Comparing Federer and Sampras

mike danny

Bionic Poster
How do you know that Fed's passing shot is better than Sampras when Fed never had to contend with the beet volleyers in history. Sampras ruled in an era of serve and volleyers. He's more than capable of producing great passing shots. Federer on the other hand, never has a chance to compete with the best volleyers in tennis, thus it is delusional at best to call Fed's passing shots being better than Sampras'.
Ok then how do you know Sampras's serve is the best in history if he didn't have to contend with the best returners?
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
...1. it does not consider that federer went in deeper clearly more than sampras did , consistently
Additionally, it doesn't compare like for like time periods. In 91 Sampras as already a slam winner and top 5. In 2001 Federer was miles away from being the player he would turn into from 2003 onwards. Using 2003-2011 for Fed would alter the stats for sure.
 

fed_rulz

Hall of Fame
How do you know that Fed's passing shot is better than Sampras when Fed never had to contend with the beet volleyers in history. Sampras ruled in an era of serve and volleyers. He's more than capable of producing great passing shots. Federer on the other hand, never has a chance to compete with the best volleyers in tennis, thus it is delusional at best to call Fed's passing shots being better than Sampras'.

Are you claiming that Federer's passing shots are not as good as Pete's?
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Agassi IS the best returner in history. Djokovic is good, but his return shot alone does not compare to Agassi.

Stating something with bold letter as TRUTH, doesn't make it true.

You have to demonstrate that Agassi is best returner in history.

What is your data to support this claim?
 
Ahem - nice try.
Since you seem to have the stats handy, please provide number of matches across which you compute the %. Obviously, the deeper you go into tournaments, the less success you can expect in breaking serve. Also include the metric "avg matches won per tournament". A better metric would be return points won, instead of return games won (Fed sucks at bp conversion - not really reflective of his return ability).


in all examples the first number represents 91-99 period for sampras and 01-09 period for federer, and the second number 93-99 for sampras and 03-09 for federer

1) the number of matches

sampras 347, 289
federer 413, 353

increase of 19%, 22.1%

2) the number of tournaments played

sampras 83, 68
federer 108, 86

increase of 30.1%, 26.5%

hard courts replaced carpet, which was main surface back then in the post US Open period, plus it was common in the period after AO and before Indian Wells. increases we see here reflect that.
increase of tournaments played in both examples is also bigger than increase in played matches.


3) average matches won per tournament

sampras
295 matches in 83 events = 3.55
248 matches in 68 events = 3.65

federer
353 matches in 108 events = 3.27
304 matches in 86 events = 3.53


sampras ahead in both comparations. i double checked it, it's true.


4) bp conversion

sampras
43%, 43.6%

federer
41.4%, 41.6%


well, if federer sucks on bps, sampras wasn't much better in a given periods.
return points won is a mess on ATP site for all 90s players, so we cannot compare.



so, let's see what we have

-your evaluation of their skills which are the most important to accomplish the break

-sampras played on a surface which was faster compared to federer's time

-sampras wins more matches per tournament in both comparations

-sampras trails very little in return games won in both comparations, much, much less than expected

-he even wins year by year comparation in both comparations

-higher best performance

-those statistics are all from huge periods of time, not a few tournaments, or a few months. both examples contain their best and most productive periods.


again, i ask how is all that possible?
 

fed_rulz

Hall of Fame
in all examples the first number represents 91-99 period for sampras and 01-09 period for federer, and the second number 93-99 for sampras and 03-09 for federer

1) the number of matches

sampras 347, 289
federer 413, 353

increase of 19%, 22.1%

2) the number of tournaments played

sampras 83, 68
federer 108, 86

increase of 30.1%, 26.5%

hard courts replaced carpet, which was main surface back then in the post US Open period, plus it was common in the period after AO and before Indian Wells. increases we see here reflect that.
increase of tournaments played in both examples is also bigger than increase in played matches.


