Sampras: Homogenous playing styles aid Big 4 dominance

by: Matt Cronin | March 06, 2013

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Pete Sampras says that one of the reasons why men’s tennis’ Big 4 of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Rafael Nadal continue to dominate the sport is not because there is a lack of depth in the game, but because playing styles have become more homogenous.

“In my day there were more Grand Slam winners, Jim [Courier], Andre [Agassi] and me, and now it’s so dominant from the top 3-4 guys,” the 14-time Grand Slam champion told a small group of reporters at the LA Tennis Challenge. “The game today -- everyone sort of plays the same. There are four guys who are mentally and physically better than the rest, move better and compete a little harder, they physically are great athletes. How is a guy who is going to stay back going to beat Novak? It’s not going to happen. It's almost fitting they’ve been dominating, with the way things are and the way the way they are playing. They are much better at the same thing.”

However, Sampras did add that this year’s group of players might be the strongest ever.

“The guy ranked 50 today and is better than the guy ranked 50 ten years ago,” said the former No. 1. “They’ve gotten better, guys are big and strong. They are both top generations but with styles of play, I'd play [aggressive baseliner] Andre [Agassi] one day and [serve and volleyer] Boris [Becker] the next and it’s tough.

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