Federer may have won in straight sets, but in some ways it seemed closer as there was only one break in each set. Agassi decided to adpot the same strategy as Roddick in the Wimbledon final, which was to try and unsettle Federer with sheer brute force in his groundstrokes. Agassi doesn't usually hit the ball so hard at the Australian Open, instead utilising the high bounce and medium pace of the court to precisely time his groundstrokes with the aim of wearing his opponent down, sending them running from corner to corner. Agassi obviously decided that there was no chance of this strategy working against Federer and that the free hitting approach would most likely give him the best chance to win, risky though it may have been.
And to be fair to Agassi, this was probably the only was he could win and, until 4-3 in the first set, it seemed to be working, with Agassi troubling Federer off the ground more than either Roddick did at the Wimbledon final or Hewitt at the US Open final. As expected, Agassi used his accomplished crosscourt backhand to give Federer's backhand a thorough examination, and this yielded some unforced errors on that side from Roger. This tactic also allowed the American to avoid the dreaded Federer forehand more than the Swiss would have liked.
If there was no such thing as a serve and each rally started with the ball being rolled into play, then who knows, maybe Andre would have won, because the main difference between the two men today was the Swiss man's serve.
Federer was holding serve so easy that it enabled him to spend plenty of time thinking of how to break Agassi's serve, which he eventually did at 4-3. Agassi then had three chances to break back, but Federer then decided to imitate Pete Sampras and wipe out two of those chances with aces, including one on a second serve (!!!!). After holding to take the first set, it did not look good for Andre, who had put so much intensity into the first nine games that you felt he really needed the opener to stand any chance of winning.
In the second and third sets it felt like a re-run of the Masters Cup Houston final in 2003, where there appeared to be no way in which Agassi could hurt Federer, and the fierceness of Agassi's grounstrokes, so apparent in the first set, had diminished.
But the main difference today really was Federer's serve. He fired 22 aces ,although I doubt he hit even half that amount in his matches against Suzuki and Baghdatis, and posted a Sampras-like first serve percentage of 66%. I really don't think Andre expected him to serve so well, but Federer's returning was excellent too- Agassi managed just a single ace compared to 16 in his previous match against Johansson.
The quality of Federer's movement is illustrated by the fact that, despite hitting the ball as hard as he could, Agassi managed only 13 winners in the entire match, and that stat includes service winners. I feel sorry for Agassi because it really was Sampras all over again although, unlike Hewitt, he managed to avoid the 6-0 set.
Federer will now surely go on to win the tournament, although Safin may be able to trouble him if he can take him to some tiebreaks and make things tight, but I really can't see it to be honest. The guys on the other side of the draw: Hewitt, Roddick and Nalbandian migh as well give up now.
As for Agassi, he'll keep maximizing his chances to win a 9th Grand Slam, a quest which is now taking on holy grail proportions, but it's a long time to the US Open (his chances at the other two are a long shot to say the least), and his chances diminish with each time he loses in a slam. But to be fair, its difficult to see anyone other than Federer winning a slam at the moment.