Sampras vs. Federer - at their best, who would win?

Sampras vs. Federer - at their best, who would win?

  • Sampras

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • Federer

    Votes: 4 57.1%

  • Total voters
    7

GotGame?

Rookie
There is one thing for sure IMO, this match would go to five sets. Nobody has been more clutch than Sampras coming back from deficits and beating back challenges. Federer showed this in the Miami final this year against Nadal, but succumbed to Safin and Nadal in tight sets at the AO and the FO.

Sampras has the serve as his gun, but Federer has just as equal in returns. I think Federer is just too versatile and can do anything he wants on court. I say Federer in 5.

On the poll, I will only include who you feel will win. But please post how many sets you feel it would take.
 

GotGame?

Rookie
Kevin Patrick said:
You do realize this exact topic has had a ton of threads for the last 2 years or so?
I should have thought of that. But I think it is better to bring it back up since it seems we are watching Federer in his prime.
 

finchy

Professional
we are not watching Federer in his prime. we will only know when his prime is once he has retired.
 

armand

Banned
Sampras vs. Federer. Good topic to discuss but where? US Open, Wimbledon, my backyard? And if it's Wimbledon which Wimbledon? The old surface of fast or the new slower one?

I think the best we can do is watch when Fed beat Pete at Wimbledon and see how Fed was playing and how Pete played(ie Pete was not playing his best, etc ). And take it from there.
 

GotGame?

Rookie
adely said:
Sampras vs. Federer. Good topic to discuss but where? US Open, Wimbledon, my backyard? And if it's Wimbledon which Wimbledon? The old surface of fast or the new slower one?

I think the best we can do is watch when Fed beat Pete at Wimbledon and see how Fed was playing and how Pete played(ie Pete was not playing his best, etc ). And take it from there.
If you discuss where, I think Federer wins in Australia for better fitness and Roland Garros because Federer is more comfortable on clay. I think Pete still owns Wimbledon, and Pete wins the last slam at home. The season-ending masters event would decide it...

I don't think watching that match with Pete at Wimbledon is a good way to judge who would win at their best.
 

Chadwixx

Banned
u cannot accurately speculate on who would win in their primes. fed beat pete in their only head to head match. a fact that many sampras groupies ignore.

another good point is look at the way guys like hewitt and safin handled the sampras serve, then look at how they handle the fed serve.

on a clay court i dont think pete could take a set off fed.
 

GotGame?

Rookie
Marius_Hancu said:
and in order to see the plain stupidity of posting this again, do a search at:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/search.php?
keywords: Sampras Federer
Search Titles Only

over 35 threads, most on your "original" subject!
Woah! This subject has been beaten to death. I'll post again once Federer is all said and done ;) Chadwixx, are you referring to me? Maybe I need to brush up on my knowledge of the legends? Since I have only been a true follower for a few years...
 

Galactus

Banned
At this point in time, both Sampras and Federer are almost even, stats-wise:
Sampras 1990-95:
7 Grand Slams, 29 ATP titles, 409 wins/99 losses, 2 Finals/2 Semis/4 Qtrs

Federer 2000-05:
5 Grand Slams, 25 ATP titles, 353 wins/99 losses, 2 Semis/2 Qtrs

It look like Sampras has the edge, but with 5 months of this year to go, Federer can add the USO and the Masters to his tally. This makes it almost even at their respective stages of their careers.

The deciding factors on who would win a dream mythical-matchup between these two tennis-virtuosos comes down to:
* what kind of surface (grass, clay, hardcourt)
* level of opposition played
* degree of domination over the ATP Top 5

It's way too hard for me to pick a winner between these two....almost like when Borg and McEnroe went head-to-head for 3 years until McEnroe sussed Borg's game.

I think with the way in which Federer is improving year-by-year (technique, titles won, fewer defeats, etc), he is better at this stage of his career than Sampras was at his.

I can only dream at what kind of a match these two would provide us with at Wimbldeon. :shock:
 

ucd_ace

Semi-Pro
I think Federrer's best tennis is still ahead of him so I'll have to wait and see how well he's playing then to make my decision.
 

newnuse

Professional
NOOOO... just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in

With the exception of clay, a great return game does not usually dominate a great service game. I've seen a great server dominate a great returner far more often. I'm talking about the great server.. serving against a great returner.
 

drexeler

Rookie
Clear edge to Federer at AO, FO. Tossup at Wimbledon and USO.

Putting aside head-to-head, if both were playing at the same time, Federer would be number 1 as he will matchup better with the field due to his versatility.
 

Max G.

