Rivalries that people predicted to become huge, which never really materialized

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by grafrules, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    What are some rivalries that people were predicting to become great, which may have become quite good but nowhere near the expectations once placed upon them (to varying degrees, some missing by more extreme then others). Here are some off the top of my head:

    Women:

    Graf vs Sabatini
    Navratilova vs Mandlikova
    Evert vs Goolagong
    Henin vs Clijsters
    Serena vs Venus
    Austin vs Jaeger
    Seles vs Capriati

    Men:

    Federer vs Roddick
    Federer vs Safin
    Sampras vs Ivanisevic
    Kuerten vs Ferrero
    Agassi vs Courier
     
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  2. Conquistador

    Conquistador Banned

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    Hewitt vs Safin
     
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  3. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    Philippoussis vs Sampras
    Hingis vs Serena
    Kournikova vs Hingis (the sexiest 1 sided rivalry (or lack there of)) :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
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  4. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Hmmm I thought that ended up being a pretty good rivalry and it lasted a good 4 years or so.
     
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  5. PCXL-Fan

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  6. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Venus vs Henin
    Jaeger vs a Number of people in the 80's before she quit to eventually become a nun
    Austin vs Evert & Navaratilova (these were both good...but Austins injuries and Car Crash stopped them from being phenominal)


    and I would Echo Grafrules mens list.
     
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  7. PCXL-Fan

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  8. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Venus and Justine went from January 2003 to September 2007 without even playing a match!! That alone shows so much of what is wrong with womens tennis of late.
     
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  9. talock

    talock Rookie

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    maybe to easy, but i feel like this list begins and ends with Serena vs. Venus. nothing in tennis over the last 20 years was more overhyped than that rivalry.
     
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  10. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Yeah especialy when 90% of their matches are a huge dissapointment at minimum. Their match at this years U.S Open was the worst yet since Venus didnt even try and hide tanking all those set points in both sets on purporse.
     
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  11. talock

    talock Rookie

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    it's so weird, too. when i play my brother i want to beat him more than i want to beat anyone else i play, cause it's sibling rivalry piled on top of a competitive tennis rivalry. whether it's nerves (more likely) or on purpose, it certainly SEEMS like they take it easy on each other when they play. i just don't get it, cause they've played each other more than they've played anyone else in their lives, but they just seem so uncomfortable.

    the weirdest/worst matches to watch, by far.
     
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  12. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    For me, this one was very, VERY dissapointing.

    Especially when one looks at their back-to-back matches at the year end championhips in 2004, followed by the AO semis (2005). The quality of tennis in those matches was unreal.
     
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  13. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    I know...but after there first 2 matches head to head in '01...every was expecting a huge battle through the years...and until 2007 at the us open...it was all Venus, and given Justine's game one would have thought she would have done better than 2-7 against Venus
     
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  14. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    Baggy vs Nadal.

    r,
    eagle
     
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  15. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    drakulie, I recently got into an argument with a ********* over this.

    I will say right now I respect Federer for what heis and he has great claim to GOAT...but....WHERE ARE FEDERER"S RIVALS.

    Where are federer's rvials from the late's70's generation or his own.

    Sampras had to deal with EDBERG,born66...Becker .born 67, stich born68.
    ok ok...so that's the equivalent to fed's competition late 70's...

    the best I can come up with are Guga 76, Scud,late 76,kefier 77,haas78.

    Of these they are great players but just "didn't turnup" for whatever reason,
    often injury...in keifer's case i don't know...don't mention blake:twisted:

    OK let's look at his contemporaries SAFIN...totally agree with you>>>>>>>>

    WTF happened post AO05 to safin....OK How about Ferero gone AWOL.

    In the end only Roddick "stayed"..hewitt great player but racquet technology and slower courts hurt him immeasureably too......so instead we get a whole
    bunch of "young gun" types coming thru ala baggy in 06 or Nole...who are
    not reached potential yet.

