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Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 18:12 GMT
Where does Agassi rank?
Andre Agassi is favourite to win the Australian Open
Andre Agassi wins his fourth Australian Open title after destroying first-time finalist Rainer Schuettler.

Can the American lay claim to be the best of his generation?

Andre Agassi brushed aside the challenge of Rainer Schuettler to win the Australian Open - his fourth title in Melbourne.

Agassi has already won titles at all four Grand Slam events and with this latest win joined Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall on eight major titles.

But where does he rank on the all-time list - and who will be remembered as the best of their generation - Pete Sampras or Agassi?

This debate is now closed. See below for a selection of your emails.

Pahh, Sampras, Agassi, Schmagassi. If I had a bit more talent, determination and time I would beat that lot with my eyes closed.
Nikola Sachariew, Bulgaria

Agassi has come to show he is victor

Aminur Chowdhury

It is difficult to say Agassi is a better player than Sampras when he has won six less GS titles. He is certainly more versatile, and in my opinion more entertaining to watch. Sampras was so good at serving that he became slightly boring to watch at times, especially at Wimbledon. I think no one can argue with these points, whoever they like more.
Chris Ziffo, Scotland

He's good, but nowhere near Sampras's record. Sampras will always be known as the greatest of all time. Agassi will always be known as the nearly man next to the great Sampras.
Andy, UK

The Agassi-Sampras has been and will continue for generations to be the topic of many stimulating conversations. From my perspective, judging a player merely on the number of Grand Slams won is rather frail.

More emphasis should be placed on the ability to manufacture moments of sublime brilliance; technique; charisma; and resilience. Across all these departments, albeit by large and marginal amounts, Agassi has come to show he is victor.
Aminur Chowdhury, England

Agassi is the best. Sampras is nothing without his serve and he has the most boring game. Matches are easy to win, tie breaks more so, if you have a good serve for all you have to do is serve well and the opponent is always under pressure to hold his serve.

Whatever Agassi has achieved has been in spite of his average serve and that makes his accomplishments great. He has a great game and he never shows the laziness of a Sampras when on top.

Agassi is to tennis what Ali was to boxing

Asad Mahdi, USA

Sampras when on top doesn't go after every ball and thus deprives people of a good match. Sampras is a Wimbledon wonder and not a versatile player.
Krishnan, USA

Tennis needs Agassi! Pete? A boring personality and a boring game! His serve is all that he's got! Pathetic!
Rob, USA

Agassi is the most charismatic and hard working tennis player ever. He has been the face of tennis for the last 10 years and continues to show us why he is amongst the all time greats.

While Pete has won more GS and more tournaments, he could never achieve the true greatness which Agassi has. Agassi is to tennis what Ali was to boxing and what Jordan was to basketball. Sampras may have the best tennis stats but the best tennis player has to be Andre the Giant!!!
Asad Mahdi, USA

I think Andre is by far the best ever bald tennis player. He is a positive role model for all follically challenged players of the game.
Guy, England

It was one of the easiest draws ever to win a slam. Not Agassi's fault of course, but no need to get overboard about this victory. He did what he does best: exposed his hapless opponents for the mediocre players they are.

Andre is the number one reason why the game is growing right now

Fernando R. Lerma
On the other hand, when Pete plays the game, he shows himself for the great athlete and player he is. Just the was Agassi can never impose his will on him speaks volumes about the difference that will be there between the two forever. In the historical comparison Sampras wins hands down.
Csilla, Canada

Agassi is the most versatile player, having won big titles on clay, hard, grass, indoor and rebound ace surfaces. Sampras excels due to serve and forehand, but his backhand is spotty and if the serve is off, he's out.

Agassi's problem of old is gone, he now brings total mental focus to every game. He continues to improve. He's the all time best.
Ash Messenger, USA

Agassi is a complete player, he only man to have won all four Grand Slams in the open era (and on four different surfaces). He may not have won as many Grand Slams as Sampras but Sampras has never won the French Open.
Dan, UK

Sampras holds a lifetime 20-14 record against Agassi. Agassi has never beaten Sampras at the US Open or at Wimbledon... finals, semi-finals, quarter-finals. Never. 14 Grand Slam titles vs. 8. Case rested.
John Lubin, USA

Agassi revolutionized tennis in this decade. Agassi started inside out forehand, attacking backhand, whipping volleys. How many serv and vollyers do we have now. The new players emulated Agassi, reason why the new breed stay back and attack from the baseline.

With Agassi , expect the court side fans and TV fans to be watching his game. He is the no 1 reason why tennis right now is growing.
Fernando R. Lerma, USA

Agassi is a great player, but to say that he is better than Sampras is ludicrous. Both are great champions. Their records speak for themselves. Sampras is a more gracious loser; Agassi can still be as foul-mouthed and as nasty as the tempestuous Lleyton Hewitt.
Martin Lubin, USA

Awesome! Andre redefines the game of tennis with his spectacular skills. He is the finest tennis player I have ever laid eyes upon. Had it not been his comebacks he would have been able to win more grand slams than Pete. In any case no one comes close if it comes to tennis artistry. He is absolutely amazing.
Billy Bonsu, Ghana

He is the best baseline player and a great improviser. In this regard, nobody can match him. He stands at the top.
Asad Ullah, Pakistan

Agassi was simply superb throughout the tournament

Jyothi, India

Good job Andre, you are proving that Old is Gold. You have hung in there and now you are reaping the rewards.
Khalid Mahmood, USA

In this generation, each man's accomplishment is as hard as the other's. Versatility must be given its due. Pete has never even been close to winning the French Open, whereas Andre pulled off a Wimbledon, and has reached the semis several times.
Jaideep Mirchandani, India

