Would Sampras and the 90's players have actually made it as a pro in this era

Lotus_Island

New User
So most informed people understand that the game has been taken to another level in the past 15 or so years. Obviously some years like 06 and 2010 were weak years, but the standard of the lower ranked players was a lot tougher. To me, 90's tennis is similar to the poker boom of 2003; A great opportunity to make a living playing, due to the weak players who were ranked lower than #15. Then all of a sudden, the field got stronger and everyone else simply caught on how to play tennis.

I think Sampras would have probably been able to become a pro in the mid 00's onwards, holding a solid ranking of around #25-40, which is pretty impressive, and I think Agassi could have sneaked a slam final if he had some easy draws. But what about everyone else, do you simply think the rest of the 90's legends would struggle to win challengers and make a living in today's game?
 

tonylg

Professional
I don't think Sampras would even make the semis of Wimbledon these days.

Likewise, give Djokovic an 85 sq inch racquet strung with gut and the fast grass of the 90s .. and he may not make it to the round of 16.

When you say tennis has been taken to another level, do you mean up? Because there's virtually no-one today who has the variety of shot of Sampras, Becker, Edberg and company.
 

Lotus_Island

New User
I don't think Sampras would even make the semis of Wimbledon these days.

Likewise, give Djokovic an 85 sq inch racquet strung with gut and the fast grass of the 90s .. and he may not make it to the round of 16.

When you say tennis has been taken to another level, do you mean up? Because there's virtually no-one today who has the variety of shot of Sampras, Becker, Edberg and company.
Yes, the standard has got better. Sampras v Djokovic in 90's conditions ends in a W for Djokovic 9/10, the only time Sampras would win is if Djokovic retired.
 

Lotus_Island

New User
I'm convinced this post was made to sir up controversy. These are talented people and anyone would have done well in any other era because they would have learned to work with the conditions as they matured.
No, not trying to stir things up.

I have already said I think Sampras was so good I think he would be able to make a living on tour in todays game (isn't that impressive enough?). I just don't see them making many deep runs in slams.
 

TripleATeam

Legend
No, not trying to stir things up.

I have already said I think Sampras was so good I think he would be able to make a living on tour in todays game (isn't that impressive enough?). I just don't see them making many deep runs in slams.
Only if you transported him from his time to this time. If he grew up learning on today's hard courts, he'd play as well as any of the other ATGs.

He'd probably win fewer slams than 14, but he'd still no doubt be an ATG.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
There is no doubt that Sampras error-prone as he was from the baseline would struggle to win a slam... but to actually question whether he could make a living as a pro? You're not serious, right?

Agassi would actually BENEFIT from this era's slower courts. Sure, he hits flat, but so does Medvedevious. Plus he could adjust his hitting style. Agassi would find it easier to deal with big servers - and back in the 90s he was one of the few who could deal with them when the conditions were much faster.

Of course, this is all totally hypothetical because we have no clue HOW those players would have developed their games as kids and teens growing up a decade or more later...
 

Lotus_Island

New User
There is no doubt that Sampras error-prone as he was from the baseline would struggle to win a slam... but to actually question whether he could make a living as a pro? You're not serious, right?

Agassi would actually BENEFIT from this era's slower courts. Sure, he hits flat, but so does Medvedevious. Plus he could adjust his hitting style. Agassi would find it easier to deal with big servers - and back in the 90s he was one of the few who could deal with them when the conditions were much faster.

Of course, this is all totally hypothetical because we have no clue HOW those players would have developed their games as kids and teens growing up a decade or more later...
Let's calm down about this guy, he is 23 and has 0 slams.
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
So most informed people understand that the game has been taken to another level in the past 15 or so years. Obviously some years like 06 and 2010 were weak years, but the standard of the lower ranked players was a lot tougher. To me, 90's tennis is similar to the poker boom of 2003; A great opportunity to make a living playing, due to the weak players who were ranked lower than #15. Then all of a sudden, the field got stronger and everyone else simply caught on how to play tennis.

