More on Federer v. Sampras
by Sean Randall | October 12th, 2006, 2:43 pm
  • 380 Comments

It’s a slow day at the office, so I’ve been cruising around the message boards, and reading the comments, and naturally the big debates rages on with Federer vs. Sampras in the greatest of all-time match-up, or the GOAT as they say. I stated my case for a few weeks back, and if you haven’t read it I basically said that Roger still has some work to do. But he’ll get there and become the GOAT.

Now for many of you, especially you Federphiles, you guys say your guy is already there. He’s already the greatest. And I can see where you are coming from. If that’s what you think, so be it.  I have my criteria and you have yours. But if you think he’s already done enough, won enough titles, set enough records, I with you on that.

But what I’m not with on is that many of you Fed freaks argue that part of your guy being the GOAT is that Pete played in a time with little depth/competition, players not being at their peak and players having little in the way variety and fitness. In my mind, that’s complete garbage.

When I look back just ten years ago, at the year-end Top 10 of 1996 when Pete finished No. 1 I see seven Hall of Fame players. To refresh, here’s the 1996 Top 10: Sampras, Chang, Kafelnikov, Ivanisevic, Muster, Becker, Krajicek, Agassi, Enqvist and Ferreira. Maybe you Fed freaks see fewer, but I see at least seven.

Now when I check this week’s Top 10, I see three, maybe four among Federer, Nadal, Ljubicic, Nalbandian, Davydenko, Roddick, Robredo, Blake, Baghdatis, Gonzalez. Obviously Federer, Nadal and Roddick get in. Maybe Baghdatis and maybe Blake if he can get a Slam.

Again, Fed freaks, you say it’s tougher now so show me more? Is Davydenko, Robredo or Ljubicic going to the Hall?? Even if they won a Slam are they really worthy players?

Let me ask you this then, of the current Top 10, how many of them would have been in the 1996 year-end Top 10?

In my mind, I see Federer, Nadal, Roddick and maybe Blake. Fed probably No. 1, Nadal maybe No. 3 and Roddick around No. 8.

But if you think Roger’s facing stiffer competition, then again you got more current guys in there than guys from 1996. So then explain how Robredo is better than Muster, how Davydenko better than Kafelnikov, Ljubicic better than Ivanisevic or even Roddick better than Krajicek. Does Nalbandian really kill Chang at the French? Or Blake kill Becker at the US Open? I don’t see it, but apparently many of you guys do.

Oh wait, I hear you guys say, but it’s deeper now. Yeah, it is. But a decade ago when you get deep into a tournament you run into Hall of Fame players. Now you run into Tommy Robredo or Mikhail Youzhny or Nikolay Davydenko, Ivan Ljubicic and Fernando Gonzalez. Not exactly the cream of the crop when you think of guys who can win and do win big matches.

Meanwhile back in the day, Pete was dealing a lot more with guys who won Slams. Guys who knew how to win. The only guys Roger deals with that mentality are Rafa, Andy, Lleyton and Marat, with the last two perpetually injured of late.

But Federer fans somehow are willing to argue that beating Davydenko in the US Open semifinalist would be tougher than say Kafelnikov. Yeah, I’m sure Roger would rather have played Yevgeny, or Boris or Krajicek in the US Open semis than Davydenko. Whatever…

And with so many guys unable to pull out the big win, it’s no wonder “journeyman” type players like Paul Goldstein, Justin Gimelstob, Fabrice Santoro, and even Jonas Bjorkman are still plugging away and even able to post some of their best career results.
Is Jonas Bjorkman better now than when he was 10 years ago. Or is everybody so bad on grass he’s able to get to the semifinals at Wimbledon this year?

As for the argument players are strong and fitter now, well, they are. So what. I play tennis and if I worked out 8 hours a day two straight months It doesn’t automatically make me a better tennis player, or golfer or basketball player. Maybe I can run quicker and/or hit the ball harder, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be a better tennis player, does it? Sure it will help, it should, but it’s no guarantee. I’m not going to volley better, or hit my backhand crisper or return better. So I’m not totally buying that argument.

And I also don’t buy that players have more variety now. If they do, tell me how the current Top 10 has more variety than the Top 10 of 1996. In 1996 I see three guys who did the serve/volley pretty well in Sampras, Becker and Krajicek, and another in Kafelnikov who definitely knew a thing or two about volleying. But you Fed freaks claim the current crop is more skilled and has more variety? Well, show me, because I don’t see three guys let alone two that have the skills of the boys 10 years ago. But I must be wrong.

I’ve also heard the “Pete couldn’t play on clay” argument. I’m down with that, he was nothing special on the dirt. But the guy did have some nuts. Let me ask you Fed freaks this, how many former French champs has Roger beaten at Roland Garros. Answer: One, that being Carlos Moya. At the 1996 French Open, Pete beat Bruguera and Courier – both former French champs – in five sets. Bruguera by the way also reached the French final the following year. Not bad. Roger of course got dusted by Kuerten a few years back along with his losses to Nadal.

Of course Pete also won the Davis Cup on clay against Russia. So he’s had some pretty big wins on the dirt, far bigger than anything Roger’s done up to this point on clay. Or maybe I’m wrong again. Maybe Roger’s had some huge clay wins like Pete, but I’ve simply forgotten them. So fill me in if you can, I’m all ears. Give me some big match clay wins for Roger.

Bottom line for me is Roger’s going to go down as the greatest. So Fed freaks you are probably going to get your wish, it’s going to happen. So until then settle down and quit getting worked up when someone says otherwise. And quit bagging on Pete and his career, the guy beat some pretty fantastic players, go see for yourself or watch some old tapes. Above all Federphiles, quit going insane over this subject, take your meds and just let it play out. Roger would probably be the first to agree with that. It promises to be fun…


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380 Comments for More on Federer v. Sampras

MOHAMMED Says:

Sean,I have been a big tennis fan since the past 2 decades and I have to say that pete sampras was the biggest reason for my interest in the sport.Naturally,I’ve always held a grudge against Federer for beating Sampras at Wimbledon and I could and never have been able to forget that day.I’m also frustated with Federer’s dominance in tennis,but that is not to say I don’t acknowledge his achievments and his impact on the tennis world.But I have to say,your analysis on the whole sampras-federer comparison was just the exact objective analysis I was looking forward to in time when all people talk about is how federer keeps winning.What they fail to understand is that as great a player he is,he really has not been challenged by his opponents.The only one who really challenges him is Nadal,against whom he has a 2-6 record.No doubt Federer has all the shots and he really possesses the whole artillery of a perfect tennis player,but the level of competition around him is just really falling and the opponents who play against him aren’t really high quality players,atleast not over a period of time as far as consistency is concerned.Look at Roddick,here today,gone tomorrow.So I think your analysis was very much needed in a time when all people can talk about how lame sampras looks in comparison to federer.


nick Says:

Sean,

Your post is full of erroneous/twisted statements.

First, your stupid American bias. You see Roddick in the hall of fame, and even blake, but not baghdatis. Why? what has roddick done, just one slam, and he’s 24? what has blake done – not even a grand slam semi, and he’s 26. baghdatis is 20 and has a slam final and a semi already. Its too early to count him out, especially if you count blake in.

yes, nalbandian WILL kill Chang at the french. Are you kidding me? Chang won one french in 1989 (barely), then never came close.

regarding becker, don’t be so stupid as to count him as Pete’s adversary. pete never faced becker at his prime. Becker’s prime was 85-91, maybe 93. Pete peaked after that. At their peak? they would split matches on grass, but becker would smoke Pete on other surfaces.

Agassi? for personal issues, he goofed off, was almost not there from 96-98, when Pete made hay.

Fed’s record on clay? He won hamburg masters THRICE. He smoked Gaudio (french open champ) 6-0 6-0. He has smoked EVERY SINGLE clay court champion (Moya, Ferrero, gaudio, Coria, etc.) regularly on CLAY. Pete has a losing record even to bruguera on clay. And he’s only half done yet.

Becker and Agassi are the only “great” players in the top 10 in 1996. but becker was WAY past his prime, and Agassi goofed off. So what competition are you talking about? Even Leander Paes has a winning record against Pete Sampras. On hard courts. Straight sets.

As for fitness, it DOES make you a better player. Look at Nadal. he is world no 2 JUST because of his fitness. What are you smoking Sean? You will volley better, return better, hit forehands better if you are fitter. Especially at grand slams, where its best of 5. You kidding me?

Even tiger woods says sports are tougher today than even six years ago (he was refering to golf of course).

Nobody is saying Fed is already the greatest ever. But everyone IS saying that Sampras is DEFINITELY not the greatest ever. And his career was over long time ago, so that debate is over.

Bottomline, you american nuts have to stop being so biased, and give players like Laver, Borg, Lendl, and now federer their due.

Sean, if you are really honest about what you say, then how do YOU rank Sampras compared to Laver, Borg and Lendl? Leave fed out, he’s not done yet.

Just these four – Laver, Borg, Lendl, Sampras. What your ranking? Do you have the guts to put your money where your mouth is? Lets see.

My ranking? exactly the way I have written above. Laver, Borg, Lendl, Sampras. Fed is right now in the middle of that pack, likely to get to the top.

Laver, Borg, Lendl – they would smoke Sampras overall if they all played best of 5 with each other three times each – one on grass, clay and hard each.

So lets hear it Sean. Lets see what you are made of – objectivity, or stupid american bias?


Sean Randall Says:

Nick, what am I smoking? How about what are you smoking?? Maybe I need some of that, or better yet, maybe I dont.

As for Andy, sorry to burst your bubble but Roddick’s in the HOF. Like it or not, When you win a Slam and finish the year No. 1, you are in. Roddick could lose every match the rest of his life and he’d still get in. That plaque is already engraved. Sorry.

Regarding Baghdatis, I agree, he’s definately a guy that could get in, and if you read my post more carefully you would have noticed that I mentioned that.

I do say Blake has a chance at the Hall if he can win a Slam. He’s got a great comeback story, people like him, he’s a nice kid, carries himself well and he grew up pretty close to the Hall, so all those things would help his cause. I wouldn’t bet on it happening, but I’m just saying.

You mentioned Becker wiping Pete all over the court. I won’t get into that, but all the garbage about Pete playing guys who weren’t at their peak is just that, garbage. Does that mean Fed is playing everyone at their peak? Did he just beat Henman in Tokyo when Henman was at his Peak?? What about Roddick? Was he peaking when Fed beat him at the Open?? How about Andre at the Open last year. Are you going to tell me Andre was at his peak at age 35 when Fed, 10 years younger, needed four sets to beat him???

Peak, off-peak, I don’t freaking know and I never will. All I know Boris back in the early-mid 90s was a tough out. In fact, if you took the time to look it up, you would have seen Boris reached the final at 95 Wimbledon, the SF at the 95 US Open and then won the 96 Australian Open. Sounds like he was still pretty good.

Same for Andre. A year after reaching two Slam finals (he won the Aussie), Agassi reached two more Slam SFs in 1996. And that’s while he goofing off. Whatever…

Thanks for pointing out Roger’s excellent clay results, something I didn’t really get into much. I did write that Pete was nothing great on court, but I added that he came through in some pretty big matches on dirt, something I have yet to see from Roger on clay.

Roger’s no doubt won some big clay titles, but he hasn’t had that big win at the French in my mind. Nalbandian would have been it this year but the guy flamed out.

Regarding fitness, you show me how doing wind sprints will help keep my racquet up when I volley. Or help with my nerves. Or help me hit an ace down match point. (Maybe I do need to smoke what you smoke)

And as far as guys like Tiger Woods (and there have been others) saying that their sport is tougher now than ever due to technology, fitness, strength, etc. Of course you are going to hear that, what are they suppose to say? It’s weak and I dominate because it is weak. Whether it’s true or not, no player who’s still in the game and dominating is going to say that their sport is weaker now. Never.

And I can’t end, Nick, without giving you my American-biased Top 5 of the “modern era” (sorry Rocket!). 1) Pete, 2) Roger, 3) Borg, 4) Lendl, 5) Agassi.

There ya have it. That’s what I’m made of.


Mike Metzin Says:

Pete never reached the French Open finals in 13 tries. Fed reached the finals at FO once in 7 tries. Fed also won the Hamburg Masters 3 times. So they are not big wins?

Is only a tough 5 setter counted as a big win? Looks like Sampras bias to me.


Leo Says:

I am a huge Fed fan. But I do think that as of now, Pete/Laver are the greatest. Rog still has some work. Let him get there.

But as for the assertion that the competition was stiffer 10 years ago, that is just bogus! Am I to believe that 10 years on the competition has gotten worse? How warped is that? Instead of improving, tennis players are regressing?

Also, as of 1996, Becker was past his prime. Agassi (didn’t he win like half his slams after 1999?) was in Brooke Shields land, Kafelnikov and Ivanisevic had not even won a slam. So if Ljubicic and Nalbandian were to win slams in the next few years, wouldn’t that whole point about 1996 having more hall of famers be moot?

Is it not possible that if it weren’t for Rog, Andy/Lleyton/Safin/Marcos and perhaps a few others would have already won more slams? Check out the number of times that Rog has had to go through Lleyton and Safin and Andy and even Andre to win his slams.

I think comparing players from 2 eras is tough.. but to say that 10 years on the competition in the ATP is only worse, is not very astute.


tm Says:

Regarding fitness, you show me how doing wind sprints will help keep my racquet up when I volley. Or help with my nerves. Or help me hit an ace down match point. (Maybe I do need to smoke what you smoke)

If your fit..the mental part becomes easier. It’s late in the 5th set and you know you can track down every ball..HUGE mental edge. You dont have to go for broke because you cant stay in 5-6 ball rallies.


Leo Says:

Sean, I love this one from you:

>>
Oh wait, I hear you guys say, but it’s deeper now. Yeah, it is. But a decade ago when you get deep into a tournament you run into Hall of Fame players. Now you run into Tommy Robredo or Mikhail Youzhny or Nikolay Davydenko, Ivan Ljubicic and Fernando Gonzalez. Not exactly the cream of the crop when you think of guys who can win and do win big matches.
>>

Just FYI, here’s a who’s who list of Pete’s oponents in semis/finals of slams that he has won:
Alexander Volkov, Todd Martin, Cedric Pioline, Todd Woodbridge, Valdimir Voltchkov, Scheng Schlaken (sp?).

If that ain’t a murderer’s row of tennis players, I don’t know what is!


joe Says:

I think that Pete could probably take Federer in a match but it would have to be by the end of 07. After seeing Pete giving a lesson to Roddick last month I think he has still got it. Even though it was an exo Roddick was pissed after the match because he got a beating. I know that Roger is another story but I would love to see them go at. I don’t think Roger would do it as he would have everything to lose and nothing to gain.


Ron Says:

I think the debate you guys are having is great–and as a fellow avid tennis fan, I appreciate all the comments, biased or not…bias is human, inescapably.

That said, I think this debate could use a dose of objectivity, and to my mind the greatest objective statement here is what the overwhelming majority of greats, including Americans Andre Agassi and John McEnroe, are saying: Roger Federer is either already or will end up being recognized as the greatest player of all time, period.

I feel certain if all the greatest living tennis players were to rate Sampras v. Federer, even when Fed has not yet matched Sampras’ majors record, the overwhelming majority, without hesitation, would sing Federer, in chorus, hands down.

And for my part I believe the reason for this is the sheer beauty of Federer’s virtuousity on the court–the likes of which have never been seen in tennis, or possibly in any sport…. Other athletes who come to mind: Ali, Bobby Jones, Jim Thorpe, and, yes, Tiger Woods. Federer transcends tennis. I loved Sampras, but I do not ever remember Becker, Agassi, Borg, Lendl or any other Hall of Famer debating whether he would go down as the greatest in history.

That level of accolade, at least among the greatest players in the game so far, is reserved exclusively for Roger–and THAT is saying not just something, but in my mind, all that HAS to be said to render any “debate” moot.


Ananth Says:

I think, just by looking at the kind of shots Fed can come up with, at difficult times, and so consistently, one can figure out, why he has to be termed, “the “greatest tennis player there ever has been.


Thomas Says:

Sean, I must say I agree with Nick. I would definitely rank Borg ahead of any competition. The guy played professional tennis for like, 8 years and the amzing part is that he achieved so much during those years that he’s constantly mentioned as one of the greatest. If he wouldn’t have quit tennis at the tender age of 25 something he would have set all-time records that only Fed would be able to break. If we’re going to talk about the “greatest of all time” we mustn’t forget about for how many years the tennis player was actually active + the winning percentage (wins/tournaments), number of slams, the rest of the competition at that particular time etc. SO to sum up: I too want to give you some of my very European-biased view of the greatest: 1) Borg 2) Fed (and the rest can just sod off;-)


nick Says:

Sean Randall,

Peter greater than Borg, Lendl and Laver? You are nuts. Ignorant American bias. Even leaving fed out of the debate. What a coincidence – borg, lendl, laver are not american, sampras is american. Wow. How far will you guys go.

Regarding fitness, you still haven’t answered my question – how do you explain Nadal? The guy has NOTHING except he can run for 10 hours and get everything back. That has propelled him to a clear world no 2. So how can you say fitness doesn’t improve your tennis? What a joke. This is not chess, and even in chess fitness can matter. Saying that fitness doesn’t help your tennis game is the biggest crap I have ever heard.

You still need to tell me what you are smoking Sean.


nick Says:

Sean,

Pete greater than lendl? You are nuts. Lendl had 94 singles titles, Pete 64. Lendl had over 1000 ATP match wins, Pete 762. 8 consecutive US open finals. 19 grand slam finals. And you know why he lost 11 of those? Because he played Borg, Connors, wilander, mcenroe, becker, pat cash for those finals, ALL AT THEIR PEAK. Compare that to Sampras’s opponents (cedric pioline? ha ha). 270 weeks at world no 1, through the 80s, when all these great players were at their peak. Plus he dominated the mid-end 80s almost like Federer, inspite of having to play becker, edberg, wilander at their peak. Reached every grand slam final at least twice (agassi is the only one else to do it, other than Laver).

You kidding me Pete is greater than Lendl? what a joke. guys like you would probably rate james blake higher than lendl just because he is american.


ben Says:

I gotta say, I think everyone here has a very good point. First of all, how can you say Nadal has nothing except for fitness? Fitness is an essential part of any sport that’s gonna improve how your game. But! Fitness is not what improves your volleys, it’s what allows you to hit a good volley consistently for hours. You can’t become top 100 in the world with just fitness, and especially not number 2. Nadal generally has top 20 talented, and the kid is obviously very talented. But his fitness is definetly what puts him at number 2 instead of number 22. As for who is the GOAT? As of right now it’s Sampras. I think in time Federer will definetly be the GOAT, but right now it’s still Sampras. And no I don’t have an American bias. I prove that by saying I don’t like Agassi, despite what he has done for the sport I don’t think his tennis achievements were as great as a lot of other players like Borg and Lendl. But what makes Sampras the greatest is his ability to raise his game. He wasn’t the greatest on clay by far, yet he had some huge wins on the surface. I think Federer has this same ability actually: raise his game when it really matters. I mean yeah I think Borg was unbelievable, 11 slams in such a short amount of time, BUT he wasn’t always number 1, and he clearly wasn’t able to raise his game enough to win the U.S. Open. You can’t overlook the 6 years of being number 1. It’s just amazing how consistent he was for so many years. 6/14 years at number 1? There are some good players who didn’t even spend that much time in the top 10. But I still think Federer will break that record.


James Blake Says:

Nick,

You are 100% correct. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Fitness is so key in tennis, and helps in so many ways. I am very fit and look how much it helps me. Especially in five setters.


Ivan Lendl Says:

I am the greatest!!!! period.


Emme Foroe Says:

Quite simply, Federer whipped Apeman’s ass in Wimby. Case Closed.

Apeman’s (aka sampras) mouth was completely agape. Oh, wait a second, his mouth was always hanging open with that tongue sticking out at every serve. No class. Sure he won titles, but no quality.

Agassi said he never played anyone like Federer. That includes sampras. Did sampras ever get to the finals at the French Open? I was impressed with his Davis Cup performance, that never say its over till it is.

Federer has class and talent, and is amazing to watch even if he’s playing a guy like Spadea. Fabulous to watch when he’s beating up Sampras.


musing Says:

Federer’s record against ex-French open champs.

AMS MonteCarlo
2001 R64 beat Chang, Michael (RG chap 1989/Finalist 1995)

AMS Hamburg
2002 Q beat Gustova Kuerten (RG chap 2001/1999)
2004 R64 beat Gaudio (RG chap 2004)
2004 Q beat Moya (RG chap 1999)

AMS Rome
2003 S beat Ferrero ( RG chap 2003)
2004 R32 beat Albert Costa (RG chap 2002)

Gstaad
2003 S beat Gaudio


musing Says:

And those results above were on clay. Can Sampras even compare???


Giner Says:

More fuel to the fire eh?

Sean, being stronger and fitter allows you to endure longer, more physical matches, especially on clay, and hit harder.

There is no way the Beckers, Changs, et al from the past era in their form would have been able to withstand the game the way it is played now by current players. It’s a lot more gruelling, and with the courts slowed down, you have to be fitter just to compete. With all the complaints about Wimbledon’s grass courts getting slower and slower each year, would Pete’s game still have won him 7 wimbledons in this day and age?


Justin Says:

I think we HAVE to listen to the guys who have actually played the sport as a profession. Agassi, Lendl, Chang, McEnroe etc have said Federer is simply the most amazing tennis player they have ever seen. The things he can do and more importantly WIN matches consistently, can only mean he probably the only guy who can GET BETTER. Age 25 is just the BEGINNING (God forbid injuries) Federer has already performed Sampras, IMO. However, I must say that Sampras is had been a WORTHY champion. A great guy especially on the court,

Meanwhile, to ME the greatest player is John McEnroe. 76 singles 78 doubles…and without practicing? Incredible! Sampras, doubles lets see…wait…damn, can’t remember! ;-)


cj Says:

you are the guy that gets us fed fans going by your ridiculous statements continually.is your life so boring that you always have to have a go at roger.just enjoy the game of tennis if you watch or understand it at all.it certainly doesnt sound like it.


maloy Says:

Why can’t you guys just shut the #@*& up? Today belongs to Federer. Yesterday, it was Sampras’. The other day, probably to some other tennis superhero. And tomorrow? Who knows? Maybe it’s gonna be the kid down the street where you guys live. All i know is that they were all great during their primes. Today, it’s Federer’s prime. You can’t compare anyone of them to somebody else because to me they are all super players. And I am not an American.


chris Says:

You have to remember that tennis players now hit
more powerfull shots and look better largely due
to tennis rackets being so much better.

i remember playing with the old rackets and you couldn`t put the amount of spin or power a nadal uses. if you missed the middle you hit a crap shot. Even amateurs can hit better looking more powerfull shots now.

I think if becker or lendl ( for example )with their talent came around now with the new rackets and training they would
look damn good alot of the current players.

Everyones seems obsessed by one wimbeldon match between fed and samp its not much to built a conclusion on.


David Says:

Well, I think Federer is a better player than Sampras. We saw a non-peak Federer play a non-peak Sampras. There were extended moments in that match where both were playing at a level close to their best, yet Federer still managed to treat Sampras’ serve and volley with contempt and did’nt look rushed doing so. I think Sampras was closer to peak in this match than Federer, because after it, Federer was nowhere for 2 years, whereas Sampras went on to win the US Open that year. Having said this, the match was tight and could have gone either way.

If you watch the two in isolation, Sampras is athletic, all hustle and bustle, attacking and aggressive. Federer is athletic, relaxed, smooth and balletic with aggression. To look at the two, Sampras seems like the go-getter, the American hero. Federer, more nonchalant and European. It may appear as if Sampras would prevail if they were to meet at peak because of his very visible aggression, but the astute eye recognizes that Federer, on balance, has more fire power, despite the somewhat deceptive lackadaisical style of his play.

Regarding fitness, maybe Sean does not play tennis. From experience, I can tell you that my technique definitely deteriorates when fatigue sets in and this increases my errors. You cannot move your racket as quickly, you are lethargic moving your feet, bending the knees and getting to balls. I have been so tired at times, it has been difficult to even lift the racket, let alone swing it with vitality. The effect of fatigue on the wrists and ones ability to grip the racket, can also be very debilitating. Fitness is half the game.


nick Says:

Agassi has said repeatedly that Fed is better than Sampras. SO all the Apeman’s fans should shut up.

And if you have ever picked up a tennis racket, you will know the value of fitness. This is not a game played for 15 minutes, where its mainly technique. Its played over 2-4 hours, best of 5 sets, where the ability to SUSTAIN your technique is entirely dependent on fitness.

As for Apemans six “year end no1″ – this has been said before – that statistic is meaningless, what matters is how long a person was number one. For several of those six years, apeman was not no1 for bulk of the year, and nicked and dimed his way to year end no 1 just for the record books.

That’s the difference. Fed doesn’t play for the record books, unlike apeman. Proof? Fed showed up at Shanghai last year on one leg, putting his 24 finals won in a row on the line (and lost the record). Same way at Cincinnati this year – he didn’t pull out becuase he was committed to play, even though he wa close to breaking lendl’s record of 18 consecutive finals (he had reached 17). Again, he put a record on the line, where he could have easily withdrawn. Same thing at Halle this year – he put his grass streak on the line.

Apeman just played for records. He got some, but now all of them will vanish within 5-6 years of his retirement. There is justice afterall.


James Says:

nick,

Buddy, calm down a touch. Apeman? Why the visceral hatred? Did Sampras steal your lunch money in elementary school or something? It’s professional tennis, a spectator sport, a form of entertainment. Smack talk here at tennis-x is fun, and it’s meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek. Remember that.


TD Says:

Sean Randall,

I think all these comments just made your boss really happy ahi?? Or are you just working for free. I mean if you are a proper journalist you would do your research before you make a comment..not wait for “Nick” to point out Fed’s clay court record.

And who cares whether Fed or Pete is the greatest…they both entertained and still entertain us with their talent. And they got paid handsomly for it.

I mean the argument should rather be…do you enjoy watching tennis now or in the by-gone era? if one can answer that question it will tell you why some r Pete fans and some r Fed fans.

Unfortunately for Mr. Lever most of the Internet junkies never got to see him play…Tough for Lever…does any one know a website where we can watch him play?? Sean, may be you can do some research on that…That is if you work for free…:)


Sean Randall Says:

Thanks for all your comments, especially from James and Ivan – nice to have some star power.

Lots and lots of talk about my thoughts fitness. Maybe I wasn’t clear. My point was/is that being fit doesn’t automatically make you a good tennis player. Just because you work out 10 hours a day doesn’t mean you will be a good at tennis or even better at tennis. By all accounts Andy Roddick is a fit guy, but that doesn’t mean he will volley great, does it? Maybe it helps his volleys in the fifth, but overall it’s not like Connors is telling him to work out more so his volley gets better. Thomas Muster was a fit guy, but that doesn’t mean his serve was ever worth a darn.

Yeah, I play tennis. I’m pretty fit. My buddy down the street played soccer in college, now he runs marathons. He’s 10 times fitter than me, and he plays tennis, too. But when we play I beat him easily. Why? I’m just better than him. There’s a lot more to tennis than just being fit.

For those of you that play tennis when you play someone you’ve never played or seen before, and you try to get the scoop on what the guy does good/bad, is the first thing you ask if he’s fit and in shape? Or if he works out?? If he spends a lot of time in the gym??? Do you even ask those questions at all? Of course not. No one does. If I played someone in a tournament I had never played before and I heard he ran marathons and lifted weights do I care? Probably not.

This is tennis. This isn’t bodybuilding or long distance running. There’s a lot between the ears.

So when you Fed freaks argue players are fitter and stronger now then they were, well what the hell does that mean?? What difference does that make?? Who cares??

Pete wasn’t the fittest guy, he just knew how to win. Fed’s probably not the fittest guy, he wins, too. James Blake probably fitter than both, but he can’t seem to win a fifth set. Ya think James’s coach is telling his boy that the reason he keeps losing is five is because he doesn’t spend enough time in the gym?

Do players strategize better now? Do they have more variety now? Do they serve better? Or volley better?

As for Borg, Nick/Thomas, you guys actually bring up a good point. Unfortunately we can’t go by averages (or maybe we can) otherwise Borg with his 11 Slams in 25 events (I think) would be on top. Also to note, the number of times Borg played Australia was zero. That’s right, he never went Down Under as up until the mid 80s or so the Aussie Open was not as important an event as it is now. If Borg were to have played Australia and played another 4-5 years he would have in my mind compiled 17 or maybe more Slams. But that’s a lot of “what ifs…”

Same for Lendl. Guy was great, no doubt, but 11 Slams is 11 Slams.

On the clay topic, I never said Pete was better than Roger on clay. If the two played 10 times at Roland Garros, Roger wins all ten. Maybe Pete serves out his you know what and gets a win, but that’s probably it. My point was that Pete actually had a few big wins of his own on the dirt, give him some credit. Hamburg, Rome, Monte Carlo are all great events, but I guess I would like to see Roger pull out a big win at the French or in D-Cup.

As for those that say I’m coming down on Fed, where have I done that? I’m fully behind Fed, the guy’s a marvel. He’s going to go down as the greatest.

Now, again, I’m not really interested in hearing who’s better between Fed and Pete, but I do want to hear from you Fed freaks as to why you guys say that Pete played in a time of lesser competition, and why it’s tougher now.

So far I got Nick telling me Nalbandian would kill Chang. Nick, I won’t argue (but you should see your doctor more often), I could see it happening for David, but I could also see him choking in five to Chang. Who knows.

As for Giner telling me the “Beckers, Changs, et al” wouldn’t be able to handle today’s power game. Well, sure looks like Andre handled it pretty well. Santoro handled it. Hell, Jonas Bjorkman is ranked at the same spot he was 12 years ago. He obviously could handle it. So I’m sure Becker, Chang, et al wouldn’t have had too much problem adapting to guys hitting it harder.

I also got Leo doing some homework of his own showing me that Pete played a bunch “patsies” en route to a few of his Slams. That’s fair, and it’s accurate.

But show me more of how the current Top 10 is better than 10 years ago.

As I questioned to you folks in my original post, “… of the current Top 10, how many of them would have been in the 1996 year-end Top 10?”


ranjona Says:

This argument is fun, but silly. Yes, Sampras was great. Yes, he has a phenomenal 14 grand slam titles. Yes, he never won the French.
Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl were all great. Heck, why leave out Perry, Lacoste, Emerson, Tillden, Budge, anyone on that list.
What seems fascinating about Federer however is the sheer breadth, depth and height of his game. It is as if he combines the best of everything in one package. Whether he is the greatest of all time is one of those academic questions that only posterity can answer. He certainly seems to be heading that way. Why not enjoy the ride instead of taking it all so personally?
By the way, what is all this nationalistic nonsense? I’m Indian, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to claim that Sania Mirza is greater than Maria Sharapova or Martina Hingis or whoever. Great tennis ought to be without nationality, outside perhaps the Olympics and the Davis and Fed Cups.


nick Says:

Sean Randall,

you just mentioned above – “Same for Lendl. Guy was great, no doubt, but 11 Slams is 11 Slams.”

get your facts right. Lendl won 8 slams. Not 11.

Do you know ANYTHING about tennis???

Fitness is obviously not the only thing in tennis. Or in any other sport. Mental toughness and Skill are equally important. However, given the same level of mental toughness and skill level, when you increase fitness, your tennis game will improve. In case you didn’t understand this point before (as it appears) – that’s what everyone is saying. Not that fitness is the only thing. Go back and read the posts. Someone mentioned that Nadal would be 22, not ranked 2, but for his super fitness. You need a lot of skill and mental toughness to be 22, which he has (to be 22nd). However, fitness is what has brought him from 22nd to 2nd (he actually has the mental toughness also, just not the skill level of a world no 2). That’s how the increased level of fitness today, compared to 10 years ago, and raised the level of the game, all else being the same. Got it? Its English buddy, quite simple.

There are just too many incorrect and distorted statements in your various posts. I have pointed out some. Here’s one more, AGAIN, since you can’t seem to get it.

Becker was NOT at his peak after 1992-93. Ya, he won his last slam in 1996 (Aus open). But Sampras won his last slam in 2002. Would you say that Sampras was at his peak then? The last time sampras was at his peak was in 1998. Sameway, the last time Becker was at his peak was in the early 90s. GOT IT? So stop saying that Sampras faced becker at becker’s peak. That’s totally false.

Otherwise, you will have to concede that Fed beat Sampras at Sampras’s peak (and obviously Fed was not at his peak in 2001, since he won his first slam in 2003). Would you say that Fed beat Sampras at his peak in 2001?

Let me hear it Sean, let me hear it. Its either a yes or no to this question. Either ways it destroys one of your arguments.


Edward Says:

Well, I’m not sure but the initial impression I got from reading the article was Sampras beat a good number of Grand Slam champions during his time. And this was translated to a “deeper” field circa 1996. While today, Federer has little competition, with only one or two Grand Slam champions also ranked with him in the top 10. Mind you, there are also several Grand Slam champions ranked outside the top 10 in 1996 and this year. It is neither Sampras’ or Federer’s fault that they were/are injured or not playing well. So there is some hole in just judging the competition based on the number of Grand Slam winners in the top 10. Moreover, the benefit for Sampras’ co-top 10 is that we are viewing it 10 years after (note that Krajicek and Ivanisevic had not yet won their Grand Slams, while Becker, although a multiple winner, was already nearing retirement). Now, although we can’t question Federer’s dominance, we must leave the door open on who among the top 10 can win a Grand Slam. In addition, there is the tendency to compare Sampras and Federer per se, as if they existed in separate eras. And we immediately say that Federer is able to dominate because of lack of competition (or in this article, lack of Grand Slam champions). Note that the lack or abundance of current Grand Slam champions is a legacy of Sampras’ dominance (hence, what experts termed as the “Lost Generation”, to which the likes of Haas belongs to–players who have shown Grand Slam caliber at their prime but were not able to win a title due to the still active Sampras [and his rivalry with Agassi]). So yes, people might argue that Federer is the greatest, but like what Agassi said when he retired, he achieved it by standing on the shoulders of previous greats, Sampras included. Lastly, the article notes the great matches Sampras played on clay, while Federer still has to find the consistency to win (again, as the article repeatedly insists) over French Open champions. Then again, these are indirect comparisons. The most direct comparison we can get is through their head-to-head match ups, much like classic rivalries. And the most notable match there was their Wimbledon clash, which Federer won (as coincidentally like this article’s insistence on Sampras’ marathon victories on clay–in five sets)–in what many say, including Boris Becker, marked the changing of the guard in men’s tennis.


Murat Says:

Ranjona,

Well, it IS nationalistic nonsense. Its present everywhere, but the extent is outrageous in the US. I am from Turkey, no great tennis players, so am quite neutral, I think. But its clear, these people are constantly putting down Laver, Borg, Lendl, and now Federer, and over hyping Sampras. All of these are great players, but Sampras is certainly not the best in this group of 5. He is best only to Americans. Nationalistic nonsense. Yes, that’s accurate.


vicks Says:

Guys!!

Give Pete and Rog a break.

What pete did was monumental, and what rog is doing is monumental as well.


funches Says:

Two points

1)Nalbandian would have wiped out Chang on clay. Because Chang won the 1989 Roland Garros title, he got inaccurately labeled as a claycourt specialist. He actually was infinitely better on hardcourts (check his winning percentage on both surfaces). It is a testament to his competitiveness that he reached two Roland Garros finals when his movement was not as good on clay and he struggled with high backhands. Nalby, who prefers faster surfaces than clay, too, still has more game on clay than Chang ever did.

2)Davydenko will be perpetually underrated. He has huge weaknesses in his game (is any top player more clueless at the net?), but he has maxed out on his ability and proved he can stay at that level. He hits the ball incredibly clean and early and is sort of a poor man’s Agassi with better movement and less (much less) charisma. He would have been a top 10 player in 1996, too.

3)I give the edge to the 96 top 10 over the current one, but it’s an unfair list. Hewitt, who is much better than Change, is a top 10 player who has slipped out of the top 10 at the moment. This year, the game is in transition, with several incredibly talented young players on the verge of breaking into the top 10. The list will be a lot more imposing by this time next year, and it was more imposing at this time last year.


funches Says:

OK, that was three points.


Raghu Says:

Henman says Fed is better than Pete, Agassi says the same. Both have played both many many times, and won and lost.

Who are we to question henman and agassi? Is there anybody amongst us who is more qualified to comment on this issue than henman or agassi, both of whom have seen fed and sampras up close and personal, from across the net.

futile debate amongst amateurs. As someone said – opinions are like A..holes, everybody has one.


Francis Says:

CHeck this out, someone has posted a graph of the ranking points of sampras and federer (adjusted for the change in the ranking system)

http://www.tennis28.com/charts/Sampras_Federer_rankingpoints.GIF

they are exactly 10 years apart in age, so 1995 for sampras corresponds to 2005 for federer.

seems like sampras reached his peak in 1994-95, and then started to decline, even though he managed to grab the no1 ranking at the year end for a few more years. federer reached a similar peak in 2004-05, but is still going up and up and up.

Shows a higher peak and greater stay at the top for federer. But draw whatever conclusions you like. the facts are in front of you.


Francis Says:

Another article in the globe (make what you want of it, but it has some facts too).
——————————————
Federer’s consistency is remarkable, particularly when stacked up against the last dominant player, Pete Sampras, during his best years.

Sampras’s run between 1993 and 1995 pales in comparison to the formidable Federer over the past three years. Sampras’s win-loss record in the three peak years was 234-44; Federer’s record has been 232-15 from 2004 to 2006. It is startling that Federer has almost the same number of wins but almost two-thirds fewer losses.

