Is Nadal-Djokovic greater than Sampras-Agassi?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by 6-1 6-3 6-0, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

    Jul 3, 2007
    I find it funny when people try to paint certain players as "babies" or too young for the match to count in the head-to-head (usually when it's against Federer). Nadal was 20 and was the long-established number two player in the world at that point. Sure, he didn't have that much experience on grass, but he had zero experience at Roland Garros when he first won it. He's precocious, and a quick learner. That's what Nadal does. Federer played very well in his victory over Nadal in the 2006 final - he had to because Nadal is a great player, even in his first Wimbledon final.
  2. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

    Sep 22, 2007
    sampras - agassi was a lot like federer-nadal in terms of excitement.

    But federer-nadal takes it up one more level on pete-andre in terms of drama and history.

    Djokovic - nadal is an awesome rivalry purely because both guys can take matches from each other on all the surfaces.

    It is a very even rivalry. I think djokovic - nadal can be even greater than agassi-sampras historically provided nadal can get back to the top.
  3. Fiji

    Fiji Legend

    Feb 4, 2011
    No way. Not even close.
  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Legend

    Sep 7, 2007
    NorCal Bay Area
    How do you figure that?

    Nadal leads 12-2 on clay
    Djokovic leads 11-5 on hard-courts

    Pretty one sided in both cases.
  5. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Jul 15, 2009
    I agree. Most fans believe Fed/Nadal rivalry is better than Sampras/Agassi rivalry. Nadal/Nole still has some years left to add to their rivalry, and can surpass Sampras/Agassi. Level wise, they all play higher than Sampras/Agassi.
  6. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

    May 28, 2012
    Yes, with Djokovic and Nadal you don't have the same awesome story

    The rivalry between Fed and Nadal was not only about great match of two opposite characters and styles. It was also about the undisputed number one falling everywhere to the undisputed number two surface after surface, on a a four-year span, with several battles, until the final defeat in 2010.

    Between Nole and Rafa it was for the most part the "would be pleased to be number two" against the "no it's me who shall be master instead of the master". Nole was nowhere to be seen when Nadal made his definitive coup against Fed in 2010, but he replaced him the next year. Nadal didn't had the time to establish himself like Fed did. And now that Nadal has so many physical trouble, the rivalry his limited to: "when will Novak will win the french?"
  7. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

    May 28, 2012
    A lot of matches were not one sided though, but real battles to the bitter end. Hambourg, Madrid, Indian Wells, AO...
  8. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

    Dec 9, 2008
    didn't seem to be a problem at the USO for edberg in 92 or korda in 97 or rafter in 98 or hewitt in 2001 ...

    90 - very poor perf from agassi

    95 - agassi was actually playing slightly better in the first set, till pete broke him to take the set

    2001 - agassi won the first set in a breaker

    2002 - agassi was tired from the hewitt SF, so understandably started out flat ....

    so, no, don't agree that in all the matches, that it looked like sampras would win from the get go .. especially not 1995, 2001
  9. vladap

    vladap Semi-Pro

    Oct 8, 2011
    Off course it is...and it's not even close!
    Only some nostalgatards could claim otherwise
  10. Al Czervik

    Al Czervik Hall of Fame

    Aug 13, 2007
    Ironically, they are more competitive, but not as entertaining.

    Another thing I found interesting was that after Aussie 2012, non-tennis fans were seduced into thinking that match was epic, but most of this board just laughed it off as an endless war of attrition.
  11. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

    Jun 10, 2009
    Agassi / Sampras drew me to my TV. Nadal / Djokovic makes me turn off the TV. Not even worth the DVR space to watch it later in fastforward. If I want to watch a test of endurance I’ll watch a marathon or lance dope is way through the Tour de France. When I watch tennis I actually want to see tennis, not who can run the most before they pass out.
  12. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    In terms of best rivalries of last 40 years: Evert vs Navratilova >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>McEnroe vs Borg = Borg vs Connors = Sampras vs Agassi >>> Djokovic vs Nadal >>> Federer vs Nadal = Becker vs Edberg = Wilander vs Lendl.
  13. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

    Jul 26, 2011
    I don't agree at all.

    In their four US OPEN matches (yes, in all of them) Agassi was the clear favourite to win.

    In 1990 Agassi was nº4 in the world whereas Sampras was nº 12 and not a big favourite.

    Even after his great performances beating nº7 Muster in R16 (a great match by the way, I watched recently, with Muster relentless lefty mega-top-spin and ultra-heavy and solid backcourt game and a very young Sampras making impressive volleys, passing-shots, lobs and what-not...), beating nº2 Lendl in the QF in five sets (Lendl had gotten to the last 8 US OPEN finals) and McEnroe in the SF (another great display by young Sampras, not intimidated at all by those two all-time greats), as I was saying, even after all these great performances by Sampras, still Agassi was the clear favourite to win the final.

    In 1995 Agassi got to the US OPEN final with a 26 straight wins on hard courts during the summer (he won all four tournaments he played, included Canadian Open M-1000 defeating Sampras in the final, and Cincinnati), he was nº1 in the world at that time and he was almost unbeatable on hard court at that moment. He was the favourite to win the final.

    In 2001 Agassi was again the favourite to win because he was nº2 in the world and Sampras was having a very bad year (by his previous standard) and was about nº10 in the world.

