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Écrit par Jerome   


March 4, 2005

Croatia – 1
USA - 0

6-3, 7-6, 6-3


RANDY WALKER: We'll start with questions for Andre.

Q. Were you finding it a little difficult to read his game out there?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I was pretty uncomfortable from the get. I mean, his shots were bouncing pretty aggressively off the court. The wind wasn't very predictable in that stadium. It was moving left to right. I never sort of got comfortable hitting to the thick of the court. I tried to play too close to the lines at times, and then other times when I laid off of it, it just sort of hung there. Just never settled in. I got what I deserved out there.

Q. You've taken a lot of pains in your career to play the right amount of matches. Is match toughness at all, sort of match preparedness, an issue for you right now in competing out there?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. Open for suggestions.

Q. Was there ever a stretch where you started to feel like you were into it or was it just trying to work your way into the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it's possible I could have relaxed a little bit there in the second had I just, you know, served out the set. I played a very mediocre game there. I played a terrible game when I broke back in the first, serving with new balls, and I just threw away three, four errors that game. It was a painful performance.

Q. You spoke yesterday of losses in Davis Cup play staying with you for a long time. As you're on the court, kind of seeing how it's going, are you feeling like you're letting the team down? Do you have a team mentality in your mind?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, sure you do. It means a lot to you, to be out there. The highs are pretty high, and the lows are pretty low. You know, it's easy to feel like you let the team down. I mean, at the end of the day we still got to figure out a way to get through the tie. Thank goodness we have Andy on the team.

Q. Can you comment on the crowd? Kind of a raucous crowd in Davis Cup play. What do you hear when you're out there and do you like that aspect of it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, normally. I mean, listen, when you're comfortable out there, you don't care what's going on. And when you're not comfortable, you care about everything. You know, today was one of those days I just never got settled, never got comfortable. So, yeah, it was just frustrating. You're trying hard to figure things out, and sometimes you wonder if you're just trying too hard, it's just about relaxing. Other times, you know, you don't know if you need to be more aggressive. I was useless, to be quite honest, as far as being clear on what was going on out there. On top of it, Ljubicic is playing good. Yeah, I mean, I needed that match to continue for another hour before I would have settled in, and that would have required me to win the second set, then maybe things could have shaped up a little bit. But they certainly didn't.

Q. You went over to Darren once and Patrick went over to him twice. What exactly were you looking for? Was it something on the backhand side or just a quick tip on how to get into it? What was it there?

ANDRE AGASSI: Nice luxury in Davis Cup to have coaching. You know, my game wasn't settled, I wasn't comfortable. I didn't know if I should be stepping more forward on his shots, sort of being more aggressive, or back up a little bit and let myself relax into it. I didn't know if I should move forward on his second serve, move back. I mean, it was -- yeah, I mean, there's not a whole lot else I can say except I was looking for anything to sort of feel that sense of rhythm out there. It's important for me that my average shot is effective, that the meat and potatoes shot is getting me a look at taking the lead in the point. I wasn't feeling that out there. I didn't know if it was because I wasn't hitting it big enough or I was trying to hit it too big and not putting a clean swing on the ball. You know, I mean, I still don't know, to be honest.

Q. This court was resurfaced before this match, I assume at the dictates of the US team. They chose to make it very slow. In making it very slow, might they also have acted to hinder your chances by making the court so rough that Ljubicic's serve bounced more high maybe than it otherwise would?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, listen, it's not an ideal court for me specifically. But I think they made a good decision. They're focused on the best player on the team, and that's definitely Andy. You know, Andy's playing perfectly out there in a situation like that. His serve's very hard to deal with. He likes it slow. And the Bryan boys can pretty much get the job done on any surface. So, you know, I mean, it's not ideal for me to play in that thick of conditions, and that high bouncing. I try to take the ball early. When the ball is jumping, it gives me less margin. But I think it was a good decision. I hope that's the case as this weekend unfolds.

Q. You hadn't played him in quite a while. How much of a disadvantage do you think that was? Do you think he did anything that surprised you or pretty much did he play how you expected?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, I watched him play a lot. The match we played a few years ago was, yeah, not very telling on a whole lot. You know, credit to him, he's playing confident and he's doing everything he needs to do to win so many matches that he's playing. You know, I'm frustrated that I didn't make him do a whole lot. But he did everything he needed to. I'm sure he had another level or two from there.

Q. Obviously out on the court a lot of things can go good, a lot of things can go bad. Is there anything more frustrating than just not getting your rhythm, not getting into the flow of the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, nothing's more frustrating than that. You know, when you understand where your game is and what you need to be focused on and how things are playing out, sometimes it can boil down to a shot or two, either on your racquet or your opponent's, and somehow you can live with that. But, you know, when you're out there sort of feeling, you know, less than comfortable, it's very frustrating.

Q. So if you broke through when you were charging back in the second set, that changes the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. I don't know. Sure would have liked my chances to figure things out had I relaxed a little bit, got a little bit more pressure on him. But, yeah, there was nothing going on out there that would have suggested that I was on the verge of playing great tennis.

Q. Can you talk about the overrule at 2-3. Seemed to be a fair amount of confusion.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. The linesman called it out. The umpire didn't hear the call, played it as deuce. I said, "But the linesman said it was out." Then he said, "Well, in that case I'm overruling it." I said, "Great, at least we're playing two because the linesman called it out, got my racquet on the ball, play two on that." He says, "Well, I don't think the call interfered with your shot." I said, "But you didn't even hear the call. How can you say it didn't interfere with my shot? You're the only person that didn't hear the call." So I thought that was a bit dodgey of a call. I did think the ball was good, but the call was still made. That, you know, got him back to deuce. I helped him break me from there.

Q. Obviously it's harder to take a loss when you're playing for a team. On the other hand, is this a time when you can sort of look to the team to help lift your spirits as you look forward to the next match?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think, you know, winning always helps. I mean, but at the end of the day, you're here to help the team. I'll have to -- you know, I might be called on to do that again on Sunday. I sure hope to do it better. But, yeah, I'd like to not be needed on Sunday, to be quite honest. It would be nice if we could have Andy take care of business and the doubles. But that's three matches away. I got to be ready for the fifth. I'll do everything in my power to do that.

Q. Is it possible at this point in your career that you could put too much pressure on yourself in a match, possibly surrounding too much hype in your return to the team, so many people expecting you to put a W on the board?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I don't mind what would be perceived as pressure, sort of the expectation of me playing. It's more about my own perspective going out there. It certainly does matter to me a lot. Any time you care about something greatly, you put more pressure on yourself. You would think as you get older you get more equipped to deal with that. But I'm putting up a good argument for it to be the opposite, you know. I don't know what else to say about that.

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