Why Sampras wasn't as dominant as Federer ?

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


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metsman

G.O.A.T.
But really Fed would roflstomp Sampras, it wouldn't be funny.
There's really no evidence for this besides Federer's first return being a good matchup against Pete. Still, Fed hasn't ever played anyone close to peak Sampras' caliber on a fast court. I could see Fed getting a slight edge in h2h meetings, but nothing extreme either way.
 

Sport

Legend
Both players are similar.
Nope. Federer's great serve is complemented with a fairly good baseline game. Can't say the same about Pete Sampras. Clay is the surface where the serve is less relevant and the baseline game is more important. Federer made 5 Roland Garros finals, Sampras 0.
 
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Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
There's really no evidence for this besides Federer's first return being a good matchup against Pete. Still, Fed hasn't ever played anyone close to peak Sampras' caliber on a fast court. I could see Fed getting a slight edge in h2h meetings, but nothing extreme either way.
Federer 1st serve return
Sampras 2nd serve overrated
Sampras can't do jack vs Federer from the back of the court. What's he gonna do, chip and charge?
 

Angry-Bird

New User
Nope. Federer's great serve is complemented with a fairly good baseline game. Can't say the same about Pete Sampras, who adopted serve and volley as a strategy to avoid being exposed from the baseline. Clay is the surface where the serve is less relevant and the baseline game is more important. Federer made 5 Roland Garros finals, Sampras 0.
I don’t think Sampras has advantage of slow courts and racket technology to excel in all around game. Game has changed a lot since he retired. It’s not that simple to compare.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Federer 1st serve return
Sampras 2nd serve overrated
Sampras can't do jack vs Federer from the back of the court. What's he gonna do, chip and charge?
Peak Sampras held up in baseline rallies vs Agassi on slow hard court just fine. I guess Agassi ain't no Murray though, so what does that matter huh.

You can't just dismiss Sampras' serve because of Fed's first serve return and because you think his 2nd serve was overrated. The 90s stats on serve (besides hold%) are all wrong anyways. Any player as good as Sampras on serve who can actually move is an absolute handful.
 

BGod

Legend
Ummm....none of the above?

Outside clay which very few top players on hard transferred to, Sampras did dominate.

7 of 8 Wimbledons>6 of 7 or 7 of 10
Not even talking competition or surface speed.

AO wasn't as prestigious and still Sampras won 2 out of 4 and 3 finals losing to Agassi.

USO Sampras won 5 over the span of 12 years while making a still record 8 finals in 12 appearances. I'm not saying Fed winning 5 straight isn't a better run but he also choked 3 editions in a row. Sampras got clobbered by Safin but then came back to destroy him. He never let up on his pigeon Agassi going 4-0.

2009-2011 Sampras isn't losing like Fed.
 
The first 5 basically mean the same thing though.

But really Fed would roflstomp Sampras, it wouldn't be funny.

The one match they had went 7-5 in the fifth.LOL. Unless you count the EXOs where under fast indoor conditions Sampras 5 years retired beat Peak Fed.
 
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Multiple Reasons:

- The 90s had a deep field of competition across all surfaces. The 2000s-present.. Umm did NOT
- Racket Technology combined with homogenized conditions. Makes its easier for top dominant guys to STAY dominant and on top
- Higher Risk Game by Pete because of polarized conditions. You didn't; see the same damn tennis being played year round on a different colored court like you do today. Pete had to impose his will more. With that comes out a higher risk game and a bigger chance of losing. Its easier to be consistent when every player is glued to the baseline.
-Pete has Thalasemmia Minor. A blood disorder known to cause fatigue that he kept from the public for years.
-Seeding system was tougher in Petes day as well so you had tougher threats earlier in the tournament. Combine that more depth on surfaces of competition. Makes it tougher.


It also depends on how you look at it though. Sampras held his main rivals to single digit slams. Nadal/Nole may end with more slams than Fed when its all said and done. So was he "more dominant?"

If Fed would have took care of business years ago when he should have, he wouldn't have to worry about Nadal/Nole these days and still be playing until he's 40. LOL
 
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brystone

Semi-Pro
It also depends on how you look at it though. Sampras held his main rivals to single digit slams. Nadal/Nole may end with more slams than Fed when its all said and done. So was he "more dominant?"

