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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

WESTERN AND SOUTHERN FINANCIAL GROUP MASTERS
CINCINNATI, OHIO

August 4, 2004

A. AGASSI/T. Johansson
6-1, 3-6, 6-1

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: Go ahead with questions.

Q. Rain delays, how do you persevere through all that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, there's no real secret to it except just try to stay as relaxed as possible until you get out there and then you immediately start concentrating. The good news is two guys have to deal with the same circumstance. So, you know, it's frustrating for both players.

Q. Have you worked out some strategies for dealing with it, you know, down the years?

ANDRE AGASSI: Meaning this afternoon?

Q. Yes, the rain delays.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah. I wasn't here. I was scheduled for the night, so I had the luxury of sort of knowing I'm not going to play before 7:30. So the rain didn't affect me as much as it did most guys this afternoon. But you get more experienced at dealing with it. I think parts of it get harder, but then you get a little bit more experience with not getting overly concerned with things you can't control.

Q. You're now 6-0 against him. What is it about his game you handle so well?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I don't know really because we've had a couple tough matches. I mean, he had me down one time 4-Love in the third. Out here tonight I felt like, you know, the first set he missed a lot of first serves, and it's hard to win sets if you're -- the percentage he had in the first set. Then he played an incredible game to break me. And it was -- I felt like the match standard picked up and increasingly got better. I started returning much better in the third and hitting my shots. I just had some good matches against him.

Q. Do you know when you're going to play tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think I heard 7:30, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: 7:30.

Q. The fact that you had to wait and had the rain delay, does that create a slightly better atmosphere in the stadium, do you think?

ANDRE AGASSI: I suppose. You quickly conclude that these people that have stayed either care about you or care about the game a whole lot, so it does tend to motivate you at a time when it's easy to sort of be lethargic. I mean, when you step on the court after playing for an hour and have to wait a half hour then warm up again, it's... But when you get out there and you see sort of the excitement of the people who have persevered, who are waiting, it gets your juices flowing a little easier.

Q. You've had a pretty good summer, I mean, at this stage. You got to feel good about the way you're playing, no?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, two matches in a row is good for me. That's not good that it's good for me, but it does feel good. You know, you wish you spent a whole year putting together good matches but, you know, I got a couple going here and certainly look forward to having to step my game up tomorrow night in that challenge. And hopefully I'm not too far away from feeling really good out there.

Q. Do you feel it's starting to click?

ANDRE AGASSI: I suppose so. You know, we just finished, it's pretty late. I didn't have time sort of to absorb to -- talk to Darren about the quality of tennis out there. But I felt like we were both committed to our shots. It was fast tennis and we weren't making a lot of errors - or I wasn't at least. He made a few there that gave me the lead in the third. I thought the standard was good. And, you know, winning always helps you with your confidence.

Q. He's a Grand Slam champion, he's a classy guy. That must help with your confidence as well?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, and he's coming off playing pretty well. He had a good week last week where he played a good match against Federer in the semis. So I knew that it would be a tough challenge and a good sign if I got through it.

Q. I'm doing something on Roddick and Federer, that that can be the new rivalry like you and Sampras. Do you see that potential there between those two guys, and will it help the game in this country?

ANDRE AGASSI: Absolutely. I mean, two players that are playing by far the best tennis on the year. So, you know, they're a cut above. I think Roger has certainly separated himself from everybody. But then there's Andy. I think they both have a great style about them out there on the court, a great sort of sense of competitiveness and commitment to giving it everything. They both sort of go about their work so differently; one is very animated out there on the court, while the other is pretty relaxed. And they play high-standard tennis, so that's ultimately the most important thing. And they're starting to play more often, so that's also a key ingredient.

Q. For this country is that something that will be needed to kind of get the excitement back for these viewers in this country?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think rivalry fuels any sport. It's important to have. I think both those guys are incredible for the game of tennis. If they can build on it with each other, I think it's only for tennis to gain. You know, Pete and I were both from here, so that helped for sort of the domestic audience. But I think Roger has a good enough appeal to transcend boundaries.

Q. Is it not a key ingredient that Andy has to start winning some of them, though, matches, because he's only won one, I think, in seven?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you know, I mean, whatever -- depends on what standard rivalry you're trying to create, you know, you're talking about. If you're talking about the best-of-the-best, obviously you want to see a lot of finals, you want to see a lot of high-standard tennis, and you want to see a real 50/50 proposition when they step on the court as to who's gonna win. But, you know, they have a long career ahead of them. I mean, certainly Roger's gotten the better of him so far, but there's a lot that can unfold in sports.

 
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