Sampras: Federer is playing better now, than 10 years ago.

"I was resigned when I saw Roger do it at Wimbledon," explained the American. "Sure, I would have loved for my 14 to last forever but it was meant to be broken.

"Roger not only passed me but he has 17 and Rafa (Nadal) has 14 and Novak (Djokovic) has 11. Literally three guys who passed me in one decade or in pretty much 15 years' time. It's incredible, I didn't see it coming."

'Big Two'

Federer's quest for an 18th is now in its fourth year. The Swiss has finished runner-up to Djokovic three times during that period, but Sampras says he is stunned Federer is still slugging it out at the top with a generation of younger players.

"With Roger I'm amazed," said Sampras. "He's 34 now, he's still ranked two, three in the world. He's competing for majors, he's still playing great tennis.

"He's almost playing better now than he did 10 ten years ago. He's improving!"


Sampras thinks the so-called "big four" has been halved, with Nadal, from Spain, and Britain's Andy Murray dropping out.

www.kitv.com/story/31423582/pete-sampras-novak-djokovic-is-one-of-the-greats-of-all-time

Does Sampras really believe that?
 

cknobman

Legend
I think, he's improved certain aspects of his game, like his serve, or net skills. But his forehand, and movement have waned.
Right, I also think Federer has improved certain aspects of his game but regressed in others.

So how would this add up to him playing better than his peak? It does not.

He is playing close to, but not above. So still it is a big difference when you are playing at the pinnacle of the game. The slightest loss of something makes the difference between champion and runner up.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Sounds about right - very small margins at the top of the game anyway, so a decline of 10% (arbitrary) normally has huge consequences for your game.
Indeed, small margins add up over a match. A point here or there that you can't quite execute adds up to create more pressure later in the match.
 
Fed declined overall, but improved certain parts of his game which combined with him being a really special player is keeping him among the very best. It is ridiculous to claim he is at 50% of his best or lower than that. His decline hasn't been even as half as strong and sudden as it was on some other players. We know which active great unfortunately had that and I do not see anyone from his Brigade whining much about it. Kudos to them.
 
Ah, another troll clickbait thread. Must be a couple of days of off-season going on. :rolleyes:
Fortunately, tennis will commence again tomorrow.
How's this trolling? I'm sick of hearing, the usage of this word applied, everywhere. It's as if, people who disagree with any post, will consider, it to be trolling.
Also, creating a thread, doesn't mean, sharing the same opinion. And don't cry about 'almost' .
'I was almost better today than yesterday' This either means, I was equal to yesterday, or better today.
 

Alien

Hall of Fame
So once again armchair players will question a pro player or a former one, instead of just listening and learning. They will ignore that Roger himself said so. They will ignore that Toni is showing that the game i faster than just some years ago.

Ignorance is hard to erradicate, really.

Federer has no declined physically at all. He has improved several shots like serve, volley, backhand. he has practised 10 years more and accumulated ten years of competition experience. He has had a full range of coaches adding to his game. More importantly he has kept improving no pause as he has never ben really injured.

The fact is in tennis, you stay in the same place without improving and you are left behind. Simple. Everybody studies you and loses fear, implement succesfull tactics, etc. Federer kept improving, that is why he is or was #2. but his improvement rate is lower than the one of Djokovic.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
How's this trolling? I'm sick of hearing, the usage of this word applied, everywhere. It's as if, people who disagree with any post, will consider, it to be trolling.
Also, creating a thread, doesn't mean, sharing the same opinion. And don't cry about 'almost' .
'I was almost better today than yesterday' This either means, I was equal to yesterday, or better today.
The use of almost in the context is very subtle, but very intentional, I believe.
By using it, it allows him to praise Fed for his efforts, while still make a sane statement.
It's more of a "I cannot believe he's playing this well at an age, where I'd long been retired. He's even adding features to his game".
And then the almost avoids him from having to criticize Fed's current forehand, movement etc.
So once again armchair players will question a pro player or a former one, instead of just listening and learning. They will ignore that Roger himself said so. They will ignore that Toni is showing that the game i faster than just some years ago.

