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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION

1994 U.S. OPEN
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK

September 11, 1994

A. AGASSI/ M. Stich

6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. Andre, what did you say when you were kneeling down?

ANDRE AGASSI: I didn't remember until I saw the tape, but I just said, "I can't believe it, the whole thing."

Q. The match in a nutshell for you, Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: I got off to an incredible start, which was very important because I really felt like Michael was playing extremely well today, and he started off a little slow. And then in the second set, it was not to my surprise at all that we were having a battle for it, and when we got to the tiebreaker, I was just trying to remind myself, you know, hey, I got a set lead here and stay on this guy and really make him work for every point, every point, and just trying so hard to stay focused, and once I got that second set, you know, it is a big lead to be up two sets to Love. But still, you know, you got a match ahead of you if you don't do things right, and I didn't convert on some early breakpoints in the third which could have made it a lot easier. But he fought hard and, you know, sooner or later I felt like I was going to convert on his serve because he was making a lot of great volleys, and sure enough, it happened.

Q. Michael said he imagined this was a big dream for you, and that he doesn't have a Grand Slam in Germany. He said it just must have been the biggest thing that could happen to you. I mean, could you talk about what it means for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, I think nothing can touch the dynamics of everything that was going on when I won Wimbledon. The fact that I never won a Grand Slam; the fact that nobody believed I could play on grass; nobody believed I had the heart to get through a tough match in the championship rounds. And so, I think those dynamics make that the most special thing I have ever been through for its own reason. But winning this has its own place to me; that is really the greatest thing I could experience after Wimbledon.

Q. Phil and I said that your win will bring tennis back in America; do you think? What are your thoughts; do you think your win will be a big boost for the game?

ANDRE AGASSI: I sure hope so, you know, I mean, I -- all I can say is that I just love playing it. I love playing. And people were really excited. We had a full stadium today, packed the place, really enjoyed it. It was just good for tennis. I don't know if it is me as much as just the tennis and the quality of play that has been going on.

Q. Did you feel a little sorry for Michael that he was not only playing you, but 23,000 other people as well?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, what I have realized playing Davis Cup, though, I have realized that a small group of Germans can make more noise than 23,000 Americans.

Q. With you there wasn't a really a small group of Germans out there.

ANDRE AGASSI: Did I feel sorry for him? No. Quite honestly. I mean, I played Chang, and I played Todd and it is the Americans, and the Americans and the crowd gets split and, you know, it was just a great feeling to have that kind of support. I mean, this is my country. And it is just like how Sergi feels after he-- after he wins on the clay. For some reason it is just, you know, Europeans grow up, the French Open is it, and I think that Americans grow up, the U.S. Open is it.

Q. When during the tournament did you feel something special was going on as far as your game rolling in through?

ANDRE AGASSI: I would have to say probably getting through that Chang match. That was a big obstacle for me, that fifth set. To take the guy who is arguably the mentally toughest, and fittest and beat him so handily in the fifth really gave me a lot of confidence.

Q. If they had played rock and roll music during the changeovers, would you have had any chance?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, I would have had a chance.

Q. Andre, does this victory date back to any specific happening, or linking up with anyone, or-- I mean, can you sort of--?

ANDRE AGASSI: What are you getting at back there?

Q. Perfectly innocent. Talk about, perhaps, looking back over the last nine months, any specific thing that happened that perhaps was a foundation?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think Brad's involvement with my career has been -- is such a vital piece. I mean, he has really brought an element to my game that I have never had. And I actually believe now that not only can I overcome my weaknesses as far as mentally being focused and determined, but I can actually become stronger than most of the guys that I play, and that is what I am feeling when I am out there. You know, Brad has believed that I can do this, and he feels like I should, and we have worked together now for a while, and we have had ups and downs. But through it all, it is, I think, it is now starting to come out. Sometimes you don't experience those results right a way, you have to persevere-- and so I'd say the dedication that I have had to the game first and foremost, and then Brad's involvement.

Q. Were there any moments in the match that you -- you mentioned before there were times that you sort of lost the edge a little bit. Were there any times that the old Andre would have sort of unraveled and maybe given away a set or two or whatever, or is this time different?

