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Écrit par Jerome   



March 12, 2006

6-4, 4-6, 6-2




              THE MODERATOR:   Questions for Andre Agassi.

              Q.   (Inaudible) and was there a masochistic element going on?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Well, needless to say, getting pretty frustrated.   You know, even the first set I wasn't terribly comfortable, and it sort of got worse, got a bit more down on myself.   I needed something to turn me around.   I was just lucky that getting upset happened to at least settle me down a little bit.   I mean, it was pretty frustrating.   I didn't like any of it.

              Q.   After all these years, can you figure out all of a sudden, those last six games, you got on the beam somehow, found your game?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   You know, I just -- you only really assess it in hindsight, you know.   I just started making less errors and moving the ball around and, you know, I played a good game to break back in the third.

              You know, the second sort of turned so quickly.   The next thing you know, I was down a break in the third, and as soon as I broke back, it sort of gave me an opportunity to say, "All right.   Listen.   You should have won the second, but" -- you know, "You could have won the second, but here you are, not down 3-0 in the third.   Count your blessings and go back to work."

              Q.   You talked about the third set and you broke him at 3-2.   You had those two short balls, you cut him down.   You don't do them often now.   What was going through your mind?   At one point you cut short two balls.

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah, well, you know, he was defending pretty well a long ways behind the baseline, and, you know, he was making me hit four or five good shots.   I mean, I felt like for the first two sets I would have him way behind in the point and then the next thing you know, he would just -- I would just miss the fifth one.   And so I felt like I needed to start bringing him a little bit more forward so my shots could get more penetrating, and I just wanted to mix in a few dropshots because he was a long ways back and he was getting everything I was hitting.

              Q.   And you how much do the slippery conditions compound the frustration?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   You know, the jury is out on how slippery it was.   I mean, obviously the umpire supervisor didn't feel like the court was dangerous, but I mean, psychologically I have a hard time playing on hard court when it's drizzling.   I mean, you know, you're tentative, you feel the possibility of something being slick, and I was just asking if we could just wait a few minutes till it stopped raining.   I mean, it's raining.   You can tell me whether the lines are slippery or not slippery, you know?   It's raining.   We're on hard court.   So that was always in the back of my mind.

              Then when he went down, I sort of -- you know, I sort of got even that much more frustrated at it, because it's like, what are we waiting for?   Are we waiting for somebody to get hurt?   I mean, it's raining.   Let's at least just stop until -- until, you know, it stops.

              So I asked Paul if he slipped on the line because it was wet, and he wasn't sure, you know.   He went back and looked at it, but he did feel like he slid.   So then they stopped and we waited till the rain stopped, and then it was -- it was a lot easier to concentrate.

              Q.   And you more often than not -- I can be wrong about this, I'm sure you'll tell me, but when you get angry, your game tends to slide.   When you're really focusing out there, you tend to win more.   So what was the difference today?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   I don't know if it's even fair to make the correlation between getting mad and playing better, really, you know.   Yeah, I think you're right.   I think normally when I get upset, I'm taken out of my best part of my game, you know.   And, you know, I'm the kind of person that gets upset at myself for getting upset because, you know, it's a bit -- it's a waste of energy to do that.

              But, you know, I don't know.   I think when the rain stopped and there wasn't much -- psychologically, I wasn't worried about the court being wet and I felt like I just settled down in some shots and made a few, he missed a few, then I got back into the match.   But, you know, I don't think it was because I got angry.   I just -- I just felt pretty frustrated at that point.

              Q.   Were you frustrated more with yourself or the play or sort of the situation of having to play in that weather?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Well, both, really, you know, the fact I wasn't dealing with it.   Under any circumstances you've got to ask the most of yourself, you've got to bring out the best in your game, whatever the conditions are.   And I felt like I was distracted with the elements.   I was, you know.   And then, you know, he was getting a lot of balls and I lost a bit of confidence on my shots, and so it was -- it was all sort of building up.

              Q.   Is it also the fact, as you said, you've been playing well in practice, but not being able to carry it over into the match till today?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah, I haven't felt, you know -- I haven't felt good on the court in a long time, so that's also difficult, you know.

              Q.   And you have a tremendous sense of tennis and history and Wimbledon.   Wimbledon's been real important in your career.   Recently one of the greatest champions of all time Bjorn Borg announced he's going to sell his five Wimbledon trophies.   When you heard that, what were your thoughts, what did you feel in your heart?   Could you comment on that.

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Well, yeah, I know it's sad.   You just -- my first reaction was just to hope that the situation isn't as desperate as it sounds.

              You know, it's not right.   You should only have -- one way you should only have a Wimbledon trophy, it's if you win it, not if you buy one, you know.   I can't make any judgments on Bjorn.   I can just say that the thought of a Wimbledon trophy being in the hands of somebody who has a lot of money is upsetting.

              Q.   Where is your trophy now, may I ask?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   It's in the -- in my gym.

