let me educate you all...........
i don't quite know about jmac or edberg or anyone but the thing that sampras din't bother about french is quite true to an extent..........i actually feel that he did wonderfully well on clay, given his desire for clay, actually the lack of it...........why don't you all who said he tried everything on clay and failed, just go and check the records on how much clay court tennis he played, firstly? the only masters which he cared to participate regularly before the french open was rome, the then italian open..........he din't give a damn about the rest of the events, most of the times...........if he really wanted a french title that badly, he would have given himself a decent shot by playing a ton of clay court tennis and tuning up his game perfectly for the french.........but he din't and all he did was trying his best on the day itself, the RG..........also, let's not forget that pete is thrice a quarterfinalist and once a semifinalist at RG and taken out at that stage by players who are greats in the history, greats like bruguera, courier.........he was close to the french in 96 by beating both courier and bruguera and had one off day at the wrong time...........not at all bad for a player who din't give his best for the title..........and i don't know how many of you here are aware of this fact that sampras beat all these clay greats muster, bruguera and courier at the french open, which is quite a feat...........i don't understand why people often say sampras couldn't play on clay...........his lack of desire undid him at french open...........why don't you all just go and watch his matches against clay greats like courier, bruguera etc? he could rally with them neck and neck and certainly could play on clay..........
my favorite surfaces have always been the traditional surfaces...........both grass and clay equally...........i liked sampras' invincibility at wimbledon and kuerten's artistry at french...........both the surfaces are totally different to each other and demand totally different skills compared to each other..........but i slightly tend to agree that french is the toughest slam of all..........just for the reason that it needs one to grow up on clay to win it and also have the required strength to win it............wimbledon demands another set of skills to win..........both the slams are equally great, regardless of which is tougher to win............as Emma said, even many clay greats failed to win even a single wimbledon and of course the same with the case of grass greats when it comes to winning french...........primarily wimbledon is meant to be for sort of mixed tennis..........SNV mostly and baseline treat with all those amazing rallies.........we used to get that only at wimbledon, but not anymore though..........
someone was making fun of stitch for having won a wimbledon..........do they know how deceiving stitch's serve was and his ability at the net? look, it is all tastes when talking about which is great, baseline or SNV...........i am someone who likes both the styles and treat them equally..........i enjoy both the styles of game and that is one of the strongest reasons why i feel 90s is the toughest era of all..........for the standard and level of tennis in all styles it had..........
p.s. sampras won two of his slams on the dead slow rebound ace of australia...........and also made a final and two semifinals at australia, twice getting beaten by agassi and once by stefan edberg in the semis...........all this goes without saying that he did not take part in the 91, 92 and 99 editions of the slam...........
Goop post for the most part BUT one thing:
Sampras never beat any claycourt GREAT during their good days....beating Muster in 1991 or 1993? where he lost to my grandma on clay doesn't count or beating burn out Courier when he was losing to players rank out the top 75 on clay. Bruguera? Whe did Sampras beat Bruguera and what Bruguera did that year on clay? Is like Nadal taking credit for beating old Agassi at Wimbledon.
Sampras lost to Kafelnikov at RG.......far for a decent claycourter so please stop the superlatives since I'm smarter than that. What about Sampras losing in the 2RD and 1RD to qualifiers during his prime? To say Sampras was anything but mediocre on clay is to believe Muster was anything but mediocre outside of clay for example.
Sampras posted a miserable 90-64 record on clay....is not he didn't care, he just wasn't good enough with his game to adapt it to clay and that's why I praise Roger even more because it was obvious Roger was mediocre on clay but he worked hard at it and look at him...only second best to the GOAT of clay.
