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Commando Tennis Shorts
06-23-2009, 12:42 AM
Sorry if something like this has already been posted. I didn't see anything.

I was daydreaming the other day and wondering to myself how good Agassi could've been (statistically), had he taken Wimbledon and the Australian Open more seriously early on in his career.

I mean, hell, he always considered grass to be his worst surface, but then when he won Wimbledon, you had to wonder.

And the Aussie Open---he basically just discarded it for the longest time, and it ended up being his best event.

So basically he missed seven or eight Aussie Opens and at least three Wimbledons early in his career. That's 10 or so Grand Slams. He could have won at least a few of those, if not more, right?

Let's say he wins three or four of the Aussie Opens he missed (I know, assumptions are dangerous and tricky, but I'm playing a bit of a game here and I'm always willing to take Agassi in Australian Open hypotheticals) and let's say, um, either zero or one of the Wimbledons.

That would've given him around three to five more Grand Slams. Suddenly instead of eight, he could have 11 to 13, theoretically. Pair that with the fact that he shared an era with Sampras, and his numbers become even more damn impressive.

I'm not huge into the "What if" game, but this particular situation is intriguing.

This line of thinking, of course, has led me to ask myself a two questions, which I will now ask you:

How good could Agassi have been (statically)?

Is he one of the most underrated players in recent memory?

helloworld
06-23-2009, 01:16 AM
Sorry if something like this has already been posted. I didn't see anything.

I was daydreaming the other day and wondering to myself how good Agassi could've been (statistically), had he taken Wimbledon and the Australian Open more seriously early on in his career.

I mean, hell, he always considered grass to be his worst surface, but then when he won Wimbledon, you had to wonder.

And the Aussie Open---he basically just discarded it for the longest time, and it ended up being his best event.

So basically he missed seven or eight Aussie Opens and at least three Wimbledons early in his career. That's 10 or so Grand Slams. He could have won at least a few of those, if not more, right?

Let's say he wins three or four of the Aussie Opens he missed (I know, assumptions are dangerous and tricky, but I'm playing a bit of a game here and I'm always willing to take Agassi in Australian Open hypotheticals) and let's say, um, either zero or one of the Wimbledons.

That would've given him around three to five more Grand Slams. Suddenly instead of eight, he could have 11 to 13, theoretically. Pair that with the fact that he shared an era with Sampras, and his numbers become even more damn impressive.

I'm not huge into the "What if" game, but this particular situation is intriguing.

This line of thinking, of course, has led me to ask myself a two questions, which I will now ask you:

How good could Agassi have been (statically)?

Is he one of the most underrated players in recent memory?

I give him 2 slams at most had he played all the slams early on in his career. Agassi started winning many slams(5+) when he turned 29.

rod99
06-23-2009, 03:59 AM
if agassi had dedicated himself 100% to tennis for the early to mid part of his career (like sampras) then he probably wouldn't have had enough left in the tank to win most of the slams he won after age 29.

suwanee4712
06-23-2009, 04:39 AM
if agassi had dedicated himself 100% to tennis for the early to mid part of his career (like sampras) then he probably wouldn't have had enough left in the tank to win most of the slams he won after age 29.

I agree. I think there would have been a trade off. Andre had different motivations through different stages of his career. The ultimate motivation probably came towards the latter part when he was in danger of going down as a serious underachiever. He didn't want to have any regrets. And I would say that by winning a career slam, he should have none.

obanaghan
06-23-2009, 09:56 AM
Agassi doubtlessly would not have won any other Wimbledons. After all he was spanked in 1987 by Leconte in the 1R. In 1988-1990, does anyone think that Edberg and Becker would lose to him on grass?

As for the Aussie Open, he would never have won on the grass more so because of his age than the surface. Starting in 1988 he would at least have a better surface. From 1988-1994 he chose not to play. I know that Wilander, Lendl, Becker, Courier and Sampras could have handled him in those years. Since his first major was in July 1992 it is unlikely that he would beat anyone until Jan 1993 and Courier was solidly #1.