If Fed would have took care of business years ago when he should have, he wouldn't have to worry about Nadal/Nole these days and still be playing until he's 40. LOL
The only one Sampras held back from being a double digit slam winner was Agassi. He might have stopped Becker near the end of his career from winning 1 more Wimbledon or something, but that is it. Courier he might have denied a slam or two, but again that is it. Ivanisevic would be a Kuerten RG type mini legend at Wimbledon without Sampras, but virtually irrelevant everywhere else. There would be nobody from his era (including Agassi) who would have been as successful as Djokovic or Nadal (or Federer) even without Sampras. So while I think you make a lot of good points in your post, this part I find flawed.
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
90's Clay approved choice
I have a different view now. I stand by my original comment, but Pete Sampras played in an era of specialists, in his own case, grass. Federer's and the subsequent generations, although they have individual preferences, play well on all surfaces. The great players don't have to contend with specialists as Sampras did. That means each surface no longer has a subset of (mostly different) players who are just too good for the field. Only the great players are in that category. The situation, for the past 15 years, has been a small number of unbeatable great players, and a large number of journeymen.
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
Probably already said on this thread, but Federer had a much superior return and was a threat to always break WHILE being dominant on serve on EVERY surface. That’s why.
 
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abmk

Bionic Poster
Peak Sampras held up in baseline rallies vs Agassi on slow hard court just fine. I guess Agassi ain't no Murray though, so what does that matter huh.

You can't just dismiss Sampras' serve because of Fed's first serve return and because you think his 2nd serve was overrated. The 90s stats on serve (besides hold%) are all wrong anyways. Any player as good as Sampras on serve who can actually move is an absolute handful.
These are the correct 2nd serve stats year-wise for top 10 from 92-99, year-wise :

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/2nd-serve-pts-won-for-1992-1999-corrected-stats.469808/
 
Sampras’ game was more reliant on serve, which makes it harder to win smaller tournaments when you need to serve well several consecutive days in a row. Sampras was more consistently good in Wimbledon and US Open, where the off day between matches helps keep the serving arm from going dead.
 

Rago

Hall of Fame
Because Sampras didn't have the luxury of playing in the weakest era of all time (2003-2007).
Can't argue with any of this especially when you consider the fact that Pete during his time was having rivalries with ATGs like Yzaga and Korda.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
The only one Sampras held back from being a double digit slam winner was Agassi. He might have stopped Becker near the end of his career from winning 1 more Wimbledon or something, but that is it. Courier he might have denied a slam or two, but again that is it. Ivanisevic would be a Kuerten RG type mini legend at Wimbledon without Sampras, but virtually irrelevant everywhere else. There would be nobody from his era (including Agassi) who would have been as successful as Djokovic or Nadal (or Federer) even without Sampras. So while I think you make a lot of good points in your post, this part I find flawed.

All good points, and even with Agassi I think it was more so Agassi wasting away precious opportunities to win 10+ majors than Sampras denying him.

He had 3 slams to his name by his 29th birthday; at that point, Sampras had only beaten him three times in majors. Let’s examine each of those defeats:

1990 US Open F - Agassi was listless in the final and likely loses to Lendl and perhaps McEnroe (less likely) on the other side of the draw, both of whom were taken out by Sampras.

1993 Wimby QF - he was sporting an injured shoulder and frankly overachieved to reach the second week, likely wasn’t winning the event.

1995 US Open F - by Agassi’s own admission, he woke up that day writhing in pain and was ‘at 38%’. Courier, beaten by Sampras in the SF’s, had his number in majors at that point and would be no picnic in a hypothetical final.

A guy that was objectively as accomplished as Andy Murray by the end of his 28th year doesn’t get gifted slams when he wasted away such a huge chunk of his would-be prime. The real culprit here is Agassi. Sampras took the most away from him by default, but he did not ruin Agassi’s career, especially since most of those defeats (1990/95/2001 USO’s, 93/99 Wimby’s) would not have been odds-on to be converted into wins in a Sampras-less draw.
 
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Ummm....none of the above?

Outside clay which very few top players on hard transferred to, Sampras did dominate.

7 of 8 Wimbledons>6 of 7 or 7 of 10
Not even talking competition or surface speed.

AO wasn't as prestigious and still Sampras won 2 out of 4 and 3 finals losing to Agassi.

USO Sampras won 5 over the span of 12 years while making a still record 8 finals in 12 appearances. I'm not saying Fed winning 5 straight isn't a better run but he also choked 3 editions in a row. Sampras got clobbered by Safin but then came back to destroy him. He never let up on his pigeon Agassi going 4-0.

