Originally Posted by slowfox
If Sampras was developing in the current era, would he have perhaps kept his 2hbh and if so, what kind of difference would that make? I still say Sampras would be a massive beast in this era. Talent is talent.
It's impossible to compare players from different eras based on how much change occurs in so many areas...technology, training, court surfaces, styles of play, etc.
People love saying Pete couldn't win today by simply transposing his game from the '90's to the present. We can just as easily reverse that logic for a guy like Nadal. Nadal wouldn't have won outside of Roland Garros in the '90s.
Pete Sampras would be a nightmare on grass in any era, IMO. Pete had arguably the greatest service game in the history of the sport. That wouldn't change in a different era. It was big, he disguised it well and it was precise, and his second serve was without a doubt the best. That would make him a tough out in any era. Would he have won/win 14 slams in the modern era? No way to know, because Pete Sampras tailored his game for the era he played in and dominated more than anyone else. But, to echo your sentiments, talent is talent. Knowing what he had on serve, and knowing his talent and athleticism, I think he'd have been pretty darn good.
I once saw Agassi say in an interview that great players have the ability to "up" their game, but Pete also had the ability to "drag you down". He said he'd play 6, 7, 8 games of quick points and holds and then suddenly he'd find himself in a long rally at crucial point late in the set and feel like he hadn't hit a backhand in 30 minutes. I thought that was an interesting point and I absolutely believe that was part of Pete's strategy at times, because he was so confident in his serve. One break was all he needed.