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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

1996 THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
Key Biscayne, FL

 

March 23, 1996

 

A. AGASSI/B. Karbacher

6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4)

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH

 

ANDRE AGASSI

 

GREG SHARKO: Dating back to last year's semi-finals, Andre has now won his last three matches here at the Lipton, 7-6 in the third. Questions?

 

Q. Is that a good sign or a bad sign?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I won the close one, so that's a good sign. I think tonight's a little bit of both. I mean, it's nice on one hand. You know, I feel good competitive wise, competing hard, trying to pull through. I'm definitely a little off my game right now. I don't quite feel like I'm moving well. That's the closest thing to point to. When that's the case, sometimes I take needless chances. I just got to get back to where I feel like I'm on top of every ball. Lots of times I back up, tentative. When I back up to get more time, that's not my game, not my style.

 

Q. Andre, a couple years ago you were a little disappointed, the crowd was down one night. You mentioned it was too bad there wasn't a full crowd. Tonight was a full crowd. Did that help?

ANDRE AGASSI: Gee, I feel like I'm playing in New York here, it's nice. It's like a New York crowd. They get really excited about their tennis. That's really great to see. There's a lot of tennis to be excited about. We're going to see some great tennis this week.

 

Q. Where did you find those two final shots from?

ANDRE AGASSI: I just think when it comes crunch-time like that, I mean, the last thing I want to do is put the match in the other guy's hands. I'd rather have the ball. I just took my shot. I mean, he missed two first serves. I mean, my games, I'm hitting the ball pretty clean, feel confident on my shots. It was there and I took it.

 

Q. Were you guessing on those two shots?

ANDRE AGASSI: Was I guessing?

 

Q. That he'd go to the backhand?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was a second serve. If he's serving 4-5 in the third set tiebreaker, if he's going to hit a second serve, slice up the middle, his best serve was his kick, I would give it to him. I wasn't guessing; it was an educated guess.

 

Q. Andre, where would you say you are in relation to this time last year when you were pretty hot?

ANDRE AGASSI: Things have been happening so quickly with me that I might not be that far. It's difficult to assess. I don't feel like I'm playing as strong as last year.

 

Q. Do you think that's physical or mental?

ANDRE AGASSI: Physically. I think I'm not -- I think that after the end of the fall and I came back, didn't have the same confidence when you miss out on a few months. I think it's just kind of gotten away from me a little bit. I haven't quite gotten myself back to where I expect myself to be. You know, it can turn around at any moment. That's the way it always goes. Hopefully it will happen here.

 

Q. Your recent announcement, might this have anything to do with it? Does that perhaps take a bit of focus off it?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I don't think so. Every bit in love today as I was a year ago.

 

Q. Is it a major thing to think about along with everything?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's pretty given with me. It's been that way, you know, for a while. I can only be honest in saying I don't feel distracted by any of it.

 

Q. Have you set a wedding date?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. You'll be the first to know.

 

Q. Andre, can I have your opinion on Thomas Muster's going out as No. 1 for the third time in his first match?

ANDRE AGASSI: What do I feel about it?

 

Q. What do you think about that?

ANDRE AGASSI: There's a lot of good players out there. Just because you're No. 1, doesn't mean anything. You know, it's never been a mystery that this isn't his best surface. I don't think it's a big surprise to see him lose.

 

Q. But you criticized his position in the last weeks in a way that never happened before to a No. 1. Why did you do that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Tell me the quote that I said.

 

Q. You said, "He's not -- he didn't deserve --

ANDRE AGASSI: I never said that, not one time. I've never said that he doesn't deserve it. He's worked his ass off to get there. I've only criticized the ranking system. I feel like that's something I've always criticized, not just since Thomas Muster is No. 1. It's shit like that when you go back to Thomas, he thinks I'm dissin' him.

 

Q. Do you think he deserved it?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's worked to get there. He definitely deserves it. I don't think the ranking system should be best of 14. I think that every player should play all the big events. For him to win the French Open and not play Wimbledon, I did not agree with. I don't think it takes a brain surgeon to figure out why that's not good for the game.

