Like Roger Federer, Andre Agassi played across many generations, and his career spanned Lendl’s and Becker’s exit, Sampras domination, Safin’s rise, and Roger’s ascendance as the GOAT. Andre Agassi was a thinker and a tactical genius and had the privilege of working with some of the best tactical and strategic minds such as Brad Gilbert’s and Darrin Cahill.
Andre believed that Roger could force opponents to play to his stronger side.
In the post-match interview, at the Australian Open 2005, Andre Agassi had this to say about Roger Federer. “Because he can cover so well to the forehand, it really allows him to stay at home in the backhand corner. That backhand corner gets smaller and smaller, sort of dares you to hit the forehand. There are a lot of times you do, and you’re thinking that it’s a good idea, then a second later you’re going, ‘Why did I do that?”
Andre Agassi details the perils of playing an in-form Roger Federer.
Andre Agassi, after his loss to Roger at the US Open in 2005, provided this priceless insight to Roger Federer’s game. “He’s the best I’ve ever played against. There’s nowhere to go. There’s nothing to do except hit fairways, hit greens and make putts. Every shot has that sort of urgency on it. I’ve played a lot of them, so many years; there’s a safety zone, there’s a place to get to, there’s something to focus on, there’s a way. Anything you try to do, he potentially has an answer for and it’s just a function of when he starts pulling the triggers necessary to get you to change to that decision.”
According to Andre, Federer’s game is the best in every department.
When asked to comment on Roger’s game, Andre Agassi didn’t contain his adulation for the Maestro. This description of Roger’s all-court genius, by Agassi, is still one of the most complete and well-thought. “ There’s probably not a department in his game that couldn’t be considered the best in that department. You watch him play Hewitt and everybody marvels at Hewitt’s speed, as well as myself. And you start to realize, `Is it possible Federer even moves better?’ Then you watch him play Andy, and you go, `Andy has a big forehand. Is it possible Federer’s forehand is the best in the game?’ You watch him at the net, you watch him serve-volley somebody that doesn’t return so well and you put him up there with the best in every department. You see him play from the ground against those that play from the ground for a living, and argue he does it better than anybody.”
Andre Agassi faced Roger Federer 11 times and won 3 of those meetings. He was an astute student of the game and understood techniques, tactics, and strategies well. His analysis of a player is quite thoughtful and sensible. His words about Roger may border fan-like but are an accurate description of the Maestro’s game.