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justice for all
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
32nd chapter of one of the greatest rivalries of the Open Era.

Andre Agassi coming into this match was on a 3-match winning streak in their H2H and having a great year so far with AO, Miami and Indian Wells titles, he also made a QF at RG and a SF at Wimbledon.

Pete Sampras on the other hand was having his worst season since 1991, having no tournament wins since 2000 WM and only R4 at AO, R2 at RG and R4 at Wimbledon where his famous winning streak was finally put to an end.

Andre lost his two previous encounters with Pete at USO but this time he was hyped by many pundits as the favourite coming into this highly anticipated duel.

He won the 1st set 7-6 but lost the next three 6-7, 6-7, 6-7. The entire match featured no breaks of serve and lasted over 3,5 hours.

I believe this was the match that sparked the final resurgence in Pete's career. He didn't win the tournament but reached the final and next year in the same venue lifted his final 14th grand slam title.

Match stats.
354717

Full match:
 

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Sampras has an unreadable serve. Blazing fast courts, mixed with his volleying abilities and pinpoint serves... it's no wonder he ended up with 14 slams.

You have to feel for Agassi, he was super talented, but there was only so much he could do. You have to wonder how we would have faired on medium hardcourt?
 

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You have to wonder how we would have faired on medium hardcourt?
Like Rogie Nole.On fast edge goes to Rogie(Sampras),medium\slow - Nole(Agassi)
 

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Like Rogie Nole.On fast edge goes to Rogie(Sampras),medium\slow - Nole(Agassi)
Agassi was about 7 years too early. If he was born in Feds gen he would have done exceptionally well. Peaking Agassi vs. Djokovic would have been intriguing
 

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Yeah.Something like AO12,but on a regular basis
 

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Incredible focus by Agassi. Ridiculously few UEs and he must have been close to 100% on passing shots made.

But in each of the breakers, errors crept in, and that made the difference.

The speed of the court was scary. When Sampras unleashed a forehand, you could hear Agassi groaning when his [Agassi's] made contact with the shot.

Sampras's low volleys were a thing of beauty. It was also impressive the way he invariably followed up a DF with an ace.

Agassi's serve was also pretty amazing, an underrated part of his game.
 

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justice for all
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Discussion Starter #7
Pete had arguably best 2nd serve ever. Going for it on his 2nd delivery was his basic working strategy. Nowadays it's more commonly used tactics but back then there were only a few players who did it, most of other just rolled in the 2nd serve.
 

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I'm not sure why people in this thread think that court was "blazingly quick" or whatever. It was quite fast, but it wasn't ridiculously fast like a carpet court.

People in this day and age seem to think that these courts were so quick partly due to the fact that these players are hitting the ball harder than the likes of Novak Djokovic today. Yes, that is the truth, whether you like it or not.

They are playing first strike tennis and hitting the ball flat. When you combine that with a genuinely quick court, it may look incredibly fast, or what the kids today call "super fast". Everything is "super X, Y or Z" now. ;)

The problem Andre Agassi had wasn't just with Pete Sampras' serve. It was the usual story of Pete Sampras' forehand being a much more imposing weapon than Andre Agassi's and he was no slouch in that department either. You add the forecourt ability of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi is beaten in serve, forehand and forecourt.
 

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Agassi hit the ball on the rise and even though that is considered a great thing because you are "taking time away from your opponent" it also can lead to your balls landing too short into the court. I mean when you hit the ball on the rise its not easy to control your depth, and even someone as masterful as Agassi will occasionally drop the ball short, and Sampras will attack those short balls with the booming forehand.
 

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justice for all
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Discussion Starter #12
Agassi hit the ball on the rise and even though that is considered a great thing because you are "taking time away from your opponent" it also can lead to your balls landing too short into the court. I mean when you hit the ball on the rise its not easy to control your depth, and even someone as masterful as Agassi will occasionally drop the ball short, and Sampras will attack those short balls with the booming forehand.
Man, you are a good and reasonable poster when you are not so much emotionally invested in any of the players. (y)
 

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It's classic match chat time!


