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Best Tennis Rivalries during the Men's Open Era - Have your Vote & Say


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John McEnroe vs Bjorn Borg

The tennis players Björn Borg and John McEnroe met 14 times on the regular tour and 22 times in total, with their on-court rivalry highlighted by their contrasting temperaments and styles. Borg was known for his cool and emotionless demeanor on court, while McEnroe was famed for his court-side tantrums. Their rivalry extended between 1978 and 1981, with each player winning seven times against the other. Because of their contrasting personalities, their rivalry was described as "Fire and Ice".



Boris Becker vs Stefan Edberg

The tennis players Boris Becker (Germany) and Stefan Edberg (Sweden) met 35 times between 1984 and 1996.[1] Although Becker led their overall head-to-head series 25–10 and won all three of their Davis Cup matches, Edberg won three of their four meetings in Grand Slams.

The most defining aspect of their rivalry was the three successive Wimbledon finals that they played. In the 1988 meeting, Becker was the huge favorite, and stormed to the first set 6–4. The second set was to be the most memorable, when in a fit of courage and tennis acumen Edberg won a tight set in a tiebreaker 7–2. Edberg went on to win the next two sets 6–4, 6–2 to win his first Wimbledon title and deny Becker a third title in four years. In the 1989 meeting, Becker, having lost to Edberg a month earlier in the French Open semifinals, raced to win the first set 6–0. The second set was closer, but won in a tiebreak by Becker 7–1. Becker went on to win the third set 6–4. This was Becker's third Wimbledon title, which would be his last Wimbledon crown. In the 1990 meeting, Edberg swept the first two sets 6–2, 6–2. However, Becker rallied to win the next two sets 6–3 6–3. Becker broke Edberg early in the fifth set, setting up the possibility of being the first Wimbledon champion since Henri Cochet in 1927 to win the final after losing the first two sets. Yet, this was not to be as Edberg regained the break and then broke Becker in the ninth game of the set with a topspin lob winner, eventually serving it out for a second Wimbledon championship


Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi are retired professional men's tennis players who were ranked World No. 1 during the 1990s, Sampras holding the world's top-rank spot for a then-record 286 weeks while Agassi held it for 101 weeks.[1] With contrasting styles and temperaments, they played each other 34 times from 1989 through 2002, with Sampras winning 20 of their matches. It has been named as one of the greatest tennis rivalries of all time.



Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal

The Federer–Nadal rivalry is between two professional tennis players, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain. They are currently engaged in a storied rivalry, which many consider to be one of the greatest in tennis history. They have played 33 times, most recently in the 2014 Australian Open Semi-finals, and Nadal leads their ten-year-old rivalry 23–10.


Federer and Nadal are the only pair of men to have finished six consecutive calendar years as the top two ranked players on the ATP Tour, which they did from 2005–2010. This included a record 211 consecutive weeks sharing the top two rankings from July 2005 to August 2009.





Juan Martin Del-Potro vs Andy Muray

The young men raged on their chairs - tennis does seated arguments better than any other sport - with Murray insisting that Del Potro’s comment about his mother had been “unacceptable”. Umpire Fergus Murphy, sitting in his high-chair between the warring pair, asked Murray to calm down. Murphy and Murray had earlier had an exchange of views, after the 20-year-old complained about a warning for swearing by vehemently denying that he had used the f-word.

The substance of what Del Potro said was not graphically, horrendously insulting. But Murray’s intense annoyance was that Del Potro had brought his mother into it at all, as all she had been doing was cheering on amicably from the stands as he registered his first victory in three trips to the clay courts in the Italian capital. Murray’s anger was understandable, and the ‘Mamma Mia’ incident will probably help his image; no one ever lost any public support for loving their mum too much.



Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal

The Djokovic–Nadal rivalry is between tennis players Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who are engaged in a modern-day tennis rivalry. The rivalry is ranked first in the Open Era in terms of matches played (42), with Nadal leading 23 to 19 in match wins. Between 2006–2010, this rivalry was often overshadowed by the historic Federer–Nadal rivalry, but it started to become widely recognized after they played their first Grand Slam final against each other at the 2010 US Open. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history. It is the only rivalry to take place in all 4 Grand Slam finals (including consecutive Grand Slam finals) and a record 22 Masters Series matches. Their 2012 Australian Open final is considered to be one of the greatest matches of all time, and Mary Carillo and John McEnroe both commented that that Australian Open match and the 2013 French Open semi-final match were the two best matches played on hard and clay courts respectively. The Djokovic–Nadal rivalry is listed as the third greatest rivalry in the last decade by ATPworldtour.com despite it only starting in 2006.