2002 and 1997 are different. In 1997 he wa shardly playing majors so it is unlikely he would have done much. In 2002 on paper he had the edge against Johansson and Safin but he had only QF in the US before and FO after that Jan 2002 tourney.

I think his 8 outstanding accomplishments remain the same even if he played the extra years. No net gains.

35ft6
06-23-2009, 10:08 AM
Is he one of the most underrated players in recent memory?There was a thread that tackled this question pretty well, the was Agassi an underachiever or overachiever thread, and I along with a few others think he was an underachiever early in his career, than an overachiever later. Maybe overachiever is an overstatement, but later in his career he lived up to his early promise. Overall, I'd agree he really should have won 3 or 4 more Slams. I think in the beginning, he thought he was destined to win Slams and wasn't as proactive in making that happen, content to sort of let destiny manifest.

But underrated? He's probably the most highly regarded and beloved player of the past 25 years, and arguably the most influential.

paterson
06-23-2009, 10:48 AM
Agassi played at a time when the "big serve" dominated tennis.
Also, Wimbledon and the US Open were played on very fast surfaces. The Sampras serve was close to unbreakable at these tournaments. Remember, Andre won his solo Wimbledon and 2 US Open titles without having to face Pete.

During the 90's, tennis started getting bigger athletes. For the ATP tour, Agassi was undersized. He could be overpowered by bigger players on faster surfaces. At 5'10, his first serve speed was around 105 MPH and his second serve was between 90 to 95 MPH. That's pretty average.

Here's a slam by slam analyisis:

IMO, Andre underachieved at the French. During the 1990-93 period, He should've won twice. He was a more complete baseliner than Courier and played a poor match against Gomez.

Anything he won at Wimbledon was a bonus. It was a tournament dominated by Pete and the big servers.

The AO, medium paced, high bouncing courts, were tailor made for his baseline style of play. Pete never beat Andre here. If he played the AO more, he'd have won another title.

During the 90's, the USO was dominated by big serving all court players(Sampras) and serve/volleyers (Rafter/Edberg). Pete was the dominant player here. I thought the courts were a little to quick for Andre. Two titles seem about right.

His best case scenario slam count:
5 AO titles
2 Roland Garros
0/1 Wimbledon
2 US Open titles

lambielspins
06-23-2009, 10:54 AM
Courier owned Agassi from 91-95. He beat Agassi 6 times in a row. At the time the 91 French Open may have seemed a surprising result but in hindsight Agassi did well to take his nemisis for many years to 5 sets. The 92 semifinal was a brutal smackdown, indicative of Courier's dominance of Agassi at the time. Lendl really gave away the 1990 French to further pursue his obsession for Wimbledon, as he would have a been a virtual lock to win another one in 1990 had he simply showed up.

The year Agassi skipped the Aussie it was dominated by guys who dominated him at the time of their wins like Wilander, Lendl, and Courier. Sampras in 94 he had no shot vs either. Doubtful there is a year he could have won that he didnt play. His dominance of the Australian Open was in fact almost all the early 2000s where his only real opponents were a fading Sampras and Kafelnikov. Hewitt underachieved in Australia even during his prime years.

Gorecki
06-23-2009, 10:56 AM
Courier owned Agassi from 91-95. He beat Agassi 6 times in a row. At the time the 91 French Open may have seemed a surprising result but in hindsight Agassi did well to take his nemisis for many years to 5 sets. The 92 semifinal was a brutal smackdown, indicative of Courier's dominance of Agassi at the time.

The year Agassi skipped the Aussie it was dominated by guys who dominated him at the time of their wins like Wilander, Lendl, and Courier. Sampras in 94 he had no shot vs either. Doubtful there is a year he could have won that he didnt play. His dominance of the Australian Open was in fact almost all the early 2000s where his only real opponents were a fading Sampras and Kafelnikov. Hewitt underachieved in Australia even during his prime years.

very well said from someone who happens to like figure skating...:rolleyes:

lambielspins
06-23-2009, 10:58 AM
very well said from someone who happens to like figure skating...:rolleyes:

I guess even people who like the dreaded sport of figure skating know more about tennis than you do. Sucks to be dont it.

anointedone
06-23-2009, 11:05 AM
I think he did about as well as he should have in most respects.

