Is Agassi's 1st serve return overrated?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by dropshot winner, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    That's the trick part: A WELL HIT, skidding low return is NOT a defensive return.
     
  2. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Agassi is better than Hewitt at hitting passing shots, but Hewitt is faster and can chase down more balls.
     
  3. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not sure if I agree with that.

    Edit: (The passing shot part, not the speed part ;))
     
  4. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    The transition from a weak slice return to a perfect skidding return is continuous.

    In any case you have a lot more reach if you're willing to use slice to return, which means that you're way harder to ace.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  5. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Agassi is the best ball striker in tennis history. Hewitt is not even in the top 100 when it comes to ball striking ability.
     
  6. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    True, but Hewitt's (or was) one of the best movers in tennis history, Agassi isn't close either in this regard.
     
  7. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Ten chars.
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You may be right. I think the Agassi has the greatest return of all time stuff is before of John McEnroe constantly saying that on television. Agassi's returns look great but he was aced a lot and he failed to return serve quite often as opposed to a Connors, Federer or a Borg. Michael Chang has very comparable or perhaps even better service return stats in the 1990's to Agassi but no one called Chang's return the best of all time because it didn't look as spectacular.

    Lleyton Hewitt led the ATP often in return games won percentage a few times I believe. At worst he was usually around the leaders in that category.
     
  9. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    Didn't see that post.

    And speed isn't the same as movement, btw.
    F.e. Blake has amazing speed but he doesn't move as well as prime Hewitt did.
     
  10. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    And yet, Sampras still says Agassi was the best returner he faced. I'll take Sampras' word, who actually played against both, than someone like you, who has no clue.
     
  11. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    And McEnroe who played against both.
     
  12. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^hehehehe. yes, of course, McEnroe as well. :)
     
  13. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^at the end of his career, he stated AA was the best returner he faced. Yeah, Hewitt might have been best returner in a year or two, but not better returner throughout his career than AA.

    Putting it this way, there was 1 or 2 years where Hewitt was the number one player on tour. That doesn't mean he was the best player of all time on the ATP.
     
  15. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Magnificent post.
     
  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Yes indeed, that's how I look at it too -- there's a trend in the ATP numbers that overrates returns of second serves and underrates the first serve returns.

    But it's not a uniform trend, because we've found ATP stats in the 90s that looked okay -- they lined up with either our own counts that we've done or with counts in the media.

    And we don't know how many of the matches at the ATP have good stats in the 90s. It seems like most matches in that decade -- but not all -- have the aces and df's counted twice.

    The ATP has Goran winning 86% of the time on his first serve, in the Wimbledon final he lost to Andre. A boxscore in USA Today put him at only 77%.

    And on second serve the ATP has Goran at only 42%. In the boxscore he's at 50%.

    Same with the 1998 Wimbledon final.

    The ATP has Goran winning 87% of the time on his first serve. In a boxscore in Sports Illustrated he drops to 83%.

    Pete drops from 82% to 80%.

    (There's nothing in the boxscore for second serve).
     
  17. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    And Sampras has no selfish motive for his statements about AA ? Or his disparaging of Hewitt and other players of this gen. ?

    Look, Agassi had the better returns against every other player - I already said so - but against Sampras, I would take prime Hewitt any day of the week, any time, even in my sleep. The drubbing that Hewitt gave Sampras in the 2001 USO F was shocking. Sampras had won 87 continuous games on serve until the final. And yet, Hewitt made Sampras' serve look ordinary. He got back every serve into play, made Sampras stretch and lunge for the volley, tired him out. AA would've got aced about 15-20 times in 2 sets, and would've lost too.

    AA never ever, ever, ever, ever, beat Sampras in straight sets outside of the FO (talking about slams). Not even close. Not in 1990 and not in 2002, and not anywhere in between. And, like I said, Agassi's swashbuckling, macho attitude with his returns actually helped boost the reputation of Sampras' already great serve.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  18. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    Agree. AA's ROS might have been better overall but i would say it was less threatening to pete than say hewitt's. AA tried to blast every return for a winner, whereas hewitt wanted to dip the ball at the s/v'er feet, force to volley up and use his speed to get to the next ball and hit the pass. Hewitt went for more angle and his trajectory was not as straight-lined as andre's. Andre even on the pass went for brute pace and wanted to line drive every ball. Hewitt went for the percentages.

    brute pace didn't nearly bother sampras as much as topspin, and angle bothered him. Pete had very strong wrists and great control on the volleys which allowed him to handle andre's power shots. But if the returner dips the ball with little pace, then the volleyer has to generate the pace or play finesse. I would say pete was better at punching away the volley thus handling pace better rather than finessing it away at angles.
     
  19. SpaceCadet

    SpaceCadet New User

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    Drakulie's posted stats on Agassi's wins against "Big Servers" is indeed compelling. My questions are:

    • What was 1st serve percentage of the Big Server in each match?
      What was percentage of 1st serve points won by the Big Server in each match?
      Is there a pattern on the above 2 questions and Agassi's wins and losses against the big server?

    Ugh! Never mind! Too much analysis and math! :razz:

    So..."Is Agassi's 1st serve return overrated?" Overrated by whom? :confused:
     

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