Some of their matches are considered to be classics and among the greatest matches of all time including the 2009 Madrid Masters Semifinal and 2013 French Open semi-final. The 2012 Australian Open final has been lauded as the greatest match ever played by some long-time tennis pundits, analysts, and former players and legends of the sport. Each one has openly stated the other to be their greatest rival and motivator to play better tennis as evidenced by the streakiness in this rivalry. This is the most played rivalry in the history of the Open Era and is considered to be one of the greatest rivalries ever by players, coaches, and pundits.



Please keep the tarding to a bear minimum and no digs at each other from Fed and Nadal kidos, begging you? :yeah:
 

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I do not think Delpo and Murray is a big rivalry. I mean now they are good friends. That moment happened when they were both young and fired up. And I do not even think Delpo said mother, he said 'manner'
 

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I do not think Delpo and Murray is a big rivalry. I mean now they are good friends. That moment happened when they were both young and fired up. And I do not even think Delpo said mother, he said 'manner'
It's funny though, so is worth a mention I thought. :lol:
 

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Djokovic - Nadal rivalry should be the best of all time when all is said and done, assuming it doesn't flop in the next few years.
Are you just saying this because it's taking place now? Currently?
 

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You should have included Federer-Roddick. It was fun watching a no-talent jackass destroying American tennis with his mediocrity.
 

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I voted for Djoker - Rafa in terms of the quality of tennis.

If personalities are involved I think Sampras - Agassi as they obviously have a distaste for each other.
 

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You should have included Federer-Roddick. It was fun watching a no-talent jackass destroying American tennis with his mediocrity.
I should have, but the domination was so far one sided that I thought better of it.

Though it was probably during Fed's best years, so would have been worth it.
 

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del Potro vs Murray :lol:? They faced each other only 7 times, with the biggest match of the lot being a Slam QF, they were near close to their best for like 2 years at best on tour simultaneously, they are generally complimentary of each other...

There's no rivalry between them, let alone one of the top 5 in the Open Era.
 

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One of the best rivalries for me was Edberg vs Lendl because it was actually close.

Lendl vs McEnroe also deserves a mention because of the contrasting styles and personalities.
 

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Rafael Nadal vs Roger federer is the best rivalry hands down.....followed by Mcenroe and Borg
 

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Federer vs Djokovic should be in the poll instead of Murray vs Delpo

Generally the new rivalries are much better the the previous generations due to its high quality since today's players are much more complete 20 or 30 years ago.
 

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Murray vs Delpo? When was this ever a rivalry?

Federer and Nadal,used to be a great rivalry, now it's simply a guaranteed Rafa win. I suppose Nada/Djokovic is somewhat of a rivalry in smaller tournaments, where it really matters, Nadal easily slays Crocodilovic.

Borg vs McEnroe had it all, great matches, contrasting personalities and left us wanting more.
 

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It's near impossible to vote for this other than on personal preference, so I'd go with Edberg-Becker. Absolutely loved Edberg and hated Becker with a passion. Though Becker won most of their matches, Stefan ended up better in all but one slam encounters. Just delicious.

More objectively, the best rivalries were prolly Borg-Mac, followed by Sampras Agassi. Today, Federer-Djokovic which isn't even in the poll, stands out as the best IMO. High quality matches with significance not too far off Federer-Nadal matches.
 

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Federer vs Djokovic is the most entertaining one, they usually produce high quality matches.
 

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There are two different types of rivalries listed here:

- transitional rivalries, with a younger players wrestling the #1 spot away from an older top dog, failing at first but finally achieving it - such as Federer Nadal, or Borg McEnroe. Transitional rivalries often involved contrasting styles.

- parallel rivalries, with two players of roughly the same age playing one another time and again, with varying outcomes - such as Nadal vs Djokovic or Becker vs Edberg. Often these rivalries included players with fairly similar styles.

To me the transitional rivalries have produced some of the most memorable matches in tennis, especially at Wimbledon - Borg vs. McEnroe 1980, 81; Federer vs. Nadal 2007, 08. But the parallel rivalries have often ensured very high quality over extended periods.
 
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