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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

2004 US OPEN – A USTA EVENT
NEW YORK CITY

September 9, 2004

R. FEDERER/A. Agassi
6-3, 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Have you ever been to Wrigley Field. They say that's a windy place.

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. Was wind a factor?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, the wind's a big factor today. It's the same for both guys. It just comes down to a few points. He played a few points, that key fifth set, better than I did. Was over in a hurry.

Q. Looked like it was very difficult to play on I guess it's the north end, back in that deuce court area. Lots of balls going sideways?

ANDRE AGASSI: The wind was very one-sided as far as from one end of the court. When you have a little wind, if you can use it to your advantage with different shots, it becomes an asset to have it on your back. But when it's that strong, you need -- it's sort of a -- it's between wanting to take a full swing because you need the spin to control, but any pace at all and the ball just gets away from you. So you're always sort of trying to walk a line out there. When you're against the wind, you can at least hit through it and make a few shots. With the wind was a key side today and that's the side I ended up getting broken on. That's the side he was broken on in the fourth set.

Q. The quarterfinal showing here a good showing for you? Is it disappointing?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's disappointing to lose today.

Q. Do you feel like -- you seemed like you lost two sets, the third and fifth, when you were in control, had the positive feeling. Looked like you had him in trouble.

ANDRE AGASSI: Third set more than the fifth. I mean, the fifth set was in balance the whole way. I mean, it was -- we were both taking care of our serve and we both knew that at any time something could give for one of us. The third set I felt like I was in control. I had a lot of opportunities early. You know, just didn't convert. I mean, I think that's one of the things that he does really, really great, is he can sort of hang in there and then if you drop your intensity just a touch, or if you're a little -- if the wheels come off for a second, he can really capitalize. That's what he did last night in the third. So I came out here today feeling like I was playing the better tennis, and thought, you know, thought that today could have been a really good day for me. Just disappointed there, the way that sort of went towards the end. But he dealt with it better than I did.

Q. Are there a lot of similarities between him and Pete? You say he'll take advantage of something like that all of a sudden.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, similarities so far as that they can put pressure on you from the front of the court or the back of the court. I mean, Pete could always let one ball go from the baseline and it would get you in trouble right away, or he could come forward and make you hit a pressure shot in a crucial situation over and over again. So in that sense, over and over absolutely. I didn't come up with it when I needed to today. I had game point to close out that game and that was a crucial side to hold today. Every time you escaped holding serve on that time, you had the advantage with you. I just didn't quite do it.

Q. You talked a lot about the Majors. Can you assess your year and talk about now how you feel about it and where you're going.

ANDRE AGASSI: That's a little hard sort of straightaway. I mean...

Q. You came in here off a big win in Cincinnati, playing a great level last night and today with the wind. Probably thought you had a real good chance to go a little bit further here?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I mean, I came in here expecting to make somebody play a great match to beat me, you know. And with the standard I was playing in Cincinnati and here, it was going to take the highest quality player playing great tennis. I mean, you know, there's only so much you can do out there. You got to just hope it sort of falls your way. Again, it's pretty disappointing. So before I sort of assess anything or make any plans, I just need to sort of let everything settle down and make sure I'm making some good decisions.

Q. At the end of the year, when this season is over and you have a chance to reflect on what you want to do in 2005, the fact that you came in here and competed against the No. 1 player in the world, how much of a factor will that be, when you sit down to determine whether to continue on? Are family factors and privacy factors more of a factor than how you're playing right now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, what I've said for four years now, which is if I'm out there forcing the best players in the world to play their best tennis, if I'm out there with other players not looking forward to playing against me, I mean, that's everything it's always been to me on the court. And I feel a sense of responsibility and obligation to give back to a sport that's given me so much in my life. So I'm going to keep going as long as I feel I have the realistic hope of putting together great matches and finding a way to win. I mean, you know, at least I hope that's my criterion. That's the only game plan I have, is to keep trying to improve until I decide I can't do it.

Q. Was this the worst wind conditions of your experience?

ANDRE AGASSI: This is as bad as it gets. I mean, I think anything sort of more than this, there would have to be some serious consideration into postponing matches. I mean, at some point, if chairs are starting to blow over, that's a problem, so... I mean, you could make it the players' problems up to a certain point, then it gets a little absurd. Today was as extreme as it gets where two players would have to deal with it. Yeah, it was one of those days that wasn't going to lend to quality tennis. But the one element of tennis that is the most important still exists, which is two players have to compete against each other and find a way regardless what the circumstances are. That's what he did today.

Q. When you saw the conditions this morning, did you think that they would help you more than Roger?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've always -- I mean, nobody likes the wind. The question is do you sort of like it more or less than your opponent. I can't really speak to how he feels about playing in the wind, but I've always had good results in the wind just because my game is pretty adaptable to it. I don't have a high ball toss, and I don't have big swings so I can play with some margin and percentages. But you still have to execute. So, you know, I would have enjoyed perfect conditions today because I thought the standard was pretty high last night and would have loved to have seen that continue. But, you know, it's taken me 34 years to get myself to not complain about the circumstances and do your best to deal with it. This morning when I woke up, it was about me dealing with it the best I can.

Q. Last night it appeared as if you were trying to play to his backhand a lot. Today it didn't appear that you did or couldn't. Did the conditions dictate...

