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1994 U.S. OPEN

September 5, 1994

A. AGASSI/ M. Chang

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



BUD COLLINS: Are you afraid you are going to hurt your arm throwing those shirts?

Q. What, if anything, did it prove to you today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, I mean, I felt like I have been playing well and that I have been focusing and really wanting this, but you don't really know that for sure until you are pushed like that. And to get through it, is everything to me. It allows me to believe that I can win the tournament.

Q. You sort of pulled a Chang out there, almost in the fifth set, came out and with your -- he has got a great record; and you came out there and you were -- mentally, you won it because he doesn't believe he was physically tired, but he did visibly slowed down. I think you had something to do with that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, if I didn't, I don't know who else would have. I felt like, you know, I mean, I was -- I kept getting the lead on him and I, by no means, felt like that first set was an indication of things to come because I was anticipating Michael working hard to make me earn it and he did and he played a good tiebreaker and then I got on top of him again and sure enough, he turned it around one more time. When you get to the fifth set like that, really, a few shots determine it, and that second break at 3-1, that deuce game was a key game for me.

Q. Andre, you said the other day that you feel that you are mentally tougher now. Do you feel this is the kind of match you would not have won a couple of years ago?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, this is a perfect example of a match I never would have gotten through, you know, even a year ago. I should say especially a year ago, with the year that I had last year, but I think, now thanks to Brad, he has been really helping me a lot in situations like these, and you work hard on certain things and sometimes it doesn't -- you don't get the results right away, and I think I am just staying at it, and things are starting to move.

Q. How has Brad helped?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, he has spent his whole career winning matches. Really he shouldn't have ever won. That is kind of what most players really feel about him. I hope he doesn't take that too personally. You know then I have kind of done the opposite. I have lost a lot of matches in my career that I shouldn't have lost. I think the combination is really what I need, and he has been good for me.

Q. Any specifics you can point to that. . .

ANDRE AGASSI: I will after this tournament, how does that sound?

Q. Great. But about this match, entering the fifth set, you are out there all by yourself, Brad is sitting on the sidelines, what things were clicking in your head, what were you telling yourself to do?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, my game plan was quite honest I had to keep the match and in my control, you know, last thing I wanted is, you know, for Michael to just rally with me until he gets his ball because he -- there is nobody better at seizing an opportunity like Michael. Michael can really do that. He will work the point. You hit that ball a little short, and guy five foot seven is coming to the net and like impossible to pass because he is so quick and he is so much enthusiasm up there. So I knew that I had to stay on the offensive, and really keep hitting out on my shots, no matter how tight the match got, I was -- kept trying to tell myself keep hitting out on your shots. I felt like on the end of the second, I got a little tentative set point he served, I missed that forehand right in the net, I think that was reflection of me not feeling loose. I kept telling myself keep hitting out on your shots, keep playing your game, just make him work for this, make him -- and then it worked.

Q. There was a key point in the fourth game of the final set, it was a game point actually you had to cover. He had to run into the alley to make a get and you covered it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Passing shot down-the-line.

Q. Could you recreate that point as it developed in your mind?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't have enough room. You mean talk about it?

Q. You can try. There is the sideline.

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, earlier that game I think what made that point such a turning point for me is earlier that game I was up 30-15 and I had him way off the court and I hit a backhand volley crosscourt into the wide open court, I was convinced there is no Michael around. Then sure enough, he not only got there as I was covering down-the-line, he even got it by me, so you know, it was a big point and I think his speed confidence really started rolling and the match can turn around on a shot like that. When I got game point, same kind of thing happened, I hit the backhand volley open court. He barely got there. I covered it, I hit the forehand volley back crosscourt, didn't think he was going to get there. He got there again and ripped it up the line and I was there for the -- to knock off the volley winner. I think that just kind of more than anything, made him feel, hopefully, and certainly made me feel like I am going to do it I am here to win.

