While Federer is a better tennis player than Sampras in almost all metrics (except Serve and Volley), he does not have Sampras’ mental strength. Not even close, And tennis, as they say, is a 100% mental game. You give Sampras all the gifts of a Federer and he would have reduced Nadal to tears. But then again this is a biased answer. I admit it. Guys like my younger cousins who were 17 when Federer was dominating will dismiss me as an old fart who has prematurely gone senile. They will point to Wimby 2001 R4 where Federer showed amazing composure to beat Sampras.
Macho man the cream of the crop shirtWell Federer had nothing to lose then. Of course he was composed, I answer. There is something about being 17. Everything is more vivid, colours are brighter, sounds are crisper, smells are more intoxicating and so on and so forth. Thus Sampras dominates my mind space in greatness. If you ask my uncle, the most impressive players for him is Bjorn Borg. He does not think Federer can match Borg for mental strength or Laver for net play. Well, they were the best players when my uncle was in his late teens. If you ask my one of my dad, Neither Borg nor Sampras were fit to be ball boys when Laver was playing. Why? My dad was 17 when Laver was dominating.