When it comes to the French Open when one look at his whole career virtually all the 1 or 2 French Open winners of his time are probably superior or equal clay courters to him- Muster, Bruguera, Courier, Moya, Kafelnikov. There are even some who never won who are arguably as good or better on the surface- Rios, Corretja, Mantilla, Berasetegui. In the big picture winning 1 French and reaching 3 finals is just fine for a guy who won only 1 Masters title on clay in his career.

At Wimbledon again I think he did well to win once. I dont consider him overall superior on grass to the likes of Ivanisevic or Krajicek who also only won once. He really had a game less likely to beat Sampras there than either Ivanisevic or Krajicek as well, so 1 Wimbledon is success for him.

At the U.S Open Sampras was the man, less untouchable than Wimbledon still the man. There were a number of other threats to Agassi there who were still competitive foes for him in any conditions- Courier, Chang, Rafter, young Hewitt and young Safin. So 2 titles I would say he did pretty well.

At the Australian Open he won 4 titles. I dont see how that could ever be considered an underachievement and his dominance there wasnt until the nearly end of his career anyway.

rod99
06-23-2009, 11:37 AM
Courier owned Agassi from 91-95. He beat Agassi 6 times in a row. At the time the 91 French Open may have seemed a surprising result but in hindsight Agassi did well to take his nemisis for many years to 5 sets. The 92 semifinal was a brutal smackdown, indicative of Courier's dominance of Agassi at the time. Lendl really gave away the 1990 French to further pursue his obsession for Wimbledon, as he would have a been a virtual lock to win another one in 1990 had he simply showed up.

The year Agassi skipped the Aussie it was dominated by guys who dominated him at the time of their wins like Wilander, Lendl, and Courier. Sampras in 94 he had no shot vs either. Doubtful there is a year he could have won that he didnt play. His dominance of the Australian Open was in fact almost all the early 2000s where his only real opponents were a fading Sampras and Kafelnikov. Hewitt underachieved in Australia even during his prime years.

i disagree with much of this. courier was the one who was lucky to win the '91 french final. the rain delay saved him and courier even admitted this. agassi was the better player until this loss.

lendl's quality of play fell after 1989. he was by no means a lock to win the 1990 french if he had entered. he did win the australian early in the year but was still past his prime.

flying24
06-23-2009, 11:39 AM
Lendl owned both Gomez and Agassi at the time of the 1990 French. He would have been a lock barring a Chang-like miracle from someone. Even Gomez said afterwords he only decided for sure to play when Lendl opted out as Lendl was an immovable wall for him. Lendl wasnt really far past his prime in 1990. He won the Australian Open, though lucky since Edberg probably would have won if he hadnt been hurt. He would have won the French if he played. He also would almost certainly have won the U.S Open had it not been or his tough 5 set loss to that Sampras kid. He played his best ever grass court tournament at Queens but couldnt carry that over to Wimbledon. 1990 could have been another potentially dominant multi slam year for him. 1991 is when he began to fall off alot more.

rod99
06-23-2009, 11:50 AM
Lendl owned both Gomez and Agassi at the time of the 1990 French. He would have been a lock barring a Chang-like miracle from someone. Even Gomez said afterwords he only decided for sure to play when Lendl opted out as Lendl was an immovable wall for him. Lendl wasnt really far past his prime in 1990. He won the Australian Open, though lucky since Edberg probably would have won if he hadnt been hurt. He would have won the French if he played. He also would almost certainly have won the U.S Open had it not been or his tough 5 set loss to that Sampras kid. He played his best ever grass court tournament at Queens but couldnt carry that over to Wimbledon. 1990 could have been another potentially dominant multi slam year for him. 1991 is when he began to fall off alot more.

again, lendl of 1990 wasn't the same lendl of the 1980's. ive got serious doubts about him winning the 1990 french if he had showed up.

flying24
06-23-2009, 11:54 AM
again, lendl of 1990 wasn't the same lendl of the 1980's. ive got serious doubts about him winning the 1990 french if he had showed up.

