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View Full Version : Will Agassi go down as the best baseliner ever?


BaseLineBash
11-14-2006, 11:40 PM
This is my first poll thread... if it works of coarse... Just curious of what the masses think.

breakfast_of_champions
11-14-2006, 11:48 PM
no, borg, connors, lendl. federer is even pretty much a baseliner. and in 10 years, there will probably be new blood to add to that list too.

DarkSephiroth
11-15-2006, 12:55 AM
No. LoL.

Bill Tilden? Borg? Federer?

CanadianChic
11-15-2006, 12:59 AM
IMHO.. to this date the best baseliner is Borg, but time will soon place Fed into that position. His baseline play appears effortless, where Agassi had a more desperate air to his play.

Swinging Simian
11-15-2006, 01:43 AM
Nah Federer Connors, hell I'd even submit that Michael Chang was a better baseliner.

Alexandros
11-15-2006, 02:31 AM
Nah Federer Connors, hell I'd even submit that Michael Chang was a better baseliner.

Submit away, I'd like to know how on earth you'd come to that conclusion.

35ft6
11-15-2006, 04:38 AM
No, but he's up there.

Tilden, though? WTF!?

_skunk_
11-15-2006, 04:46 AM
Borg, Vilas, Wilander, ......

I presume when people is saying best ever, just forget that tennis is older than 100 year, is like comparing the armies of the ancient roman empire with the actual armies, comparisation is just not possible.

Grimjack
11-15-2006, 06:25 AM
Tier 1: Borg, Fed (greatest achievements, plus dominance over multiple years)
Tier 2: Lendl (2nd tier achievement, but also tour dominance over multiple years)
Tier 3: Wilander, Connors, Agassi (2nd tier achievements, but usually played 2nd or 3rd fiddle while on tour)

I do put him ahead of the legends who fed on slow surfaces, however, so I give him the nod over, say, Vilas.

Rafa's best friend
11-15-2006, 06:30 AM
RAFA will go down as the best baseliner ever by far, he will become a topspin legend.....

bribeiro
11-15-2006, 06:58 AM
Agreed rafas, his topspin is too much for tennis to handle, soon his balls will have so much topspin, that it'll create a tornado every time he hits an inside out forehand.

breakfast_of_champions
11-15-2006, 07:12 AM
the problem i always had with agassi is he was never able to beat sampras or federer on the big stage, that being wimbledon or the us open. he usually beat lesser players in slam finals. i dont really consider the ausie open as the big stage(people just didn't show up with there "A" game), at least during his era, although i think the aussie is now one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

agassi never really had any years where he the dominant player like connors, borg, lendl, either.

Scorch
11-15-2006, 07:16 AM
Well I would say that Federer plays at the net enough to put him in the 'all rounder' category as opposed to 'baseliner'

I would put Agassi at Connor's level.

For me Borg is the best baseliner. The consecutive Wimbledon and French wins stand out a mile.

BaseLineBash
11-15-2006, 12:51 PM
Borg? Wilander? Connors? Great Players in there day...but they didn't exactly hit the ball all that hard. I was thinking... along with Agassi... Lendl..

breakfast_of_champions
11-15-2006, 01:12 PM
Borg? Wilander? Connors? Great Players in there day...but they didn't exactly hit the ball all that hard. I was thinking... along with Agassi... Lendl..

used different equipment too.

a 37 year old connors went 5 sets with andre, and beat lendl in the uso finals. to difficult to compare different eras and unfair, anyway. the more recent players alway have advantages.

superman1
11-15-2006, 02:37 PM
No, Federer is better.

Agassi will never "go down" as the best or 2nd best baseliner ever. Doesn't work that way. IMO, he is the best behind Federer. But it's not worth your time to compare generations. I do think that it's foolish to say that guys like Lendl and Connors are a step above Agassi. What did they have in their baseline games that was superior to Agassi's? Nothing, absolutely nothing. They had nothing over him except less competition. But...I don't feel like debating that.

BigServer1
11-15-2006, 02:45 PM
Agreed rafas, his topspin is too much for tennis to handle, soon his balls will have so much topspin, that it'll create a tornado every time he hits an inside out forehand.

Hey that's a good one. Nadal also hits with such topspin force, that the earth is actually starting to revolve in the oppsoite direction, and soon we will quickly be traveling back in time.

(Maybe this means we can finally resolve this Prime Pete v. Prime Federer thing...)

stormholloway
11-15-2006, 03:03 PM
No, Federer is better.

Agassi will never "go down" as the best or 2nd best baseliner ever. Doesn't work that way. IMO, he is the best behind Federer. But it's not worth your time to compare generations. I do think that it's foolish to say that guys like Lendl and Connors are a step above Agassi. What did they have in their baseline games that was superior to Agassi's? Nothing, absolutely nothing. They had nothing over him except less competition. But...I don't feel like debating that.

I agree with this.

I think people knock Agassi because he didn't live up to potential.

He won every slam as a baseliner. That's impressive. No baseliner has won every slam. It's a cop out to say that Sampras didn't bring his A-game to the Aussie. The Aussie is perhaps the most balanced tournament in the world considering its surface. I think it gives no particular player a huge advantage.

Borg is the best baseliner in my opinion, but there are so many greats that it really doesn't matter to me.

servelefty2233
11-15-2006, 03:07 PM
no, though i wish i could say that he would. Agassi is the one who got me started playing tennis, so he is my favorite player.

avmoghe
11-15-2006, 03:18 PM
Okay.. I must say "wtf!?!?!"

The current vote count is 10:30 (yes:no).

Am I to understand that a quarter of this board places Agassi over Borg (not to mention Lendl, Connors, etc..)?

stormholloway
11-15-2006, 03:21 PM
Why is it so obscene to have the opinion that Agassi was better from the baseline than Lendl or Connors?

prostaff18
11-15-2006, 03:25 PM
I would have to agree with what was said about Agassi having a “desperate feel” to his game. It is like he never had a big weapon, just good consistent strokes that wouldn’t let him down. His backhand was awesome and his forehand was good, but there are a lot of people that had a lot bigger and better games from the baseline. Andre could just take the ball so early that it made it seem like he hit the ball so much better than he did.

drakulie
11-15-2006, 03:38 PM
To date, nobody has been better off the ground than Agassi. Nobody!!!!!!!

superman1
11-15-2006, 04:21 PM
I would say that no one has been better than Agassi off both wings. But Federer is better overall, primarily because of his movement.

The reason I don't like to compare generations is because I've seen clips of Lendl just walking or lightly jogging along the baseline in matches. You just can't get away with that stuff anymore.

maverick66
11-15-2006, 04:28 PM
I would have to agree with what was said about Agassi having a “desperate feel” to his game. It is like he never had a big weapon, just good consistent strokes that wouldn’t let him down. His backhand was awesome and his forehand was good, but there are a lot of people that had a lot bigger and better games from the baseline. Andre could just take the ball so early that it made it seem like he hit the ball so much better than he did.

nobody took the ball of the rise better in history. how was he desperate with his shots as he controlled every point. hes not the best but he is dam near close. if he could have volleyed and come forward more effectively he was the best player ever.

superman1
11-15-2006, 04:35 PM
For some reason, people equate Agassi's wide eyes with scared desperation. They think that somehow makes him a lesser player. Rios was a lot smoother and cooler on court...how many Slams did Rios win, again?

That's just the way Agassi was. For my money, there has never been a better ball striker in the history of the sport. If he had been 3 inches taller, he'd probably be the GOAT. If he hadn't slacked off in his youth, he'd easily have over 10 Slams.

chrisdaniel
11-16-2006, 12:17 PM
I think Agassi is the greatest ball striker...I watched agassi play all my life,and his game plans didnt change that much....you have to have an amazing baseline game to acomplish that....so many oppenents new what they were getting with andre,and most of the time it made no difference,thats how good his baseling game was..

sypl
11-16-2006, 07:31 PM
I don't think he had enough power to be considered the best baseliner. I remember at a Wimbledon semi Rafter just stayed 15 feet behind the baseline lofting paceless balls back deep and Agassi couldn't generate enough power to put them away. Seems to me that the best baseline in the world should be able to deal with that.

Agassi won points by running people side to side, which is a great skill because you need to stand so close to the baseline to do it, but for me a baseliner has to have dominating power in his arsenal.

