What is Pete Sampras' legacy today?

How do you assess Pete Sampras?

  • The Greatest Ever

    Votes: 7 5.8%
  • Arguably The Greatest Ever

    Votes: 24 20.0%
  • 2nd Tier ATG right behind the Big 3

    Votes: 46 38.3%
  • Greatest Of His Generation But Not Necessarily Better Than Other Generational Goats like Bjorg/Laver

    Votes: 56 46.7%
  • Weak Era Goat

    Votes: 4 3.3%
  • An Underachiever

    Votes: 1 0.8%

  • Total voters
    120

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
Becker? Edberg? Rafter? Courier?

Methinks someone needs to go back and review the PETE era.

Those were great matches but more memorable than his battles with Agassi? C'mon. His first and last Slam wins were against AA, who also handed him one of what, two Slam F losses?

That rivalry was legendary and was the Fedal of that time. With all due respect to Bedbergcourafter
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
When a champion is too dominant then it does get boring.

Federer, Hewitt, Safin and everyone of this generation enjoyed 10 year age advantage, without that they might not have beaten Sampras. 10 years in those days was like 12-14 years is today, it was massive. It took slowing down of courts + thalassemia + big generation gap to eliminate Sampras, otherwise he might still have won slams into the mid 2000s. If Pete had no age difference with Federer and no Thalassemia to worry about then Pete's serve + athleticism would trump over Roger. If Roger can be beaten then Rafa will also go down for sure. The toughest match for Pete would be Novak in his own words because of the return and the flexibility + speed.

I'm not sure what you're arguing here tbh

A healthy Sampras is undefeated? This is starting to feel like talking to the brick walls who populate Djok and Nadal fanbases
 
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Herald

Guest
Those were great matches but more memorable than his battles with Agassi? C'mon. His first and last Slam wins were against AA, who also handed him one of what, two Slam F losses?

That rivalry was legendary and was the Fedal of that time. With all due respect to Bedbergcourafter
Becker Sampras Hannover may be the best indoor match ever. But you were implying that his only "good matches" were against Agassi and I'm pointing out he had many memorable matches against his many rivals.
 

KC!

Professional
Pete Sampras is greatest talent ever. What he accomplished with a thalassaemia blood disorder that caused him to fatigue & eventually retire at 32 is amazing.
His record of finishing 6 years in a row at #1 won't be broke. Greatest hard court & grass court player ever. And he just had such a beautiful game, with a huge serve to go with it.
 
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Mustard

Bionic Poster
Those were great matches but more memorable than his battles with Agassi? C'mon. His first and last Slam wins were against AA, who also handed him one of what, two Slam F losses?
4 such losses. 1992 US Open vs. Edberg, 1995 Australian Open vs. Agassi, 2000 US Open vs. Safin, 2001 US Open vs. Hewitt.
 

Razer

Legend
I'm not sure what you're arguing here tbh

A healthy Sampras is undefeated? This is starting to feel like talking to the brick walls who populate Djok and Nadal fanbases

Healthy Sampras is close to unbeatable on his fast courts but he is not unbeatable, hell nobody is unbeatable on the really fast courts. But on these slower conditions that facilitate players to look unbeatable and thats why Big 3 have chomped up so many slams on slower conditions and to this day they are invincible based on their experience and not athleticism.

You send Nadal or even Fedovic to play with such low uneven bounce where rallies are very less, all of their invincibility vanishes. your hero Roger got carpets banned, he forced the Paris Masters to tear up their court, this move was criticized by Jo Wilfred Tsonga. Even Mario Ancic was not happy at this. So whatever seeds were sown by Roger he got its results, bigger brutes than him arrived later on in the form of people like Djokovic.

By the way, after watching this match my respect for even Boris Becker improved a lot, I used to think he was a slow flop player, but his fast court game is also right up there, he can even beat Federer here I guess so. @Herald is right, the best indoor match for sure. The conditions are so fast, I have never seen such courts in last 20 years, do they exist ? since 03 ?

