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Écrit par Jerome   
18-09-2006

THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS'94
Key Biscayne, FL

March 12, 1994

A. AGASSI/M. Petchey

6-2, 4-6, 6-4

AN INTERVIEW WITH

 

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. Andre, when you came over-- after you miss that sitter at the net, you came over and consoled him; was that a little bit of psyche going on there?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I was thanking him. I wasn't consoling him. That was like just a token of appreciation for missing that.

Q. How windy was it down there, Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was incredibly windy. The wind picked up considerably in the second set. At 2-All I missed a few first serves, he took a couple of second serves early, hit them big and came in. It was almost impossible to pass at that point. He got one service break and it was just -- I couldn't hit a clean return after that. The wind was moving around. He was serving a lot of 100 mile an hour serves that were into my body. It seemed like I never quite was in position for him. It's just one of those days, wind like that, everybody is equal out there. You just got to hope it goes your way.

Q. What did you know him about him beforehand?

ANDRE AGASSI: I knew a little bit about him. He is a serve-and-volleyer. He would be coming in off both his serves, coming in behind my second, and he likes to slap forehands and I knew-- I found out quite a bit.

Q. Any pain?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. How concerned were you as the match went on?

ANDRE AGASSI: I started getting very concerned because I couldn't really play my tennis. It was-- the wind became such a factor that it wasn't a question of really good tennis. It was just a question of hoping the ball bounced in the general vicinity of which he aimed it. Really, it was-- at one stage it felt like it was going to be a toss up.

Q. How do you know what is going to happen at that point with that kind of wind.

ANDRE AGASSI: My only goal at that stage was to try and stay as disciplined as possible and give myself the best chance.

Q. How is the wrist feeling?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is feeling really good. The best it has felt. It is getting better every day.

Q. Icing it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, just icing it.

Q. When you were serving at-- I guess 4-All, 30-All--

ANDRE AGASSI: Big forehand passer up the line?

Q. Yeah.

ANDRE AGASSI: Right.

Q. Did you think maybe he had some chances there that he didn't take advantage of?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was definitely a chance. That point in particular, I had to run down a good volley on his part, and execute a shot that is not easy to hit, forehand up the line, outside the doubles alley over the highest part of the net, and I just executed it well. I mean, he definitely had chances. He would have had to win the next point to get the game, obviously, but really, anything happens at that stage. I was just talking to some of the players inside the lockerroom. They all had the same comments - "everybody is equal out there." It is like, you know, you just kind of got to give yourself the best chance possible by staying mentally focused and keeping your feet moving because the ball is changing positions up 'till that very last second, yeah, I felt like he had chances. I felt like he had a few chances himself.

Q. How would you rate him as a player?

ANDRE AGASSI: To be honest, it is not easy to assess after today. I know that his serve was giving me a lot of trouble in the second and third set, but I think that was due to the wind more than it was to his serve, because I felt like I really had a groove on it until the wind picked up. But he made some incredible low volleys and half volleys, picked them up well. He is the kind of guy that is going to make you hit the shots to beat him. You got to make sure you are returning well, got to make sure you are passing well because he is going to put the pressure on you, and those guys are always tough to play against, but I have always enjoyed playing against them. They fit into my game well.

Q. Is it tougher this stage of your game where you are still coming back to a large extent and getting everything in the groove?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, that is right. It is a little bit more difficult -- a little few more obstacles for me to overcome here trying to get back to where it is I want to be, and it is going to be a long road, regardless of what happens, if I win the tournament or, you know, lose in the first round, I am preparing myself for a long road back, and looking long-term here, but nevertheless, I feel like I am playing well enough to have my game hit the level that it needs to hit to pull out these matches. So I am feeling pretty confident in that sense.

Q. If the wind persists like this, do you think that is going to be a disadvantage for you against a big hitter or is it the other way around?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, somebody who comes to the net a lot seems to have a slight advantage because they are making the guy from the baseline, you know, hit passing shots when the ball is moving around a lot. When you are at the net, you are cutting off, you are picking off the ball, it is the fastest pace, so it is never really moving quite as much. I think the wind tend to favor a person who comes to the net a lot. But then again it depends who it is. Like Edberg, he has such a high toss, seems like his service percentage drops way low, so it really depends who you are playing, and for me, I think the important thing is that I am moving well, my footwork is together because when it is windy out, it is-- that is probably the most crucial thing in my game to make sure I am really moving.

Q. While there is no pain in the wrist, do you have the pop on the strokes that you want right now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I feel like you know, my game is coming along at an incredible pace right now, and yeah, I feel great about where I am. I think, you know, there is no question in my mind I am going to get better and better every match I get to play.

Q. Specifically about the pace on the ball, do you feel like you are hitting the pace you want to hit with?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not necessarily in the consistency sense. I mean, I am not as comfortable as I have been in the past with hitting a hard amount of pace shot after shot after shot, but it is all there. I am just kind of putting it together; doing what I need to do. I am not trying to be at my best before I am even at 80%, so I am taking one step at a time.

