Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by ACE of Hearts, Jul 9, 2007.
Your pick plz, whose the better player, Agassi or Mcenroe, two famous tennis americans.
McEnroe himself says it's Agassi. He puts Agassi at #5 all-time behind Laver, Sampras, Federer and Borg.
I would have said Agassi myself even though Mcenroe played in the 80s, basically the golden era of tennis.Agassi had to deal with Pete Sampras mostly, otherwise who knows how many slams he could have won.
Definitely McEnroe. McEnroe at his peak was much more dominant then Agassi, who was never truly the best player even once in his career. McEnroe also mantained being clearly one of the undisputed 2 or 3 best players in the World at any given point in time for 7 straight years from 79-85, something Agassi never did. McEnroe won all 7 of his slams at the big 2 of Wimbledon and the U.S Open as well. Back then players skipped Australia or players like McEnroe would have won more slams. Agassi won half of his slams at the Aussie Open of course, if the event was like it was today, a mostly no show for the big guns, then slams were be 7 for McEnroe to 5 or 4 for Agassi.
McEnroe had Borg, Connors, Lendl, all as competition. Agassi had Sampras, but nobody else really.
For playing tennis / game, Agassi.
For entertainment, McEnore no doubt!
I personally think McEnroe's swing's a bit odd.
McEnroe's "TENNIS" career is far more impressive than Agassi's. When you look at his accomplishments as a singles, doubles, and mixed doubles player, along with his Davis Cup accomplishments>>>> Not Agassi, Borg, Sampras, Connors, Fed, etc or anyone else from that period to now comes close.
Who cares about doubles or mixed doubles.
Better at what? Agassi was better to watch, for me..
I'm thinking mens professional tennis. Just a guess.
But Agassi is a far better cook; or so I've read.
McEnroe without question. John was one of the most incredible genius/artists the sport ever witnessed (especially indoors or on grass). Phenomenal talent far above most in history.
Agassi was a bore, and **** away half of his career.
My point is you'll never know because they used different racquets played different surfaces against different people. There is no "better", because they are from two different eras surrounded by different players. But I would rather WATCH Agassi and found his re-emergence at the top of the game late in his career thrilling, whereas Mcenroe, for all his ability, was a whiny brat.
I agree with you. Mac was a "special" player. Just think if never met Tatum (I know he has kids and loves them), but what if he did not have kids so soon. He was amazing pre-Tatum.
I think Agassi was the better player; ball striker, returns, serve. But McEnroe has the better hands.
Agree re Mac vs Agassi!
It's a shame that the Australian was kinda off the radar in Mac's day. He only played it 4 times (only twice in his prime years). It was on grass back then, surely he would have a couple more slam titles to his name if he played there every year!
Mac was better in his prime, but Agassi put together a better career. He was more dedicated. Agassi was still winning slams in his early 30s. On the contrary, McEnroe did nothing after 1984 (age of 26).
Aggasi in my opinion
long live andre!
Both guys let slams get away. McEnroe choked away the 1982 W final and the1984 RG final. Agassi gagged the 1990 & 91 RG finals. The career grand slam beats anything Mac has on his resume. Many players won Wimbledon 3+ times. Also, Agassi had to compete against Sampras. IMO, Sampras > Borg, Connors.
I would have liked to see Agassi counterpunch to a win against Borg in a major.
When did he say that? I don't remember that. And as cocky as Mac may seem, he would never rank himself, it is sorta tacky, & he can be humble about his own career(yet be cocky about his abilities, there is a difference) Just as Laver would never say he's the best ever(I doubt he would have even said it '69, when that was probably the consensus of the majority of fans, media, etc)
Yet Agassi did nothing before age 26, so how dedicated was he then? I don't understand how anyone can argue Agassi's peak was better than Mac's, Mac was #1 for 4 years, but Agassi only one year. And people need to let the "Sampras prevented Agassi from having a greater career thing" go, Agassi was hardly a consistent #2 behind Sampras during Sampras' best years, Agassi had a lot more preventing him from greatness than Sampras, mainly his own half-assed dedication to the game. Could anyone really question Mac's dedication to the game until he got married & had kids?
One other thing, have any of you noticed how often Fed is tying or breaking some record involving Mac(or Borg), not Agassi(or Sampras for that matter)?
Fed was 81-4 in 2004, coming very close to tying Mac's open era record win % of 82-3 of 1984.
Mac(& Borg) had the open era record of most consecutive finals won, which Fed broke in 2004.
Mac had the most consecutive sets won in slams record, before Fed broke it at the French this year.
Also Ljubicic came just short of tying Mac's record Davis Cup season in 2005(Mac was undefeated in Davis Cup-singles & doubles in 1982, while Ljubicic had just one DC loss in '05)
And Nadal this year broke Mac's open era record of most consecutive wins on one surface(65 on carpet)
And when Fed was close to the longest match win streak(all surfaces) earlier this year, guess who he passed to get to #3? Mac. Agassi was nowhere near that list.
