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August 8, 2000

A. AGASSI/W. Ferreira
7-6, 6-1

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andre?

Q. (Inaudible)?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, the big game there at 4-3 in the first set, I was serving, had a couple game points and one tough call there on the baseline. So I mean potentially I could have held out for the set, which would have been nice. But I think once he got back into it, he certainly started playing better. And, you know, tiebreakers really go any way. I think after I won the tiebreaker, maybe he just had a little bit of a letdown. And, you know, I just kind of went with the momentum a little bit. Sometimes it doesn't take much.

Q. Could you just talk, physically and mentally, how you've come into this tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, every week is feeling better at the moment, so that's a good sign. I physically feel pretty good, and I think I need a few more matches before I'm feeling good about my game, my confidence and all that.

Q. What exactly was your back injury?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, just strained, and a few pulled muscles. Some arranged pretty good. I had some muscles that were strained and ones a little bit more than that that were pulled. Everything was cramped up, and spasms, and really it kind of spoke for itself just the way everything was not allowing me to move. But it was nothing structural.

Q. Can you weigh in on the new rankings? (Inaudible)?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, according to the point system he is.

Q. How much does that mean as opposed to the previous two years?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it means the same. You know, it really doesn't mean anything right now. You know, you have to prove you're the best every time you're on court and, you know, that's the reality of sport. So... I mean up to date, he's obviously the best results. But I'm sure he's just as anxious to prove that he's the best every time he plays as a dozen other guys.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well I mean I think everybody has their matchups, you know, and I mean, you know, it's about game on game. I think once you're in a tiebreaker, you know, it's been established that day that it's a pretty tough battle. And, you know, I'm treating it rather intensely, and pretty much the same that I would if we had, you know, split our matches together. But it's possible it affects him. If he gets a little tentative, if he gets up. You know, that's something you'd have to ask him about. But I try to really address it practically and strategically.

Q. When you've played as little as you've played in the last month, what do you expect of yourself when you get out there?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I mean I think right now just getting through a match without any physical difficulties has been an accomplishment, and winning a match has certainly felt good. So really you can't have too high expectations, but, you know, you're trying to get ready and get your game to its best in a relatively short period of time before the Open comes up. You know, what I'm expecting is a step forward. And today was to stay healthy throughout the match, and if lucky enough, get the win. But the hope is that my game starts feeling really good and I start executing the way that I know I can.

Q. You talk about getting through the match without any physical problems. What about your game was most pleasing?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I really didn't feel that great about it. I guess aside from my physical concerns, I stayed focused on the job and I stretched out that second set. I mean that's just a good sign. But, you know, I don't think really a lot of things felt that good with my game.

Q. How physically have you changed your training regimen?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it's been difficult. For about two weeks I didn't do anything straight after the accident, but then I was able to train, you know, with lower body stuff and even cardio with relative low impact. And, you know, it's just the twisting and the playing that I was real tentative about. Then I had kind of a little bit of a setback when I tried to pick up my tennis before LA so I had to pull back again. Then thought I was ready for Toronto, but, you know, I hadn't played over an hour at one time. So it was all kind of unchartered territory at that point. But tonight was definitely better.

Q. Is it scary for an athlete, you know, you're used to injuring yourself on the tennis court or training. Is it especially scary to injure yourself in a situation where you're not performing your sport?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it's very unfortunate. I mean, you know, you have to deal with a lot of situations through the year, you know, changes of surfaces and travelling, and a lot of times those situations lead to injuries. But, you know, when it's just kind of out of the blue, it's just a bit kind of sad more than anything, you know. But... You just deal with it and you're always looking ahead because you have no time to kind of do otherwise. But, you know, you are relieved to find out that it's manageable and you can get through it.

Q. How much progress can you make if you get a chance to play three, four, five, even six days in a row this week?

ANDRE AGASSI: That would be a lot. I mean I think I can make quick progress. I mean I've liked my game. I've been practicing well and hitting the ball well, but that's always different than playing a match. I feel like I'm in shape. I feel like I'm hitting the ball pretty solidly when I'm practicing. So those elements are there and it can kind of get explosive quick; it can really happen quickly. But it's hard to say, you know, what you expect out of each match. But two weeks, I feel like I can turn around a lot.

Q. Do you get tentative at all mentally when your goal is to stay healthy during a match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. You know, it's in the back of your mind. But I think a few matches of getting through it assures you that you don't have any more concerns. And that always helps what you're doing out there. You know, but I think more than the back, you get a little tentative just on your shots because, you know, you just haven't played a whole lot, and that always makes a difference.

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