Height of awkwardness : Sampras/Federer and Agassi/Nadal

octogon

Hall of Fame
I might drill Federer, Djokovic and Nadal all day. But can't see them ever getting to this level. They are far too professional and humble.

I feel like Djokovic went through a short period, when he started winning big against Nadal and Federer that he started turning into a graceless winner. The over-the-top shirt ripping, gloating celebrations with his team etc. But I feel a lot of that was Djokovic being led astray by his father and his team, and his behaviour was being influenced by them. I think a big reason Federer had such a cold relationship with Djokovic for so long was because his father's actions and comments helped make things bitter.

It's actually quite impressive how Djokovic got over that hump and became as statesman-like as the other two. It's impressive that 3 players with so much legacy on the line against each other, can appear to have little animonsity. And you don"t hear from his dad that much anymore, and I suspect that was deliberate. He was hurting Novak's image.

To be fair as well, it took Federer a while to be respectful towards Nadal as a rival, but he got there in the end
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
I feel like Djokovic went through a short period, when he started winning big against Nadal and Federer that he started turning into a graceless winner. The over-the-top shirt ripping, gloating celebrations with his team etc. But I feel a lot of that was Djokovic being led astray by his father and his team, and his behaviour was being influenced by them. I think a big reason Federer had such a cold relationship with Djokovic for so long was because his father's actions and comments helped make things bitter.

It's actually quite impressive how Djokovic got over that hump and became as statesman-like as the other two. It's impressive that 3 players with so much legacy on the line against each other, can appear to have little animonsity. And you don"t hear from his dad that much anymore, and I suspect that was deliberate. He was hurting Novak's image.
Djokovic could have pushed the envelope even further as far as I'm concerned with his celebrations. Why should he hide how elated and happy he is to win? It's genuine and real. If people don't like it, tough ti**y. To come through and dethrone two GOATS should have drawn that reaction after being their understudy for 4 years. His father had nothing to do with why they didn't get along since that began long before he spoke up.

Djokovic has always been far more graceful in losing than two have been so if anything they finally reached his level. Lol. Well somewhat...Djokovic never spoke of any animosity against those two, ever, so clearly he's his own man and can think for himself.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Djokovic could have pushed the envelope even further as far as I'm concerned with his celebrations. Why should he hide how elated and happy he is to win? It's genuine and real. If people don't like it, tough ti**y. To come through and dethrone two GOATS should have drawn that reaction after being their understudy for 4 years. His father had nothing to do with why they didn't get along since that began long before he spoke up.

Djokovic has always been far more graceful in losing than two have been so if anything they finally reached his level. Lol. Well somewhat...Djokovic never spoke of any animosity against those two, ever, so clearly he's his own man and can think for himself.

Like I said, I don't blame Djokovic so much as the people around him at the time. Compared to what we were seeing in the rivalry between Nadal and Federer (ie Nadal comforting a tearful Fed after beating him in the Australian Open), it's easy to understand why some people saw the shirt-ripping stuff as classless by comparison.

And yes I agree, Novak is a very good loser.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Like I said, I don't blame Djokovic so much as the people around him at the time. Compared to what we were seeing in the rivalry between Nadal and Federer (ie Nadal comforting a tearful Fed after beating him in the Australian Open), it's easy to understand why some people saw the shirt-ripping stuff as classless by comparison.

And yes I agree, Novak is a very good loser.
Yeh, I think people forget that Fed was really bitter towards Nadal when he came along and starting owning him in the early days.
I remember plenty of interviews where Fed wasn't so appreciative of his young rival at the time.
Obviously he came to accept it, and now everything is all good with them, but Fed had this attitude towards pretty much everyone who dared to challenge him.
Andy Murray was on the end of it for a while also.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Like I said, I don't blame Djokovic so much as the people around him at the time. Compared to what we were seeing in the rivalry between Nadal and Federer (ie Nadal comforting a tearful Fed after beating him in the Australian Open), it's easy to understand why some people saw the shirt-ripping stuff as classless by comparison.

