Sampras can only blame himself for not being a GOAT contender!

Leto

Semi-Pro
I believe that Sampras did not take clay seriously enough when it came to how it would impact the future historical analysis (his legacy) in a GOAT debate.

I think he could have had a MUCH BETTER clay record (and even an RG crown) if he had REALLY dedicated himself to it back during his prime.

He now has to suffer through "hindsight is 20/20" mode because the GOAT debate will always be dominated by the statistics first, no matter how much of a healthy dose of subjective analysis is also included.

I am pretty confident that EVERYONE on this board agrees with me, so moderators, please close this thread and make it a sticky :twisted:
 
The GOAT debate will always be dominated by whatever the standards of the latest generation are, and it will change with each generation.
 
Would Sampras really be dumb enough to care about an unprovable/non-existent title? Nobody will ever be able to "win" the title of GOAT. There is no set formula for it, so it remains completely subjective and therefore useless. It is not even possible to prove someone is a 'contender'. No set formula, just pure subjectivity.
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
Sampras briefly concentrated on clay in the toughest clay court era in tennis history, he got to 3 FO QF's, a FO semi final, and won Rome. Hardly a bad record in an era of Muster and Brugera - how do you think Federer's backhand would fare against these guys?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMBxY7hgcQ

Not to mention Courier, Chang, Agassi, Kafelnikov etc. I'd count Keurten too but by the time he'd arrived on the scene Sampras had long lost interest in clay.


Federer on the other hand has had to face literally one (1!!!!!!!!) clay court specialist, who he ALWAYS loses to. He lost to Keurten who was on one leg with his bad hip only shortly before Keurten retired in 2004 (the year Federer won 3 slams). I think that result is very revealing of Federer's true level on clay.

Sampras had to beat 7 to win the French Open.
 
L

Laurie

Guest
Would Sampras really be dumb enough to care about an unprovable/non-existent title? Nobody will ever be able to "win" the title of GOAT. There is no set formula for it, so it remains completely subjective and therefore useless. It is not even possible to prove someone is a 'contender'. No set formula, just pure subjectivity.

I agree with you, I wrote an article asking that very question.

I wonder if it is the media who whips fans up into a frenzy of this greatest debate nonsense in print media and on forums, everyday fans I speak to never bring this topic up at all.

http://burnstennis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/can-there-really-be-one-greatest.html
 
Sampras briefly concentrated on clay in the toughest clay court era in tennis history, he got to 3 FO QF's, a FO semi final, and won Rome. Hardly a bad record in an era of Muster and Brugera - how do you think Federer's backhand would fare against these guys?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMBxY7hgcQ

Not to mention Courier, Chang, Agassi, Kafelnikov etc. I'd count Keurten too but by the time he'd arrived on the scene Sampras had long lost interest in clay.


Federer on the other hand has had to face literally one (1!!!!!!!!) clay court specialist, who he ALWAYS loses to. He lost to Keurten who was on one leg with his bad hip only shortly before Keurten retired in 2004 (the year Federer won 3 slams). I think that result is very revealing of Federer's true level on clay.

Sampras had to beat 7 to win the French Open.

Federer beat Kuerten 6-0 1-6 6-2 in 2002 at Hamburg. Off days can happen and I think that Federer went into the 2004 clay swing without taking it as seriously as he should have.
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
I agree with you, I wrote an article asking that very question.

I wonder if it is the media who whips fans up into a frenzy of this greatest debate nonsense in print media and on forums, everyday fans I speak to never bring this topic up at all.

http://burnstennis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/can-there-really-be-one-greatest.html

Sampras himself was always talking about winning the Grand Slam and when that didn't happen he was always talking about winning the most Grand Slams. He definitely always had an eye on history.

