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Écrit par Jerome   


March 16, 2005

A. AGASSI/G. Coria
6-4, 6-1


THE MODERATOR: Please go ahead with questions.

Q. Nothing flashy; just air-tight tennis, solid tennis today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, thanks. I mean, it was pretty good standard, though. I mean, he's obviously a pretty tough competitor. You know, makes you hit close to the lines, makes you hit a lot of balls. You know, I felt like it was a pretty good standard of tennis.

Q. Were you having fun out there?

ANDRE AGASSI: Average. Average time. I was having a lot more fun when it was late in the second there. But, you know, it's good to have matches like these that are certainly really challenging. You always hope you're still up to the task. Felt really good.

Q. The shot around the post, that was pretty cool. How did you do it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I didn't have any choice really. I mean, he hit a pretty good angle. He's too quick. No matter where I hit the next ball, he was going to have me in all sorts of trouble. I actually didn't necessarily even plan to be around the net because I was going to take it over. But it sort of kept moving out. I brought it down a little bit. Yeah, you got to get lucky sometimes to make a shot like that. I took a good swing at it, but a little luck as well.

Q. You felt you had to step your game up just a notch today. Did you do that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I did feel that way. It was pretty toe to toe. He had his chances in the first. You know, 4-5, all of a sudden anything can happen out there. Couple close points. He double-faulted at something like 30-15. All of a sudden it's 30-All. You play a good point and you're up set point. I played a good game there to get the break. The edge of his game probably came off a little bit there in the second, probably discouraged. But I certainly raised it from there, which felt good.

Q. Your running backhand today drew some attention. You have such great recall. Can you recall the two or three most spectacular shots you've hit?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, my perspective on a great shot would probably be a lot different than one who's watching 'cause it's always about sort of dealing with your emotions and your concentration and executing what it is you have to do. Sometimes the most routine shot becomes the most difficult in the right pressure situation, you know. I remember hitting a volley at 4-All, breakpoint, on my shoelaces in the finals of the French Open. I mean, I'd miss that shot nine out of ten times.

Q. Turned the match around?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I end up holding serve, down two sets to love. Found a way to break, all of a sudden it's two sets to one. My game started to come around. My life has never been the same since. How do you put any sort of shot above that one?

Q. I don't get the sense there's a runner-up here.

ANDRE AGASSI: What do you mean?

Q. Second place.

ANDRE AGASSI: No, not really. I mean, you know, you always think of the shots that stand out. I did one against Becker where I turned around, hit a shot from sort of behind my back in the semis of The Open. Somehow that stands out. A couple between the legs over the years.

Q. Do you dream about tennis?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, not too much actually, no. Sometimes I dream about results, but those are usually nightmares.

Q. Serious?


Q. Nightmares that you lose Love-1?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've dreamt I'm sort of living the aftermath of a disappointing or possibly exciting moment or two. But it never seems to be the thick of things on the court.

Q. You're known as a pretty attentive player. Can you talk about the role that the stringers play for you, the guys that string your racquets?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's crucial. You know, you need to always know that your racquet is going to feel a certain way. It's an extension of your hand. Especially me, I'm going to new strings every time the balls get changed, because they get faster, and you want it a little more crisp. You get to a point where you just take for granted that the racquet's going to feel perfect. That's quite a luxury.

Q. How is your attentiveness to that changed over the years? Has it always been that way since you started as a pro?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I think you get more set in your ways the older you get. The things you come to count on you rely on probably more than ever. Yeah, to some degree I've always been a bit neurotic about things. As I've gotten older, I've sort of gotten a lot clearer on controlling the things I know I can control and that are important to my success, leaving as little guesswork as possible.

Q. Good to have the crowd behind you?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's nice to have that support, especially when you're playing well. It feels real good.

Q. Probably a small measure of redemption. The whole Davis Cup team is still alive.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's just about a week too late, isn't it? Yeah, it's disappointing, last week. You know, we're playing well this week. You know, wish we could have played here. Seems like these conditions are perfect.