I think Sampras would have probably been able to become a pro in the mid 00's onwards, holding a solid ranking of around #25-40, which is pretty impressive, and I think Agassi could have sneaked a slam final if he had some easy draws. But what about everyone else, do you simply think the rest of the 90's legends would struggle to win challengers and make a living in today's game?
I disagree, I was watching a 2019 Goran vs Rafter match on youtube recently and I when I started watching it I was expecting some 'old man' tennis but boy was I wrong. Some fantastic rallies and very aggressive net attack tennis. I think modern players would have a challenge on their hands facing those guys.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
I disagree, I was watching a 2019 Goran vs Rafter match on youtube recently and I when I started watching it I was expecting some 'old man' tennis but boy was I wrong. Some fantastic rallies and very aggressive net attack tennis. I think modern players would have a challenge on their hands facing those guys.
Rafter would struggle in this era due to slower conditions. Ivanisevic would be good only if he had a lobotomy, because unprofessional as he often was he'd really struggle in this era... And he wouldn't be able to servebot as much.
 

mahesh69a

Rookie
Obvious troll thread is obvious.
Just in case someone believes this is a serious question - given current sports medicine (especially at the higher levels) and current fitness/training regimens, Sampras would absolutely be top class (adaptability is an attribute common to top tier athletes or pros in any field, for that matter).
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Obvious troll thread is obvious.
Just in case someone believes this is a serious question - given current sports medicine (especially at the higher levels) and current fitness/training regimens, Sampras would absolutely be top class (adaptability is an attribute common to top tier athletes or in any field, for that matter).
I doubt it was intended as a troll thread, it just appears to be that way.
 

guitarra

Professional
It depends whether you speak:

- of Sampras as a player he was in the 90-ties - then right that wouldn't be enough to make it to the top
- or of Sampras who would be the same age as Nadal/ Djokovic and grew up and developed in the same conditions - then he would obviously make it to the top
 

Sport

Legend
Would the Big 3 win as many Majors in an era with different surface conditions?

Put Federer and Djokovic facing Borg at Wimbledon WITH wooden racquets. Who wins?

Greatness is measured by how good a player performs in his era, not in an era where he did not play. It is impossible to create time machines and put players from different eras facing each other in different conditions.
 
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Lotus_Island

New User
Obvious troll thread is obvious.
Just in case someone believes this is a serious question - given current sports medicine (especially at the higher levels) and current fitness/training regimens, Sampras would absolutely be top class (adaptability is an attribute common to top tier athletes or pros in any field, for that matter).
Yeah cuz we all know Sampras adapted to that clay like a champ........
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
So most informed people understand that the game has been taken to another level in the past 15 or so years. Obviously some years like 06 and 2010 were weak years, but the standard of the lower ranked players was a lot tougher. To me, 90's tennis is similar to the poker boom of 2003; A great opportunity to make a living playing, due to the weak players who were ranked lower than #15. Then all of a sudden, the field got stronger and everyone else simply caught on how to play tennis.

I think Sampras would have probably been able to become a pro in the mid 00's onwards, holding a solid ranking of around #25-40, which is pretty impressive, and I think Agassi could have sneaked a slam final if he had some easy draws. But what about everyone else, do you simply think the rest of the 90's legends would struggle to win challengers and make a living in today's game?
I love Agassi but I really can't see him reach a slam final in the mid 00's.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
I don't think Sampras would even make the semis of Wimbledon these days.

Likewise, give Djokovic an 85 sq inch racquet strung with gut and the fast grass of the 90s .. and he may not make it to the round of 16.