However, the fanatacism about "who is the greatest ever" is getting ridiculous.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Sampras briefly concentrated on clay in the toughest clay court era in tennis history, he got to 3 FO QF's, a FO semi final, and won Rome. Hardly a bad record in an era of Muster and Brugera - how do you think Federer's backhand would fare against these guys?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMBxY7hgcQ

Not to mention Courier, Chang, Agassi, Kafelnikov etc. I'd count Keurten too but by the time he'd arrived on the scene Sampras had long lost interest in clay.


Federer on the other hand has had to face literally one (1!!!!!!!!) clay court specialist, who he ALWAYS loses to. He lost to Keurten who was on one leg with his bad hip only shortly before Keurten retired in 2004 (the year Federer won 3 slams). I think that result is very revealing of Federer's true level on clay.

Sampras had to beat 7 to win the French Open.

Not again, the toughest clay era ever? Bring Kuerten, Muster, Bruguera or whoever played in the 90's back to the current era and see how much they win.
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
Federer beat Kuerten 6-0 1-6 6-2 in 2002 at Hamburg. Off days can happen and I think that Federer went into the 2004 clay swing without taking it as seriously as he should have.

Keurten was literally just back from surgery on his hip in Hamburg, I've seen that match. He was talking about how he was struggling big time with his hip and I think he might have actually tanked that match in preparation for the FO.

When it counted, Federer was no match for Keurten on clay.
 
I agree with you, I wrote an article asking that very question.

I wonder if it is the media who whips fans up into a frenzy of this greatest debate nonsense in print media and on forums, everyday fans I speak to never bring this topic up at all.

http://burnstennis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/can-there-really-be-one-greatest.html

Same here, I've never heard anyone say the word "GOAT" except for when referring to the farm animal. I've only seen it on internet tennis and basketball forums. I find it disrespectful to downgrade the historical standing of others, when we have no idea how each great player would go in each of the other eras. All that we can respectfully establish is who was the most dominant of each decade.
 

Leto

Semi-Pro
Would Sampras really be dumb enough to care about an unprovable/non-existent title? Nobody will ever be able to "win" the title of GOAT. There is no set formula for it, so it remains completely subjective and therefore useless. It is not even possible to prove someone is a 'contender'. No set formula, just pure subjectivity.

You are either naive or just so intelligent that you are above the trivial thinking of most casual tennis fans :)

A GOAT debate in any sport is unimportant compared to a BILLION other things that happen in the world, but for some people, it is a fun and entertaining topic. And if you ever saw how uncomfortable Pete looks whenever he gets questioned about it, you would know that he DOES care about it at some level.
 
You are either naive or just so intelligent that you are above the trivial thinking of most casual tennis fans :)

A GOAT debate in any sport is unimportant compared to a BILLION other things that happen in the world, but for some people, it is a fun and entertaining topic. And if you ever saw how uncomfortable Pete looks whenever he gets questioned about it, you would know that he DOES care about it at some level.

You won't get this crap stickied.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
You are either naive or just so intelligent that you are above the trivial thinking of most casual tennis fans :)

A GOAT debate in any sport is unimportant compared to a BILLION other things that happen in the world, but for some people, it is a fun and entertaining topic. And if you ever saw how uncomfortable Pete looks whenever he gets questioned about it, you would know that he DOES care about it at some level.

JimCarreyGagamix.gif
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Federer beat Kuerten 6-0 1-6 6-2 in 2002 at Hamburg.

Let's not forget that Kuerten had his first hip surgery in February 2002 after a disastrous run where he had lost 11 of his last 12 matches, a run which definitely cost Kuerten the year end number 1 ranking for 2001.
 

Leto

Semi-Pro
You won't get this crap stickied.

That proves it....you are just too much of a vastly superior mind to get the subtleties of a joke from an average bloke like me.

I am not very smart, but I will try to explain it more scientific-like.

I DID NOT REALLY THINK THAT THIS WOULD BECOME A STICKY!

