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: 59 41.3%
  • Sampras

    Votes: 84 58.7%

  • Total voters
    143
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.
What has Sampras being a journeyman on clay to do with Sampras chances if he is serving every game? Its still a huge advantage to serve on clay. I have checked some stats and havent been able to find a single match on clay where Sampras is winning less than 50% of serve points. As others have said, Rafa is winning 43% of return games on clay on average vs THE FIELD. There is no way Rafa isnt a statistically huge underdog.
 
I haven't even watched Lord of the Rings lol. Obviously there's a Dark Side in LOTR, now I know. I was just trolling.:p
Great picture btw.
I've seen bits and pieces of lord of the rings. Not my bag. I did see Harry Potter eventually. Not exactly running back to see it again. It was ok but a lot of meh.

AJ going through his fashionable phase. lol
 
I think everyone on this forum has seen it (at least I’d hope)

I prefer Rome 2006, Wimbledon 2007, and AO 2009 though.
Wimbledon 2007 was good, but Nadal wasn't as good as he was from 2008 onwards.

And the Australian 2009 was also very good, I found it difficult to watch at the time because I was only a Federer fan then. So I never watched it until this year, and wow Federer was on fire, even his backhand. Think he was the better player over the 4 sets, and he just lost a bit from the tank at the end. And Australian 2009 was probably the last ever showing of Prime Federer, he never quite got back to that form ever again.

Wimbledon 2008 was the greatest because it was toe to toe every point, even right till the end. Outrageous winners and shot making from both players, it is no surprise that almost everyone associate with tennis say this was the greatest match.
 
What has Sampras being a journeyman on clay to do with Sampras chances if he is serving every game? Its still a huge advantage to serve on clay. I have checked some stats and havent been able to find a single match on clay where Sampras is winning less than 50% of serve points. As others have said, Rafa is winning 43% of return games on clay on average vs THE FIELD. There is no way Rafa isnt a statistically huge underdog.
Did you watch Rafael Nadal 2008? He dismantled the greatest player of all time, 6-0 set.

Your stats, Sampras never faced anyone even close to Nadal's 2008 form at the French, we may never see that level on clay again.

The stat in the French open will be higher for Nadal for return games won, because he has given great players 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 sets.

The successful French Open players which had good serves also have a very respectable baseline game, take Soderling for example. But Sampras is nowhere close to these type of players in the baseline department.

Simple play, Nadal stand back, get the ball back into play. From the baseline target Sampras backhand (or forehand really). If Sampras comes to net, it's an easy passing shot.

How else can this match go?
 
Did you watch Rafael Nadal 2008? He dismantled the greatest player of all time, 6-0 set.

Your stats, Sampras never faced anyone even close to Nadal's 2008 form at the French, we may never see that level on clay again.

The stat in the French open will be higher for Nadal for return games won, because he has given great players 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 sets.

The successful French Open players which had good serves also have a very respectable baseline game, take Soderling for example. But Sampras is nowhere close to these type of players in the baseline department.

Simple play, Nadal stand back, get the ball back into play. From the baseline target Sampras backhand (or forehand really). If Sampras comes to net, it's an easy passing shot.

How else can this match go?
Lol i actually start to think you actually believe Nadal would win:D
 
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.
I know it's clay and that the ball slows down but the serve still gives you an advantage. This is not some club level serve it's Pete Sampras and no matter how under par Sampras was on clay but simply serving the whole match is just too much. Even on clay serve is your most important shot.

Nadal has no chance here. Good job convincing others though on something that would be impossible.
 
How can Nadal not win?

Sampras on Clay, Nadal on Clay - at Roland Garros.

A player which hasn't had a French Open final appearance against a player who has made Chatrier his home?
I have presented you the stats. If you dont believe them there is not much more i can do to convince you.
 
Is this even a contest? Nadal won 33.5% return games on 'CLAY' in his career over the field. If sampras serves 100% of the time in the match and even if Nadal wins his average 34% against sampras (which is unlikely) he loses in straights. I'll go as far as saying, it will be tough for Nadal (or for that matter any player on any surface) to beat a Top 100 player if he doesn't serve in the match.
 
I know it's clay and that the ball slows down but the serve still gives you an advantage. This is not some club level serve it's Pete Sampras and no matter how under par Sampras was on clay but simply serving the whole match is just too much. Even on clay serve is your most important shot.

Nadal has no chance here. Good job convincing others though on something that would be impossible.
Imagine we asked if Prime Nadal could beat Prime Federer at Roland Garros, and we would think it is impossible. Federer is a far far greater clay court player than Sampras, but Sampras beat Federer with a 6-0 set.