    In 2002 again Agassi was the clear favourite because he was in great shape, was nº2 in the world and Sampras was in his crappiest tennis-level year and was something like nº17 in the world.

    Besides, as I said in other threads, except for the 1990 US OPEN (that was a dominating win by Sampras who played out of this world and shocked Agassi), their other three encounters at the US OPEN were all very close matches that could have gone either way.

    In the 1995 US OPEN final, Sampras was 6-4 6-3 up basically because he played better (and won) the most important points of those two sets. Agassi had a bit of bad luck to be down two sets to love the way the match was developing. Then Agassi won the third set 6-4 (curiously enough this set could have gone to Sampras who was a break up, but this time the most important point were won by Agassi). And the fourth set was a great and close battle that could have gone either way, but Sampras again played great in the most important points in the last two games to win it 7-5.

    In the 2001 US OPEN match, what can I say? It was 6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6. It could have gone either way, but Sampras (as he did so many times) won the crucial points in the last tie-breakers.

    The 2002 US OPEN match, that Sampras won 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-4, was in a certain sense, similar to their 1995 match. Sampras started playing great tennis at the end of the first set and beginning of the second set (just like he did in 1995 ). Agassi won a close third set (just like in 1995 again) and started very strong the fourth set. Sampras had a game ( when he was 1-2 or 2-3 ) very very long and hard, he had to save several break-points, some of them with pure luck, and it looked like Agassi would win the fourth set and then the fifth set easily (Sampras looked gassed at that point in the match). But somehow he held, he also held serve (I think saving more break points) in his next serving game, but got to 4-4 and then, suddenly, he started to fly free again and played some amazing points to break Agassi's serve.

    I really think that had Agassi won the fourth set in the 1995 or 2001 or 2002 and he would have won the match in five (he had much more stamina than Sampras in all these matches, and in general), so I really say that those three matches could have gone either way (and as someone pointed out, both in 1995 and in 2002, Agassi played the second SF and that could made him start a bit flat the final).

    On the other hand, in their two matches at the Australian Open (1995 final and 2000 SF) Sampras was the favourite to win, but this time, the "luck" and the "tiredness" went in Agassi's favour.

    In 1995 Sampras played three consecutive hard and long matches: a 4-6 6-7 7-6 6-4 7-5 (or something like that) win over Magnuss Larsson in R16 (more than four hours), then a 6-7 6-7 6-3 6-4 6-3 win over Jim Courier in the QF (more than four hours) and a 6-7 6-3 6-4 6-4 win over Michael Chang in the SF ( three and a half hours of gruelling baseline battle). Agassi had defeated all his rivals in straight sets and even Krickstein retired in their SF match.

    Agassi won the final 4-6 6-1 7-6 6-4 (he had to save two set-points at 4-6 in the third set tie-breaker). As I said, Sampras was the favourite to win but this time the circumstances were in Agassi's favour (Sampras was spent in the final).

    In their 2000 AusOpen SF, again, Sampras was the favourite (because he had defeated Agassi in their 1999 Wimbledon final, 1999 Los Angeles final, 1999 Cincinnati SF and 1999 WTF final) and he was two points away from victory, but finally Agassi won 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 6-1. This time Agassi could win the fourth set and then won in five. This could very well have happened in any of their three US OPEN four-sets matches had he won the fourth set.

    So, really, their six hard court GS matches (well, all but the first one) were extremely close matches that could have gone either way, and the final winner had more to do with other circumstances than with tournament or surface.

    In fact, in their head-to-head they are so close on hard courts ( 11-9 Sampras) and they both won and lost close matches against each other on all kind of hard courts (no matter if it was ultra slow hard courts of Miami, slow hard courts of Indian Wells, medium hard courts of Canadian Open, fast hard courts of San Jose....).

    On clay ( 3-2 Agassi ) and grass ( 2-0 Sampras ) they just didn't play so often, so it is difficult to say anything.

    And something interesting: Sampras made much more aces than Agassi in their matches, but their unreturned serves stats are not that much different.
  14. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

    Jul 26, 2011
    I forgot to say that, so, I really had no idea during their hard court matches of who would end up winning (very few of their 20 matches on hard courts were easy wins).

    In the Djokovic-Nadal case, even though many (really, many) of their encounters are so close and hard fought battles, I always have the feeling that Djokovic will win on hard courts and Nadal will win on clay.

    But actually it is just a feeling because of their 12-2 Nadal edge on clay and 11-5 (or something like that) Djokovic edge on hard courts. But many of their clay matches and hard courts matches have been so close too, and that is great.

    I am really eager to see their encounters on clay this 2013 season, because Djokovic has a great chance to win RG this year, and Nadal may still improve his form and get to RG's time at his best level on clay.
  15. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

    Sep 22, 2007
    Historically you are abosolutely correct.

    I am talking more in the present.

    since 2011 djokovic has taken two and lost three from nadal on clay.

    he has a favorable record everywhere else against nadal too since then...

    currently, djokovic would be favored against nadal almost everywhere.

    My point is that after 2011, no match is a given between these two players on all surfaces who are almost the same age and are battling for history.

    Even though nadal has lost many matches to nole on HC, he can still pull the odd one out..

    Compare this to federer - nadal. You dont get the feeling that federer can beat nadal at RG. But nadal had his chances against nole in AO.

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