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Écrit par Jerome   


March 12, 2001

A. AGASSI/H. Arazi
6-3, 6-2

An interview with:


MODERATOR: Andre improves his match record to 12-2 on the season. He'll take on the winner of Tommy Haas and Davide Sanguinetti. First question.

Q. Was that match a pretty good measure of where you've come from last year to this? You beat the guy tonight who beat you here last year.

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, every week is so different, I mean, I went from playing great in January last year to struggling for a while. There's no question tonight I was a lot better than I was this week last year. I think overall, it's a process that asks you to get better every year.

Q. After everything that happened with Scottsdale, you saw the draw, you saw Arazi again. What went through your mind?

ANDRE AGASSI: "I can't lose to three lefties in a row." That's what went through my mind.

MODERATOR: First time since '91 that he played three lefties in a row.


MODERATOR: Ivanisevic, Tokyo, Sydney.

ANDRE AGASSI: '93, I played Korda in the finals, Korda first round, Korda first round.

Q. Do you find it intimidating playing a lefty?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, not normally. It requires adjustments, but normally it's a good thing for my game because everything plays towards my backhand. I'm fine hitting my backhand both directions. You know, I think playing a lefty is always an adjustment. Just I've got to kind of -- now all of a sudden I'm seeing the court differently. Three in a row, I've got to get back to a righty here, start seeing the court normal again.

Q. What kind of goals are you setting for yourself this year? You started off wonderfully. Where do you think you can go this year? Where do you want to be by the end of the year?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think ultimately it's getting cliche now just to talk about the Slams and say they're the most important. Kind of goes unsaid in many respects. But these two weeks are important for all the guys. There's a lot of time before these two, and there's time after these two before the next Slam. There are the best players in the world here. You have to establish yourself as the best all the time. These are two great weeks to do it. My goals are to win as many big ones as I can, all the way down the line. While these might not be as big as other Slams, putting a lot of pressure on myself to play here well, especially, because I haven't accomplished winning this tournament.

Q. Are you looking at the tournaments you haven't won, and you say, "Before I leave, I want to make sure I get Indian Wells"?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, that's ideal. You want to win everything. But ultimately you want to play your best and you want your best to either win or to be beaten by somebody who can play better. I think this is a week that I've always expected myself to play well here. I grew up on hard courts, grew up in the desert, a little bit of altitude. You know, this seems like it's a place I should be pretty familiar with. But I have to go out there and prove that.

Q. I noticed your parents were at the San Jose event. Did they come to just one match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, they just came to one match.

Q. Are they going to be seen a little more frequently now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, I don't know. You know, a lot of these matches, weeks like this are on TV. My dad prefers to see the replays, you know, see my opponents' weaknesses.

Q. What did he say to you afterwards? How difficult was it for him to watch you in person?

ANDRE AGASSI: He didn't seem to struggle with it at all. He was pretty excited about it. He would have been a little disappointed to show up and have me lose. I was down a break in the third that day. He kind of expressed that he was glad that I didn't lose when he watched, for the sake of coming again.

Q. If you were in this shape before, you were thinking today how many Grand Slams you could have win, what crosses your mind? You're in excellent shape now. If you did it before?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, what I could have? It's not what I could have, it's what I've done. For me, I either won them or I didn't. There's a lot I didn't win, and I didn't win for reasons of getting beat. Whatever those reasons might be, whether I could have been in better shape, whether I could have been more focused on my game or whether the ball just didn't fall for me that day, you know, it's not easy to win. I can still control the future, so that's what I'm focused on.

Q. So many of the players have their parents there every week, week in, week out. Do you find it odd or abnormal that like Pete and yourself, actually your parents are interested, but they kept their real life or whatever they were doing before?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, I don't know, it's hard to speak for anybody else. I feel like I'm very proud of my parents. I'm proud of the way they've not only raised all us kids, my brother and two sisters, but I'm proud at the perspective they've kept on life. And the joys they've gotten out of life have seemed to stay the same. That's always a lesson to be learned there. It's nice to have a great relationship and to be around your parents a lot. You always hope that parents who are around a lot have that kind of relationship with their kids, that it is a good one and a healthy one.