Legend
Chadwixx said:
i guess u never saw hewitt or safin play pete at the us open :)
Actually, at the open, Pete played Hewitt and Safin twice each. Against each, once he won in straight sets and once he lost in straights. So it would depend on which match you watched ;)
 

35ft6

Legend
The real nail in the coffin for Sampras is Federer's uncanny ability to read serves. I don't even think it would necessarily be close. Federer in 4 sets on grass... in four sets on hard courts... in straight sets on clay.
 
EXACTLY 35ft6. people here don't understand once the ball is on play, pete is dead because fed will wipe him out with his super groundies and if pete trys to come to the net we all know the amazing passing shots fed has.
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Let's take Agassi's words: Pete had a bigger serve, Federer has a bigger backcourt game. Pete's a better volleyer, Federer moves better. I'd say that Agassi had a fair assessment on both players. I don't think Sampras' volleys were better than Federer's passes. Federer's superior groundstrokes and passing ability would give him the W. Federer would win.
 
ya but federer is not agassi. Federer has much better serve then agassie. It is easier for fed to hold serve against pete than agassi. IMO federer is not pete because he can win on grass so easly nor is he agassi because he takes the ball as early as him. what makes fed so deadly is he has the talent to out ace you and out rally you at the same time. Fed is like pete agassi. The fusion of 2 greats of the century. So pete's ability is simply not ENOUGH to defeat federer.. yes, even at pete's best
 

crazylevity

Hall of Fame
Sampras was my favourite player until Federer came around, and for one reason only: Even if Fed never matches Sampras' achievements, I'd say Federer has a more complete game, and his game is breathtakingly beautiful to watch.

that is not to say that I don't think Federer can match Sampras' achievements :p
 

joesixtoe

Rookie
i think fed would win some, and pete would win some,, i saw the ao final with pete vs agassi,, and i still cant believe the level of play they played at,, i only recectly got into tennis this past year, and to see how tennis is today, compared to then(or atleast that match that i saw) i really dont think tennis players today could match the pete and agassi of then.. only fed, safin, and nadal really..
 

joe sch

Legend
grass sampras
clay federer
hard could go either way, on fast courts, it would probably be decided by tiebreakers
 
If we are talking about Federer at 24 vs Samprast at 24, if they played 10 times per surface, this is how I would guess it going:

Grass: Sampras 7-3
Decoturf: Sampras 6-4
Indoors: Sampras 6-4
Rebound Ace: Federer 7-3
Clay: Federer 9-1
 

Galactus

Banned
federerhoogenbandfan said:
If we are talking about Federer at 24 vs Samprast at 24, if they played 10 times per surface, this is how I would guess it going:

Grass: Sampras 7-3
Decoturf: Sampras 6-4
Indoors: Sampras 6-4
Rebound Ace: Federer 7-3
Clay: Federer 9-1
Ummm...care to explain how you came up with Sampras 7-3 on grass?
:| :confused:
 

donnyz89

Hall of Fame
i think federer has a more complete game than sampras. just because federer doesnt serve and volley doesnt mean sampras is so much better at it. federer's forehand is no comparison, backhand, excellent. everything about him is great, he can do anything. baseliner, serve and volley, chip and charge, counterpunch, hes the complete package., hes just missing the 150 mph serve, but who needs when u serve as good as him?
 

D-man

Banned
the problem is many people keep in mind the most recent matches they see & since Federer is aired so often & beats people so much, not to mention the commentators infusing people with awe, this is more prominent in people's minds... one would need to watch an equal number of best matches from both at the same time to make an accurate judgment i would think.
 

newnuse

Professional
Galactus said:
Ummm...care to explain how you came up with Sampras 7-3 on grass?
:| :confused:
I actually think that is a pretty fair breakdown. Why is 7-3 on grass so shocking?

You got a great S&V with greatest serve ever going against a guy more comfortable on the baseline. I don't care if this the grass is slower than before. It's still grass, it's still pretty fast, and it would still favor the S&V player. Unfortunately, they don't teach S&V'ing any more.
 

35ft6

Legend
newnuse said:
Unfortunately, they don't teach S&V'ing any more.
Another way of looking at it is tennis natural selection made serve and volley less effective than before, so with graphite rackets, baseline play started becoming more effective and baseliners rose up the ranks, pushing aside serve and volleyers, so know we mostly see baseliners. Survival of the fittest.

It's not that people around the world spontaneously decided to stop teaching s and v, it just has become less effective. When people are capable of hitting returns over 100 mph, of course people are going to rush the net less.

Just saying you're putting the cart before the horse.
 

Galactus

Banned
newnuse said:
I actually think that is a pretty fair breakdown. Why is 7-3 on grass so shocking?

