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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

1996 RCA TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

August 14, 1996

D. NESTOR/A. Agassi
1-6, 3-2 (defaulted)

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. Is this one of the most disappointing moments of your career?

ANDRE AGASSI: I would say only preceded by how shocking it is - how shocking it is that that call was made.

Q. What did he think you said to him? Did he explain it to you?

ANDRE AGASSI: There is the one thing, that is for sure. There is absolutely no disagreement in closed doors as to how bad of a call that was; how wrong after call that was. When you give a warning, if I were -- if I were to break my racket and as he is reading me my warning I would -- I were to break another racket, you don't go to a point penalty even because it is technically even in the same outburst, but not only did I start what I said to the umpire right before he was done giving me my warning, he took me straight to default. It was like -- and that, to me, is -- to how he got there -- I had felt like I had an argument for not even getting a point penalty. It was just a bad call. He choked. He just choked and I think Darby right now, it is starting to sink in how bad of a call that was.

Q. What is going on behind closed doors?

ANDRE AGASSI: They are trying to get Mark Miles -- they got Mark Miles on the phone to override Darby's decision and, you know, inside the rules, he is not allowed to do that, so I suppose, I don't know this for sure, but it was intention for him to get Darby to override his own decision, but he doesn't have the character enough to do it. There is no disagreement as to how just wrong of a call it was. I mean, I will take responsibility for getting a warning and I will take responsibilities for getting upset on the court and -- like I have done a thousand times. But I will not accept this decision. It was a wrong decision.

Q. People in Indianapolis have been very excited to have you return here. You haven't been here since 1991. Does this kind of sour this tournament, do you think? Say, New Haven is going on at the same time.

ANDRE AGASSI: The tournament is a great tournament. That is what is so shocking, a tournament that has been rated No. 1 by the players for what, seven, eight years now and that is the tournament that Darby decides to extend that kind of decision toward. I mean, that is wrong for this tournament to be the one to pay the price for it. Certainly I am disappointed for not being here, but beyond it, I am disappointed for Indy. It makes me want to come back here all the more to be quite honest.

Q. Has Mark actually admitted that it was a wrong decision?

ANDRE AGASSI: He is just dumbfounded. He looks like a little kid with a dunce hat sitting in the corner.

Q. Never any discussion point penalty at all; he just --?

ANDRE AGASSI: There was no point penalty. It wasn't that. It was just as he was --

Q. No discussion of it at all?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. No, it was -- that -- no, those rules -- and there is a rule in the rule book that says, yeah, for any one thing you do, you can be defaulted, but what I said to Dana was very clear and very -- something I have said a thousand times in the past ten years, and all of a sudden, today, whatever date it is, that they decided to say that crosses the line.

Q. Can you tell us what exactly happened?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I hit the ball out and he says "warning" and right when he was finishing me giving me my warning I said "F.U., Dana." And then he calls the supervisor out and Darby gives me the hook. That was just a bad call. I mean, at best, I deserve a point penalty, at best.

Q. Andre, what was the discussion? What was being said between yourself and Mark Darby courtside?

ANDRE AGASSI: He said if you said that to Dana, then you are out of here. I was, quite honestly, in disbelief. It was tough for me to gather any thoughts, and I said, "what are you saying? That is it? It is over, like all of a sudden, like no point penalty, just warning to default?" He said, "yeah." And I just sat there. I was just -- then he came back over. I said, get the fuck out of my face - straight out. Because I just couldn't even begin to grasp the ignorance, the unprofessionalism, the lack of consideration for anybody, but himself. That decision was wrong on every level.

Q. Andre, you said yourself a couple of minutes ago that it is something you have said before on occasion to guys and they decided, for whatever reason, to draw the line tonight. But I mean in recent weeks, in Cincinnati, maybe even Atlanta, do you think maybe they are saying to themselves we have had enough?

ANDRE AGASSI: That is fine. But some kind of code of conduct with it. Why is it -- why does it have to do enough is-- I mean, why can't it just be wrong and why can't I, at least, be aware of where the lines are. I was -- in my mind, I was clear in where the lines are, warning, point penalty, default. And to get to default saying something that you have said and only gotten warnings and point penalties for, at least, sometimes not even that, is just -- it is -- that is not fair. That side of it is not fair; doesn't change the fact that I shouldn't have said it. I am not going to run from that at all. I am talking about a decision that has absolutely affected thousands of people and a lot of different -- a lot of people that don't deserve to be affected by this.

Q. Andre, any bit of undercurrent with Loconto say on or, say, before the court tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have never managed to say anything -- I have never managed to say anything that is an automatic default and what I said tonight is something that has been said a lot with times, so I mean, I just would like to understand what the playing field is, you know?

Q. You feel it is a celebrity issue? Is it personal?

ANDRE AGASSI: I would have to get into Darby's head and I don't think anybody wants to be there. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER). I can't figure it out.

Q. Are you saying this is the first time that this has happened that you have been kicked out for --

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, it is the first time.

Q. Have you and Dana Loconto had prior problems or run-ins similar to say what Tarango had with Rebeuh?

ANDRE AGASSI: Don't compare me with that, please. Nothing really to speak of. I mean, we have certainly had our moments.

Q. I am talk --

ANDRE AGASSI: This is beyond -- this goes above and beyond. This has nothing to do with Dana.

Q. I was talking about before Wimbledon.

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. Supposedly a bad history between --

ANDRE AGASSI: Nothing that I have -- I mean, this isn't Dana's issue. This is a call that was made by a guy who has no business having his job, period. That is just -- it was a wrong call, You know, it was just a wrong call.

Q. Have you had problems with Darby before?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just problems looking at him, that is it? No, the guy doesn't have any business having any powers to make a decision like that.

Q. What is the chances of getting back out on the court?

ANDRE AGASSI: To finish this match? What the hell do you think I am in here for the match is finished.

Q. Exactly.

ANDRE AGASSI: The match is over. It is over because of that decision right there. That he still has the power to override. That he still can say, you know what, after thinking about it, that is not right; to all of a sudden spring that on you when -- not only was he not up to the line of now the next one is default, but something that has been said plenty of times before, that either at best deserved the next step in the code of conduct.

Q. Any words or thoughts for Daniel, who obviously waited your departure?

ANDRE AGASSI: I feel bad. I mean, I apologized to him three times in the locker room because he doesn't want -- he doesn't want to win this way. I mean, nobody would want to win this way. And I mean, he was expressing to Mark Miles on the phone that he wants to play, which is very commendable. I think that should be highlighted, so he doesn't end up getting the grief of this in his next match. He wanted to play. He is still dressed in his playing clothes right now.

Q. Were you impressed he waited for you to leave the court before he got up and left?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think he was probably as shocked as everyone else and I mean, I think he is a quality professional and personal and I mean, I appreciated it and wouldn't expect anything less from him.

Q. Seems to be you are talking Darby down for enforcing the rules?

ANDRE AGASSI: Are you from England?

Q. Yeah.

ANDRE AGASSI: That sounds like a British question right there.

Q. It is what he was supposed to --

ANDRE AGASSI: It is not the case. Have you been listening to this? Enforcing the rules is warning, point penalty, default. He went from warning, default.

Q. But you said there are reasons for defaulting the guy straight off?

ANDRE AGASSI: Right.

Q. He thought it was the case tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: But what the case tonight has been a case that has happened a thousand times.

Q. But he enforced the rule tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: Which is a wrong call. Either it crosses the line or it doesn't. It doesn't cross the line because he wakes up on the rag.

GREG SHARKO: Thank you.

 
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