So how exactly is it established that Pete is mentally tougher than Roger?

PETE having the success he did on Wimby's lightning grass is seriously underrated. How many matches came down to just a handful of looks on return / tie-break? Basically a coin flip, yet he won 90% of the time.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
70% of the time? He was gone for one year.

He didn't face any because he stopped them all from becoming them. Agassi easily could have had more than 10, Pete stopped Becker from winning possibly 3 Wimbledons, Pete stopped Courier from winning at least 2, possibly 3 majors. Once these guys get those slams, they keep getting more. This is as impressive as the inflated slam count of the big 3 era since careers were at least 5 years shorter.
Your post is ridiculous on so many levels I'll just let it go, it would take me an hour to point out every flaw in your reasoning.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
PETE made sure no one was winning more slams than him so his rivals were kept at bay by the Great PETE.
PLEASE. Sampras had 14, Agassi had 8 and then you have to go back to the Edberg/Becker era to find someone with more than 4 Slams.

Federer has 20 = almost as many as Sampras and Agassi put together AND he faced two other players who will end up with more than 20 Slams each. How the hell is this even comparable? Sampras stopped nobody from nothing, he stopped guys like Ivanisevic and Henman from winning Wimbledon, he stopped Agassi from winning maybe 2-3 more US Opens AND THAT'S IT.

Agassi and Sampras played a total of 9 times in the Slams in their careers. Federer faced Nadal 14 times in the Slams and Djokovic 17 times for a total of 31 times. I honestly don't know how anyone can make an argument at this point. Without Agassi Sampras wins maybe 3 more Slams. Without Nadal and Djokovic Federer probably retires at 25 out of boredom, but could easily end in the 30 to 40 range if he commited to every tournament and played until 38/39.

There is absolutely nothing that Sampras has over Federer at this point. Sampras won a lot less, had it a lot easier (apart from 1995 Agassi didn't even fully commit to the game until he was 29 years old), played on surfaces that suited his game a lot more. Let Sampras play someone like Djokovic on slow hard or Nadal on clay and see how mentally tough he is, easier to just serve your way through Agassi on a fast hard court.
 
If Pete didn't break his spirit after the US OPen in 1995 and/or if Pete didn't exist at all, Agassi is definitely the slam record holder before the Big 3 anyways. Agassi would have 16-17 slams easy. At least 2 more Wimbledons. Maybe 3. Probably another 5-6 US Opens without question
 

CHillTennis

Professional
I think the reason that Sampras is considered mentally tougher is due to his record in grand slam finals (he rarely lost them) and his extremely dominant record against all of his rivals.

Over the years, Roger Federer's legacy has been hurt by losses like Wimbledon 2019, the US Open 2010, and '11.

He had multiple match points in all three of those matches but lost on each occasion to the same guy.

This has gotten some people to think that Federer was mentally weak all along and would have been crushed by Djokovic and Nadal routinely had they all played each other in their primes.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
I think the reason that Sampras is considered mentally tougher is due to his record in grand slam finals (he rarely lost them) and his extremely dominant record against all of his rivals.
On the other hand, Federer rarely lost early in majors. He didn't have many losses in majors like the ones that Sampras had to Yzaga, Schaller, Philippoussis, Norman, Korda, Kucera, Delgado etc. Federer rarely had a loss like when Seppi beat him at the 2015 Australian Open, or Stakhovsky at 2013 Wimbledon.
 

CHillTennis

Professional
On the other hand, Federer rarely lost early in majors. He didn't have many losses in majors like the ones that Sampras had to Yzaga, Schaller, Philippoussis, Norman, Korda, Kucera, Delgado etc. Federer rarely had a loss like when Seppi beat him at the 2015 Australian Open, or Stakhovsky at 2013 Wimbledon.
It's funny to think that Yzaga was 2-0 at the US Open against Sampras.

Yet Agassi couldn't buy a win against Pete to save his life.
 