Only dem smart sorta folks in New York, London and other countries like Boston and Texas, are learned enough to say words that is genius enough to get a TW sticky prize :)
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
For the record, I believe Sampras is a GOAT contender. My candidates are Laurie Doherty, Anthony Wilding, Bill Tilden, Henri Cochet, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
 
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BeHappy

Hall of Fame
For the record, I believe Sampras is a GOAT contender. My candidates are Laurie Doherty, Anthony Wilding, Bill Tilden, Henri Cochet, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

16 players are the Greatest? How many of these players have you seen play?
 

Leto

Semi-Pro
For the record, I believe Sampras is a GOAT contender. My candidates are Laurie Doherty, Anthony Wilding, Bill Tilden, Henri Cochet, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

With a list that long, you really need to take some classes on "learning how to focus" or "How To Make A Decision in 100 years or less" :)
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
16 players are the Greatest? How many of these players have you seen play?

They are all GOAT candidates from looking at their records and their dominance of their own eras and/or sheer longevity. As for how many I've seen play. I've seen brief footage from Tilden, Cochet, Vines, Perry, Budge and Kramer on highlight reels, and I've seen whole matches involving Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, Connors, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
For the record, I believe Sampras is a GOAT contender. My candidates are Laurie Doherty, Anthony Wilding, Bill Tilden, Henri Cochet, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

A very reasonable list and I might add that it's a nice blend of past and present players.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
16 players are the Greatest? How many of these players have you seen play?

They are all GOAT candidates from looking at their records and their dominance of their own eras and/or sheer longevity. As for how many I've seen play. I've seen brief footage from Tilden, Cochet, Vines, Perry, Budge and Kramer on highlight reels, and I've seen whole matches involving Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, Connors, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal.

Obviously no one can see every player that ever lived but we can study the information about the player and his or her times and make hopefully logically conclusions. I'm sure most of the great baseball historians have not see Babe Ruth play but a good number of them think Babe Ruth was the greatest player due to his stats relative to the times. We can do that in tennis also if we have enough information.

All of the players that Mustard has mentioned has been on lists of top players of all time. It's a very nice list.
 
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Mustard

Bionic Poster
A very reasonable list and I might add that it's a nice blend of past and present players.

Yes. I believe one can make a solid case for any of them as the best. A lot of posters will only focus on Federer/Nadal and their credentials, but past eras should not be forgotten. Pancho Gonzales, for example, can easily stand up to anyone for his dominance of every player from the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, even against his toughest adversary, Lew Hoad.

Maybe I should have included Hoad in the GOAT discussion, because although his achievements aren't on a par with the GOAT contenders I mentioned in the my previous post, and although he is a bit overrated, Gonzales once said that Hoad was the only player who was capable of beating him (Gonzales) when Gonzales was playing his best tennis. Rosewall and Laver rate Hoad's peak level of play as the greatest ever.
 
Sampras did take clay very seriously in a very weak clay era. So it doesn't matter really, he tried his best and this is where he ended up at. Not everyone is meant to be a GOAT contender. Sampras was a great player, why not just be happy with what he achieved.
 

Leto

Semi-Pro
A very reasonable list and I might add that it's a nice blend of past and present players.

This is only a "very reasonable" list if you have only just begun considering an ultimate GOAT.

It is a ridiculous list if you want to enter into any serious discussion about who the bottom-line GOAT actually is :oops:
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
This is only a "very reasonable" list if you have only just begun considering an ultimate GOAT.

It is a ridiculous list if you want to enter into any serious discussion about who the bottom-line GOAT actually is :oops:

Deciding who is the greatest of all time is very complex. Tennis in past eras was different to what it is today.
 

Leto

Semi-Pro
Sampras did take clay very seriously in a very weak clay era. So it doesn't matter really, he tried his best and this is where he ended up at. Not everyone is meant to be a GOAT contender. Sampras was a great player, why not just be happy with what he achieved.

I have doubts about Sampras taking clay seriously enough to have tried his best.

