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-   -   was agassi's grand slam the greatest? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=480053)

degrease 10-14-2013 02:19 PM

was agassi's grand slam the greatest?
 
Just a thought i had so bear with me. Although fed and nadal have since done it and it had been done before i think agassi's achievement may be greater due to the more vast differences in surfaces. The modern homogenising of the surfaces slowing grass and speeding up clay has meant that we have a case of "usual suspects" at every slam.
Could nadal have coped with sampras, goran etc on super quick low bouncing grass?
Laver did slam i believe with 3 of the 4 on grass (i might be wrong but i sure i heard that)

Anyway thats my opinion.

spinovic 10-14-2013 02:21 PM

Like a lot of stuff, it comes down to personal opinion, but I definitely think there is a case to be made for it.

90's Clay 10-14-2013 02:39 PM

Definitely. He won it under the most polarized conditions at slams in history. In many ways, I prefer it over Laver's '69 Calendar slam because 3 of those slams that year were played on grass. Agassi could win any surface vs. all types of players with different game styles. Thats amazing what he did

PhrygianDominant 10-14-2013 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 90's Clay (Post 7820901)
Definitely. He won it under the most polarized conditions at slams in history. In many ways, I prefer it over Laver's '69 Calendar slam because 3 of those slams that year were played on grass. Agassi could win any surface vs. all types of players with different game styles. Thats amazing what he did

agree

10agrees

YaoPau 10-14-2013 04:49 PM

In a vacuum, Agassi's slam is most impressive, but...

If you're like me and care about draw quality, then Agassi's '99 French was on the easy side. He took out #4 seed and defending champ Moya early, but he faced zero other seeded players in the remaining six rounds. And in his only Wimbledon, he beat an aging #4 seeded Becker, and #8 Ivanisevic in the Finals, but zero other seeds in the remaining five rounds.

It's not to take anything away from Agassi, but more to give extra credit to players who faced the best of the best and still came out on top. Nadal for example took out an absolute giant in Federer at Wimbledon '08; took out Soderling, Murray, Federer consecutively to win the '11 French; beat world #1 Djokovic and #8 Gasquet along with two bottom-half seeds to win this year's US Open; and beat a prime #1 Federer along with #6 Simon, #13 Gonzalez, #14 Verdasco, and Tommy Haas to win his only AO.

The differences is Agassi's surfaces, and being the first to do it is a great achievement. But if you're putting your best 4 out there I say Nadal's is more impressive. If Djokovic can win the French over Nadal, he'd get my #1 since so many of his draws have been pure hell.

BobbyOne 10-14-2013 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by degrease (Post 7820867)
Just a thought i had so bear with me. Although fed and nadal have since done it and it had been done before i think agassi's achievement may be greater due to the more vast differences in surfaces. The modern homogenising of the surfaces slowing grass and speeding up clay has meant that we have a case of "usual suspects" at every slam.
Could nadal have coped with sampras, goran etc on super quick low bouncing grass?
Laver did slam i believe with 3 of the 4 on grass (i might be wrong but i sure i heard that)

Anyway thats my opinion.

Agassi did not achieve a Grand Slam or Slam.

timnz 10-14-2013 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by YaoPau (Post 7821100)
In a vacuum, Agassi's slam is most impressive, but...

If you're like me and care about draw quality, then Agassi's '99 French was on the easy side. He took out #4 seed and defending champ Moya early, but he faced zero other seeded players in the remaining six rounds. And in his only Wimbledon, he beat an aging #4 seeded Becker, and #8 Ivanisevic in the Finals, but zero other seeds in the remaining five rounds.

It's not to take anything away from Agassi, but more to give extra credit to players who faced the best of the best and still came out on top. Nadal for example took out an absolute giant in Federer at Wimbledon '08; took out Soderling, Murray, Federer consecutively to win the '11 French; beat world #1 Djokovic and #8 Gasquet along with two bottom-half seeds to win this year's US Open; and beat a prime #1 Federer along with #6 Simon, #13 Gonzalez, #14 Verdasco, and Tommy Haas to win his only AO.

