Sampras is greater on grass than nadal is on clay. Opposition proves it.

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
In the 90s grass court tennis was so strong. Winning 7 Wimbledon’s in 8 years in the 1990s against that grass field is one of the all time greatest achievements in sports history. Never mind tennis history. Nadal has racked up 12 French opens by playing no clay court specialists or clay court monsters. Sampras has round after round pressure of an upset on super fast grass against some of the biggest servers ever. Nadal didn’t have any musters, Brugueras, couriers, corretjas, Kuertens,
Sampras 7 Wimbledon’s in a better record that nadals 12 French opens.


sampras opposition
ATG players
Agassi
courier
Becker
Edberg
Stich
Rafter

Grass court big serving monsters
Ivanišević
Krajicek
Philippoussis
Rusedski

Good grass court players
Pioline
Henman
Martin

who were nadals strongest opposition at the French?
djokovic and Federer and it’s both there worst surface by a distance!
Next gen mental midget Thiem?
David Ferrer? Bang average
Puerta? Terrible

By the way I admit that 90s grass court tennis on the whole wasn’t the best to watch. There were still serval classic matches but in general it was hard to watch. But that’s just the way it was and petes domination shouldn’t be counted against him.
 

daggerman

Professional
I think you're underselling Djokovic and Federer on clay. Sure, it's their worst surface, but they are still all time great clay players, and the only reason their clay resumes aren't beefier is Nadal.

Pete on grass isn't that far off, but I think you have to give the nod to Nadal.
 
I think it is questionable at best Sampras on grass is even greater or better than Federer on grass, never mind Nadal on clay who is way ahead of Federer on grass now.

As for competition a way past his prime Becker, Ivanisevic, and Agassi on grass are no better than Federer or Djokovic on clay. At best they might be on par, but even that is a stretch since Ivanisevic and Agassi do not make the top 10 grass courters in the Open Era, and Djokovic and Federer probably both make Open Era top 10 on clay. And don't make me laugh throwing Edberg in there, Edberg was done by 93 when Sampras started succeeding on grass. There was more extensive depth I agree, but there was not some huge jump in competition. Sampras probably had tougher grass competition than Federer (even that is debateable, particularly with old Fed now having to face Djokovic) but there are MANY guys who have had tougher competition on grass than Sampras have had. Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Becker, Edberg all for sure faced tougher fields than he did.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
I think you're underselling Djokovic and Federer on clay. Sure, it's their worst surface, but they are still all time great clay players, and the only reason their clay resumes aren't beefier is Nadal.

Pete on grass isn't that far off, but I think you have to give the nod to Nadal.
That’s fair enough. I don’t agree but still
Sampras retired aged 31 with 7 Wimbledon titles. Nadal at age 31 already had 10 Roland-Garros titles.

Nadal has always been far more dominant on clay than Sampras on grass.
yeh against clay mugs.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
That’s fair enough. I don’t agree but still

yeh against clay mugs.
Sampras lost the only Wimbledon match he played against Federer.

Djokovic, Thiem, Federer, Wawrinka and Soderling on clay are far stronger than Agassi, Ivanisevic and whoever Sampras faced on grass.
 

Thetouch

Professional
Sampras lost the only match he played against Federer on grass. Djokovic is greater on grass than Sampras was. Opposition proves it.
lol this is wrong on so many levels, I guess you are just a young guy who talks out of emotions, so I will leave it at that

Sampras for sure beat bigger names overall and he dominated on grass but you can't discount Nadal's 12 titles, that is still 5 more Slams and 35 more matches where he beat everyone there was to beat since 2005 and the pressure on him has always been very high. I don't think Sampras felt so much pressure anymore once he set a new record and once they slowed grass down etc.
 
You might have a case if Sampras on grass were relatively close to Nadal on clay in achievements. He isn't. Nadal will probably have double the French Open titles to Sampras at Wimbledon. At that point there is no debate. Sampras would never win 12 or more Wimbledons against any field in tennis history, that is clear. At age 29 he nearly lost to Barry Cowan and then lost to baby Federer at Wimbledon, then at age 30 lost to a guy outside the top 100 whose name I forget, a worse player than any of the mugs Nadal lost to at Wimbledon. So winning 12 Wimbledons for Sampras is a total impossability, even if he played in the 20s or something.

And you are clearly skewed and biased in some of your comments. Clay is the worst surface of Federer and Djokovic, but you mention Courier!?!?!?! Federer and Djokovic on clay >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. Courier on grass. Heck Murray, Wawrinka, Ferrer, Thiem, Soderling, maybe Del Potro on clay are all easily > Courier on grass. I will give Courier credit for his performance at Wimbledon 93 but it was a huge outlier in his career, the only good tennis he ever played on grass in his whole career basically.

