he is in the GOAT list.
Sampras is definitely one of the greats of the game.
However, his achievements in totality are not as unique as borg, laver, federer, or even nadal when comparing them to other players in the so-called short-list for GOAT - that is the argument for Numero Uno of ALL TIME.
--> Not just an all-time great...
Sampras has amassed many "longevity" based numbers largely on faster courts - major count, weeks at #1 etc. But he has been bettered by federer in many of these areas.
The answer to the GOAT question lies in the defined Criteria. Depending on the criteria used, you could end up with
Laver, as goat - based on his cygs
borg, his channel slams
nadal, his claim as the best on clay holding many records by himself
federer, holding many longevity / dominance based records - #1, # of slams etc.
Sampras-? You would have to twist the criteria in such a calculated way to eliminate federer from the conversation, as almost every criteria that would be beneficial to sampras would allow Federer to stand out more than Sampras.
Of course, I am not even talking about pre-open era greats, who also possess unique and outstanding achievements.