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Écrit par Jerome   
18-09-2006

THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS'94
Key Biscayne, FL

March 18, 1994

A. AGASSI/P. Rafter

6-2, 6-4

AN INTERVIEW WITH

 

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. Still on course?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, still on course. This has been an incredible week for me in so many ways and it just seems every day is getting better.

Q. It's good to know.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I appreciate that.

Q. How is the wrist?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's doing its job. It's going to need a few days of rest after this tournament, but I'll be fine for one more.

Q. Does it actually hurt while you're playing?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, it warms up and then it's fine. It's 100%. I warm-up right before the match and its 100% painfree, but then when it cools down it stiffens up and that's the tough part.

Q. Are you as excited as coming to play Pete in the finals as I suspect most the people watching the match are and in anticipation of it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, sure, sure. Pete and I have we've had some pretty entertaining matches in the past, it's just -- it's great, it's really expulsive tennis when we play, you know, I'm really excited about it, you know, I want to make him earn this, you know, earn defending this title here.

Q. Do you sometimes wish you could hit returns?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, tonight I certainly felt great about my return and my passing shots. If I'm returning that way, it really allows me to serve a lot better. It's really a key point to my game.

Q. Did you see the match between Pete and Jim Courier?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, the whole thing.

Q. Both players said that neither of them were playing really well, it could have gone either way. What do you think of that, Pete didn't think he was on his game tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think with Pete and Jim there are different elements that are involved; I mean, they've grown up together, they've been great friends for a period of time, you know, I don't know where they stand now, but they're both a little tentative when they play each other. Sometimes that can bring the best in your game and sometimes it can bring out the worse, but it always seems to bring out a competitive match and that's basically what it is. I'm certainly not expecting Pete to go out Sunday and not feel good about his game, you know, there is no question he is going to rise to the occasion.

Q. Pete talked the other night about how a lot of times he chooses just to stay in his room because he doesn't want to be bothered going out to restaurants and all the attention, and he certainly hasn't cornered as much attention as you have over the years. How easy is it for you when you want to fade away and melt, can you go to a mall and restaurant and not be recognized?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have to shave, put up my hair up in a hat, take my earrings out, don't wear any Nike and walk with my toes going out.

Q. So how often do you do that?

ANDRE AGASSI: So basically I only -- basically, you know, it leaves me in a very awkward position. I mean, it's definitely not comfortable, I mean, to walk that way -- no, I'm kidding. It's not comfortable, but it's very important to me to maintain a certain amount of normalcy in my life, and the last thing I want to do is just become some kind of recluse because, you know, I don't want to deal with people. It's -- you can look at things two ways, and when you go out you can be bothered and inconvenienced by it or you can be, you know, or you can take it as a compliment and feel good about it. I just do my best to stay normal. I like going to the mall. I like going to movies. I like going out to eat. I like being among people, and it's important for me not to lose that.

Q. When was the last time you did this, as you, and didn't get recognized; do you remember?

ANDRE AGASSI: And didn't get recognized? You mean like even once?

Q. Yes, do you remember that in the recent?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. What about once?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. Andre, give me your impressions and opinions of Pat?

ANDRE AGASSI: Patrick is an incredible athlete with a little more maturity to his game, you know, it's really hard to tell how far he can get, I mean, potentially he can become a very, you know, strong contender to win these tournaments. I mean, that kind of hand speed and that kind of ability, he makes some errors off his groundstrokes, which, you know, Pete used to do, and so he can adjust that and work on his game, you know. Just since I played him in Wimbledon, he's a made leaps and bounds forward. He's going to be around a long time.

Q. Andre, you're going to the finals in this brand new stadium, what's your assessment of the stadium and its facilities?

ANDRE AGASSI: This is incredible. It is really absolutely outstanding, you know, I mean, you don't see outdoor stadiums like this anywhere. I mean, you see them in Paris; you see them at Wimbledon; you see them in Australia. I haven't seen it in Australia, but from what I hear. It's one of the best.

