Federer, Nadal, Sampras, and Agassi to Hit for Haiti in Indian Wells

http://www.bnpparibasopen.org/1/news/newsarticle_4167.asp

It’s nice to see that Roger will take part in yet another ‘hit for Haiti’ after he organized the one at the Australian Open. This one will be in Indian Wells and it will include the best 4 players of the last 20 years, who has won 44 grand slam titles between them:

Roger-16
Pete-14
Andre-8
Rafa-6

I don’t know what the match ups will be, but I would love to see Pete playing Rafa and Roger playing Andre. If all these players were in their primes you would have had very interesting match ups indeed. Therefore I am going to make a quick analysis for each match up between the new and old generation, assuming all players were in their primes.

Roger vs Pete

We have seen Roger against Pete at Wimbledon ’01, but neither was exactly in their primes, yet it was an epic battle.  Roger won 7-5 in the fifth set that day, and it was a turning point in his career. Considering that neither player was in their prime, Pete starting to wind down and Roger gaining speed, I think that was a pretty fair reflection of what would have happened between these two players in their primes. And remember, that match was played when the grass at Wimbledon was actually still playing like grass, which means that it was probably Pete’s favourite surface. Yet Roger still won. He just had that something extra, which frankly left Pete a bit shell shocked at times. I have no doubt that Roger would have had a positive head-to-head record against Pete had they played in the same era. The question is just how big a lead Roger would have had.

I think on hard court Roger would have won a good chunk of the matches. Pete’s best chance would have been on fast indoor surfaces, where he could use his serve-and-volley game very effectively. Other than that, Roger would have won something like 80% of their matches, especially on slow hard court. On clay it would have been no contest, because Roger is just in another league that Pete on the dirt. Roger can generate a lot more spin on the forehand if needed than Pete could, which means he could adapt better to clay. His movement on clay is better as well. Also his backhand is a lot more solid, and he has more variation with the slice. No ways Pete had the same drop shot that Roger has in his vast arsenal.

Possible h2h: Roger wins 7/10

Roger vs Andre

Roger and Andre played 11 matches against each other, since Andre played on tour until he was 35. Roger lost their first 3 matches, after which he owned Andre 8-0. When both are in their primes it makes for a good match up, but that match they played at the Masters Cup in 2003 tells us a lot, which Roger won 6-3, 6-0, 6-4. The way he embarrassed Andre that day shows us that when Roger is at his best, Andre was no match for him. But then again, who is? The only place where Andre would have had a good chance would have been on clay, which is a surface they never met on. Both have won the French Open, and that would have been a very interesting match up indeed. Outside of clay Roger’s artillery is to heavy for Andre, and he has too many ways to beat him. In my opinion Andre had the best ground strokes in the history of the game, but that wasn’t enough to beat Roger.

Not only could Roger match Andre from the baseline, but he could out serve him and approach the net effectively to make it even harder for the American. In general their matches on hard court would have been competitive, with Roger winning the biggest chunk of them. On grass I think Andre would have found it very hard, where Roger’s serve, volleys, and forehand would have done even more damage.

Real h2h: Roger wins 8/11

Rafa vs Pete

This is probably the most interesting match up for me personally. One thing about Pete was that he was very clutch. He played the big points extremely well. He had a bigger serve than Roger, and he had better killer instinct. He was maybe the most clutch player in history. Therefore I happen to think that he would have done very well against Rafa. That’s outside of clay of course, where he would have been slaughtered. We have seen how Rafa exploits Roger’s one handed backhand on clay. Can you imagine what he would have done to Pete? It would have been ugly. But as I said, outside of clay I would have liked Pete’s chances. In matches like Wimby ’08 and Oz Open ’09, Pete would not have had any problems closing out Rafa the way Roger had. On grass, especially fast grass, I don’t see Pete having any problems with Rafa at all. It could have been ugly as well.

On hard it would have been more competitive, but again I like Pete’s chances. He could use his serve to dominate and his volleys to shorten the points. I think you would have seen Pete being a lot more attacking than Roger have been against Rafa, putting him under constant pressure. Pete has the mentality necessary to take care of Rafa. Where Roger has been timid in the past, Pete would have gone in for the kill without a second’s hesitation. For this reason I would have loved to see them play each other in their primes, and I do believe Pete would have come out on top on most occasions. On grass and fast hard I would definitely favour Pete, but even on slow hard I think he would have gotten the job done.

