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Discussion Starter #1
In a sense that 4 potentially dangerous opponents in his half ( Safin, Roddick, Hewitt, Aynaoui ) either got injured or beat each other or tired each other down.. I mean, can anyone imagine Shuettler beating healthy Safin? Shuettler beating fresh Roddick? Agassi was given an AO on a silver plate by courtesy of the draw and lucky circumstances.. It doesn't mean he would not have won it anyway though..
 

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"It doesn't mean he would not have won it anyway though..."

Exactly, so why complain that he was lucky? After all he got two Frenchmen, one of whom, Escude, gave him a hugely severe test and he was lucky to escape in four, while Grosjean had beaten him before in a Slam and was a dangerous opponent; equally he got a man in Lee Hyung-Taik who had just won a warm-up tournanment by beating Roddick, Ferreira and Ferrero.

My point is, all these matches looked tough on paper but they weren't, simply because Agassi makes sure they aren't by the quality of his play. His opponents weren't weak, it was that he was too good, as he is generally is at the Aussie Open. He'd have rolled over Roddick the same way as Schuettler, the only difference is the score would have been more generous.

Equally, I think he would have come out on top against Safin - he's only lost to him once, and that was at the French way back in 98.
 

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"another attempt at bad joke?"

:confused:
 

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Sjengster said:
He'd have rolled over Roddick the same way as Schuettler, the only difference is the score would have been more generous.
If only he were allowed to switch the sides of the draw or select his next round opponents randomly :D

Thanks for the laugh :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Exactly, so why complain that he was lucky?
And neither it means the opposite. Yes, Escude tested him, but he (Escude) didn't play his best. And, it is not his best surface - RA is quite a tricky surface to play S&V on it. When was the last time S&V player made it to the final of AO? Sampras in 1997? To be really tested, Agassi would simply have to encounter someone with fresh younger legs ( Hewitt, Roddick, Safin - not Escude ), who would push him into a tough non-straightsetter and would manage to stay with him physically in the fourth set when Agassi's age would become a factor. There were abundance of such players in the draw, but Agassi avoided all of them.

It's pretty much like Sampras winning Wimbledon-2000. He had a ridiculous and lucky draw ( Voltchkov in semis for CS ), but, again, it does not mean he would not have won it anyway. But we'll never know.
 

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If that wasn't Escude playing at his best, I don't know what is. True, he didn't come away with the win, but then the two things don't necessarily go together.

And considering Grosjean's only 24, I would say he had young enough legs to take on Agassi in the quarters (yes, I know he had the 5-setter against Mantilla the previous round, but that really wasn't a factor - the commentators observed that if Grosjean had been playing almost any other player in the draw in the quarters he would have won based on the strength of his performance).

Once again, Agassi was simply too good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Grosjean is quickly degrading and is no longer anywhere close to being a top player. Agassi-Grosjean result was obvious from the very beginning. Grosjean has no confidence anymore. Look at his results for last year or so. Each time he played a tough player in a match where he would not be considered a favourite, he lost. It has escaped the attention of many, because Grosjean is not a high profile player like , say, Safin, but Grosjean is in a big slump, mentally first of all..
 

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Interesting. I've always thought that Grosjean was a very up and down player anyway, simply by the style of game he plays - flashes of brilliance and periods of ineptitude in equal measure.

I think he's one of those confidence players; when he gots on a roll like he did towards the end of 2001, when he beat Haas in Paris, then Rafter, Agassi and Kafelnikov to reach the Masters Cup final he was practically unbeatable, but when he had to defend all those AO points at the start of 2002 the pressure got to him.

Added to that, of course, is the fact that he's undeniably the biggest choker in the game. That infamous AO semi against Clement was practically repeated at last year's US Open when they met in the second round; Grosjean led two sets to one, then led with a break at 4-3 in the final set before practically conceding the last three games of the match (on match point he casually knocked a backhand volley almost into the back fence...).

Who, of course, could forget the Moya debacle in Paris - again, one decent volley could have settled the whole thing, but...?

It's quite ironic that as the clear French no. 1, he's a pigeon for every other French player - in particular Santoro and Clement, who it seems can almost beat him at will.

Having said that, he looks to be in good form at the start of 2003 and I think he'll make something of a resurgence, especially at Roland Garros.
 

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y_s said:
In a sense that 4 potentially dangerous opponents in his half ( Safin, Roddick, Hewitt, Aynaoui ) either got injured or beat each other or tired each other down.. I mean, can anyone imagine Shuettler beating healthy Safin? Shuettler beating fresh Roddick? Agassi was given an AO on a silver plate by courtesy of the draw and lucky circumstances.. It doesn't mean he would not have won it anyway though..
Vaiva, I was questioning the seriousness of this as well, but for the sake of argument I'll assume it was meant seriously and respond to it accordingly.

FACT #1: With his current form and in this particular tournament, Agassi didn't need to be lucky. I wouldn't bet against him in any of the potential matches you mentioned.

FACT #2: Haven't you learned yet that anything can happen in tennis. Can I imagine Schuettler beating a healthy Roddick? Hell yes! I don't subscribe to all these should've and could've but I'm fairly certain he would have not just could have. Could I imagine him beating Safin? Yes. Were you able to imagine Bastl beating Sampras in Wimbledon? Well it happened. You make it sound like most of the matches are a done deal and that's far from the case.

