Sampras v. Agassi but really a general question

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by tennischemist, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. tennischemist

    tennischemist Rookie

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    In your estimation was Sampras' great record against Agassi a result of:

    Sampras just being all around better

    or

    At the tippy-top of the game, a great S&V player will beat a great baseliner/returner.

    or some combo of both.. i always hear "the point is on the attacker's racquet" but Agassi attacked from the baseline for a good portion of his career.


    obviously Sampras had a great ground game as well
    but i just wonder as Sampras is often said to have the best serve of all time and Agassi is often said to have the best return of serve of all time


    curious as to what some of you think
     
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  2. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    More the former than the latter (whose veracity depends on the type of surface--you have to consider the percentages), but of course it's some combo of both.
     
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  3. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I would say agassis problem was his lack of footspeed. he did move well but lacked athleticsm and top end speed. sampras had the edge there.

    If agassi was as fast and athletic as say djokovic sampras would have had a really tough time given andres quality of return and from the baseline. but agassi simply wasn't agile and fast enough even if he was a hard worker and very fit when he was on.
     
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  4. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Movement aside, Sampras had the steely nerve that served him well in big events and on big points. He was, as someone put it, "as cool as a cucumber."

    Agassi was somewhat fragile mentally (even though he got tougher and tougher gradually), and once Sampras established dominance, he really didn't feel like he could beat Pete. He confessed that even if he played his best tennis, Pete could still beat him.
     
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  5. tennischemist

    tennischemist Rookie

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    I guess I'm more concerned if you think a great S&V player will ultimately prevail over a great baseliner

    and it goes back too so it's hard to say, McEnroe had his epic battles with the defining baseliners of his career in Borg, Connors, and Lendl
     
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  6. tennischemist

    tennischemist Rookie

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    and they of course beat each other seemingly randomly so it's hard to say
     
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  7. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    On fast and semi-fast surfaces, I would say the S&V player has the advantage, but we're not talking about a Henman. It's got to be a Sampras.
     
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  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I would agree with that. Sampras mentioned something in his book to that effect.

    Sampras overall in the 1990's also was more dominant as a server than Agassi was as a returner. Sampras led the ATP in most years in the 1990's in percentage of holding serve. I don't recall how Agassi did as a returner in percentage of breaking serve exactly but it was nearly as impressive as Sampras as a server.
     
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  9. fluffyyelloballz

    fluffyyelloballz Rookie

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    Focus. If you ask me, Sampras was always focused on tennis. He was not sidetracked, and perhaps because his personality did not attract it, all the media attention. Sampras was dedicated to tennis his whole career. That focus carried itself into his matches with Agassi. He was more experienced at winning the big matches on the big stages and had the confidence that comes with that.
    In addition, Sampras had a better game for hard courts. The movement, the serve and the forehand. Agassi did have some great wins against him and was a difficult match up but the focus, champion's mentality and aggressive game of Sampras was too difficult to overcome more often than not.
     
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  10. ClairHarmony

    ClairHarmony Rookie

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    Either footspeed/reach or an impestuous ability to simply bonk winners wherever when finding yourself in King Kong form for the day. Guys like Bruguera/Ferreira had the cagey kind of athleticism you need (think soccer player style) to run down balls with a flourish. Agassi was a pigeon-toed by comparison. But unlike Chang, Bruguera/Ferreira also had big forehands themselves, and the ability to loop it with extreme top (no one had a more varied array of arc on a 2-handed backhand than Bruguera, from lofty moonballs to shoelace top pickups to penetrating screamers...he mixed it up extremely well off this side when on) in the case of Bruguera. They returned just fine (Ferreira off both wings), and Bruguera's weak dink forehand return was actually almost a neutralizing/frustrating advantage against net rushers, why? Because he had the speed off the mark to flag down the first volley, while the dink did not give the net rusher enough zing with which to put it away (the classic problem you encounter when you stand way back to get full pace in, like Muster...but end up giving your opponent to much open court, angle, and pace to work with if you don't smack it just absolutely smack dab righteously).

