Prime Nadal vs Prime Sampras at the French Open - Only Sampras Serves - Who Wins?

Prime Nadal vs Prime Sampras at French Open (Only Sampras Serves)

  • Nadal

    Votes: 74 40.9%
  • Sampras

    Votes: 107 59.1%

  • Total voters
    181

Sport

Legend
How many service games won Federer against Nadal in RG 2008?

2005 or 2008 Nadal in 5. Arguably the fastest player ever and the greatest clay returner ever (Nadal) against a nobody on clay (Sampras)?

I had forgotten how fast Nadal was. Check out his first point against Federer in their first RG 2005 match:

 
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REKX

Rookie
How many service games won Federer against Nadal in RG 2008?

2005 or 2008 Nadal in 5. Arguably the fastest player ever and the greatest clay returner ever (Nadal) against a nobody on clay (Sampras)?

I had forgotten how fast Nadal was. Check out his first point against Federer in their first RG 2005 match:

Exactly, I showed Nadal winning above 50% return games and Sampras losing more than 50% of his service games in best year. They don't seem to appreciate that here.

Then I asked about the matchup which even more horrible for Sampras. Sampras wouldn't hit every point as an ace, so I would like to know when the ball is in play, what part of Sampras game hurts the 2008 Nadal at Roland Garros?

I think it's clear here that it's bias or people don't realise how good Nadal played in 2008,
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
Haha.

Did you enjoy the 1996 French Open semi final? You might want to take a gander into the world wide web, and then come back.
Stop it, my sides hurts. :-D:-D:-D:-D

Sampras being broken 18 times? LOL I saw his entire career from start to finish, I am not some Johnny come lately to this party. ;)

How about you try watching tennis outside of 2008 for once?

Seriously though, this thread is about as hilarious as it gets.
 

REKX

Rookie
Stop it, my sides hurts. :-D:-D:-D:-D

Sampras being broken 18 times? LOL I saw his entire career from start to finish, I am not some Johnny come lately to this party. ;)

How about you try watching tennis outside of 2008 for once?

Seriously though, this thread is about as hilarious as it gets.
This is Prime Nadal vs Prime Sampras, I chose 2008 French because that was Nadal's greatest performance, and 1996 for Sampras because that was most successful French Open because a lot of it was poor - as people were commenting earlier Sampras would get broken left right and centre by journey man, let alone a Prime Nadal.

If you biased people think Kafelnikov was a struggle for Sampras, how do you think the match would have gone if it was Nadal?

If it was 2008 Nadal instead of Kafelnikov that day, what would have been the result?
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
This is Prime Nadal vs Prime Sampras, I chose 2008 French because that was Nadal's greatest performance, and 1996 for Sampras because that was most successful French Open because a lot of it was poor - as people were commenting earlier Sampras would get broken left right and centre by journey man, let alone a Prime Nadal.

If you biased people think Kafelnikov was a struggle for Sampras, how do you think the match would have gone if it was Nadal?

If it was 2008 Nadal instead of Kafelnikov that day, what would have been the result?

Biased? Looks who's talking.

You are talking about the peak Pete Sampras serve being broken 18 times? Arguably the greatest serve ever? 18 times? Peak Sampras serve? LOL :-D:-D:-D:-D:-D

Seriously though, I understand you are a Federer and Nadal fan, but please don't expect some of us to accept what you are shovelling.
 

REKX

Rookie

It's scary to see Nadal's performance that year. Federer in 2008 was still a far far far superior clay court player than Sampras, Federer in 2008 was the best clay court player on tour, after Nadal, he beat everyone except for Nadal, look at the results of the French and other tournaments that year.

Sampras didn't even make to a final of the French, in 2008 Federer's forehand backhand movement was still far far more potent than Sampras has ever played in Roland Garros.

Can you imagine this Nadal facing a Sampras with a weaker one handed backhand, and weaker forehand, less precise movement etc?

The Nadal forehand to the Sampras backhand, I don't see what answer Sampras has for this - we have his entire clay career as evidence for this. But you can tell me right, instead of laughing it off, why don't you tell me how Sampras constructs points in play to beat 2008 Nadal?
 

