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Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

2005 ROGERS MASTERS
MONTREAL, QUEBEC

August 11, 2005

A. AGASSI/N, Kiefer
6-4, 6-2

ANDRE AGASSI

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Andre Agassi. Questions, please.

Q. Earlier today Rafael Nadal was saying he'd like to play you before you retire. Do you have any plans to retire soon?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I'd like to play him before he retires (smiling). I think that would be great to see him on the other side of the net before he retires.

Q. Not a whole lot of trash talking in tennis. You and Nicolas had a couple of exchanges out there. What were you saying to each other?

ANDRE AGASSI: Did we?

Q. Picked up the racquet. Did he say anything?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. Just, "Thanks."

Q. Very cordial?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was. First game of the second set, it was deuce. I had to go change racquets because I noticed mine was completely broken on the side. I must have broke it when I sort of stopped and redirected. I was just telling him when I switched sides, "I have a broken racquet." It's not like I'm gamesmanship. Deuce game of the second, it was an awkward time to have to go change racquets, but mine was completely broken. I was just letting him know there wasn't any gamesmanship going on.

Q. The conditions out there, are you feeling more comfortable with them as each day goes on?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think so. You have no choice really. You start to realize what you can do and what you can't do. There's still a lot of frustrating shots. You line up to hit one, catch it a little late, you end up hitting it to the center of the court, but you're sort of committed with your court position. A couple times you get frustrated with it not feeling exactly the way you want it to. But overall, it's getting better. Tonight was a good test for that.

Q. You played tonight. Does that mean you're going to play tomorrow night?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think I play at 7, yeah, tomorrow night.

Q. Does playing at night bother you?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it doesn't bother me. I prefer the day, no question about it. I just like the conditions of day because you have the wind and you have the heat, you have other elements that you hope your opponent gets distracted with. But, you know, night's also a great atmosphere with the crowd. It sort of makes up for it when you feel that sort of support out there. It's a great feeling to have so many people pulling for you.

Q. What can you say about your next match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Gaston, we've had some great matches in the past. Always tough. Very physical from the back of the court. He has one of the best one-handed backhands you'll ever see in the game. Yeah, I'm going to have to pick it up from here because he's obviously playing well. I certainly have respect for what he can do in big situations. I mean, his breaking through at the French was no accident.

Q. You don't feel your game went up a notch tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: It did, and it needed to. Early in the first set, I had some chances, breakpoint early. I second-guessed a backhand that I just dumped in the net. I had a lot of 30-Alls, a couple of -- 1-Love 30. I needed a double-fault from him at 4-All to finally break him. Once I did, I felt like I really relaxed into another level and got more comfortable.

Q. When you see an opponent fretting like that, does that help you quite a lot to get momentum?

ANDRE AGASSI: You don't spend too much energy -- I don't spend too much energy worrying about how a player's conducting themselves as much as if their frustration level is affecting their decision making out there. That's when you go, "Okay, this is good that they feel this way." When they're just upset, I mean, we've all been there. Everybody gets upset. It's a question of how you deal with it. And I felt like he was still competing hard till the end. Didn't make any bad decisions, which helped me to be able to stay focused. Sometimes when a player goes off and starts imploding, your standard has a tendency to drop. But tonight it wasn't that. While he was frustrated, he was still working hard.

Q. After the very close start when the first eight games went on serve, then you broke him, did you feel by then right away that you could open up the game and really go on the offensive? Do you feel that game affected him very much?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it certainly determined the first set, no question about it. Overall, I felt like I was having more chances than him in the first set. I thought it was going to get tougher from there, to be honest. Still nervous a little bit on some big points. He double-faulted to lose the game. You can't always count on this. When we got to the second set, I was ready for much more of a battle. But that first game was very crucial. And when he lost his serve and I held quickly, all of a sudden it's a set and 2-0, it's easy to lose a little motivation at that point. I've done this a long time, so I tried to take advantage of that, got the double break, then I started relaxing a bit more.

Q. Nadal said today because you've been hot on hard courts lately, that you're the favorite of this tournament. Do you feel you're the favorite?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I don't. Really, I don't think I've ever felt that way. I've played No. 1 in the world tennis before, and there wasn't a time where I ever felt like the favorite. It was always a match at a time for me. It's never been different. During all the years with Pete, everybody would talk about the finals. I think Pete and I were the only two guys that weren't thinking about that.

Q. Do you feel your serve was better tonight than the other matches?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I served well for sure tonight, some big points. Made a lot of first serves. Yeah, I think everything I did a little bit better tonight.

Q. Do you have empathy for an opponent who wants to take out his frustrations on the racquet? Been there before?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've been there many times. I wish I had a nickel for every time I did something to my racquet. But, again, what I tend to focus on is how somebody responds with their game when they go through that, and if they get so frustrated they go away or if they keep fighting. You know, he was still dancing around. He still made me feel like I had to close him out. That's a sign of his competitiveness. We all get frustrated, for sure.

 
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