    Agassi's average to slightly above average (in his youth) footspeed, the problem he ran into with Sampras on the fast stuff especially (that era was really more geared toward Sampras' game than these days, back then it was far more unfair to the extreme grippers, but now it favors them...this is what happens you cater to only one side of the equation, respecting the right to be great equally all around not exactly the same)...just didn't cut-it when it came down to it against a *streaking* Sampras. That's what Sampras do...he'll come out of nowhere, and explode...and bullet forehand suddenly streaks to a corner, not expecting to be caught up to...but Bruguera/Ferreira could also suddenly go all spider man on you, and *could*...and this is where Agassi would fail. The key to taking Agassi out of his game was always the same. Whether by cutesy behind the back angles...anything to get him to *stretch.* Or, if you could get enough top on the ball, to *force* him to stand way back...his swings were actually quite flat, and meant to *deaden* the ball if you will, *from primarily up close.* That's really how he "geared," and "fine-tuned" his swings. Small takeback on the backhand, but with a vicious follow-through. Large, but mostly straight almost, *hack down* on the ball, feeling-ish take back on the forehand, like how a hungry pirate would instinctively look to do it with his rusty sword, if on the 44th day on the tuna fishless sea, he imagine a plump, hard pineapple magically appearing to appear from out of nowhere on a *deck stump*...how would he react? T-hwACK!!! That's kind of how Agassi saw ball, as something to thwack down upon visciously, cold-cut, clean-slicing through hard pineapple, *clinical.* At his best, he did with surgical precision and could mishit not once all day...*unless* you had someway to get him off his perch. Move that birdie off his branch, and those claws didn't move sideways like that...he lost his feathers quickly then...*in his youth.* But then, he worked on it. And even with bad matchups, which Sampras *definitely* was for him style-wise (I don't think Sampras and his fans play this up enough, because then it'd of course take away from their legacy in a big way..but it's just the truth...Sampras' game/strengths simply just out and out matched up better with Agassi's, than the other way around. Furthermore, heavy top to Sampras' backhand was more likely to give him rhtyhm problems than simply blasting it semi-flat there, which in a way, gave Sampras less time to think, and more time to unload...which is what he did best, randomly unload on you...and suddenly send you scurrying off-guard at any time, from anywhere...that he missed a lot too, was what made it in a way more effective, you just didn't know how/when to brace for...as Courier said, he could be doing keeling over on the ground barely pushing-ups one second, then SLAP! shot from heck, and I'll be darn, I didn't really see that coming...*point over.* With his serve allowing him to stay even on cruise control...this proved to be a both a highly effective and *intelligent* formula to play with.).

    Sampras was the master of the *ricochet* effect in tennis. That's how his forehands came out you randomly at the most opportune of times. You better be *quick* enough to do something about it, bcs. you ain't gonna get many chances to break him, that's for *sure.* Agassi was no ballerina on the run, he was all thumble, and desperate, lunges, and *-acks!* at the ball by comparison. From the center of the court, in *dominator* position, no one's ever struck it so cleanly and with such conviction with *so few mishits* as Agassi did when on. This is why he had a field day with Ferreira. A big forehand...*but one that's neither flat enough, angley-cutesy enough, or hurrican high-bounding topspun enoungh* to get him out of his decidedly, lawn-mower on a string...mindset, his most comfortable "flow" if you will. And Ferreira's merely reliable, solid, and totally *non-threatening* bakchand...made it all the easier. He didn't care if you were faster than him, in this matchup it really didn't matter. Ferreira wasn't going to be able to run down shots corner to corner ALL day long...*because that's what it'd take.* Agassi saw Ferreira as his Thai-clinch, plumb, heaven-sent. He could rag-doll him all day from this position, and it was very much pleasurable to him. We all love to dominate when the matchup suits. Really a player's maturity and growth as a player, however, is marked by their ability to keep-up the good stamina and will power...when things just aren't going your way today, and for *very good* reason. When you accept that these are the best in the world, and sometimes it just takes a little something more...this is where ESTP's often fail. The *most* naturally confident in the *unproblematic* matchups, see Rios/Hingis...but allow themselves to wilt too easily, "take their ball and go home" if will is a tag that often follows them, when things don't go their way. You have to really give Agassi credit for finding all the humility in the world to recognize where he was *weak,* and *go down* as that 1-of-a-kind, *inspiring* "legend" as a result. He didn't have to look inside, but he did. Philipoussis, also an ESTP, didn't.
     
