Does Agassi owe it to America to develop the next tennis star?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Power Player, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, the title is melodramatic, and he owes us nothing, but the more i watch Agassi, the more i feel we need a new one. Someone found at a young age with the same hand eye, but taller and faster. Imagine a guy like that..moves faster but hits just like agassi did, and takes balls on the rise.

    I feel like everyone is being developed to hit the same. Heavy spin grinders. Hey, it works. But the best counter attack is more driving strokes and taking the ball early. Especially on these slower courts where robbing somoene of time is paramount.

    Just my opinion on how to salvage american tennis. The question is..is there another one and can he be found and developed properly?
     
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  2. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Agassi doesn't owe anything to America. He played for himself, and doesn't have to take time out to coach another player. He can do so if he wants to, but it isn't something he has to do.
     
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  3. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You didnt even read my post.
     
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  4. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    There will never be another Agassi. I skimmed over your post, I admit, but I got the gist of it. It's not happening.
     
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  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I disagree. I think there is definitley someone out there who can play that game, and it should be an american player.
     
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  6. Disgruntled Worker

    Disgruntled Worker Rookie

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    I think the closest thing we have to a modern-day Agassi is Murray. Flat, power hitter with outstanding movement and anticipation. Plays smart, calculated tennis until the time is right, then BOOM! 124mph forehand!
     
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  7. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    Not sure if we're talking about Andy Murray.
     
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  8. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    Agassi's dad basically tortured him into developing the game he eventually had. I'm not sure if Agassi would have it in him to do the same to some other kid. I can see him playing a more distant role, however.


    Incidentally, part of what made Agassi great was his 2hbh. Unfortunately, his backhand is highly unconventional and seems to go against standard teaching methodologies. Thus, I don't think we'll be seeing an Agassi clone for a very long time, unless Agassi himself goes about teaching it.
     
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  9. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    (this post is about creating a great player per se rather than Agassi's role in it)

    The real difference actually comes in tennis nous. Call it what you will: x-factor, the inner game, the third eye or whatever, the thing that makes the very best what they are is almost unteachable. It can be nurtured to some extent, and patterns of play taught etc but for the most part it is an innate talent.

    Some people have it in spades - the top five current players for example, with Federer perhaps having one of the biggest doses of tennis nous in history.

    It's a lottery trying to nurture it too - one size does not fit all here. Some learn it by experience, others barely will at all. Take Berdych for example... if hitting the ball huge was the requirement for being a great he would be doing a lot better than he is. But he's not because he plays obvious tennis for the most part against the likes of the top four. He can outhit anyone on his day but that's still usually not enough - he can basically only beat the top four when he's both hitting great and they're a little off top form. If they're firing their court craft will usually trump his winner-hitting ability.

    Roddick, likewise, (a product of the American tennis system) had big weapons. He was, unfortunately, pretty lacking in the tennis smarts department when it came to people who had the game figured out better than him. Once a stack of people came along like this he was toast (Murray, Djokovic and Nadal..) and no amount of huge serving would solve it. His great serve merely masked his short-comings. Attempts to improve his movement did also - but he was fundamentally the lesser player against many of his peers on the majority of occasions. It would have been a huge frustration to him too because he would certainly have been aware enough to realise it, but not be able to do much about it.

    Now, Agassi for many years didn't come across as any genius when he opened his mouth but he already had a good court craft in addition to his great ground-strokes. It took him a while to fully develop his game to its peak - during which time lesser-rated peers with better craft often make him look a little clueless on (Courier especially who out-thought Agassi on the biggest stages). But once he sorted his crap and really improved was his craft it was basically the difference between him being #20 and #1.

    I'm all for huge forehands and serves and whatever - but you only need to look to the Bollettieri academy for an example of how you need to train 1000 players to hit amazing forehands and backhands before you produce a single great tennis player. Having great strokes simply is not enough to be a top player in the men's game. It's something which, for too long, the American tennis system (clubs, coaches, college system etc) has been missing the boat with as other federations seem to have found the key.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
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  10. zebedee

    zebedee New User

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    Very well put.
     
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  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Don't expect Jaden or Jaz to take over. They are not encouraging their kids to play tennis.
     
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  12. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Bobby, nice post. From watching Jr tournies here in Florida now, all I see are little mini Nadal Babolat kids everywhere. When I was coming up in the FL USTA jr system, we had all kinds of kids playing multiple styles of tennis.

