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Écrit par Jerome   


September 6, 2004

A. AGASSI/S. Sargsian
6-3, 6-2, 6-2


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andre.

Q. You are ranked No. 6. Did you expect to cruise through this match so easily like you did?

ANDRE AGASSI: I never expect to win easily, and I think matches have the potential of looking that way more than feeling that way. Sarge hasn't won four matches for no reason here, and playing in the fourth round for no reason. He played some great matches. I just wanted to take care of business in tough conditions.

Q. You played some really memorable matches here. What do you think about the Federer quarterfinal?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, looking forward to it. Should be a lot of fun. I mean, there's nothing more you ask for than to play a big event against the best player in this environment. It's time to bring the best tennis.

Q. You've given Sarge advice over the years on how to play other players. Did you talk with him last night? What did you talk about? Did you talk about the match at all?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, we didn't speak last night. I congratulated him the night before after he won, but not last night.

Q. Did you watch that match on TV?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, I did. Never been so nervous in my life. It's a lot easier playing than watching when you really care about it. You know, I was pulling for him. It was a great display of tennis and heart, by both players.

Q. Of course, many times you played against friends. He's quite a close friend, as I understand.


Q. Is that a little harder or does it matter?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I don't think it's quite as comfortable playing against somebody that you root for. I mean, if I were to lose, I probably wouldn't want to lose to anybody more than him, if that makes any sense at all. But you have a lot of respect for each other personally, professionally, too. In order to maintain that respect, both guys have to go out there and lay it on the line, give a hug afterwards. That's what we both expect.

Q. What do you appreciate most about Roger's game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think his biggest weapon is his forehand and his movement. He's a really explosive mover. His forehand's just a nasty shot. You know, he does a lot of things really well. He does a few things really great. That makes him quite a tough player.

Q. When you're not playing him, what degree of enjoyment do you have in watching his style of play?

ANDRE AGASSI: It depends who his opponent is because, you know, most of the time he's making it look too easy to enjoy. But, you know, I study the game for the sake of always aspiring to be a better tennis player. You know, there are just some guys that you can learn a lot from, and then there are other guys that you just can't do what they do and how they do it. And Federer's one of those guys that just plays the game on his own terms in a way that others just can't. That's his style, and it's very unique.

Q. In the past, which player have you been able to learn the most from?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, that's hard to say. I mean, I learned a lot from guys that make great decisions out there. You know, I think Lleyton Hewitt is a great example. It's why I'm working with Darren now, is the respect that I have for what Darren has taught him since he's been a little boy, which is how to make good decisions out there. You watch that. You watch the strengths of other guys. Anybody that's No. 1 in the world, you can absolutely count on the fact that they're setting the standard for the rest of the guys, and the rest of the guys are constantly trying to figure out how to beat them and how to learn from them.

Q. And the decisions that Lleyton makes, is that in terms of constructing points?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, just shot selection, movement, intensity. You know, watching the way these guys play big points. I mean, you finish the year No. 1 in the world, and guys are breaking you down and learning from you. We'll just go through it. Andy last year. You know, year before, Lleyton, Lleyton, Guga. You learn from the best.

Q. For a 34-year-old man, you come on the court like the Energizer Bunny. What is your training regimen? Due to your circumstances that you're married, have children, has it changed?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, my regimen sort of changes. It's a juggling act. You always have to make the adjustment for where you are. We don't have an off-season. I train hard. I believe in being stronger. I believe the stronger you are, the more capable you are. And, yeah, everything's changed after having children.

Q. You enjoy it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I love it. Love it. It's the greatest thing in the world.

Q. How much can the crowd, the fact that Roger is going to have to play the very popular US legend on Ashe stadium, how much will that play into your favor?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm going to have to establish a lot from the basic X's and O's before that's a factor. I think not playing in four days is not ideal for him. I think that going out there in a big environment is something that he has proven to be the best at this year. I'm going to try to give something for the crowd to cheer about. But that's going to start with me.

Q. Did you see today your son applauding you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I didn't see it, but I knew he was here.

Q. He was clapping.

ANDRE AGASSI: Good boy (smiling). Give him some candy when I get home.

