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: 71 40.3%
  • Sampras

    Votes: 105 59.7%

  • Total voters
    176

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Prime Nadal at RG doesn't need the generosity of anyone when he could bagel prime Federer in a final. He can very well take a set from Prime Pete too even with the American doing all the serve. 2 sets would be extremely difficult through. So, the likely result would be Pete winning in 4 sets.
Certainly more believable than your fellow brethren here. As it stands 16 votes for Nadal.
 

Prabhanjan

Professional
Bagels are aberrant outcomes. Even Nadal has gotten bageled on clay.

Sampras, for his career, has gotten bageled on clay three times in 450 or so sets. And again, it was much harder to hold in those days on clay, the numbers bear that out.
Did I say Pete will be triple bageled? That serve has never been an advantage is universally known. Except Yannick Noah, I don't know of any player that has won FO while S&V.
It is hopeless scenario to assume that Pete serves with same efficiency all through the match. If serve alone is an advantage, you would find owner/bahut match on clay. Si Pete serve will be advantage for a set or two. As the match goes deep in and nadal returns the serve, it would be all over.
 

Devin

Semi-Pro
The life of @REKX

Wake up
Watch Wimbledon 2008
Take a shower
Watch Wimbledon 2008
Get dressed
Watch Wimbledon 2008
Brush his teeth
Watch Wimbledon 2008
Go to school
Watch Wimbledon 2008
Come home
Watch Wimbledon 2008

In fact he doesn’t ever wake up because he’s always awake..

WATCHING WIMBLEDON 2008
Reminds me of Zagor's gem post:

"Are you a bot? Please select all the trees in the picture to prove that you're not."

Also LOL at how he says Wimbledon 2007 was the best Federer. Clearly better in 2003-2006, but notice he doesn't acknowledge that Nadal played very close to his 2008 level in that match. Clear agenda.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
Did I say Pete will be triple bageled? That serve has never been an advantage is universally known. Except Yannick Noah, I don't know of any player that has won FO while S&V.
It is hopeless scenario to assume that Pete serves with same efficiency all through the match. If serve alone is an advantage, you would find owner/bahut match on clay. Si Pete serve will be advantage for a set or two. As the match goes deep in and nadal returns the serve, it would be all over.

Did I say you said that? No.

Did I say the serve is the only factor on clay? No.

Did I say that I believe Sampras’ serving efficiency will be the same all throughout the match? No.

I don’t mean to be a smart-aleck, but your response only tangentially addresses my post (at best.)

The numbers I have presented are pretty clear: even in Nadal’s best years on clay, against the entire field, he has rarely cracked the 50% of return games won threshold. Again, this is against the entire field, which holds serve at a lower rate than Sampras did even when playing with natural gut; 81.5-76.6%. Were he playing with todays strings, he would doubtlessly hold at a higher rate still. If Nadal is ‘struggling’ to break serve over 50% of the time against his average opponent, at his best, why is it absurd to think that he would be hard-pressed to win even close to 50% of his return games against Pete Sampras?

And while Sampras might lose steam on his serve as the match progresses, it would likely have as much or more staying power than under normal circumstances, because of the comparative absence of long points.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Another factor to think about as @RF-18 mentioned (sorry didn't see that) Pete was known for the 2nd serve ace. If he knows he's serving the entire match, who's to say he doesn't incorporate that more often knowing if he double faults and loses a game then he can just serve again the next game? Not as many aces on the clay, but a strong 2nd serve atleast.
 
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ak24alive

Legend
Any scenario in which Sampras serves every game, whatever the surface and whoever the opponent, I'm afraid Pete wins in straights. The other guy would have to be returning out of his mind to be able to steal a set from him, and barely at that. Heck, *Isner* would win in straights against Nadal in that scenario, so Sampras? Forget it. Nadal should be able to score a couple of games here and there, though, but he wouldn't make a single set competitive, I'm afraid. You have to be less than 15 and know absolutely nothing about tennis pre-2005 (which is a fair number of posters here, granted) to entertain the thought that there's a chance Nadal (or anyone else, for that matter) would win in such a crazy scenario.
Yeah. I mean this is crazy as hell. There are posters on this thread who I thought were sensible and now they are saying Nadal wins this one. Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaat!!!
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Did I say you said that? No.