ANDRE AGASSI: Quite possibly, I mean, reality of it is I lost the first 3 Grand Slam finals that I was in, so you know, there were times where I might have found some way to lose a match like this, but, you know, that is all behind me, I mean, I am-- I have a lot of experience now and, you know, I said going out there that expectations -- and that it gets thrown on me isn't going to make me want this title any more or any less. I have been around. I am going to go out there and do everything I have been doing and stay focused make him have to beat that.

Q. When, just before the wrist operation, was this sort of a dream of something like this happening that kept you going?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it was a dream slowly becoming a fantasy. You know, because I -- when your ranking falls and you go through an injury that is career-threatening, you do believe if you are ever be back. And I have questioned that a few times.

Q. What did Michael say to you when you lifted him up?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't even remember. I was so--

Q. Neither did he.

ANDRE AGASSI: I was so --

Q. Can you contrast this with 1990 when you came in here, and you said, "I just got my butt kicked." Here you are four years later.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you know, I mean, in hindsight, I still say that Pete hasn't played a match as good as he played that finals and Pete has played a lot of good tennis since then, but I didn't have much to say that day, and I don't think much had to do with me out there, quite honestly, that match, but -- this one stands on its own to me. I don't have to compare it to anything to be proud of what it is. I have managed to accomplish these two weeks.

Q. When your shot hit Michael in the wrist-- first of all, he says he thinks you did it intentionally, he is too big to miss; and second of all, he didn't want to listen to any apology. First of all, was it intentional and were you trying to offer an apology?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, first of all, you got to understand, you know, the strategies of the game. I mean, the reality of it is for two sets, the second and third set, he was making incredible reach volleys that were keeping him from getting broken a lot. And when I had that short ball, quite honestly, my strategy changed. I am not going to try to pass him out here, a guy 6 foot 4. My goal was to win the point, not to hit him. And I did want him to know that, and that is just because I didn't want to hit -- I don't care to hit somebody. I am not going to, you know, win the match by default. I just wanted to win the point.

Q. The dimensions for you Andre, the physical aspects of how you played in this match as well as in the tournament, or the mental achievement. . .

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I think it has always been said which is at times hindered me that I have the game to have more than one Grand Slam title. I have the game to be No. 2 to Pete Sampras. I have the game -- and I think the game has always been there, and mentally I have never allowed it. I don't think, to really be at the level that I can be on, and now my improvements have been mental, and winning this tournament, you can't be-- you can't play bad and be strong mentally and win the tournament, but you certainly can't play great and be mentally weak; it all has to come together. It is like hitting the greens but not seeking the putts, you know.

Q. Have you ever served that well and with that much variety in a big match?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. That is probably the most I have ever utilized my serve in one single match.

Q. You were saying a minute ago about people have always said you had the game to win and now also what you are saying a dream slowly becoming a fantasy. Is that why you say you can't believe it because all week long you have been saying you thought you could win this tournament. So to say you can't believe it, that moment seems kind of strange, is that part of all of that?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think I am saying I can't believe that it is all over; that it is done; not that I can't believe that I actually did this. I can't believe that it is over. That is it. You know. And you are mentally so stressed, I mean, even between matches you won't even recognize my personality hanging out with me. God help the people that had to hang around with me these past couple of weeks just because you are so focused on what you need to do and only an athlete that competes in that kind of environment really understands all that goes behind when it is all done, it is such a moment of relief that you just -- you can't believe it.

Q. Do you think you can be No. 1 now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I was number 1 these two weeks, so if I can do it for these two weeks I can somehow now take another step and make it more often.

Q. Do you have scheduling problems with this Davis Cup; did they talk to you; are you permitted otherwise?

ANDRE AGASSI: What it is that, you know, first of all, I have had exhibition Tour that I am doing, and the reason why I am doing it is because there hasn't been one exhibition match in the United States all year. I am the only one that is playing an exhibition match. Tennis has taken a fall. That is the bottom line, and it was -- it is my making all the effort I can to somehow keep it alive and it is very important to me. This exhibition Tour is very important to me. Davis Cup, I have committed to for five years. And I am still 24 so there is a lot of years still ahead of me. I will always come back to Davis Cup. Right now it has taken the back seat to some of my priorities. And I am -- I don't feel bad about that because I have given Davis Cup, you know, some of my best years and they are going to get a few more. But just not right now.

