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Écrit par Jerome   


Flushing Meadows, New York

August 28, 2000

6-4, 6-2, 6-0

An interview with:


MODERATOR: Questions for Andre.

Q. At this point in your career, can you imagine the mindset of a guy like Alex coming in, getting a wildcard, finding himself matched up against someone like you, how tough that must be for him?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, in all honesty, my mind doesn't work that way. I give every player so much respect on the court, as far as their game goes, because that's the way I perform my best. So I make a lot of assumptions that a lot of times aren't accurate, like the guy's going to go out there and really expect to beat me. I guess at some moments of a match, you kind of get to feeling like they could be overwhelmed with the situation a little bit. But never really going out there.

Q. What did you make of his game?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's a good player. It's a tough match-up against me because he really has to stay in the point and hit a few big shots. He seems to be a pretty good counter-puncher where he can hit one or two good balls, but eventually I would stretch the point. So I think it was a bit of a tough match-up for him. But, you know, he has a good backhand that he can hit both directions. His serve could improve a lot. I think he could utilize kind of coming in a little bit more.

Q. They asked Pete about this new ATP campaign, "New Balls Please." Do you feel like they're trying to push you and Pete out prematurely?

ANDRE AGASSI: Somebody else can pick up the slack. I certainly wouldn't mind that. That's no problem with me.

Q. Do you feel like you guys are kind of forgotten?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not really. Not really. I welcome that time. I welcome that time.

Q. Where do you feel your game is at this point, after tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, a little difficult to tell tonight. I was in control of the match early in each set. My shots are there, but there's no question as the tournament goes on, I'm going to have to pick up my concentration and my focus a little bit more. I think it still has a tendency to wander a little bit because of the lack of matches. I'm not closing out certain situations the way I like. But that can come around. That part can come around in a few matches. But I like the way I'm striking the ball.

Q. Does that at all depend on the surface? Can you come around faster on hard as opposed to grass or clay, or at this point in your career does it not matter?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it matters substantially. It matters how the surface suits your game. I grew up on hard courts. I'm the kind of player that likes to hit six to eight balls and then end the point. When you're talking about clay, you're talking about a surface that you have to be sharp and disciplined on the right ball, which for my game tends to be 10 or 14 balls. On grass, it seems to be, you know, 2 to 4. It's about where you're comfortable most with your game. On a hard court, it's bouncing clean, I'm hitting the ball two, three, four times, ending the point. I find that my confidence in that scenario comes around a lot quicker, my execution and concentration, as well.

Q. You can go zero to 60 in two matches as opposed to four on clay, where you feel your game is in shape to win one of these things, or am I confusing it?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it can come real quickly. I mean, really all it takes is a great match. Step out there and raise your level to a standard that you beat somebody better than what you even expected, and you play one great match, and that seems like it can really do it for you - at least for me on hard court.

Q. How much support did the crowd give you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I felt a lot of love out there, a lot.

Q. It was very funny. I think once they were screaming, "Steffi." Do you realize that? What do you think about that?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, it's hard not to hear it, yeah. It's hard not to hear it. You know, as long as they don't want her playing instead, as long as I'm getting the job done.

Q. Kind of the golden age of US tennis, Courier retired, Chang hasn't been a factor for a long time, why do you think you and Pete have endured so long? Is it just talent or is there more to it?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think a lot has to do with Jim and Pete, just really what they asked of their bodies. Jim really trained arguably at times more than he should have. I think that takes a toll. He went through a stage where he had that dead arm, where his arm wasn't even responding. Other times where I saw him, his legs weren't responding. He was always in great shape, but he didn't feel like he was moving as well. I think the work, the miles he put on his body. I think it's the same thing with Michael. Those are two examples of guys that are just more beat up these days. I think Pete has an incredibly efficient game. Pete can win a very lackadaisical 7-6, 7-5 match. And me, I would fall a lot more probably in Jim or Michael's category, except I take off every other year. I haven't quite been consumed with that part of tennis. When I'm in it, I go hard. It's tough.

Q. Do you credit that with somewhat your endurance, your ability to be playing this long at this level, that you had those years off, didn't take that much of a toll on your body?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes. Physically I think it's a big issue. I think it's also a big issue mentally, too. Let's be honest. At a certain level, that's what makes a difference out there, is your mind, how much you want it. I think the more toll you take on your body, the more difficult it is for you to stay hungry.

Q. As you've gotten along in your career, does this tournament make or break your summer? Do you look differently at your summer based on how you do in this particular tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, very much so. '95, I won every match in the summer except the finals of this tournament. I never felt worse about a summer. It was even that much more disappointing to lose here. I think if you can play a great Open after a tough summer, you can make the whole year. Forget the summer, you can make the whole year by winning here.

Q. A little more urgency now that you're older?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not any more than I did last year. Obviously, it's a year later. You know, I feel the same sense of urgency as I have the last couple years, to be honest. That's a question of perspective. I feel like I've had an accurate perspective. You never know, whether it be by choice or by injury or by anything, when is going to be your last Open.

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