 

Q. Andre, most of the players, the top players, feel the same way you do in terms of the system, yet it seems as if even though the integrity of the system is in question, you can't do anything about it.

ANDRE AGASSI: That's right. Association of Tennis Professionals, ATP, by definition it should be what it is that we decide. You know, you stand up for them and you get them in a position where now they're running the tour and they use that to secure their jobs by accommodating to what 80 of the top 100 want versus the top in the game. The bottom line is, not everybody in the top 100 wants to see the ranking system changed. It's nice to have the luxury to lose and play again. It's a short career, and guys like that luxury. I can understand that. I just don't think it's very reflective of the best player in the world all the time. I don't think it's reflective of the best players in the world all the time.

 

Q. It's very difficult for us to explain how a player can be No. 1 and lose five straight times on one surface, on hard surface. I guess we have the same problem as you.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Well, you know, the good thing is Thomas now has to play other events. At the end of the year, if he's No. 1, then he'll deserve it again. It's different now. Now he has to commit to playing a lot of these other events. It's going to be a lot tougher to maintain it, which is no big surprise to anybody either. I understand your frustration and identify with it.

 

Q. There's been some suggestion that the tennis world should think of doing like college football and have their own rankings. What do you think about that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Bless you guys.

 

Q. Andre, you threw a shirt into the crowd tonight. What else did you throw up there?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's a compound called Fusion that I use to keep my hands dry. Two guys, Aaron and Shawn out of Baltimore, two college kids, invented this compound that they sent to me that I've used to address sweating, water on the hands, sweat on the hand. It's phenomenal. I'm using it maybe every changeover maximum, sometimes every other changeover. It maintains the dryness of your hand. It's something that has surprised me and I've completely associated myself with it. I've decided to help them out because I believe in the product and took it to my managers, Perry and Phil, and we're now involved in with the company because, quite honestly, it surprised the hell out of us.

 

Q. It's a liquid?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it's a compound. It's a lot closer to a sawdust than anything, but quite different in the sense that you don't have to keep it in your pocket and use it every single point.

 

Q. Can you talk about the new line of clothes? Did you have a hand in making those?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, sure. Do you like them?

 

Q. I don't know yet.

ANDRE AGASSI: No?

 

Q. Andre, I have to ask you one more question. Because that was written in the papers, do you respect Thomas Muster as a person, as a player?

ANDRE AGASSI: As a tennis player, absolutely, especially on clay. You know, I was -- what he said about Jacco Eltingh at the end of the Australian Open, that he plays like a clown, that was disrespectful to a guy who busts his ass to try to win tennis matches. It's hard to respect somebody popping off like that.

GREG SHARKO: Any more questions?

 

Q. Andre, have you patched up your differences with Boris?

ANDRE AGASSI: I haven't --

 

Q. Have you talked with him?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I don't see Boris.

 

Q. Are you a little disappointed about that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, sure. I mean, I feel like, you know, it was just quite a shock to me what transpired at Wimbledon after he won the match. To this day I don't understand it. If he doesn't feel the need to come explain it to me or talk to me about it, it makes my decision really easy.

 

Q. The new line, is that kind of for the rest of the summer?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it is, excluding Wimbledon.

 

Q. The Wimbledon committee --

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no. Wimbledon is always a little different.

 

Q. Do you feel more comfortable in that than in the other shirts?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I don't really complain about shoes or shirts. I'm more concerned with the way they look because I'm not worried about how they feel. It doesn't bother me if it's flying around. I don't need to tuck my shirt in, I don't need to get special shoes made. To me, it's nice to have a tennis shirt that I can tuck into my jeans and go out; not that I tuck it in.

GREG SHARKO: Anything else?

 

Q. Have you learned anything from reading Brad's book?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've never read it.

 

Q. Any plans to?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't need to road it having Brad is like having the cliff notes.

GREG SHARKO: Thank you, everyone.

 
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