BaseLineBash
11-16-2006, 10:09 PM
I don't think he had enough power to be considered the best baseliner. I remember at a Wimbledon semi Rafter just stayed 15 feet behind the baseline lofting paceless balls back deep and Agassi couldn't generate enough power to put them away. Seems to me that the best baseline in the world should be able to deal with that.

Agassi won points by running people side to side, which is a great skill because you need to stand so close to the baseline to do it, but for me a baseliner has to have dominating power in his arsenal.

Did you not catch Agassi's first two rounds at the USO this year? Thunderous power.

sypl
11-17-2006, 07:54 AM
I did not. Who was he playing? Anyone quick?

BaseLineBash
11-17-2006, 11:11 AM
I did not. Who was he playing? Anyone quick?

Andrei Pavel and Marcos Baghdatis. The 3rd round was hard to watch...

Trinity TC
11-19-2006, 05:21 PM
Bjorn Borg will probably be ranked higher as a baseline player than Agassi. They're both pretty decent.

EricW
11-19-2006, 06:10 PM
I would have to agree with what was said about Agassi having a “desperate feel” to his game. It is like he never had a big weapon, just good consistent strokes that wouldn’t let him down. His backhand was awesome and his forehand was good, but there are a lot of people that had a lot bigger and better games from the baseline. Andre could just take the ball so early that it made it seem like he hit the ball so much better than he did.

That's an absolutely terrible arguement, if him taking it early made his strokes seem alot better, then they were! Same reason why Davydenko's strokes don't seem rediculous like blake or federer, but he's still up there

Big Fed
11-19-2006, 07:35 PM
Maybe not the best but he was da bomb

capriatifanatic
11-19-2006, 10:10 PM
Federer is not a baseliner, he is an all courter with excellent volleys, great midcourt and transition game, and super serve so he does not belong in the "strictly baseliners" discussion.

I think Agassi was a phenomenal baseliner but he did not have great head to heads with alot of the other baseliners. Courier owned him alot of their primes, Lendl owned Agassi in 88-89 when Lendl was probably in his prime and Agassi not quite in his but Agassi was already very close to the top level still. Even Hewitt had a winning record with Agassi in 2001-2002 when both were in their primes probably. I have a hard time believing the best baseliner ever would be so undominating head to head against other champion baseliners.

joe sch
11-20-2006, 08:09 AM
My pick goes to Borg for the Open Era players

TalkingTennis91
11-21-2006, 02:27 PM
RAFA will go down as the best baseliner ever by far, he will become a topspin legend.....

Look, I completely understand and appreciate the fact that you are a huge Rafael Nadal fan, but let's look at this in a realistic fashion.

Nadal's big heavy topspin is beautiful on clay courts, but also makes him somewhat weak on grass, hard, and carpet courts. Especially carpet courts. Nadal, how ever huge and heavy his topspin may be, causes his topspin balls to land short a lot of times. And instead of staying low and being a slightly more difficult ball to come forward on and attack, it bounces right up into his opponents' "wheelhouses" and allows them to sort of "tee off" on it sometimes. This is especially noticable on the low-bouncing indoor carpet courts of Madrid, Paris, and Shanghai. Rafael Nadal has got to be great on something other than clay in order to be a great baseliner.

superman1
11-28-2006, 09:35 AM
If you're talking about pure baseliners, and not including baseliners that can also serve and volley (like Federer), then Agassi is the best ever.

It's not fair to guys like Borg, Lendl and Connors, because they never got a chance to prove themselves with the new technology. The game just gets better and better, and Agassi got better with it, whereas those other 3 guys got out of the game before the whole Luxilon boom. Even if they had been around, I don't think any of them hit the ball as well as Agassi. They weren't as strong as him and Lendl wasn't as quick. How would they have faired against the big serve and volleyers of the 90's? I don't know, but they would have had a much harder time. Borg might have retired even earlier.

Rabbit
11-28-2006, 10:16 AM
Bjorn Borg.

El Diablo
11-28-2006, 10:25 AM
Nationalism rears its unsightly head here. Agassi is a darling of the USA but most of the tennis world, what I've seen of it, will say Bjorn Borg is the greatest baseliner in memory. I don't disagree. And just imagine what Borg's game would have been like had he grown up in the era of big-power racquets.

kanjii
11-28-2006, 11:03 PM
Lendl and Borg for me. Lendl for his power...his rallies usually last 3 hits. Borg for his consistency...these new guys with the racquets...I dunno. Would love to see a Championship where only conventional head size racquets are played with...then we'll see how good these players REALLY are.;)

krosero
12-05-2006, 02:19 PM
One way to answer this question is to look at what baseliners have really done well on slow surfaces. Borg has six French Opens and leads everyone else.

Another way is to look at which baseliners have done best on FAST surfaces, where they were not favorites. For instance, what baseliner has the most wins on grass?

Borg - 5
Agassi - 1
Wilander - 2
Connors - 4
Lendl - 0
Federer - 4

(The total for Connors, IMO, is inflated because he won 3 slams in '74 on grass when 3 out of 4 slams were played on grass).

We can add hard courts to the totals, and I'm only including Flushing Meadow since the Aussie courts are widely seen as slower and as not really favoring either baseliners or serve and volleyers (and the Aussie Open would also give an inflated totals to players after 1988, when the Aussie Open went to hard courts):

Borg - 5
Agassi - 3
Connors - 7
Wilander - 3
Lendl - 3
Federer - 7

Moose Malloy
12-05-2006, 02:31 PM
The total for Connors, IMO, is inflated because he won 3 slams in '74 on grass when 3 out of 4 slams were played on grass

Still, that's nothing to sneeze at. In 1973 most tour players would have laughed if you said that a baseliner with an average serve could win 3 majors on grass(that was considerably faster than today)
Connors did the unthinkable & changed the way fast court tennis was thought of.

We can add hard courts to the totals, and I'm only including Flushing Meadow since the Aussie courts are widely seen as slower and as not really favoring either baseliners or serve and volleyers (and the Aussie Open would also give an inflated totals to players after 1988, when the Aussie Open went to hard courts):

Prior to the 90s, the US Open was considered a fair surface to all. Baseliners weren't considered to be at any disadvantage. I never Connors, Lendl, Wilander say that they thought Becker, Edberg, Mac had an advantage on that surface.

Hardcourt is very different from grass. Or at least it used to be.

civic
12-05-2006, 05:30 PM
Borg - 5
Agassi - 3
Connors - 7
Wilander - 3
Lendl - 3
Federer - 7

This is a good list. It's tough to compare. I didn't see a lot of Borg but Agassi is definitely up there. My summary of how they hit the ball:

Borg, Agassi - hit pretty flat groundstrokes
Lendl Wilander Federer - use more topspin, textbook groundstrokes
Connors - hit mainly flat and underspin groundstrokes

The Gorilla
12-05-2006, 05:43 PM
This is a good list. It's tough to compare. I didn't see a lot of Borg but Agassi is definitely up there. My summary of how they hit the ball:

Borg, Agassi - hit pretty flat groundstrokes
Lendl Wilander Federer - use more topspin, textbook groundstrokes
Connors - hit mainly flat and underspin groundstrokes


is this a joke?you're saying borg used flat groundstrokes?look up borg playing in roland garos on youtube.

civic
12-05-2006, 07:45 PM
is this a joke?you're saying borg used flat groundstrokes?look up borg playing in roland garos on youtube.

Right, those are pretty loopy grounstrokes. I'd say he hit about the same amount of spin as Lendl, but less than Wilander.

drakulie
12-05-2006, 09:00 PM
Borg, Agassi - hit pretty flat groundstrokes
Lendl Wilander Federer - use more topspin, textbook groundstrokes
Connors - hit mainly flat and underspin groundstrokes

If I was to compare the spin these guys used and how flat or loopy they hit the ball I would put it as follows:

Agassi/Connors-flat
Lendl/Federer- moderate spin
Borg/Wilander-heavy spin.

paulfreda
12-05-2006, 09:16 PM
I agree completely with Drakulie.

Borg hit flat ??????????????????
People talked about his clearing the net by 6 feet with his topspin and how it changed the game.

civic
12-05-2006, 09:25 PM
If I was to compare the spin these guys used and how flat or loopy they hit the ball I would put it as follows:

Agassi/Connors-flat
Lendl/Federer- moderate spin
Borg/Wilander-heavy spin.