REKX

Rookie
Biased? Looks who's talking.

You are talking about the peak Pete Sampras serve being broken 18 times? Arguably the greatest serve ever? 18 times? Peak Sampras serve? LOL :-D:-D:-D:-D:-D

Seriously though, I understand you are a Federer and Nadal fan, but please don't expect some of us to accept what you are shovelling.
The 'greatest serve' ever was broken many many times, by complete nobodies. Did you not watch that? There is clear reason for that, I explained at the very start the surface nullifies the serve somewhat which is all players get less aces on clay.

Please explain why journey men and nobodies were able to break the Sampras serve very often?
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
This is Prime Nadal vs Prime Sampras, I chose 2008 French because that was Nadal's greatest performance, and 1996 for Sampras because that was most successful French Open because a lot of it was poor - as people were commenting earlier Sampras would get broken left right and centre by journey man, let alone a Prime Nadal.

If you biased people think Kafelnikov was a struggle for Sampras, how do you think the match would have gone if it was Nadal?

If it was 2008 Nadal instead of Kafelnikov that day, what would have been the result?
You seem to forget the scenario you yourself created: Sampras is serving the whole match. It's completely irrelevant to bring in other players and how they were a struggle for Sampras when they played under normal conditions where both were serving.

Nadal has to break Sampras 18 times. Try to grasp that.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
The 'greatest serve' ever was broken many many times, by complete nobodies. Did you not watch that? There is clear reason for that, I explained at the very start the surface nullifies the serve somewhat which is all players get less aces on clay.

Please explain why journey men and nobodies were able to break the Sampras serve very often?
You entire premise that Peak Sampras' serve will be broken 18 times is one of the most laughable things I have read on these boards, and I have been here for a decade. Just the fact you actually are making a real subject about it shows how much you really know about Sampras and tennis outside of Wimbledon 2008. If this was a fun thread, I'd get in on the joke, sad thing is, the joke is still obvious....There is nothing to explain to someone who thinks Peak Pete Sampras serve is going to be broken 18 times and actually believes it.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
prime poncho gonzales vs. 45-year-old fed in badminton, best of 3 sets, who ya got? fed plays with 90s badminton equipment, poncho gets 2000s equipment.

i think fed's badminton experience overcomes the glaring gap in physical prowess, come at me
 

REKX

Rookie
You entire premise that Peak Sampras' serve will be broken 18 times is one of the most laughable things I have read on these boards, and I have been here for a decade. Just the fact you actually are making a real subject about it shows how much you really know about Sampras and tennis outside of Wimbledon 2008. If this was a fun thread, I'd get in on the joke, sad thing is, the joke is still obvious....There is nothing to explain to someone who thinks Peak Pete Sampras serve is going to be broken 18 times and actually believes it.
If what you say is true, explain the second set in this video??? Please...


Watch Sampras backhand and how short it lands, can you imagine what Nadal would do to that?
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
A theoretical matchup between Prime Nadal and Prime Sampras at Roland Garros, but Sampras serves every game.

As a Federer and Nadal fan, I think these two have gone a level beyond the Sampras league, but to be fair we could have seen that years ago when Federer played Sampras at Wimbledon and beat him, Federer was very weak then but still beat Sampras, then, Wimbledon champion.

So we can take most versions of Nadal on clay here, but 2008 was probably the best form because he is the only player in history who beat prime Federer at Wimbledon. Federer didn't lose a set till the final of Wimbledon 2008, and in the run up to the French Open final he only lost I think a couple of sets on the way to the final.

Yet in the final he beat Federer the greatest player of all time, in his prime, 6-1, 6-3 and 6-0.

So Sampras serving every game to Nadal, well considering Sampras never even made it to the final, and the baseline game was a lot weaker compared to now. And Nadal would target the Sampras backhand non stop, and it would be far far more exposed than Federer's so it would constantly land short for Nadal to win the point. Also considering the surface would nullify the Sampras serve.

