Would Agassi be more successful in this era?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Sid_Vicious, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    I was re-watching some of Agassi's matches from 2004 and I found it amazing how the guy was going toe-to-toe with Federer, Safin, Roddick, and Hewitt even at the age of 33-35. In 2004, Andre beat Roddick and Hewitt to win Cincy in the summer hardcourt season and went on to push Federer to 5 at the USO. Something no other player could accomplish for next 4 years until Andreev did it in 2008.


    Furthermore, Agassi put on another amazing performance against Federer at USO 2005 when he was on his last legs. What do you guys think? Do you guys think Andre would do even better in this era?
     
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  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    IMO, Agassi had the best groundstrokes in the history of tennis. Federer has a greater forehand, but, Agassi's backhand advantage over Fed more than makes up for that. I'm not saying he had the best ground game overall because his mobility was hampered by his congenital back problems. But, no one was a greater, more consistent, ball striker than Agassi.

    Having said that, IMO, he might have been more successful today. If he was pushing a prime Federer to near his limit at the age of 34-35, perhaps he would have been successful against Federer in his own prime. On the other hand, if Agassi was healthier, both physically and mentally, throughout his career, he would have been more successful in any era.
     
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  3. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think Agassi and Connors would thrive in this era.
     
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  4. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    The prime Agassi would do very well against anyone not named Sampras.
     
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  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The interesting question in my mind is, would peak Agassi have more success against Federer, a fellow baseliner, than he had against Sampras?
     
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  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I think Borg would thrive as well.
     
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  7. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I tend to think not, if even by only a small amount. In longer exchanges Federer would be a harder hurdle to overcome than Sampras. Also - Agassi would have to run a fair bit more than he did against Sampras so the dynamic would be different - would he get worn out or go for broke more often? It's hard to say.

    Peak Federer I think had way too much schtik for Agassi, even in his prime. Remember also Agassi squandered a huge chunk of his prime - when he had the most potential physically he was often a head-job, and when he had his head sorted he wasn't at his peak physical powers anymore or often enough. Despite this he was still more successful and consistent in that period than he was when younger. (Basically 30-32 yr old Agassi was peak Agassi)
     
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  8. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Federer would be too strong for Agassi even in Agassi's best years on any of clay, grass, or carpet. Hard courts is where Agassi would stand a real shot, and on any type of hard court too. Mid 30s Agassi was pushing prime Federer to the limit in atleast half of their hard court matches, and had some chances to win.

    As for overall it is hard to say. Agassi would have a better shot at Wimbledon today with the slower grass. He would need to avoid Federer, but could beat any of Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick, or Murray. At the French he wouldnt win a single one, the clay field is overall weaker but with Nadal and Federer both there is no chance of sneaking one out. On hard courts he would have alot of tough competition with Federer, maybe Hewitt and Safin in the early 2000s, and Djokovic and Nadal in the later 2000s. Roddick was always a pretty easy opponent for him, and Murray is a bit of a slam chump so I dont include them. It would still be hard to reach his 6 hard court slams, but his best chance would be in the mid 2000s where other than Federer he would have no real competition.

    The Sampras era was overall tougher than this one but Agassi didnt really shine in the Sampras era. He shone in the transition era between the Sampras and Federer eras, winning over half of his slams and nearly all his Australian Opens which were against really weak fields in the early 2000s, especialy 2001 and 2003.


    Borg would do the best of all those mentioned in this era as the slower courts would also favor him but unlike Agassi and Connors he could beat Federer on grass and could beat anyone today on clay. So he wouldnt just be relying on hard courts mainly to try and win his titles.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2012
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  9. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    I always wish we could get a prime Agassi vs. Nadal. Nadal's better foot speed might be neutralized by the fact that his high rpm topspin forehand wouldn't bother Agassi's backhand like it does Fed. Also, with Agassi taking the ball on the rise maybe better than anyone before or since, that might also give Nadal fits.
     
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  10. 1970CRBase

    1970CRBase Guest

    probably not, these guys are just as good ballstrikers but faster movers around the court than him. Agassi was never that fast a mover. I'd think that Borg and maybe Lendl would hypothetically do better than Agassi if they played now.
     
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  11. welcome2petrkordaland

    welcome2petrkordaland Semi-Pro

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    I tend to agree that with the mobility/innate agility the top guys have, Agassi, who was never that quick, wouldn't be as effective. Having said that, sure Agassi's ball striking abilities alone may be the best ever IMO.
     
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  12. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    consider that nadal has a so-so record against nikolay davydenko and you get an idea of how prime agassi would have fared against rafa.

    i don't think agassi defends like nadal or djokovic but he has a better ability to take the ball early, change directions and create angles.
     