329783455_589817033007823_8220540191260603916_n.jpg
 
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Herald

Guest
I'm not sure what you're arguing here tbh

A healthy Sampras is undefeated? This is starting to feel like talking to the brick walls who populate Djok and Nadal fanbases
As opposed to the wood blocks the populate our fanbase?
 
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Herald

Guest
Healthy Sampras is close to unbeatable on his fast courts but he is not unbeatable, hell nobody is unbeatable on the really fast courts. But on these slower conditions that facilitate players to look unbeatable and thats why Big 3 have chomped up so many slams on slower conditions and to this day they are invincible based on their experience and not athleticism.

You send Nadal or even Fedovic to play with such low uneven bounce where rallies are very less, all of their invincibility vanished. your hero Roger got carpets banned, he forced the Paris Masters to tear up their court, this move was criticized by Jo Wilfred Tsonga. Even Mario Ancic was not happy at this. So whatever seeds were sown by Roger he got its results, bigger brutes than him arrived later on in the form of people like Djokovic.

By the way, after watching this match my respect for even Boris Becker improved a lot, I used to think he was a slow flop player, but his fast court game is also right up there, he can even beat Federer here I guess so. @Herald is right, the best indoor match for sure. The conditions are so fast, I have never seen such courts in last 20 years, do they exist ? since 03 ?

329783455_589817033007823_8220540191260603916_n.jpg
Fast court tennis does not facilitate invincible stretches and runs the way molasses courts do because margins are tiny and a single shot can make the difference in a set and match.

Putting the big 3 on a fast grass or indoor court without poly against Sampras would not be fun. It would not be pretty. It would not be kind.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
The late 1996 Sampras vs. Becker matches in Germany. The two that Becker won (Stuttgart Indoor final, YEC round robin), it felt like Becker had to dig really deep to find a way to win. In the Stuttgart Indoor final, Becker came from 0-1 and 1-2 down in sets and managed to win in 5 sets, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. In the YEC round robin match, Becker was serving at 4-5 down in the first set and 0-40, and got out of it to win the set 7-6, and in the second set Sampras broke for a 5-4 lead to serve for the set but was unable to get it done, with Becker again winning the set in a tiebreak, to take the match 7-6, 7-6. The YEC final, by contrast, it felt for large portions of the match that Becker was playing better, and there was an incredible 49 consecutive service holds between them in the match, yet the problem was Becker not being quite good enough to break the Sampras serve in the second and third sets. Becker still did incredibly well to win the fourth set, saving 2 championship points and winning that tiebreak 13-11, but Sampras got the break in the fifth to end 27 consecutive Becker service holds, and Sampras won 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4.
 
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Razer

Legend
Fast court tennis does not facilitate invincible stretches and runs the way molasses courts do because margins are tiny and a single shot can make the difference in a set and match.

Putting the big 3 on a fast grass or indoor court without poly against Sampras would not be fun. It would not be pretty. It would not be kind.

Why did Roger get carpets banned ? What can be the reason?
I can understand Rafa hating it that low bounce but Roger ??
I guess the move did not pay well for Roger in the long run, Djokovic's rise cost him some tour final wins. Probably the carpets ones would have made him beat Novak though guys like Tsonga might have had his number, it was a double edged sword either ways I think so.... but I still dont understand to this day why Federer did it.
 
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Herald

Guest
Why did Roger get carpets banned ? What can be the reason?
I can understand Rafa hating it that low bounce but Roger ??
I guess the move did not pay well for Roger in the long run, Djokovic's rise cost him some tour final wins. Probably the carpets ones would have made him beat Novak though guys like Tsonga might have had his number, it was a double edged sword either ways I think so.... but I still dont understand to this day why Federer did it.
The romanticizing of Federer as some sort of classic, attacking player who favors faster courts needs to be exposed for the myth that it is. Slow courts were as important to Roger's rise to power as it was Djokodal. His rhythmic style of play thrives with a mid bouncing ball that allows him time to anticipate and attack. The problem wasn't the slowdown of the courts neutralizing his style. Give him Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Baghdatis and he probably dominates even more on the "slower" courts of the 2010s. The problem was 2 players coming along who were superior to him.
 

