Record-crushing Federer Won’t Match Pete’s No. 1s
by Richard Vach | September 29th, 2006, 5:35 pm

The year is not yet over, and Roger Federer has clinched his third straight year-end No. 1 ranking, putting yet another tennis record in his sights — the next record of greatness besides Pete Sampras’ 14 Grand Slam wins, and a record also held by the American.

If the Swiss dominates again in 2007, it would be four year-end top finishes, tying Ivan Lendl (1985-87,’89) and John McEnroe (1981-84). Jimmy Connors finished in the top spot five consecutive times (1974-78), and Sampras holds the all-time mark with six consecutive finishes (1993-98).

Can Federer do it, six year-end No. 1s in a row, in this Sega-tennis high-tech rocket era of injures?


And no disrespect.

Federer will top Sampras’ Slam mark, but the chances of him maintaining his dominance while staying uninjured for another three years is highly unlikely.

The way Federer wisely cares for his body between major events, resting after Slams (and tanking out of Masters Series events when he needs additional rest), it isn’t such a stretch to think that Sampras’ record of six year-ends in a row might not be out of reach. But Pete was a freak of nature who rarely succumbed to major injuries until his final years.

But health issues aside, who will be the next Rafael Nadal-type to step to the Swiss in 2007? There has to be some greater competition out there somewhere. Richard Gasquet? Marcos Baghdatis? Federer’s new buddy Tiger Woods switching sports? Can someone, for lack of a better term, get good?

David Nalbandian and Ivan Ljubicic have threatened over the last 12 months, but can’t seem to find that champion-type consistency. Former No. 1s Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt have battled with their confidence, while former-former No. 1s (seems like such a long time ago) Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya have little left in the tank.

Speaking of rivals, or lack of, has Federer coasted somewhat over the last two years? Besides Nadal, have his challengers for the most part spun their wheels trying to find their own games, much less challenge his?

When it comes to the Roger vs. Pete debate, you also have to take into consideration the competition, or lack of, as Moya said earlier this week.

“Things were different in the ’90s,” the Spaniard reminisced. “There were quite a few great players like Sampras, (Boris) Becker, (Andre) Agassi, (Patrick) Rafter with virtually the same kind of skills. They were all in the same league. But today, there’s a big gap between the top two-three players and the rest. See Federer and Nadal. There is hardly anyone who can come close to them. (Sampras) was a class apart. Federer and Nadal are good, but not in his league.”

This from a player who played both Sampras and Federer. Actually, this from a player who beat Sampras, on hardcourt yet, at the Masters Cup. Then again, maybe you want to say the greatest player is the one you took out — then you can tell your kids, rather than telling them the greatest player was that Swiss guy you were 0-6 against.

Sampras himself concedes Federer his Slam record — of course throwing in the lack-of-competition jibe.

“It’s not a question of if he’ll break my record, but when he’ll break my record,” said Sampras of his 14-Slam mark. “I see a lot of good players out there facing him, but no great players.”

The 14 Slams, probably, but the six-consecutive year-end No. 1s? Let’s talk in around two years, if it’s still an issue.

To this point in time, no one even thought the Sampras year-end record could ever be touched. At the end of 1998, knowing that the all-time record sixth was in reach, and with Marcelo Rios breathing down his neck at No. 2 on the rankings, Sampras went on a European tear the likes that had not been seen before or since by a top American.

After the US Open in ’98 Sampras played six events in eight weeks before the year-end championship — including Basel, Vienna, Lyon, Stuttgart-indoor, Paris-indoor, Stockholm — before reaching the semis at the year-end championship, finally clinching the year-end top rank when Rios withdrew after one match with injury. Talk about an effort.

Federer seems to be mowing down Sampras records left and right — but many of Pete’s accomplishments continue to amaze. Especially after the U.S. Davis Cup team was again bogged down in clay last week in Russia, the year 1996 was oft mentioned — the year Sampras almost single-handedly beat the Russians on clay in Moscow, winning two singles and the doubles to claim the U.S.’s last (and possibly for a long while) Davis Cup title.

For those already proclaiming Federer the all-time greatest (and there are more than a few), the Swiss has yet to equal Pete’s Slam mark, his year-end No. 1 mark, or win the Davis Cup. And for those wishing that Rog’s and Pete’s careers did more than barely overlap, don’t worry — Federer will still be going head-to-head against Sampras’ records for years to come.

Richard Vach, senior writer, can currently be seen on The Tennis Channel’s “Tennis Insiders: Super Insiders” episodes, and was recently awarded “Best Hard News” story for 2005 by the United States Tennis Writers Association.

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75 Comments for Record-crushing Federer Won’t Match Pete’s No. 1s

Brian Flanagan Says:

Mr Vach, you have no idea about tennis or you have not watched Federer in action.
You can quote several other top players (Becker, McEnroe, Rios, Bruguera, Ivanisevic, etc..) who claim that Federer will be the greatest and the competition is much harder nowadays. But Federer’s class shows the difference.

So you can ignore Moya’s opinion or just write articles maybe about fencing as it seems to be closer to you than tennis.

Brian Flanagan Says:

Mr Vach,

Just check out this Sampras quote:

“….Well, I think when I look at Roger, I mean, I’m a fan. I mean, I’m a fan of how he plays, what he’s about, just the fact that I think he’s a class—I don’t know him personally, but seems like he’s a class guy on and off the court. He’s fun to watch. Just his athletic ability, what he’s able to do on the run. I think he can and will break every tennis record out there…..”
Pete Sampras, winner of 14 Grand Slams. (Source)

joe trailblazzer Says:

ooooh, now your messing with the fed fans. dont say one negative thing about fed or the fed fans will go crazy. i agree the best is yet to come for federer, hope he will get some competition and he is just playing against pete’s ghost now.
i think he just might getthat six no 1s in a row…..nadal might stop him tho.

Lucy Says:

Roger Federer has not been injured as many times as , for example, Rafael Nadal has and Federer has been playing pro for about 7-8 years. So you ruling out Roger beating Sampras’ No.1 record on the basis of injury is extremely idiotic and unreliable.
There is no doubt that people from Sampras’ generation are simply scared to admit that someone may be much better than Sampras- and that person is Roger Federer.

Siva Natarajan Says:

I agree with Brian Flanagan.

And I also think this is an article in poor taste trying to put down Federer’s achievements and potential. Federer is on couse to beat Jimmy Connors’ consecutive weeks at No 1 (which is as good a measure of dominance as year end Number 1).

So Sampras (as great as he is) is better than Federer because he is a “freak of nature” ? And Federer taking care of his body is somehow inferior!

So Mr Vach maybe you are better off writing some gossip column than claiming to be “Senior Writer at Tennis-X” or whatever.

arsh Says:

I don’t get it.You said Roger’s cometition is weak so he’s not likely to end another 3 years as No.1?And there’s no omen of any injury coming from my view.You just simply think Roger is not as great as Peter,but this is not an appropriate reason to predict his decompose,or that’s just your wish maybe.

Martin Green Says:

Brian Flanagan, I concur.

“Then again, maybe you want to say the greatest player is the one you took out — then you can tell your kids, rather than telling them the greatest player was that Swiss guy you were 0-6 against.”

LOL, funny, i loved it! LOL

Glen Janney Says:

Federer has made us appreciate the greats of the past more because of the comparisons involved. Sampras’ 14 Slams is the obvious benchmark, but what about McEnroe going 82-3 back in the 80′s, and Roger almost matching that record in 2005? Who even remembered Mac’s feat (or knew about it in the first place) until Federer came so close?
Pete’s 6 year-end finishes is a terrific record, but none of those years was a runaway as has been EACH of Federer’s 3 year-ending Number 1′s. And let’s not forget that Roddick’s one win over Federer in 12 matches, back in 2003 in Montreal when Federer held match point, was the difference between Roger finishing the year ranked number 2 instead of number 1. Otherwise he would be at four years in a row with the year-end number 1 ranking, and Sampras’s six would not seem so unattainable.
I say, just enjoy the artistry and see where Federer ends up.

Giner Says:

“Federer will top Sampras’ Slam mark, but the chances of him maintaining his dominance while staying uninjured for another three years is highly unlikely.”

I don’t know how you can expect him to top Sampras’ slam mark WITHOUT maintaining #1. If he’s going to keep winning slams, he’ll remain #1 each year that he does so. Unless Nadal or whoever wins more slams than he does in the same year.

He can either win 5 more slams in the next 3 years to top 14, and stay #1 in these 3 years. Or he can win one slam every year (and do solidly outside of the slams) for the next 5 years, and be #1 for 5 more years. His only real threat for #1 if he manages one slam per year would be Nadal.

Giner Says:

“The 14 Slams, probably, but the six-consecutive year-end No. 1s? Let’s talk in around two years, if it’s still an issue.”

I remember the same thing said about the 14 slams, when Federer won his 4th (3 in 2004).

Looks like he’s been conceded the 14 slams, but the doubts have shifted to his #1s. In two years time, that discussion will turn into this one. Yeah, he’ll get 6 years #1, but can he match 64 singles titles?

JCF Says:

I’m saving a copy of this article for 3 years time.

Richard Vash should retire as a Senior Writer and consider a career in comedy. This is great stuff Richard, keep it up!

Milkey Says:

You shouldn’t have brought out Moya’s opinion about Roger Federer, you should have brought out Agassi’s opinion about Federer. He once said Federer is the best He has ever played against after losing in the Us Open 2005 final to Roger Federer. And you should know Agassi is one of the greatest players of all time, that’s no doubt about it. And nobody asked him to give Federer such praise after losing the final. In fact, nobody would care if he didn’t say Federer is the best he played against.
I also think you were kind of biased when you said “Federer and Nadal are good, but not in Sampras’ League.” I personally do not like Nadal’
s style very much, but look at his footwork, he’s probably the fastest mover in tennis history. That’s why he could beat Federer on clay. Maybe Sampras can beat Nadal because of his great Serve-and-Volley style which Nadal will feel quit hard to deal with. But can you honestly say Sampras could absolutely beat Nadal on clay in his prime? Nadal is one of greatest players on clay since he has a streak. In opinion, it’s hard for to beat Sampras on grass(probably no chance to win at all) and hard. But what’s about clay court? So Sampras is so much better than him?
About Federer, you gotta look at his play, I am not going to say he will certainly finish in the top spot for six consecutive times or more. But nobody knows, right? Nobody can say for sure.
Sampras himself once said Federer’s staying back better than him, backhand slightly better, forehand just the same. But I think Federer’s forehand is pretty much bigger than his. You can say no. But if you have watched Federer play, you will never say no.
Federer’s serve sure is not bigger than Sampras’ and volley cant even match Sampras’. But why he’s called complete player? Because he definitely returns better than Sampras did. Sampras could break people serve because he was so confident that he could hold his serve (you can see his amazing first serve and second serve.), so there must have been one of the service game his oppnent served quite badly so that he had a chance to break. But he’s never “Great” at return game and Federer is. You see him know how to neutralise Roddick’s fast serve, you can tell that.
And Today’s game requires more power and energy, like Becker said, you cannot compare this generation to that generation. The game’s different today.
About today got a fewer great players, why don’t I just say Hewitt beat Sampras, Safin beat Sampras. And if those are not great enough, I got nothing to say. The thing is that just because you’re great, it doesn’t mean you can keep winning one grand slam in a year and never have a bad year. And you never consider whether Federer is too great or the others are not great enough, that’s just another talk.
I think Sampras has the greatest serve in history, but no way to say he’s way better than Federer. If you’ve watched these two play, you wouldn’t say something like that.
I respect your opinion, but not only Moya did play against Federer and Sampras, you see, Agassi did play against these two, Tim Henman did and Fabrice did. Why didn’t you bring out their opinions about this?
Who knows who’s a better player, just sitting here comparing them by bringing out great players’ quotes cannot really prove.
Why didn’t you just say they both are great players in history, instead of taking away what Federer achieved?
I really respect your opinion, but can’t agree with you on that.

Vixford Says:

Here’s the other thing that Mr. Vash, and those along his line of thinking forget: Sampras never had such dominating records over Hewitt and Agassi, and Sampras played them several times. Federer has won the last 9 or 10 matches in a row against them. Would Sampras have such a strong winning streak like that??? Sorry, probably not.

mary a. Says:

Roger Federer is the best of all time, Sampras was good but does not compare to Roger…’s as simple as that….just wait..time will tell and the facts will speak for themselves..This article is disgusting, obviously written by someone who knows nothing about tennis!

aditya Says:

absolutely federer is no way equal to great sampras

tequilaandchili Says:

yeah, Mr. Vach
why you don’t dedicate some time of your life to cook and sale tortillas in the streets of LA instead of trying to put down Roger’s achievements down.

Edward Says:

i think the article is only sees one side of the picture. many critics have conceded that federer has already imprinted his mark in history. though they are disappointed that a glaring hole there is due to the lack of competition (i.e. they think that he is winning because there are no other great players in this era). however, you’re also taking something away from federer if you come to the same conclusion. the reason why he dominates this era may not just be attributed to the lack of other talents, but also because of federer’s own talent. he plays so well and so consistently in the big events that the entire field is just blown away. it is not his fault he is too good, it’s a challenge to other players like moya and haas (who have expressed their disgust on how critics have “pampered” federer and his legacy) to step it up rather than just complain and complain (i can just imagine federer laughing over the opinions of these guys when they are just all talk), which is the reason why currently, media is hyping up nadal as a potential rival. but until that time comes when the entire field is able to catch up (or federer just slowed down), i imagine the future generation asking just one question about this era: “federer kept on winning everying, was he the only tennis player then?”

dibs Says:

When Sampras was No 1 didn’t other players receive ‘bonus’ points for beating him? I may be completely wrong but I seem to remember that and if I’m right how much closer would Nadal be to Federer?

Personally I think Federer probably will break all the records but find it irritating that commentators talk as though he’s already done it.

