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Écrit par Jerome   


Flushing Meadows, New York

August 31, 1998

A. Agassi/S. Grosjean

6-4, 6-1, 6-4

An interview with:


Q. Could you talk a little bit about the speed of the court? Talk about how fast it was. Pete was talking about the same thing this afternoon. Tell us how it feels out there.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it is. The court is definitely quicker, no question about it. 42% quicker than last year.

Q. Give an advantage to anybody, you or to any other players out there, you think?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think so. I think there are lot of guys out there that are going to like this court. I think Pete is going to like this court. I think Rafter is going to like this court. Anybody who likes the ball a little bit lower and who has a good hold of the game I think is going to help. It's going to hurt a lot of the Spanish players.

Q. Feelings about opening night?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just felt great to be out there. A lot of nerves going out there. It means a lot to me to be here, to play well here and, you know, you kind of wait all year, in a sense, for this event and you get here and all of a sudden it is time to go and you are not quite sure how to put it into words, but it is a feeling like no other and it was nice to get out there and just play solid.

Q. What do you think of your opponent today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Very good game. I like Sebastien's game. It is not easy to be his size and to compete at the level he has been competing at. You have to be very quick. You have to counterpunch well, and you have to be able to have good hand speed to finish off the point. That is what he does well. I feel like he hits a lot of balls that you think you can hurt him on and once you have stepped up to hurt him, but he actually moves well and strikes it even better. So it is kind of, you know, he is certainly not an easy guy to play against and I felt good about the way the match -- the way I played and the way the match went.

Q. Have you been waiting for this tournament -- this is your tournament to make your mark?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think every tournament is an opportunity to make a stand. I think you have to prioritize them and this is certainly top on the list. This is a city that has created some incredible memories for me and this is also a court that I play very well on, and atmosphere I play very well on and this is as good as an opportunity for me to win a Slam as here in New York. I love being here, so, I certainly do feel like it is time and I am playing with that kind of purpose.

Q. Expectations last year were probably a lot more modest than they are this time. What are your -- realistically what are your expectations at this time? Do you feel like you can win?

ANDRE AGASSI: Sure I think it is possible, absolutely. No question about it. Again, it boils down to playing well at the right time. I know I haven't played my best tennis yet and so I am feeling like as the week goes on, with the kind of level of players that are here, I will be forced to execute, I will be forced to step it up and I think I can play better here than I have played all summer.

Q. What do you think of your next opponent, another Frenchman?

ANDRE AGASSI: Very talented. Hits the ball very big. He has a small pocket that he likes it in; when the ball is in that pocket he can really hit it aggressively. He had a tough match today which he got through, which was a nail biter, but I am looking forward to it. We played one time and I think if I am moving and executing my shots I will be okay.

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