Sampras an incredible athlete?

Well said--it is another example of the kids believing their new "toys" are the end-all, be-all of everything. Their fandom blinds them from even the most modest consideration of history. Certainly, you have dealt with that kind of mentality in this forum on memorable occasions.
More times than I could possibly keep track off, as I know you have as well.

Now defending their current "heroes" at the expense of all others, or reality itself, I understand....but t still gets me....just for their own...self-respect...why would they "declare" something as a fact when in fact, they just made it up?? I guess they really don't care if people who know better read their post....they just don't care if their word has any integrity.
 
really, so lets start hearing the examples and years that he did it while at the top of his game.
Examples? Why? You already told us

"the reason we know that Sampras didn't do this, is because when he was interviewed he said that he just focused on tennis and nothing else, that he wanted to be the best player and that he couldn't focus on anything else.

Sampras would continue to be a ***** and only focus on himself and tennis."

Surely you knew this to be true before you presented it. To just make that up....what would that make you? An *****??

Who STARTED the whole aces for charity initiative? Participating himself, as well as recruiting other big servers (eg. Ivansevic), as well as celebs who quietly agreed to match his donations?? A program which CONTINUES to give to charity??

What 14 slam champ was on the board of the Gullickson foundation during his prime years??

What 14 slam champ was doing year-end CHARITY exhibitions through much of the mid 90's?? (not to mention at other times during the year)

What champion, donated large sums to Agassi's school wanting no publicity, only to later have ingrate Agassi start publicly insinuating he was cheap, for no particular reason? Come to think of it, what 14 slam champ was doing exhibitions for Agassi's sister when she was fighting cancer?

Can't be Sampras because as you told us, we know he didn't do such things.
 
You're right, Sampras was just a self-centered jackass that didn't care about anyone or anything but tennis. He didn't even do charity events while he was still pro. And the points were always short, basically serve and the point was over. God I was so happy when someone finally beat him at Wimbledon, and was ecstatic when he retired. What an embarrassment for the US.
Ah...just saw this in "Pete sampras wasn't fun..." thread.

It's ok to "hate" Sampras as you say Jukka1970, but if you just keep making up lies about him, sooner or later, somebody who knows better will call you on it.
 
Last edited:

BrooklynNY

Hall of Fame
Sampras' athleticism is underrated. He is a cat out on the court. His strokes are underrated as well. It's hilarious when people talk about his backhand like it was a hole in the wall. No one wins 14 slams and is the best player in the world with a bad backhand, by any standard.

Even as an 'old man', I saw him play Agassi at MSG this year and he was moving very well. Of course we all see the highlight running forehand that he had up the line as he ended up basically diving into the crowd. His game is amazing, more people need to appreciate greatness when they see it.

Pete is like a Tim Duncan, great, but the average person or casual tennis fan may not truly grasp what they are witnessing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIVAW7oYMGU&feature=related
 
Last edited:
Lets keep the petty fedvspete or 90'svstoday shots to a min,

the "rafa disrespect sampras" thread has enough ..

ontopic...when fresh on court..sampras was good allround moving..particularly coming forward...and of course running fh.

there's an oldvid on tennisone.com showing pete's footwork as he begins
the chip+charge return..he brings his his feet forward very fast..even as
he's hitting the ball...it got him into the net quicker.

notice how fast/small pete's footsteps.are straight after the split step.

if you don'tbelieve me..just keep replaying the last competitive point he won.

It depends on your deinition of "athlete"

sorry sampras fns..but stamina wise his condition does count againsthim.
 

Moose Malloy

G.O.A.T.
The best display of speed by a tennis player I ever saw was in an isolated shot of Pete...that was used as a clip to highlight athleticism. Back around 93, when Pete was probably at his fastest...he was well behind the baseline, going for a shot, when the shot hits the tape (you hear it), Sampras TAKES OFF, and you see just how amazingly quick his feet and coverage were when he went all out....the shot actually just sits up and flops over the net, and Sampras GETS IT, a few inches from the net, and tips it over for a touch angle. While stopping dead short of the net, (exaggerating it to make it clear he didn't touch)....absolutely amazing...they should play that clip all the time.
sounds like 1992 USO QF vs Volkov. I have that point on tape somewhere.

