Agassi - greatest returner in history?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Orion3, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    Interesting debate I started!

    At least I've got one thing right this week :)

    Lots of valid comments, not least the AA quotes. For me though, nobody has ever hit returns like AA. Regularly hitting winners off big first serve and even more winners off 2nd serves. Who does that/is capable of doing that now?
    Today, you just don't see the likes of these returns http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdDzh...feature=g-vrec

    Djoker and even Murray probably hit a higher percentage of more telling returns but IMHO, the servers/surfaces make for a more predictable combination and yet they still don't reach the highs (given, they aren't aced as much) as AA.

    In the end, I guess its all a matter of opinion.
     
    #51
  2. ctromano

    ctromano Rookie

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    federer is the best returner of serve
     
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  3. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki,

    I agree with your list of the all-time best returners.

    I would rank Rosewall, Connors, Laver, Borg. Budge and Agassi.

    Maybe Connors made more forehand return errors than Rosewall.
     
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  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Agassi said it himself recently. He (Agassi) doesn't have as much range to return serves as some players. Rosewall for example was a smaller man than Agassi but his reactions in getting to the ball were so quick in my opinion that he was rarely aced so he would get more balls back than just about anyone. The same is true for Laver, Borg, Connors. They have said Segura returned served brilliantly, especially on his awesome forehand side.
     
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  5. Praetorian

    Praetorian Professional

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    This is a Forum. </sarcasm on>This means everyone is an expert in everything. </sarcasm off>
     
    #55
  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Jack Kramer's opinions

    Jack Kramer thought Don Budge was the best returner he had ever seen. Budge, along with Frank Kovacs and John Bromwich were the only ones who could keep him from serving and volleying regularly.
     
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  7. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    He does not have to be a recognized tennis expert on this subject for one good reason: McEnroe--your source--has flip-flpped on many "top" lists over the years, and the best returner matter is one of his flip flopping greatest hits. Moreover, as others have pointed ut, Djokovic's return stats are not exactly legendary, and its not like he has a boatload of difficult serves to return.

    Look, we get you want to pump up your guy, but let's not get crazy with the sweeping praise.
     
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  8. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Djokovic has a great return, but Agassi was just superb. Not mentioning he played some of the greatest servers ever in surfaces a lot faster than today's.
     
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  9. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    JMac share the same opinion with Agassi. Sure you can't ignore Agassi's OWN words now.

     
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  10. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Huh, that sounds familiar. Where have I heard before? Oh yeah...

     
    #60
  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Miloslav Mecir

    One player I thought I'd mention for being a great returner is Miloslav Mecir. The guy had everything. He could hit offensive returners on both sides. He had the great reflexes to get tough serves back. He was incredibly fast and great defensively plus his passing shots were fantastic.

    Unfortunately he didn't last long so you can't put him up there up with guys like Connors and Agassi for all time great returners.
     
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  12. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Agassi said he got aced a lot because he made a lot of "educated guesses" (was that the phrase?) I think, though, the same may have been true of Connors. Connors had the reflexes to get back serves that were shot into the corners and seemed impossible to return -- when he guessed right. And most of the time he guessed right, but there are a few matches in which he got aced a lot.

    Curren had 33 aces against him at Wimbledon in '83, and another 17 in a very short match in '85. Noah put 30 past him at the Lipton in '86. Gerulaitis had 13 aces against him on RG clay in 1980.

    I wouldn't say Connors got aced as frequently as Agassi, not with so few stats available. But I also don't regard Connors as someone who got an extraordinarily high percentage of serves back. That might go for someone like Wilander. Connors was more of an aggressive returner, and naturally made some errors that way.

    Moose had Mecir hitting 26 clean return winners against Edberg at Wimbledon in '88 (five-set match).

    I thought his return essentially won him that USO semifinal against Becker in '86, as well.
     
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  13. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    is that the highest ace count you've seen on Noah? and in a 4 set loss. could you post the article that mentions that?

    I also heard Lendl aced Connors 20 times in a 4 set win at '87 Lipton.

    what about return errors? how many did players generally get vs him(in matches we've done stats for)?
     
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  14. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bcNaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=blkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5226,1135345

    That's the highest I've seen for Noah (and those counts for Curren and Gerulaitis are the highest I've seen for them).

    Yes 20 aces by Lendl per ESPN. That's not his career high but it's a lot of aces. Maybe it's his high in their rivalry.

    Return errors, I couldn't tell you right now. Too much data to sift through.

    I do remember one isolated example though. At '87 Wimby, Cash got only 4 aces past Lendl. In the semis he had put 10 aces past Connors, in an even shorter match. But when Connors and Lendl got their racquets on Cash's serve, Connors was the better returner.

    Connors made 15 return errors of all kinds against Cash. Lendl made 36.
     
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  15. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Interesting, but maybe not shocking; Connors was far more comfy on grass than Lendl ever was. Cash's net play really earned him that championship.
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Bromwich...an all time great returner, no doubt, specially in doubles where he is an all time top 5 great.He was a kind of premodern Frew Mc Millan, a superb returner in doubles play, who also happens to be considered one of the greatest ever double players.Good comment, pc 1.
     
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  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Tanner aced Connors many times, like at their 1976 Wimbly semi, but peak tanner used to ace anybody in front of him.

    Still Connors was a superb returner, and I also think Milos Mecir , when he was playing comfortably, had one of the best ROS ever seen.
     
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