How can Sampras do any better than that? It is impossible that he would play better than Prime Federer on clay. Remember Federer got to the final of the French in 2008 just dropping a couple of sets maybe.

Sampras cannot match Federer's form on clay, Federer is one of the most accomplished players in history on clay with his wins, he just ran into a guy called Nadal a few times too many, otherwise we would be debating who is the greatest clay court player out of Borg and Federer.
 
Is this even a contest? Nadal won 33.5% return games on 'CLAY' in his career over the field. If sampras serves 100% of the time in the match and even if Nadal wins his average 34% against sampras (which is unlikely) he loses in straights. I'll go as far as saying, it will be tough for Nadal (or for that matter any player on any surface) to beat a Top 100 player if he doesn't serve in the match.
Sampras doesn't have a clay court game. We are not talking about say an Isner or Soderling who have a clay court game to back up their serve. I don't see how Sampras is favourite for anypoint after the ball is in play? Nadal in 2008 could get to any ball on the court, Sampras simply does not have the tools to push Nadal back or wide on Clay, and any serve and volley means instantly getting passed.
 
Sampras doesn't have a clay court game. We are not talking about say an Isner or Soderling who have a clay court game to back up their serve. I don't see how Sampras is favourite for anypoint after the ball is in play? Nadal in 2008 could get to any ball on the court, Sampras simply does not have the tools to push Nadal back or wide on Clay, and any serve and volley means instantly getting passed.
You are kidding yourself if you believe that Nadal can break sampras enough even on clay to win sets against him without serving. Some people love to live in fantasy.
 
Sampras doesn't have a clay court game. We are not talking about say an Isner or Soderling who have a clay court game to back up their serve. I don't see how Sampras is favourite for anypoint after the ball is in play? Nadal in 2008 could get to any ball on the court, Sampras simply does not have the tools to push Nadal back or wide on Clay, and any serve and volley means instantly getting passed.
You are totally off. CAREER win% on serve games on clay for sampras is 81%. For Nadal its 85%. Its a 4% difference! On clay! Of course Nadal would win 100/100 matches if they played under normal circumstances. But to serve is a HUUUGE advantage. Even Nadal loses more games then he wins on clay vs the field. Its like playing chess without a knight.
 
For all those saying that Nadal will win this hypothetical match, it essentially means that prime Nadal in a normal tennis match @ FO might triple bagel Sampras.
Prime Nadal beat Federer 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 - so yes, a triple bagel against Sampras is within the realms of possibility for the clay God.
 
And keep in mind, the tour-wide hold rate on clay was about 5% lower then. See here:

http://www.ultimatetennisstatistics.com/statsTimeline?rawData=false&surface=C

So, Sampras’ 81.5% clip on clay was 10% higher the field from 1993-1997. Transport him to today and have him play with poly strings, those %’s either remain stable or increase.
Which is why Sampras would be better on clay today along with there being no depth so the chances of playing a top clay courter in the QF like he did are low. Top servers routinely hold at close to 90% on clay and that makes a huge difference. Clay plays faster now and poly makes it easier for serves to penetrate the court. I can easily see Sampras making multiple semis and sneaking into a final as well like Murray did, his top level wasn't any worse on clay. Plus the whole mentality of top guys is different because there's no adjustment from tournament to tournament.
 
You are totally off. CAREER win% on serve games on clay for sampras is 81%. For Nadal its 85%. Its a 4% difference! On clay! Of course Nadal would win 100/100 matches if they played under normal circumstances. But to serve is a HUUUGE advantage. Even Nadal loses more games then he wins on clay vs the field. Its like playing chess without a knight.
This proves those figures mean nothing. Against the field etc.

You say it's only 4%, but that doesn't mean anything when you look at Nadal who won 11 French Open titles, Sampras didn't get into a final.

No one is explaining how Sampras would win this theoretical match up, there are no inroads for Sampras here, I don't see how when a ball is in play Sampras has any chance? Someone explain what happens when the ball is in play. Remember Sampras lost against nobodies on clay, and against Prime Nadal there is nowhere to go.

Even when the ball is play on Federer's serve, Federer always seems second favourite - so someone explain how Sampras wins points once the ball is in play?
 
This proves those figures mean nothing. Against the field etc.

You say it's only 4%, but that doesn't mean anything when you look at Nadal who won 11 French Open titles, Sampras didn't get into a final.

No one is explaining how Sampras would win this theoretical match up, there are no inroads for Sampras here, I don't see how when a ball is in play Sampras has any chance? Someone explain what happens when the ball is in play. Remember Sampras lost against nobodies on clay, and against Prime Nadal there is nowhere to go.