2009-2011 Sampras isn't losing like Fed.
Both PETE and Fraud won 7 Wimbys in 14 years... with Fraud winning more matches :p
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
Because Sampras didn't have the luxury of playing in the weakest era of all time (2003-2007).
I understand that you’re trolling but man, it sure is depressing to know that many people unironically state this even though Sampras had two years, 1997 and 1998, that were virtual gimmes competition-wise...’98 especially.
 

Rago

Hall of Fame
All good points, and I think it was more so Agassi wasting away precious opportunities to win 10+ majors than Sampras denying him.
And skipping the AO 8 times (his best slam) didn't help matters. He might have been in the conversation for the most accomplished player in Melbourne today along with Novak; one can only guess.

Cliffs: Should have taken tennis a bit more seriously in his early 20s.
 
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TheFifthSet

Legend
And skipping the AO 8 times (his best slam) didn't help matters. He might have been in the conversation for the most accomplished player in Melbourne today along with Novak; one can only guess.
Very true, although I can’t help but think that things evened out a bit considering some of the good fortune he had at the AO in his later years. In ‘00 he was on the ropes against a Sampras that admitted he likely would not have been able to contest the final if he won, due to an injury sustained in the 4th...in ‘01 his only very tough opponent cramped badly in the semis when up 2 sets to 1...and in ‘03 his draw was quite soft (although his form was imperious so maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh there.)

Nonetheless, I ultimately agree...can’t single out one or even a few players for derailing Agassi’s early-to-mid 20’s. Guy did that on his own. Of course if we remove his greatest rival, he could have won double-digit majors, but you can say the same thing for Lendl, Connors and Mac. They played amongst each other (and Borg, until ‘81) yet still ended with 8, 8 and 7 majors, all very impressive hauls considering the competition.
 
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Rago

Hall of Fame
Nonetheless, I ultimately agree...can’t single out one or even a few players for derailing Agassi’s early-to-mid 20’s. Guy did that on his own. Of course if we remove his greatest rival, he could have won double digit majors, but you can say the same thing for Lendl, Connors and Mac. They played amongst each other (and Borg, until ‘81) yet still ended with 8, 8 and 7 majors.
Speaking of Connors, Borg and Mac, each of them missed multiple opportunities to add to their trophy cabinets. Wasn't the AO played on grass in the 70s and 80s?
 

KG1965

Legend
Two close careers.

The only big differences are:
- Masters 1000
- Australian Open


where Pete's performance was poor, very poor.(n)(n)
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
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 ?
They are NOT similar. Federer is much much more talented and better all around player than Sampras. Sampras was great player but he had weaknesses. Federer has no weakness. When he was good and in his prime, he could beat the #2 player in the world with his backhand only.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
And skipping the AO 8 times (his best slam) didn't help matters. He might have been in the conversation for the most accomplished player in Melbourne today along with Novak; one can only guess.

Cliffs: Should have taken tennis a bit more seriously in his early 20s.
don't think so. He wouldn't have been favored to win any of the AOs he skipped except 02.
92/93 had Courier who was better in their rivalry back then.
94 had Sampras/Courier.
97 - he was in no position to win.
 

brystone

Semi-Pro
don't think so. He wouldn't have been favored to win any of the AOs he skipped except 02.
92/93 had Courier who was better in their rivalry back then.
94 had Sampras/Courier.
97 - he was in no position to win.
I think his best chances would have been 89-91.

He didnt do well against Lendl but most of their matches were before the 90 Australian Open, and Lendl wasnt as dominant here. He kind of had a default-ish win in 1990 with Edberg's injury, since almost everyone agrees Edberg would have won that match, and even in 89 all his main competitors losing early. He might have been able to pull out a win at 1 of those 2.

91 was won by Becker who Agassi was in the midst of an 8 match win streak against.

I agree he doesnt win in any of 92-94.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Longevity costed Sampras. Sampras retired after his age 31 season. This is like Federer retiring after 2012.

Fed’s return of serve was much better than Sampras’. I think that this is the biggest difference. Pete’s superior serving and net game offsets Fed’s slight edge in movement and forehand. But the ROS is where Fed pulls ahead.

29-30 year old Sampras got blown out in straight sets in back-to-back USO tourneys. 29-30 year old Fed was pushing a hard court legend to 5 sets.

Longevity and ROS.

And of course, Fed was substantially better on clay than Pete was. Pete’s best result at RG was the 3rd round for 6 straight years(and 7 out of 8 years). Pete only had 3 matches against players in the top 10 at RG(1-2 record).
 

pistolPetros

New User
Homogenization, bazooka strings, chump competition (Fed's most impressive rival during his dominance is the worn down true rival of Pete lol), transition of masters to best of 3 rather than 5, etc.
 
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