Agassi or Djokovic: who is the better claycourter?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by matchmaker, May 3, 2009.

  1. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,040
    I thought this would be an interesting comparison. I feel technique-wise Djokovic is better but result-wise it's AA.
     
    #1
  2. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    8,318
    Djokovic has the better claycourt game moves better, hits with more spin with power aswell and defends better but he has to get 1 RG to pass Agassi.
     
    #2
  3. nethawkwenatchee

    nethawkwenatchee Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    868
    Location:
    Wenatchee, WA
    Novac v Andre on Clay

    Novak has a career French open record of 15–4 with losses in the second round, QF, and consecutive SF’s the past two years. He has three additional clay court titles to his record. I’d say he’s achieved great success at his young age and pro career basically taking off in the past five years (2005 was his first year entering the slams). At this point he has a 61–24 career clay court record. Pretty Good!

    Andre had, in his first five years of professional competition, a 66-20 record on clay with a 2nd round loss, 3rd round loss, SF loss, and two Finals at the French. At this point in his career he also had three clay court championship titles to match Novak’s.

    Judging both players based on this timeline we see that they are fairly close in wins-losses/titles. *Side note—I’ll be interested to see if Novak can keep it up for twenty years, win majors on all four surfaces, hold a year end #1 rank, 60 titles, (lets not forget Andre skipped the grass courts, to include Wimbledon, four of his first five years on tour with a title in only his second attempt. If you’ve ever poured over Andre’s stat’s you’re finger may get tired from scrolling! I hope Novak can stay healthy and consistent it's also unfortunate for him that he'll most probably have Nadal (another legend on clay) to get through for any attempts he has at clay court championships!

    This is an interesting comparison! Take Care,
     
    #3
  4. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    My answer would be WAY too early to say.
     
    #4
  5. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    Agassi at this point. Im not drinking the Djoker Kool-Aid yet
     
    #5
  6. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Djokovic is better. He is giving Nadal more trouble on clay than Agassi would have. Agassi during his best years was losing to Grosjean and a past his prime Gomez at the French. The year he won the French he was lucky to get past Squillari, Clement, a choking Moya, Hrbaty, and a choking Medvedev, all matches he could have easily lost. Djokovic is unlucky to keep running into Nadal so often or he would have alot of clay court titles already.
     
    #6
  7. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,751
    agassi has the better results but djokovic has better clay court talent.

    djokovic is better but agassi is greater...if that makes sense.
     
    #7
  8. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    I agree with that. I think in time Djokovic will surpass Agassi's career on clay. Nadal cant win the French every year for all of eternity. The one to take atleast one French and some Masters titles away from Nadal will be Djokovic. Also Djokovic will probably still be in his prime atleast a couple years when Nadal is past his.
     
    #8
  9. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    as long as Nadal play the FO and other clay tourneys, Novak has little chance to win a FO title. I think he is a very good clay court player, but he is in the same era as nadal, who is the best CC player I have ever seen.
     
    #9
  10. Cloudy

    Cloudy Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    747
    Agassi didn't have to play in the era of Nadal.
     
    #10
  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    This is a joke.

    At this point, AA rules Joker. Not even close.
     
    #11
  12. All-rounder

    All-rounder Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    6,301
    Location:
    Transitional era
    novak has the better game but agassi has the FO title
    But time will tell if novak can get his title soon
     
    #12
  13. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    I agree,,,,, in the same way Nadal has been very lucky to beat a "choking" Federer and Puerta.
     
    #13
  14. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    He needs to make a final at RG at least I'd think.
     
    #14
  15. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,145
    Location:
    kentucky
    agassi all day, agassi was playing against alot more clay court specialist
     
    #15
  16. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    Djoker doesnt even have an RG title yet. Now we can use the "Djoker had to play Nadal excuse" but thats a cop out. All great players need to overcome who is in front of them. Or they should have to.


    And its not like Andre played in some shallow crap era of clay courts. The 90s provided a strong, deep clay field overrall
     
    #16
  17. tonyg11

    tonyg11 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    177
    Djokovic has a far better clay court game than Agassi. The fact that Agassi has done well on clay is only testament to how good he was as a player and how good his all court game was.

    Agassi has an aggressive baseline style that thrives on short points and control off the serve AND return. It is mentally tiring for someone with that type of game to be forced into long rallies on points that would be otherwise over with on faster surfaces.

    Novak’s game is far more comfortable with longer points and his groundstrokes have far more room for error.
     
    #17
  18. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Neither does Federer and I would rate him over Agassi on clay easily. I agree it is too soon for Djokovic, but he is only 21. I would take losing in the semis of the French to Nadal over losing in the finals to 30 year old Gomez or pre-prime Courier in his first slam final.

    Actually didnt you say on the Nadal match thread that you thought Djokovic had the game to beat Nadal on clay. That alone says something (and they were your own words) since Agassi certainly didnt.
     