Every player always tries their best to win at some level, but I have no recall of Pete dedicating himself to clay that makes me think it meant just as much to him as Wimbledon or the USO.

Maybe I am forgetting the facts based on subjective memories, so I stand to be corrected pending further research on this topic :)
 
I have doubts about Sampras taking clay seriously enough to have tried his best.

Every player always tries their best to win at some level, but I have no recall of Pete dedicating himself to clay that makes me think it meant just as much to him as Wimbledon or the USO.

Maybe I am forgetting the facts based on subjective memories, so I stand to be corrected pending further research on this topic :)

Oh I have no doubts he took clay very seriously, he just didn't have the skills to compete on it successfully. I recall Pete dedicating himself to win the FO every year from 1991 to 2002. I mean he didn't miss one! Now that's dedication. You think he dedicated himself to W or USO simply because he happened to win more there, there is no correlation there.
 

fed_rulz

Hall of Fame
Sampras did take clay very seriously in a very weak clay era. So it doesn't matter really, he tried his best and this is where he ended up at. Not everyone is meant to be a GOAT contender. Sampras was a great player, why not just be happy with what he achieved.

ding ding ding.. we have a winner.

Here's how the Petetard moronic logic works:

clay competition for Pete -- super strong
why? because there were tons of clay court "specialists" (in other words, guys who could do well on clay, each had some share of wins)

clay competition for Federer -- super weak
why? because is a dearth of clay court "specialists" (in other works, just one guy won it all, while the others were just side shows)

Grass competition for Pete -- super strong
why? because there were tons of grass court "specialists" (in other words just one guy won it all, while the others were just side shows, and this must prove how great the guy that won must've been)

Grass competition for Federer -- super weak
why? because there is a dearth of grass court "specialists" (in other words just one guy won it all, while the others were just side shows)

Sampras failures on clay -- obviously, he played in a super-strong era, which makes it difficult
Sampras success on grass -- makes him the GOAT candidate because he played in a super-strong grass era

Federer success/failures on clay -- if you talk about success, then it is due to a weak era. if you talk about failures, then he can't be GOAT because of failures against one guy.

Federer success on grass --- duh, weak era. sampras would pwn everyone at wimbledon today with his never-broken serve, slam dunk overheads and running FHs.

Hope I covered it all :)
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
I have doubts about Sampras taking clay seriously enough to have tried his best.

Every player always tries their best to win at some level, but I have no recall of Pete dedicating himself to clay that makes me think it meant just as much to him as Wimbledon or the USO.

Maybe I am forgetting the facts based on subjective memories, so I stand to be corrected pending further research on this topic :)

First of all, I don't buy it. I'm sure Sampras would "dedicate himself a tad more" if his strenghts matched up well with the surface.

On clay, you really have to work for your wins, especially against the top guys. Sampras wanted to hit a great serve - either win the point there or finish it off with an easy putaway volley afterwards. It just wasn't that easy. I mean it's not only clay that Pete struggled on but also on slow hard courts. For reputedly the "greatest hard court" player that has ever played on a tennis court, he won only 2 Australian Open titles in his career and a couple of MS titles.
 

Leto

Semi-Pro
Deciding who is the greatest of all time is very complex. Tennis in past eras was different to what it is today.

I understand this completely, but also think that you are better off spending that time sorting through all of those complexities on your own first, before entering into a GOAT discussion.

I could enter the discussion by saying that all of the thousands of players who ever made it onto the world stage are worthy of consideration, but it's complex and I will need time to fine-tune my research before I commit to making any form of personal decision. :)

I will try that approach next time and see if it changes the overwhelming mindswell that has boiled it down to Fed or Laver (or Borg or Sampras or maybe even Rafa, if we let loose and think about a possible "someday" in the not-too-distant future!).
 

sunof tennis

Professional
Sampras briefly concentrated on clay in the toughest clay court era in tennis history, he got to 3 FO QF's, a FO semi final, and won Rome. Hardly a bad record in an era of Muster and Brugera - how do you think Federer's backhand would fare against these guys?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMBxY7hgcQ

Not to mention Courier, Chang, Agassi, Kafelnikov etc. I'd count Keurten too but by the time he'd arrived on the scene Sampras had long lost interest in clay.


