Originally Posted by Lady Natalia
I was browsing the net and I found this article from 2005. I found it amusing, yet TRUE! Tell me what you think...
Who is the greatest tennis player of all time?
By John Pages
TWO strangers meet for coffee one afternoon.
One is Australian; the other, American.
“Tennis is like golf,” the Aussie strikes a conversation. “There are four majors-the Australian, French, and U.S. Opens, and Wimbledon.”
If you win all four in the same year, he adds, it’s called a grand slam.
“What do you call the man who wins all four-but does it twice?” he teases the American.
The man across is stone-faced.
“Rod Laver!” brags the Aussie, smiling as he sips on a hot Australian-branded cappuccino.
“The Rocket,” he explains, is the only player in history – male or female – to win the grand slam twice. “Back in 1962 and 1969.”
“Well, since you’re a tennis fan,” the American replies, “let me talk about Pete Sampras.”
The Australian listens.
“Pete may not have won a grand slam,” his American accent distinct from the Australian’s. “But he holds two records in tennis that will never be broken.”
“Fourteen grand-slam Singles titles and the world’s No.1 ranking for six straight years.”
“Ho-ho-hold it,” Laver’s biggest fan sits up. He pulls out his Sony VAIO laptop then punches a few keys.
“Listen to this. Here’s what Pete said about Laver in an interview. ‘My goal one day is to be in the same sentence as Rod Laver.’”
Ha-ha, he says. That’s an admission from the student to the master.
The American opens his Samsonite attaché case and pulls out an IBM Thinkpad.
Thirty seconds later, he brags not only about his one-inch-thin toy but shows his neighbor a picture of Andre Agassi.
“Who are the best five players of all time?” a reporter asked Andre at an event in Stuttgart back in 1998.
Andre’s reply: “Sampras, Sampras, Sampras, Sampras and Sampras.”
The American flashes a toothful grin.
“But there’s one thing missing in the Sampras resume,” the Aussie counters. “He’s never won the French Open.”
The coffee shop turns silent.
He’s right. Sampras, nicknamed “The Pistol,” owns seven Wimbledon grass crowns, five US Opens and two Australian Open kangaroos, but he never captured Paris’ heart.
The Aussie, staring at defeat from across the table, pumps his fist and shouts “C’mon!!!” ala Lleyton Hewitt.
“Not too fast,” the George W. Bush man says, his face tight-lipped, mimicking his president.
“When Laver won the slam in ’62, he beat a bunch of regulars without top-netters Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, and Pancho Gonzalez.
“Here’s what Laver said back then, “I didn’t find out who was the best until I turned pro and had my brains beaten out for six months at the start of 1963.’”
The American stands and struts the rock ‘n’ roll circling his jealous companion. Laver looks beaten.
“Unfair!” the Aussie screams. “When Laver turned professional in 1963, they didn’t allow pros to join the slams. So for five years, Laver couldn’t compete in the majors. If he had, he’d have won over 20…”
The American agrees. He doesn’t show it but instead glares at the Aussie.
“Competition was absent in the ’60s,” he says. “During Sampras’ time, over 50 countries were represented in the top ranks. In those years, 127 nations joined the Davis Cup compared to only 49 in 1968.”
The Aussie fights back. “Pete played with a graphite racket, had an entourage of sports trainers, and flew in a private jet. If Laver had those perks…”
Their voices grow louder. The barista stops his coffee mixing to stare at the two. They fight on.
“Listen,” the American says. “Laver won nine of his 11 total slams on grass, two on clay. The slams today are played on four different surfaces: Rebound Ace, red clay, grass, and Deco Turf II.
“If Sampras played on grass every year, his California home will hold more trophies than the freckles on your face!”
The Australian can’t take it any longer. He stands, all of six-foot-one. The American does the same. Their eyes pierce each other six inches apart.
Their fists clasp like stones. They’re ready to come to blows when the door swings open...
In comes a Swiss. He notices the commotion and walks towards the men.
“What’s the problem,” he asks, heavy in European accent.
“Uh…we can’t decide on who’s the greatest tennis player of all time. I say it’s Laver.”
“Damn it! No, it’s Sampras!”
The Swiss smiles. He extends his arms on the shoulders of the strangers.
“I know the answer,” he says.
The two wait.
Haha ha ha
It sounds so much like the swiss, subtle but always precise. It's how they do their business, quietly but always efficiently. Hopp Schwyz. Meine vater would concur.