Ignorance is hard to erradicate, really.

Federer has no declined physically at all. He has improved several shots like serve, volley, backhand. he has practised 10 years more and accumulated ten years of competition experience. He has had a full range of coaches adding to his game. More importantly he has kept improving no pause as he has never ben really injured.

The fact is in tennis, you stay in the same place without improving and you are left behind. Simple. Everybody studies you and loses fear, implement succesfull tactics, etc. Federer kept improving, that is why he is or was #2. but his improvement rate is lower than the one of Djokovic.
The one question you need to ask yourself is this:
Would a 24 year old Fed lose every single important match to Djokovic, be it grass, indoors, relatively fast HC for today's standards?
I personally very much doubt that.

End thread/
 
The use of almost in the context is very subtle, but very intentional, I believe.
By using it, it allows him to praise Fed for his efforts, while still make a sane statement.
It's more of a "I cannot believe he's playing this well at an age, where I'd long been retired. He's even adding features to his game".
And then the almost avoids him from having to criticize Fed's current forehand, movement etc.
It's usage is subtle for sure, but his statement wasn't rehearsed. An on the spot extempore. He used in a casual manner. Writing something, and orally conveying it, feels different. So, personally, I think it was used in a casual manner. The interviewer didn't ask him to compare Fed to his older self. Sampras started the topic himself.
At the very least, his statement implies, that 24 year old Fed, isn't better than current Federer. This is Pete's opinion. So, those who disagree, should simply not value his judgment.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
It's usage is subtle for sure, but his statement wasn't rehearsed. An on the spot extempore. He used in a casual manner. Writing something, and orally conveying it, feels different. So, personally, I think it was used in a casual manner. The interviewer didn't ask him to compare Fed to his older self. Sampras started the topic himself.
At the very least, his statement implies, that 24 year old Fed, isn't better than current Federer. This is Pete's opinion. So, those who disagree, should simply not value his judgment.
Maybe my language skills are poor, but this statement does not entail that 24 year old Fed didn't play better than current Fed to me
"He's almost playing better now than he did 10 ten years ago"
 

Sunny Ali

Professional
Yes Chan bhai, your English skill poor. Sampras saying that difference between current Federer and 10 years old Federer is 0 (or current Federer even better as he used almost word). Sampras is talking full nonsense, that's all!

Maybe my language skills are poor, but this statement does not entail that 24 year old Fed didn't play better than current Fed to me
"He's almost playing better now than he did 10 ten years ago"
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Yes Chan bhai, your English skill poor. Sampras saying that difference between current Federer and 10 years old Federer is 0 (or current Federer even better as he used almost word). Sampras is talking full nonsense, that's all!
Alright, I'll take your word for it.
 
Maybe my language skills are poor, but this statement does not entail that 24 year old Fed didn't play better than current Fed to me
"He's almost playing better now than he did 10 ten years ago"
Literally,
al·most
(ôl′mōst′, ôl-mōst′)
adv.
Slightly short of; not quite; nearly

If, we superimpose it, Sampras said ''He is nearly playing better now than he did 10 years ago. He's improving''

This probably means, that Federer is the same or better. But Sampras, obviously did not put any such hindsight, or thinking behind it. He orally stated it, in a casual manner. So, we just have to take his word.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Right, I also think Federer has improved certain aspects of his game but regressed in others.

So how would this add up to him playing better than his peak? It does not.

He is playing close to, but not above. So still it is a big difference when you are playing at the pinnacle of the game. The slightest loss of something makes the difference between champion and runner up.
Also confidence is not negligible.
 
Well, he just seems to have said, that his 2002 US open, was his highest ever level. He didn't say, that his 32 year self, was better in general. Mainly, his serve, and volleying skills were better.

