Sampras comments on win over Fed

Sampras implies that his win over Fed was semi-legit. I say he should back it up with some real matches. If he's too lazy to get in shape for 5 sets at Wimbledon, just play the Queen's Club.

http://www.tennis-x.com/ptfstory/2008-02-01/575.php

But some fans cried foul when Sampras won the third and final meeting, thinking there was a set-up to stoke interest in their March Madison Square Garden meeting.

"Not true," said Sampras of any pretense of who would win matches during the Asian series. "We played. We didn't talk about any first set, second set, you do this, I'll do that. But exhibitions are a tricky sort of deal. Like you want to entertain and, you know, and have a lighter side, but you also want to play well. I think people want to see both...he's not going to want to lose; I'm not going to want to lose. So that's what people are coming to really see. It's not us kind of doing cartwheels. It's about me serving 130 on the line."
 

Nuke

Hall of Fame
So what do you expect him to say? "Yeah, Roger proved his superiority with the first two matches, so he eased up in the third one and let me take it." As it is, Sampras does allude to the fact that exhibitions are a bit different: "But exhibitions are a tricky sort of deal. Like you want to entertain..."
 

cknobman

Legend
When watching the exos I had myself convinced that Fed was playing 80% tops but after watching his last 2 rounds in the AO I am beginning to wonder.

I still doubt highly that both Fed/Sampras were giving it their all but I am willing to give a little more credibility to Sampras's win in the last exo based on Feds performance so far this year.
 

Grimjack

Banned
Sampras knows better than this. But he's still got exhibitions to pimp.

Which is just pathetic, of course. That a guy in his position has to be so desperate for money or the public eye is sad, really.
 

knasty131

Professional
Sampras knows better than this. But he's still got exhibitions to pimp.

Which is just pathetic, of course. That a guy in his position has to be so desperate for money or the public eye is sad, really.
He is going out and doing what he has loved his whole life. A former number 1 against the current number one. I'm my opinion, that is just something cool as hell and if I were in Pete's position, I would feel stupid for NOT taking the opportunity to go for the clash of the times. I don't think this is a move in desperation. He started playing on the one tour (sorry can't think of the name...champions?) and got to thinking he could compete and here he is offered with an amazing chance and he took it. Of course he is making a lot of money but who cares?!? I know if any of us on this board were in Pete's shoes, in need of money or not, we would jump on the chance to do something of this magnitude.

-Kevin
 

VGP

Legend
Sampras knows better than this. But he's still got exhibitions to pimp.

Which is just pathetic, of course. That a guy in his position has to be so desperate for money or the public eye is sad, really.
If someone was going to pay you to play a million bucks for two, maybe three sets of tennis, would you turn it down?

It's not like they're making you play tennis in a dress or a clown suit while covered in tarantulas.......
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Compare this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPO5b4Rkd2c

to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Feo4e1jQCis

Tell me if you think there's a difference in Federer's playing style. Also compare the second one to his match against Djokovic too.
Good post. Fed definitely was not playing 100% against Sampras. He was just playing, going for easy shots, not doing anything to make Sampras look bad. Sampras is just saying what he needs to say to stroke his ego and to stoke interest in the March 10th matchup.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
But Sampras trying hard doesn't mean there's proof Fed was defeated fair and square, since it is undetermined if Fed tried hard.
Fed could not handle the serve. No human could handle the Sampras serve that day on that fast surface. On the ones he got back, his replies were so weak that Sampras pounced on them. Fed was running end to end trying to get to the ball. I don't think someone of his ego would deliberately look bad like that, even if he wanted to lose.
 

teneighty

New User
Fed could not handle the serve. No human could handle the Sampras serve that day on that fast surface. On the ones he got back, his replies were so weak that Sampras pounced on them. Fed was running end to end trying to get to the ball. I don't think someone of his ego would deliberately look bad like that, even if he wanted to lose.
Not even Roger Federer, the nicest guy in the history of tennis? I'm going to have to disagree with you. Roger won two on purpose, then backed off to 75% to give Pete a real chance, so he could have some glory. Because Roger respects Pete too much to thrash him in 3 straight matches... how can you not understand that?
 