Candide

Hall of Fame
Was Jonathan also tyrannized by the metrics of prose and literary standards?
Heh, nothing could be more literary and poetic than the ole "weak era" that, ironically, is like a religious experience of revelation for the metrics brigade around here. It's almost like you want to -

 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
Samparas has won 14 of the 18 finals he ever played to Federer's 20 out of 31, so it has to do with that, but to Federer's defense, he didn't have to play some random top players in all those slam finals, like Federer had to, so there's that! Sampras' competition most of the time was laughable...so it was easier to dominate! None of those 90's top players were anywhere nearly as mentally tough as Djokovic and Nadal and even Murray to a certain extent...Todd Martin, Cedric Pioline, servebot Ivanisevic as your final grand slam opponent...yikes...they were giving up before anything even started, Sampras didn't even have to put any effort, they were just giving up! LOL
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Based on matches they played, it's foolish to say Djokovic is in different league than Zverev and Tsitsipas, because they kept pace pretty well and beat him on a number occasions. But you know well that Novak is in different league than them and that taking a set or two here and there doesn't mean much in tennis. Same like any of the big 3 are in different league compared to Agassi, Becker, Wilander, etc. How is that even controversial?
But facing older Djokovic while a decade younger is not the same as facing a young Federer while a decade older.

Of course he wasn't, just like everyone else is different in a number of ways (not all detrimental) at more advanced age. Though Federer amassed 2 slams as soon as Novak was out of the picture, at tender age of 37, so he was still pretty good. The fact that there was someone better than him doesn't mean Federer was bad.
Nobody said Federer was bad. Fed winning 2 more slams at 35+ speaks a lot about this era more than anything else.

But he was definitely not difficult for a Djokovic still in the prime of his career.
 
Samparas has won 14 of the 18 finals he ever played to Federer's 20 out of 31, so it has to do with that, but to Federer's defense, he didn't have to play some random top players in all those slam finals, like Federer had to, so there's that! Sampras' competition most of the time was laughable...so it was easier to dominate! None of those 90's top players were anywhere nearly as mentally tough as Djokovic and Nadal and even Murray to a certain extent...Todd Martin, Cedric Pioline, servebot Ivanisevic as your final grand slam opponent...yikes...they were giving up before anything even started, Sampras didn't even have to put any effort, they were just giving up! LOL
Fed was 15/20 when he won his first 15 so not that much of a difference. Up till 2012 Wimbledon he'd be 16/19 if we don't include the FO since PETE never made to the FO finals.
 

Herald

Hall of Fame
Heh, nothing could be more literary and poetic than the ole "weak era" that, ironically, is like a religious experience of revelation for the metrics brigade around here. It's almost like you want to -

I am somewhat half-kidding. Human experience can't be boiled down to numbers and stats. It's just when you write a thread lamenting the tyranny of metrics on a player who has been propped up like no other in large part due to his metrics that we all have a hearty chuckle.

We can look at things like homogenization and tour make-up to support arguments around weak eras, both of which many top professionals, including Federer himself have acknowledged as key to his success.

What concrete metric do we base Symphonic Beethoven backhand as equalling GOAT off of?
 
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Herald

Hall of Fame
Mono prevented Federer from doing 6 in 6, plus the fact that Nadal being extremely dominant in the clay court season every year helped unlike Agassi who was inconsistent every year except 1995, Sampras was 1 yr younger than Agassi while Federer was 5 years older to Nadal.
Minor mono like his wears off after 6 weeks, c'mon now how many decades are we going to milk this excuse for? His failure to hold down Nadal is why he lost the keys to the kingdom.
 
I think Sampras is ahead in the mental department, but not by as much as people say.

There are mental areas where Pete is ahead:
- Insanely clutch. When challenged in big matches, almost always found a way
- Could find a comfort zone even when playing a rival at their own game (ie baseline exchanges with Andre)
- Record in finals
- Unwaveringly calm temperament on court but also knew when to balance that with asserting himself with very intimidating physical body language.

There are areas where Federer is ahead:
- Playing into his forties and finding new ways to change the mental balance of power with his younger rivals and multiple later generations
- Incredible consistency and mental commitment year round. Really never got blown out by anyone other than a GOAT contender (Pete quite clearly took mental breaks through the season and has losses where he was not there mentally. Understandable given surface specialisation still very much a thing at that time).

There are areas of mental strength where they are almost equals and almost in a class of their own:
- Insanely clutch when protecting serve
- Could push themselves to the mental limit while maintaining a completely unaffected physical facade
- Could play a very high risk, low margin playing style with shockingly high consistency
- Could manufacture drive and commitment to excellence often with almost no external motivation (very scary trait shared by both players)
 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
PLEASE. Sampras had 14, Agassi had 8 and then you have to go back to the Edberg/Becker era to find someone with more than 4 Slams.

