Now I know how Sampras fans feel

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SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Sampras will always have the best serve of all time, being the GOAT of his era and a legacy of being clutch.

What will Fed be left with after he gets passed in the slam count and retires with 40-15 hanging over his head as being the last slam final he was able to reach?
Lots of moral victories over bouts of mono. Health is the greatest trophy of all, no?
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
Do Sampras fans still exist? I thought they went extinct like dinosaurs. They did not survive the arrival of the Big 3 comet. My theory is that most Sampras fans reconverted to Federer fans because Roger came sooner han Nadal or Djokovic, and so they accepted Federer sooner as Sampras' replacement in the GOAT status.
Doubt it. Sampras fans seem lukewarm to Federer but appear to apprecaite Nadal/Djokovic more. Could be wrong but that's how it appears to me. And I don't see anything wrong with it because most people agree that Nadal & Djokovic are in the same tier as Federer.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
I think it's because Nadal passing Federer doesn't bother me. He's quiet, timid and well spoken (in Spanish at least). He was an early bloomer and set the bar higher with Federer during crucial years I truly cared about tennis.

Djokovic came along and was arrogant and obnoxious.. never took to him.

As for Sampras I am so used to annoying 90's Clay it's like second nature to me now.
Rafa "timid"? OK.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
A guy who does jumping fist-pumps, screams "VAMOOOOOOOS" at nearly every point he wins, and engages in endless intimidation tactics throughout the match (which start in the locker room as he sprints by players who are getting dressed) is not "timid"
I don’t think he is timid.
 

topher

Semi-Pro
Fact is, Sampras won less Slams than Federer. It doesn’t matter one bit how the Slams he didn’t win were distributed between other players, because it wasn’t within his powers.

At least most of Federer’s losses were against fellow ATGs. That is a positive, not a negative, no matter how much you try to suggest the opposite.

Also after being 25 Sampras won only Wimbledon, apart from his last tournament, the 2002 US Open. That is no dominance. A common excuse is that he only had the target of Emerson’s 12 titles, and after that he lost motivation. But then why was his APPROACH to that so slow?

He had...
10 Slam titles at Wimbledon 1997
11 Slam titles at Wimbledon 1998
12 Slam titles at Wimbledon 1999
13 Slam titles at Wimbledon 2000

If he would have been dominant and only lost motivation after his 13th title, then he clearly would have won at least a few hardcourt Slams during that time.

And we don’t even need to talk about the value of Emerson’s record. It was during the Pro/Amateur split, and he would have won like 5 Open Slams at most, while Laver and Rosewall would have easily won over 14 (but not 20 though).

Sampras was never the GOAT, and I say this as a fan during his great days in my childhood/youth.
I think he lost a lot of motivation because his major rival in Agassi gave up around 1996. Note that by 1997 he was ahead 10-3 in slams, the race was over. What did he have to prove? I find it hard to believe that Roger or Rafa would still be playing right now, or at least playing as hard as they are, without the other motivating each other.

And I find it hard to believe you don't understand that. Its like running full sprint as a child for fun, vs running when you've got a dog or friend chasing you - you find another gear.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Do Sampras fans still exist? I thought they went extinct like dinosaurs. They did not survive the arrival of the Big 3 comet. My theory is that most Sampras fans reconverted to Federer fans because Roger came sooner han Nadal or Djokovic, and so they accepted Federer sooner as Sampras' replacement in the GOAT status.
This.

100%. Correct.

Not a theory. Fact.

Absolutamente correctinho.

If Nadal had dominated BEFORE RF, then Federer would have had far less fans.

People naturally gravitate towards winners, then they lie to themselves that the reasons they support the winner is his high morality and/or great talent. Federer was fairly dull and quite arrogant early on. BUT he was there first.

