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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION

1997 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

August 26, 1997

A. AGASSI/S. Campbell

6-1, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. What do you feel like after going four sets in the US Open, your first Slam of the year?

ANDRE AGASSI: (Feeling himself) same thing I felt like before the match.

Q. Which is?

ANDRE AGASSI: Want to come feel?

Q. How does it feel to be back at a Grand Slam after not playing the first three this year?

ANDRE AGASSI: It feels great. It feels great. It's nice. The US Open always has a great feel to it. It's nice not to miss this one.

Q. Andre, the match tonight was two quick sets, then some trouble. How did you see it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, you can't really expect to just run over anybody. You know, I mean, bottom line was I was working him to death because he was playing to win. And then after the two sets, I think he kind of realized he wasn't going to and just stepped it up and started actually making shots. He got himself in a position to where the third got close, got a little tight, I made a couple errors at the wrong time. Next thing you know, he's up that break, looking to win the third. I'm not quite sure if he ever believed he could continue it. But it was certainly he obviously wanted to stay out there longer. So that was nice to get the court time.

Q. Where do you feel your game is right now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Real good. Real good. I'm very pleased with it. You know, I'm back to my seven- to ten-ball rallies, moving guys around, I'm moving well, serving like shit.

Q. Could you clear up why you missed the ceremony last night? There's been a lot of speculation.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Just in between, I first went to the dinner for a few hours. Between there and making it over to the stadium, a situation arised that I needed to make a call. Quite honestly, it was a very disappointing for me not to be there. But sometimes priorities call, and I was -- I missed out. I was more disappointed than anybody else.

Q. Could you be more specific on that?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. Do you think the crowd took it out on you at all tonight, because you weren't around last night?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't -- you know, I don't know. I can certainly understand if there was any part of that, I can certainly understand why. I mean, I wasn't there. So, it would be hard not to blame them. I was just trying to play, though.

Q. You had a lot of success with the backhand up the line. Then in the third set, you didn't hit it that often. Any reason why?

ANDRE AGASSI: You actually sound more informed than most of these media people. You play yourself?

Q. No, Andre.

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, it's good insight. I felt like he stepped up the pace of his shots. You know, I mean, he started going for more because he realized he was just getting control from the baseline. He realized if I don't take my chances, nothing is going to happen. He started taking his chances. I think when he did that, my backhand up the line isn't a pace shot; it's a position shot. You know, I work guys off the court, I take it early and hurt them. He was hitting bigger, the rallies went from seven balls down to four balls; I wasn't quite in position to pull the trigger. I mean, I wanted to pull it, but it wasn't there for me. The last thing I'm going to do is start spraying errors and make him think he's getting me off my game.

Q. Is it a sign that your game is on when you're kind of leaning into balls more as you're having baseline rallies?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

Q. Is that always the case?

ANDRE AGASSI: For all those who can't make the distinction between when I'm playing and when I'm not, I'm playing.

Q. Did you feel the crowd in the stadium as much as you could in the old stadium?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I mean, the acoustics are well for that size. I mean, there's certainly the crowd noise, it's one thing that you wonder, "Are you going to feel the electricity?" That, there's no question. You can, it radiates in there pretty good. I guess I'm not so surprised actually at that, as much as I'm surprised that as many people are actually into the match. I was kind of worried about eight thousand people having bad seats. Those are the eight thousand that are the truest tennis fans that would ask questions like this gentleman did over here. The fact that they're so far away, I worried about them not being into the match, as a result, losing the energy in there. Maybe it was my pink shirt.

Q. Of all your matches during your comeback, how would you rate how you played tonight, how you felt tonight, versus what you've experienced the last couple of months?

ANDRE AGASSI: Excellent. The fundamentals of everything that I need to improve on are there now. Now it's about just striking the ball a little bigger when it comes into the point. It becomes fine tuning certain things that happen automatically. That's the struggle, to get your game to a place where every part of your game is there. I mean, I'm stretching out for wide returns, and I'm fighting off the next ball cross-court. I'm getting back into the point, turning the point around and hitting the backhand up the line which you liked so much. That's a good sign. It means everything's in place, and now it's a question of just picking it up as you go. It's nice to be there. It's been a long time.

Q. Andre, is it almost like a blessing in disguise that he challenged you in the third set, maybe made you adjust, mentally and physically, as opposed to going 1, 1, 1, perhaps?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I mean, certainly fitness isn't a question of it, especially this early in the tournament. It wasn't like you worry about playing extra sets. I won't play again even till Friday, so it's actually nice to be out there feeling the intensity of certain moments in a match. I was down breakpoint there in the fourth. That's a nice feeling to get through, and then it will help. It all helped, absolutely.

Q. Did you feel at any point in the third set like you were losing it mentally, trying to fight back to get into the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: If I looked that way at all, I was misrepresenting my feelings certainly.

Q. Did you think back at all to the last time you played here as an unseeded player?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've not about that probably every day since then.

Q. Reportedly at the dinner, Harry forgot to introduce you. Were you upset by that?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, Harry -- mistakes happen. You don't take that personally. If he did mean it personally, he wouldn't certainly have had the nerve to do it.

PAGE CROSLAND: I will speak to that. It was a total mistake. It was a total mistake. I'll take responsibility for that. It was not Harry Marmion.

Q. Andre, did you get a chance to practice as much in the stadium? I saw you out a lot in the old grandstand.

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it's hard to get the court time in there when you're not seeded. That's all right. Hope physically I'll be there the rest of the two weeks.

Q. Can a tennis site have importance? In other words, you've done well here. Can that add a comfort level and help you come back, as well?

ANDRE AGASSI: I got to say when I got out there, I remembered the dance definitely.

Q. Did it come to your mind, I started well, now I'm starting to lose it again?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I was up two sets to love, he looked much worse than me, had a longer way to go. Still a lot of tennis to be played.

 
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