I'm not saying that these are all important records, but it shows how incredibly dominant Mac was. Agassi was never as dominant as Mac was, anyway you cut it. Not many have been.
I'm not sure how this can be considered important considering how few top players played the AO in the 70s/early 80s.
If you asked anyone on tour in 1980 which career would they rather have:
4 AO, 2 US, 1 W, 1 FO
4 US, 3 W
Most would say the latter. Probably even Borg(in his autiobiography, its pretty obvious that he values Wimbledon far more than the French Open. He says its the only one that matters. Also when talking about concentrating on the 'majors' in his later years he names the French, Wimbledon, & US, not even calling the AO a major!)
Yeah I bet Mac/Borg/Connors are real jealous of Agassi's 4 AOs.
Just because the 'career grand slam' is a recent invention of the media, you shouldn't use it to judge players from an era where is didn't exist.
Thank you!! How much of Agassi's career was largely hype, before his "dedication" to the game?
Well, you cite strong evidence, but hype often blinds people to the true nature of any subject. Oh, well.
Agreed. In order to make fans/general population thin Agassi's career was somehow greater than it was, I noticed Carillo, P. McEnroe and others blathering on about the so-called career slam to justify speaking of Agassi in the same breath as the legends. The only grand slam is the calendar slam, and Agassi's abilities were not going to allow that landmark to happen.
Although I agree with the direction of your post and what you have stated, I disagree with this latter part.
Quite frankly, who cares what players would rather have? In the total scheme of things the fact remains the AO is a slam and has to be counted to totals. I'm sure if you asked players if they would rather have zero AO or 4>> they would say 4. Yes, I believe Wimbledon is the mother of all slams and the most important. But look at the surface now a days and how it plays. Should we say Fed's Wimbledon titles shouldn't count?? Or what would one rather have, 5 Wimbledon's pre or post 2001? Or Fed's AO titles shouldn't count because Mac, Borg, or Connors were too lazy to get off their ass and go play it so for the rest of history we need to ignore that slam? Furthermore, if we don't "count" the AO then wouldn't Laver's calendar grand slams not count because no one was playing the AO back then?
Sorry, but it goes both ways and that argument is very wrong.
Additionally, the career slam that AA achieved is unbelievable considering only 5 players have achieved this and he is the only one in the history of tennis to do it on 4 different surfaces>>> so it is valid. Taking that acvievement away is the same as saying Laver's Calendar Slam doesn't count because he won on 2 surfaces so it shouldn't be used to judge him against other players or his AO wins don't really count because other players weren't playing it.
I think Agassi is better.
The Australian had a great field in '69, top players only started skipping it in '76 or so. Plus has anyone in the Open era won the French, Wimbledon, US in the same year? Had Laver not won the AO that year, it would still be a year for the ages & would elevate him above many others.
And don't forget Agassi didn't play the AO until '95, I think that shows where he ranked it in importance among the slams, regardless of his 4 titles there.
Its only considered important now. I'm not trying to diminish it now, but others in this thread are trying to diminish players of the past(specifically Mac) for not having it, when it didn't exist (or wasn't considered important) in their time. The word "career slam" did not exist before Agassi in '99, and 4 other guys had it before him, so how come no one ever used that word in their time? or used it to elevate their careers like they do with Agassi? Fred Perry must be glad in heaven that it is now considered his crowning achievement, all because of AA.
To be fair to those players, I don't think it should be used if you are comparing them to Fed. They weren't the only ones who skipped it, hardly anyone in the top 20 played it from '76 to '82. You can't ignore that fact when comparing players from different eras(like this thread is atttempting to do)
Davydenko won the Paris Indoor without Federer, Nadal, or Roddick in the field. Thats kinda what winning the AO meant in 1982. Though no one of Davydenko's calibur was in it then either.
To me, Agassi reaching 4 straight slam finals(especially considering how wildly different the French & Wimbledon were back then) is more impressive than his career slam.
You are making me angry. "VERY" angry. I would rather watch the Bryan bros play (substitute your favorite dubs team here) then watch a boring Federer - Gonzalez match.
Again, I am not necessarily disagreeing you > just look at my first post in this thread. However, if one diminishes the AO open, then in the same way one could start diminishing every possibility. For instance, if we are going to start "diminishing" slams because players decided not to play it then the same could be said of Wimbledon. How many times did "clay court specialist" skip Wimbledon? Should we say Sampras' achievements there don't count because certain players refused to play there? Or say anyone who won the Australian before 1995 doesn't deserve credit for a slam victory because AA refused to play there?
