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View Full Version : why does agassi use an oversize racquet


ukguy
03-06-2004, 05:40 PM
Just curious , because he is the cleanest hitter of the ball on the tour and therefore i thought he would use a smaller head.

My guess is that it helps him keep his technique of his groundstrokes

@wright
03-06-2004, 08:30 PM
Agassi has always been one of the guys who hits early, and this could have given him some extra margin for error in his learning days. Hitting on the rise is easier with an oversize for obvious reasons. Last year, Agassi was playing with a 104, so that's not extremely big. He probably got used to hitting an OS early in his career and never switched, but I'd love to see him hit with a MP or Mid.

PureCarlosMoyaDrive
03-07-2004, 12:01 PM
Well, people claim he is the purest ball striker on the tour, which I guess he is. But seriously, if he is so great, why does he use a 107 (i thought it was 107 @wright) inch racquet? That is quite big to me, and I think this is one of the reasons why he can hit so many clean returns. He obviously is amazing at hitting, but I seriously think that the oversize helps him a lot with his early ball and seemingly unfair return.

Kobble
03-07-2004, 12:16 PM
Agassi hits the ball in the center of the racquet more than any other pro. The only difference is the location of the sweetspot relative to his body. He could hit the ball clean with anything, because all he would need to do is groove it. The oversize racquet does change how the ball flies, but I do not think that it is an advantage just different.

ukguy
03-07-2004, 01:53 PM
purecarlosmoya drive, Agassi is the purest hitter of a ball , but his racquet is not the reason for this.
Agassi could hit the ball just as well with a tour 90, he is just the master at playing effortless tennis.
The racquet is just a thing he uses to make contact with a ball.

A racquet will not make you a better player, Agassi could be playing visual tennis without a racquet and still know that when he plays he knows he will get effortless power and good timing.

jun
03-07-2004, 02:11 PM
@wright is right..

Agassi takes the ball very early, and takes a huge cut at it. And larger head does give him more margin of error.

There are a few players who use 107..Spadea has os graphite, Coria, Ferroro etc (or are theirs 102?)

alfa164164
03-07-2004, 05:08 PM
Kobble - "Agassi hits the center of the racket more than any other pro" - I'd like to see what scientific study and statistics back that "fact" up. Actually, most of the pictures I've seen of him in tennis magazines, the tennis ball is NOT in the center of the racket.
I'm sure the slightly oversize head he uses is more forgiving and gives him a larger margin of error. Nothing to take away from Agassi, his record speaks for itself. But due to his style (aggressive, hitting on the rise) he probably hits more shots out of the center of the racket than most pros IMO.

Nosoupforyou
03-07-2004, 06:29 PM
i think that an offcenter shot can be decieving because many times they can be brushing up on the ball so it looks a bit off center because off the low to high swing IMO

@wright
03-07-2004, 06:53 PM
PCMD, at the US Open, it was often talked about that Agassi had switched from 107 to 104 to get some extra head speed. As far as I know, that was all that was talked about. Nevertheless, I'd love to see Andre hit with a 95, bet nothing short of equipment rule changes would make him switch this late.

@wright
03-07-2004, 06:55 PM
BTW, has anyone noticed how Andre's shots seem much more penetrating these days than they did back in '99? I have no idea if it's the racquet, fitness, strings, or just his "zen master" strokes(hitting the sweetspot) are more grooved from more rigorous practice, but I swear his shots seem to have more pace/penetration than they did back then.

guernica1
03-07-2004, 07:09 PM
Andre is a different player now than he was in '99 but I also think he hit a lot harder in the mid-90's, before he became probably the best percentage tennis player around.

Watch the 96 US Open finals against Pete and some of the shots he hit in that 1st set were scary.

@wright
03-07-2004, 07:59 PM
I'm not really sure why he is referred to as the cleanest hitter on tour...does that mean he hits it more dead center than Federer and Safin, who are very clean ball strikers in their own rite?

Kobble
03-07-2004, 08:29 PM
alfa164164, are you serious. :? Since you are the only one have ever met or read about who has claimed Agassi is a sub par ball striker. I will not even bother to waste significant time to prove my statement. No one on the planet has controlled studies that could back up many facts associated with the sports world. I do not know how long you have been watching Andre, but I am putting together my conclusion of Agassi's game from approximately 15 years of viewing experience, reading, and talking to people who have been around him. Look at his style of play, results, statistics, public opinion, coaches opinions, and best of all his competitors opinions. You are saying one of a few things. He rarely hits the center, but he manages to hit the wrong spot repetitively, therefore, allowing him to accurately repeat shots. Or he never hits the same spot twice, but he intuitively changes the dynamics of his stroke to compensate. I have never seen a world class competitor in any sport incorporate such techniques. Maybe, just maybe, he gets his racquet from the same guy that sold Jack his bean stalk beans. He is really just a 3.5 with a magic wand. Hey, that could explain the paintjob! When a baseliner wins a match he or she is usually the player with the fewest unforced errors, and unforced errors are usually caused by mis hits. Agassi is the most accomplished baseliner of the last decade, so it is highly unlikely that he wins by mis hits. So, very likely, he wins by hitting less mis hits than any of his competitors over an extended period of time. No measurement performed by man is perfect, so even the best scientists on the planet settle for percent error. Far more likely than not my statement is correct.

sseemiller
03-07-2004, 08:31 PM
I'm not interested in the racquet discussion, but I thought I'd mention, since this thread is about Agassi, sort of, that Agassi will not be playing any claycourt events other than Roland Garros this year. He's not going to try to defend his Houston Claycourts title. Just read that item in the Houston Chronicle. If you want to see the article, go to:

http://on.starblvd.net/cgi-bin/bbsmsg?racquetsnrambling&tr=1223.4

It was located and posted by Fee.