Did I say the serve is the only factor on clay? No.

Did I say that I believe Sampras’ serving efficiency will be the same all throughout the match? No.

I don’t mean to be a smart-aleck, but your response only tangentially addresses my post (at best.)

The numbers I have presented are pretty clear: even in Nadal’s best years on clay, against the entire field, he has rarely cracked the 50% of return games won threshold. Again, this is against the entire field, which holds serve at a lower rate than Sampras did even when playing with natural gut; 81.5-76.6%. Were he playing with todays strings, he would doubtlessly hold at a higher rate still. If Nadal is ‘struggling’ to break serve over 50% of the time against his average opponent, at his best, why is it absurd to think that he would be hard-pressed to win even close to 50% of his return games against Pete Sampras?

And while Sampras might lose steam on his serve as the match progresses, it would likely have as much or more staying power than under normal circumstances, because of the comparative absence of long points.
I think maybe if you were forced to serve every single game, your holding percentage would decline throughout the match because your service action would begin to fatigue faster than a normal match. On top of that, if you're going to serve every game for a 5-set match, your opponent is eventually going to get better and better at reading your serve and nullifying the effect it has. So whilst almost certainly Sampras would win the first 2 sets, Nadal has an outside chance of winning the next one. Heck I could be wrong but it's not impossible that Rafa could steal a set especially if he's prepared to face Sampras' serve all day on clay.
 

ak24alive

Legend
I think maybe if you were forced to serve every single game, your holding percentage would decline throughout the match because your service action would begin to fatigue faster than a normal match. On top of that, if you're going to serve every game for a 5-set match, your opponent is eventually going to get better and better at reading your serve and nullifying the effect it has. So whilst almost certainly Sampras would win the first 2 sets, Nadal has an outside chance of winning the next one. Heck I could be wrong but it's not impossible that Rafa could steal a set especially if he's prepared to face Sampras' serve all day on clay.
So Rafa breaks Sampras 6 times in the third set. I believed in you DUCK. I did. Honestly. Now I only need @titoelcolombiano to say the same and then I will kick the chair I am standing on and embrace death.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
So Rafa breaks Sampras 6 times in the third set. I believed in you DUCK. I did. Honestly. Now I only need @titoelcolombiano to say the same and then I will kick the chair I am standing on and embrace death.
You never know.. Rafa can go on streaky breaks from time to time. Getting 6 breaks out of 10 games or 7 breaks out of 12 games is definitely not impossible. Hmm, I wonder what happens in a tiebreak though.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Pointless thread.

But as for saying OMG LOL SAMPRAS

Winning 50% of serve games in a match equates to something like a 62 62 62 scoreline, and that's if Rafi holds 100%.

Ofcourse Sampras is likely to win. But losing isn't out of question
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Sampras' serve wouldn't be as potent on this surface so I think the match would a lot closer than some think.
 

ak24alive

Legend
You never know.. Rafa can go on streaky breaks from time to time. Getting 6 breaks out of 10 games or 7 breaks out of 12 games is definitely not impossible. Hmm, I wonder what happens in a tiebreak though.
In the tiebreaker I am guessing Rafa would mini break Sampras left, right and centre and he will win it 6-0, no?
No but seriously has Rafa double bageled someone on clay? And if he did brother then that just means winning a set in this scenario. So yeah unless Rafa has the hypothetical ability of bagelling for six sets he loses against Sampras.
 

ak24alive

Legend
Pointless thread.

But as for saying OMG LOL SAMPRAS

Winning 50% of serve games in a match equates to something like a 62 62 62 scoreline, and that's if Rafi holds 100%.

Ofcourse Sampras is likely to win. But losing isn't out of question
Sorry I don't get it.
What will Rafa hold? Rekx has a scenario where Sampras serves through the match and Rafa receives throughout the match.
Please clear this Rick. My life hangs in balance.
 