3) average matches won per tournament

sampras
295 matches in 83 events = 3.55
248 matches in 68 events = 3.65

federer
353 matches in 108 events = 3.27
304 matches in 86 events = 3.53


sampras ahead in both comparations. i double checked it, it's true.


4) bp conversion

sampras
43%, 43.6%

federer
41.4%, 41.6%


well, if federer sucks on bps, sampras wasn't much better in a given periods.
return points won is a mess on ATP site for all 90s players, so we cannot compare.



so, let's see what we have

-your evaluation of their skills which are the most important to accomplish the break

-sampras played on a surface which was faster compared to federer's time

-sampras wins more matches per tournament in both comparations

-sampras trails very little in return games won in both comparations, much, much less than expected

-he even wins year by year comparation in both comparations

-higher best performance

-those statistics are all from huge periods of time, not a few tournaments, or a few months. both examples contain their best and most productive periods.


again, i ask how is all that possible?

First of all, thank you for all the effort you've put in. good stats.

- Your stats show that Federer and Pete are equally effective in breaking serve, despite Federer creating more opportunities to break. While the quality of one's serve can be judged by the ace count, the quality of return cannot be ascertained from the break %.

Case in point: As Pete fans love to point out, Pete focused all of his energy in getting the one break per set - he'd win very few return points in the set, but manage to win 4 return points in a single game late in the set to earn a break; Federer could've won double the return points in the set, yet end up with only one break. It's hard to make a case for Pete being equally capable in this case (he's equally effective though); he surely is more opportunistic, and that is well-known. I'd argue that even return points won isn't accurate - may be points won within one shot after returning serve is the RoS equivalent to an ace.


- I'd assume Federer won more HC titles and went deeper in more HC tournaments than Pete (or is that debatable?)- however, the avg matches per tournament metric does not seem to reflect that. May be you can categorize it by Slams/WTF/Masters/MM tournaments?

- I did make any claims about qualities required to break - you did; I merely gave my rating to the qualities you asked for. There is also the quality of the serve, which is a very big factor. I do believe the quality of servers and returners has overall improved in Federer's era, compared to Pete's.

In short, I'm not clear on what you're trying to prove? That Sampras is not a mediocre returner? Or is Federer just as mediocre or worse? As I said before, he's as effective as Federer in breaking serve; just not as good in returning.
 
First of all, thank you for all the effort you've put in. good stats.

- Your stats show that Federer and Pete are equally effective in breaking serve, despite Federer creating more opportunities to break. While the quality of one's serve can be judged by the ace count, the quality of return cannot be ascertained from the break %.

Case in point: As Pete fans love to point out, Pete focused all of his energy in getting the one break per set - he'd win very few return points in the set, but manage to win 4 return points in a single game late in the set to earn a break; Federer could've won double the return points in the set, yet end up with only one break. It's hard to make a case for Pete being equally capable in this case (he's equally effective though); he surely is more opportunistic, and that is well-known. I'd argue that even return points won isn't accurate - may be points won within one shot after returning serve is the RoS equivalent to an ace.


thanks for the bolded. as for your other points, you could be right (although i doubt that fed was winning double the amount of return points) but without the accurate stats from the 90s it's still guessing. but i like this definition - equally effective but not equally capable. i could go with that.

- I'd assume Federer won more HC titles and went deeper in more HC tournaments than Pete (or is that debatable?)- however, the avg matches per tournament metric does not seem to reflect that. May be you can categorize it by Slams/WTF/Masters/MM tournaments?

oh man, i'm sick as hell right now - i can only give you the no. of hc tournies they won in these periods. federer won 39 of 108 and 37 of 86, and sampras 33 of 83 and 29 of 68.