    Without a doubt, its not just about great strokes. That is why I bring up agassi. He had the strokes, but also the ability as a shorter player to take the ball early. That IMO, is the secret to modern tennis. We need a guy who can stand in front of a ball machine and topspin player launching heavy topspin balls at him that he can take early. I would personally train kids to take the ball early like Agassi did. That obviously requires great footwork and great hands, but I know there are people out there who can do it.
     
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  13. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I read that his son prefers playing baseball over tennis:D. what a waste of genes:)
     
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  14. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    I don't think people give roddick enough credit. He had a much bigger forehand in his prime. It became spinnier as he got older much like federer's has. Likely intentionally to reduce arm swear and tear.
     
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  15. President

    President Legend

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    Davydenko (before 2010) and even Djokovic are good examples today of Agassi-like players with much better movement. It's definitely a very effective style, particularly against heavy topspin bashers.
     
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  16. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    If anything, Sampras should give something back to tennis.
     
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  17. timeisonmyside

    timeisonmyside Semi-Pro

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    Djokovic is the modern day Agassi. He attacks equally well off both wings, takes the balll early (relative to other pros), and plays aggressively from the baseline. It's only in these last two years that he grinds a little more.
     
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  18. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I agree about Djokovic. He takes it earlier and drives the ball with similar angles as Agassi. Now we need an American who can do that!
     
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  19. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

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    We owe Agassi! He was truly unique
     
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  20. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    His post wasn't exactly War and Peace or Gone With the Wind. I think you could have taken the extra 5 seconds to read the entire post if you were going to take the time to respond.

    But, like, whatever.........
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Agassi lost to Fed and Nadal. If you want to play his style, you got to be better these days.
     
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  22. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Pfttt. there is no "next american tennis star". American men's tennis is BEYOND a lost cause at this point.. The best player we will probably get for the next 15-20 years is Roddick.
     
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  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    There is no "next Swiss tennis star" either. So what?

    These things don't happen on demand.
     
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  24. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Yeah I mean its not like there's multiple players in the top 50 or anything. Engaging in hyperbole as usual.
     
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  25. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well I sort of agree, but you're exaggerating.
     
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  26. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes agreed, but i covered this in my first post.

    I agree with the poster that said the closest thing is djokovic. But we need an american version who thumps the ball.
     
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  27. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Agassi hates tennis, forget it
     
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  28. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yes and a country that every era before the Roddick one produced numerous all time greats per generation is going to be excited to have some top 50 players. 90s clay is absolutely right on the mark on this one. Atleast a couple decades down the road Roddick will still likely be the best American player since Agassi retired, which for U.S tennis is a scary thought.
     
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  29. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    But who knows that for sure? It's a gigantic assumption that with two full decades of time there wouldn't be anyone of Roddick's caliber, considering what you've just said. Sure we might be in a rut now..but some of the players who will be in that 15-20 year period are probably not even at puberty, or playing tennis even. We're talking two full generations from now... it's foolhardy to assume that NONE of them will win a major...
     
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  30. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Well many 1 time major winners are worse players than Roddick so winning a major wouldnt automaticaly disprove my statement. Yes alot can change but it is pretty clear by the extremely poor (relatively speaking) younger players coming up for both U.S men and women for a decade now, that something has gone badly wrong with their system of developing young talent, and that isnt going to be easily fixed overnight. A huge problem is the U.S has too much competition from other sports, and are obviously not getting the big athletic talents going into tennis right now. Their best mens players right now is a servebot who moves around the court like a giraffe, and clearly lacks the ability to ever come close to a major title. Their 2nd best womens player,....well not even sure who it is, might still be granny Venus who is practically on her death bed, or Christina McHale.
     
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  31. loci

    loci Rookie

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    Agassi could impart some invaluable insight, but if it's through the USTA, he might be wasting his time. If I'm not mistaken, Sampras and McEnroe through the years have offered their services to the USTA to help develop new talent and they weren't met with enthusiasm :shock:. It would have to be under his own initiative.
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    He is more interested in charity and schools.
     
