Legendary Rivalries

 

I thought I would list down some of the Legendary Rivalries in the world of sports (sports that I love), I aint looking at team rivalries, but some contests between some highly talented sports personalities, these rivalries have made people flock to stadiums and grounds… they excited people they wowed them for different reasons… 

 

Boxing first…

 

There are many but nothing quite matches up to these two… and I wont mention any others… although I wanted to put Mike Tyson somewhere I cannot…

 

1.) Muhammed Ali v/s Joe Frazier

Joe_Frazier_Ali

When I thought of this post this is the first one that came to mind… Muhammed Ali was voted as the “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated &  “Sports Personality of the Century” by BBC in 1999 had only 5 losses in his career 4 by points and only one knock out.

From Wiki..

Quote :

Ali and Frazier met in the ring on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden. The fight, known as ‘”The Fight of the Century,” was one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of all time and remains one of the most famous. It featured two skilled, undefeated fighters, both of whom had legitimate claims to the heavyweight crown.

Many boxing fans argued that Ali’s speed and ability would blind Frazier, while others thought Frazier’s superior punching power combined with Ali’s long absence from the ring would give the advantage to Frazier. On the night of the fight, there were riots in many United States cities, including Chicago, where a whole theater was almost torn apart by angry attendees who had just learned they would not be able to watch the fight on closed-circuit TV

Unquote :

This something that arouses such raw passion among fans at times is what amazes me…. Sport is fun.. sports is winning and losing… but above all Sports is unadultared raw emotion !!!!!!

The video’s of the fight (WORTH SEEING) are here : Just watch the two going for each other…  

 

Tennis next… a sport I love, I am not listing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in this as they are still going…

1.) Boris Becker vs Stefan Edberg

3322

This was the beginning of my introduction to this sport… I hated Becker but he was a worth while opponent to say the least… the serve and volley of these two and I have seen countless video’s of them even on repeats. When these two would play it would be excitement and nerve hopping.. When they played Wimbledon finals and Doordarshan would telecast them it was like bliss… !!!

 

Not too many heavy aces and not too many big ground strokes unlike today where every one is an athlete and blasts winners like crazy…. but subtle serve and volley… the old fashioned Tennis as they call it now… I loved their contests where it would be topsy turvy.. A truly sensational rivalry without any real bad blood and no raw passion from fans either… !!! Which was a welcome relief in a way..

 

Here is one really interesting video of the two in a tie-breaker at a Wimbledon Finals…

 

2.) Steffi Graf vs Martina Navratilova

Steffi-Graf-Wimbledon-Martina-Navratilova1988_958163

One of the biggest sporting personality for me in the world of female sport was Martina Navratilova she was the epitome of fitness then… she would simply win them, be it singles, doubles or mixed doubles and still be hungry for more… in a way the ladies sport then became boring coz there was almost no match. Chris Evert was a competitor but nothing like you would want for a champion like Martina….and then came this almost shy, sweet smiling but unbelievably tough cookie to set up a rivalry… These two remain the best two tennis players in the history of female tennis for me…

 

In the initial phase of steffi’s career after she beat Martina in the 1987 final in French open to win her first Grand slam but the Champion beat her back to back in the Wimbledon and US open finals… thats when the era of these two started… and we would all sit in anticipation hoping the top two seeds would reach the finals…. I cannot pick who was my favourite among the two…

 

Two true champions again… !! here is another fight of the two on video again in Wimbledon… and if you havent realised… Wimbledon is my favourite tennis tournament… I love the green grass… the whites… and the ladies errrr… the tennis players on it…

 

3.) Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi :

06slid10

 

On one side was the best serving player the other side the best returner of serve.

On one side was style on one side doggedness.

Flash vs Grace.

The most endearing rivalries… While I believe Pete Sampras was one of the best players ever on fast courts… Andre Agassi was one of the most versatile players… These two when against each other was the biggest treat you could ever imagine… I still remember one match at the US open in the quarter finals of the year 2001 where Sampras defeated Agassi 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6. If ever there was a perfect match this was one. The two players do not make errors… they only either force errors or get points by winners. This is one heck of a roller coaster match and the level of tennis in this match is of really high quality !! just watch it ... here are a few highlights of that match .

 

[p.s. I never thought I would see anything like this match but I must say this years Wimbledon final between Federrer and Roddick came close]

 

Now Cricket… my favourite… is this post getting tooo long ??? get your coffee / tea / drink whatever…… pls… !!

1.) Harold Larwood  vs Don Bradman :

4th_Test_Woodfull

 

I have always wished and still do …. wish I were born in that era to witness cricket being played like this…

MEN  played then… no helmets.. no proper pads or gloves.. no limits on how many bouncers and no limit on how many fielders you can have behind square on the leg side on uncovered pitches…

 

A hard working lad who was working in mines comes to join English Cricket under the leadership of Douglas Jardine to take on the mighty Sir Don Bradman in his own back yard. Harold Larwood seethed fire which over 6 men on the legside, in the first match of the 1932 Bodyline series Bradman didnt play as he was sick. In the second test in the first innings Bradman was out for a duck… there after he over came his fears and played a stellar hand in a 4-1 series lost to England. Bradman and Larwood were most most precious for their captains. This was one series where the two countries almost came to war over cricket.

 

Bradman’s skipper Bill Woodfull said Bradman was worth 3 batsman to Australia in that series. When Harold Larwood died in 1955 his most treasured possession was a small silver ashtray inscribed ‘To Harold, For The Ashes, From A Grateful Skipper’ from Douglas Jardine. 

 

Perhaps this one line that he once  told Frank Tyson  might help you understand the terror Larwood caused, “When you hear 50,000 Aussies shouting at you, you know you’ve got ’em worried”  

Do watch this video

 

2.) Dennis Lillee vs Vivian Alexander Richards

 

The mad max against the slumbering slogger.

 

Dennis Lillee for me is the epitome of fast bowling. Fast bowling is one of the most physically straining aspect of cricket. Only those who have bowled fast in heat over a period of days can understand what true fast bowling is about… A bit of madness is necessary along with the method… !!

 

Do watch the video which is a classic over of fast bowling to one of the most fearless batsman in the history of the game.

 

BTW for those who didnt know… Vivian Richards acknowledged that when he was waiting to bat against Australia and Lillee and Thomson were bowling he would have to visit the bathroom frequently coz of the nervousness… !!! However when Richards would walk out the swagger and chewing gum would never let the opponents know there was even an iota of fear in his mind… !!!!

 

3.) Sachin vs Warne…

bradman-tendulker-warne

The Master Blaster vs The Wizard.

The stable vs the freak.

The curler vs the blonde.

 

Sachin creamed Warne on his debut in Sydney in 1992. But Warne wasnt the master then… fast forward to 1997-98, Mark Taylor’s Australia landed into India with the billing of the best team in the world. Shane Warne was a master by then… it was him v/s Sachin… In the first Test in Chennai Sachin hit a bearded warne for a boundary through the covers but alas… the very next ball was in the hands of Mark Taylor at slip. The master was gone for 4. In the second innings (sadly cant find video) Sachin came back with a vengenance… India was traliing by 71 runs and at 115/2 walked in Sachin and smashed… !!!

 

Warne was turning the ball atleast 2 feet if not more… !! After being smashed from over the wicket Warne turned to around the wicket to bowl in the rough out side the leg stump, Warne says he goes around the wicket only when his mindset is most aggressive…

 

This is one match where Sachin played some unbelievable shots against Warne who was spinning 2 feet, from around the wicket, bowling in the rough… But BEHOLD … the champ collared him and kept hitting against the spin over midwicket…!!! He reels off a 155* and the match is in India’s favour… !!!!!!

 

This is one contest that is the most close to heart because Warne is the Greatest Bowler in the History of Cricket and our Tendlya has collared him !!!!!!!

