You want athleticism?
Sampras serves at 120 mph and plays the net with Savion Glover-like grace. Dominance? He just finished at No. 1 for the sixth straight year. With II Grand Slam titles, he trails only Roy Emerson (12) and is tied with Bj�rn Borg and Rod Laver—and he's 27. Don't judge him by his failure to win the sadly irrelevant French Open or compare him with Laver, who won nine of his Slam titles on grass and faced a far less diverse field.
Sampras is still down a break to Laver. The Rocket won the Grand Slam twice, was in the Top 10 at 37 and, unlike Sampras, excelled on clay and as a doubles player. Laver faced Ashe, Emerson, Newcombe and Rosewall; Sampras's success has come against...whom? A doddering Becker? An erratic Agassi? The enigma that is Goran Ivanisevic? Just because Sampras stands out against his peers doesn't mean he stands up against the past.
—L. Jon Wertheim