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Serena Williams’ Ex-Coach Snubs Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for American Superstar in One Major Aspect of Tennis

Aravind Sekhar

Rafael Nadal's career going down the Pete Sampras and Roger Federer way

One of the former coaches of Serena Williams and Venus Williams, Rick Macci has made a surprising statement regarding the ATP Tour. During a podcast, Macci was asked about who he felt had the best running forehand on the Tour. Macci named Pete Sampras as his answer. The renowned coach felt that ‘Pistol Pete’ did it better than Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal has been known to finish points with his running forehand. But Macci chose to stay with Sampras on this occasion. The American player was an expert in hitting forehand winners through various angles. Sampras could hit a lob or the passing shot through his running forehand. His accuracy was on point while hitting shots from the baseline. Sampras generated pace but also had great control of the ball while coming to the net and hitting the shot.

The former World No.1 could hit cross court and down the line with his on the run forehand shot. One of his classic running forehand strokes were the ‘banana shots.’ The ball, after being initially being hit by Sampras, looks to go out but curves in before it bouncea to land inside the line. One of the few players who came close to achieving such perfection is Rafael Nadal but his not as good as Sampras when it came to hitting a lob shot with the running forehand.

Rick Macci praised Rafael Federer, Roger Nadal and Novak Djokovic but ultimately voted for the running forehand by Sampras. While players chose to hit it flat with power, Sampras had multiple choices to prepare his shot while being on the run. Since his retirement from the game in 2002, USA is yet to find his successor on the ATP Tour.

Pete Sampras still stands as last American legend on ATP Tour

Sampras hung up his racket at the age of 31 after winning the 2002 US Open. A year later, Andy Roddick won the US Open and was hoping to be the next star on the court. Roddick went on to reach 4 more Grand Slam finals in his career but lost all of them to Federer. He retired in 2012 at the age of 30. Only a handful of American players have tasted success after crossing 30 on the ATP Tour as the rest step away from the court by that time.

Roddick remains the last American man to reach a Grand Slam final. He was the runner up in the 2009 Wimbledon final. Roddick had also trained under Rick Macci during his career. Americans have always struggled against the top ranked players. Even though they had recorded victories on the tour, it has been a major task during Grand Slams. Over the past few years, the States has been only been able to produce serving giants on the court.

In the current era, Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton have raised hopes on the Tour. They have done well but are yet to show their consistency in Grand Slams.

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Aravind Sekhar

Aravind Sekhar


Aravind Sekhar is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush. He has been following Tennis since 2010. While not following the sport online, he plays the game and works on improving his one handed backhand. He has completed his Masters in Applied Sociology. Apart from writing, he is passionate about picking up interesting statistics on players from the WTA and ATP tours.

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