Greatest Tennis Rivalries

The Top Ten
1 Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal

This has to be it. The greatest rivalry I've seen in my life up till now. - Kiteretsunu

This has to be it, at least from the open era - MatrixGuy

2 Martina Navratilova v. Chris Evert
3 Pete Sampras v. Andre Agassi
4 Venus Williams v. Serena Williams
5 John McEnroe v. Jimmy Connors
6 Bjorn Borg v. John McEnroe
7 Steffi Graf v. Monica Seles
8 Bobby Riggs v. Billie Jean King
9 Ken Rosewall v. Rod Laver
10 Novak Djokovic v. Rafael Nadal
The Contenders
11 Don Budge v. Gottfried von Cramm
12 Boris Becker v. Stefan Edberg
13 Lleyton Hewitt vs Roger Federer
14 Chris Evert v. Evonne Goolagong

The contrasting styles, similar ages both vying to be number 1 made for an exciting rivalry. It did not quite live up to expectations mainly due to Chris Evert who generally dominated their matches and was clearly the better player.

Not sure if I would consider this a competitive rivalry. Chris was definitely the superior player and usually dominated their matches.

"Flattered to deceive" is how I would classify this rivalry. Chris led 26-13 head to head and was a bit too much for Evonne to handle.

15 Chris Evert v. Margaret Court

Margaret Court never recovered from her straight sets loss to a 15 year old Evert in their first meeting. Evert with her unflappable demeanour was a bit too intimidating for Court.

Oh please... This was not much of a rivalry. Evert had Court's number from the very first time they met. Court never really recovered from that early loss.

This is an under-hyped rivalry. Margaret was the number 1 in the early 1970’s and dominating women’s tennis. Chris, age 15, all of 98 pounds and 5ft 2” tall played the World number 1 in 1970 and beat her in straight sets. A shocker. Chris won their next 2 matches also in straight sets. They played 13 matches in all, with Chris ending with a 9-4 advantage.

Their styles were contrasting - Margaret was a big server with a good net game; powerful and fit. Chris was a baseliner with good return of serves and a 2-handed backhand. It was fascinating watching Chris handle the Margaret serve and the duel between the net rusher and the baseliner.

I wish their careers had overlapped more. They had some good matches, but Evert was the superior player and seemed to read Court’s game - especially her serve - well whereas Court on the other hand struggled against Evert’s 2-handed backhand.

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