Q. When you're at a tournament and there's so much to be done to focus on matches, are you aware of some of the current events at all, like when the stock market crashed today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Dow down 435, NASDAQ down 140.

Q. So you are aware. Are you a news junky at all, paying attention to stuff that goes on?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, I try to stay somewhat informed, yeah. I guess you could call it normal.

Q. So are you CNBC or CNN-fn?

ANDRE AGASSI: CNBC always has been a good station. They don't have the same confidence these days with the market struggling, but I always enjoy that show.

Q. Do you watch it on days you have matches or do you try to block it out?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I mean, I've spent my life preparing to do what I do here. I focus on it in between the lines, so. It's nice to have distractions.

Q. There are NASDAQ signs during the women's match.

ANDRE AGASSI: What exactly is your question?

Q. NASDAQ I guess is a partial sponsor. Of the young players coming up, what is your opinion of like Andy Roddick, people like that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I can speak specifically. Andy I think has a great game. I think he has a serve that's big, good second serve, big forehand, moves pretty well, seems like he has a good hunger for the game. All those things lend for a good future.

Q. Have you seen much of Fish?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have not actually. I really couldn't tell you anything about his game outside what I hear. That's not good enough for me.

Q. You've practiced with Andy quite a bit on his court at home?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I have.

Q. What made you pick him? Just because he's in the area and you were there?

ANDRE AGASSI: I like the fact that he's a young American player. You know, I played him in Key Biscayne that year. That's when I first kind of got familiar with him. Just kind of develops from there. I mean, you get to know somebody a little bit, you enjoy not just even practicing but hopefully helping them with their game. I enjoyed getting to know Andy a little bit.

Q. We had Pete in here earlier. He sort of seemed like he was still pretty motivated. You seem to be pretty motivated still, when obviously both of you guys can go on cruise control now. You don't seem like you're ready to do that yet.

ANDRE AGASSI: That's correct. That's very observant. You have to be committed to what you're doing. If you're out here, there's no cruising. You're either going forwards or you're going backwards.

Q. You intend to still go forwards?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, or you won't see me.

Q. New house in Marin County. Is that going to be the home now for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, right now my life is on the road. The weeks that I have off, my training, my office, my foundation, my family, my friends, everything's in Las Vegas. It will stay that way for a while, I'm sure.

Q. You were just saying about still being motivated, focused on the game. How much more do you think you can improve with your game?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm always searching to get better. I always feel like I can. I feel like the better athlete you become, the better you can do anything, including play tennis. I feel like the stronger I get, if I can start moving better, if I can start serving a little better, I can execute my shots with conviction and hit it bigger, more consistently. I mean, these are things, you know, that ultimately at the end of the day, you're talking about the ball bouncing right for you to win the ones that matter the most. You've got to play your best tennis at the right time. Sometimes that's a lot easier said than done, so you can actually get better and lose. I had a year where I went to four Slam finals in a row, and I could play better than that and only get to four semis.

Q. Is that the motivating factor that keeps the challenge to get better or is it more just the love of the game that keeps you going?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it changes. You know, I think at different times you're motivated by different things. There's a lot that surrounds this life that doesn't allow you to think about the enjoyment, except for random moments. Those you kind of capture by finding yourself in them. I think overall, the general motivation is an inner challenge for me, and then I find myself a lot just reflecting on some pretty incredible moments where you feel really in love with the game. Those are less calculated for me.

Q. If Tommy Haas will be your next opponent, what do you think about him?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's a good player. I played Tommy a few times, had some good matches. I'll have to be playing well. He hits the ball big, both sides, good serve. It will be a good match.

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