What makes you think Gomez could have ever stopped him? I am not trying to take away from Gomez's win since Lendl didnt show up which was his own choice and so Gomez fully deserved his lone slam title. However if he had, Gomez is just as old as Lendl, in fact was born the month before to be exact. Gomez's results overall had declined even more than Lendl's for their best point of the 80s, and I am sure you know of Lendl's total ownership of Gomez their entire careers. If Lendl had showed up at the French and it been a Gomez-Lendl final, Lendl would have probably won the match before the two even stepped on the court.

rod99
06-23-2009, 12:03 PM
What makes you think Gomez could have ever stopped him? I am not trying to take away from Gomez's win since Lendl didnt show up which was his own choice and so Gomez fully deserved his lone slam title. However if he had, Gomez is just as old as Lendl, in fact was born the month before to be exact. Gomez's results overall had declined even more than Lendl's for their best point of the 80s, and I am sure you know of Lendl's total ownership of Gomez their entire careers. If Lendl had showed up at the French and it been a Gomez-Lendl final, Lendl would have probably won the match before the two even stepped on the court.

yes, i believe lendl would have beaten gomez. my point was that agassi should have beaten gomez and just didn't play a good match. agassi was the heavy favorite in that match and didn't take advantage of the opportunity. gomez played very well though, took his chances, and it worked out for him.

ohlori
06-23-2009, 12:51 PM
What makes you think Gomez could have ever stopped him? I am not trying to take away from Gomez's win since Lendl didnt show up which was his own choice and so Gomez fully deserved his lone slam title. However if he had, Gomez is just as old as Lendl, in fact was born the month before to be exact. Gomez's results overall had declined even more than Lendl's for their best point of the 80s, and I am sure you know of Lendl's total ownership of Gomez their entire careers. If Lendl had showed up at the French and it been a Gomez-Lendl final, Lendl would have probably won the match before the two even stepped on the court.

Gomez' results hadn't declined that much I think.
He had beaten both Lendl and Agassi the last time they played each other on clay and also straightsetted future winner Thomas Muster in the semis of RG that year.

LetFirstServe
06-23-2009, 01:40 PM
For the Australian open I think Agassi had a lot of training in the heat and got used to it, giving him the advantage. Even these days when players complain about how hot it is and had to withdraw, Agassi said he thought that was part of the challenge at the AO was playing in the heat.

flying24
06-23-2009, 01:54 PM
For the Australian open I think Agassi had a lot of training in the heat and got used to it, giving him the advantage. Even these days when players complain about how hot it is and had to withdraw, Agassi said he thought that was part of the challenge at the AO was playing in the heat.

I dont think this was any advantage over Courier or Lendl who were notorious work dogs and fitness freaks, atleast as much as older Agassi, and far more than the younger Agassi who didnt venture down Under. This would definitely be an advantage he would have over Sampras though at that event though.

egn
06-23-2009, 02:09 PM
It would be interesting to see, Agassi hung around really late, say he dedicates himself and after his amazing 99 would he really have the motivation to continue say he had picked up two or three more earlier. I figure he ends with 7-9 either way. He would have had better rankings and looked like a more consistent threat, but his career would have been shorter etc. At least in my opinion as I don't see him playing to 35 or 33 if at 29 he had 7-8 slams..

rod99
06-23-2009, 02:13 PM
had he beaten sampras in the '95 us open final, there is a good chance that their career grand slams would have finished reversed (or at least close to it).

flying24
06-23-2009, 02:28 PM
had he beaten sampras in the '95 us open final, there is a good chance that their career grand slams would have finished reversed (or at least close to it).

