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2006-08-31 / US OPEN - vs Baghdatis Convertir en PDF Version imprimable Suggérer par mail
Écrit par Jerome   
20-09-2006

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Congratulations, Andre.

ANDRE AGASSI: Thanks.

Q. You gave us all something we've never seen before. How are you feeling? You looked a little limpy there.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you know, the cool down is just the worst part, you know. I knew it going out there. I can give it, you know, three, four hours. I mean, when it's in the state that it was after the injection. But it's just afterwards, I just don't know what to expect anymore. It's just not getting easier.

Q. What was your feeling leading 4 Love in the fourth set? See him coming back, he got better and better.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, I was pretty relaxed at that point to say the least. I was comfortable I could put the match away from that point. But that game, I felt real relaxed. Geez, he really upped it. He really played a few spectacular points.

Once he got one break back, now he's forcing me to have to serve out the match. The whole dynamics changed. While it seems like you're a long ways up at 4 0, you're not. You're a few sloppy points away from -- or a few great points on his end -- from having to serve out the match. Anything can happen at that point.

Sure enough, he just went with the momentum, took his chances, hit his shots, and just played better than I did from that point through the end of the fourth.

Q. Where did the nerves come from that you mentioned after the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, you know, there's just a couple points there where I could have maybe hit a bit out more on my shots, you know. I mean, it's hard to know at that stage. You know, you're getting some errors from the guy, so you walk that line of not taking too many unnecessary risks.

But then you regret sort of dumping a few in the net. I did that. The 4 2 game was probably the telling point there. I played a couple real tentative points.

Q. Can you judge that atmosphere for any other atmosphere that you've had in your career? Is it too hard?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, yeah, it just seems like it's getting better and better, you know. I mean, I don't just keeps getting topped, and the feeling of that kind of enthusiasm, it was my head was ringing when I came in the tunnel afterwards. It was so noisy.

You know, I know I'm gonna go out there and work hard and certainly try, but you're not guaranteed these moments or that moment. To feel it out there was, you know, something I can keep with me forever.

Q. Gil said it wasn't so much about physical fitness per se, or about tennis, but it was about you embracing everything tonight that was important to you. Could you talk about that, that comment? And did you feel that you had to leave everything you had out there on the court?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I certainly feel that way, you know. I certainly feel that way. I mean, listen, I've lived a dream for 21 years. I've lived a dream. It's gonna be impossible for me to be disappointed with a result when you have that sort of support and feeling out there. This is why I chose here.

Q. And you have pride yourself in your own fighting spirit to tough out a tough, tough experience like that on court?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I take pride in doing it. I do feel like I'm done proving a few things to myself. That's a good feeling.

Q. Given the big context, do you consider this to have been an upset?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I suppose you should ask some sports bookies for that, right, or the oddsmakers (smiling).

It seems that way. I mean, it's hard for me to be objective about that part of it because I always feel like if I play well I'm still gonna present problems and the match can maybe go either way.

But, yeah, there's no -- there's no guarantee on how I'm gonna be physically. There's no guarantee on, you know, how I can come back after three hours and 40 minutes in my first match. So with all the things on the plate, yeah, I felt like I needed to overcome.

Q. As good as it feels out there, you're obviously paying a significant physical price. Is it worth it? Are you wondering if it's worth it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes and no. It is worth it, and I'm not wondering. This is it. This is it. This is it for me. I mean, where am I going from here?

Q. It's tough for you to walk down the hall.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, listen, it's never been easy, you know. It's difficult now for so many reasons, but it's also it's also more inspiring now for many reasons. I mean, you know, I don't get to feel this. I haven't felt this. My whole career I've been striving to achieve things that I never believed I could do, you know.

I'm here now just taking it all in. That feels real special to me and really worth it.

Q. You said the other day that you surprised yourself. Are you surprised today for what you did?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I haven't played like this in a year. So for it to happen here, I am surprised. I couldn't be more thankful for the timing of these two matches.

Q. During the fifth set changeover when he was getting his treatment, were you kind of trying to rejuvenate yourself mentally as well as physically to close out the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I knew he was struggling physically. That was pretty apparent. You never want to see somebody have real medical issues out there, and you're never sure when it crosses that line. So that's an uncomfortable place to be in, you know.

At the same time, you're trying to maintain the integrity of the competition, you know. It's part of it, you know. It is part of it.

But when I saw he was really struggling, it was it gets more difficult to concentrate on what you're doing, because from one standpoint all you really need to do is keep the ball in play.

And from another standpoint, you know, you haven't got there because you're just keeping the ball in play. You get nervous. You get sometimes indecisive on which shot you're gonna play.

Q. In the ninth game of the fifth there were four times when Baghdatis was one point away from serving for the match. Did you even in the heat of it, does your mind ever wander to, you know, thinking with the way the flow of it had been going that, Maybe this is it, maybe you're not gonna come through?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, that's always a possibility. I mean, I'm aware of that showing up here. But you play for those moments. You know, this was would I have been disappointed if I had lost? Yeah, I would have been disappointed not to come back again.