Q. Where is the Tour?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is over a few different cities going to start in Albany with Johnny Mac Tuesday.

Q. Andre, this victory could obviously carry you for a year and a half two years, three years. Are you open about that or do you feel like you want to make a particular commitment to building upon this and maximizing other opportunities and focusing on winning the big tournaments?

ANDRE AGASSI: Right. Well this is, I think more than anything this is a reflection of my commitment. And, you know, if I had gone down to one of these guys during the week, you know, if I had lost the fifth set to Chang; if Martin had, you know, I mean, I would still have been sitting here saying the same thing I got to keep on my dreams and my dreams are to come out here and win, you know, a tournament like this. I mean, that is where it is at winning the Grand Slams, and my dedication to that wouldn't have changed, but now that I have won the belief now is going to hopefully quite honestly has no choice but to refuel me now because my commitment isn't any different than it was two weeks ago. But now I am just having a lot more confidence and belief.

Q. Will you think about going to Australia this year?

ANDRE AGASSI: I am going to Australia. Brad wouldn't have it any other way.

Q. Michael just said that your image is different from the person you are. Could you comment on that do you think that is true or not true?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I think every level of life nobody knows you like you are. If you don't get to spend time with the person, so I mean, yeah, I think that I am at times a lot different than people might expect. I don't know what their expectations are. I just know most of them that come around me are in shock so could base it on that.

Q. How well did your dad stay hidden this week? He has been awhile?

ANDRE AGASSI: My dad?

Q. Yeah.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, he has been here for the duration.

Q. Did you know that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh sure.

Q. Is this the first time you have seen him at a Grand Slam?

ANDRE AGASSI: No.

Q. A lot of talk earlier in the year about Pete's game and how he had a real good chance to win a Grand Slam. You won on grass; you have won on hard courts; you have reached the final of the French a couple of times. Will we ever seen a Grand Slam from Andre Agassi?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I can't answer that. I feel like my -- there is a lot of room to me to step up now and start playing even better tennis. But there is a lot of great players out there, so I mean, to say anybody even Pete winning a Grand Slam, I mean, quite honestly, I didn't believe it, you know, until if he would have won the French then I would have said now with grass and hard court coming up, but it is not an easy thing to do. So --

Q. Can you talk a minute about that, the next to last point in the first set you had the reflex volley kind of up in your face; kind of turned to the crowd; put your hands up. Was that kind of "I am in a zone" what were you --

ANDRE AGASSI: I was like -- just a feeling like I can't do anything wrong.

Q. Andre, how about the very few seconds, the first few seconds after the win, very few people get a chance to experience that feeling. Is there a way you can describe what the-- what the world or what the senses are like in those few moments?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. You know, you can't explain it. But people can experience it on a lot of different levels. Accomplishing your dreams is a feeling that not just athletes have, so -- but I will say that that feeling is one that increases as years go by. It is one that I will feel better about this tomorrow, than I do today and so on and so on because of what it represents.

Q. Do you feel somehow that the weight of the success of U.S. tennis or the popularity of tennis is on your shoulders, I mean, do you like that idea, the idea that you have been proclaimed as the most popular tennis player in the world?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't -- I don't think about it. I don't feel pressure. I don't even really you know, have a feel a need to even consider that. I mean, my -- what I give the game and what I do for the game is solely based on me and who I am; not on anything I need to continue acting out, like everybody thinks the image I am still here and this image is everything, I will probably hear it the rest of my life. But no, I don't feel pressure and no, I think the game is going to survive, you know, whether I am around or not.

Q. Are you sorry you ever agreed to that slogan?

ANDRE AGASSI: I am sorry how everybody took that slogan.

Dernière mise à jour : ( 19-09-2006 )
 
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