Federer v. Sampras Ultimate Historical Match-up?

NonP

Hall of Fame
Pistol, at the majors at any rate. And no, you can't "disagree," because I'm right about everything.

Probably the juiciest matchup of the OE, though, with the only arguable exception of Pistol-Mac or Fred-Mac (depending on whether you prefer power or finesse).

P.S. Is it just moi or does Fred's face in that pic kinda look like Rafa's?
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Pistol, at the majors at any rate. And no, you can't "disagree," because I'm right about everything.

Probably the juiciest matchup of the OE, though, with the only arguable exception of Pistol-Mac or Fred-Mac (depending on whether you prefer power or finesse).

P.S. Is it just moi or does Fred's face in that pic kinda look like Rafa's?
He was hitting an top spin forehand to the opponent's backhand, perhaps that's why :D :D
 

ffw2

Professional
And I mean, I know this is video game land (simulating match-ups w/ greats at their peaks)...

But they're "only" separated by 10 years in age. Matches with this differential take place routinely today.

Would be so, so epic.
 
AO- Fed wins 6 out of 10
Wimb- Pete wins 6 out of 10
French- Fed wins 8 or 9 out of 10
USO- Pete wins 6 or 7 out of 10
Indoors- Pretty much neck and neck 5 a piece

Pretty even rivalry. Would have been fun to watch. Their exos were very fun. I like a more contrasting of styles though so Sampras-Nadal or Sampras-Djokovic would have been better. Fed/Sampras had very similitar elements to their game
 
Last edited:

ffw2

Professional
AO- Fed wins 6 out of 10
Wimb- Pete wins 6 out of 10
French- Fed wins 8 or 9 out of 10
USO- Pete wins 6 or 7 out of 10
Indoors- Pretty much neck and neck 5 a piece

Pretty even rivalry. Would have been fun to watch. They're exos were very fun. I like a more contrasting of styles though so Sampras-Nadal or Sampras-Djokovic would have been better. Fed/Sampras had very similitar elements to their game
How are you arriving at those? All bias removed? :sneaky:

We have less to go on with fast indoors data, so it does hold particular intrigue.
 

ffw2

Professional
Obviously I'm a huge Federerl fan, and always hated Pete. But I'm going with Sampras in this hypothetical.
What'd you hate about him, just out of curiosity?

His views are distasteful to me, but I was blissfully unaware of them back when he played.
 
A unique clash of an unstoppable force with another unstoppable force. Nary an immovable object in sight, which would yield little but shotmaking brilliance.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
What'd you hate about him, just out of curiosity?

His views are distasteful to me, but I was blissfully unaware of them back when he played.
I know Pete has supported Republicans in the past but AFAIK he hasn't exposed himself as a fact-denying Dumpster. If he turns out to be one even I'll have to seriously rethink my fandom.

Just curious. Don’t you have any Argentinian background?
Given my dustups with Vilas fanboys that's rather unlikely, LOL. Why the Q? To my knowledge the only Argie whose creative genius might equal mine is Borges. (As you may recall I'm not a big fan of Piazzolla's tangos for the concert hall.)

A unique clash of an unstoppable force with another unstoppable force. Nary an immovable object in sight, which would yield little but shotmaking brilliance.
It's different kinds of unstoppable with these 2 - Fred's MO is to neutralize your game while Pistol's is to render it irrelevant - but yeah with the only arguable exception of Mac they're the best fast-(outdoor*) court players of the OE.

*Boris is the Indoor KAISER, though I'd still back Pistol for the YEC final.
 
I know Pete has supported Republicans in the past but AFAIK he hasn't exposed himself as a fact-denying Dumpster. If he turns out to be one even I'll have to seriously rethink my fandom.



Given my dustups with Vilas fanboys that's rather unlikely, LOL. Why the Q? To my knowledge the only Argie whose creative genius might equal mine is Borges. (As you may recall I'm not a big fan of Piazzolla's tangos for the concert hall.)



It's different kinds of unstoppable with these 2 - Fred's MO is to neutralize your game while Pistol's is to render it irrelevant - but yeah with the only arguable exception of Mac they're the best fast-(outdoor*) court players of the OE.

*Boris is the Indoor KAISER, though I'd still back Pistol for the YEC final.
I'd take someone like Djokovic as more achetypical of a neutralizer, though I guess this is likely just a case of making a binary set out of a spectrum for simplicity. In reality it's a case of Sampras' MO being a little more about making your game irrelevant than Fed's with Fed throwing in more of the neutralizing plays imo. Fed's blasted too many winners from all sorts of positions for me to think otherwise.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Yeah, I think this would be the number 1 box office attraction for me. Nadal vs Borg is up there etc. Federer and Sampras are the top guns.

Wonder if they'll do hologram matches some day.

