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Écrit par Jerome   


March 12, 2005

A. AGASSI/W. Arthurs
6-4, 6-1



Q. What have you got against Wayne's serving streak?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I've been sort of the long list of players in his wake. I mean, I just have to deal with it. You know, it's nothing short of luck sometimes when you do get that break.

It was a bit breezy tonight. I think maybe he couldn't serve as close to the lines in the second as he might have wanted to, a few double-faults. If you don't serve close to the lines, you push to get forward a little quicker, and maybe it caused a few foot-faults, as well. I was seeing the ball good, I was hitting it clean. I was down three set points at Love-1 in the first set. That was a bit nerve-wracking. I don't know if I've ever been down three set points in the first game of a match, but that's certainly how I was looking at it at the time.

Q. Breakpoints?

ANDRE AGASSI: Set points. I call them set points against him. Set's over if you lose one of those.

Q. Ending two long streaks like that, does that say something about your service returning game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, I don't know. I mean, listen, I've had plenty of matches -- I mean, I'm on the receiving end of the most aces ever hit. So that doesn't speak too highly of my return, does it? It was nice to get ahold of a few tonight.

Q. Second set, you seemed to be reading them well. Broke him three times.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think he probably got discouraged, too. It was important against a player like that, that you return the second serve well. I mean, he has such a fast arm, so versatile with what he can do with the first serve and the second. But the second, if you get your racquet on it, you've got to put a good cut on the ball to make an impression. Tonight I was doing that well.

Q. It's probably rare to say about you, but it's just nice to get a W. Must feel pretty good to go out there. Last couple matches must have been rough.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I was certainly disappointed last week. But, you know, I felt pretty good coming here. The whole week's been a great week of practice. It would be nice to string a few good matches together. I was playing well in Dubai. Don't let my score against Federer deceive you. I played pretty well.

Q. Aside from breaking Wayne four times, the rest of the game you made five unforced errors the rest of the match.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, he's not the type of player that you can hit a lot of unforced errors against because he's pressuring you, so every shot is sort of a forced shot. But, you know, I walk that line pretty well of being aggressive but yet not taking too many chances. And that's important to do against a guy that can play some pretty scrappy points. I mean, he can take you out of your rhythm as good as anybody out there.

THE MODERATOR: Andre will play Pavel or Carraz next.

ANDRE AGASSI: I play both of them (laughter)?

Q. In Dubai, there's a photo of you looking way down. What is going through your mind?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, that was pretty nerve-wracking. I wanted to get close to the end, but I didn't want to get so close that a little gust of wind would push me over. Just looking down to get a sense for exactly how high we were. I concluded we were pretty high.

Q. Throughout your Grand Slam for Children, we've seen how Hollywood stars can help raise some money for the charities. Last night we saw how the tennis players can be entertaining. Are you going maybe also to initiate or join any other future events like last night to help the causes all around the world?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I certainly wish I could do a lot more than I do. You have to be, unfortunately, selective just based on schedules and everything else you're trying to balance. You've got to designate the time you're going to give throughout the year and focus on the change you want to make. You know, it's not possible to do it all. But last night was a great opportunity, being here, getting in front of the crowd that supported this event for so many years, to come together for such a great cause is a great feeling amongst your own peers. Something like that, it's a great thing to be a part of. I would love to do it again.

Q. A couple days ago Charlie told the Los Angeles Times that the tournament was in financial trouble, that he possibly might have to sell the tournament after the '06 event. What are your thoughts on that possibility, the impact for the community here and for tennis?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, this event has been certainly a staple of the desert over so many years. That would be an unfortunate thing. You'd hate to see it move. But, you know, you certainly would hate to see Charlie not be a part of it either. I mean, he's been great for our sport. I certainly hope he stays heavily involved. If the tournament did go anywhere, I would hope it to be Vegas, to be quite honest.

Q. According to rumor, it would go overseas. Do you think that would be a problem for American tennis?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, the sport is growing internationally. Seats are filled. American market has been a little bit tougher on our sport the last number of years. Certainly losing tournaments here wouldn't help that. We definitely need the market here. So I'm sure that would have somewhat of an impact. But we'd be picking up a lot of support internationally. But we need it here, for sure - not only the tournament, I mean the market of America and tennis.

Q. It was reported somewhere, did you have a direct financial interest in Scottsdale?


Q. Why didn't you just pick up that tournament and move it to Vegas?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it's not so easy as doing that. You know, you have relationships and you have certainly a lot of things to consider. Plus Vegas isn't sort of prepared just to take on an event. It would require some good thought as to how it can happen there. I mean, you're talking about the entertainment capital of the world. Not easy to compete with all that entertainment for a week and get some arena to sign off on a week of tennis. Weather's not terribly ideal at that time of year. You know, there's just a lot of relationships to consider.

Q. Have you ever gone down that road a little bit? You mentioned all the problems of bringing something to Vegas. But some sort of tennis tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: Sure. Originally worked hard to have the Masters Cup here the two years that it went to Shanghai. We brought the Davis Cup there, as you know, as you remember, in '95. Davis Cup's a great format for the Vegas market. Nice way to spend your weekend. Yeah, my comment's it's just hard to do everything you want to do right now when you feel like you're treading water.