Rafter is not an ATG on any planet, nor is Stich. Not on grass or overall. You might as well call Roddick an ATG by that logic (not on clay of course) since he is better than both.

And Edberg and Becker contemporaries of Sampras? No way, especialy Edberg who was so washed up during the early part of Sampras's dominance. You might as well call Kuerten, Costa, Moya, Ferrero contemporaries of Nadal by that logic.

Sampras's real biggest rival on grass was Ivanisevic probably, who is weaker than Federer or Djokovic on clay, and probably weaker than Thiem will end up being. Big whoop.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
lol this is wrong on so many levels, I guess you are just a young guy who talks out of emotions, so I will leave it at that

Sampras for sure beat bigger names overall and he dominated on grass but you can't discount Nadal's 12 titles, that is still 5 more Slams and 35 more matches where he beat everyone there was to beat since 2005 and the pressure on him has always been very high. I don't think Sampras felt so much pressure anymore once he set a new record and once they slowed grass down etc.
Think sport started watching tennis after the 08 Wimbledon final. And it shows
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Just compare the matches of Sampras-Agassi at Wimbledon 1999 with Sampras-Federer at Wimbledon 2001. While you may argue that Sampras was slighly better in 1999 than 2001 (only 2 years of difference), the main difference was in the rival's level not in Pete's level. Of course, Sampras was toying with Agassi, but as soon as he faced a much better opponent like Federer the party was over and he suffered a lot.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
Just compare the matches of Sampras-Agassi at Wimbledon 1999 with Sampras-Federer at Wimbledon 2001. While you may argue that Sampras was slighly better in 1999 than 2001 (only 2 years of difference), the main difference was in the rival's level not in Pete's level. Of course, Sampras was toying with Agassi, but as soon as he faced a much better opponent like Federer the party was over and he suffered a lot.
That’s a disaster of an example again sport. Sampras was GOATing against Andre and was miles of his best against fed it’s that simple.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Just compare the matches of Sampras-Agassi at Wimbledon 1999 with Sampras-Federer at Wimbledon 2001. While you may argue that Sampras was slighly better in 1999 than 2001 (only 2 years of difference), the main difference was in the rival's level not in Pete's level. Of course, Sampras was toying with Agassi, but as soon as he faced a much better opponent like Federer the party was over and he suffered a lot.
"Slightly better" lmao. The 1999 final was one of the best matches he's ever played. That's not comparable to the Federer match at all, and I say that as a Fed fan.
 

JasonZ

Semi-Pro
I think it is questionable at best Sampras on grass is even greater or better than Federer on grass, never mind Nadal on clay who is way ahead of Federer on grass now.

As for competition a way past his prime Becker, Ivanisevic, and Agassi on grass are no better than Federer or Djokovic on clay. At best they might be on par, but even that is a stretch since Ivanisevic and Agassi do not make the top 10 grass courters in the Open Era, and Djokovic and Federer probably both make Open Era top 10 on clay. And don't make me laugh throwing Edberg in there, Edberg was done by 93 when Sampras started succeeding on grass. There was more extensive depth I agree, but there was not some huge jump in competition. Sampras probably had tougher grass competition than Federer (even that is debateable, particularly with old Fed now having to face Djokovic) but there are MANY guys who have had tougher competition on grass than Sampras have had. Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Becker, Edberg all for sure faced tougher fields than he did.
No Sampras had tougher opposition than the Borgs and McEnroes and Edbergs.

They never faced a service monster like Ivanisevic. Edberg did in his prime, and we know the result.
 

DjokoLand

Semi-Pro
This thing about Djokovic and a Federer not being that great on clay is ridiculous. They would have 5-6 RG each if Nadal didn’t exist and be considered great clay counters. I think all fanbases of top 3 and all other ATG’s have just accepted Nadal is just that monsterious on clay.
Nadal is better on clay than Sampras on grass, though that takes nothing away from Pete he was incredible on grass
 
No Sampras had tougher opposition than the Borgs and McEnroes and Edbergs.

They never faced a service monster like Ivanisevic. Edberg did in his prime, and we know the result.
That was one match, it was 5 sets, and Edberg was already starting his decline by that point. He beat Sampras at that same Wimbledon easier than he did Edberg, but never managed it again.