Also, for those you who didn't know, Linda McIngvale is a huge fan of Tommy Haas, who is playing the Houston Claycourts this year. Rumor has it that she and Jim McIngvale tried for a couple years to get Tommy to play the event (before he was injured), but he said no. They tried lots of things to lure him, and then Linda found out about this champagne that Tommy really liked. Very expensive -- like thousands for a bottle, and she sent it to him. He signed up for the tourney the next day, and he did play it.

And I'm glad he's coming back. It is nice to see Tommy back in action, and I'm glad he has a WC for IW.

Susan

Camilio Pascual
03-08-2004, 04:24 AM
It might be for accuracy. I know, I know, but I question the conventional wisdom that says an OS racquet is inherently less accurate. It seems to me there is not as much difference in power and placement when one hits 2" off center of one of the "sweet spots" with an OS as an MP.

strife726
03-08-2004, 09:26 AM
sseemiller.........Yes, that is very true. Sources close to Andre, say the end is very near. The most amazing chapter in american tennis will be comming to a close.

hangzhou
03-08-2004, 10:33 AM
Man, that's a really sad news. I was wishing Agassi get more grand slams...

PhatAbbott
03-08-2004, 01:48 PM
strife726
"The most amazing chapter in american tennis will be comming to a close."

I thought Sampras retired a while ago.

strife726
03-08-2004, 02:12 PM
Yes Phat, he sure did. Pete was part of the fab 4, not the only member. The american generation i spoke of included, Agassi, Sampras. Chang, and Courier (You know, the guys who brought home the French open titles to america). =)

The Franchise
03-08-2004, 02:31 PM
Nice reply Strife.

PureCarlosMoyaDrive
03-08-2004, 06:56 PM
Well, I guess I don't know if Agassi will do very well at RG then. He won't make quarters again. He must be coming close to the end to have to give up all clay. All those 0's in his entry for the clay masters won't help his ranking either. No top 5 finish for him this year.

NoBadMojo
03-08-2004, 07:15 PM
I predict he will announce his retirement at/after this years US Open. Ed

Hyperstate
03-09-2004, 01:58 AM
Back to the original topic... agree with @wright's first post. I taped AA's Aus Open matches and noticed in slow mo that he consistently hits general groundies at the centre of the racquet. He will have no problems with a midplus or midsize racquet on general groundies. However, he sticks to the baseline and when his opponents' shots are close to the baseline, he takes them on the rise, and that is where an oversize or mp racquet helps. Just a wee bit more forgiveness on off-centre shots.

I'm not in AA's league of course, but I fared much better with a 102 frame than my current 98 when I stuck to the baseline and hit deep shots on the rise. (Shrug).

Anyway, AA's cutting back his schedule to conserve his strength. Here's hoping that he wins the US Open! Would like to see it :)

alfa164164
03-09-2004, 03:33 AM
No one said Agassi was a sub-par ball striker, but there is a difference between being a great ball striker and hitting "dead center" on the strings. Among the many factors involved in hitting "dead center" is time to setup (which is reduced when you hit it early on the rise and swing style (generally a shorter, more compact swing is less prone to mishits than a long loopy swing). Here's an example from the good old days - Borg and Gerulaitis.
Borg had those long loopy groundstrokes that produced excessive topspin. Gerulaitis had very accurate shots from a short compact backswing. Now, of the two, who was considered the better ball striker? Who had a 17-0 head to head record? Who was more prone to frame a ball? Answer to all of the above is Borg.
Now who was better at hitting the ball "dead center" in the middle of the strings? Gerulaitis. Fact is, hitting the ball slightly out of the perfect middle of the strings does not deter from the effectiveness of Borg's or Agassi's groundstrokes.
By your logic, Phillipousis (Wimbledon), Coria (French), and Ferrero (USOpen) all must be "purer" ball strikers because they beat Agassi - correct? Obviously, winning has much more to do than hitting "dead center".
Your claim, wasn't that Agassi was the purest ball striker, it was that Agassi hits it dead center more than any other pro, which I doubt is true. I'm sure that honor goes to some clay courter who stands 10 feet behind the baseline giving him all day to set up and see the ball and hit it "dead center". (He's also probably struggling to win matches.) I also doubt Agassi would be as dominating if people were using wood rackets and T2000s (then you would see the mishits and non-dead center shots). If Agassi would play better with a small midsize than an oversize he would.
And I believe that was the initial thread of the post - why does Agassi use an oversize? More forgiving.

