Was Sampras a servebot?

Was Sampras a servebot?

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 22.1%
  • No

    Votes: 67 77.9%

  • Total voters
    86

Eye Test

Rookie
I didn’t have the chance to watch him play as it was before my time...i started watching tennis in 2004.

Anyway, I was looking at his resume and noticed a stunning lack of success on clay.

Is this due to his serve no longer being as big of a factor when playing on clay and essentialy getting exposed as a servebot?
 

li0scc0

Hall of Fame
Sadly according to most people here, he was. You have to remember, on these forums, anybody who can serve more than 120 mph is a servbot. Even more ironic, is any woman who serves under 110 miles an hour is considered pathetic.
The reason? Most guys on here have 70mph first serves, and thus big servers are servebots. They would much rather watch 84 shot rallies ending in a forehand out wide than a service game with 2 aces. Why? Because they can relate to the errors, but not the power.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Literally ban this OP. Do it now for the sake of humanity.

Sampras is the third greatest player to ever lift a racket with explosive movement, insane volleys and one of the greatest FH's in tennis history. Why not familiarize yourself with the definition of "servebot?" It's someone who has a serve and nothing else. No servebot wins 14 majors. Karlovic is a servebot, Sampras was an ATG at the highest levels of the sport.

 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Anyone who isn't good on clay is a servebot, brilliant logic.
And why was Sampras not good on clay? Because on clay the surface is far slower and the serve is neutralized as a weapon. On clay you must win with more than serve, you need a fantatic baseline game.
 

Purplemonster

Hall of Fame
Literally ban this OP. Do it now for the sake of humanity.

Sampras is the third greatest player to ever lift a racket with explosive movement, insane volleys and one of the greatest FH's in tennis history. Why not familiarize yourself with the definition of "servebot?" It's someone who has a serve and nothing else. No servebot wins 14 majors. Karlovic is a servebot, Sampras was an ATG at the highest levels of the sport.

Absolutely cracking post. Well done.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
Wuh ? Sampras doesn’t have any indicia of a servebot.

The guy could rally (and win) with Agassi. Sampras had one of the best if not the best running wide FHs in the game. Servebots have a heck of a time breaking. Sampras would play loose return games, lull the opponent and then Sampras would lift his return game and — boom — a break of serve. Routinely.

Even his serve was very much a serve backed up by a great volley.

He had excellent movement too.

Where did this Sampras servebot idea spring from ? It couldn’t have been from watching him play.
 
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Sudacafan

Talk Tennis Guru
I didn’t have the chance to watch him play as it was before my time...i started watching tennis in 2004.

Anyway, I was looking at his resume and noticed a stunning lack of success on clay.

Is this due to his serve no longer being as big of a factor when playing on clay and essentialy getting exposed as a servebot?
This new user OP has a promising career in TTW.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
He already had two semis at the RG only losing to Nadal
somehow managed to scramble & scramble to the RG 2014 semi only to get destroyed.
Ferrer would've beaten Murray of RG 2014 easily as well. Just that he happened to have Nadal as his QF opponent.

no clay Masters finals or any clay titles for Murray before 2015.
 
He was a servebot in the sense you were never going to break his serve. Pete had a lot of variety and at his peak I'd take him at Wimbledon or USO against anyone.
I guess Nadal was a staminabot, then, in the sense you were never going to outlast him. :p

Yeah, Pete was top notch, not having the proper movement on clay (or the stamina to sustain it) doesn't take away from his plentiful accomplishments elsewhere.
 

Bertie B

Professional
He was a servebot in the sense he won most of his matches by hitting unreturnable serves. Most of the fun and drama occurred during his opponent's service games.

Federer's forehand is not the put-away shot it used to be, yet Roger is still competitive against the very best. Once Sampras' serve became returnable he declined rapidly. Truth - he had nothing else to fall back on.

Had he been a true S&Ver he could've spun his serve in, and made moves at the net. Had he been a true all-courter, he could've used his return game to take over the points. However, Pete was neither of those things, he was a serveBot. Once he lost his ability to serve, he became uncompetitive.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
I didn’t have the chance to watch him play as it was before my time...i started watching tennis in 2004.

Anyway, I was looking at his resume and noticed a stunning lack of success on clay.

Is this due to his serve no longer being as big of a factor when playing on clay and essentialy getting exposed as a servebot?
He did win Rome (1994) which is usually considered the most prestigious of the clay Masters although it's true he never got beyond a semi-final at the most important clay event of all.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
He did win Rome (1994) which is usually considered the most prestigious of the clay Masters although it's true he never got beyond a semi-final at the most important clay event of all.
But who cares? Neither did the following giants ever win the FO: Boris, Connors, Mac, or Stefan. Why bother arguing with 12 year olds who couldn’t pick Pete out of a police line up?
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
And why was Sampras not good on clay? Because on clay the surface is far slower and the serve is neutralized as a weapon. On clay you must win with more than serve, you need a fantatic baseline game.
Because he wasn't comfortable moving on the surface.
Also didn't have the patience to sustain for 7 Bo5 matches on clay.