    #18
  19. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden
    Achievement-wise, Agassi was better, but I'd take Novak's game and movement on clay anytime.
     
    #19
  20. jimwh

    jimwh Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Location:
    The Southland
    It is to early to tell. Agassi transformed from a very talented but arrogant player at the beginning of his career, to a hard working and motivated humble player. I see some of that same young arrogance in Joker. He is very talented. If he matures and works a lot harder on his fitness, who knows how well he can do.
     
    #20
  21. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    If you feel Agassi is superior to Djokovic on clay that is fine but it is kind of laughable in a thread of Agassi vs Djokovic on clay you say something like that. One would think Agassi was this clay court legend who had multiple French Opens by your "doesnt even have an RG title" comment. Agassi did not win his one and only French Open until age 29, so it is pretty hard to slam a 21 year old for not achieving this yet by comparision. Agassi didnt even win his only Masters title on clay ever until he was 32. Djokovic has already achieved this as well.

    As for Nadal is just an excuse comment, if Agassi were a contemporary of Nadal he would have never won the French Open. That is a virtual gaurantee.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
    #21
  22. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Wouldn't he just wait until Nadal retired and then win one?
     
    #22
  23. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    Actually that is a good point. I guess it depends if you think Nadal will still be going strong on clay at around 30. Probably not, but you never know. He seems to be good at surprising people (including me and I dont even like Nadal).
     
    #23
  24. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    Windsor, England
    Yep, and also Nadal will have retired in 3 or 4 years, so all Djokovic needs to do is wait until then:)
     
    #24
  25. NadalandFedererfan

    NadalandFedererfan Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    930
    That is what people said 3 or 4 years ago.
     
    #25
  26. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,040
    Thanks for the reactions.

    My question was not really who has most merits on clay. It's crystal clear Agassi has.

    Who has more raw clay court talent is more difficult to tell.

    Djokovic seems to have more variety, also a bigger serve (even if clay often neutralises that), and probably grew up more on clay than the A-man.

    Agassi basically played HC tennis on clay IMO. However he reached the RG final at a very young age and had he won, we'd be talking quite differently about his clay achievements.

    It is also remarkable how he was able to win clay court masters at a relatively old age.
     
    #26
  27. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    Windsor, England
    Who said that 3 or 4 years ago?

    Nadal WILL definitely have retired by the age of 27 anyway for sure, probably with more Grand Slam titles than anybody ever!!!
     
    #27
  28. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    I'm surprised at this post, especially coming from you. It is extremely arrogant.

    Agassi may not have won multiple French Opens, however, he made the quarters or better 9 times. Semis or better 5 times, and finals 3 times. He was a damn solid clay court player, even though it was not a natural surface for him.

    Give the guy some respect.
     
    #28
  29. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,040
    You are right. In fact the whole comparison with Djoko is way too early.

    Agassi could have been a three time FO champion, at the same level as Kuerten.

    Definitely his results on clay were outstanding, anyone, not in the least Roger Federer would sign for them.
     
    #29
  30. theagassiman

    theagassiman Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    328
    Well maybe Djokovic can make the same metamorphosis.

    I hope so, or tennis will become a much more boring sport in the years to come...
     
    #30
  31. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,059
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Save this thread until Djokovic's career is over. It's too early to compare the their careers.

    If you wanted to compare the two at the same age then that would be more accurate. Agassi reached the FO final in '90 at the age of 20. In '88 he got the the FO semis. Agassi won 3 clay titles by the age of 21 (Charleston, Forest Hills and Stuttgart).

    Djokovic has made it to the FO semis twice so far and has won 3 clay titles as well (Amersfoort, Estoril and his masters series title in Rome).

    Agassi is the one that is ever so slightly more accomplished on clay at the age of 21 by virtue of his RU finish at the FO in '90 although you could argue that he blew that opportunity big time, thus taking away some credit.


    I included any clay surface and not just red clay.
     
    #31
  32. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    I dont see the logic of just randomly saying he could have been a 3 time Champion just because he was in 3 finals. Do we say any player that was in 3 or 4 finals could have been a 3 or 4 time Champion.

    In 1990 he had a great opportunity but was clearly outplayed by a veteran clay courter who had never come close to such a moment before. The 1990 French should have been Lendl's anyway, his absence was why Agassi had a big chance, and he still didnt get it done. In 1991 he could not hold off a player who would dominate their head to head matches from 1991-1995 in fact. In 1999 he was very lucky to win if anything. All in all his winning 3 titles would have required the same lucky horseshoe wedged up his ass that Capriati got to win 3 slam titles period.
     
    #32
  33. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
    #33
  34. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    On non clay surfaces we dont know how Agassi and Nadal would match up. On clay surfaces it is pretty obvious. Agassi wouldnt have a prayer. Grafrules is right, if Nadal were in the Agassi era then Agassi would have never won a French.

