Ranking the Best Budding Rivalries in Tennis Today

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at Internationaled.org

Published: October 28, 2016

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Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray and Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova are among the biggest rivalries in tennis today. But those players are aging, and the game could use some new, compelling matchups.

So what are some potentially epic rivalries, and what makes some better than others? 

The greatest rivalries include talented, top-ranked players who complete in high-stakes matches. The players have organic conflicts or intertwined histories. Fans circle their matches immediately when they pop up in a draw.

The best rivalries aren't always competitive. Williams has a 19-2 record against Sharapova, but the dynamic of their first meeting—when 17-year-old Sharapova upset Williams at Wimbledon in 2004—and their place in popular culture has made this one of the most anticipated matches in women's tennis over the past decade.

Similarly, Nadal is 23-11 against Federer. However, their status as two of the greatest of all time makes this one of the better rivalries in tennis history.

With the No. 1 ranking on the line, Murray and Djokovic have the hottest rivalry going right now. But there are some budding rivalries that one day could be just as hot. 

Criteria for this ranking include projected career paths, level of drama in the matchup and potential for many meetings in the future. 

You won't find Williams vs. Angelique Kerber on this list. They played in two of the best matches this year in finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. However, Williams is clearly in the final stages of her career, so although the rivalry is compelling, it's late blooming instead of budding with potential. 

The matchups on this list include players who have produced results that left fans hungry for a rematch. The players must also have the potential to win a Grand Slam. Examples of organic conflict and intertwined histories in...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Tennis

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