really, so lets start hearing the examples and years that he did it while at the top of his game.
I remember him donating 1/4 of a million from his 1990 Grand Slam Cup win to charity. There are lots of stories of athletes donating large chunks of change anonymously, weird that you think you know anything about what they do off the court.
 

adidasman

Professional
In terms of pure speed, Sampras may have been the fastest top tennis player ever. Borg, Laver, Ralph, Emerson, Chang, Nastase and Hewitt were very close, though. Having said that, I still think that Federer had the best footwork and the most efficient movement I've ever seen. He may not have been quite as quick, but, IMO, he made up for it with superior footwork technique.
Pure speed? You mean footspeed? Sampras??? PETE Sampras??!? You must be joking. This statement is so far beyond absurd, I don't even know what else to say.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
Pure speed? You mean footspeed? Sampras??? PETE Sampras??!? You must be joking. This statement is so far beyond absurd, I don't even know what else to say.
Bull. Part of being a great S&V player is having above normal speed, due to the need to follow in after serves, court coverage, etc. There are no great and slow S&V players in the Open Era.
 

pmerk34

Legend
Bull. Part of being a great S&V player is having above normal speed, due to the need to follow in after serves, court coverage, etc. There are no great and slow S&V players in the Open Era.
quoted for truth.

GREAT Serve and Volley = Sampras, Edberg, McEnroe

All fast
 

adidasman

Professional
Bull. Part of being a great S&V player is having above normal speed, due to the need to follow in after serves, court coverage, etc. There are no great and slow S&V players in the Open Era.
But the FASTEST PLAYER EVER??!!?? Come on, folks. That's what the post that I was responding to said, and it's just wrong.
 
But the FASTEST PLAYER EVER??!!?? Come on, folks. That's what the post that I was responding to said, and it's just wrong.
Impossible to pick among the very fastest, but the statement is plausible. Sampras was among the very fastest I ever saw, much of the time, as in the clip shown in this thread, he didn't even have to go full-out to get wide balls.

We know Sampras had world-class footspeed, compared to top athletes in other sports, so there aren't going to be any other tennis players signficantly faster than he was.
 

bolo

G.O.A.T.
The best display of speed by a tennis player I ever saw was in an isolated shot of Pete...that was used as a clip to highlight athleticism. Back around 93, when Pete was probably at his fastest...he was well behind the baseline, going for a shot, when the shot hits the tape (you hear it), Sampras TAKES OFF, and you see just how amazingly quick his feet and coverage were when he went all out....the shot actually just sits up and flops over the net, and Sampras GETS IT, a few inches from the net, and tips it over for a touch angle. While stopping dead short of the net, (exaggerating it to make it clear he didn't touch)....absolutely amazing...they should play that clip all the time.
I remember there being another one of these in the 2001 US open match vs agassi, although I don't remember him being that far off the baseline on this one.

I also like one of his points in the 5 setter that he lost vs. becker in Stuttgart. He was doing full sprints back and forth on the baseline and striking laser fearhands along the way. He lost the point, but spectacular to watch.
 
Last edited:
sounds like 1992 USO QF vs Volkov. I have that point on tape somewhere.
Interesting! That certainly seems possible. I never knew who the opponent was, as it was a close up of Sampras. I do have the last set of that match on tape, but haven't seen it in quite a while.

Do you have any idea where in the match it occurred?
 

droliver

Professional
No way is Sampras either the best athlete or best mover we've seen on the ATPtour. There are lots of guys faster and quicker, and lots who are better athletes (in an abstract sense).

He was however, a truly gifted tennis player with a transcendent serve and few major weakness that could be exploited on faster surfaces. On clay he was vulnerable to 2nd & 3rd tier players on any given day.
 

li0scc0

Hall of Fame
I can think of quite a few players who have better balance, timing and eye hand coordination that Monfils.
Great point, and this all goes together to make the greatest athlete. It is not just footspeed/quickness, which many erroneously consider the be all/end all of athleticism.
 
Incredible athlete who worked hard and served even harder.

The guy was mentally tough, quick, powerful and very adaptable. His body was a genetic event. Small feet, pretty lanky, broad shoulders, strong legs, great eyes, good hands, huge wingspan, fairly light and lean for a strong guy. Live arm. Very flexible for a broad shouldered guy. Could tough elbows behind his back. Even his eyebrows were made for outdoor sports.

