Originally Posted by BeHappy
...The competition on grass and hard courts was far higher back then.
And of course on clay he was up against Muster, Courier, Medvedev, Agassi, Chang, Brugera, etc. The golden age of clay...
That's a pretty conveniently framed version of how it was. You could argue that, since Nadal has as many French Opens as those guys combined and his career fell right in Federer's prime that Sampras was the one who had the easier clay era... I mean, if tons of guys can win it once or twice only is that an indication of high competition or that the players were too flakey to dominate? I say it's the later.
As for grass?? Sampras having far higher competition? Whatever. Becker and Edberg were a spent force on grass by the time Sampras got the ball rolling at Wimbledon and from there he had Ivanisevic, Agassi, Krajicek, Martin, Courier, Pioline etc to contend with... the majority of whom go down in the tennis record books as one-hit wonders, if that even in the case of Martin and Pioline. To say this was "far higher" competition than what Federer faced is well framed indeed. So, was it such that Sampras had cakewalk draws on grass year after year.... or was he just that
good on grass that he made it look so?... does the same apply for Federer or do you chose another metric to measure him by when it doesn't pan out?
Also, you say Sampras had a better dominant run at Wimbledon, having won it 7 times in 8 years... Again, how conveniently framed for him. Actually
, viewed a different way it is Federer had the most dominant run - he won 5 in a row as one point. Sampras only ever managed 4. Amusing that you looked at Sampras' 7 in 8 years and ignore that he lost in 92 and 91 when he was already a grand slam champion, and then in 2001 long before he won his final major.