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View Full Version : Roger Federer vs. Andre Agassi: Whose the better tactician/strategist?


illkhiboy
08-20-2007, 04:08 PM
What do you guys think? Please explain your votes!

wally
08-20-2007, 05:52 PM
Andre during the Brad Gilbert era

You had 2 of the greatest tennis minds trying to break down an opponent.

Most of the time from say 1997 - 2000 Andre was good enough to execute the strategy

illkhiboy
08-20-2007, 06:11 PM
9 to 6 for Federer so far. Would be interesting if people started discussing and/or explaining their votes.
Personally, to me, it seems like Federer's strategies have suffered a bit lately. He at times seems to be too stubborn in his approach.

federer envies me
08-20-2007, 06:15 PM
Andre during the Brad Gilbert era

You had 2 of the greatest tennis minds trying to break down an opponent.

Most of the time from say 1997 - 2000 Andre was good enough to execute the strategy

yeah andre and gilbert were money together

Dilettante
08-20-2007, 06:16 PM
I think Agassi was tactically just plain brilliant. And in his latest years, he improved his strategics so much. One of the smartest players I've seen on a court.

kingkong
08-20-2007, 06:21 PM
agssi was a tactically ********, gilbert was a tactical genius

illkhiboy
08-20-2007, 06:43 PM
I think Agassi was tactically just plain brilliant. And in his latest years, he improved his strategics so much. One of the smartest players I've seen on a court.

Can you point out a match where he strategized brilliantly?

chrisdaniel
08-20-2007, 07:21 PM
2004 cincinnati final vs Hewitt was brilliant..Andre played very different and it worked out well in the end. I wish I could get more detailed here but I didnt video tape it. I do remember alot of rallies where Andre kinda just pushed the ball down the middle and it created alot of problems for Hewitt.

quest01
08-20-2007, 08:05 PM
I think Federer is a little better when it comes to employing strategy to defeat his opponents. Agassi could have won more grand slams if he could find a way to get through some of the tougher matches throughout his career such as the 2001 Wimbledon semis between Agassi and Rafter for example.

anointedone
08-20-2007, 08:07 PM
Federer I think.

tennispro11
08-20-2007, 08:39 PM
Federer I think.

Yeah most definitely Federer. All the guys that he had a losing record to when he was younger, he now has a winning record against them. I think that speaks for itself.

ShooterMcMarco
08-20-2007, 08:41 PM
I think Federer is because he has more variety and can use that in different ways to disarm his opposition.

daddy
08-20-2007, 08:55 PM
Can you point out a match where he strategized brilliantly?

I will be general but will make a point - thru the career he always knew the weaknesses, worked on them and improved like the serve. Always used his physical disadvantage ( face it hes not safin or sampras or anything close ) and took oponents to their backfoots by returning high and deep. ALso during th matches you would see him many times going for the weakness of the oponent.

As with fed I do think he is gifted physically and more so mentally, brakeds down people with consistency and pace, good serve and some marvelous shots but I dont think he need tactics that much. He basically sticks to his game and wins by the virtue of being hard worker and more tsallented. Agassi was certanly not like that so he implemented alot of tricks and his game was never the same match after match.

Conclusion - Aggasi used tactis better cause he had to. Rog does not ahve to , which is why he did not win the FO = he thinks he can outplay Nadal with HIS play which suits fast courts on clay. He is damn close for 3 years, but we know the outcome.

Alexandros
08-20-2007, 08:59 PM
Federer just instinctively knows what to do. He has such a great feel and sense for the game and with the vast array of shots at his disposal he just knows what he needs to do to win.

Agassi on the other hand had less 'talent' but he thought a lot more on court. As in actively thinks about what his opponent is doing, what shots are working for them and what aren't, where they are prone and vulnerable so he can exploit it and where they are strong so he can avoid.

So both are excellent tacticians but in very different ways.

daddy
08-20-2007, 09:14 PM
I kind of said the same I feel.

Dilettante
08-20-2007, 09:41 PM
Can you point out a match where he strategized brilliantly?

No need to go far: For example, the last matches of 2005 US Open. He played a game oriented to keep his energy reserves as much as possible, even in some tough matches like the Blake one that seemed to be completely lost after Blake took two sets. That Agassi-Blake is a good example: Agassi was losing it, and even when he recovered you thought that he was about to getting exhausted for the fight. But he just saved every single bit of energy, and amazingly that didn't meant that he was no fighting as a brave. He was extremely focused and had his heart on it, but instead of running around he developed a chess-like tennis.