What else can I say about this 'Super Hero' Agassi? Simply the best! The final match was even easier than his first match at the championship. A final match with all the rest of the world's pack out, and allowing only five games to his opponent speaks volumes of what my idol is! Simply the greatest. Andre, I have never doubted your abilities. This performance is superlative. You are awesome Andre. You are an idol in the tennis world. Most respect champ!
Christopher Craig, Ghana

Serena may be the Queen of women's tennis, but Andre is the king of the sport! He is the best around today and it'll take a monumental effort to depose the King of the Hill!
Lefty, USA

Agassi is a tremendous player, but it would be silly even to compare him to Sampras, the greatest ever player he is from another world. But to give Agassi a compliment he'd be the one I'd choose to play Sampras in a dream match. Maybe at Wimbledon?
Aapo Tiilikainen, Finland

If we are to equate being the best with number of titles won, then there can be no question - Pete Sampras is head and shoulders above the rest of his generation

Garan Holcombe, Bolivia

It will be a great shame for all tennis fans when Agassi and Sampras finally do hang up their rackets. Can't see any of the current crop of "youngsters" ever being as popular as these two. True legends!
Pradeep Selvarajan, UK

Well worth getting up in the middle of the night for! Well done Andre - here's to a great 2004! lots of love & luck for this year.
Liz T, England

If we are to equate being the best with number of titles won, then there can be no question - Pete Sampras is head and shoulders above the rest of his generation. However, if our concept of 'best' includes ability to perform on every surface, moments of sublime skill, connection between player and crowd, then Andre Agassi can lay claim to being the number one. Sampras has power, speed and a wonderful range of shots. But he has never had the almost supra-human aura that marks certain individuals out. Agassi has it in abundance.
Garan Holcombe, Bolivia

Agassi was simply superb throughout the tournament. He worked with clinical perfection. His grit, will power, never say die attitude is awesome. Sampras might stand alone on the peak with the all time record number of grand slams. But Agassi will always be remembered for his sheer will power to carry on. And yes, it would be great to see Agassi team up with Steffi in the French Open.
Jyothi, India

Agassi will be remembered for being the most charismatic player of this time

Judi Amer, Bahrain

Andre, it's been a privilege to watch you play over the last 15 years. Coming back when your career seemed to be finished in the mid 90's, I only hope you can continue to grace the game for years to come. You're easily the fittest player on the circuit and are showing no signs of stepping down. Respect man! Keep it going. Mark 22 Leeds,UK
mark girdham, UK

Agassi is the greatest of his generation, he's going to end 2003 as number 1
Emmanuel Okupa, Nigeria

Agassi will be remembered for being the most charismatic player of this time. He has the ability to come back within a match as well as within a career. And his stable home life with Steffi and son obviously have a major influence. Congratulations to all three of them for finding peace and happiness.
Judi Amer, Bahrain

Andre ranks up there as one of the truly finest. I am referring to his character, his modesty, his acknowledgement to fans, his skill, competitiveness and perseverance. As a decent person he is tops - and as a tennis player he is one of the great champions.
Chris Wright, Canada

I believe Agassi is better for the game of tennis than Sampras. Sampras is respected most for his achievements at Wimbledon and has beaten Agassi in six Grand Slam finals but if there's a world wide vote on the preferred player to watch - I bet it will be Agassi by far.

Agassi has been distracted and made a comeback several times. You couldn't do that if you weren't immensely talented and full of effort.

Besides Agassi has won all four Grand Slams - that tops it all. Pete has made wining the French Open his objective but has he got the patience to grind it out with the clay court specialists???
Tope Gay, England

Will be great to see Mr and Mrs Agassi (or is it Andre Agassi and Stefi Graf?) in the mixed doubles at Roland Garros. Andre must have been very sure of winning the Australian when he took the bet with his wife!
Vip, UK

Congratulations Andre!! I'm so proud of you!! You totally deserved this tournament and I have a feeling it won't be your last this year! Here's to a brilliant year! C'mon Andre!
Emer, Ireland

I believe Agassi was the most impressive player of the tournament. He has been in great form and produced some great tennis right from the beginning of the Australian Open. I believe Schuettler will find it very difficult to prevent Agassi from winning his eighth Grand Slam.
Swagat, India

It will definitely be Agassi to hold his fourth title here, but I also hope that Schuettler will bring his best form for today's play as well. I'm so eager to see Steffi out there in Paris again. Bonjour, Paris...
Bua Busaba, Thailand

Agassi will win this Slam with ease


Agassi will win this one, but it will be interesting to see how he fares in the French, Wimbleton and US Opens. I am guessing that Agassi is a bit over-rated at this moment, though he is playing really well now.
Namasi Navaretnam, USA

I don't think anyone who can stop Agassi while he's in top form. Surely he's the play who is going to lift the Grand Slam's trophy for this year... who wouldn't respect him in that stage of form on the tennis circuit...Go for it Andre.
Phi, England

Agassi will win this Slam with ease. It may possibly be one of the easiest Grand Slam victories ever as dominate players fell by the wayside or withdrew before the tournament started. However, you can only beat the players that are there.

We can't completely dismiss Schuettler's chances in the final. This is sport and anything can happen, but Agassi has been awesome all tournament and I couldn't see anyone, let alone Schuettler, beating the great man on this form.

Looks like Mrs Agassi will have to come out of retirement for Roland Garros. See you in Paris, Steffi!
Sarah L, UK

It's Schuettler's turn this time.The way he defeated Andy Roddick was awesome. Andre is in great shape, no doubt, but he will not win.
Beburg, Canada

I think Schuettler is no match for Agassi. He is experienced and has top skills in the game.

Agassi has shown that he is made of a rare breed and with the exception of Sampras no other player can stand up to his talents, even world's number one Hewitt. He will be the winner.
Tah Eric , Bamenda, Cameroon

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