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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

NASDAQ-100 OPEN
MIAMI, FLORIDA

March 28, 2005

A. AGASSI/A. Clement
6-2, 6-4

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Andre Agassi.

Q. That seemed very efficient. Is that the adjective to describe that performance today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think in hindsight for sure. I felt really settled from the beginning. I was very comfortable sort of hitting just a quality ball that I knew I could hit over and over again in tough conditions. I felt like I was always ready to step it up from there, sort of as I needed to, for any given point or shot. Felt pretty good out there.

Q. Are you surprised that so many of the top seeds are out? I think on one side of the draw the top seed is Ljubicic at 13. Does that mean men's tennis is really deep?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think certainly the latter is true. I mean, while you would favor certain guys in any given match, you have to show up and execute. That's the difficulty these days, if you're slightly off, just a lot of guys can hit the ball well enough to have their day or their week.

Q. How does your foot feel?

ANDRE AGASSI: Same as yesterday. I mean, it hasn't gotten any worse or better. Much better than last week.

Q. Three top players this year decided not to play the first round of Davis Cup - Tim Henman, Roger Federer, Carlos Moya. They're in a place where maybe you were five years ago where they want to concentrate on the tour events and Grand Slams. Do you see more of that happening now, unless the ITF does something about changing the schedule?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it's not realistic to expect all the players to play all the time. I think it's very unrealistic to expect that. The schedule is difficult as it is. The wear and tear on one's body these days versus when I first came on is a whole different animal. Guys hit the ball bigger, you know. Every movement is more violent. There's much more injury. It's harder to do this for a long period of time, playing Davis Cup every year, possibly four ties. For all the players who play all the time, a change would have to be made.

Q. Do you think the ITF, there's too much inertia for them to actually kick this thing into the 21st century?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I've never really spoken to anybody directly about it from the ITF, nor really any organization. I mean, I think we all sort of agree in bigger terms that it would be great to have all the players playing, it would be great to have a format that works. I mean, calling a problem and solving a problem are two different things. It does also take tennis to a lot of places in the world that wouldn't normally get a chance. It generates a lot of interest and economics. So there's a lot to be considered. I certainly wouldn't claim to know even 50% of that.

Q. What is the key for a young player on the cusp of the Top 10 who is able to play one sublime match but maybe has trouble stringing matches like that together? Is there one or two keys to getting to that level where you can develop that consistency?

ANDRE AGASSI: That's a difficult question when we're not being specific with the person, because I think there are different reasons for why one person succeeds.

Q. Taylor Dent, for example. He had another very fine match today, but has been having trouble putting those types of matches together back to back.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, he certainly has a game that should cause problems for a lot of people. Not too many players play like he does, and that in and of itself presents an awkward match for everybody that he's up against. Yeah, I would expect him to have certainly these wins a lot more often. I know he's gone through his own set of injuries and struggles, but with the right coaching and commitment, there's no reason why he can't achieve great things on a consistent basis.

Q. With all the different hats that you wear - husband, family man, major foundation, charity - how do you find the balance? How do you find the desire and motivation and the stamina to continue at this great level, which you really do?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm not convinced that I've found anything, to be honest. At times I feel like it all gets a bit much. It gets harder every year on the court, off the court. I have a great support team. My wife makes it possible for me not to have to be away from the family to do what I do, which makes this possible because I wouldn't be here, you know, if my choice was to be away on a consistent basis. I don't see myself making that decision. You know, every day I just focus on what it is that's important to me, and I just make sure that my days reflect those priorities and values. You can't climb the whole mountain in one go. You have to sort of set little goals for yourself all along the way. Every day is a goal for me. So I'm only really assessing things in hindsight, not really anything more than that. But sometimes it's just work. Other times I'm inspired. Other times I'm, you know, quite exhausted. I get my share of all the above, really.

Q. Do you get bored? Are you ever bored with it or not?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. Tired would be more the adjective. Bored, life with two kids, traveling the world and competing against the best tennis players in the world is anything but boring.

Q. Do you get to do anything with your kids when you're on the road? I mean, I guess the little one's too little, but any kind of sight-seeing? Do you take the kids anywhere when you're in different cities?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, sure. My son's getting to an age where it's really starting to get fun. You get him -- talk about something you're going to do, you can build anticipation, and then go enjoy it and sort of discover more of him as he experiences it. That's quite a good feeling.

Q. Was the Heat game on Friday an example of that? You guys had the best seat in the house for Dwyane Wade's 65-foot shot. You looked inspired watching that.

ANDRE AGASSI: It was certainly a big game and an exciting one at that. We took Jaden there - as an example, we talked about the basketball game. He was so pumped. But he was so pumped he didn't take a nap that day (laughing). Even though there was a lot of noise and a lot of action, it took him all of about two and a half minutes to fall asleep sitting in my arms. I thought to myself, "I wish I could do that, just sleep when I'm tired." But it was a lot of fun, yeah. It was a great view I had on the block and the shot. The amazing thing was when it left his hands, I yelled, "That's in!" By the time it hit the net, I think I already had my arms up.

Q. What are your thoughts on Dwyane Wade?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's a phenomenal athlete. One of the best players out there. I'm sure it helps a lot having Shaq Daddy on your team creating those opportunities. But it's given him a real platform for his game to come alive. Man, he can sure pick up any slack that exists out there, there's no question.