Federer on the other hand has had to face literally one (1!!!!!!!!) clay court specialist, who he ALWAYS loses to. He lost to Keurten who was on one leg with his bad hip only shortly before Keurten retired in 2004 (the year Federer won 3 slams). I think that result is very revealing of Federer's true level on clay.

Sampras had to beat 7 to win the French Open.

I would rather play any of those guys than the best clay court player ever (or at least tied with Borg as the best). None of those guys had the left handed top spin forehand that would give Federer trouble, especially on clay. How many French open finals has Federer made. Many consider him the second best clay court player of his generation.
 
First of all, I don't buy it. I'm sure Sampras would "dedicate himself a tad more" if his strenghts matched up well with the surface.

On clay, you really have to work for your wins, especially against the top guys. Sampras wanted to hit a great serve - either win the point there or finish it off with an easy putaway volley afterwards. It just wasn't that easy. I mean it's not only clay that Pete struggled on but also on slow hard courts. For reputedly the "greatest hard court" player that has ever played on a tennis court, he won only 2 Australian Open titles in his career and a couple of MS titles.


That's backwards. It's not like his game just randomly happened to have those kind of strengths.

He designed his game specifically to win Wimbledon - that's why he switched to a 1-handed backhand, in the first place, away from the 2-hander he had as a younger junior player. Because that's what it took to win on fast courts. And he was stunningly successful at it - 7 W, 5US.

However, at the time, winning on fast and slow surfaces was significantly different; concentrating on one meant much less success on the other. Except for Bjorn Borg...
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
I would rather play any of those guys than the best clay court player ever (or at least tied with Borg as the best). None of those guys had the left handed top spin forehand that would give Federer trouble, especially on clay. How many French open finals has Federer made. Many consider him the second best clay court player of his generation.

Click the youtube link and you'll see a guy with that had the left handed top spin forehand that would give Federer trouble, especially on clay.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMBxY7hgcQ


And yeah, Nadal is the best ever, unless you have a really good backhand. Gaudio, Soderling, Davydenko and now Djokovic are players he has no answers for if they're at their best.
 
N

NadalAgassi

Guest
For the record, I believe Sampras is a GOAT contender. My candidates are Laurie Doherty, Anthony Wilding, Bill Tilden, Henri Cochet, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Sorry but not ALL of those can be argued as the best ever. Connors cant be when he was eclipsed by Borg and in some ways even McEnroe in his own era. Doherty and Wilding? Great players but not potential GOATs. Cochet and the other French greats of the time are clearly in the shadow of Tilden so not possible GOATs. Vines, LOL! A 1 or 2 year wonder who never won another major title once others figured out how to negate his 1 dimensional game and return his serve. Perry was defintiely not as good as Budge so not him either. Rosewall is a stretch considering he had a short reign between the Gonzales and Laver eras, both who in their primes are considered better than him. Also as a Nadal fan he is definitely not a GOAT candidate at this point in time.

Are all those players amongst the all time greats? Yes (except for Vines). That is different than being a real GOAT possability though. For women for instance there are only 4- Evert, Court, Navratilova, Graf, that is it. Are there really THAT many more men.
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
Oh I have no doubts he took clay very seriously, he just didn't have the skills to compete on it successfully.
Pretty much sums it up. Once he got into rallies - even at the Australian - he only won it twice - he wasn't a feared player.

To those who said tough clay era, here are some of the 'titans of clay' (LMAOROTL!) Sampras lost to at Roland Garros:

Andrea Gaudenzi
Galo Blanco
Mark Philippoussis
Andre Medvedev (I know - made the final once - so did Martin Verkerk!)
and (drum roll)
Ramon Delgado
 

fed_rulz

Hall of Fame
That's backwards. It's not like his game just randomly happened to have those kind of strengths.

