Why Sampras wasn't as dominant as Federer ?

Why Federer was more dominant than Sampras? (select multiple options)


  • Total voters
    102

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Both players are similar. They have the same weight, height and built. Grass and hard court are their best surfaces and clay is their worst. Both players serve are about placement and disguise. Both play 1-handed backhand and the forehand is their primary weapon. Both didn't need to exert much extra effort to win points. So what is it that separate them since Federer is more dominant and accomplished more ?
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
I like your poll-options. They were unbearably tough to chose from, but I think I finally committed to an answer. I think we should be able to get some new insights from these poll-results though.
 

TheNatural

G.O.A.T.
Sampras was relatively more dominant in his era than Freddy was in his era, probably because he was able to own his greatest rival at slams while Rafa owned Fed at slams.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Sampras was relatively more dominant in his era than Freddy was in his era, probably because he was able to own his greatest rival at slams while Rafa owned Fed at slams.
So you're saying Sampras was better at the slams where he met Agassi than Federer was at the slams where he met the Nads? Much wow. So sort of like if Sampras was better at eating apples than Fed is at eating oranges . . .

Also, Sampras' rival was more preoccupied with wigs and meth than with tennis.
 

mccarthy

Banned
A number of reasons, many which were not even included on the poll:

1. Sampras had much tougher competition across various surfaces.

2. Sampras's game was higher risk, and was thus prone to more off days and upset losses than Federer's more conservative playing style.

3. Sampras was atleast the equal of Federer on medium to fast surfaces, but significantly weaker on slower surfaces.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
1. Federer is a superior clay court player as he's from Switzerland where they all play on clay courts.

2. Sampras happened before Federer. I highly doubt Federer would have 17 GS titles today if Pete didn't win 14. Pete showed that 14 and beyond was possible.
 

90's Clay

Banned
A few reasons.

1. More depth across all surfaces during Pete's day. (Petes early-mid 90s competition was insanely good riddled with great champions and talent)
2. More high risk game which leads a game thats not going to be consistent day in day out
3. Main focus was on the slams an YE#1. Didn't focus as much on the lesser tourneys because he knew where the real resume builders was (Slams and time at #1)
4. Kept most of the main competition at bay so he didn't have to worry about some guy breathing down his neck in the slam count and achievement count (Ala Nadal to Fed). Sampras got the best of his main contemporaries more times than not and stopped Agassi from winning a buttload more Slams at wimbledon, Flushing. Fed has allowed Nadal to win 14 and counting. Agassi would have managed 14 slams or more if not for Pete
5. The importance of certain tourneys have changed.
6. The seeding system at the tournament used to be different so you had tougher draws and more threats littered throughout the tourneys
 
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TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Be honest

Sampras was relatively more dominant in his era than Freddy was in his era, probably because he was able to own his greatest rival at slams while Rafa owned Fed at slams.
I'm sorry but I don't think you believe what you're saying.

Sampras:

Never had a 90% winning year
Never won 3 slams per year
Never made 4 slam finals in one year
Never was a forced on clay


Federer have better numbers than Sampras at every surfaces/condition and holds the most tennis records/streak.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
A number of reasons, many which were not even included on the poll:

1. Sampras had much tougher competition across various surfaces.

2. Sampras's game was higher risk, and was thus prone to more off days and upset losses than Federer's more conservative playing style.

3. Sampras was atleast the equal of Federer on medium to fast surfaces, but significantly weaker on slower surfaces.
You can argue Federer has much tougher competition but this is a moot point.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
:lol: at Agassi being mentioned in the same breadth as Nadal. Pete had no great rival in his peak years outside of 95, all he had were aging greats from the late 80's and a rapidly declining Courier. All the rest of his rivals e.g. Rafter and co aren't even as great as Roddick...
 

TheNatural

G.O.A.T.
So you're saying Sampras was better at the slams where he met Agassi than Federer was at the slams where he met the Nads? Much wow. So sort of like if Sampras was better at eating apples than Fed is at eating oranges . . .

