Safin: "Roger is better than Pete" [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Safin: "Roger is better than Pete"

Tennis Fool
02-01-2004, 07:20 AM
From his AO finals interview:

"Federer, he has better -- he a little bit -- I don't want to take anything from Pete. I mean, mentally, he was the strongest player on the tour. He has the biggest serve in the world. He has an unbelievable forehand and very good hands in the volley. But sometimes he was missing a little bit the backhand.

So Roger, he has -- he has everything and a backhand. Probably he doesn't have enough volley like Pete Sampras. But he is really good. I mean, he can volley. It's a little bit different story."

J. Corwin
02-01-2004, 07:27 AM
So Marat says Roger has better everything, except volleys.

CooCooCachoo
02-01-2004, 07:43 AM
1jackson, I don't read that.

He also says that Sampras' serve is bigger and he doesn't state that Federer's forehand is necessarily better.

WyverN
02-01-2004, 07:47 AM
its to hard to compare right now as i dont think federer is at his peak right now

Vass
02-01-2004, 07:47 AM
Actually this answer is too confusing. I think that Marat was talking of Sampras in the serve section....

Raoul Duke
02-01-2004, 07:47 AM
So Marat says Roger has better everything, except volleys.

Well obviously his serve is not as awesome as Sampras was and thank god for that by the way!

The volleys I think are just as good except for maybe the half volleys. I would still say Sampras forehand was more explosive and powerful than Federer's (though probably not as secure), actually Lundgren Federer's ex-coach said before the final, that the only minor weakness in the Federer arsenal is when he is being atacked deep in the forehand side. He just needs more time there than he does on backhand side where he of course can choose to hit one of his out of this world defensive shots. When it came to Sampras when on form the forehand side was just a place you NEVER EVER wanted to go and if you did BOOOOM....and the next thing you know, you would look like a junior struggling to stay at his feet almost, desperately trying to handle the explosion..

Having said all that. Like many others I do think Federer is the best, most complete and most talented player we have ever seen.

Sampras because of his serve and mental strenght (concentration) was just more unbeatable.

CooCooCachoo
02-01-2004, 07:50 AM
Sampras because of his serve and mental strenght (concentration) was just more unbeatable.

Which is not a positive thing, I'd say. :D

Vass
02-01-2004, 07:50 AM
PS: If this isn't Roger's peak what is? He makes these GS victories look effortless!

WyverN
02-01-2004, 07:54 AM
PS: If this isn't Roger's peak what is? He makes these GS victories look effortless!

there is still doubt in his mind which leads to silly unforced errors that will become far more rare with experience.

Not enough use of the net game, yes he is capable of beating everyone from the baseline as he has shown this AO but he should use the volley more even on this surface

I can see just about every shot improving marginally over the next few years, he is very good but no shot is perfect so there is certainly room for improvement

CooCooCachoo
02-01-2004, 07:58 AM
The fact that there is room for improvement (which there always is), doesn't mean that there'll also some improvements, though. I do think that Roger could become an even better player, but he's definitely at his peak for this moment.

J. Corwin
02-01-2004, 08:06 AM
I agree. Just because there is room for improvement, doesn't mean the improvements will be made to full possible effect/potential.

Raoul Duke
02-01-2004, 08:08 AM
Which is not a positive thing, I'd say. :D

Well I felt that way for a long time. He was always beating my favorite players and kept winning tournament after tournament without much trouble it seemed. But later (especially after Becker retired and I didn't have to worry about his particular chances anymore) I began to appreciate the amazing effectiveness of his tennis and how he had pefected his style of play.

And later when he began to sometimes struggle, I suddenly found myself rooting for him. I didn't like to see a great player like that fall from grace.

Therefore his final victory in the U.S Open stands as one of my all time sporting highlights.

WyverN
02-01-2004, 08:19 AM
I agree. Just because there is room for improvement, doesn't mean the improvements will be made to full possible effect/potential.

