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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 13, 2004

A. AGASSI/D. Sanchez
6-2, 6-2

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: With the win today, Andre picks up his 30th career win here in the desert, and will take on the winner of Dominik Hrbaty and Xavier Malisse in the third round. Questions for Andre.

Q. Would you like to talk about that ceremony a little bit.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I wasn't aware of it coming off the court. Mr. Barnes just asked me, they were doing a little ceremony for, you know, the victims in memory of the tragedy that took place, so I obviously said I'd love to be part of it and show my support any way I can. It's a terrible thing that happened. The only way you can make up for such tragedies is with a little good human spirit coming together and giving strength to those who need it.

Q. You seemed to be pretty efficient today out there.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I felt good. It was a good match-up for me. He gave me a chance in the first match, gave me a chance to hit a lot of balls. But I was in control of most of the points, which I obviously like. I felt good about every part of my game today. It was a good start for me.

Q. Didn't appear to be any rust after the layoff?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I've been working hard, practicing well. So obviously matches are different. You hope that nothing pops up or sort of reveals itself when you're out there. And today I felt like everything was right where I expected it to be.

Q. Dominik Hrbaty could be one of your next opponents. Do you find it interesting, a guy like him who is sort of falling into a journeyman's role, wins three tournaments this year? Sudden turnaround, isn't it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it is. It sort of speaks to his abilities and maybe how he could have been doing all along. I mean, I think he's a great striker of the ball. He plays a very aggressive style of tennis, which lends for a certain amount of unpredictable results because there are some days the ball's not going to fall for you. I think the consistency in his results is something that he can improve a lot on because he's talented enough. But he's every bit as dangerous as anybody out there. Hits a big ball.

Q. I know you practiced the other day with Roger. Presumably you practiced with him before. There's so much talk about him now, people are saying he has a Sampras kind of game. A, is that accurate? B, are you at all surprised that somebody with that kind of game in today's configuration in tennis is doing quite that well?

ANDRE AGASSI: I haven't practiced with him. Did you just mention that?

Q. Somebody told me they saw you practicing with him.

ANDRE AGASSI: No. You know, I don't view Roger similar to Pete. I mean, I'm dealing with subtleties out there. I find them to be different. I find Pete's serve to be much bigger, but Roger to be a better returner. I think Roger's a better groundstroker, but I think Pete's a better volleyer. You know, when you sort of take X's and O's, you give some to this guy, some to this guy, at the end of the day it's champions against champions. Who knows how it's going to come out. But I think he's a tremendous talent. I think he has a great game to watch. It's no surprise to me at all that he can win in today's game with his style. He does everything really good, and does a few things great. It's a great game. He has a game that he can play from the back of the court and play with the best from back there. Then he has a game that, you know, if he plays a guy that doesn't quite return well, that chips the return, tends to back up, that he can come forward and sort of take him out of the equation. He has a game that can sort of beat different guys different ways. That's what you need to win major tournaments. That's what you need to be at the top spot. And he definitely has that. There's a lot of matches through the year, you know. There are going to be times you play guys, that if you make it harder on yourself than necessary, it takes its toll. And Roger has a great game to sort of avoid those days from happening.

Q. Do you see Roger and Roddick forming a rivalry on a similar basis to your rivalry with Pete?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, so many things really have to come together for a rivalry to take that sort of form. There's certainly potential for it. You've got two of the top players in the game that are young, looks like they're both going to be around a while. You got that working. You know, Pete and I, we're more contrast in styles of play and personality than I think you would see with Roger and Andy. I mean, that also adds to the element of a rivalry. I mean, Pete and I couldn't have played the game more opposite. So that's a big factor. But ultimately, it's going to be them playing big matches a number of times for that to sort of settle into its own place in the game.

Q. There was kind of a strange moment I didn't understand out there. You ran down a dropshot, he ran down your return, then you reflexed a volley. He acted like you did something illegal. What was that all about?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I hit a volley that sort of just threw my arm at. He was claiming it was a double hit, that the ball had hit the frame of my racquet twice. I couldn't help him with his concern because I didn't know what the rule is. To be quite honest, I still don't know. I think the rule is if it's one swing, you're fine.

Q. I think that's right.

ANDRE AGASSI: He was sort of asking me, "Didn't you double hit it?" I'm going, "I don't think that's the issue. It was definitely one swing." So I don't know. That's what the concern was, issue was.

Q. Is it tough to get up for a match like you get today? You have these days, day at the office, early match, hot day. How do you fire yourself up for it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, this one was pretty easy. There are days like that. I wouldn't consider this to be one of them, you know. It's been a few weeks since I've played. I've been working hard. I'm anxious to get out there. Looking forward to settling into my game. I want to play well here. I've been injured here two years in a row. Haven't played well here in a while. I felt very motivated to sort of come out and get myself comfortable and feel my game, you know. But the days where it is harder, you know, it takes an ability that we all have to learn in our lives where you sort of go, "Okay, there are things we want to do and there are things we have to do." As long as the things we want to do don't interfere with the things we have to do, we've got a chance of our life making sense. I try not to make it too emotional for myself anymore. I just try to go to work and don't make it worse than it might be on its own.

Q. Do you find the weather a factor now? If so, how do you use it to your advantage?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, the weather's always a factor. There's elements out there, everywhere you play, whether it be surface, weather, wind or sun, rain or heaviness, altitude. I mean, there's so many different sort of variables that lend to any given feel of a match or of a tournament. Whenever you have heat as an equation, you obviously want to be efficient with what you're doing out there and hopefully be in control of what's going on. Quite honestly, it's what I try to do anyways. So if I do that well, then I think the heat kind of works for you because you're not hating it as much as your opponent. But, you know, it's uncomfortable for everybody out there - even the fans. You just try to deal with it better than one person.

Q. I'm from Las Vegas. I've witnessed your program for the intercity kids, a huge impact not only on local tennis, but intermountain. She's a reporter for me, and she was on your team, Team Agassi. I saw you play today for the first time ever. All I can think of, he's a great player, but the most amazing thing every time we hear of Andre Agassi, I think of all these kids that typically would be doing nothing after school, and now they're the most amazing players. I don't know if any of you have seen them. Some might even be here one day. When you're out here and have these accomplishments, I imagine that you find those accomplishments at the Boys and Girls Club equally as satisfying, if not more?

ANDRE AGASSI: No question about it. Four years ago, none of the children there even knew how to hold a tennis racquet. Now we have some highly nationally ranked in our state and in our section. It's pretty incredible. It sort of speaks to what an athlete is capable of, a child is capable of if given the opportunity. It's very rewarding to me to watch that unfold. You know, the Boys and Girls Club adventure and relationship that we sort of built up sort of led to the college preparatory academy that we built. I started realizing these kids come here to give them some sort of focus when they're out of school, it's important to keep them off the streets. But then you quickly learn, "What are they learning in school? How does that all play a part?" It's been quite a lesson, life lesson for me, watching these children, getting a chance to be a part of it.

Q. For Las Vegas, it's the highlight of the tennis scene now.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

Q. It's gone from kind of boring to the tournaments are four times the size now. It's added life like you can't believe.

ANDRE AGASSI: That's good. These children deserve it.

 
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