Jay Says:

In my opinion,
Sampras and Federer, I think fed is more better.
when u watch fed in competition, I think he is the best i ever seen. He really good from any angle. But Pete Sampras, He also good but i think he good at serving, other just ok.
And now aday, have more potential players than before.

flv Says:

I don’t see the pleasure you find in running down Federer. We all agree about how good the others are, or have been, but right now he is a model for the present and the future. Although he wins almost every match, his comment is always “he is a good player, it is difficult to beat him”, please find me an example of such modesty among all the present players. And although he is concentrating, he is always kind to everybody, he is the only one who doesn’t throw the towel at the ballboy, which means RESPECT FOR EVERYBODY. Let’s add this to the fact that today he is the greatest. Past is history, future is mystery….

kamret Says:

I think the article was a good one. I don’t understand why so many people (probably a lot of teenagers whose knowledge of tennis cannot come anywhere close to an author who has been a fan and analyst of the game for several decades) on this board are criticizing the article and the author. Rich Vach never said that he thought Sampras was greater than Federer, or vice-versa. Instead, all he said was that in this new era of brutal tennis, it would be almost impossible to stay #1 for 6 straight years without getting injured. I totally agree with him.

Personally, I don’t think either Sampras or Federer is the greatest of all time. They are not even close to Bjorn Borg. Who else can claim to have enough talent and greatness in them to win on both clay and grass in the same year for 3 consecutive years? He won both Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 1978, 1979, and 1980. That’s the most difficult achievement in tennis. Plus, what if Bjorn Borg cared to play at the Australian Open (which he never did) and didn’t decide to retire at 25? Wouldn’t he have much more than 11 Grand Slam titles? Definitely! I can also throw in a case for Jimmy Connors. He never really cared to play at the Australian Open either. (He played there only once.) No one will ever break his record number of ATP singles titles won – 109 (the first 100 were won within just 11 years: 1972-1983)!!! To me, that’s the most impressive record in tennis, simply because there is no one else even close to it. So, I’ll say it like it is. Screw Federer and Sampras! Give more recognition to Borg and Connors once in a while!

JCF Says:

Word is Federer won’t match Sampras. It’s official. Carlos Moya sez so.

So there.

Seriously, who is the better authority than someone who hasn’t beaten Federer?

joeseph o brien Says:

I don’t know why i bother reading this site anymore. Your views are one sided, and arent backed up by proper evidence and I am sick of the idiotoc and juvenile writing of Richard Vach.

V.E.B.Smith Says:

GLEN JANNEY WROTE: Federer has made us appreciate the greats of the past more because of the comparisons involved. Sampras’ 14 Slams is the obvious benchmark, but what about McEnroe going 82-3 back in the 80’s, and Roger almost matching that record in 2005? Who even remembered Mac’s feat (or knew about it in the first place) until Federer came so close?
Pete’s 6 year-end finishes is a terrific record, but none of those years was a runaway as has been EACH of Federer’s 3 year-ending Number 1’s. And let’s not forget that Roddick’s one win over Federer in 12 matches, back in 2003 in Montreal when Federer held match point, was the difference between Roger finishing the year ranked number 2 instead of number 1. Otherwise he would be at four years in a row with the year-end number 1 ranking, and Sampras’s six would not seem so unattainable. I say, just enjoy the artistry and see where Federer ends up.


Aleman Says:

I think on the current tour, there is no one (except maybe Nadal) who has the consistent attacking power to take Federer’s time away from the court. I do think Sampras, Becker and Edberg could and would do that, because they all would relentlessly come in on thunderous approaches – NOT the measly slice backhand approach Roddick uses at crucial points in a match. The Samprases and Beckers would really take a good part of Federer’s shotmaking away, and there’s hardly anyone at the moment to do that.

Loke Says:

Does this editor know about tennis?
Yeah, Moya said that the competition now is lower than last time and Sampras is a better player than Federer but how about what Agassi said? He said against Federer you have no room to beat him but against Sampras you do have room to attack him. Should Agassi’s comment more reliable than Moya?
And saying the competition now is weaker, thats just an excuse to say that Federer is not that good. If a person is dominating so much, of course the other players appear to be weaker, thats so normal.

chris Says:

I agree as well. You seemed to be a bit biased. Probably because Sampras is the American, Federer is not. I bet it irritated you as well seeing Tiger Woods in Federer’s box at the US Open final. It seemed to bother Roddick too. Get over yourselfs. Federer is total class, while orther (American)players like Roddick curse the umpires, throw rackets, act like a spoiled brat. No thanks i’ll stick with Federer.

Fan of Tennis Says:

I applaude most of these comments and agree with them. Pete was my favorite in his day, now it’s Federer. Why do we have to ‘compare’ them or have the argument of who is best? Pete was the best player in his decade; Roger is the best in his decade.

The way Roger is dominating should be a sign for all of us to just appreciate what he’s doing because players like this (in any sport) don’t come around very often. People enjoyed Michael Jordan, enjoying Tiger Woods, and other players of this calaber. Why not just enjoy Roger and see what he can do with the record books? It’s just been an amazing 3 year run so far and I just hope it can continue for another 3 years or so because I want to enjoy all these marvelous runs and records he has given us – not to mention the fantastic tennis as well.

tommy Says:

The opinion stated in the article is certainly to be respected, but it is unwise to take Moya’s comment to base it on. He puts Nadal and Federer in one league (!) and sampras in another. What he really wants to say is that NADAL is nowhere near as good as sampras. He is certainly a class below Federer, even if he wins a match here or there (apart from clay), so he downgrades federer in order to make Nadal look better, too. Nadal is his buddy, plus he beat him, so this again makes Moya himself look better. Therefore: Moya’s comment is weak.
Agassi on the other hand, said great things about Federer, but his comments too, are to be seen in perspective: He had just lost a final, where he played great and failed to match Sampras’ feat (winning the US open at the final stage of his career), and certainly doesn’t want to make Federer’s game look bad next to Sampras’. I conclude that it’s unwise anyway to take players’ comments as a reference.
I’d love to say Federer already IS the greatest of all time. But truth is, it is really to early to tell. What i truly can’t accept though, is opinion that today’s competition is weak. What facts is that based on? the number of Grand slam titles of Federer’s opponents? What else can it be, now that any top100 player can take out a top10 players on a given day.
Sampras is put in the “era of becker, edberg, rafter and agassi”. Now, Becker had his best day certainly before sampras. His days were pretty much OVER when sampras emerged. For edberg, the same is true. Agassi had his best days clearly after sampras. Watch his records. And Rafter? Sorry, he’s just not a great player. Not greater than Hewitt anyway.
One more thing: How many terrific player emerged at the top of the tour between say 1996 and 2001? the players mentioned above were all older and carried their bags of grand slam titles over the years and were mentioned as greats although their best time was long gone. the grew old together with sampras. He used to be just that bit better than them, what kept him winning titles. but the young guns? there WERE no young guns, with few exceptions. Sampras hardly had to deal with younger and more powerful players during the second half of his career. What really made him crack was a young Hewitt or a young Safin, or even a young Kuerten (unbelievable, a true claycourter). The biggest threat of the time (1996-2001) came from Rios. What happened to the poor guy? Got injured and ended is career. He’s now crushing Mcenroe.
Do you get my point? The reason why Sampras managed to stay top AFTER 1997 was the lack of young players in that area. Agassi slowly came back. I give Sampras the bonus of beating agassi whenever it mattered. Sampras was a great player. No doubt. But competition, especially from young players (who can play outstanding on the day, but not through the week), was inexistent.
You are free to prove me wrong.