Razer

Legend
The romanticizing of Federer as some sort of classic, attacking player who favors faster courts needs to be exposed for the myth that it is. Slow courts were as important to Roger's rise to power as it was Djokodal. His rhythmic style of play thrives with a mid bouncing ball that allows him time to anticipate and attack. The problem wasn't the slowdown of the courts neutralizing his style. Give him Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Baghdatis and he probably dominates even more on the "slower" courts of the 2010s. The problem was 2 players coming along who were superior to him.

Maybe you are right, Roger has been more aggressive and less reliant on this "rhythmic" way of winning in his 30s than in his 20s, in his 20s he was happy to beat everybody from the back of the baseline, men like Roddick and co could never beat him from the back or charge ahead, equally useless. When superior hitters arrived he started to feel the heat. Nadal's speed was already a problem, then Djokovic's returning power became a problem too.
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
Becker Sampras Hannover may be the best indoor match ever. But you were implying that his only "good matches" were against Agassi and I'm pointing out he had many memorable matches against his many rivals.

I said "memorable matches". No need to read anything else into it.

4 such losses. 1992 US Open vs. Edberg, 1995 Australian Open vs. Agassi, 2000 US Open vs. Safin, 2001 US Open vs. Hewitt.

lol I forgot about the later two AFTER MENTIONING THEM IN THIS VERY THREAD

TTW Hive Mind is powerful.

Putting the big 3 on a fast grass or indoor court without poly against Sampras would not be fun. It would not be pretty. It would not be kind.

So why is Inferior Fed 3-0 against Ivanesevic and Sampras on fast grass and indoor carpet?

Maybe you are right, Roger has been more aggressive and less reliant on this "rhythmic" way of winning in his 30s than in his 20s, in his 20s he was happy to beat everybody from the back of the baseline, men like Roddick and co could never beat him from the back or charge ahead, equally useless. When superior hitters arrived he started to feel the heat. Nadal's speed was already a problem, then Djokovic's returning power became a problem too.

If Rafa was a superior hitter then Roger would never have clocked all those wins from 2015 on
 
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Herald

Guest
I said "memorable matches". No need to read anything else into it.



lol I forgot about the later two AFTER MENTIONING THEM IN THIS VERY THREAD

TTW Hive Mind is powerful.



So why is Inferior Fed 3-0 against Ivanesevic and Sampras on fast grass and indoor carpet?



If Rafa was a superior hitter then Roger would never have clocked all those wins from 2015 on
If you've reached the point of counting a single match against Sampras as some sort of superior head to head, I think our conversation has gotten as productive as it ever will.
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
If you've reached the point of counting a single match against Sampras as some sort of superior head to head, I think our conversation has gotten as productive as it ever will.

It's all we have. Unfortunately Sampras hung it up a year later after losing to ATG George Bastl, so we'll never know what else would have happened.
 
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Herald

Guest
It's all we have. Unfortunately Sampras hung it up a year later after losing to ATG George Bastl, so we'll never know what else would have happened.
Indeed, nearly as sad an exit as Roger retiring Wimbledon following his 2019 defeat to Novak on a bagel to Hurkacz - his last ever set on Center Court
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
Indeed, nearly as sad an exit as Roger retiring Wimbledon following his 2019 defeat to Novak on a bagel to Hurkacz - his last ever set on Center Court

Nono, PETE exited as the ultimate alpha, remember? Keep your story straight.

H2H matters and it's not like we can put that match down to Sampras being washed or injured. It was a 5-set match and both players were locked in. Maybe you can think of a creative way to make it Fed's fault that Pete retired so early?

You guys are trying to argue that players Fed literally never lost to (or never even played) are better. That's delusional.
 
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Herald

Guest
Nono, PETE exited as the ultimate alpha, remember? Keep your story straight.

H2H matters and it's not like we can put that match down to Sampras being washed or injured. It was a 5-set match and both players were locked in. Maybe you can think of a creative way to make it Fed's fault that Pete retired so early?