35ft6

Legend
Well then I guess all those losses in World Team Tennis were legit too. Wow, Sam Warburg is better than Sampras. The game has really evolved.
 

VGP

Legend
I got the feeling that Sampras hated the format of WTT.

No-ad scoring, one "set", lots of noise......not really his personality.
 

Droofin

New User
There was a Federer *first* serve in that final tiebreaker where it was so very obvious that Fed purposely coughed up a slow mallard of a serve serve right into Sampras' forehand cannon. That's when I decided it was a setup.

Too bad...I really wanted to believe. Bad acting, unfortunately.
 
I wonder what sort of results or quality of tennis Federer would have produced if he was playing an actual ATP event the week after winning Shanghai(which is when the exos were played last year), rather than just playing Sampras.

Fed has a history of not playing that all that well when he has to play back to back events. Also, when he played Paris last year(the event prior to Shanghai), he was playing 3 straight weeks for the 1st time since 2003, which should say something. And he almost lost to Karlovic there. So he wasn't exactly fresh as a daisy for the exos.

When you take all that into account, & the fact that the surface in Macau was probably faster than any current surface on the atp tour(& get this, the surface hadn't even been played on by anyone prior to the match, it was just put down prior to the exo. If atp players had to play an event under those conditions, they would have had a fit, and you would have had some strange results)

I don't think the results mean anything obviously, but I think it pretty much shows how they would have played each other in their primes on a fast surface(which don't exist today, but were very common in Sampras' time)
While Sampras is nowhere near his prime, his serve may be pretty close to what it was in his prime, at least it was in these matches. Clearly he was trying harder, definitely serving harder, in these matches than any of his WTT or Senior matches. He hardly served & volleyed in any of those matches, yet was doing every point in these matches, because he knew he had to to keep it close. And did anyone notice that he was averaging a higher mph & a higher 1st serve % in those exos with his 'new racquet' than he ever did on a consistent basis in the 90s? serving at 70% was almost unheard of for him in the 90s. and he had no double faults in the last 2 matches, which was also unheard of in his prime. are people really gonna claim racquets & strings haven't changed the margin of error on so many shots these days?

And in an interview on TTC website, he mentions training harder(he said S&V is harder on the body, which is why he doesn't do it much on the senior tour of WTT, but realized this was something he had to do here, so he worked out more to get ready for that kind of forward movement) & practicing more for these exos than he had done at any point in time since he retired. He was practicing with Sam Querrey almost daily.

These matches are the closest he can come to replicating a 'big match' environment. 'Big matches' are the only things he said he misses in retirement, not playing Sam Warburg types in a parking lot(and when Sampras was #1 he lost to everyone, juniors, challenger players, you name it, etc in practice & had quite a few bad losses to much lesser players prior to winning slams, so I think it shows what sort of competitor he was/is, he only cares about big matches, not anything else. He isn't a crazy competitor like McEnroe or something, who always feels he has to prove something.

here's what Fed had to say in Australia:

"It seems like he has relaxed a lot since his playing days," Roger noted. "It was great spending some time with him, and he still plays unbelievably well. I couldn't read his serve. The last match in Macau, the court was so fast that it was impossible to break him."

"He is so difficult to play against because he doesn't give you any rhythm. He got better and better as the matches went on."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/justin_gimelstob/01/22/federer/index.html


and here was that Sampras interview I mentioned:

How hard did he step up his training beyond the work he had done earlier in the year preparing for his appearances on the Champions Series [senior] events? "I definitely stepped it up," said Sampras. "I hit every other day for two weeks with Sam Querrey, and we were playing a lot of sets. Sam hits a very big ball and has a big serve and I wanted to play at that pace so I could find my range and find my game while getting my body used to serving-and-volleying and the change of directions and explosive movements you need for that. I stretched a lot more before and after I played and warmed up with jogging and stretching. It was as close as I have been to back in the day [during my career] when I used to prepare and focus so hard. I wanted to play well against Roger but also wanted my body to hold up to play three matches in five days. I was pleasantly surprised that my body held up quite well."

