Agassi Underrated

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Chopin, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Of course Agassi and his career rates higher than Courier. That has nothing to do with my point. I was simply responding to his missing Australia until 1995 being brought up, and pointing out all reasonable evidence suggests he probably was never going to win any of the years he missed as the actual winners those years were all likely to have beaten him at each various point in time, thus that is something I give him zero extra consideration for (along with the fact it was completely his choice).
     
    #51
  2. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916

    In 92 and 93 Courier was easily the best player at the AO, bar none. Agassi in both years does not even take a set off Courier.
     
    #52
  3. Henry Kaspar

    Henry Kaspar Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    279
    Fair enough. But when Connors and McEnroe were in their primes, there were de facto only 3 majors.

    From about 1985, yes.
     
    #53
  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,770
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Jesus does not watch tennis.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
    #54
  5. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,770
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Lendl is higher than Agassi.
     
    #55
  6. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    How do you know that? That's absurd. AA was capable of ridiculously tennis and shotmaking on any given day. To say that AA doesn't win a set is way in absurd.
     
    #56
  7. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    Except for the actual fact Agassi hardly ever won a set from Courier in their matches for a stretch of time. Agassi is a great player who had an overall much better career than Courier, but the fact is Courier was just clearly the better player at the time and was a bad matchup for Agassi as well.
     
    #57
  8. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    Agassi is definitely one of the most talented and all time greats to ever pick up a racket.. The only player that really adapted his game to the most polarized of conditions.. Who could accomplish this? Very few players in history I think. You name the surface Andre could play on it.

    I think what really hurts Andre is not his domination over the field (Honestly very tough to do at the time. The game was not nearly as homogenized as it is today). He had to deal with Sampras his entire career and as GrafSelesFan mentioned, tough to dominate when you have that mountain to climb and another hands down GOAT contender in the era who was even better than you were.

    I think what hurt Andre is during the years, where he should have been at his physical best, and possibly mentally best, he was MIA during those years, and spent alot of his early years being a headcase. It wasnt until he was around 29-30 years of age that finally kind of got his ducks in a row and really proved to be the great that so many thought he wasnt. I mean who would have though Andre would have been at his best at 29-31 years of age both mentally and physically? I didnt.

    Still... Hell of a career for Andre. 8 slams, career slam in the most polarized conditions, record masters titles. Perhaps the greaest rebound ace player to ever play the game. Great career and very underrated for his talents and great longevity. Top 15-20 of all time no doubt about it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
    #58
  9. NoNameZ

    NoNameZ Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    531
    Agassi was great! I agree with the OP. I still don't think anyone can match his returns.
     
    #59
  10. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    I agree with everything you said. It was too bad Agassi did not have the same focus in 96-98, or even 91-93 to what he had from 99-2005 at a more advanced age. He did have a sometimes chaotic relationship with Bolliteiri, IMO one of the most overrated coaches in tennis history early in his career, the discouragement after that crushing U.S Open final loss to Sampras in 95 (pretty clearly his most dissapointing loss ever), and the Brooke factor was a big one too I believe especialy after reading his Dad's book recently. It is interesting to wonder what if he were with Gilbert from the start instead of Bolliteiri who did not focus on making Agassi a smarter and fitter player which was what he needed since those arent areas of his expertise to begin, only focused on the ball bashing that Agassi was already outstanding at. I think that would have made a huge difference. Also if he were with Steffi Graf earlier instead of Brooke, LOL, ok I wont go there.

    The 95 U.S Open final loss was really a watershed moment in his career though. Had he won that I almost gaurantee two things. One he would be alot more respected by people on this forum, no matter what else he did he would have clearly been the defacto slam dunk #1 for 1995, 2 slams to Pete's 1, beaten Pete in slam finals, doing that in Sampras's prime would have elevated him to a whole new level of respect already. Secondly it would have made a big difference in his 96-98 performance I believe. As I said I think that was his most heartbreaking loss ever. The guy had an amazing summer, totally dominating with 4 or 5 tournament wins a row, unbeaten that summer. He was playing his best tennis ever, in the best condition of his life. He at that point had never won 2 slams in the same year or ended a year #1 so to do both for the first time would have been huge for him. To lose that final was just something he took a long time to get over I believe.

