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Écrit par Jerome   


January 29, 2004

M. SAFIN/A. Agassi
7-6, 7-6, 5-7, 1-6, 6-3


THE MODERATOR: First question for Andre.

Q. How do you sum up a loss like that? So close, yet so far.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you know, it was a tough one today. I mean, Marat played at an incredibly high level, and he came up with a lot of great shots when he needed to. You know, I had chances in the first two sets, sort of slipped away. A couple set points in the first, served for the second. Set point in the breaker in the second. You know, that's a big hole, two sets to love down. And, you know, the fifth was just a break of serve. I missed two regulation cross-court shots to lose my serve from 30-All, and I didn't recover from that.

Q. Do you think he was getting some rest at the end of the fourth before the fifth, to save some energy?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, I don't know what he was doing. You know, I mean, he obviously came out strong in the fifth and, you know, played some good tennis. So it was well done.

Q. Did you think you had him going into that last set?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I felt like I had the momentum, certainly. Felt pretty good about my chances at that point. But, you know, when a guy has a weapon like that, you know, he was serving so well tonight, you can get through so many games without sort of spending that energy and hitting those crucial nervous shots, you know, where you force a guy to do something. So I knew the match was well in balance just because of that alone, but I definitely felt like I had the momentum going into the fifth.

Q. Was it a big advantage, the fact he was serving first?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think that always helps. It always helps to be up a game. You know, but if I could have broken early, it would have switched.

Q. How did you feel about the way you played generally throughout the match? Was there anything that you felt was not quite the way you would have liked it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, I felt reasonably well. Anything that I wasn't feeling great about had a lot to do with him. You know, he was serving big. He was really returning my second serve really well, really aggressive. You know, and I was -- only lost my serve twice, I believe. Once in the fifth, once in the second. You know, so I forced him to play at that level the whole time. Again, sometimes you just need a little bit of luck at the right time, the right shot falling. There was a couple 30-All games on his serve where I would hit a good, deep ball that, you know, just carried past the baseline, and that's what you need. You need that one or two shots at the right time that back them up and give you the opportunity. But, you know, he never gave me that opportunity. You know, credit to the way he played. It was a high standard from start to finish.

Q. Can Marat beat either Juan Carlos or Roger?

ANDRE AGASSI: Sure, he can. Absolutely. He's one good match away.

Q. Is that the toughest opponent you've had in all your years here?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, it's the toughest day, for sure, you know (smiling). It's hard to say, you know. Again, if a day like this, I play a little bit better or I get a little bit of luck, I could possibly have won that match in straight sets. So it's sort of a four-point swing there. You know, so it's definitely the toughest day I've had.

Q. What was going through your mind as you acknowledged the crowd before you walked off?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, you know, just saying thank you to them. They've been great to me over the years. Just a lot of fun to compete in front of. And you never know when it's your last, right? So you want to say bye properly.

Q. Does the level of tennis remind you of one of your best matches against Pete?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, there's a lot of matches that feel that way. A lot -- you play a lot of matches through the year where it's decided by one or two points, you know. Again, it was a high-standard match. But you're asking me to compare one match to a guy I grew up with and competed for championships for many years. Can't do that.

Q. What are our chances of seeing you here again next year?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, right now, pretty good. I mean, I have no plans to do otherwise. But, you know, a year's a long time. I really look forward to being back.

Q. Do you look back with a certain pride of what you've achieved in your last four efforts here: Three titles, a semifinal this year, 26 straight wins. Incredible record. Is it a source of pride for you as you go home?


Q. Is it a source of pride, though, for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I suppose. In hindsight, as I step on the court, I address each match so separately that you can't win 26 in a row until you win the first one, and second one and so on. So, you know, I've always addressed every match as its own thing. But, you know, looking back, yeah, it's not easy to do that, that's for sure. I never went into it thinking it was easy, and certainly not coming out of it thinking it was easy.

Q. Did you have a feeling that he had to stop serving like he was, and it did go off for a while?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, he's 6'5". His margin for error is a lot better than somebody my height. I was just hoping to take advantage out of the times where he did miss his first serve. And that's where I needed to make more of an impression. I've been aced -- I don't know how many aces he had, but I've been aced 47 times in a match before, 38 times, found a way to win. So I don't really worry too much about the aces. I worry about when I do get my racquet on it, what am I doing with the ball. And tonight I felt like I just never quite got over that hump. It was really close. I mean, again, that match could have been straight sets - both ways.

Q. How is it possible a guy like Safin in five sets didn't do one double fault?

ANDRE AGASSI: Please ask him that and then call me and tell me why he did that (smiling). I hate it when he does that. Yeah, it's a good effort.

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