And yes I agree, Novak is a very good loser.
Why is there anyone to blame is my question? Sorry but I loved the shirt ripping and found it everything but classless. I can give you some examples of true classless moments I have witnessed from my point of view but choose not to today. Maybe that moment when Federer was crying on Nadal's shoulder stood out as a great moment of sportsmanship to many, but I just remember my mom asking me, why the hell is he crying? :notworthy: She probably was asking that after she sat and watched countless matches with me when Federer destroyed everyone in sight for years on end. So different strokes for different folks I guess but to me, people who complain about Djokovic's celebrations are usually fans of the player that lost those particular matches.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I feel like Djokovic went through a short period, when he started winning big against Nadal and Federer that he started turning into a graceless winner. The over-the-top shirt ripping, gloating celebrations with his team etc. But I feel a lot of that was Djokovic being led astray by his father and his team, and his behaviour was being influenced by them. I think a big reason Federer had such a cold relationship with Djokovic for so long was because his father's actions and comments helped make things bitter.

It's actually quite impressive how Djokovic got over that hump and became as statesman-like as the other two. It's impressive that 3 players with so much legacy on the line against each other, can appear to have little animonsity. And you don"t hear from his dad that much anymore, and I suspect that was deliberate. He was hurting Novak's image.

To be fair as well, it took Federer a while to be respectful towards Nadal as a rival, but he got there in the end
The shirt ripping was the best part about young Novak! Like a gladiator coming out victorious from a battle. You can't fake that kind of emotion.
Djoker did have some unsportsmanlike behavior as a youngster, like smashing racquets and swearing at himself, but he got over it as he grew older. But he was always gracious in defeat and in victory.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Actually I think the "disrepect" from Agassi towards Sampras is a myth. They were different personalities and wanted to beat each other for ultimate success (maybe Sampras sometimes a bit more so), but that’s all.

IMO people tend to misinterprete what Agassi wrote about Sampras in his autobiography. Yes, he is mocking him a bit, but always for some harmless and a bit childish personal things and never as a tennis player. It’s absolutely contrarily, he rather overrates and overrespects him.

For example, whenever Agassi met Sampras in a final, he wrote something like this in his autobiography: "I reached the final, of course that means Pete". As if Sampras was always there waiting in finals while in reality he was mostly absent from Slam finals outside Wimbledon after 1997.
 

Xemi666

Professional
I remember that, both Fed and Nadal looked like they wanted the earth to swallow them when Agassi started with that sh*t.
 
Actually I think the "disrepect" from Agassi towards Sampras is a myth. They were different personalities and wanted to beat each other for ultimate success (maybe Sampras sometimes a bit more so), but that’s all.

IMO people tend to misinterprete what Agassi wrote about Sampras in his autobiography. Yes, he is mocking him a bit, but always for some harmless and a bit childish personal things and never as a tennis player. It’s absolutely contrarily, he rather overrates and overrespects him.

For example, whenever Agassi met Sampras in a final, he wrote something like this in his autobiography: "I reached the final, of course that means Pete". As if Sampras was always there waiting in finals while in reality he was mostly absent from Slam finals outside Wimbledon after 1997.

No no no. Don't whitewash Agassi's behavior. He knows Pete is awkward and less of an extrovert. Agassi has always poked at Pete for that. Had he let Pete be, Pete wouldn't ever bother with doing anything against Agassi.

This isn't something I can confirm, but I remember reading that Agassi even predicted Pete would get divorced as he is not outgoing enough.

Now that's just a pure low blow.


Agassi is to blame for this entire mess.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
No no no. Don't whitewash Agassi's behavior. He knows Pete is awkward and less of an extrovert. Agassi has always poked at Pete for that. Had he let Pete be, Pete wouldn't ever bother with doing anything against Agassi.

This isn't something I can confirm, but I remember reading that Agassi even predicted Pete would get divorced as he is not outgoing enough.

Now that's just a pure low blow.


Agassi is to blame for this entire mess.
Don’t get me wrong, I never was such an "outgoing" person myself, not even in my youth. Or to say it better, I really was outside, in the nature, while "outgoing" generally meant going to a party and drinking every Friday and Saturday.

I found that boring, for me it was always the same what they did. But most people didn’t really accept it. For them drinking in the evening seemed to be just as mandatory as going to school in the morning. Only for the time in between they accepted diversity. :-D

But as I said, it was a little mocking from both sides, not more. For a long time I had tennis training on Saturday morning, and then the other guys always talked about the evening party and asked me where I will go, despite knowing that I won’t at all. Or sometimes they joked about not getting girls when not going out etc.

But they all accepted me as a good tennis player (I was better than them, but we all played at a low club level, so no bragging). So the situation was a bit similar on another level, and I wouldn’t call it REALLY unfriendly or unpleasant. I mean, I wasn’t that bad in making some jokes as well.

I don’t see the Agassi talk being much more offensive to be honest. It was a bit childish as well, he was mocking the guy who was better in the thing that mattered with some meaningless points to somehow "score" against him. Agassi not even tried to hide his unsecure character in his autobiography very well I would say.
 

TripleATeam

G.O.A.T.
Yikes. That's a really uncomfortable exchange. A little rib from Agassi about finally being in the lead would be fine, but it really feels like his pride was bruised in that moment - he mumbles something about importance to him and about how he's not really playing seriously.

I don't think either of them behaved great. Sampras could have gone without the impression, but Agassi going for a personal trait was just overstepping bounds. Sampras then just elevates it by serving straight at Andre.

With Federer and Nadal you get the feeling they respect each other very much (even to the point of being friends). With Sampras and Agassi, you can tell there's a lot of bad blood between them.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
No no no. Don't whitewash Agassi's behavior. He knows Pete is awkward and less of an extrovert. Agassi has always poked at Pete for that. Had he let Pete be, Pete wouldn't ever bother with doing anything against Agassi.

This isn't something I can confirm, but I remember reading that Agassi even predicted Pete would get divorced as he is not outgoing enough.
Rather ironic comment given that it was Agassi who got divorced, not Sampras.
 

Standaa

G.O.A.T.
I remember that I heard that after the match ended Nadal admitted he didn’t know what was going on during that moment as he couldn’t understand.
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
As entertaining as that exhibition was, I think that little jab Agassi threw at Sampras was a bit of an unnecessary cheap shot that made things awkward for everyone for a moment. When you look at the Agassi / Sampras relationship, it's always been somewhat of a roller coaster due to them having drastically different personalities and Sampras edging Agassi pretty much every time something important was on the line.

As over the top as the Djokovic screaming/shirt ripping celebration was, if I had to pick between that and his cringe worthy "love" celebration he started doing a few years ago, I'd still prefer the former.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Djokovic could have pushed the envelope even further as far as I'm concerned with his celebrations. Why should he hide how elated and happy he is to win? It's genuine and real. If people don't like it, tough ti**y. To come through and dethrone two GOATS should have drawn that reaction after being their understudy for 4 years. His father had nothing to do with why they didn't get along since that began long before he spoke up.

Djokovic has always been far more graceful in losing than two have been so if anything they finally reached his level. Lol. Well somewhat...Djokovic never spoke of any animosity against those two, ever, so clearly he's his own man and can think for himself.
Agreed, Djokovic raging and being passionate is genuine, and in a paradoxical way, far more likeable than the grossly fake "peace and love" Djokovic

edit: as for OP, that was all Agassi that turned that charity exhibition match thing into trainwreck, couldn't keep his ego in a bottle for even one night
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I don’t tip because society says I have to. All right, I mean I’ll tip if someone really deserves a tipping, if they really put forth the effort, I’ll give them something.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Agreed, Djokovic raging and being passionate is genuine, and in a paradoxical way, far more likeable than the grossly fake "peace and love" Djokovic

edit: as for OP, that was all Agassi that turned that charity exhibition match thing into trainwreck, couldn't keep his ego in a bottle for even one night
Agreed on both counts. Growing up, Agassi was my favorite but he made himself look really bad that night. I neved really felt the same about him after that.
 

beltsman

Legend
Agreed on both counts. Growing up, Agassi was my favorite but he made himself look really bad that night. I neved really felt the same about him after that.
Also agreed on both points. Djokovic raging is at least genuine. Can't stand the fake love crap.