What were his expectations as he headed over there? "I didn't know where my game was going to be," replied Sampras. "I didn't want to be embarrassed out there and I didn't think I would be. I wouldn't have signed up for these matches against Roger if I didn't feel I could be competitive. I felt if I could pull of a set [in one of the matches] that would be a big bonus for me. I didn't think I would beat Roger. Going into these exhibitions some people expected him to beat me 2 and 2. I just wanted to compete well against him."

In Macau, Sampras came out firing on all cylinders, serving stupendously on another awfully quick court, not losing his serve for the second match in a row. He never even faced a break point in recording his triumph, and, as was the case in Malaysia, did not serve a single double fault. As Sampras recalled, "I remember warming up for that match with Roger and saying, "Wow, this court is fast!' You would hit a slice on that court and it would just keep on slicing. It was one of those courts where you could hit a three quarter speed serve and still pull off an ace. I think we both wished maybe the court would have been a bit slower which would have added some creativity."

"Serving-and-volleying at this stage of my life takes its toll", Sampras explains. "So in the other events I don't serve-and-volley quite as much on both serves in other events. I like to hit a few balls and find my timing, whereas when I played Roger I knew I needed to come in constantly and bring in the gas. The serve-and-volley is a bit of an art. It takes time to get into that timing and rhythm but I finally found it against Roger in the Kuala Lumpur match and it came pretty naturally from then through the match in Macau."

Through it all, Sampras also enjoyed the time he spent away from the arena with Federer. "I was having a great time hanging out with Roger. He is a great guy who is fun to be around and we kind of connected in a way of just like two kids acting like two kids. I hope we can maybe do it again next year in Asia, but that is up to him. I took away a lot of great memories, took a lot of pictures and liked getting to know Roger better."

"I still enjoy playing," he said at the end of our conversation. "Playing those matches against Roger was very satisfying. I still believe that I can be competitive with anyone in the game today. I am not saying I can beat anyone. I am saying I could at least go up against whomever on a hard court or another fast court and still hold my serve pretty handily and still pop some winners here and there"

http://www.tennischannel.com/news/NewsDetails.aspx?newsid=3572
 

Alexio92

Professional
If someone was going to pay you to play a million bucks for two, maybe three sets of tennis, would you turn it down?

It's not like they're making you play tennis in a dress or a clown suit while covered in tarantulas.......
I would do that
 

PROTENNIS63

Hall of Fame
This proves that Fed was indeed defeated fair and square by Sampras in their last exo.
Actually it proves that they both took it easy on themselves. And Fed knowing it would not look good on his record if he would be the GOAT 3 times in a row, he had to lose at some point.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Actually it proves that they both took it easy on themselves. And Fed knowing it would not look good on his record if he would be the GOAT 3 times in a row, he had to lose at some point.
He could have just waited for the AO to lose :)
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Compare this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPO5b4Rkd2c

to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Feo4e1jQCis

Tell me if you think there's a difference in Federer's playing style. Also compare the second one to his match against Djokovic too.
The exo in Seoul was not a good representation of either player's true level of play. Sampras was still jet lagged having just flown in from the other side of the world just two days before the match. If you've ever flown from the US to Asia, you'd know what I mean. Seeing that Sampras could barely stand up straight, Federer took it easy on him in that match.

I think the best representation of their true levels was the match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Both were playing high level tennis and I would say both were playing at at least 90% or higher. Sampras was serving in the mid-130's on a fast court which gave Federer no chance to break him as Federer could not read Sampras' serve at all, as he can Roddick's. I've seen that match a few times now and I'm absolutely convinced that Federer was trying to win. Everytime he had a chance to hit a winner, he did. He was not clowning around like Sampras was. Since Federer couldn't break Sampras, that's why the match went to two tiebreaks.
 

aceroberts13

Professional
Ok I'm confused so can you guys clear it up? Sampras vs Fed at MSG in March. Are they going 100% after each other?
 