 

—————-

There are many other rivalries which are also quite famous and favourite of mine…

1.) Sehwag vs Shoaib Akhtar

2.) Ravi Shashtri vs Abdul Qadir

3.) The 4 fast men of the West Indies and our Sunnybhai

4.) Lara vs Murali

 

Some contests I would have really loved to see more of are

 Sachin vs Akram (they played too little against each other)

 

Hey BTW talking of Legendary Rivalries how can we forget our own blog world legends… None other but the greatest of all

 

The maverick and the loony…

The silly and the sillier…

The artist and the eater…

The hobbes and the hobbes…

 Our very own C n H

ofcourse who else….

cnh

                                                   CRAFTY & HITCHY !!!!!!!

 

Their first first legend rules… !!!!! doesnt it ????

 

Ducks the barrage of chappals… Bhagooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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62 thoughts on “Legendary Rivalries

  1. Smitha says:

    I just dropped in to ask why no new posts – and wow! new post and nobody had commented yet!!!!!!

    But Hitchy – sports again 😦 Will come back to read.

  2. Brindha says:

    Oh yeah… I love Wimbledon too… And Agassi Vs Pete was just great to watch and I felt bad for the person who lost the game.

    I think Fed Ex vs Nadal (last year Wimbledon) should also be in classics and hope we see more of them…

    And with cricket, with the retirement of Shane and McGrath, the Ind – Aus matches aren’t the same. That perhaps is the biggest credit to these players…

    Nice blog this one.

    • hitchwriter says:

      yes… that last years final was also a classic…

      but Fed and Nadal still have a lot to add… its still an unfinished story…

      Shane Warne and Mcgrath… are two golden cricketers … no wonder Australia’s golden period came and went with them… !!

  3. Smitha says:

    ok, Hitchy, thankfully, this sports post, I can contribute my two cents too 🙂

    Boxing – Pliss to excuse 🙂

    Excused since this is a big and yes relevant comment..

    Boris Becker vs Stefan Edberg- That was my introduction to tennis tooo! And I hated Boris Becker – I don’t know why – but couldn’t stand him – but would still watch 🙂

    Oh yes… I couldnt stand Boris at all… we used to call him pig eyes… golden eyelashes… and his madhuri like movements before his serve… ughhhh

    Steffi Graf vs Martina Navratilova – I couldn’t choose between them either.. Both are awesome, in their own way! And both were so committed to their game! Their matches were such fun to watch!

    You bet… classy players… Steffi looked way to cute then… seriously… !!

    Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi : – Absolutely loved watching them!!! It was such a treat!!! Again used to like them both – slighly partial to Agassi – the style element, you see 😉

    I am sure girls would be partial to Agassi… Sampras with his tongue poking out wasnt the suauve one.. 😛 😛

    Viv Richards was nervous! He looked so confident! Amazing bits of trivia, Hitchy!
    You know, for a sports post – not boring at all 🙂 Had a ball reading it 🙂

    Thank you madam… cricket trivia… ohhhhh… just talk to me about it baby… and hours will roll by… !!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  4. Pixie says:

    good one! 🙂

    I used to love watching Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras!
    On court, it was Sampras who was my fave and off it was Agassi!!
    Steffi Graff and Monica Seles is another pair I used to enjoy watching!

    Sachin and Warne! 😀 heh!
    MacGrath will always be a fave… 🙂

    but, now its Fedrer and Nadal and anyone playing against the Williams sisters 🙂

    nice trivia! thanks for the info hitchu! 🙂

    • hitchwriter says:

      Another Agassi fan… 😛 😛

      Seles and Steffi rivalry was shaping up quite well.. before disaster struck… 😦

      McGrath is my favourite too… but I guess he probably had an upper hand on Sachin in Tests atleast… !! but Mcgrath and Sachin rivalry was always overshadowed by the BLONDE BOMBSHELL !!!

      there was always a lot of drama with Warney… !!! 😀 😀

      Whats your prob with the williams sisters ?? huh ??

      cant you leave those two pwetty girls alone.. ?? 😛 😛 😛

      • Pixie says:

        Ayyo!

        typo!!

        I meant, I support the Williams sisters and enjoy watching their game! 🙂

        I totally loved the Ithcy and Scratchy poem!!
        Hitchy is the loony!! 😀 😀
        totally agree!! 😉

        but, Touchwood to your friendship! 🙂

  5. Crafty Shines says:

    SPORTS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    one more sports wala post????

