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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

1998 DAVIS CUP

ATLANTA, GEORGIA

 

RUSSIA vs. USA

(FIRST ROUND)

 

April 6, 1998

 

Y. KAFELNIKOV/A. Agassi

6-3, 6-0, 7-6

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

 

PAGE CROSLAND: We'll begin with the first question.

 

Q. Andre, looking back coming into this match, if you had seen you were only going to have three chances to break him, three breakpoint opportunities the whole match, what would you have thought about that possibility occurring?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not likely. Not likely. I haven't played a match that poorly in a long time.

 

Q. How put off were you by just having to play today?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I mean, you know, we all have to deal with the circumstances. I was certainly ready to play yesterday. But it doesn't make it easier. I just didn't find the range in my shots. The sun was out. Playing a lot quicker today. Just felt like it was jumping off my racquet. Then when I felt like I was just trying to make the ball, you know, felt like I was just way too conservative, and he was able to hurt me. I just never found that range that allowed me to just kind of relax. I always felt like it was an uphill battle. I was just hoping throughout the third, if I could just get through the third, I could start playing better. But it was -- it only ended a little bit better than it started.

 

Q. Was the wind bothersome to you at all?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

 

Q. Is this a match that will be easy for you to forget about it? Do you think maybe you lost and it may linger?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was -- I don't know. I mean, I'm just pissed off right now.

 

Q. How would you characterize his play today?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I thought he started off shaky, but did not actually have to do much to win the first set. As soon as I gave him a sniff, he started playing a lot looser, then he played well. But I missed a lot early. You give players a chance to believe they can win, then their game is going to improve dramatically. That's what happened.

 

Q. Andre, with your return of serves, did his serving today surprise you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, he hit some big first serves. But I was expecting that. My second serve return was God awful. I would just miss it. Then when I did hit it, it didn't have good direction on it. So anytime a server with a vulnerable second gets away with missing first serves, it helps your confidence on your first serve. So then he starts serving better.

 

Q. Andre, is this the first time in a while you've come off the court maybe a little puzzled about your play?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I mean, I just didn't find my range out there. I'm not puzzled, puzzled when I was out there. I just didn't have enough time to get my range and find my game. I think I had a lot of energy to start the match. Really wanted to play well. You know, never -- was always behind from the early part of the first set on. That's tough to turn that around sometimes.

 

Q. Are you disappointed that you didn't break the record? You said it the other day. Did you think about that?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'll feel much worse if something weird happens out there in the next match. As long as we get through the tie, that's what I'm here for.

 

Q. Would you say you feel pretty shocked at the way you played today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

 

Q. Is it sometimes more difficult to play well in a Davis Cup situation where you've played one match all week, you spend a lot of time practicing, then take two more days off and play again, as opposed to a tournament where you're playing almost every day?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's never been a problem for me. I've always been able to rally up for a couple of matches. Here has been the strangest with the offset of the weather, not knowing if you're going to play, not play. The early start time of the day was tougher as well. I haven't played this early in a long time. I didn't get off to as good of a start as I wanted to. I mean, there's a few difficult things about it. But ultimately, you've just got two matches. That should be a no-brainer when it comes to just peaking. I didn't do it today. Just kind of wanted it too bad maybe, or conditions were a little different today than they've been, and I didn't -- you know, when I did start responding to it, I had already given him, you know, a set and a break advantage. Just started playing better, then it became even tougher.

 

Q. I take it you will really be into this next match then as far as your emotion?

ANDRE AGASSI: Of course.

 

Q. You haven't given Kafelnikov a lot of credit. But did you sense that he played very well today or was it just that you lost?

ANDRE AGASSI: I said he started off shaky, and then he started playing very well. I gave him credit for kicking my ass. Doesn't mean I'm pleased with the way I played.

 

Q. Could you comment on the end of your consecutive winning streak?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's the end.

 

Q. What it means to you to have this streak?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'll feel a lot more if we lose this match here. I'm interested in winning every match, regardless of whether the streak is alive or not. It would obviously be nice to have won. But, you know, I'm thinking about the tie, I'm not thinking about the streak.

 

Q. As big a Davis Cup player as you are, as much success as you have had in the Davis Cup, does this loss hurt more than a loss in a regular tour stop?

ANDRE AGASSI: If we lose out here with Jim's match, it does. The whole idea is to win the tie. You know, the tie is still alive right now because I didn't win. That's the problem. But if we win, I'll forget about it quickly.

 

Q. The atmosphere wasn't exactly an electric situation. I know sometimes you feed off give-and-take with the crowd. Could that have had an effect at all?

ANDRE AGASSI: Hard to ask the crowd to be into something, not giving them a reason to cheer, down two sets in less than an hour.

 

Q. Obviously we don't know if there's going to be a second round. If there is one, do you know at this point whether you'll be available to play?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I don't know that.

PAGE CROSLAND: Thank you.

 
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