Also, Sampras' rival was more preoccupied with wigs and meth than with tennis.
Sampras was more dominant because he put a bigger gap between himself and the rest of the field in his era than Fed did. Sampras won 175% the number of slams as the next best in his era. Sampras was the best of his time by a long way while Fed might end up the 2nd best of his own time behind Nadal.
 

90's Clay

Banned
:lol: at Agassi being mentioned in the same breadth as Nadal. Pete had no great rival in his peak years outside of 95, all he had were aging greats from the late 80's and a rapidly declining Courier. All the rest of his rivals e.g. Rafter and co aren't even as great as Roddick...


Agassi was a better hardcourt player than Nadal. Definitely was more of a force on those 90s conditions than Nadal ever would have been.

Pete/Agassi played at all 4 slams. Fed/Nadal have yet to do that.

Goran/Grass, Courier Clay/hards, Agassi Clay/Grass/Hards, Bruguera/Clay, Kafelnikov/Clay Edberg/Hards aren't great rivals? What planet are you on??


And Rafter at his peak on hards sure as hell was a better player than Roddick was.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Sampras was more dominant because he put a bigger gap between himself and the rest of the field in his era than Fed did. Sampras won 175% the number of slams as the next best in his era. Sampras was the best of his time by a long way while Fed might end up the 2nd best of his own time behind Nadal.
Because the rest of his field didn't include any players as great as Nadal and probably Djokovic...Agassi did nothing at the slams for years at a time.
 

90's Clay

Banned
Sampras was more dominant because he put a bigger gap between himself and the rest of the field in his era than Fed did. Sampras won 175% the number of slams as the next best in his era. Sampras was the best of his time by a long way while Fed might end up the 2nd best of his own time behind Nadal.
This is a great point. Sampras took care of business vs. his main rivals when it mattered most.

People forget if Sampras would have "Federer'd it" vs. his main rival, Agassi would have been the one with the slam record not Pete at the time.

People conveniently forget that.

Im sure that is a big reason why Pete didn't feel the need to go balls to the wall every tourney either. Petes mentality was, "You can beat at the smaller tournaments, I will exact revenge on you when it matters most however".
 

TommyA8X

Hall of Fame
Sampras was more dominant because he put a bigger gap between himself and the rest of the field in his era than Fed did. Sampras won 175% the number of slams as the next best in his era. Sampras was the best of his time by a long way while Fed might end up the 2nd best of his own time behind Nadal.
Thanks for the laughs...
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Sampras was more dominant because he put a bigger gap between himself and the rest of the field in his era than Fed did. Sampras won 175% the number of slams as the next best in his era. Sampras was the best of his time by a long way while Fed might end up the 2nd best of his own time behind Nadal.
Field is more than one player, so your equation has little meaning. Fact of the matter is that Fed dominated his field much more in totality. And it still hurts for some, indubitably.
 

90's Clay

Banned
Field is more than one player, so your equation has little meaning. Fact of the matter is that Fed dominated his field much more in totality. And it still hurts for some, indubitably.
So dominant his main rival has managed 14 slams.. and counting:shock:
 

TommyA8X

Hall of Fame
This is a great point. Sampras took care of business vs. his main rivals when it mattered most.

People forget if Sampras would have "Federer'd it" vs. his main rival, Agassi would have been the one with the slam record not Pete at the time.

People conveniently forget that.

Im sure that is a big reason why Pete didn't feel the need to go balls to the wall every tourney either. Petes mentality was, "You can beat at the smaller tournaments, I will exact revenge on you when it matters most however".
If Federer had Drugassi for his main rival, he would have won 25 slams:oops:
 

90's Clay

Banned
If Federer had Drugassi for his main rival, he would have won 25 slams:oops:


If Pete had Nadal, he would have never even had to worry about Nadal at the USO, or the AO (Where Agassi took 2 AO titles away from Pete)..

Pete only would have worry about a main rival on clay since Nadal couldn't stop Pete anywheres outside of clay.


