Originally Posted by Feather
Pete had one advantage. He had a fast Wimbledon and fast US Open. The slowing down of surfaces happened after his time. When he was in his late 20s he could serve his way to US Open finals. Federer didn't have that luxury. If US Open was as fast in the 90s, I don't think Djokovic would have beaten Federer in 2010 and 2011. Both time he had double match points each. It was so closely fought despite Roger not in his prime..
I don't think Roger would have lost to Nadal in Wimbledon 2008, had it been the old grass. May be he could have lost to Roddick in Wimbledon 2009, had the grass been fast.
The slowing down of courts have hurt Federer the most and it benefitted his closest rivals Djokovic and Nadal a lot..
This kind of analysis is flawed because you are taking Sampras' already developed game and trying to fit it based on surfaces. I think it should be the other way around. If you read Sampras' book, you will see that when he was around 14, his "coach" Pete Fischer prompted him to switch to a 1HBH and develop a S/V game because, to paraphrase Sampras/Fischer, "If you want to win Wim, you have to have a good S/V game with 1HBH, and no baseliner with a 2HBH had won Wim since Connors in 1982".
IOW, given Wim's importance as the premier tournament in tennis (and you will see that Sampras has mentioned numerous times that, for him at least and probably most others, Wim is the most imp. tournament in the sport), it's not far-fetched to think that Sampras moulded his game to try and win Wim. It's reasonable to assume that if Wim were on some other surface, Sampras would've tried to shape his game accordingly.
*** I will not claim that he would've had the same success had that been the case, but he would've worked to build a game to succeed at Wim, regardless.***
I think Fed would've lost to Nadal anywhere in a slam after the FO 2008 F. Because Fed has mental issues with Nadal. Same goes for the USO 2010/2011 losses to Djok. FWIW, in both the USO matches, Fed was in a position to win but choked.