It's all fairly amusing.
 

scotus

G.O.A.T.
Do Sampras fans still exist? I thought they went extinct like dinosaurs. They did not survive the arrival of the Big 3 comet. My theory is that most Sampras fans reconverted to Federer fans because Roger came sooner han Nadal or Djokovic, and so they accepted Federer sooner as Sampras' replacement in the GOAT status.
A Sampras fan here
 
Do Sampras fans still exist? I thought they went extinct like dinosaurs. They did not survive the arrival of the Big 3 comet. My theory is that most Sampras fans reconverted to Federer fans because Roger came sooner han Nadal or Djokovic, and so they accepted Federer sooner as Sampras' replacement in the GOAT status.
Yep. Sampras fan first (got me into tennis). But it's not like you can cheer for someone who no longer plays tennis. By 2005 I had chosen Fed. Without Fed I would have picked Rafa, and without those two I would have picked Ferrer.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
I think he lost a lot of motivation because his major rival in Agassi gave up around 1996. Note that by 1997 he was ahead 10-3 in slams, the race was over. What did he have to prove? I find it hard to believe that Roger or Rafa would still be playing right now, or at least playing as hard as they are, without the other motivating each other.

And I find it hard to believe you don't understand that. Its like running full sprint as a child for fun, vs running when you've got a dog or friend chasing you - you find another gear.
Of course I understand that, at least the possibility. But as I said, he wanted to break Emerson’s record and slowed down in his pace BEFORE reaching that goal. He broke it at Wimbledon 2000, and his last Slam other than Wimbledon before that was the 1997 Australian Open.

Agassi had nothing to do with that record, other than he wasn’t much of a rival for 1-2 years. But then Sampras should have taken advantage out of that. Also Agassi was back since 1999, so motivation should have come back at least then (and surely it was there during the great summer of 1999).

Also one last thought: Sampras wanted not only to reach the record, but to stay on top. And then he should have known that 14 wouldn’t be enough, for many reasons. The main reason was that the Open Era was only some 30 years old (AO as a serious option only about 10-15 years) and Emerson’s record was never a "real" one anyway. Since dominance over the field is always relative, the numbers in the women’s game should have given him a hint what the record would be in a few years, and that’s exactly what happened.

His record was somewhat the first of that kind, and it couldn’t last for long.
 

topher

Semi-Pro
Of course I understand that, at least the possibility. But as I said, he wanted to break Emerson’s record and slowed down in his pace BEFORE reaching that goal. He broke it at Wimbledon 2000, and his last Slam other than Wimbledon before that was the 1997 Australian Open.

Agassi had nothing to do with that record, other than he wasn’t much of a rival for 1-2 years. But then Sampras should have taken advantage out of that. Also Agassi was back since 1999, so motivation should have come back at least then (and surely it was there during the great summer of 1999).

Also one last thought: Sampras wanted not only to reach the record, but to stay on top. And then he should have known that 14 wouldn’t be enough, for many reasons. The main reason was that the Open Era was only some 30 years old (AO as a serious option only about 10-15 years) and Emerson’s record was never a "real" one anyway. Since dominance over the field is always relative, the numbers in the women’s game should have given him a hint what the record would be in a few years, and that’s exactly what happened.

His record was somewhat the first of that kind, and it couldn’t last for long.
There are many possible explanations to Pete winning at a lesser rate starting after 1998. Perhaps competing with Agassi was more exciting than a guy who died 20 years before he was born? Or perhaps turning 26 in '97, he'd lost a little of his physical peak? Even Roger only won 5 slams in 5 years after the season he turned 26 then he went 4 years without any slam wins. No one would've blamed him for retiring then at 17 slams, and maybe he would have had Rafa and Novak not been within 3 and 5 slams of him. Pete had no such clear motivation to keep going at that point in his career.

Competing with the people after him is also a rather nebulous motivation. The record had stood for many years, it seems that Pete (and most others) didn't see it being broken again so soon. Obviously with hindsight, it now seems obvious to us, but if it was that obvious then I can't find much of anyone anywhere willing to say so. Even so, the point is the same - competing with a live person head to head is much more inspiring than a hypothetical future player who may or may not ever exist.
 

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
Sampras was never the GOAT, and I say this as a fan during his great days in my childhood/youth.
He dominated Becker like even Agassi couldn't.

Loved every second of it.

Only lost 1 important final in Stuggart in 5 sets. Almost always let Boris win the RR stages at the YEC then beat him in the final.

