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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

2002 PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 12, 2002

M. KRATOCHVIL/A. Agassi
7-6, 7-6

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

MODERATOR: Questions for Andre.

Q. Too much tennis, tired? Is that part of it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I don't think there always has to be an excuse. No, I mean, I thought he played a good match today. I think I've played better matches in the last few weeks than I did today. But, you know, every week offers a new challenge. Never quite got settled in my game. A lot had to do with the way he was hitting the ball. He was hitting it pretty big. It was just coming off my racquet pretty hot.

Q. What was the reason you called Doug Spreen out?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just a little tightness in my quad area here. It kind of tightened up on me over the last few days. Thought maybe it could loosen up if he could work on it a little bit. Thought it would help.

Q. Did it affect your play?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, hard to say. I mean, I think my problem was more my opponent today.

Q. You're not one to underestimate an opponent. Did he take you by surprise, seeing that last time you played him it was reasonably routine?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you can't really go out there and have any expectation whatsoever. You've got to be prepared for whatever, you know, the match -- however the match unfolds. I mean, these guys are too good. I know that. I've played him before. Came out here today knowing that, you know, he can -- not a whole lot separates us. If they're playing their game and you're not playing yours, you can't expect to win. You know, today I didn't step up in the biggest moments of that match. I had two opportunities in the tiebreaker, made some errors. You know, never found my rhythm.

Q. Your record career-wise tiebreakers is not really -- you're just a little over .500. Is there just more luck involved in those? Does the skill kind of get taken out of it a little bit?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think, you know, you're talking about the best professionals in the world playing, you know, a sudden death tiebreaker. .500 is probably pretty standard. I think, you know, breakers favor in a lot of cases a big server. But I think it's also a bit of how just one or two points go. So you've always got to attribute some part of it to luck.

Q. In the first tiebreaker, a point that looked clearly out. You looked at the line judge. Did that affect you?

ANDRE AGASSI: It affected me because every point is crucial. An ace up the middle. The lady missed that call. She also missed one that I hit. A number of games later, I aced him up the middle, it was clearly wide, she called that one good. You've got to expect calls sometimes to be missed. It's more difficult when they're missed in an important situation. I mean, that's -- you know, 5-All to 6-4 is a big swing.

Q. This quad tightening that you're still having problems with, obviously, was it something you did?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I just think it's been a little bit of fatigue. You know, it's been -- hasn't been a lot of tennis for five months, then there's been a lot of it in the last couple weeks. You expect it. There's nothing here that I'm by any means overly concerned about. I needed to find a way to get through that match, and Kratochvil didn't allow me to do that. He stepped up and played some real good tennis on real important points.

Q. So it's not going to affect your next tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. How far do you think Kratochvil could get?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I never really looked at the draw, so... It's all about matchups.

Q. Not like in the tournament, but all together as a player.

ANDRE AGASSI: He has a real good game. He has a very aggressive game. Dangerous player to play against. Very dangerous first serve. I mean, but when you talk about a sport that's one on one, you're talking about, you know, the human mind and the human spirit, and how you handle the situations. I don't have a lot to say about that.

Q. Watching him, I got the feeling that his style, pattern is exactly like yours. Did you get that feeling?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not at all. I wish he was more styled after me today (smiling). No, I mean, he's aggressive from the baseline and moves well, looks to hit his big shot. But a lot of guys are playing that way now.

Q. How is the baby doing?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's doing great.

Q. Having not seen you since you left Melbourne, besides San Jose and Scottsdale, what were you doing in that time?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I spent the first ten days in a splint, not moving my wrist. I spent the next, you know, week to ten days, the whole time, taking antiinflammatories, then getting treatment. Started working on a rehabilitation program. I went to Germany for a week to visit the other side of the family. Rehabilitated in Las Vegas.

Q. What will you do for the quad?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, there's nothing wrong. I'm okay. It feels good. It's a habit right now. Sorry about that (referring to rubbing his quad).

Q. How would you summarize or encapsulize the three tournaments you've played now with some really good results?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you can't expect to always go out there and feel great. You've got to make the adjustment, you've got to win those close ones. Sometimes that's the most important match to win, when things don't feel quite as good as you would hope. But I've been playing some good tennis. I feel very good about my game. I just need to, you know, take a little time here and look forward for Key Biscayne. I think everything will feel pretty good there. I assess it as not just the past couple weeks, but it's been a few weeks leading up to those couple weeks. It's been a lot of hard work to get myself ready for a long year. And I feel like I've done that and gotten into this year pretty effectively.