Give Pete Nadal instead of Agassi, Pete is walking away with 4 AO titles instead of 2
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
So dominant his main rival has managed 14 slams.. and counting:shock:
A was so much more dominant than B that B managed to break more or less all of A's records. Wait wut, does not compute . . .

Besides, Nadal didn't win the preponderance of those slams during Fed's peak/prime at any rate.
 

90's Clay

Banned
A was so much more dominant than B that B managed to break more or less all of A's records. Wait wut, does not compute . . .

Besides, Nadal didn't win the preponderance of those slams during Fed's peak/prime at any rate.


BWAHAHHAHAHAAH.. Priceless. Fed got to dominate his mug transitional era of 04-07 (Thus inflating Fed's resume because of his easy 3 slam titles a year during that time). When mug Roddick was his main rival (A guy sampras/Agassi was putting the beatdown on before Fed was)

We saw what happened when guys like Nadal/Nole came into their own. Fed became 3rd best.

If Fed came along 2-3 years after, he would probably more like 8 slams instead of 17
 

TommyA8X

Hall of Fame
So dominant his main rival has managed 14 slams.. and counting:shock:
Tennis is not played against only one "main" rival. Especially when your main rival is a drug addict for the most of your best years.


Also, Nadal is simply a much better player than Agassi so it's natural for him to win more.
 

90's Clay

Banned
Like TheNatural mentioned, Fed may end up being the 2nd best player of his era.

That says it all. Certainly if he came along just a fews after no doubt he would have been the 2nd best.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Agassi was a better hardcourt player than Nadal. Definitely was more of a force on those 90s conditions than Nadal ever would have been.

Pete/Agassi played at all 4 slams. Fed/Nadal have yet to do that.

Goran/Grass, Courier Clay/hards, Agassi Clay/Grass/Hards, Bruguera/Clay, Kafelnikov/Clay Edberg/Hards aren't great rivals? What planet are you on??


And Rafter at his peak on hards sure as hell was a better player than Roddick was.
Your first point is irrelevant. We're talking relatively here, Nadal is not playing in 90s conditions. Nadal is a much better player in this era than Agassi was in his. And probably would of done better in the 90's too, he's more driven.

What planet are you on that the players on clay actually matter for Sampras :lol:

Edberg on hards? He did very little after 92 and never faced Pete in a slam either after the 93 AO. What did Courier do after 93? Every year bar one he was outside the top 20 after that. What did Agassi do in the slams in 93? 96-98? Agassi won just 3 slams before 99, his best period was 99-03.


And sure Rafter was, you would think that. Roddick's 2003 is better than any year of Rafter's. You've basically named a bunch of players that were great before Pete rose to dominance and a bunch of clay court players that Federer would relish the chance to face instead of Nadal.
 

90's Clay

Banned
Tennis is not played against only one "main" rival. Especially when your main rival is a drug addict for the most of your best years.


Also, Nadal is simply a much better player than Agassi so it's natural for him to win more.

Agassi would have been the slam record holder if not for Pete. Not bad for a "drug addict" I would say
 

TommyA8X

Hall of Fame
BWAHAHHAHAHAAH.. Priceless. Fed got to dominate his mug transitional era of 04-07 (Thus inflating Fed's resume because of his easy 3 slam titles a year during that time). When mug Roddick was his main rival (A guy sampras/Agassi was putting the beatdown on before Fed was)

We saw what happened when guys like Nadal/Nole came into their own. Fed became 3rd best.

If Fed came along 2-3 years after, he would probably more like 8 slams instead of 17
Sure because Sampras's competition was much tougher:oops:

Grandpa Becker, grandpa Edberg, head case Ivanisevic, drug lord Agassi...
Greatest competition ever my a**:oops:
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
BWAHAHHAHAHAAH.. Priceless. Fed got to dominate his mug transitional era of 04-07 (Thus inflating Fed's resume because of his easy 3 slam titles a year during that time). When mug Roddick was his main rival (A guy sampras/Agassi was putting the beatdown on before Fed was)

We saw what happened when guys like Nadal/Nole came into their own. Fed became 3rd best.