    In the late 90's, sampras had resurgent agassi to deal with and rafter,krajicek

    Federer's rivals didn't turn up...Pete's did more often(agassi 97 excepted)
     
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  16. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    I would say that Evert vs Goolagong was a great rivalry. Evonne beat Chris 13 times which is second only to Navratilova's 43 wins over Evert. Of course Evert still had command of their rivalry (26-13) because she was the much more consistent player and Goolagong (dubbed by the British press "Sunshine Supergirl") was known for her "walkabouts" on court.

    I do however agree with the other women's rivalries you mentioned.
     
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  17. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    The Ben Testerman vs Eric Fromm rivarly of the early 80's never really lived up to all the hype.

    Same thing with the Mark Kratzmann/Simon Youl clashes and the Eric Korita/Chip Hooper dynamic.

    I was really looking forward to some serious Thierry Tulasne/Ramesh Krishnan matches back in the day. Both had great junior careers.

    Brian Dunn and Brian MacPhie?
     
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  18. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Sadly for me, Vilas vs Borg :(
     
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  19. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    The only reason it is all Venus is that didnt play at all between the 2003 Australian Open until the 2007 U.S Open. From spring 2003 onwards Justine would have won almost every match they would have played, except on grass. Justine was the clearly superior player on everything but grass during that entire time basically. Of course Venus was no longer at her peak and Justine was now in hers, unlike the early years when a prime Venus dominated an undeveloped Henin. Clijsters and Davenport were completely dominating Henin during the same stretch Venus was, so I wouldnt say that tells us much for the future had they played more. The Venus dominance of Henin is basically akin to the Kafelnikov, Rafter, Hewitt, and Nalbandian dominance of Federer, if you know what I mean. Clijsters and Davenport didnt even go into massive decline the way Venus did, when Justine turned it around and began dominating them once she came into her own, making an extreme turnaround between Henin and Venus during that interim that much more likely had they so much as played one another. At the 2007 U.S Open Venus was probably playing her best non grass court event tennis since the 2003 Australian Open and it still wasnt enough to even get a set off Henin in the semis.

    Lots of times Venus was about to play Justine in the 4th round or quarters she did herself a favor and lost before then. She probably would have caught all the way up or passed Venus in head to head if Venus was even still good enough or consistent enough to get far enough to play her anymore (especialy if Henin still struggled so much on grass she rarely got far enough to play Venus there).
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
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  20. vbranis

    vbranis Professional

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    Coria vs. Ferrero
    Haas vs. Kiefer
     
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  21. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    I have always felt the Ferrero-Kuerten rivalry did never live up to its potential, simply because Kuerten played out of his mind every time they met on RG. There is no doubt in my mind that Ferrero would have had a record similar or slightly better than Bruguera on RG if it wasn't for Kuerten.
     
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  22. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    This is true, but it also didnt sustain. Kuerten went down with injury after 2001, and then Ferrero went down himself with illness/injury after 2003 and was no longer ever again near the very top on clay or in general. Ferrero had a problem with nerves at the French. He had Kuerten on the ropes at the 2000 French Open semis and couldnt put him away, he did not put up the expected battle in 2001 when they met again in the semis, he by most accounts choked away the 2002 final he was heavily favored to win vs a way past his prime Costa, and he got very tight as the favorite and nearly lost to Gonzalez in the 2003 quarters but was able to go on to win at last. Thank goodness he did, he is much too good a clay courter to not have won atleast one French Open.

    Their most brilliant matches were the 2000 French Open semifinal 5 setter, and the 2001 Rome final 5 setter. Outstanding stuff in both.
     
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  23. britbox

    britbox Rookie

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    Edberg and Becker are hardly Sampras generation, so at least compare like with like. Sampras didn't really "deal" with Edberg either - he played him twice in slams at the end of Stefan's career (in the competetive sense) and lost both - taking the combined total of one set.


    As for the original question...

    Sampras/Rafter - I had hoped this would develop a little more. No love lost between them at one point.

    Safin/Federer - Marat... What might have been... Followed him since the start of his career. OK, 2 slams, #1 and various Davis Cup achievements is not to be sniffed at but Safin should have achieved more.

    Graf/Sabatini - needed Sabatini to be more competetive.
    Graf/Seles - this was warming up nicely until the stabbing event.
     