    I would also suggest had he won a 2nd French or/and a 2nd Wimbledon it would elevate him higher in peoples minds, and that was very possible but unfortunately for him never quite happened. He was heavily favored to win that 1990 French Open final with Gomez but came out flat, and Gomez knowing it was a now or never shot for him with his nemisis Lendl skipping the event and at 30 years old played the match of his life that day and pretty much outplayed and dominated a flat and tenative Agassi. Then that 91 final with his soon to be nemisis Courier, he was up 2 sets to 1 and then the rain delay. I believe even Courier mentioned he believes he would have lost without the rain delay as his coach instructed him to make a tactical change in the final 2 sets which wouldnt have happened otherwise. Of course the tactically clueless Bolleteiri mentions in his book he regrets not instructing Agassi to make the same adjustment, LOL! Had he won either of those 2 finals it would have been huge for his career. As for Wimbledon his best great shot to win a 2nd Wimbledon was 2001. He was in the semis with a way past his prime Ivanisevic (who Agassi had upset in the 92 final many years earlier), Henman, and Rafter. It was pretty wide open for any of those 4 to win that year, there wasnt a clear favorite considering it was grass, and in the aftermath after two thrilling semis and a thrilling final each of the 3 who didnt win are probably still wondering what could have been, especialy Henman and Rafter who never won Wimbledon. Still Agassi had to like his chances of winning a 2nd Wimbledon at long last. He lost that amazing 5 setter to Rafter though, had a break point for a 2nd break lead in the 5th set but couldnt convert. That was a rough loss for him, and definitely a golden chance to win a 2nd Wimbledon with Sampras out. Had he won that it also would have made a big difference to how his career looks today.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
    #60
  11. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,260
    No doubt. AA accomplished the most in 1999, earned and deserved the his #1 ranking that year. However, it wasn't a case where he went through or turned the tables on Sampras h2h, even in '99.

    5
     
    #61
  12. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689


    I definitely agree.. At the same time have I always wondered what would have happened if Agassi didnt suffer that devastating loss at the USO or even if Pete was around period.. Agassi was virtually UNTOUCHABLE in 95 and the best player in the world or close to it going into the USO. Would that have carried over into most of the late 90s? I think so.. Of course we dont know the extent of Andre's personal problems either.. That coupled with the fact Pete took over the top ranking after the USO and Andre slipped further and further downhill only to return in 1999 with a renewed sense of determination.

    I wished he would have have had a better overrall career in the 90s. But I was extremely impressed by how a player so low in the depths of mediocrity and depression, when everyone has expected Andre's career to be over, can turn it around and become the best player again 4 years later. Awesome resiliency. And what maybe was even more impressive was Andre even passed his prime, on his last leg at 35 years old can manage a top 10 spot and school alot these youngsters and even get some nasty h2h advantages over guys who would be one of the top players for years to come. 5-1 h2h against Roddick. Reaching the finals of the USO at 35 after playing 2 straight set tie breaks. Taking close to peak Roger to 5 sets at 34 years of age.

    At the end I think it kind of hurt Andre. His determination was there. But his body just would not respond anymore. Thats where I think his lack of achieving more in the 90s hurt him. Because by the time he finally got it together he was already 30 just about and you can only go so long at 30 or after until you slow down in the world of tennis. Sooner or later the laws of nature catch up to you.

    But still... I think no doubt Andre is one of the greatest.. He had a story book career. ANd I loved watching pete's final match in 02 at the USO against Andre. Its funny Petes first slam went over Andre in 1990 and then 12 YEARS LATER, these guys are still playing each other in the finals fo the slams.. Unreal. Thats just crazy longevity right there from both. 12 years essentially these guys are playing each other in a slam fiinals. You wont see that very often in a lifetime. If ever. And Im just glad I had the luxury of experiencing it first hand.
     
    #62
  13. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Highly debatable.
     
    #63
  14. Brned

    Brned Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    205
    Best post I've read from you :)

    Except when it comes down to RF you have a pretty solid and balanced pov. :)
     
    #64
  15. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,260
    That sounds about right, 7 or tied for 8 is reasonable if only looking at the Open Era.

    5
     
    #65
  16. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,195
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    This whole thread is highly debatable. If you don't like Agassi, great. You will think he is overrated. If you love him, you will think the opposite.

    The guy won the grand slam. Only 4 others in history have done this. I think that speaks for itself and puts him in the top 5. Some of you will not and that's fine. You can have fantasy matches of Agassi vs whomever in your head and use that as your proof that he is not as good. But in my mind, if you are good enough to win all 4 slams, meaning you have dominated a major tournament on every surface, then you are a top 5 player.

    The reason he is #1 to me is simply due to how his style evolved the game to how it is currently. And he made tennis very fun to watch for a lot of people that were not into the sport before. Not easy to do.
     
    #66
  17. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916


    Because Courier simply owned Agassi everywhere from 92-93.
     
    #67
  18. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Read carefully...

    No.
     
    #68
  19. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,195
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Who are you? A guy with 4k posts that considers his opinion better then others? Because if so, that's sad.

    Read carefully...

    Your opinion is not gospel. Get over yourself.
     
    #69
  20. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    This thread is another barnburner from Chopin!

    I agree that AA is top 5--without a doubt.
     
