I am not quite sure where ego and tennis all started but I believe that in any form of one on one sport there is a certain element of 'ego vs ego'. Andre Agassi speaks of tennis as a 'boxing match' albeit around 70 feet from your opponent. Agassi talks of Boris Becker in his book 'Open' and how he despised him yet when you put it all into perspective the great 'Boom Boom' Becker was 6 foot 3. Agassi was then and still should be 5 foot 11, that's my height, and personally I know my own capabilities. But did Andre ?
The Las Vegas showman didn't have to put the boxing gloves on, he simply had to return the serve of the German regularly to drive his ego. Despite Andre being the son of a boxer I believe he may have just found the extra 10 cm and weight disadvantage to be a little too much if the gloves were put on.
Andre Agassi also talks of the great Jimmy Connors in a less than complimentary way in his book, preferring to label Connors an 'egotist' . I find that amusing. When Connors and Agassi first traded blows in 1988 on court at the US Open Agassi was 18 years of age, Connors 36. Agassi won in straight sets. Personally I believe that the comments in the press conference ( earlier chapter ) hurt Connors more than the loss.
The following year in New York Connors won the third set against Agassi 6-0 when Connors was 37 years of age, Agassi 19, surely this demands some respect ? Nope, not according to Andre as his book suggests. The best excuse he could come up with was that he was trying to take Jimmy to 5 sets to give him 'some pain'. I find this rather amusing.
If Andre was that confident that he 'owned' Jimmy then surely he would have won the last two sets say 6-1, 6-2 rather than 6-3 and 6-4 as was the case.
I don't believe for a minute that Andre was in control of this particular match as he basically said , it was I believe an egotistical claim. The third set was rather silly but Connors was not missing a ball against his much younger opponent so despite Andre's claims that he basically tanked the set I think there was more to it. More ego.
I received an email a while back from a much younger fellow than myself, almost the difference between Jimmy and Andre, in years, obviously not ability. The young fellow was not happy with one or two of my chapters so he challenged me to a match ! Fair dinkum I have seen some things over the years but this may have just taken the cake. As I always say " If you take offence to what I write then perhaps it has some substance after all ".
Remember the chapter I titled 'Stefan Koubek ( Legend ) ? Well here is a man who did not possess the skills of Becker , Agassi or Connors yet his egotistical ways on court were almost second to none. Trying to choke his opponent at the side of the court was maybe one of the funniest yet strangest things you could ever witness in tennis.
So to my conclusion; It's an egotistical game, it's one on one, mind vs mind, body vs body, shot vs shot, it has to be EGO VS EGO, what else could it possibly be ? As far as coaches of the game of tennis are concerned , well I have a theory.
Usually the ones that 'bite' to others comments are the ones that are a little unsure of either who they are or what they even stand for in the sport of tennis. After all if you are doing a good job then others' opinions should not affect the way they teach or talk about the game . 'Water off a Duck's back' should be their motto yet strangely this does not seem to be the case.
So to the guy who accused me of writing sh.. : No we have not played that challenge match yet, I am waiting another few years til he gets closer to my age, one day Champ.......