Does Federer have to break Sampras record? - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

I think those who think he is the GOAT already think that for everything he has already achieved and his dominant play over 3 key seasons 04-07, and his impressive streaks namely 19 consecutive slam semis and 10 consecutive slam finals.

And those who don't cite his poor h2h against his younger rivals Nadal and Murray, his lack of sucess at f/o as well as a host of other things.

I don't think peoples opinions are likely to change if Fed wins a slam here or a slam there in the next few years, the only way I could see him changing peoples minds is if he got himself out of his slump and returned to his prior dominance for a season or 2 before bowing out.

So what does a player have to do to be GOAT? Is he or isn't ge GOAT now, and if he isn't, what does he have to do in your eyes to change this?

What sparked this is this idea that he need to break Samprases record. I think this is a little bunk as Sampras has the most slams of all time yet hes not talked as the GOAT by many outside America, so clearly other factors are involved.

I think we may need to wait until rafas inevitable decline to see how he handles his. I think what this battle will come down to is who handles their decline better. And, whether Roger will retire before Rafa or not.

To be honest I think Rafa will retire ala borg the first sign of a decline. I dont see him sticking around as long as Fed will, assuming his body lets him. I hope Nadal does stick around after Federer though.
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post #2 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 09:33 AM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Originally Posted by 2003 View Post

And those who don't cite his poor h2h against his younger rivals Nadal and Murray, his lack of sucess at f/o as well as a host of other things.

I don't think peoples opinions are likely to change if Fed wins a slam here or a slam there in the next few years, the only way I could see him changing peoples minds is if he got himself out of his slump and returned to his prior dominance for a season or 2 before bowing out.
Well, keyword "younger" could be used for his favour. How much does it change if Murray or Nadal dominate a Federer past his prime? Lets look at his head to head with Rafa before his decline (2008):


Overall: 6:8
Non-clay: 5:2

Nadal always was a bad matchup for Federer but I wouldn't say that per se he had a poor head to head with him. Nadal owned him on Clay but Federer clearly was the better player on Non-clay. Would Fed have been a weaker Clay player then he wouldn't have reached so many Clay Finals, thus he would probably not have played Nadal so many times on clay resulting in a postive head to head while in his prime. I don't think that Nadals clay dominance over Federer should decide whether he is the GOAT or not. It is clear that Sampras would have been dominated by Nadal on that surface as well....


Anyway, I think Fed should at least add one Slam to his record. The GOAT debate won't be settled anyway but If Federer breaks the Sampras record, one has good arguments to argue for Federer as the GOAT. If he stays at 13, then Federer belongs to the best players ever group but is not the GOAT.

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Last edited by Commander Data; 04-23-2009 at 09:47 AM.
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post #3 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 10:06 AM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

I see another two slams, at the least, for Roger. But, does he have to? For me, yes, because I want him to have done better than Sampras. I was not a fan.
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post #4 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Nadal always was a bad matchup for Federer but I wouldn't say that per se he had a poor head to head with him. Nadal owned him on Clay but Federer clearly was the better player on Non-clay. Would Fed have been a weaker Clay player then he wouldn't have reached so many Clay Finals, thus he would probably not have played Nadal so many times on clay resulting in a postive head to head while in his prime. I don't think that Nadals clay dominance over Federer should decide whether he is the GOAT or not. It is clear that Sampras would have been dominated by Nadal on that surface as well....
Thanks.

A very interesting debate would be, if Federer was shite on clay, and had never reached a RG final, expressly 2008 final, would he have been better off?

For those who believe he has a mental block against Nadal, certainly. How different would things have been had he not copped that hiding at RG 08? Would he have won that second set at Wimbledon being 4-1 up? Would he have won the Aus open 09?

I'm not saying I believe his headcase against Nadal is the reason for his decline but a lot of people feel it was.
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post #5 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 11:38 AM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Federer having a short prime doesn't help his cause, niether does the lack of a Career and Calender Year Grand Slam that Nadal is about to get.
If Nadal wins the calender grand slam he is a GOAT contender. But there are still lots of Matches to be won. History will be writen anyway in the coming years. Lets see what happens....

