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Écrit par Jerome   


Flushing Meadows, New York, NY

September 5, 1992

A. AGASSI/J. Siemerink

6-2, 6-3, 6-3




Q. Did you yell, "My goodness" at the umpire?

ANDRE AGASSI: "My goodness"? At what stage of the match?

Q. I don't know, but I heard that you yelled, "My goodness."

ANDRE AGASSI: Possibly, when I hit -- possibly, when he said that I--

Q. When you hit the net?

ANDRE AGASSI: Right. I thought he was saying I touched the cord on the other side before the point was over, but he said my foot actually hit the net. I said, "my goodness." I really thought I got screwed there for a few seconds, then he told me I hit the net, then I had felt better.

Q. He didn't give you a warning for "My goodness"?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I was thinking about spitting on him at the changeover but changed my mind.

Q. What about your general thoughts about the match? Has it still has been in focus? Still cruising right along?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it is not easy to go out here and to handle these guys in three sets, and to go out there and do it, it really shows that I am staying focused and my mind is where it needs to be to win this tournament.

Q. You say "win this tournament." What do you think you have to do to win this tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: You have to play your best at the right time. You can't play it too early. You can't play it too late. You got to go out there and know when it is time to shift gears, shift your ball and hope that when you shift your ball, it is there for you.

Q. Andre, at this point, how do you feel compared to how you felt at Wimbledon, at this point? I mean, do you feel better? The same?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is quite similar, you know, Wimbledon, playing Rostagno on the third day, I did what I had to do out there. I felt like I was returning well. I felt like I was making him work for every point he had. Quite similar out here today. So it is right where I needed to be, if Wimbledon is any indication.

Q. How much did you actually practice? I know you had the tonsillitis problem and all of that; in terms of practicing before you came in here.

ANDRE AGASSI: A lot more before I did Wimbledon, I promise you that.

Q. Which isn't saying much.

ANDRE AGASSI: Possibly not. You are right. I was practicing for about a good week. Not -- the first part of that week wasn't hard, because I was kind of slowly getting back into it. But after Cincinnati, I took that and the next week completely off. Ten days, and then I practiced the week before this.

Q. Have you played Costa, and what do you know about him?

ANDRE AGASSI: I played him on clay this year, earlier this year in Hamburg where he beat me in three sets. I lost to a lot of people earlier this year. I wasn't really playing as well as I could have. I think he is a clay-court player, who likes to not be rushed when he is hitting his shots. I think the hardcourt will be to my advantage a little bit. There is no question that he is an adaptable kind of player, as well. He is not limited to just the clay courts. He swings big at the ball, so, you know, I'll just see if I am going to keep the pressure on him. Hopefully, I can stay as focused as I have been.

Q. What does "focused" mean? I keep hearing everybody is focused this year; everybody is "focused."

ANDRE AGASSI: Focused, or concentrated. It is just, for me, it just means keeping your eyes set on your purpose out there, serve points. So, many times you can lose that when you are out there and, you know, all of a sudden you get a little lackadaisical. Staying focused means staying focused on your goal; what your purpose is, whoever you are playing. With me today, it was just a question of 100% on every ball, on every ball, and that is what I mean when I say focus.

Q. After winning Wimbledon has your attitude about tennis changed?

ANDRE AGASSI: I believe some. I really think I am stepping on the court now; just playing really for the enjoyment of it. I don't feel the pressure that was building after those Grand Slam finals. I wanted to kind of sweep that under the carpet and pretend like that pressure wasn't there. It is not easy when you have never won and had opportunities to. After winning it, I believe I am out here relaxed playing my tennis and I am extremely positive now. I am just doing my best to give back to the sport, because I feel like I have gotten more than what I would ever hope for.

Q. How much did pressure in the past hurt you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it was a big factor. I think it was possibly one of the reasons why maybe I started off so poorly this year. I was really negative. I was constantly doubting myself. I went through, if you remember press conferences earlier this year, I kept on saying over and over again, you know, I am doubting too much. I am starting to second guess myself, and winning Wimbledon, you know, there is no question that the pieces are there. You just don't get lucky and win it. The pieces are there. I had never -- the rest of my career, I wouldn't doubt if I have the ability to be up there, and that is something.

Q. How many shirts do you suppose you have tossed into the stands and how many do you bring out there and does Nike give you enough that you can lose a few every match?

ANDRE AGASSI: And believe it or not, they actually pay me to wear them too.

Q. How many have you thrown up there, any idea?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I don't. I guarantee Nike sells more than I throw.

Q. How do you feel about Jimmy Connors losing last night?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't have any specific feelings towards Jimmy when it comes to losing. I'd think that it is just -- to me, it was another tennis match, and I thought Lendl handled himself with class. I was a little disappointed at Jimmy's post match synopsis of Lendl's play. I thought Lendl played extremely well. I thought Lendl especially late this summer has been playing as well as he ever had. I played Lendl in his prime, and I played him a few weeks back. He is hitting the ball as strong as he can hit it. He certainly did last night. I think it is possible that Jimmy's comments were out of frustration because I can't see why he would say that, you know, Lendl isn't playing even close to what he used to. So that is--

Q. How about emotional level that it might have been Connors' last U.S. Open, do you feel sorry for him, or he is moving on to the next level?

ANDRE AGASSI: At 40 years old, he has had his fill. There is nothing to feel sorry about. There really isn't. He has done a lot and he has gotten a lot and he has gave a lot. You know, whatever he does from this point on in his career isn't going to change what people think about him.

