Novak Djokovic compares playing style of Andre Agassi to Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, others; shares his views on ‘American style of tennis’

Novak Djokovic shared his thoughts on the ‘American style’ of playing tennis, in extension to his belief that every part of the world has a “different school” of tennis. Having said that, the Serbian tennis legend feels that over the years, players coming from the same region have also displayed different styles of play, comparing Andre Agassi to the likes of John McEnroe and Pete Sampras to convey the same.

According to Djokovic, American, and more specifically North American tennis, has historically had an abundance of players possessing aggressive styles, highlighted by an effective combination of a strong serve and good net-game.

While McEnroe and Sampras, among others, are the brightest examples of that highly aggressive American style of tennis, Agassi was very different as he preferred to show his prowess from the baseline, Djokovic pointed out.

Speaking in a press conference after his quarter-final win against Andrey Rublev at the 2023 Australian Open on Wednesday, the world No. 4 shed light on the American tennis style.

“How I would describe North America, it would be probably the kind of style of tennis that is focused a lot on the powerful and accurate serve, and aggressive style, coming to the net,” Djokovic said, when asked about the same.

“Of course, some of the biggest champions of our sport that came from the United States had different styles, like John McEnroe to Pete Sampras to Andre Agassi, right?”

Djokovic further highlighted that Agassi‘s baseline game made him very different from traditional American tennis players who predominantly liked to ‘serve and volley’ quite a bit.

“Andre Agassi was probably the first guy that returned so well, stayed back – after Borg – not coming into the net as much as the other guys. 90% of the players were serve-volleying. Nowadays, you don’t get to see that pretty much at all,” the Serb explained.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion also stressed that it is not just American tennis that has seen lesser ‘serve and volley’ players since the Agassi era, but tennis has changed globally in almost every aspect right from technology to playing surfaces, with an increased focus on long rallies and ‘back of the court’ tennis.

Novak Djokovic likes Maxime Cressy’s playing style, wants to see more variety in modern-day tennis

Novak Djokovic in action at the 2023 Australian Open.“/>
Novak Djokovic in action at the 2023 Australian Open.

While Novak Djokovic pointed out that modern-day tennis sees a lot more baseline rallies and less tennis being played at the net, further stating that he likes this style, the Serbian superstar wants to see a bit more variety being added to the sport. On those lines, he believes American player Maxime Cressy‘s ‘serve and volley’ game is interesting and would like to see more such variety so that fans remain engaged within the sport.

“It is the time where we have more sliding, tennis from the back of the court, focused more on baseline rallies. But I think it’s good,” Djokovic said on the same.

“Somebody like Cressy, for example, from the United States, that has a huge serve, basically comes in after first and second serve. It’s nice to see that. I think it’s good to have some variety for the fans as well as to be able to enjoy different styles.”

The nine-time Australian Open champion also stated that the success of American tennis is imperative to the tennis world. Sharing his thoughts on the new age of American players, Djokovic believes at least 4-5 of those players are producing a very high level of tennis at the top of the sport, and he is thrilled to witness the same.

“America is producing historically always top players. Now you have a list of maybe four or five young players that are knocking on the door of the top level. I think that’s great for our sport,” the Serbian great stated.

“We want to see young, successful players who are coming from a big country like America, of course.”

Quick Links

More from Sportskeeda

Edited by Aayush Majumdar

Leave a Comment