Accueil arrow Interviews arrow 2006 arrow 2006-08-28 / US OPEN - vs Pavel
2006-08-28 / US OPEN - vs Pavel Convertir en PDF Version imprimable Suggérer par mail
Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Ever in doubt?

ANDRE AGASSI: Plenty of doubt. Plenty of doubt. It was pretty bleak there in the middle of that third set. That was a big turnaround set.

Q. Have you ever had a racquet turn around a set like that? The minute you started with the new racquet, it changed just like that (snapping fingers).

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Well, I stopped sort of flagging balls. The problem is, when it's a little too loose... I don't play with a lot of spin. I don't make up for it with faster hands to bring the ball down. If I'm hitting it flat and it's going on me and I'm not trusting it, I start to lay off. Once I lay off, I sort of lose direction and penetration. I feel like I take a risk if I go. I feel like I get penalized if I lay off.

Once I could swing and keep it in, I felt pretty confident. Then I settled down. The game got slower because I was actually hitting the ball the way I wanted to.

Q. What were you feeling when you first went out on court? Pretty emotional moment.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it was. I tell you, it's a real, you know, interesting conflict at work. I didn't anticipate it to be this difficult emotionally. You want to take it in because you know how special it is. You feel it. It's very special to me to be here, to be out there.

At the same time, you know, you got to, you know, top notch job to do. You're trying to beat the best in the world. It's a conflict that doesn't leave you in necessarily the easiest spot.
But I did manage to focus on the work once it got going, but I was a bit concerned.

Q. Was it a little heart versus head process and you've got to go with one?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. You know, they both sort of betray you, you know. Your heart wants to compete and your heart wants to appreciate. Your mind tells you to focus. Your mind tells you, Look what you're experiencing. They both sort of betray you at times.

You know, I settled down. Got through it. Focused. Felt good. I know that's going to be the toughest one as far as the emotional side of things go. So hopefully I can even pick it up from there.

Q. How difficult is it when so much is being made of you going into this next chapter of your life, yet you have to stay in the present? Is that a difficult thing to do?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah. I think your question sort of says more than my last answer did. It's a very difficult thing to do, you know, 'cause you're it's not so much difficult because I'm moving into another chapter. I still want to be here for this tournament, you know.

But it's tough emotionally because, you know, you want it to be everything you hope it to be. I'm not even sure what that is. I'm not sure if that means you want to take it in. I'm not sure if it means you want to win the match.

I mean, either both of them. If you win you get another chance at it. Ultimately I'm still left with wanting to take it in but having to concentrate.

Q. Was it everything you wanted it to be tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: Perfect (smiling). To see 20 of 23,000 people be there close to 1:00 in the morning, yeah.

Q. Does the highlight film roll in your mind at all when you're out there?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I don't know. I'm not sure what it is. I certainly feel a lot of things. To hear the crowd, you know, pull for me so emphatically. I don't think I've ever played a match point where 20,000 people were just standing. You know, that was really cool.

Q. Looked like you almost lost it actually.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. It just hit me. I could have hit that second serve anywhere, that's for sure. But, yeah, it felt pretty amazing. They're all just standing. It was awesome.

Q. Throughout the match, 23,000 people clearly wanted it to happen again. You were down. How much could you feel the crowd trying to will you back into it? How important were they to you?

ANDRE AGASSI: They've always been important, you know, the way they have pulled for me and got me through so many difficult situations. Tonight was no different.

It works against you at times because you're trying so hard for them. Sometimes you can grind your gears. Sometimes you find the zone where it's just a beautiful thing to feel it and just let it go through you. That's what really happened today in that third set.

To come back from 4 0 and sort of control the match from that point was me not getting in the way of them.

Q. Did you feel slow at the beginning and then gradually got everything going?

ANDRE AGASSI: "Slow" like physically?

Q. Yes.

ANDRE AGASSI: I think when you're not comfortable or relaxed, the game's a lot hotter. It's a lot faster. The ball looks like a golf ball more than a tennis ball. It's moving quick and you're a little unsure.

But then when you start to settle into a match you start to know where you're hitting it, you know right when it leaves your strings, and you're able to move offensively or defensively as a result of that. You just get into the flow of it better.

Q. When you said to John on court the "six more," was that your heart, the desire to do it, or was that your head saying your level was good enough the last set and a half to pull it off?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, I don't know. I've seen myself play some shockers. You know, I've surprised myself a thousand times for better and for worse. Stick around to see if I can do that. I mean, you know, miracles can happen, for sure.

Q. Which percentage of the crowd cheers you up and which percentage of it diminishes your concentration?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, them cheering for me doesn't hurt my concentration. It makes me try harder. Sometimes trying harder keeps you from staying as relaxed as you need to be. Hundred percent to zero.

Q. At first during the summer you seemed a little reluctant to start in on the challenge system and call on it, as if it was an intrusion of some sort. Are you warming up to it now?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it's no different for me now than it was in the beginning. It's a function of seeing a close ball. I mean, it's deceiving, the results of the challenges. Like the one forehand I hit up the line, literally where that ball bounced was right on the pole, I mean, the umpire's chair, off the court. I'm not seeing it bounce.

