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View Full Version : The better returner- Blake or Agassi?


ta11geese3
06-02-2006, 11:21 AM
Blake's performance yesterday really impressed me =D

But being a young one who did not watch tennis more than a few years ago, I do not know how good Agassi was in his prime. All I know of is the injury prone old man (who still does relatively well). Also, Blake's opponent was on clay, was a clay court specialist, etc...

So what do you guys think?

Ripper
06-02-2006, 11:37 AM
Maybe you should ask this in around 5 more years.

tpduke112
06-02-2006, 12:12 PM
Nalbandian.....


Agassi makes alot of mistakes on returns.

BaseLineBash
06-02-2006, 12:30 PM
Blake's performance yesterday really impressed me =D

But being a young one who did not watch tennis more than a few years ago, I do not know how good Agassi was in his prime. All I know of is the injury prone old man (who still does relatively well). Also, Blake's opponent was on clay, was a clay court specialist, etc...

So what do you guys think?
I just wanted to point out that Andre does everything better now than he did in his "Prime". Apart from injuries, his only weakness is his on court speed, not forward, but lateral.

psp2
06-02-2006, 12:45 PM
i've seen blake go for way too much on his return shots.... sometimes hitting his fh out by YARDS. if his game matures more, he'll be a better player.

downthemiddle
06-02-2006, 01:50 PM
Agassi is one of the best returners of all time! Blake is good, but not that good...yet

travlerajm
06-02-2006, 02:33 PM
I just wanted to point out that Andre does everything better now than he did in his "Prime". Apart from injuries, his only weakness is his on court speed, not forward, but lateral.

He may be smarter now, but better? I think this would be true if he could practice as much as he used to, but I don't think he is able to spend as much time hitting balls anymore.

So I'd say his timing is not at the level it was back in '95 or '99.

BabolatFan
06-02-2006, 02:37 PM
Blake's not that consistent yet. He must be able to return on all surfaces like Andre. Return of serve is one of Andre's super strengths.

D-man
06-02-2006, 02:38 PM
Overall I think Blake is a better returner than Agassi, who, although not a bad returner at all, is way overrated, imo. Agassi was often all or nothing, Blake hits it back firmly without all-out aggression, usually, and seems more reliable, although the rare Blake forehand return winner is truly astounding.

MasterTS
06-02-2006, 02:43 PM
Blake's performance yesterday really impressed me =D

But being a young one who did not watch tennis more than a few years ago, I do not know how good Agassi was in his prime. All I know of is the injury prone old man (who still does relatively well). Also, Blake's opponent was on clay, was a clay court specialist, etc...

So what do you guys think?

Don't be fooled. Blakes opponent WAS on clay which means blake got good looks at the ball (because clay slows down the serve).. What does Almagro being a clay specalist have to do with Blakes ability to return?

Also, Agassi was returning against players like Sampras, Goren, Rafter and other big servers... Blake returned well one match on a clay surface.. BIG DEAL!

oscar_2424
06-02-2006, 02:43 PM
Agassi is a better returner and after him Marcelo Rios

travlerajm
06-02-2006, 02:52 PM
I think when comparing Blake of today versus Agassi in his prime, we should take into account the Luxilon factor. The new string technology may feel like crap, but if you are returning a 100mph+ serve with a topspin stroke, these strings will generate more spin. Andre probably would have beaten Pete a few more times, like in the '95 USO final, if Luxilon string had been around then.

Moose Malloy
06-02-2006, 03:01 PM
Andre probably would have beaten Pete a few more times, like in the '95 USO final, if Luxilon string had been around then.

How come he didn't beat him in '01 or '02 US Open then? Wasn't luxilon around?

travlerajm
06-02-2006, 03:09 PM
How come he didn't beat him in '01 or '02 US Open then? Wasn't luxilon around?

Because Pete was better.

My point is that Luxilon gives the returner an advantage. It also makes it harder to win with a serve-and-volley style.

Moose Malloy
06-02-2006, 03:31 PM
Because Pete was better.

My point is that Luxilon gives the returner an advantage. It also makes it harder to win with a serve-and-volley style.

If thats the case, I think sampras still would have won in '95. In '95 Sampras was more of an allcourter, stayed back most of the time & still beat Agassi.
In '02, he was pure S&V, & Andre couldn't beat him with luxillon, so I don't think he would have fared better in '95.

travlerajm
06-02-2006, 04:09 PM
If thats the case, I think sampras still would have won in '95. In '95 Sampras was more of an allcourter, stayed back most of the time & still beat Agassi.
In '02, he was pure S&V, & Andre couldn't beat him with luxillon, so I don't think he would have fared better in '95.

