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Écrit par Jerome   

Key Biscayne, FL


March 25, 1996


A. AGASSI/J-P Fleurian

6-2, 4-6, 6-2






GREG SHARKO: Andre advances to the round of 16. Will take on Sebastian Lareau. He leads Lareau 2-Love lifetime. Questions.


Q. Andre, it looks like you're being pushed in this tournament. You lost a set in the previous match. You lost one in this. Is that good or bad?

ANDRE AGASSI: I couldn't tell you, really. I mean, I'm still in it. I feel like today I could have got up early in the second. I didn't consolidate a couple of points. Had kind of a backhand with a pretty good time to hit it, execute the passing shot. I just clipped the tape. I had a forehand volley I got a little casual on. I think it was a bit my fault to be having some of these close matches. I've got to get through that a little bit.


Q. Were you better today and -- were you not better today compared to the previous match?

ANDRE AGASSI: I feel like -- today I feel a little bit better about my movement, striking the ball big, I wasn't taking some short forehands casually. I was really putting it away to end the points. I felt like, you know, one of the things that's always against me is the ball toss. I have to make sure I got the ball toss up. Today was a bit breezy. I was getting it up, missing it a little bit. I should have idled down on the serve, trying to hit through it, hoping I'd find my rhythm. My serve dropped off a little bit from yesterday.


Q. Was the third set good for you in a way because it gave you a few more balls to hit out there?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm not going to complain with playing three sets if I'm winning the match. It's not like playing five sets where it takes a serious toll on you. It is nice to end the match feeling -- I'd rather beat him handily in the third feeling like I got control of my game versus barely pulling out the second, not feeling good about the way it ended.


Q. Do you feel you're playing well enough right now to win the whole thing?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'll have to get better. Everybody has to play better as they go. Not if I play like this. I'm doing fine for where I am, I think. I'm not real concerned. I've just got to make sure it does get better.


Q. Pete Sampras said yesterday that he felt that your US Open final stunned you a little and threw you off pace; then he felt you were starting to regroup. Does that reflect your feelings?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think it was, you know, discouraging for me not to lose a match the whole summer and only lose one and it be that match; That definitely set me back mentally. It was just a draining, fatiguing summer. I came down really hard for a minute. I raised my level back up a week later for Davis Cup and injured myself. That's tough, you know. It's part bad luck, but also it's scheduling. I mean, I think I could almost go back to every year where Davis Cup has resulted in me getting injured. Any time you add those extra weeks to a schedule that we have, it's really tough, especially if you're winning tournaments. If I could do it all over again, you know, I probably wouldn't have won four tournaments over the summer to have a better shot at winning that one match. I probably would have hopefully done something different and not get injured in Davis Cup. Who know what that would have been. Maybe let that one forehand go by instead of hitting it. After a few months off, it's not easy to get back and I didn't expect it to be. I'm not going to, you know, lose sight. I know it's there. It's just waiting for me, and I want it to come together soon, but I'm also not going to rush it because I know a big summer is coming with the French and Wimbledon, Olympics and US. I've got some time.


Q. Your opponent said he thought you weren't quite as solid as you normally were with the high kicker, your backhand side, returning serve. Do you agree with that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes. I was kind of surprised I missed some of those, yeah. I usually -- every year I usually end the year No. 1 as far as second serve points won. This year I think my statistics are really low in that department. That's not a good great sign.


Q. Do you think the win last year here was a significant moment in your career?

ANDRE AGASSI: Certainly. It didn't put me in the No. 1 at the moment, but flew over to Davis Cup and obviously it was enough to get me there, so it was a big accomplishment for me to reach that.


Q. Andre, how did you become involved in Andrea Jaeger's Kids Stuff Foundation?

ANDRE AGASSI: She has called me a number of times to help her out, to do some things. To me, it's an easy answer. Anybody that works that hard for a cause like that is giving -- giving a little bit of your time is easy to do. Really it's her just working hard and her making some dreams come true for some young kids.


Q. Somewhat trivial question, but I'm curious. I haven't seen you in a hat in quite a long time. What caused you to wear a hat today?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know, I really don't.


Q. Reached the locker, saw a hat, grabbed it?

ANDRE AGASSI: In my bag in the room. I thought it was there. Kind of thought it was nice, kind of off to the side the Nike swoosh.


Q. Off center?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes. Usually it's right there in the middle.


Q. Do you like playing here? Do you like this tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: Love this tournament. It's my favorite stop of the year, playing this tournament.


Q. Does the wind affect you like this player? You're aware of it?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think the wind is an equalizer, too. That's why you see a lot of upsets here. You get a guy like Edberg in the past or Becker in the past, guys that count on that serve those clean look at the ball, and the ball starts moving around, you see upsets. This tournament is definitely suited for those quick at feet, to always adjust and be in position. It's always been a challenge to me. I enjoy the time on the court in front of a very educated crowd. I enjoy the time off the court in a great city. I really enjoy playing here.

GREG SHARKO: Anything else for Andre? All right.

ANDRE AGASSI: Thank you.

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