Q. When you look back at the problems you had last year, was it all entirely due to the wrist or were there other factors that you can look back and say I wish I had done something a bit different?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think that last year with the wrist injury was probably the biggest factor was-- you know, I only played 13 tournaments and the tournaments-- half of those tournaments I played three-quarters of those tournaments, I played with pain. So it was definitely the biggest factor, and I think that you know, the maneuver that Nick pulled after Wimbledon was another factor that kind of affected me in a negative way. I mean, and that was a lot more personal than it was professional, but there was-- I think there is a couple of things-- I think those would be probably the top 2.

Q. How frustrating was it all?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was, you know, it was really a nightmare year for me. I mean, those are the kind of years that athletes dread, so I got through it and hopefully I have moved on in both senses, I have really-- my wrist is now 100% better. I am over, you know, I am really feeling good about where I am with my game, and the future of it, and so recovering from it, is just as rewarding as disappointing as the disappointment was last year.

Q. Was the enthusiasm and excitement back in your mind the first moment you went back on court after the injury or did it take a little while to come back? Was it one of those things where the moment you went back on court no more wrist trouble?

ANDRE AGASSI: I haven't actually felt that yet. My wrist is still taking a few minutes to warm-up, but getting back out on the court medically knowing that the wrist injury is done and it is only going to get better, getting back on the court, period, has been such a thrill for me, you know, I mean, I wanted to be on the court a lot a long time ago before the wrist surgery I wanted to be back on the court not to mention after it was real tough. Probably the hardest time I have been through professionally, and to get back out there really keeps things in perspective; you realize what it meant to you and what the game-- how important the game is to you, and you are just excited to be out there playing.

Q. How would you describe your relationship today with Nick Bollettieri?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, you know, Nick has been a friend of mine for ten years, and I think that in some cases it is-- friendships can be wounded and hurt and possibly even, you know, come to an end, but I don't think it has gotten there with me and Nick, I think I have just-- feeling extremely disappointed; lost a lot of respect for him and I think it is going to take time before I can get over that.

Q. Are you talking?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Oh, yeah, I have nothing-- it is not-- it is not vindictive, my feelings. It is just disappointed.

Q. Who do you work with now anybody that has taken his place yet?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have been with Fritz now who has been with me since I was 13 when I was at the academy. Helped me more from a training standpoint on the court, practicing, that sort of thing, he is not here with me this week, but I am definitely keeping a tight watch on my game and trying to understand what step I want to make now. I am not convinced a coach is the way for me to go. But assuming I come to that conclusion, I am going to be looking.

Q. Andre, I was reading that it was perhaps your inside out forehand that was causing the wrist problems?

ANDRE AGASSI: That gave me the most pain with my wrist. I don't know if it was causing it.

Q. Was that ever an option to alter that stroke or what about today, is it an option?

ANDRE AGASSI: After my wrist warms up, it doesn't hurt anymore at all. I mean, I'd give up the game before I'd give up my forehand. I don't think I'd quite enjoy the game the same.

Q. Andre, I sense that there is only so much you want to say about this Nick relationship - kind of wondering--

ANDRE AGASSI: Test me.

Q. Two questions in this. Looking ahead to the possible third round match with Boris, one just are you as excited about that match as maybe a lot of us are, and two, what about now that he is Nick's coach?

ANDRE AGASSI: I am excited about it to play Boris. I always seem to get real excited to play Boris because I have so much respect for his ability and for the what he has added to the game and a lot of -- it is something I am looking very forward to, you know, I mean, matches against Boris are ones that, you know, every time you play him, it could be the match that you remember the rest of your life. Always something spectacular seems to happen out there, and I am very excited about it. I think it is kind of strange in a sense with Nick being with Boris, really it has become such-- professionally speaking it has become a very small issue to me, and, you know, I don't know. I really don't think about that side of it much. It will be weird seeing Nick in another box, I guess, but in some ways it will feel good.

Q. A few years ago Courier faced you on a court with Bollettieri sitting in your box and he felt very strongly at that time wanted badly to beat you because of that. Do you feel the same way when you are going to go on against Boris, that you want to show something special to Nick that you are still got something?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. No. I don't have to prove anything to Nick. No, no, no, I mean, you know, ten years with him he knows what I am capable of as well as I do. That is no-- that is not it. I mean, I think Jim felt a little differently because he was at the academy and Nick was his coach as well. I think that was the kind of dynamics there. But with Boris, it is just me and Boris out there. I mean, I don't see why Nick is getting any press over this.

Q. Is Brooke Shields going to be here this week?

ANDRE AGASSI: This week? What is today, Saturday? No, tomorrow is Sunday.

Q. What was the bow at the end to the crowd, just what prompted that?

ANDRE AGASSI: About 15,000 people clapping.
 
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