And considering Nadal dismantled Federer in a love set, I think Nadal wins this 6-2 6-2 6-0.

But that might be generous because it's difficult to see how Sampras could take four games off Prime Nadal even on his serve on all games, Sampras would not win points from the baseline, and would get passed by Nadal at the net (who is probably greatest of all time in the passing shots)

......

To back up what I said this is a video Sport has linked.


Observations are as predicted. Because of the surface, the Sampras serve is nullfied somewhat, Agassi was returning pretty much all of Sampras serves, even hit a return passing shot winner against Sampras first serve. With Nadal and his athleticism and speed, and how far back he stands, giving himself a lot more time, would ferociously attack the Sampras serve.

Once the ball is in play, we can see Sampras is hitting his backhand almost going backwards, there is no penetration so not forcing Nadal back or wide. Nadal attacking the Sampras backhand with high top spin would set up many many points. In longer rallies, Sampras is losing most points against Agassi, and Nadal would punish Sampras on this aspect.

Since the serve is nullified, I don't see where Sampras has the tools to hurt Nadal, and would be second favorite for every single point once the ball is in play.

I would love to hear your opinion if you disagree with this, after all this is a discussion. Considering Sampras never made it to the final of the French, and even lost 6-0 sets himself, and Nadal dominated the 2008 French Open, winning three 6-0 sets and nine 6-1 sets, with an average of about 55% return games won - he would have no problems breaking and beating Sampras especially if other lesser players than Nadal have done it time and time again to Sampras.

I simply don't see any other outcome in this theoretical match other than a Nadal win.
As a Nadal and Sampras fan, I think Sampras just edges it.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
If what you say is true, explain the second set in this video??? Please...


Watch Sampras backhand and how short it lands, can you imagine what Nadal would do to that?
I have seen the entire 96 RG, and I know exactly what happened from start to finish, and so should you if you are posting that. I have already told you, Sampras had gone through 3 five set matches, and two of them were against multi time RG champions. Is it difficult to understand, just how physically draining playing 3 set five set matches on clay, against at the time, two of the best on clay is? Seriously, if it is, then I really have nothing more to say.

I understand you are a Federer and Nadal and its OK to hero worship, but try to not expect others to buy into it, especially those of us that actually watched tennis outside of 2008. Seriously, if you are just joking, then I get it, and we can laugh, but if you are serious that a peak Sampras serve, the greatest serve of all time in the biggest matches is going to be broken 18 times....I mean, trying to get your head wrapped around that is something...the greatest big match server of all time at his peak being broken 18 times on any surface is about as laughable as it gets.

I have nothing more to discuss on this, since there is nothing you have that will convince me that Pete's serve will be broken 18 times at his peak in a single match by anyone. ;)
 
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Jonas78

Legend
I wonder how many troll votes there are for Nadal, because if even 10% of the forum truly believe Nadal would break Sampras serve 18 times, im beyond shocked.
 

Feather

Legend
I have seen the entire 96 RG, and I know exactly what happened from start to finish, and so should you if you are posting that. I have already told you, Sampras had gone through 3 five set matches, and two of them were against multi time RG champions. Is it difficult to understand, just how physically draining playing 3 set five set matches on clay, against at the time, two of the best on clay is? Seriously, if it is, then I really have nothing more to say.

I understand you are a Federer and Nadal and its OK to hero worship, but try to not expect others to buy into it, especially those of us that actually watched tennis outside of 2008. Seriously, if you are just joking, then I get it, and we can laugh, but if you are serious that a peak Sampras serve, the greatest serve of all time in the biggest matches is going to be broken 18 times....I mean, trying to get your head wrapped around that is something...the greatest big match server of all time at his peak being broken 18 times on any surface is about as laughable as it gets.

I have nothing more to discuss on this, since there is nothing you have that will convince me that Pete's serve will be broken 18 times at his peak in a single match by anyone. ;)
Well said, Hitman. These people are clueless about what they are talking. They live in a la la land where Pete Sampras gets broken eighteen times!
 