Q. You seemed more relaxed with the media; you seem more perceptive in handling your questions; talk a little bit about that. Is that something you worked on or is it maturation?

ANDRE AGASSI: Something you guys forced me to do. I think you guys are much more relaxed too. I think it is mutual. I think Wimbledon kind of validated me to a lot of people. I think it put aside a lot of doubts that people have had justifiably some, I think it allowed me to be even a little bit more objective. I think my opinions and my perceptions in the past might have gotten written off as being too subjective. I think now people realize that you know, when I have an opinion about something, it is because it is what I feel about it. That is as far as it goes. Everybody is getting to know me a little bit better. They are knowing what they do need to waste time writing about and what they don't.

Q. The fact that McEnroe sort of stood up for you publicly among the other players, and said you know, this guy can play, so forth, do you think that maybe rubbed off as well; that that helped legitimize you too as well as the Wimbledon victory?

ANDRE AGASSI: There is no question, any time you have somebody who has done so much for the game, say, such positives things about you, it is the ultimate compliment for an athlete to have one of his peers think highly of him. And it is mutual between me and John and I will never forget him for that. I will never forget you know, the times that he has defended me when everybody else hasn't. There is also a few in the media that came to my defense when there is so many reasons to get on me. There is also a few in the media who never was on my side and still isn't. There is also a few in the media who were kind of against me; now they are on my bandwagon. You kind of know where to stick people and where to box them in, and you try to treat them all the same outside those lines. I feel like John is somebody that has my utmost respect, personally and professionally for a lot of reasons, and he, in my opinion, is in a space inside my life that very few people can get into. Because you have to prove that you are not out for anything but for the good of sports, the good of man, just-- you have to be that kind of quality person. I think John is.

Q. You say you didn't really watch Connors' match with any kind of feeling. When John plays, do you now watch him with some emotion?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. There is no question. If I am home, if I am home watching TV, or if I am home and there is a tournament going on and John is playing I will stop, whatever I am doing and watch, and pull for him. You know, I guess only emotion I had during Connors' match was same emotion that I experienced or put myself in a position -- I played Jimmy here two years in a row under those same circumstances in the quarter finals, I think, where the crowd was a little bit more riled up. So there was a certain amount of feeling I was having. I was excited. I had my pizza sitting there and soda and I was enjoying myself. But as far as, you know, me, oh, darn, Connors lost or, oh, darn, Lendl lost, no, it is a question of two professionals going at it.

Q. If John wins or loses it matters to you, yes?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, for his sake it sure does. Sure does. Absolutely.

Q. Was there a time, Andre, when you were a little bit confused about whether you were a billboard or a champion?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I always you know, knew my reasons for being in this game and I think -- I think coming into the screen at 16 years old, and you know, and being 17 years old and all of a sudden, you know, you are -- you know, you are popular and you are turning into somewhat of a celebrity and people were starting to recognize you everywhere and the pressures of being in the spotlight, I think to a large degree I had found myself in certain positions, and I think the media and the public might have perceived me as concocting it all. I used to say back then you are giving me too much credit. I wish I was that smart to do that. I found myself in a lot of positions you know, with the media, with endorsements, with the way I handled myself on the court, it was nothing that I concocted, so, I never doubted myself, because I always knew my intentions. I always knew what was really inside of me. Unfortunately, not a lot of other people do. But I think the emotion, I showed after Wimbledon, I think revealed to people, what it means to me, I think you know, it was one of those rare moments in sports where the fan can actually identify or capture, you know, a moment that the athlete is having, and understand him. People say you know, image is everything, and they want to stick that on me. That is not really me. They want to see "just do it." That is not really me. They want to see, you know, Golden Graham, that is not me. There is very few things that are in me, that people get a chance to experience, whether the public eye is true with everybody. I think winning Wimbledon or how I expressed myself or found myself feeling afterwards was giving people that something inside of me that normally they don't have the opportunity of seeing. I never doubled myself, no.

Q. Would you feel now having the leverage to say, even though Nike obviously has treated you very well and these other companies, to say, you know, you know what, I don't want that to be the label on me; that if "just do it" isn't me, I don't want to be a part of that, or image?

ANDRE AGASSI: There is nothing-- there is no commercial I could do that is me. That is my point. And I have to ask myself a question, you know, I have to say, what is this offering the game. Am I corrupting anything or am I just adding something. I always felt like I was just adding something.

Q. Barbara Streisand and Michael Bolton were out there?


Q. Would that have turned your head a little bit more a couple of years ago. Is it something that is just outside the game, and really the game is the most important thing, and before did you find yourself looking at that as a big deal or bigger deal than it is?

ANDRE AGASSI: Possibly a couple of years ago, I might not have been as focused on what I was doing for a lot of reasons. But, you know, I knew what I had to do out there today and it was business. But they are here because they are friends of mine. And so, like you know, Wendy is sitting in the audience or Nick or Bill or Fill, you know, they are there too and they are just people that I know real well, so I didn't find myself struggling with that at all. Maybe a couple of years ago, you know, if they were friends of mine, I do not think I would have been distracted by it. But it is possible that if they just kinds of showed up, that I would have found more reason to kind of have fun.

Q. Andre, how do you feel about playing Grand Slam Cup at the end of the year?

ANDRE AGASSI: I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to it.

Q. Thank you.
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