At the same time, how can you be disappointed when it's all sort of surreal? I mean, it's hard to be disappointed. So I felt very relaxed.

You know, you're serving at deuce and you're saying, Okay, just don't do anything dumb. Then you're down breakpoint and you get mad at yourself for doing something dumb, and you go, Okay, now just hit your shot. You do, and so you're back to deuce.

You play these games with yourself mentally, and, you know, they're games I'm very familiar with. I got through it.

Q. You've won so many big matches at Slams, early round matches, too. Coming off court tonight, are you thinking to yourself, If I can play like this, I'm in contention here now?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. I'm not thinking that way, no. I'm thinking about my next one, you know. This is these last two have taken all of me, you know. I mean, you can be incredibly fit and not prepared, you know.

If your body is not letting you do something, you know, whether it's playing in pain or whether it's, you know, getting sick, you know; anything can happen out there. You got to just, you know, treat each match with a great amount of respect and urgency. That's how I'm approaching it.

Q. What do you think about this guy, Marcos Baghdatis, his charisma? Is he someone who is going to follow up for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's a guy like that that makes you that makes it easier to walk away from the game because you see what kind of hands it's in. He's just a true professional with a lot of style and a lot of charisma and a lot of talent.

Q. You obviously have a great deal of satisfaction on your performance here at the Open within yourself. Do you have a sense of joy that you're probably touching countless thousands in the sporting and general community by your performance?

ANDRE AGASSI: I do hope for that. I always hope for that. You know, for me, it's not about my experiences in life as much as it is about creating experiences for others. That's where I find a lot of joy, whether it's through my foundation or whether it's through the vehicle of tennis.

It means a lot to me to make a difference in somebody's day when they take the time to come watch tennis and watch me play.

Q. Is there anything special or particular that you do before a match for luck, just like enter the court with the right foot or something like that before the match and after?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no. I drink lots of, lots of water.

Q. You described that ninth game pretty well: dumb and then wonderful and then dumb and all those deuces and breakpoints.

ANDRE AGASSI: I have a way with words, huh, Bud (smiling)?

Q. Will that game stay with you, do you think? I know it will with me.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I felt that before. Just, you know, that feeling, it was very familiar. I was very experienced with dealing with it, yet you sort of feel so helpless with it, you know.

You sort of get this thought of any of your peers watching, and you know what they're thinking. They're thinking, Why you playing dumb?

And some of them are laughing; some of them are, you know, cheering. So you feel all of it. It's a whole sort of jacuzzi of emotions.

Q. Are you able to enjoy it not as a spectator because you're playing in it but are you able to enjoy the drama of what's going on, or will you have to watch it later on a tape or something?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, in most cases I prefer to live without the drama (smiling). But just wouldn't seem right here.

Q. You used to get on yourself pretty hard for your volleys and your dropshots. It seems now at least, in this tournament, those are two shots you're owning. It took you to age 36 to improve those consistently?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I'm still improving, huh? What am I doing? I should play another year, right (smiling)?

Well, you know, I have to listen, dropshots can be bail out shots, there's no question about it. No matter how good you hit dropshots, you play it at the wrong time and you're bailing out of the point and your opponent knows it.

I have to establish somebody respecting my backhand short crosscourt, deep and hard crosscourt, and down the line. Once I get them not knowing which one of those three I'm gonna hit, it just opens up a shot I'm comfortable playing. That's a whole different animal if you're playing it on those terms.

Coming in and volleying is a difficult thing for me 'cause I don't have a great lunging ability. So I really have to make sure I'm coming in on my terms. You know, I don't cover a lot of court. I'm 5'10" and three quarters. When I come to the net I'm 5'7". Can't have it all, right?

Q. Will you be able to sleep tonight, or are you too jacked up? You'll be thinking about it?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. I don't know. I hope I can. I hope I can because your body needs sleep.

But it's gonna be hard.

Q. Your back hurt?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it doesn't hurt when I lie down. When I lie down, it's actually the most comfortable. I actually feel like a million dollars when I'm lying down. Then I stand up and go, That's what I remembered last night.

Q. Can you talk about the cortisone injection?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, we're making some adjustments now, some antiinflammatory options. Believe me, I'll exhaust all possibilities short of taking too many risks for long term. I do want to make sure I give myself the best look here, but I don't want to compromise the rest of my life.

Q. There's certain nights when sports crosses over into theater. Did you sense that tonight, or are you just so in the match that you when he's lying down on the court and leaning on the side, can you just see the emotions happening in the stadium?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you can. I don't know if you can really appreciate it in its full context. First of all, my scope is a very narrow one. You know, it's focused on him at that moment. It's focused on the ball in the next moment. It's a very narrow scope.

You do have a sense something's happening, and you do sort of look forward to taking it in once you're done with the battle. You do feel like if you slip too much into appreciating the theater, you know, you're gonna end up being a prop.

Q. Will you miss these press conferences?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'll miss you guys. I will. I really will.

BUD COLLINS: Release this man, Nick.
Dernière mise à jour : ( 20-09-2006 )
 
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