He also leads in Grand Slam titles (eight to six) and in tournament victories (31 to 23) over the two three-year periods. Though Sampras is well ahead in career Grand Slam titles (14 to nine) and in years finishing at No. 1 in the rankings (six to three), Federer, 25, is within striking distance of both.
———————————————


nick Says:

Apeman fans, (sorry, sensitive guy James, if it puts your panties in a bunch) – Francis has posted some nice stuff. how are you going to refute the data in there?


ben Says:

What are Henman and Agassi really judging though? I’m not questioning them or anything but think about it. They played tennis with them, and that’s what they’re judging. If you wanna know who is the best tennis player ever, who is better at playing tennis than everyone else? It’s Roger Federer. No question. The guy can hit any shot at any time and every single little tiny detail of his game is as perfect as possible. For Henman and Agassi, you know they’re playing some great tennis making it to the finals of a tounrament and then facing Roger and just failling to find a way to win. It’s like Agassi once said, (I’m paraphrasing this), “if you’re playing great against Pete, you can lose 6-4 6-4, if you’re playing bad against Pete, you can lose 6-4 6-4. if you’re playing great against Roger, you can lose 6-4 6-4, but if you’re playing bad, you can lose “6-2 6-2″. That right there tells me everything about what’s the difference between the two. But right now, I still say Sampras is the greatest. The way he was able to play his best tennis when it mattered most is what makes him so incredible. Borg? The U.S. Open is something he should’ve won at LEAST once but he was never able to win the final match. Lendl? He was like the Davydenko of his day playing every tournament, only he was able to win because he was a great player. Laver? Played during a time when there were like 5 tournaments all year that weren’t on grass. Other than winning the Grand Slam I don’t see why he’s rated so high, sure he was great during his time but cmon, he was before the Open Era.


Svein (Denmark) Says:

I have seen Borg in action and have followed all the big names since then and must say that I too think Borg is/was the greatest. He won almost everything until he (didn’t even play Australian Open –> which meant fewer opportunities to win slams) was bored with tennis. I’ve read a very interesting biography about Borg where it’s evident that the parties (and drugs to some extent) just took over his life. Quite sad actually. Anyway Borg is number one on my list. The second player on my list isn’t there for his merits (ATP-titles, slams and so on), but for his beautiful skills of the game. Yep, you guessed it right, it’s Edberg. I have never seen a more elegant player than that. His volleys are worth a hall of fame on their own.


harjes (czech republic) Says:

Borg is my top player too, though I like lendl too because he is czech. but borg was the best player ever.


dengoy Says:

I don’t think you can use the rest of the field’s Hall of Fame potential as a strong gauge if having GS titles is a basic requirement to get in. For one, if we agree that Federer dominates the field, then it follows that he will have less competition who are Grand Slam winners (i.e. because he keeps winning them).

Also, the lists of Top 10 you compared during Sampras’ time and Fed’s time are skewed. You took Sampras’ 1996 YE list while you took Fed’s current Top 10 List. How about taking 2004 YE list too and you’ll see that you have Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, Moya, and Agassi there. Now that’s more fair comparison. Add to that Nadal in 2005, JC Ferrero in 2003, one can arguably say that Fed’s competition in a relatively short 24 months still have impressive credentials. I’m sure if we dig into all the weekly Top 10 lists, the number of HOF there will vary so it’s a waste to use this to bolster arguments.


francis Says:

Following up on some of the facts I posted earlier…

Pete went 234-44 during 1993-95, his peak years. Out of his 44 losses, only 11 were to players who ever won grand slam tournaments, before or after. In other words, he lost 33 matches over his 3 peak years to players who NEVER won a grand slam. This included losses like the one to Eric Stafford in the first round of queens on grass, etc.

Fed is already 232-15 during 2004-06. Out of his 15 losses, only 8 are to players who haven’t won a grand slam (and some of them are likely to in the future, like murray, gasquet, etc., so this will go down further).

Sampras used to lose too many matches (and sets), even at his peak, to relatively weaker players (Eltingh, Brett Steven, Stafford, Paes, etc.). Anyone could take him down if he was having a bad day. It takes tons more to take down federer, even when he having a bad day.

Again, infer what you want from this.


skorocel Says:

On the one hand, no matter how hard you’ll try to erase it, you’ll always have some prejudices against certain players and, on the other hand, always like some guys – no matter how beautiful their game is… If you don’t like Fed, even when you’re the fairest guy on the world there’ll be always something in your mind that will keep telling you that this guy’s not the best (or at least shouldn’t be the best), even when you must admit that he is… That’s all OK…

But… You picked Blake (as an American) as a possible Hall of Famer over Davydenko, Robredo and Ljuby, isn’t it? Yes, UNINTERESTING is the right word which comes through your mind when you’re thinking about them, isn’t it? They’re all from Europe, not from the US… From the market point of view, they’re uninteresting – as was Lendl… On top of it, they’re not Americans… Yes, they’re uninteresting for me as well, but why should I consider Blake a better player only because he’s an American? The guy’s perhaps most famous match was that quarterfinal with Agassi at the US last year, which he LOST… I like James as a human being, but why he should be better than Davy, Ljuby or Robredo? American bias after all…

But what’s the point of this article? To annoy all the Fed fans (including me)? Six consecutive years with No 1. finishes? Come on! Who cares? Look at the Champions Race if you want a clearly determined No. 1 for that particular year – not Entry! CR shows clearly who amassed the highest amount of points FOR THE WHOLE YEAR – not like Entry, where you can have a poor run in spring and then win 5 tournaments in summer/fall when you don’t have any points to defend and thus end as a No. 1… Yes, Pete had to defend a lot of points each of those 6 years, but there were always some dull times from the previous season which he could make use of it in the following one and thus gain some precious points…

In my opinion, it’s inessential that Pete finished 6 consecutive years as No. 1… His 286 weeks at the No. 1 spot – that’s what really matters! Roger isn’t even halfway there, and it will be really interesting to see whether he’s capable of beating this number… When you imagine how long he’s dominating the tour already, and then you realize he isn’t even halfway there… That really shows Pete’s class – and I’m a HUGE Federer fan!

Finally, to discuss whether today’s competition vs. that one from 1996 is questionable as well… Yes, Davydenko, Robredo or Ljubicic surely aren’t “the cream of the crop”, but it’s just because Fed is so good – nothing else… Just imagine if the guy wasn’t there – they all would surely be Slam winners one day (including Blake, Baghdatis etc)… But who knows, maybe they will be after all?

P.S. As Fed once said: “Domination isn’t about weak opposition. Domination is about how to make the opposition look weak…”


Ryan Says:

I think Federer is the ultimate champion of all time. But then again only time will provide solid evidence.However I wont underrate Sampras’s acheivements simply because he managed to win more slams than the others.So if he has not won the French he has compromised for it by winning more slams in the other tournaments.So Sampras might not be the greatest but atleast he is one of them.C’mon give him some credit for numbers(14 slams).It’s not fair to call him apeman because he knew how to control his emotions on court and played when it mattered but maybe not as polished as Federer.Anyway Fed vs Sampras……..Fed wins simply because he has a better all round game than sampras except maybe the killer serve.Nick has posted some nice records as to why Fed is the greatest ever and also has shown that Sean Randall doesnt have a clue about Tennis(Lendl has won 11 slams it seems!).


harjes Says:

Ya, picking blake really shows the ignorance and bias of sean randall. Dangerous combination these two (ignorance and bias) – look where they have led the bush administration!!

Anyway, back to tennis. Tons of good stuff has been posted, especially all the statistics by Francis, Nick, etc.

Pete was a great player, nobody contests that. Problem is when you call him the greatest. A really telling statistic is by francis – Pete was 234-44 during 1993-95, his peak years. I looked it up – he lost 33 out of those 44 matches to players who never won a slam, before or after. In contrast, Fed is 232-15 during 2004-06 (and still going this year!) – only 7 of those losses have been to players who haven’t won a slam (but some likely will, like murray, gasquet, berdych).

Bottomline is – Fed just doesn’t lose, especially to “NON TOP” players. When was the last time he lost to some shady player? Can anyone tell me? And Sampras used to (at his peak) routinely lose to shady players like Brett Stevens, Eric Stafford, Eltingh, Paes, etc, including on grass at the Queens.

If Sampras wasn’t having a good day serving, he would lose the match. As simple as that. It happened about 15 times a year, even when he was at his peak. Fed wins (most of the time) even when he has a bad day. Why? Because he has so many options, shots, strategies. Out of his 15 losses, 8 are on clay, most of them to current or former french champs. Hasn’t lost on grass. Loses 1 or 2 matches on hard courts every year. That’s it. Fed is just a much tougher opponent. Not like Sampras, who was so reliant on one shot (serve).

Only a person who is either ignorant or biased or both would rate sampras above federer. Or even equal to him.


Andy Says:

Lendl as all-time greatest? Or even top 5?
He never won Wimbledon, the ultimate tournament.
That knocks him out of contention for me, his US Open run notwithstanding.


FloridaTennis Says:

Federer will end his career with a better clay-court record than Sampras. He’s already made a French Open final, which Sampras did not do. I don’t think that clay will be such a gaping hole in the resume of Federer the way it is for Sampras. Sampras was far from the king of clay. Federer, on the other hand is the king of everything in tennis EXCEPT Nadal.


Skorca Says:

This is maybe a bit off topic, but in my view should the person that has won most French Open titles (in my view the hardest to win, because they demand more skill than all the rest) be considered the greatest.
Anyone that thinks different? Let me explain my reasoning. To win Wimby you need a good serve and some luck, nothing more. To win the FO you need to be more complete as a player because you can’t just rely on your serves to win the matches. Or better yet, I think the person that has shown he can master both grass and clay as the respective extremes are the best player ever.


Svein Says:

Interesting reasoning from the previous posts. So clay results should set the tone?

After some snooping on the Internet I found this:
………………………………
Borg’s six French Open singles titles are an all-time record. He is the only player to have won in three consecutive years both Wimbledon and the French Open, an accomplishment called by Wimbledon officials “the most difficult double in tennis” and “a feat considered impossible among today’s players.”
………………………… Wikipedia
So maybe I was right when I said that I regarded Borg as the greatest ever? And all this in just 8-9 years. It’s just simply amazing.


Sean Randall Says:

I stand corrected, Lendl only got 8 slams, not 11. My bad.

As for my alleged American bias, if you read my original post I actually ranked Fed No. 1 in 1996 ahead of Pete that is if Fed had played back then. I also put Nadal No. 3. I also said Baghadits has a good shot at the Hall, in addition to Blake. And I said Blake gets a nudge because he is American and he did grow up right around the corner from the Hall. Does he deserve it if he wins just one Slam? Probably not. But Yannick Noah got in on one Slam so… As for Ljubicic, Robredo and Davydenko, I just don’t see it.

I know if Fed were to take the next few years off allowing the other players to win Slams, do you really think Ljubicic, Nalbandian, Robredo or Davydenko would be those guys? Who knows.

However as Funches thankfully brought up, there is an encouraging bunch of youngsters coming up, and a few of them will surely find their place in the Hall. Of course I’m talking about Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic, Koralev, Del Potro, Andy Murray, Monfils, Cilic and Baghdatis.

As I said before, I’m not interested in the great debate between Sampras and Federer and who’s the best. Rather, I’m still waiting on reasons, real reasons, as to why Fed Freaks alleges Pete played at a time of lesser competition compared to Fed.

So far, I’ve heard two arguments, that coming from the totally delusional Nick and Funches, who made some strong points in his post. Funches, like Nick I’m also with you in that Chang could get wiped by Nalby. And if you want to put Davydenko in the year-end 1996 Top 10 that’s fine. I can actually see that.

But is that it? Is that the great defense for the Fed Freak argument that “Roger plays such better competition right now, Pete played no one and the guys he played weren’t at their peak.”

Again, prove it. Show me. Don’t give me Fed’s record the last few years or his streaks of titles, I don’t care. Don’t tell me “Borg is the greatest, or Lendl” because that’s not relevant to my question. Tell me why the Top 10 guys today – beyond Fed – are better than they were 10 years ago. Tell me why Roddick is better than Ivanisevic, or that Davydenko is better than Kafelnikov. Just tell me why.

So far the number of Fed Freaks that have argued that the current Top 10 is better than the 1996 Top 10 is still at ZERO. I guess maybe it’s just not true then…


musing Says:

Borg is my greatest ever, no matter what others think. I feel he is way way way better than Sampras. Borg was better than Sampras on Grass. He won one of his wimbledons without losing a set. A feat which Sampras could never do. He won Wimbledon 5 consecutive times and even reached the sixth final after that. Then he became bored at the age of 26!!!!

All his feats at Wimbledon coincided with his incredible run at French on clay.

Borg was a genius… Also look at Borgs career Win loss record (576/124 = 4.64 ), he is way way above Sampras (762/222 = 3.43).

Borg was a genius who simply got bored with his life. Sampras can never compare to Borg.


chris Says:

Nick u r completely right, I am Native American, and have watched alot of tennis. American players just r plain horrible, they all seem to have 1 thing a serve. Wow, and players r tougher, faster, and better stanmina, Darwin Theory. Disprove that Sean. No comparison, all European, and minoritys dominate, and will continue to dominate American sprots perid, unless youll get some crossbreeding or somrthing. Federer and nadal will dominate next 10 – 15 yrs.


musing Says:

Sean,

Federer is better than Sampras. And it is straight forward to establish – Sampras never dominated “his” era as much as Federer is able to dominate this era.

It is pointless, ridiculous and stupid to say one era is better than the other. You cannot say Sampras era is better anymore than anyone can say this era is better than Samprases.

Such an experiment cannot be done.

Only OBJECTIVE (nothing subjective here) statement of greatness here is – Federer is dominating his era as no one has ever done before.

Musing.


ben Says:

As of right now, Sampras has more achievements in his career than Federer. But Federer is the better tennis player. Sampras had some 44 losses was it during his 3 best years? And those losses most likely came on several bad days and others on days where his opponent was someone like Agassi who was playing very well and already knew how to beat Sampras. But with Federer, even when he’s playing bad it’s almost impossible to figure out how to beat him, then comes the task of beating him.


skorocel Says:

As musing said, it’s simply impossible to compare Sampras’ era with that of Fed… Is Sampras really ahead of Federer because his opposition was better? Then this means Fed simply had a “bad luck” as he was born 10 years later than Sampras and therefore doesn’t have even slightest chance being considered as the GOAT… Fed will NEVER be the GOAT, right? Ridiculous…

If we were to judge the GOAT by the number of Hall of Famers he had faced (preferably in their and his prime), say what you want, but it wouldn’t be Pete… Lendl may have lost 11 Slam finals, but he had to face Becker, Edberg, Wilander, and of course McEnroe, not to mention those 2 US Open finals which he lost to Connors and one at Roland Garros (Borg). All these guys except Borg and Connors were in their prime when Ivan was in his own, but is he the GOAT? He never won at SW19, and his 8 Slams compared to Pete’s 14 are way too much of a deficit – despite the number of HOF he has faced. So some people may think he’s the best, some not…

Anyway, as big Fed fan as I am, I still believe he’s still FAR AWAY to be considered the GOAT… Indeed, he’s still far away from Pete (even Ivan)… He will most probably break Pete’s 14 Slams and 64 career titles, but the question is whether he will be able to win Slams, let’s say 5 years from now (?)… He was able to dominate these last 3 seasons virtually at will, but what will happen in 2010? Time will tell, but it really doesn’t make any sense to judge the player by the era in which he had played as it simply disrespects Fed’s achievements… It’s easy for us to say that this or that era was better or worse, but what about grabbing that racquet to face those 140 mph+ bullets from Roddick? We wouldn’t stand a chance…


Fan of Tennis Says:

Sean, one request I would like to make is that you stop from calling die-heart Federer fans “Fed Freaks”. Are you using that term just because we really do support Roger regardless? That’s dedicated to a player to me…not a ‘freak’…Or, if you’re using it to get the irk’ people and get responses to your blog – then you’re succeeding with your plan.

Anyway… When Pete played he was my favorite player. Now it’s Roger. (with Borg and Lendl in between – yes I know how to pick them!)…

But on your topic as to whether one generation was ‘better’ than the other…or ‘deeper’ than the other…like some posters before said – going by ex-tennis players, or current tennis players – what they’ve said was (I don’t know if the top 10 is deeper than previous decades), but the top 100 is. They said back in their era once you got out of the top 10 or so, they had more ‘easy victories’. They said today’s top 100 is so deep in men’s tennis that there are not any ‘automatic’ victories in the first round anymore. A top 100 player can defeat a #1 seed any day…And this came from Courier, McEnroe, Lendl, Becker, and others from “Pete’s” day… So you can only go by what they see and know.

I also think it’s premature to say the top 10 of today isn’t as good as Pete’s top 10 because the top 10 today are still writing history. We have a ‘closure’ on the players Pete played with and can see their entire career. As Rolex said about Roger – don’t talk history yet because he’s still writing it. The other top 10 players are still writing it.


tequilaandchili Says:

Sean,
Have you already graduated from elementary school?…..you are the blablablablabla bully. Who needs of your comments? Let’s things flow naturally and by the end of Roger’s career you might be entitled to contrast and compare. Meanwhile try to finish ES and HS and graduate in something more fruitful rather than writing childish arguments. Are you able to understand what I’m saying to you? By the way, stop your BS by calling us FedFreaks Mr. Condescension


Mtanzania Says:

Sean,

You just have that American egoism to believe that evrything best should be American. You Americans can not stand other people to succeed, that’s why you call NBA champions the wolrd’s champions while the USA Dream team can’t even make the fina of the world championship. Get over with that Americanism; who better to judge Fed and Sampras than Agassi??? Sampras has so many five setter because he did not finish people like Fed, and wasn’t winning consistently and convincingly.


MOHAMMED Says:

Nick,dude,seriously!!stop with all the “American bias” crap….can’t a guy just analyze stuff based on his understanding of events and not nescessarily based on his total bias towards a player…Sean repeatedly says that Fed is the man,but any point he makes that you disagree with seems to offend you in the worst possible way..remember,we all admire federer cause he’s a champ,but you gotta respect the fact that sampras was an unbelievable player with some very big achievements and he did lose to federer but at the end of his career,so you gotta think about that as well…he beat all the great players on circuit during his time and the man was number one for an extended period of time…


nick Says:

Sean Randall,

You are again twisting statements, just because you have nothing else to stand on. YOU and your buddy Vach are the ones who first argued that sampras was better because he faced greater competition, that’s why he used to lose so much more than Fed.

For Fed to be better, you don’t even need to prove that the competition is deeper today. All you need is to say that the competition today is the SAME as the competition 10 years ago. If that is the case, then Fed is dominating far more than Sampras ever did.

So the argument goes thru EVEN IF the competition today is similar to that before.

Secondly, don’t hide and avoid my question – did Fed beat Sampras when Sampras was at his peak? Yes or no, as simple as that. Do you have the guts to answer? Lets see, I guess we’ll find out.

Due to your stupid nonsensical argument, you are screwed whether you answer yes or No!! ha ha! Because if you answer yes, then debate closed, Fed is better. If you answer no, then by the same logic, Sampras didn’t face becker and edberg at their peak at all. There goes your “depth in tennis 10 years ago” argument.

So, you got the guts man? Sean Randall?


nadalpickbutt Says:

TMF is simply the best ever. You need not have the maximum no. of slams etc. etc. to be named GOAT. An analogy – Sir Don Bradman of Australia is still considered cricket’s best ever batsman even after his statisitcal records were broken quite some time back. An overall view is required. Let’s all enjoy the beauty of TMF’s game as he whips off the lesser skilled as well as the beasts.


critic Says:

I would like to give Sean Randall a lot of credit for standing up and comment on all the intelligent arguments in the thread. So, Yes “Nick”, he really “got the guts”.
There’s not even that much left to argue about.
The initial to this very debate came from Moya way back, stating that competition today was worse than 10 years ago. Some so-called expert supported that and made Federer aficionados furious to an extent that now expert Randall needs to support Sampras by saying that his competition wasn’t worse than Federer’s is now.
Sean, you wanted a “Fed freak” (harsh expression, don’t you think?) to state how Today’s current Top 10 compares to the 1996 Top 10: I’m such a species and therefore answer your question: In my opinion, 1996 had the better players in the Top 10 than 2006 currently has. Period. Personally i don’t see much in Ljuby, Robredo, Davydenko. Someone mentioned the qualities of nikolai above and you, Sean, even conceded that he might be in the 1996 Top 10. Very gracious of you as i don’t see him involved in a battle of greats. In 1996 i don’t see Krajiceck, Enqvist, Ferreira as really good players, which leaves us at 7 good ones back then, Nowadays: Fed, Nadal, Roddick, Nalby (for all his Slam appearances, though they mostly ended at semis stage), plus bahgdatis and ancic with HOF potential. By the way, Ivanisevic is among the “greats” only because of his serve, so he maybe should be put in a category with Karlovic, his today-equivalent.

However: as stated above, the comparison of Top tens doesn’t make much sense. On one side, we had the Lost Generation of the late 90′s, on the oter side, we have a lot of potential coming from the young guns (Nadal, baghdatis, ancic, berdych, djokovic, murray, gasquet, Cilic, Korolev and so on). That’s so interesting about tennis. You never know what the next years are going to be like. It seems to me that we’re entering a new golden era, not for americans but for our sport. By the way, this prophecy indicates that Federer unfortunately won’t be able to be at the Top for 286 weeks, but i hope the young guns don’t fulfill their potential before 2010 and if they do, i hope federer still crushes them!
Fantasy aside: As a measurement of competition, fitness was brought up. I disagree with Sean Randall about its importance. All the Top players including federer stated, that today’s level of play is so high and physically demanding that there are most often details that decide a match, not beautiful strokes and artistry (of course, i’m still watching mainly because of that, but then i’m no expert). The most important “sideskills” are fitness and mental toughness. Since there are a lot more players from all over the planet with talent in the Players Pool than 10 years ago, i conclude that sideskills grow more and more important. an average talent (compared with the best 20-30) will therefore regularly beat a more talented guy because of his fitness/mental ability. e.g. Nadal vs. everyone else.
Fitness doesn’t improve your volley, but fitness improves consistency. A tennis match isn’t won by a good volley, but by consistency. I can hit a miraculous shot once every match and still lose, because i lack consistency. That’s why i believe that fitness is so important.
The clay-grass argument: Clay demands the most concerning consistency, but not necessarily the most in skill. Clay is all about defense and strategy. Grass is about aggressiveness, quickness and instinct. Personally i prefer the attributes that come with grass. That sounds like action to me. That’s why i put wimbledon far above the french. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way for everyone.

Another word for the competition: the argument maybe is a little silly, but the reason for it is very sound. Federer’s numbers are so good over the last years, that we need whatever reason we get to explain them. Talent alone can never do. His nonchalance on the court misguids us to believe that he’s got no balls (said by an australian ex-pro), no heart. We checked so many factores and everything seems to fall short. So as a last ressort to explain his breath-taking numbers is his lack of competition. I think it is unjust to say so, but it is only human. Greatness can never fully be appreciated while it unfolds. It’s got to take time to sink in. Why should WE witness the greatest Player to ever have lived? We are trying to relativize his achievements for that reason. And so do I. these numbers are hardly human, so maybe his competition is all the more. Our last way to explain greatness.
See ya.

PS: funny fact: Federer strings his racquet very loose which gives him a lot of power with less weight lifting. But it takes away as much control, as it gives power. Because of his talent, he’s able to control the ball despite of the loose tension. Blake for example strang very tight and therefore needs to do a lot of weightlifting to keep up as far as hard shots go.


nick Says:

Well, lets get to some specific questions, if anybody has the guts to answer then objectively:

1. When fed beat sampras, would you consider sampras to be at his peak at that time (2001)? I think we’ll all agree that fed was not at his peak.

2. sampras was 243-44 during his peak years of 1993-95. 33 of those 44 losses were to players to NEVER won a grand slam, before or after. Fed is 232-15 during 2004-06, and still going. Only 7 of those losses are to players who haven’t won a grand slam, but are likely to (berdych, gasquet, murray, nalbandian, etc.). What does that tell you? Why is Fed so much tougher to beat than sampras? Its not less competition – its a deeper playing field, with lots of players outside of top 10 that can knock off anyone on a good day, unlike yester years.

3. 8 grand slam tournaments in 3 years. Even Tiger woods has never done it. What does that tell you? Again don’t be lame enough to hide behind the bogus theory of less competition.

I hope Sean Randall will have the guts to answer these three questions precisely.

I have never said that Pete was not a great player. He was a great player. But this is a debate about GOAT.

As someone rightly pointed out – ask ANYONE who the greatest cricketer, especially batsman, is, in the 120 year history of the game, a game that is played by nearly 1/3 of the world population (more than most other sports). ITs Don bradman. NOBODY questions that. And from a quantitative point of view, almost ALL his records have been overtaken. He was the Borg of cricket.

Quantity is not everything. 14 is just a number. So is 6. There’s something called game. And Fed has more of it than Sampras. TO his credit Fed also has the dedication to build up the numbers.

Would love to hear some specific responses.


10nnis grats Says:

dont call us fed fans freaks, we are tennis lovers 1 and that is the main reson we love fed.

now you are the idiot, freak. stupid, sampras freak. how many times did you say we are fraks you idiot freak- 30 times you idiot freak.

now to the point:

1. how convinet of you to take a time this week as a masher. not a week when fed, hewitt, roddick, agaai, nalbandian all were in the top 10.

if gilbart can be no4 in sampras time that;s says it all for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

how do you esplain that he was top 4.

and how many times goran choucked , just like nalbandian, and I think nalbandian is beater player.

when did gorn win his 1 slam in 2001, when ??????when fed beat sampras and got him out of they way, if fed wouldnt have beaten sampras that year do you think haman would have, gorn would have, rafter???????????

they guys “all OF FAMER” OF then almost all of them were big server, and they never never faced players with the returne of serve like today.

fed retrne of serve is the best ever (agassi is not in the top 7 for me in returne of serve how many times he gets aced), evry time sampras faced good returner of serve he lost:

fed-2001
hewitt-us open final
safin-us open final

fed played befor he won his 1 slame most of the guys:

he beat rios
he beat krechek (the guy who beat sampeas in wimbeldon)
he beat goran
he beat sampras
he beat agassi

2. in sampras peak all the “all of fame” were not at the peak and most of them if not all of them won their slams befor of after pete peak and domanance.

so fed doesnt play more “all of famer” because he doesnt let them be “all of famer” how could they be “all of fame” if they cant win a slam fed wins all of the slam and it simes the only 1 they can win is clay, but clay isnt there best surface so what can they do.

3. fed on clay- goooooooooo ediot frek and do your homework and then say it, ediot freak.

4.I an fed fan and I think most of us when we say fed is beater then sampras and the greatest tennis player, we mean about his talent and the way he playes the game.

there is no douet for me that for right know pete sampras is more acmplished, and ashived some things that fed hasnt of yet, and if the masher of the G.O.A.T is how may slames he won first , fed hasnt goten there yet.

but we belive he will, but again I will never say sampras is a beater player then fed, he never was, even when fed didnt have 1 salm to his name fed had more talent he just didnt have the consutancy. he was always a beater player then sampras.

for me even rios ie beater tennis player then sampra, agassi etc, he had more talent that those player in tennis skilles, but pete and 2 thinks head, mantal, and serve that help him win matchs more easyly with out taking to much of the mind.

5. the idiot freaks who say fed chlenge is only nadal, you ediot frekes, fed beats all of those gus time and time again that he broke them and they need to imporve to get beater to beat him. his lavel is so high that its hard for them to do it. and nadal isnt the only 1 to chelng him, thirh2h is help by 4 meting being on clay (atlist fed gets to the final of gs and masters on clay un like sampras, think what their h2h would look like if fed sucked on clay), and 1 when fed was eil and should have played he was with fether.

you want to look sampras losing records, he will have more losing record then fed, or jmac, or conros…………

so ediot freak, you see we are the obective fan who know a littale more about tennis then you ediot freak, and your hype of nadal and roddick in 2003-2004 show this.

understand for me fed took rios way of playing and copy it for a righty and made it beater and made some thing of his on. look at some of rios clips, its some times like looking at fed way of playing.

the 1 think that makes fed beat every 1 on ture, is hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis SLICE the best slice ever in the game, that is way he beat sampras and that is way he wins.

that is way he started beating nalbandian, agassi, and has so good record v safin.

fed playing rightys, is vornbale in the down the line bh, only 2 hand bh sime to poll that shot time and time again.

that is way fed had so much problem with nalbandian, how he dells with it, the slice, 2 hand bh player cant handle the slice and fed slice is the best. the slice killed nalbandian in 2005 us open, killed him at the samiof the franch (change of tactics from fed and even if nalbandian didnt have goten heartonce fed strated sliceing he was goen), killed davy in 2006 us open sami.

once fed starts to use that shot v nadal also on clay he will beat him wait and see.

now if you want to compar player losing records , sampras would be losing hands down.


TejuZ Says:

What do u call a player who wins 30 Grand Slams in a decade(say 3 GS every year.. and forget the ‘n’ number of Masters series)?? Do u call him Dominant??? or do u call his competition weak??

How would you rate other players during this decade who havent won the GS, but have been close to winning one? They wouldnt look like potential champions cuz we just cant imagine them defeating the dominant player to win one.

Everything is relative to the best player of the group. If rest of ‘em are very close to the (less-dominant)No 1, then it looks like a stiff competition.. if not, it looks like a weak one. Well if you follow closely, currently the competition is very fierce for No-3 spot with just a few points seperating the all of them(except 1 and 2)

We forget that Safin and Hewitt arent in this year’s top 10, but have been around for the last couple of years(which were also dominated by Fed). They could easily fit in to the top 10 of any decade.

Comparing
’96 Top 10
with
’06 Top 10

this is like comparing Federer of 2004(when he was just starting his domination) with Sampras. Most of these players have just started to find their groove. Who knows in 4 years time most of these players might have won a Grand-Slam. So in 2010, this same field would look much better than the ’96.

Anyways…my views..
Gonzalez and Baghdatis have a much better and explosive games than Ferreira or Enqvist.

Nadal on same level(if not better) than Muster. And Nadal of ’06 better than Agassi of ’96

Ivanesevic played well in Wimb, nowhere else.. Ljubcic is a better allround player than Ivan’vic

Roddick is certainly better than Kajicek(purely because of his achievments).

Nalbandian and Devydenko are both under-achievers, but nonetheless better than Chang.

Becker of ’96 is similar to Agassi of ’06.. both were at the end of their careers.

So i think its pointless comparing the current competition with that during Sampras’ time.


Amir Says:

Sean,I am with you 100% agreement.Fed will eventually have the results to claim supremecy,but is there anyone out there today who can say he is every bit the tennis player rafter was in his prime?let’s face it,Fed is great,possibly the greatest,but operating,relatively speaking in a vacuum.By the way,youtube Sampras and you will find some clips with overhead smashes no one (Fed included)today can hit.


TejuZ Says:

I thought Rafter peaked at the end of ’97 … and Sampras wasnt dominant after ’98, except for wimbledon.

Youtube or not.. watch any clip of Federer matches and you can see Class. He hits passing shots like nobody out there. Pete had to improve his overhead smashes because he was always standng near the net. With such great overhead smashes he should have played Badminton and not Tennis.


ben Says:

Okay, seriously, now you’re just insulting Sampras. He shouldn’t have played tennis? That’s not even funny. Federer has the greatest forehand ever, in the history of tennis. Sampras had the best volleys. That’s my opinion of the players. I think both are great and these are two of the reasons. But I say Sampras is the GOAT right now and Federer will be at the end of his career. But most of you people are just ridiculous. Stop accusing other people of being biased. The people who support Federer insult Sampras and the people who support Sampras insult Federer. Neither player deserves any insults at all. Yes, Federer is far more dominant than Sampras ever was. There’s no questioning that. And it’s not the competition’s fault. Sampras was a serve and volleyer. If his opponent was having the passing shot day of his life, there wasn’t much more Sampras could do. If Federer starts failing at the baseline against a player, he’ll come to net, if that fails, then he loses. But how often does that happen? Only about 5 times a year on average. The main difference between the top 10 in 1996 and now is that there were some more serve and volleyers which shows a little more variety in the players. Nowadays you have a lot of grinders/ clay courters. But in terms of completeness, I think there are a lot more all around players nowadays which is better for tennis because it makes it more interesting to watch when a player has a lot of variety. Federer, Nalbandian, Baghdatis, even Blake. These players are great off the baseline and strong on both sides, but they also have the ability to mix it up and come to net. In terms of more depth and talent, I have to say that players are better now than 10 years ago because most players are taught complete games at a young age because the coaches saw how Sampras was a great volleyer but could be beaten by many players from the baseline. Agassi was great off the baseline but was terrible at net. So coaches realize that they must teach their players how to hit every kind of shot. Roger is the better tennis player, that’s why he beat Sampras. Sampras was past his peak and Federer was not peaking yet. So at their… not worst but not best… Federer comes out on top in a very close match. I think at their peaks it would be a similar result with Federer coming out on top because he just has that extra game to beat Sampras.


nick Says:

what about the data francis posted? sampras freaks dare to comments? Or to my questions? Seems like sampras freaks are a bit scared of facts.

Sean randall has gone back to his hiding hole.


Jimmy Roland Says:

Reading this discussion about who is the greatest player ever I can’t resist adding my thoughts on this subject.
First, we should all agree that only pro-players can really judge on the level of their pears. And for us amateur players it is only to tell about our opinions on who might be the best.
Agassi said Federer is better than Sampras. Well, he should know better than us, right? Or have you guys played those two? Agassi was probably not the only pro-player who said the Federer is the best ever.
Funny for me how so many of you, except one, did not mention Jimmy Connors as the greatest ever player. If you look in the record books, Jimmy’s name comes up on top in many categories. He has won 109 single titles, 8 of them Grand Slam’s.
Why are Grand Slam titles ranked so high in your opinion? Because those tournaments are played over two weeks time or just because everybody says so? Guess it is the latter.
Yes, 14 Grand Slam Single titles are great, but is that better than 109 overall single titles? And what makes Jimmy Connors even greater is his endurance. Over 25 years on the tour! In the Open era. Playing against Borg, Lendl and McEnroe I their prime and later on against Agassi and Sampras, when Borg and Lendl already retired. McEnroe was done as well, but was still hoping for glory.
Yes, I am a huge Jimmy Connors fan but numbers speak for themselves and Jimbo does not need any discussion. He deserves to be named in the all time top 5. Not Becker, Edberg and certainly not Laver who played before the Open era. Not taking away anything from Laver’s achievements in his time.
Here is my all time top 5 for you to discuss or ignore:
1. Federer (best all-round player, who will sooner than later take over most records; except Connors Single title record; but if anybody can, Federer is the man)
2. Connors (109 career single titles and many other records other players dream off – see ATP year book; most exciting player ever to be watched)
3. Sampras (14 Grand Slam single titles; 64 career single titles to lift him in the all time top 5)
4. McEnroe (77 career single titles and at least as many career double titles; certainly the most gifted player of them all; with exception of Federer perhaps!)
5. Lendl (94 career single titles)

Borg just doesn’t make the cut. 11 Grand Slam titles in a short time period. He chickened out on McEnroe, Lendl and a rejuvenating Connors. He simply quit the game when he felt that his time was over. He would make No.7 in my top 10, behind Agassi.


ben Says:

For me, I think Slams rank high because they’re playing on the biggest stage in tennis. People who don’t know tennis atleast have heard of Wimbledon or the U.S. Open and even the French and Australian. They’re the biggest tests in tennis, too. Every match is 5 sets. A normal tennis match is best out of 3 sets but in a Grand Slam it’s best out of 5, the most grand it can be. And no one was better than Sampras at raising their game when it mattered most to win the Slam, except for maybe Federer now. For Moya who says that Federer’s competition is worse than Sampras’s, look at this year’s Wimbledon draw. He faced some great players, sure they might not be peaking at the moment, but it’s not like they’re complete crap at all.


Dengoy Says:

Sean, why do you keep comparing 96 Top 10 players with the current Top 10 players? Why not compare the 96 Top 10 Players to 2004′s, for example? 2004 is a dominant year for Federer as well. You had Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, Agassi, and Moya then. Ferrero just had a great 2003 and Nadal was starting his climb. These tennis players can compare with your 1996 list very well.

My point is, don’t compare a week in 1996 with this week’s because it’s so random.


Victor Says:

It’s premature to decide any of this, since as of now, Sampras is better than Fed. 14-9 grandslams.

That’ll change. Real soon. But it’s noteworthy that people on the forum believe they can argue for Sampras, in the end, being the greatest, seeing as they’re arguing against:

John McEnroe
Agassi
Sampras
Laver

It’s not a farfetched argument to say that tennis, like most other sports, is progressing. Roger Federer is part of this progress, a part of transcending the achievements of those preceding him, and we’re privelaged to be witnessing him do it. Those arguing in Sampras’ case must have a lot of credentials we don’t know about.


Fan of Tennis Says:

Just a comment on the 109 titles Conners had. I was watching a tennis match last week and one of the announcers (P-Mac, Johnny Mac, Cliff, or someone said you almost need to put an * by those 109 titles. He said the ATP had not established their tour yet and there were other ‘tours’ around and Conners ‘cleaned’ up on those ‘other tours’ when he was the only top player playing those tournaments. I don’t know….since I never followed Conners, but that’s what they said and they were around during that time. So you can’t just say Conners is the best just because of the 109 tournament victories.

Again …don’t fault me for saying this – I’m just repeating what the announcers said.

Meanwhile, just about all the top players play the grand slams. Those tournaments are where you make your history, hence for a male player the top mark is 14. If they were that easy to win you would think the all-time record would be more than 14 – after all, 4 are played per year! So that tells me how difficult it is to win one of these tournaments.