Q. You mentioned playing big points. Is there a particular game plan or approach, what are the keys when you know it's a big point, how you handle that different from ordinary points?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, there's a skill and a discipline to not making a point any more or less important than the next for me and my style of game, because my game is about sort of squeezing somebody out there and putting the pieces of a puzzle together. But when you get to a crucial point of a match, you have to be willing to win it. You have to show that you're willing and expect to win the point, not hope that your opponent's going to lose it. So it's a fine line because you don't want to live too dangerously, but you need to try to take it.

Q. Willing to take risks, having confidence to take risks?

ANDRE AGASSI: Calculated risk, calculated risk. It's calculated. It's controlled aggression.

Q. When you play Roger, talk about how fine a line it is between playing maybe too conservatively, or playing super-aggressive.

ANDRE AGASSI: I go out there with the intention of having to play my best tennis, there's no question about it. That's the good news playing him, if that is good news. The good news is there's not a whole lot of thinking. You better shoot for your best stuff right away, not take your foot off the pedal. When you see him dance around, hit a forehand winner, know that I didn't walk that line very well that point. And when I press and just miss the line, know that I didn't walk that line very well. But if I can hit my shots aggressively and play to the standard I know I can, I have every intention of winning the match.

Q. How do you stay so mentally tough?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just keep trying to improve, that's all. Just keep trying to get better.

Q. I think it was three years ago when you had the night match quarterfinal against Pete. A lot of anticipation before that match. Talk about your feelings now going out against Roger versus then going out against Pete.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think it's a difference when you've played somebody 35 times. You know, it's a magical thing when you spend your whole life competing against somebody, competing for No. 1 in the world, competing for Grand Slam titles, doing it again and again, and then doing it in your 30s, you know, out here at the US Open. It's a whole different animal as far as that goes. But needless to say, the standard is every bit the same. I need to get out there and put together a great match.

Q. I noticed today during your match, the overhead big screen wasn't on. Was that something you requested?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have been asked in years past if I mind that it actually plays the point, and that's something that, I've not proactively but in answering the question, said I would prefer it not to be on. Hasn't been asked to me this year yet.

Q. Sargsian said the other day he had been taking some pills to recover, were his words, that you had given to him. Will you please develop what kind of pills, what they are?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just very basic electrolytes.

Q. What are you drinking right now?

ANDRE AGASSI: A little Kool-Aid (smiling).

Q. If a guy named Pete Sampras called in from California and said, "Congrats, Andy, good luck in the next match," what would you say to him and what would be your first question to him?

ANDRE AGASSI: One more time.

Q. If Pete called and said, "Good luck," how would you respond to him? What would you ask him?

ANDRE AGASSI: How he got my phone number (smiling). You've got to tighten up those loose ends. I want to know.

Q. What characteristics of Sargsian impressed you?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, he's a good man. I'm sure you have a lot of close friends, Bud. You know what a good person is.

Q. Good person, but I mean on the tennis court.

ANDRE AGASSI: I think he's one of the best movers you'll ever see out there. His balance and strength in his legs, it's phenomenal to watch. I hit a forehand today against the wind that hit the tape and dropped over. Against the wind, the ball is even getting held up more. He ran it down, managed to get there at full speed and stop before he reached the net. In the meantime, he hit a cold winner. That's phenomenal athleticism.

Q. Do you like Roger besides the tennis court, as a person?

ANDRE AGASSI: He seems like a first-class person, no question. I don't know him that well. Handles himself like a true professional.

Q. Yesterday Andy Roddick bounced some balls into the stands. He said maybe fans should be able to keep the balls. Any thoughts?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it's not just tradition. It's a basic necessity because, you know, it's not like baseball where sort of every ball is new. If a ball is newer than the next ball, it plays differently, plays faster. It would be a serious disadvantage for a returner not know what ball's being used, whether it's a new one or an old one. That's why you notice most players take a few balls, choose them and then give them back, because they're basing the ball they're using on a certain amount of even wear and tear, as well as what serve they want to hit - if they want that ball to be a little heavier, if they want it to be a little faster. It's part of the sport that the balls get changed at one time.

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