What Frame Would Sampras Use Now?

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
Hey Guys,
Just wondering what frame you think Sampras would opt to use through his pro career if the current market of rackets were available to him, and the brand wasn't an issue!
 

McLovin

Legend
Babolat Pure Strike VS Tour aka the Pure Control
Gee, I wonder why'd you'd say that frame...



You don’t think he could be serve and volleying with a Babolat Pure Drive?
I don't think he could serve & volley in today's game, period.

With the racquet/string technologies, the improved fitness/athleticism of today's athletes, and the slowing/homogenization of courts, he'd be lucky to get to the 2nd week of a major (outside of Wimbledon) playing his style of tennis. Now, I'm not saying he couldn't win, just that I agree with @SpinToWin that his game would have to be different.

Just look at what Federer has had to do in the last 4 years. He was on the decline, losing matches he normally didn't lose, then he changed frames, worked on his backhand, and started winning majors again.

Conversely, I think Agassi would thrive in today's environment, even with the same racquet.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Gee, I wonder why'd you'd say that frame...




I don't think he could serve & volley in today's game, period.

With the racquet/string technologies, the improved fitness/athleticism of today's athletes, and the slowing/homogenization of courts, he'd be lucky to get to the 2nd week of a major (outside of Wimbledon) playing his style of tennis. Now, I'm not saying he couldn't win, just that I agree with @SpinToWin that his game would have to be different.

Just look at what Federer has had to do in the last 4 years. He was on the decline, losing matches he normally didn't lose, then he changed frames, worked on his backhand, and started winning majors again.

Conversely, I think Agassi would thrive in today's environment, even with the same racquet.
Agree with Agassi. He hit too big from the baseline to not take on the top 10 today. That being said, he would definitely need to be a bit faster.
 

AMGF

Hall of Fame
I watched old tennis games on Tennis TV. Any of these guys as they were, would be lucky to win a Challenger today. Game pace is incredibly faster. However one has to assume they would adapt to today’s game and who knows really how they would fare.

As for Sampras, he’d play for the company that would offer him the best deal $$$. Specs would still be to his liking. But in the end, probably something close to the RF97.
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
I watched old tennis games on Tennis TV. Any of these guys as they were, would be lucky to win a Challenger today. Game pace is incredibly faster. However one has to assume they would adapt to today’s game and who knows really how they would fare.

As for Sampras, he’d play for the company that would offer him the best deal $$$. Specs would still be to his liking. But in the end, probably something close to the RF97.
I would argue that the game pace is way slower. The main reason being court speed.
 
I would argue that the game pace is way slower. The main reason being court speed.
Have you watched a match from the mid to late 90's recently? The game is incredibly faster now. Take a look at the famous point from the Sampras/Agassi USO Final in 95, and compare it to just about any Fed/Djoker match... You'll wonder if you setting were on slo-mo for the old match.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Have you watched a match from the mid to late 90's recently? The game is incredibly faster now. Take a look at the famous point from the Sampras/Agassi USO Final in 95, and compare it to just about any Fed/Djoker match... You'll wonder if you setting were on slo-mo for the old match.
It just looks slower because the video quality is better now. No way those indoor matches towards the end of the year where Becker and Sampras dominated were slower than today.

J
 

Ultra 2

Professional
A leaded up RF97A laced with kevlar and renamed PS97A. While typing this I just realized: Pete Sampras = Pro Staff or PS. Not to mention Pure Strike.. weird.

The grip on the babby pic seems awfully small. L3?
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
LOL. He would obviously being playing with either the Pure Aero or the RF97 just like everyone else on tour. I can't see him swinging a Yonex or anything by Head.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
It just looks slower because the video quality is better now. No way those indoor matches towards the end of the year where Becker and Sampras dominated were slower than today.