Murray and Hewitt were both fantastic baseliners, yet Hewitt wasn't that good on clay, neither was Murray before 2015.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
But who cares? Neither did the following giants ever win the FO: Boris, Connors, Mac, or Stefan. Why bother arguing with 12 year olds who couldn’t pick Pete out of a police line up?
McEnroe and Edberg did at least make FO finals. Connors didn't play the FO very often (wasn't he banned for a number of years due to some dispute with the ITF?) whilst Becker was worse than Sampras in that he never won a clay title of any kind (ironically was the finalist Sampras beat to win his Rome title).

Still, Sampras did better at the FO than fellow ATG Wilander ever did at Wimbledon (never even reaching a semi-final). :cool:
 

Max G.

Legend
Yeah, Sampras was an all-court player. He could hit winners on anyone from the baseline and had great touch at the net.

People forget that the differences between clay and other surfaces aren't limited to "serve helps less on clay"...
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
Everyone had already talked about his FH, movement, volleying, BH when he was younger, athleticism, etc.

But furthermore, a guy who was 6’1” and looks noticeably a little shorter than Federer, CAN’T be a servebot. Federer’s and Sampras’s respective incredible serves are a testament to each man’s skill. Nadal is 6’1”—why doesn’t Nadal have a great serve? Novak is 6’2, why doesn’t he? And so on.

A player at this height could have the greatest serve (impossible to be better than a 6’10” guy’s serve but for argument) ever and still not be a “servebot” because to have a great serve at this height requires tremendous skill. Someone 6’5 and above can have a great serve and it’s really no big deal (although there’s still skill required) sine it’s expected.

So, Sampras was an all around player who also possessed an all time great serve at 6’1”.
 
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D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
Everyone had already talked about his FH, movement, volleying, BH when he was younger, athleticism, etc.

But furthermore, a guy who was 6’1” and looks noticeably a little shorter than Federer, CAN’T be a servebot. Federer and Sampras’s incredible serves are a testament to each man’s skill. Nadal is 6’1”—why doesn’t Nadal have a great serve? Novak is 6’2, why doesn’t he? And so on.

A player at this height could have the greatest serve (impossible to be better than a 6’10” guy’s serve but for argument) ever and still not be a “servebot” because to have a great serve at this height requires tremendous skill. Someone 6’5 and above can have a great serve and it’s really no big deal (although there’s still skill required) sine it’s expected.

So, Sampras was an all around player who also possessed an all time great serve at 6’1”.
I see what you mean, but I think OP meant servebot in the sense that the player relies basically only on his great serve and the rest of the game is subpar. Not that the serve comes easy because of the player's height.

It is impressive that Sampras and to a lesser degree Fed have such great serves. Roddick as well at 6'2. Not quite as dominant as Karlovic/Isner's but darn close with typical tennis player height, not freak height just good for serving.

Sampras is definitely a bit shorter than Fed, I've seen both of them and am around their height. Id' say Fed has Sampras by about half an inch. Sampras is actually around the same height as Nadal.
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
I see what you mean, but I think OP meant servebot in the sense that the player relies basically only on his great serve and the rest of the game is subpar. Not that the serve comes easy because of the player's height.

It is impressive that Sampras and to a lesser degree Fed have such great serves. Roddick as well at 6'2. Not quite as dominant as Karlovic/Isner's but darn close with typical tennis player height, not freak height just good for serving.

Sampras is definitely a bit shorter than Fed, I've seen both of them and am around their height. Id' say Fed has Sampras by about half an inch. Sampras is actually around the same height as Nadal.
Agree, but I think people usually connote “servebot” with some tall, stiff guy.

Personally, if a guy at 6’1 or under WERE all serve, I still wouldn’t call him a servebot since he must possess ludicrous skill to serve people off the court at that height (relative to other tennis players).
 
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Enga

Hall of Fame
He was a servebot in the sense he won most of his matches by hitting unreturnable serves. Most of the fun and drama occurred during his opponent's service games.

Federer's forehand is not the put-away shot it used to be, yet Roger is still competitive against the very best. Once Sampras' serve became returnable he declined rapidly. Truth - he had nothing else to fall back on.

Had he been a true S&Ver he could've spun his serve in, and made moves at the net. Had he been a true all-courter, he could've used his return game to take over the points. However, Pete was neither of those things, he was a serveBot. Once he lost his ability to serve, he became uncompetitive.
I think you mean after he lost everything else, his serve was all he had.
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
I didn’t have the chance to watch him play as it was before my time...i started watching tennis in 2004.

Anyway, I was looking at his resume and noticed a stunning lack of success on clay.

Is this due to his serve no longer being as big of a factor when playing on clay and essentialy getting exposed as a servebot?
Sampras had a killer FH and superb deadly volleys and a death OH
 
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