Another thing. I know I will sound pathetic and humorless, not lighthearted enough to be cool on this board, but I'm really SICK AND TIRED of you guys belittling Rainer. He has achieved the greatest success of his career so far, and instead of congratulating him, everyone is ridiculing him because Agassi crushed him. Guess what, he steamrolled over Grosjean as well, yet nobody is making fun of him. Give the man his due, for goodness' sake. He played a great tournament and played an average (not awful mind you) final in which he was outplayed by the current terminator. And now he's supposed to be ashamed of himself? He didn't deserve to be there? Is the tennis police going to arrest him for his crime against humanity?

y_s, this isn't aimed at you personally, it was just one "let's put Schuettler in his place" thread to many, and this is my one and only response on the matter.

All in all, I agree with what Sjengster said.
 

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Sjengster said:

Having said that, he looks to be in good form at the start of 2003 and I think he'll make something of a resurgence, especially at Roland Garros.
I agree with that too. I have a feeling he will have a better year. Maybe he'll learn to close out big matches. And he may be slumping, but he's still capable of flashes of brilliance. He was incredible in the second part of his match against Mantilla, and that after playing awful first two sets. It was one the most amazing transformations I've ever seen. After 2 sets, he suddenly came out a completely different player. Something in him just clicked and he was on fire. Now if he can only learn how to click that on at will, he'll be a very dangerous player. But until then, he'll just be an unknown factor in any match.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
everyone is ridiculing him because Agassi crushed him. Guess what, he steamrolled over Grosjean as well
At least Grosjean didn't run around without a slightest thought as headless chicken and was not sending second serves into the stands. I can't remember anyone playing that pathetic and looking that stupid in a final of Grand Slam.
 

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you know, we need to decide if we really like the DEPTH of the ATP tour or not. those of us who criticise the WTA on this issue, point out that really just a handful of women are dominating the tour, with the Willi Sisters being the most dominant by far. over on the ATP, we boast, we have depth. on any given day, any given player can be beaten by a whole bunch of others because the field is so deep. and while we acknowledge that the days of a single player dominating may soon be over, we appreciate that what we have gained instead is the ability to see exciting tennis throughout a tournament, not only after we get past the quarters.

but it seems to me (from y-s' initial post) that there may be some ambivalence about this depth thing. to say that Andre got lucky is to dismiss the role played by the depth of the ATP tour. it's not luck, it's an abundance of opponents.

this is NOT the same as Sampras at Wimby 2000 where he got such a puff draw that his subsequent win was meaningless (to me). i agree -- Voltchoke in the semis? puh-lease. but Andre did not face a "protected" draw at the AO. he potentially had to face Roddick, Safin, Hewitt and El Ayanoui -- all of whom have the ability to beat him on any gievn day. that he didn't was not bec he got lucky but bec of the depth of the field. don't blame him for that.

and don't blame poor Rainer either. he did deserve to make it to the finals. i never had a problem with that. having gotten there, i would have loved it if he had made a harder attempt to beat Agassi. apart from that horrible call he got in the first set (which may have demotivated him but champions rise about bad calls!), i honestly felt as if he played as if he was beaten before he even started. frankly he made Agassi look better than he really was.

Andre wasn't that good in the final. a more confident opponent would have spanked him easily. Andre seems a step slower to my eyes; he is extremely fit but he is not as fast. apart from age, i suspect that he has put on a tad to much muscle - he's beginning to look a bit like a mini-Gil Reyes! i think that he has decided to sacrifice some speed for overall strength and endurance. that is a dimension that can be exploited.

the depth of the ATP tour has added a whole new dimension to results. it means that players like Safin end up being booted out with injury that he admits is the result of having to play too many power-players back to back. it means that a player like Stepanek can one day make a player of Guga's caliber look like a complete idiot, and yet not have a single answer for a completely different opponent with a completely different game that he faces the next day.

which is why we need to really think about how we feel about this depth thing. Eggy called 2002 the Year of Mr. Nobodies. i didn't agree (except as a joke). i saw it as the start of a new era in tennis as a result of the depth of the ATP tour.

sorry for the length of this post!
 

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King Scotso of Aragon said:
Had Ferrero not went on a mental fieldtrip in the quarterfinals, he probably would have knocked Agassi out.
If chicken had not been such a choker. he had won two big titles last year. fact is he is a choker. that's not Andre's fault :eek:
 

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y_s said:
At least Grosjean didn't run around without a slightest thought as headless chicken and was not sending second serves into the stands. I can't remember anyone playing that pathetic and looking that stupid in a final of Grand Slam.
Yeah right! He did that one time and that was in the 3rd set when Agassi really got to him and mentally wore him down and the match was pretty much over. All in all, there were quite a few great rallies in that match. Yep, he didn't know what to do to beat Agassi, but that hardly makes him stupid or pathetic.
 

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tennischick said:

the depth of the ATP tour has added a whole new dimension to results. it means that players like Safin end up being booted out with injury that he admits is the result of having to play too many power-players back to back. it means that a player like Stepanek can one day make a player of Guga's caliber look like a complete idiot, and yet not have a single answer for a completely different opponent with a completely different game that he faces the next day.

which is why we need to really think about how we feel about this depth thing. Eggy called 2002 the Year of Mr. Nobodies. i didn't agree (except as a joke). i saw it as the start of a new era in tennis as a result of the depth of the ATP tour.
I agree with that wholeheartedly. I decided long ago that the depth of the ATP tour is the best thing that could have happened to this sport, but maybe not from the financial point of view. As a spectator and a fan, I would take unpredictability, excitement and quality tennis over the joy of watching my fave beat everyone in sight time and time again any day. I don't like domination of any sort. I enjoyed watching Rainer make his way to the final instead of someone more predictable. I like surprises, even when they break my heart.

That's why I think it's even more pointless to disscuss the what-if's now that men's tennis has become so unpredictable.
 

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My sentiments exactly - now if Pavel, Schalken and Novak can reach the finals of the other three Grand Slams and one of them can come up with the W, I'll be a truly happy man.
 
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