L

laurie

Guest
You guys on Tennis Warehouse make me laugh....You argue the same things every day over and over until you are blue in the face, and yet you still never convince eachother to agree to your arguments...

Pete won fair and square
No he didn't
Fed didn't ty hard
Yes he did
Etc etc etc etc etc

What, since November? And now we are in February, and this continues. I think you lot should start to ask, what's the point of carryng on this discussion.

Unless you lot are a bunch of masochists who can't stop.
 

teneighty

New User
You guys on Tennis Warehouse make me laugh....You argue the same things every day over and over until you are blue in the face, and yet you still never convince eachother to agree to your arguments...

Pete won fair and square
No he didn't
Fed didn't ty hard
Yes he did
Etc etc etc etc etc

What, since November? And now we are in February, and this continues. I think you lot should start to ask, what's the point of carryng on this discussion.

Unless you lot are a bunch of masochists who can't stop.
Says the man with almost 2,000 posts..
 
L

laurie

Guest
Says the man with almost 2,000 posts..
But certainly not going over the same subject over and over again - that's for sure.

Anyway, I'll leave it to you masochists to continue to bore eachother to death over this.
 

Mad iX

Semi-Pro
There is no way Fed was trying as hard as he does when he's playing in a slam.
Of course, he's a competitive guy and he doesn't want to lose but there were no points at stake, he gets paid the same regardless of the result.
 

Chopin

Hall of Fame
When watching the exos I had myself convinced that Fed was playing 80% tops but after watching his last 2 rounds in the AO I am beginning to wonder.

I still doubt highly that both Fed/Sampras were giving it their all but I am willing to give a little more credibility to Sampras's win in the last exo based on Feds performance so far this year.
He was sick with food poisoning before the event, he was in the hospital twice receiving IV fluids and wasn't even able to play in any warm up tournament...besides, he was bound to lose a match sooner or later, I wouldn't read into it too much yet.
 

Chopin

Hall of Fame
Why don't we wait until the MSG exhibition in March? Federer wouldn't want to lose twice in a row to Sampras, no matter how little he was trying, it wouldn't look good--let's just wait until then instead of futilely arguing it out here for the thousandth time.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, that's probably what you would have said about Tipsarevic and Djokovic prior to the AO, too.

They aren't in their 30s either. And they move faster and hit bigger off the ground. The only thing Sampras has on them is better volleys and a serve, but his movement is just whack compared to the old days. In today's game, he would get murdered due to the surface speed being much slower. Nadal would trash Sampras at today's Wimbledon, and that's saying something. Old grass it might be a different story.
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
They aren't in their 30s either. And they move faster and hit bigger off the ground. The only thing Sampras has on them is better volleys and a serve, but his movement is just whack compared to the old days. In today's game, he would get murdered due to the surface speed being much slower. Nadal would trash Sampras at today's Wimbledon, and that's saying something. Old grass it might be a different story.
No .
 
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chiru

Professional
Good response. Short. Simple. Accurate. No way in holy hell would pete lose to rafa. Notice how Roger basically won that entire match on the strength of his serve. the rhythm was BOOM ace. or BOOM weak reply then murder. those were pretty much teh only points roger won. he lost a lot of the rally points himself. sampras was the master of boom boom tennis, only the second boom is for sure point finishing volley. sampras would KILL to see returns like nadal. look I'm the biggest nadal fan boy there is. but seriously, don't insult sampras.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
They aren't in their 30s either. And they move faster and hit bigger off the ground. The only thing Sampras has on them is better volleys and a serve, but his movement is just whack compared to the old days. In today's game, he would get murdered due to the surface speed being much slower. Nadal would trash Sampras at today's Wimbledon, and that's saying something. Old grass it might be a different story.
If you can't return Sampras' serve, does it really matter how fast you move or how big you hit off of the ground? Do you know how many times Agassi beat Sampras at Wimbledon or the US Open in 6 tries? Zero!!!
 