This is how I would rank them in order of how much spin in groundstrokes:

1) Wilander
2) Borg, Federer - Tight stringing allowed Borg a lot of spin and he hit loopy shots but I don't think he hit a lot more
spin on the ball than Federer.
3) Lendl, Agassi
4) Connors - didn't hit much topspin except on lobs. Hit the ball early like Agassi.

drakulie
12-05-2006, 10:30 PM
Hey paul, we agree on something. Isn't that great?? :)

OK.
12-05-2006, 11:57 PM
For the time being, possibly yes, though Fed will probaly be considered the best cause he is pretty much a baseliner

paulfreda
12-06-2006, 03:40 AM
Hey paul, we agree on something. Isn't that great?? :)

Drakulie

Well it isn't all that bad. Or surprising. We both love the game.

The reason we locked horns on FH wrist snap is that you hit with an Eastern and I hit with a near Western. The techniques for each are completely different for the most part [but not entirely] . So it was hard for us to understand each other's assumptions.
Also we had a misunderstanding about forearm vs wrist wrt to what snap means. It doesn't matter. If there were only one way to play tennis, it would be too boring for most of us.
Cheers

Heyford Price
08-22-2008, 02:22 PM
No Way At All!!!!!!

thalivest
08-23-2008, 03:39 AM
Definitely not. Borg, Connors, Lendl, Federer, were all better in the open era alone. Nadal will be considered too in a few years, maybe less. Laver was probably even more outstanding from the baseline despite that he was not really a baseliner.

CAM178
08-23-2008, 04:55 AM
'Best' is far too subjective. Best for some could mean results, while for others it could be 'the best I ever saw'. And giving the title of 'best' severely discounts other players.

As far as some of the best that I have ever seen, I would have to say: Borg, Lendl, Connors, Kuerten, Muster, Agassi, Federer, and Nadal.

One of the most brilliant I have ever seen is like a solar eclipse, though: Nalbandian. When he's on, it is an absolute thing of beauty. But it's only once a year, if that. He's just beautiful to watch when he's really in a match, and when his head stays there for the match.

Agassi was unbelievable to watch for both his timing and for his rope-a-dope movement of his opponents. The funniest memory I have of him was against Arazi at the AO one year. He was moving Arazi around so much (and Arazi did not suck), that after Arazi had lost yet another point of running side to side, Arazi kept running side to side hitting imaginary balls. He then looked over at his coach and started laughing, as if to say 'WTF, man. All I'm doing is roadwork.'

Lendl was just an absolute machine. I hit with his hitting partner a few years back, and his hitting partner put it best: "I have NEVER hit with anybody who hits the ball as hard as Lendl does." Players knew that when Lendl wound up on that big forehand, that there was a good chance it was going to leave a vapor trail.

Muster was fun to watch for a few reasons. For one, it was an honor to see someone have worked so hard to come out of a wheelchair to play tennis again. And secondly, and because of that, he worked HARD in his matches. It did not come so easily for him. But he was the epitome of 'hard work gets results.' Players knew that when they faced Muster that they were going to have to be on their A game, and that they were going to have to win the match to win, as Muster would not give it to them.

Borg was a freak. His strokes were poetic, and his movement was absolutely sick. And of course, nothing else was better than the ice in his veins. NOTHING got to the guy, and that is why McEnroe had/has so much respect for Borg.

They are all great, but is it really fair to call one 'the best'? It's been a pleasure to watch all of them.

paulfreda
08-23-2008, 05:57 AM
Rafa for the same reason Borg was so great and hard to beat. Grinding topspin consistency.

Edit in; Wow this is a 2 yr old thread. Did not see that when I posted here.
But now IMO Rafa has established himself unique among tennis players with
his heavy topspin consistency. Only well placed power or good S&V
can beat him right now.

msunderland71
08-24-2008, 01:57 AM
Agassi had nothing in his baseline game that was better than Lendl. Except a more powerful raquet. ELO ratings suggest 1980's competition was just as tough as 1990's.

No, Federer is better.

Agassi will never "go down" as the best or 2nd best baseliner ever. Doesn't work that way. IMO, he is the best behind Federer. But it's not worth your time to compare generations. I do think that it's foolish to say that guys like Lendl and Connors are a step above Agassi. What did they have in their baseline games that was superior to Agassi's? Nothing, absolutely nothing. They had nothing over him except less competition. But...I don't feel like debating that.

Cenc
08-24-2008, 02:14 AM
agassi is still by far the best baseliner ever
and looking at young guys out there, i think he will stay on that place for next 20 years (at least)

laurie
08-24-2008, 05:30 AM
What do you guys think of Novak Djokovic's baseline game?

Cenc
08-24-2008, 06:30 AM
What do you guys think of Novak Djokovic's baseline game?

average... no more no less

tennisfever8181
08-24-2008, 09:02 AM
Sorry double post.

tennisfever8181
08-24-2008, 09:03 AM
average... no more no less

Yeah I agree.

coolblue123
08-24-2008, 09:06 AM
Quick Question: Is Agassi's FH considered a modern FH then? I think part of the reason why he is sooo good is because of his footwork and timing of all his shots. By being the master of this, he is able to take the racquet back as he likes and hit the ball.
Looking at his shots, it doesn't seem like he used a double bend or a Wiper FH. Just wanted to ask about this.

Octavianus
08-24-2008, 10:18 AM
I agree with this.

I think people knock Agassi because he didn't live up to potential.

He won every slam as a baseliner. That's impressive. No baseliner has won every slam. It's a cop out to say that Sampras didn't bring his A-game to the Aussie. The Aussie is perhaps the most balanced tournament in the world considering its surface. I think it gives no particular player a huge advantage.

Borg is the best baseliner in my opinion, but there are so many greats that it really doesn't matter to me.

Storm, very well said, terrific statement.

illkhiboy
08-24-2008, 12:22 PM
I would say that no one has been better than Agassi off both wings. But Federer is better overall, primarily because of his movement.

The reason I don't like to compare generations is because I've seen clips of Lendl just walking or lightly jogging along the baseline in matches. You just can't get away with that stuff anymore.

Well, Monfils and Ljubicic did play a match at the French this year when they were pretty much walking around the court.

anointedone
08-24-2008, 01:30 PM
Agassi had nothing in his baseline game that was better than Lendl. Except a more powerful raquet. ELO ratings suggest 1980's competition was just as tough as 1990's.

80s competition was much tougher then 90s actually. Agassi had a better backhand then Lendl though, so I disagree that he had nothing better in his baseline game. Lendl was still overall the more dominant baseliner though IMHO.

kiki
02-18-2012, 10:43 AM
This is my first poll thread... if it works of coarse... Just curious of what the masses think.

Borg,Connors,Lendl,Rosewall,Nadal,Kuerten were pretty better baseliners than AA

Pebbles10
02-18-2012, 12:55 PM
Wilande, Borg, lendl and nadal are the best basliners.

NadalAgassi
02-18-2012, 04:18 PM
Djokovic is overall a better baseliner considering his movement. Nadal is a better baseliner on clay by a huge margin, and a better baseliner on grass, so probably rates over despite that Agassi is the better baseliner on hard courts. Borg, Lendl, and Connors were probably superior too. He is probably something like 6th in the Open Era after those 5.

I would say he is a better baseliner than Federer due to Federer's backhand, and better than Wilander since Wilander had too little power by comparision.

Pebbles10
02-18-2012, 05:04 PM
Djokovic is overall a better baseliner considering his movement. Nadal is a better baseliner on clay by a huge margin, and a better baseliner on grass, so probably rates over despite that Agassi is the better baseliner on hard courts. Borg, Lendl, and Connors were probably superior too. He is probably something like 6th in the Open Era after those 5.

I would say he is a better baseliner than Federer due to Federer's backhand, and better than Wilander since Wilander had too little power by comparision.

Power is not a factor here i think.

NadalAgassi
02-18-2012, 05:39 PM
So power is irrelevant to who the best baseliner is? Please. Even for 80s standards Wilander had significantly reduced power compared to Lendl, Borg, Becker, or Connors from the baseline (still a better overall baseliner than Becker mind you). Prime Agassi would run Wilander ragged in a baseline rally. Prime Djokovic would as well. Lendl did anytime he wasnt nervous or out of form. Nadal wouldnt have any real problem with another baseliner with significantly less power, spin, and heavy a ball as he hits. Even an old Connors usually overpowered Connors from the back.

wimble10
02-19-2012, 01:19 AM
Best baseliners :
Wilander
Nadal
Lendl
Agassi

Honorable mention:
Brugera
Kuertin
Chang
Courier
Moya
Muster

Pebbles10
02-19-2012, 04:38 AM
The funny is that Connors never beat wilander in any match....still connors had a lot of more power.

