These 10 titanic rivalries defined tennis

From championship battles to sibling rivalries, Tennis has some of the most intense rivalries than any other sport, with all competitors pushing their bodies and minds to the limit in order to triumph over their opponents. Here are some of the most famous, long running rivalries of the sport.

1. Rivalries don’t get more intense than this! Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have faced off more than 33 times, with Nadal holding the lead, for now. Most notably, Nadal is the only player who could beat Federer in his prime, matching him in both speed and skill. 
 

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2. A battle of extreme opposites, Pete Sampras’s elegant and refined playing style ran in stark contrast to Andre Agassi’s aggressive technique that focused on overpowering his opponent. Having met in the junior circuit, they would clash 34 times from 1989 to 2002, with their longest match lasting 3 hours.

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3. A battle between two icons, Borg had experience and skill on his side, while McEnroe led with his youth and latent talent. Their memorable 1980 match would become the focus of a 2017 biopic.

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4. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal; a battle of wits, will and stamina. They clashed more than 44 times on the court, and have played the longest match in Grand Slam history that clocked in at an astounding 5 hours and 53 minutes!

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5. These two siblings took their rivalry to the courts, for a grand total of 24 times. Evenly matched, their aggressive playing styles made the outcome unclear with almost every match decided by a single point. 

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6. Bill Johnston and Bill Tilden were the dominant American Tennis champions through the 1920s, with both having achieved success quite early on their careers, facing each other six time in the U.S. cup, a feat unheard of in tennis back then, culminating in their final match in 1925.

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7. The competition between Billie Jean King and Margaret Court lasted from 1930 to 1968 during which both players met 32 times, with Court winning 22. Their history includes face offs in 5 separate grand slam events. 

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8. Starting in early 1963, Rod Laver was already World No. 1 and remained undefeated, but young protégé Ken Rosewall was the only player who could match strength, speed and stamina with Laver, and so began a rivalry that spanned 20 years between the two men who competed for glory in the tennis hall of fame.

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9. Having met in both grand slams and open tournaments, Steffi Graff and Monica Seles were both legends in their own right, repeatedly competing for the title of World No.1 during their careers.

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10.Helen Jacobs Vs. Helen Wills was a notable rivalry due to the clash of two iconic feminine figures in tennis who had both proved their incredible talent for the sport that culminated in the most historic match in tennis.

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