Federer has 20 = almost as many as Sampras and Agassi put together AND he faced two other players who will end up with more than 20 Slams each. How the hell is this even comparable? Sampras stopped nobody from nothing, he stopped guys like Ivanisevic and Henman from winning Wimbledon, he stopped Agassi from winning maybe 2-3 more US Opens AND THAT'S IT.

Agassi and Sampras played a total of 9 times in the Slams in their careers. Federer faced Nadal 14 times in the Slams and Djokovic 17 times for a total of 31 times. I honestly don't know how anyone can make an argument at this point. Without Agassi Sampras wins maybe 3 more Slams. Without Nadal and Djokovic Federer probably retires at 25 out of boredom, but could easily end in the 30 to 40 range if he commited to every tournament and played until 38/39.

There is absolutely nothing that Sampras has over Federer at this point. Sampras won a lot less, had it a lot easier (apart from 1995 Agassi didn't even fully commit to the game until he was 29 years old), played on surfaces that suited his game a lot more. Let Sampras play someone like Djokovic on slow hard or Nadal on clay and see how mentally tough he is, easier to just serve your way through Agassi on a fast hard court.
Sampras has 6 Years End number 1, one more than Federer.
:D
 

Herald

Hall of Fame
Your post is ridiculous on so many levels I'll just let it go, it would take me an hour to point out every flaw in your reasoning.
Accept your concession bud.

We can both agree that Federer has been one of the great gifts to the game, which is better off for him.
 

Herald

Hall of Fame
I think Sampras is ahead in the mental department, but not by as much as people say.

There are mental areas where Pete is ahead:
- Insanely clutch. When challenged in big matches, almost always found a way
- Could find a comfort zone even when playing a rival at their own game (ie baseline exchanges with Andre)
- Record in finals
- Unwaveringly calm temperament on court but also knew when to balance that with asserting himself with very intimidating physical body language.

There are areas where Federer is ahead:
- Playing into his forties and finding new ways to change the mental balance of power with his younger rivals and multiple later generations
- Incredible consistency and mental commitment year round. Really never got blown out by anyone other than a GOAT contender (Pete quite clearly took mental breaks through the season and has losses where he was not there mentally. Understandable given surface specialisation still very much a thing at that time).

There are areas of mental strength where they are almost equals and almost in a class of their own:
- Insanely clutch when protecting serve
- Could push themselves to the mental limit while maintaining a completely unaffected physical facade
- Could play a very high risk, low margin playing style with shockingly high consistency
- Could manufacture drive and commitment to excellence often with almost no external motivation (very scary trait shared by both players)
A great post and mostly accurate. You have to qualify that Fed didn't get blown off the court not just because of specialization, but because the courts weren't fast enough to allow that to happen. Petros and others have commented on this.
 
Get back to me when you author a thread that honors Pete similarly. Until then you'll be secure in your sideline throne as Snip-King.
Dafuq? I've always 'herald'ed PETE. But spending about 1% of your time not making subtle and non-subtle jabs at Fed? I hope you kept your receipt for that smoke and those mirrors.
 

Fiero425

Legend
Only problem here is that Pete would never be having a matchpoint at 38 years of age to hit that ace down the line which I am sure he is capable of hitting without fail, but then he has to be there to hit it, no?
People forget Sampras was dragging his carcass around for 2 years between not just a major win, but any kind of tournament victory! He took his last Wimbledon over Rafter in 2000 and didn't come close to winning much of anything until he got into a serving groove at his last USO in 2002, defeating his personal pigeon, Andre Agassi! His ranking was spiraling down and he barely was in the top 20! Pete was done at 31, so Federer gets more credit since he still was able to get to #1 at 36! Very impressive even for a few months! :unsure: :giggle::p:laughing:
 
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Herald

Hall of Fame
Only problem here is that Pete would never be having a matchpoint at 38 years of age to hit that ace down the line which I am sure he is capable of hitting without fail, but then he has to be there to hit it, no?
Without modern medicine you expect Pete, the guy with Thalassemia and who couldn't get enough blood to his muscles, to compete at age 38? That Pete?
 

Herald

Hall of Fame
Fed fans are happy to take the high ground of graciousness and class until you suggest someone is a better player than RF, or even if you suggest someone is better in an important area of the game.
 
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