Originally Posted by 90's Clay
Yea.. There is more pressure when you got a guy breathing down your neck and ready to overtake you in the slam count (Like Nadal was doing with Fed prior to injuries stopping him a few times).
However, there was no one close to Pete in this regard because he TOOK CARE of his main rivals on the big stage (something Fed FAILED to do).
If Fed wasn't Nadal's patsy, he would have been out of reach a long time ago and could have retired early.
... Refer Back to my first post..
yeah but when Fed took care of his rivals then then it was "weak era" etc,..
Look I'm kind of giving Sampras his due here- in his day no one cared as much about certain things, like masters were way less important - if they were Sampras might have more. In this day and age, Nadal or no Nadal, people expect a player to be in the semis/final every single event and winning slams all the time. Sampras breaking the 12 slam mark was actually a big factor in record breaking becoming such a huge issue. I also see Federer as less willing to let go of his tennis world.
And prior to Nadal getting injured he was only winning RG, having failed to take care of Djokovic at the other 3 slams. He would have a chance to overtake Federer but would likely need to win slams apart from RG again which wasn't a given at all. You can use all the injury excuses but the big thing that stopped Nadal was Djokovic (without him Nadal would pass Federer with little doubt) and that AO match with him is probably what caused his latest problem.