You guys are trying to argue that players Fed literally never lost to (or never even played) are better. That's delusional.
Roger retired on a bagel as his last professional set of tennis. I would steer the discussion away from last matches generally speaking.
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
Roger retired on a bagel as his last professional set of tennis. I would steer the discussion away from last matches generally speaking.

Why? You think you're dunking on me with that? Or dunking on Fed?

He was nearly 40 in a Wimbledon QF. As superior as PETE supposedly was, his last Wimbledon QF came at 29.
 
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Herald

Guest
Why? You think you're dunking on me with that? Or dunking on Fed?

He was nearly 40 in a Wimbledon QF. As superior as PETE supposedly was, his last Wimbledon QF came at 29.
Why limit ourselves to one or the other? I'm dunking on you both. Pete was nearly 30. 40 is the new 30.
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
Why limit ourselves to one or the other? I'm dunking on you both. Pete was nearly 30. 40 is the new 30.

Why would you spend this much time dunking on a player you claim to be a fan of? And pretending to be a fan just to dunk on that guy's fans? It's really weird
 
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Herald

Guest
Why would you spend this much time dunking on a player you claim to be a fan of? And pretending to be a fan just to dunk on that guy's fans? It's really weird
I truly am flattered by the amount of time you spend trying to discern my motives, indeed understanding one another is the first step away from conflict. Let me help us take that step: You are correct in that I am a fan of Roger, however I still call it as I see it because above all, I am a fan of tennis.

Now, help me to understand your motives. You have repeatedly accused me of being an alternate account, a bannable offense, of our very own @Spencer Gore, hardly the attitude of companions journeying together on the road of understanding the Great Mystery that is the game of tennis.

Why?
 
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Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
I got Rafa over Federer because the 2 slam difference, head to head advantage over Federer for much of their careers along with the double career slam which Fed failed to get

Fed obviously has some advantages to his resume obviously but I’m not sure it makes up the double career slam, Olympic singles gold. And 2 extra slams.

The advantage that Fed does have over Rafa, I’m not sure they are much of advantages any longer because djokovic surpass those too

now if Fed got the double slam and say 21 slams, the argument is still to be made

So because Djokovic has more weeks at #1, that negates Federer's advantage over Nadal? lol, the logic here is incredible

Fed = 310 weeks, 2nd all-time
Rafa = 209 weeks, 6th all-time

That's 101 weeks = almost two whole years

That is a huge difference

Rafa's biggest claim is the H2H, but that's dulled quite a bit when you consider that Fed absolutely owned him everywhere outside RG from 2015 on

Rafa's 2-Slam lead over Fed seems huge but imagine if Sampras had 18 instead of 14--would you (or anyone) give Fed a clear advantage over him? Absolutely not
 
Somehow I actually think his legacy is in a better place today than it was 10 years ago when only Federer had blown past him in achievements. With 3 people surpassing and essentially taking him out of the GOAT debate entirely, we're able to stop tearing him apart in comparison to them and solely focus instead on how he dominated his own era.

There's even an argument to be made that he's in a better position now than Roger is. Would you rather be 4th-5th all time but undeniably the best of your era, or 3rd all time but behind your main rivals? I'm not saying I personally agree with that by any stretch, Federer undeniably had the better career. But in terms of legacy and how people think about you, Pete's in a very enviable position these days.
Were Pete's "main rivals" 6 years younger than him? I think those guys took Pete to the cleaners as he approached his 30s. ;-)
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Undisputed best of his era. Nothing much more any all time great can do than be the best among the competition that they have to face. That will always be his legacy. A very cherished and nice legacy indeed.
 
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Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
The romanticizing of Federer as some sort of classic, attacking player who favors faster courts needs to be exposed for the myth that it is. Slow courts were as important to Roger's rise to power as it was Djokodal. His rhythmic style of play thrives with a mid bouncing ball that allows him time to anticipate and attack. The problem wasn't the slowdown of the courts neutralizing his style. Give him Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Baghdatis and he probably dominates even more on the "slower" courts of the 2010s. The problem was 2 players coming along who were superior to him.
Speaking of myths, there’s quite a lot in your comment.
 