The only negatives I can think of are the Thalassemia and the excessive sweating.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
No doubt Sampras was a great athlete. He probably seems more athletic than Federer and Nadal b/c of the type of game he played - very explosive, powerful, etc.

But, Federer and Nadal are all up there - just look at the way they move around the court.
 

droliver

Professional
He probably seems more athletic than Federer and Nadal b/c of the type of game he played - very explosive, powerful, etc.
I don't see that at all. I think Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are all clearly more athletic then Sampras which can be seen in the incredible court coverage and defense (with rapid transition to offense) they do on a daily basis. Being the best stereotypical athlete doesn't make you the best player or freaks like Noah, Becker, Victor Hanescu, Tsonga, or Monfils would be GOAT candidates.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
But the FASTEST PLAYER EVER??!!?? Come on, folks. That's what the post that I was responding to said, and it's just wrong.
Why is that so hard to believe? Fastest doesn't neccesarily mean best defense (tennis court is not a race track). I think Fed's anticipation, footwork and ability to neutralize powerful shots from opponents are all superior to Pete's (when Fed was really dialed in during his peak years it was amazingly hard to get the ball past him) but as far as raw speed and explosivness go I'd say Pete is one of the best I've seen. Many times I've seen Sampras get a bit lazy with his footwork but just explode at the last moment and get to the ball.
 
I don't see that at all. I think Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are all clearly more athletic then Sampras which can be seen in the incredible court coverage and defense (with rapid transition to offense) they do on a daily basis. Being the best stereotypical athlete doesn't make you the best player or freaks like Noah, Becker, Victor Hanescu, Tsonga, or Monfils would be GOAT candidates.
I would say sampras was a tremendous athlete. he didn't have great footwork but he was very fast and explosive (look at his jumped overheads where he jumped up like two feet).

Having great footwork and being explosive are two different things (best is both of course).
 
I would say sampras was a tremendous athlete. he didn't have great footwork but he was very fast and explosive (look at his jumped overheads where he jumped up like two feet).

Having great footwork and being explosive are two different things (best is both of course).
To me, the greatness of Sampras' footwork is just obvious looking at him. Many coaches thought the same thing of Fed when he was coming up in the juniors....I saw him....and knew immediately why some were saying he was the "next Pete Sampras"....a lot of that was the way he moved....like Sampras: easy, graceful, quick, balanced.

But even if you don't see it, think about what you're saying, and I don't mean to single you out Dominikk1985, as others have been saying similar things....do you really think it's even remotely plausible to win 14 grand slam titles in tennis without absolutely great, 1st class, GOAT class footwork??
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
I believe that there is a difference between fastest and quickest. IMO Borg was very, very fast, and Laver was very, very quick. One could not call Borg a S&V player.

Which one is Sampras?
 

tHotGates

Rookie
One of the best, if not the best athlete to ever play the game:

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjIwMzkxNjA=.html

It's a shame he had to deal with the blood/iron disorder thing. Conditioning was another issue. If Pete had better footwork who knows how many more slams he could have won (would have definitely helped in Paris). At his best, Pete Sampras did not just beat the top players, he crushed them making them look pedestrian.
 

fed_rulz

Hall of Fame
One of the best, if not the best athlete to ever play the game:

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjIwMzkxNjA=.html

It's a shame he had to deal with the blood/iron disorder thing. Conditioning was another issue. If Pete had better footwork who knows how many more slams he could have won (would have definitely helped in Paris). At his best, Pete Sampras did not just beat the top players, he crushed them making them look pedestrian.
LOL, how long can you milk that **** about blood disorder? Thalassemia minor (the condition that Sampras had) would've been a factor only in long matches. how many of his matches on clay did he lose in 5? do a search here, and many posters have provided ample evidence that Sampras wasn't a factor on clay because of his game, and not because of his disorder.
 

