I am number One
Tennis is a very ancient sport, which can oppose either two players (singles) or four players (doubles).
Most of the time, games aren’t mix. Indeed, male and female tennis tours are organised separately, respectively by the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and the WTA (Women Tennis Association).
However, it may happen in some rare occasions during professional tournaments that two women would compete against two men: it’s called a mixed double.
It happens very often in the ATP rank that the two greatest players at that time, fight for the world’s number 1 rank.
To any tennis fan during the 90’s, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras are famous names. At that time, they were the two greatest tennis players in the world, and both ranked World Number1 at some point in their career.
However, as shown on the chart, it is quite obvious, that Pete Sampras, kept his number 1 rank for much longer than Andre Agassi. There was quite a rivalry between those two.
They were however, totally different. In his young age, Agassi had a flamboyant style: long dyed hair, colourful extravagant outfits, and was more famous for his impulsive and provocative behaviour than his performances on the tennis court.
As for Pete Sampras, his tennis outfits were most of the time in white or classical colours, and he always behaved placidly.
Agassi – Sampras ‘rivalry on court - fun facts
Played each other 34 times.
Sampras won 20 matches, Agassi 14.
Played five Gran Slam tournament finals.
Sampras winning four of them.
34th and last game played: 2001 US Open quarter-final.
4 sets, Sampras won, 6–7(7), 7–6(2), 7–6(2), 7–6(5). The tie-break scores for all 4 sets indicate that none of them managed during the game to take the lead.
Shortly after their last match, Sampras retired in 2001, being the winner of 14 Gran Slam titles, which was an all-time record.
Another all-time record for Pete Sampras: the total number of weeks ranking number 1: 286 weeks.
Both records were however, recently overtaken by Roger Federer.
Roger Federer, a Swiss player born in Basel, is now considered as one of the greatest tennis player of all time, a simple look at the table below will vouch for that.
Roger Federer’s statistics
ATP TOTAL WEEKS AT NO 1 302
MEN’S GRAN SLAM TITLES 17
Roger Federer’s greatest years were from 2003 to 2010, during which he remained Number 1 for seven years.
At that time, Federer’s greatest competitor was Rafael Nadal, a Spanish player. Due to his amazing style on court, Nadal received various nicknames, such as El Matador, or The King of Clay.
If the rivalry between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi was very strong and famous, the one that tied Nadal and Federer is now considered by professional tennis experts as the greatest of all times.
The pair of players is famous to accumulate all-time records:
• The only pair of men in history of tennis counting six consecutive years as the top two players of the ATP rank. (2005 to 2010)
• Longest consecutive domination as World’s N1 and World’s N2, for 211 weeks in a row.
• An all-time record of playing 8 Grand Slam finals.
Nowadays, Federer is approaching the end of his amazing career actually he declared his desire to retire after the Olympics in 2016.
In 2013, he ranked number 6 at the ATP.
As for Nadal, he is still very much in the game; he finished 2013 ranking number 1, with Novak Djokovic as Number 2.
Will the Serbian be Nadal’s new competitor?
Watch out Rafa!
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