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Herald

Guest
Speaking of myths, there’s quite a lot in your comment.
I admit I do make the truth seem more exciting than it actually is, but "Federer was an aggressive baseliner who won 12 slams after PETE and before Djokodal" doesn't have the same flair.
 
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Herald

Guest
Were Pete's "main rivals" 6 years younger than him? I think those guys took Pete to the cleaners as he approached his 30s. ;-)
Try again. The youngsters who barely had winning h2hs against him (Safin 4-3/Hewitt 5-4) were actually 10 years younger than him and part of a different era.
PETE dominated everyone within a 10 year range of him :)
 
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Herald

Guest
Somehow I actually think his legacy is in a better place today than it was 10 years ago when only Federer had blown past him in achievements. With 3 people surpassing and essentially taking him out of the GOAT debate entirely, we're able to stop tearing him apart in comparison to them and solely focus instead on how he dominated his own era.

There's even an argument to be made that he's in a better position now than Roger is. Would you rather be 4th-5th all time but undeniably the best of your era, or 3rd all time but behind your main rivals? I'm not saying I personally agree with that by any stretch, Federer undeniably had the better career. But in terms of legacy and how people think about you, Pete's in a very enviable position these days.
You're right about history grinning on PETE as we recognize how big a deal being the best of your era is in light of Federer's failures to replicate. History's grin turns into a full fledged smile, teeth and all, as we realize that 3 players getting at least 20 slams in an era shows how much easier winning slams was in said Candyland era of low depth and homogenized conditions in comparison to the Wild Wild West which PETE was Sheriff of. And in this context, PETE rides a horse into a goat fight
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Try again. The youngsters who barely had winning h2hs against him (Safin 4-3/Hewitt 5-4) were actually 10 years younger than him and part of a different era.
PETE dominated everyone within a 10 year range of him :)
Stich? Krajicek? Sampras was 4-5 against Stich and 4-6 against Krajicek.
 

California

Semi-Pro
Try again. The youngsters who barely had winning h2hs against him (Safin 4-3/Hewitt 5-4) were actually 10 years younger than him and part of a different era.
PETE dominated everyone within a 10 year range of him :)
He didn’t dominate Edberg. 8 to 6 H2H advantage for Pete, with Pete winning the last 2 in 1995 when Edberg was far from the top of his game, and would retire the next year in 1996.

Other thoughts on this thread, if people don’t realize the Big3’s major totals are inflated because of the slowing of the courts, 32 seeds at majors, surface specialists being extinct, terrible young players from ages 22 to 32, etc….. I don’t know what else to tell you. You are beyond hope. It’s right in front of you to see.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
He didn’t dominate Edberg. 8 to 6 H2H advantage for Pete, with Pete winning the last 2 in 1995 when Edberg was far from the top of his game, and would retire the next year in 1996.

Other thoughts on this thread, if people don’t realize the Big3’s major totals are inflated because of the slowing of the courts, 32 seeds at majors, surface specialists being extinct, terrible young players from ages 22 to 32, etc….. I don’t know what else to tell you. You are beyond hope. It’s right in front of you to see.
Edberg also won both of their matches in majors. The 1992 US Open final that Edberg won 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2, after Sampras had served for the third set at 5-4, and the 1993 Australian Open semi final that Edberg won 7-6, 6-3, 7-6.
 
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Try again. The youngsters who barely had winning h2hs against him (Safin 4-3/Hewitt 5-4) were actually 10 years younger than him and part of a different era.
PETE dominated everyone within a 10 year range of him :)
Mmm hmm, and the fact that he only played against those players while 31 or younger had nothing to do with it... That's like saying Borg had winning H2H records against everyone 6 years younger than him - well, maybe not so extreme, but you get the point.

Also, to which 6 year younger ATG were you referring? I can't think of any. Safin and Hewitt are both a tick below that and are 10 years younger. Which 6 year younger player was an ATG?
 
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Herald

Guest
Mmm hmm, and the fact that he only played against those players while 31 or younger had nothing to do with it... That's like saying Borg had winning H2H records against everyone 6 years younger than him - well, maybe not so extreme, but you get the point.