J
I think it just looks slower because the players today run around like crazy. Between the increased fitness and the poly strings we see guys hitting winners off their shoe tops all the time. I imagine someone like McEnroe just watching passing shots go by him thinking "that volley should have been a winner"
 

Ultra 2

Professional
S&V players like John wanted to end points as soon as possible.. that was their tactic. Sampras just pummeled the ball and also kept points short. There is a theory that poly strings harnessed by stiffer frames changed the game for good, and those players are better/superior than the ones coming up in the late 80's to 90's using more plow than the current game. One will never know since i'm of the opinion that the gut/synthetic generation were phased out (got older and retired) as the equipment changed.
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
I think Pete would still use his Pro Staff 6.0. Maybe he would update to a 95 or 97 like Roger but keep to a 20mm beam.
 

dnguyen

Hall of Fame
Gee, I wonder why'd you'd say that frame...




I don't think he could serve & volley in today's game, period.

With the racquet/string technologies, the improved fitness/athleticism of today's athletes, and the slowing/homogenization of courts, he'd be lucky to get to the 2nd week of a major (outside of Wimbledon) playing his style of tennis. Now, I'm not saying he couldn't win, just that I agree with @SpinToWin that his game would have to be different.

Just look at what Federer has had to do in the last 4 years. He was on the decline, losing matches he normally didn't lose, then he changed frames, worked on his backhand, and started winning majors again.

Conversely, I think Agassi would thrive in today's environment, even with the same racquet.
What model is that, exactly?
 

gazz1

Rookie
I have no idea, but it's a great question.

I guess his game would have changed and he would be using different strings for sure.

I'm guessing a PS97A ("Pete Sampras" 97 Autograph), 18 mains, strung with gut mains/poly X
 

Pistol10

Professional
Something will put a smile on his face :giggle:...




With no doubt, the kfactor 88 :cool: . The closest to PS85, with more power & spin potential, bigger sweet spot, better for volley (all this based on users reviews).

Not saying he would be a S&V player, his game will be as when he was young, an all court player mainly when he was young.

I don't know about the Babolat whether it's as great for serve or volley, but I guess the reason he's using Babolat, is because he doesn't volley that much, or the contract with Wilson for using the K factor is over!

Anyway, what ever he will use, he will leaded up a ton :p.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
You don’t think he could be serve and volleying with a Babolat Pure Drive?
I don’t think you can serve and volley with remotely similar results nowadays full stop. Given how athletic and talented he was he would have shifted his game accordingly.
 

haqq777

Legend
Assuming it’s not a paint job, it’s the Pure Storm GT 2011:

This one above you posted is circa 2009, McLovin. I know because I have three of the 2009 PSTGT. The 2011 is slightly different with red stripes on sides instead of black.


The 2011:



I believe @topspn still has one of those in his arsenal and can verify.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
Assuming it’s not a paint job, it’s the Pure Storm GT 2011:

I used to play with the Tour version of that one; I liked it better than the Carbon Xtreme incarnation, but I found my first 2001 Pure Control after that and didn't look back :D
 

haqq777

Legend
I used to play with the Tour version of that one; I liked it better than the Carbon Xtreme incarnation, but I found my first 2001 Pure Control after that and didn't look back :D
The grey paint on bridge is actually the Tour version stick. The non Tour is black paint. Also, the 2001 Pure Control are absolutely beastly sticks. Affectionately called 'Swirlys'. I love mine too. Mine were the Tour version. I had them custom painted all black.







I usually play with Angells these days but really do love these Babs. Fantastic playing sticks, nothing like modern playing Babs.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
The grey paint on bridge is actually the Tour version stick. The non Tour is black paint. Also, the 2001 Pure Control are absolutely beastly sticks. Affectionately called 'Swirlys'. I love mine too. Mine were the Tour version. I had them custom painted all black.







I usually play with Angells these days but really do love these Babs. Fantastic playing sticks, nothing like modern playing Babs.
The Swirly PCs are really top-notch racquets. I remember some complained about the relatively high stiffness, but the static and the swingweight both offset it to the point where my elbow never feels a thing. It's just so fun to hit with if you're moving and setting up like you should be; set your feet, load your hips, turn your shoulders, and boom.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
The grey paint on bridge is actually the Tour version stick. The non Tour is black paint. Also, the 2001 Pure Control are absolutely beastly sticks. Affectionately called 'Swirlys'. I love mine too. Mine were the Tour version. I had them custom painted all black.







