Agassi's unconvincing reign as no.1 in 99

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by sandy mayer, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    Agassi played Sampras 5 times in 1999 and lost 4, all in finals. The 1 win of Agassi's was pretty meaningless, in the round robin of the end of year championships. Sampras won the one that mattered, the final.

    Sampras won 5 tournies, 1 Slam (Wimbledon), 1 Masters, the year end championships, and 2 international series.

    Agassi won only 4 tournies (out of 17), though 2 Slams, 1 Masters and 1 International. 4 tounrament wins is quite weak for a no.1, though 2 Slams is very impressive.

    This is very revealing: Agassis' record 63-13, Sampras 39-8. This tells you Sampras played few matches (he was injured alot and missed the US Open, though he started the year poorly too).

    I can't help but think Agassi's lone year as no.1 was unconvincing: he only finished no.1 because Sampras didn't play much and got injured alot (it's not just missed tournaments, but also Sampras often came into tournaments not match fit and so got knocked out early). I also think in 99 Sampras decided to not bother about the no.1 ranking and concentrate on the most important slams (he voluntarily missed the Oz). I've little doubt Sampras would have won the US if he'd not been injured.

    I think when you decide no.1 you choose the player who's year you'd most like to have. I would go for Agassi's 99 achievements over Sampras' so I wouldn't dispute the computer ranking. But I don't think Agassi was a convincing no.1. I think while Agassi may have won more, Sampras was still the better player. If I had a choice between a fit 99 Sampras or a fit 99 Agassi to play for my life, I would without hesitation go for the 99 Sampras over Agassi.

    For me this makes Agassi a lesser champion than Borg, Mac, Connors, Lendl, Sampras and Federer. They were all far more convincing no.1s. Agassi was a great champion but not quite at their level. He was unfortunate to play at the same time as Sampras though.
     
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  2. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    He won 5. Which actually isn't that uncommon for world #1s over the years. Sampras only won 4 in '98, still finished #1.
     
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  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    You state here that Sampras would have ended the year # 1 , yet also state he didn't play many tourneys, got knocked out early, etc.

    Get a life.

    Agassi won 2 slams, and made it to the final of a 3rd. NOBODY ELSE ON THE TOUR CAME CLOSE!
     
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  4. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    Sampras beat Agassi 4 times at the US and I think he'd have made it 5 if he'd played in 99. What do you think of the fact that in 99 Sampras beat Agassi in 4 finals and lost 1 meaningless match against him? I think I have grounds for saying Sampras was still the better player, he just played less than agassi in 99 so won less.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
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  5. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    On the ATP site it says Agassi won 4 in 99: Hong Kong, French, US, and Paris indoors. What do you think the 5th is, and why do you think it's not on the ATP website?

    Sampras had his least convincing year as no.1 in 98 and I think 4 tournies for the world no.1 is weak.
     
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  6. kingdaddy41788

    kingdaddy41788 Hall of Fame

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    So if Federer stopped playing tournaments in 2006 and Nadal had overtaken the #1 ranking, would that mean he was a better player?

    A loss is a loss, whether you're tournament fit or not. Agassi had the better ranking for whatever reason. They're rankings were based on the same system.
     
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  7. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Washington DC, def Kafelnikov in the final. Its there.
     
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  8. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    4 prior wins doesn't guarantee a 5th win, so your argument is pointless.

    I think that Agassi was good enough in 99 to at minimum reach those finals, whereas Sampras wasn't good enough to reach the finals Agassi won.

    Bye, bye! Have a nice day!
     
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  9. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    Sandy Mayer

    Guy made it to 3 Slam FInals and won 2 of them; not to mention the Aussie in Jan 2000; which may dispel your doubts as his place at Number 1

    -

    This thread is bogus. Try again Later.
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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
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  10. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Leave Andre alone.
     
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  11. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    LOL :p

    ANyone with 4 or more Slams is pretty cool in my book.
     
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  12. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I remember when Agassi lost that Masters Cup final at the end of '99, he refused to take the mike during the trophy presentation. They gave him a trophy that tournament for finishing #1, but he didn't look like he thought he was really #1, especially after that final.

    Sampras actually finished '99 at 3, doubt anyone on tour really thought he was the 3rd best player.
     
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  13. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    Sampras wasn't good enough to get to the US final in 99? He won it 5 times.
     
