Sampras on grass, Federer on anything else. Perhaps Laver beats them both on any surface. And going back to the 50s, Jack Kramer said if he had to have one man play one match to represent the Planet Earth, he would pick Lew Hoad.
i respect you the most of anyone ( i'm just jealous that us mere 'fizzicians' have to cede the
'"jock" sawbones' )
anyhows, back to topic - blake slaugtered agassi for 2 sets +, in the style pistol wouda done ( i egest thinkin how good he wouda been in '99 in the open, trying to claim the innuagural arthur, stadium trophy ! ) - just that pete was EVEN more athletic & had an INFINITELY better serve
agassi ( with no back problem ) couda won '05 ( set all & break-up in the 3rd ) which suggests to me, that, pistol of '99 defies belief !!!
Last edited by eldrick on Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Courier, Chang, Agassi, Kafelnikov, Kraijek - all played in the Sampras era and were grand slam champions. Right now Federer has no competition (on surfaces other than clay),nobody stands out. Federer is the Larry Holmes of tennis. Holmes dominated after Ali; let's wait and see if Federer is as good as Holmes was.
His versatility is unparalleled. He does not have any big weaknesses. The Sampras backhand sucks. That was his weakness on clay. Federer will win Roland Garros one day. His angled crosscourt is just too good.
Federer has to face players like Safin, Agassi, Hewitt, Roddick, Ferrero, Nadal etc, all previous Slam winners. Its not like he has an easy ride.
may i add that federer is not currently playing against any top draw serve-volleyers
there is no pistol/edberg/goran/rafter/stich out there for him
remember, unil a coupla years ago, he had an abysmal record against henman ( just below top-echelon serve-volleyer ), who just crowded the net & put away any returns - it was amazing to see the look of frustration on fed's face during those matches
i'm not sure he has the return to beat guyz like the above when they were on fire
>I thoght Pat Rafter brought Pete down to earth a bit in '98.
Federer on a
>good day beats Safin on a good day.
Both had "good days" (as opposed to their best game days) in Melbourne this year, Safin won. Trouble is that Safin's absolute best is almost an unknown quantity, it's so rarely seen. But it demolished Sampras at Flushing Meadow (2000?) - that was special. A fully fit, non-partying, motivated, demon-free Safin... never gonna happen?!
>it demolished Sampras at Flushing Meadow (2000?) - that was special.<
pete was expected to win that & just didn't turn up that day
it may have been that he wasn't that familiar with safin's game & didn't adapt
look at what happened the following year, when he got to the final & in the process went thru the hardest draw that a slam has ever produced - he beat the 3 preceding champs to get there - agassi ( in probably he greatest tennis match ever played - 4 tie-break sets where neither man lost their serve - this is what fed hasn't faced ), rafter & then safin ( who he destroyed, once he'd learnt how the mercurial guy's game functioned )
yes, he got blown away in the final to hewitt, but he was exhausted getting thru that draw ( but remember, he beat hewitt the year before in the semis, so he knew he coud beat him )
I'm deliberately avoiding the question, because I just don't know! Time will tell.... I know that the best tennis performance I've ever seen was Mac's destruction of Connors at Wimbledon in '84. It was an honour to have seen it, and I find it hard to believe that anyone could have played better in one match.
>Ahhh, yes, and George Mikan would have been a match for Jordan or Shaq... NOT!
This is the old argument that Jesse Owens was not as good as Justin Gatlin because he ran slower times. All you can compare is how good, how dominant, they were against their own eras. Nobody has dominated tennis like Laver did in 1961-62, and 1968-69. He won the Grand Slam twice, for goodness sakes! He was banned from all the Grand Slams 1963-67 because he played professionally. Had he played in them in those 5 years, he would have put the record for most Grand Slam titles out of reach. As it is, he won 11.
And for Federer, he needs a bit more time probably to be called the GOAT. What they say now about Federer, they said in 1974-75 about Jimmy Connors who was unstoppable at the time. He won the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 1974 with the total loss of 7 games. In 1974, he only did not win the Grand Slam probably, because the French refused his entry because he was playing World Team Tennis.
I agree that the year Pete lost to Hewitt in the US Open was exhaustion, as he has to mow thru 3 former champs to get to the final. This is why I was sure he was not DONE back then. That final was an anomaly, but even wiith that, if he had decent backhand, he could still have won it.
However, you guys use the wrong criteria to judge Federer. You should look at his stroke play, serve and match temperment to understand what makes him special. This man is hitting near impossible shots, can play back, all court AND serve and volley. He is a complete player.
Federer losing to Henman should be viewed in context, he was young and perfecting his craft. Hell, I recall when Fed was Junior Wimbledon champ back in 1998, and look how many lean years came in bewtten that and his eventual triumph there. Fed is just 24 now and has been dominant for 2 years or so.
