Was Sampras a servebot?

Was Sampras a servebot?

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 22.1%
  • No

    Votes: 67 77.9%

  • Total voters
    86

Zebrev

Hall of Fame
Sampras was Federer's idol growing up.

But come to think of it, if he wasn't at least a little bit of a servebot, how come he declined so heavily in the space of 18 months after Wimby 2000?
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
Young Sampras was an all court player. Old Sampras on the other hand was a serve bot. So the answer lies somewhere in between.
 

thrust

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.
Is Federer a servebot? The answer is NO, but the fact is that he is a great all court player, who also has a great serve. I saw most of his matches this week against Kyrigos and Raonic, both known for their great serves, yet from what I recall were out served by Roger. When it came to the rest of their games, they were mostly helpless against Roger's ground and net game. Pete was not as great an all court player as Roger, but Pete was much more than just a servebot.
 

duaneeo

Legend
The S&V is nowhere near effective as it was during Pete's days. I think if he played in today's much slower conditions, he'd have nowhere near 14 slams, and many here would be calling him a 'servebot'.
 

sportmac

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.

And the boy could scoot. His speed around the court is greatly underrated. He's also one of the greatest all court players in history.

He could out rally Agassi from the back court and his running forehand is one of the best the game has ever seen.

And he had what many consider the greatest 2nd server ever.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
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.

Check here:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/return-games-won/all/all/all/

Servebots aren't on this list. You won't find:

Raonic
Karlovic
Isner
Ivanisevic
Muller

Tsonga is right at the bottom.

Sampras had at least two gears. In low gear he barely NEEDED to return. Fed is now playing a lot like Sampras. Short points, short games, minimum effort. But when he is pushed, he still has one of the best returns ever.

Sampras was the same.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
Check here:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/return-games-won/all/all/all/

Servebots aren't on this list. You won't find:

Raonic
Karlovic
Isner
Ivanisevic
Muller

Tsonga is right at the bottom.

Sampras had at least two gears. In low gear he barely NEEDED to return. Fed is now playing a lot like Sampras. Short points, short games, minimum effort. But when he is pushed, he still has one of the best returns ever.

Sampras was the same.
Comparing of all time can obscure things a bit. Makes being in the 40s look bad. If you take for example just 2017, Federer is 8th for returning.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/return-games-won/2017/all/all/
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
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?
Clay did neutralize his serve but the primary reasons are that the surface exposed his defense and poor consistency on the baseline and he wasn’t a great mover on clay. He did make it to SF one year and beat some good clay court players on the way.
 
And the boy could scoot. His speed around the court is greatly underrated. He's also one of the greatest all court players in history.

He could out rally Agassi from the back court and his running forehand is one of the best the game has ever seen.

And he had what many consider the greatest 2nd server ever.
Yup, Sampras was very explosive and an amazing all-round natural athlete.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
I recall Sampras playing Chang once at the Paris indoor tournament; blew Chang off the court with his ground game.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Eventually we'll need to ask ourselves why servebot, as it's being defined, would even be a bad thing. Stephen Curry is a shootbot and he's laughing all they way to championship titles.
Well that would be because he's part of a great team besides himself. No servebot is ever going to have the level of success that Curry's had in the NBA if we're comparing them.

I agree that being a servebot isn't really a bad thing though. It's used as a somewhat derogatory term, but it's gotten Karlovic to a career high ranking of 14 and Isner inside the top 10 (though I'm aware even those two aren't horrendous off the ground compared to a rec player or someone like that). Point is, even when we call them servebots we're all just jealous that their serves are that good that they can be top 10-20 in the world with just one (huge) weapon.
 

existential dread

Professional
If anything Sampras was a forehandbot
Well that would be because he's part of a great team besides himself. No servebot is ever going to have the level of success that Curry's had in the NBA if we're comparing them.

I agree that being a servebot isn't really a bad thing though. It's used as a somewhat derogatory term, but it's gotten Karlovic to a career high ranking of 14 and Isner inside the top 10 (though I'm aware even those two aren't horrendous off the ground compared to a rec player or someone like that). Point is, even when we call them servebots we're all just jealous that their serves are that good that they can be top 10-20 in the world with just one (huge) weapon.
What I meant was that servebot is now being defined to include players like Sampras. And if it is then all it really means is that if you have a great serve, that's it. I made the Curry analogy because a lot of his shots are completely unguardable. He hits shots from so deep sometimes the defender hasn't even put their hand up yet. They're essentially aces. Ok, yeah, the defender could guard him all 94 feet, but that would be like a returner leaning towards the T and leaving a huge space out wide. Sometimes there's nothing you can do. The advantage is always with the person who holds the ball and some people can't seem to understand that. A pitcher keeps batters off base about 68% of the time.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
If anything Sampras was a forehand

What I meant was that servebot is now being defined to include players like Sampras. And if it is then all it really means is that if you have a great serve, that's it. I made the Curry analogy because a lot of his shots are completely unguardable. He hits shots from so deep sometimes the defender hasn't even put their hand up yet. They're essentially aces. Ok, yeah, the defender could guard him all 94 feet, but that would be like a returner leaning towards the T and leaving a huge space out wide. Sometimes there's nothing you can do. The advantage is always with the person who holds the ball and some people can't seem to understand that. A pitcher keeps batters off base about 68% of the time.
Agree with your other sports analogies, but I don't think servebot is being defined to include guys like Sampras. By certain e-wariorrs on TTW perhaps (sometimes for trolling purposes), but not by anyone who has a shred of knowledge about tennis and is being serious.