Ivanisevic is great when he is on but super inconsistent and a headcase. It is not true those didn't face an Ivanisevic, Roscoe Tanner is basically the same as Ivanisevic just in another era. Zivanovic was another monster server who played both McEnroe and Edberg. McEnroe had to face ATGs and grass ATGs Borg and Connors. Borg had to face McEnroe and Connors. For that alone their competition was tougher than Sampras who didn't face another ATG or grass ATG who was even close to their prime.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
This thing about Djokovic and a Federer not being that great on clay is ridiculous. They would have 5-6 RG each if Nadal didn’t exist and be considered great clay counters. I think all fanbases of top 3 and all other ATG’s have just accepted Nadal is just that monsterious on clay.
Nadal is better on clay than Sampras on grass, though that takes nothing away from Pete he was incredible on grass
Sampras never lost to any of his main rivals at Wimbledon. Nadal did at the French
 

DSH

Legend
7 titles in 8 years is superb, fantastic, fabulous.
But 9 titles in 10 years is astronomical, stratospheric, mythological.
It is almost PerFect!
:alien:
 

Sudacafan

Talk Tennis Guru
In the 90s grass court tennis was so strong. Winning 7 Wimbledon’s in 8 years in the 1990s against that grass field is one of the all time greatest achievements in sports history. Never mind tennis history. Nadal has racked up 12 French opens by playing no clay court specialists or clay court monsters. Sampras has round after round pressure of an upset on super fast grass against some of the biggest servers ever. Nadal didn’t have any musters, Brugueras, couriers, corretjas, Kuertens,
Sampras 7 Wimbledon’s in a better record that nadals 12 French opens.


sampras opposition
ATG players
Agassi
courier
Becker
Edberg
Stich
Rafter

Grass court big serving monsters
Ivanišević
Krajicek
Philippoussis
Rusedski

Good grass court players
Pioline
Henman
Martin

who were nadals strongest opposition at the French?
djokovic and Federer and it’s both there worst surface by a distance!
Next gen mental midget Thiem?
David Ferrer? Bang average
Puerta? Terrible

By the way I admit that 90s grass court tennis on the whole wasn’t the best to watch. There were still serval classic matches but in general it was hard to watch. But that’s just the way it was and petes domination shouldn’t be counted against him.
Mr. SamprasisGOAT
Thanks for your absolutely impartial opinion about the subject.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
That was one match, it was 5 sets, and Edberg was already starting his decline by that point. He beat Sampras at that same Wimbledon easier than he did Edberg, but never managed it again.

Ivanisevic is great when he is on but super inconsistent and a headcase. It is not true those didn't face an Ivanisevic, Roscoe Tanner is basically the same as Ivanisevic just in another era. Zivanovic was another monster server who played both McEnroe and Edberg. McEnroe had to face ATGs and grass ATGs Borg and Connors. Borg had to face McEnroe and Connors. For that alone their competition was tougher than Sampras who didn't face another ATG or grass ATG who was even close to their prime.
Sampras didn’t face another ATG or grass ATG who was even close to their prime?
1999 or 93 Agassi wasn’t prime? In 99 he’d just won the French and in 93 he was Wimbledon champion
93 courier wasn’t prime?
93 becker wasn’t prime?
92 Stich wasn’t prime? He was the Wimbledon champion.
92, 94, 95, 98 ivanisevic wasn’t prime?
96 Krajicek wasn’t prime?
99 henman wasn’t prime?
00 rafter wasn’t prime?
 
Sampras didn’t face another ATG or grass ATG who was even close to their prime?
1999 or 93 Agassi wasn’t prime? In 99 he’d just won the French and in 93 he was Wimbledon champion
93 courier wasn’t prime?
93 becker wasn’t prime?
92 Stich wasn’t prime? He was the Wimbledon champion.
92, 94, 95, 98 ivanisevic wasn’t prime?
96 Krajicek wasn’t prime?
99 henman wasn’t prime?
00 rafter wasn’t prime?
You don't even recognize Djokovic and Federer as greats on clay, and Djokovic and Federer on clay are both WAY way way better than Courier on grass. 1993 is the only year Courier didn't have a rubbish Wimbledon, he is nothing on grass. I am not sure if Courier is even an ATG at all, ATG is usually thought of as Edberg/Becker level minimum, he sure is heck is no great on grass though. Mark Philippoussis is a better grass player than Courier.

Djokovic and Federer on clay are also both better than Agassi on grass.

Yes Becker was past his prime already in 93. Everyone knows Becker's prime was something like 85-91.

Stich, Rafter, and Ivanisevic aren't ATGs, don't be stupid. Do you call Roddick and Hewitt ATGs.

Krajicek and Henman ATGs? What the heck, by that logic David Ferrer is an ATG and ATG on clay then.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
I normally like your input, but

ATG players

courier
Almost made me laugh up my breakfast.

:-D


As for the rest, I'd actually call it in favour of Nadal (and you know how much that hurts me). Sampras completely dominated Wimbledon when it was Wimbledon and there were amazing all court, S&V and servebot players in the field. His Wimbledon dominance is unmatched by anyone, including Borg. But Nadal has dominated the french thing when pretty much 90% of players in the top 100 are boring baseline botting dirt ballers.