If Wilander in 88 shape would go up agains Agassi 95 shape.....Wilander would changed his game plane for sure. He would not stand a chance from playing from the basline.

Limpinhitter
02-19-2012, 02:50 PM
I agree with this.

I think people knock Agassi because he didn't live up to potential.

He won every slam as a baseliner. That's impressive. No baseliner has won every slam. It's a cop out to say that Sampras didn't bring his A-game to the Aussie. The Aussie is perhaps the most balanced tournament in the world considering its surface. I think it gives no particular player a huge advantage.

Borg is the best baseliner in my opinion, but there are so many greats that it really doesn't matter to me.

Don Budge!

Chopin
02-19-2012, 03:10 PM
Federer is not a baseliner, he's an all-court player.

In the open era the best baseliners are Agassi and Nadal.

NadalAgassi
02-19-2012, 04:29 PM
Federer is not an all court player. He is far more comfortable at the baseline then the net. He might look like an all court player compared to Djokovic and Nadal, but by the true definition he isnt even close.

As an earlier poster said Wilander of 88 would get crucified by Agassi of 95 in a baseline duel. No contest. It wouldnt even looked much different than the matches they actually played vs each other that year with Wilander well past his prime. He would have to find a way to get to the net or bring Agassi to the net repeatedly to have any chance. LOL at anyone suggesting Wilander is a better baseliner than Agassi when both are at their best.

wimble10
02-19-2012, 04:35 PM
Federer is not a baseliner, he's an all-court player.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being baseliner and 1 is S&Ver, I put Federer as more of an all-courter.
Here's the thread :
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=412812

Devilito
02-19-2012, 05:32 PM
Agassi is ONE of the best baseliners of all time. IDK how you'd be able to judge if he's the best ever but if someone held that opinion I wouldn't argue with them.

Limpinhitter
02-19-2012, 05:41 PM
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being baseliner and 1 is S&Ver, I put Federer as more of an all-courter.
Here's the thread :
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=412812

Federer is not an all court player for at lest 2 reasons: (1) he almost never comes to net, and (2) his ground game is much better than his net game.

Limpinhitter
02-19-2012, 05:49 PM
Agassi is ONE of the best baseliners of all time. IDK how you'd be able to judge if he's the best ever but if someone held that opinion I wouldn't argue with them.

If by baseliner you mean Agassi's shotmaking from the baseline, then I agree! But, Agassi's mobility was never that great, and declined as he aged, even as his shotmaking improved.

IMO, adjusting for equipment, Borg, Connors and Budge were at least as good. Even if their shotmaking wasn't quite at that level, it was close enough that their mobility made up for it! Lendl's forehand was as good as either of Agassi's groundies and his backhand was close.

Devilito
02-19-2012, 05:55 PM
Federer is not an all court player for at lest 2 reasons: (1) he almost never comes to net, and (2) his ground game is much better than his net game.

Pretty much. The main reason Federer comes into the net is to finish off points when he hits a good groundstroke and puts his opponent on the defense. He rarely initiates approach shots and when he does he usually gets passed. His volleys are meh, not bad but nothing special. His volleys look better than they are because he comes in when his opponents are hard pressed to come up with a good shot on the defense. Guys like Sampras were looking to bomb approach shots and come in, when Federer comes in it’s usually a last minute dicision based on the offence he managed to create with his baseline game. He also comes in more often than others because his baseline game is more aggressive than others. Even Agassi came in once in a while just to take advantage of his aggressive game. Federer does it more often than Agassi did but he’s still a baseliner.

For reference, an all court player is someone like Petros. A net rusher would be someone like Edberg or McEnroe. Agassi and Federer are aggressive baseliners while Djokovic and Nadal are grinder / counterpunchers. However Djokovic has recently become more aggressive and is the reason he’s able to take out Nadal now because he doesn’t just grind with him.

TMF
02-19-2012, 05:58 PM
If Federer isn't the best baseliner ever, then he wouldn't have accomplished as much as Agassi, Lendl, or any of the past baseliners. Since his achievements drawfs those players, he must have other varieties which made him the best players. Hence, he's more of an all court than strictly a baseliner.

Devilito
02-19-2012, 06:02 PM
If Federer isn't the best baseliner ever, then he wouldn't have accomplished as much as Agassi, Lendl, or any of the past baseliners. Since his achievements drawfs those players, he must have other varieties which made him the best players. Hence, he's more of an all court than strictly a baseliner.

Not really. There’s way more to tennis than just how good you are at hitting the ball. There are so many variables involved in why Federer is a 16 time slam champion than his baseline abilities. There’s a reason at the pro level it’s said that tennis is %80 mental. If it wasn’t then Golubev would have beaten Nadal at last years US Open because he was by far the better ball strikers that day.

Limpinhitter
02-19-2012, 07:11 PM
If Federer isn't the best baseliner ever, then he wouldn't have accomplished as much as Agassi, Lendl, or any of the past baseliners. Since his achievements drawfs those players, he must have other varieties which made him the best players. Hence, he's more of an all court than strictly a baseliner.

Your comment makes no sense at all. That's like saying if Laver or Sampras weren't better baseliners then they wouldn't have accomplished as much as Agassi. They accomplished more because they were better overall players.

IMO, Agassi was the greater baseliner over Federer. Federer is the better overall player because of his mobility and his serve.

NadalAgassi
02-19-2012, 07:45 PM
Compared to Agassi, Federer has much better serve, better volleys, much better movement, a slightly better forehand, and a stronger mental game. It is no surprise he achieved more. Just looking at the baseline game it is pretty close. Agassi's backhand is far better, his forehand is exceptional, and his return is better too. Federer's dominant forehand, superior variety, and much superior movement make it close. It is easy to argue either way which is the better overall baseliner, probably Agassi on hard courts, and Federer on all other surfaces.

Federer volleys better and volleys more than Agassi and Lendl but that doesnt make him an expert volleyer, just much better than 2 weak ones. His own baseline game is still much better than his own net game, and he plays his baseline game much more than his net game, so he is still not a true all courter. Someone like Sampras played the baseline more often and played it better than Federer did the net.

Lendl reached 19 slam finals so the main reason he didnt do as well as Federer is he wasnt nearly as strong mentally, especialy early in his career, hence his very poor and surprising 8-11 slam finals record. Federer also has a stronger serve, stronger volleys, and smoother all around game than Lendl. Baseline game alone is pretty close again though.

wimble10
02-19-2012, 07:46 PM
Federer is not an all court player for at lest 2 reasons: (1) he almost never comes to net, and (2) his ground game is much better than his net game.
That's fine. I compare players relative to one another; I think Federer is more of an all-courter than many of the players today. Plus, he used to S&V a lot more.

wimble10
02-19-2012, 08:08 PM
Compared to Agassi, Federer has a much better serve, better volleys, much better movement, a slightly better forehand, and a stronger mental game. OK. Agassi's serve wasn't a big weapon. Agassi's backhand is far better, his forehand is exceptional, and his return is better too.OK. Agassi's backhand was pretty amazing.
Federer also has a stronger serve, stronger volleys, and smoother all around game than Lendl. Baseline game alone is pretty close again though.
No. I think they were pretty even on serve and groundstrokes to Lendl.

Zimbo
02-19-2012, 08:52 PM
Lendl reached 19 slam finals so the main reason he didnt do as well as Federer is he wasnt nearly as strong mentally, especialy early in his career, hence his very poor and surprising 8-11 slam finals record. Federer also has a stronger serve, stronger volleys, and smoother all around game than Lendl. Baseline game alone is pretty close again though.

The reason Lendl didn't do as well as Fed is because he played and lost to all time greats in those finals. I'm not saying Lendl is better then Fed, which clearly he's not. Getting to 19 finals shows some pretty serious mental strength.

