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Écrit par Jerome   


January 19, 2005

A. AGASSI/R. Schuettler
6-3, 6-1, 6-0


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Andre, it seemed as though the match only lasted four games, the first four, when he had his chances.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, he definitely had the chances early. You know, I don't know what to say about that. I sort of started off trying to find my range a little bit, and I felt like he was playing good tennis. Then when I survived some of those breakpoints, I got a little bit more relaxed and comfortable out there and just all sort of went my way from there.

Q. When you're hitting the ball that cleanly and everything's just working like the last two sets, does that make it all worth it to you, what you're doing?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's a great feeling. I mean, no question about it. But really you're just, you know -- the good feeling is in the hard work that goes into it. It's in the concentration that's required to maintain it. So you sort of don't reflect on anything while you're out there. You're just plugging away. Then when you're done, you say, "That felt really good." That's why you work hard; that's why you prepare yourself. But it's the second match, certainly a great one for me. It's time to, you know, think about the next one.

Q. You surprised that the hip has come around the way it has? You're moving pretty well.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, not too bad. When it happened, I thought for sure it was something pretty bad, but the MRI showed what it was. The doctor seemed to feel like it was a manageable situation with, you know, medication, antiinflammatories and treatment. So that gave me hopes. Plus, they gave me the green light to push through anything I do feel and know that I'm not running any extra risk of sort of pulling something. So that makes me feel good when I'm out there. If I do feel something, I still can keep pushing without worrying about it. And today, like in my last match, I felt as the match went on I was getting more comfortable with my movement, and that's a good thing.

Q. Was there some lingering stiffness there then?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean to say it was 100% would probably be overstating it. But to be able to have the time to get it better up to this point is a great sign that it will be 100%, because, you know, I got another day now. My movement was -- it was plenty good enough for me to think about my game and not think about that.

Q. Are you ready, fitness-wise, for five sets against, say, Roger Federer?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it would be nice to play against him because that means a couple more matches I would have won. It would be nice to be in a fifth set because that means I'm only one set away from beating him (smiling).

Q. You've probably been asked this a thousand times, but I thought your answer might have changed. How do you beat him?

ANDRE AGASSI: You play a perfect match, really. I mean, listen, all these guys are real talented, and if you don't show up and aren't at your best, then anybody can beat you - and that includes Roger. I mean, Roger has to show up and be at his best. And when he is, he's proven it's better than everybody else. So you have to play a great match against him. You know, like any great player, you can't point to a weakness, but you can point to maybe one side that's not as strong as his other side, which is not very optimistic for his opponents. But you have to go after him, you have to take your chances, and you have to play a great match.

Q. How hard is it to drop a fair bit of weight when you're already in good shape? You obviously made a decision to go down quite a ways.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's also just a byproduct of my training, too. It wasn't that I focused on losing X amount of pounds. I mean, it was that I was going to get on a certain eating routine as well as a training routine that hopefully would, first and foremost, maintain and grow my strength, but then maybe as a result I can even get a little lighter. So the strength/weight ratio was sort of what I was focused on. My strength, I kept going up, and the weight went down. That's not an easy thing to accomplish, but it did feel good on the court when I got out there.

Q. Does your wife know the right kind of foods to prepare for you with that in mind (laughter)?

ANDRE AGASSI: I do the cooking in the house. I do the cooking in the house.

Q. Roger is a couple matches away but Taylor is next. You've had a couple of close matches with him. He's gotten injured. What are you expecting?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think Taylor is as difficult an opponent as one can have. He plays the game like very few players play it anymore. He puts pressure on you constantly, makes you hit your shots. You got to be doing it with conviction. I'll have to be returning well and doing all sorts of things well, but that's no surprise. It's, you know, at this stage especially, I got to come out there ready right from the get.

Q. Have you thought about doing as many aces as you could because of the charity foundation you're helping with?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. You mean letting somebody ace me?

Q. Yes.

ANDRE AGASSI: No. No. But every time I do think that way, I make a mental note of it and then I just give the money myself later. So I'd rather... (laughter)... give $100 than get aced.

Q. He seemed to be really upset by the weather change and not getting the breaks. Did you notice that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I certainly noticed a deterioration of his game, you know. What and why, you're never quite sure about. It really wasn't my place to try to figure out why. But I was just staying focused on what I needed to do, and his game seemed to tail off. I didn't know if it was physical, what he was feeling, physically or mentally or what was going on. But it definitely tailed off.

Q. The final come into your mind at all? Same court, you're playing him two years ago, when you're out there today.

ANDRE AGASSI: It's a good feeling to be playing in an environment that you played so well in, and then to have a match that you've had before, I mean the same player. You sort of have the confidence that -- how things can go if you structure it right and if you execute your shots. But the final that we played went so uneventfully. I got the break and I got up in the match. Double break, he broke back, but I kept the lead. You know, I was never really in trouble that you're sort of almost expecting the match to be much tougher the next time around. We played twice since then, and sure enough he beat me in three sets and then I beat him in three sets in those two matches. So while the conditions might suit my style of play a little bit better, I'm expecting a real tough match.

Q. Where is your thinking on Davis Cup right now? Have you ruled that out for this year?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm going to have this discussion with Patrick, just because he's made the effort to want to have conversations with me about it. So I'll be respectful of that. But it's just twofold. You know, I have a lot of regret not playing because it's one of the best memories of my career, playing Davis Cup, not to mention playing with another generation of guys that have such a good fellowship and team camaraderie together. To experience that would be a great feeling. But the other side of the coin is really what my decision has come down to in the past, which is what can I really do. I've never been a big fan of being in halfway, you know, playing at your convenience. It's always been something I haven't respected a whole lot in the past when it's come to that for others. The decision I had to make is not an easy one, and it hasn't been easy, but something I'll discuss with him.

Q. You made it already? You want to talk about it with him or are you thinking about it?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think sort of answering that question would be probably even taking a step too far here. I want to have a conversation with him and then it will be very clear after that.

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