Think Tupac's been touring.
Tupac is touring and the de-aging technology means the dream is alive. A hologram powered Sampras and Federer serving aces past each other. Yummy.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
I'd take someone like Djokovic as more achetypical of a neutralizer, though I guess this is likely just a case of making a binary set out of a spectrum for simplicity. In reality it's a case of Sampras' MO being a little more about making your game irrelevant than Fed's with Fed throwing in more of the neutralizing plays imo. Fed's blasted too many winners from all sorts of positions for me to think otherwise.
I actually meant neutralizing in a more offensive sense with a capital O. Novak is more of a counterpuncher, yes, though a damn offensive and complete one in his own right.

Tupac is touring and the de-aging technology means the dream is alive. A hologram powered Sampras and Federer serving aces past each other. Yummy.
Apart from the unseemliness of it all why the hell would anyone wanna take part in such a macabre "celebration"? A big part of live performance is engagement with the audience and all the holograms in the world can't provide that, no matter what the promoters say.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
i have all the respect in the world for pete but i'm gonna go w fed more often than not, just because i think he's gonna get in more return games, simple as that. clay obviously roger has the huge advantage...AO, still an edge w slower court. on anything really fast, for sure a great matchup...but again, law of averages on return games over time, edge to federer.
 

Sunny014

Legend
AO- Fed wins 6 out of 10
Wimb- Pete wins 6 out of 10
French- Fed wins 8 or 9 out of 10
USO- Pete wins 6 or 7 out of 10
Indoors- Pretty much neck and neck 5 a piece

Pretty even rivalry. Would have been fun to watch. Their exos were very fun. I like a more contrasting of styles though so Sampras-Nadal or Sampras-Djokovic would have been better. Fed/Sampras had very similitar elements to their game
On Aus - Federer wins 9 times out of 10, if Pete couldn't beat Agassi at the AO then are you expecting him to beat Roger ?
On FO - Federer wins 10 times out of 10
On W - Federer wins 7 times out of 10
On USO - This is where Pete has a chance to beat Fed more with some crowd support, I give Pete 6 times out of 10, or maybe dead even at 5-5

Sorry, Roger is just too good, I don't see Pete beating 2003-04 Roger on any grass, Federer neutralizes Serves better than anyone, takes the ball earlier than anyone whose surname wasn't Agassi, has a forehand better than anyone in history, has more endurance than Pete, is the master of tie breakers, will get all the crowd support at Wimbledon ..... nobody has the nadal footspeed to target his backhand ...... DAMN .... How do you beat this demon ??? .... I don't think he can be beaten at his peak by even Sampras ..... just too good....

Pete is only dependent on Serve, once that Serve is back in play, he is finished .... and trust me, Roger will put that serve back in play.
 
On Aus - Federer wins 9 times out of 10, if Pete couldn't beat Agassi at the AO then are you expecting him to beat Roger ?
On FO - Federer wins 10 times out of 10
On W - Federer wins 7 times out of 10
On USO - This is where Pete has a chance to beat Fed more with some crowd support, I give Pete 6 times out of 10, or maybe dead even at 5-5

Sorry, Roger is just too good, I don't see Pete beating 2003-04 Roger on any grass, Federer neutralizes Serves better than anyone, takes the ball earlier than anyone whose surname wasn't Agassi, has a forehand better than anyone in history, has more endurance than Pete, is the master of tie breakers, will get all the crowd support at Wimbledon ..... nobody has the nadal footspeed to target his backhand ...... DAMN .... How do you beat this demon ??? .... I don't think he can be beaten at his peak by even Sampras ..... just too good....

Pete is only dependent on Serve, once that Serve is back in play, he is finished .... and trust me, Roger will put that serve back in play.
Ehh... You can make an argument for AGassi being a better player in Australia than Fed. People forget Agassi would have won more AO's if he played them when he was younger Pete was more than just a serve in his prime. Fed beats Sampras 7 times out of 10 at Wimbledon? LOL Come on dude. this is prime Sampras we are talking, not Andy Roddick or 19 year old Nadal
 

Sunny014

Legend
Ehh... You can make an argument for AGassi being a better player in Australia than Fed. Pete was more than just a serve in his prime. Fed beats Sampras 7 times out of 10 at Wimbledon? LOL Come on dude. this is prime Sampras we are talking, not Andy Roddick or 19 year old Nadal
19 year old Nadal never did anything on grass, it was 20 yr old Nadal who reached the final and got bageled royally.

Sampras is better than Roddick and thats why if Roddick is 0 out of 10, I gave Sampras 3 out of 10 vs Roger.

