Will Agassi go down as the best baseliner ever?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by BaseLineBash, Nov 14, 2006.

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Will Agassi go down as the best baseliner ever?

Poll closed Nov 14, 2007.
  1. Yes

    41 vote(s)
    32.5%
  2. No

    85 vote(s)
    67.5%
  1. BaseLineBash

    BaseLineBash Hall of Fame

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    This is my first poll thread... if it works of coarse... Just curious of what the masses think.
     
    #1
  2. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

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    no, borg, connors, lendl. federer is even pretty much a baseliner. and in 10 years, there will probably be new blood to add to that list too.
     
    #2
  3. DarkSephiroth

    DarkSephiroth Rookie

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    No. LoL.

    Bill Tilden? Borg? Federer?
     
    #3
  4. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    IMHO.. to this date the best baseliner is Borg, but time will soon place Fed into that position. His baseline play appears effortless, where Agassi had a more desperate air to his play.
     
    #4
  5. Swinging Simian

    Swinging Simian Rookie

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    Nah Federer Connors, hell I'd even submit that Michael Chang was a better baseliner.
     
    #5
  6. Alexandros

    Alexandros Professional

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    Submit away, I'd like to know how on earth you'd come to that conclusion.
     
    #6
  7. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    No, but he's up there.

    Tilden, though? WTF!?
     
    #7
  8. _skunk_

    _skunk_ Rookie

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    Borg, Vilas, Wilander, ......

    I presume when people is saying best ever, just forget that tennis is older than 100 year, is like comparing the armies of the ancient roman empire with the actual armies, comparisation is just not possible.
     
    #8
  9. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    Tier 1: Borg, Fed (greatest achievements, plus dominance over multiple years)
    Tier 2: Lendl (2nd tier achievement, but also tour dominance over multiple years)
    Tier 3: Wilander, Connors, Agassi (2nd tier achievements, but usually played 2nd or 3rd fiddle while on tour)

    I do put him ahead of the legends who fed on slow surfaces, however, so I give him the nod over, say, Vilas.
     
    #9
  10. Rafa's best friend

    Rafa's best friend Banned

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    RAFA will go down as the best baseliner ever by far, he will become a topspin legend.....
     
    #10
  11. bribeiro

    bribeiro Banned

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    Agreed rafas, his topspin is too much for tennis to handle, soon his balls will have so much topspin, that it'll create a tornado every time he hits an inside out forehand.
     
    #11
  12. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

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    the problem i always had with agassi is he was never able to beat sampras or federer on the big stage, that being wimbledon or the us open. he usually beat lesser players in slam finals. i dont really consider the ausie open as the big stage(people just didn't show up with there "A" game), at least during his era, although i think the aussie is now one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

    agassi never really had any years where he the dominant player like connors, borg, lendl, either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2006
    #12
  13. Scorch

    Scorch Rookie

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    Well I would say that Federer plays at the net enough to put him in the 'all rounder' category as opposed to 'baseliner'

    I would put Agassi at Connor's level.

    For me Borg is the best baseliner. The consecutive Wimbledon and French wins stand out a mile.
     
    #13
  14. BaseLineBash

    BaseLineBash Hall of Fame

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    Borg? Wilander? Connors? Great Players in there day...but they didn't exactly hit the ball all that hard. I was thinking... along with Agassi... Lendl..
     
    #14
  15. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

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    used different equipment too.

    a 37 year old connors went 5 sets with andre, and beat lendl in the uso finals. to difficult to compare different eras and unfair, anyway. the more recent players alway have advantages.
     
    #15
  16. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    No, Federer is better.

    Agassi will never "go down" as the best or 2nd best baseliner ever. Doesn't work that way. IMO, he is the best behind Federer. But it's not worth your time to compare generations. I do think that it's foolish to say that guys like Lendl and Connors are a step above Agassi. What did they have in their baseline games that was superior to Agassi's? Nothing, absolutely nothing. They had nothing over him except less competition. But...I don't feel like debating that.
     
    #16
  17. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Hey that's a good one. Nadal also hits with such topspin force, that the earth is actually starting to revolve in the oppsoite direction, and soon we will quickly be traveling back in time.

    (Maybe this means we can finally resolve this Prime Pete v. Prime Federer thing...)
     
    #17
  18. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I agree with this.

    I think people knock Agassi because he didn't live up to potential.

    He won every slam as a baseliner. That's impressive. No baseliner has won every slam. It's a cop out to say that Sampras didn't bring his A-game to the Aussie. The Aussie is perhaps the most balanced tournament in the world considering its surface. I think it gives no particular player a huge advantage.

    Borg is the best baseliner in my opinion, but there are so many greats that it really doesn't matter to me.
     