I usually play with Angells these days but really do love these Babs. Fantastic playing sticks, nothing like modern playing Babs.
Freaking loved those things.

J
 

McLovin

Legend
This one above you posted is circa 2009, McLovin
Lol. I looked it up on WayBack machine, posted the pic of the 2009, and then botched it by saying ‘2011’ when I meant 2009.

What can I say, I’m a moron...

I had 3 Pure Control + Swirlys. Absolutely loved those frames. Sadly, I’d never be able to swing them today.
 

BigCat

New User
Hey Guys,
Just wondering what frame you think Sampras would opt to use through his pro career if the current market of rackets were available to him, and the brand wasn't an issue!
Pete's game did not dependent on "Serve and Volley"
His game was "Serve - 1st and 2nd.." If you look at his scores, he did not win sets against great players at 6-0 or 6-1 as Fed does; he won by not losing service games, typically with scores like 6-4,7-5 The speed, and spin off his serve, using a small racquet head and gut strings would be even better today. HIs serve speed was at the top of the chart, given the equipment at the time. His accuracy was extraordinary and would be better with poly hybrid. His spin on f1st and 2nd was measured to the highest spin rate in the game - with poly it would rival Rafa's forehand spin, but at serve velocity. His racquet today would be a stiff, heavy frame, probably the Wilson K88 or a weighted up RF97, as he had huge muscular shoulders and needed no help from a racquet.
 

markwillplay

Hall of Fame
I laugh when I see people say that today's player is so much more fit than Sampras and Agassi were. Pure ignorance. Those two guys were in unbelievable shape when they were at the top of their game. Is the fitness science better...meh...maybe, but today's athletes do not work harder than those top guys from the 90s. And yes, I have been watching those matches a lot lately. I have seen several where the guys were absolutely crushing the ball. Serves in the 120's regularly....guess what, other than the huge servers today, that is not slower at all. I saw a match the other day and I can't remember who it was but he went over 130 several times. How hard do the top players serve today?????? Forget guyd like Isner, I am talking about the day in day out top 20. Players have changed and ply strings have made it easier to control pace and spin, but I do not believe that velocity of shot has changed near as much as the kids think it has.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
Utterly surprised to see how people view Sampras. He was a dominant player for a good reason. He will be able to adapt and win because he is a special kind of player. He wasn’t the biggest guy but served the best. He may not have the baseline game that Agassi had, but Sampras owned Agassi and beat him often at the baseline. I think Sampras is good enough to dominate, even in this era.

By the way, I think Pete would use the weighted up Prince 93P.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
I watched old tennis games on Tennis TV. Any of these guys as they were, would be lucky to win a Challenger today. Game pace is incredibly faster. However one has to assume they would adapt to today’s game and who knows really how they would fare.

As for Sampras, he’d play for the company that would offer him the best deal $$$. Specs would still be to his liking. But in the end, probably something close to the RF97.
With some players you can say that. Some other players have athleticism that would hold very well even now. Nique, MJ, Pippen...all had athletic ability that would dominate even today. Same thing with Sampras in tennis. The guy had freakish athletic ability. If anything, he'd be even better today because training / diet methods are even more refined now.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Sampras probably would have been an even better player now than then. His athletic ability was always off the charts and would translate well to this day. Despite all his achievements his most inconsistent shot was his 1hbh. Sticking with a 2hbh (as opposed to changing it during his teen years when he was already a dominant junior before the change) would not have hurt him in this era as far as his Wimbledon goals. Also, he was much more of an all-court player when he first started and moved more to a S&V game because he saw it was working. He'd have stuck with and further enhanced his all-court game in this day and age.

Given all that, and the fact that he'd be getting rid of the weakest link in his game (1hbh), IMO, he would have been even better in this era. He probably would be an aggressive baseliner like Djokovic and be using similar racquets to what Novak has used in his career.
 
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