Possible h2h: Pete wins 7/10


Rafa vs Andre

This is another interesting match up. Agassi have won 2 more majors than Rafa has won thus far, and it seems they are going to end up pretty close in the major count with Rafa slowing down. But of course Andre won the career slam, while it doesn’t look likely that Rafa will ever win the US Open to achieve the same feat. I definitely think Andre’s strokes are a little better suited for all surfaces. Had this been the era of fast grass, it’s very questionable whether Rafa would even have won Wimbledon. So for me Andre is the more complete player. Rafa on the other hand is mentally better. Like Pete, he is more clutch and has better killer instinct. This is talent vs mental strength. On clay Rafa is of course the favorite. On hard I think it would have been pretty close, with faster hard giving the advantage to Andre and vice versa with slow hard.

On grass again I think it would have been pretty close. I think in general Andre would have taken advantage of Rafa’s relatively weak serve, because he also probably had the best returns in history. This would have helped him to take control of the points early on. His two handed backhand was also one of the best ever, so I think he would have handled Rafa’s spinning cross court forehand quite well. Andre would have stood on the baseline, taking the ball early and trying to dominate the rallies. With Rafa’s counter punching skills it would have been hard though. It would have been attack vs defense from the base line, with neither player giving an inch.

Possible h2h: Even Stevens

Even though none of these players are in their prime anymore, with Roger being the closest, the exhibition matches in Indian Wells should be fun to watch. I’m sure these players will still take this seriously, and I have the idea Pete would like to prove a point of he comes up against Rafa. So I hope that match happens.

Finally, I have something very funny indeed for you if you haven’t seen it before. This video reminds me of myself when I watch Roger play against Murray haha. Of course the sub titles is not what the commentator is actually saying, but it sounds like it could have been which makes it even more funny. This is simply hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing:

Ps. This guy definitely gets my vote for being the biggest Fedfanatic on the planet :lol:

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7 Comments

  1. I wasn’t following tennis when Sampras was around, but from what little I have seen it seems that Sampras has more in common mentally with Nadal.

    They’re both ruthless winning machines. Mentally nothing fazes them because they’re insensitive to anything but the win. Playing a tennis match is for them a mechanical process. For Sampras it was: hold serve every time, wait for opponent to make a mistake, break. For Nadal it’s: get the ball back every time, exhaust opponent until they make a mistake, break.

    Even though I much prefer Sampras’ game to Nadal’s, I don’t think I could have rooted for him as a player like I do Federer. There’s just something about his on-court manner that leaves me cold, as there is with Nadal.

    Federer and Agassi are both entertainers. Federer is an artist, he loves to make beautiful shots and to appreciate beautiful shots. He radiates pleasure in the game. And Agassi is from Vegas, a born showman, arguing with officials, hustling on the court as he scrambles to hit insane baseline winners. They take more time to smell the roses, as it were. They show more soul and spirit on court.

    There’s more going on in their heads, they have to fight themselves mentally to get the win, which makes it more interesting for me.

    Sampras and Nadal are more like robots with one purpose, to destroy the opponent, and it’s harder for me to get behind them. It’s like rooting for the Terminator.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey Steve, enjoyed reading your comment. I think you summed it up very well ;-)

    [Reply]

  2. OMG… the video was so funny… i will like to know wath this fedefanatic was saying in the A.O.FINAL…I will love my sportcomentators to be the same, in my country….

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    jason Reply:

    “I’ll give you all of my 4 wives & kids to you as bonus trophies. My wives will be very happy, too. It is such an honor to me to present you my wives as a converted Federerarism.”

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    LMFAO i think im gonna start watching this vidoe on a daily basis!

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  3. Just curious why you’d put that much more stock in Pete vs. Rafa given that the latter would likely batter the same weaker wing, i.e., the backhand, and Roger’s backhand is way better and so much more of a weapon than Pete’s. Plus, Rafa’s ability to get back ball after ball in play and rally endlessly would leave Pete frazzled. Corretja had Pete on the ropes at the USO and Rafa is way better than Alex. As far as a Pete vs. Rafa scenario is concerned, I’ll only concede grass and indoor carpet to the former and everything else to Rafa.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Because Pete would not have allowed to get his backhand exposed the way Roger has. He would have run around his backhand more and kept the points shorter. Also he would have approached the net much more, giving Rafa no chance to get rhythm for the back. On his own service games he would have used his serve and volleys to dominate. The reason why Roger has lost so many times to Rafa is more a bad mental match up than anything else. Pete on the other hand was a mental machine and would not get intimidated by Rafa at all. So yeah, i stand by what i said. Pete definitely owns this rivalry.

    [Reply]

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