Q. Before you go to Key Biscayne, will you go home, change some diapers, or will you go right to Florida?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I don't know yet.

Q. If you change diapers or where you're going?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

Q. You don't know if you're going to make a clean break or go right there?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I have to discuss it, come up with a plan. I might stay here a little bit. I might head home. Might just go to Florida early. There's a few options on the table.

Q. Was actually the wrist injury related to the one you had a few years ago as you feared in Australia?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, yeah.

Q. It was?

ANDRE AGASSI: Difference being, though, that when they did the surgery in '93, it was obviously a result of me playing through a lot of pain for a long period of time. But there's a sheath that kind of covers your tendons. They cut a window out of that sheath in the surgery that they did eight, nine years ago, which allows more room for the tendons to move. So if they do get inflamed, it takes more inflammation before you feel it. Then as it calms down, you'll feel the results of that a little quicker. That was a great thing that the doctor did nine years ago. It kept my tendons from bothering me for a long time. Then when it did start, I was able to control it pretty effectively.

Q. The racquet you signed was sold in the auction for the victims of September 11th for an amazing amount of money. How does that make you feel?

ANDRE AGASSI: To me it's a big compliment. Anybody that wants to spend a lot of money purchasing your racquet is a big compliment. You know, I don't quite understand it, to be quite honest. I just kind of take it as a compliment.

Q. You got to 6-6 in the second tiebreaker. You hit a 121-mile-an-hour serve, just bombed it. He lunged, got it back. He won the point. Is that a stage where you say, "Just one of those days"?

ANDRE AGASSI: It felt like one of those days, certainly afterwards it did. So little decides a match like that. You know, sometimes you need that quick point. When you hit that big shot, that that accomplishes the point. You know, when it comes back, it's just a credit to your opponent, and you've got to find it in yourself to hit another good shot. You know, today I didn't, and he did. He stepped up even on matchpoint after a long rally, went for it up the line. So all in all, he played a better match than I did.

Q. At this stage of your career, a loss like this, could have gone either way, is it easier to get ready for the next match as opposed to letting this linger with you for a while?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think so. It's been a couple good weeks for me. Disappointing here because I always enjoyed staying here, playing in this event. It was a thrill for me last year. It is disappointing. You can't really get around that. I think once it stops becoming disappointing, I think it kind of speaks to your competitiveness. So I am disappointed, but I do have the experience to shake it off. I'll be fine. I'll be ready to go in Key Biscayne.

Q. Can you comment about the new association with Darren?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, sure.

Q. Your thoughts? How is it going? I know it's only been three, four weeks now. How is he fitting in?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it's going great. You know, I mean, I came into the situation with a high level of expectation based on the work I've seen him do from a distance. He's exceeded those expectations, to say the least. He has tremendous insight into the game, great work ethic. Certainly he's a first-class person. So it's a great situation.

Q. With the competitiveness on the men's side, what distinguishes, in your opinion, the Top 10 players from the rest?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, every year the Top 10 is changing a lot, so it's hard to say that there's even a distinction there. You know, it's really -- it really boils down to how you play big points, big situations. I think there are guys that are great athletes, guys that play great tennis, but there are also guys that know how to raise their game at the right time. At the end of a year, at the end of a few years, at the end of a career, kind of it's pretty clear who does that and who doesn't.

Q. Is that Pete's greatest skill?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think he's a great big-point and big-match player. No question. I think Lleyton is another good example of it now. I think the best players, if you watch, they always have a way of raising their standard at the right time.

Q. Would it be fair to say, looking at it from my side of it, it seems you and Pete seem to have a rejuvenated view of the sport? You've made changes, looking at different things.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, I can't speak for Pete. I feel very motivated and eager to experience a better standard of tennis that I haven't played yet. I'm still striving for that. I feel able to do that. The eagerness is as important. You need it. You can't be casual and you can't take anything for granted out here week in, week out. It's too hard. It takes too much to win, you know. You can't hide behind anybody or anything out there. You've got to step up and be better than your opponent. That requires focus and discipline and commitment and that eagerness.

 
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