AdamTheGreek wrote:Sampras' game was efficient and mostly consistent, not boring. No one has his serve-volley game. If anyone were to master it, they'd be winning countless grand slams right now. Even the best tennis players don't know how to consistently beat a superb serve-volley game.
I'm not going to claim I have the definitive answer for how people would handle Sampras' serve & volley game now. However when you mention "countless grand slams", I feel the need to make clear the level of dominance of Federer relative to Sampras outside of Wimbledon.
Sampras was basically unbeatable at Wimbledon for 8 years '93 to '00.
In that time period, he won 5 hard court majors, and appeared in 7 finals in 14 attempts. So his odds of getting to a Finals on hard court was about 50%.
Of course, the man couldn't dream of getting to the Finals at the French. So a 0% chance there.
From '04 to '10, Federer played 14 hard court majors. He won 9, and went to 11 finals. He was drastically more successful on hard court than Sampras in their respective primes.
Then there's the French, where he went to 4 finals in 7 attempts. Better than 50% chance, which means he was more dominant on even clay than Sampras was on hard court if you accept the premise that Nadal was essentially untouchable.
Sampras was unbeatable on grass. That's it. He was unbeatable on grass, and so much weaker than Federer on other surfaces, because his game was so amazingly dependent on how the ball played on grass.
So here's the key: If the grass courts truly has slowed down to the point that there isn't a major difference between it and hard courts, then Sampras would play today on grass a lot more like he did on hard court - not nearly as well as Federer. If players today are more adept at handling big serves in general, that's another push in the same direction.
But as I say, I can't say definitively how much things have chanced. All I do know is that things have changed to some degree, and now no one seems to be succeeding using the strategy Sampras and others used before.