Eurosport - Tue, 16 Mar 13:16:00 2010
Voting was locked at 50-50 almost all the way through the week, but a late surge for the American - one of just a handful of men to have won a career Grand Slam - saw him pull marginally clear in the final day or so. Agassi goes through thanks to a tie-break victory in the grass court set.
It wasn't just the voting that was close: both players won vociferous support in your messages.
Almost without exception, you believed that Nadal would win the clay court set and Agassi the hard court set, with only the margin of victory up for serious discussion.
That left the match to be decided on the grass of Wimbledon.
Some argued that Nadal made it to three finals in a row and beat red-hot GOAT favourite Roger Federer in the 2008 final, and that at the age of just 23 he is well set to eclipse Agassi's single Wimbledon victory.
Others made the valid point that Agassi's sublime return would give him the edge over a Nadal service that, while solid, has never been the player's strength.
Either way, all agreed that a match-up between the two at the height of their games would have been a truly mouth-watering spectacle.
After the pyrotechnics of this clash next week's match promises to be equally enthralling as the 'Superbrat' himself, John McEnroe, takes on Swedish legend Stefan Edberg. Register your vote on the tennis homepage!
Poll results for round one: Andre Agassi v Rafael Nadal
Agassi: 54 per cent (4,275 votes)
Nadal: 46 per cent (3,597 votes)
Best of your comments:
Gunkyboy believes that the American would come out on top: "Take Agassi at his prime, when he's cocky, in his stride, and you put him up against Nadal, I say Agassi wins. When Agassi was at his absolute peak, the only guy who could beat him was Pete Sampras, and that's because Agassi just couldn't handle Pete's serve. You take a Nadal who has a predictable, average serve, and stays at the baseline, and put him up against a prime Agassi who drools at the thought of playing a guy with an average serve who stays back, and you've got a recipe for a great match - and an Agassi win."
ionut.moraru agrees with the prevalent clay-grass-hard analysis, but had an interesting take: "On clay you'd be surprised, Andre would not go down easily, losing 5-7... On hard, probably Andre was too good: 6-4... and Rafa's mental toughness would allow him to take the grass tie-break. At his peak, Rafa defeated Roger at Wimbledon. Can you imagine Andre doing that? I cannot."
hmb222000 bottles out by complaining that both players should go through : "I think both should be in the quarter-finals at least. Nadal and Agassi must be part of the top five players of all time with Sampras, Borg and Laver."
vitor_bg_cruz believes the changing nature of tennis's surfaces would play a role : "I guess there's no doubt that Andre would win on hard court and Rafa on clay. On grass, I don't agree with people saying that Rafa would win just because he reached three finals in Wimbledon, having beat Roger in one of them. Roger wasn't having his best year, Nadal's game is the ideal to beat Roger and the grass is much slower than it was in the early 90s."
Lolywebas cuts straight to the heart of the argument: "Both clay and hard are so predictable but the grass set is the argument and I think it would go to Agassi. When Agassi was playing at his best there were a lot of guys who were playing the serve and volley game. Now even Federer isn't a serve and volley player. It was so hard to win on grass in that time unless you had the great Pete's serve."
Nadal gets backing from bamboosich: " This is a difficult one... but I'll go with Nadal. Agassi is a great player, but I don't think he would have been able to cope with the atomic tennis played today, especially that played by Nadal in the last four years (not counting the last six months after he took it down a notch to keep his legs and knees in one piece). Looking at the very best period of their games, Nadal wins it, without a doubt."
Speterkar believes that Agassi's legendary return of serve would hold the key: "Andre was perhaps the best returner of his time... He would wear down Rafa, not the usual other way round, because Andre is a long-game player, and very savvy indeed."
deb44lotto also believes that Agassi would come out on top: "While it seems like it might be close I think Agassi would have edge Nadal in most match-ups. They are both grinders but Agassi has a little bit more in his arsenal than Nadal. Factor into the mix that Agassi is the return man, and that Nadal is an average server - and it's game, set and match every time."
Dandelionmancipar feels that Agassi dealt with more on grass than Nadal has ever experienced: "Agassi at his best is as good as anyone on hard courts, but he would not compete with Nadal on clay... The fact that Agassi having an average serve challenged all those serve-and-volleyers like Sampras (a five-setter in 1993), Rafter, Becker, Ivanisevic in a super-fast era tells me he was the perfect example of adapting to one's least favourite surface. Agassi all the way on grass 6-4 or 7-5."
But josh1990a is outraged at the suggestion that the American would win that deciding grass set: "You favour Andre on grass? You are joking, right? Isn't Andre the same guy who chose not to play at Wimbledon for three years because he was terrible on grass? Isn't he the same guy who was mauled by Pete Sampras in the 1999 final? Isn't Nadal the guy who has already achieved more on grass at 23 than Andre did in his whole career?... Andre was vastly worse than Nadal."
And finally, kucg123 really says it all despite not even trying to pick a winner: " I don't know for sure who would win but this is a match I would love to watch!"
WHO'S THE GOAT? - THE DRAW
---------------------> Roger Federer 6-0 6-2 6-0
---------------------> Boris Becker 6-2 4-6 7-5
---------------------> Rod Laver 6-2 5-7 7-6
--------------------> Jimmy Connors 6-4 6-2 6-2
------------------> Bjorn Borg 6-2 6-2 6-2
------------------> Andre Agassi 4-6 7-6 6-3
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