In short, I'm not clear on what you're trying to prove? That Sampras is not a mediocre returner? Or is Federer just as mediocre or worse? As I said before, he's as effective as Federer in breaking serve; just not as good in returning.


this.

thanks for your responses. i hope i wasn't too boring with long posts.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Big Match Wins between Federer and Sampras

Most Match Wins at the Grand Slam

Australian Open:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 45

French Open:
Federer - 61
Sampras - 24

Wimbledon:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 63

US Open:
Federer - 72
Sampras - 71



Most Match Wins against the Top 10
Federer - 177
Sampras - 124
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Most Match Wins at the Grand Slam

Australian Open:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 45

French Open:
Federer - 61
Sampras - 24

Wimbledon:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 63

US Open:
Federer - 72
Sampras - 71



Most Match Wins against the Top 10
Federer - 177
Sampras - 124

Wow that is huge gap at AO/FO. Sampras is equal with Fed at fast surfaces. But on slower surfaces is when Fed is light years ahead.
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
Most Match Wins at the Grand Slam

Australian Open:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 45

French Open:
Federer - 61
Sampras - 24

Wimbledon:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 63

US Open:
Federer - 72
Sampras - 71



Most Match Wins against the Top 10
Federer - 177
Sampras - 124
If match wins really matter, Connors would be GOAT. Match wins do not tell how many titles you win.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Wow that is huge gap at AO/FO. Sampras is equal with Fed at fast surfaces. But on slower surfaces is when Fed is light years ahead.

The numbers also say Federer is well balance across all surfaces thus more complete/all-around player.



Oh shucks...I forgot the total match wins for the WTF.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
If match wins really matter, Connors would be GOAT. Match wins do not tell how many titles you win.

Federer has overall more match wins at the 4 grand slams combined than Connors.

Federer with 17 slams, 25 finals, and 36 semifinals. These numbers reflect all of his wins at the slams. It's an incredible feat whether you like it or not !
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
Federer has overall more match wins at the 4 grand slams combined than Connors.

Federer with 17 slams, 25 finals, and 36 semifinals. These numbers reflect all of his wins at the slams. It's an incredible feat whether you like it or not !

Connors skipped AO for most of his life and he also skipped many RG even in his prime years. You know this, but you choose to ignore it because it makes Federer look bad. :oops:
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Connors skipped AO for most of his life and he also skipped many RG even in his prime years. You know this, but you choose to ignore it because it makes Federer look bad. :oops:

But there's no proof that Connors would have won as much as Federer if he chose to play.

Federer's most slam match wins reflects other stats where he's the record holders....most slams, most semifinals, most quarterfinals, most wins against the top ten.
 

Revenant

Banned
Most Match Wins at the Grand Slam

Australian Open:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 45

French Open:
Federer - 61
Sampras - 24

Wimbledon:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 63

US Open:
Federer - 72
Sampras - 71



Most Match Wins against the Top 10
Federer - 177
Sampras - 124

The numbers don't add up for Federer. 73+61+73+72 should be more than 177.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
But there's no proof that Connors would have won as much as Federer if he chose to play.

Federer's most slam match wins reflects other stats where he's the record holders....most slams, most semifinals, most quarterfinals, most wins against the top ten.

I don't know why people are so upset with Fed being the goat. I mean, we don't get this in other sports.

What do you think makes tennis so different? Why can't people accept it?

Is it because this is American forum and Americans dominated right before Fed came?
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
I don't know why people are so upset with Fed being the goat. I mean, we don't get this in other sports.

What do you think makes tennis so different? Why can't people accept it?

Is it because this is American forum and Americans dominated right before Fed came?

Why should I or anyone hate Federer? It's just that he is not the GOAT. Fed fans are the ones calling him GOAT when he really is not.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Why should I or anyone hate Federer? It's just that he is not the GOAT. Fed fans are the ones calling him GOAT when he really is not.

I didn't say hate. But for some reason you don't like Federer, so you say he is not the goat, when he clearly is.

I just want to know the reasons why you say he ins't the goat when you know he is.

It's like me saying Sampras only won 3 W titles when he won 7. I would never do that, so why do you say bad things about Federer, like him not being the goat.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Has Federer crossed Sampras in pretty much everything ?

Almost. Pete still has USO though and 6 years ending nr.1. And those are consecutive, so I think this is quite an impressive stat.