He designed his game specifically to win Wimbledon - that's why he switched to a 1-handed backhand, in the first place, away from the 2-hander he had as a younger junior player. Because that's what it took to win on fast courts. And he was stunningly successful at it - 7 W, 5US.

However, at the time, winning on fast and slow surfaces was significantly different; concentrating on one meant much less success on the other. Except for Bjorn Borg...

You go from making an observation about a very specific case --why Sampras tailored to suit his game to fast courts, to a broad generalization that concentrating on one meant much less success on the other. That is not true.

Just because Sampras was limited in that regard does not mean that it was impossible to do. Agassi won the career slam, and he did equally well on both fast and slower surfaces. Now if he had the dedication to the game that Sampras did, then he'd probably in the GOAT discussion as well.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Sorry but not ALL of those can be argued as the best ever. Connors cant be when he was eclipsed by Borg and in some ways even McEnroe in his own era.

Connors has longevity that neither of them had, going from the early years of the open era up until the power era of the 1990s. He has more majors than McEnroe, more weeks at number 1 and greater longevity by some way. Borg, as dominant as he was, played his last major at age 25, while Connors played his last major at age 40.

Doherty and Wilding?

Laurie Doherty is a candidate because he was the first person, in the days of just 2 major tournaments, to be a multiple champion at Wimbledon and then go and win the US Championships as well, which he did in 1903. As for Anthony Wilding, he was dominant in the years before the first world war, winning 4 Wimbledons in succession (1910-1913) and in 1913, managed to also win the World Hard Court Championships and the World Covered Court Championships, and both tournaments were majors at the time. Wilding was the first true international superstar in tennis, before Tilden.

Great players but not potential GOATs.

They are clear GOAT candidates. They did things that nobody else had done before them.

Cochet and the other French greats of the time are clearly in the shadow of Tilden so not possible GOATs.

The Musketeers had plenty of moments over Tilden. Anyways, the point is, the Musketeers were pretty dominant in the second half of the 1920s and Cochet was the most successful of those Musketeers in singles competition.

Vines, LOL! A 1 or 2 year wonder who never won another major title once others figured out how to negate his 1 dimensional game and return his serve.

Ah, so according to you, Vines didn't have a career after his 1933 letdown since you only mention his amateur achievements? For your information, Vines turned professional at the start of 1934, won 5 pro majors in total and was the best professional player until Budge dethroned him in 1939. At his best, Vines was said to be unbeatable.

Perry was defintiely not as good as Budge so not him either.

It's debatable. Perry was the dominant amateur player of the mid 1930s and had a good professional career. Budge was also the dominant amateur player of the late 1930s, although for a shorter period of time than Perry had been, but Budge achieved even more than Perry as a professional.

Rosewall is a stretch considering he had a short reign between the Gonzales and Laver eras, both who in their primes are considered better than him.

But Rosewall had this habit of showing up in big finals and getting the win over favoured opponents (unless it was a Wimbledon final), even against Gonzales and Laver when they were beating him badly in head-to-heads. Rosewall managed to win 23 majors in total in his singles career, which is more than anyone else in the history of the game, even more than Laver, Gonzales and Federer.

Also as a Nadal fan he is definitely not a GOAT candidate at this point in time.

Nadal's case is his utter dominance on clay over 7 different calendar years (might yet be more), winning a career Grand Slam, 10 majors in total, and being the nemesis of Federer in so many big matches. What Nadal has achieved is remarkable considering that he was portrayed as a mere clay-court specialist once upon a time.
 
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Mustard

Bionic Poster
Andrea Gaudenzi

A good clay-courter. He regularly trained with Thomas Muster. Besides, Gaudenzi beat Sampras at the 2002 French Open when Sampras was in something of a slump.

Galo Blanco

Blanco was a quarter finalist at the 1997 French Open.

