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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION

1994 U.S. OPEN
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK

September 10, 1994

A. AGASSI/ T. Martin

6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. Todd seemed to, in a way, impose the type of match he wanted to play, the tone and the pace, and it didn't seem to trouble you one bit?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you know, Todd's game is a very predictable game in the sense that you know his strengths, and you know what he is going to throw at you. He is not the kind of guy that is going to sit back there and want to push the ball around the court and rally. He is going to take big chances from the ground; going to get to the net on any short ball that he gets a chance; coming in behind every first serve and depending on what surface, he may not come behind the second. I pretty much expected what he was going to do. I think the wind was a factor in my favor because he does take such big chances and cause a lot of unforced errors on his part. Still you got to stay focused. I think I did that well.

Q. Aside from the big-- sometimes with the big hitters in the wind, he made the point that one thing that probably helps you a lot in the wind is your footwork. You can't get taken out of position as easily.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, that is right. When the ball is constantly moving around, you got to be willing to adjust to that ball at the very last second, and that is why footwork is the No. 1 key in the wind beyond anything else. And, you know, I just tell myself just keep moving your feet and keep watching the ball and don't go for the lines when you hit your big shot, because it is not going to be -- it is not going to be easy to do that with the wind.

Q. Andre, can you tell us what it means for you to get back to the finals in this tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: This is the greatest feeling in the world to me. I mean, since Wimbledon I haven't been this excited about, you know, just stepping out on to the court, and I owe a lot of that to the New York fans. They have got me through, you know, a time that in the sense was, you know, was a time for me to, you know, come out here and prove that I can play with these guys. And I got one more to go.

Q. Did you expect this when you started the tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, I have said before and I might haeve even said it too many times, but when I come into these tournaments, I do feel like I can win them. And that is a great feeling to have, but you still got to go out there and do it. You got to beat a lot of-- you got to beat 3, 4 guys sometimes in one week before you can get to those big matches and get a chance to win. Those are the ones that in the past I have struggled with. And, you know, yeah, I thought I was capable of it, but to say you expect to do it, is probably saying a bit too much.

Q. You and Michael Stich are in a similar position. Both of you are getting back to a final for the first time -- he hasn't been to one since Wimbledon since he won. Can you talk a little bit about the similarities, and how you see this match tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, I mean, yeah, been a while since we have been in the finals, but it is another match to me. I am going out there to do everything that I have been doing for the past two weeks and I have been doing it so well that I don't have, you know, much to be concerned with outside of just keeping in the same groove that I have been in. It was nice to play a serve and volleyer today because I played the baseliners and that makes it a bit more difficult if all of a sudden now, you go against a serve and volleyer, and so I think that is going to help me be prepared for tomorrow. But tomorrow is a day of its own, and just got to go out there and do it again.

Q. Do you think you have more to prove tomorrow than he does?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is not a question of proving anything. Quite honestly, public's or the press's expectations of me "to do it" or "not to do it" is not making me want this anymore or less. I want this because I want this. This is very important to me. I am going to do everything in my power to win it, and that is the great feeling.

Q. How difficult -- you got off to a great start at this tournament and then there were the lean years. How difficult was it for you giving how you feel about this championship; the record you established to endure those lean years?

ANDRE AGASSI: That is rough. But not so much during you know, when I actually lost was I feeling it quite as much as now as I have this -- the crowd is just so supportive of me and pulling for me in such a way relatively at such a young age in my career, that the thought of me being out of this tournament, you know, one hour before I should is a crime. It is like I don't want to do it, and the thought of losing first round here was painful then and, but it will be more painful in the future; it is not something that I care to ever experience again.

Q. Do you feel that you are going to go all the way?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I have been playing well enough to and I think I can. I mean, the reality of it is Michael is going to have to a lot to say about that. He is a gifted, great tennis player who can go out there and play the match of his life, and I mean all these things are possible. That is what makes sports, sports. The way I am hitting the ball, yes, I do I think I can win.

Q. Do you spend much time analyzing why you have the great support or you have gotten the great support; what part of your personality or your game brings that out in people?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I don't spend much time analyzing that.

