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Écrit par Jerome   



March 31, 2000

G. KUERTEN/A. Agassi

6-1, 6-4

An interview with:


ATP: Questions.

Q. How did you feel at the start of the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, felt somewhat still beat up from three days in a row that I played in the sun. Body took a bit of a pounding in my last match. I sprained my ligament in the last one, a mild sprain, against Tim. The problem was just my leg was cramping against him, so I wasn't quite aware of the damage to the ligament. I had my calf and whole side of my leg in cramps. I just recovered yesterday. I didn't move around a lot. Kind of surprised me how it felt right from the get. Then pushing off was a big problem. It was getting worse quickly. Then I started really worrying about damage. I knew the only chance I had was just to tape it up. But it wasn't good.

Q. (Question regarding blisters.)


Q. After losing this match, do you just go on and say, "I have to go on to the next match, start practicing"?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I mean, you have no choice really. I mean, it's not a good way for the event to end for me. You know, I was starting to feel better about my game. When you can't move out there in windy conditions, the ball's up and down, you can't even feel good about the way you're striking the ball. It just was, you know, a bad day. Hopefully in a few days it will be stable again and I'll be able to get back out there.

Q. So do you think it was basically the injury that caused the loss? Do you think you would have been in pretty good shape in this match, if not for the injury?

ANDRE AGASSI: Come on. Who the heck knows. You have no chance when you can't -- you have to feel perfect to have a chance out there, you know.

Q. What do you have to say about Kuerten's play?

ANDRE AGASSI: I was only thinking about myself out there, to be quite honest.

Q. Did you think in the second set you still had a chance to come back?


Q. No?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I mean, you know, you can hope for miracles, but I felt like there was nothing I was able to do from the ground that was going to make an impression on him. I would have had to have hoped that he kind of gave it away a little bit. But he's playing too solid for that. I wasn't pushing off. I wasn't on the serve. I wasn't moving on my own groundies. It's not a fun experience.

Q. What is the outlook for the Davis Cup?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, we just had it looked at more thoroughly. You know, I think it will be all right for that. You know, worst case, maybe even have it taped when I'm playing. But I should be all right for that. Probably take three or four days before I can really move a hundred percent on it. It's still early in the week. I should be all right.

Q. Was this the result of when you had to pull up late in the Henman match?

ANDRE AGASSI: That's right.

Q. How much pain has there been?

ANDRE AGASSI: Actually, surprisingly enough, I was a little deceived where the pain was coming from. My whole entire leg was hurting after playing Tim. I was cramping. I just kind of spent the whole day yesterday basically recovering. When I did have a hit, it was only straight back and forth; it wasn't much movement at all. I wasn't really even aware of any potential concern until I started really pushing off today. It was too late to certainly do anything about it. Probably would have been too late yesterday, as well. But it was a bit of a surprise because when I did do it against Tim, you know, I was still able to play. But I guess with the cramps and the fatigue and support, it wasn't there today. It was very weak and vulnerable to some potential damage, real damage.

Q. Had you known the sort of feeling you were getting before you started playing before the match, would you have gone on?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think ultimately you have to kind of ask if you can go out there and give a good effort, you know. That's all you can do. It's not even about winning or losing at that point; it's about your responsibility to the tournament, to just giving it your best. You know, I probably would have gone out there a little more clear, you know, on a game plan, coming in a little bit more, maybe really ripping the ball and trying to keep the points extremely short. I probably would have played a little different tennis. But it caught me by surprise, and I didn't have much of a chance after that.

Q. Did you consider coming in more to shorten points, given that you were hurt?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, at that point I don't even feel like I was striking the ball well. I probably should have come in more, but, I mean, that's also beating waiting to happen.

Q. When you say three or four days, is that Doug's assessment?

ANDRE AGASSI: Doug and the other medical doctor in there, yeah.

Q. Given the importance of an event like this, do you think it's right that players like yourself should be made to play on three successive days, that that could have contributed to the fact that you are hurt yourself?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, everybody has the schedule of the tournament to deal with. You can make it a lot easier on yourself by not playing 2 hours and 40 minutes in the middle of the sun. I was pushing hard for a night match tonight, but didn't quite get it. You know, it certainly makes things more difficult. Again, we all have to deal with it. Sometimes it works out well, you know. Sometimes your schedule works out real well. Other times, it can add to the already fatiguing body. There's no question it was a big problem.

Q. It's all about your leg or you have some comments about Guga's performance?

ANDRE AGASSI: Guga played well.

Q. That's all?

ANDRE AGASSI: You saw it out there.

Q. Saying what you just said about the night matches, do you think that gave him an advantage, him having a night match last play he had?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I mean, he won 3-1. He played well. He was good today. I mean, this isn't about, you know, excuses. I mean, the guy has been playing well. Gustavo has been playing well. He came in today, played solid. I had no ability to do anything about it today. I'm the one that struggled in my last match; wasn't quite up to a hundred percent.

Q. Before you were hurt, how satisfied were you with your game coming back from the losses you had the last two tournaments?

ANDRE AGASSI: Coming along, you know. Never felt like I was hitting the ball great yet, but felt like I was in position to. Today would have been a good test for me because Gustavo is so solid from the baseline, it would have allowed me to really get into a groove with my groundies and given me the opportunity to take that next step in my game. But, you know, when you play Henman and Rafter, guys that don't give you much rhythm, get in, pressure you, it's hard to zero in a hundred percent on your shots. I felt good about where I was going into the match, definitely.

Q. What is your read on tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's going to be a real good one, real interesting. I think Pete is going to have to serve real well tonight because Hewitt will certainly put up some serious resistance. I mean, if you had to pick, I'd have to go with 12 Slams, but it's going to be interesting.

Q. Are you surprised by Hewitt's emergence the last three months?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no. Matter of fact, I've kind of been waiting for when he's going to do it. I've always felt good about him, liked his game, thought it was a matter of time.

Q. When do you plan on going down to LA?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm going to kind of go home hopefully real soon here and find out how this is doing tomorrow, which will be a good indication of what my plans will be in the next couple days. But I can't imagine it would be more than about Monday probably.

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