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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

THE US OPEN 2001
NEW YORK CITY

August 27, 2001

A. AGASSI/M. Bryan
6-4, 6-1, 6-0

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

MODERATOR: Questions for Andre.

Q. Got yourself on quite a roll there second and third sets. Just a question of getting warmed up? What got you into that gear?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, it's always a combination. You need to find your range certainly. But to have a stretch go that well, you've got to count on a little help from your opponent. I mean, I think there's just a couple close games there where he threw in a couple double-faults. I managed to get that early break. Once you get that early break in a set, it does help you to relax and kind of to stretch a lead. That's what happened. I never quite allowed him to get back into the match once he gave me that edge.

Q. Talk about the first set. There were some exchanges of breaks early on. What was going on in the first set?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, you're starting The Open. He played a long deuce game, I got the break. You know, first service game of the tournament. Just didn't execute a good game there. He hit one good shot. Next thing you know, it's back on serve. You just try to put it behind you and keep focusing. I managed to get it right back again, then take care of my serve from there.

Q. What were your thoughts when you saw who was in your quarter of the draw? What do you make of the power that's in that quarter of the draw?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, a draw always looks stacked to me every time I look at it. You have to win seven matches. I've got to say, there's nobody you look at and assume anything with. But with that being said, you know, Pete has won this thing four times, Pat has won it twice, myself. That's a lot of US Open trophies in one little section of the draw. You definitely give that additional respect. But it's still matches away. You never know if you're going to end up playing them anyhow, so you try to focus on one at a time.

Q. There's a lot of talk with you, Pete, Michael at the latter stages of your career, obviously different parts, but on in years sort of. What are your thoughts on the next generation? You've been asked this a lot, about Andy Roddick, the other guys who are coming along, how close they are to taking things to the same type of level that you guys have been able to.

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, that's a tough question for me to answer. I mean, I can comment on a few things. I can comment on what I think of a guy like Andy's game, and I can comment on what I think the difficulty level is to accomplish winning huge tournaments throughout the course of your career. The rest falls within the character and the champion qualities of any particular individual. And that's the part of sports that is in everybody's hands. Andy has a great game. He has certainly a huge serve. He's a real good athlete. He has a big forehand. I'm sure he's only going to get better. I can tell you it's mighty hard to win championships, you know. Somewhere through all that, it will play itself out.

Q. How do you feel about your game right now compared to when you last won this thing?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, that's a difficult one to answer, too. You know, I mean, you've got to deal with each match as it comes. You're asked to do different things with each player. You know, I feel healthy. I feel like I'm moving well. I feel like I'm executing my shots. My game feels ready to shift, to kind of ask myself for what's needed to get through the challenges ahead. But it has to fall at the right time. I think I was really coming in with a lot of momentum two years ago. And this year I feel rather solid. I've done well under both those circumstances. I've also had disappointments under both those circumstances. So it's not just a cliche. Unfortunately, it's easy to say and it's easy to feel: It's one at a time.

Q. When Michael Chang was in here earlier, he said for this generation that's coming along, there might be more pressure because there's more attention, promotional campaign, whereas with you guys the pressure came after you won, you raised the level of expectation. Do you see it the same way that Michael does, that for Andy Roddick, people coming along now, even before they win a Slam or win a big tournament, there's a lot of pressure?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I can speak to my experiences, and I felt a lot of pressure. I think it's easy to feel a lot of pressure. When I came along, it was towards the end of McEnroe and Connors' run. I think I felt a lot and got asked a lot of questions about, in a sense, kind of filling that void that was going to be left. But, you know, I think the pressure part is really what you make of it as the player, you know. At the end of the day, the more pressure there is, the more importance is on, you know, watching the ball and moving your feet and executing. You know, so again, that all boils down to how somebody handles the situation. I think true competitors find a place to kind of put all that. But there will be a lot of pressure after this generation. We've left a lot of titles, you know, to America. We've given a lot of great matches in finals of Slams between myself aand Jim and Pete and Michael. It will be a lot to live up to, but not impossible.

Q. Does any part of you miss being the "hot young thing"?

ANDRE AGASSI: No (smiling). No, that's an easy answer for me. I kind of like focusing on the tennis.

Q. Both Bryan brothers were talking about how you were their idol growing up. How does it feel to know you're an icon to some of these guys?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, my experience just kind of teaches me to deal with the tennis, you know, what a guy's strengths are, what their weaknesses are, how I go about that. Sometimes the job gets easier. Somebody plays a nervous match. Sometimes it gets tougher when somebody kind of raises their level to a place where they've never played before. You're always prepared to deal with whatever comes at you. I mean, I take it as a huge compliment. There's no greater compliment to me than a peer looking up with a certain amount of respect. It's the best thing you can hope for. But with that being said, it would have been even that much greater of a moment for him to have beaten me tonight. I go out there with that respect.

Q. When you first started off, there were several serve and volley champions, Becker, Edberg, McEnroe. Now we're down to two. Looks like serve volleying is something that might be a dying art. Do you enjoy playing against a guy who gives you a target by coming in all the time or does it matter?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've enjoyed it on both levels. You know, it brings out different dimensions of the game. I've always felt that if I play a serve-volleyer, it lends for the depth of this game to kind of be appreciated, and the different shots that are played, the different ways you can play the game. So I've enjoyed it certainly from that perspective. But I've also enjoyed working into kind of controlling a match from the baseline. You know, each match asks you for something different. I wish there were more serve and volleyers in the game for the sake of the game. I think it's a beautiful way to play, especially if you do it well. I think guys just serve too big now. I mean, you don't really have to volley if you can blow it in there 142 miles an hour. You know, it's like you kind of grow up, "I'm going to crush this serve and deal with whatever's left." It's tough to get in behind a 140 mile an hour serve. You're too busy executing everything you have. The ball is going and coming too fast to even make it to the service line. I think the Rafters of the game, Edbergs, McEnroes, Beckers are missed. I think the Rafter of the game will be missed, too.

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