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Écrit par Jerome   


September 6, 2003

J.C. FERRERO/A. Agassi
6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4


THE MODERATOR: First question for Andre, please.

Q. How satisfied were you with how you played today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I felt I did everything pretty well except serve. Serve in the first two and a half sets, I wasn't serving too well. I wasn't getting any free points on my serve. You know, with two good baseliners, whoever is getting a few more free points with the serve has a pretty big advantage. He was just taking care of his business better than I was.

Q. How did you see Ferrero? There's been a lot of talking about him playing on hard court. He was quite angry, quite upset, because the people were talking about he was better on clay. How did you see him today on hard court?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not as good as clay, but better than me.

Q. What made the difference today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I didn't serve well for the first two and a half sets. He was getting a lot more free points on the serve. He was taking a lot -- had a lot more freedom to take more chances with the ground strokes. By the time I was getting into the match, I was already two sets down. So that's difficult.

Q. Why do you think it took you so long to get into the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm gonna say this one more time: my serve wasn't good for two and a half sets.

Q. Why don't you think you were serving well?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's hard to be perfect.

Q. How much has he improved his serve? Seemed to have a lot of problems with his kick serve.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it was breezy out there, too. You know, it's an effective serve. It's a lot of kick. He can mix it up pretty well. If you don't get good length on the return or good direction, he starts controlling the point immediately. He does a great job with the serve, but also with the way he plays after the serve.

Q. Obviously, he's played a lot of matches in a row. For you coming back, it's tough. How did you feel?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I felt all right. Maybe that was the problem with my serve. I wasn't quite using my legs as well as I normally do. But, I mean, this hasn't been easy for any of the players. He dealt with it better than I did today. He got up the two sets. I got my teeth into the match and almost turned it around. But just a little too big of a hill to climb.

Q. In the fourth set you held on Love-40 on your serve. Did you feel that would be a turning point psychologically in your favor?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it certainly was a big advantage to get out of that game. But you never know where the turning points come, so you just keep working hard to try to get a step closer every point. You know, the side that I eventually lost my serve from was the harder side to hold. That was against the wind. You know, he hit a few deep shots and I caught a few little bit off center and made a couple errors and he hit a couple good shots. All of a sudden he broke me at love. Then he's just a sprint away from the finish line. I had three breakpoints, little frustrated. I should have converted there. I probably went for a big forehand too early in one of them. But, you know, that's the way it goes.

Q. At this point in your career, how easy or difficult is it to deal with these losses?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's always difficult, you know. Hopefully, they just don't last quite as long. You have the art of distraction with kids at home, which is good.

Q. Does a loss like this make you look differently at your future, thinking, "I'm definitely coming back next year," or what does it do when you think about your future right now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm not thinking about the future right now. I'm thinking about today. That's a difficult feeling. But, you know, I don't make any decisions from an emotional standpoint. I mean, for me, I put myself in position to give myself a look at the basket. You know, I guess there's some positives there. But it's -- I just got to go back to work. Something would have to change drastically for me not to be back.

Q. When you look back on this tournament, what will stand out? Will it be the rain? Will it be this match? Will it be Pete and Michael? Would it be a combination of all of that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. It's, you know, you remember your matches more than anything. So I'll remember today, for sure.

Q. Can you talk about the ranking. Did you think something about the ranking and the No. 1 in your mind? It was in your mind?


Q. Juan Carlos is going to be playing his fourth match tomorrow. How do you think he'll hold up, having been across the net from him the last couple hours?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm sure it's not easy. He'll be all right. I mean, he's one match away. So if there's ever a time to find a little bit extra, it will be tomorrow. You know, the other guys are playing a few days in a row, too, so you never know how things transpire. If one of those guys has an easy day, then it's gonna make it tougher on him, no question. But a lot can happen in one match.

Q. You've played a lot of great baseliners over the years. How do you think his baseline game ranks?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's really offensive off both wings. You know, certainly one of the best; there's no question.

Q. Visually, kind of a defining moment for Ferrero was when he made the shot between his legs. Can you describe what you were thinking on that point and kind of what you saw what he did.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, when I got the lob over his head, I started moving forward. And I said, "Why am I doing this? I don't really want to hit a volley." (Laughter). "Screw it, I'll do it anyhow." (Laughter). Then he made a shot between his legs. As it left my racquet, I said, "I told you so, you jerk." As he was running for it, I said, "I deserve this." (Laughter).