    Also Bruguera, Kuerten, Muster, Courier, Medvedev were never at their best together so to list them all jointly as some practical competitive field Agassi had to face is a joke. Prime Kuerten and prime Courier contemporaries, LOL! Now I have heard it all. By that logic lets just list Ferrero, Kuerten, Coria, Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Costa, and pretend they make up the 2000s clay court field all at once. After all everyone of those was playing really well at some point this decade. Kuerten won more French Opens this decade than the 90s after all.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
    #34
  35. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,903
    Agassi... Djokovic has some work to do. He played Nadal well in Hamburg, and Monte Carlo.... yet lost 6-1 in the 3rd. Played well in Rome and.... that's right Nadal had 2 chances to closeserve out the 1st set and didn't and went away 6-2 in the 2nd.

    Novak's 2 SF in Paris aren't that impressive, when you look at his draws, yet people will never let go of Dre's 1999 French draw around here. Then they'll talk about how Djokovic beat Federer in Rome, ignoring for the last 12 months or so Roger has been in decline. As mentioned here... along with Dre's French title, has 2 other finals, SF or better 5 times, QF or better 9 times. Not bad. So for now it's Andre, end of story. Come back in a few years, and we can re-evaluate.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
    #35
  36. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,751
    that is the big problem. people are comparing andre's whole career to djoker who is still a young gun.
     
    #36
  37. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    Hence why as thalivest said it is too soon to pass judgement either way. This thread topic is far premature.
     
    #37
  38. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    That is a good breakdown as it compares them at the same point in their careers. Agassi ironically became a weaker clay courter as years went along. His best clay court tennis by far was in the late 80s and early 90s when he should have won the French atleast once and was so often making semis or finals. His late career French Open title was a bit of a miracle from the gods, but his best clay court was long past by that point. If Djokovic can become stronger as years go on he could wind up better.
     
    #38
  39. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    Really? What game is that, just curious.
     
    #39
  40. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    I have to disagree with you there. Short points? Agassi liked to run his opponents ragged, left to right, right to left, etc. He beat most people because he could hang into those long rallies. He was also 2-3 time finalist of the FO, so again I have to strongly disagree.
     
    #40
  41. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,751
    yes...i was agreeing with him
     
    #41
  42. jimwh

    jimwh Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Location:
    The Southland
    I totally agree.
     
    #42
  43. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,235
    Right now I would say Andre. Djokovic, definitely has better technique than Andre did but he will need to win 1 RG before I can put him ahead of Andre.
     
    #43
  44. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    Care to elaborate???

    Better technique in what sense??

    Andre's fh was perfect, as was his backhand (possibly greatest ever)?????
     
    #44
  45. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    Josh,
    what do you mean? Agassi had a monster game and not sure if if any part of Novak's game is better except serve (nobody volleys anyway so its a scratch). But Andre may be the cleanest hitter the sport has ever seen..I rarely recall him even shanking. Maybe you like Novak's style a bit better, but that is not the same. Also, Andre has 3 RG finals and had 2 finals early in his career.
     
    #45
  46. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    I commented on Josh prior to reading yours. If anything, Andre was a beatuful ball striker and hist very cleanly. I don't see how Novak's "tecnique" is better (it's not), but maybe Josh likes his motions.
     
    #46
  47. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Djokovic vs Agassi? I would probably go:

    Serve: Djokovic by alot
    Return: Agassi
    Forehand: Djokovic by a bit
    Backhand: Agassi by a bit
    Movement: Djokovic
    Volleys: what volleys
    Mental game: depends of the time

    I could see one arguing Djokovic having as good or better an overall game, especialy on clay. I think you will him win alot of slam titles in his career.
     
    #47
  48. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    LOL, byt the time Agassi was 22 here is what he did at the majors:

    Aussie: did not play until 1995, but won 4 in 9 tries..much better than Mr. Novak at this point.
    French: 2 SF, 2 F
    Wimby: He won in 1992
    USO: 2 SF, 1 F

    So he was pretty competitive considering he was playing in an incredible era of tennis (by age 22 anyway).

    Novak:
    Aussie: 1 SF, 1 W
    FO: 2 SF?
    W: 1 SF?
    USO: 1SF, 1 F

    (not sure on his stats..could not find them. the point is unless Novak has a great year, Agassi far outperformed him at the same age. Crazy with all this fascination for Novak..he is no Agassi.
     
    #48
  49. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    Oh jeesh.. Are u really going to compare a player who has 8 slams and the career slam in an era with the most diverse surface conditions ever on his resume to a player who has.... 1 slam, and has yet to even sniff number 1 in the world.

    DJoker has ALOT of work to do to even be considered in the same era code to Dre
     
    #49
  50. flying24

    flying24 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,924
    Lucky for Agassi he skipped on playing a whole bunch of years none which he would have won, 1986-1994 and 1997 to give him that ratio.
     
    #50

Share This Page