The differences is Agassi's surfaces, and being the first to do it is a great achievement. But if you're putting your best 4 out there I say Nadal's is more impressive. If Djokovic can win the French over Nadal, he'd get my #1 since so many of his draws have been pure hell.

Aging Becker? At 24 years old?

The most impressive tournament Agassi ever played was in winning the 1990 WTF on carpet.

He beat Becker 6-2 6-4 in the semi's (he dominated Becker in that match - I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it), then beat peak Edberg in the final. (He also beat Sampras 64, 62 in the round robin).

So he has the true calendar slam + the WTF on carpet + Olympics (the least of these but still).

monfed 10-14-2013 05:50 PM

A case can be made for it,sure. Having said that I believe Roger could've done the same in the 90s too. Once Fed sorted out his mental issues, he turned into a winning machine.

90's Clay 10-14-2013 06:08 PM

I think Fed would find it more difficult to be a baseliner in the 90s.. Maybe not. If he stayed in his old game plan (Pre 2004 style), he would less consistent because he played higher risk tennis

YaoPau 10-14-2013 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7821140)
Aging Becker? At 24 years old?

The most impressive tournament Agassi ever played was in winning the 1990 WTF on carpet.

He beat Becker 6-2 6-4 in the semi's (he dominated Becker in that match - I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it), then beat peak Edberg in the final. (He also beat Sampras 64, 62 in the round robin).

So he has the true calendar slam + the WTF on carpet + Olympics (the least of these but still).

Yeah, you're right that was a lazy way to describe Becker. I meant it happened after his best years but he was still obviously near-elite, especially at Wimbledon.

egn 10-14-2013 07:10 PM

Agassi definitely deserves the credit for winning it in the polarized surface era of the 90s. What's more odd is the fact that mots would argue he was better on clay in early 90s when he won his wimbledon and better on grass in late 90s when he won his French. However Agassi prior to Federer and the rest of this era breaking tennis was one of the few players to actually be able to say they made the finals of all the majors.

CyBorg 10-14-2013 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 90's Clay (Post 7820901)
Definitely. He won it under the most polarized conditions at slams in history. In many ways, I prefer it over Laver's '69 Calendar slam because 3 of those slams that year were played on grass. Agassi could win any surface vs. all types of players with different game styles. Thats amazing what he did

Ummm, Laver won those majors in one year.

One year.

I will repeat again. One year.

For Agassi, it took seven years.

Get off the sauce.

CyBorg 10-14-2013 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by egn (Post 7821343)
Agassi definitely deserves the credit for winning it in the polarized surface era of the 90s.

He also faced the crappiest competition at RG imaginable.

CyBorg 10-14-2013 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobbyOne (Post 7821129)
Agassi did not achieve a Grand Slam or Slam.

But he can buy himself a slam at Denny's like everyone else.

illusions30 10-14-2013 07:33 PM

I would agree Agassi's Career Slam was the most impressive of those guys who didnt do an actual Grand Slam. More impressive than Federer and Nadal anyway who did it in the time of homogenized playing conditions. It cant even come close to a true Grand Slam like Laver's but of the non Grand Slammers it might be the best.

YaoPau 10-14-2013 09:05 PM

Maybe someone here can help me with this...

Laver's '69 Slam seems overrated to me, and maybe I'm just missing context, but I don't think the Slams were as big a deal in his time. I mean, Laver obviously cared so much about his Slam streak that he skipped the AO and French in 1970 because he had better options elsewhere with the NTL/WCT.

Laver had a very nice year in 1969, but I wonder if he just saw those four tournaments as four very good tournaments over the course of the year, with tournaments like Boston or Philadelphia, for example, being just as important to him.

I guess what I'm saying is, why single out those 4 tournaments and put Laver on some pedestal as a result. They weren't the highest paying, none of them had the draws that the Pro Tourneys did over the previous decade, the AO had never been relevant, the French hadn't been relevant since 40 years prior. Use 1969 to add to Laver's cross-generation rankings resume, but for greatest career grand Slams, I think that's more a metric for rating modern players.

CyBorg 10-14-2013 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by YaoPau (Post 7821478)
Maybe someone here can help me with this...