Jonas78

Legend
You have to be crazy voting for Nadal. His return stats on clay are 40% on 1st serve, 58% on 2nd serve, and 43% of return games won, BUT that is an average. His return stats vs players like Sampras would be considerably weaker. I checked the stats from FO match 07 vs Fed just as an example. Nads 1st return% was 34%, 2nd return 45%. There is no way you would win a match just returning with stats like that.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
In the tiebreaker I am guessing Rafa would mini break Sampras left, right and centre and he will win it 6-0, no?
No but seriously has Rafa double bageled someone on clay? And if he did brother then that just means winning a set in this scenario. So yeah unless Rafa has the hypothetical ability of bagelling for six sets he loses against Sampras.
I meant what happens with the serve, but obviously Sampras will serve the entire tiebreak then. Nadal doesn't actually need to double bagel anyone on clay to prove he can win a set here. All he needs to prove is he can break more often than let the other guy hold, which he's already demonstrated he can do quite easily on clay when at his best of course. That includes all set scorelines of 6-2 6-1 and 6-0. In the 2008 French Open he won 14 sets out of a possible 21 with those scorelines. So more than 50% of the time in 2008, he could've won sets without serving.
 

ak24alive

Legend
You have to be crazy voting for Nadal. His return stats on clay are 40% on 1st serve, 58% on 2nd serve, and 43% of return games won, BUT that is an average. His return stats vs players like Sampras would be considerably weaker. I checked the stats from FO match 07 vs Fed just as an example. Nads 1st return% was 34%, 2nd return 45%. There is no way you would win a match just returning with stats like that.
There are no stats for peak Rafa. Sampras was a glorified servebot. Rafa is the best returner ever. How can someone like Sampras beat the GOAT even if the GOAT only does the receiving? I take it that you are not watching Wimbledon 2008 final on time these days.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Sorry I don't get it.
What will Rafa hold? Rekx has a scenario where Sampras serves through the match and Rafa receives throughout the match.
Please clear this Rick. My life hangs in balance.
Well I guess another brother falls today

This forum is going downhill rapidly
 

Prabhanjan

Professional
The numbers I have presented are pretty clear: even in Nadal’s best years on clay, against the entire field, he has rarely cracked the 50% of return games won threshold. Again, this is against the entire field, which holds serve at a lower rate than Sampras did even when playing with natural gut; 81.5-76.6%. Were he playing with todays strings, he would doubtlessly hold at a higher rate still. If Nadal is ‘struggling’ to break serve over 50% of the time against his average opponent, at his best, why is it absurd to think that he would be hard-pressed to win even close to 50% of his return games against Pete Sampras?
The average server is not serving continuously, game after game after game after game. So, the stats that hold in the pattern of Serve-Receive-Serve-Receive-Serve-Receive can't be the same as Serve-Serve-Serve-Serve-Serve-Serve. This proposed scenario and current scenario are not comparable. So, I would not like to assume that Pete would be as efficient during the second hold before the change of ends. And that difference is good enough for Nadal to strategise and drain Pete's energies during the first serve and then attack relentlessly for the second game's serve.
Just as Pete had the break once per set, Nadal's serve break percentages are not comparable to the current scenario. In a regular set, if he breaks once the opponent, it suffices as he has other games to be won on his serve. Different scenarios call for different strategies. So, I never expect a easy match for Pete on clay against Nadal for the simple reason that he is serving all the time.

BTW, I admire your posts.
 
Any scenario in which Sampras serves every game, whatever the surface and whoever the opponent, I'm afraid Pete wins in straights. The other guy would have to be returning out of his mind to be able to steal a set from him, and barely at that. Heck, *Isner* would win in straights against Nadal in that scenario, so Sampras? Forget it. Nadal should be able to score a couple of games here and there, though, but he wouldn't make a single set competitive, I'm afraid. You have to be less than 15 and know absolutely nothing about tennis pre-2005 (which is a fair number of posters here, granted) to entertain the thought that there's a chance Nadal (or anyone else, for that matter) would win in such a crazy scenario.
Let’s not pretend that Sampras has a better clay service game than Isner. Career serve games won percent on clay:

Isner: 91.29% (best of an any player ever)
Sampras: 81.37% (rank 18)

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that Sampras would be a HEAVY favourite going into this theoretical match, but Isner would be even more of a heavy favourite I think. But tennis is never a game of certainty, and I think serving every game would cause Sampras to fatigue a LOT faster than Nadal. Don’t think it would be enough to shift the scales in Nadal’s favour though.
 