When you say tennis has been taken to another level, do you mean up? Because there's virtually no-one today who has the variety of shot of Sampras, Becker, Edberg and company.
assuming this is 22-26 year old Pistol he not only makes finals, he wins a handful of trophies, but nowhere near as dominant as 90s Petros and probably just manages an Open or two

Likewise Fed bags a couple of Wimbledons and Aussies in the 90s. Both have games that for one reason or another would translate well across time. Nadal would tear it up on clay tho not as much since 90's clay was much deeper as everyone knows...Novak would do well on hard assuming health issues weren't a factor tho he's not winning more than a few majors in the 90s
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Would the Big 3 win as many Majors in an era with different surface conditions?

Put Federer and Djokovic facing Borg at Wimbledon WITH wooden racquets. Who wins?

Greatness is measured by how good a player performs in his era, not in an era where he did not play. It is impossible to create time machines and put players from different eras facing each other in different conditions.
true, true...

...but we all know who'd rise to the top in any era...

 

swordtennis

Legend
Well let us be frank. Petes blood issue would hinder him in these trench wars of attrition slug fests. But i still put him right up there with the best.
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
So most informed people understand that the game has been taken to another level in the past 15 or so years. Obviously some years like 06 and 2010 were weak years, but the standard of the lower ranked players was a lot tougher. To me, 90's tennis is similar to the poker boom of 2003; A great opportunity to make a living playing, due to the weak players who were ranked lower than #15. Then all of a sudden, the field got stronger and everyone else simply caught on how to play tennis.

I think Sampras would have probably been able to become a pro in the mid 00's onwards, holding a solid ranking of around #25-40, which is pretty impressive, and I think Agassi could have sneaked a slam final if he had some easy draws. But what about everyone else, do you simply think the rest of the 90's legends would struggle to win challengers and make a living in today's game?
Newbie needs to do a thread search...this has all been discussed ad nauseam...
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't think Sampras would even make the semis of Wimbledon these days.
Are you serious? Question for you: did you ever watch Pete Sampras play? I'm not talking about Youtube videos, I'm talking about following his career and watching him play? I seriously doubt it or the comment wouldn't have been made.
 

Oval_Solid

New User
it would be awesome to watch sampras and federer battle at Wimbledon with both being in their prime and kuerten and nadal at the french and djokovic and agassi at the aussie open
as for the result of how many slams they would win if the 90s guys and todays era all played together... well its hard to say
i dont think it would be lopsided but the current era should win more because they are better at generating pace with less effort while still being high percentage shots but theres also heart and desire and luck of course so who knows
 

Keystoner

Rookie
Well in this brilliant scenario, when were the 90's players born--in the 70s or 90s, because if they were born in the 90s, like the actual players of this era, then there is no reason they wouldn't perform just as they did with their own actual contemporaries.
 

NicoMK

Semi-Pro
So most informed people understand that the game has been taken to another level in the past 15 or so years.
Yes, I'm one of those who think that the game has become much more boring than ever. :cool:

Most players from the 90s would make it today simply because they would would have evolved along with the game. And Sampras would kick the ass of most of the field today, just like he did 20 years ago.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
Yes, the standard has got better. Sampras v Djokovic in 90's conditions ends in a W for Djokovic 9/10, the only time Sampras would win is if Djokovic retired.
Djokovic game on grass isn’t built like that. Sampras is the favourite on the old grass in his peak.
 

tonylg

Professional
Are you serious? Question for you: did you ever watch Pete Sampras play? I'm not talking about Youtube videos, I'm talking about following his career and watching him play? I seriously doubt it or the comment wouldn't have been made.
I never got to see Pete play live, which is a major gap in my almost 50 year tennis journey. But I remember his first USO very well, along with a few matches before pretty much everything after that. I watched him grow up in front of the world, go through good times and some very tough ones too. For me, he stands at the pinnacle of tennis with only one or two others.

BUT .. the sport of tennis is currently in the toilet. The beautiful game that Sampras possessed has been neutered by slow courts and poly strings (cheatalon, as he called it). Wimbledon is now won by people who simply have no net game, an insult to Borg who worked so hard to do well there and Lendl who spent years trying to gain the skills players don't even need any more.

