Andre Agassi urges Rafael Nadal to try this: 'Impressive, let it go for few games'

Agassi would like to see what happens when Nadal is ripping the ball on his backhand.

by Dzevad Mesic
Andre Agassi urges Rafael Nadal to try this: 'Impressive, let it go for few games'
© Getty Images Entertainment - David Becker

Andre Agassi has made one pretty interesting observation about Rafael Nadal's game as the former eight-time Grand Slam champion is urging the Spaniard to rip it on his backhand shot because he would absolutely love to see what happens. 

Throughout his entire career, Nadal has had a pretty strong backhand and it has always been a major weapon in the 22-time Grand Slam champion's game. But it is nothing compared to Nadal's forehand, which has always been the absolute No. 1 in the Spaniard's game. 

While in Las Vegas for the Netflix Slam between Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, tennis icon Agassi acknowledged that the Spaniard's forehand shot is pretty astonishing but also added he would have loved to see what would have happened if the 37-year-old had been ripping the ball on his backhand over the years.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

“One thing I would have loved to seen with Rafa over the years is if he gave himself the green light to let his backhand fly. I truly believe we’d be talking about one of the greatest backhands that ever played the game," Agassi said, via Tennis Majors.

"But instead he can so do much with his forehand, he can do so much with controlling the point with percentage. He’s constantly making the decision: why do something if you don’t have…I think it might help him a lot if he at least releases the beats on the backhand side because when he amps it up there’s not a ball he cannot hit with it. 

"It’s an impressive wing. Let it go for a few games. That’s what he does in the warm-up.”

Agassi gives his take on Alcaraz's game 

Since retiring, Agassi has been pretty low-key and he hasn't been seen around many tennis tournaments or spoken too many times. But during the Netflix Slam - where Agassi served as a commentator for the Nadal and Alcaraz match - the tennis community got a chance to hear what the American tennis icon thinks of the 20-year-old Spaniard who has taken tennis by storm over the last two years. 

“I really love his game on the move, when he’s in flight, the dynamics and his ability to use the geometry and the pace he can inject," Agassi said. 

"I do get a little concerned for him sometimes when he’s on the static side. When his feet don’t have to move as much sometimes he doesn’t know where to direct that energy and he gets set a little too early, not quite the same conviction on his shots when he can be in control of the point.”

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Entertainment - Candice Ward

Agassi says Alcaraz is certainly not a finished product yet

Being a two-time Grand Slam champion at 20 and having been ranked at the world No. 1 spot several times already is not something that many tennis players have on their resume. But Alcaraz is among those who have managed to achieve major success very early and everything is pointing toward the 20-year-old accomplishing many more success before walking away from pro tennis.

While Alcaraz already has a pretty complete game and that's one of the most impressive things about him, Agassi says there are absolutely ways for the two-time Grand Slam champion to get better and further develop his game Specifically, Agassi thinks that finding what's his biggest strength and relying on that in the key and crucial moments could help Alcaraz a lot. 

“When I look at Alcaraz’s ability to bring such an upside, he will struggle with keeping the reins on and not necessarily having to do more than he needs to, in the majority of his matches," Agassi said.

“All greats figure out what their game is built on and they rely on that in the biggest moments. I still question if Carlos has figured out what he’s going to rely on to create that consistent pressure for his opponent that gives him the highest percentage of locking something down. He might serve, volley he might his first ball drop, he can do all of it.

“He’s going to find it, he’s only 20. It’s going to be beautiful when he does. I hope it’s soon and often.”

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Meanwhile, Nadal and Alcaraz are now both set to compete in Indian Wells. For both Nadal and Alcaraz, it will be an official return from injury.

After sustaining a muscle tear in his first post-surgery tournament in Brisbane, Nadal is set to play his first post-injury tournament in Indian Wells. On the other side, Alcaraz is also ready to play after rolling his ankle and retiring injured against Thiago Monteiro in Buenos Aires two weeks ago. 

In Indian Wells, Nadal starts against Milos Raonic while No. 2 seed Alcaraz has a first-round bye.

Andre Agassi Rafael Nadal