I'm just basing it on how it felt leaving my racquet and the reaction of the crowd and the umpire going, I'm not so sure. There's a lot of times where you go, I'll pull the trigger just because it makes sense to try.

But I've been comfortable with it. I just you know, I just want to feel like it's a legitimate challenge. It's legitimate to me if you don't see it in some cases and other times when you do.

Q. Can you recall a shot or two in your career which you wish you had the challenge system to throw in a challenge?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, there's a lot of them I believe in my head that were bad calls. There was one shocking one I had at Wimbledon one time second round against Tommy in the tiebreaker in the third set. It was 4 3. Somehow I came in in the tiebreaker. He hit a pass up the line. When it left the strings, it was out. I watched it go. It bounced three inches long and three inches wide. Three people missed that call: The baseliner, the sideline, and umpire. They showed it again.

You know when something has a lot of space in between the ball and the line, and it's not like that digital thing. If you can see it in slow motion, that's pretty extreme. That's one call I seem to never be able to forget.

Q. Tommy Haas?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes.

Q. Can you comment on the possibility of going to Chile in December to play an exhibition game?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know when that's going to happen. One of my luxuries that I get after this tournament is to go experience, hopefully, some parts of the world that I've always wanted to enjoy. At the same time, be able to share it with my family. I haven't spent much time in South America. Only been down there a couple of occasions.

Q. The possibility of playing an exhibition game

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah.

Q. is it possible?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, yeah, sure, it's possible.

Q. Would you like to play González, and then also visiting Chile for vacation?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes and yes.

Q. Would you break down from what you expect from Baghdatis.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you know, Darren watched him today. I practiced with him once. Obviously I watched him this year, his results in Australia and obviously Wimbledon. I mean, such a talent. One of those guys you'd pay to go watch, you know. It's good. He does a lot of good things out there. Moves well. Can really slap the forehand.

Never played against him. Match up is always an interesting dynamic to see. I'll have to play real well. He's playing some of the best tennis this year.

Q. Do you think tennis needs this many changes, like next year the round robin system coming?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think the game has gone too long without adjusting to the competitiveness of television. It's a competitive market out there. I think there's different ways to package the sport that will lend to the person that's sitting there with the remote control in their hand.

When you don't have to stop, you can just go to the next channel, you got to do something to make people want to stop. I think you can approach that on a lot of different levels. I think we're making some good decisions right now. Everything's moving together, which is the most important thing: everybody moving together.

Q. Andre, you have to be encouraged that your body held up for three and a half hours. Just looking long term through the tournament, how optimistic are you that you can go through a series of long matches?

ANDRE AGASSI: It would be the first time in a year if I manage to pull that off.

Q. But after tonight again, I mean, you held up well, tonight, so...

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I mean, I didn't play a lot this summer. I wanted to be here. I took an injection before LA. Didn't want to play other tournaments 'cause I started to worry about myself. How I pull up is a day to day issue.

But to be able to go the distance. I mean, when I was in Wimbledon, it was an hour fifteen, an hour thirty and I was having a hard time standing. To be out there for that long gives me hope for what I can push myself through right now. But how I recover is a different issue.

Q. You're down 4 Love in the third set. Do you say to yourself, God, I don't want to go out like this?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I wasn't thinking about going out down two sets to one. I thought I was going to lose that set.

Q. You did?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, yeah. It's hard not to think you're going to lose it. I mean, I'm still thinking two sets to one. I don't know how he's feeling physically. I don't know if I'm going to start getting the edge in the match, and then I could get a lot of confidence at the end of the match 2 1 in the fourth or fifth set. I was still going to push to do that.

But winning the third made life a lot easier.


Q. To share the spectacle with Billie Jean, sort of buildup to your coming out there, sort of an added opinion I can't answer?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think to open night session at the US Open is one of the greatest feelings in our sport. It's truly a compliment. It's one that I'm very appreciative of.

But then when you really look at what's happening here with this whole center honoring Billie Jean with her name on it, it's so well deserved. Some people do a lot and some people represent a lot. In her case, she gets the highest marks in both categories.

To be a part of this evening was very special. I felt like a part of it, which is nice.

Q. Would you like maybe one more year or two more years to play the senior tour?

ANDRE AGASSI: Ask me down the road. Right now I'm not thinking with stopping tennis to play tennis (smiling). I don't know. I've seen others do it.


Q. Rios says he would like to play against you.

ANDRE AGASSI: I would enjoy that. He never finished the third set last time we played (smiling).


Q. Does having 20,000 people on their feet standing at match point sort of make all the shots of this season worth it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Hindsight is 20/20. When you look at a year like I've had, it's easy to wish you didn't have to go through it. I needed to because for me I wanted to make sure I give everything I can and do this as long and hard as possible. To not compete this year, not try to get myself right, not try to get myself through it, I would feel like I was quitting more than retiring. As much pain as it's been, it's been worth it for me just to put myself in a position where I can have clarity in my own peace of heart, peace of mind in the decision I'm making because I believe it affects more than just me.

But certainly an additional moment like that out there is, yeah, that one I'll remember.
Dernière mise à jour : ( 20-09-2006 )
 
< Précédent   Suivant >