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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

2003 TENNIS MASTERS CUP
HOUSTON, TEXAS

November 12, 2003

A. AGASSI/J.C. Ferrero
2-6, 6-3, 6-4

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. That was a spectacular turnaround.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it was like two different matches out there (smiling). You know, I didn't have much of a rhythm in that first set and if you're second-guessing anything against a guy like Ferrero, he sort of makes you pay the price for it. Because you don't want to play too close to the line so you leave a few with margin, and that's when he steps up and sort of controls and takes his chances. And, you know, makes you feel the urgency to do something more than just work yourself into the match. I never quite sort of settled, obviously, until late in the second. And then it got a little better.

Q. You don't normally get as frustrated as you obviously were at one point.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, sure. I mean, yeah, not normally. I do have the potential, though (laughter) Yeah, I got frustrated, you know. Again, it was frustrating. I figure worst-case scenario, I pull out a new racquet, it might feel different. Didn't.

Q. You were a volleying fool.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah (smiling).

Q. Was that one of your better volleying performances?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think so. I'm not sure I missed one. Yeah, that's coming around at the ripe old age of 33.

Q. Matchpoint serve and volley.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I got a little carried away there. Rush of blood. I don't know what that was all about. Yeah, I need to start doing that better if I want to close off some points, especially against guys that have the ability to turn their defense into offense.

Q. Expecting a fruit basket or something from Andy Roddick since you helped him out with the No. 1?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, Andy had No. 1 in his hands the whole week, so regardless if I beat Ferrero or not, it was going to be up to him to solidify it. So, you know, glad I could help. I aim to please (smiling).

Q. Your emotions at the end of that match must be very different from what they were mid-way through it. What are they now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm certainly relieved that I got comfortable out there. And, again, matches get decided on sort of a few points. Tonight a few went for me. I took care of my serve all the way through the second and third set. There's sort of a lot of good signs as my game got more comfortable. You know, I don't think it was tremendously a high-quality match. There was, you know, it was like two different matches out there. But I served well, and I started making more shots. Feel like it can only get better from there.

Q. He was obviously in a pretty good groove there. Was there a point where you thought you would maybe put doubt in his mind or change the thing to where it swung your way?

ANDRE AGASSI: He had chances to break a couple times to go up a set and a break, and to be honest, at that point, the match was feeling like it was closer to 2-2 than it was three sets for me. I just kept trying to hang in there. When you break at 3-4, you know, the match can turn around so quickly because now it's a set apiece. I'm sitting there saying, "Geez, I haven't even played that well yet, and I'm at a set apiece." That's a lot of confidence going into the third set. Once I broke from 40-love, I felt more settled in my own game. But he still made me earn it till the end.

Q. Was the result from the last time you guys played each other in your mind at all coming into this match ?

ANDRE AGASSI: Every time you play a guy it's in your mind. Every time you play somebody, you're sort of more cemented in your mind, the things they do, the things they don't do, the things they're good at, the things they're not so good at. You know, he has a lot of game. So I lose matches to him, I go out there with a healthy respect for what he did last time to beat me.

Q. If there hadn't been the intervention of a child, would you have taken that much time off? Was that harmful to you, in a sense?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I suppose the future can only determine that. I mean, I feel like I came here ready physically, but, obviously, lacking the matches. But I'm surprised how comfortable I am out there. I thought it would be a lot more difficult on me. I don't know. I think I'm at a different stage in my career. I'm not quite convinced the alternative would have been better, which is to get out there, grind, play more matches, go on the indoors, not give myself the time to train, to rest, to recover from all the little things that sort of ache you over the year. I think not playing in this case is the better of a tough decision.

Q. Do you remember, when was the last time you had broken a racquet like that on the court?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was on my foot; it wasn't on the court. I have a lot of respect for that court. That court cost $10 million (laughter). It was in practice, I think, a few days ago (laughter). No, I don't remember. It has happened. In Washington it happened once. I mean, I have the ability to self-inflict. I hit the racquet on myself without thinking twice sometimes, which isn't good.

Q. During the round-table you mentioned you could remember your luckiest moment in the game, a shot at the French Open. Can you remember your most unlucky moment?

ANDRE AGASSI: Most unlucky moment... It would have to be, obviously, a big loss that could have turned something around. I mean, maybe the rain in Paris against Courier in the finals. Had it not rained, maybe I could have won it then.

Q. You played a very high level for many years but only finished the year No. 1 once. Can you reflect on Andy's accomplishment.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it's an incredible accomplishment, especially the way he's done it. He's sort of done it coming on late in the year. He got to the semis of Australia, but was going into the summer a lot closer to 20 in the world than No. 1 in the world because he had to defend the finals of the Canadian Open, had some results, quarters of the US Open. And for him sort of to dominate the hard court season the way he did is incredible. I did that in 1995, and it just took a lot out of me. So for him to pull it off is a great accomplishment. He's beating -- he's proven himself to be No. 1 over the greatest players in the world. So he has a lot to feel proud about.

Q. How do you prepare against someone you've never played against?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you sort of have an understanding as to what they do. You go out there ready to make adjustments if necessary. You never quite know how somebody's gonna feel to your game until you actually play them. So I've watched him play probably not as much as he's watched me, but enough. He's probably seen my game a lot, and I've seen his game a lot as well.

Q. What do you think about the next player, Nalbandian?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think he does a lot of things well. I can talk more about him after the match, but he moves really well and has a real good-looking backhand it seems like he can hit in a lot of different ways. Seems like he's really - defensively, he's quick to seize opportunities when he gets them. I expect him to be tough. I expect him to be one of the eight best players in the world.

Q. Andy's getting a lot of off-the-court opportunities to do things, sort of reminiscent of you in your younger days. Is there a piece of advice you would give to him to balance out the off-the-court stuff so it doesn't spill over into his tennis?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, he needs to give me advice there. He seems like he's doing a fine job, you know. He's finishing the year No. 1 with, I'm sure, a lot of people tugging at him. He's doing something right.

Q. Did you find those activities, images, were a little deleterious to what you were trying to do?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think in my case, there were many times in my life where I looked for excuses to be distracted so I didn't need to look very hard because there were a lot of them. But I was still choosing that. So I could have managed it with more skill, but just I think there were just times where I didn't quite choose that road.

Q. Do you have any regrets? Do you ever think, "I would have won more Grand Slams if I hadn't done so much non-tennis stuff"?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's possible. It's possible I'd be watching this tournament from my living room as well. I'm still here. I still have chances to win. The day I won in Paris was the day I could honestly say the regret wouldn't be an issue anymore. To win more would be great. But it's just more.

Q. When you find yourself in a small field like this with so many new emerging young players around, does it emphasize to you how much you are still achieving in the game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I feel that way every time I can win a match, to be honest. Just based on what's asked of me to accomplish it. I mean, I know the demand on my body. I've felt it thousands of times. I know the work that's gone into it and the difficulty to -- of these players. So to get through the matches and to sort of problem-solve your way out of any scenario is... It's a great feeling. It makes me very thankful. It's difficult for any of us to win matches. The age is not something I think much about when I'm on the court. I'm thinking a lot more about the tennis.

Q. What did you think about David Nalbandian?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've answered that already.

Q. Sorry. But I don't understand you.

ANDRE AGASSI: We can get the transcript, right?

THE MODERATOR: Yes.

 
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