He was always trying to maximize the efficiency of his game: looking for the most straight path avalilable to win each point. During US Open '05 he did show wonderful expertise and intelligence. He was working to be a tough matchup for each opponent, not just employing an unique gameplan but trying to adjust his own game to those aspects that troubled his rivals. He just didn't want to run the court side to side because he couldn't, and he developed a smart, "first observe, then find a way" game.

In that US Open, that Federer usually does with his talent and shotmaking or what Nadal does with his heart and technique, Agassi did it with intelligence.

daddy
08-20-2007, 09:43 PM
Dont count only the latter stages of his career. He won wimbledon in 1992 friend, he had to implement a hell of a tactical play to beat guys then, reach final and dispatch ivanisewich with his awfull serve at the time and with his kid mentality back then. This for me is more of a thruout career question thanabout 2005.

Dilettante
08-20-2007, 09:49 PM
Of course, I was just giving a recent example, but he has always been a brilliant strategic player.

daddy
08-20-2007, 09:53 PM
Of course, I was just giving a recent example, but he has always been a brilliant strategic player.

Brilliant. Anyways winning all 4 of Slams is something, game is so diffeerent and with his phisique Ill say it again and his tallent, he had to be brilliant to be there for as long as he was and to be as succesfull, even reaching finals at US so late in his career to lose to the best in best form. And he put up a fight in first couple of sets , did he ?

Does anyone else feels he was a bit annoyed with fed then, on court ? Not after at press but on court not being able to do anythign in 3rd and 4th ..

Warriorroger
08-21-2007, 02:11 AM
I would give the edge to Federer. IMO though it's difficult for him, because he has so many options and has a tendency to look sloppy/aloof, because of al those options. Agassi made the most of his game, which was taking the ball very, very early, hit ceep and hard and wear an opponent down. Federer is more about toying around with the opponent which is a dangerous tactic when he has a mental off day.

superman1
08-21-2007, 02:29 AM
Agassi was the more active thinker and tactician on court, but that's because he wasn't as good as Federer. Fed himself says that he surprises himself when he wins matches, and he worries that one day it won't work for him and his game will desert him. I think he's more of a go-with-the-flow type player, it just comes naturally to him, whereas Andre would be planning the point before it started. "Serve out wide, take the return super early and cross court, when he expects another cross court shot go behind him..." If Federer had Agassi's tactical mind, I don't think he'd do the same thing against Nadal over and over.

superman1
08-21-2007, 03:06 AM
Here's an example of a tactician against a spontaneous player: http://youtube.com/watch?v=XX66zXV7V4c

federerfanatic
08-21-2007, 03:17 AM
I had to vote Agassi. I cant say Federer isnt quite good in this area still. However if Federer was so tactically adapt, to be moreso then Agassi who was excellent in this area, he would not continue with his stubborn failed strategy against Nadal on clay. He might still lose, but he would adapt and change his game, which he doesnt even try to.

caulcano
08-21-2007, 04:29 AM
I had to vote Agassi. I cant say Federer isnt quite good in this area still. However if Federer was so tactically adapt, to be moreso then Agassi who was excellent in this area, he would not continue with his stubborn failed strategy against Nadal on clay. He might still lose, but he would adapt and change his game, which he doesnt even try to.

Agassi for me too.

Agassi had to think of how to win with his talent. Federer is able to win his superior talent.

Batoussai
08-21-2007, 06:54 AM
Federen doesn't deserve this title!!!

He still hasn't won RG... Which he could have easily done with a little more tactic brilliance!!!

kingkong
08-21-2007, 08:44 AM
AGASSI DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO WITH HIS TACTICS FOR A GAME, IT WAS ALL GILBERT, LOOK:

http://www.geocities.com/hovav13/art-A_90s_Kind_of_Rivalry.html



Andre Agassi, on the other hand, tends to run his psyche like an open house,
particularly if a visitor can help him play better tennis. On an early Friday
afternoon in the middle of this year's Wimbledon tournament, Agassi and Gilbert
were working out on the grass practice courts at Aorangi Park. In his first two
overpowering wins, against Andrew Painter and Patrick McEnroe, Agassi had hit
two or three stone-cold service return winners each game, often sending the ball
back 20 miles per hour faster than it had arrived. But for Agassi's third-round
opponent, David Wheaton, Gilbert was preaching the rewards of moderation,
and Agassi was listening intently.

