Posted on: July 28, 2009 10:11 pm

Pete Sampras

The latest to come from Pete Sampras kind of disturbs me. According to Sampras, who just watched his record 14 Grand Slams get surpassed by Roger Federer comes out and says that he could beat Federer on grass if they were both in their prime.

Come on, Pete. You are better than this.

The reason that I take issue to this is because it doesn't matter who would beat who in a match. Federer holds the record now but that does not diminish what Sampras did. Sampras now just sounds like one of those sore losers who is trying to take shots at the person who passed the record. It's not like anyone thinks that Sampras isn't one of the greatest players to ever play the game, so why is he taking shots at Federer now? Roger would be the first to tell you how great of a champion Sampras is and how much he looks up to him.

He sounds like Hank Aaron and members of the 1972 undefeated Dolphins team. When Bonds passed Aaron for the all-time home run crown, Hank kept talking about how he wasn't going to show up, and how he did it the right way, and all this other nonsense. We all know Bonds cheated, but he still holds the record. And the Dolphins players when the Patriots were flirting with perfection (which by the way they should have achieved if it weren't for the luckiest catch in football history) kept talking about how much tougher and junk it was to play back then and all this other nonsense. Just shut up and support the greatness that is happening in front of you. And now we have Sampras taking a shot at Federer. Even though the shot is mild, the idea still remains the same.

At least this makes my opinion of 'Who is the greatest tennis player ever' a little bit easier. Until now both Sampras and Federer have shown how great of a champion they are on AND off the court. Now that Sampras seems like he's only a champ on the court and not off of it, there's only one conclusion to draw.

Category: Tennis
Posted on: June 8, 2009 6:45 pm

French Open Finals - A Disappointment

The French Open Finals were quite the disappointment in both the mens and womens side, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, the performance of Roger Federer was fantastic and kudos to him for finally breaking through his French Open woes to tie Pete Sampras. I'm not going to knock on the quality of the players so much as the quality of the actual matches. 

I'm going to start over on the women's side with Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova. This is the third grand slam final that Safina has made it to, and once again does not even show up for the final match, going down 6-4, 6-2. The match culminated on match point where Safina double-faults the title away. Now I'm not trying to take anything away from Kuznetsova, who had a great tournament, but as the world's number one player, the least you can do is win a set in a Grand Slam Final. In last year's French Open she was beaten by Ana Ivanovic (6-4, 6-3) and in this year's Australian Open she was beaten by Serena Williams (6-0, 6-3). We all know she can play, and she certainly proved it during the tournament, dropping only 5 games in her first 5 matches, but when it comes to pressure situations with a title on the line, she has just folded. The sad part to me is that by reaching the final, she maintains her number one ranking. I find this "sad" because I think she could use some time away from that ranking. Usually when players are knocked off of that pedestal they tend to find themselves and don't get complacent, as well as relieves some of that pressure of being on the top.

The men's match was pretty much what the matchup said it would be. Soderling was a real nice story throughout the Open, only reaching as far as the third round in any other Grand Slam event prior to this. He just really didn't have an answer for Federer's game, falling 6-1, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 in the final. While this win was a feel-good story for Federer, it wasn't really a test by any means. In Federer's previous two matches against Haas and Del Potro, he had to come from behind in both matches and play his best tennis just to advance. His comeback against Tommy Haas was one of Federer's greatest performances that I've seen in recent time. How much better of a story would it have been for Roger Federer to come into Roland Garros and take the crown away from Rafael Nadal in the final? How great of a match could that have been? Whoever would have won, history would have been made. If Federer wins, he overcomes his French Open woes, he finally beats Nadal on clay on the biggest stage, and ties Pete Sampras for 14 Grand Slam titles. If Nadal wins, he becomes the first player ever to win 5 straight French Open titles, and his win streak on clay lives on. It was just not meant to be. Don't take anything away from Roger- I just think that this story, while great, could have been even greater.

The good news? Only 14 days until Wimbledon.

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