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  11. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    because in the 90s they didn't play slams on blue clay, red clay and green clay. They actually had different surfaces that complimented more styles than just Lance Armstrong 8 hour marathon grinding. Therefore on faster surfaces like Wimbledon and the US Open a player like Petros had the advantage over a baseliner. Even still Andre was an aggressive baseliner so he still had success on faster courts it’s just that Petros was optimized for those surfaces. As a consequence Andre did better than Petros on slower surfaces
     
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  12. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    1997 called. They want your stupid spam post generator back
     
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  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    IMO, Sampras saw Agassi as his main rival and he raised his game against Agassi more than he did against anyone else.
     
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  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I thought Agassi said he always felt like there was usually a way into matches with Pete... It was against Federer he said there wasn't anything you could do.
     
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  15. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Sampras had a steel nerve, consistency (except on clay), and an amazing serve as well as a solid all court game. Sampras at times came off as more robotic then Andre but he usually always brought his best to the table. Agassi was a great player when on but the cinsistency was not always there, so he came off the worse against Sampras frequently because of that. Sampras was a consistent attacker who served and moved well, where as agassi was slower and not always the most consistent. His best was great and when he was at the top of his game Pete had major problems...but that did not always come out of Andre. Sampras benefitted as he was almost a tennis robot in that you knew what he was gonna bring...agassi could be stellar or just good/slightly great. Pete was a pistol all the time.
     
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  16. tennischemist

    tennischemist Rookie

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    that vulnerability always appealed to me about agassi.. i felt i could relate to him more than I could Sampras who was a tennis machine.

    i'm lucky to have been growing up at the right time to watch them play and i am very proud of Andre for figuring his life out and really, it seems, pouring himself into his charity work.

    both men are a credit to american sports and to tennis in general

    i will be very happy to see another American come and win some majors.. especially the US Open

    that's neither here nor there

    thanks for the input, everyone
     
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  17. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    There's still a huge difference between the different surfaces today. I don't know why people say they are the same. You'd have to be blind to think Queen's Club grass played anything like Roland Garros clay.
     
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  18. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Here are the Sampras vs. Agassi head-to-head matches, by the way.

    Pete Sampras 20-14 Andre Agassi
    1989 Rome R32: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (6-2, 6-1)
    1990 Philadelphia R16: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (5-7, 7-5 ret.)
    1990 US Open F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-4, 6-3, 6-2)
    1990 World Championships RR: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (6-4, 6-2)
    1991 World Championships RR: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-3, 1-6, 6-3)
    1992 Atlanta F: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (7-5, 6-4)
    1992 French Open QF: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (7-6, 6-2, 6-1)
    1993 Wimbledon QF: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4)
    1994 Miami F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (5-7, 6-3, 6-3)
    1994 Osaka SF: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-3, 6-1)
    1994 Paris Indoor QF: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (7-6, 7-5)
    1994 World Championships SF: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (4-6, 7-6, 6-3)
    1995 Australian Open F: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (4-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-4)
    1995 Indian Wells F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (7-5, 6-3, 7-5)
    1995 Miami F: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (3-6, 6-2, 7-6)
    1995 Montreal F: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (3-6, 6-2, 6-3)
    1995 US Open F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5)
    1996 San Jose F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-2, 6-3)
    1996 Stuttgart Indoor QF: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-4, 6-1)
    1996 World Championships RR: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-2, 6-1)
    1998 San Jose F: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (6-2, 6-4)
    1998 Monte Carlo R32: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-4, 7-5)
    1998 Toronto QF: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (6-7, 6-1, 6-2)
    1999 Wimbledon F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-3, 6-4, 7-5)
    1999 Los Angeles F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (7-6, 7-6)
    1999 Cincinnati SF: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (7-6, 6-4)
    1999 World Championships RR: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (6-2, 6-2)
    1999 World Championships F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-1, 7-5, 6-4)
    2000 Australian Open SF: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-1)
    2001 Indian Wells F: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (7-6, 7-5, 6-1)
    2001 Los Angeles F: Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras (6-4, 6-2)
    2001 US Open QF: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6)
    2002 Houston SF: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-1, 7-5)
    2002 US Open F: Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi (6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4)

