A feast for the eyes: Sampras-Becker ATP Finals 1994

#6
One of my favourite highlights of all time.
The 1996 final was arguably a better match, but this has the best highlights.
Favourite Masters court and venue.
My two favourite indoors players.
A volleying and passing shot masterclass.
Brilliant tennis (check out the rallies at 00:35, 01:11, 01:19, 01:51, 02:10, 02:30).

Why come mindlessly to the net when you have hit a weak second serve? You are bound to get passed.
 
#8
The later matches between Agassi and Fed are far more entertaining and fast paced. The shotmaking during the rallies was fantastic. Agassi’s ball striking was magnificent and some of the best the game has ever seen
 
#10
I know becker had a great volley but sampras was an expert at passing. So on weak second serves I think becker should have waited for the right oppurtunity to come at the net. I know its easier said than done.
 
#11
Pffft, primitive tennis. Servebots who gotta run to the net cos they got no groundstrokes.

Modern day baselinebots like Chung and Coric would have a field day against these guys. As would Kyrgios with his 16% career return games won. These guys haven't got his talent.

The game has evolved sooooo much, with a whopping 0 players under 30 holding major titles.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
#13
It's not often you see that style of tennis these days... unfortunately. Good match, though one can clearly see Becker by then, had already lost a step or two.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
#16
Pffft, primitive tennis. Servebots who gotta run to the net cos they got no groundstrokes.

Modern day baselinebots like Chung and Coric would have a field day against these guys. As would Kyrgios with his 16% career return games won. These guys haven't got his talent.

The game has evolved sooooo much, with a whopping 0 players under 30 holding major titles.
People talk about how x player wouldn't win **** in the 90s

So let's talk about how Wawrinka would do in the 90s lol.
 
#20
People talk about how x player wouldn't win **** in the 90s

So let's talk about how Wawrinka would do in the 90s lol.
Stan would win every major in that prehistoric era!!

On a serious note, if he had his peak major years from 1993-1997 (as opposed to 2013-2017) he'd win the 1994 french, 1996 french and possibly the 1994 us open. His game would match up well against Agassi but he'd struggle against serve-volleyers of that era.

On that basis i think he'd focus more on being a clay courter, similar to Kuerten.
 
#23
Stan would win every major in that prehistoric era!!

On a serious note, if he had his peak major years from 1993-1997 (as opposed to 2013-2017) he'd win the 1994 french, 1996 french and possibly the 1994 us open. His game would match up well against Agassi but he'd struggle against serve-volleyers of that era.

On that basis i think he'd focus more on being a clay courter, similar to Kuerten.
Why not the 1995 french? Peak Muster is no match to peak Wawrinka
 
#24
Sampras' incredible running forehand passes placed with pinpoint precision, Becker's diving volleys landing just over the net. So much amazing shot making in these 4 min highlights. The point I liked most was Becker's sneaky approach at 2:40 after pulling Sampras way wide with a crosscourt backhand. By the time Sampras could get to it, Becker had crowded the net!
 
#27
One of my favourite highlights of all time.
The 1996 final was arguably a better match, but this has the best highlights.
Favourite Masters court and venue.
My two favourite indoors players.
A volleying and passing shot masterclass.
Brilliant tennis (check out the rallies at 00:35, 01:11, 01:19, 01:51, 02:10, 02:30).

Everything about this match is perfect. Right down to the fact that there is no doubles court and Pete's wearing the GOAT understated 90s Nike kit. It goes without saying that the level of play is unquestionably brilliant.

Pete's playing style on fast hardcourt. It really holds up for entertainment value on repeated viewings.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
#34
It's not often you see that style of tennis these days... unfortunately.
There's no one on tour who could possibly play this style because they all lack the skills. At 38. not even Fed could attack relentlessly on carpet, his reflexes and hand-eye coordination have degraded from 2003-2007.
 
#36
Um... Becker and Pete both had superlative second serves. Sampras' second serve at Wimbledon 2000 and 2001 averaged 122 MPH. He hit many 130 MPH second serves.
His average was not that high. It was over a 100 mph if I recall correctly but nowhere near that. His first serve average was maybe but even most times it was in the 116 or 117 range. Sampras had a GOAT serve but his serve was excellent because of his placement and how he could serve big under pressure. He wasn't one to beat you with pace like a Raonic or Roddick would.
 
#37
Maybe now you won't post again the single most cringe worthy thing ever posted here: "Sampras had to rush the net because he had no groundstrokes.";) Sampras' FH was better by far than anyone currently playing by FAR.
Another exaggeration is that last line. His forehand was a superlative shot but I know a few guys playing today who could trade forehands with him. Saying his forehand is better than anyone playing today by far is a big stretch. His running forehand is yes but not as a standalone shot.
 
