Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Former Pro Player Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=37)
-   -   The younger Agassi's Game.... (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=120997)

JohnMatrix 03-01-2007 07:06 PM

The younger Agassi's Game....
 
I didn't watch tennis when I was younger, and even if I did I wouldn't understand it like I do now.
So my question for all of you older-timers is:
How did Agassi play back in his wild days, when he first came on the tour and through the 90's? I've only heard a few things from commentators that go something like "The young Agassi would've went for a winner off that ball, but now he placed it to run his opponent".

So did Agassi hit alot of winners and go-for-it more often back when? And later in his career start trying to wear opponents down by running them side to side? For as flat as i've seen him hit the ball (@ UCLA on the practice court up close '06) i'm surprised that his ground strokes aren't winners all the time.

bluetrain4 03-01-2007 08:36 PM

Early in is career, Agassi absolutely went for a lot of very hard winners early in the point and he could hit them. He was VERY exciting to watch. He would also tank sets and then come out smoking in the next set.

All of this worked to great effect except when he went up against more consistent players late in tourneys, especially the Slams. It's probably why he lost his first few semis and finals of Slams he played in and didn't win a Slam until he was 22.

It makes perfect sense that his first Slam was Wimbledon, which at the time with the faster grass rewarded winners and didn't punish unforced errors as much as other surfaces.

The change in his game is a testament to his maturity and doing whatever it took to be a champion.

Dunlop300 03-02-2007 11:37 AM

I completely agree with bluetrain, I was at stratton Vermont ATP tourny which was Agassi's very first pro tournament. He was unbelievable with his forehand. Went for winners and hit them on almost every ball. He was the hardest hitter on the tour that I saw with Becker being close second. I also saw him play Richey Renenberg in an exhibition in 87 and played the same way. Just smoked Richey like 1, 1. His game changed dramatically with his learning the ins and outs of strategy. But man could he knock the cover off the ball when he was 16.

noeledmonds 03-03-2007 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dunlop300 (Post 1287946)
I completely agree with bluetrain, I was at stratton Vermont ATP tourny which was Agassi's very first pro tournament. He was unbelievable with his forehand. Went for winners and hit them on almost every ball. He was the hardest hitter on the tour that I saw with Becker being close second. I also saw him play Richey Renenberg in an exhibition in 87 and played the same way. Just smoked Richey like 1, 1. His game changed dramatically with his learning the ins and outs of strategy. But man could he knock the cover off the ball when he was 16.

Agree with this. The young cheeseburger eating Agassi liked to go for his winners. His fitness was not supreme so he tended to try and end points rapidly with outrageous winners. It still suprised me that Wimbledon was his first slam though. This was an era where S&V dominated at Wimbledon. A big serve was very important back then. Agassi also was only playing his 3rd Wimbledon, having refused to wear the white dress code previously. This was not the slam everyone expected him to win. Winning Wimbledon back then is even more remarkable for a baseliner than it is today.

Agassi's reborn style was completely different. Agassi trained himself physically so he was one of the fittest guys on tour. Agassi learnt how to manuvore his opoenent and became a master tactition. Agassi could wear his oponent down without risking the lower percentage winners he used to hit.

It is testament to Agassi's talent and brillance that he managed to change his game so radically, but still be effective.

federerfanatic 03-03-2007 11:20 AM

Agassi used to go for more winners when he was younger. As he got older he liked to prolong points and either force or provoke errors from his opponents but still in an agressive manner. Both were risky in a way, the going for broke was obviously risky since you could misfire too much and lose.

The measured agressive baseline exchanges were risky in that while it was still very hard to play against him executing that very well, to some extent it still took the match out of his own hands. If an opponent could withstand the pressure of the Agassi ground game and connect for winners with few mistakes, easier said then done mind you, he then was more vurnerable as he isnt hitting alot of clean winners like the old Agassi version.

STRman 03-05-2007 08:53 AM

Agassi used to blow himself out early, tiring easily. In 94-95 he was often in tears after another loss and talking about quitting the tour. He would curse linesman and ball girls and acted pretty much like a spoiled brat.
Then Gil the gym man came along and within a few months, skinny little Andre had suspiciously packed on gobs of muscle and endurance. He started winning now. That was about the same time that all the homeruns started being hit in baseball too and we now know what caused that. I could be wrong but would like to see them go back and test old blood samples now that there is a knowledge base on the designer steroids.

gully 03-05-2007 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by STRman (Post 1293432)
In 94-95 he was often in tears after another loss and talking about quitting the tour.