I don't partake in the whole "if xxxxxx was born in the 90s they'd play like .." because it's actually not a pleasant though to imagine Pistol Pete growing up to be a grinder who can't volley. That's not a champion like Sampras, that's a poly era vulture collecting trophies with only a subset of the skills of those who won them before possessed. Sampras was sublime at a sport that no longer exists.
 

mika1979

Professional
So most informed people understand that the game has been taken to another level in the past 15 or so years. Obviously some years like 06 and 2010 were weak years, but the standard of the lower ranked players was a lot tougher. To me, 90's tennis is similar to the poker boom of 2003; A great opportunity to make a living playing, due to the weak players who were ranked lower than #15. Then all of a sudden, the field got stronger and everyone else simply caught on how to play tennis.

I think Sampras would have probably been able to become a pro in the mid 00's onwards, holding a solid ranking of around #25-40, which is pretty impressive, and I think Agassi could have sneaked a slam final if he had some easy draws. But what about everyone else, do you simply think the rest of the 90's legends would struggle to win challengers and make a living in today's game?
I think the top players 80s onwards would make it. They would be better for the competition. The guys 20 or below probably not.
 

Purplemonster

Hall of Fame
Rafter would struggle in this era due to slower conditions. Ivanisevic would be good only if he had a lobotomy, because unprofessional as he often was he'd really struggle in this era... And he wouldn't be able to servebot as much.
And the social network brigade are extremely professional ??
 

Purplemonster

Hall of Fame
I never got to see Pete play live, which is a major gap in my almost 50 year tennis journey. But I remember his first USO very well, along with a few matches before pretty much everything after that. I watched him grow up in front of the world, go through good times and some very tough ones too. For me, he stands at the pinnacle of tennis with only one or two others.

BUT .. the sport of tennis is currently in the toilet. The beautiful game that Sampras possessed has been neutered by slow courts and poly strings (cheatalon, as he called it). Wimbledon is now won by people who simply have no net game, an insult to Borg who worked so hard to do well there and Lendl who spent years trying to gain the skills players don't even need any more.

I don't partake in the whole "if xxxxxx was born in the 90s they'd play like .." because it's actually not a pleasant though to imagine Pistol Pete growing up to be a grinder who can't volley. That's not a champion like Sampras, that's a poly era vulture collecting trophies with only a subset of the skills of those who won them before possessed. Sampras was sublime at a sport that no longer exists.
Super post. Makes way too much sense for the majority of people on these boards.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
I never got to see Pete play live, which is a major gap in my almost 50 year tennis journey. But I remember his first USO very well, along with a few matches before pretty much everything after that. I watched him grow up in front of the world, go through good times and some very tough ones too. For me, he stands at the pinnacle of tennis with only one or two others.

BUT .. the sport of tennis is currently in the toilet. The beautiful game that Sampras possessed has been neutered by slow courts and poly strings (cheatalon, as he called it). Wimbledon is now won by people who simply have no net game, an insult to Borg who worked so hard to do well there and Lendl who spent years trying to gain the skills players don't even need any more.

I don't partake in the whole "if xxxxxx was born in the 90s they'd play like .." because it's actually not a pleasant though to imagine Pistol Pete growing up to be a grinder who can't volley. That's not a champion like Sampras, that's a poly era vulture collecting trophies with only a subset of the skills of those who won them before possessed. Sampras was sublime at a sport that no longer exists.
zactly
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Yes, the standard has got better. Sampras v Djokovic in 90's conditions ends in a W for Djokovic 9/10, the only time Sampras would win is if Djokovic retired.
The decisive factor would be the equipment. With today’s equipment you are right of course, but with 90s racquets I guess Sampras would still win on fast surfaces.
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
Yes, the standard has got better. Sampras v Djokovic in 90's conditions ends in a W for Djokovic 9/10, the only time Sampras would win is if Djokovic retired.
Dude, do you know what Sampras would have done at 40-15? Hit a second serve ace.

/thread, return to bridge.
 
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