Q. Having said what you just said about the fact that Scottsdale could necessarily go to Las Vegas, but you also said you'd like to be able to see this one go to Las Vegas. Do you think you need something of this size and magnitude on the tour to be able to fit in over there? If that is the case, would you support it by whatever means? Do you think this could go to Dubai, because they're screaming for a bigger event there?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, first of all, I'll say the common sort of thread in all these questions is me really wanting to have tennis and Vegas correlated. Both have been such an important part of my life. Do I think like an event like Scottsdale or this could succeed in Vegas, would it need to be sort of this size? You know, I don't know. I really don't know. We're a city that you come into town for a week and you'd be able to see, you know, 12 different bands coming through at any given intersection. The competition for entertainment, it's pretty tough. You know, you have to bring a strong package, for sure. I think this event is a great event and would have the potential. It would need to be a big tournament to have a chance. I played Dubai for the first time this year, and was blown away with their tournament and how they run it. They certainly have a great platform to host a big event. Whether it was this or something else, I'm a big fan of it over there. To see all those cultures sort of living together, living together peacefully, is an amazing thing. I think it's something the world should be more aware of.

Q. When you were in Dubai, did you mention you might want to visit Iran?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I was back in LA on Monday for the Davis Cup.

Q. I mean, in the future maybe.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's something I would see, absolutely.

Q. I've watched you from age six to when you were throwing your shirt in the crowd. Last decades you've done wonderful things. Do you sense you're a role model now for other players hopefully going in the same direction and giving back what you're giving?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think we're all role models, to be quite honest with you. I mean, I don't think it's just players. I think it's people. I think everybody needs to assume a level of responsibility and accountability to making, you know, this world a better place. If I've done anything to help inspire somebody else to give more of themselves, whether financially or with their time, then I'd feel honored by that. I'd feel very flattered by it. I think it's part of why I do what it is I do. It's not just to raise awareness and money, to change children's lives, but it's also to create the belief in people's minds and hearts that change can be made if you step up and do it.

Q. Every time you come out to play, you put on a show. It always looks good. It never looks like you lack any motivation. Deep down inside playing so many years, so many tournaments, do you ever have problems motivating yourself for another tournament, another day, another year? What do you do to deal with it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, if you say I haven't struggled with that, then I should be a poker player in my next life. Looks can be deceiving, you know. It's not easy. It's never easy. Some days feel better than others. Some days go according to plan. You know, in between all the fun you have, there's work. Work isn't always something that comes easy. But those are the days you ultimately can feel most proud about yourself if you see it through.

Q. Do you have any mental training to psych yourself up? Does your family, does your base help you? What is it that you have that others don't that helps you doing it so many years?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know what others have. I can say the days I don't feel like it, if I just find a way, that's what makes me most proud. It's a challenge. That is the battle. That is the difficult part. It's easy to play great tennis when you're playing great, you know. It's easy to play well when things are going well. It's all those other matches that happen, all the other reasons for why you might not feel good, whether it's the traveling or the rest or the injuries that one might have. I mean, there's a lot of reasons not to feel good; but it's never a reason not to give your best. And that's something I always strive for and quite often don't succeed at.

Q. Does the cyclical part of the game get to you or is it no more cyclical than other sports? Is it not a problem?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I think it's a great part of our sport. I mean, in any sort of normal life of not traveling around and playing tennis for a living, once a year or New Year's you take stock in your life. You look at yourself and say, "Where was I a year ago? Where am I today?" You know, we have that opportunity week after week. You're going back to the same places, to the people that you've known for so long, to the places you've seen for so long. You've seen them change; you've changed. And every week is sort of a real opportunity to take stock in your own life. That I'm pretty thankful for. I mean, I know exactly, last year sitting out by the pool, I know how scared my son was to jump in the water. I remember it well. It was just a year ago. It's pretty amazing. Pretty amazing opportunity to be so aware of the passing of time week after week. That makes up for any redundancy that might exist.

Q. Something really special has been built here since the La Quinta days, the Hyatt, this new site. It also means a lot in a lot of people's lives. Attendance is actually up. An argument could be built that the first thing to do would be to somehow try and make it work here. Is that something that rings true to you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, no question. I mean, I think a place that has been so successful at running a tournament and created an incredible facility in the middle of a desert, I mean, deserves that chance. I don't know the accounting of it. I don't know sort of the inherent stumbling blocks that exist. And I would be very open to helping and figuring out how maybe we can manage it. Listen, I'm sure there's a lot of intricacies about it that at this present moment I'm not aware of that I couldn't speak to.

Q. I want to find out how Steffi spends her day. We love her and we miss her.

ANDRE AGASSI: How do you think somebody spends there day with a three-and-a-half and one-and-a-half-year-old? It's really busy. []

Q. Is she happy with that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, she's no different than her tennis. You're convinced there's no other place she wants to be than where she is. That's a testament to who she is. Tennis was just merely an arena that we all got to witness it in. But that exists day after day. I mean, it's amazing watching the kids grow. As long as she gets in her good hour of exercise, not a whole lot can throw her off course.

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