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Écrit par Jerome   


August 13, 2005

A. AGASSI/G. Rusedski
6-4, 6-4


THE MODERATOR: Tomorrow Andre will attempt to win his fourth career title in Canada, and his 18th career ATP Masters Series title. Questions for Andre.

Q. I don't think he could make any mark or any impact on your service games at all. I think that hurt him.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, definitely. I ended up serving well tonight, but that was really never my intention going out there. You know, against Greg, for me it's important that I'm controlling the back-court rallies and not letting him get a chance to get in. That means serving well enough just to keep him back. But I really hit a good rhythm on it, got a lot of free points, kept control of the match when I was in the back of the court. That put a little bit more pressure on him to hold. He probably missed a few volleys he wouldn't normally have missed just because he wasn't getting too many looks at my serve. Things went pretty well.

Q. With Nadal saying he's looking forward to playing you before you retire, does it start to make you feel a little bit old? I don't know whether that's insulting or a tribute or what.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you have to ask him. I don't know what he means by it. But, I mean, for me you got to understand that for over four years, maybe closer to five, I've had one question or another with the word "retirement" in it. So for me to hear this is not... I hear it 75 press conferences a year for the last four and a half years. It's not something I try to focus on because it takes away my attention from what I have to do. I mean, I look forward to playing him, too. He's been great to watch. It will be fun to play against him.

Q. Can you look ahead to what challenges Rafael brings and what kind of game you want to bring?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, I think the difficulty in his game pretty much goes unsaid by now. I mean, he hits what seems to be a pretty mean ball, hard for a lot of guys to do too much with. He moves incredibly well. I mean, I'm just going to have to be obviously picking my shots and playing great tennis, which I hope to do.

Q. One of your strengths over the years has been the return of service. He doesn't have a particularly good serve, doesn't have a great serve, but it seems to have been very effective this week.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, it's hard to assess too much when you've never played somebody. We've never even practiced together. But I will say from experience that a lefty can get away with less of a good serve than a righty can. It's an awkward serve it looks for guys to take too much advantage of. He serves a high percentage. Certainly seems hard to control the point off that serve. If you do hit a good one, he's still fast enough to defend it. You know, the best part of his game is not designed around the serve; it's designed around his movement and the quality of his shot, which is pretty high.

Q. Maybe it's a tough question, but are you surprised to be in a final? When you arrived here in Montreal last week, were you thinking about the final?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've been surprised to be in every final I've ever played.

Q. Because you played good tennis in LA?

ANDRE AGASSI: Because there's 64 of the best players in the world. It's just not easy to do.

Q. I'm not sure if you have a long history of this, but in terms of playing two matches today, then going on the court again tomorrow, can you think how you've fared in situations like that if you've done it before?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's sort of hard to recall. I know I've had to do it before. Today I played three sets of tennis, so that's not too much demand there on the body. The tough part for me is that cool-down and then to sort of have to get going again, that you can get through the match without being too stiff and feeling like you're straining something. For me it's making sure my back is warmed up enough that I don't irritate anything. That's the part I worried about. But I felt pretty good out there. I got to believe that I'll feel good tomorrow, too.

Q. Along the same lines, the way the schedule broke with the rain-outs, the fact that you both played at night, is that a bit of an equalizer, instead of one guy playing at 1:00 in the afternoon, the other guy playing at night?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, there's two hours' difference really, recovery time. I spent just over two hours on court today, something of that nature. That won't be too much of a factor. But had he played in the afternoon, they probably would have played us to follow, something of this nature.

Q. I'm saying, if there hadn't been the rain-out.

ANDRE AGASSI: It's always better to play day when you're going to have to come back in the day.

Q. How do you prepare for somebody that you haven't played or practiced with? Do you rely on your experience? Do you watch tape?

ANDRE AGASSI: He's been easy to find on the television over the last few months (laughter). You do your homework every time you watch a tennis match, even if you're not in a tournament. I'm sitting home on the couch during Wimbledon somewhat torturing myself and somewhat working. You're always sort of thinking about what you need to do against different players. But the true test is when you're out there. The true lessons come the hard way.

Q. What will be the key to beat him tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. I don't know. I'm not in the business of coaching my opponents. Sorry (smiling).

Q. For a lot of people who follow tennis and watch sport, this is going to be a big match tomorrow. A rising superstar versus one of the sport's legends. Do you think at all about the significance of this match for other people?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I hope they're excited about it certainly. It's not easy for me to be that objective about it. I don't get to be in too many finals very often any more. It hasn't happened a whole lot over the last few years. I'm certainly looking forward to it. Certainly playing him, it will have to bring out my best. I really don't have a choice. I mean, I hope people are looking forward to it as much as I am, because I am. But the relevance of it is left for you to write about.

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