Originally Posted by World Beater
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.
Thats why its so difficult to compare across eras. Laver got the 2 Calendars at a time with 3 slams played on grass and one on clay (Heck if Sampras got that, it may have been possible he would have grabbed at least one calendar himself). Nadal's accomplishments have came in the SLOW COURT era. If things were more polarized, his numbers aren't nearly as good.
I dont put Borg as a GOAT candidate because he retired so early and never won a hard court slam. ( which consisted of half the year at the time). Sampras still managed 3 of the 4. Borg only 2 of the 4. He had a high winning percentage but thats easier to do when you retire at 25/26. Before you're physical decline
Sampras also managed to win slams 12 years apart.. Which is pretty crazy.
Then factor in:
2nd most slams of the open era
Won 3 of the 4 slams more then once
Most year end #1s
5 year end championships
Arguably the GOAT on one surface (Borg was surpassed by Nadal in the French Open count)
Overrall dominated his main rivals (McEnroe got the best of Borg quite a bit.. Something Sampras didn't let Andre do)
Thats GOAT material. Not hands down GOAT material of course.. Still GOAT material