If Fed came along 2-3 years after, he would probably more like 8 slams instead of 17
Meaningless conjecture and unverifiable statements! In the same way, Perhaps Sampras would be at 2 slams if he played in this era ;-) Ha. Please stick to the facts. Fact is that Fed dominated his era more than Sampras.

PS. pre prime Roddick leads h2h against Sampras.That's embarrassing. Fed was #1 at the age Sampras retired.
 

Bertie B

Professional
Sampras was more dominant because he put a bigger gap between himself and the rest of the field in his era than Fed did. Sampras won 175% the number of slams as the next best in his era. Sampras was the best of his time by a long way while Fed might end up the 2nd best of his own time behind Nadal.
= BIG Fish, Small Pond.

Sampras also played in the era of the TANK JOB. Nadal I suspect suffers from this. Fed apparently didn't inherited this trait.

Federer is more driven and unlike Sampras/Agassi/Nadal loves playing tennis.
 

TommyA8X

Hall of Fame
Agassi would have been the slam record holder if not for Pete. Not bad for a "drug addict" I would say
The same goes for Nadal.

Also, Djokovic and Nadal are greater and better players than anyone in Pete's time. (And Nadal is arguably better and greater than Sampras).
 

90's Clay

Banned
Sure because Sampras's competition was much tougher:oops:

Grandpa Becker, grandpa Edberg, head case Ivanisevic, drug lord Agassi...
Greatest competition ever my a**:oops:
Acrossed all surfaces?? Yep it was. Especially during Pete's climb to dominance

Pete's grass competition>>>Fed's grass competition. Becker, Goran>>>any Grass combo of the last 20 years.

Hardcourts- Agassi>>Nadal, Agassi equal to or >>>Djokovic, Rafter>>Roddick at the USO, Courier>>>Roddick, Edberg>>Roddick/Hewitt

Clay- No contest.. Clay depth was LIGHT YEARS in the 90s ahead of what we have seen since Kureten retired. Bruguera, Courier, Kuerten, Muster, Kafelnikov>>>>>Current clay field.
 

90's Clay

Banned
I forgot about indoors.

Becker>>>>>> anything Fed has faced indoors


Yes.. Factoring in all surfaces, Pete had it tougher than Rog
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Acrossed all surfaces?? Yep it was. Especially during Pete's climb to dominance

Pete's grass competition>>>Fed's grass competition. Becker, Goran>>>any Grass combo of the last 20 years.

Hardcourts- Agassi>>Nadal, Agassi equal to or >>>Djokovic, Rafter>>Roddick at the USO, Courier>>>Roddick, Edberg>>Roddick/Hewitt

Clay- No contest.. Clay depth was LIGHT YEARS in the 90s ahead of what we have seen since Kureten retired. Bruguera, Courier, Kuerten, Muster, Kafelnikov>>>>>Current clay field.
You're so full of **** :lol:

Becker who served 15 double faults in 95 is tougher than Roddick of 09 or Nadal of 07? Nope, nope, nope. No other year was Becker in any sort of great form.

Agassi wasn't there for most of Pete's prime years so scratch that. On clay Nadal alone is tougher than all those guys, especially considering they weren't all playing at the top level together.

Djokovic is already greater than Agassi, especially considering Agassi was no where for several years.

Look I can do that stuff too;

Nadal, Hewitt, Roddick, Murray and Djokovic >> Pete's grass comp

On clay;

Nadal, Djokovic, Ferrero etc...>>>>>>>>> Pete's clay comp

On hards;

Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Hewitt, Roddick and Agassi >>> Pete's hard court comp
 

90's Clay

Banned
Nonsense.. Djokovic is ARGUABLY greater than Agassi but its by no means certain.

Agassi was a contemporary of Pete his entire career, Nole has gotten the benefit of Fed aging, and major injuries to Nadal since 2011 which has cost him a lot of missing time from the tour.


And don't even give me any name of Fed's era over Becker on grass. Becker is light years ahead of anyone at wimbledon.

