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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

2005 TELECOM MASTERS ITALIA
ROME, ITALY

May 6, 2005

A. AGASSI/D. Hrbaty
6-3, 6-3

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seemed to me you didn't play exactly the same game as the other day. Was it the wind?

ANDRE AGASSI: A combination of the wind, but also the way he plays, you know. Ljubicic plays with so much spin, so to come now to somebody who hits the ball flat, Dominik is a tough player because sometimes the better shot you hit, the better shot he hits. Plus, with the wind and the conditions, the more balls you kept in the court, the better. It was hard to hit close to the line. So even if you hit it soft, it was hard for somebody to finish the point.

Q. You seemed to win all the really long rallies. Was it a tactic to just make you play an extra ball, or were you looking to finish all those earlier?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, he plays with really low margin of error normally. He plays the ball very flat, low over the net, close to the lines. And on a windy day I just always felt the more times I make him hit the ball, the better. Then I was getting a lot of errors that way. Some games are more designed for wind than others, and his always seems on the edge. And those conditions are very tough on everybody, but especially a game that hits the ball with low margin.

Q. Did you expect to reach the semifinal without losing a set?

ANDRE AGASSI: That's a tough expectation for me - these days especially. No, I didn't expect that.

Q. What would have been satisfactory, say, from the start of the week?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, expecting and satisfactory are two different things. I mean, I think you come in here and you expect every match to be as difficult as possible and then you're pleasantly surprised if it's not. So, I mean, winning here would be satisfactory (smiling).

Q. Your next opponent should be a clay court specialist. Are you ready for that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think as ready as I'm ever going to be. The last few matches have given me a chance to understand where my game is and what I need to do. To go out and execute is more difficult against guys of the caliber such as the Corias or the Nadals or the clay court specialists. But it also helps because you know you have one thing in mind, which is to play your best tennis, because you have no choice. So I look forward to that.

Q. Coria is considered a clay specialist, but he's not a heavy hitter. How do you think you will face him? Is he different than Verdasco, for instance?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it is different, for sure. I think some players deal with pace better than others, you know. Coria, he plays with so much margin for error because he can move so well. He forces you to do something special every point so, you know, you have to be very disciplined and you have to make sure you're picking the right ball to take your chance. But if you lay off the ball, he controls the ball very well. So while he doesn't play necessarily as hard as some other players, he plays very accurately. So he can hit both shots down the line, crosscourt, short crosscourt. I mean, he controls the ball as well as anybody.

Q. What do you know of Verdasco, if you have to face him?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, we played once in Stockholm and, you know, I mean, he's very aggressive, especially with the forehand. I mean, we've seen this yesterday. But he doesn't use the pace as well as Coria. Coria can use pace against you. If you hit it hard and not with good direction, he can now take your time away and control it, you know. Verdasco likes to have a little bit more time than Coria, but he hits the ball much harder, makes up for it. It's a different type of match. It's more straightforward than when you play a guy like Coria.

Q. Did you see any of Andy's match yesterday?

ANDRE AGASSI: I saw until he was down in the first set 5-3, and then I saw it from 4-2 in the second, so I saw most of it.

Q. You didn't see where he gave the point, matchpoint?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I did see it, but they didn't sort of film it too well so I wasn't sure how that all transpired. You know, I wasn't sure if both guys were going to shake hands, or if Verdasco was looking to see if the ball was in, or if the umpire was going to come down and check anyhow. I couldn't tell any of that.

Q. Do you remember yourself, in terms of fair play, either giving a matchpoint or getting a matchpoint overruling, let's say, what had happened?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not on matchpoint I don't remember this happening. I don't remember it either way, against somebody or... No, I don't remember anything like that. But it's nice on clay when you can look and see where it is. I mean, this is a big difference than saying, "I think it was good, take it." If you say, "I know it's good," it's... I can see the mark and not tell if it's in or out, so I just have somebody else decide and I live with it.

Q. You usually prefer for the umpire to decide?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I can't -- I don't trust myself on the other side. I'm playing on dirt, it's not normal for me to see if there's space -- sometimes they say there's space, sometimes they say there's no space, that's part of the line, that's why it looks like there's space. I stopped arguing a long time ago with that. Pick my battles (smiling).

Q. Is there anything that struck you about your four matches this week, anything good, bad, indifferent?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I had a nice variety of players, which is nice. My first round, my opponent didn't have a lot of power in his game but he ran very well and I needed to make sure I picked my shot good. Struggled the first set, then found -- got through it comfortably. The next match I had to play somebody, Gasquet, where you had to really hit the ball much bigger, because if he had time he was going to hurt you. So I had to play more aggressively. Then against Ljubicic, he was playing with so much spin and we were having longer points. Then today it's against a different type of player altogether with different conditions. So to get the variety of matches has been, I think, a nice blessing.

Q. Going back to the fair play issue, have you met more players who were sort of trying to cheat you, or more people ready to give you a point when it was deserved?

ANDRE AGASSI: Like on clay, you mean?

Q. Wherever, in America, here. Tennis players, do you think in general they are honest, half-honest?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, let's first be clear that outside clay courts it's sort of the normal for players to allow bad calls to happen - if they're happening - because they happen both ways and you only hope that it's even at the end of the match - or at the end of a career. But on clay court I think, as you can tell when they point to marks and circle them, that most of the time the player is accurate; sometimes not. That's why I don't choose to make a call. I don't even choose to find the mark, because sometimes I don't even know which mark it is. But the experienced players who know the mark and they see it and they circle it, as you can tell, I mean, most of the time they see it accurately.

Q. You hear tales about hooking in the Juniors; kids talk about when there are no officials. Do you remember that from the Juniors?

ANDRE AGASSI: Jeff Tarango - oh, did I say that (smiling)? Was I just thinking that, or did that come out? Yeah, it happens more in Juniors. I think also, too, there's so many cases in Juniors where a child has sort of additional pressure on him by any particular possible parent or situation. And, you know, you're a kid, and you live with your environment and you survive. So I've seen a lot of kids that wanted to be more honest than their parents (smiling).

 
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