Nobody did it to Boris like that and he just couldn't handle it. There were fumes coming out of his nostrils.

So he just quit like the bully he was.

Fed wouldn't have been powerful enough to do that.

And Pete did all that with thalassemia minor.

I still have Pete beating Fed at W, peak vs peak.

And don't ever ask if Pete wins from 40-15.

Can't say i liked him against anyone other than Boris, to which he fed his own medicine, but his results vs the best of his era speak for themselves.
 
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SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
He dominated Becker like even Agassi couldn't.

Loved every second of it.

Only lost 1 important final in Stuggart in 5 sets. Almost always let Boris win the RR stages at the YEC then beat him in the final.

Nobody did it to Boris like that and he just couldn't handle it. There were fumes coming out of his nostrils.

So he just quit like the bully he was.

Fed wouldn't have been powerful enough to do that.

And Pete did all that with thalassemia minor.

I still have Pete beating Fed at W, peak vs peak.

And don't ever ask if Pete wins from 40-15.

Can't say i liked him against anyone other than Boris, to which he fed his own medicine, but his results vs the best of his era speak for themselves.
Though their levels are close, Pete smokes Fed most of the time because of his superior mental strength. He may give Rodge a pity win here and there down under and obviously Fed's grinding would get him across the line on clay.
 

Zara

Legend
I went away for a few years from tennis after PETE retired. As I was an intense supporter of Sampras, it felt empty inside not having him around anymore even though I was very vocal about his retirement from 2000 on. In other words, I wanted him to retire as I noticed he wasn't enjoying the tour anymore and had other things like marriage, family on his mind and I felt he wasn't really too keen on dealing with the newcomers such as Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, etc. I didn't think he felt he had anything new to prove when he had already taken care of his competition for the most part.

I got back to tennis primarily because of Murray and to some lesser extent Djokovic while I fully appreciated Nadal. Because without him tennis would have been non-competitive and it wasn't an ideal scenario for those who care for the game to see Federer alone out there dominating the field. I think a lot of us already knew that Federer was going to become big. We had a poster who had just come from watching Federer in a small tournament and told a few us about Federer while being completely convinced that he (Federer) was going to become the next big thing after Sampras. I think it was back in 2000. I still remember this comment by this poster who was also a good friend. Nadal was nowhere to be found at that time for obvious reasons as he hadn't turned pro yet.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Sampras will always have the best serve of all time, being the GOAT of his era and a legacy of being clutch.

What will Fed be left with after he gets passed in the slam count and retires with 40-15 hanging over his head as being the last slam final he was able to reach?
Cute backhand and legacy of moral and hypothetical match GOAThood.
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
I went away for a few years from tennis after PETE retired. As I was an intense supporter of Sampras, it felt empty inside not having him around anymore even though I was very vocal about his retirement from 2000 on. In other words, I wanted him to retire as I noticed he wasn't enjoying the tour anymore and had other things like marriage, family on his mind and I felt he wasn't really too keen on dealing with the newcomers such as Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, etc. I didn't think he felt he had anything new to prove when he had already taken care of his competition for the most part.

I got back to tennis primarily because of Murray and to some lesser extent Djokovic while I fully appreciated Nadal. Because without him tennis would have been non-competitive and it wasn't an ideal scenario for those who care for the game to see Federer alone out there dominating the field. I think a lot of us already knew that Federer was going to become big. We had a poster who had just come from watching Federer in a small tournament and told a few us about Federer while being completely convinced that he (Federer) was going to become the next big thing after Sampras. I think it was back in 2000. I still remember this comment by this poster who was also a good friend. Nadal was nowhere to be found at that time for obvious reasons as he hadn't turned pro yet.
Oh , must be difficult .
It will be dificult for me ,when Djokovic retires :( . @Zara
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
No, not epic. Just like some Federer fans got behind Djokovic when he wasn't a clear threat to Federer. It comes with the territory.

Ask Sabratha why he prefers Nadal more so than Djokovic. Or better yet, figure it out for yourself.
Many fed devotees supported Novak during 2011-13 against Rafa ,but hate Novak for stopping Fed during 2014-16 .
Can't blame them ,Most fans want their favourite to have slam record . ;)
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
No, not epic. Just like some Federer fans got behind Djokovic when he wasn't a clear threat to Federer. It comes with the territory.

