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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

XXVI OLYMPIC GAMES
ATLANTA, GEORGIA

July 26, 1996

AGASSI-WASHINGTON/Hernandez-Ortiz
6-3, 4-6, 6-4

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDRE AGASSI AND
MALIVAI WASHINGTON

Q. Did you guys have fun out there?

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: Yeah, it was a good time.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: It is always fun when you are playing -- you know, playing some pretty good tennis with that kind of crowd out there. I mean, it was fun. I mean, playing with -- Andre and I hadn't played in a long time, and it was good to get back out there and get the duo together again. I like that.

Q. Andre, at what point did you feel sort of getting comfortable? Did you feel that from the beginning?

ANDRE AGASSI: Really, I think playing with Mal makes it easy to get comfortable. The problem is not being comfortable necessarily with Mal as much as being comfortable with playing doubles. The reactions, knowing when to move, when to, you know, react. A lot of it is instinct. If it's not there and there was easy ball, you just let it go by and make it difficult for your partner. I think it is a question of playing. I think my game will improve as well as Mal's just by having the matches. We both played well considering that we haven't played together and haven't really played a whole lot of doubles.

Q. Is it just too much to play both now on the Tour since --

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: I mean, I think I used to play a little more doubles than I do right now. For me, part of that was just because when you play, let's say, four, five singles matches throughout a week, then you throw in two, three, four doubles matches, a couple of times I had started coming up with a couple of injuries. So that is my sole reason for pulling back on the doubles. I'd actually like to play a little bit more. Sometimes it can work on your body a little bit.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think, Kafelnikov has proven that a little differently at this point, but he is still young. When he gets like us, really old, it does present a problem. I certainly know if you really go in a tournament hoping to win the singles, last thing you want to be doing is spend a late evening on your off day when you could be preparing to be more at your best. So it definitely poses a problem, one that at certain times of the year is worth the effort based on the preparation of just serving, volleying, returning. Those are three key aspects, even in singles. There are some positive and negatives to it, certainly.

Q. What makes it worth the effort here?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it is easy for me, just because we don't have a shot at a medal if I don't play. Richey was injured, and so the decision is really easy. You got to suck it up for the team and you've got to -- you know, sometimes you are required to give a little extra, and plus I count on a lot of emotion to get me through here. If it does turn out to be fatiguing towards the end, I am going to count on a lot of emotion to get me through. I don't think that is unreasonable to be counting on and I certainly don't think it is too fatiguing of a situation to be playing when it is two out of three sets. That is always a nice -- that was a great decision, I think, especially in this weather.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: I think it is a no-brainer, I mean, you are at the Olympics; you get asked to play some doubles, I mean, geez, I mean, that is not a tough decision. I mean, I think most people would just, you know, say, yeah. Geez, it is great when you get a chance to play for your country as far as I am concerned.

Q. Now having done this once, the idea was that both of you guys probably had a more realistic chance to medal in singles than in doubles, but now having played this one match together seeing how you do, does it seem real; you are not going to just make it a cameo appearance here in doubles; does it seem realistic that you will keep on going?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't think that is either of our characters to get out there when you are playing for your country in that kind of situation to not do anything, but give it your best. I think some -- the only thing that separates a good team from a bad team is when they say "game, set and match;" if your name, USA is behind it, one down and game, set match, USA, so we are still in it; we still have a shot, and you can hold serve and if we are on with our returns, we are a tough team to beat and certainly, don't be surprised if we end up in a medal round playing to win a medal.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: I think people maybe look at me and Andre say, yeah, the chances are in singles. When you are out there on the court, you know, on doubles it is two against two; whoever is playing the ball is going to win; doesn't matter who is favored a lot of times. I mean, if you can get out there, just like he said, hit the serves; hit the returns, you are going to come up with the W's.

Q. How do you think you guys can stack up like against a Woodies team that is experienced?

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: Well, I think part of being a great doubles team is playing together at a high level and, you know, winning tournaments like the Woodies have won, I mean, they are a great doubles team. I mean, I don't think you can -- you know, look at Andre and -- I think this was our third match -- yeah, our third match ever together. You can't look at us and say, oh, that is a great doubles team. We can definitely play some great doubles at times, but I think great doubles teams, you know, are produced over time and over, you know, over the years of results. So I mean, if we happen to keep playing well, I think we could keep having some success.

Q. Mal, in a singles match today, in some instance, you come up with big serves; especially you might have been down 30-40 or something like that, address that a little bit after the singles a little bit of confidence, a little bit of arrogance that you say you are going to go ahead win this game?

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: When you are feeling good about the way you are playing, sometimes you can get up there and might even go for a second serve. You know when you are down breakpoint, or, you know, if you -- you might even serve and volley on a second serve, but you know when you are feeling good like I did in the singles, I was feeling pretty good in the doubles, you know, and like playing with Andre, you have confidence in his game or I have confidence in his game and what he can do on his side of court, so it takes, you know-- so then I just have to, you know, deal with my game, I think sometimes, you know, maybe when a player isn't playing as well, you want to step up your game. Well, tonight, I thought Andre played, you know, consistently all the way through.

Q. So you guys are going to come up with some signals?

ANDRE AGASSI: No better signal than communication. I'd rather walk back and say, hold on, tell me what you are thinking. Forget that hand signal. As long as we are from the same country; speaking the same language I'd rather keep his hands in front him and on the racket.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: I am the same way. I am looking at a signal and I don't know if he is giving me a signal or flipping me off back there. So I'd just rather talk.

ANDRE AGASSI: Plus, it is never my idea to look at Mal's ass when I am about to serve anyhow. It kind of distracts me a little bit.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: Distracts you because it is good looking or distracts you because -- or -- I mean, elaborate there.

ANDRE AGASSI: We will talk about that one later. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER).

 
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