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Écrit par Jerome   
18-09-2006

UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION

1992 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York, NY

September 9, 1992

J. COURIER/A. Agassi

6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-4

INTERVIEW WITH

 

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. Did the stories in the tabloids about Barbara Streisand affect your game?

ANDRE AGASSI: I haven't heard anything.

Q. There was a story--

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't give a -- I don't care about that.

Q. How big did he serve and what kind of play did that have in his victory?

ANDRE AGASSI: Big part. Jim and I relied so much on our groundstrokes as our strengths, his first serve seemed to pull him off a few more free points than mine does. I think that helps him out in the long run. But I can't say that is what did it for him. I had my chances out there. I had numerous breakpoints throughout in the fourth set. Third set we had a close game, when he broke me, then he kind of took the lead, and you know, so I had my chances. Just, things didn't fall my way.

Q. You saved something over twenty break points; how much confidence did that give you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, you know, I think he saved a lot too. We were just fighting the whole serve out there, and you know, he held that one extra time.

Q. Do you guys think you can hit the ball any harder on a consistent basis; two guys like yourself?

ANDRE AGASSI: I plan on it.

Q. How hard is it out there, when you guys are hitting the ball that hard at each other?

ANDRE AGASSI: It takes a heck of a lot out of you. Really does. I think -- I think, you know, -- I beat Jim a few times in a row a little while back. Really, I think I was stronger than I am, physically. I was working out a lot. I got a lot stronger, physically and then, you know, I started questioning if I was getting too strong. I had a slow start, and 91 wasn't great for me, then, this year so I laid off the weights and now I step on the court with him and physically he is stronger than I am. I don't mean endurance-wise. I could have gone another set out there. I just mean, he is just physically stronger. He is bigger and he is working hard. And that is my next move. I get out there and I got to get stronger. I still could have had the match, anyhow, I feel, but I think that is going to make a big difference. It's not a question of hitting the ball any harder, it is just a question of doing it for a longer period of time.

Q. So you are saying his confidence is not a factor? Physical fitness was not a factor, like, I mean--

ANDRE AGASSI: No, not at all. You can't hit the shots that I was coming up with if you are physically tired. I was running across the court and ripping winners back the long way. I was fine, physically, but it is just more on a groundstroke level. The strength, not the endurance, the strength.

Q. You were down a break in the second set and then 6-3 in the tiebreaker, did you have a let-down in the third set?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I don't know much of a let-down. He held serve the first game, then I was down Love-40. I fought back to a long deuce game, then he pulled out the game, and Jim is kind of player, like you saw when he served for the match, once he gets that lead, it really is tough to slow him down. So I had a hard time slowing him down in that fourth set. There is not a lot you can do-- excuse me, in that third set.

Q. Did that code violation affect your game?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, I lost a few games because of that. I got real frustrated, threw my racket and because it bounced off the wood part of the chair, and went a little ways after that, that is why I got a warning. I asked him if I had thrown it and gone in the bag, which was what I intended, would I have gotten a warning? He said, no. It did not make sense. I got frustrated.

Q. Is he clearly the best player in the world right now; Jim Courier?

ANDRE AGASSI: That is tough to say, because, I mean, over the long hall, yeah. Week after week he seems-- he is ranked one, so that earns him that recognition. But I think that he plays, no question, some of the best tennis, but it's tough to say, because, you know, like he is going into his next round, and to be honest, I would have to, you know, take Pete for the match. I think Pete kind of-- it is easier for a guy like Pete to play a guy like Jim, because is he a serve and volleyer, the big serve, and I think he takes Jim out of his rhythm. So he might be playing the best tennis, but that doesn't-- that doesn't mean a lot when it comes to winning tournaments.

Q. Andre, you are considered one of the best returners of the serve. Yet today he served more than 20 aces. Was he serving better than usual?

ANDRE AGASSI: He was hitting some big serves; not much I can do. It is a lot different for me to return a serve when a guy is staying back and has a lot of fire power behind it. You know, all these other big servers they come in behind it; give me a target when the other big servers stay back; they are not as devastating as Jim is. There is little pressure. You have to return the serve or he is going to control the point.

