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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

1996 THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
Key Biscayne, FL

 

March 26, 1996

 

A. AGASSI/S. Lareau

6-4, 6-4

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH

 

ANDRE AGASSI

 

JOE LYNCH: Andre has won 14 of his last 15 matches here at the Lipton and moves into the quarterfinals. First question for Andre?

 

Q. Straight set victory. Must feel good?

ANDRE AGASSI: Kind of a surprise, huh? Feels good. Nice to get up in the second and manage to close it out.

 

Q. Do you feel like it's harder to get out and grind this year than it was last year with some of your opponents? Do you have to push yourself to do it a little bit more?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I just think you've got to get back to that level of confidence. Really that's all it is. It's no different with everybody when, all of a sudden, something kind of detours them and they lose that momentum. I don't have a problem grinding. You get a problem with frustration. You're used to controlling certain shots and handling certain players, then all of a sudden you find yourself just not quite up to your standard and it's frustrating.

 

Q. Did it happen tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, I felt good tonight. It was better, you know. Still not quite there yet. I don't truly feel like I'm hitting every shot with that 100 percent commitment to the shot, so that's always a problem.

 

Q. Andre, we are from Montreal. We would like to know what you think about Sebastien Lareau?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's a very talented player. For his size to serve so big is extraordinary. I mean, he can hit 110 mile an hour kick serves. That's pretty big. Serve out wide 110 on the deuce side. Takes the ball early. When he's on his game, very difficult.

 

Q. The chest injury, does that make you tentative?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. That's pretty much healed. I don't have any problem with that. Just some of the shots and the footwork, you know, feeling like I'm on the offense and not on defense. That's not the place I do my best work.

 

Q. Do you have to win the tournament to get back on No. 1?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know.

JOE LYNCH: Actually, this week, Muster will stay No. 1 unless Sampras wins the tournament, then Sampras will become No. 1.

 

Q. Andre, you still having problems with your serve?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I felt it was a lot better tonight. One place where I missed five or six serves, 1-All in the second, had a couple doubles that game. Outside that, I feel like I served pretty well actually tonight.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Andre?

 

Q. Can we ask something about the Davis Cup even if it's not your favorite subject? Don't you think it's a waste, I mean, that you won it last year all together and now the team is not existing anymore in a way? In Czech Republic you have a lot of chances to lose it. I hope you don't, but you have.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, but then if we win it this year, you'll say the same thing next year. If we win it the next year, same thing next year. Bottom line is, I played eight years for Davis Cup now. At some stage you've got to say, it makes no sense. We don't have an off season. Two weeks off, it's called a vacation. It's called, time to address your life. I mean, it's impossible to have any kind of preparation to get better with the way our schedule is. There's way too many tournaments. If you add Davis Cup, it becomes absolutely too much tennis. It's just too much. You have to decide where your priorities are. For a lot of years, Davis Cup has been my priority. I can't speak for anybody else, on behalf of why they're not playing. It's just too much tennis. There's really not much else to say. I mean, Davis Cup is responsible for a number of significant letdowns for me, some injuries when I'm playing because I'm so fatigued. To have to get up that kind of emotion and travel from Florida to Palermo to Tokyo, all within a two-week span, I mean, we can't do it. Maybe if I would go there and write an article or something, but not if I have to get out there in front of 15,000 people and compete and be expected to compete at the level that you can play at. It's impossible. I respect anybody who commits to it because I know what it takes. But it's just unrealistic to think that we can do year after year with the schedule that the ATP has us on.

 

Q. But you're going to go to the Olympics?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes. That's once every four years. That makes a lot more sense.

 

Q. Putting aside the economic consideration of tournaments that are committed, when would you like to see the season end?

ANDRE AGASSI: After the US Open.

 

Q. Then what happens for the rest of the year? Getting back to the economic consideration, what do you tell the people that have tournaments in Europe for the rest of the year?

ANDRE AGASSI: There's a lot of places that have tournaments. It's not an easy thing to adjust to because a lot of people basically are spoiled with the convenience that tennis offers them. I mean, I think the maximum you should take the year is to end with the World Championships, and it's very possible to do that. It would require changing the ranking system and cutting down on some events. I think they can structure it seasonally too, where you can structure a hard court, claycourt, French Open, grass tournament going into Wimbledon, hard court tournament going into the US Open, indoor circuit leading up to the World Championships. You can do that within six or seven months, no problem.

 

Q. Do you know how other players feel about this?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've heard others voice it through the press. Boris has voiced it for years. Instead of ever being able to make a difference, he just gets sick a lot. Heard a lot of other people voice opinions, too. There's no off season, it's not easy.

 

Q. It probably makes a lot of sense to a lot of people to end the season after the US Open. Why can't you get it done? Why can't you get a dialogue going on it anyway?

ANDRE AGASSI: Because you've gotten top ten players in the world. That equates -- equals ten votes. The bottom line is there's hundreds of players that vote. That's the bottom line. It's going to require ten players to get together, at least three different times, to structure some kind of organization over what it is they want, and to put some pressure on the ATP. That's just not realistic either with our schedule. You find yourself surviving it. It's a shame. It's really not right. There's a lot of players that like that many tournaments, too.

 

Q. You think that the Davis Cup will be better off now every two years?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think that would be a dream come true to have the Davis Cup not every year. I think every two years should be minimum. People don't understand why you play in December and then you play again in maybe early February at the latest. Doesn't make sense to anybody. Very few of the public understand the format, certainly in America that is.

 

Q. Still we're talking about four weeks. That may be many weeks for you or one of you. Since, for instance, in America, I mean, you have so many good players. If you, Chang, Pete, another one, Jim. You find an agreement you can play one week, the other one will play the second week, the other the third week. That should be possible.

ANDRE AGASSI: I can speak for myself. I am in no position to go over to Czechoslovakia. I can't sit here and expect Pete to do it or Jim to do or Chang. I think Chang is the only one that really should, just based on everybody else has given a lot of energy to Davis Cup. I've given eight years. If you want me to give every single year of my career, I think you're being a little ridiculous. I can't do it. Sometimes one week is the worst. How do you say, "Do we go to San Diego? Who plays in San Diego, in Palermo, who plays in Czechoslovakia, who plays in San Diego?" I'll play if every time we play it's in Las Vegas. That's not the reality. We had to go to Moscow to play, Czechoslovakia to play. Certain weeks have a lot more impact on your schedule, on your physical, and people have to be willing to make sacrifices. A few years all of us have made the sacrifices.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Andre?

 

Q. Andre, speaking about Vegas, you seem to be gambling on the court. When you're home, do you ever go down to the casinos and gamble?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mess around sometimes; not real often.

 

Q. What do you like to play?

ANDRE AGASSI: When Brad comes into town, he talks me into the crap table occasionally. Sometimes I bet on some college games.

 

Q. Does he win ugly on the craps tables, too?

ANDRE AGASSI: He stresses every roll of the dice.

 

Q. How is your luck on the table?

ANDRE AGASSI: Better than BG's.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else? Thank you.

 
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