In 1994 Agassi had an up-and-down year by his own standards but won both Key Biscayne and Montreal before winning the US Open, following it up with a win at the next year's OZ. In 1995 he reached the RG quarters and Wimbledon semis before having one of the greatest summers ever, winning D.C., Cincy, the Canadian, and New Haven before losing in the USO final to Sampras (a loss that sent him on a career tailspin).
Quote:

Originally Posted by STRman (Post 1293432)
Then Gil the gym man came along and within a few months, skinny little Andre had suspiciously packed on gobs of muscle and endurance. He started winning now..

Actually, Reyes quit his UNLV job in 1990 to work with Andre full-time.
Quote:

Originally Posted by STRman (Post 1293432)
I could be wrong....

This part of your analysis I find completely convincing.

STRman 03-05-2007 10:06 AM

Quote:

In 1994 Agassi had an up-and-down year by his own standards but won both Key Biscayne and Montreal before winning the US Open, following it up with a win at the next year's OZ. In 1995 he reached the RG quarters and Wimbledon semis before having one of the greatest summers ever, winning D.C., Cincy, the Canadian, and New Haven before losing in the USO final to Sampras (a loss that sent him on a career tailspin).
Quote:
I'm ancient and may have my memory a few years off but do remember quite well, Agassi crying and talking about quitting several times. When Gil took over, the metamorphisis of physique happened very quickly.
Interesting enough, the decline happened just as quickly after all the publicity came out about designer DNA based steroids. In his last year on the tour, Agassi appeared to have lost a lot of muscle again.

Forehand Forever 03-05-2007 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by STRman (Post 1293530)
I'm ancient and may have my memory a few years off but do remember quite well, Agassi crying and talking about quitting several times. When Gil took over, the metamorphisis of physique happened very quickly.
Interesting enough, the decline happened just as quickly after all the publicity came out about designer DNA based steroids. In his last year on the tour, Agassi appeared to have lost a lot of muscle again.

Well, it was his last year on the tour. He didn't play too many tournaments so he probably wasn't in his best shape.

gully 03-05-2007 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by STRman (Post 1293530)
I'm ancient and may have my memory a few years off but do remember quite well, Agassi crying and talking about quitting several times. When Gil took over, the metamorphisis of physique happened very quickly.

Well, Reyes saw Agassi through a few body changes in their 17 years together, none of which were exactly immediate. My basic point, though, is that if you're going to imply that AA was juiced, it'd be better to have a clearer timeline, a stronger command of the facts, and a memory better than "a few years off." (I'm ancient too, at least ancient enough to remember all of the 80s and 90s.)

I'd personally be loathe to throw around the implication even if I DID have my facts straight, but I guess that's what anonymity and the internet are for.
Quote:

Originally Posted by STRman (Post 1293530)
The decline happened just as quickly after all the publicity came out about designer DNA based steroids. In his last year on the tour, Agassi appeared to have lost a lot of muscle again.

Some, sure. There was also a degenerative back condition that became increasingly problematic, and he was getting as old as anyone except Connors and Rosewall had ever been with any degree of productivity.

Here's a photo of AA practicing in Delray last March: compared to his peak, yes, he looks a little less imposing, but still fit.

http://www.tennisroundup.com/121_Del...AgassiPrac.jpg

tursafinov 03-05-2007 02:36 PM

From what I've heard..and I'm the opposite of ancient..is that Agassi, in the early years smoked a lot of weed.
Not kidding and I can believe that...he is from Vegas.
Supposedly he had to give back prize money and/or trophies because his samples tested after the finals indicated marijuana in his system.
If he was good enough to play like that...well, he must be quite impressive.
Don't chew me out! It's just what I heard.

~Tursa

federerfanatic 03-05-2007 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gully (Post 1293481)
In 1994 Agassi had an up-and-down year by his own standards but won both Key Biscayne and Montreal before winning the US Open, following it up with a win at the next year's OZ. In 1995 he reached the RG quarters and Wimbledon semis before having one of the greatest summers ever, winning D.C., Cincy, the Canadian, and New Haven before losing in the USO final to Sampras (a loss that sent him on a career tailspin).Actually, Reyes quit his UNLV job in 1990 to work with Andre full-time. This part of your analysis I find completely convincing.

So a year Agassi ended #2 was up-and-down for "his standards"? Boy I must remember a different career then you do then. Like I said on another thread the glorification of players of the generation before this is such you wonder if others were even watching the same sport.

thejackal 03-05-2007 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tursafinov (Post 1294136)
From what I've heard..and I'm the opposite of ancient..is that Agassi, in the early years smoked a lot of weed.
Not kidding and I can believe that...he is from Vegas.
Supposedly he had to give back prize money and/or trophies because his samples tested after the finals indicated marijuana in his system.
If he was good enough to play like that...well, he must be quite impressive.
Don't chew me out! It's just what I heard.