Whoo-whee!

MTF waited all weekend for guitara to open this thread
 

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I'm not sure why people in this thread think that court was "blazingly quick" or whatever. It was quite fast, but it wasn't ridiculously fast like a carpet court.

People in this day and age seem to think that these courts were so quick partly due to the fact that these players are hitting the ball harder than the likes of Novak Djokovic today. Yes, that is the truth, whether you like it or not.

They are playing first strike tennis and hitting the ball flat. When you combine that with a genuinely quick court, it may look incredibly fast, or what the kids today call "super fast". Everything is "super X, Y or Z" now. ;)

The problem Andre Agassi had wasn't just with Pete Sampras' serve. It was the usual story of Pete Sampras' forehand being a much more imposing weapon than Andre Agassi's and he was no slouch in that department either. You add the forecourt ability of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi is beaten in serve, forehand and forecourt.
I don't know Burrow, things seem blazing fast in comparison to Federer vs. Sandgren/Millman U.S. Open 2019.

Yes they were hitting the ball flat, but I don't think that accounts for everything
 

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I'm not sure why people in this thread think that court was "blazingly quick" or whatever. It was quite fast, but it wasn't ridiculously fast like a carpet court.

People in this day and age seem to think that these courts were so quick partly due to the fact that these players are hitting the ball harder than the likes of Novak Djokovic today. Yes, that is the truth, whether you like it or not.

They are playing first strike tennis and hitting the ball flat. When you combine that with a genuinely quick court, it may look incredibly fast, or what the kids today call "super fast". Everything is "super X, Y or Z" now. ;)

The problem Andre Agassi had wasn't just with Pete Sampras' serve. It was the usual story of Pete Sampras' forehand being a much more imposing weapon than Andre Agassi's and he was no slouch in that department either. You add the forecourt ability of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi is beaten in serve, forehand and forecourt.
What qualities do you think Hewitt had that helped him to dismantle Sampras rather easily? Sampras was broken on his very first service game in the final, the first time in the tournament if I recall.
 

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I don't know Burrow, things seem blazing fast in comparison to Federer vs. Sandgren/Millman U.S. Open 2019.

Yes they were hitting the ball flat, but I don't think that accounts for everything
Lower bounce I suppose would also help. And fewer players using poly strings?
 

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I'm not sure why people in this thread think that court was "blazingly quick" or whatever...
You make some good points, but I want to dig deeper on this:

Firstly, the slowing of the courts is a matter of record. In fact, it began at the USO in 2002, making this the very last USO with the faster surface. See e.g.: Are U.S. Open Tennis Courts Even Slower in 2010?

Remember that Lleyton Hewitt, who loved fast surfaces, won his only USO in 2001.

People in this day and age seem to think that these courts were so quick partly due to the fact that these players are hitting the ball harder than the likes of Novak Djokovic today.
Whatever about Novak today, if this was true, it would have been very noticeable in the matches Fed played against Agassi, especially the ones when Fed wasn't ripe and Agassi wasn't that much past his prime (such as the R4 match at the 2001 USO). But Agassi's extra power on the forehand wasn't apparent then; if anything, it was the other way round in terms of hitting through the court.

(And incidentally, regarding Novak's FH speed, we shouldn't forget that when he emerged on the scene, he had one of the biggest and best FHs going.)

They are playing first strike tennis and hitting the ball flat.
Well, Sampras hit his FH with much more topspin than Agassi, so that kind of undermines your theory. Although admittedly, neither hit with the freakish topspin of a Rafa or even Fed.

The problem Andre Agassi had wasn't just with Pete Sampras' serve. It was the usual story of Pete Sampras' forehand being a much more imposing weapon than Andre Agassi's and he was no slouch in that department either. You add the forecourt ability of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi is beaten in serve, forehand and forecourt.
In this match, it's not right to say that Pete beat Andre with the forehand. Pete was very reluctant to engage in rallies, so he hit a lot of wild shots: some were winners or near winners; some went way long, but the way he played them wasn't dominating at all. Sampras didn't win this from the back court at all.
 
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