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-   -   Was Andre Agassi a better pure ball striker than Federer? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=396738)

Down_the_line 09-11-2011 10:18 PM

Was Andre Agassi a better pure ball striker than Federer?
 
What do you guys think? Federer is undeniably the GOAT, but in terms of pure ball striking ability, I have to say it's Agassi. His ability to hit the ball so early and hit it as flat as he did was otherworldly. I don't think Federer - even in his prime - punished opponents and fired the ball from one side of the court to the other as well as Agassi.

Devilito 09-11-2011 10:59 PM

It's close but as Agassi got older it almost seemed like he hit the ball harder. It helped him compete at the top of the game with guys like Federer at age 35. As Federer hits his 30s his aggressiveness and ball speed has extremely dissipated. However I will say that it seemed like something was clicking for him at this years US Open and he’s trying to go back to the way he used to play.

So I will say Agassi was a better ball striker which also made him a better returner. Not by much though. What Federer has over Agassi is a more well rounded game and better footwork / speed / defensive capabilities.

Datacipher 09-12-2011 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Down_the_line (Post 5993996)
What do you guys think? Federer is undeniably the GOAT, but in terms of pure ball striking ability, I have to say it's Agassi. His ability to hit the ball so early and hit it as flat as he did was otherworldly. I don't think Federer - even in his prime - punished opponents and fired the ball from one side of the court to the other as well as Agassi.

Depends on what you mean by "pure ball striker".

He was much much better at taking the ball early, and pounding it with power and control...part of that is due his magnificent 2 handed backhand....big contrast with Fed's one hander.

In that sense....taking the ball very early...being able to control the point offensively..yes Agassi was ahead of Fed. Even in their US open matches when Andre was half in the grave, you could see that at times.

I usually think of "pure ball striking" as the ability to consistently hit the sweet spot with perfect timing of the acceleration of the swing. All pros do this inhumanely well compared to amateurs...but some are way ahead and here as well Agassi is way ahead of Fed. Though Fed is absolutely outstanding at times, his shanking puts him way behind Agassi. (Maybe Andre's big racquet helps a bit with the outright shanks, though if you shank the ball with a 90, it wasn't going to be a good shot by pro standards with any racquet).

On the other hand, in terms of spectacular shotmaking, Fed may be ahead of Andre, in that when everything was flowing for him, his more improvisational style of swing, allowed him to come up with unpredictable and devastating winners from all over the place.

scotus 09-12-2011 12:26 AM

Fed shanks the ball far more than Agassi, if that's what you mean.

Maybe the oversize racquet did give Andre an advantage in this regard.

SusanDK 09-12-2011 02:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Datacipher (Post 5994143)
I usually think of "pure ball striking" as the ability to consistently hit the sweet spot with perfect timing of the acceleration of the swing.

That's what I think of as well, and saying that, I put Jimmy Connors at the top of the list. And he did it for years with his T-2000.

chandler bing 09-12-2011 02:39 AM

I always found Agassi a bit over rated.

Connors and McEnroe (among others) did it better.

Torres 09-12-2011 02:41 AM

Not even close.

BeHappy 09-12-2011 03:06 AM

much better off the backhand, about the same off the forehand.

TennisLovaLova 09-12-2011 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chandler bing (Post 5994238)
I always found Agassi a bit over rated.

Connors and McEnroe (among others) did it better.

agassi a bit overrated?
wtf u talkin about?

pc1 09-12-2011 04:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Datacipher (Post 5994143)
Depends on what you mean by "pure ball striker".

He was much much better at taking the ball early, and pounding it with power and control...part of that is due his magnificent 2 handed backhand....big contrast with Fed's one hander.

In that sense....taking the ball very early...being able to control the point offensively..yes Agassi was ahead of Fed. Even in their US open matches when Andre was half in the grave, you could see that at times.

I usually think of "pure ball striking" as the ability to consistently hit the sweet spot with perfect timing of the acceleration of the swing. All pros do this inhumanely well compared to amateurs...but some are way ahead and here as well Agassi is way ahead of Fed. Though Fed is absolutely outstanding at times, his shanking puts him way behind Agassi. (Maybe Andre's big racquet helps a bit with the outright shanks, though if you shank the ball with a 90, it wasn't going to be a good shot by pro standards with any racquet).

On the other hand, in terms of spectacular shotmaking, Fed may be ahead of Andre, in that when everything was flowing for him, his more improvisational style of swing, allowed him to come up with unpredictable and devastating winners from all over the place.

Can't disagree with anything written here.