    #18
  19. servelefty2233

    servelefty2233 Rookie

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    no, though i wish i could say that he would. Agassi is the one who got me started playing tennis, so he is my favorite player.
     
    #19
  20. avmoghe

    avmoghe Semi-Pro

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    Okay.. I must say "wtf!?!?!"

    The current vote count is 10:30 (yes:no).

    Am I to understand that a quarter of this board places Agassi over Borg (not to mention Lendl, Connors, etc..)?
     
    #20
  21. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Why is it so obscene to have the opinion that Agassi was better from the baseline than Lendl or Connors?
     
    #21
  22. prostaff18

    prostaff18 Semi-Pro

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    I would have to agree with what was said about Agassi having a “desperate feel” to his game. It is like he never had a big weapon, just good consistent strokes that wouldn’t let him down. His backhand was awesome and his forehand was good, but there are a lot of people that had a lot bigger and better games from the baseline. Andre could just take the ball so early that it made it seem like he hit the ball so much better than he did.
     
    #22
  23. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    To date, nobody has been better off the ground than Agassi. Nobody!!!!!!!
     
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  24. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I would say that no one has been better than Agassi off both wings. But Federer is better overall, primarily because of his movement.

    The reason I don't like to compare generations is because I've seen clips of Lendl just walking or lightly jogging along the baseline in matches. You just can't get away with that stuff anymore.
     
    #24
  25. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    nobody took the ball of the rise better in history. how was he desperate with his shots as he controlled every point. hes not the best but he is dam near close. if he could have volleyed and come forward more effectively he was the best player ever.
     
    #25
  26. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    For some reason, people equate Agassi's wide eyes with scared desperation. They think that somehow makes him a lesser player. Rios was a lot smoother and cooler on court...how many Slams did Rios win, again?

    That's just the way Agassi was. For my money, there has never been a better ball striker in the history of the sport. If he had been 3 inches taller, he'd probably be the GOAT. If he hadn't slacked off in his youth, he'd easily have over 10 Slams.
     
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  27. chrisdaniel

    chrisdaniel Semi-Pro

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    ..

    I think Agassi is the greatest ball striker...I watched agassi play all my life,and his game plans didnt change that much....you have to have an amazing baseline game to acomplish that....so many oppenents new what they were getting with andre,and most of the time it made no difference,thats how good his baseling game was..
     
    #27
  28. sypl

    sypl Rookie

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    I don't think he had enough power to be considered the best baseliner. I remember at a Wimbledon semi Rafter just stayed 15 feet behind the baseline lofting paceless balls back deep and Agassi couldn't generate enough power to put them away. Seems to me that the best baseline in the world should be able to deal with that.

    Agassi won points by running people side to side, which is a great skill because you need to stand so close to the baseline to do it, but for me a baseliner has to have dominating power in his arsenal.
     
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  29. BaseLineBash

    BaseLineBash Hall of Fame

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    Did you not catch Agassi's first two rounds at the USO this year? Thunderous power.
     
    #29
  30. sypl

    sypl Rookie

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    I did not. Who was he playing? Anyone quick?
     
    #30
  31. BaseLineBash

    BaseLineBash Hall of Fame

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    Andrei Pavel and Marcos Baghdatis. The 3rd round was hard to watch...
     
    #31
  32. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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    Bjorn Borg will probably be ranked higher as a baseline player than Agassi. They're both pretty decent.
     
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  33. EricW

    EricW Professional

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    That's an absolutely terrible arguement, if him taking it early made his strokes seem alot better, then they were! Same reason why Davydenko's strokes don't seem rediculous like blake or federer, but he's still up there
     
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  34. Big Fed

    Big Fed Banned

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    Maybe not the best but he was da bomb
     
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  35. capriatifanatic

    capriatifanatic Banned

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    Federer is not a baseliner, he is an all courter with excellent volleys, great midcourt and transition game, and super serve so he does not belong in the "strictly baseliners" discussion.

    I think Agassi was a phenomenal baseliner but he did not have great head to heads with alot of the other baseliners. Courier owned him alot of their primes, Lendl owned Agassi in 88-89 when Lendl was probably in his prime and Agassi not quite in his but Agassi was already very close to the top level still. Even Hewitt had a winning record with Agassi in 2001-2002 when both were in their primes probably. I have a hard time believing the best baseliner ever would be so undominating head to head against other champion baseliners.
     
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  36. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    My pick goes to Borg for the Open Era players
     
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  37. TalkingTennis91

    TalkingTennis91 Semi-Pro

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    Look, I completely understand and appreciate the fact that you are a huge Rafael Nadal fan, but let's look at this in a realistic fashion.