John Says:

I think you’re just grasping at straws trying to bring Federer down to earth when clearly he’s so far a class above the rest. Since no current player has matched up to him (except Nadal, and that’s open for debate)you’re trying to resurrect the ghost of Pete Sampras in the hopes of giving federer a credible adversary. How hard this must be for the current American players that you have to sic Sampras’ tennis epitaph on Federer because they can’t give him a good run for his money.

tennis lover Says:

I think tennis x heat fed because he is going after the amarican sampras.

sampras was great, but what I remember from him game is mostley his serve.

There werent great returner of serve (I dont consider agassi great returner as he gets aced a lot and doesnt pot enoght balls in play), when sampras met the young guns who are the great returners he had problem: fed,safin, hewitt and I belive he would have had also with nalbandian.

Tennis x so heat fed, why just take part of mota aritacle wjen he wasnt clear.

a day after is the spanish newspaper “AS” 1 of the biggest sport papers in spain, there was an interview with him, You see a day after this comments from MOYA, when he says that fed was probely the beater player, you see he says it in spainsh so you cant be mustaken unlike in english where his comments arent very clear.

moreover in that interview he says that when playing pete players were afried (may be he said it as he was afried), pete didnt say a word ge didnt talk to you, unlike fed, as moya says, as he says fed his more “human” meaning, he talks to players befor a match, says funny thing.

so you see you took what you wanted to take.

other players most of them that played both, fed fed is beater player.

ask goran, and goran said it 2 years ago.

you know fed beat also that player that beat sampras in wimbeldon when he was stil week mantely befor 2003, I am talking about krichek.

refter, sampras and etc players with the serve and volley game would bother fed as much as you think, I gauss you didnt see how fed beat sampras in 2001 in wimbeldon when he was 19,and not cofentent with his game.

he did it serve and volley, you see serve and volley, that is the thing with fed game, he changes it to the other player, so if he would see the he cant heart a player brom the bass line he will serve and volley and that what he did with samparas as he thought its the best way to beat him.

and remember fed has 2 things that the other player it pere are didnt have and the other greats didnt face and so they themself would win that much grad salm, had as I see it what fed has beater then any player ever is his slice- the reason he wins wimbeldon, and his returens of serve, the reason the big hiters doesnt bother him.

now about the 6 time end of year no 1, who cares as long as he can have the other recored you think fed will be crying if he finshes 5 year no 1 but has 20 grat slams, dont think so.

and what has nadal have got any thing 2 to with sampras, I will say that probely sampras as I see it can beat nadal on clay, and nadal has no chance v sampras on grass and hard court, why? because nadal cant handal big 1 serves and serve and volley game, and pete had 1 and 2 serve that were to big for nadal, hes found it hard even to beat roddich in the davis cup in 2004 on clay, so I dont think he would have beaten sampras.

so what, what that have to do with fed and sampras and compatision. I dont think sampras would have won a lot v safin, hewitt, nalbandian and fed does, even agassi when fed became the player he is in 2003 muster cup, from then agassi was history, and I cant see fed losing to agassi as much as sampras did.

so stop it with nadal H2H with fed, if fed was like sampeas and didnt get to all that finals on clay what their h2h would be then 2-2, and tennis x learn for the aus open befor you hype nadal again, the fact that nadal beats fed it doesnt nean he beats the other players and surly not the hard courts players, fed problems v nadal are his but other players who have problem with fed game doesnt have the same problem with nadal, so be carfule with the hype in the aus open so you want be seen a a fual again.

for me the best players on the rebound ace when the are on are:

1. safin
2. fed
3. nalbandian
4. bgdhdis

when safin his on in that serface his is the best and the only 1 who can stop him is fed.

Joy Parker Says:

Wow, the Federer fanz are out in full force. Pete was the best in his era! Roger is the best at the moment. Both players are poetry in motion…smooth. For those who said that Pete was all about his serve and nothing else, have not really watched him play. His running forhand was excellent, his backhand was great (even if it was considered his weakest), his air Sampras was so exciting and his net play was surperb. And the fact that he did not stand on the baseline and whack the ball made his tennis even more exciting. The players in his era were serve and volleyers for the most part. And as noted in many articles and from watching his matches, he had very tough competition.

Federer on the other hand is for the most part a baseline player. His serve is not as reliable at Pete’s was, but he has superb forehands and backhands. He has what Pete had and that was the “aura” …. no one wants to be on his side of the draw. When he walks on the court, it’s almost a sure thing that he will win. When his opponent walks on the court (except for Nadal), well they probably have already made their plane flight home. He is a confident smooth player, but to me not very exciting.

Will he break Pete’s records???? Maybe. Does it kill Sampras fans that that is a possibility??? Yes for the most part. We would like to see Pete keep his records for a little while longer. We as Sampras fans understand what it is to be a fan, we’ve been there done that and we are still there loving Pete. So reading all the comments from this article makes me smile because I know what the Federer fans are going through.

In Samprasfanz hearts, Pete will always be the best, regardless of the records!!

kamret Says:

No! Borg (with his ability to win slams on both clay and grass within the same year for several years) is the best by far. Federer and Sampras are nowhere close. They don’t even come up to his toes. BORG FOREVER!

Venkat Says:

Mr. Vach,

I have closely followed both Sampras’ and Federer’s careers and I just can’t understand what you said in your post.

Pete was great, no question, but Fed is better, no question about that too. If you are not bold enough to admit that, like the others suggested, you better do some other job than writing “expert” tennis articles.

Federer is more than a player, he is a genius and you better appreciate his greatness. If the players of the current era are not able to challenge him, that is not his fault. I am quite confident that Fed at his best, would beat Pete at his best.

Finally, Fed is such a good person off the court that none of us would like to see him injured. You saying that Fed might not be able to break Pete’s record of year-end No. 1′s on the basis of injury sounds selfish to me.


Maritza Says:

Why compare? comparisons are never realiable. Pete was the best there was in his time with a complete tennis game and being such a lover of the game! I am and will always be a Sampras fan, but that does not impede me recognizing what, who Federer is. He is a great tennis player and is delightful to watch. But so far he has had no competition at all and I do not see anyone in sight with a hunger to beat the best one now. Nadal? I don’t give him too much time playimg like that. Sampras did have a hard competition and that was what made tennis so interesting. I was there all the time watching with my heart in my mouth! Now I watch Federer but no emotion whatsoever..So why don’t we all stop comparing and wait for que sera sera! Amd everyone is entitled to their opinion!

anonymously yours Says:

The crazy Fedtards will hunt you down and kill you.

Rodney Says:

can’t we all just..get along?

GopiB Says:

If this article meant to provoke controversy it certainly did.

First to put Moya’s comment in the right perspective.

“Then again, maybe you want to say the greatest player is the one you took out — then you can tell your kids, rather than telling them the greatest player was that Swiss guy you were 0-6 against.”

So, Moya was one of the many great players that Sampras faced? The kind of players we don’t have today?

People become great players when they win grandslams. Sampras won 14 slams during a period of 13 years. 52 slams were played during that time. 39 slams were won by someone other than Sampras. So Sampras had great competition. At least that is what Sampras and his side-kick Moya seems to imply.