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post #6 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 11:39 AM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

Obviously its impossible to be GOAT if you don't have the total slams record and also don't have the Career grand slam. Those 2 achievements would get you in contention for GOAT, and Federer has neither. He'd need both to stay ahead of Nadal in history.
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post #7 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 11:42 AM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Thanks.

A very interesting debate would be, if Federer was shite on clay, and had never reached a RG final, expressly 2008 final, would he have been better off?

For those who believe he has a mental block against Nadal, certainly. How different would things have been had he not copped that hiding at RG 08? Would he have won that second set at Wimbledon being 4-1 up? Would he have won the Aus open 09?

I'm not saying I believe his headcase against Nadal is the reason for his decline but a lot of people feel it was.
ironically, i think Fed would have been better off had he been a weaker clay player. He would have had a nice head to head for his prime against virtually all opponents and still the chance to beat Sampras now. In that case he would have looked superiour to Sampras. Now, he has the "Nadal-problem"....

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post #8 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 11:46 AM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Obviously its impossible to be GOAT if you don't have the total slams record andalso don't have the Career grand slam. Those 2 achievements would get you in contention for GOAT, and Federer has neither. He'd need both to stay ahead of Nadal in history.
Obviously this is nonsense! Since no player has both (Sampras has not won the Calender GS, no other players owns the total Slam record, following, your logic, there is no GOAT. That doesn't make sense.

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post #9 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 11:54 AM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Originally Posted by Commander Data View Post
Well, keyword "younger" could be used for his favour. How much does it change if Murray or Nadal dominate a Federer past his prime? Lets look at his head to head with Rafa before his decline (2008):


Overall: 6:8
Non-clay: 5:2

Nadal always was a bad matchup for Federer but I wouldn't say that per se he had a poor head to head with him. Nadal owned him on Clay but Federer clearly was the better player on Non-clay. Would Fed have been a weaker Clay player then he wouldn't have reached so many Clay Finals, thus he would probably not have played Nadal so many times on clay resulting in a postive head to head while in his prime. I don't think that Nadals clay dominance over Federer should decide whether he is the GOAT or not. It is clear that Sampras would have been dominated by Nadal on that surface as well....


Anyway, I think Fed should at least add one Slam to his record. The GOAT debate won't be settled anyway but If Federer breaks the Sampras record, one has good arguments to argue for Federer as the GOAT. If he stays at 13, then Federer belongs to the best players ever group but is not the GOAT.
Nonsense. 6-8 is as good as his h2h with Nadal ever was, and that's why you picked that particular "snapshot" in their rivalry and classified it as "before his decline." There was also a period when the h2h was 6-1 for Nadal, and 1-1 off of clay. That period was also "before Federer's decline," and began with a 17 year old Nadal straight-setting Federer on hard courts. It should also be mentioned that the single victory Federer has over Nadal during this period involved him coming back from two sets to love down. So don't skew the facts to try to excuse away the 13-6 h2h. It's a big problem for his GOAT hopes and it can't be explained away.

2006
Roland Garros
France
Clay
F
Nadal
1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6(4)
Stats
2006
ATP Masters Series Rome
Italy
Clay
F
Nadal
6-7(0) 7-6(5) 6-4 2-6 7-6(5)
Stats
2006
ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo
Monaco
Clay
F
Nadal
6-2 6-7(2) 6-3 7-6(5)
Stats
2006
Dubai
U.A.E.
Hard
F
Nadal
2-6 6-4 6-4
Stats
2005
Roland Garros
France
Clay
S
Nadal
6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3
Stats
2005
ATP Masters Series Miami
FL, U.S.A.
Hard
F
Federer
2-6 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-3 6-1
Stats
2004
ATP Masters Series Miami
FL, U.S.A.
Hard
R32
Nadal
6-3 6-3
Stats

If I lose the first set, the match will be complicate, no?