Also, to which 6 year younger ATG were you referring? I can't think of any. Safin and Hewitt are both a tick below that and are 10 years younger. Which 6 year younger player was an ATG?
29-31 was old in the 90s. If Federer gets a pass for a losing record to Thiem and Tsitsipas, Pete gets one for Safin and Hewitt.

Why is 6 years younger the cutoff point, especially when Fed got to play those guys and get the mental edge on them while they were babies? Roger was making Wimbledon finals until 2019, age really can't be used as an excuse for his poor performance against his only rivals.
 
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Herald

Guest
He didn’t dominate Edberg. 8 to 6 H2H advantage for Pete, with Pete winning the last 2 in 1995 when Edberg was far from the top of his game, and would retire the next year in 1996.

Other thoughts on this thread, if people don’t realize the Big3’s major totals are inflated because of the slowing of the courts, 32 seeds at majors, surface specialists being extinct, terrible young players from ages 22 to 32, etc….. I don’t know what else to tell you. You are beyond hope. It’s right in front of you to see.
It's obvious their slam counts are inflated, people choose to deny this for reasons equally as obvious as the easier conditions.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
1-0 in slams with Stich, 1-1 Kracijek
True.

And 0-2 vs. Edberg in majors. The 1992 US Open final was the 1991 champion (Edberg) against the 1990 champion (Sampras). Edberg was world number 2 and Sampras was world number 3. Sampras had recently beaten Edberg 6-2, 6-3 in the semi final of the 1992 Cincinnati tournament that Sampras went on to win (beating Lendl in the final). To reach the 1992 US Open final, Edberg had to come back from a break down in the fifth set in 3 consecutive matches (against Krajicek, Lendl and Chang), while Sampras beat world number 1 Courier 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in his semi final. If Sampras ever did have a bad loss in a big final in terms of having chances, this was it. Sampras won the first set, and served for a 2-1 sets lead at 5-4 up in the third set, and Edberg won 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.

The 1993 Australian Open semi final, their world rankings were still the same, with Edberg at number 2 and Sampras at number 3, Sampras again having won their most recent match. Edberg won this 1993 Australian Open semi final match 7-6, 6-3, 7-6.

Their ages at the time. Sampras was 21, and Edberg was 26-27.
 
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29-31 was old in the 90s. If Federer gets a pass for a losing record to Thiem and Tsitsipas, Pete gets one for Safin and Hewitt.

Why is 6 years younger the cutoff point, especially when Fed got to play those guys and get the mental edge on them while they were babies? Roger was making Wimbledon finals until 2019, age really can't be used as an excuse for his poor performance against his only rivals.
Traditional patterns
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
Were Pete's "main rivals" 6 years younger than him? I think those guys took Pete to the cleaners as he approached his 30s. ;-)

Exactly! No one ever admits this.

Pete got beat in Fs by Safin and Hewitt when he was 29/30, hardly GOAT contenders...and no one cares.

Fed loses in Slam SF/Finals at 33-38 to the greatest tactician in history and he's the world's greatest choker. It makes no sense.
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
Exactly! No one ever admits this.

Pete got beat in Fs by Safin and Hewitt when he was 29/30, hardly GOAT contenders...and no one cares.

Fed loses in Slam SF/Finals at 33-38 to the greatest tactician in history and he's the world's greatest choker. It makes no sense.

Not to mention PETE lost those US Finals in straight sets, not even a chance of winning.

How many Fs did Roger lose to Nadal or Djokovic in straight sets? I think there was the ass-beating in FO 2008, IIRC...any others?
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Were Pete's "main rivals" 6 years younger than him? I think those guys took Pete to the cleaners as he approached his 30s. ;-)
Exactly! No one ever admits this.

Pete got beat in Fs by Safin and Hewitt when he was 29/30, hardly GOAT contenders...and no one cares.

Fed loses in Slam SF/Finals at 33-38 to the greatest tactician in history and he's the world's greatest choker. It makes no sense.
Safin and Hewitt were both 20 when they beat Sampras in US Open finals. Sampras was 29-30, so more than 6 years difference.
 
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