But, yeah Fed surpassed him in 99% of things.

Although some people will make weak era excuses to try to inflate Sampras, but this has been proven wrong countless of times.

You can argue strong/weak eras for anyone. Sampras fans argue weak era bla, bla, bla, so Fed has only 12 majors.

Fed fans argue that Sampras was in weak era, so Fed really has 21 majors. Something like that.

But reality is that Fed surpassed him in pretty much everything.
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
Almost. Pete still has USO though and 6 years ending nr.1. And those are consecutive, so I think this is quite an impressive stat.

But, yeah Fed surpassed him in 99% of things.

Although some people will make weak era excuses to try to inflate Sampras, but this has been proven wrong countless of times.

You can argue strong/weak eras for anyone. Sampras fans argue weak era bla, bla, bla, so Fed has only 12 majors.

Fed fans argue that Sampras was in weak era, so Fed really has 21 majors. Something like that.

But reality is that Fed surpassed him in pretty much everything.

Sampras still has the h2h against Rafter...
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
I made a mistake not reading that it was wins against top 10 players. Why the insults?

Yeah, they lost the argument, so they need to resort to ad hominem and weak era fallacies :).

The fact that we want Fed to surpass Sampras is irrelevant. It's still the truth.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't know why people are so upset with Fed being the goat. I mean, we don't get this in other sports.

What do you think makes tennis so different? Why can't people accept it?

Is it because this is American forum and Americans dominated right before Fed came?

QFT.

If Federer was an American there wouldn't be much resentment because most of the members in here are American. Sampras is their hero and the fact that currently there's no great American champion on the tour, they get upset over GOAT Federer.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
QFT.

If Federer was an American he wouldn't get so much hate because most of the members in here are American. Sampras is their hero and the fact that currently there's no great American champion on the tour, they get upset over GOAT Federer.

Yeah, maybe this is the case. Because I don't see any legitimate reason why people would deny Fed's records.

You don't see that with other goats.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Comparing Fed and Sampras stopped becoming relevant in 2009.

Based on current achievements, I would put

Sampras + Hewitt + Roddick = Federer.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
I think he's upset at goat Federer but took his anger out on you.

Isnt that what happens every day here ?

If you have a poll on "You would be more happy when"

(a) Nadal wins another major
(b) Federer retires

I am pretty sure several here would choose b.
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
I think he's upset at goat Federer but took his anger out on you.

Why do you believe in goat?

How do you know that Federer with a wooden racket would not have lost to Laver, Gonzalez etc, on a regular basis had he been playing in the late 60's >> 70's?

I think it's ridiculous to compare across completely different eras like this.

How do you know that if Laver was born in 1981 that he wouldn't have dominated 04-07 like Fed did?

We can't know these things so how can you conclusively say he's the greatest of all time? He's definitely achieved the most, but achievements are relative to his era not the previous ones...
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
He also has the h2h over Kafelnikov...

Ok, you crossed the line. I gave you one free shot with Rafter.

You just can't quite while you are ahead. You brought this on yourself:

Federer has h2h over Sampras on grass. And this makes me so happy. I'm lucky that I have chosen a guy to root for who became the goat.

I had no idea at the time, Fed would come close to those stats. So, at least I can be happy in live. I can watch movies without guilt. But you are in stress all the time knowing your guy isn't the goat. So, you can't even enjoy movies.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Why do you believe in goat?

How do you know that Federer with a wooden racket would not have lost to Laver, Gonzalez etc, on a regular basis had he been playing in the late 60's >> 70's?

I think it's ridiculous to compare across completely different eras like this.

How do you know that if Laver was born in 1981 that he wouldn't have dominated 04-07 like Fed did?

We can't know these things so how can you conclusively say he's the greatest of all time? He's definitely achieved the most, but achievements are relative to his era not the previous ones...

GOAT pretty much here implies GOAT in open era.

It is meaningless to compare it with times when it was played with wooden rackets, full pants, 48 player draws and when it was only relevant in 5 countries in the world.

