Andre Agassi identifies what made rivalry with Pete Sampras so iconic


Andre Agassi identifies what made rivalry with Pete Sampras so iconic
© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

Andre Agassi thinks one of the reasons his rivalry with Pete Sampras was so interesting was the fact that they were also two completely different personalities. In the 1990s, Agassi and Sampras had the best rivalry in men's tennis.

Between 1989 and 2002, Agassi and Sampras met 34 times, with many of those meetings coming on the biggest stage. Sampras finished with a 20-14 record against Agassi and won four of their five Grand Slam finals. The only time Agassi beat Sampras in a Grand Slam final came in the 1995 Australian Open final.

"I think rivalries aren’t guaranteed in any sport. It doesn’t matter how talented a generation is, you need to capture the imagination of cultures and people. In the sense of me and Pete [Sampras], we weren’t just two opposite players, which was so obvious on the tennis court, we were two opposite personalities and two opposite people altogether.

So, to find those… You need dynamics," Agassi said on The Pat McAfee Show.

Agassi living a more relaxed life now

Agassi, 53, ended his pro tennis career after the 2006 US Open. Since then, Agassi has been pretty low-key and hasn't made many appearances in tournaments.

Nowadays, Agassi is living a more relaxed life and enjoys watching tennis from his home. "I can say it's a lot more enjoyable from my living room than it is from the worst seat in the stadium, which was typically against Pete or Roger.

There's so much fun tied to the life it's given me. Yes I do follow it... I'm a student of the game, you know. I don't know if I consider myself an overachiever or an underachiever because I spent so much time thinking 'bout how to make myself better.

And I spent too much time wasting years of my career, right? So, but when it comes to the mathematics of the game, the dynamics, the matchups, I turn on any match, immediately I just fall right into it," Agassi said.

Andre Agassi Pete Sampras