    Hardcourt: 11-9 to Sampras
    Clay: 3-2 to Agassi
    Grass: 2-0 to Sampras
    Carpet: 5-2 to Sampras
    In Majors: 6-3 to Sampras
     
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  19. tennischemist

    tennischemist Rookie

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    you know now that i look at it 20-14 isn't really "owning" someone

    although 6-3 in majors is telling of Sampras' superior nerve (and more too probably)
     
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  20. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The 1995 US Open final was the crucial match. I often wonder how different things would have been in the rivalry, and in the tennis world, had Agassi won that match.
     
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  21. tennischemist

    tennischemist Rookie

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    yeah.. and he played pretty well against sampras that year other than that match

    Agassi in 1995 had a fantastic year
     
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  22. CRWV

    CRWV Rookie

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    TL;DR

    A great serve and decent return has an advantage over a mediocre (at best) serve and a great return...
     
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  23. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    He said both.

    Basically what he meant was that although Pete's best was better than his own, at least he could get somewhere with Pete if he could accomplish a few things because Pete did have some weaknesses that Andre could expose.

    With Federer, Andre felt that he had no chance at all.
     
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  24. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    This.

    Growing up watching both play, I felt it was Sampras' 2nd serve that won him the majority of matches vs. Agassi. Countless times Agassi would have break points, only to have them swept away by killer 2nd serves.

    This would put more pressure on Agassi to hold, knowing breaking Pete was going to take some luck, and he would hold back during the rallies.

    Pete, on the other hand, knew if he served well, his chances of being broken were slim, so he could go out & swing away on Andre's serve.

    I often wonder if they played today, how many of those serves would be called out by Hawkeye.
     
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  25. scootad.

    scootad. Semi-Pro

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    I agree that it was the serve. Sampras' serve was unbelievable. When it was on, even the best returner wouldn't have much of a chance esp. on faster surfaces. And I agree that the surfaces and balls seemed to play faster then compared to today.
     
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  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Verbatim ad nauseum.

    (Succinctness is a virtue.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
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  27. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    the 6-3 head to head in grand slams is skewed by the surface that they played on. agassi was 3-0 at the australian/french but 0-6 at wimbledon/us open. the latter two were much faster surfaces than the former, which significantly suited sampras' game.
     
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  28. I get cramps

    I get cramps New User

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    Ad nauseam. :wink:
     
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  29. Marcus

    Marcus Semi-Pro

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    Firstly i'm a massive Sampras fan.....

    But if their rivalry was in the modern era I think the picture would have been very different...

    Modern surfaces would give Agassi an advantage

    Modern Racquet & string tecnology would give Agassi a big advantage, Pete would be using Roger's K90 with Gut Poly so very little change or advantage there but can you imagine Agassi with an Aero Pro Drive and RPM Blast !!?? OMG !!
     
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  30. kul

    kul New User

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    I agree that Sampras wouldn't be quite the same monster with today's equipment (vs 1990's); however, his ability to go really BIG on any shot (2nd serve, FH, BH) would win him a lot of matches today. He matched the athleticism of today's top 3 guys (well maybe not Nadal), and he had the ability to serve you off the court (grass/hard). In addition, he seemed to possess that kind of steely nerve required to gut out tight matches on the big stage.

    By contrast, I think Agassi would be less competitive with today's equipment... almost entirely due to his lack of athleticism. Further, the unique qualities (hitting early, hard, spin) that made him such a great player in the 1990's are the same qualities that many top players use today. He was everyone's idol, right?