Ask Sabratha why he prefers Nadal more so than Djokovic. Or better yet, figure it out for yourself.
Why do you have to have a motive for liking Nadal more than Novak?
 

Zara

Legend
Many fed devotees supported Novak during 2011-13 against Rafa ,but hate Novak for stopping Fed during 2014-16 .
Can't blame them ,Most fans want their favourite to have slam record . ;)
I think Djokovic has more credentials than Nadal to truly threaten Federer's goat status. Nadal lacks a few things not too many however but it's easier for fans to argue back and make Nadal look more one dimensional or clay goat only if you know what I mean.
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
I think Djokovic has more credentials than Nadal to truly threaten Federer's goat status. Nadal lacks a few things not too many however but it's easier for fans to argue back and make Nadal look more one dimensional or clay goat only if you know what I mean.
agree .
Slams , Weeks at no.1 , WTF are the main 3 things to determine GOAT .
Currently RF is GOAT at all three .
Novak has chance to equal or surpass Fed at all 3 .
RAFA can surpass only Slam record .

Although One can't blame Rafa fans , as Media and RF fans kept on ranting about Slam record for a decade now . They thought his slam record won't be matched ever .
 

Zara

Legend
agree .
Slams , Weeks at no.1 , WTF are the main 3 things to determine GOAT .
Currently RF is GOAT at all three .
Novak has chance to equal or surpass Fed at all 3 .
RAFA can surpass only Slam record .

Although One can't blame Rafa fans , as Media and RF fans kept on ranting about Slam record for a decade now . They thought his slam record won't be matched ever .
Ultimately it will be the slam record. Weeks at No. 1 or even WTF will play a part if the slam count remains at the same level, say, if Nadal while equals Federer but fails to surpass it.

If Nadal surpasses the total slam count even by just 1 slam, he'll be the Goat. Fans can argue to no end but ultimately that will be the deciding factor.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Ultimately it will be the slam record. Weeks at No. 1 or even WTF will play a part if the slam count remains at the same level, say, if Nadal while equals Federer but fails to surpass it.

If Nadal surpasses the total slam count even by just 1 slam, he'll be the Goat. Fans can argue to no end but ultimately that will be the deciding factor.
You better slay lol.
To be fair, I doubt Fed is done
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
Ultimately it will be the slam record. Weeks at No. 1 or even WTF will play a part if the slam count remains at the same level, say, if Nadal while equals Federer but fails to surpass it.

If Nadal surpasses the total slam count even by just 1 slam, he'll be the Goat. Fans can argue to no end but ultimately that will be the deciding factor.
Wonderful post, Zara Ben (y)
 

Zara

Legend
You better slay lol.
To be fair, I doubt Fed is done
I am not saying anyone is done. And to be honest, it seems only Djokovic is winning as he should. In other words, both Federer and Nadal have to wait for an opportunity to win a slam (minus RG where Nadal still remains supreme) whereas Djokovic doesn't have to wait for that. He wins regardless minus RG. And when it comes to Federer vs Nadal, it seems Federer has the upper hand on other slams while Nadal has the upper hand at RG but Nadal is more dominant because he has full authority over RG, unlike Federer - Wimbledon, for example, or even AO. But then again Federer is older than both so that should be taken into consideration as well. I don't think either Nadal or Djokovic will play as long as Federer has played, because they both have a bit more going on in life then Federer. Federer seems to be completely taken by tennis. He clearly loves tennis the most, in other words. Whatever happens, it needs to happen within the next 2/3 years time. That's all they are all left with. 2022 at best I am guessing. Even that feels tight even though we saw both Nadal and Djokovic splitting slams this year. Both Tsitsipas and Medvedev are looking more and more dangerous as cocky players.
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
Ultimately it will be the slam record. Weeks at No. 1 or even WTF will play a part if the slam count remains at the same level, say, if Nadal while equals Federer but fails to surpass it.

If Nadal surpasses the total slam count even by just 1 slam, he'll be the Goat. Fans can argue to no end but ultimately that will be the deciding factor.
One last thing in RF's advantage is He is GOAT at 2 slams - Wimby and UO .
Novak - AO GOAT
Rafa -RG GOAT .

IF Rafa wins 1 more USO ,it's curtains for RF .
Also Novak most likely will equal RF's WTF record and weeks at No .1 Record .
 

Zara

Legend
One last thing in RF's advantage is He is GOAT at 2 slams - Wimby and UO .
Novak - AO GOAT
Rafa -RG GOAT .

IF Rafa wins 1 more USO ,it's curtains for RF .
Also Novak most likely will equal RF's WTF record and weeks at No .1 Record .
Yes, I think if Nadal equals it then they will be known as co-Goat no matter what the fans argue. It won't cut it much.

And if Novak equals Federer's WTF and weeks at No. 1 then Federer won't be left with much but that's what sports are all about anyway. Us Sampras fans had to learn the hard way. And it doesn't care if your name is Roger Federer. History will chase it because it wants to break it.
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
Yes, I think if Nadal equals it then they will be known as co-Goat no matter what the fans argue. It won't cut it much.

And if Novak equals Federer's WTF and weeks at No. 1 then Federer won't be left with much but that's what sports are all about anyway. Us Sampras fans had to learn the hard way. And it doesn't care if your name is Roger Federer. History will chase it because it wants to break it.
Fit Nole is imp for Feds legacy ,more so in next 2-3 years .
RAFA is good at beating youngsters and will probably win 4-5 more slams if He gets to avoid Novak .
Nole is the only one who can beat Rafa in big Slam finals . Fed is too old and won't do it I think .
Without Nole , Fed ends at 20 and Rafa will end at 23-25 .
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Do Sampras fans still exist? I thought they went extinct like dinosaurs. They did not survive the arrival of the Big 3 comet. My theory is that most Sampras fans reconverted to Federer fans because Roger came sooner han Nadal or Djokovic, and so they accepted Federer sooner as Sampras' replacement in the GOAT status.
Sampras didn't have many fans back in his playing days, let alone after. Agassi, who was not as good had 100x the fanbase.
 

Zara

Legend
Sampras didn't have many fans back in his playing days, let alone after. Agassi, who was not as good had 100x the fanbase.
You can’t be serious. I am one of the fans from his playing days and I know for a fact if he had a lot of fans or not. Also, why don’t you ask helterskelter?
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
You can’t be serious. I am one of the fans from his playing days and I know for a fact if he had a lot of fans or not. Also, why don’t you ask helterskelter?
I'm sure he had fans that numbered in the thousands....however, when you're comparing to fanbases of the Big 3 (and Agassi) that number in the millions it's a big difference and doesn't seem like much.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
He dominated Becker like even Agassi couldn't.

Loved every second of it.

Only lost 1 important final in Stuggart in 5 sets. Almost always let Boris win the RR stages at the YEC then beat him in the final.

Nobody did it to Boris like that and he just couldn't handle it. There were fumes coming out of his nostrils.

So he just quit like the bully he was.

Fed wouldn't have been powerful enough to do that.

And Pete did all that with thalassemia minor.

I still have Pete beating Fed at W, peak vs peak.

And don't ever ask if Pete wins from 40-15.

Can't say i liked him against anyone other than Boris, to which he fed his own medicine, but his results vs the best of his era speak for themselves.
I like Becker as well, but let’s be honest, he was always beatable. And do you really think peak Federer would have lost to him even in RR matches or have a 40-15 situation? On the other hand Sampras never had to play against Djokovic of course. By the way, contrary to your suggestion Agassi has a slightly better H2H percentage wise against Becker (9-5) than Sampras (12-7).

To Sampras himself: He may have a winning H2H record against most of the important players of his era (not all, see Krajicek, Stich and later Hewitt, Safin etc. when he really wasn’t THAT old). But his problem was that just like Becker he literally could lose to anyone on any day when one aspect of his game wasn’t working. Okay, let’s say this was the case apart from Wimbledon. Look at the names he lost to at Slams from 1997-2002 and don’t say me Federer would have lost to anyone of them during the same age.