Laver's '69 Slam seems overrated to me, and maybe I'm just missing context, but I don't think the Slams were as big a deal in his time. I mean, Laver obviously cared so much about his Slam streak that he skipped the AO and French in 1970 because he had better options elsewhere with the NTL/WCT.

Laver had a very nice year in 1969, but I wonder if he just saw those four tournaments as four very good tournaments over the course of the year, with tournaments like Boston or Philadelphia, for example, being just as important to him.

I guess what I'm saying is, why single out those 4 tournaments and put Laver on some pedestal as a result. They weren't the highest paying, none of them had the draws that the Pro Tourneys did over the previous decade, the AO had never been relevant, the French hadn't been relevant since 40 years prior. Use 1969 to add to Laver's cross-generation rankings resume, but for greatest career grand Slams, I think that's more a metric for rating modern players.

Yes, you're missing some context, which is okay because it's confusing.

The majors were always a big deal, even during the pro-amateur split. When the open era started, the majors immediately began attracting the very best players. The first two years of the open era - 1968 and 1969 - demonstrated outstanding participation among the very best of pros.

Starting in 1970, corporate reality set in and the majors couldn't get by on their prestige alone. Other events began to offer significantly more money and the reputation of the majors gradually began to drop off.

In the 1970s, the status of the majors is difficult to rank with the exception of Wimbledon which was always the top event. The US Open also did well, while the French picked up towards the late 1970s. The Australian was in a funk until well into the 1980s.

Events that at times had major-type prestige were Rome, Dallas WCT and a few others, depending on the year. Meantime, there were very many events that offered better prize money than the majors. We're talking double digits here.

However the late-60s majors are largely considered to be legit, because they attracted the best talent on the strength of their prestige and the wave of excitement deriving from the start of the open era. This prestige got watered down due to the realities of the time, mainly the pro tour's non-standardized structure, significantly fragmenting men's tennis in the process.

Numerous other complexities ensued, about which you can read elsewhere, including World Team Tennis's effect on the French Open.

YaoPau 10-14-2013 11:42 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Totally agree that Laver's 1969 Slam was legit, I just wonder if he sees people going nuts about it 40 years later and just smiles to himself. There was basically nobody outside him and Rosewall in the '68 French, with bottom-of-the-barrel attendance for the '68 Aussie. I can't imagine he saw the legit draws in '69 and said "whoa, if I just win these four former Amateur slam tournaments in particular out of a group of the dozen really good tournaments that people care about on tour I'll be put on a special pedestal for the rest of history".

urban 10-15-2013 12:04 AM

Jack Kramer called the Grand Slam in 1969 the greatest achievement in the history of tennis. That was at Forest Hills in September 1969. McCormack, the big promoter of golf stars, took Laver as the first tennis star under his tutelage, but only when he won the GS in 1969. No slam, no contract. Laver wrote a book (of course Bud Collins wrote it) of his 1969 season. It would have been cancelled, if the GS would have failed. No slam, no book.

Flash O'Groove 10-15-2013 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by degrease (Post 7820867)
Just a thought i had so bear with me. Although fed and nadal have since done it and it had been done before i think agassi's achievement may be greater due to the more vast differences in surfaces. The modern homogenising of the surfaces slowing grass and speeding up clay has meant that we have a case of "usual suspects" at every slam.
Could nadal have coped with sampras, goran etc on super quick low bouncing grass?
Laver did slam i believe with 3 of the 4 on grass (i might be wrong but i sure i heard that)

Anyway thats my opinion.

As clay been sped up? I think clay didn't move, but all others surfaces went slower and higher bouncing.

Anyway, the career grand slam was certainly harder in the polarized 90's and I agree that his career gran slam is more impressive than Fed's or Nadal's.
However, theirs are impressive none the less, because they had to win a slam on their main rival territory. Nadal's wins at Wimbledon 2008 and AO 2009 against Federer weren't easy to do, whatever the distinction of surfaces, because Fed was a great player.
And you have to command Federer for being in the RG finals years after years, waiting for the greatest clay courter ever to stumble on Sod.

These career slams are impressive, and if Nole can complete his it will be impressive as well, as he was as much blocked by Nadal than Fed.


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