Ivan Lendl d John McEnroe 3-6 ret.
Pete Sampras d Andre Agassi 6-3 7-5
Two of the greatest rivalries in tennis took over Madison Square Garden for the 2011 BNP Paribas Showdown. Renewing iconic rivalries of the 80s and 90s, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl competed in a one-set pro match, followed by a best of three-set match between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. Together, these four champions won a combined 37 Grand Slam Singles titles and 295 ATP Tour events.
McEnroe and Lendl took to the court first, but after leading 6-3 McEnroe had to retire due to an ankle injury he sustained in practice. The matchup of Agassi versus Sampras was any tennis fan’s dream. The last time Agassi and Sampras met in their professional tennis career was the 2002 US Open final, where Sampras won in four sets. While they started the match teasing each other and entertaining the crowd with their remarks, the two icons quickly got down to work as Sampras took the opening set quickly, 6-3. In the end, Agassi was unable to overcome Sampras’ huge serve, as Pete clinched the win 6-3, 7-5.
Tennis Night in America continued to grow in 2011, as Pete Sampras became their inaugural spokesperson, saying “Tennis was a great sport for me when I was young and having clubs around the country come together to promote kids’ participation in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Showdown makes for a great night of celebration for tennis.” With just over 750 tennis clubs participating in Youth Registration Night for Tennis Night in 2009 and 2010, over 1,000 clubs participated in 2011. First Lady Michelle Obama also became a part of Tennis Night in America as she promoted the USTA’s movement ‘Get Out and Play’.