The other tournaments that are difficult to win in today’s tennis are the Master’s events simply because most of the top players have to play. I don’t think they had the Master’s tournaments in Conners day? But I could be wrong…


nick Says:

sampras freaks still in hiding from facts. still scared to answer precis questions.


skorocel Says:

Jimmy Roland, you’re putting too much emphasis on the tournament titles in my opinion… Sure, they’re very important, but one thing is how many of them the given guy has won and the other which tournament it actually was…

Jimbo maybe won 109 tourneys, but… When you look at today’s Masters Series, many of those tourneys were very prestigious already in Jimbo’s era (e.g. Cincy, Monte Carlo or Rome), yet he won only one… The same at the year-ending championships – he won “only” one (Sampras and Lendl won 5, for example)… Sure, he has 8 Slams under his belt (and also the most match wins in the Open Era), but you can’t overestimate these numbers… Same as Navratilova (who played seemingly everywhere except Mars), Jimbo attended nearly every tourney available, so its not surprising that, given his superb qualities, he was able to achieve this success… Imagine Federer playing on every tournament these days – he would have burnt himself out after one or two seasons…

If you want to judge the player by the tournament titles he’s won in his career, please look for Pete Sampras or Ivan Lendl… These guys won a total of more than 150 titles, 22 Slams, 10 year-ending championships + 26 tourneys which now belong to the Masters Series (!). You may think I’m putting too much emphasis on the Masters Series, but it’s the quality that matters, not quantity…

Also, I wouldn’t put Jimbo over Borg – but that’s only my opinion… As someone mentioned in this discussion, Bjorn won the Roland Garros & SW19 in three consecutive seasons – and that I’m sure is impossible to achieve even for Federer… He didn’t chickened out on McEnroe or Jimbo – that’s a total nonsense! Imagine if he had played for another, let’s say 3-4 years and attended the Aussie Open as well – that would be surely another 5 or so Slams!


Sean Randall Says:

Okay, so I owe many of you folks an apology for mislabeling you “Fed Freaks”. It’s not aimed toward the common fans of Federer, more so at the ones who post on many message boards and threads and go on the attack the instant somebody, anybody suggests Federer might not be as great as he seems. You guys know who are.

But what irks me – and the reason for my original post – is why some of you have to continually trash Sampras and his era which according to you offered little in the way of resistance.

I choose 1996 simply because that’s 10 years ago. I never said it was tougher 10 years ago than it is today, but many of you suggest it was easier 10 years or so ago, so I simply asked you to tell me why you felt that. I didn’t ask if you thought Roger’s the greatest. Or Pete.

My original post was not about who’s the greatest but about if you think Pete faced little in the way of competition in the mid 90s, than explain to me why you thought that. Make that argument because I think that claim is garbage. Ben did. Tejuz did, But few others.

Yeah, comparing era’s is a tough thing to do, but if you are going to trash Pete’s than I’m gonna ask you why and pull up some facts.

And in case you forgot, Pete was one hell of player, had an incredible game and unbelievable desire to win. Fourteen Slam, 64 titles, and he reached at least one Slam final in 11 straight years to close his career, which of course ended on top with a US Open title. Not to mention six straight years at No. 1. Insane.

I admit I never really liked the guy, still don’t. I thought he was boring, not really that interesting personality-wise, I rooted against him but I damn well respected his game and what he accomplished.

So can’t you guys get off his back? Your guy Rog is going to go down as the greatest, isn’t that enough??

Be thankful you got to watch not one but two, and for some three and more, of the all-time greats.

But if you want to call Fed the greatest right now, I’m fine with that. I’m with you. I’ll listen.

Fed’s record speaks for itself. In addition to his Slam results, Fed’s 24 straight tournament finals is a streak I don’t think will ever be broken. He won like 23 straight vs. top 10 players a few years back. And as Agassi says, there’s no place to go when you play him. With Pete, according to Andre, there was.

So you don’t have to trash Pete and all his accomplishments, the guys he played against, and his era in the process? What’s the point of that??

Go visit youtube and type in Sampras and watch some of his videos. If after you still feel like he wasn’t much of a top player so be it. But don’t trash his accomplishments.


nick Says:

Sean Randall,

Still no response to facts and precise questions. And nobody is trashing Sampras – just read the sentences above again (its plain english, you are a “writer”, shouldn’t be that hard). I have repeatedly said he was a great player. just not GOAT.

Well, I guess you don’t have any answers to my questions, or to the data that francis posted. You just want to continue with subjective opinions and feelings, not facts or objective assessment, it seems.

Case closed.


cheng lee Says:

lot of bias in america.sampras good but you peple ignore othercountry.china kick your butt now.wait for beijing olimpic.


allcourt Says:

The level of reason and solid thinking that is reached by the posters disagreeing with Sean is best exemplified by the guy who listed the names of SIX not-so-great players to show that Pete faced weak competition in his FOURTEEN Slam semis and finals. I know that there were times when Pete faced players more than once, so I won’t expect you to list 28 players, but — really — why would you consider only six of the many players he faced if you’re trying to make a major point?

Sean made a simple statement: AS THE RECORDS STAND NOW, Roger is not a better candidate for GOAT than Pete Sampras. (I’m a Federphile, and I agree with that BTW).

You’ve got to at least have your math right if you want to knock that argument down! Show that more than half of the Slam semifinalists and finalists Pete faced were “scrubs,” and you may have a chance of participating sensibly in the discussion.


IF Says:

Regarding your original post, you are correct (mostly) in your criticism of a certain strain of Fed Fans. Certainly, there are people who claim that Fed is better because Sampras faced “No One”. This Fed Freak viewpoint conflates two distinct arguments, 1) Fed is better, and 2) Sampras faced “No One” (i.e., Sampras is over-rated). I agree with each of these points, but do not agree with the illegitimate combination of the two. In other words, 1) Fed is better notwithstanding the lesser (see 2006 rankings) or equivalent (see 2004 rankings) competition, and 2) Sampras IS over-rated.

The second argument has nothing to do with the first. The second argument is most clearly seen by comparing 1985 to 1996 (And, yes, I am choosing 1985 because it makes my argument look better). The rankings for 1985 was: 1 Lendl, 2 McEnroe, 3 Wilander, 4 Connors, 5 Edberg, 6 Becker, 7 Noah, 8 Järryd, 9 Mecir, 10 Curren. Where would the number 2 player in 1996 rank in this list? Top 5? Nope. Top Ten? I have no idea, actually. Point being, maybe there is some room (as in a great deal of room) to question Sampras’ GOATness (although not his greatness). Sampras’ competition was weak with the exception of Sampras (when he decided to show up) and Becker (during his late 1990′s resurgence). Oh, yeah, and Rafter. In any event, it seems like Sampras did not always have a STRONG number 2, much less a STRONG top 3 or 4 with which to compete.

Your point, I think, is that Fed Freaks have no angle for attack on this issue. But, this is only true as it relates to a direct attack. Fed Freaks can not compare the competition. But, they can claim that Sampras’ competition was weak, that his numbers are inflated, and that the comparison of the numbers must account for the Anomalous Sampras results. Of course, such an indirect attack must also undermine Fed, in the end.

In conclusion, yes, You win, some Fed Freaks are dope-tastic, but still, Sampras as GOAT is not quite the indefensible position one might suppose.


FloridaTennis Says:

I want to touch on Sean Randall’s – and consequently Moya’s – argument that there Top Ten were better in the 90′s than today. And and both Sean and Moya are right. Ljubicic, Blake and Davydenko do not come close to Becker, Edberg and Agassi when it comes to mental toughness and winning the big points in the business end of slams. And I doubt they ever will.

However….what I have said in the above paragraph in no way guarantees that Sampras is the better player than Federer. Why? Because look at one of the greatest ’90s top-ten players ever: Agassi. Agassi played all those great competitors of the ’90s, and dominated most of them except Sampras. BUT Federer won NINE MATCHES IN A ROW against Agassi between the end of 2003 and 2005. Sure, people make the excuse that this was an “older” Agassi, past his prime, but come on folks, his game didn’t exactly fold up and die in those years. He was ranked #1 in 2003, and made the US Open finals in 2005, almost holding a 2-set-to-1 advantage over Fed. And it was after that US Open final that Andre himself said that Fed is the best he’s played against. Do you all really think that Sampras could pull of NINE STRAIGHT WINS against Agassi? Sure, he won a lot against Agassi. But remember, Agassi sure won a lot against Pete, because as Agassi himself said, with Pete you knew where to go, it was a matter of getting there on that day. But there’s no place to go against Roger.

On a less significant note, Fed has also won something like 10 matches in a row against Lleyton Hewitt, something that neither Sampras or Agassi managed to do.

So what it boils down to is, we’ll never really know how Fed would do against Becker, Edberg, Courier, and Sampras in their prime, because for the most part, their generations did not really collide. But Fed has played, and dominated, at least a few players who did play the great competitors of the 90′s, and that’s got to be some kind of sign in favor of Fed.


FloridaTennis Says:

Here’s part II of my argument that Fed is the better player. Let’s look at the year 1993. That’s the first year Sampras really won multiple slams and became year-end Number 1. What happened to his competitors that year? Edberg lost to Novacek (???) of all players, in the very first round of the U.S. Open. Becker lost that same year to Magnus Larsson in the 4th round. Courier lost to Pioline in that tournament. Sampras went on to dominate the next 5 years. Tell me this – did Edberg’s, Becker’s or Courier’s game really rise all that consistently, after 1993???? Sure, there were moments, but not consistent moments – nothing like they were before 1993. The only player from 1993-1998 that challenged Pete consistently was Agassi – and Agassi was someone who Fed has beaten NINE TIMES IN A ROW since the end of 2003, something that Pete never managed to do. So Fed is, without a doubt, the better player than Pete.


Musing Says:

Sean,

Your point is well taken. I am sure many of us, who are currently Federer fans, were Sampras fans at one time, like myself and still are. But Sampras was past, and Federer is present. And Federer is beautiful. He is more than statistics. He plays some of the most beautiful tennis that I have seen.

I am sure all this negatieve response that came in response to your article has more to do with the way you try to create a strawman – “Fed freaks”, and punch this strawman to get your point across.

Freaks exists everywhere they are always in a minority. I am sure you will find Sampras freaks too. I post sometimes at BBC message boards – and there, there are many. You just have to see them.

There is no point arguing with freaks, for they are freaks. If your argument is directed towards freaks – let me tell you it wont matter to them.

As far as most of us are concerned Sampras was great and Federer is right up there, and better than him. Facts dont lie neither our eyes. Just because Federer is a tennis genius doesnt make Sampras any smaller person. Federer has only gone higher.

Just sit back and enjoy his tennis as long as it last.

Regards
Musing.


nadalpickbutt Says:

And…most importantly TMF plays tennis without picking his butt..unlike Nadal who is aggressive but ugly..picking his butt everytime he serves.

Nadalpickbutt


Raoul Says:

Good statistics on the board here.

sampras never dominated like federer. he lost many more matches even at his peak to really ordinary players, even on grass. that’s not GOAT.

the man to beat is lendl. 94 titles, 8 slams, several 74-6 type years, at least 2 finals in all grand slams, 19 slam finals, more than 1000 atp match wins – all this in the 1980s, when it was the toughest. someone posted the top 10 in 1985. sampras would have been another becker in that era. great, but not GOAT.

federer’s domination is at a different level. the gap between him and others has never been seen in tennis before. sampras barely made no1 most of the time – was never 2000, 3000 points ahead of no2, and 4000/5000 points ahead of no 3.

lendl is the GOAT. Federer will be the GOAT, but not yet there. Even Borg can be argued to be ahead of sampras as GOAT.

its a wrong discussion to just focus on sampras. you can’t call yourelf objective and then focus on just one or two statistics, instead of all of them. that’s being semi blind and/or biased because sampras is american.


ctbmar Says:

All I want to say is that if I need to choose a player to represent me for a bet or if my life is at stake, I would choose Federer as my number 1 choice
to play in a round robin for 4 matches each on all 4 surfaces. My 2nd choice will be Lendl. Lendl’s record against even Sampras was impressive, even though Sampras is 11 years younger than him. Check out Lendl’s dominance over his peers once he starts dominating, he is relentless. Even though Lendl did not win Wimbledon, he made it to the finals twice and I am sure if he did not try playing so much net play, and just play his dominating baseline game, he could have won at least the 1985 final against Kevin Curren. Seriously, those who supports Sampras, do you really think Sampras can beat Federer in 16 matches, 4 matches in all 4 surfaces? Outright, Sampras will lose all 4 matches on clay. Well, I rather choose Federer over Sampras and any other player in the past and present if a bet/life at stake is involved.


Amir Says:

Let’s not forget that Federer has the talent but also has Pete’s own (great)career as a point of reference.The “washed out” 2001 Sampras still took him to 5 sets and W and made it to the final of the us open.With all do respect to Agassi,I don’t think the 35 years old andre whould have found much safety zone against the 24 year old Sampras either.He just forgot because it was 10 years ago.The bottom line is we will never know what would have happend.There is no one out there playing federer who is even remotely close to being the player Sampras 94-97 was.If they play 10 matches I guess it would be real close.


Rainbow YH Says:

Why all the fuss anyway? Just because Moya opened his mouth and expressed disappointment with the current crop of tennis players?

Moya’s game can be interesting to watch but those moments don’t seem to come along too often these days, do they? Why? It doesn’t seem that long ago that he was considered a force.

I must admit I was a Sampras fan and today I’m crazy about Federer. I have never felt any dislike for Moya. I do, however, find his comment bewildering. Without meaning any disrepect, could it be a case of “sour grapes”?


Ish Says:

Can I just say that most of you have been ignoring what Sean has been saying… the way I see it is that he’s contesting the view that Sampras’ achievements should be lessened due to the alleged “lack of depth” of his era when compared with today’s. Period.

Correct me if I’m wrong. I just didn’t read the part where he said that Pete was the GOAT and there was tonnes of depth in 96 and none in 06.

Personally, I don’t feel qualified to state who is the GOAT.

p.s. I’m 1/2 English, 1/2 Trinidadian
p.s.s. Does anyone know where to get some high quality tennis DVDs? I’ve pretty much exhausted the decent torrent files.


Tejuz Says:

My view:

Mid 80′s or rather the whole of 80′s had a very deep top 10 vying for the top spot..than say ’06 or ’96. Thats because Sampras and Federer have been very dominant.

Explain what do u mean by depth or ‘lack of depth’..

1. Is it number of players competing for no1
2. No of guys able to push the No 1 out of his comfort zone and also a healthy competition between each other.

Regarding a post about the ‘washed-out’ Sampras in 2001 4 Rnd against Federer. Please see the tapes of this match.. Sampras was serving and volleying as well as anybody. It was a high-quality match with very few un-forced errors. And post-match conf, Sampras did say that he had a great match, and also gave credit to Federer for pulling it through, calling him ‘extra-special’.


Himant Says:

And I agree with FloridaTennis’s comment – other than Agassi, exactly who were Sampras’s competitors from 1993-1998, when he reigned as Number 1? Becker, Edberg and Courier were Pete’s next biggest competitors after Agassi, and none of their games were really as good after 1993 than before 1993.


Tejuz Says:

If Federer had played in 80′s or 90′s he would have completed his Grand-Slam by winning a few French Opens(not to mention a few more Clay Master Series Titles)because there wasnt any Rafael Nadal at that time.. So that would have already propelled him to the mantle of GOAT.

So just waiting for him to win the next French Open..which i think hez very much capable of.


ctbmar Says:

I wrote in another tennis forum in reply to the topic “Build a tennis player that could beat Federer”. The rules was that I could not repeat any players.

Here’s my virtual player…
1a. Serve & Smash : Pete Sampras
1b. Return Of Serve : Andre Agassi

2. Forehand : Ivan Lendl / Jim Courier / James Blake / Fernando Gonzalez

3a. Backhand (Topspin) : Gustavo Kuerten / Richard Gasquet
3b. Backhand (Slice) : Ken Rosewall

4. Volley Execution: John McEnroe / Stefan Edberg / Patrick Rafter
4a. Volley Touch, Reflex, Angles, Drop : John McEnroe
4b. Volley Net-Coverage & Shoe-String : Stefan Edberg
4c: Volley Athletism & Anticipation : Patrick Rafter

5. Speed, Quickness : Marcelo Rios / Guillermo Coria / Marcos Baghdatis

6a. Offensive & Defensive Lobs : Lleyton Hewitt
6b. Hustling & Retrieving : Rafael Nadal

7a. Mental (Grit, Tenacity, Never-Say-Die) : Micheal Chang
7b. Mental (Utilization of Strategy, Patience, Stonewall) : Mats Wilander

8. Raw Power : Marat Safin / Andy Roddick / Boris Becker

9. Speed Of The Mind
9a. Reading the game, on court anticipation: Rod Laver
9b. Pulling the trigger, sense time to kill/wipeout/bagel : Jimmy Connors

10. Balance, Smooth Movement & Stroke Efficiency : Bjorn Borg

This virtual player will give Federer a good fight. Now after analysing all elements:
Virtual Elements 1a, 4, 8 are stronger than Federer.
Virtual Elements 1b, 3, 5, 6b, 7, 9a, 10 are on par with Federer.
Virtual Element 2, 6a, 9b are weaker than Federer.

After doing this exercise, I realise that I was cracking my brain to find someone that can beat or match Roger, because he is top 5 or top 10 best ever for every category. Try doing the same exercise, to creat a virtual player against Sampras, and I am sure, it is a lot easier. For those in denial that Federer is a better player than Sampras, try this exercise. You will find more players that can beat or match Sampras in all the categories.


Kryptonite Says:

I for one am a huge federer fan, but can honestly say that this debate is much like every guys performance……premature!

Federer by his own admission is having his best year so far, and therefore by definition hasn’t peeked yet. Again, by Federer’s own admission he does not consider himself to be the greatest tennis player of all time……yet. If he doesn’t think it then who are we to tell him he’s wrong?

How Sampras is considered the GOAT ahead of Borg I’ll never know. Borg won everything….and lots of times…and had great opponents like some guys called McEnroe and Connors. He won wimbledon 5 times on the trot….with a racquet resembling an oversized, wooden spoon.

In my opinion Zeus…uhhh I mean Federer….will probably eclipse the likes of Borg and Sampras but until that day comes can we not put this discussion on ice? As for who would win if they played each other in their prime…we’ll never know..


Kryptonite Says:

ctbmar….you have too much time on your hands dude.


Tejuz Says:

ctbmar … that was a pretty nice analysis.

I used to be a huge huge fan of Becker.
Even though i was rooting against Sampras most of the times .. i did admire his game and tried to imitate him.
But never have i enjoyed watching a tennis
match as much as i do when i watch any of Federer’s matches..especially when am in a centre-court, live, where all the crowd around you are amazed most of the times of his shot-making.

Double-bonus if the match is against a in-form Marat Safin :-)

well.. i know this post is not in sync with the discussion.


arun Says:

Lendl (the top players of the 80s) won 8 slams, but that left room for other GREAT players to emerge and win 6+ slams over the same decade (wilander, becker, edberg). Because lendl never won his slams clustered 3 in a year repeatedly, so there was room.

Bottomline – Lendl definitely faced competition from GREAT players.

Sampras won 10 slams during 1993-98, his reign. But that also left enough room for others – 14 slams to be precise – for someone else to win during those 6 years. So sampras won 10/24, or about 40% of the slams during his reign. Nobody stepped up to win more than 2 of those, not even agassi (he bloomed after 1999). THAT’s what is an indicator of LACK of great players.

Bottomline – Sampras definitely did NOT face competition from great players.

Difference is – Fed has won 8 over three years (2004-06), leaving only 4 for others, 3 of which are french opens, where, historically, other than Borg, nobody has been very consistent. Fed is winning, 67% (8/12) slams, so that is definitely not leaving much room for any other great player to emerge. This kind of slam winning percentage has NEVER been seen in tennis before. Period. Open era or not. Or in any other individual sport. Now this could be because Federer is a genius, or because the competition is not that good – we can never know for sure, since in this case, it will always be impossible to separate the two hypothesis.

Bottomline – Fed May or May not be facing great players today.

Draw whatever conclusions you want from this – but this is an accurate analysis.


razr Says:

Sampras was 5-3 lifetime against lendl (played him during 1990-94), 8-6 against Edberg (90-95), and 12-7 against becker (1990-97).

1. Sampras never “dominated” these guys.

2. Sampras never played these guys at THEIR peak (1980s), though they played Sampras at HIS peak (1993 onwards).

3. If you go deeper, you’ll find that most of Sampras’s wins came during the later years – Lendl was 30 years old even in 1990, Edberg was washed out by 1992, Becker was nowhere near his peak after 1993.

4. It would have been far tougher for Sampras if had to play the Lendl of 1985-86, the becker of 1989, or the edberg of 1988.

5. If you put sampras at his best against these guys at their best, obviously Sampras would win less matches – given the slender lead, he would probably have had a losing record, especially against lendl.

Sampras still the GOAT? come on. Sampras is the American GOAT.


Fan of Tennis Says:

Kryptonite said “Borg won everything…”…

Uhm… I guess the U.S. Open isn’t anything since Borg didn’t win that tournament in his career.? :)


jcc Says:

It’s not just his winning percentage and his dominance that makes Federer so great, but his natural talent and grace. All this talk about slams and year-end no. 1′s is futile. It’s much better to let the pros give their opinions: Laver, Agassi, Sampras, Borg, Blake, etc, etc.


ben Says:

Yeah I think that is something that should be mentioned. Not only did Agassi and Henman call Federer amazing, but Sampras himself has ackaknowledged that Federer will most likely break all of Pete’s own records, including slams and year end number 1′s. But just in terms of game, Sampras agrees with all the others who have said that Federer is the most talented and complete player to ever step on the court.


Hadrian Wise Says:

Just a few comments.

1. Don’t make disparaging remarks about Laver. It’s not his fault he was 29 when the Open era began. How does it make him a worse player? EVEN THOUGH he was 29-30, he won The Slam IN THE OPEN ERA. No other man has done that. It’s also nonsense that everything was on grass. 3 of 4 slams were on grass, but when Laver won The Slam as an amateur in 1962, he won 9 or 10 tournaments on clay APART FROM the French, including Rome & Hamburg. He won most of the major tournaments he entered as a professional when barred from the slams, beating the then best players in the world mostly on indoor surfaces, & won countless titles (overall more than 160) on grass, clay, wood, hard, AND carpet, in the amateur/pro AND Open eras. The Greatest? I think so.

2. The comparison of the Top 10s makes 2006 look bad because we think of the 1996 players in the light of their SUBSEQUENT as well as (then) current achievements. So for us, Ivanisevic is a Wimbledon champion, Kafelnikov won slams on 2 surfaces, Agassi has the career slam & is one of the greatest. None of this was true at the time. Ivanisevic had lost 2 Wimbledon finals & done little else. His record was comparable to Nalbandian’s. Krajicek had just won Wimbledon but done little else. Roddick’s year-end No. 1 puts him way ahead. Kafelnikov had just won the French from nowhere – not much better than Baghdatis, who’s just reached a slam final & slam semi from nowhere this year. Muster was a king of clay, but won the French only once – comparable to Nadal, but inferior. Enqvist & Ferreira were no better than Ljubicic & Blake – remember, Ljubo’s won the Davis Cup. Agassi had 3 slams – already better than most of 2006, but he had a long way to go and so might they. Still, he beats Gonzalez easily & Chang easily beats Robredo. And Becker, a great who was nonetheless past his peak, beats Davy. Which leaves Federer, whose 9 slams beat Sampras’s 8, while Sampras’s 4 years at No. 1 beat Fed’s 3.

So 1996 is slightly, but only slightly better, while being, as somebody has pointed out, far inferior to 1985. But this year isn’t over yet, & if past good players such as Safin or Hewitt get back into the top 10 by the end of the year, or future stars such as Djokovic or Gasquet do, 2006 will look v. similar to 1996 in 10 years’ time.

3. The fact that Sampras lost 33 matches to non-slam-winners in his peak years, against Federer’s 8 such losses (some of whose victors will probably win slams in future), makes the above irrelevant.


nick Says:

Sampras was 5-3 on lendl (he played him during 1990-94), 8-6 on edberg (1990-95) and 12-7 on becker (1990-97). Total of 25-16 against these three, or about 3:2 (3 wins out of 5 matches on average). Its 41 matches, so its not a small sample.

1. Sampras was on the up and at his peak for all these matches, while these three were past their peak and on the down for ALL these matches.

2. Sampras never faced the lendl of 85-86, or the becker of 89, or the edberg of 1988. Lendl was 30 when they first played in 1990!

3. Many of these matches were in 1993, 94, 95, 96, 97 – the peak years of sampras, and clearly the yester years of lendl, becker, edberg.

4. Sampras still lost more of his earlier matches, and made up for it after 1992.

5. In spite of so much asymmetry, he could only manage to win 3 out of 5 matches on average. That’s pretty close (wouldn’t you call 3-2 sets in a 5 set match close?)

6. Sampras never played lendl on clay, because sampras could rarely make it to the later stages of a clay tournament. Even a 33 year old lendl would have clobbered the sampras of 1993 on clay.

What does that tell you?

If Sampras had played these three at THEIR peak, he wouldn’t have had a winning record, especially if it was evenly distributed across all surfaces (becker and edberg were no slouches on clay – becker reached the french semi thrice, edberg reached the french finals).

Sampras was lucky he wasn’t born 10 years earlier (or later!!). Either ways, his 14 slams would have turned to 6.


TennisDoc Says:

I’ve thought long and hard about the Fed/Sampras question and here’s where I come out.

Fed is more talented and infinitely more fun to watch. His gracefullness is awe-inspiring.

Sampras, on the other hand, was kind of boring to watch. Huge serves, great volleys, and very predictable groundstrokes except for the occasional brilliant running crosscourt forehand.

But, I believe Sampras at his best would beat Federer on fast courts.

Fed does not have a great return of serve and Sampras had arguably the best serve of all time. If Sampras could dominate Agassi on the serve, I don’t think he’d have any trouble against Fed.

Now, I grant you that Fed would win most groundstroke rallies but Sampras would be too smart to get into those exchanges.

He’d chip and charge Fed’s second serve and make him pass with backhands. We all know that Fed can break down on the backhand side.

The match would be old school –short points but I believe Sampras would win.

By the way, tennis fans can download a free tennis carton screensaver at
Free Tennis Cartoon Screensaver


Eric Says:

Tennis Doc you are right on the money. Except Sampras would lose.

I can say that I remember when edberg dismantled sampras at the 92 US open. Edberg with the weak forhand and serve at a paltry 110 miles an hour. (he was a serve and volleyer!!) Edberg destroyed sampras with his brain and albeit, sampras never forgot it on his way to almost 10 yrs of domination.

When the Fed beat sampras at Wimbledon, that turning point for Fed spoke so much more about how special he was than it did when Sampras got serious after LOSING in 92. I admit I am one of those guys who has to learn from failure. Federer proved he is the prodigy, the young gun smart enough to beat a still reasonably young 29/30 yr old sampras. I am of the older generation but even I amd smart enough and won’t say the game was tougher back when and the Fed wouldnt be dominating. Oh, he would be. No one since can put it together like Roger, His serve(just as good as sampras) (forehand just as good maybe better) Federer has learned to IMPROVE his backhand while on TOP. Its just as good as petes ever was. Fed volleys better, and lets be serious Pete never played to his fitness, He bailed himself out with his serve or a big forehand. No one would say Sampras is more athletic than Roger. This is how he made Sampras serves in 01 look slow, by returning them with his quickness and athleticism. Just watch the clips on youtube.

I’m sorry I am over 30 and remember watching connors as well as Big Mac try to beat Agassi at Wimbledon(couldnt). Federer is just special.


Ode to Eric Says:

Eric you are quite right – a lot of top players lost to Agassi during the 90′s. However the only difference is, Federer only lost to agassi 3 times in 12 meetings. No player has ever dominated Agassi this way, not even Pete.


Raoul Says:

Sampras was 5-3 on lendl, lifetime – all of those matches were played after 1990 (till 1994), when lendl was over 30, and sampras was getting to / at his peak. none of them was on clay.

if sampras had played the lendl of 1985-86 – you can only imagine. Add to it an equal share of matches on clay.

Sampras would have gotten f…ed. He was lucky to be born 10 year later than lendl, and 10 years before Fed.


Tejuz Says:

Tennis Doc,
we are talking about Sampras vs the most ‘complete’ player ever(as most ex-pros have put it). Federer wouldnt play into Sampras’ hand. If you watch the Fed vs Sampras 2001 match, just look at the returns that Fed was making on Sampras’ serve, most of them were winners.. if not so low that it was difficult for Sampras to volley. And Federer has only improved from then on..he is immensly strong mentally. Fed even had around the same amount of Aces as Sampras.
If you look at Fed’s record agaisnt big Servers, he has always out-aced them.
I guess his serve and movement is the under-rated than what they are worth.


Tejuz Says:

Agassi always played from baseline.. Fed can chage his strategy to serve-volley if he needs to. Fed just has too many options.. and he knows how and when to use them.


PeteFan Says:

what is up with some of you people who say Federer would kill Pete? did anyone but me watch the US Open final this year, or last year, or the Wimbledon finals that Fed has won?

granted he wins those matches, but there are moments of doubt (unlike when he plays Hewitt!)

roddick had Fed in some pressure this year in the US Open final. don’t you think that Pete could match that or do better than Andy? or do you think Andy is better than Pete?

what about at Wimbledon a few years back. roddick serve/volleyed his way to a set and a break before the rain came. if Pete was in Roddick’s shoes that day playing somewhat decent wouldn’t he be able to similar damage?? be able to apply even more pressure??

and if Rafa can squeeze a set from Roger at Wimbledon, I think Pete could squeeze two – oh yeah, he did that albeit he lost.

just how old was Agassi last year when Fed beat him? 35? was Andre peaking at 35? I highly doubt it. but Fed was having some trouble up until that third set tiebreak, and if he’s having trouble with a 35-year-old Agassi, don’t you think he’d be in a lot more trouble with Sampras at his prime??

seems like common sense.

and why does Rafa own Roger, if Roger is sooooo great? Rafa BTW hasn’t won a title since beating Roger at the French (maybe he did win one??) and four of his last five have come at the expense of Roger. And how come Rafter had a 3-0 record on Fed, when Fed supposedly destroys all serve/volleyrs since he can pass and return like no one else???

speaking of serve/volleyers, how in the hell does Tim Henman still win matches when he’s way past his prime and guys that play serve/volley like Sampras wouldn’t stand a chance in this day and age???

and how in the world did sampras, when he won the us open 4 years back, break roddick 4 times if the guy has no baseline game and little in the way of return??

just wondering! clue me in.


Eric Says:

Loyal Petefan, Fed wouldnt go 10-0 vs pete but he would win a majority on their dominant surfaces (grass, hard) Why? Mentally Pete dominated
Agassi all those yrs. Andre at #1 99-2000 still couldnt beat pete even though at the time, andre had greater weapons, he had finally outworked pete in fitness, shotmaking and was blowing people away off the ground, big server or not. But when they faced each other, Pete always knew how to get an edge, with unbelievable serving or just Andre inexplicably missing shots he made against others (dont tell me you dont remember those many times)

Mentally Roger knows he has just a little bit more than Pete. Proven in 01, Fed’s game neutralizes Pete and even he knew it that day. Roddick is dominated mentally by Fed such as Agassi. getting games/even sets off Fed can be done by the lowest ranking ATP tour guy, but he wont win. Nadal….We all know the clay court curse so many greats have had. But ask yourself, how many French open finals did Pete participate in? Brugeura/Kuertan, away from clay , were dominated by pete. just as Nadal was dominated by Fed at this past Wimbledon.

Pete Sampras dominant yrs against Fed these few yrs would probably be like discovering Gold out of a goose’s ass. will never happen. But thats just the progression the game has made over the yrs. BTW Andre should be given so much credit for sustaining his level of play as he aged, even surpassing it a few yrs. That is probably the lesson i’ll take since i’ll never have fed’s or petey’s talent in their era’s


Hadrian Wise Says:

Sorry, did I just read somebody saying that Federer’s return wasn’t much good? And conversely, somebody else saying that Federer’s serve is better than Sampras’s? Wow.

By the way, Don Bradman is regarded as the greatest of all batsmen because his Test batting AVERAGE is 99, about 40 – FORTY – ahead of his nearest rival. Of course many players have scored more Test runs in total since, because players now play many more Tests, but the average shows the quality.


Raoul Says:

Pete fans don’t want to face all the stats. Here’s some from an article on atptennis.com today:

Federer’s Dominance at No. 1

Roger Federer is scheduled to play four more tournaments (including Madrid) before the end of the season. He is on pace to become the first player in the Open Era to win 10 or more ATP titles three years in a row and more than 80 matches in back-to-back seasons since Ivan Lendl in 1981-82. Over the last three years Federer has dominated the ATP circuit like Lendl did nearly 20 years ago:

From 2004-2006 (heading into Madrid):

Consecutive Weeks at No. 1 141 (since Feb. 2, 2004-Oct. 9)

W-L Finals Record 31-5

Tournaments Won-Played (Pct.) 31 of 46 (.674)

Grand Slam Titles Won-Played 8 of 12 (9 of 14 since ’03 Wimb.)

W-L Match Record (Pct.) 232-15 (.939)

Record vs. Top 10 Opponents 44-6 (five losses to Nadal)

Players to finish No. 1 three or more consecutive years:
Federer is on pace to finish with the best three-year record at No. 1 since the inception of the ATP Rankings in 1973. Federer has won nearly 94 percent (.939) of his matches in the last three years and captured 67 percent of the tournaments he’s entered (31 titles in 46 tourn., including 8 of 12 Grand Slams). Here is a look at how Federer compares to the other players who have finished No. 1 for three straight years:

Federer

2004: 74-6, 11 titles (3 G.S.)

2005: 81-4, 11 titles (2 G.S.)

2006: 77-5, 9 titles (3 G.S.) still going!

Totals: 232-15 (.939), 31 titles (8 G.S.)

Pete Sampras

1993: 85-16, 8 titles (2 G.S.)

1994: 77-12, 10 titles (2 G.S.)

1995: 72-16, 5 titles (2 G.S.)

Totals: 234-44 (.845), 23 titles (6 G.S.)

Ivan Lendl

1985: 84-7, 11 titles (1 G.S.)

1986: 74-6, 9 titles (2 G.S.)

1987: 74-7, 8 titles (2 G.S.)

Totals: 232-20 (.921), 28 titles (5 G.S.)

John McEnroe

1982: 71-9, 5 titles (0 G.S.)

1983: 63-11, 7 titles (1 G.S.)

1984: 82-3, 13 titles (2 G.S.)

Totals: 216-23 (.904), 25 titles (3 G.S.)

Jimmy Connors

1976: 90-7, 12 titles (1 G.S.)

1977: 70-11, 8 titles (0 G.S.)

1978: 66-6, 10 titles (1 G.S.)

Totals: 226-24 (.904), 30 titles (2 G.S.)

Apeman is LAST as per these comprehensive stats!!


Raoul Says:

Sampras fans,

Riddle me with this… Why is Sampras’s record the WORST when compared to Fed, lendl, mcenroe and connors, in terms of how they dominated their opposition?

And don’t give me the crap about competition being less when lendl was playing. That’s 100% false.

Why? Why would sampras lose so often? Why was he the easiest one to beat, AT HIS PEAK, out of these 5?

I hope some sampras fan would have the guts and the objectivity to answer this!!


Tejuz Says:

PeteFan .. Do u mean to say that if someone takes a set off Federer, in a finals… there are moments of doubt(in whose minds?? Federer’s or yours??) and what abt the ‘n’ number of 5 setters that Sampras has faced in his finals?? is he never in doubt???

Dont people get soooooooo excited to see Fed lose a set :-) most of them are tie-breakers … Thats just a testimony to his peer-less domination.

The stats from Raoul says it all.. Pete was the least dominant of all the No 1 in a 3 year stretch.

Or is it that the competition was at its best only during the 90′s .. ha ha …

and well.. except for Nadal.. Federer has never lost to the same player twice in last 3 years .. Doesnt he learn quickly???


Bonitto Says:

What a crazy sets of Federer fans, really crazy you all are, Pete is the greatest, what is so hard to understand in that, I say the truth hurt, but it is still the truth crazy Fed fans.


Jeff Says:

One thing to consider about the GOAT is the court speed. Sampras interest in being dominant waned after ’97, however the old Deco Turf/Supreme Court surface allowed him to get away being pretty much two dimensional with bombing serve and huge forehand.

The new Deco Turf II has a lot more sand in it and I think Sampras would be exposed on this surface – as late in his career he didn’t have the patience to construct points like the Fed does.

My Top 5 (based upon my eyes)
1. Borg
2. Fed
3. Sampras
4. Lendl
5. Agassi/McEnroe


PeteFan Says:

tejuz –

wasn’t bagdaddy up a set and a break(?) on fed at the aussie open this year?

at wimbledon nadal was hanging with fed in those second/third sets, which both could have been won by rafa?

and us open where roddick had several chances to take that third set but failed. similar to agassi last year.

fed won them all, true. but they weren’t “walk in the parks”. and i think pete would have done more damage then those opponents, you agree?


raoul Says:

Petefan,

Sampras lost 14 sets in winning in first 4 wimbledon titles. Borg lost 12 sets in his first 4 wimbledons.

Federer lost 5.

5 sets. that’s it. in 28 matches, on grass, in wimbledon.

Pete lost 14 sets in 28 matches on grass at wimbledon. In other words, Pete lost on average 1 set every 2 matches, on his favorite surface on his favorite ground.

What does that tell you, Petefan?

Sampras fans have a tendency to focus on just one piece on information, and ignore 10 others. Much like the current administration and their selling of the iraq war.


Mark Ebony Says:

I must say that this is my first visit to the site and I am VERY impressed. This subject has been running through my mind and all of you have made this a wonderful 1st experience.

I especially commend Sean Randall for having the guts to stand up to Feder-phyles. Controversy and guts creates buzz! People like Sean make it interesting.

Incidentally, I am a huge Sampras fan but have such a great admiration for Federer. He is the best tennis player TODAY for a million reasons as you all have shown.

However in terms of being ALL TIME GREATEST…pheww….! Until Federer beats Pete’s number of Slams record or until Fed wins the grand slam or even the career grand slam, he will not be considered as THE greatest. I am sure we can all agree.

Also, you cannot compare eras in tennis or in any other sport because there are too many dynamics and what ifs.

Right now Pistol Pete is the measuring stick…and it is up to Roger to prove otherwise. Give it time.

P.S. It won’t matter anyway because in about one year and a half Nadal is going to kick Fed’s ass even more donsistently than he does now.

And the ALL TIME greatest list should read:
(1) Pete Sampras;(2) Rod Laver;(3) Roger Federer; (4) Bjorn Borg; (5)Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors all tied for fifth place.

Peace!


Robin Says:

Mark Ebony

You seem to have missed many of the posts here, especially the ones with facts.

most people are not saying that federer is the greatest “right now”. most people are saying that he is “headed there”. At least that’s my view.

