Top 10 Sampras career rivals?

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
Who in everyone’s opinion are petes top 10 rivals throughout his career?

1. Agassi
2. Ivanisevic
3. Rafter
4. Becker
5. Krajicek
6. Courier
7. Chang
8. Henman
9. Rusedski
10. Hewitt

Maybe edberg could of been included.

They are just off the top of my head. Hopefully other posters will disagree and improve the list.

I’m back posting on here after 3 years away. I hate how underrated Pete is now days. I also think most modern tennis is a terrible standard and poor viewing but I know I’m in a minority. 80s and 90s were such great eras. It’s actually abit of a disgrace how Sampras is spoken about. I still think Djokovic and nadal wouldn’t have won more than 14 grand slams in the 90s with the surfaces, rackets, balls, surface specialists and deeper competition. Federer is maybe a different matter but I’d still back Sampras head to head.
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
1.Agassi
2.Chang
3.Becker
4.Ivanisevic
5.Edberg
6.Ferreira
7.Krajicek
8.Korda
9.Martin
10.Courier

These are the people, he played at least 10 times throughout his career! I don't think we should count the likes of Henman, Hewitt, Safin or especially Federer, since they its too hard to compare it peak-to-peak, because they only started to rise, while Sampras started to decline around the time they faced each other...
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Who in everyone’s opinion are petes top 10 rivals throughout his career?

1. Agassi
2. Ivanisevic
3. Rafter
4. Becker
5. Krajicek
6. Courier
7. Chang
8. Henman
9. Rusedski
10. Hewitt

Maybe edberg could of been included.

They are just off the top of my head. Hopefully other posters will disagree and improve the list.

I’m back posting on here after 3 years away. I hate how underrated Pete is now days. I also think most modern tennis is a terrible standard and poor viewing but I know I’m in a minority. 80s and 90s were such great eras. It’s actually abit of a disgrace how Sampras is spoken about. I still think Djokovic and nadal wouldn’t have won more than 14 grand slams in the 90s with the surfaces, rackets, balls, surface specialists and deeper competition. Federer is maybe a different matter but I’d still back Sampras head to head.
I’m with you.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
PETE didn’t have rivals, just guys who he let win from time to time before beating them up the next time they met.

Sure, Agassi had a few wins but when it came down to it on the biggest stages (W and USO), Pete had a perfect 6-0 record.

Krajicek? Yeah won at Wimbledon that one time but what else did he do?

Becker? Pummelled into submission in the 95 W final and 96 YEC final. Admitted that Pete’s best was superior to his own.

And who else? Goran? Stich? Henman? ROFL!!! Pete coulda beaten them with one hand behind his back. Nuff said!

That’s not cos they were weak competition mind, but cos PETE was the supreme tennis alpha male.

Now compare Federer. Pees his pants at the sight of Rafa and Novak. Hell even Murray had his number for a while. Yeah he has the most slams but he ain’t ever gonna be the real GOAT.
 

fezer

Rookie
Troll alert
why do you think so?
i never trolled anyone on this forum
and dint have that in mind
i still think that Pete Sampras has a word in the goat discussion (open era - what i can assess)
but even these players have a little pain in the ass
if it was for Federer, i would say Rafter, or Davydenko for Nadal...
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Agassi and Rafter are #1 and #2 comfortably. Sampras owned Rafter early on (hence their lopsided H2H) but in the late 90s they had a really hard-fought rivalry that got quite acrimonious at times.

If you are just talking about players that were competitive against Sampras - Stich, Kraijeck, Chang and maybe Ivanisevic stand out.

Becker, Edberg, Safin and Hewitt also racked up quite a few wins against Sampras, but you can argue that they benefited from catching him at either end of his career.
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
I think that Pete was vexed by the British/Canadian Rusedski, a player who seemed to annoy him. Partly because of Greg's opportunistic acquisition of

British citizenship to get career support.

Rusedski won an impressive Paris final against Sampras in 1998. This suggests that Rusedski was playing at a level near Sampras.
 
PETE didn’t have rivals, just guys who he let win from time to time before beating them up the next time they met.

Sure, Agassi had a few wins but when it came down to it on the biggest stages (W and USO), Pete had a perfect 6-0 record.

Krajicek? Yeah won at Wimbledon that one time but what else did he do?

Becker? Pummelled into submission in the 95 W final and 96 YEC final. Admitted that Pete’s best was superior to his own.

And who else? Goran? Stich? Henman? ROFL!!! Pete coulda beaten them with one hand behind his back. Nuff said!

That’s not cos they were weak competition mind, but cos PETE was the supreme tennis alpha male.

Now compare Federer. Pees his pants at the sight of Rafa and Novak. Hell even Murray had his number for a while. Yeah he has the most slams but he ain’t ever gonna be the real GOAT.
I agree mostly but Agassi was 14-20 vs Sampras. That is respectable and just as Pete never beat him at Wimbledon and the U.S Open, Pete never beat Agassi at the Australian (0-2) or French (0-1). Agassi was definitely a legit rival.

Krajicek could also be a sort of personal rival as he had a winning head to head with Sampras, and was his nemisis for quite awhile, although obviously not consistently on the tour are as far as greatness.

That is about it. Edberg I guess is a good crossover rival of Sampras, they have a very close head to head, and Edberg still held his own even when he was first going down, but unforuntately they werent true enough contemporaries to have a truly great rivalry. I think he was a tougher opponent for Sampras than Becker who was like a weaker version of Sampras.
 
I guess since you ask for a list.

1. Agassi
2. Krajicek
3. Ivanisevic- mostly a Wimbledon only rivalry though
4. Edberg
5. Becker

The rest are too meaningless to even bother going further.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Agassi
Courier
Becker
Ivanisevic
Chang
Krajicek
Stich
Rafter
Korda
Kafelnikov
Edberg
Hewitt
Safin
Martin
Corretja/Phillippoussis

make the top 15

If you consider being a rival for atleast 2-3 years from 93-2000, it narrows down to :

Agassi
Courier
Becker
Ivanisevic
Chang
Krajicek
Rafter
Korda
Kafelnikov
Martin
 

Thetouch

Professional
Hard to tell. It depends on the surfaces as well. I think Becker had a slightly edge on Pete on carpet and maybe even at the AO, had they ever met there. Not sure about the FO but Becker did quite well there for like 5 years reaching 3 semis and even beating FO champions like Muster and Chang but he never really cared for clay anyway. Stich had Sampras' number on various occasions but he wasn't so consistent at slams and they barely ever met. Courier and Edberg were tough opponents for him in the early 90s and Agassi was obviously the best rival he ever had. Chang challenged him a lot too from what I remember. I can't really talk about the years past 1997 because it was then when tennis started slowly to decline in my oppinion and newer players came along.
 
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