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Écrit par Jerome   



October 3, 1998

A. AGASSI/K. Kucera
7-6, 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 6-0


An interview with:



Q. Well done.

ANDRE AGASSI: Thank you.

Q. 5-2 down, four match points, you came back, entertained everybody marvelously. What was going through your mind at that point? Did you imagine it was over?

ANDRE AGASSI: It certainly felt like that's what was going to happen. But he was playing well. I got a little discouraged after the second set. I served for it twice. Early in the third I lost my serve right away. He kind of took that momentum and started playing bigger tennis. He stretched the lead on me to 6-2, 5-2. I just felt like he started stretching his legs there early in the fourth set. He was getting very tired. It was a very physical match, very physical match. I felt like if I could just get back into it, I certainly liked my chances. I had to break his serve twice, which was going to require a little luck. I think it required more luck on the first break. And I did; I saved four match points. Once I broke that game, I felt pretty good.

Q. How high does he rate on your list of unlikely victories, coming back from 5-2 down?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, wasn't expecting that one today, that's for sure. He's a great competitor. He's a great player and a great competitor. He's certainly every bit as enjoyable as his coach was to watch. I think Miloslav was just a beautiful player to watch play. I admired his game from the other side of the net. It was real good tennis. There's no question about it. To win that one in five sets certainly was very satisfying.

Q. You're clearly in very good shape. Have you been working hard physically since The Open?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I've been working, sure. I took off through The Open after I lost. I didn't do anything for a few days. I spent the last two weeks working pretty hard, but also doing some stuff off the court that was taking a lot of my energy. You know, I came here as prepared as I could possibly be. You're never as prepared until you get a few matches. Now that I've played a couple guys, I felt pretty good today.

Q. He was very tired, obviously, clearly. How tired are you?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I'd be lying to say I wasn't really tired. I was definitely tired. But I only have to be a little bit less tired than my opponent. That's the good news about tennis, you know, you're not judged to perfection, you're judged to the standard of your opponent. He played a longer match than I did yesterday. I'm sure that had a little bit to do with it. But I was tired. Of course, you're going to be tired when you're out there four hours. But I saw it through, and I felt like I had a little bit more in me.

Q. I don't know whether Brad has been a wee bit forgetful, he said he can't remember last time you won from a match point down. Can you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. He's being forgetful (laughter). David Wheaton in the Canadian Open '94. I was down two match points, 6-5 in the third set tiebreaker. He missed the first serve. Second serve, a forehand, hit it up the line for a winner. Then he won the next point. Then we switched sides. Then he won the next point. I was serving 6-7 down, and I hit an ace up the middle. Then I served his forehand.

Q. You didn't tell us how you won that other second point.

ANDRE AGASSI: I served to his forehand and he missed it long. Then at 7-8 he served and volleyed to my backhand, I bunted it back, and he was on the forehand volley.

Q. Could you be more specific (laughter)?

ANDRE AGASSI: He asked me a question. I've got to answer it (laughter).

Q. Actually, is there any chance now you might be sponsored by Oktoberfest as well as everybody else?

ANDRE AGASSI: Tell you what, I could use a few of those beers tonight (laughter).

Q. You have plenty of tough games here. Now next week in Basel, Sampras got a wildcard. It will be Rafter, Korda, Kucera, other top players. Are these the kind of games you need to regain the consistency you really want?

ANDRE AGASSI: They're the guys that are ranked ahead of me, so I certainly want them in every tournament, you know. That's the next step for me, is to start beating these guys that are ahead of me in big matches. I've gotten a few this year. Not as many as at the right times as I've wanted. I think every time I play in a tournament with the likes of Sampras or Rafter, Korda, Kucera, it's an opportunity. I consider it an opportunity to get better.

Q. What about your possible opponents in the final tomorrow? Philippoussis or Rios, how do you view that either way?

ANDRE AGASSI: I won one against both of them, so I look forward to the match. You know, they're two entirely different kinds of players, so I'm have to address each one differently. It should be a good match, either one. Philippoussis has shown at the US Open that he can play well, and he believes he can win, which is nice to see, because I think he has the fire power to do it. I think it's nice to see Rios hopefully starting to play a little better. He hasn't done well since the quarterfinals of the French Open. It should be good tennis.

Q. Do you find this a very fair court here? It used to be very fast when they had the carpet down. Do you think this suits all styles of games really? It is at altitude, we know that.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think the altitude -- the court needs to be a little extra slow to make up for the fact there's a little altitude. It allows a big server, serve and volleyer, baseliner to stay back. Yeah, I think it's a great surface. It's a very physical court. It's a thick court.

Q. Is it a bit much to ask of you to go out again 20 hours after you won today to play the final or are you used to that through Super Saturday at the US Open?

ANDRE AGASSI: That's already been asked of me. I was the one that won the match today. I knew what the schedule was. It's difficult to play three-out-of-five back-to-back. I think if anything, they should play three-out-of-five on Friday and three-out-of-five on Sunday or two-out-of-three on Saturday and three-out-of-five on Sunday. I think there's the risk somebody is going to have a very difficult match and then the final is not going to be as entertaining as it can be. I don't think a tournament with the quality of this needs to have that kind of risk.

Q. If it is Rios, now that he's working with Nick, I know you played against players that have been coached by Nick, but with the kind of player that Rios is, would that have any bearing on it, do you think, in terms of strategy?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no, I don't think so. I mean, not really. I've been around 12 years, a lot more than -- a lot more people than Nick know my game. It's not much of a factor really that he's working with Nick.

Q. Apart from anything else he achieved in his life, in his career as a tennis player, Brad actually came here and won $1 million as a runner up. Has he told you about that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Me not playing that year gave him the entry.

Q. That's right, is it?

ANDRE AGASSI: He sent me a Christmas card.

Q. So he owes you at least half a million dollars?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. It's hard to negotiate with BG.

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