Audiodude
03-09-2004, 05:09 AM
I've seen Agassi play at least a dozen times, or so, at what is now known as the Legg Mason in Washington DC. The difference in the sound of his racquet striking the ball versus everyone else I've seen, is quite remarkable. I know that barely qualifies as anecdotal evidence, but the difference is so striking that you can't help but notice it.

baseliner
03-09-2004, 06:52 AM
Simple answer is that he started with an oversize racket as a child (infant?), feels comfortable with it and has never switched.

chad shaver
03-09-2004, 08:22 AM
Actually, there is footage of him playing with a wooden racquet. Also, I believe at one time he played with a Wilson Prostaff.

Kobble
03-09-2004, 07:26 PM
Alfa, Agassi takes a shorter stroke than most any clay court player. I am thinking that you believe the extra time clay gives them allows them to offset the accuracy problems associated with long strokes. This whole argument is basically unprovable for so many reasons. First, no one has taken significant data to prove any such statements from anyone. Second, the sweetspot as it is called is infinitely small by the laws of physics. Therefore, it can be legitimately argued that no player to ever hit a ball has ever made impact with the sweetspot. The best anyone can do is strike the ball with the effective hitting area featured by the frame and string combination. The best arguments anyone can make, is that given a chosen area of finite size, one player hits a higher percentage of his shots inside that given area. Or given a point of finite size, when calculating the distance of all the shots from that point, one player has the smallest average distance. If either of these measurements were to take place over the history of the ATP tour, my money would be on Agassi. My initial statement was scientifically flawed, but my opinion has not changed.

Fat Boy
03-09-2004, 11:12 PM
I think that the phrase "clean hitter" is the problem. This is an anecdotal and misleading phrase.

Agassi is a more graceful mover than a player like Schuttler, who always looks as though he's working hard. Like a ballet dancer is more graceful than your average Joe.

Agassi has a very compact backswing, and tends to take the ball very early.

He also swings his racquet pretty well horizontally, with little or no brushing up over the ball. This means that the effort he puts into his shot seems to translate directly into the speed of the ball after he's hit it.

This is all aesthetically satisfying to the human brain - hence the observation, which I happen to think is meaningless, that he is a "clean hitter."

Contrast with, say, Hewitt, where there is a seeming mismatch between the effort put into the shot and the resultant speed of the ball, mainly caused by the fact that the racquet is moving up as well as forward when the impact occurs. No-one would ever describe Hewitt as a clean hitter, but it didn't stop him getting to No 1 two years in a row.

@wright
03-10-2004, 05:35 AM
Hewitt actually seemed to me like he was hitting with good penetration at the Aussie this year.

Bertchel Banks
03-15-2004, 11:47 PM
He also swings his racquet pretty well horizontally, with little or no brushing up over the ball.

Are you saying that Andre doesn't adhere to the low-to-high trajectory rule? You haven't been watching the same person. Or, do you mean he hits through the strike zone better than most?

No-one would ever describe Hewitt as a clean hitter, but it didn't stop him getting to No 1 two years in a row.

No one has ever labeled Venus Williams a clean ball striker, but that didn't stop her from dominating her h2h over Lindsay Davenport, winning more slams, or getting to #1. Her accomplishments also doesn't change the fact that Lindsay hits a cleaner ball.

PCMD - You are such an Agassi hater that it's blinding. Your game will benefit more from mimicing Andre's text-book form than the akward Carlos Moya.

BobM74
03-16-2004, 05:59 AM
PCMD - You are such an Agassi hater that it's blinding. Your game will benefit more from mimicing Andre's text-book form than the akward Carlos Moya.

I think Carlos Moya's game isn't better than Andre Agassi's one also in PCMD savagest dream... :D :D :D :D :D

And PCMD is an Agassi hater, no question.

tennis*bill
03-16-2004, 10:02 AM
Hey Susan, thanks for the update on the Clay Courts in Houston. I hadn't heard that yet. I saw Haas there 2 years ago. He lost in a very late nite match against Wayne Arthurs. Can't wait to see everybody there this year.

Timbo's hopeless slice
07-12-2012, 11:26 PM
soo, all these experts wanted Agassi to get a SMALLER racquet!!!

this place is brilliant!

just call me..The Thread Necromancer!

NADALWON
07-12-2012, 11:29 PM
Well, people claim he is the purest ball striker on the tour, which I guess he is. But seriously, if he is so great, why does he use a 107 (i thought it was 107 @wright) inch racquet? That is quite big to me, and I think this is one of the reasons why he can hit so many clean returns. He obviously is amazing at hitting, but I seriously think that the oversize helps him a lot with his early ball and seemingly unfair return.

Because he's not stupid. Why wouldn't you want margin for error?

bjk
07-13-2012, 12:25 AM
Because he's not stupid. Why wouldn't you want margin for error?

An OS gives you margin for error if you're 10 years old. At Agassi's level, it gives more error than margin. The larger head actually magnifies small changes in angle. Agassi uses an OS because he can. Same goes for Andy Murray.