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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As much as I love the level of competition that was present at the top of the men's game during the 80's (and 90's), after watching a few of the classic matches from the AO on the Tennis Channel and many clips on youtube.com, it is evident that the disdain and lack of respect among the top players was quite evident. Just look at the "congratulatory" handshakes at the ends of matches...:eek::eek:

The WTA tour players must have been watching these male players growing up. Have you EVER seen players on a consistent basis trying to "get out of Dodge" as fast as possible after losing a match. The players BARELY shake hands...and forget congratulating the opponent. For example, I just saw watched the Lendl/Becker trophy presentation. Ivan Lendl lost...and did not even mention Boris AT ALL. No congrats...nothing. Boris Becker...same deal.

In the modern era, you have truly classy players like Roger and Rafa. And EVEN the Count of Monte Cheato can feign humility...Just kidding. When he loses, he tends to take it pretty well.

And this goes for almost everyone on the tour. Even the Roddicks and Hewitts of the world...tough opponents...but good sports when they lose.

I'll take the players of today over the boorish divas of yesteryear.
 

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Anathemaniac
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:haha: :haha: :haha:

Best wishes to you for 2008, Sawan - and please, keep it coming! :hug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On a side note, ClayBuzza, did you catch the trophy presentation of the 1991 AO men's match between Lendl and Becker? Ivan Lendl may have given one of the most bizarre runner-up speeches in the history of tennis. Rather than taking the time to congratulate Boris Becker on winning (and becoming the new #1), he thanked the SWEDISH fans for their support in the final:retard: First, he insulted their nation by saying that the fans in Stockholm were pathetic..and then, he thanked them for making up for it by cheering for him:haha::haha::haha:

And then, Becker simply said thank you...and said he couldn't say anymore...and left the podium...

This was truly one of the strangest things I have seen...and I don't recall this when watching the match back in the day...

And thanks for your ongoing support...;);)
 

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Its true. With only a few exceptions (like that one guy Nadal played at wimby), players today are generally at least try to appear gallant in their actions.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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They just weren't media trained like they are now.
 

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They just weren't media trained like they are now.
That´s exactly what it is. I think some of the past players were true gentlemen, like Edberg, for example. Or Sampras, Agassi, Chang, etc. A handshake takes a few seconds, I wouldn´t call Hewitt or Djokovic gentlemen even if they were licking each others ears at the net, when they behave like they do during the match. As for Söderling, his reaction was a bit harsh, but he was only pointing out that he wasn´t at all happy with Nadal´s behaviour during the match. Sure, there have always been jerks in the game, I´m not saying past eras were necessarily better, but today´s players are certainly not better either.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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That´s exactly what it is. I think some of the past players were true gentlemen, like Edberg, for example. Or Sampras, Agassi, Chang, etc. A handshake takes a few seconds, I wouldn´t call Hewitt or Djokovic gentlemen even if they were licking each others ears at the net, when they behave like they do during the match. As for Söderling, his reaction was a bit harsh, but he was only pointing out that he wasn´t at all happy with Nadal´s behaviour during the match. Sure, there have always been jerks in the game, I´m not saying past eras were necessarily better, but today´s players are certainly not better either.
Lendl wasn't Mr Nice Guy, neither were Becker, McEnroe, Connors, Muster, Rios, Kafelnikov. Edberg was a saint compared to these guys, Mecir and Wilander weren't pricks on court, but at least they were what they were whether people liked it or not.

There is more scrutiny about it now, then it was then. Perfect example Agassi was a brat, Scumbagassi he was called by some journalists, then they went to the other extreme later in his career.
 

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Without the scrutinisation that players receive these days they were allowed to show more REAL personality. Now it doesn't matter the true personality, most players look like great gents in their interviews, it's like that thread on here a while back. People want to see real personality but then they criticise people to high heaven when they step out of line, you can't have it both ways. I'd rather see the real feelings and real answers in interviews than feigned respect.
 

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Lendl wasn't Mr Nice Guy, neither were Becker, McEnroe, Connors, Muster, Rios, Kafelnikov. Edberg was a saint compared to these guys, Mecir and Wilander weren't pricks on court, but at least they were what they were whether people liked it or not.

There is more scrutiny about it now, then it was then. Perfect example Agassi was a brat, Scumbagassi he was called by some journalists, then they went to the other extreme later in his career.
Yup, all the guys you mentioned behaved badly. Although I think Becker was mostly angry at himself, and not necessarily disrespective towards his opponents. As you said, there is more scrutiny now, and players know how to give nice speeches, say polite things at the press conferences and so on...But when the competition is tough, there will always be spillovers, it´s not a question of era.
 