Let’s look at Roger. He’s been playing slams for 8 years now. For the first four years he didn’t win any. During that time no one complained that Roger didn’t have any competition.

In the next 4 years, Roger won 9 slams. That is 9 out of 16 slams total played, leaving only 7 slams for others. 2 of those are won by Nadal who happens to have a 6-2 record against Roger. 2 by Safin, 2 by Hewitt, 1 by Roddick all great players, but all of whom Roger has dominated.

That is, Roger won a ton slams in a short time. During that time there were not a lot of people who won slams because there were not many left ( as the 39 with Sampras). So our Sampras PR man Moya says Roger doesn’t have great competition? He obviously cannot make much sense of numbers, can he? Oh! Philippousus was also another great that Sampras played.

Before Roger arrived big time on slam sundays, Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, were all great players. Now we have the next generation – Nadal, Gasquet, Murray, Djokovic, Bagdatis. But for Roger many of these would have become great players – Baghdatis would have Australian Open, Nadal would have Wimbledon, Roddick would be a 4 time grandslam winner, and so on.

A few things Roger doesnt’ have that Sampras had – a huge US PR and hype machine, the USTA which basically sets up the tournament for Americans (read the SI article), and the vested commercial interests in the US to call him the greatest (it didn’t matter that he did not reach a single French Final).

To be fair Sampras had the biggest serve – he basically served his way to 7 Wimbledons. But serve was 80% of his game. That’s why he’s called Pistol Pete.

Whereas, Roger’s serve is only 20% of his game. He also has 20% forehand, 20% return of serve, 15% backhand, and 25% pure genius. He wins his matches not by unreturnable serves, but by deftly constructing points. His game is a complete game.

You could actually say that Sampras did not have competition. If he faced a great returner of serve like a Roger, Sampras would not have won 14 slams. Look what happend. Sampras was invincible at Wimbledon until he ran into Roger, who won by neutralized his serve.

You can see I am bigger fan of Roger than I am of Sampras. Definitely not a big fan of Moya :)

Georgia Says:

My opinion is that Carlos Moya was merely saying that there is a big gap in the competition of Federer’s era to that of when Sampras was playing.

I am a fan of Sampras, but respect Federer also as a player.

I do think that it would be a different scenario if Federer was challenged more than he is…so far he’s not faced a player that has trully tested him, and his few losses have been in events that are not major ones.

I will conclude with this comment…each era or decade has it’s greatest and for me the 1990′s and early 2000′s Pete Sampras was the greatest. Federer so far is the best of his era/decade.

For me no matter what records are broken Pete Sampras will remain the greatest player of all time. He had the whole package for me, talent, heart, elegance when playing… pure poetry in motion to watch! Thanks Pete for the wonderful memories!

William Says:

Why compare? comparisons are never realiable. Pete was the best there was in his time with a complete tennis game and being such a lover of the game! I am and will always be a Sampras fan, but that does not impede me recognizing what, who Federer is. He is a great tennis player and is delightful to watch. But so far he has had no competition at all and I do not see anyone in sight with a hunger to beat the best one now. Nadal? I don’t give him too much time playimg like that. Sampras did have a hard competition and that was what made tennis so interesting. I was there all the time watching with my heart in my mouth! Now I watch Federer but no emotion whatsoever..So why don’t we all stop comparing and wait for que sera sera! Amd everyone is entitled to their opinion!

GopiB Says:

Pete’s fans are Pete’s fans. Roger’s fans are Roger’s fans. No amount of comparison or convinving will move people from one camp to another. It’s like religion. It’s like politics. The combination of your taste, the media influence, among others will put you in one camp or the other.

However, that doesn’t stop fans from raving about their hero. Merely stating Pete is better than Roger or Vice-versa will end up in a pissing match. What makes it an interesting debate is discussing facts, statistics, and opinions.

Take a look at the following articles.

They bring to light our deep biases. Would we call Pete a great if he were Greek? Would Agassi have become a legend if he were Iranian? What if Roger, and Laver were American? Would Pete and Andre have gotten the choice courts and times at the US Open?

If Jack Nicklaus were Swedish, would we still be waiting to call Tiger the greatest of all time? If Tiger were Thai, would he get anywhere near the amount of TV/press coverage that he gets?
Instead imagine Ernie Els or Vijay Singh or Sergio Garcia as being American instead. Who do we hear about on the Golf Channel day in and day out?

Think about the one stat that we look to for the greatest? It’s the number of grand slams. Why is not winning the grand slam? But then Laver would be the greatest.

If Monty was an American, and Jack Swedish, our benchmark for the greatest golfer would be the number of Ryder Cup matches points/matches won.

Still, I am a bit surprised as to why John McEnroe is not the greatest Tennis player of all time. That is if you consider one’s accomplishments in singles, grandslams, doubles, Davis Cup, and off-court contributions. Is there anyone even close to him? The only thing he hasn’t done is the charity work that Roger and Andre have done while still playing.

I do give credit to the US for supporting its players unlike any other country does. US has a great culture of winning. It takes young Pete’s, Tiger’s, Micheal Jordan’s and instills in them the self-belief and mental strength to beat the competition. The opposite situation is in the UK, where they drag their talented players down every step of the way. I have no doubt that Henman would have won a slam or two if he were American. He absolutely got no support from his home country. That’s pathetic.

Almost the same is true with Roger, it seems. It took him some four years to develop the self-belief that he is the best because he had to do on his own – “loosing a lot of matches” (he should not have). But if were an American, his talents would have been spotted a long time ago. The media, and consequently the crowds, would have taken him under their wing even before he became a Jr World #1, and propelled him to pinnacle in his teen years. He would have won 9 more majors in his first four years for a total of 18 by the end of 2006. As for #1 at the end of the year, he’d have been #1 for seven years straight already. It’s a shame that Swiss cannot appreciate what they have – the Davis Cup hype and attendance in Sept was just appalling even by non-American standards.

You could say the same thing for Safin, Hewitt, where they were pretty much on their own in winning two slams each, with Safin getting a little more support than Hewitt did. Remember Lendl? He was in 19 grand slam finals and won 8 of those fighting not just his opponent, but also the tens of thousands in the crowds, and the media that tried to crush his spirit all the way (his personality did not help, and Tony Roche was absolutely of no help at all).

The one good thing going for Nadal is this support. Spain has taken a leaf from the US notebook. They have embraced him when young. When he’s on court the whole country cheers him on to win. Well, with the female fans he’s amassing around the world, he sure is the player with the most crowd support. That will help him win a bunch of grand slams. He’s barely 20 yrs old, already won 2, and beaten Roger 6 out of 8 times. It’s perfectly ok to say that you love Peter more than you do Roger. Even to say that you think Pete is greater than Roger. But it’s totally a different thing to say Roger doesn’t have great competition? Have you heard of sour grapes?

TejuZ Says:

Well, there are no great players in Roger’s era just cuz hez been dominating like hell n no-one had a chance to win a grand-slam. Obviously it would look like there isnt any competitions. Then the same can be said any player or sportsman who would dominate like that in their respective field.

Who did Sampras face durin his prime Becker(past his prime with 6GS), Edberg(ditto like Becker), Agassi(7GS, not dominated him.. more even), Courier(4GS.. faded away fast)… and what abt Federer?? who does he face? Safin(2GS.. dominated by Fed), Hewitt(2GS .. owned by Fed), Agassi(7GS, past his prime n owned by Fed), Roddick(1GS, owned by Fed), Nadal(2GS, only person to dominate Fed on Clay)

Well.. Federer matches are never boring even when hez bagelling other players.. whereas Sampras was more one-domensional(just serve n volley) the extent that i got tired of watchin the game. Rallies never exceeded more than 4 or 5 shots during that time. It was certainly effective, bit never exciting to watch.

Anyway .. its jus my opinion.. we cant really compare players from different eras.. and should always give credit to their achievements, becuz what they do is not a walk in the park.

F.A.K. Says:

As if it was Federer fault that there is no stiffer competition!

But maybe the competition is there, but it´s simply not enough to beat a Federer (or Nadal on Clay)

What can the ATP do to overcome this deficit? Have Federer´s legs tied together or force him to play at least one set lefthanded (two in Grandslam events and other 5 setters)?

The discussion is futile: Competition is difficult when the main competitor does not let you close.

Chandan Says:

vach is a typical american and a typical MORON. get over it vach, u guys are losers…ur losing in iraq, afghanistan, ur losing the economic game to china & india and now ur losing to Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player in the history of the game. only moronic americans believe that sampras is all so great and all that — bullcrap !! AMERICANS ARE SORE LOSERS !!!

Chandan Says:

AMERICANS ARE SORE LOSERS !!! – i wanted to say that again just to try and drill that down into the buffolo skinned american morons, well its worth a try although i know americans cant think :o)

Chandan Says:

AMERICANS ARE SORE LOSERS !!! – just one more time doesnt hurt….hahahahaha :o)

Rob Says:

Aleman summed it up best. No one has the weapons combined with a net game to take Fed’s time away. And both would be needed to beat him. So it’s not that there’s a lack of competition, but a lack of the right type of competition, to truly push Fed.

It is difficult being an ardent Pete fan and watching his records evaporate, but it’s a pleasure knowing a great guy like Fed is doing it. As to the six-year #1 record, well, I would contend that Fed will break it and that he is less injury-prone than Pete. In one of the Master’s events this year, Fed fell down hard and his “gumbiness” allowed him to shake it off in minutes … the man is incredibly flexible (have you ever noticed how far his right arm extends after he hits a backhand?).

Fed fans: Enjoy this. I sure did as a Pete fan when he was breaking records.

Gini Says:

It’s funny to see, the hype this article has awoken. I’m swiss and of course, I’m a fan of roger federer, but I still think that there’s no way to compare these two players.

There’s the fact, that you can’t compare the way they played in sampras time with today, that federer is no american and because of that wont get the same media hype and also that you never know what the future holds.

When federer showed first his talent in beating sampras at wimbledon there where a lot of articles stating that he got talent but wont be able to show it. What would they say now about that? There always will be comments and articles stating things like that, hopefully he’ll prove they’re wrong as well.

I think federer is a great role model and a fair sportsmen, but he’s not a colourful type or bad boy on the court so the media wont like him as much as other players because it get’s booring for them if there’s no scandal or bad behaviour to write about.

I’d just like to see which records federer is able to beat in the future and if not I still think he’s a great player and human beeing and without articles like this nobody would start to discuss about it.

tennis-4 ever Says:

pete wouldnt have had 14 grand slam if fed was playing in his time.

I dont belive agassi knew how to dell with pete serve that wasnt the case with fed.

I can see fed with the same resulet of the last 3 years as I dont see anyone in pete are that would have beating fed many times, some of pete are he beat like pete himself and some were doen when pete became no1.

do you want to say that rios, kricek and gorn ivansvich were in fed ear as he did beat them you know and has winning recored v those players.

and for the recored: nadal may have the most fans in spain but not over the world, fed is the most love player by far in asia then safin then roddick long long behind safin and then agassi and ndal.

in europe he is the most love, and I pot safin 2 and then maybe nadal but thet not sure.

at the us, the amaricans are thr most loved players and form the non amaricans I will say fed.

in aus the same.

so the madia and sport writers like this 1 try to sell us 1 thing but the facts on the ground are differnt, you can see in all the matches and turments and when there is a serve.

the tennis x wants fed to br heated that why most of their headlines are anti-fed, like what moya sed where was nadal in the headline and the davis cup and so much more, any bad peace of writing about fed the headline it like in must be true.

like “No BALLS WILNDER” AS HE NOW knows, I beat it really hearts him that fed won woimbeldon v nadal with the most prasure no1 as known ever just because of the madia, if it wasnt for that it would have been 3 set.

and did tennis x say anything about nadal easy drow and wimbeldon, nothing, just to hype a player, but than says fed draw was easy because he won the matchs in covincing way. so he sould have played for you 5 sets all matches untill the final do be a hard draw and because the way he won, the other player didnt make a fitht they never do v fed as you see it, they only player that ever fought were those who played sampras and nadal, right.

give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and the problem isnt that you think he wont get 6 time no 1. that doesnt mean a lot for me, the problem his with the arguments you gime to beack-up your couments, yoy try to pot down fed achivement in the cover in this article ant this is the biace of the us madia, and sampras lovers, more then sampras lovers i would say is amrican winner winners that cants stant that the best ever in the end will not be amarican, those are the fect.

JCF Says:

Nadal is so far ahead of #3, and yet Fed is so far ahead of #2 Nadal. He has a big enough margin that even if he got injured and had to miss 1/3 of the season he’d still have a good chance of beating Nadal to #1.

So I can’t really see injury as what will stop him from reaching 6 year end #1′s.

Arun Says:


I guess you must be professional writer,What is more appaling is how come a seasoned writer can make such a silly allegation. I am surprised plz make your facts correct before going after someone…Whole ATP ratings are completely opposite than that of sampras era…Sampras had the luxury of carrying ATP points from previous year & I hop[e you are aware now adays it starts fresh from the beginning of the year…It only shows your frustration to highlight sampras vis-a-vis Federer atleast on one stastics…Hmm disappointing !!!!!

Bonitto Says:

Arun you are not making any sense, the whole ATP system was change in 2000, so go read your post again – it has nothing to do with who is who, if you get my drift.

federe fan Says:

I think federer is the greatest. Pete was a good player I am not disagreeing inthat but federer is to good and he is the best. Federer is obviously greater taht pete no arguments on that. This editor has not knowledge about tennis if he did he would’nt have made this comment at all.

roger Says:

Shut up you editor. What do you think about your self. Are you insain federer is greater than pete

GopiB Says:

Even if Roger is not as freakishly lucky as Pete was, chances are he will win 14 slams, perhaps a few more.

But who says that winning 14 slams makes you the best player so far?

By any objective measure, you would have to argue Rod Laver is the greates tennis player at this time. He won 11 slams, and 2 GRAND SLAMS. The fact that no one ever else even won a single slam shows – regardless what technology was used, or what kind of competition existed – shows what a stupendoous accomplishment it was. On top of it Laver could not even compete in slams for a number of years. But he is an Australian.