~Tursa

im sure a lot of tennis players smoke weed. El Ayanaoui and Simon Larose are two that come to mind.

federerfanatic 03-05-2007 09:40 PM

Larose was a big pothead. He looked stoned during his matches sometimes. What a wasted talent, for Canadian standards(not very high, all due respect to Canadians on the board)he could have really become a noteable player.

andreh 03-05-2007 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnMatrix (Post 1286393)
I didn't watch tennis when I was younger, and even if I did I wouldn't understand it like I do now.
So my question for all of you older-timers is:
How did Agassi play back in his wild days, when he first came on the tour and through the 90's? I've only heard a few things from commentators that go something like "The young Agassi would've went for a winner off that ball, but now he placed it to run his opponent".

So did Agassi hit alot of winners and go-for-it more often back when? And later in his career start trying to wear opponents down by running them side to side? For as flat as i've seen him hit the ball (@ UCLA on the practice court up close '06) i'm surprised that his ground strokes aren't winners all the time.

I recently watched the 1990 final against Edberg. I honestly cant say there's a big difference, but he was a little more aggressive than the older Aggasi. His net game has definietly improved, but the baselinegame looked about the same, at least in that match.

gully 03-06-2007 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by federerfanatic (Post 1294889)
So a year Agassi ended #2 was up-and-down for "his standards"? Boy I must remember a different career then you do then. Like I said on another thread the glorification of players of the generation before this is such you wonder if others were even watching the same sport.

I don't know what I said that "glorifies" him or his year. He was unseeded when he won that USO, in part because of early losses at RG and Wimby, so yes, it was up-and-down, and it finished "up," mostly but not exclusively on the strength of that slam.

federerfanatic 03-06-2007 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gully (Post 1295407)
I don't know what I said that "glorifies" him or his year. He was unseeded when he won that USO, in part because of early losses at RG and Wimby, so yes, it was up-and-down, and it finished "up," mostly but not exclusively on the strength of that slam.

Yeah he lost at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but look at who he lost to. At Roland Garros he lost in the 2nd round to Thomas Muster in 5 sets, not a "bad" loss by any stretch of the imagination. At Wimbledon he lost in the 4th round to Todd Martin in 5 sets, Martin being probably the 2nd best grass court player after Sampras in 1994(he beat Sampras at Queen, and was the only guy to take a set off him at Wimbledon in his 4 set semifinal loss to Sampras). He started the year dealing with injuries so missing some time, and lowly ranked from the end of a not-so-good 1993, so he got some brutal draws for awhile.

He had alot of great Masters results that year which resulted in his year end #2, along with his U.S Open title. For a player with the up and down career he has had, 1994 was one of his best years.

jackcrawford 03-06-2007 04:46 AM

Buy the DVD of the Lendl match at the US Open from 1988 - the first set from Andre might be the hardest groundstroking ever. The Tennis Nexus is a reliable source of high quality reasonably priced matches. I have no connection with the site other than being a satisfied customer.

gully 03-06-2007 05:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by federerfanatic (Post 1295441)
Yeah he lost at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but look at who he lost to. At Roland Garros he lost in the 2nd round to Thomas Muster in 5 sets, not a "bad" loss by any stretch of the imagination. At Wimbledon he lost in the 4th round to Todd Martin in 5 sets, Martin being probably the 2nd best grass court player after Sampras in 1994(he beat Sampras at Queen, and was the only guy to take a set off him at Wimbledon in his 4 set semifinal loss to Sampras). He started the year dealing with injuries so missing some time, and lowly ranked from the end of a not-so-good 1993, so he got some brutal draws for awhile.

He had alot of great Masters results that year which resulted in his year end #2, along with his U.S Open title. For a player with the up and down career he has had, 1994 was one of his best years.

All true. (If you remember back that far, I was clarifying the timeline suggested by another poster that implied Agassi was on the verge of quitting the tour in 94-95 until hoooking up with Reyes, which was incorrect on both counts.) But yes, when all is said and done, Agassi's 94 would be one of his best years (as would be any in his 20-year career where he won any slam): not as good as '95 or '99 but equal to '92 and '01 and overall better than the others in which he won a slam but not much else (e.g. '00).

MrCLEAN 03-06-2007 06:24 AM

One other thing about him being unseeded at the 94 Open, it had more to do w/ the fact that he only had a half season of points coming in. His wrist had screwed him up in '93, had lost in the 1st round of the US that year, didn't play at all in the fall (1 DC match), had surgery, and skipped the '94 Aus Open, and the entire early '94 indoor season. He didn't start playing again until Scottsdale (which he won), made the finals of the Lipton a few weeks later, so he played well in '94 once he started. Had a couple of tough draws in the French and Wimbledon, sure, but the unseeded business has more to do w/ him not having any USO points or AO points, plus missing half a year. By the time he had a full years points in he was #2, and took over #1 in March of '95 (when Sampras was playing near his prime).


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse