A glimpse into the Agassi-Sampras rivalry

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by illkhiboy, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. illkhiboy

    illkhiboy Hall of Fame

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    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.
    Third Set Tie Break

    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.

    Sampras served a personal best 37 aces that day—often on second serves—and yet faced 13 break points, saving 10 of them. Twice in successive games, he went down 0-40 and 15-40, only to come up with big serves to bail himself out.

    For the full article, please go here:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/...andre-agassi-a-glimpse-into-the-great-rivalry
     
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  2. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    I think the lame consensus that Agassi didn't focus on tennis until 1999 is outright ludicrous.

    How does someone win slams, Davis Cups, Olympic Gold, and make slam finals without being focused on tennis?
     
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  3. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    of course it is, especially if it is an inconvenient factor in Pete's supposed dominance over his nearest "rival".
     
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  4. illkhiboy

    illkhiboy Hall of Fame

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    I think it's safe to say Agassi wasn't 'entirely' focused' on tennis as opposed to he wasn't focused at all. Seeing that many use imprecise language and seem to assert it was the latter, I can see why you'd think this is ludicrous.

    If you read through his book, you'll see that he had many mental lapses during his career, and it wasn't until end of 1997 that he re-dedicated himself to the game. Essentially, the reformation didn't produce results until mid-1999 in Slams although 1998 was a great year for Agassi in that he won many tournaments and got to no. 6 in the world.

    I think it's also worth mentioning that Agassi's fluctuations in the 90s were in part due to injuries. He injured his wrist in 1993 and it took him a while to return to his best on the circuit. At the end of 1995 he got injured again and missed the indoor season (which by the way is the only reason Sampras got the year-end ranking).

    He himself says that during 1996 he wasn't truly focused on his game - though he did commit to the Olympics and ended up winning the title.
     
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