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Écrit par Jerome   



November 28, 2000

A. AGASSI/G. Kuerten
4-6, 6-4, 6-3

An interview with:


MODERATOR: Questions for Andre.

Q. That has to be pretty satisfying, a good way to get into it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I mean, it was pleasantly surprising today the way things developed. It wasn't very comfortable at first. I wasn't getting on to his serve. He was serving pretty well. Just lack of playing, I felt. I was pretty fortunate to hold on in the second set and then played a good game to break for the set. Then I thought it was all to the good for me because it was at least three sets of tennis. I felt like once I got to the third, I could kind of relax more into my game. I started hitting the ball more aggressively.

Q. Looks like the conditions are pretty slow to us, watching from the side. Is it slower than previous years?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm just moving really fast (laughter). The balls get heavy. You know, you can still hit through the court, especially when they're newer. But the balls, they do get beaten up. You're going to see a different style of play obviously with two baseliners. We hit the ball with good pace, a lot of spin. Those balls are getting chewed up. They do get heavy.

Q. Talking about Pete yesterday, you said you can't stay two and a half months away from the game and not pay a price for it with the level of depth. Do you think it's a good example today of what can happen?

ANDRE AGASSI: I didn't watch it, but I certainly didn't expect him to come out and play great. Doesn't mean he can't find a way to win matches, but it's going to take him a few. If there's anybody that can do it, he certainly can. But it's not easy. This is a necessary for him in preparation for next year, just to try to get in these matches, try to sneak some wins, maybe get four or five in.

Q. I suppose for you, too, the fact that you've been out here plugging away at it, playing a couple tournaments earlier this month, even with the injury, maybe this is the payoff?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, if I didn't make the trip over here for a few weeks, I never could have won a match like today. As a matter of fact, it would have been a lot closer to 4 and 2 than it would have been to me winning. As it was, I was down breakpoint and hit some kind of like Bucharest backfire there. I was pretty fortunate anyhow. But without the matches, it's impossible to compete at this level. Even with the matches, it's difficult. You've got to step it up.

Q. You look at the points, winning a Slam gets you 200. If you were to win this tournament undefeated, you get 150. Do you think that's a reasonable equation, considering the prestige of the tournaments, how they're fixed up? Don't mean to get too political.

ANDRE AGASSI: Hard to say. I feel like in many ways, it's easier to win a Slam than it is this tournament because not only -- you know, every match, it's like you're starting the game in the fourth quarter. I mean, it's really high stakes. Guys know how to win in this tournament. Guys know how to close you out. Guys know how to make you pay the price for mistakes. You've got to play well from start to finish. You also have to play back-to-back, so you're playing great players day after day. And that's harder physically and mentally than playing three-out-of-five and having a day to kind of regroup and get ready for your next one. From a difficulty standpoint, I feel like it's reasonable.

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