    The game is being owned (at the top) by taller & quicker players. Hard to believe the smaller & less-than-superfast guys will ever make it back to the top.
     
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  31. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Good call.

    There is a reason why the English equivalent is spelled "nausea."
     
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  32. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    I definitely agree with you.
     
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  33. Gizo

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    Actually this notion that Sampras was winning all their grand slam matches on fast hard courts, while Agassi was winning all their slam matches on slower hard courts is a bit of a myth.

    The conditions at Melbourne in 2000 were playing unusually fast that year, and many players, including Sampras himself were actually complaining that they were too fast. In their semi-final, Sampras served 37 aces, the highest number he served in any match during his career.

    That match definitely wasn't on a slow hard court.

    It was pretty well documented that the courts at the US Open were pretty mid-paced in the 90s until they were sped up in 1997, before they slowed down again after 2000, and Sampras and Agassi never played each other on the 'faster' hard courts at Flushing Meadows from 1997-2000. Thus the US Open courts that Sampras was beating Agassi weren't exactly overly fast.

    Many players were complaining about the US Open courts being too slow for their liking in the early 90s, and there were strong suspicions that the USTA had slowed them down to help their cash cow and one star Agassi (casual fans in the US couldn't care less about Sampras).

    Thus the Australian Open surface that Agassi beat Sampras on in 2000, was faster than the US Open surface that Sampras beat Agassi on in 1995, 2000 and 2001.

    And really when you are talking about two of the greatest hard court players of all time, slight differences in the conditions of the hard courts don't matter that much.
     
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  34. Tagg

    Tagg New User

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    sampras was too strong mentally for agassi

    he made tennis his priority, agassi didn't

    agassi was able to beat him when it was a slow hard court (miami, australia, canada etc) or clay (obviously)

    but, wimbledon and us open are the 2 most prestigious slams, historically

    you can say that the us open has been a joke in terms of organization the past few years, but it's still behind wimbledon in terms of prestige and worldwide interest

    sampras won their matches there, and more to the point, he won the big matches when it mattered. 4-1 in slam finals was it?
     
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  35. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

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    I think Agassi's hand-eye made up for a lot of his underwhelming athletic ability. Not exactly a barnburner but HE DIDNT HAVE TO be because he took the ball so early and robbed his opponent of time...CRUCIAL milliseconds that made up for his lack of cross training in other sports.
     
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  36. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    I think an interesting and important thing to note is that Agassi had a (convincing) winning record against every top serve volleyer of his era. So court speeds or big servers do not appear to matter to Andre Agassi:

    v Rafter 10:5
    v Stich 6:0
    v Becker 10:4
    v Phillippoussis 6:2
    v Edberg 6:3
    v Krajicek 4:3
    v Ivanisevic 4:3
    v Rusedski 9:2

    The only top attacking player Agassi does not have a winning record against is Pete Sampras. This suggest that Sampras bought something extra to the table other than Agassi just having trouble with a "big server".
     
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  37. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Many other big servers of that era were terrified of the Agassi return, and knew that if they didn't get their 1st serves in, they could be in real trouble on their 2nd serves.

    However Sampras relished facing the Agassi return and Agassi in general. More often than not it brought out the best him, and he was always up for the challenge. He was perfectly happy to slug it out with Agassi from the baseline as well, because he knew that if he won those type of points, it would demoralise Agassi.

    Their 4 US Open matches to me are the most of important of their rivalry. It was biggest neutral stage where they could battle it out. Each time Agassi was the clear favourite; in 1990 he was more established player while Sampras was still the 'kid', in 1995 he had won 26 matches in a row and had dethroned Sampras as the best player in the world, and in 2001 and 2002 he was one of the top 2-3 players in the world while Sampras was declining and suffering a long title drought. However each time Sampras won. As I said on another thread, those 2001 and 2002 matches in particular prove beyond any doubt that Sampras was simply the better player.
     