Even when the ball is play on Federer's serve, Federer always seems second favourite - so someone explain how Sampras wins points once the ball is in play?
You are constantly arguing based on how tennis is really playedo_O.

I really dont understand that you dont see the extreme difference between serving and returning. Sampras wins 81% of serve games on clay but just 24% of return games. It has nothing to say that Rafa won 11 FOs and pete 0 under normal circumstances.
 
Prime Nadal beat Federer 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 - so yes, a triple bagel against Sampras is within the realms of possibility for the clay God.
Oh yeah. Something which has happened only 5 times in Open Era of Grand Slams, is within realms of possibility to happen in a Nadal vs Sampras match :D
 
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.
Okay, I respectfully disagree with this reasoning. I think if Sampras were to serve every game, the decreased pressure would free him up to play better, and the shorter points would mitigate whatever stress the constant serving would put on his body. I think Nadal having to break his serve 18 times (or more, if it goes to 4-5) in order to win would be far more draining proposition.
 
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.
That’s a possibility, but I nonetheless think Nadal would be more exhausted trying to break Sampras’ serve 18+ times in order to win.
 
This might give you an idea of how useless was Sampras' serve on clay. (Please note Agassi was nowhere near as good as Nadal on clay).


1. This was in 1992. Sampras holding % zips up from 85.6% in 1992 to 89.6% in ‘93, and would never be that low again, hovering around 90% for the rest of the 90s, with his ace %’s markedly improving too. So, he isn’t at his peak here.

2. The tour held at a much, much lower rate then, even on clay. Today’s field holds about 76.5% of the time on clay. In ‘92, it was 71.4%. This is almost entirely due to the strings they were playing with. Give Sampras today’s strings and his serve becomes more effective (and yes, poly HAS benefited the serve more than the return, this is demonstrably true.)

3. These are the perils of relying on small sample sizes; bad matches happen! Even Nadal has gotten broken close to or over 50% of the time in some of his matches. For Sampras, his serve has gotten broken 50% of the time in about 10 of his 143 CC matches. It isn’t a thing that would happen often, and Agassi, while he cannot compare to Nadal, did manage to break serve 36% of the time on clay in his career. That’s a very respectable mark.
 
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When’s the peak Sampras vs Fed at Wimbledon where Sampras serves every game thread?

The serve is without a doubt the most important part of the game and at the professional level it would be nearly impossible to win considering the importance and not too often breaks of serve. Sampras might win but I think it’s entirely possible Nadal wins a set when you consider Sampras’ serve is weakened severely on clay and Nadal’s ability to return almost anything on clay and at his athletic peak.

It should speak volumes when you have to tilt the odds so sharply just to even have a hypothetical for an all time great vs Nadal on clay.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
Nadal has a chance if Pete has only one serve attempt per point. And if Pete has diarrhea but is not allowed to go and cannot wear a diaper. And if the stars are aligned correctly.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
That’s a possibility, but I nonetheless think Nadal would be more exhausted trying to break Sampras’ serve 18+ times in order to win.
That is also possible. I don't know the effect it would have on both players. Btw I never said he would win but has an outside chance of taking a set if he goes on god mode but 18 breaks does seem like too much, but that is partly because you cannot break 18 times in a real match. In a match with only one server you will have twice as many oppurtunities to break. Therefore that's equivalent to breaking 9 times in a real match.
 
Pete wins the first set and almost surely wins the second set. After that you head into unusual territory. Serving like that is going to have to take a toll on your shoulder, especially if rafa is able to extend either of those two sets at all, let's say he loses 6-2 6-3. I'd say most likely scenario for sets 3-5 is:

1) Pete wins in 3
2) Pete wins in 4
3) Pete retires with rotator cuff tear
4)Nadal in 5
 
You just created the only scenario where PETE beats Rafa.Of course that excludes injuries e.t.c

But even then I doubt he would defeat 2008 Nadal. That man was as close to invincible as any can be. In my time of watching, only 2006 Rome Fraud and 2011Rome Novak pushes him to 4 or 5. But I will bet my life that Ralph wins easily in the end. The true beast incarnate tbh.
Djokovic beat him in Rome didn't he? I'd take 2012 Claydal over 2008. Other than the blue clay, which I don't think Nadal had ever played before, he didn't lose a match, and most importantly destroyed Djokovic handily on every occasion. Honestly Fed fans and even me, should count ourselves lucky that Nadal got injured after the clay, otherwise he could easily have had another 2010 run
 
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