Sampras ‘disappointed’ by remarks in Agassi’s book

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by TennisandMusic, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Tennis_Stringman

    Tennis_Stringman Rookie

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    Yeah think about it, if it was the reverse, AA owning Pete, Andre wouldn't be so bitter about tennis. Pete robbed him at the 1990 USO when Andre was criusing and was the overwelming favorite. No one knew who Sampras was in that final. AA was 2nd fiddle thoughout his entire career. If he won that first final and dominated Pete, he would have been happy as a pig in ****e.
     
  2. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    [chopin on nadal versus sampras]

    Yeah it would be interesting. It would probably come down to how well Nadal returned. I've seen Rafa get a bit bothered when he can't get a rhythm when he's playing a really aggressive player. Tsonga and Blake come to mind. And Pete's game is way more a-rhythmic than they could ever be. Pete could potentially drive Nadal crazy with the way he would go from playing like a guy ranked 100 in the world to GOAT and back again in a set. Rafa would definitely take advantage of Pete's backhand, but with all that spin, a person could say Nadal's balls would be easy pickings for Pete's volleys, but Nadal is one of the finest 2 shot passers I've ever seen. He knows if he hits a ball with all the spin he can generate, even if they get their racket on it, it's going to be a tough shot. So right behind Nadal's returns, the next most important determining factor might be how Pete can handle Nadal's spin on volleys.

    If Sampras' stop and go, stuttering, a-rhythmic style of play doesn't mentally bother Nadal, physically, I don't think there's much Pete can do against Nadal from the baseline. He's got explosive shots, but Wayne Ferreira showed how a good athlete can neutralize that explosiveness, and Nadal is a way better retriever than Wayne. Plus, Nadal has an amazing ability to take short slice balls and rip them with his forehand, something I've seen him do so many times against Federer. Physically, Nadal is capable of handling anything Pete can throw at him from the baseline.

    In the end, Pete wasn't doing awesome against some of the new generations best. Past his prime? Maybe or definitely, but even from the beginning, Hewitt, even at age 17, played Sampras tough, and at the end of their head to head, Hewitt had won 5 of their last 6 matches, including the last four. Hewitt hits a very different type of ball, one that is probably easier for Sampras to deal with. Maybe Leyton was better at returning with his flatter, more compact return swings, but just saying, with each generation, people have been taking bigger and bigger cuts on the return, and can pull passing shots off from more difficult positions.

    But I like Pete's game a lot more than I used to. I never really liked watching him play. Pete's matches were like a dialogue intensive independent film in a lot of ways, you really have to watch the whole thing to follow the plot and appreciate it. Pete's point management throughout a match was insane. We may never see anything like it again. Downside of that was if you just randomly pick a few minutes of Sampras to watch, it could be really boring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  3. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Probably true. And man, maybe Agassi would have turned into the biggest jerk in sports if he would have won all of the Grand Slam finals he first got into. Instead of the biggest philanthropist in sports.
     
  4. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Eh--I'm not saying that AA would not have been thrilled to be the greatest of his generation, but I think much of what AA is talking about in his book has a lot to do with his relationship with his father growing up, being forced to play tennis day in and day out, not having the opportunity to get a real education outside of tennis, his struggles to come to terms with his sense of "self." I think those are some of the big reasons he hated tennis. I don't think it was just about winning or losing for AA. Besides, he accomplished too much for me to think that he's "bitter" about his accomplishments, you know? I mean only he and Federer have won all four slams in the modern game.
     
  5. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yep, would be very interesting to see them play on today's grass and on rebound/plexicushion
     
  6. pistolTY

    pistolTY New User

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    I've just finished the Agassi book and enjoyed it tremendously. I intend to read the Sampras one shortly - which is funny as I was a massive massive Sampras fan (look at my screen name! I even modelled my serve on his!). Was Agassi a little harsh towards sampras in parts of the book? Yes. But emphasis on the little. I think Agassi showed us a very rare insight into the world of pro tennis, growing up as a prodigy and the pressures throughout, particularly as one of the very few superstars of tennis. One thing the book did was to show us again exactly what Agassi achieved in his career despite the family, social and fitness/tennis problems he was faced with. On top of that he started, towards the end of his career, setting up his foundation and getting involved in charity work - becoming a genuine and real philanthropist. I can't believe I'm saying this, but as a man, Sampras now falls short in my opinion. I do think Agassi is genuinely annoyed that Sampras won more slams, and that they seemed to come easier for Sampras, whereas he had to really work for them - I think this was the root of the tit for tat stuff in the book. Agassi could have risen above it. But even if the tipping incident wasn't true, the image of Sampras he paints has left an unsettling image of him when I look back. The old argument was Sampras was boring and one dimensional and I never used to think these things because the way he played was electrifying and entertaining enough. But he was definitely one dimensional in that he seems to me to have focused solely on himself and his ambition to break the record. And I cant help thinking of some bad form on Sampras's behalf when I look back at old tapes or you tube. A number of things annoy me - his interviews where he came across as quite dim when it came to the use of english (this is backed up by the incident at the hit for Haiti doubles where he just couldn't come up with a comeback to Agassi's quip - that in itself is truly remarkable in that here is Sampras, now in his late thirties, who simply did not have the maturity or intelligence to show that the remark didn't affect him even if it did and what's more his body language from that point onwards in that game cemented that fact); that he never really broke from the white shorts/white polo look despite being paid millions by Nike - I'm not saying he had to wear Agassi style clothes, not at all, but look how graceful Federer has looked and how many more kids he will have attracted to the game because of that and besides, Nike played a massive part in allowing Sampras to spend the rest of his retirement years swinging golf clubs; his hand shakes with some referees even after some big wins were so limp it makes me cringe (compare this to Federer); his being shy is really something he should have grown out of especially as a number one who has travelled the world; and last but not least - and this is I think what really pisses Agassi off is that he never really made an effort to give back. Yes he gave $100 per ace and did hit for Haiti, made donations, but he never had any big ideas to my knowledge - not like Agassi's or Federer's. So yes, Agassi may have been harsh, he is a winner with a killer instinct after all, but, and this is backed up by the reviews I have read of the Sampras bio, that it is quite statistical in nature, it therefore reflects the man, just as Agassi's is fireworks. Agassi has definitely led the more colourful life. So, for me, Sampras was the greater tennis player, statistically, but i'd take 8 slams and the grand slam over Sampras's 14. And I'd take it even sooner combined with the life experiences Agassi has had and continues to have. He may have had a whirlwind and at times controversial upbringing and career but it seems to have paved the way for a contented life post tennis.
     
  7. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    I read it. I liked it, but think the press exaggerated things when they said it was a tell all book with locker room secrets or things like that. They made it sound like he had told tons of stories that should be kept secret. I didn't really see what they were talking about, but it sure sold some books
     

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