Even though he is retired since 2006, we will again take a quick look at the Andre Agassi Biography and break down his game.
Born in 1970, Agassi was a tennis phenom from a very young age. As a young talent he already got to practice with the great players of that time like Borg and Connors. At the age of 15 he reached his first semifinal at an ATP Tour event!
Throughout his 20-year-long career, Andre Agassi won 8 grand slam titles and 60 overall titles on the ATP Tour!
He is one of only three players that have reached the career golden-slam, winning all four majors as well as the Olympic Gold Medal. (The other two are his wife Steffi Graf and Rafael Nadal)
Let’s have a look at Agassi’s game in the context of the four areas of Tennis (Technical, Tactical, Physical, Mental)
Andre hitting some of his phenomenal groundstrokes. The sound alone tells you how well he strikes the ball!
Andre is known for his powerful baseline game.
He has a great forehand with a short compact backswing, which is a trademark of all great groundstrokes!
He hits his forehand relatively flat with a moderate semi-western grip. My guess is that he is probably on bevel number 4 with his index finger (see grips video).
This grip allows him to hit flat as well as with heavy spin, even though he rarely uses heavy spin. He rather hits through the ball with a lot of extension and less windshield-wiper type rotation.
Overall he has great technique on his forehand side and the short swing is a great start for a superb forehand return!
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Similar to his forehand, Andre’s backhand technique consists of a very short compact swing. This short swing allows him to deal well with fast balls and use the opponents speed.
On his backhand you can usually see extremely well how he uses his body to generate power and not so much his arms!
Very often can you see him straighten out his front leg before making contact with the ball. His short swing is one of the reasons he has such a great backhand return!
Overall he makes great use of the kinetic chain on his backhand!
To learn more about the kinetic chain visit the Tennis Strokes page on this website!
Andre very rarely hits slice backhands. His game is built around overpowering the opponent and tiring him out. Nevertheless he tries at times to counter short balls or defend from out of position with slice backhands. When he does, his slice backhands are only average in my opinion.
He tends to hit too much from left to right and therefore giving the ball too much sidespin. Also he chops down on the ball quite a bit, which leads to the ball floating too much. Nonetheless he manages to use it pretty well from defensive positions to neutralise the point.
Andre is certainly not known for his volleys.
When asked in an interview why he doesn’t come in more often when he is in control of the point, he used to reply:
Have you seen me volley lately ?
Like most players that don’t come to the net very often, Agassi can hit the forehand volley allright but really struggles with the backhand volley.
I am not certain as to his grips at the net but my guess is that he keeps more of a forehand volley type grip for both sides which makes it tough to hit backhand volleys. Yet it is difficult to even find video of him volleying on the Internet, since he does it so rarely.
Andre has a solid service motion.
His serve improved quite a bit throughout his career and towards the end of his career it was a good serve for his height!
He has a fluid motion without any kind of stopping of the racket. He achieves a good racket-drop position and also uses pronation of the forearm well.
Check out Andre’s serve and forehand in slow motion!
The one technical thing that he could improve on in my opinion is the separation angle between his hips and his shoulders. The best servers in the world really turn away from the net, rotating their shoulders more than their hips and Agassi does not quite achieve this position.
Andre’s tactics were based on never backing off from the baseline and really taking as much time as possible away from his opponents. His flat fast balls forced opponents to react quickly and never gave them a chance to relax.
I believe that as a general game plan staying so close to the baseline was great for Andre!
I also believe that he could have been even better if he backed up from the baseline every now and then when necessary!
Additionally, he probably could have benefited from defending with high balls from tough positions on the court at times.
These are some of the reasons why I see him weakest on the tactical side. Now I want to emphasize that weak is not the right word here and also that I believe he is very strong in all four areas!
Andre Agassi’s physical condition improved tremendously as his career went on. At the start of his career he was known to eat unhealthy and not keep himself in tip top shape.
Towards the end of his career he became one of the
fittest guys on the tour!
I cannot recall him ever looking too tired towards the end of a tough match. Agassi was known to be a big fan of lifting heavy weights in the gym. Whether or not that is good for Tennis is another debate but he certainly looked very strong towards the end of his career.
Agassi was a master at putting mental pressure on his opponents. With his offensive game he could really hurt people physically. His opponents felt a lot of mental pressure from the beginning because they knew they had to play at an incredible intensity without missing much for a long period of time to even stand a chance.
Andre himself seemed to be very composed on the court and I have rarely seen him upset.
He seems to be in the zone most of the time and usually does not give opponents any easy points!
Overall this makes him a great competitor and that?s why I ranked him as best on the mental side of the game.
Ranking Andre Agassi’s skills in the 4 areas is certainly a difficult task. In my opinion Andre is very balanced in all four areas.
I would rank Andre’s skills in the following order: