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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I've only started watching tennis at the end of Sampras' career..So for those who have watched many eras of tennis, how did someone like Sampras start to fall apart? What were his major losses that signaled it was really over?
Btw you can use other examples besides Sampras.
Thanks :wavey:
 

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Well Sampras went out on a high. FedMug will go out on a low.

But I think when Pete lost to George Bastl at Wimbledon he knew it was over :tears:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So that means watch out for Federer this wimbledon..Oh no..I hope he doesnt go out on a low.
 
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Anathemaniac
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Well Sampras went out on a high. FedMug will go out on a low.

But I think when Pete lost to George Bastl at Wimbledon he knew it was over :tears:
Actually Pete's game was in decline as well in the latter stages of his career. He concentrated mainly on the BIG tournaments later on and indeed got his share of losses against 'mug players' as well. It's only natural to happen...

The only GOAT I can think of who actually left the building when he was on the top of his abilities was Borg, who quitted when he was barely 26. He just couldn't find the motivation to go on anymore, but if he had, I'm sure he would have managed to add perhaps yet another couple of slams.
 

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Actually Pete's game was in decline as well in the latter stages of his career. He concentrated mainly on the BIG tournaments later on and indeed got his share of losses against 'mug players' as well. It's only natural to happen...

The only GOAT I can think of who actually left the building when he was on the top of his abilities was Borg, who quitted when he was barely 26. He just couldn't find the motivation to go on anymore, but if he had, I'm sure he would have managed to add perhaps yet another couple of slams.
Well yeah the entire year he was around number 10 in the world so he was not at the top of the game.
 

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...One thing that really surprises me is that people almost seem to think Federer isn't going to play tennis in 2009.
 

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Anathemaniac
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Well yeah the entire year he was around number 10 in the world so he was not at the top of the game.
But still a force to reckon with, just like all of the top-20 players (and more :cool:) are able to upset today's #1, #2, and #3 once in a while as well. Being #10 doesn't mean you are DONE as a player.

...One thing that really surprises me is that people almost seem to think Federer isn't going to play tennis in 2009.
I guess they're are going to be in for a not so nice surprise. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thats not what we think Roland...Im not saying its a given hes on a decline. Im just wondering if he can have ups and downs at the end of his career. Ups-winning slams and masters series events
 

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Pete starts to have some problems in 1999 with some injuries, but still he was the better player in that year, Agassi finished #1 and reached 3 GS finals, but still Pete healthy were better, he pulled out of the USO when he was in a 20 straight win streak... he owned Agassi that year beating him in Wimbledon, L.A, Cincy (SF) and Hannover finals

In 2000 Sampras start to have some trouble with the new guns like Guga, Safin and Hewitt, he finished #3 but he was never in the #1 mix

2001 He managed to stay in the top 10 with many trouble, he lost in Wimbledon in R16, but he reached the USO final in a magical run... in the final Hewitt trashed him

2002 He sucked almost all the season, but he won the USO and that was the history
 

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Laver had a bit of a sudden fall, not in the sense that he lost it outright, but he went from winning the Grand Slam to not winning another major. Now, his situation was of course quite different from what's we're seeing now, in the sense that the grand slam events didn't yet have the kind of ironclad prestige they have today and many other events rivalled them (like the Dallas WCT). Laver still won a lot of other titles in 1970, the year after the grand slam. That said the year after his big year Laver was no longer the unquestioned #1 in the world.

The interesting thing in all of this is that the older Rosewall whom Laver caught up with and passed circa 1964 for the mantle of the best in the game hung around long enough to actually win some grand slam events in the early 70s. He also beat Laver in back-to-back WCT finals.