#38
Another exaggeration is that last line. His forehand was a superlative shot but I know a few guys playing today who could trade forehands with him. Saying his forehand is better than anyone playing today by far is a big stretch. His running forehand is yes but not as a standalone shot.
It's a tie with Nadal.

 
#39
It's a tie with Nadal.

Sampras is #1 in that category for me. Even in that video above he hit 3 great running forehands that overshadow the ones in the video you posted. Nadal would be next in line though if I had to pick someone. Sampras was just incredibly explosive on that shot.
 
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#40
Maybe now you won't post again the single most cringe worthy thing ever posted here: "Sampras had to rush the net because he had no groundstrokes.";) Sampras' FH was better by far than anyone currently playing by FAR.
Speaking of movement, one thing you could only ever remember about Sampras from having watched the live telecasts (or, of course, live in the stadium) and not off H/Ls on youtube, is how he used to run hard towards the net without ever losing his footing and make low forehand volleys. I would call it running forehand volley for lack of a better term. I make this claim because when I see the H/Ls, I never seem to find this particular stroke but I distinctly remember watching it back then, and on multiple occasions.

He was somehow able to retain his balance, as if magically freezing motion, and do something you're told you cannot do, that is, to attempt to hit volleys without coming to a standstill. But he did it many times. There is an instance, which I mentioned above, of Becker hitting such a volley but Sampras would be virtually sprinting and still make those volleys. One of the most incredible athletes the game has seen and from the 90s, there was nobody like him, not that I can recall. Monfils has the agility and flexibility but totally lacks the intensity that propelled Sampras to actually put his athleticism to use in an aggressive way. Nadal too is a phenomenal athlete but, again, prefers the safety of the back court. Dustin Brown probably plays the most like him but imagine Brown with non-wacky and super reliable groundies and a hyper focused mentality super obsessed with winning and THEN you have got somewhere near the essence of Sampras.
 
#41
Another exaggeration is that last line. His forehand was a superlative shot but I know a few guys playing today who could trade forehands with him. Saying his forehand is better than anyone playing today by far is a big stretch. His running forehand is yes but not as a standalone shot.
Agreed. Numero uno on the running forehand but not forehand per se. Actually, on slow/medium paced courts, Agassi and Courier struck better forehands than him just from his own era. But once Sampras was given pace to work with, he was unstoppable.
 
#42
Agreed. Numero uno on the running forehand but not forehand per se. Actually, on slow/medium paced courts, Agassi and Courier struck better forehands than him just from his own era. But once Sampras was given pace to work with, he was unstoppable.
He was one of those players whose forehand got more lethal when you tried to move him. It was like sudden death. Agassi learned the hard way. Yea he was great at using your pace against you and I agree about Courier and Agassi hitting better technical forehands on average but the explosiveness of Sampras took him to another level where it didn't even matter.
 
#44
He was one of those players whose forehand got more lethal when you tried to move him. It was like sudden death. Agassi learned the hard way. Yea he was great at using your pace against you and I agree about Courier and Agassi hitting better technical forehands on average but the explosiveness of Sampras took him to another level where it didn't even matter.
Exactly. I think the additional width maybe let him free his arms in a way that his stock Lendl-ish forehand could not achieve. If I can find it, I will post it but there's a clip of Kafelnikov hitting a hard forehand cross court return off Sampras indoors and Sampras just flies across and somehow smacks a stone cold DTL winner. I had to rewatch that a few times because I was like dafug did I see.

Edit: Got it soon enough. At 10:38 here:

 
#45
Exactly. I think the additional width maybe let him free his arms in a way that his stock Lendl-ish forehand could not achieve. If I can find it, I will post it but there's a clip of Kafelnikov hitting a hard forehand cross court return off Sampras indoors and Sampras just flies across and somehow smacks a stone cold DTL winner. I had to rewatch that a few times because I was like dafug did I see.

Edit: Got it soon enough. At 10:38 here:

Amazing and that's not even the best one I've seen him hit. I know you had to have seen the one where he flies all the way across the baseline from the other side of the court, and hits one down the line like that. That's the best banana forehand I have ever seen. I think it was against Agassi and it was on a blue hardcourt I believe. But yea he was better on the stretch on that side than if he's just standing there in the center.
 
#46
Everything about this match is perfect. Right down to the fact that there is no doubles court and Pete's wearing the GOAT understated 90s Nike kit. It goes without saying that the level of play is unquestionably brilliant.

Pete's playing style on fast hardcourt. It really holds up for entertainment value on repeated viewings.
I know it was indoors, and it was Becker & Pete's style, but its amazing how often the points were won at the net. Such a sharp contrast to today. Made for a lot of exciting points.
 
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