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Écrit par Jerome   


March 14, 2005

A. AGASSI/A. Pavel
6-3, 6-4


THE MODERATOR: Andre advances to the fourth round where he'll take on the winner of Coria-Srichaphan. First question.

Q. Did your son enjoy the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think so. He said, "I saw you blow kisses to the crowd."

Q. Did you enjoy the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: I thought it was a good match tonight. You know, it was certainly one that I knew going into that I'd have to be on my game. Pavel can really maneuver the ball around. He plays the whole court pretty well, has a good court savvy out there. I needed to be executing my shots, trying to control the terms, and I knew it would be toe to toe. If I played my game, I could come out on top. It's nice to feel that.

Q. How bad was the wind? It had died down from this afternoon. This afternoon was bad.

ANDRE AGASSI: It seemed it. I was indoors most of this afternoon. I hit this morning, it was pretty windy. It did calm down. It was a slight one-sided breeze, which was pretty predictable for the players. You knew what you had to do on each side of the court. If you could utilize the wind, it was your friend out there. It wasn't causing too much chaos.

Q. The extra time you took at the end to thank the crowds, they really appreciated that gesture. Can you comment on how you feed off the crowd, how you use that energy? Obviously the applause out there is good for you.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I don't think it always works that way. You know, sometimes, you know, it can be frustrating because you're trying so hard because they're supporting you so much and things just don't feel good out there. I've had it work against me. It's actually gotten me to try too hard sometimes and I never quite found my rhythm. But, you know, I've played well here so many times. I really like the conditions and the court. I think the tennis fans here really enjoy their tennis, know their tennis. You know, the support I get is just something I appreciate, so I feed off that energy, for sure.

Q. Any thoughts on who your next opponent might be, Srichaphan and Coria?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, they're in for a battle tonight. Obviously Coria being the higher ranked, you know, is a favorite there, does a lot of things well. But he'll have to deal with Paradorn's game tonight. Two different styles of player. One is an offensive player, the other is somebody who probably plays some of the best defense in the world with the way he moves. Two entirely different matches.

Q. Does the difference in weather here affect your strategy? Do the cooler temperatures change anything?

ANDRE AGASSI: Cooler temperatures slow down the ball. It comes off your racquet a little firmer. If you can predict cooler temperatures, you would probably go down a touch in tension. But you can't always predict that. So tonight was an example where it was cooler by surprise. I wasn't really prepared for that. I just had to make up for it by really hitting out on my shots so they didn't start getting too short. You know, hot weather always brings in a certain element of physical to it which I've enjoyed in the past. But your body has to work just as hard in cool weather to sort of keep itself regulated. You know, it can become physical, as well.

Q. The other night you mentioned how when you went to Dubai, you were really impressed by all the different cultures living together peacefully. What was that all about? What were the cultures, your impressions?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, there's many cultures there. I mean, I'd like to see the number of cultures that exist there, from mosques, to temples, to churches, just the fact that people could seem to send their kids to school and know they're going to come home is a pretty amazing way to live. It's sad that that's actually an oddity.

Q. You lost some weight at the beginning of the year. What was the idea there? To help you with your quickness?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it was just a result of a lot of hard work. I mean, I put my emphasis on strength. My strength's up. My weight came down as a result of just work. It was strength and lighter is always a good thing. But just to lose weight, it's not the answer to playing better tennis.

Q. Do you feel different? Do you feel quicker? Have you noticed it in your movement or anything?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. But also it's been a tough start to the year with the way I felt physically. I haven't gotten to a point where I feel -- where I felt my game and my movement consistently enough to really build on it. This is what this week has been about for me. A few more matches and I think I'll really start to get my confidence in the way I feel out there.

Q. We're reviewing top moments from this tournament over 30 years. I was wondering if you can talk about your memories of your three finals. '90 against Edberg.

ANDRE AGASSI: Edberg, I lost 7-6 in the fourth. Beat him the next week in Key Biscayne in the finals, which was nice. That's not what you asked me, but I had to throw that in there. It was the first time I played Stefan. I didn't really know exactly how it would feel, his game -- no, it wasn't the first time I played him. It's the first time I played him in the finals certainly. It was a tough match. I almost got over the line in the fourth set. I felt like I would have had the momentum going into the fifth. Finals against Pete in '95 was just pain. It was a pretty one-sided match. He played really well. Years later I got a chance to do the same to him. I'd say my favorite would be the last final.

Q. Are you ever kind of surprised you only won this once, it being the desert, seems like conditions you grew up with?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. Contrary to your perception, I don't think that highly of myself, to be quite honest. I just try to go to work. Winning anything's not easy. It's a big tournament. I wish I could have won it more, that's for sure. That's why I'm here again.

Q. When your son comes with you, does this drive you to continue more with your career or bringing some thoughts to a closure about the game, maybe thinking about retirement?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. It's just my boy is here with me. I mean, this is what I do. I try to do it well. It's great to start sharing it with him. You know, when he's full-time at home and school, I'll have a different choice to make. But right now he can be here with me and it's a great feeling.

Q. If and when you decide to end this wonderful career of yours, is it going to be made in some kind of a talking to Steffi or going to be ultimately just your decision, if and when?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think any major decision you discuss it with those that are affected by your choices, as well. And certainly my wife and family is going to be dramatically affected by that choice as well as 25 employees back home in Las Vegas. I'll need to make sure I consult with everybody and make the decisions necessary, starting with my family.

Q. Winning a Super 9 not too long ago, the way you're hitting the ball out there tonight, I can't imagine you're anywhere near retirement. "He looks like a 25-year-old man." Do you have that same perception of yourself when you play like you did tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I felt good out there. There was nothing about tonight that makes me feel like I can't play better at the big moments and win the biggest matches. I mean, I certainly -- experience tells me how possible that is. But you've got to do a lot more than talk about it; you've got to do it. Hopefully I'll have a chance to do that this week. I don't want to feel my age when I'm on the court. I've spent most of the last number of years not feeling that. But this year's, it's been tougher physically. I've treated my hip and my back, and I feel good out there. Just counting my blessings right now. But when things feel good, yeah, I'm focused on one thing, and that's to try to win the tennis match.

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