But by the way, that are only arguments why Sampras wasn’t GOAT. Other than that I was his fan and loved watching him play.
 

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
I like Becker as well, but let’s be honest, he was always beatable. And do you really think peak Federer would have lost to him even in RR matches or have a 40-15 situation? On the other hand Sampras never had to play against Djokovic of course. By the way, contrary to your suggestion Agassi has a slightly better H2H percentage wise against Becker (9-5) than Sampras (12-7).

To Sampras himself: He may have a winning H2H record against most of the important players of his era (not all, see Krajicek, Stich and later Hewitt, Safin etc. when he really wasn’t THAT old). But his problem was that just like Becker he literally could lose to anyone on any day when one aspect of his game wasn’t working. Okay, let’s say this was the case apart from Wimbledon. Look at the names he lost to at Slams from 1997-2002 and don’t say me Federer would have lost to anyone of them during the same age.

But by the way, that are only arguments why Sampras wasn’t GOAT. Other than that I was his fan and loved watching him play.
Firstly, Agassi lost some pretty important matches to Boris, contrary to Pete who won them all, unless you consider the Stuggart final an important one. Agassi also admitted in his bio he lost to Chang on purpose at AO so he wouldn't have to play Boris.

And when Boris was on, he was as close to unbeatable as it gets. With the sole exception being Pete.

He would have all the tools to beat Fed: mentally strong when on, as (or even more) powerfull as Nadal , a total player like Fed, a slightly better server.

If Henman with his net play and touch could dominate Fed for long periods, you think Boris wouldn't have found a way ?

After getting beat by both Edberg and Stich in the W finals, he made sure to further dominate both. He never again lost to Edberg.

As far as Sampras having surprise defeats, people conveniently forget he managed to dominate everybody while having thalassemia minor. Hence his poor record on clay.

When you have such weapons as one of the best serve ever, nerves of steel, sublime touch and netplay and powerfull forehand, there aren't too many people able to beat you.

Krajicek managed it one year playing lights out tennis, but he was a beast. Fed doesn't have the power to blast through Pete like him. And once the ball got into play, Pete could win from any part of the court.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Firstly, Agassi lost some pretty important matches to Boris, contrary to Pete who won them all, unless you consider the Stuggart final an important one. Agassi also admitted in his bio he lost to Chang on purpose at AO so he wouldn't have to play Boris.

And when Boris was on, he was as close to unbeatable as it gets. With the sole exception being Pete.

He would have all the tools to beat Fed: mentally strong when on, as (or even more) powerfull as Nadal , a total player like Fed, a slightly better server.

If Henman with his net play and touch could dominate Fed for long periods, you think Boris wouldn't have found a way ?

After getting beat by both Edberg and Stich in the W finals, he made sure to further dominate both. He never again lost to Edberg.

As far as Sampras having surprise defeats, people conveniently forget he managed to dominate everybody while having thalassemia minor. Hence his poor record on clay.

When you have such weapons as one of the best serve ever, nerves of steel, sublime touch and netplay and powerfull forehand, there aren't too many people able to beat you.

Krajicek managed it one year playing lights out tennis, but he was a beast. Fed doesn't have the power to blast through Pete like him. And once the ball got into play, Pete could win from any part of the court.
I agree that Becker at his best was great, but his problem was keeping that level for longer. Even in one match it was always up-and-down with him, and that's why his matches were so emotional.

However, Agassi pretty much owned Becker in H2H (I was wrong, he even leads him 10-4 instead of 9-5). He won 8 matches in a row against him after being 0-3 until 1989. After that the famous 1995 Wimbledon loss was his ONLY defeat to Becker and not wanting to face him at AO 1996 was rather due to personal issues between them. He just didn’t want to SEE him rather than not playing against him. Just re-read that part in his biography.

Also Becker lost two Wimbledon finals against Edberg.

And it isn’t all about power. Federer’s power + precision combination is second to none. And when you say that someone with Sampras’ serve won’t lose to many people, then you ignore the many people including no-names who actually beat him in reality.

Henman only beat the early Federer and once Federer figured him out didn’t even win sets anymore.
 
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