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BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Good response. Short. Simple. Accurate. No way in holy hell would pete lose to rafa. Notice how Roger basically won that entire match on the strength of his serve. the rhythm was BOOM ace. or BOOM weak reply then murder. those were pretty much teh only points roger won. he lost a lot of the rally points himself. sampras was the master of boom boom tennis, only the second boom is for sure point finishing volley. sampras would KILL to see returns like nadal. look I'm the biggest nadal fan boy there is. but seriously, don't insult sampras.
Exactly!!! I don't think anyone would argue that Sampras is a much better player than Tsonga - bigger serve, better volleys, etc., and look at what Tsonga did to Nadal. Sampras at the net would make Nadal look like 4.0 league player. :shock:
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
Exactly!!! I don't think anyone would argue that Sampras is a much better player than Tsonga - bigger serve, better volleys, etc., and look at what Tsonga did to Nadal. Sampras at the net would make Nadal look like 4.0 league player. :shock:
on a fast court
 

chiru

Professional
on a fast court
Well sure. We're talking about wimbledon. Obviously it would be completely neutralized on clay. and yes i know wimbledon is slow but it's not that slow. my only evidence is that Rafa, with as slow as wimbledon is, still could not return Roger's serve with the kind of consistency he would've liked. Rafael just isn't a good returner. I love the kid, but i think the 2 things he really needs to improve are his serve and his return. that's really the only really major thing imo. he usually returns from so far behind the baseline and is such a slow reactor, that no matter how cleanly he ends up hitting the return, its just too weak a reply from too far back to be any sort of threat. and even if he gets it back he's completely out of position for the next ball. with his speed, that's fine on a slow court, but i really feel like if he can just get the ball back in neutral play (ala federer) he'd be in better shape.

but i digress. sampras's serve, right now, at 36, is better than federer's hands down. I saw all the exhibitions, and yes I dont think roger was hitting his serves full speed all the time (certainly not the first match anyway. i'd be interested to see an avg. serve speed statistic for the other matches compared to his other ATP matches). nevertheless, I do know what federer's normal serves look like on tour and they're not as fast or as well placed as pete's. and if roger's serve was sufficient to beat nadal on a day that i felt like nadal was playing very very good aggressive baseline grasscourt tennis, i really doubt that sampras couldn't at least serve his way into some favorable tie breaks.
 

2 Cent

Rookie
Sampras' serve is still superior to all the servers in today's game.
you're only as good as your second serve, and Sampras had 2 first serves.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.

Really now? I'm sure Nadal was putting a beatdown on Federer in that fourth set, and Federer finally pulled away in the 5th due to exceptional play by him.




Sampras would not be able to keep up with Nadal. They would both hold serves easily, but Nadal would make Pete run everywhere, and that is the difference. You are living in a dream world if you think Pete has the stamina to keep up with Nadal for a best out of 5 sets. His stamina was questionable when he was at the top, and now that he's retired and well past 30, I don't think Pete would be able to take Rafa on today's grass.


Not only that, but Nadal thrives on playing against people who come to the net. Federer's best success has been to just hit the living day lights out of his forehand against Nadal. Sampras although a big hitter, wouldn't be able to keep up with Nadal in a groundstroke exchange. It was obvious Federer was just screwing with Pete, alot of those approach shots he could have easily killed Sampras on. Nadal would eat Sampras alive with some of the approach shots he hit.
 
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Chopin

Hall of Fame
Really now? I'm sure Nadal was putting a beatdown on Federer in that fourth set, and Federer finally pulled away in the 5th due to exceptional play by him.




Sampras would not be able to keep up with Nadal. They would both hold serves easily, but Nadal would make Pete run everywhere, and that is the difference. You are living in a dream world if you think Pete has the stamina to keep up with Nadal for a best out of 5 sets. His stamina was questionable when he was at the top, and now that he's retired and well past 30, I don't think Pete would be able to take Rafa on today's grass.


