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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

2000 FORO ITALICO

ROME, ITALY

May 11, 2000

D. HRBATY/ A. Agassi
6-4, 6-4

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. It can't be often that anyone hits the ball with such consistent and clean power against you, can it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I thought Dominik certainly played well today. He really likes the ball with a certain pace, and I probably could have changed it up a little bit more and tried to get the ball out of his wheel house, but he was hitting it with conviction and hitting it pretty consistently. And I thought he served well in some big points and, you know, I had a little opportunity there 4-all break point, a good return off the first serve which was inside the line and they called it out, overruled it, and he ends up holding there. He played two good games at 4-5 in both sets.

Q. Andre, you had a great momentum going through the Australian Open. What do you need to do to get back on that rhythm again?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, you know, this is a difficult part of the season for me, for a lot of guys. It's, you know, clay, I haven't played in a year, so it's going to take a little bit more working out on it. And really, I mean, you have to make sure that you just go into these big tournaments prepared and rested and feeling ready to give yourself a shot. I mean, that's the best you can hope for. The way things went in Australia was while in hindsight it seemed to develop perfectly, it's just a question of a lot of things falling into place. So, you know, you need to give yourself that shot.

Q. Are you going to play Hamburg, Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: Actually, I don't know. I have to talk it over with Brad and see. I mean, the question is how many matches you need to be ready, you know, and that's the million-dollar question. So... I don't know.

Q. How high up would you put Dominik in the list of big contenders for your title at Roland Garros?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, certainly seems like he's got his game together at a great time. I mean, he's playing like he did last year there, which was certainly good enough to win last year. And, I mean, be hard not to say that he's, you know, one of the few that could do it. It's difficult to put somebody as a favorite.

Q. Is your uncertainty about Hamburg, is it purely because you're not sure whether you actually need all these extra matches? Is there any problem on your part, I mean having not played for a month, any physical problem or anything that's still lingering?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, there's always the risk that the more you play, the greater the chance for something to happen. I mean, I feel pretty good physically, but, I mean, you have to sense everything in the big picture, at least I do. I have to be not only clear about that but honest about that. I want to give myself the best shot for Paris, and, you know, it's a long year with Davis Cup and the Olympics and a shorter season. It's absolutely brutal.

Q. Talking with Mark Miles, he was saying that some players don't like to have back-to-back Masters Series tournaments like Rome and Hamburg. They would like to have one week in between. Do you belong to this category, or do you like better one after another?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think it's tough to make a blanket statement either way. There are times of the year when it works well. And, again, it all depends what's around the corner. You have to look at the whole picture, and to play two big tournaments with these kind of quality of players day after day, you know, a day off in between and then to have a brief week before a very physical tournament, it's, you know, it's a difficult time of the year and a good opportunity for a lot of guys. And a person like myself, I have to plan it right. But I couldn't say that it's -- I'd prefer one or the other. I mean, in the fall I think together is nice, because it's after all the Majors and it seems like there's -- you want to be very intense for a short period of time. But when you're heading into what's going to be a long run, that's a different story. So...

Q. Follow-up, if you had to make the calendar, what would you do? If you had to make the calendar yourself for the ATP? Rome and Hamburg one next to the other or not?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I am making my calendar. (Laughter.) You know... Everybody's in a different position, and if I was in the position to make the best decision on behalf of the game of tennis, I would have to take a lot of things into consideration, and I'm not qualified or informed enough at this point just to say it should be a different way. I know that it's a lot of -- a lot of tennis, especially this year with the Davis Cup and the Olympics and everything's been shortened.

Q. Just looking at the big picture, Andre, do you think that today in this defeat against Hrbaty is just something which could happen, or do you feel a little bit bothered by what happened today, you think that maybe it's a little bit of an alarming thing, maybe something which can be a problem, a bigger problem than just the loss of today? What do you think about that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, the match goes like this a couple weeks from now, it's a big problem. I'm down two sets. You know, I feel like I had another level there waiting for me. There was a few other things I felt I could have done. Three out of five always changes the structure of a match early, you know, so, no, I wouldn't call it alarming. I would say that, you know, he's certainly playing well and played well today and if he plays this well through the French Open, he's going to be one of the most difficult ones to beat. But no, I mean, I feel like I'm all right.

Q. You're saying that you felt there was like another level that you could have gone to today. How far do you feel you are from your best going into the French in terms of that level?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, not that far at all. I mean, I feel like it's now just about putting myself in a position that I go in maybe a little bit -- I have a little more time for some real physical work. And to be a little bit stronger is always good, and to feel fresh and ready to go is incredibly important. I felt like the level that I could have hit could have come already today, a few opportunities went my way and then the match starts turning a little differently and then maybe it feels perfect today but he played too well and closed me out, you know. I'm not -- I'm not confused with the fact that he did play really well.

Q. When will you decide for Hamburg?

ANDRE AGASSI: Probably today, tonight, I'm sure.

 
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