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Andre Agassi puts Roger Federer in class above Pete Sampras

Roger Federer racketRanking the greatest athletes in the history of a sport is a complex task that always leads to debate. Many say Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time, while others like John McEnroe are giving their vote to Rafael Nadal. Some go back in history and point to Rod Laver, and some may throw Pete Sampras into the discussion. But if you ask Andre Agassi, Federer, Laver and Nadal are in a different class from Sampras.

Agassi, who won eight majors and is one of only three players in the Open Era to win all four grand slams, joined HuffPost Live on Monday and broke down the greats of all time.

Agassi had a notorious rivalry on and off the court with Sampras and termed Pete his “nemesis,” though he stated Pete was the “best of his time.” However, Agassi says he puts Federer (and Nadal and Laver) in a class above Sampras, despite Sampras winning 14 grand slams.

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Andre Agassi Beat Jim Brown at Tennis as a 9-Year-Old

Andre Agassi young kidSo I received my copy of SI in the mail Friday and finally got to dig into the excerpts of Andre Agassi’s book with more detail than reading the shocking headline that “he did Meth!!!” Needless to say, the excerpts were quite intriguing and accomplished their job of whetting the appetite for the book. One of the cool stories from the book was mentioned by Shutdown Corner and it’s the anecdote of Andre Agassi beating Jim Brown as a 9-year-old kid. Here’s the meat of the tale:

After asking the 9-year-old some questions about his skills (Agassi told him he never loses) and getting warned by the club owner not to take the bet, Brown and Mike Agassi agreed that they’d set the amount after he and Andre played two sets. After dropping two straight sets by a score of 3-6, Brown politely declined the 10K wager and offered $500 for the third. He lost, 6-2.

Now the question I have is if Brown later realized that the Andre Agassi who was number one in the world was the same 9-year-old kid that beat him years before. Think about this — Jim Brown is one of the best football players of all-time, not to mention one of the best lacrosse players ever. And he was beaten by a 9-year-old! Goes to show you how talented Agassi was.

Since the theme from Agassi’s book seems to be how much he (and many other youngsters pushed by their parents) hated tennis, I would like to know whether or not he’s proud of his accomplishments in the sport. After all, there’s no way to say that all the hard work didn’t pay off — he has gone down in history as one of the greats in the game.

Andre Agassi Pops Steffi Graf in the Face

So most of us have already heard the story of Andre Agassi hitting his wife Steffi in the face with a racket during a charity match. Now thankfully, we have the video of it. Nice job by the fan who captured it. Ugh, everyone was laughing, smiling, have a grand ole time and then…whack!

Chest Bump to SPORTSbyBROOKS for the video