2010, Sports

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi: A Glimpse into the Great Rivalry

I think most people would agree that the current Federer and Nadal rivalry is greater than the Agassi-Sampras one.

For one, the former two have retained their dominance over the tour for a far longer period and meet each other a lot more often than Sampras and Agassi did.

While Sampras and Agassi clashed nine times in Slams over a 12-year period (1990-2002), Federer and Nadal have contested in seven Grand Slams in six years.

The Sampras-Agassi rivalry did not always live up to the hype, mainly because of Agassi’s sabbaticals. It wasn’t until 1998-99 that Agassi was entirely focused on tennis.

But that was around the time that Sampras’ motivation was beginning to wane.

Considering that, it’s not surprising that they only met in five Slam finals, or that a lot of their matches were one sided (20 of their 34 meetings were straight set affairs). However, they reserved their best for the Slams.

Their 2001 US Open quarterfinal was a masterpiece. That match is renowned for being a high quality affair, with no breaks of serve in four sets.

But it’s their 2000 Australian Open match that I remember more fondly—which is one of two five setters they played against each other.

Admittedly, for parts of this encounter, the quality lagged: Sampras was wildly erratic from the baseline. But I can’t think of a better display of serving and returning in the same match.

Read the full article on The Bleacher Report where video content is embedded on the page.


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