greatest retirement of all time

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by tacou, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    tennis is an interesting sport in that you can spend 4-10 years at the upper echelons, and then in a year or two completely fall off the face of the earth and retire in obscurity (I'm thinking Moya, and injured players like Ferrero and Gonzalez).

    so, who has the best retirement of all time? I know there are more enlightened historians on this board than me but I've got to go with Pete. Winning a slam in your last match ever is really the only way to go out.
    any other contenders?
     
  2. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    It depends on the kind of story you want to write. Sampras wanted to write a very American story, with a triumphant ending.

    It doesn't have to be that way. If he'd played another year, even without any success, he would have still had his 14 majors.

    Some guys play longer and don't win anything for years. But if they're having fun the whole way through then there's nothing wrong with that.
     
  3. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Hall of Fame

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    This is a very interesting question. I think Cyborg has it right though it really depends on the story you want to write. If Pete had chosen to keep playing would you have thought of him at all? I'm not so sure. Agassi comes to mind as an example of continuing and fizzling, if he had retired after the 2005 US Open instead of the 2006 one, he would be looked at as having his last run being a memorable marathon one to a slam final..instead of seemingly limping into retirement throughout a sort of lackluster 2006.
     
  4. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Connors, for two reasons. !) kept competing out of love for the game, even when he really had no real chance to win the big one, thrilling us until he was nearly 40. Sampras, in this regard, left me cold. His need to go out on top only means he had love for himself, not for the game. 2) Connors never went through the narcissistic fanfare of announcing retirement, just gradually played less and less until he didn't play at all.
     
  5. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, but as much as I love Connor's grinding out until he is 40, that is something only he can do. I don't think Sampras or even Federer would be able to pull that off, they are too graceful to grind and lose first round after 4th round waiting for the stars to align.
     
  6. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Nonsensical. Sampras retiring in that way "only means he had love for himself, not for the game." Hopefully I don't need to expand on the innumerable problems with that statement.

    But even worse...to point at JIMMY CONNORS. JIMMY CONNORS!!!

    Jimmy didnt' announce retirement for 2 reasons:
    1.didn't want to admit it was over
    2.kept hedging his options on another comeback
    3.he was no longer physically able to play out a full season

    The only reason #2 didn't happen is he found a way to get more attention, and be the #1 again on his seniors tour. EVEN THEN, he kept suggesting an ATP comeback might happen.

    Jimmy most definitely DOES NOT LOVE the game.

    Jimmy loves JIMMY. Jimmy loves WINNING. Jimmy loves money. I don't recall Jimmy ever sacrificing anything to help the game...I do recall numerous times over his career, an unwillingness to help the game when he could have! (maybe someone else can remember Jimmy altruisim and sacrifice to the game??)

    Having said that, Jimmy did help the game immensely....possibly more than any other person....it's just it was an unintentional byproduct of helping Jimmy...
     
  7. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    I probably would not have thought of him, no, but the reality is why I thought of him. Agassi is for sure an interesting choice, Nadal at Wimbledon was hyped and I think the first set was decent/USO vs Baghdatis was classic.
    However the Connors example is precisely why I raise the question, playing less and less until you disappear seems ...."anti-climactic" to me.
    I like Agassi though. Any other memorable last matches? What was Connors last match, exactly?
     
  8. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    LOL..if anything the reverse. Connors kept playing because he loved the $$$ and milked whatever he could out of the fans and the game for this.
    pathetic
    not only that he had no respect for the game or himself playing someone who
    is nowhere near as good a player as he is...then "goes through the motions"

    now how "going through the motions" translates to respect for the game i don't know.
    by contrast...borg and especially sampras knew their ending as good players was near and thus didn't BS fans in paying money for seeing "a great player" when in reality it was crap play from a washed up player due to age.

    then Connors has the nerve to say he was one of the most competitive

    just LOL
     
  9. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    borg really ?

    ending was near with a FO win and finals at USO and wimby in 81 ? really ??????

    He was just mentally burnt out , that's it ....
     
  10. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    sampras retirement would have been fantastic if he retired directly after the win. unfortunately he waited one year without playing and making anyone guess before he announced his retirement. still a good one.

    agassis retirement was a bit late his body was totally shot at 35. one or 2 years ago he was still very good he should have retired then.
     
  11. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    true borg had complications like maybe overplay and stuff...but my general theme is players "hang on" too long..they are delusional ones..or else they are milking the sport.

    anyway...we were looking for you in the odds and ends thread about india winning the CWC.
     
  12. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    hmm, have posted elsewhere about that , but not here, will look into them :)
     
  13. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    How about the great or maybe GOAT Pancho Gonzales ...

    He really never retired and continued to beat top players even when he was in his 40s. He passed away in 1995 and I think was 67. There were alot of players that wished he would have just retired since his competitive nature and personality was very abrasive. The only other player that may come close to surpassing his longevity playing achievements is maybe McEnroe. Some players just cant retire and thats whats soo nice about golf, they can basically keep playing (for big $$$) as long as thier bodies hold up.
     