Q. Any pluses from this or is it a big disappointment?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. No. It is positive. My concern is fight out here; give it my best; I did that. I think I made more out of this than what could have happened, and you know, even though I had my chances, I mean, it is never easy to lose. But I had my-- I see my sights. I am going to work harder and get stronger and I am here for another ten years. I am sure Jim is too. We are going to have many chances to play each other. I think that intensity of a match out there, kind of crystallizes the competition that they are going to be seeing from us for a while. So there is nothing to get discouraged about. Doesn't feel good to lose any time, but I am positive. I mean, I am going to have plenty of chances at Jim and this tournament. I really wanted to win this one, but it wasn't there for me.

Q. Any of the talk in the tabloids, has that been a distraction?

ANDRE AGASSI: I haven't heard anything yet.

Q. The way Jim plays, is there any one tougher mentally right now in the game? He seems to be so relentless?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, that is you know, that is a big strength of his, but again, that is saying a lot because I mean, he has his-- he is human, too. I mean, he has his moments where he is not that way, I mean, again, a lot has to do with who he is playing and the circumstances. I mean, anybody can get discouraged. They need reasons too. I don't think neither of us had a reason to get discouraged out there, so it is easy to stay mentally tough. There is no question he relies on that as a strength.

Q. At that point where you fought off three set points to win the tiebreaker, how many other players in the world could then turn it around like he did in that following set, not get discouraged?

ANDRE AGASSI: How many?

Q. Yes.

ANDRE AGASSI: Seven or eight.

Q. You said you were going to go back and work on your game even harder. What one or two aspects of your game?

ANDRE AGASSI: I want to get stronger. I think you are going to see a big difference in my physical strength, and again it is not-- I don't mean endurance. I mean, I haven't had a problem with that. Played five sets through Wimbledon. I was ready for a fifth set here, if it had gone my way. I feel fine endurance-wise, but I still-- I need to get stronger. I need to be able to hit that ball as hard as I do a little easier because I feel over the longhaul, that paid off for Jim, you know, somewhere along the line he got stronger than me. And so, I am going to put attention to that.

Q. You think that was mostly physical?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, he is physically stronger. I want to qualify that. It doesn't mean that I feel like I can't go the distance. I think that is different when you play a guy like Edberg, you know, it is a lot different than playing Jim. Edberg will make you go the distance, but Jim you are going to need to rise to the occasion physically on every ball because everything is so heavy and powerful. I feel like you know, I had an edge on him for a while physically, and I think you know, he has one on me now for sure. He is stronger than I am. I want to get out there and get stronger. I feel like there is room for it now. I feel like a lot of my doubts are gone. I could get stronger.

Q. In the past you were lifting a lot of weights and you were a little bit bulkier. Did you cut back on that?

ANDRE AGASSI: That's exactly why, yeah, because I had cut back because, you know, mentally I wasn't winning matches. I think I was trying to get rid of all of variables. Maybe it is saying -- maybe I am getting too bulky. I did cut back so -- But I think, you know, I answered all the questions I needed to answer this summer. And now I know that I can just start adding things. I don't have to-- I have a tendency to go to extremes with a lot of things, but now I am going to apply my weights training in a very positive way to get me stronger and fitter, and if I do, you know, watch out, I will be out there a long time. I am excited to do that.

Q. When you say, you know, you see my sights, you see what you have to do, you obviously want to become number one. Do you have to learn how to beat Courier to become number one?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not necessarily. No, I mean, I don't want to -- I don't want to be the best unless I can meet the best. Technically you don't have to -- technically I could lose to, you know, Courier, Sampras, and Edberg, every time I played them and still be one. But I don't -- I am not sure how much there is to being number one, you know, especially with the ranking, the way the ranking system is. I think there is -- I think the ideas in winning these big tournaments, I experience that at Wimbledon, and there is no question now, even when you listen to Jim talk about being number one or you listen to Monica talk about being number one - not that I listen to her really - but when you hear them it is kind of anticlimactic, you got to fight to stay up there, then what, then what, number one, yeah, that is fine, but, you know, I want to come out here to beat these guys. It's competition that keeps me going. It is not the weight on number one. It's sort of saying next time I play Jim what is going to happen. So that is what keeps me going, the competition. I don't think number one is it. Now, I am going to want that before I retire just to say I had it, but probably for no other reason.