BTW, I liked Rafter, but his serve sucked and his volley had elements of 'pop-up' to it, not as bad as Yannick Noah, but eneough to exploit it. He could not volley like the very best, ie McEnroe, Laver and Edberg. Now, if Phillipousis could just have volleyed better with THAT serve, THEN we would be talking top notch.
Long and short, if Fed keeps going, he will be GOAT in another 3 years.
I don't know who would win at their "best". Maybe Sampras would take Roger. But, because of his complete balanced play, Federer has many more "best" days on any surface than Pete.
Federer is a complete package. Being a complete package he will ultimately give Federer longevity, consistency and the ability to handle any opponenet on any surface. So, as great as Sampras was I would have to agree with Agassi.
>That final was an anomaly, but even
>wiith that, if he had decent backhand, he could still have won it.
that's a joke !
i've never heard anyone ever say pistol had a weak backhand !
>BTW, I liked Rafter, but his serve sucked and
>his volley had elements of 'pop-up' to it, not as bad as Yannick Noah, but
>eneough to exploit it. He could not volley like the very best, ie McEnroe,
>Laver and Edberg. Now, if Phillipousis could just have volleyed better with
>THAT serve, THEN we would be talking top notch.<
there was absolutely nothing wrong with rafter's serve !
it had the bigest "kick" of anyone's & pistol admitted that's what made it so difficult to return & hence break
after bouncing, it woud rear up to ~ shoulder height making it so difficult to keep the return down low
with high balls coming back to volley away, rafter didn't need a great volley - he had easy put aways resulting from the serve
>absolutely nothing wrong with rafter's serve !
it had the bigest "kick" of
>anyone's & pistol admitted that's what made it so difficult to return & hence
after bouncing, it woud rear up to ~ shoulder height making it so
>difficult to keep the return down low
with high balls coming back to volley
>away, rafter didn't need a great volley - he had easy put aways resulting from
Well said . Rafter's serve, especially his second, was a beast - up there with Edberg's. He was truly underestimated, especially in England - I'll be daring here and say that Joe Public with his Wimbledon tickets hasn't got a clue about tennis - 2 weeks a year and screaming "C'mon Tim!" isn't quite enough. GB tennis is a joke, and that cannot be stressed enough.
You dont need anyone to tell you Sampras had a weak backhand...just look for yourself.
Everyone in my circle knew it. It was not reliable and was easy prey at Roland Garros with the long rallies.
He tended to lift it too much and go long when pressures. It was not a well controlled stroke. Compare him to Fed or Lendl with their singlehanded backhands. THOSE are waepons, not just means to keep the point going. How many winners did Pete get of the backhand against top players?
Rafters bserve came from a closed racket face and yes while he could get lift, it was not particularly angled or powerful. No one feared his serve...how many aces did he average???
He was a decent volleyer but tended to 'pop up', a fatal flaw in my books. Lendl would have eaten him for breafast, lunch, tea and dinner.
Men's tennis is changing as it is just starting to attract better athletes that will have the strokes and mental makeup to take the game to a higher level than what you see with a Sampras or a Federer. Imagine a Safin with brains! That is still a generation away but it's coming.
Federer looks good right now but his weaknesses will become appearant to every player on the tour once they stop treating him like god. After that it's a matter of execution. Agassi was serving at set-all 4-2 in the third and lost his serve to let Federer off the hook. I'm sure that was noticed in the locker room.
Even though Nadal may never be considered a future GOAT, he may be the one player that will prove Federer to be human on hardcourts. Nadal seems to have the ability to stay one step ahead of Federer on that surface. I can hardly wait until next season.
Sampras v Federer? Doesn't make the winner the greatest but it would have made a heck of a Wimbledon final. It will be overall record that determines that. Pete's is in the books. We saw two great matches between Rosewall and Laver in the 1970 WCT finals and a great match at Wembley between Nastase and Laver with Laver losing all three. Laver is still considered one of the all-time greatest while Nastase and Rosewall don't get a mention.
Oh yeah, I pick Pete...but that's because he was a member at a dinky little club in Toronto I used to be head pro at. It was near the hotel he was staying and it was just before he won his last US Open. Musta been our club.)
>>Federer looks good right now but
>>his weaknesses will become appearant to every player on the tour once they stop
>>treating him like god.
>Please tell us. What are they?
Agassi served extremely well up until that point but reverted to the Andre of old and failed to hold his serve at the worst possible moment. If he takes the third set and keeps Federer from finding his touch for a couple more games...who knows.
A guy that can keep Federer off balance with his serve and has a good returns and a power ground stroke game can keep Roger from finding his rhythm. Nadal on a good serving day and Safin when the mood strikes him are two players that come to mind. You could ugly it up a bit like Nic Kiefer and disrupt the flow to Roger's game too but you have to have a better serve than Kiefer if you want to win.
It's like boxing, if you can't keep the opponent from getting rhythm and establishing his game...you lose.