hawk eye

Hall of Fame
LOL, how long can you milk that **** about blood disorder? Thalassemia minor (the condition that Sampras had) would've been a factor only in long matches. how many of his matches on clay did he lose in 5? do a search here, and many posters have provided ample evidence that Sampras wasn't a factor on clay because of his game, and not because of his disorder.
Sampras options were cut down by the disorder, on clay he knew he had to keep point short while others play a more reserved game, which is more suited to clay. Other wise he could have adjusted his game a little, from a technical point of view he could beat anyone from the baseline on clay, except 1 or 2 guys.
Still it's a great achievement that he even made the SF, given his condition.
 

fed_rulz

Hall of Fame
Sampras options were cut down by the disorder, on clay he knew he had to keep point short while others play a more reserved game, which is more suited to clay. Other wise he could have adjusted his game a little, from a technical point of view he could beat anyone from the baseline on clay, except 1 or 2 guys.
Still it's a great achievement that he even made the SF, given his condition.
if olivier rochus was half feet taller, he'd won wimbledon 7 times. Sorry, but that's not how it works. You simply cannot explain away beatdowns from journeymen to blood disorder. Face it, he didn't have the game for clay.
 

tHotGates

Rookie
Sampras options were cut down by the disorder, on clay he knew he had to keep point short while others play a more reserved game, which is more suited to clay. Other wise he could have adjusted his game a little, from a technical point of view he could beat anyone from the baseline on clay, except 1 or 2 guys.
Still it's a great achievement that he even made the SF, given his condition.

Not just on clay, Pete's overall approach was to keep the points short. Remember, Sampras was a baseline guy early in his career before he started to attack the net. Safe bet there's probably a correlation between his condition and the earlier transformation. How much is difficult to answer.





LOL, how long can you milk that **** about blood disorder? Thalassemia minor (the condition that Sampras had) would've been a factor only in long matches. how many of his matches on clay did he lose in 5? do a search here, and many posters have provided ample evidence that Sampras wasn't a factor on clay because of his game, and not because of his disorder.
Yep, steamy hot January AO weather or hot & muggy May conditions in Paris (FWIW, Pete preferred night matches) are ideal conditions for someone with Thalassemia minor disorder.

I don't see how the disorder could have negatively impacted his conditioning. I'm sure Pete would have been better off to grind it out from the baseline than keeping the points short. That's why Pete hated playing on fast surfaces.


I agree Pete's FO results are disappointing given his talent. In general, his attitude towards clay left a lot to be desired. It would have been interesting to see if his FO performance would have improved had Gullikson not passed away midway through Pete's athletic prime.


A good guess suggests better footwork would have helped somebody like Pete via better conditioning, a deeper baseline game, fewer injuries, better win/loss results (including clay), etc.
 

scotus

G.O.A.T.
Incredible athlete who worked hard and served even harder.

The guy was mentally tough, quick, powerful and very adaptable. His body was a genetic event. Small feet, pretty lanky, broad shoulders, strong legs, great eyes, good hands, huge wingspan, fairly light and lean for a strong guy. Live arm. Very flexible for a broad shouldered guy. Could tough elbows behind his back. Even his eyebrows were made for outdoor sports.

The only negatives I can think of are the Thalassemia and the excessive sweating.
Ha! I got a good chuckle out of that.
 

Tarrantennis

New User
I used to love Sampras. So much so that whenever I was giving a lesson to a junior when I hit a winner I'd shout out "Sampras!"
He'd won Wimbledon and the US however many times, and was known then as possibly the greatest player of all time. Then he went a year without winning a major. So I'm coaching this good teenage junior and I hit a winner and shout out "Sampras". And the kid looked at me, and said "Sampras - he's rubbish now."
Which sums up our attitudes to fame!
I feel the same way now with Federer. The greatest palyer who ever lived, and because he's number 3 in the world people are writing him off. Yet these top players are, were and always will be GREAT!
 

droliver

Professional
I would say sampras was a tremendous athlete. he didn't have great footwork but he was very fast and explosive (look at his jumped overheads where he jumped up like two feet). Having great footwork and being explosive are two different things (best is both of course).
That's a good point. I remember reading an article somewhere about footwork and court coverage years ago and they used the examples of Boris Becker and Miloslav Mecir. Becker was a physical freak and could fly between point A & B but often left himself poorly setup for the next shot, while Mecir was clearly less fast but covered the court better because of his footwork and balance allowed better transitions
 
Top