Or anyone who won the French between 74-78 doesn't get credit for a French Open because Connors didn't play there. This would take away 3 of Borg's slams.
Or none of Connor's US open victories before it became a hard court in 78 count?
Once again, sorry, but too many "ifs' in your argument, and they go both ways. The AO is a slam, and has been for a very long time. Whatever the reasons for people skipping it is their fault>>> not the ones who won it.
I agree. To win the French when there were several "clay court specialist", and to win wimbledon when it was very fast and in an era of "grass court specialist" is very impressive.
Who cares about doubles (at least at Slams)? I'd go with Agassi.
McEnroe. Agassi was an excellent player, but not as talented as McEnroe.
I 'm with Moose here. There is a big difference in certain non-relevant (because of inferior grass court skills) players skipping Wimbledon in the 90's compared to a third rate field that did not include most top players skipping the Australian Open in the 70's/80's.
Btw Moose, was the Australian Open a non-relevant Slam only from 1976-1987? That would ofcourse mean Agassi's accomplishment isn't great relative to McEnroe but a big achievement anyway considering only 5 men in the history of the sport have achieved this feat.
Agassi had actually planned to play the Australian in 1993-1994 but wasn't feeling well. He did skip it til 1992 ofcourse but then he also only played his third Wimbledon in '92 - compared to 7 US Opens.
Yeah. Also, it's damn impressive to perform well at these 2 majors in the same year. It's a very demanding task physically and mentally. McEnroe had 4-5 good years at the French/Wimbledon. Agassi had 6-8. And he also managed to win both, making multiple trips to the finals as well.
Btw how well was McEnroe playing at the '92 Wimbledon, was he a contender to win it?
You mean "non relevant players (with inferior grass court skills)" like Agassi??? I will remind you the players you just described could very well be Agassi>>> A player no one gave the slightest chance to do anything the year he won wimbledon>>> but yet he won. And if we are going to be having "If" arguments like the one proposed by Moose, then the argument I just proposed is valid. Those "non-relevant" players could have won in the same way Agassi did. Point is, you never know.
It is farily ignorant when people on these boards say, "Fed is winning Wimbledon because the grass is slower. He should be 'non-relevant' because he is not a real serve and volleyer. "
Fact is, many top players (whether they were clay or grass or hard court specialist) were skipping Wimbledon. Tough luck for them, and tough luck for those who have ever skipped any slam.
And if anyone is going to make up "certain rules" to diminish one slam, then those same rules need to be applied to EVERY player, and EVERY slam>>> not just Agassi.
Whatever, a slam is a slam.
Actually, I care about doubles. It's an exciting game. Not better than singles, just different. But, Jonny, I'm getting to really like Gonzo's game. He has turned into an enjoyable player to watch since he toned down his 'enthusiasm' in trying to blast the cover off the ball. He still has a little work to do upstairs, between the ears. He's one of the few single players I go out of my way to watch.
I like Agassi, but McEnroe was the man. I don't know how fast his serves were, but precision and angles on those with his unique gangsta lean before contact with the ball, it was almost impossible to get a racquet on it. Plus his net play was incredible. I usually root for the baseliners, but Mac over Agassi, I have to confess.
Can anyone explain what happened to mac after 1984? How could he be best player of the year in 1984 and then never win a slam after that.?
Another thing worth noting. Historians talk about the open and the pre-open era. I think we should also consider the wood and graphite era. The game totally changed when wood was replaced with graphite. Mac unfortunately was on the cusp of the that era. His game was totally designed to be played with wood. Even though he played with graphite from 83 onward, his strokes, style of game and grips were all wood based. With his loose continental grip, he just couldn't handle the power and spin that the younger players were able to generate.
So it kind of unfair to compare his record to those grew up playing with graphite.
As far as I'm aware, only players like Muster and Moya - claycourters - were skipping Wimbledon. I 'm not aware of any hardcourt specialists not playing. And let's not pretend that Moya/Muster are in anyway close to Agassi in terms of grasscourt talent. They both had good reasons to skip the tournament, they both felt they were not contendors. No one diminishes the feat of Nadal winning last year's French because Agassi sat it out. But it sure would be different if Federer, Nadal and a slew of other top players skipped the tournament and Djokovic won the tournament.
And..I agree, a Slam is a Slam. It is ludicrious when people discredit Agassi's 4 AO's because it wasn't a big tournament 20 years ago. Agassi won his Australians against a strong field, infact probably the strongest field of any Slam considering Rebound Ace is quite the equalizer.
What about Kuerten? He skipped it a few years, and let's not forget he finished one of those years as the # 1 player in the world, and got that spot by beating Agassi, and Sampras in back-to-back matches on fast indoor courts at the year end championships.
Again, all I'm saying is these trivial little games people like to play go both ways, and I could sit here and using Moose's logic "discredit" in one way or another every slams any player has ever won.