Not only that, but Nadal thrives on playing against people who come to the net. Federer's best success has been to just hit the living day lights out of his forehand against Nadal. Sampras although a big hitter, wouldn't be able to keep up with Nadal in a groundstroke exchange. It was obvious Federer was just screwing with Pete, alot of those approach shots he could have easily killed Sampras on. Nadal would eat Sampras alive with some of the approach shots he hit.
I completely agree that Sampras could not beat Nadal at Wimbledon at his current age. When he was younger and still playing professional tennis is a different story but Sampras lost to far lesser players than Nadal his last two years when he was approaching the twilight of his career. It's hilarious that TW posters think a 36 year old retired Sampras would destroy Nadal at Wimbledon when it took Federer 5 tough sets to win last year against Nadal.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Exactly!!! I don't think anyone would argue that Sampras is a much better player than Tsonga - bigger serve, better volleys, etc., and look at what Tsonga did to Nadal. Sampras at the net would make Nadal look like 4.0 league player. :shock:

On a HC maybe, Sampras is much slower then Tsonga. Wimbledon today is a much different story. His serve wouldn't be as effective, the topspin he puts on the ball would allow Nadal enough time to push it back into the court.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
All I gotta say is, Pete lost to Sam Warburg, no way his win over Fed was legit.
WTT is not even real tennis, e.g., no-ad, first to 5 games, etc.. Sampras doesn't care about Warburg, he cares about Federer.

Nadal gets destroyed by Youznhy, Ferrer, and Tsonga but beats Federer. Does that mean that Youznhy, Ferrer, and Tsonga are all better than Federer?

BTW, how do you know that Warburg wouldn't also beat Federer in WTT? You never know until they play, right?
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
Nadal struggled against Robert Kendrick last year on grass. What makes anyone think he can beat the god of S&V on grass?
 

chiru

Professional
I completely agree that Sampras could not beat Nadal at Wimbledon at his current age. When he was younger and still playing professional tennis is a different story but Sampras lost to far lesser players than Nadal his last two years when he was approaching the twilight of his career. It's hilarious that TW posters think a 36 year old retired Sampras would destroy Nadal at Wimbledon when it took Federer 5 tough sets to win last year against Nadal.
I'm not saying sampras would win. but im not gonna just stand here while you guys say that sampras would win like 5 points the whole match. I'm saying he'd definately hold his own out there, and winning at least a few sets is a reasonable expectation. am I saying that sampras would bagel nadal. no. I'm just saying, it would be fun as hell to watch.

I'm SOOO sick of people making unreasonably exaggerated claims on here. I can't count the number of times ppl have said federer would destroy pete on grass (both in their prime) like 1, 2, and 2. thats just ridiculous. I'm sorry. these are all fantastic players we're talking about here, pete, roger, and nadal. to say that anyone would just downright destroy the other is a little bit surreal to me.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Nadal struggled against Robert Kendrick last year on grass. What makes anyone think he can beat the god of S&V on grass?

Because Nadal had not adapted to the grass yet. After that match, he played very well. The next year, Nadal came out full steam, crushing pretty much everyone in his path at Wimbledon. He nearly beat Federer had he just played a little better early in that 5th set.
 

!Tym

Hall of Fame
I have to say I think some of you are underestimating how much of an effect the court speed had to do with this match. There's a reason there used to be so much of an uproar in the 90s during Sampras' hey day about the "big servers from hell" taking over and ruining the game with their one-two point strokes at most service games on grass and indoors.

Nowadays you never hear that complaint. Roddick and Ivo's serves in Sampras' era would have been VERY scary things to deal with.

Also, I think you're underestimating just how much of more difficult returning a serve is when you can't read the direction. Just look at why McEnroe on a good serving day today can still give great recently retired tour players absolute fits.