Blanco beat Sampras in the second round at the 2001 French Open. Just one round earlier, Sampras had been match points down against Cedric Kauffmann, a guy I hadn't heard of at the time and haven't heard from since.

Mark Philippoussis

A shootout between 2 big serve and volley players. Scud was just a bit better on the day.

Andre Medvedev (I know - made the final once - so did Martin Verkerk!)

LOL. I know Medvedev was ranked 100 at the time of the 1999 French Open, but you're seriously comparing Medvedev to Verkerk? What a clueless statement. Medvedev was a constant French Open title challenger in the 1990s. He lost to the eventual champion in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1999.

Ramon Delgado

Don't forget Gilbert Schaller ;)
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
A good clay-courter.
...
We can agree to disagree - they were journeymen. Sure they - Gaudenzi and Blanco - lasted for a number of years on tour. Same with Medvedev - had his one big chance - we know how that worked out.

But you're missing the context - Sampras acolytes claim he was a god - gods don't get shot down by average tour players. On any surface. Sampras was an incredible serving machine and was able to hold his nerve under pressure - for that I respect him. But don't want to hear about some imaginary all-court game - he didn't have one.
 
ding ding ding.. we have a winner.

Here's how the Petetard moronic logic works:

clay competition for Pete -- super strong
why? because there were tons of clay court "specialists" (in other words, guys who could do well on clay, each had some share of wins)

clay competition for Federer -- super weak
why? because is a dearth of clay court "specialists" (in other works, just one guy won it all, while the others were just side shows)

Grass competition for Pete -- super strong
why? because there were tons of grass court "specialists" (in other words just one guy won it all, while the others were just side shows, and this must prove how great the guy that won must've been)

Grass competition for Federer -- super weak
why? because there is a dearth of grass court "specialists" (in other words just one guy won it all, while the others were just side shows)

Sampras failures on clay -- obviously, he played in a super-strong era, which makes it difficult
Sampras success on grass -- makes him the GOAT candidate because he played in a super-strong grass era

Federer success/failures on clay -- if you talk about success, then it is due to a weak era. if you talk about failures, then he can't be GOAT because of failures against one guy.

Federer success on grass --- duh, weak era. sampras would pwn everyone at wimbledon today with his never-broken serve, slam dunk overheads and running FHs.

Hope I covered it all :)

Prime Sampras would barely be a top 50 player today with that pathetic 120mph serve which practically everyone can do now.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Sampras briefly concentrated on clay in the toughest clay court era in tennis history, he got to 3 FO QF's, a FO semi final, and won Rome. Hardly a bad record in an era of Muster and Brugera - how do you think Federer's backhand would fare against these guys?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMBxY7hgcQ

Not to mention Courier, Chang, Agassi, Kafelnikov etc. I'd count Keurten too but by the time he'd arrived on the scene Sampras had long lost interest in clay.


Federer on the other hand has had to face literally one (1!!!!!!!!) clay court specialist, who he ALWAYS loses to. He lost to Keurten who was on one leg with his bad hip only shortly before Keurten retired in 2004 (the year Federer won 3 slams). I think that result is very revealing of Federer's true level on clay.

Sampras had to beat 7 to win the French Open.

Honestly.. I think Ferrer and Almagro would put these guys down.. maybe throw Monfils in there as well.

They were incredible players on clay obviously, but for some reason you're following the horrible fallacy that results are the only indicator of how good a player is. I mean... do you really think that it would be fair to compare a guy like Gaudio to a guy like Roddick or Ferrero? No, even though all have won a single major, it would be obvious that the latter two are far better players..

Do I think Federer would have some trouble with those guys? Sure... but he's beaten Nadal on clay more than once (a guy who going into this year's FO has a better record there than BJORN BORG) and has played him as hard as he could take in several other matches (Rome 2006 springs to mind)..

But I know your posting record, I know what some of your posts are like... so I won't expect much of you.
 
