Andre Agassi says In His Prime on grass sampras Would Beat Federer

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, I'm occasionally harsh on him, mostly just to wash out the hype. I'd say we need to fully understand the effects of homogenization before we can accurately rank him, Nadal, and Djokovic. I think Fed's legacy is the most affected because while all three have been inflated due to homogenization, the other two have something truly extraordinary going for them - Nadal obvious clayGOAT, Novak mental monster and beater of Nadal and Fed - but Fed's reputation is built entirely on ridiculous achievements most of which he accomplished in the absence of the other two. We need some perspective on the effects of homogenization in order to rank these achievements in a more fair way alongside the other GOATs of the game.
I agree that there is way too much hype that started from the tennis establishment and worked its way through the media. On to the main point, they all benefited from homogenization and I do think Djokodal had it tougher overall. However, I do think people are too harsh on Federer's era though in some ways. You do make a good point about his legacy built on achievements, and having more than the other two, but the fact that they beat him so often in big matches will change things if they catch him.
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
You are ridiculously butthurt in about every comment. Federer was one point away from winning the title on that slow court though wasn't he so the speed of it has no bearing on why that match didn't go his way. Also, your bias is shining through in saying Djokovic is only winning on grass because it is slower than Becker and Edberg. Anyone could make the same argument in regards to Federer since all his titles came on the slower 100% rye surface. Djokovic won 5 Wimbledons because he is good on the surface and your crying about it won't erase that fact or his titles.
You tell him mate! :giggle:
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
Halle plays faster and he dominated there. His prime game is perfect for BO5 at slick grass Wimbledon. Who’s gonna stop him? Roddick? Clay counter nadal? Djokovic who he has mostly owned on faster surfaces? (Dubai, Cincy, Shanghai)
Have you seen some of the fields at Halle? lol

I think we can safely say that Roddick wouldn't stop him but yeah, a Nadal or Djokovic at their best would definately be hot favourites alongside Fed for the titles. Plus Anderson, only if he loses the first two sets and is down match point though.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
Right. The thing about this types of debates is whether we put current players back in time and assume how they would do with their current style then or whether we put them back in time as teenagers and see how they would adapt to the circumstences over time, when they played tennis then (same question for older players if they were put in the current era).




From a current point of view yes, they would but I highly doubt that, if they had been born in say 1970. The way spanish players were trained in the 80s and 90s would suggest that Nadal would have become a player similar to the styles of the Sanchez family, Moya, Costa, Bruguera and Berasategui. The way tennis changed after 2000 to a physically stronger baseline game, benefitted Nadal more than it would have in the 90s. Assuming Djokovic would have been a baseliner as well, I don't see him being much successful in Wimbledon either, unless he pulls off something similar to Agassi but that would still be a one time only thing.
I see your point but it is all kind of hypothetical right? Nadal, Djokovic and Federer are all clearly top class athletes and have showed a willingness to adapt their game to get to and / or stay at the top. For this reason I would have them finding their way to the top in any era.
 

ForehandRF

Professional
It was slowed down in 2001, and Fed still needed 5 sets to squeak it out :)
I would say that it was slowed down in 2002 and that helped a baseliner to win it.

He needed 5 sets it's true, but Fed was yet to reach his full potential and Pete was an old fox, 7 times champion there :)
 

Thetouch

Semi-Pro
I would say that it was slowed down in 2002 and that helped a baseliner to win it.

He needed 5 sets it's true, but Fed was yet to reach his full potential and Pete was an old fox, 7 times champion there :)
It is said it was slowed down in 2001 and sometimes there have been posted articles here suggesting it did happen even in 2000 but I guess 2001 would be true then. The problem with Federer beating Sampras and therefore appearing as the better player on grass doesn't make sense at all because he didn't go on to win the title anyway.
John McEnore got dethorened by Becker in 1985 not Curren, who beat McEnroe for that matter. So in reality Sampras got dethroned by Ivanisevic, not Federer in 2001.
Roger lost to Henman the next round instead, a guy Sampras had already beaten like 3 times in Wimbledon before and then Tim lost to Goran, who Sampras had beaten multiple times as well, so it doesn't really add up to the story, considering that Federer also had some 1st round losses in 1999 and 2000 (on faster grass) and even lost early in the next Wimbledon year (even on slower grass). So Federer went into the match against Sampras like the total underdog with barely 1 career title at his back, so he was relaxed and without any pressure facing the 7 time defending champion. It's a different story when you are like 20 and a nobody facing the biggest WB champion in 2001 and when you are a 4 or 5 time WB champion yourself and face a clay player like Nadal in 2007 and 2008 who took him to two 5 set matches because then he really felt the pressure on his back.
 
