Originally Posted by Datacipher
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.