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Écrit par Jerome   


August 7, 2004

A. AGASSI/A. Roddick
7-5, 6-7, 7-6


THE MODERATOR: First question for Andre.

Q. I assume that was even more thrilling to play than to watch?

ANDRE AGASSI: (Smiling). Yeah, it's hard to be objective about it, but it was -- you know, it felt great to be out there. It was a high-intensity match and a lot of great rallies. We both brought our game, you know. It was one of those that could have gone either way the whole time, it felt like.

Q. Can you remember the last time you played as well for that long a match?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, I suppose down in Australia this year. But, yeah, it's been a while. You know, it's been a few matches now back-to-back, which has just been great for me to feel how I can sort of step it up match to match. Helps me to believe in my game a little bit more now, which comes at an important time.

Q. What's the difference in a match like that? Is it imagination, is it experience?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it just -- it always just boils down to execution. I mean, it's really -- both guys know what they have to do. And, I mean, that tiebreaker, got a hold of a couple serves and felt like I hadn't done that in an hour and a half out there. So, you know, it's just the way it goes. I mean, we both were taking care of our serves. I mean, I had a Love-30, but then he answered with basically four serves that I couldn't return. I took care of my serve well, and I controlled most of the back court rallies. But that's what makes Andy so tough, is he's not usually playing back court rallies on your terms; he's usually playing on his terms. He's already taken care of his serve and he's just looking to make something happen at any given moment. You feel like against him that in one second the whole match can be blown open, so you have to be real careful the whole time.

Q. Is it tougher playing Andy because he's been coached by Gilbert, you were coached by Gilbert, he's learned a lot of the same things you were taught? Does that play into it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, listen, a great coach has to sort of teach a player based on what that player's abilities, strengths are. I mean, Andy and I are worlds apart when it comes to how we play the game. Brad has certainly done a good job in allowing him to rely on his strengths and to utilize them and to work around, you know, his weaker areas. That's what Brad did with me. So what makes it tougher is I know he's just getting good coaching. So that's, you know -- at the end of the day, that's a great player bringing a great game to the court.

Q. No one's beaten him this summer except Federer. What does that say about your game?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. You know, tonight was a high-standard match. It's one that I feel you'd have a hard time playing a better match than that - at least I would. Then again, Roger has separated himself from the field, and Andy would be second in that category this year. So to step up and play a great match against a great player in a big situation gives me a lot of confidence.

Q. What kind of adjectives could you use as the sensation of playing that match, the crowd standing ovations in between different points?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. It's just.. I would just say it's thrilling. You know, you get a real sense of -- you get a rush of blood, the hair on your body stands up, which in my case that's a lot of hairs (laughter). You know, it's just a great feeling. You know, it's nice when it's all between the lines. I mean, there's a lot of respect on that court between us both, and that lends for hopefully a great few years of that kind of tennis.

Q. After an incredible evening like this, how does this make you feel going into the US Open?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, like I said, it's important. It's crucial, you know. It's crucial I come out here and play against the best. You can't always control where that ball bounces, but I wanted to make sure that the best players in the world have to play their best tennis to beat me. That's certainly what allows you to know that you get a look at the basket. I felt like I did that tonight. Had the ball not sort of fallen my way, I still would be feeling like I'm bringing a game that somebody's going to have to stop. That's all you can ask for.

Q. What do you have to do tomorrow against Hewitt?

ANDRE AGASSI: That's a whole different sort of type of match. I mean, Lleyton has obviously been playing well this week. He doesn't look like he's been struggling too much at all with his opponents. But, you know, I'll just have to do what I do, and do it better than him. It's not going to be an easy task by any means. He's one of the quickest guys on the tour and has a great shot selection and discipline out there, and a great competitor. So I'm going to have to play another great match.

Q. Do you think fatigue could be a factor?

ANDRE AGASSI: I suppose. It's been a while since I've played a number of matches back-to-back. But tonight I felt great. You know, I'll make him earn it out there tomorrow, no question about it.

Q. Tonight you really attacked Roddick's backhand. Was that your plan from the beginning?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was more about staying away from his forehand. Sort of choose your poison out there sometimes. And, you know, his forehand's one of the best, and he can hit a lot of great shots with it. So once we got into the back court rallies, then I felt like I needed to make sure I imposed my game because that's where he's going to feel me, is when we get into those rallies. And that was a good -- certainly a good dynamic to be in. If we were in a back court rally backhand to backhand, I felt pretty comfortable.

Q. What happened with the shoe?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, you get -- I don't know about other players, I like my shoes a little worn in - in this case, a little too worn in. So started sort of burning right through them and just needed to glue 'em. I guess I got to get a new pair tomorrow (smiling).

Q. When you train and prepare as hard as you have for this summer, do you know that results are going to come?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, you don't know. I mean, it's so -- it's week to week. I mean, every day I'm answering questions about retirement - except for tonight, you know. So it's the life. That's the life I live now. If I don't go out there and produce, it's disappointing. And there's a lot of -- there's a strong feeling of setbacks week to week. You know, even in LA I had a few good matches. It was disappointing not to get through a tough one with Tommy. Toronto, I played a great match against Tommy and, you know, didn't respond with a good performance. Makes you question yourself. But. When you're in the thick of match after match, tournament after tournament, and you're working this hard, you're not working this hard to put yourself in position to always assess and always, "Okay, well, what's going on? Where's my game really?" You know, you keep your head down, you keep working and you hope the results come. Practice has been going great. It never seems like it translates day to day. It feels like there's always this lag period. You practice really well and you go through some tough losses, some setbacks, some disappointments. Then all of a sudden you start to remember how to do it again.

Q. Is it tougher to come back after a long three-set match where you're late match of the day? Would you rather have played the early match?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm not going to do a whole lot of complaining right now. I feel, you know, it's been a nice schedule every night for me except the first round. So tomorrow will be some adjustments. You know, but I can't think of a better place to be Sunday afternoon than right here.

Q. What did Andy say at the net? Seemed like you had a friendly little...

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, just... I suppose I'll leave that between us. It was very nice.

Q. You guys applauded each other out there a lot. How common is that for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, I think -- first of all, we know each other pretty well, have a mutual respect for each other. The shots that were being hit out there were as, you know, as good as you see. So I was appreciating his shots, with most of the crowd.

Q. I love that commercial with your son. How's his game coming along?

ANDRE AGASSI: He likes to hit anything (smiling). Whether it's tennis balls or windows or...

Q. One last thing. In that last set, with as much pressure as there was, you really did seem to really be enjoying these points. Can you rank this match in terms of the entire year, where would you put this match, your performance?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it's as good as you ever hope for, regardless what year it is. This is as good a match as you ever play. In tennis, the great thing about tennis is you don't have to play great; you just have to play better than your opponent. You can even play lousy. But when two guys are playing well and the standard keeps getting pushed and the bar keeps getting raised and one seems to clear the hurdle and the next one just raises it, you know, it's rare. It's rare when both guys play that. Doesn't happen a lot. And tonight was one of those matches where if I was coaching him, I couldn't fault him for much; and if I was coaching me, you couldn't ask for a whole lot more. So it was just a good night.

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