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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

2004 US OPEN – A USTA EVENT
NEW YORK CITY

August 30, 2004

A. AGASSI/R. Ginepri
7-6, 6-4, 6-2

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Did you know about Todd retiring?

ANDRE AGASSI: I knew he was sort of thinking about it. Listen, I think the game and the players are going to miss him a lot. He was, as a competitor, he was as good as they came. As a professional, top notch. Certainly well respected as a person. You know, it's always a bit sad when somebody you spent so much time with over the years, played so many matches against, decides it's time for them to move on. But I'm sure he'll embrace this next stage in his life with the same standards he's shown out there for all these years.

Q. Now you're really the last of the Mohicans in that class. Does it feel a little lonelier?

ANDRE AGASSI: In some respects, you miss everybody, you know, that you grew up with. You know, you do. When you get down to what you have to do out there day after day, it doesn't matter, really, who's on the other side of the net. The only thing that matters is what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses, what do you have to do to find a way to get through? That takes up most of your energy, to be quite honest. But then you have brief moments where you sort of reminisce a little bit.

Q. But what was, if you had to put just in a few words, what was really special about Todd; Midwesterner, big power game, tremendous heart, lots of integrity; one thing you could put your finger on?

ANDRE AGASSI: You should answer that question. You said it all right there. But from a standpoint of Xs and Os, tennis, game, he had as perfect a game as you could want to design somebody to play. I mean, his return game was world-class. Big return. He played serve-volleyers, serve-volleyers had a lot of problems against him. The baseliners, couldn't get the ball out of his strike zone on his serve. He could hit the ball low and flat and up the line and put so much pressure on your second, and he had one of the most accurate serves in the game. I mean, he could hit a dime. If we had targets out there, I wouldn't pick anybody over him, hitting those spots. He had the ability to serve and come in off the first ball or just serve-volley. Soft hands at net. Great reach. Only thing he ever really struggled with is his body holding up, and that's unfortunate, because I think there was, as much as he's accomplished, his game could have even seen more if it wasn't for some of his injuries.

Q. Do you think the injuries was the prime thing, or was there other aspects of his game which prevented him from becoming a real dominant player?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, you know, who's to say if he had built up his body stronger that he wouldn't have had those injuries. But I think the injuries themselves always seemed to nag at him. I mean, he needed to put in eight hours a day to play a two-hour match before, after. He's a 6'6 frame. He's a big boy whose body takes a pounding.

Q. What do you remember most from that '99 final here?

ANDRE AGASSI: How it's possible I played five sets of tennis against him and didn't lose my serve? Because he was one of the hardest to hold serves against. That was a high-standard match all the way till the end. I remember breaking him in the first game of the match then nobody broke serve for about two and a half more hours.

Q. Could you talk about Robby's game and where he hurts you and where he kind of goes astray sometimes.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, Robby is a talented player with great wheels. I think his movement is a big strong point in his game; certainly his forehand when the ball's sitting there. When you move so well, you can make the ball look a lot more still and have a lot more time to hit your shots. He does that well. He can use his forehand pretty effectively. I just think he makes some -- still makes some bad decisions out there. That's shot selection. Because his game allows for him to play a few different kinds of shots and I think sometimes he talks himself into the wrong shot and that's what I felt like tonight. There were just a few times where he tried to press when he probably shouldn't have and a few times where he didn't press when he probably had the opportunity.

Q. What about your serve? Seemed to be struggling a little bit.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, thanks for noticing that (laughter). I felt pretty good tonight except for my serve, first serve. First serve, never found my rhythm. I forced it early and never quite relaxed. I started finding it more as the match went on and felt more comfortable about it later. So I feel like the adjustment will be pretty quick for me going into my next match. Yeah, but tonight I was pretty disappointed with my first serve.

Q. Can you describe your best vacation that you've ever taken.

ANDRE AGASSI: Being home to me is a vacation.

Q. Just talk about maybe your favorite place that you've been traveling.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I love it right here in New York, to be honest. Probably my favorite city in the world when it comes to enjoying some time.

Q. Where do you like to go?

ANDRE AGASSI: Where don't you go in New York? It's a great place to be. A lot of energy, lot of restaurants, lot of plays, lot of great time with the family.

Q. You seemed to get stronger as the game went on tonight. Overall were you pleased with the effort?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think so. I feel good that against a guy like Robby you have to go out there and be firing on all your cylinders or else you could have some real problems. I could have won the first set a little easier and the second set a little easier by taking care of my serve. But that's where I was a bit frustrated with it. The rest of the game held up in spite of that. I think that's a good sign for me. When my serve starts coming around a little bit, I'll be even more effective with the rest of my game.

Q. Would you consider this a roller coaster sort of year? Are you puzzled by the ups and downs?

ANDRE AGASSI: It feels pretty familiar, to be quite honest (smiling). I feel like, well, for a number of years now the whole year hasn't been that way, as it has been this year. You know, that's the mentality of a sport. You know, you get out there and it just feels like there's so many ebbs and flows in any given match, in any given week. Sometimes that carries on from week to week and month to month. God forbid you physically are struggling, it's almost impossible these days against these guys, the way they hit the ball. So I'm not -- none of it is too unfamiliar. The only part of it that I find myself unsure about is being 34. That's always -- I've never been 34 before, so (laughter)... so you sort of are always anticipating what the reasons are for why things are going the way they are.

Q. How important was the win in Cincinnati for you, for your self-confidence coming here?

ANDRE AGASSI: That's very important. You can't come to a tournament like this and expect to win unless you have beaten the best and feel like if you play your best tennis that you can still win. You can believe as much as you want, but until you do it, it's hard to not question yourself when you're out there, to have those doubts. So confidence was pretty low for a while and it was hard for me to get over that hump this summer. But I was practicing well, and things were improving quickly but it wasn't sort of translating match after match in a tournament until Cincinnati. Once it sort of translated, I really relaxed and played a level of tennis that I haven't played in a while, and that felt really good because it's not like you can do it one week and you can't do it the next. You have the belief that, "Okay, I can still do this. I just need to be mindful of the right things."

Q. What's the first thing that goes through the mind when you're in a locker room after the first big match of a big tournament, chilling out, and in walks the former President of the United States of America?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, I've known President Bush for a long time, Senior, that is. So seeing him, it's a nice, familiar face. He's extended me some incredible hospitality in the years past. It's like walking around the grounds, you run into a lot of people that you enjoy seeing.

Q. Can you describe your worst moment while traveling, your worst moment on the road?

ANDRE AGASSI: Worst moment... being stuck in a cabin 35,000 feet up in the air for 14 hours with a 2-year-old and a 10-month-old.

Q. Where was that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Flying back from Australia in the middle of the day, mind you.

Q. Are you still enjoying the game as much as when you started?

ANDRE AGASSI: Much of it I enjoy more now.

Q. Why is that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Because I appreciate it more. I have more a capacity to embrace the things that are so good about it, all the things this sport has offered me is sort of always in the forefront of my mind now. That feels good to feel like you're playing with the house's money; you're out there going, "It's been a great ride and I still get to do it."

 
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