  14. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    ~I hate losing more than I love winning~
    -J Connors

    He underwrote, played in and contributed to so many good causes without taking an ounce of credit.
    He was a Davis Cup stalwart.
    He wore his Davis Cup jacket whenever he could, even when it was over 80 degrees.
    He looked up to Arthur Ashe.
    He took a real stand against apartheid-era South Africa (playing for huge money in Sun City).

    Oh, wait a minute. I'm thinking of McEnroe. Never mind.

    EDIT:
    Back on topic.
    Pete Sampras somehow winning his last slam final. The only thing I can think of that might be cooler is to play your last match at the Davis Cup final. And you beat the world no. one in five sets in the fifth rubber. And you drink champale from the Davis Cup with all of your teammates.
    EDIT: I wish this for Roger Federer at Davis Cup.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  15. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Evert retired fully in '89 but stopped seriously competing after '88 having won a couple last tournaments, reaching the finals in Australia , the semis at W and the open and loosing in the 3rd rd of the french. Chris did get two victories over Martina . She entered only two majors in 89 and got to the semis in one and the quarters in the other and ended up #4 in the world, her lowest ever.
     
  16. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    LOL. For a second there, I thought you truly were truly MAD.
     
  17. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    LOL. For a second there, I thought you truly were truly MAD.
     
  18. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Steffi Graf was more impressive:

    Won FO 1999 beating the #2, #3 and #1 player. The final was voted greatest ever open era women's match by fans shortly after.
    Went on to make the Wimbledon final 4 few weeks later.
    Had to retire injured in her next and last ever match 4 weeks after that.
    Ended her glorious career being #3 in the WTA rankings, highest ranking ever for a retiring player.
     
  19. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

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    I don't think a retirement is an achievement. So we should not rate it as good or poor. For professional sportsmen the retirements comes in very young age. So its just the matter of setting the right priorities and figuring out what's up next.

    I like the way Sampras retired and equally like the way Agassi retired. The way an athlete retires is a reflection of their personalities.

    Sampras being the clear headed and focused person throughout his career, knew when and how he wanted to retire. For one last time he wanted to show his best on the surface that suited him the best and retire on a high note. But when he realized that he cannot give his best at wimbledon, he did not bother playing. He could have decided to play thinking he may get a lucky draw. But he was not after the trophy.

    On the other hand as much as Agassi hated the game, he took very very long time to figure out what's next. So he just kept playing. What made his retirement memorable was his speech, and it did not matter at all that his retirement came in the 3rd round of US Open.

    I think we should just leave it to the individual to decide when and how to retire. Even if someone keeps playing and never gets back to their peak level again, it does not undermine their achievements from the past.

    -Josh
     
  20. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I absolutely agree but those matches still matter. If they miscalculate their chances, its on them. Those late career decisions are a part of their legacy and record as much as their peak years or early years. Fans come to watch and spend their money based on their legacy as champions. I get frustrated when we dismiss losses as non peak performances, cherry picking which matches and time frames we will consider. Former champions deserve to retire as they wish and play as they wish, but they are not immunized from the judgments History provides from inconsistent or lackluster play. so Connors or Graf, Rosewall, or King, Agassi, or Evert get the glory of surpassing expectations, they also get the criticism when they disappoint
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  21. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    For me this is an easy one: Goran Ivanisevic
     
  22. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    Nevermind, why did I think Goran retired after his Wimby win?
     
  23. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    this one is easy.

    anna pournikova.
     
  24. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    I thought Edbergs farewell tour was the best and classiest as he stated it would be his last year and put it on the line in all the majors.

    Rafters was horrible as he was pretty much peaking game wise and just took some time off, got lazy, and kept teasing us that he would be back.

    Gugas was the saddest as it lasted about 5 years.

    Sampras sounds good looking back but people forget that going into 2002 US Open he was determined to play a full schedule in 2003. He basically just cowarded out.

    Courier just burnt out and stopped (The Lipton I think)

    Chang competed until the end

    Agassi's was a gimic
     
  25. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    I still think Steffi retired too early. She was still competitive though not dominant when she decided to retire.

    Had she played 2 more years,she probably could even or surprass the grand slam titles record hold by Court.

    But still glad to see she enjoy her retirement pretty well.
     
  26. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Steffi knew that she had reached GOAT status after her FO 99 win.
    Why continue to play?
     
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I believe she had a lot of injuries also. She accomplished everything so why put up with the pain and suffering to stay number one.
     
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is a great post.As much an ******* as John was playing, he was also a guy with principles and ethics, a true Democrat New Yorker and a really honest and good faith man.This has nothing to do with antics or opinions as commentator ( which are clearly interested), but if you can think of a man ready to help a cause, he is your man...look at what has he done with his school in New York

    Guys like Vitas,Bjorn,Guillermo or Arthur, who knew the inside of Mac, genuinely liked him, he was, above all, a true friend of his friends and an extremely loyal guy ( ask carrillo,Shriver,Fleming,and those mentioned)
     
  29. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    You mean, like Charles Rangel?
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Who is Charles Rangel? I refeered to John Patrick Mc Enroe I
     
  31. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    A true Democratic New Yorker.
    With ethics problems.
     