Center Court interview with McEnroe: "if I had to name the top five or six guys at this point, I would put Sampras, I would put Laver, I'd have to put Borg up there because he won the eleven, I'd put Federer in there now, I'd put Agassi in there...if I could be thrown in the same breadth as those guys I'd be happy."
Agassi a counterpuncher? Give Agassi a wooden racquet and he'll hit the ball harder than Borg ever did. Baghdatis said at Wimbledon that Djokovic moves the ball around a lot like Agassi, except he doesn't hit it as hard.
If Borg hadn't quit so early, we would have had the chance to see those two greats go at it. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
...And are we still calling the Australian Open a lesser major? First of all, Agassi didn't play the Australian Open until 1995, and he won it on his first attempt, against PETE SAMPRAS in the final. And are people going to denigrate Federer for only having to beat Baghdatis and Gonzalez in his Australian Open finals? Weren't those guys playing phenomenally well those tournaments? Didn't they deserve their spot in the final?
Well let's just say I saw Mac play Agassi (and I've hit with Andre and he's a great guy and great player - and once he got over tendancy to tank - he got that Connors never give up thing) Andre was at the top of his game and in his prime - John was just retired or about to - and all these screaming girls and AA fans were all over the place - and Mac just beat the crap out of him - really made Agassi look kinda pathetic. And it wasn't becuase AA was having an off night - quite the opposite - John was just in one of those Wimbledon Connors match zones where he was just on...and all the little girls went really quiet. So that answered this question in my mind as I sat there courtside watching Junior work his magic.
And remember Mac was playing Borg, Lendl, Connors, Willander, Becker, Edberg on and on....Much deeper time in the game.
Agassi wins this one. I think John Mcenroe would agree.
When was this btw?
McEnroe has a certain mystique, based on his unique playing style. Virtually without backswing, he hit his groundies, as if they were half volleys. His dramatic touch at the net was uncanny. His idiosyncratic serve was lethal, until later in his career, when he made some futile adjustments. He is the modern day Hoad, a genius, who played against the canonized laws of the game, as Torben Ulrich once expressed. In most polls and experts list, he ranks higher than Agassi (and higher than players with a significantly better record like Gonzales or Rosewall), imo mainly because his strange, yet charming style. If you look at the records, he has one big advantage over Agassi: He was the real Nr. 1 for 3 years, and much more dominant than Agassi ever was. His biggest disappointment, which gives him nightmares even today, is his RG loss 1984 to Lendl. And that RG win, Agassi has. Whether he would have won it against a player like Lendl, is another question.
Not sure - must have been around 1993-94 or so - at the "Fabulous" Forum in lovely Inglewood CA...
and make 3 times the amount of errors he normally makes. its baffling to me that so many don't understand that players didn't hit as hard with wood because the %'s weren't in their favor. its kinda like fed comparing todays tennis to 10 years ago, saying strings allow you to swing more freely & not worry about errors.
wood makes that risk vs reward aspect even more obvious. but don't believe me, robredo, ginepri, djokovic all played with wood racquets earlier this year & said they didn't get the same pop or spin with wood & that they would have to play if safer if they had to play with wood. agassi is a talent, but he isn't god, he would have to play it a lot safer if he ever wanted to win a match with a wood racquet.
McEnroe was better than Agassi.
As far as single year domination, 1984 McEnroe was the most impressive tennis I have ever seen. For me it has only been surpassed by Federer recently, because he has been able to dominate for 3 consecutive years now.
Anyone who has seen McEnroe in his prime playing live, would probably rank him as the greatest ever. Unfortunately, he took time off. What a waste of talent.
Perhaps an even better comparison is that McEnroe is the modern-day Cochet.
You must be smoking something potent. It was exactly the opposite. Agassi, not in his prime, McEnroe, out of his prime, and Agassi just destroyed McEnroe. This was the last match McEnroe played at Wimbledon, and he likened it to Agassi's last match against Nadal, since Agassi was a guy that McEnroe respected and thought deserved to be the one to take him out. Andre and Mac were actually fairly close back then and McEnroe sort of took him under his wing after that. There was a lot of talk about McEnroe coaching him, but that never came to fruition.
McEnroe was 8 years past his final slam win at 92 Wimbledon. Agassi had already been in 3 slams finals in the last 2 years. Gee I wonder who was closer to their prime when they played the 92 Wimbledon finals. That is a tough one. :lol:
Maybe. I saw a clip of him hitting with wood as a kid and he just went after the ball. His Dad taught him to hit it as hard as he could every time. I think he was a better ball striker than Borg. Borg was faster and maybe a bit fitter, not that fitness would matter since neither of them would get tired in a tennis match. Agassi wouldn't be able to break Borg down, so he'd have to hit through him. Yeah, it would be an amazing match.
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