Sampras is a great player for sure – on three surfaces. But he was mediocre at best on Clay. In some 12 attempts he only reached French semis just once. Never made it to finals. Never won, ofcourse. How could you make an argument that he is the player that Federer should be compared to?
Only because he is an American and Laver is not?

What happens when Roger wins 14 slams. Then the benchmark I am sure will change to 6 year end #1s, a purely arbitrary and bogus metric. Because by then Roger would have passed the 160 straight weeks at #1 and possibly 286 weeks at #1 lifetime (the true #1 records)

I am not against Pete’s fans thinking he was the greatest (just as Roger’s fans think he’s the greatest). But what is unfair and uncalled for is the cynical way Roger’s accomplishments are put down (not much competition), and how nefarious hopes are harboured that he get injured just so Pete’s records stay in tact.

It is high time we inject Laver into this greatest of all time debate.

Nick Says:

Sampras was freakishly lucky, I agree.

Laver was greater than Sampras, I agree. So was Borg. Was Laver the greatest? Hard to tell, because 3 of the 4 slams were played on grass then. And the competition was lesser. But he couldn’t play for so many years, otherwise he might have had 20 slams!! So its tough to discuss Laver.

If Fed can win the French, then I think he should be considered greater than Laver. Till then, Fed should be compared to Borg and Sampras. And lets not forget Lendl!

Isn’t it strange, that of these players, only Sampras is talked about as the greatest player by the American media. not even Borg. he reitred early too. Its no coincidence that Sampras is the only American in the mix. Lendl wasn’t born here, that’s why he is sidelined.

I tell you, you put all these players together at their peak, make them play head to head on all surfaces, and Sampras will come out last!

GopiB Says:

I am a great fan of Borg also.

From Wikipedia: “he won 41 percent of the Grand Slam singles tournaments he entered (11 out of 27) and 89.8 percent of the Grand Slam singles matches he played. Both are male open era records.” He is highly regarded with his feats and many do consider him (one of) the best.

From above, I’d put Borg in the list of greatest grand slam champions of all time. Sampras belongs in this list also. So do Lendl(19 finals), Agassi, Federer and Laver. I’d hate not to see McEnroe there, particularly with his doubles titles.

Greatest Tennis Player of all time is a category on to itself. You’d put only COMPLETE players here. They are also COMPLETE champions – on and off the court.

In addition to winning a bunch of slams, you need to be a great all court player to begin with. You have to be able to dominate opposition in your era for a long period of time(shown by how long you can stay at #1 continuously). You have to be a global citizen – play all over the world. You may think I am adding attributes of Federer here, but if you don’t take the time (let alone enjoy it) to take care of the media (who are crucially responsible for promoting the sport) you definitely don’t belong in the greatest player list. Federer doesn’t simply “manage” the media as almost all top athletes do. He interacts with them at a very common man level – without worrying about his image, the myriad risks of opening up too much. This is simply unheard of in modern times.

Borg was great but enigmatic – simply dropped off letting down the whole tennis world (Sweden should learn from US how better to support its players). He was a genius, but his offcourt handling of things doesn’t make him a complete champion.

Plus his snubbing of Australian Open. If you are a true great you compete in all grand slams. Lendl, Agassi, Connors, McEnroe also paid the price – Lendl and Agassi snubbing Wimbledon only to repent later, for example. Pete recognized the importance of playing in all grandslams and should be credited. Unfortunately, he did not have the game for Clay.

Also only two players come to mind recently in terms of using their fame for the betterment of the world. Federer and Agassi. Like Bill Gates, they didn’t wait until they are ripe old seniles to give something back to society. The best time to give back is NOW, when the media is following you.

With the above considerations, if you ask yourself who at 26 was the most complete player and champion of all time, that accolade should go to Roger Federer hands-down. He is also unmatched in his genius, his artistry, his wisdom well beyond his age.

nick Says:


Well, I am almost in agreement with you. I appreciate and admire the off court stuff, though I wouldn’t count it in this debate. But that’s a personal opinion.

Regarding the Aussie open, every top player (except australians) snubbed the Aus open until the mid 80s. So all previous players (borg, connors, mcenroe) would have had more slams, had they playes the Aus open. And Wilander wouldn’t have won it on grass!! From that angle, though I admire Agassi, he really won only 4 titles at the US, Wimby, and French put together. Borg has 11, sampras 12.

The statistics across eras are difficult to compare. But from the mid 80s onwards, the statistics are pretty comparable.

I find Borg’s feat of 6 french, 5 wimby’s and 4 US finals bigger than Sampras’s feats. Especially since Borg had to face Connors and Mcenroe at THEIR peak. ALL his US open finals losses were to these two guys – both american, playing on home court.

In contrast, Sampras has 7 Wimbys (didn’t really face a Mcenroe at his peak), 5 US opens (didn’t face a connors, mcenroe, lendl at all) – and a zip (big zip – he is 24-13 lifetime at the french, compared to 49-2 for Borg) at the french. Plus all the favors Pete got in terms of match scheduling at the US open (including the most blatant one in 2002, when his match was postponed just because he had played a long match against rusedski the previous day!!! shame on the USTA).

So really, if you objectively compare, Borg is above Sampras.

Laver is a different story, and tougher to compare.

However, Fed’s domination since 2004 is unprecendented. Even tiger woods has never won 8 slams in 3 years. Not there yet, but Fed is likely to become the greatest ever, by a clear margin. In terms of pure game, he IS the greatest ever.

And Sampras wasn’t even sporting. he is always giving backhanded comments. Even now he keeps on “suggesting” that he would have “handled” Federer. Well, he had his chance, at his favorite court, and lost it. Looser.

Freakishly lucky. Freakishly lucky. I don’t think ANY tennis players resume is SO MUCH better than them.

Jose Brito Says:

Michael Chang (another American) just stuck his head up his ass again. He said ” Fed is up there with the greatest” – what a redundant comment. its like saying – federer can play tennis. Then he said “things would have been different for him if he had played in Pete’s era (sic)”. Well, why doesn’t he say that things would have been different for Pete if he had Federer around?? Just because Sampras is American? Then he says – there are no true serve and volleyers around. Does he know why? Doesn’t he know that racquet technology along with fitter players, coupled with the slower and bouncier grass at wimbledon, has made serve and volley impossible to play? I don’t care if mcenroe or becker were around – serve and volleyers just can’t survive with today’s technology. If pete had been playing today, he would have won 4 slam titles, not 14. The baseliners are just too strong!

Why do americans and american players continue to say – oh, there is less competition today. what a bunch of sore losers, with their panties all tied up in a bunch.

It is impossible for competition today to be any less than 10 years ago. If at all, there is more competition today. Tennis is actively played in over 100 countries, there are more people playing today then 10 years ago. Players are fitter, there is more access to coaching through academies, there’s more money in the sport so more people are making it a career, world population is higher, so more people to select from – then how the heck can anyone say that competition is lower?

A phenomenal guy called Fed showed up, wiped everyone off the face of the court – that’s why nobody else is winning that much. Unless tennis as a sport was in decline (quite the contrary), Fed faces MORE competition today than Pete faced 10 years ago.


