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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

2002 TENNIS MASTERS SERIES - MADRID
October 18, 2002

A. AGASSI/J.C. Ferrero
6-3, 6-2

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. That was pretty special out there today, wasn't it?

ANDRE AGASSI: There are just some days that go that well, where you not only hit the ball well, but seems like things are really falling your way, as well. Today was a great day for me.

Q. Do you think yesterday's match sharpened you?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, actually. I feel like yesterday was a match that didn't have as much rhythm to it. So I think, if anything, I came out here today and felt good about the fact that from the beginning we were both going to be comfortable with hitting our shots. But it's an entirely different match, which I think in some cases makes it more difficult.

Q. You seem to be serving very well at the moment. Did you work a lot on it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, for me, my serve is just designed to help my game. I think with the altitude here, everybody's getting a little bit extra on their serve. The ball's moving faster. Everybody's serve is a little bit tougher here.

Q. Do you get a feeling of when you're going to play that well or is it just something that emerges over the course of a match?

ANDRE AGASSI: You never really know. I mean, you go out there and you know what your game plan is, you know what you're trying to do, but your opponent has a lot to say about that. Even if you're in control of a match, you've got to give the respect to your opponent that so little changes it. So you're not really comfortable until you feel like you've done it from start to finish, till the match is over with.

Q. That seemed a little bit like a statement of intent almost, that performance today, as though you were saying, "I can be No. 1, it can be done." Young contender to the crown was just knocked out of the way.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think we're a bit more in my element playing here than his. Playing him on clay presents a whole different problem. But you still have to go out there and execute. I think the way I played today, he should take that as a compliment, a healthy respect for what he can do if you're just a little bit off. And I felt that urgency, and I executed well.

Q. Will you feel the same urgency against another guy who beat you at the French Open tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, in a different sort of way. I think Sebastien is a phenomenal counter puncher, but he also has real good firepower. In both cases, you have to be pretty concerned. I think he has a great game. I'll feel urgency, but he's very fast, so I can't have a sense of panic either. It needs to be aggressive, but in control.

Q. Considering the ovation of the crowd, without Spanish players, now you are the favorite. How do you feel about this? From them, you have a great support.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I feel it. After playing two Spanish players in a row, I will welcome that very much (smiling). They have great enthusiasm, and it's very inspirational if you have it on your side.

Q. Is it possible that the results of the US Open final has even re-doubled your commitment or has that nothing to do with it at all?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think I would still be here pretty enthusiastic had I won. But experience has taught me how to use disappointments to help get better as opposed to getting me discouraged. I think I've had that in my career a few times. I wouldn't advise anybody to lose a Slam final in order to be motivated. But if you do lose a Slam final, make sure you use it positively.

Q. Do you know something about the Spanish bullfight?

ANDRE AGASSI: I know that the man usually wins. I know they have some horses that are helping them, too. It never seems equal. It always seems like an advantage.

Q. If you can compare it to like a tennis game of today...

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I don't know it that well. I'm not sure what goes into bullfighting. I don't necessarily understand the history or the context of it. It's hard for me to say.

Q. You had a great match. Were you expecting maybe a little more fight from Ferrero?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I felt like everything -- I wasn't just playing well; a lot of things were going my way. Some days can go like this. I was expecting it to be difficult. I always expect it to be difficult. I worked hard today to have it seem a lot smoother than I was expecting.

Q. The big enthusiasm from the crowd, it looked more like a Davis Cup match. Did that make you focus more on the match and stay away from what was happening around before the match started?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I've been in this situation many times. For me, the most important thing I can do is to concentrate on my game. What happens between the points doesn't matter as much as what happens during the point. There's two men out there, and there's a lot of people watching, so you need to make sure that you're only fighting against one person.

Q. They saw some ice on your back. Do you have any kind of injury?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, after five weeks of not playing, it's not always so comfortable on the body. My back has been bothering me a little bit, but I'm just trying to take precautions.

Q. The memory of the loss against Ferrero in Roland Garros, has that had any influence on you to play better today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think playing each other before helps both players to know what to expect, so I think the standard always improves the second time. For me, playing on clay, then to play here, was a big improvement. It's much easier to know what the ball is going to do, to take the ball early, and to play my style of game. Playing him in Paris made me more prepared to play him here, for sure.

 
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