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1997-08-04 / Cincinnati Convertir en PDF Version imprimable Suggérer par mail
Écrit par Jerome   


August 4, 1997

An interview with:


ANDRE AGASSI: I hope I am not. If that is 100%, I have got a lot of problems ahead of me. Physically, I am fine. I mean 100%, as far as my tennis goes. ?

Q. Just the fact that you don't seem to be able to get in enough matches?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, you got to have the matches, but you can't have the matches until you can -- against some of these guys until you have your game in a place where you can win them. I mean, partially a Catch-22 there, but that part I can get through. Sooner or later, I am going to get some matches in. I just, you know, I got to get that court sense back. I am not picking up the balls quickly and it is very -- it is tough because I feel like a different player and that is not good.

Q. What do you mean, you feel like a different player?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, there is -- I don't have a good, you know, sense for the match where you can impose your -- you know, let them feel your game, you know, I mean, where no one has an idea what my game can feel like when I am on fine and that is the bottom line. You have got to be in a place where you can step it up a level, if a guy is playing extra well or if a guy is doing this or hitting winners or, you know, you got to be able to step it up. Right now, you know, just surviving shots. I am just trying to do my best to get to the ball and not make an error.

Q. You had that one moment in the second set?

ANDRE AGASSI: 3-6, Love-5. I was feeling real good then (laughter).

Q. What were you thinking about that -- about that one and the crowd?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just trying to save a 6-0 beating. You don't like the 6-0. Match was well out of my hands at that point.

Q. Andre, of all the things, are you surprised that the court sense is the thing that hasn't come back?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not really. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. Of course, certainly shot selection and the balance between thinking about what you are doing, but being instinctive about it. It is a combination of a lot of things. And, you know, I just got to persevere through it. I really do. I don't like the way it feels, but, you know, I didn't expect it to be easy. And, certainly, nobody said it would be. So, I will just take it one at a time and make it better next week. I know in my case if I can play 2, 3 good weeks, that can result to more than that in my game. I can all of a sudden two or three weeks can be equivalent to three months. A few good practices can be equivalent to a few good weeks. I can make the gains quick. I just got to, you know, stay with it.

Q. Is it a little frustrating where you get a tough first round opponent, you know, somebody cut me a break?

ANDRE AGASSI: Listen, I am not going to bitch about who I am playing first round. It takes a lot more than a bad week of tennis to have your ranking where it is. It is what it is. I am not going to complain about that. Certain players are a little tougher than others. I mean -- but no, I wouldn't -- it is fine. As a matter of fact, I would prefer to play tough guys in the first round every week. I think that might be able to bring out, you know, a little bit more in me there.

Q. What goes through your mind out there like tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is -- it is a conscious effort to stay positive because beyond anything, you are out there committed to a certain game plan, certain level of effort and when it is just not getting it done and quite the contrary, when you are getting your ass kicked, you just kind of are sitting on the sidelines on the changeovers saying, I am not used to this. I don't like this. You got to -- it doesn't not a lot goes through your mind. Quite the opposite. You get very blank.

Q. You have always had a lot of success here and the crowds really love you. Did you somewhat hope that all that would sort of fall together tonight; that maybe you would come out and just have a lot of people behind you and help you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, interest in a match is important for the game and selecting players that you support or cheer against are a part of it. I have never really cared if the crowd was for me or against me. It is never -- just as long as they are into it, I have always thrived off the energy and I certainly knew that I would get the energy tonight from the crowd. I didn't really -- doesn't matter to me if they are for me, behind me, the support factor is irrelevant. The energy is something you feed off of at times. It is not about that now with my tennis. I have enough energy in my own Head just waiting to feel good out there, waiting for my game to come together. Really every week I have remained hopeful that it will be a good week. I don't need to be out there, but it is something I am choosing to fight. Why? Sometimes I am not sure. But, you know, I have heard it six different times in my career that I don't have it, that I can't do it again and I want to do it No. 7, you know. I want to get out there and I want to turn things around and feel like I can win these tournaments.

Q. Has it ever gone through your mind, enough is enough, that is it?

ANDRE AGASSI: It goes through my mind, but not for very long. Those thoughts don't stay in there very long.

Q. How do you rate your opponent?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think Kuerten is a very good player. It is tough to assess it completely and not feeling like there is much I was doing to see what he could handle or not handle. But, I mean, very live arm, fabulous first serve, second serve needs a lot of work. You know, good groundies on both sides and moves well. He seems like he can adapt a little bit better to the faster surfaces than say some of the Spanish guys, which makes him a threat in both cases which he proved last week that he can play well.

Q. What about beyond the court, is he the kind of player that can excite people that might bring more interest to the game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Certainly in South America it seems like he is doing that. It is just an international sport, it is hard to have a good feel outside Sports Center, so -- but it seems like South America has a lot of interest for him. He seems to be a nice guy, very quiet and goes about his business, but he has an exciting game, so certainly, for the tennis enthusiasts he has a great game to watch, a real good game. As far as personality and kind of bringing in those who might not normally be watching the game, I don't have a good feel for that. I haven't seen much of his charisma on the court yet.

Q. Since you came back from Washington are you seeing progress?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, in some ways. Definitely.

Q. Like what?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I feel like I have found myself a lot -- the progress I have seen hasn't necessarily been in the matches. It has been in the day-to-day grind of just working out and practicing. I feel like I am starting to become a little bit more instinctive now as to some of the shots I am playing and reacting to the ball a little bit better. Match situation is always different. But the progress I have noticed has really been mostly on the practice court. But, actually, I mean, this court played a lot quicker than the practice court. First time I have been out on stadium here and just felt like a normal swing out there, the ball was just taking off. It was hard, just felt like a different pace court to me tonight. And, so I couldn't really implement some of the things-- was taking my normal cut and it was way too big. Then I pulled back a little bit and I wasn't sure if I was actually hitting a tentative ball or not. So, I was a little bit out of my realm. But, I have been taking good swings with the ball and moving well and so I have seen the improvement in the practice court which is a good sign. Which is where it starts. It really does.

Q. Besides regaining your top form which obviously you'd like to do, any type of goal or accomplishment that you still really want here that keeps you motivated?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, I am motivated by the challenge itself, really. This is as tough a place I have ever been in with my tennis. Like we all know that when we truly question things and we go and get answers for them, it feels pretty good. I find myself questioning if I can do this and that, in itself, is motivating me.

Q. Now you go to the RCA and do you have a bad taste at all about how you exited there last year?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, just about what was it -- a little bad taste about him, but that is about it.

Q. After the layoff how anxious were you to get back into the swing of things and how did the layoff affect you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I was anxious to get back out there certainly. And, I just thought 6-3, 6-1 and I answered how it has affected me.

Q. Will you go home now go back to Indy?

ANDRE AGASSI: I haven't set up a game plan. Indy is only a couple of hours away. So I will probably just practice.

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