"If you rip it, he just keeps charging in, where all he has to do is react,"
Gilbert explains. "Slow him down, make him hesitate,
and he's got to think about it. That's when he gets nervous." Instead of whaling
on the ball, Gilbert says, Agassi should hit low, dipping topspin returns that
will freeze Wheaton. Gilbert serves a half-dozen balls and Agassi responds as
instructed.



and




Now, as Gilbert and Agassi are nearing the end of their workout at Aorangi
Park, still plotting how to knock off David Wheaton, Agassi asks, "What
percentage should I serve to his forehand?" as if he'll be toting a calculator
in his shorts. They keep hitting as Gilbert spews out a steady stream of
exhortation and non sequitur. "When the bell goes off, you got to come strong!"
he shouts across the net. And: "Steffi's looking thin, she's looking
razor-thin."
And: "I swear, I couldn't get that broccoli soup out of my mind
last night," to which Agassi responds, "Yeah, that can give you a foot cramp."
The talk always returns to strategy, though, and Agassi can't get enough.

Despite the nearly miraculous results, there is something about Gilbert's
nonstop coaching and Agassi's rapt attention that is just a little much,
suggesting that the whole exercise serves more as an emotional balm than a
point-for-point battle plan. This seems especially true when, a few minutes
later, Gilbert and Agassi are replaced on the same court by Paul Annacone and
Pete Sampras, who, in their own practice session, casually hit for 45 minutes
without exchanging a single word.



Agassi didn't even figure out for himself what percentage he should serve to someone's forehand forehand.

illkhiboy
08-21-2007, 08:48 AM
Lol after reading the replies it seems like the consensus made Agassi the victor, but the polls show otherwise.

stormholloway
08-21-2007, 08:59 AM
2004 cincinnati final vs Hewitt was brilliant..Andre played very different and it worked out well in the end. I wish I could get more detailed here but I didnt video tape it. I do remember alot of rallies where Andre kinda just pushed the ball down the middle and it created alot of problems for Hewitt.

I believe he played the semi vs. Roddick. I remember that tournament. He was his old self.

AngeloDS
08-21-2007, 09:17 AM
I'd say Andre Agassi is the better tactician. Sadly, he does not have the shots that Federer has.

Tennis_Monk
08-21-2007, 02:14 PM
Federer doesnt need Tactics or Strategy to beat most of current ATP players. He can sleep walk into match and win it (eg: Blake-Fed match last sunday). FOr Agassi, he isnt that gifted but managed to win lot of matches against an opposition with variety (We no longer have S &V . do we?)

In any case, Rationale aside, I am an Agassi fan. Federer is next.

fastdunn
08-21-2007, 03:44 PM
Federer actually has some of Santoro's game. he actually throws constantly
different faces of shots at you. he won't give you any rhythm.
he also reads your next moves and pre-empts you. he also has great
court sense and where to hit and where to position.

but i'm not sure if you can call that "tactics". for example, chang was
a great thinker. he sets up a strategy and stick to it until the match
is over. i think he was a great tactician.

tennispro11
08-21-2007, 03:52 PM
Federer actually has some of Santoro's game. he actually throws constantly
different faces of shots at you. he won't give you any rhythm.
he also reads your next moves and pre-empts you. he also has great
court sense and where to hit and where to position.

but i'm not sure if you can call that "tactics". for example, chang was
a great thinker. he sets up a strategy and stick to it until the match
is over. i think he was a great tactician.

Good points, but what does Chang have to do with Agassi or Federer? :confused:

fastdunn
08-21-2007, 03:55 PM
i do not know if either federer or agassi was a great strategist.

illkhiboy
08-21-2007, 04:03 PM
Federer actually has some of Santoro's game. he actually throws constantly
different faces of shots at you. he won't give you any rhythm.
he also reads your next moves and pre-empts you. he also has great
court sense and where to hit and where to position.

but i'm not sure if you can call that "tactics". for example, chang was
a great thinker. he sets up a strategy and stick to it until the match
is over. i think he was a great tactician.

I think you make a good point. Agassi himself gave Chang a lot of credit for his tactics. But, as others pointed out, Agassi didn't have Federer's gifts and had to rely on strategy a lot more.

iamke55
08-21-2007, 07:40 PM
Federer doesn't need tactics or strategies, he just hits winners over and over. Except against Nadal.

superman1
08-22-2007, 02:25 AM
FOr Agassi, he isnt that gifted but managed to win lot of matches against an opposition with variety (We no longer have S &V . do we?)

He's maybe the most gifted ball striker of all time, but certainly not the most gifted from an athletic standpoint. He's also around 5'10" so he was almost always looking up at his opponent during a match. Federer isn't as good at whacking the ball off both wings as Agassi, but he makes up for it with better movement, a better forehand, and a better serve.