NadalAgassi
02-19-2012, 10:04 PM
Federer would never have gone 2-3 to Mats Wilander in slam finals, go 1-5 vs Becker in slams and lose 2 hard court slam finals to him, lost a Wimbledon final in straight sets to Pat Cash, lost back to back U.S Open finals in his prime to a 30+ Connors and been owned by an older Connors up until age 32. Lendl did have more overall competition I agree, but lets also not kid ourselves here. Federer was a far better big match player than Lendl ever was by a long shot, his appaling H2H with Nadal in slam finals aside.

wimble10
02-19-2012, 11:16 PM
Federer still has a ways to catch up with Lendl's overall record. Also, Sampras had a slightly better record than Federer in GS finals.

NadalAgassi
02-19-2012, 11:31 PM
Federer still has a ways to catch up with Lendl's overall record.

I am not sure what planet you are on. Federer has twice the # of grand slams Lendl does, broke Lendl's slam final record, has won more WTF, has more time at #1 and was a much more dominant #1. Federer's record and historical place is in another league from Lendl, and I am far from a Federer fan.

Lendl probably should be ranked below Connors and McEnroe too considering in their primes they proved to be much better than him, and he only could go to the top when they began a major fade. Connors overall record is also as good or better in most respects, he excelled in all the same areas- tournament wins, slam finals and semifinals, as Lendl did. McEnroe's record isnt as good in most respects but his peak tennis was much better than Lendl's. Anyway he has over twice as many combined Wimbledon/U.S Opens as Lendl, and more combined French/Wimbledon/U.S Opens. The Australian Open back then was not that important, and McEnroe barely even tried to win it in his career.

TMF
02-20-2012, 11:14 AM
Your comment makes no sense at all. That's like saying if Laver or Sampras weren't better baseliners then they wouldn't have accomplished as much as Agassi. They accomplished more because they were better overall players.

IMO, Agassi was the greater baseliner over Federer. Federer is the better overall player because of his mobility and his serve.

Yes it does. If Fed has better movement, defense, slice, fh, consistency, point construction etc...aren't those attributes are part of a baseliner? Unless we define a strict baseliner with a certain attributes then we should address it. By then we can consider Fed a baseliner or an all court.

BTW, being a baseliner or all court game isn't always a black and white. Some players fall in between, and if that's a case for Fed, he shouldn't be part of a conversation as to who's the best baseliner. We leave it to the players that's more fit to the description.

Sure, Fed has a better serve, but the 2nd serve is fairly equal. I like to see Fed's 2nd serve winning % vs. Agassi during their prime. I believe Fed has a very high %.

TMF
02-20-2012, 11:18 AM
That's fine. I compare players relative to one another; I think Federer is more of an all-courter than many of the players today. Plus, he used to S&V a lot more.
This sound reasonable.

Federer still has a ways to catch up with Lendl's overall record. Also, Sampras had a slightly better record than Federer in GS finals.
But this is a bad post.

wimble10
02-20-2012, 12:30 PM
^^ When you look at Lendl's overall record of titles/final appearances, he is greater than Federer. Sure he doesn't have as many GS, etc..
And Sampras does have a better winning percentage in slam finals than Federer.

TMF
02-20-2012, 12:40 PM
^^ When you look at Lendl's overall record of titles/final appearances, he is greater than Federer. Sure he doesn't have as many GS, etc..
And Sampras does have a better winning percentage in slam finals than Federer.

No he is not !


Most GS titles
1. Roger Federer 16
2. Pete Sampras 14
3. Björn Borg 11
4. Rafael Nadal 10
5. Jimmy Connors 8
= Ivan Lendl 8
= Andre Agassi 8
8. John McEnroe 7
= Mats Wilander 7
10. Stefan Edberg 6
= Boris Becker 6

GS finals
1. Roger Federer 23
2. Ivan Lendl 19
3. Pete Sampras 18
4. Björn Borg 16
5. Jimmy Connors 15
= Andre Agassi 15
= Rafael Nadal 15
8. John McEnroe 11
= Mats Wilander 11
= Stefan Edberg 11

Consecutive GS finals
1. Roger Federer 10
2. Roger Federer 8
3. Andre Agassi 4
= Rod Laver 4
= Rafael Nadal 4
5. Jimmy Connors 3
= Björn Borg 3
= Björn Borg 3
= Björn Borg 3
= Ivan Lendl 3
= John McEnroe 3
= Ivan Lendl 3
= Ivan Lendl 3
= Mats Wilander 3
= Jim Courier 3
= Jim Courier 3
= Pete Sampras 3
= Rafael Nadal 3
= Novak Djokovic 3

GS semi-finals
1. Jimmy Connors 31
2. Roger Federer 30
3. Ivan Lendl 28
4. Andre Agassi 26
5. Pete Sampras 23
6. John McEnroe 19
= Stefan Edberg 19
8. Boris Becker 18
9. Björn Borg 17
10. Rafael Nadal 16

Consecutive GS semi-finals
1. Roger Federer 23
2. Ivan Lendl 10
3. Novak Djokovic 7
4. Ivan Lendl 6
5. Novak Djokovic 5
= Boris Becker 5
= Nadal 5
8. Rod Laver 4
9. Tony Roche 4
= John McEnroe 4
= Andre Agassi 4
= Jim Courer 4
= Nadal 4


All Four Slams Per Year
Rod Laver 1969

Three Slams Per Year
Jimmy Connors 1974
Mats Wilander 1988
Roger Federer 2004
Roger Federer 2006
Roger Federer 2007
Rafael Nadal 2010
Novak Djokovic 2011


All Four Finals Per Year
Roger Federer 2006
Roger Federer 2007
Roger Federer 2009
Rod Laver 1969

All Four Semi-finals Per Year
Rod Laver 1969
Ivan Lendl 1987
Roger Federer 2005
Roger Federer 2006
Roger Federer 2007
Roger Federer 2008
Roger Federer 2009
Rafael Nadal 2008
Novak Djokovic 2011
Andy Murray 2011

Most consecutive matches won at one Grand Slam event:
1. Björn Borg (Wimbledon), 41
2. Roger Federer (Wimbledon), 40
= Roger Federer (US Open), 40
4. Pete Sampras (Wimbledon), 31
= Rafael Nadal (French Open), 31

Most Grand Slam match wins
1. Jimmy Connors 233 wins
2. Roger Federer 232
3. Andre Agassi 224 wins
4. Ivan Lendl 222 wins
5. Pete Sampras 204 wins[/QUOTE]

Other Stuff:

Year-End Championships
1. Roger Federer 6
2. Ivan Lendl 5
= Pete Sampras 5
4. Ilie Nastase 3
= John McEnroe 3
= Boris Becker 3

Most Weeks at #1
1. Pete Sampras 286
2. Roger Federer 285
3. Ivan Lendl 270
4. Jimmy Connors 268
5. John McEnroe 170
6. Björn Borg 109
7. Rafael Nadal 102
8. Andre Agassi 101
9. Lleyton Hewitt 80
10. Stefan Edberg 72

Consecutive Weeks at #1
1. Roger Federer (1) 237
2. Jimmy Connors (1) 160
3. Ivan Lendl (1) 157
4. Pete Sampras (1) 102
5. Jimmy Connors (2) 84
6. Pete Sampras (2) 82
7. Ivan Lendl (2) 80
8. Lleyton Hewitt (1) 75
9. John McEnroe (1) 58
10. Rafael Nadal (1) 56

Year End #1
1. Sampras 6
2. Federer 5
3. Borg 4
4. Connors 3
= Lendl 3
= McEnroe 3


Highest Season Winning Percentage
1. John McEnroe (1984) .965 82–3
2. Jimmy Connors (1974) .959 93–4
3. Roger Federer (2005) .953 81–4
4. Roger Federer (2006) .948 92–5
5. Björn Borg (1979) .933 84–6
6. Ivan Lendl (1986) .925 74–6
7. Roger Federer (2004) .925 74–6
8. Ivan Lendl (1985) .923 84–7
9. Ivan Lendl (1982) .922 106–9
10. Björn Borg (1980) .921 70–6
= Novak Djokovic (2011) 0.921 70-6

Limpinhitter
02-20-2012, 01:32 PM
^^ When you look at Lendl's overall record of titles/final appearances, he is greater than Federer. Sure he doesn't have as many GS, etc..
And Sampras does have a better winning percentage in slam finals than Federer.