What most people are saying, which you seem to have missed, is that Sampras is DEFINITELY not the greatest ever. Great, but not the greatest. You may think otherwise, everybody is entitled to their opinion, but the facts prove beyond doubt that he is not the greatest.

Laver, Lendl and Borg are clearly superior to Sampras, if you take the time and effort to carefully compare their records, and infer something reliable from statistics, not just focus on one stat.

Fed isn’t even half done yet.

As for nadal, his steroids will carry him through the clay seasons for a couple of years. But outside of clay – you got to be kidding. Joachim Johansson, ranked 690, kicked his butt (that he constantly picks) in straight sets last week. The guy hasn’t won anything since the french, and won’t. He just can’t beat the top guys anywhere other than clay. He gets very lucky with his draws, like at wimbledon – the only players of repute he faced on his way to the final were an injured, aged Agassi, and baghdatis – who had NEVER won a grass court match in his life before wimbledon. Same thing happened when he won the toronto masters and the madrid masters last year. BTW, he won’t win the madrid masters this year, which is on right now. Wanna bet your life on that?

nadal is just a pumped up clay freak, with little game, but lots of stamina and mental toughness (I’ll give him that). He won’t last till 25, leave alone age 30. He’s also unsporting – that says something about his supporters.


ben Says:

Woah! Woah! Woah! Woah! Nadal? Kick Federer’s ass even more? Hah! That’s a laugh and a half. Nadal’s been getting worse since the Wimbledon final. Well not WORSE but less dominant. And Federer, well, kinda hard for him to be even more dominant than he already is.


Raoul Says:

Sean Randall or the moderator have deleted many of my posts.

I guess they are running scared shitless because their “apeman” has been brought to earth!!

you apeman fans have no balls. Can’t even face the opposite opinion. or facts.

Ha ha.


nadalpickbutt Says:

GLAD TO SEE THAT SOMEONE NOTED THAT NADAL KEEPS PICKING HIS BUTT. IS THERE SOMETHING IN HIS BUTT THAT PROVIDES HIM THE EXTRA ENERGY TO JUMP AROUND LIKE MONKEYS.


Tejuz Says:

Nadal has got lucky outside of Clay. He has never played the likes of Safin, Devydenko and Nalbandian..

He also has a losing record against top players Hewitt, Roddick, Gonzalez, Blake, Berdych.

(and Federer owns them all…. except maybe nalbandian)

So besides Clay.. if he has to beat Federer he would have to get lucky with the Draw, else come through most of the above mentioned players to reach the Finals.

So.. one bad Clay court season and he’s sure to be out of the top 5.


Raoul Says:

Borg just said this about Fed:

“On grass more than anywhere, you can have a bad day and lose. He has won 28 straight at Wimbledon. No one should dare to devalue such an achievement. Federer is the ultimate tennis player in terms of technique. He has no weakness and works hard. Anyone who wants to challenge his standing should be really talented. All records are there to be broken. If my record has to go, it will be nice to go to a champion and great guy like Roger,” added the Swede.


svetlana(RUSSIA) Says:

GOAT is not a GOAT untill he says his final
bbbbbbeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee………….
There were many kings, but #1 and only…
PETER THE GREAT !!!
I never played tennis,neather i know the rules,
but for all of you -you DON’T DESERVE YOUR HEROES, you don’t respect your HISTORY, without
it you are nothing, zero,etc.
For you rAOUL, personaly, may be you have some arithmetic skills(..not talking about advanced algebra, nor statistics..), but you do not have loalty,nor dignity, you do know your rights, but you do not know your responsabilities. Regarding your “apeman”, I’m not sure which tribe you came from?! But I know for sure that PETE came from from highly cultured yet peaceful society of GREAT GREEKS! (I hope it explains some of his personality) Theire capital, Athens, took it’s name from the goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom and knowlege, and is the symbol of freedom and democrasy(which you enjoing and emploing as I see ?!) in the conscience of civilized world, and halted by many people as the cradle of western civilization. His ancsestors introduse us to architecture,astronomy, art, culture, coins (money), history, mathematics,medicine, mythology, phylosophy, poetry, Olympics, sculpture, theater, and etc., etc., etc., even tne fassion , at the time when your tribe may be only cover themselfs with animalskins. So, sorry to say, but you, rAOUL, PLEASE, before you say something or touch the PC, PLEASE, wash your hands, brush your teeth and go to the public transportation and watch over, for thouse dissrespectfull, who didn’t offer their seats to the older, handicaped, pregnant, or to the mathers with small kids. PLEASE!
Small people- small talks, big people- big ideas, GREAT PEOPLE- GREAT DEEDS! BY the way, Alexander the Great was GREEK too!
Pete! YOU ARE THE GREAT!!! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! I BELIEVE IN YOU! ALWAYS YOUR FAITHFUL fan and LOYAL servant.

P.S. for thouse with balls(I mean for you rAUL, I hoped that they not shaved or waxed?! seense you are the generation of pervert taste or fassion, sorry to say that,but you pick-up the subject..) go and get at least one title (I’m not talking about the GRAND SLAMS!) and then LET’S TALK TENNIS !


Hadrian Wise Says:

By the way, I’ve checked the statistics & the true figures are these:

In his peak years (2004-6), Federer has lost 6 matches to players who have never won a slam (before or since beating Fed, none in slams. In his peak years (1993-5), Sampras lost 19 matches to players who never won a slam, including losses to Jamie Yzaga at the 1994 U.S. Open and some nobody I can’t remember in the 1st round of the 2005 French Open.

Lendl, incidentally, lost only 7 matches to non-slam winners in his peak years (1985-7), including a loss to Leconte at Wimbledon 2005. Borg also lost 7 at his peak (1978-80), none at slams. McEnroe lost about 11 or 13 (1981, 1983-4), including a loss to Bill Scanlon at the 1983 U.S. Open.

Now, the importance of this is that there is a lot of argument about how good the best players were in different eras, but most people accept the lesser players were either about the same or are better now. So how the greats did against lesser players is a fair comparison. Federer, on that score, is the best. Borg and Lendl are close. McEnroe’s a little behind. Sampras is way behind him. He was by far the easiest of the 5 to beat if you weren’t especially good.

Nevertheless Sampras’s record is enough to make him the greatest of the Open era (as of now). He has the most slams and the most weeks at No. 1. How come? Because he lasted. While he wasn’t as good as the others when he was No. 1, he was ahead of the rest for longer than they were. That’s all.


Ben Says:

After Fed lost to guga at the 2004 french, some people said – eh, he’s one two slams, he’s not that good, blah blah.

he came back won the next two slams. Upto 4. some people said, ya, he’s good, but long way to go.

in 2005, he lost the first two slams at semis, some people said – eh, flash in the pan, we knew he wasn’t so good.

he came back, won the next two slams, now upto 6. people take some notice, say ya, he’s as good as becker.

he lost the french final this year, something sampras never lost (because he was never good enough to reach the french finals!!!!!!!!!!!!!). some of those people again said – eh, 7 slams, its good, but pete has twice, blah blah blah.

he came back won the next two again. never in the history of tennis has anyone won wimbly and US three years in the row. never in the history of tennis has anyone won 8 slams in 3 years.

now these same idiots are saying – ya, 9 is good, he is great, but not greatest.

wait till he whips your rear sides the next couple of years.

these people will eventually shut up. the petofiles.

the guy (fed) is breaking record after record at a record pace, is making history, doing things that have never been seen in tennis before, but nothing is enough for the petofiles.

just like nothing can sway the real bush fans. mission accomplished.


Raoul Says:

well done moderator, Sean Randall, you again deleted my posts. Why don’t you just delete all pro-federer posts and get it over with, if you can’t handle it?

And don’t hide behind “svetlana”. come out in the open!


skorocel Says:

Robin, I totally agree with you – Fed isn’t even halfway the GOAT, but he’s certainly headed there!

As for Nadal, well, although it’s still very questionable whether he’s using the banned substances or not, he surely won’t last longer than till his mid 20’s with this style of play… It will be either burn-out or an injury which will prevent him from continuing – and this is not a wishful thinking from a “Fed-freak”! Just look at this year – despite drastically reducing the amount of tournaments, he was still forced to skip Beijing (+ experienced several problems with his feet during his matches)…

Don’t know if Nadal’s fans are unsporting, but I will never forget what the guy did to Fed in the Monte Carlo finals! Some of you may say those were real blisters, but that doesn’t matter… What’s important is that he has done this ON PURPOSE, just to break Fed’s concentration… If it were real blisters, then why didn’t he tape them before the match? Anyway, the “blister trick” indeed worked out perfectly, as he was quickly 4-0 ahead in the 1st set, and then later got a VERY IMPORTANT re-break in the beginning of the 3rd set (after doing the it for the 2nd time), just when the match was “suddenly” going Fed’s way… If Fed was doing these things, I would NEVER support him! NEVER!


» The Wednesday Wagers Says:

[...] « More on Federer v. Sampras October 18th, 2006 The Wednesday Wagers by Sean Randall [...]


Ode to Eric Says:

How can we argue when Agassi himself (who has played so many past greats, many more times than Moya) says that Federer is the best he’s played against?


jcc Says:

This thread is lame. Sampras is not the GOAT. Perhaps he is the GAOAT (greatest American of all time) or close to it. How can you even have these arguments and leave out Laver, Lendl, and Borg? Makes no sense to me!


Raoul Says:

Sampras’s maid (svetlana) is also chiming in – the guy must be a good tipper!

BTW, “skorocel” says – Fed isn’t even halfway the GOAT. 9 slams? not even halfway?

Quite amazing to read the range of posts – some objective, while some of them are bizarre, as if th e person lives in a fantasy world. Almost delusional.

BTW


raoul Says:

BTW, if you look around, you will find that nadal fans are people who are more mean, unsporting, unfair and subjective in life. In contrast, Fed fans are generally more sporting, fair and objective. Just watch the people in your everyday life and ask who they support.

Interestingly, nadal fans are also generally sampras fans!


Tennisfanman Says:

Federer will never be GOAT until he can at least even his head/head with Nadal. Sampras never had such a losing record to another opponent. Plus Sampras’ lesser winning percentages and frequent losses to nonames show that his level of tennis fluctuates greatly from match to match. Federer always plays at a high level and I think he has the game to beat Nadal on every surface but it’s all in his head. Even his head/head with Nadal, and I will call Federer GOAT.

Federer also does have a few weakness I think. His backhand slice is not very penetrating and floats high. His topspin backhand can be inconsistent. His volley skills are great for today’s players but due to lack of use, Federer’s volley are not as good as a Sampras or Edberg.

Sampras’ weakness was his day to day fitness and energy level and his weak backhand.


Tennisfanman Says:

Another way to look at Sampras vs Federer is to bring Safin into the mix.

IMHO,

Federer has more talent than Sampras/Safin.
Federer has less firepower than Sampras/Safin.

Sampras has more talent than Safin.
Sampras has less firepower than Safin.

If Safin can beat Federer at the Australian with his combination of power/talent, I think Sampras with his combo of talent/power would also be a tough matchup for Federer on grass and hardcourts.


Tennisfanman Says:

Another weakness of Federer is his return of serve.

Federer blocks back weak returns off the 1st serve. He then proceeds to win the point from the baseline, from which he is supreme.

Against big servers, Federer usually blocks back the serve with high floaters. This works well with guys like Roddick and Safin, because neither of these guys have net games. But a serve volleyer like Sampras or Becker would have been quick to net and would have absolutely ate his returns alive. All serving well, the Sampras serve would have been much more difficult for Federer to break than the Roddick/Safin serve.

Federer usually only crushes returns when he is facing slower paced second serves. Agassi on the other hand crushed many more 1st serves than Federer ever has and he still couldn’t handle the Sampras serve.

In my opinion if Sampras is serving 70% first serves he will beat Federer. If not Federer will win.

I still think Federer is the better and more complete tennis player. The ideal, model tennis player everyone should aspire to.

Sorry about the triple post.


skorocel Says:

OK raoul, I should say “only halfway there yet”…


skorocel Says:

Tennisfanman, Fed’s just doing what he needs to do in order to win vs. Safin and Roddick… He would’ve surely made adjustments against Pete – you can bet on it! And btw, he did win their lone match at SW19, didn’t he? OK, that wasn’t Pete at his peak, but so wasn’t Roger… And remember, he beat him per serve & volley!


Bonitto Says:

If Roger is so great, why are his fans protesting so much, stand to reason he is not, do you see any of Pete fans here rant and raging like you guys, because guess what Roger fans we dont need to Pete is the GREATEST and we knows it, end of story.


Bonitto Says:

Net play is extinct in prep tennis

Menlo School tennis coach Bill Shine remembers the good ol’ days, when tennis players from all ages and levels attacked the net with abandon.
Today, the serve-and-volleyer has gone the way of the dodo bird. The culprit? Technology. Stinkin’ technology. In the tennis world, bigger is better, and for years now racket manufacturers have been producing powerful graphite and titanium rackets with huge head sizes that allow players — even tiny kids — to go Rafael Nadal and hit winners from 10 feet beyond the baseline. With wicked angles.

“A lot of it (the dying breed of serve-and-volleyers) has to do with the equipment,” said Shine, who played at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and is now in his 11th year as head coach at powerhouse Menlo. “The balls are coming back so much faster on the return of serve; therefore, you have less time to get to net and in position to make a volley. I think young kids are more intent on whacking balls from the backcourt because when I grew up, you couldn’t hit winners from the backcourt. Tennis has been affected by technology like golf has, where everyone is hitting the green on the par-5s in two (shots). In the olden days, that was unheard of. Growing up, I had four rackets to choose from. Today, you have over 400. The manufacturers are constantly making new rackets, and people are buying. It’s a marketing ploy that makes you buy rackets at a higher rate.”

Serving-and-volleying? That’s so uncool. Baseline bashing, unfortunately, is in to stay. I can’t blame kids for staying back. After all, it’s the baseliners now who have a major advantage due to racket technology. Why come to net when you’re about to get undressed like a top model? There’s an old tennis adage: Given equal talent, the attacking player will almost always beat the baseliner.

That’s why John McEnroe got the best of Bjorn Borg in the biggest matches and why Pete Sampras became without a doubt the greatest player in tennis history. With his scissors kick overhead — think Barishnikov in sneakers — freakish shoulder flexibility, endurance, agility, superb hand-eye coordination and a powerful will to win, Sampras is one of the five greatest athletes in the modern era (1980 and beyond), along with Michael Jordan, John Elway, Evander Holyfield and Lance Armstrong. Unfortunately, tennis’ oldest adage no longer holds true, and hasn’t for over a decade. Shine has been playing or coaching tennis for over 40 years, and he’s seen the game go through a major transformation.

“Even with the pros, serving-and-volleying is definitely a lost art,” he said. “It’s a little sad to see. It’s frustrating but the game has changed. In my generation, everyone served-and-volleyed. I served-and-volleyed on my first and second serve.

“I wanted to get to net as soon as I could to force the issue. If you look at all the great players of the past, they came to net. They weren’t all serve-and-volleyers, but they came to net. It’s very rare to see to see a kid come to net unless they have to. The best I can get is to tell them to mix it up. Every now and then, you have a kid that serves-and-volleys, and that puts a smile on your face.”

The smiles are rare.

Quote of the week


Tennisfanman Says:

Skorocel,

Yes Federer would have adjusted his game to face Sampras. But Pete would have done the same.

Remember Sampras actually elevates his game when he plays superior opponents and during grand slam events. He relished playing the best. Federer plays consistent great tennis regardless of the opponent or significance of the tournament.


ben Says:

“Federer plays consistent great tennis regardless of the opponent or significance of the tournament.”
What????? Regardless of the tournament? Are you on crack? I agree that Sampras raised his game when it counted most, and that’s why imo he’s the greatest. But it’s also the reason why I think Federer will be the greatest when he breaks the slam record. I’m only gonna give you one example. Halle 2006. Federer claims he played well but the reason for the closeness of all his matches were because his opponents were really good. One week later, Wimbledon. Plays some of the best grass courters of today and wins only losing 1 set. You wanna tell me he doesn’t raise his game for the bigger tournaments? Shame on you then.


skorocel Says:

Tennisfanman,

that sounds as if Pete played only for records, not for pleasure…


skorocel Says:

Bonitto,

quite interesting, this “five greatest athletes in the modern era” chart… Pete, Lance, and Michael – surely, but John Elway? John what? No offense, but seems like this name’s been heard in Europe or Asia already “million” times, isn’t it? Sounds like American bias…

Evander Holyfield? Surely, the guy’s been seen in some truly memorable matches, but his last great effort was the Tyson fight in 1996, from then on it was downhill… 4 times heavyweight champion of the world? Great feat, but it also automatically means (at least) 3 losses, isn’t it? Please look for Lennox Lewis if you want to know the greatest heavyweight in the last 15 years! The guy took Evander apart twice, faced them all in his career, but still lost ONLY 2 bouts… Evander faced them all too, but lost 8 times… Why? Because he simply doesn’t know when to retire…


Mike Metzer Says:

“Federer will never be GOAT until he can at least even his head/head with Nadal. Sampras never had such a losing record to another opponent.

4 of Federer’s losses to Nadal came on clay. Outside of clay they are 2-2. And if Nadal was good enough to reach finals on hard courts consistently, that H2H would be evened out in months! This H2H with Nadal will never prevent him from being GOAT.

If Sampras was good enough to reach finals in clay tourneys, yes he would.

It just shows how superior Federer is to Sampras on clay, and how superior Federer is to Nadal on faster courts.


nadalpickbutt Says:

BOTH FEDERER AND SAMPRAS ARE GOOD.

HOWEVER, 2 ADDITIONAL CRITERIAS CAN BE USED FOR DETERMINING GOAT. BOTH HAVE NOT MUCH TO DO WITH TENNIS:

A) CAREER EARNINGS (INCLUDING ENDORSEMENTS)
B) NO. OF TIMES ONE PICKS HIS BUTT.

BOTH FEDERER AND SAMPRAS ARE OUTDONE BY SHARAPOVA IN TERMS OF CAREER EARNINGS AND NADAL (FOR WHAT WE KNOW HE DOES BEST..PICKING HIS BUTT). SEE, HOW BERDYCH KICKED HIS BUTT A FEW HOURS BACK.

MORALE OF THE STORY…IF YOU PICK YOUR BUTT, SOMEONE WILL KICK IT.


buttpicker Says:

yes nadal is ugly


raoul Says:

Schumacher is the greatest athlete. 7 times world champion. Earns over 80 mil per year.

But you americans will never give any non american any credit. you people are blind with ego.


svetlana(RUSSIA) Says:

…back to you rAOUL… I do not know Sean Randall,and prerry sure he do not know who am I…, no one tips me or hides behind my back, I am to small(5’1) and not that fluent in english(almost every word from the dictionary), and my respond to you was outcry for my idol, for my KING…(you can have yours, advantage of freedom and tolerance!),but you can not pick on person, unless you know him well personally,even thought do not be rude…LESSON #1
LESSON #2…Pete Sampras don’t need to proof anything to anyone…If HE wants, HE can do impossible…The statistics he made and is making speaks for him.
LESSON #3..do not post someone else posts as yours…(?!)(your last one!) I just read this one on another website(talk tennis).
…if you interested in lesson #4…Russian language…(?!) my E-mail svetlana005@yahoo.com, I reside in LA,CA ; verry tollerant toward american or not, but very though on my students
(I am former teacher)


Glenn Says:

very interesting posts!!

fed just thrashed nalbandian 6-4 6-0. now he is 7-6 on him. nalbandian was 5-0 on him a few years ago. fed did the same to henman, hewitt, agassi – each had a very big winning record against himearly on.

nadal is going to be licking his butt soon (not just picking!).

connors was 6-1 on both borg and mcenroe early on. thier rivalries ended heavily against connors by the end of their career.

4 close wins on clay doesn’t mean nadal has fed’s number, especially on other surfaces. being a lefty is an advantage initially, since lefties play righties all the time, while righties don’t play lefties that often. but once they figure it out, it’s butt licking time.


Bonitto Says:

Nadalpickbutt you are so crazy, go ans read your post again and see if it make sense to you, about making more money means you are the best, not true my dear, so please tell us something else will you, how many slams does Maria and Nadal has? Let us know.


Bonitto Says:

Skorocel, before you go sterotyping people about being Americans biased I am not an American thank you, so stop talking shit about what you dont know, let me ask you, where are you from???


Bonitto Says:

Why dont all you crazy Fed fans read this and get all of yourselves riled up, knock yourselves out freaks.

Former French Open champion Michael Chang believes that current World number one Roger Federer compares with the greatest players of all-time. Since the beginning of 2004, the 25-year-old Federer has a 232-15 win-loss record with 31 titles, including eight of his nine Grand Slam titles.

“If he is not the best, he is certainly up there for sure,” Chang told the New York Times. Chang, 34, who retired in 2003, also claimed playing among a generation of baseliners helps Federer’s domination, and that had he played in Pete Sampras’ era, things might have been different.

“It would be interesting to see them play at both the peak of their careers,” continued Chang, remembered by most as the youngest-ever winner of a Grand Slam singles title when he triumphed in the French Open in 1989.

“I think it is a little easier for Federer nowadays because he doesn’t have to deal with too many pure serve-and-volleyers.

“I think in Pete’s day we had a combination of pure serve-and-volleyers in guys like [Boris] Becker and [Stefan] Edberg and also really strong baseliners as well.”

Federer is scheduled to play in tournaments in Madrid, Basel, Paris before the ATP Masters Cup in Shanghai for the season-ending championships.

Eurosport – AS – 11/10/2006 18:24


skorocel Says:

Dear Bonitto,

does the term “American bias” (or “US bias”, if you want) mean that the person exalting American athletes must be automatically an American? All five “greatest athletes in the modern era” you mentioned are Americans, ignoring such names as Maradona, Hermann Maier, Sergei Bubka – just to name a few… Hm, that’s surely not an American bias, is it?

I’m from Slovakia, which is a small country in Mid-Europe (if you can’t remember), and I can tell you that here we have thousands of US-biased people… Btw, I still don’t know where are you from?

P.P.S. You know, “talking shit” usually occurs to US-biased fans…


Bonitto Says:

And you want to tell me there are no Slovakia – biased fans, is that it my friend??? You really need to go find something constructive to do and stop rant and raging about Federer, because you know what you have a one tract mind, if you dont like what others had to say you resort to calling them manes, everyone is entitled to his/her opinions you know.


Glenn Says:

There’s definitely an American bias in many of these posts. Some of the greatest athletes today (and in yester years) are/have been both American as well as non american, but most people here seem to only recount the americans, and place them on the top regardless of merit.


Bonitto Says:

Glenn, you will alway find biased people everywhere you go, in American or not and all of these posts are not written by Americnas, dont tell me there are no biased people in your country? but everyone are entitled to their opinions, whether you like them are, Americans or not, I like Pete and you like Roger and we agree to disagree, that all there is to it, but dont make out the Americans to be the only biased people here, simply.


Bonitto Says:

AND HERE IS THE KING OF SWING AND A LEGEND, THE GREATEST UNTIL YOU CAN PROVE

OTHhttp://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Editorial/40_Greatest_Players/2006_04_14_sampras.jpgERWISE.


Bonitto Says:

AND HERE IS THE KING OF SWING AND A LIVING LEGEND, THE GREATEST UNTIL YOU CAN PROVE OTHERWISE.

http://www.greenumbrellashop.co.uk/acatalog/GUDVD6120.jpg


Bonitto Says:

I KNOW YOU COULD FLY MY MAN, LET ME SEE ROGER DO THAT???

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/1/17/300px-SamprasSI.jpg


Glenn Says:

Bonitto

just the extent of bias is more here. nowhere else do you see a match between two internal teams termed “world series”.

Bias is everywhere, just the extent of it is clearly more in americans.

no other country despises the rest of the world the way america does. don’t you agree?


nadalpickbutt Says:

Bonitto – You missed the intended pun intended in my comments!!!

Glenn – Fully agree with your comments. Also, over and above all statistics what is most important is THE GAME and THE MANNER in which you play it. NO PLAYER EVEN COMES CLOSE TO FEDERER WHEN IT COMES TO HAVING A COMPLETE GAME.

With warm Regards

Nadalpickbutt


nadalpickbutt Says:

I ALSO COUNTED THE NO. OF TIMES NADAL PICKED HIS BUTT IN THE MATCH AGAINST BERDYCH – 48 TIMES. THIS WAS IN 2 SETS. IF IT WAS 3 SETS – COULD HAVE BEEN AROUND 75.

Keep it up.

Nadalpickbutt


skorocel Says:

Dear Bonitto,

I have no problems to accept what other people have to say, but as far as I know, everyone in this discussion is entitled to react on the others’ opinions (PREFERABLY in reserved manner, that is)…

As for my “raging about Federer”, well, if you think he’s already better than Pete in my mind, then please look on what I’ve written above… Fed still needs 6 slams to overcome Sampras, not to mention Pete’s 286 weeks at the top spot… Sampras was also able to win Slams in his 30′s (even if it was only one – US Open 2002), and it will be really interesting whether Roger can achieve this longevity…

Resorting to call the others “manes” (or “maniacs”) only because they have different opinions is beneath my dignity!

P.S. I still don’t know which country you’re from?


raoul Says:

NOBODY, in the history of tennis, has dominated tennis for 3 years the way Fed has.

Maybe you sampras fans place quantity over quality, but I don’t. The quantity is coming too, for fed. Sampras really had to labor to win 14 slams and be no 1 for 286 weeks – never had SUCH a comfortable margin over no 2, no3, etc. was always nickle and diming, sliming through, losing a lot along the way.

maybe quality doesn’t matter to you sampras fans.

what say you, sampras’s maid svetlana?


raoul Says:

Fed just thrashed gonzalez 7-5, 6-1, 6-0. his 12th masters title, 11th in the last 3. Pete only won 11 masters title his whole career.

Most of the top 50 players play the masters. agreed, its not a grand slam, but it counts for something, right?

Would like to hear Pete fans now. Fed has 12, pete had 11 in his whole career. Feds 12 includes 3 on clay. Dare to comment, pete fans?


ben Says:

Truly one of the most amazing accomplishments. The Masters count for a lot, they’re right under the slams in importance. There’s no denying that this is just one more addition to Federer’s greatness. Brad Gilbert thinks Federer will have around 20 slams by the end of his career, essentially not just beating Sampras’s record but blowing it away. Considering his equal if not greater dominance at the Masters, he might end up with close to 30 shields, blowing Agassi’s record away, too. Atleast 10 every 3 years, he’s still got a good 6 years in him. So yeah, 30 something sounds just about right.


SG Says:

Ben, for Roger to win 20 slams, he’d have to be racking up between 2 and 3 slams for the next 5 or 6 years. If he did this, I’d really have to look at and questions who he’s playing because that number of slams is just ludicrously high. Roger plays a brilliant game. But, when I look back at say Agassi in mid 90′s (95 & 99), there’s really not much that Fed does better from the ground than Andre did. Federer is more focused day to day which helps him be more consistent and his serve is a little better. That’s about it. Federer does not play tacticaly diverse competition across all surfaces. I mean how good can the competition be when the 2nd best grass court player in the world is from Spain? Truth is, hisorically, the best attacking players have been from the USA. Look at the top 10 today and it’s alarming that there is not one American who can be a consistent GS threat. It’s a down time for tennis with only 2 legitimate players and the rest a bunch of pretenders. When the richest conuntry in the world can’t produce a legitimate major threat, you have to winder about the state of the sport. Particularly when Americans have been a gigantic presence in the top 10 since beginning of the Open Era.


SG Says:

Look at the top 10 in golf…Woods, Mickelson right off the bat. Tennis is in a sad state. Fed’s records are certinly impressive. But, just as Sampras wouldn’t have 14 majors with Roger around, I think it’s safe to say Roger wouldn’t be where he is with a prime Sampras in the mix. Just at Wimbledon, there would be no way for Fed to dominate prime Sampras year in and year out. As I said earlier, Fed struggled with a proverbial “fish out of water” Nadal on grass. I don’t think he’d walk all over Sampras on grass where Sampras was very comfortable.


raoul Says:

again, the same american bias in SG’s comments – if American can’t produce it, there must be something wrong with the sport. what bullshit.

american is 4.5% of world population, remember that. they can’t produce a marathoner who can beat the 10th ranked runner from Kenya, a small poor country. Oh, there must be something wrong with long distance running!

Disgusting.


raoul Says:

Oh, russia dominates chess, there must be something wrong with chess, not that americans are not smart enough.

Cuba dominates boxing, oh, there must be something wrong with boxing, not that americans are not strong enough.

weightlifting. soccer. etc. etc. etc. all bad sports.

Disgusting.


raoul Says:

What do you call a player who consistently destroys his opposition?

Great, if he is american.

Lucky to be playing weak players, if he’s non american.

Disgusting.


SG Says:

Ahhh….I’m not American. I’m one of the other 95.5% of the world who can look at the situation objectively. Americans have rarely been dominant marathon runners. It’s a matter of disposable cash. Americans tend to dominate sports that are more costly to play. Which also explains why they don’t dominate soccer. But, historically, in golf and tennis, sports of affluence America has produced the following:

1) Woods
2) Nicklaus
3) Bobby Jones
4)Ben Hogan
5) Connors
6) McEnroe
7) Sampras
8) Vines
9) Big Bill Tilden
10) Chris Evert
11) Billie Jean King

and I’m probably missing a slew of others. When a country with the size and wealth of America isn’t producing dominating athletes they way it has in the past, it means something. You can’t just dismiss it because it fits your argument to do so. If Nadal is the 2nd best grass courter in the world, what kind of tennis world is it anyway? Come on folks, let’s be a little objective here. America has always been a huge contributor of top level tennis competition. The fact that this isn’t happening right now doesn’t necessarily guarantee a weak field, but it is an indicator.


SG Says:

Anyone happen to notice those top 4 on the list are probably considered the best in the hisotry of the sport of golf.

And in tennis, McEnore, Sampras and Connors certainly make the top 10 tennis players of the Open Era…perhaps even Agassi who I didn’t list.


Straight Jacket and White Padded Room Says:

Dear raoul,

We miss you since you escaped. Please come back to us.


SG Says:

And by the way Roger is a great player. I’ve never said otherwise. And Raoul your argument is flawed because you never heard Borg’s competition being questioned because he had to face down McEnroe, Connors, Lendl and Vilas to name a few. Borg was in his prime with other great players which was why he 0 US Open titles. The field was very strong when Borg played. Very strong indeed and no one tried to take away his thunder. Not an American, not anyone. He beat great players in their prime to win at least some of his majors. Roger has not. Why is is this so difficult to admit?


SG Says:

My only point is, he had wouldn’t walk through the competition so easily if there were some battle-tested players out there who knew how to win big matches and had games that were more than one dimensional. In Federer’s one rivalry with a guy who never backs down and knows how to win he has 2 wins and 6 losses. Everything points to Fed being a little less dominant if the top 10 players today were a little more robust.


SG Says:

By the way, McEnroe and Connors both have more tournament wins than Samras. In Connors case, 45 more. I have never heard anyone even intimate that Connors was a greater player than Pete Sampras. Roger will end up with more wins and probably more major wins than Sampras, but, like anything else in life…there is always context. There are extenuating circumstances that prevent comparing say…Babe Ruth to Barry Bonds. It’s all about the context.


skorocel Says:

GS, if Fed’s opposition these days is so one-dimensional as you say, then your comments are even more… You’re reminding me of all those US boxing “experts” who constantly keep lamenting about today’s poor state of the heavyweight division – only because there isn’t even one American world champion in neither of the 4 recognized boxing organizations…

P.S. Nadal as the 2nd best grass-court player? Imagine if he had met even one of those guys who Fed had to face en route to this year’s SW19 title… Ancic, Gasquet, Henman… And ouch, there was a certain guy named Berdych as well! Doesn’t that name sound familiar? Just wait till next year…


skorocel Says:

Excuse me, I should say SG…


ben Says:

Federer will win 2 or 3 slams each year. Obviously. The reason for America being weak is very simple, no one cares about tennis. No one tries to promote it that much. Years ago we were spoiled with McEnroe and Connors, then Agassi and Sampras. And now our top 2 players are Blake and Roddick. They’re not at all bad players, but they’re pretty much the only good players. And no one even cares enough to produce some greater players. The biggest young gun threat from America is Sam Querry, and he’s a pretty good player. But, he’s no where near Djokovic, Gasquet, Nadal. As for the whole weak competition thing. Seriously, stfu. So what if everyone’s only got a 130 mph serve and 120 mph forehand. You think it’s easy to play against that? Not to mention that there are quite a few players who have tremendous backhands. Sampras vs Federer in their priime on grass? Impossible to call. But they did have one great match on grass at Wimbledon. And Federer barely made it out in 5 sets. You say it would be different if Sampras was at his prime? Well, what if Federer was at his prime? Think about it. In 2001, Sampras was past his prime. This means that he wasn’t as dominant as he used to be but he had 13 slams under his belt and obviously knew how to win the big matches better than anyone. Federer of 2001 was a young gun much like Gasquet and Berdych are right now. He had a huge win over a great player but was still rather inconsistent, even losing in the first round the next year to Ancic. Sampras at that point knew what he was capable of, Federer did not and yet Federer managed to adjust his game well enough to beat Sampras. What makes you think it’d be a different result if they played each other at their primes. Federer is only like a billion times better now. He knows the knows where to hit the ball perfectly every single time. He knows how to adjust his game to beat someone else better than anyone else. Playing each other when they’re not at their prime produced a great 5-setter, I say the same thing would happen if they were both in their prime. On grass, Federer in 5 sets over Sampras. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not trying to say Sampras was bad or anything, I just think Federer has that much more game.


nadalpickbutt Says:

Nadal reached wimbledon final this year because of the draw (unbelievably easy)..which means he played more games at wimbledon..which means he picked his butt many more times at the Wimbledon. Wish him good luck for next year.

Nadalpickbutt


SG Says:

You never heard about this competition stuff when Borg was #1. A lot people, including Sampras believe the comp today is weak at the top. It’s not about being American. That has nothing to do with it.


SG Says:

There are quite a few people out there who think the competition today is less than stellar and their not all American.


Federer is the best Says:

Anyone here is realizing that federer is competing on clay gainst a the greatest ( or he will be for sure) clay court specialist of all time? Is not like is is losing “against a french open champion” is that he is losing against the best ever on clay. You have to remember that he reach this year frenhc open final only losing a single set. He has won on clay againts all players easyly excep nadal, so that proves that he is the number 2 in the world on clay and being number one on the other surfaces. And what about Pete? I think Pete was out of the top 5 on clay on his time. Bruguera, Muster, Kafelnikov, Chang, Courier, Even players as Corretja, Berasategui, etc were better clay court players than Pete. Federer dominates overwhelming on clay against all players except nadal, in this last 3 years, Sampras never did such thing in any single season. the comparision is Over federer is far beyond Sampras, besides, is not that guys are weak today, but Federer is so great that all look so bad against him, any of theses 3 season, 04, 05, 06 are far better that any sampras’s season, so federer’s dominance is far beyond comparision.


ben Says:

One undermines Federer’s greatness, the other undermines Sampras’s greatness. You both suck.


Federer is the best Says:

I think we all agree that dispate Wimbledon is the best tournament in the world, grass is not the mos importante surface to judge a player’s dominace. I think combination on CLAY and HARDCOURTS is what wee need to see the players skills ( ability to play good either on slow and fast courts) In that regard, Ivan lend is THE BEST TENNIS PLAYER EVER. No one will dominate hard court and clay court at the same time like he did.
By the way, you don’t have only to compare a player against each other to see his dominance but also with the other’s players records.
This example talks for itself:

Sampras 5 Brad Gilbert 4

Ivan lendl 16 Brad Gilbert 0!!!!
Poor Brad!!! do u imagine what he was thinking when he went out to play in the 16th game??? something like… if I play this guy 2000 times maybe I can win because he get’s ill or something… hahaha

IT SAYS ALL.


Federer is the best Says:

by the way, to the people posting jpg’s from sampras go to youtube and see this federer’s shot. Maybe the greatest sport move ever…(well, jordan’s dunk from FT line was at the edge…)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Hp-EArV6s8


Maria S. Banana Says:

What an inhuman, incredible shot. Federer rules.

Nadalbp, love the posts. I’m almost crying from laughing so hard. Nadal is “hands down” the best crack grabber, but Agassi blows the best stealth snot rockets.


ctbmar Says:

Why do less people argue that Micheal Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever even though he scored less points in a game than Wilt Chamberlin?
Is it because the NBA did not change the material of the basketball? Or the nike shoes have fake air so the vertical jump of previous basketball players from past era have the same performance? Why do tennis fans do not see the greatest player when they see him? Because of all the excuses that they have to come up with:- racket technology, shoes, guts, lousy players, no S&V players, too many pretty female ball pickers, etc. Sit back and enjoy before the Greatest retires because nobody like Michael Jordan will ever return to basketball, like nobody like Federer will even return to tennis when he retires.


Ben Says:

sampras fans are just pissed that Federer is breaking all his records so soon after he retired, in fact just from the next year after he retired.

Just a matter of time when the rest of the records go.

With the madrid masters win, fed is all but assured of breaking the consecutive weeks no 1 record (160 weeks, connors). pete had 286 weeks total, fed might do more than than CONSECUTIVE. in addition to 17/18 slams.

I am sure sampras fans will still not be gracious enough. they will hide behinh weak competition a.k.a. sour grapes.

Pete WAS a great player, just for the record. so I am not taking anything away from him. Just not the greatest, just not greater than Fed.

So sampras fans, I feel sorry for you. You are backing the wrong horse.


Tejuz Says:

Wel said Ctbmar..

Sit back n enjoy the ride :-)

n u get to see, more often than not, some incredible shots like the one on youtube

Fed is great(est)


SG Says:

I would wholly agree that day in and day out, I haven’t seen anyone as consistent as Federer. The guy is a tennis machine….much like Borg. But, even Borg, as great as he was, was troubled by the immensely talented McEnroe and at times (…depending on the surface) by the very gritty Connors. Sampras had a bigger game than Mac and had enormous mental fortitude.

