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Écrit par Jerome   


May 16, 2001

A AGASSI/F. Santoro
6-3, 5-7, 6-4

An Interview With:


ATP: First question, please.

Q. Andre, looked as though you rescued that match at one point. Were you surprised to see it slip out of your grasp?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, it was a difficult start. I mean, he came up out playing real well not making any errors and took me a while to find my rhythm and then got down to break in the second before it really felt like I started finding my game. And then felt comfortable throughout, and it is just a shame when you can work hard for two hours and 20 minutes and then play a bad six minutes and lose the match. That is how it felt. It just felt like it was a combination of him hitting a couple of good shots and me making a couple of errors and I went from 4-1 down, 5-4, in what felt to be just a few minutes.

Q. Was it difficult to get the ball away in there? You seemed to do a lot of attacking; he got a lot of stuff back. Was it slow and difficult to get the ball away?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is definitely slow, but, you know, I didn't feel like I was returning particularly well, hitting the ball short, so hit a lot of first balls up the line on me there, especially late in the third and pretty unfortunate to get the break in the third. You hit an easy ball, he didn't -- he made a real bad miss there that he wouldn't miss that out of 100 tries, so got the break kind of in a strange fashion and then, you know, I just never felt like I put the hammer down. I mean, he hit a couple good serves, couple of good first balls, and I was quickly down in each of those games and just got away from me.

Q. Do you have much more aggressive shots than he has, but you bring back every ball; how frustrating is that for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is not frustrating. It is challenging. It is like, you know, he does what he does real well, and fortunately he hit a lot of balls and today was one of those days you wish it was three out of five. Maybe three out of five I would have relaxed at, you know, up a set a piece and 4-1 and really started kind of beating him up side to side, but, you know, instead, I think I got a little anxious in the home stretch and probably forced it a little bit. And found myself kind of probably not playing the same high percentage that got me there. If somebody is willing to run like that, I don't mind them doing it. Again, you got to finish a guy like Fabrice off because he is a tough competitor. You got to move really well.

Q. How much of a setback is this for the French preparations?

ANDRE AGASSI: It would be nice to still be in the event. The clay here is way different and it is -- a couple of matches is better than one match, and so I will try to find the bright point in it which isn't very bright and then I will, you know, then I will move forward. Hopefully by the French and playing three out of five and I will find myself hitting a rhythm, just get through a few matches there, but, you know, not much I can do at this point except give it my best shot. I really felt good about the way I was hitting the ball for the most part. And again, just a bit disappointing.

Q. A lack of concentration in the third set when you were 4-1 ahead?

ANDRE AGASSI: I probably rushed a little bit, but again, he hit a couple of good shots to get up quick in the games, and he served well. He hit a few big first serve, first shots, and yeah, I mean, probably needed a little bit more time to think about what exactly happened, but, you know, again you just -- you work hard for two quarter hours and then five minutes can lose you the match. So it is definitely what happened there.

Q. There is a seeding discussion going on before Wimbledon right now. And they are talking about maybe for the clay court tournaments there should be another seeding as well. Here right now the six top seeds are gone. What do you think about the seeding discussion before the clay court and the grass tournaments?

ANDRE AGASSI: I say seed me wherever you want and I am going to show up and try to win. Stick me wherever you want in the draw, I am going to go out there and realize I have to beat 7 players to win and what order they come in, doesn't matter to me. It is about playing well at the right time. Every draw requires you to play well at different stages of the tournament. So yeah, if the French want to see things differently, no problems with me.

Q. Are you surprised that the ATP and the All England Club have not come to some sort of agreement now?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. (Laughs) Not really. Doesn't surprise me at all. Wimbledon is Wimbledon for a reason. They have done things a certain way. They always have remained very unique and for very specific reasons. It's a club and it's a tournament that doesn't have many other tournaments on that surface and it is unique in its own right, and, you know, if players boycott or protest it, you got to at least give them credit for feeling so strong that they are going to back it up with action. More power to them if that is the approach that is taken. I just feel like, you know, these tournaments that are so specific to the specialist in any one department, whether it be clay or whether it be grass, I think requires some assessing. You know, again, six seeds out here is probably a good testament to it.

Q. If a boycott was called on it, would you support it?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I don't believe that would be the best way to go about it. I mean, for me to sit here and declare my position after -- without knowing exactly what positions are being taken, it would be hard for me to say. But I can say that I don't think that is necessary. I think a talented player such as Gustavo Kuerten and whoever else had been mentioned in this, I think are great for the game and should continue to add to the game by competing under any conditions. So objectively I don't think that would be great for the game of tennis and hopefully it won't have to come to that.

Q. Is the Grand Slam your final goal in your career? You won everything except the Grand Slam.

ANDRE AGASSI: I just lost second round to Fabrice Santoro so I am going to practice tomorrow. (Laughter) I am going to try to get this much better (indicating an inch) because these guys are too good.

Q. Thanks.

ATP: Thank you.

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