    #70
  21. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    Great, great post GameSampras. I always thought that AA had major mental problems against Pete in slam matches. I mean he found a way to beat Pete in the smaller matches, and I would argue that he had the tools to do so in more slam finals, but mentally always came short. (This is not to take anything away from Sampras, who, pound for pound, was obviously the better player).

    If the mental strength/focus of older AA was coupled with his younger self, AA might have results to make him a GOAT candidate.
     
    #71
  22. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    If you feel he deserves to be top 5all time because he was good enough to win all 4 slams that is fine. I totally disagree but that is your opinion. However can you really say he "dominated" a major tournament on every surface. Did everyone who won a tournament dominate it? Did Federer dominate the French Open this year for example.

    His 99 French Open win for example I dont see how it could ever be termed as dominance. He lost the 1st set and was close to losing both the 2nd and 3rd sets of his first round to Squillari, was 2 point from losing in 4 sets to Clement in the 2nd round at 0-30 on his serve. He was down a set and two breaks in the 2nd to Moya before rallying. He lost 7 games in a row at one point in his semifinal to Hrbaty but came through in 4 tough sets. Then he was destroyed the first 2 sets of the final to Medvedev, before rallying to win in a really tough 5 sets.

    Even his Wimbledon win hardly seems dominant to me anyway, going to 5 sets in both the quarters and final.
     
    #72
  23. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,195
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Well that is something that is impossible to agree on.

    I think the level of competition was a lot tougher during that era then now (but its getting better). Now the dropoff between tier 1 (Rafa and Fed) to tier 2 is pretty steep.

    Agassi IMO, had to face a lot more threats in a lot of different styles of play.
     
    #73
  24. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I think you should lighten up.
     
    #74
  25. Henry Kaspar

    Henry Kaspar Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    279
    7-10 for me. Clearly behind Laver, Federer, Borg, Sampras, Rosewall, Lendl; roughly on a level with Connors, McEnroe, Wilander; clearly ahead of Becker, Edberg, Newcombe etc.

    If Nadal wins a couple more though he'll pass Agassi.
     
    #75
  26. Henry Kaspar

    Henry Kaspar Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    279
    So your top 5 of the open era are necessarily Connors, Wilander, Agassi, Federer, and Nadal.

    No Laver. No Borg. No Sampras. No Lendl.

    Sorry, not convinced of that.
     
    #76
  27. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    Many of the responses in this thread prove my point--the guy is underrated. It's funny because I feel as though many in the tennis community know how good he was, while the TW Historians consistently undervalue him.
     
    #77
  28. flying24

    flying24 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,924
    Yes and strangely enough many of the TW Historians seems to think their opinions are more valid than past champions of the game themselves who rate Agassi much more highly than they do.
     
    #78
  29. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,260
    Agree completely. I actually didn't even include Rosewall in my Open Era list as even more of his accomplishments as compared to Laver, came prior to it.

    5
     
    #79
  30. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    716
    Power Player, I generally enjoy reading your posts, but Agassi in the top 5 is a farce, and borders on disrespecting this sport.
     
    #80
  31. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    Yes, exactly!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
    #81
  32. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    Sorry, double post.
     
    #82
  33. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916


    The general consensus on the board is that he ranks about 7th all time or so (maybe up a spot or down a spot, depending on how you weight his achievements).



    That's actually pretty accurate and consistent with most tennis historians. There are 5 players that are a clear cut above Agassi, and about 1 or 2 more who are arguably above Agassi.
     
    #83
  34. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    You're a good poster. You really are. I think though, that the general consensus is that he ranks 7th all time in the Open Era only and the TW Historians rank him outside the top 20 on many of their lists, which strikes me as absurd.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
    #84
  35. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    Agassi ranks 7th of all time? Or Open era?

    Open era yes..

    I love Andre but he certainly isnt a top 10 of all time player. Top 15 or so is reasonable I think. Maybe top 20
     
    #85
  36. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    Open Era is vastly superior though. Way, way tougher to become a top player. AA is certainly top 10 of all time.
     
    #86
  37. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    I think he could be in the top 15 somewhere.

    The top 8 are definitely in no particular order: Federer, Sampras, Gonzales, Tilden, Budge, Rosewall, Laver, Borg. That is pretty much indisputable.

    Lendl, Connors, Perry, all probably have to rank above Agassi too.

    After that it gets trickier for places #12 to say #20. It comes down to how you rate Agassi vs Kramer, McEnroe, Cochet, LaCoste, Newcombe, Hoad, maybe Wilander, and a few others.
     
    #87
  38. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    I agree, the game has become 10 times more competitive and its much more difficult to dominate now then it was in Pancho or Laver's time.. But at the same time, should we hold a player's era against them? Im kind of going by resumes here.