People on this site say that Sampras played a Fed not at the peak he’s at today when the 2001 Wimbledon match is discussed. Well, Sampras’ movement was far from what it was in 96 or 97 or even 98 for that matter. And, Sampras’ running forehand would likely erase quite a few Fed’s winners. Fed doesn’t play anyone today who has a weapon even remotely close to the Sampras running forehand.

Once again, Fed is great, but who is he measuring his greatness up against? There is ” Mac to Borg” or “Becker to Lendl” or “Sampras to Agassi” rivalry that carries across different surfaces. Sampras came up with so many young and talented players who knew how to win or at least grit it out. Ljubicic, Roddick, Youzhny, Davydenko? Not very threatening because they all have a clear weakness in their backcourt games and they are baseliners. Don’t see any weaknesses from the ground from Agassi, Courier, Kuerten, Chang and Lendl. And that was what Sampras had to combat. Not to mention the litany of strong attacking players likw Becker, Edberg, Krajicek, Ivanisevic, Henman and others who could run deep into Wimbledon and do some damage.


SG Says:

I forgot Rafter too.


ben Says:

Is Nadal’s running forehand a weak shot? When on, is Safin not a threat unlike any other? No weaknesses? So you’re telling me Agassi, Courier, Kuerten, Chang and Lendl were all perfect? Never missed? Huge forehand and backhand? Great slice? Quick hands? No weaknesses? Do you watch tennis? Wtf are you talking about? Courier ran out of energy after 1993. Kuerten was mainly a clay courter who Sampras beat on hard court consistently. Chang wasn’t the biggest threat to Sampras by far, Sampras handled him pretty well most of the time. Lendl was literally a machine who never stopped running, but he played mainly in the 80s, a time where the players had weird technique. And Agassi. Well, this guy doesn’t know how to volley. And if you can play consistently, you’ll be able to beat him. Let’s look at today’s players. Ljubicic hits with so much power on all his shots, but he’s getting old and his mental capacity isn’t withstanding. Roddick just has a very limited game but he fights so well it’s quite admirable. Youzhny? He’s not a top player yet so there’s no reason to really talk about him, but he is very good and plays a great game with good shots and good strategy. And Davydenko? Well this guy never gives up. And even though he’s not making the finals of EVERY tournament he enters, his record is great and he makes the quarters and semis all the time. Seriously stop criticizing this era like they’re a bunch of nobodies who barely know how to play tennis. They may not be 4 time grand slam champions like Courier, but that’s because Federer is just too amazing. It’s not at all that his competition is weak, it’s that his peak is just so high. It’s not like Borg and McEnroe who’s peaks were basically on the same level. They were both up there. But Federer is just so much higher than everyone else. This year could have been Robredo’s peak year and no one will realize it because it’s so over shadowed by Federer. Robredo’s peak might be at level 10 while Federer’s is at level 20. Whereas Borg and McEnroe were both at like 13 or 15. Federer is just that much higher.


ctbmar Says:

SG…you heard of the term “rankings” ? Rankings stays the same throughout the era. So what if you have wash up old lions like Lendl, McEnroe, Connors, more than 10 to 18 years older than Sampras…then you have guys like Edberg and Becker who are clearly off their best when Sampras hit his prime in 1993, it’s a sure win for Sampras whenever he met Becker after 1993. People who keep harping that Sampras had better competition never watched tennis seriously. As tennis evolves, there is a natural progression. Take the women’s tour and compare it with the men’s tour. The men’s tour is a step more advance in developement as compared to the women’s tour. ATP: 60s to 70s: 2 dominating players; WTA: 80s to 90s -> 2 dominating players; ATP: 80s to 90s: 2 dominating & 2 side-kicks; WTA: 90s to 2000: 2 dominating & 2 side-kicks; Now WTA 2006 has become like men’s tennis in the 90s where no longer there is 1 women that has more than 10 grandslams, so many different Nationalities fighting for the crown, USA, Belgium, Russian, French, now Chinese. Men’s tennis have grown in depth. Rod Laver only played with the same 120++ players in his whole career. Federer half way in his career, he has played with 450++ different players (retired & active). So based on tennis evolution, the men’s tennis 2006 should be more advanced than the women’s tennis and there should not be a player winning more than 3 Majors in his current career standings. But Federer is breaking this equation, breaking the normal progression of men’s tennis. A young inexperience player ranked 25 in the world should give the same amount of competition as a 30 year old Veteran who is also ranked 25 in the world. The reason why Federer is not facing any of these so called “Hall of Famers” is because Sampras and his gang except Agassi chose to retire early before age 31/32. Players like Lendl, Connors, McEnroe all played above age 34. Becker, Edberg also played around 33. But Chang, Courier, Sampras??? Why don’t they stay on until 2004 to 2005 and let Federer beat up on them like how he did to Agassi…so is this the competition Federer should have? Federer has a bunch of dangerous young floaters that Sampras did not have. Who are the dangerous floaters for Sampras on hard courts who are 5 years younger than Sampras? Moya, Kuerten, Rios, Scud? Federer has more talented youngers that are good on all surfaces and some of them have reasonally good volley skills like Baghdatis, Berdych, the best or 2nd best clay courter Nadal…Sampras always avoid all those 5 years younger than him because they are mostly clay courters and suck at the faster courts, whereas Federer has to face all these new and upcoming youngers who can play on all surfaces and Federer is able to play deep into the draw because he himself is able to play on all surfaces unlike Sampras. If you watch Federer play, he is hitting all those speciality shots that Sampras occasionally hits and it appears on commercials or highlights. Federer is making all those shots so routine and ordinary, the ones that people just pray and drool that Sampras would hit that running forehand. You don’t even notice the transition moves that Federer venture from the baseline to the net because he doesn’t do a bunny hop, and he seems to be gliding into the net. Only when you look at the statistics, then you are amazed that he has come into the net so often. The way Federer plays the game of tennis is the same way Micheal Jordan arches his back, pump fakes in mid-air, without losing balance, smooth wrist and arm extension, effortless, shooting in the basket, followed with a clench fist.


ben Says:

ctbmar, are you insulting sampras’s volleying skills? let me assure you there is no greater volleyer in the history of tennis than sampras, no one. but yeah. the young guns we have nowadays are truly something special. and there really is a lot of depth in men’s tennis. a hell of a lot. but that doesn’t mean sampras had weaker competition. both had plenty, federer is just that much more talented.


Ben Says:

never in the history of the game has the no 1 player had more points than no 2 + no 3 combined. or more than nos 3+4+5 combined. And this time with Fed its not because the no 2, 3, 4, 5 have lower points than before (heck, the no 2 has had more than 4000 points all year). its just that the no1 is SO FAR AHEAD.

The other players are not winning that much BECAUSE of federer. It’s not that federer is winning so much because they are not. Sure, in theory, the causality could run either ways. That’s where those who understand tennis get separated from those who don’t. If you can’t see genius when one is right in front of your eyes, stop watching and following tennis. Go watch your game with 300 lb guys climbing on top of each other to get to an oval ball. That’s what you are worth.

8000 points. sampras never cracked 6000. barely cracked 5000. nickled and dimed his way to no 1 most of the time, with the no 2, 3, 4 right behind him (with similar points as is today).

Its not that the nos 2, 3, 4, 5 are behind. the no 1 is TOO far ahead. Only someone blind with envy would not see that.

Call yourself a tennis fan? then recognize a genius, a once in a century player, when you see one. We are lucky to witness federer. Many generations past the future will never see a player like him.

LIke Don Bradman in cricket.


nadalpickbutt Says:

Federer is the Best,

Really an unbelievable shot from TMF…and great sportsmanship from Roddick.

Had Nadal hit the same shot, he would have danced around the court (including his opponents’ side) with pump fists and his crooked face with wicked looks. And after doing that and retunring to his baseline guess what he would’ve done…NO SURPRISES HERE…PICKED HIS BUTT.

So much for sportsmanship.

Nadalpickbutt


Bonitto Says:

I am too tired to argue with you guys, because guess what, I like Pete and you Like Roger and that will not change, end of stories.


Bonitto Says:

Skorocel

Stop go bashing the Americans about been biased and whole world is too, get over it, and thank SG for making a lot of sense here the others should read your posts.


SG Says:

ctbmar…I’ve watched tennis “seriously” for about the last 30 years. Not sure how you watch tennis seriously anyway? Do you watch it with a frown on your face? Gimme friggin’ break pal.

While I haven’t been to a tournament in person in a few years, I have seen a lot of great players many times in person and I watched Sampras practice with Brad Gilbert up close and personal for a good 45 minutes. I’ve yet to see anyone hit the ball the way Sampras did. Gilbert himself said, “This guy is toying with me and it doesn’t even look like he’s trying out there.” The year was 1992. Before Sampras racked up most of his majors and before his prime.

For you to say the in 1990, that Lendl was washed up when he won a major that year in fact clearly shows your lack of knowledge of the sport. I think you should stick to arguing why you think Fed is better rather than sending this thread into a swoon of insults.

Pete Sampras beat and Lendl who had won a major that year. Anyone like that in Fed’s era with that kind of star power? Anyone in Fed’s era with the attacking skills of Sampras, Edberg, Rafter, Krajicek or Ivanisevic. This is the era of the baseline clones. Boooorrring!

Now that you mention Fed’s dominance, I do think back to 2001 with a few questions. Back in 01, Fed was playing a more serve and volley style. But, he seems to have abandoned it. Perhaps because he lacks the ability to do what Sampras did his whole career. Federer, as great as he is, plays for you to miss. Sampras was what I call a positive player. He actually pressed the issue and played to hit winners. With the oppostion Fed faces, he just has to wear them down until they hit errors. Other than Bagdhatis, the players in the top 10 have a weakness:

1) Roddick — A baseliner with a bad backhand?
2) Ljubicic — Gimpy forward, mobile as pilon.
3) Hewitt — Done, done and done. No power.
4) Davydenko — No major weapon
5) Blake — Dumb, no tactical intelligence.

These are basliners with holes in their baseline games.

Now….

Agassi — Flighty, but when committed, no groundstroke weaknesses.

Courier — Unorthodox backhand, in fact unorthodox forehand, but his strokes worked. Can’t win in Paris withour great groundies.

Chang — OK, nothing great with Chang but he had no wekanesses and he could fly.

Kuerten — This guy was bulletproof from the ground.

Moya — A playboy, but weaknesses on the court when he’s committed.

Muster — No weaknesses but a busted up knee that prevented him from winning a lot more on other surfaces. On clay, as tough as they come.

I mean, that’s a pretty damn good bunch of back courters. I don’t see any glaring weaknesses in them shtat stand out like a Roddick backhand or a Ljuby forehand.


Aleman Says:

I know this thread is about Federer, but I wanted to respond to the person’s comment about Chang, in the previous post.
My opinion on Chang is this: Sure, he didn’t have any glaring weakness, but he did have one less obvious one: inefficiency with respect to his size. Chang is not a big guy. But what didn’t help is this: Chang never had very efficient groundstrokes. He really looked like he toiled more on his strokes than many other players. He put more topspin on the ball than he should have. Becker could hit with a lot of spin on the ball, but he was a much bigger guy, so his shots could fly more. What Chang should have done is, hit more flat, smoother groundstrokes like Marcelo Rios, another person of similar height (though not NEARLY as mentally tough). If Chang had more economical, flatter, smoother strokes, he could have hit the ball with more power more often, and I really think this could have helped his cause more. Nonetheless, he will always be remembered for giving it his all, just about every match – something that far more talented players couldn’t say they did.


SG Says:

Actually, many of Chang’s peers felt that when he started to try and ramp up his power, he actually became less effective. He lost a lot of the consistency that had firstrated his opponents. He went to the longer racket and tried to hit flatter. Not being all that tall, his court angles were more challenging. Had he abandoned trying to imcrease his power and focused more on his strengths, he may have won another major or two. Perhaps in Australia or again in Paris.


SG Says:

I do love the line “Federer faces a lot of dangerous young floaters”. Didn’t know Sampras’ era was filled with a bunch of geriatrics. Boy, can you make a more vague statement than that?


ben Says:

Are you calling Federer a counter puncher? That’s what it sounds like. He’s not a positive player? He doesn’t press his opponents? He doesn’t wait for his opponents to miss, he makes them miss. And no one goes for winners like Federer. Have you watched him play? I really question his forehand sometimes because he’ll hit the exact same shot in 2 points but in one point he’ll miss like a foot out and in the other point he makes it right in the corner. It really looks like he’s just swinging around his racket going for broke. But who thinks of Federer as a go-for-broke player? If Blake’s so dumb, why was he one of the first players to figure out how to beat Nadal on a consistent basis. They’ve played twice and neither match was a fluke. Baseliners are boring? And serve and volleyers are so much more fun to watch right? Serve, come in, put it away. Next point. 2 and half hours of the same thing over and over. Atleast at the baseline you can see some great rallies. That’s what makes Federer even more fun to watch, he mixes it up so well. So does Gasquet, Berdych, even Roddick is now making an effort. Don’t get me wrong, I love serving and volleying. But baseline rallies aren’t bad at all. As for Federer “abandoning” serving and volleying, there’s technology to blame for that. Balls are heavier, courts are slower,etc. Although with Federer, he hasn’t abandoned it, he just mixes it up more now. He’s an all around player, and a great one at that. This is what makes Federer so great, you get the complete package with him. Greatest forehand ever, EVER! Sick backhand that’s shaping up to be one of the best. The placement on his serve is as good as Sampras’s was back in the day. Speed not so much but it’s gotten him out of plenty of jams. And his net skills are truly superb. I think there’s plenty of room for improvement and I’m sure he agrees, but he’s got so much game that improvement only really matters against Nadal.


Tejuz Says:

ha ha ha .. thats the most absurd statement i’ve heard SG.. Federer waits for opponents to make mistakes :-) gimmi a break mate..

Just check the number of winners that Fed rakes up every match.. its much more than what a so called ‘aggressive’ serve-volleyer makes.

If u think Fed isnt confident of his net game, the reason why he plays at back of the court.. the same can be said of the serve-volleyers as well.. they come to net often cuz they arent confident abt their base-line game.

Just serve-volley is so boooooooooring, stil remember the Sampras-Ivanesevic finals.

Talking abt Serve … Fed out-aces many big servers.. including Sampras in the 2001 match.

Also check the unforced error count of the opponent vs Fed’s Winners … say
US Open 2006 finals… Fed 69 winners, Roddick 23 Unforced Errors
Wimbledon Finals.. Fed 43 winners to Nadals 26 unforced errors

Check the Federer vs Sampras Stats
Sevice Statistics
Aces Fed 25 Sampras 26
Double Faults Fed 6 Sampras 9
Fed Sampras
1st Serve Percentage 62% (113/181) 69% (132/189)
1st Serve Points Won 82% (93/113) 76% (101/132)
2nd Serve Points Won 51% (35/68) 45% (26/57)
Break Points Saved 81% (9/11) 78% (11/14)
Service Games Played 29 29

“I lost to a really, really good player,” Sampras said. “He played great. He came up with some really good stuff at huge times.”

Well.. Sampras had a huge serve, but Federer’s is as effective because of his placement.

Wow.. players in 1990s were all GODs .. no weaknesses … and they were yet dominated by Sampras. Another absurd statement

Agassi — weak serve, slow movement around courts. Safin has more explosive game.. if committed ;-)

Courier — no serve-volleyer, cudnt volley waited for someone to make mistakes.. ha ha .

Chang — no weakness.. just that his shots were weak, hewitt is a much better player or even devydenko

Kuerten — bullet proof.. on Clay, not hard court. Nadal is better mover.

Moya — hmmm… got busted by Federer many times (on clay as well).. oh .. he isnt committed anymore… cuz Sampras isnt around.

Muster — claycourter, Busted knee.. so no threat to sampras

And Sampras never defeated them on clay courts. So what are u talking abt SG??


ctbmar Says:

Looks like Tejuz answered those SG’s rebuttals for me. SG…you seemed to forget Mr Pioline who Sampras beaten twice in Major Finals. Pioline is not a great competition as compared to Federer’s. And for Lendl being able to win at 30 is because Lendl is the father of all forehands, one of the top 5 best player ever to play this game. Lendl is the only player who won 6 of his 8 Majors after age 25, he is a late bloomer. But people like Lendl played on until 1994 when he was 34 years old. Connors played until he is 39 years old and onwards…So if you keep whinning that Federer do not have great competition, call out all these players: Chang, Courier, Rios, Sampras out of retirement and allow Federer to beat up on them, just the same way as McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Becker, Edberg all continued playing past 34 years old, allowing Sampras to beat up on these old lions. It is very unfair to blame the lack of “hall-of-famers” that Federer has because those born between 1970 to 1976 chose to retire early.
To think of it, those players born in the 1960s have more guts and determination to continue playing until they are mid-30s and above and the only one who continued this trend is Agassi who I salute him for his efforts. Just because you watch tennis for 30 years, shake Sampras hand, watch him play live at the front row, talked to his coach, does not make your views more profound and with more substance than those who disagree with your statement. In fact, Sampras era at Wimbledon was pretty boring with Becker, Goran, Sampras, all playing 1 or 2 stroke rally, Ace, service winner, 1st volley winner, return winner/error, until they tried slowing down the courts and tried making the tennis balls bigger to slow down the game to get more rallies. And now when ATP is successful to get more rallies and curb the boring service Ace clinic syndrome of the 90s, there are still people who says that today’s tennis have to many baseliners and more rallies and it is boring. We just can’t please everyone. In your list, I only respect Agassi and Kuerten who can match the top 10 of today no problem. But today’s top 50 will easily defeat the top 50 of the 1990s. Today’s top 100 will easily defeat the top 100 of the 1990s. Like I said, the men’s game has evolved and the women’s game is following suit. Only Justine Henin Hardenne has 4 Majors, the Williams should be around 5 to 7 each??, but there are no longer any one or 2 women dominating the sport anymore. By right if there is no Roger Federer, players like Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, Nadal, Ferrorro, Ljubicic will be sharing equally all the Majors and for this decade, there should not be anyone having more than 3 or 4 Majors in their career so far because of the well balanced field of players. Roger simply destroys his peers. Sampras will still occassionally lose to some player ranked above 100 on hards, and very often to all sort of clay court players. Sampras was not as dominating against his peers, it is because he was around the same level as his peers. Logically, ATP is always fielding in fresh new blood into the game, bigger, taller, stronger, hungry young players are entering each year to fill up the rankings that all the old veterans have decided to give up. So it is really absurb to say that for 4 years since Sampras retired, ATP suddenly have weak intakes of new players for 4 years so that Federer could have an easy time? This on-going renewal process has continued for generations since the start of tennis. So it’s ridiculous to think that there could be a void/depletion in talent for 4 good years. It’s more like a denial of admitting that Federer is dominating the game and that his competition is just as good as in the past.


ctbmar Says:

Another reason why Sampras had more “hall-of-famers” is because the pack above him is like a pack of wolves, all sharing the spoils equally amongst themselves, 6,6,7,8 Majors….while Sampras and Agassi were like 2 lions, grabbing the biggest chunks, 14 & 8 Majors between them and with a few vultures eating the scraps, 1 or 2 Majors…The pack of wolves continued to linger on and Sampras continue to beat up on them and there were many of them because of their smaller, weaker older size, while now only the smaller lion Agassi chose to retire only in 2006, not allowing the new lion Federer to show off his might against all those lions before him who are too tired and have retired. Even if Sampras still active playing, Sampras and Agassi will only make up 2 of these older generation players who are worthy because between them, they monopolized all the Major winnings. I bet that when years to come, when the new lion after Federer comes along…born in the year 1998, Mr XXX, people will be questioning, where are all your competition Mr XXX, why are your competition weaker than Federer, no hall of famers? The answer will be the new No. 1 in 2013 to 2017 will have no “hall of famers” because Federer has retired with all the available trophies and only left Nadal who would be close to 30 years old as well. History repeats itself because Sampras and Agassi took away most of the Majors, both of them are the major “hall of famers” and Sampras chose to retire early, not following the same retiring patterns of those before him, McEnroe, Lendl, Connors, Edberg…


ctbmar Says:

Ben…I never insulted Pete’s volleying skills…But I don’t agree with you that his volleys are the best ever. In my opinion, McEnroe, Edberg, Rafter’s volleys are better than Sampras. But Sampras will rank between 4 to 10 all time best volleyers, below these 3 I mentioned above.


Tejuz Says:

well said Ctbmar :-) couldnt agree with you more.

SG, if u talk abt watching Sampras practicing.. i have seen Fed, Roddick, Baghdatis, Haas, Ljubcic at this year’s Aus Open and Safin, Nadal, Nalbandian, Gonzalez at last year’s Aus open. All of them play awesome tennis. They hit the ball extremely hard. People cheer n applause
for them
But when Fed is action, most people are staring agape at the quality of shotmaking for a few secs before roaring into a thunderous applause.

Check out these pics from my SLR
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8Abtm7lq4ZOGIb

Nobody hits the tennis ball as cleanly as Fed ..

he always seems to be defying gravity as he moves around the court… smooth as silk.


Tejuz Says:

yup rafter’s volleyin was certainly better than Sampras’s.

And people talk about his running forehand… how often does he hit a running forehand? it was his running forehand that let him down in the Federer match.. he made a couple or ‘em, missed a lot of ‘em, especially the important ones. So u cant call it reliable.. though it was a nice shot to watch.

what do u remember about pete’s game …
Just Serve-volley, chip and charge, occasianal running forehand passing shots.

What do u remember abount Fed’s game..
Forehand, Backhand (halfvolley winners included), passing shots of both wings, serve, occasional graceful volley, Forehand and backand return winners, Slice … n lots of ‘em

He just has too many options … and once someone lose few matches in a row to him, they jus lose confidence the next time they face him. they get beaten even before they take the court. Guess same would have happened had Sampras played Fed ;-)


History Dude Says:

Question for you all:

In the history of sports (not just tennis), what are the instances when the greatest player/team of a generation could not beat the No. 2 player/team. I am referencing Federer’s 2-6 record vs. Nadal.

Until Roger dominates his chief rival, Rafa Nadal, how can one call him the greatest? What if at the end of Roger’s career he goes 5-20 vs. Nadal?

I think that would change his place in history just a little, and I believe he knows that he has to get on top in that rivalry to earn such acclaims.


ctbmar Says:

Federer is a people’s champion and Federer is a super hungry champion, has a gigantic appetite, will not stop winning and winning…and I simply don’t want him to stop. Like Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Michael Schmacher, I don’t want these guys to ever stop playing but sooner or later they have or had retired.

Now I analyze why less people deny Jordan or Schamcher that they are the best ever in their sports is because:

1) They make alot in endorsements, highest paid atheletes of their sports,…Federer is getting on the right track…by winning many sports awards and more endorsements…
2) They even win championships even when they are in their 30s,,, so Federer has to continue dominating until he is 35. If Federer still is No. 1 when he is 35 years old, less people will be skeptical of his greatness. It is even more absurd to say that for 10 to 13 years, there is no good new fresh talents entering ATP to challenge Federer, that will be really insulting this generation and future generation of tennis players.
3) They are charismatic, good looking, friendly with the press. Jordan, Schmacher, Tiger, Federer are in the same league with the same attributes. Sorry to say, even though I used to be a Sampras Fan, he lacked these qualities like Federer who is causing a buzz and a name for tennis as a sport, a goodwill ambassador of the game “Tennis”.
4) Keep winning external awards…I am not sure Micheal Jordan won any sports awards, but Federer certainly stands a chance in 3-peating the Lazareus Sports Awards…(Not sure if I spelt right…)
5) Keep winning championship trophies. Try to break all records by a huge margin. Federer is on the right track, but obviously it is not good enough for some skeptics…So continue winning Wimbledon until 2015, 12 Wimbledons in a row…
6) These champions are fighting with history, they know their greatness and they are all out to prove all those who look down on their achievements by keep dominating their sports until these skeptics relent and give up and admit their greatness…Federer is fully aware of this, you can hear in his speeches and it makes fans like me anticipate more greatness from him. As for Sampras, it was only near 12 or 13 Majors, that people and Sampras himself was talking about breaking Edmonson record…To be fair to Sampras, Federer is using him as a yardstick and competiting to beat Sampras’ achievements. Sampras did not have anyone really similar in style, character to compare with.
7) They are champions are relentless in dominating their opponents, not giving them even scraps to eat. Jordan, Tiger, Schmacher are such champions and they don’t regret not being kind to their peers. Federer is the same likewise, will keep dominating his peers once he has their number. So Federer should keep winnng 80 and more, lose 5 or less each year, win 10 or more titles until he retires…
8) They all have an over-drive mode, their mental strength is just phenomenial. It’s not easy for Federer to lose twice to Nadal at French Open 2005 & 2006, and bounce back to continue 2006 the way he did. Look at McEnroe who lost to Lendl in 1984 French Final, he could never get back his mental edge to win anymore Majors. People just undermines Federer’s achievements and do not know how difficult it is to keep sane by being so focus in dominating the whole tennis circuit for 365 days.
Sampras do have strong mental, but after losing at the French and watching him play on clay, you don’t have much hope that he will put his best or even have a shot at glory at the French Open. If Nadal is not born to play in this era, Federer would certainly have won 1 French Open by now. If Agassi can win 1 French Open in his career, I don’t see why Federer could not have won 1 French Open if he was playing in the 1990s.
9) They destroy their peers until they are a pale shadow of their former self. Their competitors got discouraged when Tiger, Jordan, Michael keep winning, likewise Hewitt gotten married, have kids, Safin continue bashing racquets, Roddick still drifting and experimenting new ways to beat Federer…I don’t remember Sampras forcing his peers to experiment new ways to beat him because all his opponents know how to beat Sampras but they have to execute their game plan perfectly to beat him, so neither Sampras nor his peers altered their games to find new ways to compete to become better.
10) These champions continue to improve their game even when fans think they are almost perfect. Federer knows his weakness and his backhand seems to have more power these days and he is putting away more sitter balls on his backhand wing. He is starting to serve more aces as well. He is venturing to the net more often as well. Like Jordan who was a Master of Offense and Defense as well, Federer is a master of offense and defense as well. Federer is continuously improving all parts of his game, putting more effort at improving himself than Sampras used to do.


ctbmar Says:

HistoryDude, because tennis is a sport that has many surfaces, unlike other sports. You can have a outstanding career by just playing all the clay court tournamants, so you don’t need to play against Sampras or any fast court players. The present grass courts are also slowed down to allow these slow court players to have a equal playing field which was different in the past, in the 80s, 90s. In actual fact, the fact that Federer was able to have 2 matchpoints against Nadal (arguable the top 5 best ever claycourter, Borg,Muster,Kuerten), beating all the claycourters in 2005 to 2006 besides Nadal just shows that Federer is a better claycourter than Sampras. So by saying that if your No. 2 player has a better head-to-head, so you cannot be called the greatest, so you chose to avoid the No. 2 player, lose in early rounds to other players, avoid playing in the same tournaments that you know you will lose since it is your worst surface and only play against your No. 2 player on your better surfaces, so that you can have a better head-to-head, I think that is really a loser mentality. I am proud that Federer chose to compete like a gladiator, chose to sweat it out on clay, tried his very best to beat the very best, that is a true champion. Another point is that it depends on your No. 2′s favourite surface. Agassi’s favourite surface was closer to Sampras’ favourite surface whereas Nadal and Federer are more extreme in their favourite surface comparisions. I will agree with you that if Federer and Nadal’s favourite surface is both grass, 2nd favourite surface is hard courts and they played 30 times between them and Nadal in the end has a 25-5 winning record, then Federer should not claim he is the Greatest. But if Federer manages to play Nadal 25 times on clay, losing 20 of these 25 times on clay because it is Nadal’s favourite surface, on the other hand Nadal only plays 5 times with Federer on grass and losing all of the 5 grass matches, is this fair comparison? In tennis, Sampras also had losing head-head against a few players around his age group but these players did not win much Majors or even none, but people don’t say that they are better players than Sampras. In tennis, you have players that you just match up poor with, no luck, don’t like that guys face, whatever reason, you lose. But to use this small blemish to disregard a certain player for his achievements because he has a losing head-to-head, then nobody will ever be the greatest because all of the greatest players have losing head-to-head records to either their No. 2 player, or even worse to players below their No. 2 player.


History Dude Says:

ctbmar:

According to the head-to-head I looked at Rafael Nadal leads Roger 2-1 on hard courts, and that lone win for Roger was when Rafa choked in Miami a few years back.

Now I will give you Fed beating Rafa in Rome, so Rafa leads 3-1 on clay but overall it’s still 6-2 for Nadal.

You use the term “small blemish” to describe Fed’s H2H deficit to Rafa. Do you thing that’s how Roger would also describe it?

This is not Pete vs. Roger thing either, I just don’t think it’s been so lopsided a H2H between No. 1 and 2 in tennis, and I wonder if that’s ever been the case in another sport. I’m sure there’s been an example, but I just cannot recall it.


Tejuz Says:

woooooooo …

Having a losing record aginst a clay courter is acceptable (ex Sampras against Bruguera)

but losing on clay to a No 2 who is by far the best clay courter is not acceptable..

If Nadal fails to show up in finals of non-clay tournaments consistently .. theirs will be just a clay court rivalry between World No 1 vs 2, or rather Clay Courter No 2 vs 1.
And all these matches have been rather tight with Fed adjusting his game accordingly.

Anyway, this setback shouldnt stop him from putting a claim from Greatest.

After losin to Nadal in 4 finals this year, he stil has 10 titles … and almost double the points of his nearest rival(Nadal) and thrice the points of rest of top 10. And 3 more tournaments to go..
we thought 2004 was a record for total points..
he beat it again in 2005
and hez done it again in 2006

and each time he has won the Laureus award(2005, 2006) for best sportsman chosen by various sports people around the world beating the likes of Schumi, Ronaldinho, Phelps, Armstrong, Rossi, Woods …and am sure he’ll win it in 2007 again after this fantastic year.
http://www.laureus.com/index.php

btw just an info,
Becker(no 2) had a winning record against edberg(no 1) during erly 90s. final tally 25-10 for becker. But Edberg was no 1 for 2 yrs, becker for jus 2 weeks.


ctbmar Says:

HistoryDude, you forget that Nadal is 5 years younger than Federer. When Becker was 25 years older, he was starting to lose to Sampras who was 4 years younger than him. Likewise, Edberg started to lose to Sampras who was 5 years younger than him. Yes, now the Head-to-head is in favour of Nadal, but I am confident that Federer will changed that losing head-to-head in a few years time, like how he has changed against Hewitt, Nalbandian and Henman. The only thing different for Nadal is that Nadal is a much younger No. 2 player as compared to Agassi and Sampras who is 1 year difference age gap. So time is on Nadal’s side and if Nadal gets physically worn out and Federer has no effects of the 5 years age gap over Nadal, then Federer will have a chance of overturning this deficit. Usually the No. 2 player is separated by 1 year, eg. McEnroe and Lendl, Edberg and Becker, Sampras & Agassi. So this is a unique case for tennis, only time will tell, and besides Federer is not done yet, so he still has a chance to revert this losing deficit and have a positive winning record. The problem is whether Nadal will be able to sustain his part of the bargain and reach the finals, so that Federer can have a chance to beat him on the faster surfaces.
Federer will be consistent in reaching the finals of any clay court tournament, but it looks like Nadal is losing the ability to reach the finals on other surfaces, but only time will tell on this fact as well…so time will decide on this matter.


Tejuz Says:

and wel.. what if Nadal doesnt do well in 1 or 2 clay tournaments..one average Clay season and it will be difficult for him to hold on to his No 2 ranking by end of May .. if that happens, he cud meet Fed in semis or quarters of other tournaments

Federer has a huge buffer for his No 1 position. Even if he loses 1st round every tournament til next French Open he is stil guaranteed the No 1 ranking.

So hez all set to break the connor’s record for 160 weeks at No 1 … even without breaking a sweat.

Nadal hasnt got winning record aginst 80% of the top 12 players… whereas Federer owns them all. Nadal is so lucky to have not come up against them in important tournaments.


History Dude Says:

Tejuz: Becker/Edberg, are they in the all-time sports greats conversation? Didn’t think so. And you really got me with Sampras/Bruguera H2H. Bruguera leads 3-2, but did lose to Pete at the French. In what world does that equate to Rafa leading Fed 6-2?? I’m sure Pete is still having trouble sleeping at night over that one.

Ctbmar: What does age have to do with anything? Are you saying Fed should be losing to guys Nadal’s age? Or are you saying Fed’s past his prime, so it will be difficult to beat Nadal? If Fed’s the greatest he should beat players regardless of age. Just ask James Blake, who’s what, seven years older than Nadal and pounds Rafa everytime.


Tejuz Says:

Just waiting for Safin to get back in the mix.. in top 5 ..

Fed vs Safin, 2005 Aus Open semi was a classic.


ctbmar Says:

HistoryDude, I hate it when people say that Federer got lucky with that 5 setter win in Miami…Then why nobody said that Nadal was lucky to play a tired and sick Federer in the 1st encounter in Miami in year 2004? Why nobody mentioned that Federer was beating Nadal in Rome with 2 matchpoints in hand? Why nobody mentioned that Dubai match was 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 with the same games won and lost, Federer won more points and still lost? Those who discredit Federer’s wins against Nadal as lucky and do not regards Nadal’s wins over Federer as lucky is really bias. Please, these were all close matches. Nadal is fortunate he won these close ones. Just like when Hewitt gleefully pump his fist when he beat Federer coming back from 2 sets to love and the Davis Cup, little did he know it was his last close match ever to beat Federer. As I said, time will tell, I just can’t wait for Federer to destroy Nadal, wipe out the smile from Nadal’s face.


Tejuz Says:

history dude,
Then its similar Lendl unable to get over Becker on Grass courts.

But the only problem here was that Becker is good enuf to reach latter stages of hard and clay court tournaments.. so they H2H evened out.

Anyway.. u are just indirectly saying that fed will have to win a few clay masters and the french open to be called greatest .. cuz thats how he wud erase the H2H against nadal.

okay.. then whoz the greatest.. Sampras just cant be the greatest.. cuz he just won couple of Clay tournaments.. not fair if u are expecting Federer to win all those tournaments with Nadal around.

who else??? not Lendl .. cuz he cudnt win on Grass and has a poor win-loss record in GS finals.

Borg?? he left way to early to be called greatest …

that leaves only Laver ….


History Dude Says:

Tejuz:

You are right in saying “Nadal hasnt got winning record aginst 80% of the top 12 players… whereas Federer owns them all. Nadal is so lucky to have not come up against them in important tournaments.”

So why does he only beat Fed?

When you look at the greatest players/teams in sports, historically, has their ever been a “GOAT” with an under 30% H2H winning record against their chief rival?


History Dude Says:

Ctbmar: I gave Federer the Rome win. Read what I said. And since I did that you could argue Rafa should get the Miami win. So it evens out 6-2. The other matches Rafa won weren’t blowouts, per se. But Roger didn’t win them.

Tejuz: I am not saying Federer needs to win clay masters or even tournaments, he just needs to start beating Nadal on a consistent basis, provided Rafa remains among the best. If Rafa suddenly drops from the radar history will not care. But if he remains among the top and he continues to be Roger, then it won’t be a “small blemish” that’s for certain.


Tejuz Says:

Winning 7 consecutive GS finals … when the previous record was just 3. finally having a 9-1 record in GS finals..and winning masters cup with 5-0 for 2 consecutive years against the top 8 players..n almost made it the third time.

Constantly bagelling players like Hewitt, Agassi, Roddick, Haas, baghdatis, Nalbandian, henman, gonzalez .. n not to mention the 6-0 6-0 gaudio rout in semis

jus too gud mate


ctbmar Says:

HistoryDude, I mentioned about the age is because many people forget that Nadal is actually 5 years younger than Federer. Have you played sports before? Do you know that normally a 25 year old body will perform less than a 20 year old body? ATP or some to other tennis website has made a survey that the No. 1 player since the open era started, began to decline in the number of majors he wins after reaching age 25. Why I mentioned the age gap is that from the past history, usually the younger guy age 20 will start beating the older champion who is aged 25. Sampras beating up on Becker, Edberg for an example when both reached 25. So give Federer some slack if you want to compare him with a guy 5 years younger than him. But the thing is the No. 2 player is not Nalbandian, Hewitt, Safin, Ferrerro, Ljubicic, Blake who are 1 or 2 years apart from Federer. If these players mentioned are No. 2, then it will be a fairer comparision because they have about the same age. Besides, Federer always had bad head-to-head with those peers he had difficulties with, but once he found the solution on how to defeat them, that is the start of the changing of the head-to-head record. Federer definitely believe in himself after beating Nadal at Wimbledon, let’s just wait for the next few tournaments and see if Federer can bridge the gap. The best part is if Federer can turn the tide, then it just proves how great he is. So don’t count your chickens before they hatch.


Tejuz Says:

Yup History dude..

I agree that will be a blemish on Federer’s record if this trend continues.

What if 2006 season continues for next 6 years.. and Dubai title is split between Fed n Nadal.

So Nadal will be 8 time GS winner (all Clay), 18 masters titled and greatest Clay Courter of all time

and Federer will be a 27 time GS winner (rest of GS) and 100+ titles, 36 Masters titles

but their H2H will be 27 to Nadal and 11 to Fed

will u stil not call federer the greatest???


History Dude Says:

Tejuz: 27-11 Nadal would still be okay for Federer provided he owned Rafa in Slams. If it’s that lopsided Federer would have to have won the bigger matches – not Dubai but the Slams.

Ctbmar: I am a sports fan and I’ve never really heard age factor in in such a manner. When the “great ones” in any sport perform the age of their opposition/team of their chief rival is rarely brought up.

Yankees were usually always older than the Red Sox. Jordan’s Bulls younger than the Pistons. So what?