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  38. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    their AO matches were very important as well :

    sampras was the top player in 94, but agassi had won the USO and their rivalry had reignited so to speak ...sampras had won a close battle at the YEC in 94 ....

    in AO 2000, sampras had the wood over him in matches in 99 ( h2h was 4-1 with sampras winning in wimbledon, YEC final, cincy and atlanta, agassi only winning their RR match at the YEC ) .. so agassi had a point to prove there ....

    no doubt that sampras was their superior player overall , just saying ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
    #38
  39. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Yes those two Australian Open matches were also very important. However their US Open matches were more important, as both players simply cared a lot more about the US Open than the Australian Open, which was understandable given that they were both American. Had Agassi lost to Sampras at the Australian Open, it's difficult to imagine him taking it anywhere as badly as he took that 1995 US Open defeat.

    Still I agree that the 2000 Aussie Open semi was a huge win for Agassi. Sampras was the pre-match favourite given how he had owned Agassi in 1999 and had the upper hand in most of their big matches. However this time Agassi battled away and withstood everything that Sampras threw at him, and came out on top. Sampras was 2 points away from a 4 set win as well, and had benefited from the faster conditions that year.

    In 1995, Agassi hadn't dropped a single set until the final, and Sampras was physically and emotionally drained following the whole Tim Gullickson turmoil and the battles against Courier and Chang. All things considered he did very well just to reach that final, and Agassi was the clear favourite there.

    It's interesting that Sampras won both his Australian Open titles without Agassi in the draw (although it's difficult to imagine the Agassi of 1997 being a threat to Sampras or any of the top players), while Agassi benefited from Sampras injuries to win both of his US Open titles.
     
    #39
  40. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    on another note, I did see your post regarding the AO courts being a bit too fast in 2000 ... interesting article.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7090238&postcount=105

    but was it really faster than the USO then ?

    I did a check on the aggressive margins in their AO 2000 and USO 2001 matches - not that much of a difference in quality in both the matches

    for an explanation regarding aggressive margin, check :

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=450014

    given comparable quality of tennis, you'd expect aggressive margins to be higher on the faster surfaces ...

    AO 2000 :

    agassi : 26.3%
    sampras : 24.3%

    ( in contrast the AO 2005 match b/w fed/safin had them close to 20% each and that was an even better match, suggesting that the AO 2000 was indeed faster )

    USO 2001 :

    sampras: 34.6%
    agassi : 30.5%

    suggesting that the USO in 2001 was indeed faster than the AO in 2000

    I'd be reluctant to use USO 95, 2002 matches for direct comparison as the quality of those matches isn't comparable to the 3 matches mentioned above ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
    #40
  41. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agassi took the 1995 US Open final defeat as badly as he did because of what it meant, not just because it was the US Open but because of the timing and its wider significance:

    1. 26 match winning streak halted
    2. People thought that Agassi was taking over as the world's best, but then he lost the biggest match of all, the match which would have confirmed it.
    3. Sampras suddenly had 2 majors in the year to Agassi's 1, despite not being as prolific in winning tournaments like Agassi during the year. Basically, Agassi failed to turn quantity into quality, while Sampras did turn his year into quality with excellent timing.

    It was like a steak through the heart for Agassi. The 1995 Australian Open final, by contrast, had a totally different set of circumstances. Sampras was still number 1 at that point, but Sampras was going through a tough time in being worried about Tim Gullikson while Agassi was in red hot form throughout the tournament. The tragic death of Vitas Gerulaitis in September 1994 was still fresh in Sampras' memory too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
    #41
  42. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Its really simple actually. In the big moments...and in the big matches....Sampras just had the genuine belief and Andre didnt. You could see it in Andres eyes when they were playing.

    Andre got his once in a while in the big matches though. Ussually if he was on a hot streak.

    I always thought it was a pretty boring matchup when they player. Rafter VS Andre was much more interesting. Neither player was really intimidated by the other. Then again I dont remember anyone really intimidating Rafter once he came into his own. That guy was a warrior.
     
    #42

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