    *scrollinnnnnnnnngggg*

    Aiyo!!!!!!!!

    😆 :mrgreen: 😈 😆

    Crafty & Hitchy!!! you have refreshed the memories!!!

    hitchu partner, me to be back…

    i dunno squat about the other rivalries… but the last one…
    calls for a detailed comment…. with trivia!!

    me will do a comment-post here!!!
    okies???

    *crafty slaps forehead for asking permission*

    meanwhile….
    {{{{{{{{{i love my partner hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

  6. Rakesh says:

    Awesome video of Ali and Frazier… Thanks to youtube you can watch legends for years to come. Just look at the speed of Ali’s left hooks. Not like anything I’ve ever seen.

    And don’t watch tennis but used to love sabbatini in those days 😉

    cricket – seriously how I wish too that we could watch Bradman, Harrold and the bodyline series. I used to love that tv series.

    I even used to love Sachin vs. McGrath. Both got the better of each other a few times… The most disappointing was Sachin in the 2001 world cup final. They’d scored a mammoth 300 something and whatever chance we had was upto Sachin and Sehwag… and McGrath took out Sachin in the first over 😦 (Btw, remember Ponting’s batting in that match, especially against Harbhajan… Ok let’s not go there)

    And another rivalry I love is Ganguly vs. Australian coaches.

    And Brett Lee vs. Sehwag also was good in that series in Australia where Sehwag’s partner was Aakash Chopra.

    Awesome compilation… with your trademark dash of silly humour at the end.

    • hitchwriter says:

      The speed saved him against the giant !! didnt it…

      Body line… my sentiments yaar… that was cricket… you should read the whole description of the third test at Adelaide… there wouldnt be a more brutal contest than that one… seriously !!

      Mcgrath probably beat Sachin more often in Tests.. !! In ODI’s they were probably even… !!

      Nasty guy couldnt resist that Ponting dig eh… but I dont consider ODI’s that seriously… plus it was in South Africa… Bouncy pitch… !! remember !! its about his performance on slow low tracks… Complete batsman ?? i still doubt.. 😛 😛

      Ganguly and left arm spinners was a great contest too wasnt it.. lol.. 😛 😛

      Sehwag did smash him in that series… that 195 at melbourne was particularly good… !!!!

      What humour ????????????? 😯

  7. Deeps says:

    Hitchy,you really made me nostalgic with all the mentioning of ecke,Ederg,Graf,Navaratilova,Chris Evert!

    boxing is to me what Malayalam is to you 😀

    I used to look forward to watching becker & edberg’s matches.Oh!they used to be a delight!
    And yes Sampras & Agassi.I used to like them both,but I always had a soft corner for Agassi(read DROOOOOOL) 🙂

    Graf is my all time favourite..its so sad today’s women’s line up has nothing even remotely close to Graf & Navrathilova’s era to boast about! I wish Justine Henin had stayed a little longer,she would have certainly become a cult!

    as for cricket I love Sachin and Imran Khan too 🙂

  8. Harish Krishnan says:

    I am going to comment in the Kaminey lingo :P.

    Frafty and Hitfy’f rivalry is unique whifh I enjoy the moft :). Hitfy, what a wonderful compilation. Add to it Federer Vs Nadal now which I am enjoying immenfely 😀

    Hope you managed to read the Kaminey lingo. sirf aaj ke liye

  9. kanagu says:

    the rivalry is great between Frazier and Mohammed Ali… i have read the article between their fights in Wikipedia again and again..

    and Navaratilova was way before I started watching tennis and I never liked Steffi Graf… my favorites are Monica Seles and Justin Henin…

    and for Viv Richards… I like him much.. yet to see Dennis Lilee bowling.. will watch soon..

    Sachin and Warne is a rivalry which we can expect any day… its a cracker… Sachin dancing down the track and lofting him over the head is a spectacle 🙂

    Lara Vs.. Murali.. another cracker 🙂

    and the last one.. legend in making 😛 😛

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