Q. When you watch other sporting events, do you watch it as a fan or as a world-class athlete, in some way trying to picture yourself as Dwyane Wade or trying to see what they're doing physically or mentally? Do you just watch it like everybody else, as a fan?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I would categorize it as a fan just because I don't really know how somebody else is watching it. I mean, for me, I'm watching it as a fan of the sport and also athleticism and what each player brings to the table. I'm trying to understand what's going on out there, the strategies involved, what one team needs to do to create their best opportunity, and then how each player sort of steps up to that challenge. So, yeah, I try to learn about the game.

Q. Would you have liked team sports, do you think?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think when I look at all these athletes out there in team sports or in individual sports, it sort of seems common, we each seem to think, "Wow, wouldn't that be neat to do the other." You know? I think there's a lot of parts of every athlete's personality that would make them a great team player and also make them a great individual. I think there's parts of what I do that I would never want to give up, you know. I love the fact that it's just me in many respects, that I have to live with my own disappointments or successes; that there's nowhere to hide, no opportunity to pass the ball if you're not having a good day. You know, you sort of have to bite the bullet. I think it helps you discover a lot about yourself. But with that being said, there would be nothing like being able to spend time with other professional athletes who help you accomplish your dreams and you do the same for them. I can only imagine the camaraderie that that would -- what that would feel like. So I think that part of it I would certainly enjoy a lot.

Q. Have you gotten to know Shaquille very well, or have you had occasion to hang out with him?

ANDRE AGASSI: A little bit, yeah.

Q. What are your impressions of him? He is unique.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Well, most of the time I can't hear him, to be honest. He talks really soft and he's a good two feet away from me. But he has a great spirit about him. He's a person I've come to admire and respect a whole heck of a lot, that's for sure. I mean, he really carries himself well. You know, I haven't been around him enough to stop sort of marveling at his, you know, I just marvel at his...

Q. Bigness?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, his largeness. Everything. Just, you know, if he orders a Coke, it's like a six pack. It is, I mean (smiling)...

Q. When you meet these other athletes, do you talk to them about your foundation? Many of the athletes I work with, like Andy Roddick, I know you've been an inspiration to Andy. Do you talk to them and reciprocate with them in terms of helping each other out with various charities and foundations you have?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I talk with anybody that's interested, you know. Since we're here in Miami, I'll bring up Alonzo, for example, Mourning, who has a tremendous spirit for giving and making a difference in kids' lives. We spent an ample amount of time talking about that and how we can make a difference, you know. I mean, I've sort of gotten to a point now, with my foundation, where I don't really have an avenue to utilize yet athletes. I don't do events, I do it around sort of music. But as sports sort of evolve and the school and some of the other things that we're doing, I think there will be an opportunity to get involved there. As you know, Andy has helped me, I've helped him with so many different charity events where part of that money goes back to either or both of our foundations. Yeah, it's building a network of awareness and commitment amongst not just athletes but everybody who wants to make a difference.

Q. What kind of match are you expecting with Gaston Gaudio?

ANDRE AGASSI: This isn't going to be easy, you know. He's one of the best one-handed backhands in the world, moves really well. Amazing accomplishment in Paris last year. He knows how to win big matches. I'll need to make sure I'm executing and playing at least as well as I did today.

Q. There's a story that you were in a batting cage once and ran at the machine and hit line drives. Is that true?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it is.

Q. When was that?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't remember. A year, couple years ago. Time moves quick. It was a long time ago, I think. Probably longer than that even now. I'm used to moving forward and hitting, and hitting moving objects so...

Q. How hard were the pitches coming?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was cranked up. I don't know. They said 90, but I don't know.

Q. Little easier with a racquet than a bat.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, but it's a pitching machine. The thing's coming -- 90 miles an hour looks slow if it's not moving. That thing was just coming straight ahead, so I could hit it with a toothpick. But when it starts dipping -- like when I filmed the Nike commercial, we had somebody on the mound throwing. The second that thing starts moving, it's a whole different set of problems out there. Worried about getting hit is also very uncomfortable for me.

Q. How did you feel out there just overall today in terms of the wind, two matches in, coming off the toe?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, today was -- I felt much more comfortable today than my first match, which is a sign that things have really moved forward physically, and also with my game. So looking forward to getting into the thick of things here.

Q. Are you still working out as hard physically as you were a few years ago? Do you have to actually even work harder to maintain?

ANDRE AGASSI: Harder and smarter, if that makes sense. Just knowing when to push yourself. Working out becomes more important, that's for sure.

Q. How often, and what do you do?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, that's a difficult...

Q. Short version.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, the short version is it varies and it all depends. I mean, think about what our life is like. We're on the road for six weeks, then we're off for three, playing for two weeks, off for three, we play for one and then we're off for one. You've got to always be able to make adjustments for how you're feeling and what it is you need. Sometimes it's sacrificing tournaments and training through it even though you're going to be out there on the court not feeling your best. Other times it's not playing tournaments and giving yourself the time to train. Other times it's putting your feet up and having a big meal, allowing yourself to recover. You know, so I believe in strength training and, obviously, good conditioning. So how you work that into your program is very specific and ever-changing.

 
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