True but looking at the history of tennis the vast majority of players improved after the age of 22

CooCooCachoo
02-01-2004, 08:28 AM
Yes Raoul, his play was great to look at, but in general, he made tennis a lot more boring. Why would you watch Wimbledon if you already know he's going to win? In fact, his game is the kind of game that really appeals to me, but I never liked Sampras, for the way he controlled the game in every aspect.

Dirk
02-01-2004, 08:29 AM
Roger said the two things he will work on this year are his Serve and Volleys. His other things will naturally improve over time. Roger cares about being the best he can be and therefore he will grow, but I do hope he finds a great coach soon.

andylover_16
02-01-2004, 08:43 AM
biggest serve in the world:confused:

Chloe le Bopper
02-01-2004, 09:07 AM
biggest serve in the world:confused:
I believe he was talking about Sampras when he said that

tennischick
02-01-2004, 10:09 AM
he's saying that Roger has a more complete game than Pete. i agree.

asotgod
02-01-2004, 12:45 PM
Read the interview yourself. They did not ask him to compare Roger's serve with Sampras's. He was just asked to compare Roger with Sampras. That clearly means in all category, and even though Sampras is probably the most mentally tough guy to play the game, he does not have some of the weapons Federer has. How many times do you see Sampras mix up the backhand like Federer does?

Federer is the most complete player to every play the game. That's just the simple truth. Arguments or controversies will not change that fact. The reason being, Federer is just a God-given talent in this era. His tennis is not forced. It's natural and real.

Experimentee
02-01-2004, 12:55 PM
I read the whole interview and Marat wasnt saying that at all. He was basically saying it was hard to compare them, if anything, he was saying Pete has better everything except for backhand.

WyverN
02-01-2004, 12:56 PM
While Federer's backhand is better his serve, mental toughness, volleys and arguably forehand are all inferior to Pete.
It is way to early to compare Federer to the best player ever, lets see him win half the number of slams that Pete has before we even start to entertain the idea

asotgod
02-01-2004, 01:08 PM
I am not talking about the no. of slams. I am talking about abilities. Federer is way more complete than Sampras, and is competing even in a tougher era. There are quite a number of shots Federer does that Sampras cannot do. I am pretty sure about that. It does not mean one disrespects Sampras, but even Sampras will acknowledge that himself.

Excerpt from Interview:

How good a player is he?

MARAT SAFIN: He is a great player. He has all the shots. He has volley, he has serve. He's most complete player on the tour.

Q. Can you compare him to Pete Sampras?

MARAT SAFIN: No. It's a little bit different story. Yeah, they have some kind of same things. But I think Federer, he has better -- he a little bit -- I don't want to take anything from Pete. I mean, mentally, he was the strongest player on the tour. He has the biggest serve in the world. He has an unbelievable forehand and very good hands in the volley. But sometimes he was missing a little bit the backhand.

So Roger, he has -- he has everything and a backhand. Probably he doesn't have enough volley like Pete Sampras. But he is really good. I mean, he can volley. It's a little bit different story.

But Pete, as you can see, he won 14 Grand Slams. And he has a really good -- he was really, really tough.




Analysis:
The questions was if he could compare Federer to Sampras. He said no. Then said, Federer, he has better.... but stopped because he did not want to speak as if he was undermining what Sampras has done. Then the second section says Federer has everything and a backhand, clearly implying that Federer had everything Sampras had and a backhand. Of course anyone watching tennis for a while will know that Sampras's backhand wasn't all that. He could slice, hit flat but not as consistently as Federer does. Federer has way more variety and is a better returner. Of course, Sampras has a powerful and wicked forehand, but what Sampras accomplishes with power, Federer accomplishes with wicked top spin with the ball veering away from the opponent. Federer's volleys are not half as good or concise as Sampras, but he can volley. Most times, he probably doesn't need it.

And there is no reason really to compare him to Sampras as a thread somewhere showed. He is not Sampras. He is Roger Federer. Probably tha's why Safin said its a different story. This is a newer and tougher era. Even Sampras said the Sampras of 2002 will beat the Sampras of 1995/ 1996 when he was winning a lot of majors. Different era, different players.

WyverN
02-01-2004, 01:23 PM
First of all, he never really said that. He only said Pete sometimes missed
the backhand, so that Fed has a better one. Then he went on about Pete+s
better serve and volley etc. Safin is one of the 99% of tennis players that
say that Pete is the best of all time. He's not about to proclaim Fed the
best just like that. What did that quote from Safin go like... (when asked
about Sampras once)

"I can't even talk about him or say his name, he's like a god."

Experimentee
02-01-2004, 02:46 PM
I think when he said Roger had "everything and a backhand", he was saying that Roger has a better bh than Sampras, and everything else as well, although the other things arent as good as Sampras. We know how much he respects Sampras, so he wouldnt be saying Roger was better in everything.

I disagree with whoever said Roger is competing in a tougher era, i believe Sampras had more competition than Roger did in his prime, but he just made his rivals look bad because of his dominance. If you look at the players he was beating, a lot of them were established Grand Slam champions, while Roger is beating players that are young and just starting out.

Crazy_Fool
02-01-2004, 03:56 PM
Lets see if Federer can consistently play at that level for 10 yrs and then we will see. I personally think Sampras is and will always be better. The serve, esp 2nd is much better, and not to mention forehand and volleys. I'll consider Federer better if he wins 15 slams.

gmak
02-01-2004, 05:19 PM
who said that pete didn't have stiff competition?

agassi, becker, ivanisevic, stich, courier, chang were all playing great when they were beaten by sampras and they were all GS champions...

i agree though that federer is no sampras.
he's roger federer and i really think he will dominate tennis in the future...

AgassiFan
02-02-2004, 04:52 AM
People are SERIOUSLY overrating Pete's fore-hander.

It was powerful but inaccurate (relatively speaking), often going long, missing by feet. He overswung.

Now if you wanna isolate Petes's RUNNING fore-hander, then yeah there were only a handful of player in the history of the game who pulled it off as well-- sometimes you'd get Pete off the court and he would find a way to get it across for a winner.....

But overall, especially from a stationary position, Pete's forehander while above average was not "scary expolosive" in the least bit. Pete was just an average back-court player....but one who could play defense, counter attack and made marvelous decisions.

What set Pete apart is the by far the greatest serve-volley combo of all time. I mean, the velocity, the accuracy, the touch.....think back, how many CHEAP points (not necessarily aces) Pete always won and how many people were intimidated before even walking on court because they knew that losing their serve meant losing the set.

Pete could FOCUS and work his ASS of for a decade while Becker and Agassu partied.....All of Pete 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 type wins were remarkably DECEIVING because once Pete broke someone's serve, his main preoccupation was in holding onto his own rather than trying to humilate his oppnent by blowing him out. What a machine.

AgassiFan
02-02-2004, 05:03 AM
Federer?

--His serve is good but not Pete good. Still a weapon.
--His volleying is good but not Pete good. Semi-weapon.
--His forehander overall is actually better than Pete's because it continues to improve and is more accurate. (I remember Pete actually having 3 times as many unforced errors than winners from his right side but networks were only interested in replaying his winners, LOL)
--His backhander is better than Pete's.

I remains to be see if he can:

a) avoid injuries like Pete'
b) develop nerves of steel like Pete
c) be interested in 10 years worth of working his ASS off....while his less talented peers are partying it up.

I am rooting for Roger when Andre retires (hopefully not before 2006). I think he can kick Roddick's yankee ASS.

ys
02-02-2004, 05:11 AM
Federer can have more successful career than Sampras. Simply because he will compete for all four Slams, being favourite at three of them. Sampras, for most of his career could really compete only for two fast-surface Slams, and only at his very prime was a threat at AO. But one of the reasons Sampras won so many Slams, was that he crushed and demoralised his very talented opposition ( Agassi, Courier, Chang, Kafelnikov, Ivanisevic ) very early in his career - neither of them ever thought for any long time that they are capable of challenging his supremacy. Roger might do just that this year.

allusion
02-02-2004, 05:25 AM
I read the whole interview and Marat wasnt saying that at all.