              Q.   Jimmy Connors suggested that Wimbledon should actually buy the trophy and hold onto it until perhaps things turn around for Bjorn.   What do you think of that idea?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Well, listen, I think there's a lot of people that could come to the rescue of the situation.   You know, I mean I've discussed it with my own -- with my own people to find out a way of gathering the right people together to do right by those trophies, you know, and do right by the game to try to purchase them.   So, you know, I think there's a lot of people that -- that could step up to help for sure - Wimbledon being one, you know, myself being another.

              Q.   Did that discussion go anywhere?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   It's in the process now of moving forward.   I hate to mention who we're speaking to to pull it off, but...

              Q.   When you make decision -- so it means that much to you, huh?   I mean for a guy who put so much money into, you know, building up the schools and everything impoverished kids?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   No, it means a lot to the game, you know.   It's not me.   I mean, it's the sport.   You know, Wimbledon is, you know, the greatest tournament in the world, really.   I mean, it's the Master's of tennis, right?   So the thought of those trophies not being with the rightful owner or in a museum would be a crime.   I just don't think you should have one unless you win it.

              Q.   If things go according to plan, let's say you do get them, what would you do with them?   Would you hold them?   Would you put them on display at the Wimbledon Museum or the Hall of Fame or what would you do, do you know?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Well, I haven't really thought that -- I haven't gone that far with my thoughts yet.   I mean, you know, really Bjorn should have them, you know.

              Q.   Do you still recall that incident when you fell to your knees and you knew you were a Wimbledon champion, does that stay fresh in an athlete's mind?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah.   Yeah, it sure does.

              Q.   When you make a decision like that, do you speak to Steffi before you go into something like that, you know, because she also is one of the greatest.   What's the family situation before you go and try to help people in that way?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Which people?   What are you talking about?

              Q.   I'm talking about this is a situation where you're trying to get the Wimbledon trophies.   I thought, did you just talk to Steffi before you tried to get involved with something like that?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Well, I mean, do you have a wife?   Are you married?

              Q.   It's my intern wants me to know a little bit more, get the information about the family situation and all this.

              ANDRE AGASSI:   The family situation is very healthy and communicative.

              Q.   Over the years, you know, we've watched you since you were six years old, you manipulate people, you push them out of the court, so far out, and you still don't come in and close it off, and I've always been interested why, because they have to call a cab to get back into the court.

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah.

              Q.   And you're still not moving on them.   Do you like punishing the person that much?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Have you seen me volley lately?   I mean, it's --

              Q.   Seen some good ones.   I've seen a couple loose ones.

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah, you know, it's not that you enjoy punishing them.   It's part of certainly -- when I'm playing my best tennis, I get somebody behind the point, regardless of whether I come in or don't come in, I'm not losing control of that point.   So if I can get them to run a few extra times all the while knowing that, you know, I still have that 95 percent chance of winning this point, then I like that.

              If I were to teach somebody, I would teach them to come in and finish that point off.   You know, I just -- I just don't give myself probably enough credit at the net, you know.   It's always an uncomfortable place for me to be.   If somebody has a swing, if somebody is having a running passing shot, I'm much more comfortable standing at the baseline to pick the ball up as opposed to being at the net hoping it doesn't get by me or over me.

              I don't cover the lob all that well and I'm just not very adept at that game.

              Q.   With all due respect, why do you think you've had trouble being an adept volleyer over your career?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Well, you know, yeah, I use a big-headed racket that's strung pretty tight.   It's pretty stiff and it's designed for me to swing out on all my shots and for it not to get away from me, you know.   So when you take something like that and you come to the net, you can't just sort of catch the ball with your racket.   You have to actually hit the ball.   And when a ball is coming at you underneath the height of the net, and in order to really do anything with it, you've got to hit it.   It's a lot harder of a volley than if you used a small head, looser racket where you sort of cup under the ball.   And so, you know, your racket has to favor the parts of your game that you're looking -- looking to the most.

              Q.   Can you just comment -- are you finished?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah.

              Q.   Sorry.   Can you just comment on your next game Haas?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah, it's only getting tougher from here.   Tommy's been playing really well this year.   Yeah, I'll have to -- I'll have to play to a much higher level for sure.

              Q.   When was the last time you really felt good on the court?   Was it before the famous racquetball match?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah, the Open was the last time.

              Q.   Would you actually considered buying the trophies back and giving them to Bjorn or do you think that might be too much of a risk?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Well, shy of the possibility of them going on sale again?

              Q.   Yeah.

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah.

              Q.   So that would be the caveat then?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah.   The idea is that those trophies aren't sold.   I mean, the idea is that you only have a Wimbledon trophy if you've won it.   You know --

              Q.   And are going to keep it?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Sorry?

              Q.   And are going to keep it safely so it doesn't go private like that?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   Yeah.

              Q.   You don't mind the museum having it, for example?

              ANDRE AGASSI:   No.   I think it would be amazing to have the fans of tennis be able to see them.   That would be a great thing.   But, yeah, I think first things first.   I think I'd love to see the sport come together to figure out a way to make sure those don't get into the wrong hands.

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