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Then he is not closer to Mac, who was always a golden heart guy.He´s made a lot of contributions he doesn´t even talk about.

    When Steffi´s husband gives a dime to a poor guy in the street, he´s got 100 journalists around him and making a saint off him.

    And they call it justice...
     
  33. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    Plus he played his last tournament / match in his home country where I've read there wasn't a dry eye in the house. A few weeks later, he participated on his last Davis Cup team, also in Sweden, against France. Due to an injury, he didn't play his second singles match but at the conclusion of the tie, was carried on the shoulders of French captain Yannick Noah around the arena.
     
  34. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I agree on Agassi (most contrived and painfully pathetic retirement speech...and I was moved until he took the mic!). I agree completely on Edberg....I agree on Chang...agree on Rafter.

    I disagree on Sampras...I really don't think he "cowarded" out...he really didn't have much to be "afraid" of except not having AS storybook an ending...but he was very candid about that! He talked about balancing the desire for the fairy-tale ending, with his true desire to keep playing...vs the hard work, and he admitted, that early in 2003, he wasn't sure which was which, and he was just waiting to see if the hunger would come back suffiently to keep going for the wins.

    That's what makes the difference to me....he admitted that now he was unsure...and he was hesitating...just not sure if his heart would truly be into keeping it up. I thought it was something any competitor could relate to, and I didn't begrudge him deciding that this was the peak, and he was satisfied. It actually took courage to walk away at that point also...it was realistic decision...he could have pretended to himself that he had the desire....or....just hoped for and easy slam win (which, at the level he was still playing, was quite possible).
     
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Any news about those rumoours concerning the DVU and the charming girl?
     
  36. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    How did Becker retire? Did he announce a planned retirement at a certain date or after a certain tournament, or just fade away?
     
  37. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    As much as Connors loved winning, he loved the challenge of playing matches even more. The challenge of avoiding a defeat in any given match mattered more to him than the love of winning. That is why his hunger for the game never waned. Had Connors only cared about the winning, there's no way he'd have been out there as a full-time tennis player until the end of 1992 and play his last ATP match in 1996.
     
  38. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Becker publicly said at 1997 Wimbledon after losing to Sampras in the quarter finals that he had "played his last match here", and that he'd only be playing a few more tournaments and wouldn't be playing any majors in 1998. He decided to play the 1997 US Open only to pull out because of the death of his manager, Alex Mayer-Wolden.

    Becker carried on playing smaller tournaments, and once the grass-court season came around in 1998, Becker seriously considered entering Wimbledon but decided against it. In the end, after another year of playing smaller tournaments, Becker decided to play 1999 Wimbledon and then retire. After a first round scare against Miles MacLagan, coming back from 2 sets and MPs down in the fourth set, he got to the fourth round where he lost to Patrick Rafter.
     
  39. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    Agassi for sure....
    He went out broken but never bent. That last match with Baghadthis was epic. Read 'OPEN' and realize the drama didn't only happen on the court but behind the scenes. Marcos and Andre lying on the physio tables, realizing even that the US open was over for both of them regardless of outcome.

    Andre didn't have to come out to play Benji Becker. He wanted to go out swinging and he though the fans deserved it. I've never seen Steffi, the ice queen, in tears.

    My vote goes to Agassi.
     
  40. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Then you haven't seen the Wimbledon 1989, FO 1992, FO 1995, FO 1999 finals.
    Or the Canadian Open 1994, the German Open 1991 and the Leipzig 1990 finals.
    Or the Wimbledon 1984 4th round against Durie.
    Just to name a few.
     
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ....He was caught up in a closet:):)
     
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Oh....I guess you are talking about.....Steffi?

    Of course, I could be wrong...
     
  43. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    I know that it annoys you to the extreme - but I tend to correct all wrong statements about Graf.
    Spreading lies about her won't go unpunished here anymore. As you personally may have realised by now ...
     
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You keep avoiding some quiestions, my friend
     
  45. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Which QUESTION, jerk???
     
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    How did she help her husband overcome a real difficult personal problem with dose...
     
  47. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    How did she do it?
     
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I don´t know.You are the expert on Graf.You should know.
     
  49. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Which dose?
     
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    El ex tenista estadounidense Andre Agassi le enseñó una foto de su esposa, la ext tenista Stefi Graf, al mejor postor en una subasta en Taiwan parte de una exhibición de tenís. Mientras se estaba subastando una placa, Agassi dijo “Si pagas más de 4 mil dólares te mostraré una foto de mi esposa desnuda en mi teléfono”.

    Franz Chen, ejecutivo de la firma de manufactura de porcelana Franz Collection Inc, dijo que ganó la subasta por 7 mil dólares y Agassi le enseñó una foto de su esposa totalmente desnuda pero de espaldas. El honorable Chen no se quejo de esta imagen y en cambio complementó a Agassi por la belleza de su esposa, algo que fue bien recibido por el tenista. “Tenía una buena figura, y la foto era bastante artística”dijo Chen.

    Agassi está en Taiwan para jugar contra el tenista ruso Marat Safin como parte de una exhibición
     

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