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Écrit par Jerome   


March 31, 2005

7-5, 6-0


THE MODERATOR: Andre advances to his 10th semifinal here in Key Biscayne and improves his career record to 61-12. Questions for Andre.

Q. Federer is coming. What is your tactic?

ANDRE AGASSI: What is my plan, tune in tomorrow and see.

Q. Your serve was somewhat low, you had trouble closing the deal in the first set. Was there a reason for that?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think he puts a lot of pressure on your second. You feel more pressure to make your first serve, which sometimes causes you to disrupt your rhythm a little bit. I think I forced it a few times. But I don't want to get too careful with it; I want to keep executing it. But I was probably pushing a little too close to the lines. He has a real good reach about him, too, when he's out there on the court. To get away with a cheap point, you got to hit a real good serve because he has a real good lunge. I think that's a strong part of his game, believe it or not, his return is quite a factor.

Q. Did you sense him at all losing composure in the second set, getting frustrated by the calls?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, it would have been hard not to notice that. It was pretty disruptive to his game. You know, it was obviously not something you ever really want to wish on anybody, the feeling that, you know, that bad calls are happening.

Q. Did you try to help Taylor? He had the argument with the chair umpire. When you went to your side, you said something to him.

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I was just clearing up -- at out of the corner of my ear, I caught the umpire suggesting to Taylor what I had said to him when I hit the shot that's in question. I just wanted to make sure that he wasn't miscommunicating anything I was intending to say to him, because between players, there's just an unwritten rule out there that you -- if somebody has an issue, you leave them alone with it. You know, if he's fighting the umpire on a call, you don't interfere. I didn't want Taylor to have the impression that I was actually trying to interfere with his complaining of the call. I was just clearing up the fact that I said to the umpire, "I just thought it was going out when it left my racquet, but I actually didn't see it bounce. I didn't see if it could have been in or out. I felt like I missed it." I started walking because it felt like I missed it. Then when it bounced and they didn't call, you always leave room, "maybe it hit the line." I was just surprised because I really thought I missed it and so did Taylor.

Q. Was that the turning point?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it certainly helped to get the break in the first game in the second. That was game point for him. Then I hit two good returns and I'm off to a break already. He was getting more frustrated as it went on from there.

Q. Were you unhappy with yourself for not closing it out early in the first set?

ANDRE AGASSI: I would have liked to. I mean, I think the bigger game -- he played a real good game at 5-4 in the first set to break me back. I was playing well just to hang in that game actually. But the 2-1 game was a big game. I was in control of it. Eventually was a few errors that cost me the game, and that's -- that was a bit below what I was hoping for out there as far as my standard. But I got it together well after that and felt good the rest of the match.

Q. Is it a factor that you just don't see many serve-and-volley players like him anymore? I know there's a few out there.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you sort of have to walk a fine line. It's breezy conditions. He's just sort of poking the ball in play, keeping it low with underspin. You're thinking, "If I'm playing a good baseliner and they hit a shot like this, I'm going to just let it rip," because you don't want to get behind in the point. When you're playing somebody that's just sort of chipping it back, you're telling yourself "Don't take an unnecessary risk, because it's breezy." Sometimes that causes you not to hit a clean swing on the ball. You're almost better off getting a little bit more aggressive. And that game I just made a few errors based on that.

Q. What do you need to do well tomorrow? What will be foremost in your priorities?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, seeing his form over the last year and a half, I'd say I'd have to be doing a lot of things well - no question about it. I'll have to be working my serve well, returning well, picking my shots, executing them. But, you know, I don't go out there really with any other expectation anymore at all against anybody. So I'll have to really step it up tomorrow, that's for sure.

Q. Is there something different that you can bring to the table tomorrow in the way of strategy that can take Federer out of his comfort zone?

ANDRE AGASSI: Maybe. If I do, I think we're going to have about 128 other guys be pretty excited to learn that one themselves.

Q. What did you do just so well to disrupt his game at the Open last year?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it was just a quality match all the way around. We played three sets of high-standard tennis. Third set being one that I had chances in all the way through it until the very end. But that's what makes him so dangerous, at any point he can really step it up, so you have to always be respectful of that. Then the next day was a bit of Russian roulette with the wind. It was pretty much a hurricane. So regardless of what happened that day, it wasn't going to be a true testament to the quality of tennis.

Q. In the junior competition there was a player that I saw named Seguso. It made me think, "one pair of tennis players produced another," do you think we'll see Agassi children in the event?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. Your guess is as good as mine, you know. I hope they care about whatever it is they choose.

Q. If you had to narrow down tomorrow's matchup, what would you say would be the decisive factor?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, the two things that he obviously does better than arguably anybody in the world is his movement and his forehand, you know. They're both big factors. So you have to know when to take your chance and not hesitate, and that's the way it is with all the guys. Except with him, it's what you consider your chance, you know. Certain guys you get a lot of looks. With him, you don't get many. So you have to recognize whatever does seem like a chance and be willing to execute it. I mean, you got to play a good match, unless he's not playing his best tennis.

Q. Does playing a night match affect your preparation in any way? Is there any difference between night and day when you play a guy like Roger?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, night plays slower, heavier than the day.

Q. Can that work towards your advantage?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know if it would be much of a factor. I would prefer to be in extreme conditions, you know, 142 degrees and crazy humidity and, you know, 12-mile-an-hour winds with 20-mile-an-hour gusts.

Q. The last time you beat him was in the final here in 2002. How much has he changed since then?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, he's evolved as a player incredibly. It's been something to watch. I mean, he makes a lot less errors in his game now, more firepower. Certainly more confidence.

Q. Did you have any inkling that maybe he would evolve the way he has that day? Did you think of it?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, I'm not the best guy to ask with regard to that. As much as one might think I would know a lot about tennis based on my history with it, I remember watching Pete when I was 18 years old saying, "Why did he go to a one-handed backhand? He'll never, never win a match." There you have it (smiling).

Q. How's your toe?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's good. How's yours? It's doing good. The toe is no longer something I hesitate on because I've pushed through it and it's maintained. It's not getting worse.

Q. Can I ask you something about your previous match against Gaudio.


Q. You have said many times that some players, when you were playing against them they were bringing the best out of you. Can we say that that first set against Gaudio brought the best tennis out of you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, where I consider -- best tennis to me is playing the biggest points with 100% freedom, choosing your shot and letting it go. There were a number of times that set where I had the chance and I missed a forehand up the line in the net because I pulled off of it a little bit, and he had some chances. So it was very competitive in the hardest set of tennis, the hardest one set of tennis that I've ever been a part of physically. But to me, the best set of tennis is one where every time the set gets -- the game gets important, you do what it is you do best and you do it without any hesitation.

Q. Do you feel like you have a better shot against Roger here in Miami with all your success and home court advantage than you did in Dubai or Australia earlier in the year?

ANDRE AGASSI: I hope so, yeah. That's the plan. I mean, I can't pick anything more than a hard court with little wind, little humidity. It's good. That's what I've always performed well on. I've always played well here. Tomorrow I'm going to have to go out and play well again. So you can't hand-pick it better than Australia or here, and the court in Dubai I actually liked, too.

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