Roger Federer Rafael Nadal ATP Australian Open 2017

‘Nadal changed the rules of engagement while Federer left no safe space on the court,’ attests Agassi on what makes Fedal special

Andre Agassi spoke on what he believes makes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in particular so exceptional at the pinnacle of men’s tennis.

Career Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1 Andre Agassi gave his views on what specifically has set Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal apart from the rest of the field throughout their careers.

“Ah geez, I mean, I don’t know how nuanced you want me to get with it,” Agassi said when asked the question of what he thinks makes Federer and Nadal so special. “But let me just say, anybody that comes into tennis…[in] any generation. A person that comes in to be No. 1 usually brings a couple things to the game that nobody has ever seen before.

“[With] Sampras…nobody had a serve like that. Mine was ball striking and taking the ball early off both sides. Nobody played that way when I came into the game.”

Agassi made the comments on the Beer Biceps YouTube channel as part of a podcast interview. The American went on to describe Federer and Nadal.

“When you look at Federer for example…when he played Roddick he always aced Roddick more than Roddick aced him. So, you have to give his serve credit you have to give his return credit. His movement was a joke his hands at net were a joke.

“He might have had five things individually better than everybody else on the tour.

“Then Nadal comes along and he brings such enormous spin to the game that it actually changes the rules of engagement. So you have two things with Rafa that clearly stand out to me, that because he can hit the ball and it’s not in until it bounces, that changes the positions in the court where you can play.

“That offsets a lot of all those other qualities that I mentioned about Federer. Plus, his power of movement, his strength and endurance and physicality is unmatched. So, you have him bringing that into it.”

Read about Andre Agassi comparing the next generation to the Big Three.