Pete Sampras: Djokovic is the "complete package" mentally/physically, could reach 16, 17 slams..

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
In this thread: TW's resident armchair pundits tell us why they know more about tennis than Pete Sampras.


In the above interview with CNN, Sampras discusses how impressed he is with Djokovic's dominance, says "mentally/physically he's the complete package", is "dominating at a time when the game is strong", and "to beat Rafa at the French, truly he's one of the greatest of all time", can "pass me, get to 16, 17...(pause), you just never know". Also discussed why he won't coach on the ATP tour.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
Interesting how Pete also mentions that "something's missing" from Nadal's game. "He's hitting a lot of short balls, looks nervous on court, etc.". You don't get such insights into super-elite competitive mindsets like this very often.
 

RSH

Professional
High performance in a sport doesn't automatically mean one can give accurate or insightful analysis of the sport.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
Coric could catch Fed too. Look, I know as much as PEte! :)
Only it's less absurd when Sampras says it because Nadal has a) 14 slams, b) was coming off the run of his life in 2013, c) easily beats Federer in every single big match they play nowadays. Literally the only thing that stopped Rafa was the rise of Djokovic, but now Djokovic is looking pretty threatening to Federer too. So basically when Sampras says something, he has 14 grand slams, is top 3 of all time, and people take his opinion seriously. When you say something inane like the above statement on the other hand...
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
All meaningless excuses. Bottom line is Fed is current GOAT, and will probably end up that way too.
You have given nothing to back up what you say. People thought Sampras would remain unsurpassed for many decades after he retired. Many, like Sampras, McEnroe, Agassi are already questioning dogmatic statements such as yours. Are you saying you know more than these people, and if so may I quote you on that? Nothing in tennis is immune to scrutiny. I would say the consensus is that Federer is currently GOAT, but when all-time greats start questioning this, then it is sure to spark discussions like these.
 

Tennisanity

Legend
You have given nothing to back up what you say. People thought Sampras would remain unsurpassed for many decades after he retired. Many, like Sampras, McEnroe, Agassi are already questioning dogmatic statements such as yours. Are you saying you know more than these people, and if so may I quote you on that? Nothing in tennis is immune to scrutiny. I would say the consensus is that Federer is currently GOAT, but when all-time greats start questioning this, then it is sure to spark discussions like these.
You don't understand. For Pete to say Djokovic COULD get to 16 or 17 is not a big stretch. It's meaningless. When it comes to predictions, the pro's do not carry any more weight than a complete novice. Proof? What Pete said about Nadal. That is backing up what I say, but you just don't like it. Now they are off the Nadal bandwagon.

LOL, questioning my dogma? Mac and Agassi are the ones who are making those exact statements each week! First it was Nadal, Mac was going on and on, so was Agassi, now it's Djoko, next it will be someone else. The point is the pros are no more informed about what will happen than TTW posters. If you can't understand that, then you have issues.
 

Tennisanity

Legend
As a matter of fact, I would contend that what the pros say is even more meaningless than was posters here say. Why? Because of PR. What Pro ever said Player A will never achieve this. They have to sell the game, so they only say nice things. TTW posters are more honest and have nothing to gain.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
As a matter of fact, I would contend that what the pros say is even more meaningless than was posters here say. Why? Because of PR. What Pro ever said Player A will never achieve this. They have to sell the game, so they only say nice things. TTW posters are more honest and have nothing to gain.
Interesting viewpoint actually, but did you watch the interview though? Sampras doesn't seem super-invested in the ATP anymore, unlike Agassi/McEnroe. So it's not like he's obligated to sell the game like the guys who are still heavily involved in promoting it. What I could see is that Sampras is a bit sore at Federer for passing his record so soon after Sampras retired, but then again he doesn't seem so sore at Nadal and Djokovic for catching up.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
I don't understand why people get hard-ons over posting a quote and watching people argue. 1. who cares? 2. Pete is right here, doesn't mean it will happen, but it certainly looks likely.
 

Tennisanity

Legend
Interesting viewpoint actually, but did you watch the interview though? Sampras doesn't seem super-invested in the ATP anymore, unlike Agassi/McEnroe. So it's not like he's obligated to sell the game like the guys who are still heavily involved in promoting it. What I could see is that Sampras is a bit sore at Federer for passing his record so soon after Sampras retired, but then again he doesn't seem so sore at Nadal and Djokovic for catching up.
I dunno, I don't hear Edberg making such statements. Lendl? Borg? But every now and again, Pete does, meaning he is invested, at least more than those other guys. He probably wants to feel like he still exists. The fact the Pete says Fed is playing better than ever, shows that what he's saying is just BS. Selling the game.
 

