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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

XXVI OLYMPIC GAMES
ATLANTA, GEORGIA

July 30, 1996

ANDRE AGASSI/W. Ferreira
7-5, 4-6, 7-5

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. How did you pull it out, Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was certainly not easy, and certainly quite fortunate in the sense that he was serving for it, and he was playing really well, and serving extremely well, especially. So for me to make it back the way he was serving with him serving was a little bit of luck and a lot of support.

Q. You had a lot of support from the crowd. How much influence was it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think the occasion itself, obviously being Olympics, is quite big. And when you've got a crowd that gets into it with that kind of emotion. And I think what you find is that it just kind of ups the ante that you realize you give it everything you've got. So it helps you dig deeper than you possibly could.

Q. Ferreira said you should have been defaulted for your language?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was about the only way he was going to beat me. (Laughter).

Q. Did you request that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I always do.

Q. But you think you'll do it again?

ANDRE AGASSI: I hope not.

Q. Did it somehow turn things around for you, it was the start of the set and you got mad?

ANDRE AGASSI: I was up Love-40, the umpire missed probably a dozen calls the whole match, and that game, especially, and then it just kept getting worse. And I needed something to turn around. I got upset and got into it and I stayed focused and I gave myself a chance to win, that's it.

Q. But how am I supposed to translate that in French, what you told the chair umpire?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. If you do your job, you talk about the tennis and leave the rest out and you'll be just fine.

Q. Would you say the line calls were equitable, because Ferreira said he thought it was fairly even, the bad line calls, I mean?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I wouldn't say that, but I would say that throughout the course of a tournament, throughout the course of a year, throughout the course of a career, you get line calls for you and against you. I feel like today they weren't necessarily equal, but that doesn't mean that that's not part of the game and it happened. That's the way it went.

Q. If they weren't equal, they were more against you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I felt like there were some really, really terrible calls.

Q. What came through your mind when you were down, Ferreira was serving 5-4?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, there was nothing that went through my mind, except to make him beat me, make him serve another good game. He's served a lot of good service games --

Q. Were you focused on any part of your game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just not to make mistakes. I wanted to keep a few more balls in play, hit more loops, make sure I get the serve back and make him work for it a little bit. And I got a couple of errors.

Q. Did the crowd help you a little bit?

ANDRE AGASSI: It helped me tremendously.

Q. Looked like you had trouble with power on your serves, have you had any injury problems?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I wanted a higher percentage of first serves. My first serve percentage has been pretty low. And I wanted to get the meat and potatoes of the game, which is working from the ground and not trying to get so caught up in hitting serves that I forgot to try to break someone down.

Q. What are looking forward to in playing Leander in the semis?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've never played against him. And certainly it's quite a surprise for him to be in the semis, so it's nice to play a new face. I'm sure he's made India very proud.

Q. Do you really believe that the only way Ferreira can beat you is that if you get kicked out?

ANDRE AGASSI: Today. I said that today. He said I should have been thrown out. And I said yeah, if I was him I would hope for that, too.

Q. Andre, in your mind did you deserve the code violations?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, I did the first one and then on the changeover I was having a very aggressive conversation. Usually if it's not recorded where the crowd is listening to it then you don't get the warning or the point penalty or whatever stage you're at. But he felt like what I was saying to him on the changeover deserved another point penalty. So --

Q. Did you think you deserved it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean it should be based on how many people from the crowd are hearing you. I think most people are going to a commercial, not focusing on your lips. So I think that -- in that circumstance there should be a little more judgment. But if I'm saying things loud enough, or anybody is saying things loud enough for the crowd to hear, certainly it's unsportsmanlike.

Q. How do you keep conscious the rest of the set knowing that one more and you're out?

ANDRE AGASSI: You just get experienced with it, I guess.

Q. Did you think the calls were terrible today, some of them, and do you think the accuracy on a lot of them is different now in the Olympics than before?

ANDRE AGASSI: I felt like the calls were certainly -- I was watching Mal's match from the locker room and they have a still camera on the baselines and they missed a lot of calls there, too. I can't speak for the quality of the linesmen, I'm not referring -- just sometimes it goes in stages like that. But you've got to -- you've got to somehow accept the calls for what they are. I wish on the one positive note for the umpire he didn't overrule anything out there, which is a good sign. But you learn to get very sensitive to them interjecting their opinion, occasionally, and you have no respect for the fact all they do is keep score and occasionally interfere with the tennis match. I don't like the fact that we're the only sport that the umpire never makes a call but just keeps score. There's the fear they will overrule, and if they're not overruling, there's the fear that they will. I'd like them to let the lines play lay, and I wouldn't look at the umpire one time the whole match.

Q. Is your level of play comparable to what you were doing the last year, do you still feel that's --

ANDRE AGASSI: I probably still have some ways to go, you know what I mean. I thought Wayne played well today, as good as he's ever played, and I managed to tough him out. So that gave me the feeling with respect towards what he's capable of with his game. That gives me the feeling like I'm doing something right at the moment. To just say exactly where I am is a little tough.

