Some tennis rivalries are like legends, they get embedded in history, with very possibly the same amount of reverence attached to them as do legends. 3 of such rivalries are listed here, which includes some of the greatest tennis players of all time. Federer and Nadal, to name only two of them. What are they, read on to find out!
Federer - Roddick
Head to Head: 21-3 in favour of Federer
This is the most notable of lopsided rivalries, given the profile of the players and the degree to which the relationship was lopsided. This was a rivalry of two completely contrasting playing styles, and not standards, despite what the numbers of the rivalry are saying - I mean Roddick was world number two for quite a number of weeks. The huge disparity is due more to one style being the complete to the other. The highly unpredictable disruptive and fluid style of Federer naturally beats the rigidly proportional gameplay of Roddick, no matter how powerful it is. The only time when Roddick actually came close to winning Federer at a peak moment of his - the 2009 Wimbledon championships - was when he actually adjusted his game play to one less Roddick-like (greater fluidity; an emphasis on movement rather than power.)
Nadal - Federer
Head to Head: 23 - 15 in favour of Nadal
Like the previous relationship, the Nadal-Federer match-win disparity was mainly due to one gamestyle being the complete antithesis to the other, rather than one being objectively more superior. This of course can be demonstrated by Federer having held the world number one position far more than any other tennis player who existed. However, as proven by the recent reversion of this state of lopsidedness, the issue with Federer was more psychological than technical. Only recently has he mustered the nothing-to-lose attitude and hence confidence, to take Nadal's shots on the rise (his longevity elixir indeed).
Sampras - Agassi
Head to head: 20 - 14
Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi are retired professional men's tennis players who were both ranked World No. 1 during the 1990s - Sampras held the world's top-rank spot for a then-record 286 weeks while Agassi held it for 101 weeks. On top of their stellar professional achievements, they have contrasting styles and temperaments, they also played each other 34 times from 1989 through 2002, with Sampras winning 20 matches. It has been deemed one of the greatest tennis rivalries of all time. What one often fails to notice in such rivalry though is the lopsidedness of it. Do not fooled by their overall head-to-head statistic, one must look at the lopsidedness of their encounters where it mattered most. I zoom in on their grand slam match record, which was 6-3 in Sampras' favour. Do not once again be fooled by the seeming evenness of the numbers, such disparity lies in the fact that the three matches won by Agassi took place in the grand slam matches that did not matter that much to these Americans. They were either won at the French Open or Australian Open (as an American professional tennis player the two most desirable tournaments to be won at that time were the US Open and Wimbledon)
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