I have to disagree with you on that. Lendl was one of the most competitive, most tenacious players ever. But, IMO, Federer's game is a notch above Lendl's in every respect, except backhands.

wimble10
02-20-2012, 01:44 PM
Total tournament titles:
Connors = 109, Lendl = 94 , McEnroe = 77, Federer = 71, Agassi = 60, Sampras = 64, Edberg = 42

Total final appearances:
Connors = 51, Lendl = 50 , McEnroe = 31, Federer = 30, Agassi = 30, Sampras = 24, Edberg = 36

NadalAgassi
02-20-2012, 02:08 PM
Total tournament titles:
Connors = 109, Lendl = 94 , McEnroe = 77, Federer = 71, Sampras = 64, Edberg = 42, Nadal = 46

Total final appearances:
Connors = 51, Lendl = 50 , McEnroe = 31, Federer = 30, Sampras = 24, Edberg = 36, Nadal = 21

8 additional Slam titles (twice as many) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 23 additional tournament titles. Capiche. Lendl shined in the era all 4 slams were equally important and all important to a players career, he was not in the time of Laver or even Borg.

wimble10
02-20-2012, 02:50 PM
8 additional Slam titles (twice as many) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 23 additional tournament titles. Capiche. Fine w/ me. I wasn't comparing GS vs regular tournament, though, just total wins/longevity.

Lendl shined in the era all 4 slams were equally important and all important to a players career, he was not in the time of Lendl or even Borg.
You mean Federer? Maybe it is easier to win slams now, I don't know.

Steve132
02-21-2012, 11:33 PM
Fine w/ me. I wasn't comparing GS vs regular tournament, though, just total wins/longevity.


You mean Federer? Maybe it is easier to win slams now, I don't know.

You can't compare Federer's longevity to that of any player from a previous era, because he is still active. In fact, he won a tournament last Sunday.

The number of tournaments won is not per se a particularly accurate criterion for evaluating players across generations. Players in Lendl's era simply played in far more tournaments than today's generation do. Moreover, generally speaking today's top players play in the SAME tournaments. They plan their schedule around the 4 majors, 9 Masters events and the YEC. It's much more difficult to amass titles these days, simply because you have to beat the best in most of your tournaments.

I'm a great admirer of Ivan Lendl, who is seriously underrated in some quarters. But while I would rank him ahead of Connors, McEnroe or Agassi, I don't see how he could possibly be rated ahead of Federer.

The percentage of slam finals won is an even less revealing statistic. By this criterion del Potro (not to mention second tier players like Gaudio and Johanssen) would rank ahead of Sampras and Federer. Unlike Sampras, Federer was good enough on clay to reach the finals at Roland Garros on five occasions, losing to Nadal four times. At all other major venues the respective records are Federer 15-3, Sampras 14-4. It would be, to put it mildly, counterintuitive to penalize Federer for being so good on clay.

Most of these issues have been discussed before in this forum. See TMF's post above for a list of some more accurate and relevant criteria to be used for evaluating players.

wimble10
02-22-2012, 01:53 PM
^^ good post. I was just rewatching the Sampras vs Federer classic. During the first 2 sets it seemed like Sampras could barely keep the ball on his strings. I guess he was having an off day. Federer, on the other hand, was on top of his game and deservedly won, but barely.

conway
08-24-2014, 01:26 PM
I think you could make a case for him having the best groundstrokes (forehand and better combined) ever. The best overall baseliner? Probably not. When you factor in movement and the other elements someone like Federer is a better baseliner since he has a better forehand, better slice, far better movement, and far better defense. There are others probably better too considering all facets of baseline play.

Dan L
08-24-2014, 01:30 PM
I think you could make a case for him having the best groundstrokes (forehand and better combined) ever. The best overall baseliner? Probably not. When you factor in movement and the other elements someone like Federer is a better baseliner since he has a better forehand, better slice, far better movement, and far better defense. There are others probably better too considering all facets of baseline play.

Rosewall, Borg, even slower players like Trabert and Lendl.

All of these were great at RG.

NatF
08-24-2014, 01:42 PM
Agassi has the best ground strokes ever as conway said but Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Borg etc...were all better from the basliner when you factor in defence and movement etc...

conway
08-24-2014, 01:45 PM
Agassi has the best ground strokes ever as conway said but Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Borg etc...were all better from the basliner when you factor in defence and movement etc...

Connors and Lendl would be a close call also. Maybe Rosewall or Laver, not sure on them.

NatF
08-24-2014, 02:11 PM
Connors and Lendl would be a close call also. Maybe Rosewall or Laver, not sure on them.

Yeah Lendl is probably better, not sure about Connors?

I think Laver would be, he had powerful shots from the baseline. More undecided on Rosewall, clearly had the movement and his backhand was exceptional...though I'm not sure how great it was for blasting winners from the baseliner?

conway
08-24-2014, 02:14 PM
Connors wasn't super fast but he seemed to be a real grinder and scrappy retriever who got tons of balls back, and his defense seems much better than Agassi. His court positioning was excellent, almost on par with Agassi. He had a much better transition game (his success at net was much more his transition game than his volleys even though his volleys were much better than Agassi), but not sure how much of baseline play that is. He had great defensive lobs and pretty good offensive ones, while Agassi had great offensive ones.

pc1
09-03-2014, 09:55 AM
Connors wasn't super fast but he seemed to be a real grinder and scrappy retriever who got tons of balls back, and his defense seems much better than Agassi. His court positioning was excellent, almost on par with Agassi. He had a much better transition game (his success at net was much more his transition game than his volleys even though his volleys were much better than Agassi), but not sure how much of baseline play that is. He had great defensive lobs and pretty good offensive ones, while Agassi had great offensive ones.

I would not exactly define Connors as a retriever considering that he hit the hardest groundstrokes in tennis in much of his peak years and he had perhaps the most aggressive (perhaps the best) return in tennis in his day. He was known to be able to blast back the powerful serves of players like Roscoe Tanner for example.

Yes he was also great defensively so he could be a retriever but I wouldn't call him a retriever in the mode of a Harold Solomon or a Bitsy Grant. I would tend to say that a lot of great players were great retrievers too. Pancho Gonzalez was known for his big serve and volley game but I understand that he was just as proud that he could defend well and make great "gets" of shots that others may not reach.

Not exactly sure what your definition of court position is but if it's footwork and anticipation I would give the edge also to Connors. I agree with you that Connors wasn't super fast like a peak Nadal but he was very fast and covered a lot of ground. One advantage Connors did have over many is that he could hit running winners off both sides extremely well.

Agassi has the best ground strokes ever as conway said but Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Borg etc...were all better from the basliner when you factor in defence and movement etc...

Not sure if Agassi has the best groundies (wouldn't rule it out either because he has beautiful strokes) ever but I agree with you that all the players you mentioned were superior to Agassi for the reasons you mentioned.

hoodjem
09-03-2014, 01:05 PM
I would not exactly define Connors as a retriever considering that he hit the hardest groundstrokes in tennis in much of his peak years and he had perhaps the most aggressive (perhaps the best) return in tennis in his day. He was known to be able to blast back the powerful serves of players like Roscoe Tanner for example.

Yes he was also great defensively so he could be a retriever but I wouldn't call him a retriever in the mode of a Harold Solomon or a Bitsy Grant. I would tend to say that a lot of great players were great retrievers too. Pancho Gonzalez was known for his big serve and volley game but I understand that he was just as proud that he could defend well and make great "gets" of shots that others may not reach.

Not exactly sure what your definition of court position is but if it's footwork and anticipation I would give the edge also to Connors. I agree with you that Connors wasn't super fast like a peak Nadal but he was very fast and covered a lot of ground. One advantage Connors did have over many is that he could hit running winners off both sides extremely well.
Would a retriever be called today a "counter-puncher"?

pc1
09-03-2014, 01:12 PM
Would a retriever be called today a "counter-puncher"?

Maybe. I tend to think of a retriever as a player who doesn't hit particularly hard and so they have to counterpunch. However so many players today tend to fit under the category of counterpuncher because they make the play off their opponent's shot and yet they can blast the ball at lightning speeds.

conway
09-03-2014, 01:17 PM
I didnt mean to imply Connors was predominantly a retriever or defensive basliner. He was first and foremost an agressive power baseliner and agressive player in general who also loved to finish points at net off powerful groundstrokes/approaches and even served and volleyed some (he comes in way more than Federer who is todays so called all courter). However I meant in addition to his powerful ground game, he was good in retrieving and scrapping out points too, which Agassi really was not other than in an offensive and controlling the points kind of way.

pc1
09-03-2014, 01:38 PM
I didnt mean to imply Connors was predominantly a retriever or defensive basliner. He was first and foremost an agressive power baseliner and agressive player in general who also loved to finish points at net off powerful groundstrokes/approaches and even served and volleyed some (he comes in way more than Federer who is todays so called all courter). However I meant in addition to his powerful ground game, he was good in retrieving and scrapping out points too, which Agassi really was not other than in an offensive and controlling the points kind of way.