A spade is spade, making excuses for Pete on why he sucked on clay in relative terms to all time greats doesn't hide the facts he KNEW what the FO meant to his career....he tried and he failed!
hunting, i am talking from my experience...........not from any stats...........it's not like pete played clay court tennis like davydenko every event and yet failed to win even 1 event..........he just din't play enough clay tennis to win RG..........i remember a few of pete's clay matches post 95 period, particularly that monte carlo match where he blasted agassi out of the court in straight sets from the baseline..........was it in 99? but just a fews days ago, i downloaded his 96 match against courier and watched it..........let me say that sampras could play on clay and he is a fool who never tried enough to win the french.........courier was as usual getting away from sampras winning the first two sets, pounding sampras' backhand relentlessly...........sampras turned it around and won the last 3 sets..........it wasn't like courier was playing ordinary tennis..........i never ever saw sampras try that hard for french..........some of those endless rallies were amazing..........regardless of what bruguera or courier were at that time, beating both of them that too in one event and that too of the magnitude of frnech open is something special..........as a matter of fact, bruguera was to go on and reach the french final, the very next year..........
now which do you prefer? sampras avenging his clay defeats at the hands of clay legends at roland garros or federer losing time and again to the same player who is destined to be the greatest ever on clay? i prefer the former, for the reason that he showed some fight, beat those clay greats and proved a point.........no matter, however great nadal is on clay, how many times has federer even challenged him at the french open? now forget about him beating nadal.........
i don't mean to say that only sampras could play on clay and federer is useless..........but it's wrong to claim that federer is totally better than sampras on clay...........no way..........
p.s. sampras made quarterfinal of french from 92-94 and semifinal in 96...........
Do you refer to what legend?? At RG??
Pete on clay as I said several time was never a real threat for the big bosses on this surface and this during all his career..More specifically it is important to remember these facts ( but it is true you -Sarah- you are "talking from my experience'-..A guy that is following Tennis from less than 20 years is talking by experience..You have 22 years old man..Give us a break..Experience
* Ferrero: Never played Pete AT ALL (even outside RG)...
* Kuerten: Never played on clay against Pete- This was the main champion on the red stuff during Pete's career a sort of Rafa at his best (even better in the case of his BH BTW..)
* Muster: Played once in RG 1991: Pete victory..But then he lost at the second round against Thierry Champion (straight sets: 6-3 6-1 6-1)
* Corretja: Never played against Pete at RG
* Moya: Never played against Pete at RG
* Berasategui Never played Pete at RG -a part, if I remember well, a famous match and Pete's victory in 5 sets for the Davis Coup
* It remains Bruguera who played twice against Pete at RG 1993 & 1996...
As I said already, this last case is very interesting: Brugera played twice Pete at RG and in '93 was Sergi who was able to win when in '96 was Pete...BTW I have provide you some other examples, i.e.:
Pete '96 best year at RG. We have:
First Round Def. Magnus Gustafsson
Second Round Def. Sergi Bruguera serious opponent no doubt
Third Round Def. Todd Martin
Fourth Round Def. Scott Draper
Quarterfinals Def. Jim Courier serious opponent no doubt
Semi Lost to Yevgeny Kafelnikov
II season Pete'95, i.e the previous one to his best result at RG:
First Round Lost to Gilbert Schaller
Schaller is what in your history book an HoF on clay I guess...
III season, 2 seasons ahead the best one: '94 RG:
First Round Def. Albert Costa a serious opponent but his RG title was in 2002 FYI
Second Round Def. Marcelo Rios
Third Round Def. Paul Haarhuis
Fourth Round Def. Mikael Tillstrom
Quarterfinals Lost to Jim Courier serious opponent
Pete '97 RG:
First Round Def. Fabrice Santoro
Second Round Def. Francisco Clavet
Third Round Lost to Magnus Norman :
Pete draw in '98 RG:
First Round Def. Todd Martin
Second Round Lost to Ramon Delgado
Once again, I do not see this incredible amount of Monsters Lions and other beasts that should have prevented your so complete player to do something better on clay..
As a conclusion I definitely prefer the high standard consistency shown by FED during his peak seasons on clay, i.e. between '05-07 and evenm '08 ( a RG semi plus three RG finals) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> than Pete RG results..Which shows clearly that FED>>>>>>>>Pete on clay..