Andre is one of the greats, but enough comparing him with Federer and Sampras. He will always come up slightly short to them because he wasn't born with their athletic genes.

daddy
08-22-2007, 04:03 AM
He has been pretty exiting to watch for me and is up there with the best off all time. That slightly is not enough to make me not think of him as one of the all time greats. And when we are speaking about tactics, I think its fair to say that comparison is okay because what he lacked in phisique he made up wioth his brains thus this thread has a pretty good point.

daddy
08-22-2007, 04:05 AM
Federer doesn't need tactics or strategies, he just hits winners over and over. Except against Nadal.

Whch is why he loses to nadal on clay and on every other surface more than he wins. I say hamburg this year, I think that was the real deal tactics, hitting the ball at 60 - 80% not full strenght and perfect placement, nadal can only return as many as humainly possible. He had a good day and all of a sudden federer slowed the pace down and won easilly. At french he was back to stupid-hard-hitting-mode-on-clay-court-where-it-only-takes -strenght-away ... ;)

fastdunn
08-22-2007, 10:39 AM
One example of Chang's brilliant strategy to overcome his shotcomings:
Chang was being beaten badly by Sampras on carpets.
He lost many consecutive times. One day Chang decided to return
Sampras' 1st and 2nd serves 2 feet inside the baseline !
He did it at Master's final. It looked ridiculous in the beginning
but he sticked to it and eventually pulled off a semi-final win
over Sampras, on carpet, at master's final.

illkhiboy
08-22-2007, 11:10 AM
AGASSI DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO WITH HIS TACTICS FOR A GAME, IT WAS ALL GILBERT, LOOK:

http://www.geocities.com/hovav13/art-A_90s_Kind_of_Rivalry.html



Andre Agassi, on the other hand, tends to run his psyche like an open house,
particularly if a visitor can help him play better tennis. On an early Friday
afternoon in the middle of this year's Wimbledon tournament, Agassi and Gilbert
were working out on the grass practice courts at Aorangi Park. In his first two
overpowering wins, against Andrew Painter and Patrick McEnroe, Agassi had hit
two or three stone-cold service return winners each game, often sending the ball
back 20 miles per hour faster than it had arrived. But for Agassi's third-round
opponent, David Wheaton, Gilbert was preaching the rewards of moderation,
and Agassi was listening intently.

"If you rip it, he just keeps charging in, where all he has to do is react,"
Gilbert explains. "Slow him down, make him hesitate,
and he's got to think about it. That's when he gets nervous." Instead of whaling
on the ball, Gilbert says, Agassi should hit low, dipping topspin returns that
will freeze Wheaton. Gilbert serves a half-dozen balls and Agassi responds as
instructed.




and




Now, as Gilbert and Agassi are nearing the end of their workout at Aorangi
Park, still plotting how to knock off David Wheaton, Agassi asks, "What
percentage should I serve to his forehand?" as if he'll be toting a calculator
in his shorts. They keep hitting as Gilbert spews out a steady stream of
exhortation and non sequitur. "When the bell goes off, you got to come strong!"
he shouts across the net. And: "Steffi's looking thin, she's looking
razor-thin."
And: "I swear, I couldn't get that broccoli soup out of my mind
last night," to which Agassi responds, "Yeah, that can give you a foot cramp."
The talk always returns to strategy, though, and Agassi can't get enough.

Despite the nearly miraculous results, there is something about Gilbert's
nonstop coaching and Agassi's rapt attention that is just a little much,
suggesting that the whole exercise serves more as an emotional balm than a
point-for-point battle plan. This seems especially true when, a few minutes
later, Gilbert and Agassi are replaced on the same court by Paul Annacone and
Pete Sampras, who, in their own practice session, casually hit for 45 minutes
without exchanging a single word.



Agassi didn't even figure out for himself what percentage he should serve to someone's forehand forehand.

Sometimes a question is asked to start a discussion, it doesn't mean Agassi was clueless. Besides, it's one isolated example. Agassi had a bad record against Wheaton, Gilbert had a good one. So it makes sense to soak up information and then analyse.

illkhiboy
08-22-2007, 11:11 AM
One example of Chang's brilliant strategy to overcome his shotcomings:
Chang was being beaten badly by Sampras on carpets.
He lost many consecutive times. One day Chang decided to return
Sampras' 1st and 2nd serves 2 feet inside the baseline !
He did it at Master's final. It looked ridiculous in the beginning
but he sticked to it and eventually pulled off a semi-final win
over Sampras, on carpet, at master's final.