Nick Says:

Tiger Woods said this yesterday on Jay Leno – “winning 6 tour titles in a row in 2006 was tougher than it was in 1999-00, since the competition has gotten tougher – due to technology, players are driving longer. they are fitter and training harder”.

Same thing has happened in tennis. The Sampras of 1999 would not win today. Competition is tougher for Fed than it was for Sampras. THat is natural, its bound to happen. So stop saying the opposite, as its stupid.

Joey E. Says:

“with Marcelo Rios breathing down his neck at No. 2 on the rankings”

wow. you are right mister yuck, sampras did face stronger competition. (he said sarcastically while looking up the bio of a marginal player)

rios retired with 18 career wins. that’s one more than alex corretja. who? exactly.

Bonitto Says:

How can Borg be the greatest and won only two of the slams?? but Pete who three is not, does that make sense to you?? well I have to wonder here, really I have to.

Bonitto Says:

Jose Brito, tennis is in decline my friend, take a look around and see how many people are watching Federer today, and Micheal Chang is not wrong you are, competition is much weaker today than the 90′s, so take your head out of the sand will you.

You is the one who needs to shut up.

Bonitto Says:

And another thing Jose Brito, more competition doesn’t mean better competition, think about that will you.

GopiB Says:

This thing about USTA doing some things to favor some players and some in detriment of others need to be looked at. An independent tennis commision needs to look at the scheduling of matches at all slams. And draws too!

If the schedule is not done in a fair manner, then the whole credibility of the tournament comes into play.

To me US Open the greatest tournament, as I enjoy the atmosphere and the night tennis. I would like it to do scheduling in an open, fair and transparent manner, and not wield to political or partisan pressures

GopiB Says:

Here is an excerpt from the below fascinating article:

“In Sunday’s Madrid Masters final, against Fernando Gonzales, who is world No.10 if you please, Roger Federer won his 17th 6-0 set of the year. In 1994, when Sampras won 10 titles, he had four 6-0 sets”

Isn’t that a telling stat? Is there any argument as to who is more dominant?

GopiB Says:

It looks like the above statistic silenced all critics.

Because anyway you look at it the logic leads you to the fact Federer’s accomplishments are far greater than those of Sampras.

At first, the 17 6-0 sets will give ammunition to Pete’s fans that there is no competition to Federer today.

But let’s assume Federer did not exist. You would have Nadal with 2 Grandslams, Rodddick with 1 GS, and Bagdatis with 1 GS in 2006. The master’ series would have been split among many players. Guess what the whole world would be crowing about? That tennis was never stronger!!!

Now see the picture with Federer added. He beats this very same bunch of talented champions. He dominates the ATP tour comprising of hundreds of world class players and making them seem like a bunch of junior players.

But isn’t that exactly what you’d expect with the greatest tennis player that ever lived?

Case closed.

Billy Says:

The most talented/gifted players of all time are:


in that order.

The most dominant players of all time are:


in that order.

There is no doubt that Borg, Laver and Federer are better than Sampras. Not even close.

McEnroe, Connors and Sampras make up 4 through 6.

In fact, when you look at the polyvalence of all the records that Federer is breaking, the case can be made that Federer is not only the most dominant tennis player of all time, but the most dominant atlete of all time, better than Tiger, Jordan or Babe Ruth. Only Wayne Gretzky (and Borg) are in the same league.

If Federer does what he has done the last three years for the next three, there will be no argument. He will have probably broken EVERY record in tennis, from the most trivial to the most important. He is simultaneously attacking Sampras’, McEnroe’s, Lendle’s and Connors records (all very different) in only 3 years and he already has records of his own that will probably never be broken. Look at the stats. It’s sick!

Billy Says:

About the article.

Harping on a fabricated record of 6 years at #1 to somehow imply that Sampras is better than Federer (or Borg, Laver, Lendle, Connors or McEnroe for that matter) is weak because:

The rules have changed. Even so, Sampras is LUCKY that it is not 5 years vs. four for Fed right now. If Federer could carry forward points from years prior he’d stay at #1 if he took two years off!

Look at consecutive weeks at #1. Look at total weeks at #1. Look at winning percentage. Look at grand slams. Look at tournaments won. Look at ranking points accumulated. Look at performance in finals and sets dropped in tournaments. These are the benchmarks. Federer is likely to break all of these records (except for Connor’s) in the next 4 years.

His only comparaison is Borg. They are the two greatest geniuses in tennis. Sampras is a cave dweller who got lucky and hyped compared to these guys.

TejuZ Says:

if u think Pete’s six year end No 1 makes him greatest.. where does that leave Borg??

look at the current entry points for Fed..its above 8000, no-one before had even scored 7000.. Sampras for that matter had a highest points below 6000.

Even if u think competition is weak, one still has to be consistent and an at top of his game to rake up that many points.. and do that for 3 years is nothin short of GREAT.

Fed has reahed at the Semis of his last 10 consecutive GS, winning 7 of them

Aleman Says:

Yes, indeed, those who love Sampras so much, and think he is so much better than Federer, give Federer VERY LITTLE CREDIT FOR HIS CONSISTENCY. It takes consistency to be number 1 for such a long time, and have so many ATP points from the rest of the competition, the way Federer does. Day in and day out, Federer’s consistency is just awesome.

FloridaMan Says:

Federer will eclipse Connors’ record of longest streak at #1, at the end of next month.

Denver Says:

Tim Henman and Andre Agassi also played against both Sampras and Federer, yet they both claim Federer is the best they ever played against. For every Moya who claims Pete is the best, there are 2 or 3 others who say the opposite.

GarySan Says:

this is so retarded. It doesn’t matter what the greats think, it’s totally different. The reason why players say Federer is not in Sampras league is because Sampras was just more of a dominating power player that forced the opponent to play his game. While Federer played an all court game that is currently trashing everybody EVEN IF HE PLAYS BAD. In another words, you can’t even compare the two. Different era different style, pfft “past greats”, just fuck off. What? Yous want Federer to win 6-0 6-0 6-0 every game for you to consider him as best of all time? Why don’t people like Moya etc try to use their brains and think about it for a bit.

shahid Says:

i am a sampras fan and have been for a long time, but i cant help but admire roger federer. pete was the better athlete, more powerful serve and quicker gettin to the the net and playing a drop shot or volley. he was able to make a shot when it looked impossible with a diving shot that showed him to be a true athlete. however roger has a more variety of shots from different angles and is able to turn a defence shot into an attacking one. he plays with a certain ease and has a deadly touch and is technically a better player. i think it is too close to say who is the better player. at the moment i would say it would have to be sampras but if nadal can prove to be a true great (which we dont know yet)and still be outclassed by federer on most grand slam surfaces then federer would have a real chance to be hailed as the better player. sampras dominated legends such as agassi,rafter and becker and at this moment federer is not facing the same kind of competition. if and when federer faces players of this quality and dominates them, then he will be the better player. until that day comes sampras is the better player purely because of the calibre of his opponents. federer’s real opponents roddick, hewitt etc. have lacked consistency and nadal is the only real competition that he has faced and nadal is not anywhere near his peak and is still developing on other surfaces. put it simply federer will be the better player if he can dominate a clutch of all surface playing greats, until then sampras is better

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