I think Federer will have a Sampras-like decline. I expect a major-a-year kind of average right into his 30th birthday. Nothing wrong with this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pete starts to have some problems in 1999 with some injuries, but still he was the better player in that year, Agassi finished #1 and reached 3 GS finals, but still Pete healthy were better, he pulled out of the USO when he was in a 20 straight win streak... he owned Agassi that year beating him in Wimbledon, L.A, Cincy (SF) and Hannover finals

In 2000 Sampras start to have some trouble with the new guns like Guga, Safin and Hewitt, he finished #3 but he was never in the #1 mix

2001 He managed to stay in the top 10 with many trouble, he lost in Wimbledon in R16, but he reached the USO final in a magical run... in the final Hewitt trashed him

2002 He sucked almost all the season, but he won the USO and that was the history
I remember that, when he beat agassi. I was 12 and only knew Sampras and Agassi :lol:
 

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Blown Out On the Trail
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Well Sampras went out on a high. FedMug will go out on a low.

But I think when Pete lost to George Bastl at Wimbledon he knew it was over :tears:
That really was the beginning of the end, wash't it? And wasn't he miffed that he was put on court 2 for that match? Somehow it was the organizers saying -- Go to the corner, goatboy. Your day is done.

Sampras did decline, even though he managed to win the USO. He had a big losing streak in tournaments before the USO. But the great champions are able to pull it together particularly at Slams where they get a day's rest between matches. Sampras did significantly better at slams than at regular tournaments for a period of time. I expect the same will be true for Federer when his career wanes.

But, every player is different. Borg just quit. McEnroe defeating him at Wimbledon was the signal of the end for him in his mind. There were some matches after that, but not many.

Edberg, my all time favorite, seemed to lose something after he had a baby. But, really I think it was just getting older and losing a bit of his quickness.

McEnroe burned out. He also flirted with drugs and had a stormy marriage. He was never the same after he took off for 6 months to recharge. I think that's one of the reasons Federer doesn't want to be away from the game for a significant period. Ivan Lendl who was once asked why he played so much and didn't take off time replied that if McEnroe with all his talent couldn't recover from a long lay off, he, Lendl, certainly couldn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
But federer's 26 going on 27. sampras won his last slam at 31. Thats a BIG difference. I dont think he'll be on a decline for 4 years. Too long. And thats why I think he'll have an up and down decline.
 

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But federer's 26 going on 27. sampras won his last slam at 31. Thats a BIG difference. I dont think he'll be on a decline for 4 years. Too long. And thats why I think he'll have an up and down decline.
You could be right, but you should remember that Sampras's decline unfolded over a long period too. I think Sampras just barely turned 31 when he won. Doesn't his birthday fall during the USO? Or do I have him mixed up with someone else?

There's no rule about it. The only thing is that people lose athletic ability as they grow older. In tennis generally one sees the decline began around 26 or 27, but that is not always the case. Some players have their best years after age 25 although they don't win grand slams. It would be interesting if someone would post how many slams have been won at age 27 and after.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yea like Nalbandian. Cant think of anyone whoas having a lot of success (thats winning title not good matches) after 24/25...
 

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You could be right, but you should remember that Sampras's decline unfolded over a long period too. I think Sampras just barely turned 31 when he won. Doesn't his birthday fall during the USO? Or do I have him mixed up with someone else?

There's no rule about it. The only thing is that people lose athletic ability as they grow older. In tennis generally one sees the decline began around 26 or 27, but that is not always the case. Some players have their best years after age 25 although they don't win grand slams. It would be interesting if someone would post how many slams have been won at age 27 and after.
Before USO. His birthday is Aug 12.

And Sampras was around the age of Roger now when he started to decline. Not totally dropped from the rader but not as dominant. He was under great stress at the end of 1998 to maintain a 6 year ending as #1 that he had major hair lost. That's where the bald spot you can see on him now comes from.
 

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I just looked up a few guys. I think, if my arithmetic and eyesight is accurate, that Becker won the Australian open when he was 28. Edberg's last slam was at 26 and McEnroe's at 25. Lendl won Australia when he was 29, nearly 30. I didn't remember that at all. He won it the year before that too. He won the USO and RG at agd 27.
 
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