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kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Well clearly Petes serve wasn't exactly a big weapon at RG so id have no problem with Nadal breaking his serve and winning in straight sets.
 

ak24alive

Legend
All he needs to prove is he can break more often than let the other guy hold, which he's already demonstrated he can do quite easily on clay when at his best of course.
Yeah that sounds cute. Lets talk about that.
What Nadal has to do is win more than 50% of the return games. In how many RGs he has done that? One. That is 2008. Peak Claydal I agree.
But I think it would be safe to presume that you understand that for Nadal to win more than 50% return games, Sampras needs to lose more than 50% service games. Now Sampras being a GLORIFIED SERVEBOT disagrees that he will lose more than 50% service games.
Sampras' worst RG performances were the three times he got out in the first round. His service games won in those matches?
75%, 89% and 65%. And these were his worst performances. No Peak or Prime Sampras there.
Our Wimbledon 2008 fan here wants to have Peak Sampras vs Peak Nadal. And you know what Peak Sampras even on clay holds 85% of his service games.
Now you will play the Clay GOAT card and point to the French Open 2008 Final where Federer clearly wasn't peak or was he?
And if that FO 2008 isn't cherry picking then so isn't FO2008 first round Nadal-Bellucci 7-5 6-3 6-1.
So if Peak Nadal couldn't win more than 50% return games against Bellucci how is he gonna win it against Peak Sampras?
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Yeah that sounds cute. Lets talk about that.
What Nadal has to do is win more than 50% of the return games. In how many RGs he has done that? One. That is 2008. Peak Claydal I agree.
But I think it would be safe to presume that you understand that for Nadal to win more than 50% return games, Sampras needs to lose more than 50% service games. Now Sampras being a GLORIFIED SERVEBOT disagrees that he will lose more than 50% service games.
Sampras' worst RG performances were the three times he got out in the first round. His service games won in those matches?
75%, 89% and 65%. And these were his worst performances. No Peak or Prime Sampras there.
Our Wimbledon 2008 fan here wants to have Peak Sampras vs Peak Nadal. And you know what Peak Sampras even on clay holds 85% of his service games.
Now you will play the Clay GOAT card and point to the French Open 2008 Final where Federer clearly wasn't peak or was he?
And if that FO 2008 isn't cherry picking then so isn't FO2008 first round Nadal-Bellucci 7-5 6-3 6-1.
So if Peak Nadal couldn't win more than 50% return games against Bellucci how is he gonna win it against Peak Sampras?
1. I said Nadal has an outside chance of winning one set
2. We don't know the effect of having just one player serving the entire match will have on return stats and hold stats. Does it tire out the returner faster or the server faster? How will it effect tactics etc? We just don't know.
3. Nadal has not one, but at least 3 chances of winning one set. Now that will be hard to do over any set, but given he has 3 chances, that raises his chance of doing it at least once.
4. He has to win at least 58% of return games in just one set. Given that he's won sets by a 6-2 6-1 or 6-0 scoreline numerous times in the past, that is enough evidence to prove he is at least in with a shot. Although, 6-2, 6-1, and 6-0 are all only at least 3 or 4 service games from the opponent per set, which is different from doing it in a set when the opponent is going to serve anywhere between 6-12 times.
5. Maybe i'm seriously underrating how good Sampras was on clay at his peak. But given, Nadal has destroyed people with similar service hold percentages to Sampras', it's not going to be a reliable indicator of what's going to happen in a match against Nadal on clay. Right now I'm wondering what are Federer and Djokovic's hold percentages on clay against the field vs hold percentages for vs Nadal on clay. Surely there's going to be a big difference.
 

ak24alive

Legend
to give a clue : Career games won vs top 20 on the return : Nadal : 39%
Career games on Clay against top20.
Career games on clay vs all : 42%.
Specified the clay part in case people don't go saying that you are taking his bad surfaces in consideration too.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
it's likely Nadal would figure out how to read his serve perfectly by mid match
Pete's serve is one of the hardest to read of all times, as he could hit different spots and different spins with the same toss (he trained this way with his coach).
 

