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Écrit par Jerome   


January 19, 2003

A. AGASSI/G. Coria
6-1, 3-1 (ret.)

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: First question for Andre, please.

Q. Although it was a short match, you had to work quite a lot, no?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, yeah, no question. I think the matchup is one that you're going to see a lot of, a lot of balls hit, a lot of hard work with the legs. Both of us try to control the point, and it's who does it better.

Q. Nothing wrong with a short match at this time, though, is there?

ANDRE AGASSI: I guess not. It's not ideal, to not finish a match for a number of reasons. But...

Q. Such as?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, the fans. You know, the fact that you're out here playing such a great tournament and prestigious event, center court, all the people there, you want to push yourself and you want to feel the energy of starting a match and figuring it out and closing it. It's part of what we do. So came as a bit of a surprise, but there's some good in it. I'll be -- I've had plenty enough tennis to be ready. I'll certainly be rested and ready to go.

Q. It's always hard to get inside someone else's head when it comes to injury. The reason was a blister. Have you ever had to pull out of a match because of a blister on your foot?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I had one before. They're not very comfortable, to say the least. But, you know, at the French Open against Kucera, I developed a pretty big blister on my big toe. Once you can't move effectively, you're as good as done now against these guys. So I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision for him. My decision was pretty much to lose one and love the last two sets. So it's never good.

Q. Is there an old school and new school in terms of when it comes to thinking, "Okay, you're injured, but you're not going to injure yourself further, you can finish the game." Is there a different school of thought where if you can't play your best you're better off pulling the pin?

ANDRE AGASSI: Everybody has to make the decisions for themselves. For me, I think the decision wouldn't always be easy but it would be clear one way or another whether I was going to see it through or whether I was going to not be able to play. I suppose that would be the greatest criterion for me, would be if I was sort of jeopardizing myself in doing so, if the injury was getting worse or if, God forbid, something worse could happen, something else because I was favoring something way too much. You'd have to use some form of judgment. You know, I can't speak to anybody else's choices.

Q. In a way, you were disappointed?

ANDRE AGASSI: Sure. I was just getting going. The match was just getting...

Q. Interesting?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. He was hitting the ball really well. It was gonna get a lot tougher. So I was certainly ready for that.

Q. You'd rather take the risk of a potential thought something could go wrong in the sets after rather than the one and a half set and exit?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I prefer to play tennis as opposed to not play tennis. I mean, you could tell me, I could sit home and watch all my opponents default to me. That's great, I'll have the trophy. But it's not what we're here for. You always want to play and you always want it to finish. That's what makes it worth anything.

Q. Can you tell us a few words about your next opponent, even if the match is not over.

ANDRE AGASSI: I've played Grosjean a number of times. We've had some real good battles. He's a phenomenally talented player who is one of the best shot-makers in the game, one of the fastest in the game. We all sort of know his strengths, which is his movement and his forehand and very good first serve. So it's -- he's going to be tough to play against. He's a great competitor as well. Felix, I've never played before. So that is always interesting to play somebody for the first time. We've been out here a long time together and never played, so I would also look forward to that.

Q. You played the final in Kooyong one week ago against him. Is that kind of game to help you to find your solution?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, we both have to find solutions, you know, that's the way it is every time with all the players. My goal is to go out there and make him have to deal with me, and his goal is to make me have to deal with him. So it's who does it better that day. Not a lot separates any of these matches. So you have to be at your best and you have to give yourself the best opportunity.

Q. You have spoken about the good of the what the game's all about, competition. With that in mind, would you like to play Lleyton Hewitt in the final, given what it would mean for the event and for tennis?

ANDRE AGASSI: I suppose it would be great for tennis, certainly down here, you know, with Lleyton obviously being from Australia. It's always a dynamic atmosphere to play an Australian here, as well the French in Paris, play Tim Henman in England, or any of us in the US Open. There's always sort of that extra spice that's added to it - not to mention that Lleyton always brings out your best, because you have to be at your best to win. So I would just love that opportunity, because that's making the great assumption that I'm past the next two matches. So I'll sign up for that right now (laughter).

Q. Can you talk about the difference in traveling as you did a couple years ago and now traveling with a family.

ANDRE AGASSI: About three times the time. It takes about three times as long to do anything. You sort of change your perspective and you'll be there in no time. It's that sort of approach. You leave early, you leave room for all sorts of curves and take it in stride.

Q. But you still travel with your family?


Q. You still prefer having them with you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, yeah. It beats the alternative. You know, it's not easy being away from your family. It wouldn't be easy right now for me not to be playing because I feel like I still have it in me. To have the support, my family being with me, it makes this all possible.

Q. Wanted to ask you about Ferrero's sort of results recently. He's becoming a more formidable player on surfaces other than clay. Do you think he's ready to be a total contender here? Has he progressed to that stage?

ANDRE AGASSI: Sure. How could you take any credit away from his performances? I think he has established himself as a force to be dealt with on any surface. He hits the ball great off both sides, moves really well. It just never seems like he's too far off finding his best game out there. So it's great to watch. He's a great ball-striker. Unless you take it to him, you don't have much of a chance. So he forces guys to beat him, and that's what you need to do.

Q. You said about Escude he was very dangerous because he has destiny in his hands. Do you think the same about Grosjean?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I believe Grosjean is a great shot-maker as well in his own right. I think the one difference is that he is a shot-maker off one wing, his forehand. His backhand, he uses to wait for his forehand. Escude, off either wing, can hit some incredible shots at any given time. There's always strengths and weaknesses to all of us.

Q. Does Darren Cahill do anything when you haven't played a guy like Mantilla?

ANDRE AGASSI: He considers it his responsibility to know about everything, whether I'm playing him or not, but specifically the match before to watch and sort of see what they're relying on more than -- what parts of their game they're relying on more than others. He does do his homework, so that helps always.

Q. Has he been any different from any of your other coaches, the way he goes about laying out the scouting report?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think it's -- I don't know if I can specifically sort of generalize a difference, because I think understanding the game of tennis doesn't leave a lot of room for interpretation. I think I've been blessed with a great coach in Brad, and I think I'm, at this stage of my career, greatly appreciative of Darren's abilities as a coach. He sees the game as good as it can be seen, as clear as it can be seen. But it does vary, because there are slight differences, but I couldn't generalize it. It's more about how somebody views my way of taking my game and attacking somebody else's weaknesses. There are going to be differences.

Q. Have there ever been occasions with Darren where you say, "Oh, I never quite looked at it that way"?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, there has been. There has been a few.

Q. Quite a good addition?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, he's been great, a great addition.

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