Q. Todd had said - I think in a very nice way - that you are a superstar; that you are ridiculously large; that you have to deal with a lot of the fuss. Is that easy for you to deal with or is it just something you have gotten used to?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't think you ever get comfortable with it. You get more used to it. And that at times it is difficult, I mean, but lack of privacy and the things that go along with being in the public eye to the degree that I am, is -- it has its downsides to it. But the greatest thing is now when you step out on that court, you know that I feel like it is my arena. Now this is the greatest place for me to be, is out here. So it doesn't carry on to the tennis court.

Q. Andre, before you won Wimbledon there was a lot written and said about your nerves during Championship matches at Grand Slams and your ability to handle them. Do you feel now that you have won Wimbledon; now you are back in a final; that you are prepared to get through that championshiop -- those nerves in championship?

ANDRE AGASSI: I got through it once, but, you know, reality of it is that is -- that I am older and I am a lot more experienced, and I am not carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I used to very much. I used to step on the court and I'd walk around and step on these land mines of words like "expectation", and "potential", and those things used too destroy every ounce of desire I had to go out there and just do what it is I love. I think that I have been around enough now to know what makes me tick and to know what is going to make me go to sleep feeling good about myself.

Q. Andre, you are an adult now?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, I don't know, I know a lot of people who consider themselves adults; I don't think I am anything like them.

Q. Andre, do you think your game -- are you a little bit -- you mentioned how the wind affected Todd because he takes some chances. Do you feel you go for as many winners and take as many chances?

ANDRE AGASSI: I do. I have had matches in the past where I have taken needless chances. I think my errors now are good errors. When I miss a shot, I am making a good error. I am executing a shot that I need to take. I am not taking it too early or I am not waiting too long, so in a sense I am taking every bit as much chance I ever have, but I am not doing it without a purpose.

Q. Andre, today you were all business and the public didn't come in too much. Were you serving a little bit of adrenaline for tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. Not so much. I mean, it is at the end of the tournament now and you got to just stay as focused as possible, and, you know, again I think one of the things that as -- I don't know what I am going to be when I step out there on the court. Sometimes I am going to be having a lot of fun; sometimes I am going to be very serious and very focused and sometimes I am going to be getting point penalties. That is the realities of it. I mean, today was definitely business for me. It was all business and I did what I needed to do from start to finish, and there is a good feeling in that. I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring. We will have to wait and find out.

Q. If footwork was key against Todd today; what will be key tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, they have similar styles of games. The thing is that I think that Michael Stich moves better than Todd does and so I am going to definitely have to be doing everything I did today and to be doing it well. I mean, I got to return well and I got to, you know, dominate the backcourt rallies and I got to go out there and stay on them and gave him everything that all other players I have played this tournament have seen and that is what I have to do.

Q. Andre, have you gotten a sense that when you first came up a lot of the young people loved you and your energy and flare; now it seems like the older folk are responding to you. When you talk to people now, they don't seem to say negative things about you anymore; it seems to be all positive. How did you come to that point?

ANDRE AGASSI: Geez, you are talking to the right people then. Tell me who they are and -- you know, I still -- there is still mixed emotions. People are always going to have them. I do feel like definitely at a younger age -- it wasn't -- Jimmy Connors, I think he was a lot older in his career when -- before, you know, people really started overwhelmingly pulling for him. I do feel like I am experiencing that at a little bit younger age than I was expecting. I feel that you know, I give to the crowd maybe what it is they want, which is somebody is going to go out there and allow them to be a part of the match, and that is an important thing to a fan who watches any sport and I like to, you know, I feel a sense of responsibility to that and I think that that gets respected.

Q. Do you feel now that the New York crowd is adopting you in taking the place of Jimmy Connors now that they have seen you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. You have to ask them that. I have no idea what they are thinking.

Q. Todd also said because you became such a superstar at a young age; it is difficult for you to be so "one of the boys in the locker room." Is that something you miss; does it bother you at all or are you okay?

ANDRE AGASSI: I didn't know Todd felt that way about me.

Q. He likes you.

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, I am a very open person. There is no -- I make no bones about that, and I am open with really anybody and because I am very -- that is just the nature I am. I will talk to people. But I think maybe sometimes the things that surround me keep people at a distance, but you know, hopefully he wasn't referring to it as personally as much as that it is just kind of logistically.

Q. That is what he meant. That is what he said.

ANDRE AGASSI: That is good.

 
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