And in the case of Federer vs. Nadal, Roger should be beating him on hard courts, everyone knows it. Losing at Dubai was unacceptable considering Nadal had just returned to the tour losing to Clement a week or so earlier and Roger had just won the Australian Open. Cleary, Rafa is “in” Roger’s head. For Roger to move forward to that next level he needs to erase that.


ctbmar Says:

I find it weird that there will be people who say that Federer has no competition, then there will be another group of people who will say that his only competition Nadal has a 6-2 winning record against him…So it’s like double attacking Federer on both sides, saying “yo Federer, u suck, no competition…your No. 2 guy has a winning record over you”….and while saying these words, totally ignoring all the massive number of trophies piling up in front of your eyes inside the “Federer Trophy Showcase”, the number of records being broken….The number of fellow competitors’ hearts being destroyed…all obscure from your view. So maybe Federer should emulate Sampras by lossing average of 15 a year from 1994 to 1996 instead of himself losing average of 5 a year from 2004 to 2006, then people will not have this double attack on Federer, that he has good competition because he loses more. It has become a sin to be dominating. I think tennis is the only sport that ridicules a player who is dominating. I never encountered people critising Jordan or Schmacher, Tiger for lack of competition…Maybe I have to go and check out these sports forums. Why do tennis fans do this to each generation of dominating players? Do you know that Federer started his dominance with 7 titles less than Sampras and 3 Majors less than Sampras and now within 3 years, he is able to catch up with a PEAK Sampras dominating his field from 1993 to 1996 and accelerate his own dominance to supercede Sampras’ own “dominating” curve & winnings…Those who are believers will see the light and the truth…Those who are skeptical will simply go back to the statement…”Because Federer has no competition, no S&V players”….Actually Federer is a smart lad, maybe he is not bothered by Nadal having a winning record over him, maybe he will waste too much energy trying to defeat Nadal and end up being like Roddick, losing to everyone else as a result. Federer is smart enough to balance his options, balance his decision whether to pursue in defeating Nadal over the bigger objective to win more Majors, to win the Grandslam, to break more records. If Federer is able to do all these but yet have a losing head-to-head with Nadal, I think he will gladly take it and retire. If by the time Federer retires and during his peak, he only lost to Nadal but won all the trophies in the world; while Nadal beat Federer in head-to-head, but only won 4 French Open, when he retires, I can safely say Federer will still be regarded a better player than Nadal. Likewise, Edberg was rated higher than Becker in the TENNIS magazine of the greatest 40 players, even though Edberg has a losing 10-25 Head-Head record against Becker. Edberg was my childhood idol, I really was very surprised when I discovered a few years back that he had such a bad head-to-head against Becker because all I remembered was cheering my socks off when Edberg beat Becker twice and lost once at Wimbledon from 1998 to 1990. People only remember the big stage matches and your bigger achievements eg. No. of Majors won, Grandslams if any, Career Grandslam, Number of year end No. 1…and this head-to-head business will be ranked around the number 10 to 15 criteria in judging the greatest ever.


ctbmar Says:

HistoryDude, you are comparing a team sport with an individual sport…”Yankees were usually always older than the Red Sox. Jordan’s Bulls younger than the Pistons”…Tennis is an individual sport. Even if Jordan is getting old, they can rotate fresh young players from the bench.


Tejuz Says:

yup.. i agree that he would need to erase that blemish. Hez taking his time to figure out how to deal with the Nadal’s so-called ‘Awkward’ brand of tennis. Its certainly all mental … cuz he starts shanking easy forehands, make back-hand errors. But wimbledon must have given him lots of confidence just to have broken that streak. The next couple of matches should be interesting.. and if federer wins those.. hard times for Nadal ahead.


ctbmar Says:

Nadal’s uncle is really a genious. I think Nadal is the 1st player in the history of tennis who is right handed in nature, but deliberately trained to play tennis with his left hand…Simply a genious…really hardwork to do that and years of planning and dedication to carried this process successfully. I am sure we will see more of such cases in the future, with new talents learning how to play left handed. If Nadal was right-handed, he certainly will be another Hewitt or a Chang-type of player whom Sampras or Federer-type player will make mince meat out of a right-handed Nadal.


ctbmar Says:

HistoryDude, after discussing with you so long, I am a little confused…Are you a Federer Fan? A Federer Fan with very high standards you expect from Federer ? Or are you a Nadal fan? Or are you neither a Fan of both, just discussing over this disparity in head-to-head?


SG Says:

ben Says:
Are you calling Federer a counter puncher? That’s what it sounds like. He’s not a positive player? He doesn’t press his opponents? He doesn’t wait for his opponents to miss, he makes them miss. And no one goes for winners like Federer. Have you watched him play? I really question his forehand sometimes because he’ll hit the exact same shot in 2 points but in one point he’ll miss like a foot out and in the other point he makes it right in the corner. It really looks like he’s just swinging around his racket going for broke. But who thinks of Federer as a go-for-broke player? If Blake’s so dumb, why was he one of the first players to figure out how to beat Nadal on a consistent basis. They’ve played twice and neither match was a fluke. Baseliners are boring? And serve and volleyers are so much more fun to watch right? Serve, come in, put it away. Next point. 2 and half hours of the same thing over and over. Atleast at the baseline you can see some great rallies. That’s what makes Federer even more fun to watch, he mixes it up so well. So does Gasquet, Berdych, even Roddick is now making an effort. Don’t get me wrong, I love serving and volleying. But baseline rallies aren’t bad at all. As for Federer “abandoning” serving and volleying, there’s technology to blame for that. Balls are heavier, courts are slower,etc. Although with Federer, he hasn’t abandoned it, he just mixes it up more now. He’s an all around player, and a great one at that. This is what makes Federer so great, you get the complete package with him. Greatest forehand ever, EVER! Sick backhand that’s shaping up to be one of the best. The placement on his serve is as good as Sampras’s was back in the day. Speed not so much but it’s gotten him out of plenty of jams. And his net skills are truly superb. I think there’s plenty of room for improvement and I’m sure he agrees, but he’s got so much game that improvement only really matters against Nadal.

——–

So, what you’re sayiing is that the slower courts are the reason Federer abandoned the more attacking style. Interesting. So, I guess the faster the courts get, the more it would play in Sampras’ favor against Federer. Not to mention that antiquated raquet technology Sampras was using when he dominated the sport. Maybe if Sampras gets the advantage of all of today’s technology (…the technology angle is your point not mine), he is able to play the same attacing style against today’s sorry ssck bunch and dominate more throughly than Federer does now.

The truth is, Sampras saved it up for the majors. His career victory totals don’t compare favorably with many great players like Connors and McEnroe or Lendl. He had some physical issues and he knew it so he adpated his game away from the brillaint all courter that he was in the mid 90′s to a more go for broke serve and volleyer for the last couple of years.


History Dude Says:

Ctbmar: Just a sports fan! I would say I like Federer the best, though it’s incredible that he easily dominates everyone but Rafael.


ben Says:

Antique racket? Sampras? What are you on? He just never changed his paint job. Most top players have custom rackets, they’re just painted differently. And you know how much lead tape Sampras had on his racket? When you have such great placement as Sampras did it’s harder to go for the huge serve and still be as effective when placing the ball in the corners of the service box. I’m not saying the lead made Sampras’s serve, but it definetly helped. About the thing with Nadal. Well. I don’t think Federer sees Nadal as a threat anymore. I think at Wimbledon he saw what he needs to do to beat him (slice a lot, serve big, take advantage of the weak serve), many things he didn’t do at the French unfortunately. But you always hear Nadal saying how Federer is the greatest right now and seeing how he hasn’t reached the semis since Wimbledon, I think Federer is “in” Nadal’s head. Dubai, when I saw Nadal beat Federer in Dubai I just laughed and was kinda like “cool, so Federer’s got a major threat now”. Then Nadal beat him all those times on clay, and the only other surface they played on was grass. Now when I think of that loss in Dubai I get so mad, because Federer definetly should’ve won that. I don’t see how he could have lost. Rome should’ve been Federer’s too. As for their match in Miami, Nadal choked and got tired and Federer finally figured out what he needed to do to win. It seemed like he had forgotten it after playing Nadal on clay so many times. But hopefully Wimbledon restored his confidence, which I think it has.


Ben Says:

sampras fans really have their panties in a bunch, a tight one I must say. Since fed is beating the f… out of sampras’s records, they are pissed, totally, and will say all kinds of illogical, factually incorrect statements. There are 70+ posts above with such errors, most of which have been pointed out by several people.

Just reconcile, pete fans. you backed the wrong horse, now suck it up, don’t cry like babies!

OK, sampras is the greatest (wink wink), now will you stop crying?


Ben Says:

Nadal just said this:

The second-ranked Spaniard, who has blamed fatigue for his dip in form, will get another chance next week at the Paris Masters.

“I had a lot of matches in the first half of the season and my muscles were very tired,” Nadal said Tuesday in a conference call. “Mentally, too … it was a big effort. I am playing better now.”

Fed has played 88 matched this year, Nadal much lessl, and Nadal is tired? Inspite of all the steroids? What a sissie. maybe he’s just tired of picking his butt (!!).

Face it, Nadal is an improved Muster, without a bad knee. Period. He will never reach the wimbledon finals again (like nalbandian). He will never reach the US Open finals either. Might do so at the Australian, since its a slower hard court. He just doesn’t have the game. So he’ll just keep licking dirt.


SG Says:

ben Says:
Antique racket? Sampras? What are you on? He just never changed his paint job. Most top players have custom rackets, they’re just painted differently. And you know how much lead tape Sampras had on his racket? When you have such great placement as Sampras did it’s harder to go for the huge serve and still be as effective when placing the ball in the corners of the service box. I’m not saying the lead made Sampras’s serve, but it definetly helped. About the thing with Nadal. Well. I don’t think Federer sees Nadal as a threat anymore. I think at Wimbledon he saw what he needs to do to beat him (slice a lot, serve big, take advantage of the weak serve), many things he didn’t do at the French unfortunately. But you always hear Nadal saying how Federer is the greatest right now and seeing how he hasn’t reached the semis since Wimbledon, I think Federer is “in” Nadal’s head. Dubai, when I saw Nadal beat Federer in Dubai I just laughed and was kinda like “cool, so Federer’s got a major threat now”. Then Nadal beat him all those times on clay, and the only other surface they played on was grass. Now when I think of that loss in Dubai I get so mad, because Federer definetly should’ve won that. I don’t see how he could have lost. Rome should’ve been Federer’s too. As for their match in Miami, Nadal choked and got tired and Federer finally figured out what he needed to do to win. It seemed like he had forgotten it after playing Nadal on clay so many times. But hopefully Wimbledon restored his confidence, which I think it has.

Coulda…shoulda…woulda…You know what, Sampras should have won the Open in 1998 and the AO in 1995. I mean, you can this BS game all day. As for comparing lead tape to liquid metal, I think you need to get a grip. Lead tape was put on golf clubs 30 years ago and probably longer ago than that. Didn’t see Borg playing with liquid metal rackets. I love your comment on Nadal. It’s hilarious. Fed beats hin on grass in a very tough match and Fed is in Nadal’s head? What planet are you from?


ben Says:

In the 1998 Open, Sampras didn’t win more points than Rafter. In 1995, he did win more points than Agassi. Just like Federer won more points than Nadal did in Dubai. It’s one of those things that really bother me about tennis. What does liquidmetal have to do with anything? Pros have custom made rackets. Agassi has been playing with a wooden racket for his entire career. The only reason no one sees that is because of the paint job. I’m telling you, something’s bothering Nadal. Federer’s lost once since the French. How many times has Nadal lost since the French? After a rather pathetic attempt at the French crown (not to say he didn’t try or anything but it wasn’t Federer’s best day), he bounced back to win 2 more slams and several other titles. Since playing a pretty great match at the Wimbledon final, Nadal hasn’t even made the semis of another tournament let alone won a title. I think Nadal is at least a little in Federer’s head. Why else did he choke when serving for the match at 5-1 in the 4th set. But Nadal is always praising Federer for how great he is even though he has beaten him 6 outta 8 times. There’s a huge difference in the reaction of both players when they’re asked in the beginning of a tournament “What do you think of a Nadal-Federer final?” Federer’s just like whatever, if it happens cool but I just wanna get through these first few rounds. Nadal starts going on how he needs to make sure everything’s going well, win the first rounds like Federer says, but then he always mentions how Federer is the best. Everyone knows that Federer is the master of turning the tide in a rivalry and now that he has a solid win over Nadal, even if it was his best surface and there was a struggle, he knows that he can beat Nadal, easily for that matter. Nadal must’ve been in Federer’s head in Dubai when Federer lost after owning the first set 6-2. And I’ll admit I was pretty scared Nadal might win Wimbledon. But the 4th set really calmed me down and showed me who the better player really is. How many times has Nadal closed out the match against Federer in a tie-breaker? And I remember how Johnny Mac was going on and on like “What’s gonna happen now? If there’s any player who can make such a great comeback at this point it’s Nadal?” But After a pretty weak tie-breaker in the 3rd set from Federer, he came back roaring and the close gap between the number 1 and 2 player seemed to open up to the point where Federer was really playing in his own little world. But I will admit, Nadal has been in Federer’s head this year. There’s no one who can shift the tide of a match like Federer, no one who can come back from the brink of defeat like Federer. And how many times has Nadal stopped that from happening? How many times has Nadal deflected the Federer Magic? Pat McEnroe claims that you need a strong backhand or if you’re a lefty a strong forehand to break down Federer’s backhand. Let’s look at the players who have beaten Federer in the last 2 years:
Safin: What can I say? I honestly believe that when Safin’s on not even Roger can stop him. Safin has more than just a great backhand, he’s a very complete player and in their Aussie Open encounter, there was little Roger could do. They both played unbelievable tennis but Safin played just a little bit better that clinched him the victory.
Gasquet: Not Federer’s GREATEST performance but Gasquet is just amazing. He’s the next Federer, that’s all I can really say. Federer played great and, like Safin, Gasquet just played even better.
Nadal: He was on a roll in 2005 and it was obvious he was gonna win their clay court encounter.
Nalbandian: Luckiest guy on earth. Federer was injured but Nalbandian was having the tournament of his life and he was just playing too tough for even Roger.
Murray: Federer had an off day, it happens to everyone. But Murray played well and he has a good game that obviously worked well against Roger. He’s like Hewitt only better now.
The reason Nadal beat Roger 4 times this year, imho, is because of what everyone has been complaining about all year, he takes too much time between points. I’m an athlete, I understand he’s supersticious, but what he does is unsportsmanlike. He lost the second set in Monte Carlo then claimed he had an injury and made Federer cool down too much.


Ben Says:

SG, come on, you are right!!! Sampras was the greatest tennis player, and nadal is the best grass court player since sampras retired. Heck, these two would beat Ernie Els is golf. Its only because of these two that mike tyson is looking to fight women.

oooh, stop crying SG, the para above should make you feel better.

want more?


ben Says:

Atleast in 1998, he didn’t win more points than Rafter. In 1995, he won more points than Agassi did. It’s not BS, it’s one of those things that piss me off about tennis. As for the liquid metal thing. Look, most players have custom made rackets with different paint jobs. Agassi has been playing with a wooden racket for his entire career. About Nadal and Federer and their heads. Nadal gets in Federer’s head with his bs taking 1 minute between each point and claiming injuries after losing a set.


SG Says:

Ctbmar: Just a sports fan! I would say I like Federer the best, though it’s incredible that he easily dominates everyone but Rafael.

—–

Unlike the rest of the tomato cans out there, Nadal doesn’t back down to Fed. He doesn’t step out there a beaten man. He believes, when he steps on the court, he will beat Federer.

He also knows how to weather a storm. Fed blitzed Nadal in the first set in Paris. Nadal didn’t fold up his tent and collect his pay cheque. He dug in. He knows Fed will hit remarkable shots and he accepts it as part of the challenge. Nadal is an unbelievably great competitor.

Now, you get to Wimbledon and in the first set, Nadal gets blitzed again on his worst surface. Does he disappear? Nope. He digs in again and pushes Federer for evey inch of ground for the next 3 sets. If Nadal can do this to Fed on grass, he can do it anywhere. His game irritates Federer more than he’d like to admit.

If some of the other bozos on tour spent less time employing the same brainless strategies and started to try some different things, maybe they’d have a little more success. And for what it’s worth, Nadal has no weaknesses in his groundstrokes. I’m willing to bet that the 1999 Agassi would give Federer a massive headache just staying back and rallying from the baseline.

It’s ironic that in this age, where S&V is suppose to be dead because of the big rackets and big returns that it is Federer that has hired Tony Roche, one of the best volleyers in the history of the sport. Wonder why some of the other ATP tour bozos didn’t have the fore thought to do this. It does make you wonder who these idiots are listening to. You’re not going to learn how to play more agressive tennis listneing to Cristina Aguilera on your Ipod.


Ben Says:

Yes, SG, all the ATP players out there are bozos, you are the only brains out there.

NOW will you stop crying?


SG Says:

Agassi — weak serve, slow movement around courts. Safin has more explosive game.. if committed

-Utterly laughable. While Agassi didn’t have a big serve, it was effective (not a weakness, that’s for sure). And Agassi was an excellent mover in his prime. How old are u? Did you see Agassi in his prime? As for Safin, you are right. His game is explosive. Problem is, it usually explodes in his own face.

Courier — no serve-volleyer, cudnt volley waited for someone to make mistakes.. ha ha .

-Courier was a better player across all surfaces than 95% of the bozos playing today. He had a great forehand and a strong serve and his backcourt game had no weaknesses.

Chang — no weakness.. just that his shots were weak, hewitt is a much better player or even devydenko

-Of your list only Hewitt is better. And I did say Chang was nothing great. But he did not have a glaring weakness that you could pick on.

Kuerten — bullet proof.. on Clay, not hard court. Nadal is better mover.

-Nadal may be a better mover, but Kuerten was a far better ball striker. And Kuerten wasn’t slow. Compare just about anyone to Nadal and they’ll be slow. Fed is slow compared to Nadal.

Moya — hmmm… got busted by Federer many times (on clay as well).. oh .. he isnt committed anymore… cuz Sampras isnt around.

-This unmotivated Moya. Not playing like he did 7 or 8 years ago. Boy, take the rose colored glasses off already.

Muster — claycourter, Busted knee.. so no threat to sampras

-Muster, in his day, was as good a claycourter as anyone out there. His ground game had no weakneeses to speak of. Being a basleiner, that’s better than most of the tomato cans out there today.

I’m talking about true glaring weaknesses. Not contrived ones to make Fed look good. The guys I listed were solid (…if not spectacular) from both wings. There wasn’t a place to go (…like Roddick’s backhand) to take control of the point.


Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:

Can you please explain what “tomato cans” are. We’ve heard that term used to describe us before.

Thanks.


SG Says:

Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:
Can you please explain what “tomato cans” are. We’ve heard that term used to describe us before.

Thanks.

—-

I think it’s pretty self explanatory. Of course, having to explain it would in fact prove my point that the top 10 players are pretty much a bunch of tomato cans, journeymen or whatever other euphemism you want to come with for “you stink” (Fed and Nadal excluded of course).

Ljuby — never been to a major final and his game is UGLY! That forehand…PUTRID.

Blake — As I said earlier…BRAINLESS. I have an idea. I gonna have a baseline war with possibly the best baseliner in the history of the sport. Yeah…that’s what I’ll do! Then I’ll shake the winner’s hand at the end of the match.

Tommy — Not sure which you’re referring to (Haas or Robredo). Question is does it really matter? Haas has been a perennial underaciever.

Nikolay — He’s a good guy. A grind it our 40 weeks a year guy. He just lacks the talent to compete with a Safin or a fed whern they play decently. He’s more than a tomato can I suppose. He gets a lot of wins…and a lot of losses.


SG Says:

Yes, SG, all the ATP players out there are bozos, you are the only brains out there.

NOW will you stop crying?

Ben…when you keep playing the exact same losing strategy and your job is to win…what would you call that. Every player stays back and tries to outrally Federer. You consider this inspired thinking?

How is this “intelligent”. I mean, even Nadal with his awkward grips was going forward at Wimby. What are the rest of them waiting for?

Look back at when Martina absolutely dominated Chis Evert in the middle of their rivalry. Chris changed her game. Came forward more. Hit the ball harder. Attacked Martina’s 2nd serves more. She never dominated Martina, but she did make the back end of their rivalry a lot more interesting.


Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:

Oh, so it’s not a “nice” thing.

But at least we are all fit, we are all at our peak and we all play with a lot of variety. James even learned how to hit a slice backhand recently.

The Tommy BTW is Robredo, who was lost today to Wayne Arthurs who at 35 years of age is clearly at his peak now, even though he considered retiring five years ago.


Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:

Also, another question. We know what a serve is, but what is this thing you call “volley”. Is that like a trolley? If it is lwe want in because trolleys are fun to take back to player hotel especially after losses. They cheer us right up so we can play our next event.


SG Says:

Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:
Oh, so it’s not a “nice” thing.

But at least we are all fit, we are all at our peak and we all play with a lot of variety. James even learned how to hit a slice backhand recently.

The Tommy BTW is Robredo, who was lost today to Wayne Arthurs who at 35 years of age is clearly at his peak now, even though he considered retiring five years ago.

—–

Guys, give it up. I mean James, you’re like a boxer who builds up a rep by losing close fights to great fighters. That slice backhand is OK. I hear Rosewall and Sampras use to hit one of those too. Think Lendl and Agassi all had one of those. Don’t think they were 27 years old when they figured how to hit one either.

James…you’re a nice guy. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe if you exhibited some of that false modesty the No.1 player in the world has, you’d be better off. And stop trying to steal Andy’s mojo…he never had any to begin with.

What variety do the rest of you play with anyway? You like to change from the Wilson to the Penn balls once in a while? Ivan…if you want to learn to play like an Ivan…call the one in Connecticut. He may be able to help you.

And Tommy, didn’t you get smoked by some guy named Youzhny at the Open. Better luck next life.


SG Says:

The Tommy BTW is Robredo, who was lost today to Wayne Arthurs who at 35 years of age is clearly at his peak now, even though he considered retiring five years ago.

—-

Ironic that a guy like Arthurs wins now…not then. Frnakly, I think it says more about Robredo than Arthurs.

Have to wonder how Jonas Bjorkman made it all the way to the Wimbledon semis when the guy is like 7 or 8 years past his prime. And all I keep hearing is how serve and vollyers are toast in today’s game. B_LLSH_T! If Bjorkman can get that deep and Nadal can get that deep at Wimbledon, I’d love to see what Krajicek and Stich and Becker and Edberg and Rafter and Ivanisevic (…not to mention Sampras) could do against today’s miracle men. And the guys I listed had games built for fast balls and fast courts.


SG Says:

Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:
Also, another question. We know what a serve is, but what is this thing you call “volley”. Is that like a trolley? If it is lwe want in because trolleys are fun to take back to player hotel especially after losses. They cheer us right up so we can play our next event.

—–

Clearly, at the rate you guys are going, you’re going to be seeing a lot of “trolleys”.

Of course the Nadals, Sampras’, Federers, Woods, Nicklaus’ etc. didn’t and don’t care about trolleys. They’re more interested in major titles. For you guys, trolleys are about as good as it’ll get so enjoy the runner up cheques. No one remembers the runner-up after a few years pass anyway.


SG Says:

Truly, the only guy out there that seems to have the game (…not sure about the heart yet) is Gasquet. He is incredibly talented. No weaknesses. But, being injury prone is a problem for him. Then again many players have gone on to win majors even being injury prone. We’ll see about Richard. He’ll be one to watch. Not sure if he can outgun Fed on grass, but he seems to have the game to do match Fed on the other surfaces.


ben Says:

You have got to be kidding me!! What right do you have to say the players of today are tomatoes? No weaknesses? Beaten before they get on the court? What are you smoking? What the hell is wrong with you? Blake is brainless? How did he figure out how to beat Nadal then? Where do you get this bull crap about no weaknesses? Everyone has a weakness! Even Roger has a weakness! 1999 Agassi vs Current Federer, Federer would still win. Chang had no notable weaknesses? He lacked major power! He was very limited in what he could do. What makes Roger so great is that he’s practically a perfect tennis player. You wanna tell me Agassi, Courier, and Chang were perfect tennis players? What? What?! And regarding everyone’s slow to Nadal: Federer is not slow compared to Nadal, not by a long shot. Federer isn’t on the defensive all the time like Nadal is so no one really sees how fast he really is and it’s really overshadowed by everything else he’s so good at. But Federer very well be the fastest guy on tour, faster than Blake, Nadal, Monfils, etc. I gotta say you’re a freaking idiot for all that nonsense you say. Nadal and Federer are the only players who aren’t bozos? Blake doesn’t know how to volley? You can’t beat Nadal without knowing how to volley. Gasquet’s got a huge game, what about Berdych and Baghdatis? Or are they bozos like everyone else? You’re a shmuck and you shouldn’t even be watching tennis if this is the way you regard players as.


Ben Says:

SG,

you are full of shit. There’s enough data in the posts above to convincingly prove EVERY one of your stupid statements wrong. But it looks like either you are retarded, or just plain stupid.

Signing off now. this is the last time I am visiting this forum.

Take a crap, SG. You need one. And three years from now when federer has broken every tennis record out there, drown in it.


Tejuz Says:

SG,
yeah I have seen Agassi is his prime… when he lost 2 consecutive French Open finals agaisnt Gomez and Courier before finally overcoming Ivanesevic in 5 sets at Wimb. And i stil say he wasnt a great mover around the court. He stands on baseline and dictates play. He was good with his passing shots hence was able to defeat the serve-volleyers. He gets Aced so often… He hits great return winners… but thats only if he gets his raquet to the ball. He just gives up if the ball is out of reach… Watch the old tapes if u like.

Regarding the other players that you are talking about.. u couldnt see holes in their game because they competed well with Pete. Had they played Fed, he would have exposed those HOLES that you cannot see … He just makes them all look so in-sufficent.

We measure the other players against Federer .. thats the problem.


ranjona Says:

This discussion was very interesting when it started out but now I wonder. Sampras was a great player, no doubt about that. Any discussion about the difference in the type of competition that he faced then and Federer does now is at best academic (and from what I’ve seen here, also a bit childish at times). How can anyone possibly compare the times? However, it does appear that Federer’s dominance of this particular time is greater than that of any other player in his own time.
There is also the matter of the beauty of his game. He has all the shots, he plays them with grace, he appears to play effortlessly at times, he has a great will to win and he is ruthless in his demolition of his opponents, whether by mental intimidation or the tennis itself.
If perfection needs a weakness, Federer appears to have two: sometimes, mid-match he goes walkabout and loses a set here and there. Is it loss of concentration? Is it to give himself a challenge? Or something that he needs to apply himself seriously to? When you consider that he has lost only 5 matches this year, perhaps that weakness is not so important.
So, enter Nadal. A bogey in Federer’s head, surely. As Berdych pointed out, many many players can and do beat Nadal. So can Federer. Someone here mentioned that Nadal’s star may be weakening, and that may be true. No wins since the French Open? Did he pull out of Basel out of fear or pique? Is a strong desire to win enough to make you win every time?
Of course, to be the greatest of all time, Federer has to beat Sampras’s 14 slams and win a calendar or career slam. Even when he does it, a player will come along sometime in the future and better him. Surely that is the story of humankind? Will that make Federer any less? Does Federer make Sampras any less? Greatness is always relative and in its essence, unquantifiable.
Even with or without those two achievements, can anyone deny that Federer is a tremendous joy to watch, a most complete tennis player?


jcc Says:

Federer is already the greatest of all time but there are a few out there that won’t accept it until he wins more slams than Pete. And he will. And he’ll also broke the remaining records in route. There’s a small possibility that he might not win the French this year but he certainly will win it before he retires. He has transformed himself into a claycourt specialist and is going to dominate 2007 on all surfaces. Nadal will prove to be a FITP (flash in the pan).
Those who think that Pete is the GOAT are ignoring a lot of stats about some great foreign players and will probably still consider Pete the GOAT even after Federer obliterates every record of his.


SG Says:

Ben Says:
SG,

you are full of shit. There’s enough data in the posts above to convincingly prove EVERY one of your stupid statements wrong. But it looks like either you are retarded, or just plain stupid.

Signing off now. this is the last time I am visiting this forum.

Take a crap, SG. You need one. And three years from now when federer has broken every tennis record out there, drown in it.

——

This is the typical fanatical response. Roger’s the best ever and kiss my ass if you don’t agree.

Fed may in fact go on to shatter every record in the history of the sport. If he does that, I’ll be the first to say he’s the best and the greatest. I was only pointing out that until now, his competition has been somewhat less than stellar. But if, a guy’s going to win 17 or 18 majors, he has to deserve the the GOAT kudos.

Think the Fed fans here need to be a little less defensive of their guy and and perhaps a little more introspective on his accomplishments ’till now.


SG Says:

SG,
yeah I have seen Agassi is his prime… when he lost 2 consecutive French Open finals agaisnt Gomez and Courier before finally overcoming Ivanesevic in 5 sets at Wimb. And i stil say he wasnt a great mover around the court. He stands on baseline and dictates play. He was good with his passing shots hence was able to defeat the serve-volleyers. He gets Aced so often… He hits great return winners… but thats only if he gets his raquet to the ball. He just gives up if the ball is out of reach… Watch the old tapes if u like.

Regarding the other players that you are talking about.. u couldnt see holes in their game because they competed well with Pete. Had they played Fed, he would have exposed those HOLES that you cannot see … He just makes them all look so in-sufficent.

We measure the other players against Federer .. thats the problem

——

For three very tense sets a 35 yr old Agassi went toe to toe with King Fed. After losing the breaker, Agassi lost his edge and his nerve. Quite typical of his losses against Sampras.

Are you telling me that a 25 (…or 29) year old Agassi with a much better back and definitely quicker, wouldn’t have troubled Fed that muc more? Is that your point? Seems pretty weak. Andre was way better in 95 and 99 than he was when he beat Ivanisevic in 92. If you can’t see that, I can’t believe you actually saw Andre play when he was at his peak.

Yes, Fed is a great mover. Better than Andre was in his prime. But, in terms of pure ball striking, there has probably never been a better player than Andre Agassi. Not Federer and not Sampras.


SG Says:

jcc Says:
Federer is already the greatest of all time but there are a few out there that won’t accept it until he wins more slams than Pete. And he will. And he’ll also broke the remaining records in route. There’s a small possibility that he might not win the French this year but he certainly will win it before he retires. He has transformed himself into a claycourt specialist and is going to dominate 2007 on all surfaces. Nadal will prove to be a FITP (flash in the pan).
Those who think that Pete is the GOAT are ignoring a lot of stats about some great foreign players and will probably still consider Pete the GOAT even after Federer obliterates every record of his.

——

Fed is the greatest of all time already? Laver has more slam victories and two calendar slams not to mention that he would have likely won more majors than Sampras if not for the circumstances of the era.

This kind of disgusitng Fed bias makes it impossible to have an intelligent discussion. Forget about Sampras for the moment. Borg and Laver both accomplished more than Fed has. Considerably more in fact.

History looks at majors. No one will remember Fed’s Masters Cup wins. In the grand scheme their meaningless. The best players play their best tennis when it matters most. Federer certainly has met this criteria for greatness. But is he the greatest ever when he doensn’t even have a double digit major count? Not on your life.


true tennis fan Says:

“History looks at majors. No one will remember Fed’s Masters Cup wins.”

Well, apparently not. we are talking about other tournaments and masters series on this thread itself, aren’t we?

When true tennis fans evaluate a player, they look at all statistics, not one or two. Its downright incompentent and neglectful to ignore 90% of the stats in favor of one or two.

Look at what happens when selectively focus on one or two pieces of information – iraq.


ctbmar Says:

It’s so laughable when I see someone (“SG”) making no sense that Federer’s competition is less than stella. Let’s look at tennis as a whole, as a history timeline. If you look at Tennis since the 60s, players like Laver, Rosewall, Roche played until late 30s to early 40s because they were using wooden rackets, and they still could compete with younger guys like Connors, McEnroe, Borg in the 70s. Then when players like Connors, McEnroe, Lendl grew old, they still could compete until 34 to 39 years old against players like Sampras, Agassi and still managed to defeat or gave Sampras and Agassi a good, close match. Why? Because graphite rackets were not such great weapons, the players of the 80s had pretty good fitness. So the fact that the 60s players could still compete with the younger 70s players, who in turn could still compete with the late 80s and 90s players just showed that these 3 generations of players were pretty much the same standard. Because the older generation of each of the 3 generations could still compete well with the newer generation. But look at Courier…retired early…Chang, could not win a match to save his life for the last few years before retiring. Sampras, could not win a tournament for 2 years before US open 2002 against an old rival Agassi, the 2 years before, Sampras got demolished by 2 youngsters, Safin and Hewitt. The older generation of the 90s can no longer keep up with the pace of the newer year 2000s generation, except Agassi who lost 8-0 in a row to Federer since 2003 and Agassi had to constant use jabs to sustain himself, to keep up with the newer generations. If this 2000s generation is so pathetic, where is Rios, where is Kuerten, where are all those born between 1970 to 1975 gone to? retired, playing in senior tour. If you now see my point, for 4 generations, 60s, 70s, 80, 90s, all the older players can still play until age 40, still giving the newer generation tough matches, even winning some of them. It is not because the previous generation was good, it is because the difference in skill, performance for all these generations was not significiant, the technology used (wooden racket/graphite racket) allowed the older generation to still compete well with the newer generation until their late 30s and early 40s. But the players in the 90s cannot compete with this present generation because of their racket advancements, bigger built, faster speed, otherwise you will still see Sampras playing in the ATP tour now in 2006, he is only 35 years old now, and the rest of his cohort still playing until year 2010, but they all retired mostly before 2002, below age 32. So the newer 2000s generation are in fact playing at a higher plateau, higher overall standard, the average player rank 50 to 100 in the 2000s, will simply crush the players rank 50 to 100 in the 90s without any problem. If you take this perspective in consideration, only then will you appreciate Federer’s utter dominance over the field of 2000s generation. I will rate the overall playing skills and playing standards of the 2000s 1 notch higher than the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, because simply of how tennis has evolved and more players are just getting better, that is what development is all about, the humankind is always striving to improve, striving to become better, faster, taller, smarter…And if you finally see the light, then you will realize that Federer is 1 notch higher than the overall playing skills and playing standards of the 2000s, so in fact he is 2 notch higher than those in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s.
Basically, it is just a natural progression & improvement of men…like the 100m dash, 1930s it was 10.30 secs, then 10.10 secs in the 60s, 9.95 secs in the 90s, now in the 2000s, the record for 100m is 9.77 / 9.78 secs…So it is really laughable to say that today generation is lower skill, lower in playing standards to the generation before. In fact, I find that Tim Henman is playing one of his best tennis this year, even though he lost to Federer on many occasions but I really feel that Henman has been forced to improve his skills to stay with the present competition. Henman has been quite a few good players this year and I certainly feel he has improved as a player. But although he has improved as a player, his ranking is ranked 38 now. If Henman were to play with the same standards as he is playing now back in the 90s, he will be ranked in the top 10. I agree that Federer has not reached the same achievement as Laver or Borg yet, but he still have time to prove himself further. Greatness due to achievement is one measurement standard; Greatness due to technical skill is another form of measurement standard. No doubt in my mind that Federer is the greatest technical skilled MODERN player I have ever witness.


true tennis fan Says:

ctbmar’s analysis is that of a true tennis/sports fan. Now that’s analysis.

More people play tennis today than 10 years ago.

there’s more money in tennis today than 10 years ago.

There’s more access to coaches/coaching academies today than 10 years ago.

More technology is used in coaching today than 10 years ago (video replays, etc.)

There’s more attention to fitness today than 10 years ago (nutrition awareness, training, etc.).

There’s more powerful racket technology today than 10 years ago.

There are more tennis courts today than 10 years ago.

There are more tennis tournaments today than 10 years ago.

Then how the heck can anyone argue there is less competition today than 10 years ago? Its a joke. the most stupid statement anyone can make.


SG Says:

ctbmar,

your rant is utter hogwash. Bob Beamon held his long jump record for more than 30 years before it was broken. If man is “evoloving” as you’ve implied (…completley ridiculous actually) then Beamon’s record should have fallen in the 70′s or the 80′s or even the early 90′s. Last I checked, the training methods in the 80′s were light years ahead of the 60′s.

Great champions are great champions. If you drag them form any era and balance out the technological and training differences, they’ll still turn to be champions. Maybe they will not be quite as dominant, but they will still win majors.

Listen man, Sampras and Agassi made it to the finals of the 02′ Open when they were both past their physical prime. Based on your theory guys from the 80′s shouldn’t be able to compete with this gneration. But they both did and they both went through today’s field in their de-evolved state.

Hey, here’s a statement that’s filled with as much inuendo as your last blog….Ever notice how Fed didn’t win a damn thing ’till Sampras was gone and Agassi was old? Hmmm…maybe…just maybe.. there’s something to that.


SG Says:

my point is …great champions transcend time.


true tennis fan Says:

SG,

when beamon jumped 8.90, others were jumping 8.50. so that WAS an outrageous jump, even he could never come close again. THAT’s why it took so long for it to be broken. others moved from 8.50 to 6.60, 8.70. 8.80 over the 70s and 80s.

Same way Michael johnson’s 19.32 in 200m is going to be around for several decades. It was out of this world. Even he could never come close again.

The level of Fed’s dominance is similar. Fed’s records are not going to be broken for decades. players like sampras come and go, every decade there is one. players like fed are once in a century.

heck, Lendl was superior to sampras, by most yardsticks. Even the competition he faced can never be called weak (borg, connors, mcenroe, wilander, becker, edberg).

If you take the effort to dig deeper into Sampras’s grand slam wins, you will find many lucky draws at wimbledon, along with preferential treatment at US Open several times (all night matches, since he couldn’t play well during the day, postponing his matches if he had a long match before, etc.). Even his 2002 US open – you probably don’t remember – fed faced Schalken in the semis, while agassi had to play hewitt. Add to it the stupid US open rule of semi on saturday and final on sunday. IF pete had faced a fresh agassi at the 2002 US open finals, agassi would have won.

Fed won wimbledon beating players like pioline, ivanisevic, courier on grass. gimme a frigging break.

The ultimate proof of sampras not having enough “game” was his miserable, absolutely miserable record on clay. 24-13 at the french, one semi in 13 tries. Wow, the guy could really play when you actually had to hit some shots to win a point.