Last edited by cullman on Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I guess the trick is to find someone who can keep Federer "off balance". Since RF is so balanced, obviously, that is much easier said than done. You mentioned on a "good day" Nadal and Safin can do that. But it takes a very good day for them. And, as we have seen, they don't have too many days that good. Contrasting, Federer appears to have many good days. He may get knocked off balance on occasion, but he usually finds that balance again - very quickly.
Knocking a player off balance is key to tennis. The more complete a players game the harder this task is. Of course, Feder's game is very complete.
There may be a very good reason the others "treat him like God".
i've seen both of them play and i must say federer has the edge. he would beat sampras on any surface, but on grass it would be a tie. anyhoos, i think agassi is still the best unless federer wins himself the french open coz he's already better than sampras. i admit federer plays a near perfect game, but agassi had won all the grand slams so he has this winning point over federer.
>You dont need anyone to tell you Sampras had a weak backhand...just look for
Everyone in my circle knew it. It was not reliable and was easy
>prey at Roland Garros with the long rallies. <
i've no idea wha your circle may be - all i know is that it goes around & eventually gets nowhere
pistol had no problem with the backhand, just that his mentality wasn't suited to the long rallies on clay
on grass, points last usually about 3 - 5 strokes on average ( providing return is good ), whereas on a hardcourt, they may stretch to 5 - 10
pistol had the speed/power/athleticism/etc. to "handle" this kinda scenario, but on clay, serves & powerful groundshots are nullified & it turns into a patience contest, with points maybe lasting 10 - 20 shots - pistol wasn't brought up on clay & didn't have the patience to rally away all day for just 1 point - his was a quick-point power game
however, 1y he did go for it & in '95 french he beat courier ( a great clay courter ) in 5 epic sets, after losing 1st 2 sets in their quarter-final
in the semi, he was spent & lost tamely to kafelnikov ( eventual tourney winner ) - a guy i wouda favoured him to beat ( even on clay ) if fresh
>He tended to lift it too much
>and go long when pressures. It was not a well controlled stroke. Compare him to
>Fed or Lendl with their singlehanded backhands. THOSE are waepons, not just
>means to keep the point going. How many winners did Pete get of the backhand
>against top players?<
pistol got tons of backhand winners against top players - go watch the '99 wimbledon final - he was fizzing backhand winners down/cross-court in the final
how the hell do you expect to win 7 time wimbledon/ 5 time US champions with a weak backhand ???
lendl was brought up on clay & had patience to rally on it all day ( regardless of his backhand ) & allied to his power did give him an edge over the opposition ( if both players have the patience, power can tip the balance )
federer hasn't impressed on clay - he won a masters tourney on it this year, but got soundly whupped on it by nadal in the semi of french & similarly, kuerten taught him a lesson on it the previous year
his "great" backhand has only got him to a french semi ( same as pistol ), so i don't see this as some "key" for him
fed to me, also doesn't have the patience for clay - to me, if all the guz are fit & ready, i'd back a nadal,ferrero,coria & nalbandian to beat him on it
>Rafters bserve came from a closed racket face and yes
>while he could get lift, it was not particularly angled or powerful. No one
>feared his serve...how many aces did he average???<
you know bugger all about tennis, if your going on aces
how many aces does rudeski serve ?
how may slams has he got ?
count how may aces fed serves - not in the rudeski/roddick/karlovic/ancic league - but count the no. of slams they have & he has
fed's acknowledged to be the best server around ( on the FAR more important criteria of how often he is broken in a match/tourney ), but he doesn't dominate aces count
>He was a decent volleyer
>but tended to 'pop up', a fatal flaw in my books. Lendl would have eaten him
>for breafast, lunch, tea and dinner.<
agassi, the best returner in the game coud do little with it in 2 succesive wimbledon semis ('00 & '01 ) & got beaten in 5 sets both times
if you had either a weak serve or weak volley, agassi wouda eaten you for breakfast !
Last edited by eldrick on Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
may i point out an overlooked performance this year
my tip for french this year was coria, who i believe has the best clay court game out there ( since ferrero has gone downhill following injury ) - maybe even better than nadal !
coria choked in last year's final, when it looked like he coudn't lose ( & taught agassi a lesson on clay in an earlier round ) & this year in run-up to french he'd lost only to nadal & fed ( but claimed those claycourts weren't ideal for him - too quick for him & more akin to a slow hardcourt, than the "true" slow courts of roland garros ( albeit, he couda beaten ginepri to get to US Open semi ! ))
well, to cut a long story short, i thought only nadal or fed wouda stood a chance to beat him in paris & then probably only in 5 hard sets
however, he lost this year to davydenko after winning the 1st set:
see story here ( it's towards the middle of the article ):
I don't watch all that much tennis, but am I the only one who thinks that the clay-court game is ridiculous? Not in and of itself (cue Paul Simon---slip-slip slidin' away), but because it's sooo different than the rest of the sport.