    But I mean we take what you said into consideration. Open Era, Agassi is right up there in the top 6-8 easily ever.


    One thing I will say about Andre.. He may be the most "adaptable player" of all time. I dont think Ive ever seen, or will ever see a guy like Andre who could play on every surface against all different styles of game and different quality of opponents and achieve. Maybe Fed could. But I really dont know. Agassi was an enigma in this way.. You name the surface, Andre could achieve on it at a time in the most polarized of conditions
     
    #88
  39. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    I respect your point of view on this a lot. Your insight into AA is very much appreciated. I really enjoyed your longer post in this thread.
     
    #89
  40. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    12-20 would be very difficult to list. Agassi could essentially fall anywhere in the there.

    Sadly I didnt get to see Cochet, LaCoste, Newcombe etc.

    Wilander has a case. But I may put Andre above him.. Not sure about Hoad. He was a great, but I think underachieved as well from what I hear from others.
     
    #90
  41. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    Hoad suffered from injuries which affected him even in his prime, and cut short both his prime and career. The not at all humble GOAT contender Gonzales though called Hoads game the best game ever. He said Hoad is the only one who at his best had a better game than him at his best (like I said not so humble so that is a high compliment to Hoad).

    I have never seen Cochet or LaCoste either. I only know of their records and what I have read on them. They did dethrone and somewhat completely overthrow an aging Tilden (age wasnt such a big deal then anyway) after 7 years of dominance so they must have been pretty good.

    Newcombe was a power serve/volleyer and a grass court specialist who won tons on that surface. However not quite completely dominant on it like Sampras, Laver, Borg, or Federer (not that Federer plays on true grass or vs any real grass court field anyway). He wasnt effective on clay, it would have been interesting to wonder how effective he might have been on hard courts.

    I also would put Wilander behind Agassi. I only included him in that he is one you could debate against Agassi, but I would put him behind. He did win slams on all 3 major surfaces though, won the Aussie Open twice on grass, though he never made it past the quarters of Wimbledon. Of course he had that incredibly 1988, not great longevity with his early burnout but not bad, was near the top from 82-88. He is probably easy to underrate because of his style of play, he is the kind of player you would never expect to have been as good or won as much as he did when you watch him play. You watch him play Lendl and you often think Lendl should just crush this guy on every surface, yet he and Lendl had a pretty even head to head battle in big matches anyway, and he only has 1 less slam than Lendl which is a bit shocking to many.

    I do think I would put Agassi above most of these and somewhere in the top 15 from #12 to #15 but I admit I like Agassi.
     
    #91
  42. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689


    Wow.. Thats a big compliment coming from Pancho about Hoad. And Pancho was a guy who was never shy about telling it the way he though it was.

    I think Pancho also said Sampras reminded him alot of Hoad.
     
    #92
  43. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    Yeah I could see that comparision. Hoad played with complete all out assualt, alot like Sampras does. Sampras has the ability to just take anyone right out of play with his all out agressive and power from all parts of the court. Hoad was similar in that respect, he was like a tidal wave coming out of you when he was on. Doing that with a wood racquet is pretty amazing of course.

    It was interesting to read Andres dads views on Pancho too in his book. Of course Pancho was married to Agassis sister for awhile and the father of their kid. He definitely was his own unique character, I guess you have to give him that much.
     
    #93
  44. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    Heres a little something from pancho I found from his 1995 interview about the greats.

    It would have been interesting to see what he thought of Fed and Nadal considering his candor. His comments about Laver were interesting.

    I think they only played once on clay
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
    #94
  45. nethawkwenatchee

    nethawkwenatchee Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    868
    Location:
    Wenatchee, WA
    AA: Only open era player to hold all four slams and the olympic gold in singles! Sorry Roger... Doubles is nice but not part of this particular discussion.
     
    #95
  46. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    Thanks for the quotes. I bet you like the Sampras one. :) The Connors one is short and not particularly flattering, LOL! The Laver and even Agassi ones are interesting, especialy the Laver one.
     
    #96
  47. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916

    I don't even try and rank him with the guys Pre-Open Era. That's way too hard.



    I would put him easy put him in the top 15 of all time; however, top 10 is arguable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
    #97
  48. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    589
    Andre's best year would be 1995. He was easily the best player in the world that year.
     
    #98
  49. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,110
    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    Great to see that my thread is still alive and well. Thanks for everyone who has participated--even if you don't agree with me. My threads create some controversy, but also, lots of meaningful discussion. Thanks to all!

    Kind regards,
    Chopin
     
    #99
  50. Steffi-forever

    Steffi-forever Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    656
    Agree. 1995 > 1999

    At the US Open 1995, he was just unlucky that his semifinal against Becker ended up so late.

    I would rank Andre in the top 12 of all time and top 7 in the open era.
     

Share This Page