Re: Taking the ball early. Who's the best at this?
Agassi. Before Agassi and modern strings shots weren't coming as hard & fast from the baseline, so it's very hard to compare, but in their day Connors & McEnroe both took the ball very early. Honourable mentions to Federer, Nalbandian, Davydenko. Djoker isn't bad either, though not in their league.
"There is no such thing as 'the world'." - Enoch Powell.