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  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Fraser vs Laver
    Newcombe vs Smith
    Borg vs Lendl ( clay)
     
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  25. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Coria-Nadal
    Safin-Federer and Safin-Hewitt
     
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  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Newcombe and Smith was a decent rivalry but Newk always seemed to win the big matches. They played in the same group one year in WCT in 1974. Some called that group the John and Stan show because they were clearly the two best in the group. Newcombe dominated WCT that year and defeated Borg in the WCT championship final.
     
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  27. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Graf - Hingis
     
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  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, that is when Hunt´s tour had 3 groups with 21 players each.All the best played in those groups and the Dallas showcase was a booming thing.1974 and 1975 had that format but the 1974 finals casted one of the best if not the best ever field: Borg,Newcombe,Kodes,Nastase,Ashe,Okker,Smith,Laver.Just Connors ( who was the lone big name out of the tour) and Rosewall were missing.

    Impressive.
     
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  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, that would have been absolutely great.
     
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  30. RF-17-GOAT

    RF-17-GOAT Semi-Pro

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    Sharapova-Serena Williams
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Newcombe vs Roche.One got to glory, the other left great memories.Both made up the best ever doubles team, both last emperors of the greatest dinasty tennis has known.
     
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  32. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Best doubles team, after Hoad/Rosewall, who won more major titles.
     
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  33. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    Definitely Federer vs. Roddick.
     
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  34. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hewitt vs. Roddick.

    While still a rivalry that I've always felt as a Hewitt fan, it didn't become anywhere near as big as once predicted. When Hewitt beat Roddick in the 2001 US Open quarter finals, it looked set to arguably be the next big rivalry in tennis. Hewitt was even asked about the future prospects for the rivalry in his post-match interview.
     
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  35. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras Ivanesevic was the one I thought of
     
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  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    When Becker won his first Wimbledon there was huge buzz about a possible meeting with McEnroe at the USO. Back then Mac was still #1, so for a little while it seemed likely that Mac and Becker would be fighting each other at the top of the game. But that never really happened.
     
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  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Any HTH between both pairs?
     
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  38. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    I was at that match :D
     
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  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    One of the best ever DC matches,however
     
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  40. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    You must have enjoyed it? :)
     
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  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I wish we had seen more Borg vs Lendl big finals...it is the one really missing rivalry of the big band of the 80´s.We had an appetizer with their 1981 FO final...but that was it.

    Only Lendl and Mac were able to beat prime Borg in 5 sets.That must say something about how great that could have been.
     
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  42. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    There was the potential for that in 1968 and 1970.
     
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  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    But Rosewall teamed up with Stolle and not Hoad those years.Hoad would possibly cut down his doubles schedule because of his severe injuries and poor shape.Pitfully,IMO.
     
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  44. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad continued to play good doubles, and won the 1970 Barcelona final with Santana against Laver and Stolle.
    Hoad and Rosewall only played a few years together as a doubles team yet captured 15 major doubles titles, more than any other doubles team, even the Bryans.
    Hoad won innumerable doubles titles with partners other than Rosewall, and must have been the most prolific doubles titleist ever.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
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  45. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Yup.

    After that great final in Rome Coria fell apart.
     
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  46. Pebbles10

    Pebbles10 New User

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    Wilander vs Connors.....wilander never lost in a real competition against Jimmy:)
     
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  47. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Two really old women's rivalries

    One is Suzanne Lenglen against Helen Wills. Two women who were virtually unbeatable but only met once in their super famous match of 1927.

    Second one is Helen Wills against Alice Marble. Marble did not like Wills and I'm not sure if they ever met in competition but if Wills continued to play it would have been interesting. Marble probably would have won most of the matches considering how much younger she was.
     
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  48. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Yes to see Safin at his best against a top Federer was incredible to watch. The Australian semi was shocking good. Safin is one of the players that really annoys you because he never fulfilled his truth potential.
     
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  49. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Safin still achieved a lot for an underachiever. He won 2 majors, 5 masters series, 2 Davis Cups with Russia, 15 tournaments in all and spent 9 weeks as world number 1.
     
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  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Rosewall has won more doubles titles than Hoad.

    In that Barcelona tournament Laver played with Gimeno, not Stolle.
     
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