Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sampras Lets Federer Have It


MMT said...

Craig, I have to say, this is a very clever title. Sampras lets him have it, as in, "Sampras could have gotten the result tonight, but he let Federer have it," let-him-have-it, or the proverbial "Boy, Sampras really let him have it tonight!" let-him-have-it? I suspect I know your feelings on it, but am curious (as no doubt you are) at how people respond.

Craig Hickman said...


Nestor said...

i did not see the match but i wonder how someone could come back and break a sampras server from 2-5 down in the third set.

kraa said...

I saw most of it. Just a big theatre - would never confuse it with a real tour match...

As for breaking Sampras (once) - you could as well ask how Roger lost his serve twice after being up 2-0 in the third (answer - lot of errors)

PeytonAllen said...

This is the only Fed/Sampras match I've watched. It was about what I expected. Pete was the more nervous, breaking himself in the first game of the match. In the second he started to show how he could/would have dominated Fed in his prime serving wise. And the third was uneven. Fed relaxing after the early break and primping...then misfiring as Pete stormed back.

Pete missed too many volleys, but still showed he has the running forehand.

The match didn't prove much. Fed was at 80% and Pete had the movement you'd expect from a mid-30's retiree. But, there is no 'best player of all-time' Just a club.

But if these matches prove anything, it's how wrong Cliff Drysdale has been for repeatedly saying when asked on who would win, "on grass 50/50, anywhere else its mostly Fed." Kind of a slap in the face to a guy who played in a tougher time, did so with less racket and string power, and still managed to produce the greatest weapon in tennis...ever.

And oh yeah as he showed, his forehand is pretty nasty too. Still. I think Pete would have loved the challenge of tweaking his backhand to match Fed's (he bettered his slice for Agassi) and taking the challenge head on. Hell, he's got on a court at his age, clearly out of practice just to get a piece of the man.

Agassi and others have knocked Pete for going into cruise control. Breaking when he had to, otherwise just holding serve. Agassi:"A bad day against Pete and you lose 6-4, 6-4, a bad day against Fed you lose 6-2, 6-0."

There's some truth in that, although if you look at their head to head, Pete laid some whoopin's in Agassi as well, but to counter that weakness...I think Fed is the more apt to go away during the match. Such as he did in the 2nd second.

I hate greatest ever debates. And I hope we don't see Pete enter a main draw ever again. But I would love to see him play doubles, maybe with Fed at Wimbledon. Or mixed with one of the Williams Sisters.

PeytonAllen said...

On a side-note, it's very telling for a man who EARLY in their matchups loved saying he could read Roddick's serve well and knew it troubled him... to say he has not been able to read Sampras' serve.


Where's Graf-Sampras when you need him Craig. lol