Nadal: “Adoravo le sfide tra Agassi e Sampras, talento e tattica erano più importanti in campo di quanto non lo siano ora”

mattennis

Hall of Fame

For those that don't speak Italian:

Nadal: "I loved the matches between Agassi and Sampras, talent and tactics were more important on the court than they are now".

Edit: more fragments translated and added later:

"I was a huge fan of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, I loved watching their games against each other" says Rafa...

"The matches between them were very stimulating, as they are two very different players. They gave us magical moments of tennis, matches engraved in the history of the game and in my memory “.

"I would like tennis to still be played like in that era. Why? Because the game was based more on feeling, talent, tactics, there were more facets, each match was more complex than today, where everything is based on power and speed. That was a magical game. At the time, talent and tactics were more important on the court than they are now".

"There was attack and defense, it was necessary to work in longer rallies before winning the point, or other times there was a real, strong, direct attack. The game used to put you to the test more, both in your patience and skill".
 
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mattennis

Hall of Fame
Yes, it is a bit surprising taking into account all the other things he has been saying all these years...maybe he means that slower conditions and new strings made it very difficult to miss a shot, and so everybody hits the ball harder and harder today...
 

Rogerer

Rookie

For those that don't speak Italian:

Nadal: "I loved the matches between Agassi and Sampras, talent and tactics were more important on the court than they are now"
Figo un altro italiano
 

Rogerer

Rookie
"Personally, to watch a Pete Sampras versus Goran Ivanisevic match, or one between those kind of players, is not enjoyable. It's not really tennis, it is a few swings of the racquet."

- Rafael Nadal 2011
I think is a match up question
 
So he just admitted its a pointless Atari Pongfest now. agreed. It has sucked since the 90s/early 00s. Even fed admits it. they all know its rigged to keep the top players on top. Problem is, what do you do when the next gen doesn't have your talent. Long term it doesn't look so pretty does it? LOL!
 

mattennis

Hall of Fame
Nadal subtly declaring Sampras as GOAT.
A true mastermind.
Hahaha, yes I really didn't expect Rafa to speak like that about the tennis from the 90s, at least I think I have never heard him say this kind of things:

"I was a huge fan of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, I loved watching their games against each other" says Rafa...

"The matches between them were very stimulating, as they are two very different players. They gave us magical moments of tennis, matches engraved in the history of the game and in my memory “.

"I would like tennis to still be played like in that era. Why? Because the game was based more on feeling, talent, tactics, there were more facets, each match was more complex than today, where everything is based on power and speed. That was a magical game. At the time, talent and tactics were more important on the court than they are now".

"There was attack and defense, it was necessary to work in longer rallies before winning the point, or other times there was a real, strong, direct attack. The game used to put you to the test more, both in your patience and skill".


I can't believe my eyes...as I said, this is the first time I have ever heard him say things like this.

Something is fishy here... and you may be right about his true intention...
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
"Personally, to watch a Pete Sampras versus Goran Ivanisevic match, or one between those kind of players, is not enjoyable. It's not really tennis, it is a few swings of the racquet."

- Rafael Nadal 2011
And many tennis fans at that time took exactly the same view which is why we now have the slower Wimbledon courts that so many people now complain about as "not true grass tennis" !!
 

mattennis

Hall of Fame
The funny thing is that I actually agree with him on many of the things he says, but it's weird as hell listening to him saying that he would like tennis to still be played as it was in the 90s, when I think he is the player that has benefited the most from all the changes that have happened to tennis in the last 20 years.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
If Sampras was not really tennis, i suppose tennis only started in 2005 when Rafa won RG.
Sampras is tennis, but Goran, not so much.
Sampras-Agassi is the most entertaining rivalry of all-time.
And when Sampras plays Goran, it doesn't bring out the best in Sampras.....whereas Agassi brings out the best in Sampras.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
The funny thing is that I actually agree with him on many of the things he says, but it's weird as hell listening to him saying that he would like tennis to still be played as it was in the 90s, when I think he is the player that has benefited the most from all the changes that have happened to tennis in the last 20 years.
Claycourt tennis was a lot slower and defensive in the 80s and 90s........and with Nadal's huge edge in the physicality department (the 2005-2013 version of Nadal)........he'd make mince meat out of all those 80s and 90s champs.
Whereas in the 21st Century, claycourt tennis is a lot more aggressive and faster, so Nadal can be pushed around more.

And the 2017-2025 version of Nadal needs to end the rallies quickly on hardcourts especially, and he'd prefer 80s and 90s hardcourts.
 

merwy

G.O.A.T.
The funny thing is that I actually agree with him on many of the things he says, but it's weird as hell listening to him saying that he would like tennis to still be played as it was in the 90s, when I think he is the player that has benefited the most from all the changes that have happened to tennis in the last 20 years.
Not only that but I think he has influenced the modern game a lot, by showing how effective a topspin-based baseline game can be.
 

Rogerer

Rookie
Sampras is tennis, but Goran, not so much.
Sampras-Agassi is the most enter taining rivalry of all-time.
And when Sampras plays Goran, it doesn't bring out the best in Sampras.....whereas Agassi brings out the best in Sampras.
Sampras McEnroe 1990 :love:
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
"Personally, to watch a Pete Sampras versus Goran Ivanisevic match, or one between those kind of players, is not enjoyable. It's not really tennis, it is a few swings of the racquet."

- Rafael Nadal 2011
Heh, I remember those comments. Yeah, I don't buy for a moment that Nadal was a huge Sampras fan lol. Two very different players and mindsets.

And I certainly doubt he'd prefer tennis to be played as it was in that era (90s), don't see him winning 4 USO titles and making 5 Wimbledon finals in any other era.

The guy wins USO by returning serves from the VIP section but he'd prefer 90s courts, balls, tech. Riiight.
 

goldengate14

Professional
If Sampras was not really tennis, i suppose tennis only started in 2005 when Rafa won RG.
Just think had this summer gone differently Rafa would have been consigned to history and not the best player of his era which he will likely noe be remembered as so for many tennis will be deemed to hae stsrted in 2005 as casual fans tend to latch onto the Greatest in any sport
 
"Tornando indietro nella storia mi piace il gioco de Ilie Nastase." Going back in history I like the Ilie Nastase game.

This comment by Nadal in the livetennis.it article really surprised me.

I find this remark strange, considering how uninformed and indifferent today's professional athletes tend to be about the history of the sports in which they compete. Which is not to say, by any means, that I I am asserting that Nadal has not watched Nastase matches.
 

Rogerer

Rookie
"Tornando indietro nella storia mi piace il gioco de Ilie Nastase." Going back in history I like the Ilie Nastase game.

This comment by Nadal in the livetennis.it article really surprised me.

I find this remark strange, considering how uninformed and indifferent today's professional athletes tend to be about the history of the sports in which they compete. Which is not to say, by any means, that I I am asserting that Nadal has not watched Nastase matches.
Roger and Rafa are real tennis fans. They respect the former players and they know who they are
 
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