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Écrit par Jerome   




March 11, 1998



6-2, 6-4

An interview with:



MIKI SINGH: Andre Agassi is a 6-2, 6-4 winner today over Sergi Bruguera. His 12th straight match win. Sets up the match with Patrick Rafter. First question for Andre.


Q. Andre, did you expect to be playing this well, this early, this year?

ANDRE AGASSI: I try not to -- try not to have too many expectations coming into it. Just well aware of the fact that it could be difficult; hoping that it would be less difficult than more difficult. I think in hindsight, it's a pretty nice surprise to see it happening this quickly.


Q. Rafter was the one at the U.S. Open who stopped you last time, wasn't he, when you were coming back in September?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Yeah, that was definitely stoppage (laughter).


Q. Is there something you learned from that Rafter match that you're going to use to play tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I learned I needed to lose fifteen pounds (laughter).


Q. Does that remind you any bit of the Olympic final match today, feel the same?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no, nothing quite takes on that kind of feeling, when you win the Gold Medal match. But as far as the tennis goes, you know, it's tough conditions out here for Sergi against me on the hardcourts. It's not ideal for him. I can take the ball early, not give him much time. You know, he needs time to hit his shots. When he does have time, he hits big ones. I can keep him out of his rhythm a little bit.


Q. So, Andre, are you saying that the Patrick Rafter facing you this time is going to have a little different job on his hands than last time, because you're in a different place than you were when you played him last summer?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, there's not much question how much better I'm playing now. But I also would expect him to play better. I mean, since I played him there, he's the U.S. Open champion, he has a lot of experience behind him. Certainly he has some confidence going into the match against me. I expect him to play better, too. But there's no question I think all the way around it's going to be a better match.


Q. Is it a little added incentive for you knowing that he is the U.S. Open champion? Does that jack the stakes up a little bit?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think you want to establish early in the year that you can beat anybody, regardless of who it is. You want to step your game up and make an impression that speaks volumes for your confidence. You know, I want to go out there tomorrow against a guy who's a serve and volleyer, contrast to the player I played today, and return well, pick up the ball early, not lose my serve.


Q. How much better do you think you're playing now than you were when you played him at The Open?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, it's worlds apart. You know, anything can happen, no matter how well or not well you're playing. But, yeah, much, much better now, much better.


Q. Why do you think you are more effective with your serve? Did you change something or what?

ANDRE AGASSI: More effective than what?


Q. Before. You are more points from your serve or not?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I think my serve's pretty underrated. I use my serve well for the rest of my game. At the end of the game, if you hold serve, you have a good serve.


Q. You don't think you take more points with your serve?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. But I'm using it strategically. I don't want to hit aces. I just want to use my serve effectively to set up my next shot. Sometimes when I'm doing that real well, I can sneak some aces and make a guy have to hit better shots so I get some errors, get some free points.


Q. You hit one 122 today. What's the biggest you ever hit?

ANDRE AGASSI: 128, I think.


Q. Who is your favorite player you would like to play with?

ANDRE AGASSI: Steffi Graf, in a pair of high heel shoes (laughter).


Q. Who is wearing the high heels?

(No response.)


Q. And from the men?

ANDRE AGASSI: Pete. I wouldn't mind playing him in some high heel shoes either (laughter).


Q. Let's go back to Steffi. One serious question. What do you think about her comeback? You are in the same shoes, would you say now? You both are on a big comeback, a roll, tough to come back. You're both doing a great job.

ANDRE AGASSI: Last week we had a lot in common, both 49 in the world. You know, she's certainly a great champion who knows what it takes to get it done. I mean, I think, again, it boils down to if she wants to or not. I haven't seen her play, no. I was looking forward to that.


Q. What do you do on long flights?

ANDRE AGASSI: What do I do on long flights?


Q. Yes.

ANDRE AGASSI: Do you work on these questions (laughter)?


Q. Sometimes. Sometimes my publisher.

ANDRE AGASSI: I just sleep, eat. I don't know. That's it.

MIKI SINGH: Any other questions? Thanks.

ANDRE AGASSI: Thank you.

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