I understand.

dominikk1985
09-03-2014, 01:45 PM
I think when we talk pure baseline ability of both wings novak djokovic is the best ever. of course peak fed and peak nadal have been very good too but fed had that huge serve to start the rallies and nadal has a weaker BH.

pure baseline ability on all surfaces of both wings nobody beats novak.

pc1
09-03-2014, 02:01 PM
I think when we talk pure baseline ability of both wings novak djokovic is the best ever. of course peak fed and peak nadal have been very good too but fed had that huge serve to start the rallies and nadal has a weaker BH.

pure baseline ability on all surfaces of both wings nobody beats novak.

I think often the list of best returners tend to coincide with being the best or one of the best baseliners. Connors, Borg, Vilas, Mecir, Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, Agassi, Laver, Rosewall are among the great returners and they are among the best baseliners.

jrepac
09-03-2014, 04:40 PM
If you equate "best" with hitting the ball hard, then sure, you can pick Agassi. But, I'd say Lendl actually could hit it harder. And, Connors played the short court game far, far better than Andre (yeah, I know we are talking baseline here). I also think he moved better and managed the back court better. Rarely was he out of position. And to be quite honest, who is better than Borg? I'm not talking nostalgia here...the guy was a genius from the baseline. Of the current generation, Rafa will likely wind up on this "best of list"....Fed, I consider more of an all courter, like Sampras, with superb skills from the baseline. These are all great players, yes, but I just don't see Andre as top of the tops, sorry. Way too spotty overall.

jrepac
09-03-2014, 04:46 PM
Connors wasn't super fast but he seemed to be a real grinder and scrappy retriever who got tons of balls back, and his defense seems much better than Agassi. His court positioning was excellent, almost on par with Agassi. He had a much better transition game (his success at net was much more his transition game than his volleys even though his volleys were much better than Agassi), but not sure how much of baseline play that is. He had great defensive lobs and pretty good offensive ones, while Agassi had great offensive ones.

Connors volleys were fine, but his approach shots were superb:)
That's what really made the difference IMHO. And, as he got older, he got more aggressive which is pretty interesting. Watching Connors '76 vs. Connors' 82 is nearly night and day. I always felt Andre was rather one-dimensional and his movement suspect.

pc1
09-03-2014, 04:46 PM
If you equate "best" with hitting the ball hard, then sure, you can pick Agassi. But, I'd say Lendl actually could hit it harder. And, Connors played the short court game far, far better than Andre (yeah, I know we are talking baseline here). I also think he moved better and managed the back court better. Rarely was he out of position. And to be quite honest, who is better than Borg? I'm not talking nostalgia here...the guy was a genius from the baseline. Of the current generation, Rafa will likely wind up on this "best of list"....Fed, I consider more of an all courter, like Sampras, with superb skills from the baseline. These are all great players, yes, but I just don't see Andre as top of the tops, sorry. Way too spotty overall.

I think Brad Gilbert said Lendl hit it harder but Agassi took it earlier so the opponent had less time to react.

dominikk1985
09-03-2014, 04:51 PM
I think Brad Gilbert said Lendl hit it harder but Agassi took it earlier so the opponent had less time to react.

I think lendl did hit his FH harder than agassi of either wing but agassi probably hit consistently harder of both wings. wasn't lendls BH much softer and often sliced?

I would rank in terms of velocity:

1. lendl FH
2. Agassi FH
3. agassi BH
4. lendl BH

pc1
09-03-2014, 05:16 PM
I think lendl did hit his FH harder than agassi of either wing but agassi probably hit consistently harder of both wings. wasn't lendls BH much softer and often sliced?

I would rank in terms of velocity:

1. lendl FH
2. Agassi FH
3. agassi BH
4. lendl BH

I would agree with that order. Lendl could really belt it off the ground with his backhand but you're right, he often sliced the ball off the backhand.

I was surprised Gilbert thought Lendl hit it overall harder because I did think Agassi's average speed off the backhand was higher than Lendl's average speed off the backhand. The differences in forehand speeds imo were closer imo.

Sabratha
09-03-2014, 05:18 PM
I'm starting to think Djokovic is a little better, but Agassi has more explosive shots and returns. Overall I'd pick Djokovic.

WCT
09-03-2014, 06:01 PM
Connors volleys were fine, but his approach shots were superb:)
That's what really made the difference IMHO. And, as he got older, he got more aggressive which is pretty interesting. Watching Connors '76 vs. Connors' 82 is nearly night and day. I always felt Andre was rather one-dimensional and his movement suspect.

You think 82 Connors was more aggressive than 76 Connors???? I don't think so. Neither in how quickly he came in or how much he went for the lines from the backcourt.
If you have both matchs, rewatch the 76 and 82 US finals. Keep in mind that Borg is faster than Lendl and they played the 82 final on a much faster court. Now count how many clean winners Connors hit from the back of the court each match.

I do agree with you about the approach shots though. Connors wasn't chipping and charging. His approachs set up his volley, but he had a very aggressive volley as well.

sliceroni
09-03-2014, 06:17 PM
Give these guys current racquet technology, heavier balls, slow court conditions and they will give you better, more entertaining tennis than today's field :)

US Open 1988 SF Lendl vs. Agassi: http://youtu.be/RWvv9WD7xy8

jrepac
09-04-2014, 05:10 PM
You think 82 Connors was more aggressive than 76 Connors???? I don't think so. Neither in how quickly he came in or how much he went for the lines from the backcourt.
If you have both matchs, rewatch the 76 and 82 US finals. Keep in mind that Borg is faster than Lendl and they played the 82 final on a much faster court. Now count how many clean winners Connors hit from the back of the court each match.

I do agree with you about the approach shots though. Connors wasn't chipping and charging. His approachs set up his volley, but he had a very aggressive volley as well.

I wasn't very clear; I meant aggressive in terms of net rushing, S&V, etc. I think in '82-'84, he was far more likely to S&V, come in behind an approach,, etc. Back-court game, having watched most of the '76 final, I agree, he hit a boatload of winners against Bjorn. He was very bold in that match. In '82, it was a little different....harder hitting Ivan and a faster surface. I have to watch it again, in its entirety, but he returned extremely well--as always--and really challenged Ivan on his forehand side. with occasional forays into net....but not as many as in '83. Still, that '76 match was pretty amazing...Bjorn did not lose very many on clay, red, green, purple, whatever....next to 82 Wimby, I've got to think one of the more surprising connors wins. (Tho' in '76, Bjorn was not quite the machine he would become in a few years).

Vensai
09-05-2014, 12:41 AM
You have to consider Jimmy Connors at the very least.

WCT
09-05-2014, 09:04 AM
I wasn't very clear; I meant aggressive in terms of net rushing, S&V, etc. I think in '82-'84, he was far more likely to S&V, come in behind an approach,, etc. Back-court game, having watched most of the '76 final, I agree, he hit a boatload of winners against Bjorn. He was very bold in that match. In '82, it was a little different....harder hitting Ivan and a faster surface. I have to watch it again, in its entirety, but he returned extremely well--as always--and really challenged Ivan on his forehand side. with occasional forays into net....but not as many as in '83. Still, that '76 match was pretty amazing...Bjorn did not lose very many on clay, red, green, purple, whatever....next to 82 Wimby, I've got to think one of the more surprising connors wins. (Tho' in '76, Bjorn was not quite the machine he would become in a few years).

No, you were clear enough to me. I didn't misunderstand what you said. I am stating, flatout, that Connors was coming to the net quicker in 1976 than he was in 1982. He was more inclined to come into the net quicker and he was more aggressive from the backcourt ie would hit more clean winners.

Connors came to the net 83 times by my count(86 by Moose or Krosero's) in the 1976 US Open final. I have him at 54 in the 1982 US Open final. I have him at 70 approaches in 340 total points in the 1982 Wimbledon final. Connors served and volleyed on 26 of 114 first serves in that match, by my count.

