Andre Agassi’s Greatest Rivals
As I’ve said numerous times in this blog, Andre Agassi is probably my most favorite player of all time.
His style, intensity and charisma on and off the court were unmistakable. His impact on the game long lasting. Today we look at his greatest rivals during his heyday. And although his hey day extended into the 2000s, it is in the 90s that he really developed the deepest rivalries. I chose the following five players because he played the most matches against them. Many of these matches consisted of important finals at Masters or Grand Slam events. Here’s my list!
- Pete Sampras: Agassi had a challenging head-to-head record against Sampras, with Sampras leading 20-14 in their 34 meetings. The played many memorable finals, however, Pete got the best of him at Grand Slam Finals. Nevertheless, Agassi beat Sampras in important finals like the Canada Masters and Indian Wells. Their rivalry is legendary.
- Boris Becker: Agassi had a positive head-to-head record against Becker, leading 10-4 in their 14 meetings. Agassi could guess where Becker was serving due to where his tongue was pointing. Becker did not find out this tell until years after their retirement. This is one of the reasons Agassi returned his amazing serve so well. These two had great matches in the biggest stages, such as a five setter at the 1992 Wimbledon Semifinal (Agassi won), and a four set classic at the 1995 US Open Semifinals (Agassi won).
- Michael Chang: Agassi had a dominant head-to-head record against Chang, leading 15-7 in their 22 meetings. Some of their best matches occurred at Grand Slams. Two of the greatest are the 1994 US Open round of 16 where Agassi prevailed in five hard fought sets, and the 1996 US Open semifinal where Chang demolished Agassi in three quick sets and sent Agassi into a brief retirement.
- Patrick Rafter: Agassi had a positive head-to-head record against Rafter, leading 10-5 in their 15meetings. This rivalry was short but sweet. Rafter was a fantastic serve and volleyer and Agassi was the counterpuncher. Unfortunately for Agassi, he was on the losing end of two epic five set Wimbledon semifinals in 2000 and 2001.
- Todd Martin: Agassi also had a positive head-to-head record against Martin, leading 13-5 in their 18 meetings. There were epic five setters at Grand Slams with these two. Todd Martin prevailed in five sets in the round of 16 at the 1994 Wimbledon championships, while Agassi took home the 1999 US Open title beating Martin 6-2 in the final set.
Before I depart, I’d like to do a shameless gear plug. Not just because we love Tennis Warehouse here at TennisPAL, but because Sampras, Agassi and Chang played with arguably two of the most important rackets in the modern era, rackets that are still made today! What are these rackets?
- Agassi and Chang both started out with the Graphite Classic from Prince
- Sampras, as well as many other stars in the 80s, 90s and 2000s played with the Wilson Pro Staff.
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