Feather

Legend
Stop it, my sides hurts. :-D:-D:-D:-D

Sampras being broken 18 times? LOL I saw his entire career from start to finish, I am not some Johnny come lately to this party. ;)

How about you try watching tennis outside of 2008 for once?

Seriously though, this thread is about as hilarious as it gets.
I initially thought it's a fun thread. Just now only I checked. And I realise that how silly these posters are. I too have followed Pete Sampras career a lot. He was not a mug on clay as these people tend to think of him.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
64 votes. 40% for Nadal??!

Absolute madness. This is one of the few threads I can honestly say makes me ashamed to be part of this forum. Thankfully the large majority of posters I had respect for on these boards had the decency to say they voted for Sampras so I didn't have to rethink anything.
 

aman92

Hall of Fame
If anyone says anything other than a Sampras win, he should be ashamed of himself and I say this as the biggest Nadal fan.
Let's look at it mathematically..Sampras can easily go for his first serve on every serve and he'll be comfortable.

Assuming on a conservative basis , Prime Sampras has a 65% first serve percentage and wins 70% of his first serve points against Prime Nadal, he would win-
65%*70% +35%*65%*70%= 61.4% of the points, which would easily win him the match in any scenario.

And this is being very conservative since Sampras was a monster when his first serve landed in.
 

JMR

Hall of Fame
I would like to point out that it would not be sufficient for Nadal to break Sampras 18 times. Such an effort would merely get Nadal to three tiebreaks, at 6-all in each set. And then Nadal would have to win three tiebreaks in which Sampras served on every point!
 

REKX

Rookie
If anyone says anything other than a Sampras win, he should be ashamed of himself and I say this as the biggest Nadal fan.
Let's look at it mathematically..Sampras can easily go for his first serve on every serve and he'll be comfortable.

Assuming on a conservative basis , Prime Sampras has a 65% first serve percentage and wins 70% of his first serve points against Prime Nadal, he would win-
65%*70% +35%*65%*70%= 61.4% of the points, which would easily win him the match in any scenario.

And this is being very conservative since Sampras was a monster when his first serve landed in.
Nadal had a higher than 50% break of serve games during the French 2008.

Your figures don't match reality, do you not understand we are talking about clay? Kafelnikov had a 6-0 set against Sampras, and the user above was saying this was because he was playing good players. I mean, what if he can't cope with average clay court players, a Prime Nadal is something beyond he would have ever faced.

Look at this, in 1996 French Sampras was being broken left right and centre throughout the whole tournament, Nadal in 2008 French was winning three 6-0 sets and nine 6-1 sets. The data supports my proposition, please explain.

Then add the matchup advantage, huge huge matchup advantage, what percentage of baseline points would Sampras win against any version of Nadal, let alone the 2008 version?
 

REKX

Rookie
I would like to point out that it would not be sufficient for Nadal to break Sampras 18 times. Such an effort would merely get Nadal to three tiebreaks, at 6-all in each set. And then Nadal would have to win three tiebreaks in which Sampras served on every point!
If far lesser players than Nadal were regularly breaking the Sampras serve, what makes you think Sampras would hold easily against Nadal?
 

JMR

Hall of Fame
If far lesser players than Nadal were regularly breaking the Sampras serve, what makes you think Sampras would hold easily against Nadal?
"Easily" is a straw man. It doesn't matter how easy or difficult it would be. And Sampras wouldn't have to hold serve every single time -- far from it. He'd just have to hold serve slightly more than half the time.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
I think a more interesting proposition would be, Prime Sampras vs Prime Nadal at the French Open, but once per set Sampras can "take over" a Nadal service and serve that game himself
 

REKX

Rookie
"Easily" is a straw man. It doesn't matter how easy or difficult it would be. And Sampras wouldn't have to hold serve every single time -- far from it. He'd just have to hold serve slightly more than half the time.
I think a more interesting proposition would be, Prime Sampras vs Prime Nadal at the French Open, but once per set Sampras can "take over" a Nadal service and serve that game himself
Prime Nadal vs Prime Sampras at the French Open - Only Sampras can hit the ball - Who Wins?