And you can't call 90s Wimbledon boring in any conversation that mentions the french open.
 
Hmm. Federer and Djokovic have done more on clay than the following guys did on grass:
Agassi
Courier
Stich
Rafter
Ivanišević
Krajicek
Philippoussis
Rusedski
Pioline
Henman
Martin

Basically everyone but Edberg and Becker.
Edberg who isn't even a contemporary or true opponent of Sampras at Wimbledon at all. As was already mentioned they didn't even play a single match at Wimbledon, and Sampras's first Wimbledon final (93) was when Edberg was already firmly past his prime.

Becker I guess can sort of count.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Hmm. Federer and Djokovic have done more on clay than the following guys did on grass:
Agassi
Courier
Stich
Rafter
Ivanišević
Krajicek
Philippoussis
Rusedski
Pioline
Henman
Martin

Basically everyone but Edberg and Becker.
I don't really know what Federer and Djokovic have done on clay, but that's a list of two verses a very long list of great* grass court players.

Is there such a thing as a great clay court player, or just least worst? Either way, it would be a better comparison to list a dozen of the "least worst" dirt ballers that Nadal has had to face and see if they match up with the great grass courters Sampras had in the draw.

* Calling Rusedski and Martin great grass courters may be a bit generous.
 

FedeRadi

Rookie
Sampras SF and F Opponents at Wimbledon - Wimbledon Win Rate:
Becker(x2) - 83,7%
Agassi - 78%
Ivanisevic(x4) - 77,8%
Rafter-76,3%
Henman(x2) - 75,4%
Martin - 73,3%
Pioline - 66,7%
Courier - 63,3%
Vlotchkov - 58,3%
Woodbridge - 58,1%

Nadal SF and F Opponents at RG - RG Win Rate:
Djokovic(x5) - 82,9%
Federer(x6) - 80,5%
Thiem(x3) - 80%
Murray(x2) - 79,6%
Wawrinka - 75%
Ferrer(x2) - 73,3%
Del Potro - 71%
Soderling - 70,4%
Puerta - 66,7%
Ljubicic - 60%
Melzer - 55,2%

Best 3 opponents mean: 81,8% vs 82,9%
Best 5 opponents mean: 80,2% vs 82,9%
Best 10 opponents mean: 78,4% vs 81,7%
Best 15 opponents mean: 73,6% vs 81,1%

I think there is no way Sampras' competiotion at Wimbledon was better than Nadal's one on clay. Less good players? Yes. But only because some great players manage to play more times vs Rafa in semifinals and finals.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
I actually agree with the OP. Pete's 7 Wimbledons were against great grass court players of the 90s. Nadal's competition consisted of Djokovic, Federer, Ferrer, Soderling, Thiem. None of them is a great clay court tennis player. As much as I like Rafa, Pete wins here.

The only thing Nadal has over Sampras is his 2008 Wimbledon title, which speaking objectively, trumps all 7 of Pete's Wimby titles. Nadal defeated the grass GOAT in his prime. The greatest match of all time. That title is worth 10 Wimbledons imho.
 

tudwell

Legend
I don't really know what Federer and Djokovic have done on clay, but that's a list of two verses a very long list of great* grass court players.

Is there such a thing as a great clay court player, or just least worst? Either way, it would be a better comparison to list a dozen of the "least worst" dirt ballers that Nadal has had to face and see if they match up with the great grass courters Sampras had in the draw.

* Calling Rusedski and Martin great grass courters may be a bit generous.
I think there’s a lot more depth than those two. Roughly chronologically:
Coria (great clay courter)
Gaudio (RG champ)
Puerta (doped up and playing out of his skin)
Davydenko
Gonzalez
Almagro (a little weaker but total clay specialist with some good runs at RG)
Soderling (giant killer on clay)
Del Potro
Wawrinka (RG champ)
Murray (Clayray for a couple years)
Thiem (already done more at the French than someone like Courier or Pioline ever did at Wimbledon)

Maybe there are some weaker names here, maybe the clay field nowadays is a little top-heavy. But Nadal’s been dominating clay for 15 years. He’s seen generations come and go and he’s beaten them all. Maybe there’s a bit less depth at any given time than Sampras had on grass, but over 15 years it’s added up to a lot of great opponents.
 
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* Calling Rusedski and Martin great grass courters may be a bit generous.
Calling Courier that would be even more generous. 1 out of nowhere strong Wimbledon does not overcome a career of complete mediocrity on grass. Only if he had won the title perhaps.

Pioline also could never go down as that.

Then by the standards Henman and Philippoussis were great grass courters the standard of "great" would be incredibly soft and it would be fairly easy to come up with a very long list of great clay courters Nadal faced too by that metric.
 
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