» The Age of No Competition (2002-2006) Says:

[...] In a post few weeks ago, I basically took offense to those that hammered Pete Sampras’s rightful place in history. Part of my argument was that the game back then was just as strong when Pete played as it is now. [...]


ben Says:

true tennis fan, if you were a true tennis fan, you wouldn’t insult sampras and try to take away his success. federer and sampras are two of a kind, but federer is just more naturally talented and he grew up watching sampras. think about it. if sampras hadn’t been around to set the 6 years ending number 1 record and 14 slams, then federer might not be as motivated. federer always says how hes playing against history. sampras wasn’t the MOST talented player ever and didn’t have the most complete game, that’s why he was always fighting for the top spot. and he had plenty of tough competition: courier, agassi, martin, rios, chang, etc. yet for 6 years, he was the number 1 player in the world. even if he didn’t keep his spot throughout the entire year everytime, he ended the year as the number 1 tennis player in the world for 6 years. so he got a few easy draws every once in a while. who hasnt gotten an easy draw in their career? federer just had an easy draw in madrid, not to say he didnt deserve the victory but he didnt have the most challenging opponents. nadal had an easy draw that allowed him to reach the wimbledon final, not to say he didnt deserve reacing the final considering its his worst surface. look, sampras’s supremecy is truly something else. so he wasnt the greatest clay courter, neither is roddick, but where sampras lacked clay court abilities he made up for on every other surface. to have 14 slams and not 1 french, sure it sucks he never won the french, but if u look at the big picture he won 14 slams! his entire career was only 14 years and yet he managed to win 14 slams without winning a single french open title. just imagine if he was good on clay, thatd be another 2 or 3 slams. but he didnt need the french to break the slams record. and at the rate even if federer doesnt win the french he’ll break the record. sampras had the greatest desire to win, which is why he did. now you have federer, who watched sampras growing up, has that same desire. the only difference is federer has an even greater game than sampras. if federer was just a serve and volleyer or just a baseliner, he’d probably be as dominant as sampras was, but because hes such a complete player, hes able to dominate even more. SG, federer didnt win anything until sampras was gone… and until agassi was old? hahahaha, thats ridiculous. you got him, federer purposely waited for agassi to get old until he started winning. he purposely waited for sampras to retire. cuz we all know that federer can control being 10 years younger than both of them. obviously agassi’s presence didnt stop federer from winning so many majors. and as for sampras, well clearly federer wouldve still gone on to win all these wimbledon’s if sampras had stuck around until atleast today. dont forget he did beat him in 2001 and hed only beat him worse had they played last year or today. SG stop insulting federer, you think the competition is so weak why dont u go and win urself a slam. and true tennis fan and all u other federer fanatics, i no federer is great but that doesnt make sampras worse. sampras is one of the greatest if not the greatest as of now. you dont create such unimaginable records if you’re an average player. sampras was a true champion, you don’t get those often. he had the heart of a champion. he has a winning record over agassi and he has more slams than agassi becuz he wanted it more. he didnt lose focus and concentration and drop out of the top 100 like agassi did. federer is the same, focused, and has extreme desire. he wants to win those slams, and he wants to break all the records. and hes just an unbelievable tennis player when it comes to the way he plays.

p.s. federer is the greatest ball striker ever. everyone says it, even agassi. agassi was great and all but no one has ever had the vision federer has and no one hits the ball as cleanly. thats why federer’s head size is 90 and agassi’s was usually oversized.


Tejuz Says:

SG: “For three very tense sets a 35 yr old Agassi went toe to toe with King Fed. After losing the breaker, Agassi lost his edge and his nerve. Quite typical of his losses against Sampras.”

why see 1 match??? what abt the rest of their matches.. Fed beat him straight sets in 5 out of 8. also had a few 6-0 and 6-1 sets… and in 1 final, Agassi got spurred on by the crowed and competed well for couple of sets. See the match again.. how vocal the crowd was and also the support that he recieved. It was as though Fed ahd to bet the crowd before beating Agassi. Doesnt dent his claim for greatness..infact enhances it.

S.G. “Are you telling me that a 25 (…or 29) year old Agassi with a much better back and definitely quicker, wouldn’t have troubled Fed that muc more? Is that your point? Seems pretty weak. Andre was way better in 95 and 99 than he was when he beat Ivanisevic in 92. If you can’t see that, I can’t believe you actually saw Andre play when he was at his peak.”

He would have just troubled Fed…. but i dont see any change in results. Instead of 6-0, 6-1… it wud have been 6-3, 6-4 sets. Probably Agassi wud have taken a set or two at the most.

S.G -”Yes, Fed is a great mover. Better than Andre was in his prime. But, in terms of pure ball striking, there has probably never been a better player than Andre Agassi. Not Federer and not Sampras. ”

Keep that opinion to yourself… I would rather listen to opinions of ex-players and ex-champions like Laver, Agassi(himself), Sampras(yeah, him too), Courier, Becker, Lendl … even they keep raving about Fed’s ball striking (not to mention his other weapons).. nobody mentions Agassi…


Aleman Says:

Here are some of the early-round losses that occured when Sampras was #1 from 1993 to 1998:

*Becker lost to Pat McEnroe in the first round of the Australian Open in 1995

*Edberg lost to, of all people, Karel Novacek in the first round of the US Open in 1993, after winning the title for 2 years previously. Definitely wasn’t the same after 1993.

*Becker losing to Magnus Larsson in the 4th Round of the U.S. Open in 1993

*Becker losing in the 1st Round of the U.S. Open to Richey Reneberg in 1994

Folks, I haven’t even included the fact that Agassi went downhill from 1996 to 1998, and Becker did so from 1997 onwards. And after 1993, Courier really went down the drain. So just because there were “more great players playing” during Sampras’s reign, doesnt’ mean that they played great very often.


Tejuz Says:

SG : “my point is …great champions transcend time.”

and well.. we all know.. Federer has transcended sports(along with time). Hez being compared to likes of Woods, Schumi, Jordan apart from other Tennis greats. Hez winning Laureus awards 2 years in a row (beating the likes of Ronaldinho, Schumi, Alonso, Woods, Phelps, Armstrong) and difinitely a third one after such a successful year. He was also nominated in 2003. These awards are decided by world’s leading sports editors, writers and broadcasters from over 80
countries.

Well… seems like this competition is weak too… ;-) ha ha


ctbmar Says:

SG, you need to listen to the music group “Third Eye Blind”…because your eyes are simply blind…even your third eye is blind.


ctbmar Says:

SG says: Hey, here’s a statement that’s filled with as much inuendo as your last blog….Ever notice how Fed didn’t win a damn thing ’till Sampras was gone and Agassi was old? Hmmm…maybe…just maybe.. there’s something to that.
—————————————————-

The same can be said when Laver started to grow old, Connors started to win some Majors; The same can be said of Lendl & McEnroe growing old, then Pete and Agassi started winning majors. Of cos man, all the generations are at least 10 years difference apart, by the time the older generation grow old, the newer generation is still inexperience and need some defeats before conquering some Majors. Agassi lost 3 Major finals before winning his 1st Major at Wimbledon 92. It has been the same throughout history. I don’t see how you justify your point, in fact it is validating my point even further. Duh…


ctbmar Says:

I don’t recall so many of the tennis greats watching Sampras’ matches. I don’t recall so many celebrities, Royalties, Ambassadors, Presidents, other famous sportsmen, movie stars, former senators, defence ministers, super rich billionaires , etc, watching Sampras’ matches as compared to all these high-society people watching Federer’s matches. In their minds, Federer is a much greater player than Sampras, otherwise why waste time to watch him play? Or either that, these high-society people dislike Sampras so much that they want to rub salt into his wounds by supporting his No. 1 successor? I think the latter is less likely reason why they enjoy watching Federer play. There was also less buzz about Sampras being the greatest player ever when he was playing his best and partially dominating the sport. There were so many great players before Sampras, so why didn’t Sampras get all these attention while Federer got so much attention as the greatest ever? When Hewitt was dominating tennis for 2 years, I was so pissed off that I never watch much tennis that 2 years, but never heard anybody saying Hewitt was the greatest. I reckon that because Sampras was the top 3 ever player, and someone so special comes along with a better backhand, forehand, movements like Federer with exactly 10 years apart with so many similar qualities as Sampras, that off the bat, people are having so high hopes for Federer to be the top 3 best ever as well. The best part of it, Federer is not disappointing those who are supporting him, because he keeps winning and fulfulling the expectations of all his fans. It was really disappointing when Sampras does not put in his best at the French Open when on hard courts, his baseline game could match anyone but he simply did not have the heart and patience to play on clay. But Federer is different, he is willing to prepare himself early, train hard for the clay court seasons, be the earliest to practise at the practise courts, willing to sweat it out on his worst surface. Most people can connect with Federer who symbolize the positive Human spirit because even when he loses, he keeps his head up high. Firstly, it’s classlass for any past champion to undermine the present champion of his achievements by saying he has weak competition and self-glorifying himself that his competition was so tough. I am sure Federer will not make such statements about his future successor when Federer retired because it is not Federer’s nature to say something like this. Records will one day be broken, whether it is a 20 years record, 30 years record, it will one day be broken.


ctbmar Says:

Anyone knows how much $$$ is an average ticket (middle row) at Wimbledon to watch Federer? Do you need to book in Advance, how many months in advance? Can you just buy a set of tickets just to watch Federer’s matches?


SG Says:

can someone please provide the following:

1) Today’s players who are better on grass than:

-Edberg
-Becker
-Ivanisevic
-Krajicek
-Rafter
-…even Agassi
-Sampras

2) Other than Nadal & Fed, better on dirt than

-Courier
-Kuerten
-Bruguera
-Agassi

3) Better on a hardcourt than:

-Agassi
-Sampras
-Becker…late 80′s early 90′s
-Lendl
-Chang…to a lesser extent
-Courier
-Edberg

…and many of those players competed at the same time, in the same era. Now, on their best surface, in any given year any of those guys could have run the table to win a major. Someone give me the list of today’s players who are better on therir best surfaces than the guys I listed and I’ll be glad to shut up. If you’re just gonna’ tell the shut the f**^$%^ up, well than all I can assume is that Fed’s competition isn’t strong enough to stand up to a little scrutiny. You Fed fanatics should be able to defend your guy.

And by the way, people lined to see Agassi play. It’s about personna. Sampras was never Mr. Charisma. When Agassi played, you saw Barbara Streisand, Nicolette Sheridan, etc… The fact that you think people line up to see Fed play because he is some kind of tennis god is preposterous. They line up to see him because he has personality that draws people to him and he’s successful in what he does. You can say that about Donald Trump and even Mike Tyson.


SG Says:

…defending your guy by throwing me a bunch of winning %’s is useless. If you throw a shark in a pond, he’s gonna look like the baddest boy on the block. Throw him in an ocean with a bunch of sharks and he’ll look a lot less special.


SG Says:

Tejuz Says:
SG : “my point is …great champions transcend time.”

and well.. we all know.. Federer has transcended sports(along with time). Hez being compared to likes of Woods, Schumi, Jordan apart from other Tennis greats. Hez winning Laureus awards 2 years in a row (beating the likes of Ronaldinho, Schumi, Alonso, Woods, Phelps, Armstrong) and difinitely a third one after such a successful year. He was also nominated in 2003. These awards are decided by world’s leading sports editors, writers and broadcasters from over 80
countries.

Well… seems like this competition is weak too… ha ha

——-

Federer does not transcend sport. The only athletes who I can think of that did was Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. They have commercials and billboards. Even today, long after his retirement, MJ and his profile can be found on Nike’s. I doubt that Fed will be that global when he’s done. In order for an athlete to “transcend” sport he generally has to play a sport that is accessible to all. Even in America, people have heard of Pele. You can go to just about any corner of Africa and they’ll know who Pele is. Same with Muhammad Ali. Federer does not transcend his sport. He only dominates it.


ctbmar Says:

SG says: They line up to see him because he has personality that draws people to him and he’s successful in what he does. You can say that about Donald Trump and even Mike Tyson.

————————–
Comeon, personality along will not draw the crowds that Federer is drawing. How can you compare Mike Tyson’s personality with Federer? They are the complete opposite. People watch Mike Tyson because of his vicious jabs, knockout punch, trash talking, bicep showing, EAR BITING, meanest, most ferocious boxer in history —> so yes, Tyson’s personality will draw crowds because crowds love see BLOOD, violence, drama, pain, suffering… But Federer’s personality draws crowds??? It’s more than his personality, he does not do nothing like a McEnroe, Safin, never do a Tyson “vicious jabs, knockout punch, trash talking, bicep showing, EAR BITING”….People watch Federer because of his skills. As simple as that. Wake up your senses.


ctbmar Says:

SG Says:

…defending your guy by throwing me a bunch of winning %’s is useless. If you throw a shark in a pond, he’s gonna look like the baddest boy on the block. Throw him in an ocean with a bunch of sharks and he’ll look a lot less special.

—————————————————
Another flaw statement…
Now you are saying that Federer is a shark that is thrown into an ocean with a bunch of sharks, so he looks like nothing special.
Then who are you to say that all the players in the 80s and 90s are also not sharks thrown into an ocean with other sharks and are also nothing special…This is just your own baseless assumption. Who determines which shark is found in which pond or which ocean? For all I care, your beloved Sampras himself could be in the same category: A shark found in a big ocean with other sharks and nothing special. Just because those sharks found in Sampras ocean are tagged “hall of famers” does not mean anything if they have become old, tired, soon to retire. And other sharks found in Sampras’ ocean are seawater sharks, swimming in “clay” muddy waters, only can play well on clay while Sampras Shark only can survive in freshwater, only good at playing on faster surface…so the sharks are swimming far away from his vicinity…and if they cross paths, either the seawater shark will crush the freshwater Sampras, or the freshwater Sampras will crush the seawater sharks…So what competition are we talking about?
At least Federer can still give Nadal a good fight on clay, and Nadal is proving he can also give Federer a good scare on grass…This is a better example of competition that your SHARK analogy.


SG Says:

…still waiting for that list of players today that are better on grass, clay and hardcourts than the ones in the 90′s….where is it Fed freaks? Or are you better at trashing the 90′s than you are defending today’s crop of uhhhh…players? At least I’ve listed my guys. Where are yours? Let me quote a little Sun Tzu, “When your opponent is stronger, evade him”. Seems like you Fed fanatics are ducking the issue to me.


SG Says:

ctbmar Says:
SG says: They line up to see him because he has personality that draws people to him and he’s successful in what he does. You can say that about Donald Trump and even Mike Tyson

—-

So you also have a difficult time reading…not a surprising revelation from a bunch of brainwashed fanatics. I said “successful and personable”, not just personable. It’s like I’m dealing with a bunch of word twisting lawyers in this forum…


SG Says:

ctbmar Says:
SG Says:

…defending your guy by throwing me a bunch of winning %’s is useless. If you throw a shark in a pond, he’s gonna look like the baddest boy on the block. Throw him in an ocean with a bunch of sharks and he’ll look a lot less special.

—–

Actually, I was saying Fed is a big fish in a small pond mostly filled with minnows so he looks stronger than he really is. Sampras was a shark in a sea of sharks. There’s a lot less food out there when you have to share it with other sharks.

Do you get it now or are u still confused…perhaps smoke signals next time? Something more visual? Sometimes those big words can be tough to read ctbmar. I’ll try to keep it simpler in the future…


SG Says:

…and I even left Rafter off my list of hardcourters and Moya off my list of dirt ballers. Should be easy for you to come up with your list now….LOL!!!


SG Says:

ctbmar:

Let’s look at tennis as a whole, as a history timeline. If you look at Tennis since the 60s, players like Laver, Rosewall, Roche played until late 30s to early 40s because they were using wooden rackets, and they still could compete with younger guys like Connors, McEnroe, Borg in the 70s. Then when players like Connors, McEnroe, Lendl grew old, they still could compete until 34 to 39 years old against players like Sampras, Agassi and still managed to defeat or gave Sampras and Agassi a good, close match. Why? Because graphite rackets were not such great weapons, the players of the 80s had pretty good fitness. So the fact that the 60s players could still compete with the younger 70s players, who in turn could still compete with the late 80s and 90s players just showed that these 3 generations of players were pretty much the same standard. Because the older generation of each of the 3 generations could still compete well with the newer generation. But look at Courier…retired early…Chang, could not win a match to save his life for the last few years before retiring. Sampras, could not win a tournament for 2 years before US open 2002 against an old rival Agassi, the 2 years before, Sampras got demolished by 2 youngsters, Safin and Hewitt.

—–

There is no difference in the power of the 90′s and the 00′s. Where are Sampras and Agassi? Well, last I checked, Andre was in the 05′ US Open final and both he and Sampras were in the ’02 US Open Final. In fact, Sampras was in every US Open final of the 00′s including his final US Open win in ’02. Do you know anything
tennis, or are you Fed’s press agent? God, these Fed fanatics just keep lying and distorting the facst to make their point. It’s a sickness or something. So, the 2 best players from the 90′s contunued to prove that they had what it took to compete with the Supermen of the 00′s. What was your argument again? Oh yeah, I don’t think you had one.

The reason the balls were slowed and the courts were slowed was to make tennis more easy on the eye. A lot of people found 90′s tennis boring because there was too much power and not enough rallies. It took a very special talent to hold your nerve at Wimbledon in the 90′s when guys like Ivo and Krajicek and Stich and Sampras and P’sis were bombing away at you. You had to be comfortable winning sets 7-5 and 7-6. Not in this era. In this era, you can play Wimbledon just about the same way you do a clay court. Nadal’s success is proof of that. If Nadal tried staying back 10 years ago he’d have been gased.

Don’t give me the crap that today’s guys hit the ball bigger than 8 or 9 years ago. Sampras was using racket technology from the 80′s into the 00′s and he could still trade bombs with the big boys. Same for Agassi.


SG Says:

who knows how much bigger Sampras could have hit the ball if he was using more modern racket technology. It’s a scary thought. Jim Courier once said of his racket (…the same one Sampras played with) that if he’d go to a more powerful racket, he’d be punching holes in the back fence. His point being, he didn’t need more power. He had all he needed from his technology. You know, most of Fed’s success has come with that behemoth racket. Wonder if he’d have 9 slams if he use something a little less forgiving? Hmph…who knows?


ben Says:

i swear to god you are the dumbest tennis fan ever. yeah, its because of the power his racket produces for him thats made him win 7 matches in a row in 9 slams. news flash! the racket doesnt make the player.


cc Says:

lendl is an american, fool


Tejuz Says:

SG..
Try using Federer’s racquet and then comment about it. Seems like u have played a lot using his and Sampras’s racquets.

You say “Jim Courier once said of his racket (…the same one Sampras played with) that if he’d go to a more powerful racket, he’d be punching holes in the back fence. His point being, he didn’t need more power. You know, most of Fed’s success has come with that behemoth racket.” Seems like u always see holes being punched through by Fed’s racquet. Do u know if you have more power the less control you have of you shots. Now dont start this racquet technology BULLSHIT okay. Didnt Sampras has better racquets than Becker.. and Becker had one better than McEnroe. So you are not proving anything here.

You say “who knows how much bigger Sampras could have hit the ball if he was using more modern racket technology, It’s a scary thought.”..
well.. he would have hit harder but wouldnt have controlled his vollies so well. And well.. Fed has an amazing racquet head speed when he hits a forehand, Sampras wouldnt have hit faster than Fed anyway… So nothing scary abt it.
Try reading some Pete’s comments when he tried to comeback this year in friendly matches.. he tried to use Fed’s racquet but he just couldnt control it.

Regarding the list you published… we have already argued a lot over most these players… u might find their names in this blog.. so no use repeating it again and again. One comment though.. i feel Federer is better than all of them on all the surfaces.


ctbmar Says:

I think SG is Sampras in disguise. Really sour grapes that Federer is so successful. I rather have a nice discussion with HistoryDude, than some blinded fool.


SG Says:

ben Says:
i swear to god you are the dumbest tennis fan ever. yeah, its because of the power his racket produces for him thats made him win 7 matches in a row in 9 slams. news flash! the racket doesnt make the player.

—-

Obviously an excellent player can play with just about any racket. However, I do have an article from Tennis Magazine where Agassi states that if played with Sampras’ racket, he’d have a lot more mishits because of the smaller sweetspot. Why wouldn’t this be true Fed? Didn’t know his game defies the laws of physics.

Still waiting for today’s list of players better than the ones I listed….where is it Fedsters? It’s like dealing with a bunch of Repulbican politicians. We don’t have a policy…we’ll just trash yours!


SG Says:

ctbmar Says:
I think SG is Sampras in disguise. Really sour grapes that Federer is so successful. I rather have a nice discussion with HistoryDude, than some blinded fool.

—-

The classic response of the beaten man…when their losing the argument, they resort to personal insults. Excuse me while I bow to your superior intellect. By the way Fed freak, where’s that list I requested. I guess it doesn’t exist so stop throwing down your smack when you’ve got nothing to back it up with.


SG Says:

For the last time you bunch of fanatics, I have already acknowledged that Fed is a great player. One of the greatest of all time. I merely questioned who he plays these days. That’s it. So, if you can give me that list of players that I asked for, maybe I’ll see it your way. ‘Till then, I’m not convinced. Please stop ducking the questions and give me the list….


SG Says:

By the way, did anyone here know that Sampras was working with Wilson on a new racket in ’02 to replace the St. Vincent? Guess not. If Sampras didn’t believe technology made a difference, he wouldn’t have bothered.


Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:

Fed Freaks,

There is no shame in giving up. When the odds are against you, just quit. Learn from us. We do it all the time.


ctbmar Says:

Before I do this quiz, I must state that the reasons why the players I am going to state have less Majors achievements than those listed by SG is because Sampras, Agassi and their cohort has grabbed all of the trophies, retired early before age 30/31, so there are no hall of famers from the 90s playing now. Whereas when Sampras and Agassi were playing, many of the hall of famers from the 80s played past 35 years old, so you have more “famous” names in your list. With the combination of Federer dominating the field, and previously Sampras & Agassi dominating the field, there aren’t many “famous” hall of famers left in the draw. Due to the above reasons to explain why there are so few players having Majors in today’s game. So I want to point out that although the players that I am going to mention do not have many or no Majors at all, but if you look at their skills level, they are pretty much on par or better. I don’t want to see your response…how can you compare a 6 time Major winner with a player without 1 Major, or only 1 or 2 Majors…because I already explained the present situation why there are so few players without Majors left in the draw, but that does not necessarily means that if these players play their best, they cannot compete with those players you have listed. So I will compare my players’ prime skill level against your players’ prime skill level (without using “Majors” Achievement as your leveraging tool). I will give either 2 sets of players:
1st set: with reference to Sampras’ Age, then cross-reference to someone with the same age difference from Federer. (For Fairness purposes, some players will overlap in era).
2nd set: Today’s active player, but I will use his prime skill level as a guage.
If you use Sampras, I have to use Federer…

SG Says:

can someone please provide the following:

1) Today’s players who are better on grass than:

- Prime Edberg —–> Prime Safin
- Prime Becker —–> Prime Roddick
- Prime Ivanisevic–> Prime Ancic
- Prime Krajicek —> Prime Philippoussis
- Prime Rafter —–> Prime Hewitt
- Prime Agassi (on grass) —–> Prime Nadal
(baseline rallies)
- Prime Sampras —-> Prime Federer

2) Other than Nadal & Fed, better on dirt than
—> Why set limitations? Aren’t playing fair eh? Since we are discussing Federer’s competition,
I won’t use Federer, but it’s ridiculous to omit Nadal.

- Prime Courier -> Prime Ferrero
- Prime Kuerten -> Prime Nadal (Kuerten belongs to both Sampras’ and Federer’s era since he is born in 1976.)

- Prime Bruguera-> Prime Kuerten / Prime Moya (Kuerten & Moya belongs to both Sampras’ and Federer’s era since both born in 1976, 5 years apart from both Sampras and Federer)/ Prime Coria / Prime Puerta

- Peak Agassi (on clay) -> Prime Gaudio

Backup players: Robredo, Ferrer

3) Better on a hardcourt than:

-Prime Agassi —> Prime Hewitt
-Prime Sampras —> Prime Federer
-Prime Becker —> Prime Roddick
-Prime Lendl —> Prime Safin
-Prime Chang —> Prime Nadal
-Prime Courier —> Prime Ferrero
-Prime Edberg (5 years older than Sampras) —>
Prime Kuerten (5 years older than Federer) /
Prime Haas (3 years older than Federer) /
Prime Ljubicic

Backup players: Blake, Nalbandian, Berdych, Baghdatis, Gasquet

I have matched players either power for power, speed for speed, or contrasting styles to counter your list of players. Please don’t give me craps that my list is worse off. An honest person will agree that my list is comparable
(+/- 5% variation) in skill & winning abilities.


SG Says:

…you lost your credibility when you compared Safin to Edberg, arguably the best volleyer in the history of the sport.


SG Says:

Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:
Fed Freaks,

There is no shame in giving up. When the odds are against you, just quit. Learn from us. We do it all the time.

—–

Actually, I never said you guys give up. It’s amazing how the freaks just keep twisitng my words.

Guys, you keep playing the same failed tactics over and over again. When Arthur Ashe was going to play Connors in the finals at Wimbledon in 1975, Ashe’s coach asked him how he was going ro lay Connors. Ashe told his coach “I’ll play my game and let the chips fall where they may”. His coach jabbed his finger in his chest and said, “You have do WHATEVER you need to do to win”. Ashe enployed a slice forehand against Connors that was very effective in beating him. It was not a normal part of Ashe’s game, but he came up with something. He improvised. When you lose to Fed, do you guys think to yourself, “I’m tryng to beat one of the very best baseliners in the history of the sport from the baseline. Maybe it’s not the brightest move in the world”. Guess not.


ben Says:

Obviously an excellent player can play with just about any racket. However, I do have an article from Tennis Magazine where Agassi states that if played with Sampras’ racket, he’d have a lot more mishits because of the smaller sweetspot. Why wouldn’t this be true Fed? Didn’t know his game defies the laws of physics.

This proves how “great” a ball striker Agassi was. Sampras’s head size? 90. Federer’s head size? 90. Every notice how Federer hits the most amazing winners and hits the most ridiculous shanks. When he mishits the ball he MISHITS the ball. It’s really quite funny. And yeah since you haven’t noticed, Federer’s game really does defy the laws of physics. Btw, about power. Players today gain power from loosely strung rackets, not so much the racket itself. That’s what makes someone like Federer and Hewitt so amazing, they hit amazingly placed shots when their strings give them pretty much no control.


SG Says:

Federer’s game really does defy the laws of physics.

—–

LOL!!! LOL!!! Yes Copernicus, you would know! How do you expect me to react to utter fallacious nonsense like this. Here’s a clue…”NOTHING DEFIES THE LAW OF PHYSICS. THEY ARE LAWS”. Sakes alive, you guys are crazy or brainwashed or both.


ben Says:

SG, u claim to have been watching tennis for 10 years and u dont understand my exaggeration. u sound like a 12 year old b*tch. seriously dude just stop posting stuff all together. itd be one thing if ur criticism was constructive but it isnt. u clearly lack the knowledge needed to discuss this topic. im not saying competition today is the best its ever been. not at all. theres always plenty of room for improvement. but u r a complete retard. regarding safin vs edberg: edberg was one of the greatest players no question. but. if safin wasnt such a head case and wasnt plagued by injury every other god damn year, theres no doubt in my mind he wouldve been the most successful tennis player ever. better than even federer.


JasonX Says:

Federer does not transcend sport. The only athletes who I can think of that did was Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. They have commercials and billboards. Even today, long after his retirement, MJ and his profile can be found on Nike’s. I doubt that Fed will be that global when he’s done. In order for an athlete to “transcend” sport he generally has to play a sport that is accessible to all. Even in America, people have heard of Pele. You can go to just about any corner of Africa and they’ll know who Pele is. Same with Muhammad Ali. Federer does not transcend his sport. He only dominates it.

-I wonder why Federer does not transcend his sport….Oyea, he’s NOT AMERICAN.


Tejuz Says:

Oh Yeah… Fed’s pictures are not on AMERICAN Billboards.. eh.. like Jordon or Woods who are AMERICANS.

SG.. do u mean what does Transcending sports mean???? And dont tell me Tennis is not avidly followed everywhere… Its played in almost all the coutries as opposed to Basketball or baseball.


Tejuz Says:

SG.. check Fed’s racquet head size as well … 90sq in, and Sampras’s was also 90(or 85).. so what are you intending to prove here. i have a racquet which has head size 90, i get better control over my shots more so than the ones with bigger heads, especially the serve.

But to hit top-spin the way Fed hits with a small head is really Amazing.


Tejuz Says:

Safin and Edberg might not be a right comparison on Grass(or for that matter any surface) as far as playing comparisons or acheivements goes. But then Safin would have destroyed Edberg on Hard, Carpet or clay surface. Grass would have helped Edberg more.

SG.. do u think Serve-volley is the only way to play great tennis? well.. i feel they arent confident to play from baseline thats why they rush to net. the other day i was watching Philp’sis vs Nalbandian Davis Cup match on clay. Phip’sis being a server-vollier tried to curb his game to play baseline tennis and inturn got Hammered by Nalbandian.

we say, surfaces have become slow.. hence players return so well. But we also see so many winners coming from Fed’s or Safin’s racquets on these courts. Had they played on faster courts(where Sampras was getting Free points of his serve)..it seems pretty scary.. opponents wudnt have had a chance(as though they have now)


Tommy Robredo, Arnaud Clement, Jurgen Melzer and No. 512 Welsey Whitehouse Says:

Tejuz,

You are as right as rain. Even though we beat Marat on hard courts this summer, Edberg would not have stood a chance if the Swede would have been in our shoes. No way!


ctbmar Says:

SG Says:

…you lost your credibility when you compared Safin to Edberg, arguably the best volleyer in the history of the sport.

—————————————————-
Edberg is my childhood idol, I know his net game capabilities. but I also know Safin’s capabilities. If his game is on, he can beat anybody, even Edberg on grass…Safin has so much raw power, his returns will be a force against the net rushing Edberg. Look at how he destroyed Sampras. Yes, you will say Sampras was off-peak then. But a win is a win. So who are you to say that a virtual match between Edberg vs Safin will be a confirmed win by Edberg? Edberg could not beat Courier at Wimbledon 1993, who is an excellent returner as well. Yes, Edberg was off-peak then. But a win is a win. Safin also managed to get to the finals of Halle 2005 (grass), losing to Federer in 3 tight sets. So don’t tell me I am not credible if I use a Power All Round Player like Safin to counter Edberg on grass. Safin is a volatile, crazy player, when he is at his best, very few players in history can match him stroke for stroke. But when he is on his off-days, even an pretty average player can beat him. It’s all in his mind, whether he wants to perform, that’s another question. But certainly a prime Safin on grass has enough power in all his strokes to give prime Edberg hell on grass.


ctbmar Says:

SG Says:

Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James Says:
Fed Freaks,

There is no shame in giving up. When the odds are against you, just quit. Learn from us. We do it all the time.

—–

Actually, I never said you guys give up. It’s amazing how the freaks just keep twisitng my words.

—————————————–
I salute your intellect, it’s obvious Tommy, Nikolay, Ivan and James is on the same side of the fence as you…why bash your own team-mate, MORON?


ctbmar Says:

SG, I have not lost to you…Wrote a long reply to your list…and you can only afford to make 1 dumb statement. So you never make any insults, you great winner?!?!?! Sampras Freak…you are a joke.


ctbmar Says:

Yo SG.

Instead of fighting with words, a picture is worth a 1000 words. Go and search for 3 best points by Sampras and compete with these 3 shown below by Federer. Don’t give me the bull that videos are not invented in the 90s, that you cannot find any good videos of Sampras. You have the whole 14 years of Sampras’ career (1988 to 2002) to search for 3 best shots by Sampras. Federer’s peak career had just begun, and I randomly picked these 3 shots. Federer does not even react to his “No Look Shot” in video clip#3, unlike Sampras making a big deal when he does a running forehand.
Federer is hitting so many speciality shots in 1 match as compared to Sampras, and he is making shots that are speciality to Sampras seem so ordinary because Federer keeps hitting them every alternate shots. Check out the difficulties in these shots. I have seen Sampras’ best, the most you will show me some running forehands, Smash Dunks or diving volleys, so what? Diving volleys…Safin can pull that off, Becker too, even Nadal can dive for a ball at the baseline…Let everyone surfing this forum compare whether Sampras’ shots are more difficult to pull off. Those shots ain’t as difficult to pull off as compared to these 3 shots below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Hp-EArV6s8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hZx8IwtW1o
http://youtube.com/watch?v=_fqbznoeEOI


ctbmar Says:

SG says, Let me quote a little Sun Tzu, “When your opponent is stronger, evade him”. Seems like you Fed fanatics are ducking the issue to me.

————————————–
I hope you Sampras fanatic won’t duck my video challenge for too long. By the way, the “No Look Shot” is actually clip #2, although #3 can also be considered a “No Look Shot” as well.


ben Says:

theres no denying the shots federer hit were out of this world. but. just the other day i was watching a bunch of clips of sampras on youtube and he hit plenty of amazing shots. sometimes he made a big deal by jumping all over the court to pump himself up when he was in a tough match. but cmon, nadal jumps all over the court when his opponent misses in the bottom of the net. and SG, wtf are you trying to say about the racquet head sizes? agassi plays with like a 98 or higher head size and always has. that’s why he hits his shots so cleanly but he can’t volley. federer and sampras both play(ed) with a 90 head size. so u prove nothing, actually u help our arguement. dumbass seriously just go away cuz ur really stupid. yes im reducing myself to name calling becuz this is just ridiculous, ur a friggin moron with no facts to back urself up.


ben Says:

as for safin vs edberg. edberg is obviously the more accomplished and yes he was a serve and volleyer. but when safin is on, theres no stopping him. in 2000 sampras was only a little less than 2 years past his prime and if u watch that match, which i did several times, u will see that sampras was playing great. all his stats and percentages were amazing. whyd he lose then? safin played the most perfect tennis ever played. he missed 1 backhand down the line in the entire match and he barely missed it too. theres no player out there, not even federer, who can play a perfect match like safin did. and as we’ve seen when safin is on federer, despite being close, isnt capable of stopping him. federer hits great passing shots but lets put him against edberg, both at their prime. on federer’s serve he holds easily, not too much edberg can really hope to do cuz if he does manage to get to net federer will hit a passing shot. on edberg’s serve he will have the chance to break down federer’s backhand and will be able to hold pretty easily too becuz he knows how to put it away right off the first ball. i think, remember current federer vs prime edberg, federer would win in a close 5 setter. now lets put safin when hes on, the safin that destroyed sampras at the us open in 2000, vs prime edberg. on safin’s serve, he holds easily, hes got the power and strokes to do it. on edberg’s serve, what can he really do? serve to safin’s backhand and rush the net, the return is a passing shot whether it goes cross court or down the line. if its down the line theres nothing edberg can do, if its cross court edberg might do a dive volley. the ball would probably be a drop volley so safin would either hit a wrist shot away from unbalanced edberg or he might barely miss. and if he serves it to safin’s forehand the same will happen. so i say safin wins in 4 close sets. safin is shaky though, no doubt, but i honestly think he is the best returner when hes in the top 10. i mean seriously, hes huge, hes got a lot of power and makes sure to return the ball with power. he can go for flat out winners off the return just like agassi but hes got the height factor that reduces the number of aces that are served against him, unlike agassi who gets aced 50 times a match.


ctbmar Says:

ben, are you “Ben” too? Good post the last one.


ben Says:

no “Ben” im guessing is a poser trying to sully my name. or just another person named Ben.


TejuZ Says:

yah.. that was a gud post. just that i think Edberg wud have lost to Fed in 4 sets. Even if he attacks his backhand on the Serve, fed slices the ball very low, not giving Edberg the height needed to put away an easy volley… resulting in another look for Fed to hit a passing Shot. If you watch the Fed vs Sampras match, he did the same(an he wasnt even at his peak then).. or even most of his recent matches against Henman.
One bad game for Edberg and set is over for him..against Fed.


ctbmar Says:

SG, you make a big fuss when I took 1 day (27 Oct) to reply your “list” challenge written on 26 Oct. I hope you don’t let me wait for my video challenge written on 28 Oct. You got until tonight 29 Oct, otherwise you seem to be avoiding my video challenge . Don’t use Sun Tze so loosely, now I am using it back on you. I want to beat you down to a pulp, be quiet, stay down boy.


ctbmar Says:

Where is Mr SG??? Suddenly so quiet…busy finding videos of Sampras? yawn…I’m waiting…


SG Says:

ctbmar Says:
Where is Mr SG??? Suddenly so quiet…busy finding videos of Sampras? yawn…I’m waiting…

—————-

ctbmar…I have a life…unlike you. Perhaps if you pulled your tongue off some of your Fed posters, you’d have figured that one out.


ctbmar Says:

SG Says:

ctbmar…I have a life…unlike you. Perhaps if you pulled your tongue off some of your Fed posters, you’d have figured that one out.

————————-

Paraphasing your words SG on October 27th:
“The classic response of the beaten man…when their losing the argument, they resort to personal insults. Excuse me while I bow to your superior intellect. By the way Sampras freak, where’s that video challenge I requested. I guess it doesn’t exist so stop throwing down your smack when you’ve got nothing to back it up with.”

Double Yawn…you are just all empty talk, but no action…I think you better change nick…SG


ctbmar Says:

Tejuz, to be fair, I think that website is favouring Federer too much. I would say, Federer 6-4 advantage on Rebound Ace, Federer 10-0 advantage on clay, it will be 5-5 on grass and 5-5 on hard courts, and Sampras 6-4 advantage for indoor carpet. So Federer 30-20 against Sampras, the difference would be the clay courts.


Tejuz Says:

I guess u might have summed it pretty right provided Sampras wins their initial few matches. If Fed starts to go on a roll in H2H encounters..there no stopping him (probabaly a few upsets here and there) … really, if this guy figures the opponent out, then he just wont stop winning against them..

well.. AUOpen cud be 7-3 .. cuz Sampras hasnt fared so well in this GS anyway… and Fed is on a roll.. except for that epic loss agaisnt Safin.

well.. we are just talkin abt the GS here.. If u include MS series n all.. Fed could have a better winning record and would really get into Sampras’s head when they face in GS.