Q. Is that what turned it around for you; seemed to have a mental lapse at the end of the fourth set; you were broken to lose the set?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, mental lapse, yeah, but you got to realize too that Michael and I aren't going to go out there and hold serve like Sampras or Edberg, you know, I mean, when both of us are serving it is quite honestly like return games. We are both working very hard to hold. We are both working very hard to break, and you know, that whole set Michael was up a break, but just like the third set, you know, I was up a break; then eventually he broke down and I got that second break for the set. Because it is bound to happen. He hits the ball too well. He makes you work too hard. That was no surprise to me that he picked up his level of play, and stole that second set with four sets -- with the break.

Q. Any fear after such a big-time match like this against somebody like Chang coming out Wednesday, whatever, against somebody like Muster and just hitting a down period?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I don't see anything to fear at all. I mean, I am just - I am hitting the ball as well as I have ever played. I am focusing as much if not better than anybody else in this tournament. I am excited to come back. I can't wait to get back out on this court. Muster is a different player than Chang. It is going to be different style match. But I plan on getting through it. That is the idea. I didn't feel like I played my best tennis against Ferreira, but the win was every bit as important as today. I felt I played really well against Guy Forget and, quite honestly, the match could have turned around. You just got to get through these, I am experienced enough to do that.

Q. You hit around the post to set up the breakpoint in the third game; what are you feeling there; you hit it about six inches above the cord?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, that was a Love-30 point and passed him up the line. When I saw that ball floating, I am surprised it landed in. He chased it down, I was way outside the doubles line, way outside the net post, so quite honestly I wasn't taking a risky shot. I just hummed it right down. I would never have thought of hitting it to the open court because he would have ran it down and done something with it, like he always does. So I just kind of ripped it right at him, hoping that I can get the reflex and sure enough it worked.

Q. Do you remember playing Muster at the Lipton when you were 16?

ANDRE AGASSI: I sure do. 6-4 in the fifth.

Q. Any lessons that you might apply there day after tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: Actually it was 7-6, 7-5, 4-6, 0-6, 6-4.

Q. Have you look that up recently?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I have dreamt about it recently.

Q. You are going to dream about it again. The fact that Brad had a big match with him last year, do you think that will help in any way? Do you think that he will be able to make some specifics suggestions?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think Brad, yeah, whether-- yeah, the fact that he has played him here; played him on the hard courts, you know, makes him, I think, a bit more sure about a few things that he is going to tell me. But even if he hasn't played him, you know, Brad has played enough and known enough to know what to tell me.

Q. Do you get the sense that this is becoming a tournament that you are the key, to make making this tournament really news this week?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I said it earlier I am playing well. I am moving along; watch out. That is how I feel. I mean, I just -- grant it, the fifth set could have been different today, but I am giving myself the opportunity to beat these guys by staying into it, and yeah, when I step on the court I feel like I can win these matches, and, you know, I don't -- as far as me being responsible for the success of this tournament, I mean, I don't know, I got enough to worry about with Thomas Muster next.

Q. Got the sense that this people are start to go gravitate; starting to pay attention because you are doing well here?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, maybe so. I haven't actually experienced it. I have just kind of been so focused on what I am doing you don't really think about those things until it all is said and done.

Q. You said you were hitting the ball as well as you ever hit the ball. Is this the best-- the most precise, all those lines today, all -- I mean, looked so crisp all day long, is this the best for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: This is, yeah, this is the best I have ever hit the tennis ball, absolutely. You got to understand this is a culmination of a lot of things. I have hit the ball pretty good before. It was not balanced with that competitive spirit; not balanced with that focused concentration; then it doesn't do you any good. It is like hitting aces, hitting 50 aces a match, but if you lose the match, it doesn't matter, you know, you lose your serve; it doesn't matter how many aces you hit. You got to put it all together. It is like golf, if you can-- you can hit all the fairways; hit all the greens, but if you don't get it in the hole you lose.

Q. Lefthanders present any special thing you have to prepare for?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it is just-- I just got to think backwards for a few hours. What is that?

Q. Seriously?

ANDRE AGASSI: I am being very serious.

Q. You look at the court and there is no Michael; then suddenly there; that is not a surprise to you after all these years; is it?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is not a surprise, no, not when you are out there in the heat of competition on a crucial points and you see the open court, you try very hard to convince yourself that it is going to stay open.

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