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Écrit par Jerome   


October 21, 2004

A. AGASSI/V. Spadea
6-1, 6-3


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think about Tommy Robredo, your next contender?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, Tommy and I haven't played in a long time. He's been certainly playing well this week. I think he's improved since the last time we've played. I think it should be a tough match. I hope I can keep up the standard I've been playing.

Q. You looked tremendously sharp tonight and very fit. Have you lost a bit of weight since the summer?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I've been working hard, no question. It's possible. Yeah, I mean...

Q. You give the impression of looking very, very fit.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I've been working hard, so I appreciate that. I try to base it on how strong I feel and how well I'm moving about the court. Both of those feel pretty good - even a little better than the summer.

Q. And ball-striking, hitting it extremely cleanly again tonight. Feeling good about everything?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think so. You know, I mean, really you only -- you only can judge yourself against what you needed today. I think Vince was a little flat. He was missing more than he probably normally does, which always helps. He had Love-40 the first set, 15-40, had another breakpoint in a different game. If you can get through those games, it makes your life a lot easier out there. Certainly a lot of things fell right for me today.

Q. Tommy Robredo says he's going to try to make you run because he's going to be killed by you if he's getting into your rhythm, into your pace.

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm sure he's going to have a lot of things for me to deal with. You know, he's a good mover. He has a big forehand. He knows how to play the game very smart. You know, for me I just want to execute my game and make him play a great match to win. Then hopefully I can find a way.

Q. Two years ago when you won the tournament here, it started like a love affair between you and the Madrid crowd. Do you feel the same this year?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I tell you, I got so much support here two years ago. I had to play two Spanish players, Lopez, then Ferrero. They both were very good matches. I felt after this I got a lot of support. To come back here two years later, it feels real good. I feel very confident when I'm playing here in front of the fans. I think they're a very passionate crowd. I always enjoy that.

Q. Would you say you're now at the top of your level or still some room for improvement in your game at 34?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, knowing me, I'll be 80 years old still saying, "I can get better, I can get better." I always believe you can improve. This is necessary for me to continue. If I believe this, then I'm very motivated. So I don't know how I compare to myself years ago, but I feel like the challenges get tougher and tougher with the players, with every year that goes by. And I still feel like I can do it at the highest level. So that's important for me.

Q. I know that you are really close with Jimmy Connors. Are you ready to play for years and years, or you go month per month? You are breaking the rules, you know what I mean? They say 30, you are old in general.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I approach it from a year standpoint. You know, I say I'm going to play a full schedule next year. You hope you stay healthy and you hope this is possible. The difficulty, if you always assess every month or every week, I mean, you're not concentrating on what you have to do. You have to work and you have to keep trying, and then at the end you say, "What do I want to do now? Where am I with my career, with my game?" You know, if I allowed myself the luxury of sort of assessing in the middle of this year, you know, I never would have won Cincinnati or I never would have had a chance at the US Open because things were very down for me then. But I'm going to play a full schedule next year, then we'll see.

Q. This is a personal question. But I know some people from your family, they had problems with cancer. They are fighting, is that what you are talking about, personal things? I heard somebody of your family had problems with cancer.

ANDRE AGASSI: My sister five years ago, four and a half years ago, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my mom the same year.

Q. That was a personal problem for you, but it make you go farther on. They are okay now?

ANDRE AGASSI: They're doing great. They're much better fighters than I am, much stronger.

Q. Ken Rosewall was Wimbledon semifinalist at the age of 39, beating players with a big serve like Butch Wilson in his 40s. Was that any kind of inspiration? Did you watch that when you were growing up and wonder how he could do it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I watched it. I didn't wonder how he could do it, because when you're a kid, you take everything sort of for face value, you know, you're watching them do it. I think I appreciate it more now than when I was growing up. The older I get, the more I respect an accomplishment like that. Certainly I believe he even had a 20-year span between Wimbledon finals, which is maybe -- maybe more than that even, which is quite remarkable. It's certainly an inspiration now.

Q. Guillermo Coria, who admires you a lot, is looking for work with Gil Reyes. Would you be willing to share him with Guillermo or will he have to wait till your retirement?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't own Gil. He's not property. Gil is a man of great knowledge and great experience and certainly high principles and high standards. I've trusted my life to him, so I certainly give him the freedom to make any decision he feels he needs to. But I think Guillermo is thinking smartly (smiling).

Q. Coming to this point, watching the level of your game right now, do you feel like you are the real favorite, the No. 1 favorite to win the tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm worried about one person right now: that's my next opponent. You know, sports, you have to get out there and you have to be the best person on the day. Every day is a new one. For me it's one at a time.

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