Keurten was literally just back from surgery on his hip in Hamburg, I've seen that match. He was talking about how he was struggling big time with his hip and I think he might have actually tanked that match in preparation for the FO.

When it counted, Federer was no match for Keurten on clay.

I really don't know why people think they can take one match and draw grandiose conclusions from it.

It was one match.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
They are all GOAT candidates from looking at their records and their dominance of their own eras and/or sheer longevity. As for how many I've seen play. I've seen brief footage from Tilden, Cochet, Vines, Perry, Budge and Kramer on highlight reels, and I've seen whole matches involving Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, Connors, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal.

Yes. I believe one can make a solid case for any of them as the best. A lot of posters will only focus on Federer/Nadal and their credentials, but past eras should not be forgotten. Pancho Gonzales, for example, can easily stand up to anyone for his dominance of every player from the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, even against his toughest adversary, Lew Hoad.

Maybe I should have included Hoad in the GOAT discussion, because although his achievements aren't on a par with the GOAT contenders I mentioned in the my previous post, and although he is a bit overrated, Gonzales once said that Hoad was the only player who was capable of beating him (Gonzales) when Gonzales was playing his best tennis. Rosewall and Laver rate Hoad's peak level of play as the greatest ever.

This is a great post. I think people focus too much on the present when looking at potential GOATs in any sport. Already I've noticed that despite the fact Sampras won the US Open less than ten years ago that some already are thinking he couldn't play in today's game and succeed. The human body doesn't change that quickly, racquet technology and string technology does however. I think it would be relatively easy for almost any top player of the past to adapt to better tennis technology.

I like that you put Connors in there as a potential GOAT because he has a lot in his favor over many all time greats but people often don't mention him. I think the main reason is because he was overshadowed by Borg for a while. All of the players you mentioned have advantages and also disadvantage over each other.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Honestly.. I think Ferrer and Almagro would put these guys down.. maybe throw Monfils in there as well.

They were incredible players on clay obviously, but for some reason you're following the horrible fallacy that results are the only indicator of how good a player is. I mean... do you really think that it would be fair to compare a guy like Gaudio to a guy like Roddick or Ferrero? No, even though all have won a single major, it would be obvious that the latter two are far better players..

Do I think Federer would have some trouble with those guys? Sure... but he's beaten Nadal on clay more than once (a guy who going into this year's FO has a better record there than BJORN BORG) and has played him as hard as he could take in several other matches (Rome 2006 springs to mind)..

But I know your posting record, I know what some of your posts are like... so I won't expect much of you.

It's really have to say. While Federer is of course capable of defeating Nadal on red clay at any age it is a fact that Federer was losing to a young Nadal on that surface. I don't think the Nadal of 2006 was the player he would be just a little little. I think Nadal improved his serve, his volley, his backhand and just generally overall power and consistency. Yes Federer can beat Nadal on any surface but beating Nadal on red clay years ago in 2006 isn't as impressive as a few years later.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
I really don't know why people think they can take one match and draw grandiose conclusions from it.

It was one match.
Keurten was literally just back from surgery on his hip in Hamburg, I've seen that match. He was talking about how he was struggling big time with his hip and I think he might have actually tanked that match in preparation for the FO.

When it counted, Federer was no match for Keurten on clay.

That's why BeHappy believes Fed is a superior grass player than Sampras.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Click the youtube link and you'll see a guy with that had the left handed top spin forehand that would give Federer trouble, especially on clay.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMBxY7hgcQ


And yeah, Nadal is the best ever, unless you have a really good backhand. Gaudio, Soderling, Davydenko and now Djokovic are players he has no answers for if they're at their best.

Both Bruguera and Muster would have winning records against Federer on clay. And, even though I think Muster was a slightly better player than Bruguera, I happen to think Bruguera would be even worse matchup for Federer than Muster. Muster would give Fed something to work with. Bruguera would put him to sleep.
 
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