Tarango challenged Rafter to fist fight

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Yours!05, May 2, 2005.

  1. Yours!05

    Yours!05 Professional

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    #1
  2. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Tarango did want to be the next McEnroe as John was his idol and example. They both also played at Stanford. He probably just challenged Rafter to a fight as a form of gamemanship which surely worked since Pat not only remembers today but showed up after the match ready to get it on. Wonder what the score of that match was ? Jeff was probably slapped silly by his wife after the match :)
     
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  3. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Funny you should mention this Joe. Five minutes back I just watched an interview with Rafter on one of our better chat shows and he was asked who he had problems with on the tour. He named Rios, mentioned the Sampras period where there was tension between them and then nominated Tarango and the one who really tried to stick it to him when they were on court. I'll paraphrase him...

    "He (Tarango) thought he was going to be the next McEnroe - he just couldn't play tennis. Well - he could play a bit, but only well enough to be annoying".

    From most others that would sound pretty self satisfied but in Rafter's very low key way it was just another thoughtful answer to an interviewer. It was a very interesting interview. He really seems to be a very level headed fellow - a real credit to his family.
     
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  4. goober

    goober Legend

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    Hmm in the last part of the article Rafter says he is moving to France? Australia not doing it for him any more?
     
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  5. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    What kind of tension was a between him and Sampras? That's hard to imagine... I thought Pat was pretty easy going guy, and Sampras never got very worked up either. Anyone know the story of what started it between them? Just really competitive, both fighting for the top?
     
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  6. scoot

    scoot Rookie

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    I remember there was tension. A reporter asked Sampras once, "whats the difference between you and rafter" the reply "10 slams." I remember one year there was an almost incident between the two at one of the pre USO warmup tournaments I think it was Cincy but I dont remember the details - I think it involved a crucial line call.
     
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  7. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    Pete hit a serve that actually went through Rafter racket. Anyone else see that. Craziest thing. Not to long after that, Rafter started having shoulder problems.
     
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  8. obackvalobasha

    obackvalobasha Banned

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    it must have been returning all the pete's serves
     
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  9. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    There was a lot of tension between Rafter and Sampras around '97 and '98 when Rafter won his two US Open titles, dethroning Pete (who had won it the two previous years). During those two years, there were also a few really close matches between them at big tournaments like the Cincy and Canadian masters. I remember there was one that ended on a disputed line call on match point. Can't remember who won (think Rafter) but the loser was royally pissed off and didn't even want to shake hands. He was absolutely fuming! Anyway, I think it all came to a head during the US Open semis when they had a really tough match that Rafter won. Sampras even tried to disrupt Rafter's momentum late in the match by leaving the court to get a thigh message, something I've never seen Pete do before.
     
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  10. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    Dammit I missed all the good stuff while studying away in college...hrmph! Should've paid more attention around then!
     
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  11. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Yo, Pete was being a straight up trick during that time. I remember that disputed line call and Pete was wrong wrong wrong. If I remember correctly, the call wasn't even close, and I think Pete knew this, but persisted on complaining as if he was somehow entitled to get bad calls in his favor. I think the fact that Rafter didn't show him proper "respect" bothered him. Pat wasn't intimidated by Pete at all, and really took the fight to him. Pat admired Pete, but that wasn't enough for Sampras. I think he expected players to hand him games.

    Rafter was an amped up, intimidating dude. I think he may have been one of the biggest bad-arses on tour. But, who knows, I've certainly seen a lot of tough, big guys get completely destroyed in street fights.
     
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  12. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    And why do you think Rafter is moving to France? To play on the Senior Tour? (<< make traveling easier?)
     
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  13. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    Just want to clear up this Sampras-Rafter rift. They played in the final of Cincinnati in '98. Rafter had a match point in the 3rd set. He hit a serve out wide that was called out. The chair then overruled it & called the match for Rafter. Crowd started booing. Sampras curses out the chair(but does shake hands with Rafter)
    In the press conference after, Sampras is asked what is the difference between you & Rafter. Sampras says, "10 Slams. Just joking."

    Their next meeting was the semifinals of the US Open. It's a set a piece, Sampras is up a break in the 3rd when he pulls a quad. He can barely move, but is able to serve out the set. Rafter wins the last 2 sets easily over a hobbled Sampras.

    At this point, the tension between the 2 isn't really a big deal in the media. But Rafter does an interview with an Australian magazine in the summer of '99, saying Sampras is unpopular with the other players & isn't giving him credit for those 2 wins in '98.

    Now their rift becomes a big deal. Both players are asked about the interview at Cincinnati in '99. Rafter calls up Sampras & apologizes.

    Here's what Sampras said:

    PETE SAMPRAS: It was -- I think it all happened last year here, I lost a tough match, I said a few things and when you lose a tough match and you are a little emotional, I regretted some of the things I said. I have always respected Pat as a competitor, as a person, he is a standup guy. I think the media and in some way tried to twist and turn some things he said around to make it seem like we don't like each other; which is not the case. Pat is a standup guy. He called me the week of L.A. to kind of really clear the air of what has been happening. That is the best thing, we don't want to communicate through the press. We want to talk in the locker room and on the phone and it has really been fine.