Anyway.. everything is just speculation.


ctbmar Says:

Tejuz, I don’t think Sampras cannot perform well on Rebound Ace…It’s just that when he lost to Agassi each time Sampras played Agassi, Agassi was red hot.
Even when Sampras lost, it was still a neck to neck match, still close matches. The weather was also a factor, because Australia is pretty hot which favoured Agassi more who had more endurance than Sampras. If the matches are held at night when it is cooler, it will be a closer encounter between a prime Sampras vs prime Agassi or a prime Sampras vs prime Federer.


ctbmar Says:

Tejuz, the yesterday I was surfing Federer’s website. I was reminded again that Federer’s childhood idols were 1st: Becker, 2nd: Edberg & 3rd, later on was Sampras. It made me realized that Federer has all the qualities of his idols.
The raw power of Becker, the angry berating manner he scolds himself, mixed with Edberg’s quiet demeanor, elegant, smooth fluid movements. Federer managed to add Becker’s power and Edberg’s grace into his backhand. As for Sampras, Federer has attained the accuracy, depth, placement, disguise and gutsy enough to serve 2nd serve aces, but he still lack the power like Becker & Sampras, but he is getting there by lifting weights. His forehand also has Becker’s raw power but Sampras’ fluidity and speed. Volleys I would say a mixture of all 3 of his idols. Because Becker was his 1st childhood idol, while his friends & peers & families persuaded him to idolize Edberg who was more similar to his style, Federer has kept the Becker traits that endears to him while also incorporating Edberg’s traits as well to please probably his parents. While Sampras was an idol that he admired because of his achievements and took notice of his weapons, his mental, his attitude, his success of winning big matches, adding Sampras’ traits on top of his existing Becker’s & Edberg’s traits to become what he is now. Most of their strengths, but some of their weaknesses…


SG Says:

ctbmar Says:
Where is Mr SG??? Suddenly so quiet…busy finding videos of Sampras? yawn…I’m waiting…

—–

First off, I only computer access at my job so I don’t have the time to screw off like you do ctbmar. And spectacular gimmick shots don’t mean shit. Most any tour pro can hit gimmick shots.

I was at an ATP tour event and I was watching Hicham Arazi praticing with his coach. His coach was standing about 10 feet from the net and blasted an overhead at Arazi who was at the net. Arazi subtly shifted sideways and poked a behind the back volley into the open court. It was and is the best shot I’ve ever seen hit in the 30 or so years I’ve been watching tennis. And it wasn’t hit by Sampras or Federer.

All these guys have flash. Some more than others. I’m not going to put out any list of Sampras spectacular shots because his list of great running forehand shots alone would take up more space than I have time for. And none of those running forehands are as good as Arazi’s shot. Not Fed’s running overhead against Roddick either.

In fact, I’m sure Henri Leconte could have hit any shot Federer can. He just didn’t have the drive to win that Fed has. But in terms of pure physical talent, there is nothing to choose from between Leconte and Federer.


SG Says:

I don’t want to see your response…

————-

Above was ctbmar’s response after giving his list of players that he ridiculously compares to the players I listed. This is a forum?!? Since when do you decide who to tell to shut up.

SG Says:

can someone please provide the following:

1) Today’s players who are better on grass than:

- Prime Edberg —–> Prime Safin
—->Utter hogwash. Safin hasn’t had any succes at Wimbledon.

- Prime Becker —–> Prime Roddick
—-> OK drug head. 8 time finalist and 3 time champion is compared to no-backhand-man (…not to mention no-volley man either). Are u for real?

- Prime Ivanisevic–> Prime Ancic
—->Ancic? Get lost you clueless child.

- Prime Krajicek —> Prime Philippoussis
—> These giys were both in their prime when Sampras was on top.

- Prime Rafter —–> Prime Hewitt
—–>at least there’s some logic to this one.

- Prime Agassi (on grass) —–> Prime Nadal
—–>LOL!!!!

- Prime Sampras —-> Prime Federer
—–> Fair enough.

2) Other than Nadal & Fed, better on dirt than
—> Why set limitations? Aren’t playing fair eh? Since we are discussing Federer’s competition,
I won’t use Federer, but it’s ridiculous to omit Nadal.

- Prime Courier -> Prime Ferrero
—-> Laughable. Courier would have blasted right him off the court in his prime. And he had a way better serve than Ferrero.

- Prime Kuerten -> Prime Nadal (Kuerten belongs to both Sampras’ and Federer’s era since he is born in 1976.)
—–>Perhaps. Though I think Kuerten was a far greater physical talent.

- Prime Bruguera-> Prime Kuerten / Prime Moya (Kuerten & Moya belongs to both Sampras’ and Federer’s era since both born in 1976, 5 years apart from both Sampras and Federer)/ Prime Coria / Prime Puerta
——> Kuerten and Moya were done long ago.

- Peak Agassi (on clay) -> Prime Gaudio
—–> Nuts, just nuts. One slam wonder is compared to a legend. Laughable.

Backup players: Robredo, Ferrer

3) Better on a hardcourt than:

-Prime Agassi —> Prime Hewitt
—> Agassi, out of his prime beat Hewitt in his prime in the 02 semis. This one is not even close.

-Prime Sampras —> Prime Federer
—->Granted.

-Prime Becker —> Prime Roddick
—->See reference to grass above. Becker ended Lendl’s hardcourt domination of the US Open in 1989. Please, learn some tennis history would ya’.

-Prime Lendl —> Prime Safin
—–>I can’t even describe the sheer stupidity of this one. Even a partially sane Fed freak should be able to see through this one.

-Prime Chang —> Prime Nadal
—->OK…fine. I actually think Nadal has the edge here.

-Prime Courier —> Prime Ferrero
—->On a hardcourt. On the surface Courier grew up on? Who are you kidding?

Your answers are pretty off dude. Sure you don’t want to re-consider comparing Roddick to Becker or Safin to Lendl?


ben Says:

roddick vs becker? id give that to becker more than roddick but im sure roddick would be capable of scraping a few wins. safin to lendl? SG have you ever watched safin play on a good day? have you seen his match against federer at the australian open in 2005 when they were both playing great but safin came out victorious? did you see the shots they were both producing and who still came out on top? when safin’s on there’s no stopping him, simple as that. lendl was one of the greatest no question but apparently greatness doesn’t stop a red hot safin. sampras had the record number of slams when they played in the 2000 us open final and he played a great match. what happened though? federer was on his way to winning 3 slams in a row and as hard as he tried couldn’t put safin down. hewitt even who was probably playing the best tennis of his life lost to safin in the final. ill admit, im a safin fanatic, but i also understand tennis so dont start giving me crap like im biased or something. im not dumb enough to admit that safin will beat anyone at any given moment. serious question, whos gonna win paris? will it be federer? will it be berdych? or will it be safin? those r the 3 favorites without a question.


SG Says:

Safin…while immensely talented, is metally into major about every 3 years or so. And while he manhandled Sampras in the 00 final at the Open, he was then manhandled by Sampras the following year at the same tournament. The giy is all over the place. Potential is nice but unsubstantiable. I’ll take Lendl 9 days out of 10. Mostly ’cause Safin wouldn’t show up for those 9 days. So, Fed would run into the real Safin once every 5 years or so. Big deal. The guy’s mental attitude makes him no threat to Fed or the rest of the field most weeks.


SG Says:

Ben said…

whos gonna win paris? will it be federer? will it be berdych? or will it be safin? those r the 3 favorites without a question.

—–

I’d like to see Gasquet in that list but truthfully, it will be too much pressure for him in front of the hometown crowd. Surprisingly, you leave out the 2 time defending champion which I don’t understand. I don’t think that a weak year end for Nadal means anything at this point. And yes I think that Federer has a chance. I’d say though that if he doesn’t get it done this year, I don’t think he’ll ever win it. The clay seems to create a new generation of lions every few years. I think that by 2008, Fed won’t merely have Nadal to contend with, but several other very hungry clay court monsters and Fed will be almost 2 years older. And clay blunts many of Fed’s best weapons. That being said, I do believe he has a strong chance to get it done in 2007. Other than last year, the best chance her will ever have.


SG Says:

ben Says:
roddick vs becker? id give that to becker more than roddick but im sure roddick would be capable of scraping a few wins. safin to lendl? SG have you ever watched safin play on a good day? have you seen his match against federer at the australian open in 2005 when they were both playing great but safin came out victorious? did you see the shots they were both producing and who still came out on top? when safin’s on there’s no stopping him, simple as that. lendl was one of the greatest no question but apparently greatness doesn’t stop a red hot safin. sampras had the record number of slams when they played in the 2000 us open final and he played a great match. what happened though? federer was on his way to winning 3 slams in a row and as hard as he tried couldn’t put safin down. hewitt even who was probably playing the best tennis of his life lost to safin in the final. ill admit, im a safin fanatic, but i also understand tennis so dont start giving me crap like im biased or something. im not dumb enough to admit that safin will beat anyone at any given moment. serious question, whos gonna win paris? will it be federer? will it be berdych? or will it be safin? those r the 3 favorites without a question.

——

Truth is, Safin is the only player I think who can tangle with peak Fed or peak Sampras and have a 50/50 shot of coming out on top. The guy is like a beast out there when he is committed. He is a gigantic hitter and unlike Philipoussis, he can keep his focus throughout a match when he’s on. When he’s on…there’s the catch. The guys is asleep out there half the time. Perhaps the biggest waste of tennis talent in the history of the sport. There isn’t one reason why he should have say…8 or 9 majors. He seems more interested in his harem than anything else.


ben Says:

looks like we finally agree on something. no doubt safin is the most underachieved player in the history of tenns of the players who had major potential. 8 or 9? hmm. i think he shouldve had federer’s current record from 2001-2003 and when federer came along, it wouldve been them two titans battling it out for the number 1 spot. if theres any player whos still playing that has the talent and potential to actually dethrone federer, not wait for him to leave, its safin. nadal’s number 2 rank is like carved in stone, hes not gonna dethrone federer any time soon. yes safin is the biggest waste of talent, atleast we get a few great glimpses when hes on. federer vs safin at the 2004 masters cup semi, aussie open semi 2005, and even their final encounter in halle in 2005. truly a shame. btw, i wasnt talking about the french open i was talking about the masters event going on right now. i do kinda agree with u about the clay thing tho. theres a new pack of crazy clay courters every few years and i honestly thought that this was federer’s best year to win the french and the year slam cuz i expect a new champ (safin) at the aussie open in 2007. next year federer still has a chance cuz he might be able to turn the tide against nadal or nadal might lost early. as for the current masters event, now that federer’s out it’s up for grabs again. i say safin or berdych win. i hope they meet in the semis. i hope safin beats gasquet and blake as revenge for recent losses against them too. i hope he beats which ever average joe winds up in the finals since the other half of the draw kinda blows. then again, i wouldnt mind if he beat gonzo in the finals, get some god damn well deserved revenge.


Tejuz Says:

Yes… Safin is the biggest waste of a talent. How i get so pissed off everytime i expect him to get that big win to boost his confidence and he comes up short. Why cant that guy be stable for say atleast 2 years from now.. he would have atleast an additional 2 or 3 GS to his name.


Federer is the best Says:

ctbmar I think you forgot these 2 amazing points.
First one is maybe the biggest defensive point ever and the second a magician shot out of this world…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAMe471Nzho
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7TI941ZwUE

Finally a note about Coria, I deeply desire his comeback for the 2007 season, I think he is the only real menace for the nadal dominance on clay.
I hope he can control his serving problems..


ctbmar Says:

SG, what’s the point of just reviewing your stupid list again??? Are you too chicken to take up my video challenge??? You asked for a reply to your list, I gave you my response…You are simply a person who are just empty talk because you know damn well that Sampras has never hit any of those 3 shots better than Federer. You are the most lame, most pathetic person I have met on any thread forum.


ctbmar Says:

SG, no wonder you only have 10 years experience in watching tennis. I wrote a big fat disclaimer before I wrote my response, obviously you never bigger glasses. The team of players I listed certainly on par with those mentioned by you. Some of them will beat yours, some of yours will beat mine. I did not say all were better, it was a +/- 5% variant between each player. You are just someone that just want to leach on to some argument that you have some clue on, keep gabbing away with all your nonsence. When the crunch-time comes, where is your defence to my onslaught attack of showing proof by “videos”? I have seen Sampras play his best tennis and I am confident that he has never hit any shots more difficult than Federer is hitting on a regular basis. Just be a man and not some sissy, hiding behind your own “re-run” lists and other small loopholes you can hitch on. Show me 3 shots of Sampras that is on par or more difficult to pull off than Federer’s 3 shots, otherwise nobody will take you seriously.


ctbmar Says:

SG, comeon, those are not some random lucky speciality shots. Federer meant and deliberately hit those balls, not some fluke. You better switch on your TV set or buy a bigger set than the one you have grown up watching Sampras. You already made a big mistake with a small TV with Sampras, you better buy a bigger TV so that you won’t miss all the action that Federer is providing.

Below are some of the shots that Federer is playing day in and day out. Some shots were even similar to those he played against Sampras in 2001. I saw one shot of Federer where he was near the side backboards, he managed to hit the ball past the umpire stands and round the net post so far out of court,,, that should be in my top 3 best shots but I can’t find that video now. Why describe about Arazi??? You work with computers, you don’t know how to search or download videos of Sampras? Gosh, so much empty talk. Even I am feeling you ain’t worth bashing. As a kind soul, maybe you don’t have television, enjoy the below clips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WUe-bhadfY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBYFnwUJP_8&search=federer%20tennis

Look at the last shot…sky hook, like a badminton crosscourt dropshot/overhead, any previous greats hit this shot before?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Db9asWTLs&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally

A pretty good dunk smash by Blake, except that it was not wide enough, or it was not hit inside the service court hard enough for it to bounce out of the high backboard, but it was deep enough and fast enough…Federer’s anticipation is unreal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAT0LxVUf3s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDDRdWWvQ4Q&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCIOsRo_png&mode=related&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr5IW9Xu0X0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hN-W96X14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD_UUjlwWkw


ctbmar Says:

SG, Prime Roddick cannot beat Prime Becker??? Please, firstly Roddick is still an active player, so maybe we have yet to see his prime yet. But his so far best playing standard as of the time he started playing as a pro till now definitely can give better a hard time on grass or hards. You don’t take away anything from the fastest server in men’s tennis history as garbage. The reason why Roddick looks lousy is because Federer made him look lousy. Becker is not as good a returner as Federer. So why can’t Roddick have a classic early 90s “Ace” competition with Becker…Both players blasting serves…Roddick’s forehand is slightly bigger than Becker, his return is fairly good, his backhand slightly worse….I don’t see why a match between Becker and Roddick will not be decided by a couple of tiebreakers and close sets…Before you shoot of that mouth of yours, please use that brain of yours. The only thing smart of you is your devious way of avoiding my video challenge, so that you can blabber on with words.


ctbmar Says:

SG says: In fact, I’m sure Henri Leconte could have hit any shot Federer can

————————————————
SG, Federer’s shots are deliberate and not fluke.
You statement above really confirms what I think your level of understanding of tennis is all about.
Really feel wasting my time arguing with an amateur.
Look carefully at the below links, and buy a bigger TV if you grew up watching Sampras with a small TV.
Don’t regret it, buy a bigger TV before Federer retires, don’t make the same mistakes twice and 10 years later, berate the next no. 1 player in 2016 that he has less competition than Federer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WUe-bhadfY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBYFnwUJP_8&search=federer%20tennis

Look at the last shot…sky hook, like a badminton crosscourt dropshot/overhead, any previous greats hit this shot before?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Db9asWTLs&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally

A pretty good dunk smash by Blake, except that it was not wide enough, or it was not hit inside the service court hard enough for it to bounce out of the high backboard, but it was deep enough and fast enough…Federer’s anticipation is unreal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAT0LxVUf3s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDDRdWWvQ4Q&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCIOsRo_png&mode=related&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr5IW9Xu0X0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hN-W96X14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD_UUjlwWkw


ctbmar Says:

SG says:
In fact, I’m sure Henri Leconte could have hit any shot Federer can. He just didn’t have the drive to win that Fed has. But in terms of pure physical talent, there is nothing to choose from between Leconte and Federer….And spectacular gimmick shots don’t mean shit. Most any tour pro can hit gimmick shots.

————————————————–
Hahaha You make me lower my expectations of what you understand about tennis…Fancy comparing Leconte with Federer…That’s the funniest crap I have heard in a long time…I am simply wasting time arguing with an amateur. Federer’s shots are deliberate and not fluke or gimmick…He is hitting speciality shots with so much consistency that they look ordinary to those folks whose eyes are simply blinded.
You better go buy a bigger TV than the small TV set you grew up with watching Sampras, get a rest from your day computer job, watch Federer on this new larger TV before you post nonsensical posts in year 2016 that the new No. 1 in year 2016 have less competition than Federer. Don’t make the same mistake twice, and change to a larger pair of spectacles at the same time. And learn how to download those Sampras “videos” I requested, it will help in your computer job.


Tejuz Says:

ha ha ha


ctbmar Says:

SG Says:

I don’t want to see your response…

————-

Above was ctbmar’s response after giving his list of players that he ridiculously compares to the players I listed. This is a forum?!? Since when do you decide who to tell to shut up.

SG Says:

So you also have a difficult time reading…not a surprising revelation from a bunch of brainwashed fanatics. I said “successful and personable”, not just personable. It’s like I’m dealing with a bunch of word twisting lawyers in this forum…

ctbmar says:
Before I do this quiz, I must state that the reasons why the players I am going to state have less Majors achievements than those listed by SG is because Sampras, Agassi and their cohort has grabbed all of the trophies, retired early before age 30/31, so there are no hall of famers from the 90s playing now. Whereas when Sampras and Agassi were playing, many of the hall of famers from the 80s played past 35 years old, so you have more “famous” names in your list. With the combination of Federer dominating the field, and previously Sampras & Agassi dominating the field, there aren’t many “famous” hall of famers left in the draw. Due to the above reasons to explain why there are so few players having Majors in today’s game. So I want to point out that although the players that I am going to mention do not have many or no Majors at all, but if you look at their skills level, they are pretty much on par or better. I don’t want to see your response…how can you compare a 6 time Major winner with a player without 1 Major, or only 1 or 2 Majors…because I already explained the present situation why there are so few players without Majors left in the draw, but that does not necessarily means that if these players play their best, they cannot compete with those players you have listed. So I will compare my players’ prime skill level against your players’ prime skill level (without using “Majors” Achievement as your leveraging tool). I will give either 2 sets of players:
1st set: with reference to Sampras’ Age, then cross-reference to someone with the same age difference from Federer. (For Fairness purposes, some players will overlap in era).
2nd set: Today’s active player, but I will use his prime skill level as a guage.
If you use Sampras, I have to use Federer…

———————————————-
So I guess you are the best word twisting lawyer in this forum…Just copied my only 1 small sentence in my massive paragraph, deleting the crucial question behind and all the other explanations…Geez, must you stoop so low? Or you just getting nothing left to grab a hold on?


ctbmar Says:

Yeah right, Leconte ??? Sampras does not have defence like Federer. Micheal Jordan was the greatest basketball player ever because his defense was equally as strong as his offense. (Jordan won many NBA defensive player of the year awards)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Db9asWTLs&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally

A pretty good dunk smash by Blake, except that it was not wide enough, or it was not hit inside the service court hard enough for it to bounce out of the high backboard, but it was deep enough and fast enough…Federer’s anticipation is unreal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAT0LxVUf3s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDDRdWWvQ4Q&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCIOsRo_png&mode=related&search=Roger%20Federer%20James%20blake%20US%20Open%202006%20Rally


ctbmar Says:

Federer is the only player I have seen that deliberate dance around his forehand, return a serve and aimed it inside-out onto the singles sidelines. He has done it many times and with conviction and accuracy. Agassi was a ferocious return but to me, Agassi was just daring himself,
go all out, do or die, going for broke, just blasting the forehand with as much pace as he could muster in a certain direction, without aiming exactly “pin-point” where he is going to hit it. When the ball goes in, of cos it will make a lot of servers discourage, but he missed a lot of returns as well. Federer’s big inside-out return is a very “contained”, well measured shot, that he deliberately makes sure he hits a clean winner, without overbashing or hitting above his own hitting strength and capabilities. So SG says: “And spectacular gimmick shots don’t mean shit. Most any tour pro can hit gimmick shots.” Federer’s shots are gimmick??? Have you been watching TV? Or are you still trapped in an underground home-made bomb shelter because of a nuclear warfare epidemic???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WUe-bhadfY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBYFnwUJP_8&search=federer%20tennis

Look at the last shot…sky hook, like a badminton crosscourt dropshot/overhead, any previous greats hit this shot before?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr5IW9Xu0X0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hN-W96X14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD_UUjlwWkw


ctbmar Says:

Note: The 9 links above were double-posted because the server previously did not accept them until later.


ctbmar Says:

SG says: 3) Better on a hardcourt than:

-Prime Agassi —> Prime Hewitt
—> Agassi, out of his prime beat Hewitt in his prime in the 02 semis. This one is not even close.

———————————————–
Since I was feeling bored when you kept quiet and never response to my “video” challenge, I must as well keep hammering on my only whimpering rabbid dog. Any experience tennis fan will know that Agassi has 2 peaks in his tennis career and that as he grew older, his level of play did not decline as much as Sampras, Chang or Courier. Agassi was top 3 in 2002(off the bat, briefly no. 1 in 2002, did not confirm). The key is “Prime” Agassi vs “Prime” Hewitt…Obviously, you never watched Hewitt’s peak. I disliked Hewitt and he kept dominating Sampras, shouting all those Comeons, Stares, Inverted V hand signs, that I was so pissed with his dominance, I lost interest in watching Tennis. Hewitt’s dominace when he was no. 1 was pretty much the same length (72 weeks, off the bat) as Stefan Edberg (82 weeks, off the bat).
Hewitt was passing Sampras and defeating Sampras at Queens (grass) and defeating almost everyone when he was no. 1. Yes Sampras was off-peak, but a win is a win. More of Agassi’s grandslams and tournament victories came when he hit 25 years old. The other players who play better while passing 25 years old is Lendl who won 6 of his 8 Grandslams after 25 years old. So Agassi was enjoying his 2nd peak at around 1999 to 2002. An Agassi (1999 to 2002) will beat an Agassi (1988 to
1993) while on par with the 1st peak Agassi (1994 to 1996). Hewitt vs Agassi’s head to head is even . Their game suit each other. No doubt a “Prime” Hewitt vs “Prime” Agassi on every surface will be an even match like their current Head-to-Head. As I said earlier, Agassi is one of the few players who got better with age, so don’t use “Age” as a leveraging tool when comparing “prime” status because Agassi is one of the exceptions in men’s tennis history.


ctbmar Says:

Sorry, I should have used the word “puppy” instead.
“Puppy” is more appropriate because you ain’t matured enough in your tennis knowledge.


ctbmar Says:

SG Says:

Ben Says:
SG,

you are full of shit. There’s enough data in the posts above to convincingly prove EVERY one of your stupid statements wrong. But it looks like either you are retarded, or just plain stupid.

Signing off now. this is the last time I am visiting this forum.

Take a crap, SG. You need one. And three years from now when federer has broken every tennis record out there, drown in it.

——

This is the typical fanatical response. Roger’s the best ever and kiss my ass if you don’t agree.

Fed may in fact go on to shatter every record in the history of the sport. If he does that, I’ll be the first to say he’s the best and the greatest. I was only pointing out that until now, his competition has been somewhat less than stellar. But if, a guy’s going to win 17 or 18 majors, he has to deserve the the GOAT kudos.

Think the Fed fans here need to be a little less defensive of their guy and and perhaps a little more introspective on his accomplishments ’till now.

————————————————–
It’s time for me to sign off…I am leaving this forum on a high, like Sampras did in 2002 US Open beating Agassi, retiring for good. SG, don’t say that I am leaving because I have lost, in fact, I am just leaving you a bit of your dignity left because for 3 days you chose not reply to my “video” challenge while I made an effort to reply to your “list” challenge. Your arguments are so amateurish and everyone here knows you have no substance to proof anything, just empty talk with no actions. Let me tell you this, your above statement “But if, a guy’s going to win 17 or 18 majors, he has to deserve the the GOAT kudos.”,,,
I doubt you will honour this statement when Federer wins 17 or 18 majors because you will keep finding lame excuses without even bothering to give someone his dues, just like your endless pointless baseless arguments without any thought process whatsoever. Like I said, I am leaving because I squeeze almost all the ounce of blood left in you, you can squirm, scream, plead, insult, say all you want, but the fact is I pre-ampt your every move, busted your every crap statements. Ask the rest, whether you are that knowledgeable, such a winner. You are always a step slower than me. Dude, take care, and buy a bigger TV and larger spectacles…


ctbmar Says:

To the rest of the folks,
continue bashing SG, but let me tell you this, he will never see truth, even if it was presented clearly in front of his nose. It was fun for me, but I decided to discuss with more intellectual people at my usual forums. Maybe he is there with another nick, because I see similar trolls around…Take Care, and enjoy my links…


SG Says:

ben Says:
looks like we finally agree on something. no doubt safin is the most underachieved player in the history of tenns of the players who had major potential. 8 or 9? hmm. i think he shouldve had federer’s current record from 2001-2003 and when federer came along, it wouldve been them two titans battling it out for the number 1 spot. if theres any player whos still playing that has the talent and potential to actually dethrone federer, not wait for him to leave, its safin. nadal’s number 2 rank is like carved in stone, hes not gonna dethrone federer any time soon. yes safin is the biggest waste of talent, atleast we get a few great glimpses when hes on. federer vs safin at the 2004 masters cup semi, aussie open semi 2005, and even their final encounter in halle in 2005. truly a shame. btw, i wasnt talking about the french open i was talking about the masters event going on right now. i do kinda agree with u about the clay thing tho. theres a new pack of crazy clay courters every few years and i honestly thought that this was federer’s best year to win the french and the year slam cuz i expect a new champ (safin) at the aussie open in 2007. next year federer still has a chance cuz he might be able to turn the tide against nadal or nadal might lost early. as for the current masters event, now that federer’s out it’s up for grabs again. i say safin or berdych win. i hope they meet in the semis. i hope safin beats gasquet and blake as revenge for recent losses against them too. i hope he beats which ever average joe winds up in the finals since the other half of the draw kinda blows. then again, i wouldnt mind if he beat gonzo in the finals, get some god damn well deserved revenge.

—-

And you know what the sad thing is? Even if Safat wins say 6 majors, his career is still one of massive underachievement. Him and Fed should be dueling it out at the end of pretty much each and every hardcourt even on earth.

I’m not particularly sold on Safin’s claycourt or grasscourt resolve. He doesn’t have the patience for the clay and he doesn’t quite have the volleying skills to consistently go deep at Wimbledon. But, as we’ve seen from him, on any give fortnight, when the stars are aligned, he can put things together and be very dangerous.


ben Says:

too true. he WAS raised on clay so he does know how to atleast play on it. but yeah patience obviously isn’t his strong point. he has a lot of raw power so volleying isn’t the most necessary thing for him on grass. roddick made 2 finals without volleying. but he can volley well, he’s no davydenko, but he does dump easy ones a little too often.


SG Says:

Cetainly would be cool to see a Safin-Fed rivalry for the next few years…


TejuZ Says:

I would rather take the Fed-Safin rivalry cuz that seem more equal than a Fed-Nadal rivalry.. which is only based on clay courts. Hope Safin wins Paris and also the AU Open.


Federer is the best Says:

Federer-Ferrer 5-0
Federer-Davidenko 8-0
Federer-Moya 6-0
Federer-González 9-0
Federer-Blake 5-0
Federer-Nieminem 7-0
Federer-Gaudio 5-0
Federer-Robredo 6-0

Total:
Federer 49- Good top ranked players 0

That’s all folks…..


Federer is the best Says:

Talking about safin being the most underachieved player ever… what about Marcelo Rios???
He is the only player ever to be world number one without winning a mayor!!! A truly talented player without courage and mental strength…what a pitty…Any opinions?


Federer is the best Says:

I’m sorry.. it was federer 51 rest of players 0


ben Says:

yeah rios was something else. i remember safin mentioning how he doesn’t wanna follow in rios’ footsteps although hes only barely oozed through having a different career.


Aleman Says:

I’m not saying that Sampras had lack of competition at all…or that it was greater or less competition than Fed has today. I am just saying, based on my previous post, that just because there were more players dubbed “multiple grand slam champions” during Sampras’s reign at #1, doesn’t mean they always performed great. They definitely did not, and lost before the semifinals often. In fact some were toward the end of their prime. Sampras was far more consistent in the Slams than Becker, Edberg, and Courier were. Except on clay, where Federer will, undoubtedly, end up with a better record than Pete.


Aleman Says:

I agree about the comment about Safin made earlier…he really, really should have won a lot more majors than he has already done.


Mike Chan Says:

It appears that everyone has their own logic/formula in coming up with the GOAT answer -Sampras or Federer. The debate will rage on for all eternity, I’m sure. I was a huge Sampras fan in the 90′s and now, I’m an even huger Federer fan.
Federer simply plays with more breathtaking shots
than Sampras did. But of course, that’s just my humble opinion and if others say Sampras is the greatest – fine, I respect that.

What about what the experts have had to say about Federer over the past several years?

Please go to the wikipedia article on Federer and view the “wikiquotes” which can be accessed at the bottom of the page. Many of those that
used to praise Sampras when he was at his prime, like McEnroe and Agassi, have already dubbed Federer as the greatest they have seen. I doubt
that McEnroe, of all people, would say this just for the heck of it. Sampras himself has said, “I think Roger can and will break every tennis record out there.” What does that mean? That at this point of Fed’s career, his middle point, probably at 25 years of age, Sampras has already thrown in the towel? Why does he say this about Federer?

Nick Bollitieri, Boris Becker,and Marat Safin are just a few of the many others whose quotes praise Federer as being phenomenal.

The only quotes from tennis greats that I can recall were critical of Fed’s status are 1) Sampras – earlier this year, after the AO’06, saying that there are fewer great players now than during his time, and that the opposition don’t know how to play Federer – they have to just serve well and attack him. Strangely enough, he said his “can and will break every tennis record” statement during Wimbledon, around six months after! He seemed to have changed his mind, or realized he was being too transparent in his earlier statement – that people would see him as feeling “threatened” by Fed – but that’s cool – he’s only human. How many GOAT champions have put down new upstarts and talents? Fed himself may be guilty one day of criticizing a new talent who is threatening his records – but I doubt it. 2) Kuerten – Sampras was “much better” than Fed. 3) Wilander -Fed’s got no balls when he plays Nadal.

Come to think of it, why don’t we consider a head-to-head record of comments by tennis stars, historians, experts and writers that are pro-Sampras and those that are pro-Federer?

I believe Federer will tip the scales.


Agassi fan Says:

Heh this is just complete nonsense. Just watch a video of ten years ago and you will see how much slower the game is. Weak competition my ass.

Federer was still in nappies when he played #1 seed Sampras on Centre Court AND HE STILL LAID THE BEATDOWN ON HIM. GET OVER IT!!


joao Says:

just see this on

http://www1.sf.tv/sfsport/index.php?catid=sporteventsfedererx

and choose:

Federer gelang in Dubai gegen Agassi einer der schönsten Punkte seines Lebens. (Video)


Swiss Tennis Master Says:

Hello,

I have been watching and playing tennis for 15 years now and I honestly think there hasn’t been a player to ever step on a court with the talent of Roger Federer, not even Pete Sampras. The young Swiss has taken the game toa new level and has pushed it to its creative limits. Federer has the power of a baseliner and the virtuosity of a serve-volley player. It is simple: He dominates every single aspect of the game with a mastery the world has never seen. Federer has mastered every single shot in the book (plus a few that aren’t)not to mention the fact that he knows when to use them all.

What separates him from the rest is the enormous variety (once I saw him win a point with 5 different backhand shots against Hewitt) and the remarkable consistency with which he plays at the top of his abilities. If the baseline game is not working for him, he will slice; if this does not work, he will serve and volley; if this does not work, he will use his parallel backhand shot; and if this does not work he will adjust the game until it does. He just has so many options and executes them all with flawless precision.

In my opinion he has 3 very important assets to his game:

1. He has the ability to adapt his game to that of his opponent in turn so he beats him with his own strength.

By this I can say he has everyone in the clayworld (his least favorable surface)not named Nadal completely spooked (gaudio, coria, moya, massu, davydenko)

2. He has the ability to keep raising the level of his game to a point were his opponent cannot keep up with him (seen finals agains Roddick or earlier encounters against Agassi or the “close ones” against Nalbandian?); and

3. Whenever the match seems to be going through its toughest trance, Federer breaks his opponent’s wrist(hypothetically speaking).

This been said there is only one point left to address: the competition Sampras faced and the competition Federer is facing. It may seem Sampras had tougher opponents during his time but we only say that because the ranking has never had a player at the top leading it like Federer is or dominating his era like Roger is dominating this one, even Nadal said: “I have never seen a player leading the rakings with 8000 points; not even the best Sampras accomplished this task”.

What I think we have to pay attention to is Agassi’s opinion, for God sakes he played both (Sampras and Federer) during their primes and said “Federer is the best I have ever played” and Agassi happened to play against all those guys we are trying to comparer Federer to.

I have been a Sampras fan all my life but I don’t have a problem recognizing greatness when I see it. It is only a matter of time before Federer gets to every record set by Sampras 12 or 13 years ago. He is the best, hands down…


Loz Mallozzi Says:

I think the debate is a very tough one to say for definite. People are saying that there is more competition these days and technology has improved etc. But the point is that Sampras had to beat everybody that was put in front of him, same with federer. Both have the same technology as their opponents. I also disagree that Sampras was overrated, his record was there because he won those tournaments and you have to hold your hands up to the man. (I’m not American either).

It is unfair to challenge their greatness over these particular issues. If Sampras had to play nowadays then he would have better access to improved technology and no doubt would be fitter and stronger in order to evolve with the times and Federer would have learnt to play with less efficient technology.

I disagree with the fact that in 1996 Sampras had more competition from different styles of play as well as proven hall of famers and grand slam winners. For a start Federer is so good that he hasn’t allowed anybody except Safin and Nadal to win a slam in 2 years. If Federer was injured then maybe you would see the emergence of Roddick, Hewitt, Bagdhatis, Blake and Nalbandian in the grand slams. The fact is that Federer loses so little that its impossible to look at his opponents and argue that they are great players.

My argument would be that if Federer played in Sampras’s time then Becker, Chang, Muster, Ivanisevic would have won a lot less and possibly not considered greats. I think Federer is so complete technically along with a mental steel that would dominate at any era.

Also if you were to look at the top players of today you would note that you have top hard court players such as Blake and Hewitt, Big servers such as Ljubicic and Roddick and grass court specialists such as Henman and Ancic. May I also note that Nadal has recently broken Vilas’s clay court winning streak and could be argued that Federer has to face the greatest clay court player of all time.

Again, they both deserve respect for their domination of tennis along with Borg, Lendl, Laver etc. But the difference is not within statistics (If Federer died tommorrow would he not be considered for GOAT just because he didn’t live long enough)but the difference is in the way they they play technically, the way they can perform on each surface and to what level they dominate their opponents throughout matches and across the year.

To this I think Federer is not only the greatest player in tennis, but also the greatest in sport and the scary thing is that he is only 25 years old and will continue to get better.I think if you were to judge them on technique then Federer wins hands down, if you were to judge them based on performances across all surfaces then Fed wins and if you were to judge them in terms of domination then Fed also wins. Sampras only comes on top in tournaments won because Federer hasn’t played has many as Sampras has yet, but no doubt records will fall. He is not far off the perfect tennis player as it is, his only real weakness it seems is that he is human!


jcc Says:

After reviewing some of the comments, I realized why Federer vs Sampras is being debated. In the words of Bonitto “I like Pete, you like Roger”

Thus it boils down to this: Those who still think that Sampras was greater than Federer, do so mainly because they like Pete. We who understand that Federer is the greatest tennis talent of all time cannot that that away from you. You like Pete. Well, you can have him. He’s all yours!


ron Says:

I think Roger is clearly in a league of his own. Even Pete said so recently. And Roger is leading the ranking for Best tennis player ever on http://www.rankopedia.com


Agassi fan Says:

I like Sampras’s wife, Bridgette.


Billy Says:

Let me make it simple to all of you.

The most talented (and best) players in the history of Tennis are:

1. Borg
2. Federer
3. Laver
4. McEnroe/Sampras/Lendel

in that order. Statistically, the most dominant player of all time is Federer, but Borg’s versatility is unmatched. Both of them are heads and shoulders above the rest.

The players that have the greatest achievement(s)in Tennis are:

1. Sampras
1. Laver
1. Borg
4. Lendel
5. Connors / McEnroe

They’re tied at the top. It depends how much weight you place on different achievements.

Federer is not done yet, so he does not figure in this ‘career list’.

He is already the best of all time (along with Borg) and he will also probably be the greatest of all time when he retires (unless there is a meltdown).

Comparing Federer to Sampras on talent does a diservice to Federer. That’s the American bias right there. Sampras shouldn’t even be in that discussion. The non- American players should be.

Comparing Federer’s ‘greatness’ to Sampras’ is pointless. It’s like comparing apples and oranges at this point.


T Dawg Says:

Federer’s backhand is 50 times better than Sampras’. And, Sampras’ serve IS NOT 50 times better than Federer’s. Federer is a lot faster, he hits a heavier ball, he can WIN THE FRENCH (if not for Nadal) – but he will win at least one French eventually. Sampras groundies are WEAK, imagine him and Federer in cross court groundie games, especially backhand to backhand, ROFL – Sampras hit’s his topspin backhand like a 4.0. Remember when Sampras was a coward, so he LOST TO BASTL on purpose, because he didn’t want everyone to see him lose to Federer again at Wimbledon, lol – Federer is HUMBLE, Sampras is ARROGANT, remember his comments about Rafter? Or his latest comments, on how there isn’t much competition now, like when he played, whatever, lol

Top story: Federer Falls To Raonic, Slips Further Behind Djokovic In No. 1 Race; ATP London Field Set
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ATP - Oct 27 WTA - Oct 27
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Ana Ivanovic
6 David Ferrer6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Andy Murray8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Na Li
10 Milos Raonic10 Angelique Kerber
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