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  13. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nadal twice beat Agassi and never lost to him. When Nadal first Agassi in the 2005 Montreal final, Nadal had not won a non-clay title before. When Nadal beat Agassi at 2006 Wimbledon, Nadal was considered a grass-court novice.
     
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  14. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Nadal would dominate Agassi on clay. However on other surfaces it would be very interesting. On grass I think it might be about 50/50, both on old grass and todays slower grass. On hard courts Agassi would be the odds on favorite, but Nadal would still get some wins. On carpet I am pretty sure Agassi would have the edge if they ever played on it.

    This is in Agassi's prime years where he was contending. In his slump years (and there were many of those) Nadal would win pretty much any match on any surface, but they wouldnt play much those years anyway. That is why Nadal today has so far surpassed Agassi's career, he was there every year, whereas Agassi came and went.
     
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  15. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Davydenko has never played Nadal on grass and rarely played him on clay. He would lose every match on those surfaces (just as he has lost every clay match they did play). They have also never played in a best of 5 where Davydenko would most likely lose, even on hard courts. With almost all their matches on hard courts in best of 3 format, Davydenko's head to head with Nadal flatters him greatly. He basically benefits from not being a better player, good enough to meet Nadal in more different situations and surfaces.

    Also while Agassi in most respects is a better version of Davydenko, Davydenko moves alot better than Agassi ever did.
     
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  16. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Prime Courier with a Pure Drive and some RPM Blast would be scary on today's surfaces
     
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  17. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I wonder how Kuerten or Chang would fare on todays surfaces as well.
     
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  18. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    both would be top 10. Kuerten would have little weaknesses that could be exploited on current surfaces and Chang is basically a better, more complete version of David Ferrer
     
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  19. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Elephant in the room here....
    Are we assuming he has the same personal and drug problems and lack of desire he had previously, wasting a good portion of his career? If so, he would be about the same player, with the same ups and downs.
    Andre Agassi's biggest opponent was Andre Agassi. He could have been far greater than he was. He was great, but could have been greater, no matter the era.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
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  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    So would peak Agassi and Borg.
     
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  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I said the same thing above when I referred to his mental and physical health issues.
     
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  22. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Agassi did make use of poly strings towards the end of his career, in his book, he mentions that Darren introduced him to the polys and at first he couldn't believe how hard he could hit out and still keep the ball in play but then it seems that he had other issues with them. Again, I realize that's a whole different story than being raised with those strings and adapting your strokes and game to them from the beginning. And his racquets weren't that low tech either compared to today's standards.
     
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  23. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    True, but, he played most of his career with Kevlar, which is about 3 times stiffer than poly and doesn't slip, so no spin advantage.
     
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  24. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yeah I agree. Also when you look at just right now the gap between the #4 and #5 is the biggest in history (and then even the #4 is light years behind the top 3 as far as big event prowess). I would see a prime Kuerten or even Chang atleast at #5 if one were playing right now, and Chang with a better shot to sneak out a slam than he had in his prime years, Kuerten with a much better shot to make noise off of clay.
     
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  25. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    I remember that Wimbledon match. Nadal was being a real punk in the warm up, hitting "winners" off quite a few balls. Agassi was applauding his shots (in the warm up), while gently smiling.

    It all looked a bit orchestrated and I thought to myself that Agassi had decided to give the match away or concluded in advance that he had no chance to win. I also found myself thinking that Agassi was passing the torch to the modern day version of himself. I am not saying that their games are all that similar, but in ´06 Nadal was still a bit controversial, an anti-country club kind of guy. Sleeveless and in pirate pants. (Nadal went establishment for the Australian in 2009, after he became No. 1 in ´08).

    As for the match; routine 3 set win for Nadal (if memory serves). Agassi had nothing on the day that could bother Nadal. Nadal was playing good tennis at Wimbledon that year, as we now know.
     
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  26. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Also, there was really no prime Agassi. He was always either mentally not there or physically fragile.
     
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  27. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I disagree! Prime Agassi was a better ball striker on both sides than Federer, and would have more success breaking Federer's serve than he did Sampras' serve. Further, Agassi was steadier than Federer. Accordingly, he would have his best success against Federer on clay and slow hardcourts which would help compensate for his comparitively limited court coverage.
     
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  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    But Agassi who played both prime Pete and Fed believe Fed is a better player, tougher to beat, no place to get to. So your opinion is way off, as usual.

    Federer's the best I've ever played, says Agassi
     
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  29. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Fed's movement is so superior to Agassi's, that unless he's in shank mode or having one of those ugly backhand days, Agassi's going to have problems. But if Agassi's moving well and in the zone, could be a heckuva battle.
     
