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Écrit par Jerome   


May 5, 2005

A. AGASSI/I. Ljubicic
7-6, 6-3


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andre.

Q. Are you a good sailor? You know very well the wind, so you can understand where the wind was going playing the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it was difficult conditions. The wind is always moving and changing, so sometimes you have to pick room to miss your shot and then just try to hit it as good as possible. So you aim for bigger spots in the court, and it doesn't always go the way you plan.

Q. You didn't answer the question. Are you a sailor?

ANDRE AGASSI: Sailor, no (smiling). I get seasick.

Q. Las Vegas, you are not.

ANDRE AGASSI: No (smiling).

Q. Every match is different, but does this make the California Davis Cup feel a little better with this guy?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it always feels good to beat somebody who's playing well, you know, and he's been playing well the whole year. It's not even close, which one's more important. You know, I mean, to get through the Davis Cup would have been special for not just me but the team and the country, so I would trade with him if he wanted to. But today I felt real good about the standard of tennis and where my game was.

Q. Part II, will you play against Belgium?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I don't even know the schedule, the time, nothing. So, I mean, it's been something that, you know, that hasn't been easy for me all along, you know, obviously getting back into it. So we'll have a good talk about it and see what makes sense.

Q. Is there something you want still to improve in your game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, every day's a new day. I mean, I think today I was very happy with what I did well. I did most things pretty well. Hitting the ball with confidence and returning and serving smart. So today was really good. I hope that as each matchup changes, that you have to do something different and you can execute it. Some parts of the game become more important than others against different players. But today was great.

Q. Why you decided to change the racquet?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, I'm just play-testing, to be honest. I've always looked on the clay season to something to sometimes take my mind off the clay. But just play-testing right now.

Q. What's different about this racquet?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's different (smiling). I mean, I don't know. I could show you, but...

Q. Different model, same brand?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, still Head. That's for sure.

Q. Lighter, heavier?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I balance. I always balance the same so...

Q. You almost seem worried about something today, not relaxed. You are not happy? Or are you thinking of something else?

ANDRE AGASSI: I was thinking the same about you sitting over there (laughing). I was saying usually there's more excitement with the questions, you know? No, I am happy. I think, you know, sometimes you get through matches, other times you earn them; and today I had to earn it. And today I was very much aware of what I need to do to beat these guys, and it's not easy. So it's time to work.

Q. Do you feel that now, since there are no more Italians involved in the tournament, you became the favorite of the crowd, or they would like to see you win once more? You have this kind of feeling, or is it my impression only?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I can only compare it to the support I get with each player. You know, I mean, today I felt very much strong the support, so that's good. But maybe it changes with somebody else (smiling).

Q. Which part of yourself is more Italian?

ANDRE AGASSI: My stomach (laughter).

Q. Would you express your preference between Henman and Hrbaty?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I've played Tim three times but we haven't played in a lot of years it seems, so that would be, obviously, nice to play against him. But, you know, they're both difficult for their own reasons, you know. I mean, Hrbaty is more straightforward of a player, doesn't change the ball around as much. But Tim plays a game that doesn't get played much anymore, so it's pretty fun to try to compete against it. I could lose or win against both of them, so we'll have to see tomorrow.

Q. You played a Henman point on matchpoint.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, something tells me he wouldn't have had to hit another shot if he hit that volley. But I can only do it every now and then as a big surprise.

Q. As a clay court expert, what kind of advice would you give to Andy Roddick to improve his game on clay? He's won a couple of tournaments on clay, but...

ANDRE AGASSI: You call me a clay court expert?

Q. Yes.

ANDRE AGASSI: (Smiling). Well, I think, listen, the most important part of sports - I mean any sport - is movement and speed is very crucial. Andy is very typical of so many Americans who don't grow up on the surface, doesn't move as naturally, so it's not as easy for him to move physically like he does on the hard courts. So this is key, if you can get comfortable with defending. And then his serve is still a big weapon on any surface. So I would say the movement is important for anybody out there unless you do it naturally. But this is the last time I'm going to let you make me coach my opponents, by the way. I've given you one a day for three days, and it's finished now. I'm not saying nothing (smiling).

Q. After all this time, after winning the French title and playing well, you feel you don't have the movement yet?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I don't. It's a whole -- it's also the way your game develops, too. My game, I have to hit everything in front of me, you know, everything's close to my body and in front, and it's close to the baseline. You're close to the baseline on clay, and the ball is bouncing unpredictably sometimes, it makes it harder. If you need to get the ball in front of you and you're way behind the baseline moving, a lot of times the ball's away from you. If you like it close to your body, on clay it tends to be above you or away from you. My shots have developed flatter over the years, and so I think I've gotten probably further from being comfortable on clay.

Q. There will come a time, I guess.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I'm going to keep working at it, though. Another 35 years (smiling).

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