One of Tennis' Greatest Rivalries Returns By Way of Pete Sampras' Nike Signature Shoe

Nike Sportswear is gearing up to reignite one of tennis' greatest rivalries with the return of Pete Sampras' Air Oscillate.

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Complex Original

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Throughout the '90s, there was no tennis rivalry fiercer than the one between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. The two faced off in the finals of Grand Slam tournaments like the 1990 US Open, the 1995 Australian Open, and Wimbledon 1999, with a total of 34 meetings between the two from 1989 through 2002. Now that both men have hung up their racquets, Nike Sportswear is looking back on one of the game's greatest match-ups with the return of their signature shoes.

The Nike Air Oscillate was introduced in 1997, but before Nike could convince the public to buy them, it had to convince Pete Sampras to wear them. To do so, designer Tinker Hatfield employed some trickery on the tennis star. As the story goes, Sampras didn't want to switch things up, and was more than happy in the Nike shoes he had be wearing — and winning in — for much of his career.

So, Hatfield challenged Sampras to a friendly game of pick-up basketball and tossed him a pair of Air Oscillates to lace up. This was Sampras' first time wearing the new model, and he quickly took a liking to the responsive Zoom Air cushioning setup. Shortly thereafter, Pete wore the Air Oscillate as he dominated 1997 Australian Open and continued to rock them for the next seven years. 

Now, along with Agassi's already released Air Tech Challenge III, Sampras' Air Oscillate is returning in all its O.G. glory. The Air Oscillate will be available starting August 29 from Nikestore online and select Nike Sportswear retailers. Take a look at more detailed shots below, along with a some classic Nike ads for both sneakers. Whose side are you on?