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JasonZ

Semi-Pro
I would say that it was slowed down in 2002 and that helped a baseliner to win it.

He needed 5 sets it's true, but Fed was yet to reach his full potential and Pete was an old fox, 7 times champion there :)
The grass field in 2002 was bad, thats a reason baseliners did well. And Hewitt was great on grass.

But Sampras was over the hill, Ivanisevic didnt play, Rafter retired.
 

mxmx

Professional
On fast (real) grass I agree. I think we underestimate how a lack of depth has contributed to 3 ATG's having their slam counts inflated, or do people think it a mere coincidence that the 3 highest slam counts have occurred in the same decade?
Yes. Something that keeps being swept under the carpet, mostly by the Atp who has to make this era better (to make money) as well as by people who did not even watch tennis in the 90's.
 
Yes. Something that keeps being swept under the carpet, mostly by the Atp who has to make this era better (to make money) as well as by people who did not even watch tennis in the 90's.
@BorgTheGOAT mentioned something more important. Homogenization of surface & in fact the game in general. How anyone can say tennis is better now is beyond me. Oh, and in before the strawman of 90's & big servers comes in !
 

mxmx

Professional
@BorgTheGOAT mentioned something more important. Homogenization of surface & in fact the game in general. How anyone can say tennis is better now is beyond me. Oh, and in before the strawman of 90's & big servers comes in !
It's a pity that someone as good as Federer has to have his career partially to thank to the above. He would probably have broken most records in another era anyways, but not as much. I just don't think the big 3 are instantly so much more superior to previous atg's.
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
To keep a winning streak is always tough. In other sports like soccer it's very tough for even the best teams to win a champions league or world cup twice in a row. A soccer team can afford to lose a few players to injury. A tennis player has to be perfect right until the end. Extreme odds against them.
Interesting! So what were the pre-match odds? I'm sure they favoured the 19 year old since winning as defending champion is so, so tough.
 

xFedal

Legend
I'm not buying Pete's claim. A green 19 year old Fed already beat 29 year old Pete on the old Wimbledon grass. Pete couldn't even beat that version of Fed. Now granted, Pete was slightly past his prime at age 29. But this version of Fed wasn't anywhere close to his best. The biggest difference between the two that I see was Fed's return of serve. Fed at his peak was incredible at returning serves on fast surfaces. And Pete reached 136 mph in that 2001 Wimbledon match. The announcers were amazed at Fed's ability to return serves. As great as Pete was on grass, he was no Sampras, IMHO. Also, Fed owns the longest winning streak on grass at 65 in a row. The next best is 41 by Borg, followed by 23 by Mac and Sampras. 65 wins in a row is massive. It took a peak performance by a future 17 slam champion to end this streak in 5 tough sets.

Of course the older guys are going to say how their generation was the best. Making statements like that only props Agassi up.

I'd be curious to see what guys like Hewitt, Safin, and Roddick would say Agassi's claim.
PETE WAS WAY PAST IT BY THE TIME HE PLAYED FED..... 2000 WAS THE LAST YEAR WIMBLEDON GRASS PLAYED FAST.... IT WAS SLOWED DOWN IN 2001. Fed never did great on fast WIMBLEDON OF PRE 2000
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
PETE WAS WAY PAST IT BY THE TIME HE PLAYED FED..... 2000 WAS THE LAST YEAR WIMBLEDON GRASS PLAYED FAST.... IT WAS SLOWED DOWN IN 2001. Fed never did great on fast WIMBLEDON OF PRE 2000
Nah. He was on a 4 consecutive Wimby run, until he ran into baby Federer.
 

TennisLBC

Professional
Nah. He was on a 4 consecutive Wimby run, until he ran into baby Federer.
Cool. I thought I was the only one not buying into the myth of Baby Fed was engaged in Elder Abuse. That Pete was just a shadow of his former self, and anyone holding a racquet was going to beat Sampras that day.
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
6 time defending wimbledon champ not in form :-D:-D:-D:-D

Sampras actually choked in that match, he dumped his overhead and missed two easy volleys to get broke in the last game
 

JimJones

Rookie
Sampras was prime in 2001. He was defending champion after all and was still capable of winning a slam as proven in 2002.
 

JimJones

Rookie
Just as Federer was in 2008 and got beaten by a clay specialist in the final at Wimbledon :)
I agree, Federer was prime in 2008 and Nadal the third best player of this era with 18 slams beat him! Albeit the worst season of his prime, but prime nonetheless!

As was Nadal prime or even peak in 2009 when he got beaten by a journeyman with ZERO Slams at the FO :).
 

hipolymer

Hall of Fame
Agassi had the privilege of playing both peak Sampras and peak Fed.
Agassi also hated Sampras's game and personality, while he has no qualms with Fed, so there is no ulterior motive here to sully Fed, and every reason to believe what he says
But sure, let's just believe the opinions of tennis fanboys and keyboard warriors instead
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
I agree, Federer was prime in 2008 and Nadal the third best player of this era with 18 slams beat him! Albeit the worst season of his prime, but prime nonetheless!

As was Nadal prime or even peak in 2009 when he got beaten by a journeyman with ZERO Slams at the FO :).
Agreed and that's exactly my point. These arguments do nothing to prove in any way that Federer was better than Sampras. These are just pointless arguments.
 

JimJones

Rookie
Agreed and that's exactly my point. These arguments do nothing to prove in any way that Federer was better than Sampras. These are just pointless arguments.
Federer is better than Sampras because he has 6 more slams than him. That is the only data available. Otherwise you could argue Goffin is better than Sampras.
 

SaintPetros

Professional
I agree, Federer was prime in 2008 and Nadal the third best player of this era with 18 slams beat him! Albeit the worst season of his prime, but prime nonetheless!

As was Nadal prime or even peak in 2009 when he got beaten by a journeyman with ZERO Slams at the FO :).
And Pete lost to a 20 time slam champ and future 8 timer at Wimbers. Albeit the worst season of his career, but during his career nonetheless!
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
Federer is better than Sampras because he has 6 more slams than him. That is the only data available. Otherwise you could argue Goffin is better than Sampras.
Sure and Roy Emerson is better than Rod Laver because he has more slams than him :sneaky:
 

ForehandRF

Professional
That's right, brother.
Nadal was so much superiour from the mental point of view at that moment and it's amazing that Federer still found a way to comeback in that match.The FO gave Nadal Wimbledon that year, if you understand what I mean.
 

xFedal

Legend
Federer was better and also a bad matchup for Pete. Serve bots match up badly with Roger because Roger himself holds his serve so easily and at his peak was a pretty good returner (not Djokovic good but around 05-06 he was in the top 10 set in games won percentage). Federer thus basically was a serve bot plus who could serve as well as a serve bot but also return decently.

Because of this Federer could really relax against serve bots. He would just hold his serve and patiently wait for his chance to break or if that doesn't work mini break in the tiebreak.

Federer has problems with guys who get his serve back and have the ability to pressure him from the baseline but against serve bots he has a really easy day.

Just look how Federer at his peak (or now) did against Ivo, he barely lost a set and always won like 7:6, 6:4 or so.

Now Sampras was not just a serve bot but while he had a good forehand still all of the rest of his game (FH and especially backhand and ROS) was weaker than fed, even at the net they were comparable.

Against Agassi it was the other way round for Pete. Because Agassi couldn't read his serve he had little stress on his own serve and could patiently wait for his chance as ROS where he wasn't consistently good but occasionally could string together a few strong ones.
Petes return of serve has been very good....1994 on hard courts guy reached a peak even Fed cannot touch.... 33.3% return games won on hard courts 1994.... THATS ELITE LEVEL..... unreachable for Fed..... (31.7%)
 
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