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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Wimbledon, England

June 26, 2002

P. SRICHAPHAN/A. Agassi
6-4, 7-6, 6-2

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

MODERATOR: Andre for you.

Q. Are you as shocked as we are?

ANDRE AGASSI: I suppose so, yeah. I mean, I'm a little stunned. Certainly disappointed. You know, just never found my rhythm out there today. Played a very average match against a guy who was taking it to me and deserved to win.

Q. How crucial was the call at the end of the second set?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I guess in hindsight it's a big point. But, you know, a set a piece or two sets down is a huge swing. You know, I mean, I thought the ball was long. But what can you do? I mean, you see calls like that all the time, where you might think one way or the other, but could be right, could be wrong. But it's just difficult when that happens on such a crucial point. I wish I would have found a way to win that breaker. I never settled in. I wasn't seeing the ball and picking the ball up well. It was flying off my racquet, and I was worried about controlling it. Then when I'd lay off, he'd step up with his game. He was playing aggressive and he was serving big, he was taking his chances. It was a lot more than I could say today.

Q. How does it compare to '98 when you went out in the second round?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, they're all disappointing. But, you know, they get more and more disappointing. I suppose that's why it feels so good to win, because it feels like this to lose.

Q. Why does it get more disappointing? Is it because you know you have fewer chances to come back again?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

Q. Will you come back again?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, yeah. Sure, I will. I mean, this is where it all happens. Yeah, I have every intention of using this to gain some positives and to still hopefully have a good year. You know, it's one battle at a time.

Q. Is what happened at the French, losing in the quarterfinals, now here particularly disappointing in view of the year you've had, three titles in the early part of the season?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I've liked my game all year. This is just a bit of a shocker for me today. You know, I've worked hard to keep myself in good position, and I feel good. I felt good the whole week, leading up to the tournament. It just shows you what you have to deal with out there every day. I mean, you're a little off, and that's enough to make the difference. Or if your opponent is a little more on, that's enough to lose to all these guys. So you have to get it done every day, and today I didn't.

Q. Pete speaks about how precious these opportunities are at this stage of the career. Can you talk about what that means for both of you? Quite the day with him and you. Any reflections on that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I don't know what else I can add, I really don't. It's disappointing. I don't look at it as a reflection of where my game is. I mean, today I wasn't as good as the guy I played. But I still feel like I should be out there doing better than that. You know, every year's a new year, and every year it gets tougher. Every match gets tougher; every year gets tougher.

Q. Is part of that because it's harder for you the older you get, and Pete, to grind your way through matches against the guys, the way they're playing now, if you're not playing at 95, 100%?

ANDRE AGASSI: I can't speak for Pete. It's always been tough grinding through matches. It does get tougher. But I've been doing it and there's no excuses not to do it. I'm healthy, I'm fine. I'm out there fit, ready to go. I got outplayed.

Q. Focus-wise, were you where you wanted to be today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, no. But that's more a reflection of how things are transpiring. I mean, when you're worried about your swings and you're worried about just finding your own rhythm, it's hard to concentrate on what you need to be doing against the other guy. And, you know, I never settled in. But a lot had to do with the way he was hitting the ball. He was, again, hitting the ball big, and he was playing some extreme changes of paces, chipping it, not much pace. The second he'd get a chance, he'd let it rip. So he was doing a good job of keeping me out of that rhythm, and he was taking care of his serve well. He was serving big. That let me settle into some baseline points when the pressure was on him. You've got to be willing to pay the price. I certainly have been. Was out there today with that desire. But wasn't to be.

Q. How much did you know about him before going on court?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've seen him play a number of times. But you never know somebody's game until you face it, until you feel how your games match up together.

Q. How much did you know about Pete's match? Were you aware of it in the locker room before going out on Centre?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, sure.

Q. Do you think that in any way affected you?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no.

Q. What came most surprising to you today in the game?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I think he served big. You know, I had a hard time picking up his serve. I wasn't comfortable reading his serve, and that kind of put me on my heels. I never quite settled into a confident game. But I think just the part that's most surprising is, you know, that I lost in straight sets. That's just not -- just not used to that.

Q. Pete said it was going to be hard for him to get over this one, that he's not looking forward to the flight home, spending the next 11, 12 days knowing Wimbledon is going on, being depressed about it. For you, are you going to be able to go back home and get back on the court and work on it or is this going to take a while to sink in?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. I think sometimes you do have a sense for that. But these have been two Slams now back to back. You know, things settle down for a few weeks because you're not playing, it's not a good thing. You have to make the adjustment, you have to keep working; there's no choice, if you want to continue to be out here. I suppose both are going to happen. I suppose it's going to be tough, and I suppose I'll keep at it.

Q. Where do you go from here?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. I didn't have anything on my schedule for the next two weeks.

Q. With you and Pete now out, do you think it will boost Tim Henman's chances of winning Wimbledon?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think he was on the other side of the draw. So, I mean, that's a lot of matches away. Probably be irrelevant. Even if we were playing on the final day, he's playing well enough to have a shot at it. So it doesn't matter who you're playing when you talk about playing on Sunday in the finals.

Q. How do you explain the rise and surprises, obviously more people being able to play on an equal level any given day? Why is this suddenly so these days?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I think everything gets better. I think the depth of -- the strength of players. I mean, guys are hitting the ball big. Guys are bigger, stronger, faster. Everybody takes their chance. Everybody hits the ball hard. These things, you know, make a close match very likely. And if something is a little off or somebody's a little bit better, sometimes it's a big swing.

Q. You talk about rhythm. Do you sense that the rhythm's not there before the match in warm-ups or is it not apparent until you step onto the court and you're actually in that competitive arena?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's when -- you know, you're matching up against your opponent that day and you're feeling his strengths, and you're trying to establish your own. You know, I had an opportunity early in the second, up a break to keep the lead, at least establish myself in the match. That would have turned a lot around. But once you don't consolidate there, you give somebody the belief. You know, credit to him for taking it from there.

 
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