I would also add that Federer is so much more mobile than Agassi that he could reach shots that Agassi could never reach.

Just off the top of my head I would say Connors, Agassi, Rosewall were some of the best pure ball strikers I've seen.

Limpinhitter 09-12-2011 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Down_the_line (Post 5993996)
What do you guys think? Federer is undeniably the GOAT, but in terms of pure ball striking ability, I have to say it's Agassi. His ability to hit the ball so early and hit it as flat as he did was otherworldly. I don't think Federer - even in his prime - punished opponents and fired the ball from one side of the court to the other as well as Agassi.

I can't recall a singe time that Agassi shanked a ball except when he was on the dead stretch and couldn't reach the ball without framing it. IMO, Agassi hit harder, cleaner, earlier and more consistently that Federer on both sides. Having said that Federer's forehand was so versatile, and his movement so great and efficient, his forehand, on balance, was probably the greatest shot tennis has ever seen. Can't come close to that about Fed's bh.

Down_the_line 09-12-2011 08:39 AM

Thanks for the responses, guys. Yeah, I guess by "pure ball striking ability" I didn't necessarily mean shotmaking, but rather the soft hands and ability to hit the ball cleanly and consistently, wherever you choose to put it.

I was watching Agassi's 2000 Australian Open semifinal match against Sampras and I wondered if I don't actually enjoy watching Agassi at his best more than Federer!

Magnetite 09-12-2011 09:00 AM

I would say Agassi. If you've ever watched any interviews with other players and coaches most of them seem to give it to Agassi as well.

That being said, I think his oversized racket did help him out a bit.

jrepac 09-12-2011 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SusanDK (Post 5994224)
That's what I think of as well, and saying that, I put Jimmy Connors at the top of the list. And he did it for years with his T-2000.

if hitting the sweet spot precisely is the definition, then, sure Connors was one of the best, if not the necessarily the hardest of hitters.

jrepac 09-12-2011 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 5994469)
Can't disagree with anything written here.

I would also add that Federer is so much more mobile than Agassi that he could reach shots that Agassi could never reach.

Just off the top of my head I would say Connors, Agassi, Rosewall were some of the best pure ball strikers I've seen.

Fed is a better mover than Agassi, as were Rosewall and Connors, I think. But, Andre hit a very "clean" shot as they way....Fed shanks a lot more. But, I too thought he played very, very well at this year's USO

TMF 09-12-2011 10:11 AM

If andre was a better ball striker than fed he would have a much better career, especially when many fans believe he was a better player in his 30.

NadalAgassi 09-12-2011 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TMF (Post 5995417)
If andre was a better ball striker than fed he would have a much better career, especially when many fans believe he was a better player in his 30.

The village idiot strikes again. There are many factors that can go into a better career than just ball striking. Overall athletic ability, overall court movement, overall defense, mental toughness, fitness, serving, all court abilities, knowing how to use your weapons, quality of competition, circumstances.

Also if you are insinuating Federer faced the best of Agassi then you are delusional. Agassi won his last slam in January 2003. That also briefly had little to do with Federer who made it past the round of 16 of only 1 slams in 2003, and didnt even win a Masters title (other than the TMF at years end) that year. Most believe Agassi's best ever tennis was in 1994-1995 and in 1999-early 2000 at ages 24, 25, and 29. Some at a stretch have said 1999-2002, but then again 32 year old Agassi was still dominating 20 year old Federer in 2002. Agassi being a later bloomer won only 2 slams after turning 30, and his 2nd last ever slam was at age 30, while Federer did not begin beating him until he was nearly 34.

Joe Pike 09-12-2011 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Down_the_line (Post 5993996)
What do you guys think? Federer is undeniably the GOAT, but in terms of pure ball striking ability, I have to say it's Agassi. His ability to hit the ball so early and hit it as flat as he did was otherworldly. I don't think Federer - even in his prime - punished opponents and fired the ball from one side of the court to the other as well as Agassi.


What's a "pure ball"?

accidental 09-12-2011 02:56 PM

I remember Agassi saying in an interview once when he was asked about how he hits the ball so cleanly, he said that he hits most of his shots slightly off centre on his racket and only rarely hits the sweet spot, but he just trusts his strokes so much that it doesnt matter if he hits the sweetspot or not, if he executes his stroke properly and pursposely its going to be a good shot.

I thought it was interesting he would say that, since it seems he's either a perfectionist when it comes to timing the ball or his stroke mechanics were so solid that they produce an excellent ball even off centre

Iron Man 09-13-2011 12:13 AM

Federer is better but Agassi was good too ( especially at the backhand )


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