Q. The other players until the semifinals are fairly lowly ranked, do you think the road to the gold for you looks fairly easy?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't think any road to a gold medal is easy. I don't care who you're playing, there's a lot of desire out there. We played the quality of tennis that was worthy of a gold medal match today, but we had to play in the quarters. The rest is the step for me. Leander Paes has played incredible to get this far, and I'm not going to think he's not going to go out there and try to beat me.

Q. Have you seen Leander in action before?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes. I've watched him on the TV. I've never played against him or practiced with him or anything.

Q. How do you think he has shaped up for this tournament? Have you seen him play in this Olympics?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, I have.

Q. What do you think are his strong points, would you say?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, he's used to the heat there in India, isn't he? It's pretty hot there.

Q. Congratulations. What can you remember of Peru, when you were in the Davis Cup?

ANDRE AGASSI: Peru was a very exciting crowd there. They liked to play the drums in the stands. (Laughter.)

Q. You talked about the heat, that Leander would be used to the heat. Did it affect your play today at all?

ANDRE AGASSI: The heat? I think it affects everybody.

Q. Did it hamper you, especially?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was a long, pretty grueling match, but I felt fine physically. And I think that he did, too. You have to be in pretty good shape to come here in preparation. It was definitely, though, a factor, it always is.

Q. Andre, did you get almost as much of an emotional lift when he had the breakpoint at 5-5 as you did when you broke him in game four and came back and won that game?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it's really the same scenario. If you break at 5-4 and you have a match that is now squared up. But if you don't hold serve at 5-All, you've got yourself back in the position you didn't want to be in the first place. So, really that serve was crucial.

Q. At Ad-Out, what were you thinking in particular?

ANDRE AGASSI: I was just trying to stay as aggressive as possible, without taking unnecessary risks. The wind was moving out there and the ball was taking off. And it was late in the match and you don't want to give away a careless error in a situation like that.

Q. Did you sense any mental vulnerability on his side when it came to crunch time?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean that he after not holding serve at 5-4 in the third set, I think that he got a little probably discouraged and he had a breakpoint and didn't convert. And he made a loose forehand error on 15-Love, and that showed a little bit that he was probably frustrated and that I knew if I could step it up and make him play, that there was a good opportunity for me to break that game.

Q. You told us that it's a way to get the gold, how do you feel right now emotionally, physically to attack the gold?

ANDRE AGASSI: A lot better by winning. Today was a very expected difficult match for both of us. Like I said, I think the tennis was worthy of a gold. If Wayne was sitting here as the winner I would probably favor him to win the tournament with the way he was playing. So I feel confident with my game and I've got two more matches, to see if they're tough or not, I can only tell you afterwards, so just one step at a time. I feel good physically. It's nice to train hard and to come here and have a match like this and have it pay off.

Q. What's your feeling you're the only American going for the gold?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, we came here shorthand handed when Richey left early, it was just me and Mal. There's two of us in the quarterfinals playing for a shot in the final round. Mal served for it and lost. And my opponent served for it and I ended up winning. You've got to figure with both of those scenarios one of us deserve it.

Q. How does crowd support here rate, versus other parts of the world? How has it been this week?

ANDRE AGASSI: We're playing the Olympics in America, it's beautiful. The crowd support is quite honestly more supportive than the Davis Cup when we played in the United States.

Q. Do you have a lot of support, here, Andre from Las Vegas, a lot of friends from home hanging out here with you?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. Andre, with the way your form has been so far this year, how important do you think this match can be for the rest of the year for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I came here with the hopes to win a gold and certainly it takes matches like this to get the confidence back to a place where I pretty much can do it at will. Where I can up my game. Right now where I kick in usually is at 7-5 and then early in the second set, I could have stepped it up. I've had five other times I've played Wayne and he's never gotten better than 7-5. Today if I'd got to 7-5 and stepped my game up with the confidence, then it could have been a 7-5, 6-2 match. But that's what these matches take. Next time I'll know. Gee, last time I won this at 7-5, was serving 40-15 and donated my serve. It's a question of the confidence and the focus at the right points. And I think that's the next step for me to really get back to where I feel like I can be.

Q. Can I ask you, what do you think of Marcelo Rios, the fact that he couldn't make it to the Olympics?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think he needs a hair cut. (Laughter).

Q. You said that there wasn't much of -- many of your friends here are not here in Las Vegas. Can we expect to see your father in the later rounds, certainly if you make it to the gold medal round?

ANDRE AGASSI: That I wouldn't know. I'm not sure what he wants to do. Sometimes he just chooses to stay away and kind of enjoy the victory from afar, if there is one. He always gets a little nervous that he's going to show up and give me either bad luck or something, he always feels this way.

 
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