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  14. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    I'm not disputing the computer ranking of Agassi in 99. If I was voting for the world champion I'd have voted Agassi. That isn't my point. My point is that a fit Sampras was still the best player in the world in 99 and would be favourite going into any tournament on non-clay surfaces.
     
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  15. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    Agassi was a great champion. I never said otherwise.
     
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  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I answered your question already. I'll answer it again.

    YES, he was not good enough to reach the finals of the US Open in 99. In addition, even though he won it 5 times, he was not good enough to reach the finals in 88, 89, 91,94, 97, & 98.
     
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  17. armand

    armand Banned

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    Injuries are part of the game. Pete played some awesome tennis and maybe stressed his corpse too much and it gave it out for the US Open. So Agassi was more economical/smarter/luckier etc. that year. Whatever, he earned and desrved it.

    Having said that, if Agassi was the best player that year, he sure didn't look like it at the Wimbledon final.
     
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  18. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Totally agree. Anybody getting a beatdown won't look great.

    In fact, he got a worse beatdown from Pete at the year end championships.

    Bu the fact is, he did reach 3 straight slam finals and won 2 of them in 99. Pete reached one, and won one.
     
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  19. michaellashan

    michaellashan Rookie

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    Vote? This isn't American Idol or the BCS (Bowl Championship Series). You earn points on the ATP tour. Plain and simple. Its not about speculation on who the best player might be, but who goes out there and earns the results.

    If this thread was about who was the better singer between Ruben and Clay, I would understand, but you are arguing against a ranking that was earned.

    Just my two cents

    ;)

    P.S. Isn't it possible that Agassi was upset at the previously mentioned Master's Award ceremony because he just lost the match?
     
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  20. 156MPHserve

    156MPHserve Professional

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    You got to realize, staying healthy is a skill of your own even if it isn't glorious as having an unreturnable serve. If Agassi developped a game that won a little less but got to play a lot more per year and many more years than Pete, then all the power to Agassi.

    63 - 13. Means Agassi's winning percentage is 83%.
    39 - 8. Means Pete's winning percentage is ALSO 83%.

    Now if someone tells you, "I've played 10 matches in my pro career and won 8 of them." You'd think that's pretty impressive. However if somebody has played 100 matches and won 80 of them, that's much more impressive. It means the latter player faced a bigger variety of people, had more chances to have a bad day, unfair conditions. Also the player who played 100 matches probably had to deal with more fatigue. Still his winning percentage is as high, then that's much more impressive.

    Same goes here. If Agassi could play 24 more pro matches in a year and still have as high a percentage. It means he kept himself in better shape, and was more consistent.

    Nobody argues that at the best of these two men, Sampras would probably come out on top. However you're clearing dismissing the hidden strengths and work of Agassi.
     
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  21. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    you mean... had he been fit, he could not have done it ?

    mmmh not so sure... after a disappointing beginning of 1999, sampras was on an impressive winning streak (winning the queen's + wimbledon + los angeles + cincinnati) when he had to retire with injury against spadea at indianapolis, before withdrawing from the US open.
    and he defeated agassi 3 times (all in straight sets) during that streak !

    so who knows ?... ;)
     
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  22. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    A more unconvicing reign was Sampras's 1995 year end number 1. Agassi won 3 of 5 finals against Sampras that year. Agassi actually spent more weeks at number 1 than Sampras during the calander year, and never dropped below the number 2 ranking. Agassi had a win-loss ratio of 72-10 which is better than Sampras's best ever win-loss ratio in a year. Agassi won 7 tournaments and Sampras won 5. Agassi also had a 26 match winning streak. There is a much stronger argument of Agassi being number 1 at the end of 1995 than Sampras at the end of 1999.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
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  23. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    Sampras won Wimbledon and the US and historically that justifies being considered no.1.
     
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  24. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    agassi was probably a close #2 behind sampras, with that slight advantage in finals... but sampras, with 2 wins and 1 final in the slams, won THE important match, which was the final of the US open.

    playing great at the right moment, once again : his trademark ! ;)

    + he finished the year relatively well (even if he surprisingly lost to chang in the SF masters) winning bercy, and the davis cup final on russian clay.

    and the weeks spent at #1, i don't consider that's a crucial factor for determining who is the "real" #1 of a calendar year (look at wilander and lendl in 1988 for instance). on the other hand, as regards career achievements, these #1 weeks are indeed important. :)
     
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  25. pj80

    pj80 Semi-Pro

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    ...and reached final of aussie open
     
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  26. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Agassi first took the number 1 ranking after his loss to Sampras at Wimbledon, before Sampras was injured. Sampras already held ranking points from his semi-final at the US Open the previous year.