Q. How often does the outer Andre go against the wishes of the inner Andre, like on that point?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, unfortunately, it's more than I'd care to admit.

Q. How do you try and put in tow the outer Andre who doesn't listen to the inner Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, sometimes I get away with it. The outer or the inner, depending on which one you're talking about, looks like the hero.

Q. If it is Andy tomorrow, how do you think he'll stack up against Juan Carlos? You've played them both.

ANDRE AGASSI: Listen, if you could start the point off from the baseline, it would be a very one-sided match. But, unfortunately, the serve is a monster factor. If you can't return serve, you can't win a match. Andy has that weapon in his arsenal. So if Andy has a great serving day, call it like it is, it's gonna be tough for anybody to beat him. But if he's a little off and gets -- Juan Carlos gets into some of the points, Andy's gonna feel him.

Q. Is he as underrated in the locker room as he is among the fans and public?

ANDRE AGASSI: Underrated?

Q. Yeah, obviously players respect him. Out there, nobody knows him.

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I mean, players know each other, you know. Everybody knows what everybody's capable of. You'd be surprised how well we know each other.

Q. What's to be respected, was my question?

ANDRE AGASSI: He moves incredibly well. He hits both wings, big cross court, big up-the-line, just short and hard. He flattens it out. Plays it high with spin. The guy has a lot of variety in his game. You know, he knows how to play big points. He's always taking a good cut at the ball. You know, if you don't have the power to sort of neutralize that somehow, he's gonna control it from the word "go." That's tough on most guys.

Q. You said in any year you win a Slam, it's a great year in your book. How does it change the equation when you won the first one in the year, and haven't won the other three?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I've gone through a longer dry spell in my career of not winning Slams, so... 127 guys lose, and, you know, it's disappointing here - I mean, to be in the semis and to feel like I really had a good shot at it. But, you know, I got out-played today. The same thing happened at Wimbledon. The same thing happened in Paris. So you just got to sort of call it as you see it, and I'll need to work on getting better.

Q. There are inevitably going to be suggestions now that your time has passed. Will you use that as fuel?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, that's not gonna start now. I mean... (Laughter). Started about seven years ago. So, yeah, I mean, again, my mark has never been any given player, any given tournament. It's always been measuring against myself. When the day comes where I don't feel like I can get out there and play well and have a chance of winning, then hopefully I'll be the first to know.

Q. With your family situation in mind, how much will you play this year?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, I don't know. There's a lot of assessing to do.

Q. Your credentials are strong, you played Davis Cup, won the Olympic gold. In your gut, would you like to see Andy come through and go all the way?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, well, it's always easier to root for an American, you know, in the US Open for me. I mean, we grew up, we sort of stand by each other in a very competitive way. So I would love to see him come through. I mean, it would be his first one. It's always great to see that happen. So, yeah, I think he's a good kid. If it happened for him, I'd be happy for him.

Q. Is Ferrero a deserving No. 1? If you have to lose that ranking, do you feel good - not good - about losing it to him?

ANDRE AGASSI: You'd have to explain to me how you're not a deserving No. 1. That equation doesn't even make sense.

Q. As you said before, people don't really know who he is.

ANDRE AGASSI: You should have just turned on CBS today.

Q. Sorry.

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no, don't apologize to me. Apologize to him. He's No. 1 in the world, if that's what it is. He's worked hard for that. He's done it on clay, done it on hard court. Anybody that sees it differently, that's their issue; not his.

Q. Given the family situation, isn't it going to be difficult, say, during the next five or six months to really go out there and push your body again like you have in previous years to keep at the level you are right now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Is it gonna be hard?

Q. Yeah?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's always hard. Yeah, I mean, I don't know how to answer that. I've never had two children before, so... (Laughter). But it's nothing -- nothing would change, if it's hard. It's always hard. It's been hard for a lot of years. As hard as it is for me to admit it, I'm probably gonna suck it up and do it again. But that's, you know, again, a choice.

Q. Do you think the fact that you struggled for so long in the challengers kind of gives you a little bit more impetus to keep going when your peers have retired?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I mean, I don't think so. I think that was a pretty tough time. I think, you know, what keeps me going is the fact that I love the sport. Tennis has been great to me. So I feel like I got to give everything I have to it so that I can live without regrets.

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