Q. Have you talked about the weekend with Andy or anybody else on the team, like a postmortem?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, we sort of talked about the difficulty. All the guys when they got here felt good about being on these courts again. It was a pretty thick, thick court - the slowest hard court I've ever played on. I mean, arguably, the slowest conditions, period. Like a rainy day in Hamburg, you know, it was really thick. You couldn't penetrate. The ball was jumping off the court. So it wasn't tennis as you knew it really. But with that being said, it's the same for both sides. Ljubicic just played some great tennis. His game is just, in hindsight, brutal to deal with in those conditions. But, you know, in the doubles, they get a lot of looks at second balls. That's what won the match for them in the doubles, the second shot. And if you're playing sort of quicker, you know, it's different. Listen, you want to change everything when you lose. I mean, you'd go back in time and change everything. I would have played on clay and felt good about it just because you would have had another chance.

Q. What kind of chance do you give Ivan tonight against Roger?

ANDRE AGASSI: You always got to give him a fair chance. I mean, I think he's certainly up against it, you know, there's no question about it. I don't know if we're going to get tired of talking about Roger first or Roger is going to get tired of being Roger first. I suppose we'll probably get tired of talking about it first, yeah. I think it will be a good match. I'm going to go out on a limb and say odds are favoring Roger.

Q. What about your next opponent, Lleyton?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, tonight was certainly a good preparation for him. Two of the fastest guys out there. I mean, I think Coria is probably the fastest guy in the world on the tennis court. But Lleyton's pretty close second there. It's, you know, going to be another challenge for me to find a way to concentrate well enough to get the job done. You know, I'll have to put together another great match.

Q. Was Chang's speed equal to Coria or have things progressed?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, Coria -- you know, I never had the luxury of playing against some of arguably the fastest people. They say Bjorn was phenomenally fast. It's always different when you watch the pace of the ball, the time people have to get there. But Coria is the fastest, you know, I've ever played against. I think, you know, Chang was one of those he'd make you hit a lot of balls because he was so fast. But I never felt like once I got him behind in the point I felt like it was on my terms to control the rest of the point. But Coria has that ability to sort of, you know, transition tennis. You know, he goes from defense and all of a sudden he can just really use his speed offensively. The next thing you know you're behind in the point (snapping fingers). That sort of forces you to keep hitting close to the lines because you can't always get away with just meat-and-potato shots because he can just turn one of those around in a heartbeat. You know, Chang would use his speed offensively early in a point. But once you had him behind, he was pretty content to make you hit 15 balls and he would make you do it. Coria, he can stop on a dime and redirect, back cross-court angles, down the line, open stance. Doesn't matter what position you have him in, he can somehow find a way to make you uncomfortable.

Q. Would I be wrong to take your comments on the court setup at Carson as a criticism of the USTA, which is in control of setting it up?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I mean, listen, we had a lot of discussions about this. And it's a four-man squad. You know, Andy always likes the slower court. You know, a person like me doesn't. If I can't make progress with the ball or with the court, you know, you're asking me to hit seven, eight quality cuts. You know, I like to hit a few, but not too many, you know. I take big swings. I play very aggressively. I need that to help me. But, you know, you're choosing your poison against that team we played against because if you go to a quicker court, now all of a sudden you really bring Ancic into the equation. That's also a tough proposition. The reason why it's easy to second guess now is because we lost. That's why you would change anything and do it all over again. But we don't have that luxury. I have really, you know, not much complaining to do except hopefully getting another chance to come through.

Q. Would you play Davis Cup next year?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, it's the same as I've been saying. For me, making the decision to play any tournament or any event is sometimes a week-by-week basis. The way I felt end of last year and early this year already, I don't know when I can be at my best or not. But the support of the team for when I can play or when I do play and when I don't is very much appreciated. I certainly would look forward to being on the team again, no question about it.

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