My favorite Federer and Nadal quotes following their 2008 Wimbledon final:

“But right now, it’s not much of a how do you say? a feel-good thing.”
-Roger Federer
"In the last game, I didn't see nothing. The true, I wasn't see nothing, no?"
-Rafael Nadal
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post #10 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 12:08 PM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

"Obviously its impossible to be GOAT if you don't have the total slams record and also don't have the Career grand slam." is a reference to the fact that Federer has neither, so he can't be GOAT because a GOAT would obviously not be lacking BOTH. And as I go on to say Federer will need BOTH if he plans to surpass Nadal who is comfortably on track to obtain both.
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Nonsense. 6-8 is as good as his h2h with Nadal ever was, and that's why you picked that particular "snapshot" in their rivalry and classified it as "before his decline."
Thats not the reason I picked that time. It is beyond dispute that Federers game declined after AO 2008. Its is the truth. And it is a fact, that their non-clay head to head before Fed's decline is 5:2 whether you like it or not. It is beyond dispute that Federer was the better player off clay player then Nadal before 2008. Sorry mate.

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post #12 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 12:13 PM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Originally Posted by theRAFA View Post
"Obviously its impossible to be GOAT if you don't have the total slams record and also don't have the Career grand slam." is a reference to the fact that Federer has neither, so he can't be GOAT because a GOAT would obviously not be lacking BOTH. And as I go on to say Federer will need BOTH if he plans to surpass Nadal who is comfortably on track to obtain both.
Okay. My bad, I misread you post. I don't necesseraly disagree with you there.

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post #13 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Originally Posted by Ackms421 View Post
2006
Roland Garros
France
Clay
F
Nadal
1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6(4)
Wow. I didn't watch tennis back then, how well did Federer play in that first set? Was it a close match overall?

Why has Federer gone backwards vs Nadal on clay since then? If he won the first set 6-1 in a GS final at that time I would have thought he would have gone on to finish the job..strange.
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post #14 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Originally Posted by theRAFA View Post
"Obviously its impossible to be GOAT if you don't have the total slams record and also don't have the Career grand slam." is a reference to the fact that Federer has neither, so he can't be GOAT because a GOAT would obviously not be lacking BOTH. And as I go on to say Federer will need BOTH if he plans to surpass Nadal who is comfortably on track to obtain both.
Well Roger Federer was also well on track for both in September 2004 and yet almost 5 years later is still short on both fronts.

Don't count your chickens just yet. Or well have to bring Aggassi into the eqation for his career slam (notice no one around these parts name him as GOAT candidate).
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post #15 of 151 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 12:19 PM
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Re: Does Federer have to break Sampras record?

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Thats not the reason I picked that time. It is beyond dispute that Federers game declined after AO 2008. Its is the truth. And it is a fact, that their non-clay head to head before Fed's decline is 5:2 whether you like it or not. It is beyond dispute that Federer was the better player off clay player then Nadal before 2008. Sorry mate.
LOL, you didn't address the period when it was 6-1 and 1-1 off of clay. That is a miserable record, especially when your opponent is in diapers and your only win comes when you were 2 sets to love down. That miserable record lets you know you will have problems with this opponent for years to come.

But, it doesn't matter. If all you're asking for is for Federer to be proclaimed "a better player than Nadal off clay prior to 2008," if you qualify it that much, you can have it. Not that it means much now...
He can never be GOAT with a miserable record like that against his younger contemporary, especially without any of the other records you mentioned. He doesn't have the most slams, he doesn't have the most year-end number 1's, and he has piss-poor records against 2 opponents... That's not GOAT stuff...

If I lose the first set, the match will be complicate, no?


My favorite Federer and Nadal quotes following their 2008 Wimbledon final:

“But right now, it’s not much of a how do you say? a feel-good thing.”
-Roger Federer
"In the last game, I didn't see nothing. The true, I wasn't see nothing, no?"
-Rafael Nadal
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