Sorry but Roger is a bad matchup to Pete, Roger does everything better than Pete except the serve power, Pete would have to really take the match close to Federer to out clutch him, I see that happening only 3 times out of 10, on other occasions Roger would prevail in 4 tight sets or maybe 5 good sets where he wins in tie breakers.
 

ffw2

Professional
i have all the respect in the world for pete but i'm gonna go w fed more often than not, just because i think he's gonna get in more return games, simple as that. clay obviously roger has the huge advantage...AO, still an edge w slower court. on anything really fast, for sure a great matchup...but again, law of averages on return games over time, edge to federer.
Yeah, it's a tough call for me.

On the strength of familiarity with that particular variant of the HC surface, I'd prob give the nod to ol' Sampy.

But man... compelling, gripping hypothetical contest.
 
Last edited:

Sunny014

Legend
Yeah, it's a tough call for me.

On the strength of familiarity with that particular variant of the HC surface, I'd prob give the nod to ol' Sampy.

But man... compelling, gripping hypothetical contest.
Federer has greater foot-speed and endurance (if we are comparing their built at 25), so that would be a problem for Sampras as well.
 

goldengate14

Professional
AO Federer more often than not
FO Federer everytime
W Federer 2 out of every 3
USO Sampras more often than not
Indoor Carpet Sampras
indoor hard Federer.
very very close between the two. While Sampras has higher peak level as he does everything a bit better than Federer, Federer is more complete across the surfaces.
 

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
While I rate Sampras so high I really do, I always find it weird when people rate his 7-0 over Fed’s 8-4 F record at Wimbledon. Sampras might be flawless there in finals but he retired at what 31/32 ? Fed is 8-4 there because he faced the other goat in his prime at 32 then 33 and 38. Losing to Djokovic who most consider either goat or under Fed at that age is deemed as bad but retiring at 31 after losing 2nd round which Sampras did is considered better ?
 
Last edited:

ffw2

Professional
While I rate Sampras so high I really do, I always find it weird when people rate his 8-0 over Fed’s 8-4 F record at Wimbledon. Sampras might be flawless there in finals but he retired at what 31/32 ? Fed is 8-4 there because he faced the other goat in his prime at 32 then 33 and 38. Losing to Djokovic who most consider either goat or under Fed at that age is deemed as bad but retiring at 31 after losing 2nd round which Sampras did is considered better ?
Sampras has 7 Wimbledon titles, not eight.

Also, he played his last match there at age 30.

And yeah, I agree with you that Fred's longevity gets counted against him way too much.
 

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
Sampras has 7 Wimbledon titles, not eight.

Also, he played his last match there at age 30.
Yeah I meant to write 7 thank you.

Also his last match was 30 can you imagine him trying to play one of the goats at 33/34 there ? Fed 4 loses there make him more great not less
 

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
for this matchup to have happened, either pistol should have been born in 1981 or fed in 1971........had that happened neither would have learned playing tennis the way they did while growing up, they would have learned different playing style.......10 years is a huge gap before 2000 when 30 means basically retirement age in tennis.......so it is difficult to conclude based on what we saw from fed over the last 15 years and what we saw from pete in much much different times and playing conditions before 2000.......and then there is huge racket technology difference.......

fed won most of his slams with his superior defensive skills, his defense at his peak was on par with nadal's, even on clay some times........pete on the other hand was an all out offensive attacker and his entire game was based on that, defense was not the best from his era and understandably when you take into account the type of tennis required to win on different surfaces.......

basically all of nadal, djokovic and fed won with their superior defensive skills.......pete's story was totally different, people compare djokovic's return to agassi's but forget that he could return ivanisevic's blinding serves.......i am not sure novak would have done that IF he grew up learning tennis the way he did.......
 

ffw2

Professional
for this matchup to have happened, either pistol should have been born in 1981 or fed in 1971........had that happened neither would have learned playing tennis the way they did while growing up, they would have learned different playing style.......10 years is a huge gap before 2000 when 30 means basically retirement age in tennis.......so it is difficult to conclude based on what we saw from fed over the last 15 years and what we saw from pete in much much different times and playing conditions before 2000.......and then there is huge racket technology difference.......

fed won most of his slams with his superior defensive skills, his defense at his peak was on par with nadal's, even on clay some times........pete on the other hand was an all out offensive attacker and his entire game was based on that, defense was not the best from his era and understandably when you take into account the type of tennis required to win on different surfaces.......

basically all of nadal, djokovic and fed won with their superior defensive skills.......pete's story was totally different, people compare djokovic's return to agassi's but forget that he could return ivanisevic's blinding serves.......i am not sure novak would have done that IF he grew up learning tennis the way he did.......
Yeah, you make many good points.

Definitely interesting that even the relatively small age gap between them corresponded with a sea change in so many facets of the game.

There are all sorts of intriguing historical matches... but the ones we'd most like to see I think would involve players that we really enjoyed watching play.
 
Top