Hell, I wouldn't even put anyone on grass over Goran right now. Goran would MOP the floor with these guys on grass when he was on his game. Just ilke he did in 2001
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
I forgot about indoors.

Becker>>>>>> anything Fed has faced indoors


Yes.. Factoring in all surfaces, Pete had it tougher than Rog
Circular fap-logic.

Premise: Sampras is goat, the bestz ever, oh so fantastic.

Premise: His contemporaries still managed to win stuff in the era of oh so awesome Sampras.

Conclusion: His contemporaries must extremely good too.

Premise: Sampras' contemporaries was extremely good.

Premise: Sampras Outdid them.

Conclusion: Sampras is goat and the bestz ever.

And so it goes, round and round.
 

90's Clay

Banned
Never said Pete was GOAT, just factoring in all surfaces he had better competition.


Clay- How anyone could say the talent has been there on clay these past 10 years or so compared to prior is beyond me. Hell most guys today don't even know how to slide properly on clay.

Grass- Peak Goran in the 90s is far more formidable opponent than a young Nadal, or a peak Roddick. No one can tell me otherwise. Goran was CRAZY GOOD on grass. (maybe the deadliest grass court player of the last 15- 20 years aside from Pete/Federer) Nadal pre 2008 (good but still learning, not crazy good yet), Roddick was NOTHING compared to Goran on grass. And we already know how good Goran showed he could be in 2001 as well when he dispatched pretty much all the heavy hitters in that tournament. And Becker's Wimbledon resume speaks for itself.

Hards- Arguable of course. Is Nadal a better hardcourt player than Agassi? Please. No hes not. Roddick was what 1-5 in the h2h vs. Agassi? Hewitt as the defending champ lost to Agassi during a down year for Agassi too
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Nonsense.. Djokovic is ARGUABLY greater than Agassi but its by no means certain.

Agassi was a contemporary of Pete his entire career, Nole has gotten the benefit of Fed aging, and major injuries to Nadal since 2011 which has cost him a lot of missing time from the tour.


And don't even give me any name of Fed's era over Becker on grass. Becker is light years ahead of anyone at wimbledon.

Hell, I wouldn't even put anyone on grass over Goran right now. Goran would MOP the floor with these guys on grass when he was on his game. Just ilke he did in 2001
Becker in the late 80s to very early 90's was but not when Pete faced him, which is the point.
 

mccarthy

Banned
Becker in the late 80s to very early 90's was but not when Pete faced him, which is the point.
Pete would have had the clear advantage and edge in the matchup even vs the hypothetical peak/prime Becker who you admit would have been extremely formidable opposition. Becker, Sampras, McEnroe, and everyone else said essentialy the same thing. Sampras and Becker are very similar as players but Pete does everything just a bit better. Meaning prime Becker as well, not just the slightly past prime version Sampras arguably faced.
 

Bertie B

Professional
Pete would have had the clear advantage and edge in the matchup even vs the hypothetical peak/prime Becker who you admit would have been extremely formidable opposition. Becker, Sampras, McEnroe, and everyone else said essentialy the same thing. Sampras and Becker are very similar as players but Pete does everything just a bit better. Meaning prime Becker as well, not just the slightly past prime version Sampras arguably faced.
Sampras also won his first Wimbledon 8 years after Becker won his 1st. Pete was also four years older when when he achieved this. Unfair comparison. Becker was being polite.
 

spirit95

Professional
3. Main focus was on the slams an YE#1. Didn't focus as much on the lesser tourneys because he knew where the real resume builders was (Slams and time at #1)
Implying Federer's focus is not on slams and time at number one? Then why has Roger totally outperformed Pete in both of these?
 

ultradr

Legend
Today's game is really one surface game. the differences between surfaces are much smaller.

90's was extremely surface polarized. Sampras dominated grass, indoor and fast hard courts of north america.
you face totally different game on each surface and different set of top players.

and in 90's the ranking was best 9 results while now best 13 results, afaik.

all you care was slams and year end #1 with best 9 results.

In todays game, you will need to collect more wins to be #1 and you face same top players on all surfaces
but you play more or less same game all year.
 
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