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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS - 1998

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

 

March 26, 1998

 

A. AGASSI/J. Tarango

6-4, 6-3

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

 

MIKI SINGH: 6-4, 6-3, the score today for Andre over Jeff Tarango. He's reached his fourth semifinal of the year. In tomorrow night's semi, he'll face either Alex Corretja or Steve Campbell. First question.

 

Q. What do you think about the possibility of playing the final with Marcelo Rios?

ANDRE AGASSI: Still a match away. But I would look forward to that. I can't really properly assess somebody's game unless I've faced them. I've never played Marcelo, so I would love to get a look at him.

 

Q. If you meet with him, about two hours before the match, what would you tell him in that moment?

ANDRE AGASSI: I would say, "Have a lot of things to drink."

 

Q. On this match, Andre, would the word "efficient" be a good description of the performance out there?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I'd say efficient. You know, just kind of yeoman, hard hat, lunch pale, go to work, get the job done. Got the break to win the first set, held serve. I just got the job done. I don't think great tennis wasn't necessary today. I don't think Jeff was playing great. I wasn't. We both were just feeling each other out for a while. Then just stepped it up at the right times.

 

Q. Would you clear something up for us. The other day Jeff was in. He was describing the only time he's ever beaten you. He was eight years old and you were seven. He claimed that you cried at that match because match point had been reversed.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. It was the first loss I ever had. I won my first seven tournaments. Third set tiebreaker, nine-point tiebreaker back then, 4-All, winner take all at this point. I had a backhand cross-court for nearly a cold winner. Got all pumped up. Started walking to the net. Kind of hit him walking to the net. If I call this out, it's my match. He went like this, put his finger up, and I started crying.

 

Q. Are you saying he mis-called that ball?

ANDRE AGASSI: I definitely begged to differ that day.

 

Q. How long did it take you to seek out your revenge?

ANDRE AGASSI: We played a few weeks later, another Southern California tournament. Beat him 6-Love, 7-6. Still remember it.

 

Q. Andre, getting back to the matchups, agreed you have another match to play, but we beg to differ with the lady who thinks you might be playing Marcelo Rios (laughter). You practiced with Tim a fair bit. What are your thoughts on Tim's game at the moment?

ANDRE AGASSI: Tim is a very talented player, all-court game. You know, he has a lot of Edberg in his game, which is nice to see. Really a good-looking player to watch play. I practiced with him hard for a set out there. I really got a look at his game. Certainly I have a lot of respect for it. He can end points. He can stay in points. He can play from the back court, you know, from the forward court. He can serve well. His second serve is a little bit susceptible to some careless errors. That would probably be the only weak spot in his game. He has really good hands, good feet. I like that match-up. It will be a normal, good match there.

 

Q. What will do you on your day off?

ANDRE AGASSI: I play tomorrow.

MIKI SINGH: Plays tomorrow night.

 

Q. When you do have a day off, what will you do?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just take it off. Have a good practice and relax. Really kind of a boring guy.

 

Q. On this resurrection, if you will, do you find yourself, when you have time on your hands in the middle of a tournament, doing things differently than you did, say, two or three years ago, 1995, when you were having a big year?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I relax hard now. I do everything hard now. I do everything intense. I play intense, I work out hard, then I relax hard. I think back in '95, when I was away from the court, I was still thinking about the game a lot. It took a toll on me.

 

Q. What does "relax hard" mean?

ANDRE AGASSI: It means relax intensely. Whatever you're doing, enjoy the hell out of it.

 

Q. Not to think about tennis at all?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I mean, if you're thinking about tennis, then think about it efficiently, but then get away.

 

Q. Would it mean not looking at tennis on a TV scene?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I enjoy watching good matchups. I enjoy thinking about tennis, talking about tennis. You can't do it 24 hours a day. You've got to have time, you know, to refuel, to get ready, else it becomes very taxing. I do that well, too. I get away well.

 

Q. About a year ago, some people were writing that you can't get married and have a successful tennis career. They were obviously alluding to your marriage to Brooke. Yet here is Petr Korda, No. 2 in the world, married and has a child. You're now playing some of the best tennis you've played in a long time. How do you go about balancing those two factors? Do you have to sit down with your wife and talk about how you're going to do these things?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Well, you know, my experience in marriage is, you've got to talk about a lot of things. Certainly your career, the things you want out of your career, are a big topic of conversation. But it's an asset. If you have a good relationship, I think it's an asset in your life. A lot of times you get married and your focus changes; not because it has to, but because it's what somebody chooses. I think it's case by case.

 

Q. I'd like to ask you a Davis Cup question. Could you analyze Kafelnikov's game as you did Henman's a minute ago?

ANDRE AGASSI: I haven't played Yevgeny in a while. Yevgeny hits the ball well off both sides, moves pretty well. It's similar to Henman in the sense of his second serve would probably be the weakest part of his game. If he's playing guys that he can control the point against, he can work his backhand and forehand both directions. But if he's playing against guys who have a little bit more pace, he tends to have more difficulty hitting his shots up the line. He has a sneaky first serve. He's a good competitor. It's always a good match-up when I play him because you have two explosive players from the back court trying to take control of the match.

 

Q. Is he the most dangerous opponent for the US, being he's so good in singles and doubles in a Davis Cup format?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. If we could somehow take him out, I don't think we'd be as concerned. Maybe a good kick to the knee or something (laughter).

 
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