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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

XXVI OLYMPIC GAMES
ATLANTA, GEORGIA

July 25, 1996

A. AGASSI/K. Kucera
6-4, 6-4

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. When was the last time you got upstaged by a flock of geese?

ANDRE AGASSI: Upstaged by a flock of geese who did nothing but shit on you. So that makes the upstage feel a little bit worse.

Q. At least not on you.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I was just saying they were maybe showing their displeasure about the match. I wasn't playing very well for them. Something you don't want to do is toss the ball and see that coming down.

Q. How did you feel about your performance?

ANDRE AGASSI: I felt pretty good about it. Striking the ball more confidently today and moving better and definitely a step up, if not two, from last match. And if I can just keep that kind of concentration, I think, not losing my serve today is a key sign. You know, it shows that I am staying focused and not giving away donations on my service games. And my focus and concentration is - I think was a lot stronger today than it has been probably for most of the year, so I feel pretty good about that.

Q. "Moved it up a notch." Is it the Olympics that brings that out?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think so. I think a lot of it is, you know, just the emotion of being here. But also just, you know, the confidence. I mean, I won a close one yesterday and I think you get through matches like that kind of -- you start remembering why you do bear down at 15-40, 1-2 in the second set, because if you hold in the match, you can just finish off the match and get it done with, and move on to the next round. So I think sometimes I tend to get a little discouraged with myself after one point - I am serving 15-30 and I miss, make a couple of loose errors because of the disappointment, and I think as I win the matches, confidence builds in that respect.

Q. You are on standby for doubles?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, that is correct.

Q. When Gully approached you, what was your reaction?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, I mean, I am here to play. You know, a little shot is better than no shot.

Q. What is the latest on Richey's condition?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think he is just kind of treating his groin as thoroughly as possible, and he is going to give it 'til the last minute as possible to see how it feels. I don't know if there has been any miracles. I don't think there has been any miracles stepping forward yet in the injury. By the same token, he still feels close enough that he wants to give it another day to decide.

Q. You are willing to play?

ANDRE AGASSI: Absolutely.

Q. You are not worried you are going to wear yourself out for both doubles and singles?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, the team took a hit, you've got to adjust to it. As far as I am concerned, it is the responsibility of everybody playing to -- if it calls for you to give more, then you've got to give more. It is as simple as that. Even if it costs me a medal, it is still something that, you know, you've got to do. I am not going to not play just to give myself a chance at -- a little bit better of a chance at the singles. I feel like we deserve to have a team that competes well in both of the singles and the doubles, and if it boils down to me, then that is what I am going to do. I am going to show up and play well and hopefully surprise a lot of people.

Q. You have played doubles with Mal in the past?

ANDRE AGASSI: We played one time back in '91 in Sidney indoors.

Q. What are your thoughts about playing with Mal if it comes to that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Mal is a great all-around player; he returns well, serves well, volleys well, moves well. So it is just a question of really how our dynamics work out. I think I can definitely offer power to the team. He can offer the athleticism and the feel and it could be a strong team. I mean, certainly in doubles it is -- you know, you can hold if you can break, then it is a pretty good shot. So if we are on our game, I think we will be tough to beat.

Q. How much doubles have you played in the last year, Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: In the last year, maybe one time. I am trying to remember offhand.

Q. Do you remember the last time you played?

ANDRE AGASSI: Geez, I am almost thinking it was -- oh, yeah, yeah, year ago, two years. Last time I played was in Palm Springs Pat Galbraith. We lost first round. Time before that was a year-and-a-half earlier in Cincinnati with Korda. We won in Cincinnati. So, I mean, it really doubles kind of -- it can happen that way. Couple good singles player can click well and compete hard.

Q. How much does it compromise your chances in singles, do you think, if you do play doubles?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think we have been pretty fortunate with the weather so far and I have had two straight set matches. Playing on my day off, doubles could actually enhance my singles. It could get me out there in match situations and kind of preparing double time for my singles - no pun intended.

Q. What is it going to do to your golf game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Won't give me much time to get in some golf.

Q. We want to know what does a gold medal mean to you that you have won all kind of prizes?

ANDRE AGASSI: To me an Olympic gold would be a great accomplishment really than any Grand Slam. I think in our sport you want to win the Grand Slams. I think if somebody has never won a Grand Slam, they would choose that as being the top priority. But being there and knowing what it is like to win a few Grand Slams, really there is no feeling like winning a medal for your country. I can't imagine it being that way. I will tell you if I accomplish it exactly what it feels like, but the desire to have it is as great, if possible, greater.

Q. Are the games you are playing as hard as the ones you are used to?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

Q. Could you say Hi, Bolivia please for us, we have a camera?

ANDRE AGASSI: "Hi, Bolivia, please for us." (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER).

Q. I have got one thing, Andre. Goes along the lines what you just said there, because a lot of top men's players didn't show up here. Some had nagging injuries; other ones just chose not to play. To listen to you talk about what it would mean to you and even sucking up and playing doubles, seems to be a real startling contrast. Why do you think that participation is down? Do you see the changes that might be made to make the participation better?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, it is tough to say. I can't really get in the heads of the other athletes who chose not to be here. It is one thing like Pete to be injured, which is, I am sure, something he wasn't too pleased about, but it is another thing to decline, so I can't get inside the heads of them. Because I can't comprehend the feeling of being inconvenienced by the] Olympics. By the same token, you know, I can say that we have a very tough summer schedule and if you do have really any desire to win the U.S. Open that the best preparation is to not be here, but again it would boil down to where your priorities are and the importance you put on the tournaments that we play year after year, week after week, and what the importance you put on the Olympics. To me, being here is worth the whole year, so I don't have any problem being here and I certainly have no comprehension as to what -- why others wouldn't want to, except for the -- really the brutal schedule it is not easy to have entire summer filled with nothing, but very intense tennis and very hot conditions.

Q. Tom was saying that a couple of players mentioned to him that they would like to see it become more of a team-type event with maybe two -- two singles and a doubles best out of 3, 16 countries or something like that. Something similar to the Federation Cup matches.

ANDRE AGASSI: There is no question that I guess when you get gymnasts who compete in a world championship, it is quite unique for them or if you get swimmers to compete in a world championship. For us these faces are faces we will see not only last week, but week after next, so we are used to it. In a certain sense it is -- what -- it is the same as we play all year-round. By the same token, there is a different level of intensity and pressure about it. I would be open to any adjustments in how we compete as a country. I would certainly want to entertain those thoughts just to make a distinction between playing here and playing any other week, but the gold medal is as, for right now, meant for one person which I think, it would be nice if a team can accomplish it together.

Q. This is hard court too. Why would this be not as good a warmup for the Open as some of the other tournaments?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it is great on that level. But I am not talk -- I am just talking about how much tennis is being played. You look at somebody who has gone -- I have been a little fortunate this year, in preparation for this event to not have done well in Paris and Wimbledon, Pete winning in Wimbledon, I mean, getting to the semis of the French and getting to latter part of the week of Wimbledon; now he has time to, you know, to recover from that, which obviously took a toll on his body. He would have to play here and then play next two weeks and then if he is lucky have a week off before the U.S. Open. That is just way too much tennis in such a short period of time especially when you consider every event is going to have 100 plus conditions outside, 100 plus degrees of not to mention humidity. It is going to take a toll. Summer always takes a toll on your bodies, not to mention just throwing in a two-week Grand Slam, really, that is what this is. It is that kind of intensity.

 
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