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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

2002 TENNIS MASTERS SERIES - MADRID
October 19, 2002

A. AGASSI/S. Grosjean
6-4, 3-6, 6-4

An interview with:

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. I suppose when you have someone as fast as him, it's not easy to put away a winner?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think every player has his strengths and weaknesses. Certainly one of his great strengths is his speed. He can make the court feel pretty small out there. You have to make sure you're choosing your right shot when you do go for your risky one.

Q. Would you say the serve was the key of the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: The serve today turned out to be quite crucial for both of us. I think when the other one was serving, and the point got underway, the person returning had less pressure and was starting to win those points. It was important to get the good serve. We both served well today. I think it was a big factor in today's match.

Q. After the final standing ovation from the crowd, do you feel definitely love with the Madrid fans?

ANDRE AGASSI: They're as good of fans as I've ever played in front of - so enthusiastic, so much passion, love for tennis, love for competition and sports. So for me, I feel like I want to give them something.

Q. 2-1 head to head, can you explain what was the difference now that you are 2-All?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, every match is a new match. He beat me in Paris in front of his home crowd on clay. He played a great match that day. Then the match that he beat me in Sydney was not as spectacular. I don't think my game was very clean, and he was very much in control, without much difficulty. Every day's a new day. You have to find a way. We both found a way twice now.

Q. What makes him so difficult to overpower in the rallies?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think, first of all, his speed is a huge factor. He has quick racquet speed with his forehand. He leaves you a lot of room to his forehand. So you hit a good shot, and you think you're in good position, but then he gets there and very late he can hit it either direction. So you go from being offensive to defensive very quickly. Then with his backhand, because of his speed, he can just use your pace, and he can stand far back, and he can wait till he gets the ball that he's looking for. So I think it's the speed that's a factor, plus the racquet head speed.

Q. It's often said that a match is won or lost in a point of two. There was one breakpoint in the final set, the last point. You get a second serve. What is going through your mind at that time?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I was just telling myself, "Be prepared to fight it off." He had hit a few big second serves leading up to that where he snuck them wide on me, so I was prepared to get into the point. Then I just told myself, "If the serve hangs at all, give it a good swing." Really all you want to do is make sure you're staying with your game plan of executing your shots. If you win or lose one point or another, sometimes you can't control that. But what you can control is that you put a good swing on the ball and hope for the best at that point. When that serve sort of floated a little bit, I just said, "This is as good a shot as any, take a good cut."

Q. What do you mean when you said you have to work smart through getting older?

ANDRE AGASSI: It just means you have to be a lot more aware of how you feel physically and mentally. And you have to know when to ask yourself to work harder and when you tell yourself that it's okay if you don't. So you have to be smarter about what you do. When you're younger, you can just train, train, train. If you train too much, one day or two days, you feel a lot better. At this stage, for me, training - overtraining - is a big mistake.

Q. When have you lost a match because you were tired?

ANDRE AGASSI: This has happened I think a lot. I mean, I think physically speaking, there's always that potential - coming back from Saturday to Sunday in the finals of the US Open. Sometimes you can be very tired, other times you can just have enough, enough out of the tank that you don't feel your best. I think it's always something you go through, through the year. Sometimes you're able to push through it, other times you can't.

Q. Have you followed at all on TV the last USA-France Davis Cup match? If so, what was your feeling?

ANDRE AGASSI: It seemed like a great atmosphere, which I was expecting. You know, Andy had his chances, on the first day especially. I think that turned out to be the key match.

Q. Did you watch it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, I saw some of it. I mean, it was disappointing for us to lose. I'm very supportive of our team. But it's a tough tie. France stepped up to the plate.

Q. How do you see the final between France and Russia?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it's maybe a bit of a mistake to play on clay. It's going to be -- I mean, you can flip a coin literally. You've got some great players in Safin and Kafelnikov, and then there's so much depth in the French team, that if there's any tough singles matches, that's going to hurt the Russians considerably. You always have to give the home court home-court advantage.

Q. Which one do you prefer in the final tomorrow, Santoro or Novak?

ANDRE AGASSI: Which one I prefer, it's irrelevant to me. To me, both of them have their strengths and their weaknesses. They're both difficult players. The best one is going to be there. I suppose I want to beat the best. I think tomorrow I'll be glad to play whoever it is.

Q. How do you feel about the fact that when you play some young players, they see you as a myth (idol)?

ANDRE AGASSI: As a what?

Q. A myth.

ANDRE AGASSI: Myth? I think respect is important when you're on the tennis court, for both players. This has been something that has helped me many times because somebody gets a little more nervous or maybe doesn't quite believe as much. But I think sometimes it's hurt me, too, because it's made somebody feel urgency when they're on the court, and they play a very high standard, maybe sometimes even better than they can. I prefer to have the respect off the court and to go on the court and go to work; then afterwards, it's nice.

Q. Although you've been working throughout your career very hard, and still today, you were born with a talent. This is something I'm sure you are grateful for. Do you have thoughts to be grateful, because in a way it's a privilege to have such extraordinary things that has put you through wonderful experiences?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, I think you said it better than I could. For me, it's been a dream, to live a dream. I think in any wear of life, there's a lot to learn from people and experiences. To travel the world and see more people, see more experiences only adds more to your life. To play tennis for a living is something that I love. Maybe somebody else wouldn't like it. For me, I love it. So for this I feel very, very blessed.

Q. The type of game that Grosjean has, slicing more, instead of like Ferrero that hits the ball harder, does that make your life a little more difficult?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it depends on what you follow it up with. It's not just the slice. The slice doesn't bother me. I hit that shot pretty well. But it's not that he slices; he hits the ball very slow, and he's very fast. He makes you be a little aggressive, then he gets to the ball very quickly, then he hurts you. So this can make you impatient and it can make you too anxious to put the ball away. The slice itself isn't a shot that bothers me. The rest of his game makes his slice more effective.

 
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