Why does it hurt so much when you hear Fed is the GOAT if you dont believe there is anything called GOAT ?

Why not just give up on Fed fans ? Why retort saying Nadal is the GOAT ?
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Big Match Wins between Federer and Sampras

To make it more clear and avoid the confusion, below is the BIG match wins by Federer and Sampras.


Most Match Wins at the Grand Slam

Australian Open:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 45

French Open:
Federer - 61
Sampras - 24

Wimbledon:
Federer - 73
Sampras - 63

US Open:
Federer - 72
Sampras - 71

TOTAL SLAM MATCH WINS:
Federer - 279
Sampras - 203




Career Match Wins against the Top 10
Federer - 177
Sampras - 124


Hope this help.
:)
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
Well since you have so much free time for movies, tell me what was the most recent movie you watched that you would rate at least a 7/10?

I don't know about jg but imo:



Dallas-Buyers-Club-Feature.jpg



:wink:
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Well since you have so much free time for movies, tell me what was the most recent movie you watched that you would rate at least a 7/10?

First of all, I don't only watch movies. I also eat pizza.

So, what movie out of new ones that is at least decent for me? The last decent movie out of new ones that I watched was Maleficent.

I don't watch a lot of new movies, they mostly aren't good. So, this movie is most recent one I have seen that at least is a 7.

But, the most recent movie that was great to me was Ender's game. But it's rare to find good movies these days. Maybe we have become dumb so they need to dumb them out for us. Or they just ran out of ideas. After so many great movies, it's tough to keep up.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Yeah, Nadal achieved a lot. I feel he overachieved and Federer underachieved a bit. Because they were 16-6 in slams in 2010. Fed was nr.1. So, the consensus was, that the gap will be huge between them. So, yeah, you can be very happy what Rafa did since then, nobody saw it coming.

Hate you for reminding this. :)
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
But, I sometimes wonder if having higher margins can add to mentality. Because in big points Rafa can rely on higher net clearance. Even if he is mentally weak, he won't miss. So, maybe that is just related to style. Or his superior defense. If you have defense it's a bit easier to be tougher, because you don't need to play low margins with defense too.
Just wondering if mentality can also be related to safer style.[/QUOTE]
I think so.

I have always seen huge parallels between Borg and Nadal. Both had their big successes first on clay, then became more complete players later. Both were just about unbeatable on clay. Borg I believe had by far the biggest net clearance in that era, hitting most heavy topspin off both sides. And he was not known for having a great serve although he did strengthen it a lot, especially for Wimbleton.

The really big servers often found long clay matches like kryptonite. I'm thinking of Sampras and McEnroe, and there are others. The guys who don't depend as much on their serves, and who also make it to the top, seem to think they can win any game. They get broken more but break back. It makes it tougher to beat them, more unpredictable.

So I'd say that players who do not entirely depend on their serves and who hit over the net with a high margin have an additional edge in certain situations.

I've always thought that the only way to beat Nadal when he is totally on is to beat him to death with a club. Otherwise he's going to get back up. He shows very little with his face too. Another thing that was true for Borg.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
More big match wins between Federer and Sampras

WTF/Master Cup

Total Titles
Federer - 6
Sampras - 5


Career winning percentage
Federer: 44-11(80%)
Sampras: 35-14(71%)


Year(s) went undefeated
Federer - 5
Sampras - 0

Given out most bagels
Federer - 8
Sampras - 1
 
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TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Federer and Sampras ranking history

Sampras
Total weeks: 286
Consecutive: 102
Age When First Ranked No. 1: 21 years, 8 months
Age When Last Ranked No. 1: 29 years, 3 months
Consecutive years in top 5: 7 years, 10 months

Federer
Total weeks: 302
Consecutive: 237
Age When First Ranked No. 1: 22 years, 5 months
Age When Last Ranked No. 1: 31 years, 3 months
Consecutive years in top 5: 10 years, 6 months
 
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