Again, the 76 match was played on a clay court. No, he didn't s/v 26 times, but it's a clay court. I only wish some of the 76 Wimbledon Connors matches existed so we would know for sure. The highlight film has maybe 12-15 points from the Tanner match he lost. Connors is serving and volleying on every point he is serving in that film.

It is a myth that Jimmy Connors somehow discovered the net in 1982. I will say he is coming in more than he had in many matches I saw maybe later 79 through 81. He was just coming in noticeably less. I've speculated that the further he got from Segura the less inclined he was to come in. I've always been unequivocal. The 74-75 Connors is not a baseliner. He is an all court player. Look at the 74 US and Wimbledon finals, the 75 Australian final, the 75 Orantes match. That is not a baseliner. Baseliners don't come in 75 times in 3 sets on a clay court.

Have you seen the 3 Connors/Borg Pepsi Grand Slam matches? The 78 Masters final? You would categorize the guy who played those matches as a baseliner? Not me.

Let me preface this with, I love Bud Collins. By all accounts a wonderful human being and an icon in tennis broadcasting history. That said, starting with the 82 Wimbledon final(and it was 4 1/2 hours nonstop of it that day's broadcast) he became that Jimmy Connors somehow discovered the net during 1982 Wimbledon. That this old dog discovered new tricks. And he spewed the same nonsense during numerous telecasts he did the rest of that year into 1983.

Iremember just shaking my head that day as he went on and on and on and on about it. Basically every time Connors came in. I'm like, Bud, how many times do you think he came in against Borg in 77,78 and 79? The latter 2 are straight set matches.

I will say this about 1982 and Connors. Queens Club that year was different. Something Inever saw him do. My stats had him serve volleying 34 or 35 out of 39 first serves. Now if he had done that at Wimbledon and Collins wants to tell me this is a new Connors, fine. Say Connors pulled a Lendl and started s/v 1st and 2nd serves every point that would be brand new. He didn't do that, nothing close to that.

Just a comment on Connors speed about the court. I think he was an excellent mover. He just wasn't Gerulaitis or Borg. Or Mcenroe for that matter. I've long maintained that his speed about the court was perhaps his most overlooked attribute as a player. But Connors vs Agassi wasn't close in the ability to defend, IMO. And that is part of baseline play.

As far as "counterpunching" goes, one of my problems with Drucker's book. He kept using that word. I just think it fits his game generally speaking. Every player is counterpunching at some point. laver plays Roche when Roche serves laver is counterpunching. Connors biggest strength was unquestionably his return. In that sense, I suppose, you could argue it.

But outside of that, prime Connors was a point dictator. In rallies, he did not react to what was being done by the other player, he dictated the point, for good or bad. He is going for the lines, the corners, not constantly defending or retrieving. That is not my view of a counterpuncher. Yes, he liked to use oppenents pace against them, but I saw Mcenroe do that a lot and never heard anyone call him a counterpuncher.

PS, just rereading your post. You mentioned him not coming in as much in 82 as 83? You have it reversed. He came in much more in the 82 final than the 83 final. Now, he didn't come in 17 times like Ted Robinson tried to tell us in 91, but it was far less than in the 1982 match.

jrepac
09-05-2014, 01:44 PM
No, you were clear enough to me. I didn't misunderstand what you said. I am stating, flatout, that Connors was coming to the net quicker in 1976 than he was in 1982. He was more inclined to come into the net quicker and he was more aggressive from the backcourt ie would hit more clean winners.



He had more points at net in 76 USO than in '82 or '83? I've watched all of '76 that's available and it didn't seem that way to me. But, he was playing very aggressively. Also, I'll have to look up the '83 stats; I was of the impression that he came in more the 2nd time around,as he wanted to end the points quicker due to his injured toe.

Yes, Bud probably exaggerated quite a bit re: Connors net play in 1982. And, I've seen more of his matches from '81 onwards than in the 70's. But having watched several of them, 2 of the Pepsi's as well, it does seem he was more likely to stay back and rally, rally, rally earlier in his career than in later. A subjective assessment perhaps, but I suspect I'm not alone in that view. Is Connors a baseliner or an all court player? I might lean to all court, given his aggressive propensities. But, counter-puncher? no, I agree w/you on that.

Not sure if Mac is really fleeter of foot than Connors; in different ways perhaps...certainly his ability to get to net. Laterally, from the back, maybe Connors has an edge....but, Mac was awfully good from the backcourt, no question. I think it's a close call. People don't think of Connors as being quick, likely because he played so many matches against Borg....

forzamilan90
09-05-2014, 04:33 PM
if this poll was redone, it will be way more lopsided

WCT
09-05-2014, 06:24 PM
He had more points at net in 76 USO than in '82 or '83? I've watched all of '76 that's available and it didn't seem that way to me. But, he was playing very aggressively. Also, I'll have to look up the '83 stats; I was of the impression that he came in more the 2nd time around,as he wanted to end the points quicker due to his injured toe.

Yes, Bud probably exaggerated quite a bit re: Connors net play in 1982. And, I've seen more of his matches from '81 onwards than in the 70's. But having watched several of them, 2 of the Pepsi's as well, it does seem he was more likely to stay back and rally, rally, rally earlier in his career than in later. A subjective assessment perhaps, but I suspect I'm not alone in that view. Is Connors a baseliner or an all court player? I might lean to all court, given his aggressive propensities. But, counter-puncher? no, I agree w/you on that.

Not sure if Mac is really fleeter of foot than Connors; in different ways perhaps...certainly his ability to get to net. Laterally, from the back, maybe Connors has an edge....but, Mac was awfully good from the backcourt, no question. I think it's a close call. People don't think of Connors as being quick, likely because he played so many matches against Borg....


I think your memory may be playing tricks with you on some of these matches, particularly the pepsis. Connors was in 72 of 187 points in 1977. 33 of the 99 points I have from the 78 match. He was in 53 times in 17 games in 1979. ALL played on clay courts. You are welcome to your assessment, but I think the numbers we have from the 70s matches that are out there will back up my assessment, and then some.

Believe me, I watched it as I unfolded. Started watching him in 1974, really watching him in 1975, and I really noticed it as it was happening. He simply was not coming in as much. About the 83 US final, I don't think he came in 5 times the first set. About 35 times the entire match. Maybe you were thinking of the second and third sets. He was coming in a bunch late in each set. Connors always came in on big points even when he didn't come in much overall. Again, I think your memory is playing some tricks on you. You mentioned 1984. Now something like 84 Wimbledon semi against Lendl, okay. But the US Open. How many times do you think he came to the net against Mcenroe? 5 set match and I think it was in the 30s,

At one point, Newcombe suggests to Trabert that maybe Connors should come in more.
Trabert says that is not really his game. The same Tony Trabert who always said it was a major aspect of his game in the 70s, especially the borg/connors matches. I defy anyone to show me a 74-78 match clip where trabert calls him a baseliner or a player who doesn't come in much. And I've got every 70s connors match I could find.

I'm not confusing speed to the net on s/v with lateral movement at the baseline. I think Mac is better at that too. I wouldn't call it clear cut, though. To me, that is more arguable than Connors was more prone to come to the net in 1982 than 1976. Or 74, 75, 77, 78 for that matter. Like the 1978 wimbledon semi. I have connors s/v 43 of 50 first serves and 28 of 37 second serves versus Gerulaitis. Yeah, I think that beats out anything we saw in 82. Not that he did that every match. In the finals, he might not have s/v 10 times, but he did come in 49 times in a 25 game match.

I wish there were more 70s matches out there. By the early 80s, you have 2,3 maybe 4 matches from some of the majors to use to compare. You've only got one match from many of the 70s tournaments, but I think they show pretty clearly that he was coming in quocker.

Triskadekaphilia
09-16-2014, 02:45 PM
I love these threads.

You can see how opinion has changed over time. Agassi was a very popular player when he retired and people forget how he squandered years of his career. That's gotta go against him but obviously he did have a great comeback story.

Open era has to be between Borg and Nadal. I won't get into that debate.

Agree that Connors is not truly a baseliner even accounting for the more all court-centered game when he was active.

Last point is that Agassi hit it extremely hard. That was one of his well known strengths. He used stiff as a board strings which may lessen the pace of the shot slightly and allow a full gut user like Lendl to appear to hit faster. Give them the same string and it's a toss up who hits a faster groundstroke.