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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

XXVI OLYMPIC GAMES
ATLANTA, GEORGIA

July 28, 1996

AGASSI-WASHINGTON/Ferreira-Ferreira
7-5, 6-7, 6-0

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDRE AGASSI AND
MALIVAI WASHINGTON

Q. Did you hear about the uproar that the crowd --

ANDRE AGASSI: I didn't hear firsthand, I just heard about it.

Q. What is your reaction based on what you heard about it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Quite an ultimate compliment. I guess it kind of puts into a very tangible perspective the reason why we are here.

Q. Were either of you consulted about the changes moving out, moving back?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

Q. I mean--

ANDRE AGASSI: Ken (Ken Farrar) came crawling on his hands and knees, "please change courts." Once they make the schedule, you've got to get everybody's consent. Just seemed like the appropriate thing to do.

Q. Did you wonder when you first learned that you were on Court 1, did it cross your mind that that might create problems?

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: Well, I was actually coming back from the hotel when I realized that we were on Court 1. Originally I had gone back, I still figured we had a couple of hours. I was in the parking lot and I heard all this booing, and first I thought maybe somebody had gotten a bad call, then -- first thing that actually popped into my head, I wondered if they were booing because we got moved to No. 1, and maybe they just announced it. I mean, it was kind of weird. I mean, I heard it was a pretty rough crowd.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: I am glad I didn't see them. I was hidden away in the locker room.

Q. I don't think they were mad at you.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: No, I know, but still.

ANDRE AGASSI: That would be a hard one to predict. It's a doubles match, it is late, a lot of great tennis, came as a shock that they took that kind of response to it, really.

Q. It came as a shock to you despite your status as being such a sort after person?

ANDRE AGASSI: Stadium Court, a lot of times it happens with doubles. I have played some doubles matches off the Center Court as well as a lot of singles matches. I mean, it is not common, by any means, but by the same token, it does happen, and it is just -- you just figure an event like this where there is some other good things going on, that it is not quite an impact.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: You think with the rain delays, everyone has experienced another court, and that kind of thing -- I can honestly say I never moved to another court because of crowd disapproval. Been moved back. That was kind of weird.

Q. They said that they only waited in the rain delay -- a lot of them said they only waited in the rain delay because you guys were going to be in the stadium, then it was taken away from them and that is the only reason they hung around.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: It is great to have that kind of support. I mean, geez, it was a great crowd out there. I wish -- you know, wish we could have done a little more to come out.

ANDRE AGASSI: You wish I didn't lose my serve, just go ahead and say it, Mal. (kiddingly).

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: I am not going to say that. There were some times I think we both -- I thought he played some pretty good balls, especially after the return. I remember I had -- geez, I had a set point in the first on my return and then, you know, if we could have gotten that early break in the second set or in the third set, I think we had a fifth 40, little points like that, you get those points, boom, you are on a roll, and you might be able to go on and roll through the third set.

Q. This is your third three-set match since Friday. Were you fatigued at all?

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: No, I wasn't fatigued at all. I always say -- I mean, geez, if you can't play a couple of matches in a day, geez, maybe you shouldn't be out there. I think I am in decent shape. I think I can take a couple of sets, couple of matches.

Q. Let me ask you your reaction or your feelings, both of you, on Team USA as a whole. I think the record now is 17 and 2 men and women. Is that something that you would have expected given the composition of the team and the field that is here?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I have said all along we don't have Courier, Chang, Sampras, but that doesn't me we don't have a strong team. Got a couple of guys here that are pretty patriotic that are going to lay it on the line when they out there. We are strong; competing with the USA support here, it wouldn't surprise me on any level for the team to walk away with the majority of medals. And it has been definitely a very positive experience with the team so far, I mean, they certainly don't take for granted how well they are doing. But it doesn't come as a surprise to me.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: I agree. He said it all.

Q. So, what about the possible scenario, two Americans playing for the gold, good, bad?

ANDRE AGASSI: That is a beautiful thing.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: Yeah, that would be great to have that, you know, but kind of like I always say approach is just one at a time. I haven't -- I know that possibility is there, but me, I just take it a match at a time and just like I always do, and if you are playing good ball, things will fall your way a lot of the times. Who knows that might be a matchup in a week from now.

Q. So this was an emergency partnership. How disappointed are you guys?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, it is never an easy thing to lose; especially when you want to win for your country, but by the same token, you have to leave the court feeling like you did everything you could do. I think considering we just kind got thrown into it, we played a strong match today against a very tough doubles team. I mean, they are both very experienced talented doubles players as well as Wayne being a talented singles player, so I mean, to put together a match where really we were threatening to win and could have won, says a lot about, you know, the efforts that we gave and I am pretty -- I have to feel good about that, but it is disappointing, no question.

Q. What sort of a singles match do you look forward to or do you expect from Wayne?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, Wayne and I, we have played, I don't know, four, five times and, you know, it is always kind of unpredictable a lot of big shots being hit and a lot of kind of unpredictable tennis the times that we have played, a lot of times Wayne comes up with some incredible shots on the run and then, you know, I have to answer it by raising my level and it has created some good tennis. I am pretty confident that if I can just keep my game, taking it a step further every time that I will be all right.

Q. Mal, Bruguera has been a little bit of a surprise, dangerous person to go against when he is maybe on a little bit of a roll that wasn't expected.

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: Sergi is a heck of a player. I mean, maybe the last few months his ranking has dropped a little bit. But, geez, for a few years there he was a solid -- whatever he was top five or top 10 for sure, you know, so maybe -- I don't know, maybe he is making a resurgence or something. Maybe he is getting his game back, but even when a guy's ranking drops a little bit, you know the guy can play some ball, you can't take him lightly. We have played once before last year in Canada, Canadian Open, and I think we have seen each other play enough. Geez, I think if we can get out there, you know, both play some good ball, it will a good match.

Q. Who won that?

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: I did.

Q. Was that hard court?

MALIVAI WASHINGTON: Hard.

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