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  30. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    I disagree about the ball striking. I agree that his movement was not as good, but it was his ability to play yo-yo with players that allowed his supposed lack of movement to not hamper him all that much. In saying that Agassi would win more majors now than he did in his 20 years in his era. the courts are basically all the same speed, a big plus for him. The players are not agressive, a big plus for him. The players don't have much imagination, a big plus for him. Lastly, we are talking a good Agassi, not the lazy/uninterested one.

    If you literally pluck his entire career and place into now, I still think he wins more majors simply because of the speed of the courts. IMO.
     
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  31. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    that is a shame. there were short times he would play his best and it was obvious he and Sampras played another game. But as you said, with either his mental/physical game always in peril we got the Agassi we got. The guy could/should have won at least 5-7 more majors.
     
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  32. aceroberts13

    aceroberts13 Professional

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    Was there anything Agassi could have done differently to prevent his back from hampering him so badly late in his career? For example, like taking time off instead of acquiring ATP points or maintaining rank or ignoring signs or putting off treatments or surgery? I hate to see any pro athlete go through that.
    It was a real shame to see him go out with all of his wits about him and still competing with everyone only to be limited physically.
     
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  33. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    How far off was 33-34 year-old Agassi from his prime? Didn't he say he played the best match of his career against Fed in 2005? If that's true, he's in trouble in a prime vs prime matchup with the Big 3. I don't see him beating Nadal at RG, or Federer at W/USO, Djoker at AO is tough, at their primes.

    But right now is an interesting time, with Fed and Nadal being vulnerable, and it seems like there'd be openings for Agassi at all the majors. Whenever his prime was, I'd like to see 34-year-old Agassi against current Federer.


    As for the talk about Borg... although he was a pioneer in his time, now his groundstroke technique would be antiquated. His backhand would probably be the worst of both worlds compared to the pure 1hbh and 2hbh. His forehand is just an adolescent version of what the modern forehand would become. I'd put 30-year-old Federer ahead of him on all surfaces.

    Of course, people could say that his strokes would have developed differently under modern condition which is true, but then he would no longer be the "Borg" we think of.


    I do wonder how Borg would compare with Connors under current conditions, though...
     
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  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    My understanding is that Agassi has a congenital defect in his lumbar spine. Who knows what, if any, treatment was/is available for it.
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If old Agassi was the only player to give trouble to Federer before Nadal got to the top, imagine peak Agassi in this era with the likes of Murray,Davidenkho or Ferrer...he would have a fest¡¡¡
     
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  36. aceroberts13

    aceroberts13 Professional

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    Oh ok. I kind of figured, but I didn't know for sure. That stinks.
     
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  37. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Agassi of 95 was pretty darn good. I never saw him play better. Maybe because of how old he was and still able to get to a USO final he thought he played his 'best match" ever.
     
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  38. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

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    I don't see him more successful now at all. The top guys now could all bang with him, but they move and defend better. With current court conditions and style of play, I think he hits the wall at a lower level then when he was #2.

    When you look back at his career, you just have to wonder how he didn't win 10 slams or more with that talent in that era.
     
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  39. Dark Victory

    Dark Victory Rookie

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    Federer would've always beaten Agassi, even the mid-90's version of Andre.

    Much of it is a match-up thing.

    And this is how most of their matches would've looked like:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkBUod7nnC0
     
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  40. helloworld

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    Agassi in 1995 would beat any version of Federer.
     
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  41. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Those two really should have put more pace on their groundies and quit pushing so much.
     
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  42. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    i'd fully agree that Fed is just a bad match up for Andre because he feeds of pace and is more bothered by loopy spin shots than straight power. Andre would have better success against the other top players over Fed. However, it's funny to note how Fed plays nothing like that anymore. Compared to how he played in ’05 Fed is almost a pusher now. It’s insane how aggressive he was and how hard he hit the ball. He hits with way more spin now and gets into long rallies which hurt him against guys like Nadal and Djokovic that can out rally him. He needs to go back to being aggressive off the ground.
     
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  43. Iron Man

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    !!! what an expert
     
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  44. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Thank you!
     
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  45. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    He doesn't believe a word you said. It was a sarcastic remark.
     
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  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Ironic perhaps. But, I didn't infer anything sarcastic about it.
     
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  47. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Hey Limp we agree here. Agassi was a one of a kind ball striker. He would def do pretty well in this era. However, because it has gotten more physical and the pace of the game has increase, if Agassi didn't fully commit to tennis like he did for years in his career he would have gotten eaten up even worst
     
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  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This is not the real Agassi.

    This is Agassi after he was Agassi.
     
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  49. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Too funny. I love it.
     
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  50. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    Ummm, I think Nadal and Joker proved that wasn't true.
     
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