That is an intriguing opinion. I certainly could see Agassi winning alot more but I also dont see Sampras winning much less. Dont see Agassi ever taking a Wimbledon from Sampras. At the U.S Open Agassi's overall record vs Sampras is 0-4, 1995 would probably have been a one off as far as being the nearly untouchable Sampras there with Agassi in his best form ever. I could see Agassi winning alot more than 8 slams (or even 9 slams) had he won that one, but also dont see Sampras winning much if any less than 13.

rod99
06-23-2009, 02:35 PM
That is an intriguing opinion. I certainly could see Agassi winning alot more but I also dont see Sampras winning much less. Dont see Agassi ever taking a Wimbledon from Sampras. At the U.S Open Agassi's overall record vs Sampras is 0-4, 1995 would probably have been a one off as far as being the nearly untouchable Sampras there with Agassi in his best form ever. I could see Agassi winning alot more than 8 slams (or even 9 slams) had he won that one, but also dont see Sampras winning much if any less than 13.

that might be true, but my point was that single loss destroyed agassi for 3 years, during which time he won 0 slams. i could see agassi winning the aus open in '96 and the us open in '96 and/or '97 (in addition to '95) which would have put agassi in double digits.

flying24
06-23-2009, 02:41 PM
that might be true, but my point was that single loss destroyed agassi for 3 years, during which time he won 0 slams. i could see agassi winning the aus open in '96 and the us open in '96 and/or '97 (in addition to '95) which would have put agassi in double digits.

I could have seen him winning another 2 slams in 1996 if he had finished 1995 as U.S and Aus Open Champion and year end #1. Maybe the Australian and French though. Hard to see Pete letting someone beat him in back to back years in a U.S Open final. JMHO though. 1997-1999 Australian Open would have given him more opportunities, maybe another 2-4 of those 9. I agree he could have won alot more slams overall between 96-98 if he had won the 95 U.S Open final. Ideally I would have liked to have seen him take both of Kafelnikov's majors away, IMO the luckiest 2 time slam winner in history. Rafter is a player I respect but he also is someone who could have been hurt by a prime Agassi being around those couple years rather than in a funk.

I remember the 95 U.S Open. I was definitely rooting for Agassi to win that day. I felt he deserved to finally win 2 slams in the same year and end a year the defacto #1 (it looked at the time he would be the computer year end #1 even if he lost before his late year injury), and for the amazing hard court summer he had he totally deserved that U.S Open. Of course Pete is Pete and came up with the goods in the biggest match of the year. I felt horrible for Agassi when he lost that one. I never imagined the funk he would go into the next few years though, and how bad it would get at one point. Winning that match would have been huge for him.

rod99
06-23-2009, 02:51 PM
agassi got seriously screwed by the scheduling in the '95 and '02 us open against sampras. the us open should be ashamed of itself for scheduling the semis and finals on back to back days. in both years, agassi played the 2nd semifinal and in both years he had the tougher match (they both had tough matches in '95 but agassi's match didn't finish until the evening b/c the womens final was played b/n the semis; for sure he had the tougher match beating hewitt in 2002). he said that the morning of both finals, he felt totally exhausted and spent from the match the evening before. i'm 100% sure he would have won in 2002 (as sampras was gassed in the 4th set despite playing a quick match against schalken in the semis). i'm not saying that he def would have won the '95 final if he played the first match, but he did say his semifinal against becker took a lot out of him.

Winners or Errors
06-23-2009, 03:33 PM
I don't think Agassi would be Agassi if he had done things differently. I think the guy was amazing. I always tuned in to watch his matches once he lost the hair and got old. He's one of the most vibrant characters of the Open Era.

Gorecki
06-23-2009, 06:25 PM
I guess even people who like the dreaded sport of figure skating know more about tennis than you do. Sucks to be dont it.

hum hum...

because you are one heck of a definitive oracle on Tennis...

:rolleyes:

RoddickAce
06-23-2009, 06:37 PM
It would mean nothing in terms of greatness because if Agassi won more slams, then that would give the other players less slams meaning that Agassi played in a weak field:). Just kiddin, but to some Sampras fans, see how this logic doesn't work? No hard feelings, just a light joke :P.

But on a serious note, I think it's a shame Andre had skipped so many slams and had that major dip in his career.