Why did American players adopt the Agassi vs. the Sampras game style?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Wondertoy, May 13, 2007.

  1. Wondertoy

    Wondertoy Professional

    Feb 22, 2006
    I am curious to know why American tennis adopted the Agassi game style rather than the Sampras game style. Sampras dominated tennis during their time and Agassi was unforunate to be always playing 2nd fiddle to Pete. Most juniors today are playing the Agassi grinding style rather than the all court "big game" style of Pete Sampras. Agassi is a baseline grinder who didn't know how to come in and close off points much like alot of the U.S junior tournament players. The adaption of his game style by American juniors and teaching pros probably initiated the decline of American tennis. Sampras on the other hand had the complete all court game that led to dominance and consideration as the GOAT. It's hard to understand still why Agassi type game play is the norm in tennis over what clearly was a better game style in the Sampras game.
  2. crazylevity

    crazylevity Hall of Fame

    Jul 27, 2005
    the simplest answer would be that Agassi's style is one that is easier to mimic, especially at the junior level. With Bollitieri being all the craze there, (I'm presuming a bit here), it's very likely that juniors are being pushed into that style, rather than choosing it themselves. Early success at that style would probably reinforce that.

    Add Agassi's charisma, and...there you have it.
  3. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    In a tent, along the Silk Road
    No, it's actually quite easy to understand why Agassi's style has been adapted over Sampras'. And this applies not just to America, but the entire world.

    The baseline game is much easier to teach and doesn't require the degree of athleticism as Sampras' all court/serve & volley style. Also, those players who DO play like Sampras generally take longer to develop because they need to master not only baseline play, but mid-court/transition and serve & volley.

    The goal of "Academy Tennis"-Agassi's style-is to turn out, assembly line style, trained ball strikers who, through extreme stroke repitition, all paly essentially the same style and strategy (if you can call it a "strategy).

    Now, Agassi was, even as a baseliner, a very unique player with very unique abilities, but Agassi/Roddick CLONES are produced by the dozens whereas Sampras/Federer types are much rarer specimens.

    Some people will say that the powerful racquets/strings have nullified the net game so much that no one bothers playing or teaching it anymore, but I'm not sure I buy that. These things are cyclical and there's no guarantee that all courters won't make a comeback.
  4. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    American tennis didn't adopt the Agassi style of game because the so-called Academy tennis style was already taking root during Agassi's junior years, if not before with players like Krickstein.
  5. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Jul 21, 2006
    also, to play like Sampras, you have got to serve like he did. That's a mighty tough act to follow (considering he's among the best servers of all time).
  6. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Mar 5, 2007
    NJ, USA

    LOL, that's what I was going to say. It does all come down to the serve. One can't easily mimic Pete's serve and that shot more than any other made Sampras into the champion that he was.

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