Maestroesque

Professional
Why does Sampras say he's getting better then? Or that he's playing comparably, if not better to how he was 10 years ago?
Because he's obviously not going to publicly say that Federer has declined or he's playing well below he's peak level because that's not what anyone (even Federer himself) wants to hear. Anyone can look at peak Federer and deduce that current Fed albeit still pretty good is only a shadow of his former self.
 

eagletennis

Semi-Pro
High performance in a sport doesn't automatically mean one can give accurate or insightful analysis of the sport.
This is so correct.Look at the Magic when he tweets about NBA.Sometimes I feel that he is just troling us.Although I would like Pete to be proven right
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Because he's obviously not going to publicly say that Federer has declined or he's playing well below he's peak level because that's not what anyone (even Federer himself) wants to hear. Anyone can look at peak Federer and deduce that current Fed albeit still pretty good is only a shadow of his former self.
Man, you just joined Sunday, and you didn't name yourself Maestronian? :(
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
"Roger's almost playing better now than he did 10 years ago"

"Roger's almost playing better now than he did 10 years ago"

"Roger's almost playing better now than he did 10 years ago"

"Roger's almost playing better now than he did 10 years ago"

 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
"Roger's almost playing better now than he did 10 years ago"

"Roger's almost playing better now than he did 10 years ago"

"Roger's almost playing better now than he did 10 years ago"

"Roger's almost playing better now than he did 10 years ago"

Exactly my thoughts. Almost = not.
 
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Deleted member 307496

Guest
Why does Sampras say he's getting better then? Or that he's playing comparably, if not better to how he was 10 years ago?
Sampras calling an era "strong" is a measuring stick for just how weak the said era really is.

For example, Sampras said he was playing his best tennis in 2002 it's just that the field was "too strong" for him to post the same results he did in the years proceeding that year, which as it turns out is a year a lot of people (the vast majority being Djoko-fanbois) put crap on.

Today honestly is the weakest I've seen the game since 1996-1998. Realize it, deal with it and move on - stop being so damn insecure about it. :D
 
What a chump, it is obvious he is going to have 20 plus. What is he watching? Only Stan has beaten him at the Aussie in 6 years, the only guy who can beat him at Wimbledon is Murray if he plays like he did in 2013, for Fed to do it Nole would have to drop to 60% & Fed would have to be at his total best. Only Stan looks to be able to beat him at the French.
 

Odvala

Rookie
Well IMO Fed game improved over the 2004-2007 period for one simple reason, back then he was on like 80% at most in order to win *except Nadal at FO*. Once he started loosing against Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro on other surfaces where he was the king he needed to adopt and to improve in certain aspects of hes game. Wimb run in 2015 for Fed, also US15 , AO16 was incredible for hes age and in that Wimb everyone thought he is getting hes 18th there...but every page has 2 sides.

That 2nd side is Novak. He was the one who had a lot of health issues while playing against 2 giants in their prime (Fedal). For many years he was No3 and in order to believe that he can get to hes dream of being No1 he needs to improve even more, push even more, practice and get stronger in every aspect even more. That 2010 Davis Cup win gave him huge confidence boost alongside with hes breathing problem solved (Gluten-free diet). 2011 is the result.

All 3 of ATG's Fed,Nad,Djok pushed each other to the level of tennis that is for everyone else on the Tour way beyond real. When you are speaking about Djokovic playing in (Weak Era) where he has 17k ATP points , can you just say that hes level of tennis is just far above everyone else on the Tour? Yes, and i just explain you why is that the case. He's playing with such an ease that even when he is playing bad he is still wining and reaching finals of 99% of the tournaments in past 2 years.

He's legacy is yet to be written and he will not stop at 17GS,302 weaks or 6 WTF's. He lives for tennis and loves the game.
 
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Deleted member 307496

Guest
Well IMO Fed game improved over the 2004-2007 period for one simple reason, back then he was on like 80% at most in order to win *except Nadal at FO*. Once he started loosing against Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro on other surfaces where he was the king he needed to adopt and to improve in certain aspects of hes game. Wimb run in 2015 for Fed, also US15 , AO15 was incredible for hes age and in that Wimb everyone thought he is getting hes 18th there...but every page has 2 sides.