This is all the evidence you need, I can provide more if you want. When Sampras is serving, unless he hits an ace he is losing almost every point against Agassi. He hit a return passing winner from a Sampras first serve.

Observe whilst the ball is in play, how short Sampras forehand and backhands land, and Agassi is able to dictate. What do you think Nadal would do to those Sampras backhands which land short?

If Agassi and many many players were able to ease through Sampras service games at Roland Garros, what do you think the 2008 Nadal would do?

I would like to ask you, if the point is not an ace by Sampras and the ball is in play, how does Sampras construct a point against a 2008 Nadal?
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.

This is all the evidence you need, I can provide more if you want. When Sampras is serving, unless he hits an ace he is losing almost every point against Agassi. He hit a return passing winner from a Sampras first serve.

Observe whilst the ball is in play, how short Sampras forehand and backhands land, and Agassi is able to dictate. What do you think Nadal would do to those Sampras backhands which land short?

If Agassi and many many players were able to ease through Sampras service games at Roland Garros, what do you think the 2008 Nadal would do?

I would like to ask you, if the point is not an ace by Sampras and the ball is in play, how does Sampras construct a point against a 2008 Nadal?
Nadal won 51% of his return games in 2008 against the field. He'll do better against one of the best servers ever... how?

https://www.atptour.com/en/players/rafael-nadal/n409/player-stats?year=2008&surfaceType=clay

His career number is 43% return games won. Sampras won 81% of his service games on clay.

https://www.atptour.com/en/players/pete-sampras/s402/player-stats?year=0&surfaceType=clay

You do the math
 

REKX

Rookie
Nadal won 51% of his return games in 2008 against the field. He'll do better against one of the best servers ever... how?

https://www.atptour.com/en/players/rafael-nadal/n409/player-stats?year=2008&surfaceType=clay

His career number is 43% return games won. Sampras won 81% of his service games on clay.

https://www.atptour.com/en/players/pete-sampras/s402/player-stats?year=0&surfaceType=clay

You do the math
I'm talking specifically in the French Open 2008.

What does Sampras winning 81% service games on clay have anything to do with this matchup? Has he faced Nadal, or anything even close to a 2008 Nadal, no.

And your question, can Nadal do better than 51% return games won against Sampras, well if Kafelnikov was able to bagel Sampras, what do you think would have happened if 2008 Nadal played him that day?

If Nadal was handing out 6-0 and 6-1 sets in the 2008 French, and Sampras was losing his serve to far lesser players, you can only see one outcome here.
 

Third Serve

Hall of Fame
I'm talking specifically in the French Open 2008.

What does Sampras winning 81% service games on clay have anything to do with this matchup? Has he faced Nadal, or anything even close to a 2008 Nadal, no.

And your question, can Nadal do better than 51% return games won against Sampras, well if Kafelnikov was able to bagel Sampras, what do you think would have happened if 2008 Nadal played him that day?

If Nadal was handing out 6-0 and 6-1 sets in the 2008 French, and Sampras was losing his serve to far lesser players, you can only see one outcome here.
Those are what the numbers refer to.
 

aman92

Hall of Fame
Nadal had a higher than 50% break of serve games during the French 2008.

Your figures don't match reality, do you not understand we are talking about clay? Kafelnikov had a 6-0 set against Sampras, and the user above was saying this was because he was playing good players. I mean, what if he can't cope with average clay court players, a Prime Nadal is something beyond he would have ever faced.

Look at this, in 1996 French Sampras was being broken left right and centre throughout the whole tournament, Nadal in 2008 French was winning three 6-0 sets and nine 6-1 sets. The data supports my proposition, please explain.