But yes, if all it means is that you have a great serve then it's essentially meant as a great compliment which is not what it's intended to convey by the people that use the term. Or at least over history (especially in the modern era) the term "servebot" is generally looked at as an insult.
 
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existential dread

Professional
Agree with your other sports analogies, but I don't think servebot is being defined to include guys like Sampras. By certain e-wariorrs on TTW perhaps (sometimes for trolling purposes), but not by anyone who has a shred of knowledge about tennis and is being serious.
I know that. I just thought I would use their momentum to rehabilitate the term, so to speak.
 

serve

Rookie
Sampras had a great ground game. It was Annacone that turned him into an almost pure S&V player around 99, thinking that would give him greater longevity. With Luxilon becoming a thing, that was one truly bad decision! By 2000 (watch his match against Kuerten at the Masters Cup) he played a game which was fast becoming obsolete. The things he could still have done without that change and new strings ...
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
post 97...a bit, but he always had way more game and was capable of getting key breaks than any servebot. Before that, he was the definition of an all courter. One of the only true all courters in tennis history really along with 03-04 Federer.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I think virtually everyone on this board will agree that Sampras was the best server of all time. Now does that make you a serve bot? Fact is, he had a good enough ground game to break people and win sets 6-3, 6-4. But no one could really touch him on his service games. If the serve didn't outright ace you, the volley afterward put you away. Again, does that make you a servebot?

I guess everyone will have a different definition varying from a player whose best shot is his serve to a player whose only shot is his serve. Sampras' best weapon was his serve. But he had other weapons too. Karlovic only has a serve. You could consider both servebots or just one depending on your own definition.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
One of the dumbest threads I've ever seen on TTW and that's saying something considering the fierce competition.

And the boy could scoot. His speed around the court is greatly underrated. He's also one of the greatest all court players in history.

He could out rally Agassi from the back court and his running forehand is one of the best the game has ever seen.

And he had what many consider the greatest 2nd server ever.
Absolutely, Sampras was one of the fastest guys in the 90s, maybe even the fastest. One of the greatest athletes tennis has ever seen.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Comparing of all time can obscure things a bit.
Not if you are comparing all time against all time for players who played a long time. That obscures nothing.

For players who had shorter careers, or who played for a long time but were injured for much of that time, you don't get an idea of peak levels from all time records.

You also need to look at surfaces.

But you can't tell me that this list is unfair:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/service-games-won

There are exactly four players above Fed and Sampras. ALL of them above Fed and Sampras can fairly be called "bots". Roddick was less so than the others.

Again, note that he is not in this list:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/return-games-won/all/all/all/
Makes being in the 40s look bad. If you take for example just 2017, Federer is 8th for returning.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/return-games-won/2017/all/all/
What does "being in the 40s" mean? There is NOTHING bad about being 40 something, if that is what you mean.

By the way:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/return-games-won/2004/hard/all/

Fed was #2 on HCs in 2004. Doesn't mean he was a better returner. It means that he kept the gas on all the time, as younger players do. He had more impressive numbers against ALL players that year because he had not yet learned to coast, which Sampras was an expert at, and which Fed learned later in his career.

You will find that Sampras was high in some years too. Which is why I say that neither Sampras nor Fed should ever be put into the "bot" category.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
Not if you are comparing all time against all time for players who played a long time. That obscures nothing.

For players who had shorter careers, or who played for a long time but were injured for much of that time, you don't get an idea of peak levels from all time records.

You also need to look at surfaces.

But you can't tell me that this list is unfair:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/service-games-won

There are exactly four players above Fed and Sampras. ALL of them above Fed and Sampras can fairly be called "bots". Roddick was less so than the others.

Again, note that he is not in this list:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/return-games-won/all/all/all/

What does "being in the 40s" mean? There is NOTHING bad about being 40 something, if that is what you mean.

By the way:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/stats/return-games-won/2004/hard/all/

Fed was #2 on HCs in 2004. Doesn't mean he was a better returner. It means that he kept the gas on all the time, as younger players do. He had more impressive numbers against ALL players that year because he had not yet learned to coast, which Sampras was an expert at, and which Fed learned later in his career.

You will find that Sampras was high in some years too. Which is why I say that neither Sampras nor Fed should ever be put into the "bot" category.
We're in agreement on the underlying question. I just wanted to illustrate more clearly to less stats-savvy people that he's not a weak returner.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
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).
Connors was banned from the 1974 French Open, because he played in World Team Tennis for the Baltimore Banners. Connors went to Paris and legally challenged the ban, but was unsuccessful. Connors' love-hate relationship with Ashe started with this too. The resulting fallout, particularly after Connors won the other 3 majors of 1974, saw Connors stay away from the French Open from 1975-1978, even though Connors didn't play any WTT from 1975-1978. After the initial run of WTT ended, Connors was back at the French Open in 1979.

Becker might have never won a singles title on clay, but he was a good clay player. 3 time semi finalist at the French Open, and runner-up at multiple Super 9 events on clay, as well as winning Davis Cup and the World Team Cup on clay.

As for Sampras, he went into the 1994 French Open looking to win it and hold all 4 major titles at the same time. Courier beat him in 4 sets in the quarter finals. As Sampras usually beat Courier, this Courier win over Sampras tends to be forgotten.
 
One of the dumbest threads I've ever seen on TTW and that's saying something considering the fierce competition.



Absolutely, Sampras was one of the fastest guys in the 90s, maybe even the fastest. One of the greatest athletes tennis has ever seen.
Maybe we need to make a thread about the most asinine suggestions on these boards?

I see a great future for something like this.

:cool:
 
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