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Écrit par Jerome   


October 23, 2004

M. SAFIN/A. Agassi
6-3, 7-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andre Agassi, please.

Q. Will you say when Marat is playing as well as that, he's one of the Top 3 players in the world, as well as Federer and Roddick?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think he has a really big game. His game, when everything's firing on all cylinders, it's as good as anybody. Can beat anybody, for sure. You know, he can serve big. He returns really well both sides. Moves well. He can make it look very easy.

Q. You moved back quite a lot on the return of serve. Was it because the conditions are very fast here or because you were slow yourself?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, here with the altitude, and then the court bouncing high, I felt like it was very hard to control the serve even if I guessed right from up close, because it was jumping. So if I gave myself more time, I could get into more points. It seemed to work. I had a number of opportunities in the second set. You know, just trying to get the point going. Once the point's going, then it's 50/50, you know. You have to get there as much as possible.

Q. The rallies, he changed the pace on you. You missed a forehand in the tiebreak. Was it a change of pace that got you? It was a crucial point halfway through the tiebreak.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it was a crucial point at 4-All in the tiebreak. We were going forehand to forehand. It's a delicate sort of line you're walking out there because you want to sort of stay aggressively consistent. But when there's a lot of pressure on the line on a big point, I think it's easy to get tentative. So you try to sort of make up for that by letting your swing go a little bit, sort of trying to stay relaxed on the shot. You know, it was just too big of a swing. The only thing worse than that is to get nervous and hit it in the net. But somewhere in between was the right shot. I just missed it. Took a chance. Probably a little too early to go for that shot.

Q. Despite losing today, are you happy with the way you played generally? Will you go to Stockholm in sort of good spirits?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah. I feel like the week was a good week. You know, I came in here without playing in a number of weeks. Never felt like I quite settled into my best, but was good to get through a few matches. Today, I got outplayed in the first set. Managed to sort of hang in there and figure out a way to give myself more chances than him in the second. Didn't quite just get over that hump. But, you know, hopefully after a match like this, I can use it to be better off next time.

Q. I just want to be sure what's next. Stockholm or Paris?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm scheduled for Stockholm.

Q. Going back, what have been your impressions of this tournament, which many people didn't want to come to - or some people didn't want to come to? What have been your impressions over all?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I've always enjoyed playing here. I had great success here two years ago. This year was no different. I felt very comfortable on the court. I think the tournament is run first class. Everybody's been very helpful, very nice - here at the courts, as well as the city. So it's a good week.

Q. You are probably the last tennis player with charisma on this circuit. Do you think it's an end of a generation like you and Sampras, that gets the crowds all around the world?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know about that. I mean, I've been around a long time. The crowds around the world have had a long time to get tired of me. You know, give these guys a few years and people will come to know them very well also.

Q. Apparently there are talks behind the scenes about changing again the format of the game, like putting tiebreakers instead of third sets or playing round-robins instead of a normal draw in the Tennis Masters Series. What is your opinion about that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think the game always needs to sort of assess where it's at, what it can do to be better, whether from a marketing standpoint or television standpoint. These are all important elements of the sport. I think it would be a mistake to change sort of the nature of the competition. It needs to remain a very physical sport. You know, this sport taxes you mentally, physically, concentration, athleticism, speed, power. All these are important elements. Conditioning, stamina, endurance. I think if you remove some of those main qualities, you're affecting the integrity of it. To remove third sets would have given Robredo a much better chance against me yesterday. And I think that's part of the sport that makes it one against one. But, you know, round-robins, competition is still the same. You just get a few chances. You get to see a lot of match-ups, which is also not a bad thing. So I would be open to hearing anything, but I would have to sort of speak to each one independently.

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