Even Federer recently stated, that he was playing at his best tennis. Pete probably was talking about his peak performance. Fed's Wimbledon semifinal, was a great display of clean hitting. But, he doesn't bring that level consistently. It's like Cilic, and Wawrinka winning slams occasionally.

They don't bring out their best, every time. Pete, simply said Uso 2002 was his best. He didn't state, that he was regularly playing at this level.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Well, he just seems to have said, that his 2002 US open, was his highest ever level. He didn't say, that his 32 year self, was better in general. Mainly, his serve, and volleying skills were better.

Even Federer recently stated, that he was playing at his best tennis. Pete probably was talking about his peak performance. Fed's Wimbledon semifinal, was a great display of clean hitting. But, he doesn't bring that level consistently. It's like Cilic, and Wawrinka winning slams occasionally.

They don't bring out their best, every time. Pete, simply said Uso 2002 was his best. He didn't state, that he was regularly playing at this level.
He said his best tennis was when he was older and that he was just less consistent - if he only meant the USO 2002 talking about consistency wouldn't make sense. The pinnacle he says was the 2002 final but that doesn't detract from the rest of statement, "Everyone was getting better when I was No 1 in the world and winning majors left and right. I was 10 times the player as I got older..." or "The best tennis I played was when I was older. I wasn't as consistent week in and week out..."

Week in week out, would be a funny way to put it if he thought he was garbage aside from the USO 2002.
 

uliks

Banned
Sampras, Borg, Wilander, Federer... Dementia is spreading like a virus among the legends of the game...
 

TheMusicLover

G.O.A.T.
This "a guy in his mid 30s is playing better than when he was in his mid 20s" trope needs die. It has replaced the "weak era" trope as the lamest troll attempt of this generation.
Glad to know I'm not the only one thinking this. ;)

Seriously: people should realize that whenever a Former Great compliments a player, even when he's obviously being ridiculous in his/her statements, it's because of PR/promoting the sport, and nothing else.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Sampras is such a Federer fan-boy! He's entitled to think the Big 4 are no more but it's either that or a Big 1, not a Big 2. What exactly has Federer done to be in an exclusive Big 2 relationship with Djokovic? :rolleyes:
 
He said his best tennis was when he was older and that he was just less consistent - if he only meant the USO 2002 talking about consistency wouldn't make sense. The pinnacle he says was the 2002 final but that doesn't detract from the rest of statement, "Everyone was getting better when I was No 1 in the world and winning majors left and right. I was 10 times the player as I got older..." or "The best tennis I played was when I was older. I wasn't as consistent week in and week out..."

Week in week out, would be a funny way to put it if he thought he was garbage aside from the USO 2002.
Maybe, but he hasn't given a timeline, for the age, he considers himself to have consistently played at his best. Only, that his peak was at U.S. 2002. If, one slam at 2002, was really his best, than he was too old, to enjoy it.
 
He said his best tennis was when he was older and that he was just less consistent - if he only meant the USO 2002 talking about consistency wouldn't make sense. The pinnacle he says was the 2002 final but that doesn't detract from the rest of statement, "Everyone was getting better when I was No 1 in the world and winning majors left and right. I was 10 times the player as I got older..." or "The best tennis I played was when I was older. I wasn't as consistent week in and week out..."

Week in week out, would be a funny way to put it if he thought he was garbage aside from the USO 2002.
Even the 2002 U.S Open while he played great tennis and had some big wins to win the title, he has played better tennis than that in his career. Easily. So even at that it wouldnt make sense.

PS- sorry I didnt see you had since typed basically the same thing while I was typing that.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Even the 2002 U.S Open while he played great tennis and had some big wins to win the title, he has played better tennis than that in his career. Easily. So even at that it wouldnt make sense.
Exactly, beating a tired Agassi in 4 sets is the best match of his career? Don't think so.
 
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