How did that strategy work?

Big Fed
08-22-2007, 11:58 AM
I wanna say fed but i really didnt watch aggasi in his prime so i wont vote.

daddy
08-22-2007, 05:58 PM
Just looking at the votes up there makes me wonder how many guys actually did follow andre from late 80s when he began what became one of the greatests runs by any player in history. His prime is hardly defined , he had ups and downs and Id say he had 3 different ups, young aggasi, mature and at latter stages, veteran aggas, never on the top but close enough. Each characterised by changes in his play and alot of tactics. Fed plays very similar from the beg to today, just improving and a bit more s&v lately, but just a bit. Does not really implement tactics other than being ice cool and crushing opponents mentally.

shutupova
08-22-2007, 06:18 PM
i vote for andre even though i deeply respect federer too.
my dream matchup is andre vs federer (both in their primes).

daddy
08-22-2007, 11:19 PM
i vote for andre even though i deeply respect federer too.
my dream matchup is andre vs federer (both in their primes).

DIg up some Andre vs Pete from 1994 or there about and there you go ..

tangerine
08-23-2007, 08:21 AM
Agassi. I can't wait until ESPN puts this guy in the commentator booth. Nobody can break down a player's game as effectively as Agassi.

AznHylite
08-23-2007, 08:23 AM
Has to be Roger.

BiGGieStuFF
08-23-2007, 08:54 AM
I think Andre was the better tactician with the tools he had. He wasn't athletically gifted as far as speed or court coverage. He did well with the serve he had and the outstanding strokes he could produce. I think Federer is one of the best troubleshooters out there but he is so talented and can create so much on the fly that it's more instinct than strategy.

Andre is a 9 in strat/tactician
Fed is an 8

Not much of a difference between the two but when you have more talent like Fed does that's where he can win against Andre.

Kobble
08-23-2007, 01:03 PM
Tough call. Maybe, Agassi because he lacked in his serve, so he had to think more about the rallys. Agassi adjusted for his weaknesses more with age. Like the last year or so when his speed was suffering (due to his back), he pulled out that backhand drop shot. Federer hasn't done anything different the last few years, but serve better when he can.

junbumkim
08-23-2007, 02:09 PM
Two different players..
If Federer goes out there and plays his best he's going to win. It's similar to Pete as he wasn't going to change too much in how he was going to play.

Agassi is a different type of player. He will adapt his game based on the style of the opponent. Agassi will consistently assess and reassess how his strength match up against the opponent's weakness.

I would say Agassi

fastdunn
08-23-2007, 03:37 PM
How did that strategy work?

There was no other alternative left on carpet. Only way left was to somehow
return Sampras' serve aggressively and rob some reaction time off.
He blocked returned Sampras' serves and sometimes charged the net.
(He made guesses on which side Sampras serve. You can't return Sampras' serve anyway...)
It surprised Sampras at some key points.
He successfully broke Sampras' service games.

1995 Singles championship(master's final) semi-final 6-4 6-4 Chang.

That was only win over Sampras on non-clay surfaces from 1993 until
the end of career. Chang never played Sampras on carpet again.
I don't know how Chang would have changed his strategy.

Chang was a great champion. A slam champion. Today's top 10ners
do not have such marks as a champion (excpet young new talents...)

anointedone
08-23-2007, 03:46 PM
Chang was a great champion. A slam champion. Today's top 10ners do not have such marks as a champion (excpet young new talents...)

Federer, Nadal, and Roddick, are all in the top 10, and are all a Slam Champion. Federer or Nadal have already achieved much more then Chang ever did. Roddick has comparable achievements to Chang. The only young guns in the top 10 are Djokovic and Berdych, with none of Gasquet, Baghdatis, or Murray ranked there, and Berdych has no marks of a Champion, he is a poor mans Safin at best. So all in all I have no idea what you are talking about when you say that.

tennispro11
08-23-2007, 03:57 PM
Federer, Nadal, and Roddick, are all in the top 10, and are all a Slam Champion. Federer or Nadal have already achieved much more then Chang ever did. Roddick has comparable achievements to Chang. The only young guns in the top 10 are Djokovic and Berdych, with none of Gasquet, Baghdatis, or Murray ranked there, and Berdych has no marks of a Champion, he is a poor mans Safin at best. So all in all I have no idea what you are talking about when you say that.

That is whay I said after he wrote that. Go look. :)