As for Agassi, I have never been able to see him the same after that night. It was extremely bizarre naricisstic behavior. I can't even listen to him speak without thinking of that. People downplaying this incident are really missing it.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Also agreed on both points. Djokovic raging is at least genuine. Can't stand the fake love crap.

As for Agassi, I have never been able to see him the same after that night. It was extremely bizarre naricisstic behavior. I can't even listen to him speak without thinking of that. People downplaying this incident are really missing it.
Let me clarify a bit. I would say the love and peace Djokovic is definitely not fake but him evolved and matured I guess. I prefer the younger, fire Djokovic though.

I felt really bad for Pete and to me, it showed his true nature which wasn't pretty, and he exposed himself as someone who was jealous of Pete and never really let go of that. It definitely was his worst moment.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Let me clarify a bit. I would say the love and peace Djokovic is definitely not fake but him evolved and matured I guess. I prefer the younger, fire Djokovic though.

I felt really bad for Pete and to me, it showed his true nature which wasn't pretty, and he exposed himself as someone who was jealous of Pete and never really let go of that. It definitely was his worst moment.
You're right actually, "fake" is not really the right word, I think "forced" describes it better, splitting hairs I know, but there is a distinction
 

Mike Sams

G.O.A.T.
I might drill Federer, Djokovic and Nadal all day. But can't see them ever getting to this level. They are far too professional and humble.
Well truthfully, Agassi was carrying that entire Hit for Haiti exhibition match. The other 3 guys on the court had nothing really to say as they don't have Agassi's wit or personality.
 

Mike Sams

G.O.A.T.
I remember that, both Fed and Nadal looked like they wanted the earth to swallow them when Agassi started with that sh*t.
Nadal said after that match that he couldn't understand anything that was being said between Agassi and Sampras during that exhibition match. It all just flew over his head.
 

McGradey

Professional
Always been an Agassi fan but he comes off as a complete dick in this exchange. Unable to summon any wit, he jumps straight to the personal insults.

Sampras also opens up after the match and says how he has love for Agassi, but even then Agassi barely acknowledges it.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
I haven't seen this in a while, and it was cringeworthy, to say the least. Over the years, I rooted for Agassi over Sampras, but as someone else said, his comment was a "dick move". It was petty and awkward, and an escalation of Pete's impression of Andre, which AA could have laughed off, and then turned the tables similarly on Pete.
Roger tried to make light of it all - not sure what else he could have said. I'm sure Rafa wanted no part of this.

Pete's Barack Obama comment was bizare, and really fell flat...just came off as ignorant and clueless.

I'm not sure which of the great players can be witty in the moment. Roddick had/has that ability, Novak has it, Fed, just a little...who else? Way back when, perhaps Connors or Nasty, but both could take it over the cliff. McEnroe can be witty in the booth, but he is still way too competitive on court.
 

merwy

G.O.A.T.
Do you guys know how old this video is? What's the point of talking about this for the hundredth time? The ATP cup is going on and a new season has just started.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Havent re-watched it, but from what I remember, Agassi was continually jabbing at Pete throughout the match, which then resulted in this.
It is true that AA was the only one really capable of being entertaining on the mic in the match, and I think he just got a little carried away thinking this was him entertaining everyone.
Im not an Agassi fan personally, but I think it was more him slipping up in the moment, as oppose to his ego or competitive spirit getting in the way.
 
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