We can agree to disagree. If you're into disputing hypotheticals, here're a few more for you:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=925753#post925753

arosen
06-02-2006, 04:22 PM
Depending on any given day, either Andre or James can be a better returner. No biggie. More important is whether James can keep it up vs Monfils.

superman1
06-02-2006, 04:23 PM
Agassi by far.

Blake got a lot of return winners today, but he also missed a lot of returns by going for too much. You will rarely ever see that with Agassi. Plus, Agassi has proven his return skills for 20 years. Blake has been sporadic and today was probably the best returning day I've seen of him.

And the fact that Agassi beat Blake at the US Open with a return winner on match point sort of seals the deal.

FEDEXP
06-02-2006, 08:00 PM
way premature for this question......

D-man
06-02-2006, 08:06 PM
And the fact that Agassi beat Blake at the US Open with a return winner on match point sort of seals the deal.

Yes, I remember that match...
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4499588963048276126

AngeloDS
06-02-2006, 08:11 PM
Agassi right now is the better returner simply because he's a lot more consistent . Blake on the other hand has some of the most AMAZING returns, and incredibly powerful returns.

He hits winners off of serves that come in at 100+ MPH which is ridiculous. But they come in every now or then.

Agassi puts enough behind the ball to keep it in but to instantly put his opponent on the defensive position rather than offensive. So then he gets his opponents running while he hugs the baseline and the center.

jjjosh
06-02-2006, 08:18 PM
Agassi is better. Blake is a good returner but Andre was incredible in his prime such as the wimbledon final in 1992. Andre may get aced more than Blake, but Blake makes more unfored errors. In current players if Hewitt gets his game together I would even put him above Blake. I would give Blake the prize of being able to return a serve faster than it was hit.

OrangeOne
06-02-2006, 09:24 PM
Also, Agassi was returning against players like Sampras, Goren, Rafter and other big servers... Blake returned well one match on a clay surface.. BIG DEAL!

Agreed, and not just big servers, but some of the best serve-volleyers of the modern-racquet era. In fact, the three you list were three of the few at a high-level to maintain the serve-volley rage in the power-game era, maybe along with the likes of edberg, stich & becker. As much as I was always - and still am - a fan of the baseliners, I miss the big contests between the serve-volleyer & the returner.

To watch Agassi returning against Sampras or Goran was something else, the compact swings, the racquet-work, and the work on the ball to consistently put it at the incoming volleyer's feet. Magic :).

As for the actual question - I agree with FEDEXP & others, waaaay to premature to pose this, and for my book, it'd take a wimbledon win as a master-returner to even bring Blake even close.

superman1
06-02-2006, 09:25 PM
All this match proved is that Blake is very good at returning Almagro's serve on clay. That's it. And we also saw that he'd often miss the return completely trying to go for too much.

I haven't seen Blake hit many great returns off of other player's serves, so it's VERY premature to start comparing him to the greatest returner of all time.

Captain America
06-03-2006, 03:54 AM
One of the weaknesses that has limited Blake in the past has been his backhand return. He's had trouble with his one-hander because he likes to swing out (rather than block) returns, which has been a big problem for him against hard servers. This is obviously less of a problem for him on clay because the surface friction than on hardcourts/grass.

That being said, Blake's returns have improved a lot of both sides and he has terrific hands and reflexes. As other posters have said, Blake needs more time before he is ready for comparisons to Agassi.

jhhachamp
06-03-2006, 04:55 AM
Andre probably would have beaten Pete a few more times, like in the '95 USO final, if Luxilon string had been around then.

Give me a break!

Grimjack
06-03-2006, 05:08 AM
way premature for this question......

Really, it isn't. Blake has been around plenty long enough for us to evaluate his return game. Just because he's new to the top ten doesn't mean he's new.

By this point of his life, he could fire off winners on 50% of returns for the rest of his career, and he's still not catching up to Agassi's body of work. Agassi was the best, most aggressive returner in the game for two decades, and ushered in the era where the return became a legitimate weapon. He's the godfather of the movement that led to the death of S&V.

Coming now into the later part of his career, Blake's most significant return is from a neck injury.

prostaff18
06-03-2006, 07:37 AM
Blake makes to many errors. Agassi can take any serve early. Another person who can return well is Federer. But Agassi is the best returner ever. He can take the ball so early.

darknight08
06-03-2006, 08:03 AM
I think Roger Federe pwns all.

How do you think he can beat Roddick so easy? Roddick doesnt get as many aces anymore against him.

dsa202
06-03-2006, 12:14 PM
federer is the superior returner.