Originally Posted by tennis_pro
Sampras' such long reign is completely worthless. His 1998 ranking/performances were comparable to Del Potro's in 2009 - and while Sampras finished the year 1st Del Potro was 5th LOL.
He was the flat out best player in 1993, 1994 and 1997. In 1995 Agassi was better but he injured himself at the end of the year and Sampras just barely continued his reign (the difference was like 100 ranking points despite Agassi missing the last 3 months of the season). In 1996 Sampras won only 1 major, lost in one quarter and one semi, won no Masters yet he still comfortably ended the year ranked 1st. It says how weak the tour was.
Federer lost like 20 matches in 2004-2007, his reign was an actual reign, not just being "barely" better than anyone else from his generation like Sampras did. Heck, guys like Moya, Rios, Muster, Rafter could take away the top spot from Sampras while Federer lost his top ranking in August 2008 to a GOATing Nadal.
But he still beat the field whereas Del Potro didn't. I mean, isn't that the argument everytime someone mention's Federer's kryptonite, beating the field?