Agreed.
He didn't specifically say: "Roger is better than Pete." He was about to say something, "Roger is better --" but then he deviated. And started talking about Pete & then just comparing to two's strengths. In any way, Marat was probably just about to say something like "Roger has the better backhand", but stopped before he finished the sentence because he didn't want to come off the wrong way.

AgassiFan
02-02-2004, 11:08 PM
I'll say this again: Roger Federer has a BETTER forehand tha Pete Sampras did.

Pete could hit a great one on the run, but statistically speaking, there is a REASON why Pete didn't use his forehander and didn't play on the baseline: he wasn't that scary.

His serve-volley combo was so domanant that he didn't need to hit too many forehanders- just a few here and there.

Whereas Federer can hit 20 consecutive blistering foreheanders and NOT blink. It's not as powerfull as Pete but more accurate and effective and should only get better.

ys
02-02-2004, 11:16 PM
I'll say this again: Roger Federer has a BETTER forehand tha Pete Sampras did.

Pete could hit a great one on the run, but statistically speaking, there is a REASON why Pete didn't use his forehander and didn't play on the baseline: he wasn't that scary.

His serve-volley combo was so domanant that he didn't need to hit too many forehanders- just a few here and there.

Whereas Federer can hit 20 consecutive blistering foreheanders and NOT blink. It's not as powerfull as Pete but more accurate and effective and should only get better.

Agree. Federer's acceleration through the ball coupled with taking the ball very early makes his crosscourt FH extremely effective weapon. I am though not that convinced about his ability to hit it DTL.

faboozadoo15
02-02-2004, 11:37 PM
federer's a better baseliner. he has had agassi (among others) WHIPPED from the backcourt, and pete never did on his best day.

likewise, pete could serve and volley and win against anyone. roger can't. he's leaned this against nalbandian, hewitt, agassi. maybe returns are bigger these days but let's not use that as excuse bc serves are bigger too. so roger has to make up some room here.

serve is something that is subjective. pete's at his best is better than roger's, but roger is so young in his career and getting stronger. pete has the best second serve of all time and i thought no one would even challenge that, but roger has quite the placement on his ;)

Leena
02-03-2004, 12:18 AM
Calm down, let's remember that this is Marat.

Just laugh at the funny stuff he says, and admire his uber-sexness.

tennischick
02-03-2004, 12:20 AM
actually if you think about it, Federer is the best of both Andre and the Android...;)

AgassiFan
02-03-2004, 03:24 AM
actually if you think about it, Federer is the best of both Andre and the Android...;)

Android? Hehe-- Pete WAS a robot-alien. Just ask Bridget.

Federer is an awesome talent, but why does everyone assume he is interested in giving himself completely to tennis?

I see him as people say Ahassi was 15 years ago-- reckless and volatile. The only difference is, there is no Sampras to stand in Roger's way.

Tennis_Passion
11-09-2005, 02:20 AM
Think so too, while there are so many similar qualities in their games, all one-handed backhand with strong game on grass, but Roger is definitely better for sure, that's pretty obvious.

PaulieM
11-09-2005, 02:32 AM
what is with bumping all these old threads? :confused:

Tennis_Passion
11-09-2005, 02:35 AM
Not really older thread, the topic is discussed constantly....we are not going back to the 90's.
Plus, with a week off, there is really nothing to talk about, how about some Roger vs Pete discussion.

lau
11-09-2005, 02:38 AM
what is with bumping all these old threads? :confused:
Everybody misses quotable Marat so much that they have the need to bring to life old threads.. :p

mer
11-09-2005, 09:27 AM
Not really older thread, the topic is discussed constantly....we are not going back to the 90's.
Plus, with a week off, there is really nothing to talk about, how about some Roger vs Pete discussion.


Really, can't you make a new ones instead of bumping old and confusing people ?