The Most Intense Rivalries in Tennis History Part 2

September 12, 2017

Did last week get you excited about the most epic tennis rivalries in history? Here is our part 2 of our The Most Intense Rivalries in Tennis History!


Chris Evert vs Martina Navratilova

The Chris Evert vs Martina Navratilova rivalry can be argued as one of the greatest rivalries in sport history, it even has an ESPN documentary called Unmatched. Not only did this rivalry last 16 years (1973-1988), but the two women met a total of 80 times and remained fairly close in victories (Navratilova lead 43-37).  For a long time Evert was considered an “Ice Maiden” and was known for being nearly errorless. However, Navratilova came along and she perfectly countered Evert’s playing style; Navratilova showed emotion and had a  powerful serve-and- volley.  Sixty of the eighty matches were tournament finals and fourteen of those were Grand Slam finals.  An interesting stat is that Evert won 21/25 of their first meetings and Navratilova won 30/39 of their last meetings, showing a shift and change of the top female player during this era.

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal

A few years ago, before Djokovic and Murray came into the picture, Federer and Nadal dominated the men’s tour.  From 2004-2010 23 out of the 26 Grand Slam titles were won by either Nadal or Federer. The men have played 28 matches, Nadal won 18 out of the 28.  The men had two famous matches, the first one was in 2007 where Federer won the Wimbledon title 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-2. People believed that the tennis played in the 2007 Wimbledon final was epic; however in 2008 the men truly out did themselves in providing true tennis entertainment to fans everywhere. On July 6,2008 the me played the longest final in Wimledon history (4 hours and 48 minutes). Nadal claimed victory at 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (6-8), 9-7.

Stefan Edberg vs Boris Becker

The Boris Becker vs Stefan Edberg is an intense rivalry brings together a Swed and German. The men are fairly close in age, height, weight, and when they turned pro (1983 and 1984). In comparison, Edberg has won 41 career titles and $20,630,941 in prize money; Becker has won 49 career titles and $25,080,956 in prize money. The two men played 35 matches. Becker won 25 out of the 35 matches; however, Edberg won 4 out of 7 of their Grand Slam meet ups . Their most popular meet ups occurred at three successive Wimbledon finals.  Interestingly, in a 2009 post Wimbledon final press conference, Roger Federer stated that the Becker- Edberg Wimbledon final rivalry inspired him to pursue tennis over soccer. For a while Edberg coached Federer and Becker coached Djokovic.

Rod Laver vs Ken Rosewall

The Laver vs Rosewall rivalry should be recognized because they played 143 times, which is just an insane number. Laver won 80/143. The reason for the high match meetings is because they were playing on the pro-circuit before the Open Era.  During the pre-Open era they met in 56 tournament finals, once the Open Era began they only met in two Grand Slam tournaments. The most famous match between the men was in the 1972 WCT finals because it captivated the television audience with suspense. Rosewall came out on top with a score of 6-4,0-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.

Serena Williams vs Venus Williams 

An awesome rivalry is the Serena and Venus Williams rivalry. Many of us grow up with sibling rivalries, but imagine having to play your sister an multiple Grand Slam finals. This rivalry obviously stems from years ago. In February 2002 Venus Williams claimed the number 1 spot only to be replaced 5 months later by her sister Serena.  The sisters have played each other 24 times, Serena won 14/24. Serena has won 6/8 of their Final Grand Slam meet ups.  The biggest highlight of their rivalry occurred in 2002; the sisters battle each other in the French Open final and then played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam finals. Their consecutive matches marks the first time in history that the same two female players battled each other in 4 consecutive Grand Slam tournament finals.

Those were some intense rivalries; do you have an intense rivalry? Do you need some more practice before meeting head to head with one of your rivals? Use My Tennis Group to propose matches and set up practices!

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