Q. Can you see this as a pretty good place to hold Davis Cup matches?

ANDRE AGASSI: Not if the estate continues how they handle things because they wouldn't come close to filling up the seats, and then that becomes a problem when you're playing. That's really the player's biggest concern when they go into Davis Cup ties, they want that place to be full and they want the people to be as excited as they are. In the middle of the week, you know, you hear the rumors that they're having a hard time selling out the place or having a hard time selling seats, you know, there is just something about it that can bring you down, and to play in a stadium like this, but then to charge -- make people pay three- day tickets, you know, who they can't afford to bring their families so you're out there in a 16,000 seat stadium, which I'm guessing, I don't know.

Q. 14.

ANDRE AGASSI: 14,000 and then you only got, you know, 7500 that show up. I'd prefer playing somewhere small, I mean -- and then the people that can't afford it, you know, you go to a basketball, the people on the floor don't stand up and go crazy, it is the people in the balconies. It is not for me to judge why, I just know that the price of seats need to come down, we need to get people in the stands.

Q. Don't you think this is key area because there are so many retirees that can come during the week and can afford it? They seem to get better crowds here, I think, during the weeks, days than in a lot of places.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I'm sure that's the case, you know, but still, I mean, we have some -- I don't know, 95 percent of the best players in the world here, that's a strong motivation for people to come out. Davis Cup is a little different. I don't know if people want to come out and watch, you know, us play India and know that they're not going to see -- I mean, I still think that they wouldn't get this kind of turnout.

Q. For the record, it would only be 7500 seats for Davis Cup, temporary seats would have to come down. Do you still think it wouldn't fill the lower --

ANDRE AGASSI: 7500? It depends who we were playing, you know, I've been through Davis Cups five years now and I know going into it pretty much when we're going to sell out and when we're not. We're in Kansas City, not Kansas City, Minneapolis, it's me, Pete, Courier, McEnroe and we're playing against Sweden, who has Edberg and, I mean, as the biggest names there and we couldn't really -- we couldn't sell it out. It is really -- I don't know how much more you can ask for, so really nothing surprises me when it comes to that. I'd be interested to know exactly how much they charge and find out, you know, what kind of difference it will make and try it or something to see if we can, see if we can get onto something.

Q. You said more than once this week that you were surprised at how quickly you got back, what aspects of your game are you most pleased that slotted straight back into place; the things that you might have been more concerned would take longer?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, mentally to be quite honest because my games always seem to come around quick. I think the biggest match for me this week was Pioline, you know, I mean, Becker and Rafter and Edberg, they give me targets and just like, you know, Pete. It's shot-making tennis and I'm capable of doing that, that's why I also perform so well at Wimbledon, I enjoy doing that. But it's the guys that make me think and make me -- when I've been away for five months, the court position, your shot selection. All those things are -- you could make a lot of mistakes, you know, you can make four, five mistakes in one point and that's something that I'm really surprised at. I've been very focused. I haven't really lost my concentration and I've been very patient, but yet aggressive when I need to be. That element to the game was something I thought would take me a while to get back, not that I really ever had it.

Q. I have a feeling that you don't necessarily hope you can win Sunday as much as you kind of expect to; am I correct?

ANDRE AGASSI: Are you asking me if I expect to win Sunday?

Q. Yes.

ANDRE AGASSI: I couldn't think of anything that could insult Pete more. It has nothing to do with expecting anything. Sports is made up of champions that get upset. Pete has been an incredible champion, you know, for the past year, and he deserves all the respect in the world, but he's going to have to go out there and beat me and I'm not going to let that happen easily.

Q. You're into a bonus zone for you this week?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'm sorry?

Q. You're into a bonus zone for you this week?

ANDRE AGASSI: A bonus zone, is that like English --

Q. In what you've already achieved, you've achieved more this week than you expected?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I did that a few days ago, but today is behind me and I'm on to Sunday. I have no intention of being satisfied. It's not my nature.
 
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