That 2nd side is Novak. He was the one who had a lot of health issues while playing against 2 giants in their prime (Fedal). For many years he was No3 and in order to believe that he can get to hes dream of being No1 he needs to improve even more, push even more, practice and get stronger in every aspect even more. That 2010 Davis Cup win gave him huge confidence boost alongside with hes breathing problem solved (Gluten-free diet). 2011 is the result.

All 3 of ATG's Fed,Nad,Djok pushed each other to the level of tennis that is for everyone else on the Tour way beyond real. When you are speaking about Djokovic playing in (Weak Era) where he has 17k ATP points , can you just say that hes level of tennis is just far above everyone else on the Tour? Yes, and i just explain you why is that the case. He's playing with such an ease that even when he is playing bad he is still wining and reaching finals of 99% of the tournaments in past 2 years.

He's legacy is yet to be written and he will not stop at 17GS,302 weaks or 6 WTF's. He lives for tennis and loves the game.
No. I say he only needs to use 75% of his ability to win today and that he's taking advantage of a weak era; because he is.
 

Odvala

Rookie
No. I say he only needs to use 75% of his ability to win today and that he's taking advantage of a weak era; because he is.
Yes he does. Why? Because he is better then everyone else. When Fed was taking advantage over hes weak era in 2004-2007 he was not considered (exploiter of weak era) but as GOD? Correct me if i am wrong?
 
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Deleted member 307496

Guest
Yes he does. Why? Because he is better then everyone else. When Fed was taking advantage over hes weak era in 2004-2007 he was not considered (exploiter of weak era) but as GOD? Correct me if i am wrong?
I personally never considered him a "God" (Sampras and Agassi's domination were fresh in my memory) but felt that he raised the game to a new level and that only the greats (Nadal and Djokovic) could stop him on the big stages.

I don't feel Djokovic has brought the game to a new level - I feel the game has declined and given him the chance to amass all of the records he holds today.

A lot of Djokovic fans are insecure about this era being called weak when it is, so you guys come up with theories like Fed is at his best today, everything is rapidly improving, ect.

I mean even if Djokovic gets to 17, the strength of the era won't matter so why not admit it?
 

Odvala

Rookie
I personally never considered him a "God" (Sampras and Agassi's domination were fresh in my memory) but felt that he raised the game to a new level and that only the greats (Nadal and Djokovic) could stop him on the big stages.

I don't feel Djokovic has brought the game to a new level - I feel the game has declined and given him the chance to amass all of the records he holds today.

A lot of Djokovic fans are insecure about this era being called weak when it is, so you guys come up with theories like Fed is at his best today, everything is rapidly improving, ect.

I mean even if Djokovic gets to 17, the strength of the era won't matter so why not admit it?
Uhm, i think i did admit? I don't know how many of posters here was actually professionals in Sport. I was for 5 years, swimming. Let me just explain you one simple thing as an former athlete. I never care about who is swimming in other lanes as long as i am better then them. If someone is better then me it just drives me to train even harder till my limits.

What is going on in world now and not only in Sports is that younger generation have no dedication and passion for sport they play. What drives them is not pursuit for records and glory but its money and fame. That is why in top 20 players on the tour there is so many 30+ years old players.

Djokovic has brought the game to a new level. That level isn't the beauty and style of Fed or Spanish toreador Nadal but in all general aspects of the game, when looking Novak plays its like looking video game where that player have everything.
 

user

Professional
A lot of Djokovic fans are insecure about this era being called weak when it is, so you guys come up with theories like Fed is at his best today, everything is rapidly improving, ect.
It is what it is. 17 is an average fedfan answer to every single question. But how exactly do you measure the strength of an era?

Is Federer's era (2003-2007/2009 I guess) stronger becase he had to deal with the likes of Hewitt and Roddick? I'd say no, because they were absolutely no threat to Federer during his peak years. 15-0 in a row vs Hewitt at some point, and 11-0 in a row vs Roddick. I mean, no matter how good you think Federer was, they should have beaten him every now and then. This way, seems that they were impotent and irrelevant to the level of competition Federer faced. Maybe I should include Safin as well, because he basically showed up only one single time vs Federer. 9/10 times Federer straightsetted him. Sorry, I can't see that as a real challenge. People talk about Wawrinka being Safin's counterpart during Djokovic era, but the truth is, it's 4-2 at Slams for Djokovic, with 3/4 of those wins going to 5 sets.

Or, was Federer's era stronger because he had to fight Nadal at FO? But, Nadal was hardly a roadblock on hard and grass untill 2008-2009. At RG, sure from 2005-2008 and 2011, but he also stopped Djokovic six times. How many more do you need?

