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Écrit par Jerome   


Flushing Meadows, New York

August 31, 2000

A. CLEMENT/A. Agassi
6-3, 6-2, 6-4

An interview with:


MODERATOR: Questions for Andre.

Q. When you had the lead in the first set, looked like you were dictating play. How did things turn around?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think Arnaud just picked up his game a little bit. I didn't step it up from there. You know, he made an adjustment, started playing bigger, and I never raised my level after that.

Q. Was your heart in it today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, yeah, very much.

Q. Were there any distractions?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. Just, you know, trying to figure out how to get to him, but I couldn't do it.

Q. Felt like you were here physically, but not your mind.

ANDRE AGASSI: Hmm. Just got outplayed. Sometimes it looks that way.

Q. Andre, you didn't move well in the third set. Was it the back?


Q. No?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I mean, I don't know what to tell you. You've got to give people credit where credit's due. Spend your energy writing about the way he played.

Q. Did you have a sense that everything you tried, he just did one bit better, the angles, the depth?


Q. We all feel terrible about your mother and sister. How are they doing?


Q. How did you feel physically?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I mean, I had a couple more sets in me, if I could have gotten there. I mean, I felt pretty good. But, you know, still probably an hour away from the match being physical. It was a long ways away from getting to him that way.

Q. Did you just never get the feel of the game? What was going on?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's finding the balance between hitting offensively enough to control the point, but not playing too big. You know, I struggle with that. Sometimes I play too big and occasionally I just took a little bit off of it, I was hitting balls that he was getting advantage on. I never found my quality pace shot that allowed me to dictate without taking too many chances. It was a little breezy down there, tough conditions. You know, once you start second-guessing your shots a little bit, your feet don't respond as well. When the ball's moving around, your feet aren't adjusting, mistakes are going to happen.

Q. The fans had to be surprised at what happened. Is there something that he showed on his side of the court that surprised you?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, he came up with some big serves at times when I had him 15-30, 30-All. I mean, I needed to get him in more rallies there to get a chance to break him down. I thought he moved exceptionally well and he was quick to take the backhand up the line and catch me flat-footed.

Q. In the last game, he hit that serve up the middle. He didn't hear the let call, started to celebrate. You hit an unbelievable swing volley in the next point. Did you think at this point, "I can turn this around"?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, if I break at that game, you know, you never know what happens from there. I'm sure he'd have a big letdown because he'd feel he was so close but yet possibly so far. But I still would have had to win the third somehow. You know, I mean, I would have needed to step it up sooner or later, and I didn't do that. He was playing better than me.

Q. You've often said a key to your game is focus. Let's say on a scale of 1 to 10 going on, what would you say your level of focus was?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was a 10.

Q. Can you talk about how it feels to have results at the French and US compared to last year?

ANDRE AGASSI: Five matches worse. It's more disappointing.

Q. Being a professional, do you get it out of your mind quickly, or does it haunt you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Every one is different. Every one has its own bite to it. I'll have to kind of sit back and soak it in.

Q. When you look back on this year, go back to Zimbabwe, do you see that as just another part of the grueling haul or where you saw the results begin to drop off?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, that's not opinions. All you have to do is look at the results. I had a couple semis results, and that's it. Seems like that was some kind of marking point.

Q. How far do you think it's going to be to kind of get this to the Olympics for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. I mean, it's always most difficult right after your loss. I've learned enough to know not to jump to too many conclusions too quickly. We'll have to see.

Q. Would you say Zimbabwe was a season turning point for you suddenly?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I guess from a results standpoint, it sure seems that way. I mean, you know, everything was pretty much great with my game there. You know, it took a turn somehow.

Q. Will that impact your thinking in terms of playing Davis Cup next year, for example?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I don't know. For me it's week-to-week right now. I mean, I've got a lot to think about right now just with the Olympics coming up.

Q. Andre, any chance you won't be going to Sydney or you will be there?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I mean, the plan has been to go there. Again, I'm not going to start popping off right after I have a disappointing match.

Q. As you were going through this match, you saw it slip away, are you feeling different about this one than some other matches? Is your mind not into it as much? What are you feeling as the match is going on?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, you only should be beating the guy if you're beating him. You can't disrespect these professionals who come out here and work their asses off. That's what he was doing out there. He was doing what he needed to do to be up two-sets-to-Love. I'm just trying to make adjustments to get into the match. At that point, you know, that's all I'm thinking about. You know, again, you have to step up and change something at some point. I felt like every time I stepped it up, I started missing, then I pulled back and he kept offensive. It was just a brutal day.

Q. Over the last couple of years, there's been a lot of focus on your personal life off the court. What has that reaction been like?

ANDRE AGASSI: What are you talking about?

Q. With your mother and sister, a lot of focus. What has the public's reaction been like?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. The same. I haven't noticed anything.

Q. Aside from the end result, if there were one thing you could change about today's match, what would that be?

ANDRE AGASSI: Uhm, I mean, it's hard to say. I felt like he was beating me in a number of departments. If I would have changed one thing, I probably would have lost in four sets, probably would have changed two or three.

Q. When did you find out that your mother and sister were ill?

ANDRE AGASSI: When it happened.

Q. A lot of ATP players played in Long Island last week. You bypassed that. Is that something you might consider next year before The Open?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, you're making decisions week-to-week all the time. Washington, I played singles and doubles. I felt like it was a good enough week to put me in position to come here. You know, hindsight is 20/20. Just wasn't a good summer. Kind of ended the way it started. That's really all there is to it.

Q. When you see a guy like that, 20 years old, guys running corner to corner that fast, set after set, do you feel your 30 years?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I definitely feel slower than him. I mean, that's for sure. You know, I move well when I'm playing well. You know, I never rely on my defensive movement. That's what he does. You know, I mean, it's not his speed that would ever make me feel my age. It's what people's strengths are. That's his. Mine is to control the point without missing. That wasn't 30 years; that was just bad tennis, not the tennis I can certainly play.

Q. Would you say that Pete is the big favorite now for The Open?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I would.

Q. If you don't win the gold in a couple weeks, then you look back at your year, you did win the Australian, would it be a successful year for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Professionally on the court, you mean?

Q. On the court.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I guess so. I mean, I did win one Slam, so that's good. I'll take one Slam every year for the next 20 years.

Q. Are you someone whose focus has changed a lot by what's going on off the court or are you able to shut that out?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I'm very focused.

Q. But in general, Pete was in here the other night saying that some guys are able to shut everything out, and some guys, it's a matter of balance. I didn't know how much of a factor the rest of your life comes in when you're playing tennis.

ANDRE AGASSI: Like I said, I was very focused.

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