Then add the matchup advantage, huge huge matchup advantage, what percentage of baseline points would Sampras win against any version of Nadal, let alone the 2008 version?
Nadal having a higher than 50% serve games during the French Open means jot because the average level of servers he faced would be nowhere close to Sampras. And we are talking prime Sampras so not sure why you would use the worst version of him to make your argument? Sampras winning at least 60% of the points when he is serving every single point isn't a long shout by any means. In fact it's a tad Conservative
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
If far lesser players than Nadal were regularly breaking the Sampras serve, what makes you think Sampras would hold easily against Nadal?
Part of the reason that the dude has fourteen majors is that he was rarely broken by far lesser players. Did it happen more on clay? Sure, his W-L record shows that, but he certainly wasn't getting broken left right and center like people seem to think. Also; a larger contributing part to said W-L record? The Sampras return game on clay, which in this hypothetical is eliminated entirely, leaving him only with his main strength. You give Sampras the 'on serve forever' stipulation you have in the OP throughout his career and he probably picks up more than one French, such was the effectiveness of his service game.

Furthermore, you keep harping that Sampras wouldn't be serving aces each point. Okay, sure. What about service winners (and there would be a lot of service winners)? Or balls that Nadal gets into play but are neutral at best, leaving them fodder for groundstrokes that while ill-suited for protracted rallies on clay were still lethally effective when used to put away gimmes on the same surface?

Remember, the 2008 Federer that Nadal handled had a good to very good serve at the time. That's tremendously different from having a serve that's on the shortlist for the greatest ever for both first/second AND giving that same player the insane advantage of always serving. It's telling that you insist on using a Sampras that was physically demolished from multiple five setters (FO 96 semifinal) as opposed to say - 96 FO Pete from the start of the tournament. Y'know, when he was fresh.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
change the surface to hardcourt there is only one winner. The fact we even have this thread about him on clay shows how good he was
 

King No1e

Legend
This is still one of my favorite TTW threads: the sheer simplicity of the hypothetical, and the wildly different takes everyone has on it, ranging from certain Sampras victory to certain Nadal victory, all with their own justification for any answer.

Bravo OP. May this thread never die.
 

King No1e

Legend
If peak Nadal were to beat Sampras 6-1 6-2 6-2 or whereabouts in a regular RG match, which is reasonably possible considering what he did to Federer, that means he wins more than 1/2 of Sampras's service games. So while it's a very small chance, there is still a possibility Nadal wins this one in 5.
 

REKX

Rookie
Part of the reason that the dude has fourteen majors is that he was rarely broken by far lesser players. Did it happen more on clay? Sure, his W-L record shows that, but he certainly wasn't getting broken left right and center like people seem to think. Also; a larger contributing part to said W-L record? The Sampras return game on clay, which in this hypothetical is eliminated entirely, leaving him only with his main strength. You give Sampras the 'on serve forever' stipulation you have in the OP throughout his career and he probably picks up more than one French, such was the effectiveness of his service game.

Furthermore, you keep harping that Sampras wouldn't be serving aces each point. Okay, sure. What about service winners (and there would be a lot of service winners)? Or balls that Nadal gets into play but are neutral at best, leaving them fodder for groundstrokes that while ill-suited for protracted rallies on clay were still lethally effective when used to put away gimmes on the same surface?

Remember, the 2008 Federer that Nadal handled had a good to very good serve at the time. That's tremendously different from having a serve that's on the shortlist for the greatest ever for both first/second AND giving that same player the insane advantage of always serving. It's telling that you insist on using a Sampras that was physically demolished from multiple five setters (FO 96 semifinal) as opposed to say - 96 FO Pete from the start of the tournament. Y'know, when he was fresh.
He was getting broken easily, that is the point. Kafelnikov beat Sampras 76 60 62 - this was the year Sampras got furthest in the tournament than any other year, his greatest year at the French. Please answer this for me, imagine, instead of Kafelnikov, it was the 2008 Nadal from the video below that Sampras faced. What do you think the score would have been?

 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
He was getting broken easily, that is the point. Kafelnikov beat Sampras 76 60 62 - this was the year Sampras got furthest in the tournament than any other year, his greatest year at the French. Please answer this for me, imagine, instead of Kafelnikov, it was the 2008 Nadal from the video below that Sampras faced. What do you think the score would have been?

With or without beating two champs in 5 set epics on the way?
 
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