I really think there's something to the extreme shoulder turn, back to the side of the court, motion employed by Sampras and McEnroe that makes it MUCH tougher to read. I say this from experience after playing around with a former fringe tour player who had the EXACT same kind of motion. Man, what a serve that guy had (too bad, that's *all* he had along with his volleys otherwise he would've done better)! Without a doubt the hardest serve I've ever tried to return, but it WASN'T because of the pace or spin necessarily. Sure, there was definitely a lot of pace and spin, but the big difference between his serve and other big servers I've faced was that I absolutely could not read his serve AT ALL. All I saw were the side of his shoulders, and then bam it was *somewhere* and I was either there or it wasn't. Personally, I tend to think that this style of motion limits your max *possible* mph (I think Sampras' is the max pace you can achieve with this style of motion) vs. a more squared off stance, but it gives the best overall combination of spin, speed, and most of all DISGUISE.

It's a ton harder to return a 127 serve down the T than a 140 serve down the T in my opinion when you don't know that the 127 serve's going down the T but you do know the 140 serve's going down the T. After all, a 127 serve may not be quite 140, but what is it a snail lubricating himself in heat? Man, that's still PLENTY face to get ace someone.

This is why Federer's serve, a more toned down, version of the Sampras style serve is very effective despite not having quite the spin or mph of others. It's the disguise of this style motion that makes it a winner in my opinion.

Remember, Goran last years whooped Bruguera's behind on clay and afterward said he couldn't believe how well he played, because it was the best he had played in years...not since he won Wimbledon had he had played that well he said.

Lightning strikes folks, and former top players didn't get there for no reason. The difference when they get older is that they can't *count on* playing well anymore. It kind of just happens when it does. That's why Sampras even after training seriously again for the Fed matches, said he didn't really know what to expect about how well he'd play.

I bet almost anything, that the seniors tour players have random days during the course of their "season" when they go WOW! I feel like I'm 20 again!

The problem is that it *doesn't last* anymore for them. The next day, after Goran said he couldn't believe how well he played? ...he lost EASILY to none other than the great mope-a-dope stategest himself, the laconic one, Cedric Pioline.

THAT'S the problem, not that these guys can't play anymore. Bruguera's dad runs a top academy, it's not like he's not around the game anymore when he said that the way Goran served on *this* day was better than anyone on tour. What's changed? In my opinion, not much. Goran on a good serving day, even on clay, was pretty much unreturnable during his hey day so why should that change now?

Bruguera himself said when asked about his good form on the seniors tour possibly coaxing him into a comeback, he said, no it's not about that. He said the problem's not that we can't play anymore, it's that we don't want to basically, at least, not that intensely anymore. The difference that is night and day is the intensity, the full-time training, etc. NOT ability.

He said that yeah sure, on the seniors tour you can have a great day or two here or there, but to duplicate on tour requires so much more because it truly is a day in/day out proposition.

Look at Rios, when he got hot on the seniors tour, Goran was saying that the way he's playing now he could still be a top player. But the problem is not that he can't play good here and there, it's will the body AND mind hold up. That's why he went into hibernation with injuries, then out of nowhere, played top level tennis again against Agassi at the Liption...before, gasp, AGAIN, his body failed him again. THAT is the difference folks. The tour is a grind, BIG TIME.

Joachim Johansson managed to plop himself back to tour level several times off and on, before finally he just gave up, because of the injuries. It's not that he can't still play high level tennis, EVEN AFTER *repeated* injury layoffs, it's that his body just can't take the GRIND of *day-in, day-out* practicing/playing/training, etc. that being a pro WITH A DAY JOB JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE requires.

A person can be a great worker, but if he only shows up once or twice a week, and takes weeks, sometimes even months, off at a time sometimes, does that matter? No, of course, not. I don't see why it should be any different for the pros.

Bruguera *beat* Johansson by the way indoors in a "gimic" exhibition recently. Scripted? A gimic? Etc.? Yeah, sure, but had Johansson won then all the doubters would be saying, see I told you so. It goes both ways.

In my opinion, the old guys can still play...just not *that often*. And to that, I can only say, sadly and with regret...to one of the few "modern" tour players I actually liked to watch and root for...Joachim Johansson? Joachim Johansson, welcome to the club. :cry:
 
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