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  33. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

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    If you inserted Agassi into this era he would do very well. His ability to hit on the rise is matched only by Djokovic (that's debatable) and strikes the ball more cleanly than the players today. However, Agassi is a very special specimen, if you have read his biography you will know what I mean. Developing a player exactly like him would impossible, unless you're some kind of sadist. The American system has given us a steady stream of players, but none of them are fantastic. This is because every player is being developed the exact same way. In my opinion the way the American Tennis system is set up right now, for a player as talented as Agassi, becoming a player like him is impossible.
     
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  34. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Hey its depressing as american tennis fans:-? But why waste your time with these lost causes. (If Andre came back it would probably be to coach a player with some more promise then some subpar player with NO promise like an Isner or Querry) They is NO talent in american men's tennis.. Hell once Serena and Venus call it a career, our women's tennis will take a big dump as well.

    America will be LAST on the totem pole in both men's and women's tennis. Serena and Venus will be the last of the "old guard".

    Like NadalAgassi said, we aren't producing great tennis talent the same way we did years before. A big reason for that is our top athletes are going into the more team oriented main stream sports (football, baseball, basketball).. Thats where our top athletes go.. Not to tennis.

    I went to the USO a few years back, and I barely encountered ANY americans there. It was primarily fans from other countries coming to root their countrymen there. The popularity of tennis in america has a taken a HUGE dump in a toilet bowl. And I dont see that changing any time soon.

    We aren't going to be producing a GOAT candidate Tiger Woods or Pete Sampras.. Hell we won't even come CLOSE to producing a Jim Courier for the next 2 decades at the least.. Maybe longer I dont know.

    Hell, if we could just produce something similar to a Michael Chang or Roddick (one time slam winner and some reasonable Masters event successes) I would be overjoyed. Won't happen though..

    It will take DECADES to get american tennis back on track to where it was in the 80s, 90s, and 2000's. If it ever does get back on track. It may never.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Have you taken a look at the Junior Slams results? Plenty of Americans.
     
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  36. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Watching the Roddick / Nalbandian USO semis the year Roddick won the title reminded me how good Roddick was back then (and Nalbandian too).

    Roddicks serve just flew off that court. His groundstrokes were hit hard, especially his forehand, but his backhand wasn't bad either.

    Nalbandian was just deadly with his groundstrokes. Holy #@*&
     
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  37. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    The juniors' level is nothing that guarantees all time great slam champions in the future.. Ive seen a lot of guys with promising pro careers that did great in juniors level that amounted to NOTHING on the pro tour.

    Its a different game once you step up to the next level
     
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  38. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    And Roddick very well could have lost that match (if they had the hawk eye back then). There was a few points where, Nalbandian would have challenged and won thus probably getting him the match.

    That one match (Roddick's only slam win) very well he could have lost, leaving him slam less for his career. And no one we have no is even close to as good as Roddick was back then.. So its a bleak future for us
     
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  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Well, if nothing is an indicator of anything, I don't know how you can come to any conclusions either
     
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  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    90's clay, is they sky blue as well? We get your point, I assure you.
     
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  41. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Well agassi was 100 years old then. for fed fans even the age 27 matches against nadal don't count:D.

    I think prime agassi would have been a very bad matchup for nadal. he was basically a better version of davydenko.nadal doesn't like hard, flat and early ballstriking and agassi is the king of that. fed on the other hand always would have been a bad matchup for him stylistically.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
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  42. loci

    loci Rookie

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    Billie Jean King offered a cultural explanation for America's lack of talent. She believes that the newer generations of Americans who dream of pursuing tennis as professional athletes are soft and can not match the hunger or desire of foreign players that have it worse or grew up under very tough circumstances. In her mind, the higher standard of living here in America undermines the internal resolve necessary to be a true champion.
     
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  43. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    I guess Sampras and Federer got their toughness and hunger from growing up in the rough parts of Palos Verdes, California and Basel, Switzerland...
     
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  44. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    :):):) ROFL
     
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  45. Candide

    Candide Professional

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    After the tiara has been handed out I want to go and work with the underpriveleged children of Basel. They're so adorable with their big wet eyes, distended bellys and overdeveloped serving arms.
     
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  46. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    All the Americans don't have the same modern forehand technique that Fed and Nadal are using. Until that happens, no superstar American tennis players.
     
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  47. Candide

    Candide Professional

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    Doesn't Fed use a pretty unremarkable semi-western to eastern grip. He's certainly not a rootin' tootin full western geezer. It's not his grip that people need to emulate but his rip.
     
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