    This is surely very dependant on the surface. Sampras was king of the all england club. Wimbledon was where Sampras was most at home. Agassi was at his weakest on grass. Agassi's poorest record is at Wimbledon of all the slams. You consider that Agassi would have pummled Sampras at the French Open if they had met more often. Sampras played Agassi once at the French and Agassi won in straight sets, winning 7-6 6-2 6-1. The rebound ace also favours Agassi. Decoturf courts favour Sampras, however hard court in general it is hard to say. Agassi has more open-era hard court tournaments than any other male player. I would take a fit '99 Agassi over a fit '99 Sampras on rebound ace and on clay, surely you agree here.

    Agassi still had more than 100 weeks at number 1. However I think that weeks at number 1 are relativly insignificant. Weeks at number 1 put Lendl and Connors in 2nd and 3rd place, but this is not the case. Borg clearly outranks both of them, you could argue others do as well. The real GOAT (Laver) is not even considered by this system. Agassi's career slam is what puts him in the same league. Borg could not win the FO, Mac the FO, Connors the FO, Lendl Wimlbedon, Sampras the FO, Federer the FO (yet). The only male player to have won the career grand slam accross 4 different surfaces, and the only male player to have won the golden grand slam. This is a great champion. Secondly weeks at number 1 presume that the ranking system is perfect, in fact it has been very flawed. Connors finished world number 1 in 1977 and 1978, however he won just 1 slam accross these 2 years. All experts think that either Vilas or Borg should have held number 1 at the end of 1977, and Borg at the end of 1978. The ranking governing body even went against their own ranking system and declared Borg player of the year both years.

    Its all down to the surfaces. Sampras never beat Agassi at the AO or FO, Agassi never beat Sampras at SW19 and the USO. The players played more at SW19 and the USO as Sampras rarely progressed on clay but Agassi was still strong on the Decoturf courts.

    In the 1970s that probabely would alone justify the ranking but by 1995 the AO and the FO had as high class fields as anywhere. Using your arguments against Agassi's 1999 we have exactly the same flaws in Sampras's 1995. Sampras won just 5 tournaments, had a losing H2H to Agassi etc. Agassi's 72 wins and 10 losses in 1995 are better than any of Sampras's years.
     
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  27. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Agassi disagrees about '95, after losing that US Open final, he said "Pete is #1
    for '95 regardless what the ranking says." H2H means nothing if you win 2 majors to another's one.

    And Muster in '95 had a higher win % than Sampras that year as well, so not sure why you think Agassi having a higher % means anything. And Muster won 12 titles that year, more than Sampras & Agassi & finished #3.
     
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  28. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    I greatly respect and admire Agassi, but Agassi says a lot of things. Agassi is emotional and spontanous and does not always give his comments a rational justification. You yourself said that the players know suprisingly little about the game. Either way this 1995 is just an anology as an equvilant. My orginial point was that there is a stronger argument against Pete's 1995 than Agassi's 1999. Both had two slams to one so by your logic that means that you agree with the rankings I guess. My point was that Sampras had inconvincing reigns over Agassi.

    I just thought it was interesting that Agassi had a higher winning % in 1995 than Pete had in any year given Agassi's reputation for inconsistancy. This IMO is a fairly remarkable statistic. Muster played many smaller tournaments which always boasts titles won and winning percentage. Consider Agassi played just 16 tournaments (+ Davis Cup ties) while Muster played 29 tournaments (+ a Davis Cup tie).
     
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  29. Hops

    Hops Rookie

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    don't remember Agassi refusing the #1 trophy. He had already clinched #1 YE at Paris Indoor when Kafelnikov lost.
     
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  30. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^It's not that he refused to accept the trophy>>>> he din't want to give a speech when the trophy was presented to him.
     
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  31. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Just to clarify, he refused to address the crowd after losing the final(which they do at every event) It had nothing to do with his #1 trophy, he was just pissed at losing.
     
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  32. tenniko

    tenniko Semi-Pro

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    it's not just about who's the better player when it comes to the no.1

    it's also the conditioning, planning, and the rest that comes with the tour.

    if andre had a better year than pete overall, then of course andre deserves to be no.1

    if you only want to count the tourneys that you win when you're on, then what's the point?
     
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