Andre Agassi spoke to reporters after being honored at the US Open on Monday night. He was asked about Roger Federer, who, like Andre, completed a career Slam.
Agassi raises some interesting questions: Was it really necessary to Federer’s legacy to break Pete’s record of 14 Majors? Did Federer need the French Open to become GOAT?
Q. Ten years after yourself, Roger finally managed to have a career Grand Slam and won Wimbledon and Roland Garros back to back. What are your thoughts?
ANDRE AGASSI: It was just a pleasure to watch. It would have been a crime had he not ever won in Paris. He’s been the second best clay courter for five years running. He should have won four or five French Opens, if it wasn’t for one sort of freakish kid from Mallorca.
You know, it took that. He would have won possibly two Grand Slams, all four in the same year, two years in a row. What he’s done in separating himself from the game should be recognized. And the problem is, is it wasn’t being recognized, if, A, he didn’t win Paris. I thought once he did the discussion’s over with. Or, two, what started to become even more frustrating as I looked at Roger’s career for Roger is him having to win the 15th to somehow conclude.
Because, you know, there’s been so many examples of historians who will tell you Bud, you’ve seen for it years, there are champions that skipped Grand Slams because they wanted to win the one that they didn’t win. Borg quit at 26 with 11 Grand Slams and played the Australian Open only one time. Nobody ever considered Emerson better than Laver, even though Laver had less slams than Emerson. It was never a barometer for a player’s career.
So for him just to remove that as some sort of possible thorn I think is right.
From a fan’s point of view, I think these accomplishments do matter. We like to use numbers to prove our heroes’ supreme – seeing Federer’s name over Pete’s makes everything official. But a fellow legend and champion like Andre Agassi doesn’t need record books to recognize greatness. He just knows it when he sees it.