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Old 06-20-2013, 09:03 AM   #3071
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,773

Originally Posted by NonP View Post
As you recall I've already covered Sampras. As for the other guys, Hewitt has admitted on record that he felt the pressure of having to win on his home turf, and before he began his 3-peat Down Under the USO was actually Djoko's more successful HC major. Kafelnikov did do significantly better at the AO, yes.

Even more tellingly, though, I've seen the officlal court speed readings in the '90s actually rate the AO faster than the USO, and IIRC the two had virtually identical %s of service games won as recently as last year. Neither supports the common perception that the USO clearly plays faster than the AO.

I think the real reason why the AO seems to retain this outlier status is its timing and unpredictable conditions. That is, since the event is held shortly after New Year's the top players don't have much time to get into a groove and impose their game right off the bat. Add in the blazing heat, which means fitness and stamina play a bigger role than at the USO. Also it used be be played on Rebound Ace, which reportedly could turn sticky under the sun and produce more uneven bounces (and presumably more upsets) than the current Plexicushion.

As for Djoko vs. Sampras, granted Pete never dominated an AO from start to end like Nole in '08 and '11, but in the two years he won he was zoned in from the SFs. I do think that Pete would be a very tough nut to crack even for peak Djoko. (Of course I'm assuming that there's hardly a big difference in court speed between the two HC majors.)


It's not just the #s in the H2H, but the comprehensive way Pete dominated Agassi that clinches it for me. Also Dre for all his consistency never went on a tear in '99 like Pete did in the summer.

I do think Agassi's FO title is a big plus over Pete that year. But Pete got his big win at the YEC too, against... of course... Agassi himself, in a thorough demolition to boot. In fact Dre in his book talks about how he felt he wasn't the best player in the world after yet another beatdown by his rival. (Of course he came back strong a couple months later at the AO, finally taking out Pete in perhaps his clutchest performance ever.)

If not for the YEC I'd easily name Agassi the sole No. 1 for 1999. But as things stand I think Pete edges it out by a hair, or at least shares the prize with Dre.

I don't think tennis is just a collection of H2Hs myself, and I've commented before on how Fed should be considered the best HC player of 2009 over Murray because Andy failed to deliver when it counted.

Granted the context is different, but the main idea is the same: arguably the best player (Gonzales/Sampras) was barely active outside of a limited time period, but such was his dominance that he deserves consideration for the year-end No. 1 ranking. Again I perfectly understand why one would rank Agassi over Pete for '99, not unlike why Rosewall often gets the top billing over Gonzales for '60.

My tone could've been more pleasant, but I was making a genuine suggestion. You shouldn't object so vehemently to every slight disagreement out there. Not everyone will agree with you all the time.

The proof is in the music. YouTube doesn't seem to have the folk song... but if you do listen you'll see that the main cello theme isn't part of the original. It's a splendid tune, even by Schubert's standards which is saying something.
NonP, Thanks. But I have the right to claim that you underrate Schubert. Every person has his or her opinion. You are not forced to agree.

Listening alone is no proof for your thesis. The accompaniment is hardly a melody or a folk song.

Last edited by BobbyOne; 06-20-2013 at 09:14 AM.
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