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There is more scrutiny about it now, then it was then. Perfect example Agassi was a brat, Scumbagassi he was called by some journalists, then they went to the other extreme later in his career.
It's not exactly like Agassi never said anything contraversial in his later career anyway. The media portrayed him to be something he was not. Great tennis player? Yes. True legend? Yes. Super nice and classy guy? Not really.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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It's not exactly like Agassi never said anything contraversial in his later career anyway. The media portrayed him to be something he was not. Great tennis player? Yes. True legend? Yes. Super nice and classy guy? Not really.
I had more respect for him when he was that snotty nosed kid with the spandex and the mullet.

They tried to convince fans that he was this classy guy, but you learn more about people when they lose.
 

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I had more respect for him when he was that snotty nosed kid with the spandex and the mullet.

They tried to convince fans that he was this classy guy, but you learn more about people when they lose.
I know you dislike Agassi and that's not the case with me. I think he was a fairly nice guy during his final years and he was fun to hear speak (though I actually find his tennis can be monotonous) but it was just bullshit the media perception of him. I have no idea whether he attempted to endorse that image completely or whether it was just a media percpetion which became 'widely recognised'. In any case, anyone who followed tennis closely should've realised it was a fallacy.
 

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I had more respect for him when he was that snotty nosed kid with the spandex and the mullet.

They tried to convince fans that he was this classy guy, but you learn more about people when they lose.
Agassi isn't the saint that the media makes him out to be but I don't think he was the same guy at the end of his career as he was at the beginning. How many people do you know that are the same at 18 or 19 as they are at 33 or 34. It's a normal maturation process and by the end the guy had a lot of knowledge about the game and a lot of insight. I think he mellowed a lot with age. He was an interesting guy to hear speak the last few years, no matter your thoughts on him as a person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I had more respect for him when he was that snotty nosed kid with the spandex and the mullet.

They tried to convince fans that he was this classy guy, but you learn more about people when they lose.
Actually, at the beginning of his career, there was not a player I disliked more. Agassi was a brash, cocky self-serving jerk...who even pulled a Djokovic when he took a bathroom break against Edberg once in order to recover and win a match. HOWEVER, by the end of his career, he represented all that was good in sports. He was a well spoken man, who appreciated his talent and his ability to entertain the fans through it. He was primarily concerned with his academy, even leaving Nike because of their refusal to help him along these lines. And his level of humility and respect for his opponents was epic. The respect of his peers was the tell-tale sign for me. When you hear about Rafa running through the bowels of Arthur Ashe Stadium to see Agassi's farewell...and holding back tears after hearing him speak...well, that speaks volumes about the transformation of the man. How many athletes do you know who were viewed as classy representatives of the game during the foremost years of their careers, but who became tranwrecks...embroiled in scandal after scandal? From feast to famine, so to speak. Agassi went from crass to class.


And as far as media savvy, etc. HOW HARD IS IT TO ACTUALLY SHAKE HANDS WITH TRUE RESPECT? Lendl, Becker...almost all except Stefan viewed their opponents with disdain. The handshake at the end was simply a nothing ritual...now, the players appear to appreciate the thrill of competition. They often view each other (particularly following tough matches or finals) as brothers-in-arms. Back in the 80's, the opponent was seen as simply a bump in their path...and the faster they could avoid any real human contact, the better.

As I have said previously, watch the trophy presentation of the 1991 AO...a case study on how not to act following victory OR defeat.
 

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Andre has admitted that he was a brat when he was younger. And as someone said, people mature...no one acts the same in their thirties as they did in the late teens and early twenties.

I liked Andre then, and I like him now. He was fun to watch when he first stepped on the scene, and it's been wonderful watching him grow up into such a legend of the sport, but more importantly, one who continually helps those in need.

As for the point of this thread, I would rather have boorish than these boring PR scripted answers the guys give now. And the guys back in the 70s and 80s were hungry to win. That's rare to find today.
 

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Andre has admitted that he was a brat when he was younger. And as someone said, people mature...no one acts the same in their thirties as they did in the late teens and early twenties.

I liked Andre then, and I like him now. He was fun to watch when he first stepped on the scene, and it's been wonderful watching him grow up into such a legend of the sport, but more importantly, one who continually helps those in need.

As for the point of this thread, I would rather have boorish than these boring PR scripted answers the guys give now. And the guys back in the 70s and 80s were hungry to win. That's rare to find today.
Very well said. People change, that's just normal. It would have been strange, had Agassi acted the same way throughout his career. It happens to all of us. When you are twenty, you feel like you know it all and you are bullet proof. As time goes by, you see things differently.

And I also miss the players of the 80s and 90s. A lot of those guy hated it when they lost. A lot of players today seem to be happy with a semifinal and a decent paycheck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If you want to truly see the attitude of the players of the 80's/90's, take a gander at the "players" on the WTA tour (a.k.a. Diva Central).

I can almost guarantee that if these guys played today, they would be, along with the Count of Monte Cheato himself, the Fellowship of Deceit. ;)
 
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