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, today, hitting the ball in the dead center of the court was a great shot (laughter). Literally, if the ball left my racquet and was in play, it was my advantage. If the ball left his racquet and was in play, he had the advantage in the point. With his movement, he's going to turn a lot of those mid-court balls into forehands. My only alternative was to try to pick up the pace, play to a smaller section of the court. In those conditions, you're going to miss every other one. So it was the center of the court was the only shot to hit. Occasionally to play something short if you were against the wind, make somebody come forward and try to control it with the breeze on their back, was tough.

Q. Back to the third set last night, which you seemed to be controlling pretty well until you got to the 11th game. The break game, you seemed to lose focus a little bit. Had the doubling, then the backhand that hit the top of the net on the breakpoint. Was there something going on mentally, did you just lose it quickly or...?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, keep it in context. I mean, he played two great points to get me Love-30 that game. I played two great points to get back to 30-All. We were serving 30-All, 5-All, one set apiece, there's a lot of choices to make out there, "Am I just going to lay this serve in and let him continue what he was -- had already put together as a pretty good game? Or where or when do I take my chance?" I try to hit a quality second serve out wide to his forehand that went long. So it was anything -- if there's anything true about being able to say it was a good double-fault, it was a good double-fault. It was aggressive with a purpose. The next point, you know, he played a good shot. I tried to feel that backhand up the line but, you know, he covers the forehand so well, you always feel like you're playing to small margins. Like I said going out in this match, I got to play well, I got to play decisively and with conviction. And you don't sit back and say, "This is low percentage or that," you just take your shot if you have the instinct that it might be there, and you assess it later. That's what I did. Hindsight's 20/20.

Q. In the Wimbledon final this year and last night and today, it looked like Roger Federer was getting beat. Yet this guy somehow or another comes out on top. Can you put your finger on some explanation as to how he does that?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's a lot of tennis out there. I wouldn't say anybody's getting beat. I mean, I was -- I hope that I go out there presenting my own problems for guys, and that was what I wanted to do out there last night and today. I feel like I have a good game to match up against him. I can make him play -- I can force him to play his best tennis, and that, to me, is a credit to his standard. I think what you see out there is a great player who is bound to have close matches and he's going to have a lot more. But the quality of his game allows him to pull through most of those.

Q. Is Roger's competitive fire underrated?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's won two Slams this year and he's going for his third. You underrate it? I don't think the players do. I know I certainly don't.

Q. Topspin lob that took you to the second deuce, that was guided to perfection, I would say. Did you have a good approach?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, good considering the circumstances. I mean, you literally try to hit the approach to the center of the court, you force a guy to pass you in those conditions, and if there was no wind out there, that was a short enough ball where I could have maybe put it away. But we both felt that way a thousand times out there today. You know, when I hit the ball to the thick of the court, I came in, and he threw it up in the air. I mean, that ball's moving around so much, I felt like it could have got held up on the service line or it could have went 12 feet long. You know, it was perfect. It was a good shot. I mean, I threw one up earlier when we were out there. It found a hole and I ended up winning a point. It was a good shot he hit.

Q. With so little difference between you and him and Roddick and the other players at the level you're playing at now, does that give you incentive you can make the commitment to keep playing, pushing your own body for another year, two years, three years, whatever?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, contrary to what it seems like you're hearing, I never had an intention not to play. You know, everybody's -- my game plan is to play until I can't do it, so... You know, I certainly want to be able to assess my level of play, and at some point my level of play will dictate my decisions. But as of right now, I'm trying to win tournaments, and I believe that with that focus, I can still do that.

Q. Was there ever any question of playing this match? Did you ask the USTA to consider postponing a match?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I did not.

Q. How do you assess the Federer-Henman semi?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, day-to-day, I mean, there's wind like this, everybody could stay home and we could just flip coins (laughter). I mean, unless you toss the ball like Hrbaty, then that's... I can't even imagine how he was feeling out there today, trying to throw that thing up in the air (laughter). But, yeah, Tim has a great game because he sort of does everything well, too. I mean, I think at the end of the day Federer has just a bit more fire power. You'd have to give him the advantage. But Henman can make you play some pressure shots in pressure situations. He moves well, does a lot of things well. Roger is going to have to be on top of his game. But, you know, he's not No. 1 for no reason. It's because he deserves the respect of having that advantage.

Q. Andy's shorter stroke on his serve, brings the racquet straight up, is it likely to have less effect on him if the wind persists like that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Again, there's a level of wind that you go -- some people play better in this, some people are better off. If there's a slight breeze, Andy's serve is going to be bigger with the wind and he's still going to be able to serve through the wind against it. Nasty combination. But when you have wind so strong, it's just potluck. It really is. You throw the ball up and you hope you hit it square. If you do, maybe something good happens. But doesn't matter what your serve is like unless it's an incredibly high ball toss, it's pretty dodgey. I mean, you can't expect for things to go according to plan out there. You just got to compete a little bit better than your opponent.

Q. When you go back to Las Vegas, what will you work on after assessing your game now? The wind wasn't for you. When you look at the tapes, what will you say, "This is what I've got to work on"?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, you just -- I just find that I don't learn to hit the ball better, you know, but I still feel like the better of an athlete you are, the better you can play. So training kicks in and keep trying to push yourself to get stronger. Hopefully even move better. There's nothing quite like taking -- you know, getting out here, playing your matches and letting your game fly in pressure situations. I mean, that's what makes it so tough today, because you get the chance to win a game and you're thinking to yourself, "Keep the ball in the court," and it's a whole different mentality with a match like today's conditions.

 
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