FanDuel - WFBC

November 24, 2007

Sampras defeats Federer in straight sets.: "Sampras never faced a break point and converted one of two against his opponent as he handed Federer a 7-6 (8), 6-4 defeat at the Venetian Macao arena, wrapping up a three-match Asian exhibition series between the two tennis greats."

posted by mr_crash_davis to tennis at 07:01 PM - 10 comments

Surprised to see Federer lose.But it's just an exhibition match.Federer by far one of the greatest players to ever play tennis as his 68-9 record shows.

posted by Ghastly1 at 01:48 PM on November 25

What the fuck. Seriously, this happened? I'd love to see some video.

posted by flammable carrot at 10:02 PM on November 25

Federer by far one of the greatest players to ever play tennis as his 68-9 record shows. "By far one of the..."? Hard to argue with that... When Federer wins the French - and a Grand Slam with it - we can talk about him over Laver.

posted by bobfoot at 10:14 PM on November 25

Federer by far one of the greatest players to ever play tennis Also: water, wet. Oxygen, breathable. I'd give anything to see Federer now vs. Sampras at his prime at Wimbledon, but I guess that's for the future video-game programmers of the world to give me. It'd be a very, very compelling treat.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:45 PM on November 25

I didn't see the match, but I'm not that surprised. I think Sampras has been watching Federer and had a game plan to beat him for some time.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:16 AM on November 26

I saw this match via highlights on ESPN and Sampras had Federer beat from the get-go. I know that it was just an exhibition match & all but still. To see Sampras play tennis is still a work of art. Truly, one of the greatest to ever play the game versus another one of the all time greats. Classic match.

posted by BornIcon at 08:26 AM on November 26

I watched (and recorded all 3 of these matches ). There was very little to decide any of the 3 - even the first.. The last was played on the fastest surface. It seemed more like an old time indoor surface. Given Sampras's still magnificent serve, great volleys, athleticism, and attacking style. I am not so surprised by the result. Both Sampras and Federer occupy the athletic stratosphere where many things are possible. Pete was and is a great player.

posted by Jay Nine at 10:30 AM on November 26

I didn't see the matches as some of you have but I'm willing to bet you'd see a much different result if Federer could meet Sampras in the next 4 Grand Slams. Roger had to be holding back a bit in the interest of an exhibition series with a revered former player. When Federer wins the French - and a Grand Slam with it - we can talk about him over Laver. Did Laver ever have to play such a dominant clay courter as Nadal at the French?

posted by 1959Giants at 11:07 AM on November 26

I too would be willing to chalk this up to Sampras at 100% effort beating Roger at 80% effort. Pete's only 36, and he didn't leave the game because of deterioration of his skills. The power-baseline era we're currently in has endured as a playing style in no small part because Sampras showed an entire generation of players how to use the court as a big muscular chessboard. What makes Federer great is that he has skills and styles in his bag that Sampras doesn't. He can dink and dunk with the best of them, his angles are sharper than anyone else in his generation, and he's very nearly the best clay court player in the world (in an era with Rafa Nadal, the best clay court player since Pancho Gonzales). If Roger decided to play Pete's game, the prevailing style of the current era and one which Sampras was instrumental in developing and mastering, then that's a fair fight. (And Sampras of '95 vs. Federer of '07 would be a match for the ages.) But if this was for his life (or a major), then the other styles would come out of Roger's bag, and Pete as not-all-that-far-from-his-prime as he is, would have some problems keeping up. Still. That would have been a hell of a match to watch.

posted by chicobangs at 11:29 AM on November 26

Did Laver ever have to play such a dominant clay courter as Nadal at the French? Interesting question, but moot to my point. Comparing two players in any sport when generations apart is fun to consider, but impossible, if only because of game changes, technology, nutrition and pharmacology. The only way to compare them, in my opinion, is to see how good they were compared to their peers. Laver won two grand slams against his peers.

posted by bobfoot at 09:24 PM on November 26

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