Djokovic has it easier now, than 2011-2014, because in each of those years, there was someone to take advantage of his level dropping. I admit there was noone e.g. at 2015 USO, because Djokovic's form wasn't that great at all there. In comparison with Federer, why was there no one to take advantage of his subpar level of play like semi-retired Guga did at 2004 RG? I'm talking about 2006 AO, 2007 USO etc. How exactly was the competition strong, when none of these players (apart from Nadal) couldn't even give Federer a hard time, let alone beat him, not for a period of 1 or 2 years, but a whole 2004-2007 era?

I personally never considered him a "God"
We'll see about that.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I don't consider Federer today better than 10 years ago. The reason is simple: without his serve he is vulnerable against a lot of players. Federer today is too serve dependent. Back then his ground game was good enough to help him win matches if he had a bad serving day.

It's no coincidence he played so well against Murray at Wimb last year. His had an impeccable serving day and that's why he finished the job in straights. The match would have been a bit more complicated had his serve been subpar.

Another example: despite losing that match, the sole reason why the 2009 AO match was so tight was because Fed's ground game was at a very good level, while he also had a bad serving day. The Federer of the last 2-3 years would have lost in straights to Nadal that year.

Also Fed goes away after 2-3 sets. Case in point: the 2015 Wimb final. After 2 very tight sets, Federer just went away meekly in the last 2 sets. Gone are the days when he could play 5 set epics against Nadal/Djokovic. If Nadal played the 2008 Wimb final against 2015 Federer, there would not even be a discussion about the greatest match of all time because Nadal would have won in straights.

There is no way a 34 year old can play better than a 24 year old. He has changed his game solely because of his decline. We'll see if Djokovic will do that successfully as he reaches Fed's age.
 

xFedal

Legend
I don't consider Federer today better than 10 years ago. The reason is simple: without his serve he is vulnerable against a lot of players. Federer today is too serve dependent. Back then his ground game was good enough to help him win matches if he had a bad serving day.

It's no coincidence he played so well against Murray at Wimb last year. His had an impeccable serving day and that's why he finished the job in straights. The match would have been a bit more complicated had his serve been subpar.

Another example: despite losing that match, the sole reason why the 2009 AO match was so tight was because Fed's ground game was at a very good level, while he also had a bad serving day. The Federer of the last 2-3 years would have lost in straights to Nadal that year.

Also Fed goes away after 2-3 sets. Case in point: the 2015 Wimb final. After 2 very tight sets, Federer just went away meekly in the last 2 sets. Gone are the days when he could play 5 set epics against Nadal/Djokovic. If Nadal played the 2008 Wimb final against 2015 Federer, there would not even be a discussion about the greatest match of all time because Nadal would have won in straights.

There is no way a 34 year old can play better than a 24 year old. He has changed his game solely because of his decline. We'll see if Djokovic will do that successfully as he reaches Fed's age.
Djokovic and Fed both have 1 slam after turning 29... Nole has tied Feds Slam winning longevity?
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Who does?



Speaking of which, reality is Nadal should have won in straights in 2008. Federer almost got away.
You see, I don't think it is as black and white as most people think it is.

I don't believe Federer is better than ever, while Djokovic is just that good. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, Nole is playing at a very very high level, but Fed himself is not what he used to be.
 
You see, I don't think it is as black and white as most people think it is.

I don't believe Federer is better than ever, while Djokovic is just that good. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, Nole is playing at a very very high level, but Fed himself is not what he used to be.
and Rafa is even further from his old best than Fed probably, despite being significantly younger. Like I said he is basically a 30 year old in a 40 year old body now and is playing the way most great players would be playing if they were still on tour at 40. And is anyone that surprised given his playing style, scheduling, generally inefficient method of playing. It is amazing he lasted as long as long as he did (until about 2 years ago) playing somewhere near his best, all things considered.

The 89-92 generation sucks which is well documented by anyone who semi understands the game. The guys born in 95/96 are promising but still need more time at this point. Thiem is too but looking likely to be more of a late bloomer, and also needs more time. Berdych, Ferrer, Gasquet, Tsonga werent even real competition for Djokovic even at their best, and being a couple years older than Novak (Ferrer more than that) no surprise are already amidst their age decline anyway.

So basically his only real competition is Wawrinka and Murray, which isnt bad, but not exactly the best competition for a GOAT either. Similar to how Hewitt and Roddick were Fed's only real competition for awhile, but even then you atleast had young but already GOATing Rafa on clay almost right away, and probably a bit more depth.
 
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