    Q. Did you like that he called you?

    PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I was doing a press conference in L.A. and this Australian guy trying to stir something up kind of said a few things and I was a little surprised, but I don't think Pat is not that type of guy. He really isn't. I mean, he is one of the nicer guys on Tour. And to call me was definitely a lot of class.

    http://www.asapsports.com/tennis/1999atp/081499PS.html
     
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  14. Steve F.

    Steve F. Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for that link Yours, sure miss Rafter's play, glad I have a few on disk to pop in. Sure does sound like he's got an idea to play on the senior tour, saying he needs to be around for 3 or 4 years.

    Sidenote, gotta love that headline on the sidebar: "American Men Will Struggle on Clay." Since when is that news? LOL!
     
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  15. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Thanks for the clarification Kevin Pat. I never saw any of that. Pete won some points in my book.
     
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  16. Chloe

    Chloe Rookie

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    Tarango is so awesome.
     
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  17. scoot

    scoot Rookie

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    the mere thought of tarango in a wife-beater sends chills down my spine.
     
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  18. Chloe

    Chloe Rookie

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    Tarango was quite the stud in his day.
     
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  19. scoot

    scoot Rookie

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    In his day?? Honey, there was & never will be a stud as great as Tarango in the sport of tennis.
     
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  20. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    I think it was taken a bit out of context.

    That incident was the only time I watched Sampras go absolutely upset
    with the umpire. I agree with Sampras on this one. The call was too close
    to overrule on a match point (I think it was tie-breaker or something).
    But still I never saw Sampras go that crazy on line calls.
    When the umpire ignored him and left the chair, Sampras cursed him off
    badly. I could hear F words on TV.

    Sampras reportedly continued to get upset about it and talked about it
    on press for quite while like months, as I recall.
    But I don't think it ever was against Rafter. It was against that one line call.
    IMO, press took it a bit out of context and Rafter took it personally.
    Since that Rafter openly showed his dis-respect over Sampras.

    Before that incident, Rafter showed tremendous respect toward Sampras.
    Rafter said he was very disappointed with Sampras from that incident
    and he would no longer respect him as a great champion or something...
     
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  21. raftermania

    raftermania Banned

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    Thanks for the link Yours.

    Funny how quickly this thread turned from Rafter VS. Tarango to Rafter VS. Sampras! Great investigative tennis there KP, it sure cleared things up. But do you or anybody know what exactly happened during the Tarango/Rafter match that caused so much animosity to challenge a fist-fight?
     
    #21
  22. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    Rafter was winning.
     
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  23. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Does this mean that Rafter lacks respect for McEnroe, as well?

    The media blowing things out of proportion?! No.... tell me it ain't so...
     
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  24. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    I haven't gone to the link yet but I have a feeling it is a transcript from the television interview I saw last night.

    What Rafter didn't mention is that Sampras used to get offended when he (Pat) would go and f a r t in his direction in the locker room. That, apparently, was a sign that Rafter lacked respect for him in Sampras' eyes. As far as Rafter was concerned, he was just having fun. It's something most of the Aussies on the board would get a laugh out of. Pat's brother told me this story about 5 years ago now.
     
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  25. TennisD

    TennisD Semi-Pro

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    Tarango was an ass on the court, but according to one very reliable source I know, he was a hell of a guy off it. Really nice guy I was told.
     
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  26. scoot

    scoot Rookie

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    tell that to his wife who he smacked a round quite a few times.
     
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  27. 35ft6

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    And I think he was supposed to be one of the more intellectually curious and well-rounded guys on tour. Learning French, reading, etc.
     
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  28. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I also remember that after the U.S. Open later that year, Rafter was told of the quote. Rafter had won the Open and when he was told that, the press asked what he thought the difference was....Rafter replied "Looks like 9 slams now...." I thought that was classy.

    Tarango.....an old school Rusedski.....what a tool.
     
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  29. Chloe

    Chloe Rookie

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    This is true. He is missed.
     
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  30. TennisD

    TennisD Semi-Pro

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    Exactly what I was told. The guy who told me this was an ex world Top 100 and knew Tarango quite well. Says he was hell to play against, but a great guy off court!
     
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  31. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    How about this?
    ----------
    Q. You hear tales about hooking in the Juniors; kids talk about when there are no officials. Do you remember that from the Juniors?

    ANDRE AGASSI: Jeff Tarango - oh, did I say that (smiling)? Was I just thinking that, or did that come out?

    Yeah, it happens more in Juniors. I think also, too, there's so many cases in Juniors where a child has sort of additional pressure on him by any particular possible parent or situation. And, you know, you're a kid, and you live with your environment and you survive. So I've seen a lot of kids that wanted to be more honest than their parents (smiling).
    ----------
     
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  32. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    If I recall Marius, that is because Tarango once played a 7yr old Agassi and gave him such a bad/late call on match point that Agassi actually started crying.
     
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  33. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Elephantine memory (should we also say rancour?), Agassi has. 28 years later ...
     
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