Jonas78

Legend
Pete's serve is one of the hardest to read of all times, as he could hit different spots and different spins with the same toss (he trained this way with his coach).
Sampras is the best server ever at his heigth. His ace% pr serve game is significantly better than Federer, who currently is the best server in the game at that height. Sampras served as if he was 6'3" or even taller.

There is simply no way a prime Nadal beats a prime Sampras as long as Sampras serves every game. I really cant understand 35% are voting Nadal here, they are either trolling or misunderstand OPs question.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Another factor to think about as @RF-18 mentioned (sorry didn't see that) Pete was known for the 2nd serve ace. If he knows he's serving the entire match, who's to say he doesn't incorporate that more often knowing if he double faults and loses a game then he can just serve again the next game? Not as many aces on the clay, but a strong 2nd serve atleast.
Not just his 2nd serve, but he could take more risks with his game overall as losing serve won't mean as much if they played a normal match where Rafa is serving aswell.

Also we aren't considering the mental part. Would Rafa have the mental strength to break his serve 18 times? I mean only thinking about that is emotionally draining, but what about executing it?

There is no way Nadal breaks him 18 times (wich is what would be required). I can't Believe the poll.
 
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RF-18

G.O.A.T.
It would be more sensible to vote for Pete coming out of retirement now and pulling off this scenario, let alone Nadal doing it against Prime Sampras.
 

REKX

Rookie
Sampras is the best server ever at his heigth. His ace% pr serve game is significantly better than Federer, who currently is the best server in the game at that height. Sampras served as if he was 6'3" or even taller.

There is simply no way a prime Nadal beats a prime Sampras as long as Sampras serves every game. I really cant understand 35% are voting Nadal here, they are either trolling or misunderstand OPs question.
Did you read my opening post?

Roland Garros. Clay. French Open.

Your arguments suggest he was a great French Open player, let me remind you even with his serve, which is not the greatest seen at the French, he didn't make to a final.

And up against Prime Nadal, who dismantles players in the French, especially players with weak baseline games. Sampras was a journyman at the French, and Prime Nadal is devastating against those.
 

REKX

Rookie
It would be more sensible to vote for Pete coming out of retirement now and pulling off this scenario, let alone Nadal doing it against Prime Sampras.
How many times did Sampras win the French Open?

Sampras couldn't beat the weak baseline players on clay in his time, they didn't have a problem with his serve.

So take Nadal the greatest clay court player of all time, a greater returner on clay than anyone he has ever faced, with a very limited baseline game.

I don't see how Sampras could win this one.
 

REKX

Rookie
Not just his 2nd serve, but he could take more risks with his game overall as losing serve won't mean as much if they played a normal match where Rafa is serving aswell.

Also we aren't considering the mental part. Would Rafa have the mental strength to break his serve 18 times? I mean only thinking about that is emotionally draining, but what about executing it?

There is no way Nadal breaks him 18 times (wich is what would be required). I can't Believe the poll.
Are people ignoring the fact this is on clay? at the French Open?

Do you not realise the surface slows the serve down, and Nadal stands so far back, on clay this would give him so much time.

Sampras is not acing every serve, otherwise he would have done it in his time against his own era players in the French, but we know he was beaten by nobodies there. So once the ball is in play Nadal is favourite every single point, Nadal would target the Sampras backhand all day long, and it would prove far far more fruitful for Nadal.
 
D

Deleted member 756486

Guest
The 2008 Wimbledon final was an amazing match.

Have you actually seen it or you just troll?

The level of play from both players is amazing, 2018 standards almost looks slow motion compared to the level in 2008.
I think everyone on this forum has seen it (at least I’d hope)

I prefer Rome 2006, Wimbledon 2007, and AO 2009 though.
 
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