You got a great S&V with greatest serve ever going against a guy more comfortable on the baseline. I don't care if this the grass is slower than before. It's still grass, it's still pretty fast, and it would still favor the S&V player. Unfortunately, they don't teach S&V'ing any more.
You're picking Sampras to totally own Federer on their best surfaces.
This is like saying, Sugar Ray Leonard would beat Thomas Hearns by the same margain: both are all-time P4P'ers, both fight at same weight, yet both have completely different styles and attributes (just like Sampras and Federer).

In tennis terms, Sampras - Federer is as close as McEnroe - Borg.

So, 7-3 to Pete?? I don't think so...
:|
 
Galactus said:
Disagree, 100% - I think it's good to discuss the merits of 'Mythical Matchups' between players past and present.

What's so bad about that?
The bad part is it's a load of crap, the Sampras fans will always be fighting Rogi fans, you never get anywhere.
 
newnuse said:
I actually think that is a pretty fair breakdown. Why is 7-3 on grass so shocking?

You got a great S&V with greatest serve ever going against a guy more comfortable on the baseline. I don't care if this the grass is slower than before. It's still grass, it's still pretty fast, and it would still favor the S&V player. Unfortunately, they don't teach S&V'ing any more.
Actually a 3-7 hypothetical head to head with Sampras on grass is incredably good, although it is only speculation of course, I am not sure if anybody else, perhaps only Krajiceck or Ivanisevic would have any chance to match that.
 

newnuse

Professional
35ft6 said:
Another way of looking at it is tennis natural selection made serve and volley less effective than before, so with graphite rackets, baseline play started becoming more effective and baseliners rose up the ranks, pushing aside serve and volleyers, so know we mostly see baseliners. Survival of the fittest.

It's not that people around the world spontaneously decided to stop teaching s and v, it just has become less effective. When people are capable of hitting returns over 100 mph, of course people are going to rush the net less.

Just saying you're putting the cart before the horse.
I think everbody is drinking the Bollettieri kool aid. S&V is not obsolete, especially on grass. I don't see any great S&V'ers. I don't think anybody grows up learning the game on grass these days. If a great one came along, I think he would have plenty of success at Wimbledon.

Who would break the Sampras serve on grass? I've seen him just blow away great returners with that serve of his too many times. When he gets going, Agassi didn't stand a chance. Agassi returns serves as good as anybody I've seen.

BTW, a Fed fan posted the 7-3 prediction. I agree with it.
 

Chadwixx

Banned
serve and volley players cannot compete as well now adays due to the racket technology.

7-3 sampras on grass? lol, i guess yall didnt watch them play. the things that were bothering federer in that match are no longer an issue for him.
 

newnuse

Professional
You cannot take one match when Sampras was past his prime and come to the conclusion Fed is better than Sampras on grass.

Agassi, Chang, Courier etc.. all had graphite sticks. I saw them look defenseless against the Sampras serve on grass and hardcourts as well. I'm not a Sampras fan, but I have to acknowledge how great he was. When he was on, I've never seen anybody as good. His serve was great, but the rest of his game was very good as well.
 

newnuse

Professional
federerhoogenbandfan said:
Actually a 3-7 hypothetical head to head with Sampras on grass is incredably good, although it is only speculation of course, I am not sure if anybody else, perhaps only Krajiceck or Ivanisevic would have any chance to match that.
FHBF,

I see that you finally realize the errors of your ways. :mrgreen: You are a good sport.

I do think the guys like Krajiceck/Ivanisevic had the best chance against Sampras. They would need to have a good serving day. Service breaks would be minimal (if any). Hold serve and take your chances in the tiebreakers.

I recall indoor carpet as being very fast, well at least it used to be. 4-6 would generours for Fed if we are thinking of the same surface. 1-9 is generous to Sampras on clay :mrgreen:

I don't think Sampras would beat Seles on clay
 

drexeler

Rookie
newnuse said:
You cannot take one match when Sampras was past his prime and come to the conclusion Fed is better than Sampras on grass.

Agassi, Chang, Courier etc.. all had graphite sticks. I saw them look defenseless against the Sampras serve on grass and hardcourts as well. I'm not a Sampras fan, but I have to acknowledge how great he was. When he was on, I've never seen anybody as good. His serve was great, but the rest of his game was very good as well.
True that one can't conclude Fed > Pete based on this one match. But contrary to your claims that Sampras's serve is untouchable on grass, this match showed that Fed didn't have much of a problem returning Pete's serve. He had a ton of break point chances. Pete's overall game and speed may have declined at this time, but his serve was still as good as ever (In the USO later that year, his serve would not be broken by Agassi).

This match perfectly illustrated Fed's uncanny ability in reading others' serves. Because of this ability, he is rarely, if ever, outaced even by the biggest of servers. He cuts down the big servers' free points by putting a lot of returns in play, frustrating them and taking them out of their comfort zone in the process. Once the serve is neutralized, Fed has more game than anybody else.
 
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