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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

THE MILLENNIUM CHAMPIONSHIPS

WIMBLEDON

July 3, 2000

A. AGASSI/D. Prinosil
6-4, 6-3, 6-3

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

MODERATOR: Good evening. Andre.

Q. Are you happy with your form?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I was very pleased with the way the match went today, pleased with the way I'm playing. Everything seems to really be coming together nicely.

Q. Who would you rather play in the next match, Philippoussis or Henman?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, I mean, "rather" is a tough question. You know, I mean, I've never played either of them on grass. Lost to Henman once, lost to Philippoussis once. It's good for this country if Henman gets through, that's for sure. Philippoussis deserves a lot of credit for that performance in his last match.

Q. Pete came in early this afternoon and was talking about the weak handshake he got from Jonas Bjorkman. He suggested that someone has been starting rumors around the locker room that he's not really hurt, that Bjorkman might be just one of those people who has been sort of promoting that concept. Does that sound like it's completely foreign to you?

ANDRE AGASSI: What's that?

Q. The idea that Pete would be sandbagging an injury or something.

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I mean, I wouldn't have any opinion on that. I think what matters most importantly is what happens in between the lines. Whether Pete's injured or not, he still has to raise his game and beat these guys. If you don't accept the challenge of going out there to beat him under any circumstances, that's your choice. What happens inside the lines is the issue. I thought Pete looked good today. I thought he played well.

Q. How is your physical condition right now, if you could compare where you are in your game right now versus last year at this time here?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, big difference this year and last year. Last year, had a lot of momentum on my side, kind of just kept rolling with it. This year I've kind of worked myself into pretty good form. I mean, this is the best I've felt the whole tournament. That's quite a nice thing to feel for me now going into the quarters because this is when you really want your game to come around. I think I'm positioned to start really playing my best tennis now.

Q. Were you pretty worried coming into the tournament that maybe you wouldn't find your form here?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, sure, concerned. I think unless you've won the previous tournament you've played, you know, tennis is like that. You're only as confident as your last few competent results. For me, I needed to get through the first week. I needed to make sure that I didn't judge my tennis too harshly, just that I got through the matches, stayed positive, and kept working through any potential kinks in my game. But, yeah, I was a little concerned. I mean, again, the court plays much different the second week than the first week. I'm not a guy who's going to go out there and rely on serving big. You know, I try to win every time I play, whatever surface it's on. I need to find my range to do that. On grass, it can take you some time.

Q. Is your frame of mind now that you're ready to win this?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm ready to be in the quarters. For me, my experience tells me that taking every match intensely and seriously is the way to have great things happen. I'd love to win it. That's why I'm here. I'm truly not looking past any match. It's not possible for me to do so. When I'm playing my best tennis, that's what I'm doing.

Q. If Tim does win, it will be a strange game because you're both incredibly popular here.

ANDRE AGASSI: Why would that make it strange?

Q. Because people won't know who to support.

ANDRE AGASSI: We all have to make tough decisions in life (smiling).

Q. Speaking of tough decisions, you were talking about you had to work your way into a tournament, sort of a work in progress, which is a lot different than just a power player who knows what he has to do. That could be a metaphor for your whole career, working at it year after year. If you could go back and make a choice, do you think it would be more fun having the game you have, the struggles you've gone through, or in a perfect world, would you have liked to have a big power game?

ANDRE AGASSI: I would like to know what it feels like, you know, to have - Philippoussis hit a 128 second serve down set point . I'd like to know what that feels like. But I wouldn't change it. I've enjoyed too much the relationship I've built with the game of tennis, as well with many people who enjoy watching it. I like the fact that my dynamics of play matches up pretty well against baseliners and big power hitters. I think it brings out a lot of elements that the game of tennis has to offer. I mean, I've found too many positives with, you know, playing on the baseline.

Q. Is it your return or some other stroke that gives you the most pleasure to hit in terms of a single stroke?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, the strongest point is my ability to take the ball early, a strike zone that goes from my ankles to above my head. Wherever the ball is, I'm taking a cut at it. That's my strength. When I put my game together, I use that strength to break people down and to get to people. That sometimes means returning well. That sometimes means controlling a point and breaking somebody down physically. Other times that means playing aggressive tennis real close to the lines. It all depends what's asked of me that day. It does vary a lot.

Q. Are you having to push yourself at all to rediscover the desire that got you, what is it, three out of the four last Slams, or is it pretty much there?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, the desire to win Slams is always there. I mean, you know, there's a distinction between that and confidence. The clay wasn't certainly a good part of the season for me. You know, your abilities just don't go away. I'm experienced enough to know that everything is there. I just have to keep working and hope that things go right. I mean, it's not easy to win all the time. I certainly don't expect it. But I'm well aware of how quickly things can turn one way or the other.

Q. If Pete makes the final, he'll do so without facing another seeded opponent. How amazed are you by that? Can you remember a time when a draw opened up like that for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Enqvist lost?

Q. Yes.

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, surprise. You know, certainly a surprise how the field opens up. I mean, you see it to the semis sometimes. Sometimes down in Australia, a player can make it to the semis without ever playing a seed. But I'm sure that would be pretty rare to get all the way to the finals without playing a seed.

Q. McEnroe has talked about the possibility of putting Jan-Michael on the Davis Cup team against Spain. Would you be comfortable having him as the No. 2 singles player?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. 2, instead of Pete?

Q. In case Pete is injured. Who knows what's going to happen in two weeks. Yourself and Jan-Michael playing singles.

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm not even discussing that. Pete is playing, as far as I'm concerned.

Q. Half a leg, no leg?

ANDRE AGASSI: Did you watch him play Bjorkman today? Don't start talking about him not playing. You're going to just will it.

Q. Steffi is not even a year removed from the final last year. She actually hasn't been away from the arena too long. Do you think it's tough for her to sit and watch you play, because she's so close to having been in the game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Tough from the aspect of missing it?

Q. Just being able to sit still and watch. I would imagine the transition might be tough.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, I think it kind of speaks volumes for her interest in my game. I don't think it would be easy, no. I'm sure it's not. It's always easier playing than watching. If it wasn't for me, I doubt you'd see her in the stands watching Wimbledon. But it's easy I guess from one perspective of just wanting to get out there and support my dream to win this.

Q. Are you getting any advice from the seven-time champion?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, not too much. Not too much.

Q. I know she's a year removed from playing, but you probably watch some women's tennis. If you threw her into the quarterfinals right now, would you give her a pretty good shot to win it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, she's not a hundred percent healthy with her knee. That's a problem. She'd have to be a hundred percent healthy. You've got to hit balls. If you don't play, it's difficult.

Q. When you went up to the friend's box last year, did you learn anything? Did you get a different perspective? Did you see how we see it?

ANDRE AGASSI: What do you mean?

Q. Didn't you go up to the friend's box? Maybe I have it confused. Did you learn anything from just watching the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I mean, I've watched a lot of tennis. I feel like one of my strengths is kind of understanding what's taking place between two players. I have to always be thinking when I'm out there. I mean, it was nice to watch it on Centre Court. But, no, it wasn't any different. My mind was working a hundred percent of the time, just like when I'm playing.

 
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