Q. Do you feel that you have to do all these things just to beat him that you can beat everybody else, you are playing well, Edberg, Becker, and so forth the way you are right now?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think Jim is tougher for me to beat at this point than most other guys. But that is certainly doesn't mean I couldn't. I mean, he was just a few points away from a fifth set out there. That is not -- I don't feel that way. I feel like I get my wins over Jim. I feel I can beat most of the guys most of the time, but it is -- again, it is bringing out the best in me what I can do to get me even better and stronger. There is no question that Jim is tougher for me to beat than most other guys. There is no question. I think, you know, he doesn't look forward to playing me either. He finds it tough playing me too. He has gotten the best of me. It is going to be a long career for both of us, so it is time to start pushing things in that direction.

Q. Andre, what have you learned this summer that you can maybe take with you in the future?

ANDRE AGASSI: That is a big statement. I think what I have learned has been more from an emotional standpoint. Getting over that hump at Wimbledon was something I will never forget. It has allowed me to come out here and get and just love doing it. I do not think I have ever felt that way. I think I have always felt that pressure to have to win to prove something. Out here today, I didn't feel the pressure to have to win. I felt the joy of competing and playing, and that is something that I haven't felt ever. So except when I first turned pro, and so it is not so much what I learned. It is more what I have experienced and now I feel like the lid is off my potential. I feel like now I can really start pushing myself to new heights.

Q. Does it make it easier to accept this loss?

ANDRE AGASSI: Does what?

Q. Winning Wimbledon, you say the pressure is off you now.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it does make it easier because if I hadn't won Wimbledon, it is another missed opportunity for a Grand Slam. But, even though, I got beat regardless of if I'd won Wimbledon or not, you still feel that way. I don't feel like it was a missed opportunity. I felt like, you know, it didn't go for me. And there is times that it will and times that it wouldn't. So it does make it easier.

Q. You have played night matches before here. Was the mood any different for this match than before?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think people were really excited for it. I think-- I mean, I was hearing the buildup on TV about us playing. It made me want to buy a ticket and sit down and watch it. I was the one having to go out there. I think everybody was really looking forward to a good match. I think they saw one.

Q. You have played so much better than your ranking since the French. Is it kind of disappointing that this had to be a quarter?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is disappointing because I think Jim would even admit that that match should have earned a spot in the finals or maybe the championship, but that is the way it goes. There is guys ranked ahead of me, and I can't bitch about that. I have to, you know, get my ranking where you know, it deserves a B, wherever that is. It's going to get there, trust me. I have done real poorly this time last year and early last year I have plenty opportunities to get my ranking where it belongs. To win the tournament, you got to beat the best of them. So if I am beating Jim in the quarters, finals, once you win a Grand Slam, you don't settle for anything but winning it. So it is disappointing, but by the same token, there is not much you can do about it. You got to accept it.

Q. Andre, do you think you need work on your serve or do you think it's not a key for your game now, to get to the top?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think that is a big factor is my first serve. I feel like my second serve is as good as anybody's. It doesn't seem like people hurt me on my second serve that much. It's my first serve that I can afford help, by winning a few extra easy points. That would be nice. I think that will come with a little more physical strength, and a little more work at it.

Q. Andre, that second serve ace he got on you late was that especially hard or especially low placed?

ANDRE AGASSI: There is no question when he tossed that second serve up he was feeling it was do or die situation. He is down double breakpoint, so he did hit it harder than a normal second serve. You have got to give him credit. He is down Love-40 and he came up with for the next five points, four of them were big serves, earlier in the match, you know, I had him 15-30 and he hit three first big serving that really paid off for him. More power to him. If he can serve like that, you know, let him do it. I mean, it just makes me want to raise my level.

Q. Thank you very much.
 
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