AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, who play for Olympic gold Sunday, faced off on tour for the first time more than eight years ago in Rome. Murray was 20, del Potro 19, and both had a lot more hair back then - though del Potro didn't have any sleeves. And del Potro engaged in that most classic of trash talk: dissing your opponent's mother.
It was quite mild, in fact, but Murray wasn't amused.
Here's how it went down: With Murray complaining during a changeover about del Potro hitting the ball at him when the Brit came to the net (which, incidentally, is completely legal), the Argentine grumbled to the player he had known since his junior days, "You and your mother - it's the same, always."
"You going to speak about my mum again? Huh?" Murray shot back.
As the chair umpire unsuccessfully tried to play peacekeeper, Murray kept going: "No, no, no, no, no. That's unacceptable. ... The guy's talking about my mum. What the hell is he doing?"
For the record, Murray wound up winning that day when del Potro retired in the third set and is 5-2 against the Argentine overall. Their eighth career meeting Sunday will be quite different from the first one in Rome in May 2008, and not just for the hair and the wardrobe. Instead of a first-round match in a near-empty stadium, they'll be playing in an Olympic final in front of what is sure to be a raucous crowd full of Argentine flags. Instead of being seeded 16th, Murray is seeded second. Del Potro is still unseeded, though because of injuries, not lack of accomplishments.
Here's the full video of two guys who would go on to win Grand Slam titles and Olympic medals: