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

#53
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.
Can't tell you how much I loved both this court and the way Pete dressed in the mid-90's.
It's probably the coolest and most aesthetic period in tennis for me.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
#55
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.
Only not. Give those same guys you think would have gone shot for shot against Petros' forehand an 85sq frame, no poly, and let's see how their forehand looks then.
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
#58
I also recommend Stich-Sampras from the year before.
Stich was always a nightmare for Pete.
Pretty special shot by Michael at 02:42.

Talking about that era and the Master Cup, I'm surprised that a player like Ivanisevic did not play any final in that tournament, and other players like Chang and Courier, who played a couple of them, did.
 
#59
Only not. Give those same guys you think would have gone shot for shot against Petros' forehand an 85sq frame, no poly, and let's see how their forehand looks then.
Well hand eye coordination is mostly innate and there a few guys in this era who are excellent at that, and have great forehands. Racket technology is more advanced though but not so advanced to help less talented players be on par with the better players.
 
#60
I just watched the 2002 US Open final for first time. Compared to 1994-1995 Pete, 2002 Pete had lost a step or two. But damn, his shot-making in that 2002 final against Andre was top level Pete and actually better than his 1994-1995 peak self. He simply overpowered Andre in the baseline rallies. Recommended viewing.

I also enjoy watching fat-and-slow version Pete absolutely demolish Roddick in 2002 US Open quarters. Took the kid to school.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
#61
Well hand eye coordination is mostly innate and there a few guys in this era who are excellent at that. Racket technology is more advanced though but not so advanced to help less talented players be on par with the better players.
The argument isn't that modern players arent extremely good and talented, it's the narrative that given the exact same conditions, modern players would destroy old players. Which is a joke. Heck, send a modern player back in time, and i would love to see how they would do against Bill Tilden given the same gear he was using, same rules and the same surface he was playing on. They would look like fools trying to adapt modern strokes to that situation.
 
#63
Talking about that era and the Master Cup, I'm surprised that a player like Ivanisevic did not play any final in that tournament, and other players like Chang and Courier, who played a couple of them, did.
Also strange how Edberg only won a single title there.
With his game, you would have expected him to win more often.
But then again, there were so many good players that could win it at that time.
 
#64
I just watched the 2002 US Open final for first time. Compared to 1994-1995 Pete, 2002 Pete had lost a step or two. But damn, his shot-making in that 2002 final against Andre was top level Pete and actually better than his 1994-1995 peak self. He simply overpowered Andre in the baseline rallies. Recommended viewing.

I also enjoy watching fat-and-slow version Pete absolutely demolish Roddick in 2002 US Open quarters. Took the kid to school.
One of the most impressive runs to a title I have ever witnessed.
And for a last title, after having been completely written off, it was just perfect.
Swan song.
 
#66
This thread brought a big smile to my face. Pete was the reason i started playing tennis with my friends in the mid 90s. There wasn't a player like him before and there hasn't been anyone like him since he left the scene. I have enjoyed watching the players after him and what they have achieved. But Pete will always occupy the biggest piece of my tennisheart.
 
#67
This thread brought a big smile to my face. Pete was the reason i started playing tennis with my friends in the mid 90s. There wasn't a player like him before and there hasn't been anyone like him since he left the scene. I have enjoyed watching the players after him and what they have achieved. But Pete will always occupy the biggest piece of my tennisheart.
Hear, hear!
 
#68
The argument isn't that modern players arent extremely good and talented, it's the narrative that given the exact same conditions, modern players would destroy old players. Which is a joke. Heck, send a modern player back in time, and i would love to see how they would do against Bill Tilden given the same gear he was using, same rules and the same surface he was playing on. They would look like fools trying to adapt modern strokes to that situation.
I never said anyone would destroy Sampras forehand to forehand. I just said saying his forehand is "by far" better than anyone this era is a serious stretch and it is. His running forehand is the best I have ever seen though which I have said.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
#69
I just watched the 2002 US Open final for first time. Compared to 1994-1995 Pete, 2002 Pete had lost a step or two. But damn, his shot-making in that 2002 final against Andre was top level Pete and actually better than his 1994-1995 peak self. He simply overpowered Andre in the baseline rallies. Recommended viewing.

I also enjoy watching fat-and-slow version Pete absolutely demolish Roddick in 2002 US Open quarters. Took the kid to school.
To be fair Roddick was a bit injured in that match...
 
#71
Agree. Because he won points with so much efficiency, sometimes his athleticism gets overlooked imo.

He showed freakish athletic abilities in terms of vertical leap, footspeed and explosiveness.
Just watched the vid of OP. I love the point where Pete is completely off the court beyond the doubles alley after running to his forehand side to rip a DTL dipper pass, and Boris hits the volley that lands near the service T. Pete recovers quickly and explodes back into the court to hit the bh pass winner.
 
#72
I also recommend Stich-Sampras from the year before.
Stich was always a nightmare for Pete.
Pretty special shot by Michael at 02:42.


Everything Stich is underrated in general because TT looks at slam count before judging the quality of a stroke but especially the backhand. Stich could do everything Sampras did but also hit a better backhand in turn. One of the most underachieving players for the talent he possessed.

Also impressive again is how much time the top players then seemed to have at the net. At 1:47, Stich takes his time to gently scoop up an awkward half volley and ensures it lands short, giving no chance to Sampras to run it down. By being up at the net much more often, they were also more comfortable there than just about anybody playing today. I mean, even the good volleyers of today often look harried up at net, seemingly hoping to somehow make difficult volleys and win the point as opposed to coming in with a clear plan.
 
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