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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

THE MASTERS SERIES 2001
THE ERICSSON OPEN

MIAMI, FLORIDA

March 26, 2001

A. AGASSI/D. Prinosil
6-1, 6-3

An Interview With:

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: First question for Andre, please.

Q. Seemed like all business today, no high, no low, just seemed incredibly focused. Monday afternoon?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think a lot has to do with conditions and the type of match you're playing. Today was warm and breezy and I think David was missing a lot. He really wasn't forcing me to do a whole lot in the first set, and so it was just kind of trying not to interfere with the momentum that was kind of working against him at the time and just... And then he started playing better down 4-1, he loosened up on a few returns, got the break back. I felt like I was asked to kind of start playing better. I knew the quality of the match was picking up. I played a real good game to break him then just served it out.

Q. You feel you're carrying a lot of momentum through the year? Your record is outstanding. You feel the confidence just building and building?

ANDRE AGASSI: At this stage of the ball game, I certainly can say that I have a lot of confidence, but by the same token, though, for me it's about every day and what's required and making sure I'm looking out for myself physically and doing what's required each day. Because it doesn't seem like it takes much out there to lose the edge. So it's really competitive. So, one at a time.

Q. I think the word might be solid. Do you think you're playing solid out there?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think when I have to be, yeah. There are times where the situation calls for you to play better than that or to do more than that. And over the last week and a half, I've stepped up to that challenge, but today was just solid.

Q. Were you in that zone where you see the tennis ball like a basketball?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know about that. You know, I think that happens randomly and it kind of happens out of your control. You just work on each point, then all of a sudden you hit a stretch where things are just really flowing out there.

Q. How encouraged are you by the youth? It's gotten alot of attention guys like Roddick and the guy you faced in the last round. Do you think it looks encouraging as far as the future of the sport in America?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think Andy has been our best hope for a while. I've been saying that. I've practiced with him a lot, I think he has a real, real nice game. I think he has a great presence out there on the court. I think he does a lot of things well and has a long ways to improve, which is a great sign, seeing that he's already playing and competing on this level. You know, but, you know, I don't know. It's the first time I'm in this position, which is towards the latter part of my career. As far as, you know, passing anything, I don't know what I have to pass. I'm just trying to, you know, take care of my job out there and it is nice to see younger guys step up for our country because, you know, we don't have a lot. You have to go out there and earn it. You have to earn it inside the lines, and regardless of where you're from, how old you are.

Q. From the time that you spent hitting with Andy before the Open, was there something that struck you about maybe his personality, about his demeanor that would lead you to think he's got a good head on his shoulders at this point?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean I've -- I think Andy's a good guy. He's, you know, a quality person who is very considerate of people around him and his environment. So it's just -- it speaks for his ability to focus and to know what he's facing. So, I like his game. I like the way, you know, he handles himself, he goes about his business. And you know, he was good practice.

Q. Speaking of --?

ANDRE AGASSI: Works hard.

Q. Speaking of influencing youth, I think you have an amazing balance between confidence and humility. Where did you learn that from? Who was your biggest influence for that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Life. Life. (Laughing.) Life can teach you some incredible things if you stop long enough. Yeah.

Q. How else could the USTA improve the level of tennis for the newcomers and how would they allocate money? Is enough being done?

ANDRE AGASSI: I would say probably not. Not enough's being done. You know, I don't know the -- where all their moneys are allocated. I know a few things that could happen. I think they could -- they could build a facility of high quality out in the west coast somewhere where guys can get together and train. I think one of the great advantages some of these other countries have over us is the fact that their younger players travel around and practice with the pros and see what the ball's like. I mean, I think it's one that Nick Bolletieri has created that is really showing how you can build a program that works, because you're bringing an environment of competition and you're letting young guys see what it's like to face big-time tennis. And that pushes them, you know. So I'd like to see a facility be set up where guys like myself or guys like Pete or guys that, you know, the older Americans go there and practice,

you know. You take advantage of the facilities, where the young ones can come along and be a part of all that. You know, I'd like to see them travel around more. I'd like to see them be always available for coming to tournaments and working out with us in a sense being next year's side, learning a little bit.

Q. Are you available for Davis Cup?

ANDRE AGASSI: What's that.

Q. Are you going to be available for Davis Cup?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. Considering that three of the top five seeds are out, how confident are you of maybe having a repeat of last week's, making a second Masters?

ANDRE AGASSI: I haven't even looked at the brackets and draws. For me, it is one at a time. Occasionally, I notice draws, but not by design. I just haven't noticed it. So I don't know who I'm playing outside Tommy Haas. That's good enough for me. That's enough for me to think about.

Q. John McEnroe has said he's amazed at how you use the angles on the court. How would you compare the way you use the angles to the way he did?

ANDRE AGASSI: To the way John did?

Q. Yeah.

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I feel like I execute my angles. John used to just play the angles. He would cut off the ball a lot more than I would. You know, a lot of times I wait for the ball and then I execute a good angle. But he would -- he would always -- the ball would never play him; he was always cutting it off. I think he had a better sense of the court possibly than anybody who's ever played the game.

Q. What can you tell us about Tommy Haas?

ANDRE AGASSI: As far as, what do you mean, his game?

Q. His game. I believe you guys are 3-2 against him.

ANDRE AGASSI: He's a good player. He's a powerful player. He's got a real effective serve. He can hit the ball big off both sides. Moves pretty well. He's a good all-court player. He has great balance and sense of presence at net. The guy does a lot of things well. He's having a great year this year already.

Q. You put out the term human spirit in reference to Jennifer Capriati and actually recently about Pete Sampras. What advantage do you have or do you see when you tap into the human spirit on the court or in life?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, you know, in this sport you have to be physically in a position where you can tap into your experience and your fighting spirit. You know, you can want to do it really bad, but if you physically can't, that's a problem and for me it's just all about it coming together. I mean, as long as I'm healthy and as long as I'm moving well and as long as I'm out there with a purpose, I know I can bring all my experience into a nice package.

Q. I saw a quote from you recently where you said you would have had trouble if you played with wood. How do you think you would have adjusted? What kind of strokes do you think you'd have? How would your game be different?

ANDRE AGASSI: I probably wouldn't be taking the ball quite as early. I wouldn't be able to just stand on the baseline. I'd probably be a little bit back from the baseline and look to kind of step in on one ball versus camp there and force somebody to push me back. You know, with wood, you can still hit the ball well. The problem is that, you know, when you hit it off center, how good are your misses. That's where the technology really helps these days. It helps your misses a lot more than it helps your quality cuts. You know, I mean I would have found a way somehow.

 
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