Remember the 1995 U.S. Open? Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi met in the 1995 U.S. Open Finals matchup that was heavily hyped by Nike and a defining moment for both stars. Ranked numbers one and two respectively, Sampras would defeat Agassi 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
In all matches played, Sampras leads 20–14. Looking back on their competition, Sampras marvels at their competition.
“What Andre and I had was pretty unique,” Sampras told me by phone. “Both being American, both being different. We dressed differently, we played differently, our personalities were different, it was a great clash.”
It’s customary in today’s sports climate to compare what happened in a hey-day to what’s going on currently. We see it in football, where folks wonder whether the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahwaks are today to what the Dallas Cowboys were in the 90s. You also see it where many tried to compare 72-10 Chicago Bulls superpower to last season’s Golden State Warriors who beat that record but lost in the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers in June.
But what Sampras and Agassi did during their reign was special; many wonder if that can be replicated.
Any similarities Mr. Sampras?
“Today it’s not quite as sexy,” he said. “But I think you look at Djokovic and Murray as the two best players. It’s a great rivalry and they’ve played each other a bunch, they’ve played great matches. It may not have the same appeal as say Andre and myself, for a few years. But if you look at it, the last two greats were Roger and Rafal when they had their moments: lefty, righty, both very different.”
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