    Nadal's big heavy topspin is beautiful on clay courts, but also makes him somewhat weak on grass, hard, and carpet courts. Especially carpet courts. Nadal, how ever huge and heavy his topspin may be, causes his topspin balls to land short a lot of times. And instead of staying low and being a slightly more difficult ball to come forward on and attack, it bounces right up into his opponents' "wheelhouses" and allows them to sort of "tee off" on it sometimes. This is especially noticable on the low-bouncing indoor carpet courts of Madrid, Paris, and Shanghai. Rafael Nadal has got to be great on something other than clay in order to be a great baseliner.
     
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  38. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    If you're talking about pure baseliners, and not including baseliners that can also serve and volley (like Federer), then Agassi is the best ever.

    It's not fair to guys like Borg, Lendl and Connors, because they never got a chance to prove themselves with the new technology. The game just gets better and better, and Agassi got better with it, whereas those other 3 guys got out of the game before the whole Luxilon boom. Even if they had been around, I don't think any of them hit the ball as well as Agassi. They weren't as strong as him and Lendl wasn't as quick. How would they have faired against the big serve and volleyers of the 90's? I don't know, but they would have had a much harder time. Borg might have retired even earlier.
     
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  39. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Bjorn Borg.
     
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  40. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Nationalism rears its unsightly head here. Agassi is a darling of the USA but most of the tennis world, what I've seen of it, will say Bjorn Borg is the greatest baseliner in memory. I don't disagree. And just imagine what Borg's game would have been like had he grown up in the era of big-power racquets.
     
    #40
  41. kanjii

    kanjii Semi-Pro

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    Lendl and Borg for me. Lendl for his power...his rallies usually last 3 hits. Borg for his consistency...these new guys with the racquets...I dunno. Would love to see a Championship where only conventional head size racquets are played with...then we'll see how good these players REALLY are.;)
     
    #41
  42. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    One way to answer this question is to look at what baseliners have really done well on slow surfaces. Borg has six French Opens and leads everyone else.

    Another way is to look at which baseliners have done best on FAST surfaces, where they were not favorites. For instance, what baseliner has the most wins on grass?

    Borg - 5
    Agassi - 1
    Wilander - 2
    Connors - 4
    Lendl - 0
    Federer - 4

    (The total for Connors, IMO, is inflated because he won 3 slams in '74 on grass when 3 out of 4 slams were played on grass).

    We can add hard courts to the totals, and I'm only including Flushing Meadow since the Aussie courts are widely seen as slower and as not really favoring either baseliners or serve and volleyers (and the Aussie Open would also give an inflated totals to players after 1988, when the Aussie Open went to hard courts):

    Borg - 5
    Agassi - 3
    Connors - 7
    Wilander - 3
    Lendl - 3
    Federer - 7
     
    #42
  43. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Still, that's nothing to sneeze at. In 1973 most tour players would have laughed if you said that a baseliner with an average serve could win 3 majors on grass(that was considerably faster than today)
    Connors did the unthinkable & changed the way fast court tennis was thought of.

    Prior to the 90s, the US Open was considered a fair surface to all. Baseliners weren't considered to be at any disadvantage. I never Connors, Lendl, Wilander say that they thought Becker, Edberg, Mac had an advantage on that surface.

    Hardcourt is very different from grass. Or at least it used to be.
     
    #43
  44. civic

    civic New User

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    This is a good list. It's tough to compare. I didn't see a lot of Borg but Agassi is definitely up there. My summary of how they hit the ball:

    Borg, Agassi - hit pretty flat groundstrokes
    Lendl Wilander Federer - use more topspin, textbook groundstrokes
    Connors - hit mainly flat and underspin groundstrokes
     
    #44
  45. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    is this a joke?you're saying borg used flat groundstrokes?look up borg playing in roland garos on youtube.
     
    #45
  46. civic

    civic New User

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    Right, those are pretty loopy grounstrokes. I'd say he hit about the same amount of spin as Lendl, but less than Wilander.
     
    #46
  47. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    If I was to compare the spin these guys used and how flat or loopy they hit the ball I would put it as follows:

    Agassi/Connors-flat
    Lendl/Federer- moderate spin
    Borg/Wilander-heavy spin.
     
    #47
  48. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

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    I agree completely with Drakulie.

    Borg hit flat ??????????????????
    People talked about his clearing the net by 6 feet with his topspin and how it changed the game.
     
    #48
  49. civic

    civic New User

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    This is how I would rank them in order of how much spin in groundstrokes:

    1) Wilander
    2) Borg, Federer - Tight stringing allowed Borg a lot of spin and he hit loopy shots but I don't think he hit a lot more
    spin on the ball than Federer.
    3) Lendl, Agassi
    4) Connors - didn't hit much topspin except on lobs. Hit the ball early like Agassi.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
    #49
  50. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hey paul, we agree on something. Isn't that great?? :)
     
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