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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

1994 ATP TOUR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

FRANKFURT, GERMANY

November 19, 1994

P. SAMPRAS/ A. Agassi

4-6, 7-6, 6-3

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDRE AGASSI

Q. Andre, would it be fair to speculate Rudi Berger just got off your Christmas list?

ANDRE AGASSI: I'd rather have him off my tennis matches than I would Christmas list. I'll send him a Christmas card if he promises never to do another match of mine.

Q. Do you think he wrecked it?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I mean, he fortunately didn't have the outcome of the match. I mean, the game that I felt like he had no business interfering with, I ended up holding serve to go to the tiebreaker. I mean, I am in control of my own emotions out there and it rattled me through the tiebreaker and into the beginning part of the third set. So, I mean, he didn't have to do with me not winning. I mean, I felt like I could have and should have turned it around because I did hold serve that game. But you got enough elements out there and you just wish that people don't make it more difficult. I mean, you've got an umpire who sits up there and keeps score and calls "not ups" and twice a match overrules. It is a joke. You have no respect for these umpires because they don't do anything. It is not like the NFL where -- you know, where the umpires are involved in the game and they are moving around and making the calls themselves. He just sits up there and randomly decides to overrule. That is just not right. I don't agree with that.

Q. Did you have problems with him in the past, Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, as a matter of fact, three years ago when I was here. I think he is -- like, he wants to be involved in the match so much, he needs to go find something else to do.

Q. Which match was that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Against Boris.

Q. Seemed like after you got the second -- after you got the point penalty, your energy, your shoulders, everything kind of went down. Did you feel deflating completely today --

ANDRE AGASSI: It was definitely going downhill, then I felt at 2-1, I managed to turn around. I felt like I shook it off and, you know, then -- but Pete has the break. It is not easy when he gets up a break because he starts serving much bigger and it becomes more difficult, but, I mean, I still felt like at Love-15 at 3-2, you know, I hit a good return. I had the point in my favor; I had a short forehand and missed the line to go Love-30 and that was my chance to get back into the match. I mean, I am only going to see one or two chances in a set to get that and I let it slip by. I mean, I definitely was under my level of standard today when it comes to my mental focus and concentration, and I am going to learn from this because there is no reason why when I am hitting the ball this well, that I should let a match like this slip away. I felt like I should have been in that match all the way to the end.

Q. You've got to give a lot of credit to Pete the way --

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, yeah, when I am playing some of my best tennis and he is playing some of his, we both have to play. No disrespect for him, he is hitting the ball strong. He is doing what he has to do out there. When I'm focused we should be tight; shouldn't be giving him donations. I felt like I gave him a couple of mental donations. You can't afford that. That is why he played so well, because if you give him that, he makes you pay for it.

Q. Andre, did you feel that you were losing perhaps a little bit of that focus even before that incident, two, three games before?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no.

Q. Does this take some of the gloss off of a great last three, four months?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, it would be nice to win here, you know, but, I mean, I have beaten -- last 24 matches, I have beaten 12 guys in the top 10. I mean-- and my only losses were, you know, to Goran in Stockholm where I had matchpoint, and today, you know, I mean, it is not so discouraging, but it would have been nicer to win. I mean, I am not discouraged by it. I mean, I've got a lot of great things to look forward to, just like the U.S. Open. I won it; now everybody believes I can do it. Even if I hadn't won, I still believed I could do it. I'd still be working hard and trying to accomplish what I want to. I am only 40% down this road. I really feel like I got the best to look forward to.

Q. The overruling aside, do you feel that you deserved, by the standards of conduct, what you got with the warning and then the point penalty; were they justified?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, somebody need to give an umpire a freaking warning out there. That is the bottom line? It is just -- they just sit up there and then, you know, you are the one with everything on the line. And, I mean, I was doing my best to coach him "hey, just keep score out here." Nobody is going to complain. The linesmen have a better sight on it than you do, so just let the calls play. I mean, they are going to go 50/50, but I mean, according to the rules, I deserved what I got. I mean, apparently I hit the ball and it came close to the linesman.

Q. Looking back over the year, was there a turning point? Obviously you came into the year just off surgery, but was it a turning point where you suddenly felt "I am back in it?"

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I felt lining right before Toronto, the week -- the last latter part of the week of Washington I spent in Toronto practicing, getting ready, and I really -- my game really started to come together and I played an exhibition with Chang there for an AIDS benefit, and really was hitting the ball strong, I mean, not that you can gauge much on an exhibition, but nevertheless, I felt like my game was really coming along there. I picked it up; won it 7-6 in the third with Wheaton; then won the tournament; then I really felt like it turned around there.

Q. Was there a factor that caused it --

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, a lot of hard work since the start of the year.

Q. Do you think that it maybe was a problem that you played in the so-called easier group in round robin with all the baseliners; instead of playing a serve and volleyer earlier in the tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: Is that a problem?

Q. No. I ask you if you think that it might have been a problem today that you played no serve and volleyer earlier in the tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I mean, no. I mean, because I think that the problem is that, you know, going out there and playing against these guys are the best players in the world. I mean, me, Boris and Pete are playing the best tennis, and geez, I won last time and he won this time, and I plan on beating him in Australia if I get to him. That is the way it goes. You just got to commit yourself to your goals and do everything you can to be at your best and hope that it is good enough and some days it is and some days it isn't. I mean, different styles of play and I have played different styles of play at the Open, serve and volleyers and baseliners; doesn't make a difference.

Q. What did you say to Rudi at the end there?

ANDRE AGASSI: I didn't say anything to him. I wish I would have said something to him.

Q. You didn't shake hands with him?

ANDRE AGASSI: Your damn right, didn't shake hands with him.

Q. The top Russian guys they said at Kremlin Cup, Medvedev and Volkov, they said that now Agassi is clearly No. 1. Do you think that recently there were too many people around saying how good you are that may affect your focus for the last tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, how many matches am I allowed to lose in four months? That is what I want to know. I mean, come on. I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it, and I haven't -- I have been playing some of the best tennis in the world and today it wasn't, you know. Doesn't make a damn bit of difference. It is just one week after the next, you got to come out and work hard and continue to get better, or else you are going to get worse, you know, and I feel like I would like to play this match again tomorrow and that is a pretty great feeling to have when you come off a loss to feel like you can take the No. 1 player in the world and say, I can't wait to play you again. I think that says a lot for how you are hitting the ball and how you are feeling, you know, but Pete is going to have his share of wins against me and I am going to have my share of wins against him.

Q. Until the problem came along end of second set, how enjoyable was that first two sets, just pure competition?

ANDRE AGASSI: It was great. It is -- that is what I think tennis is all about, I mean, two guys putting everything on the line and playing their best tennis, and it was great. I mean, quite honestly, outside that, you know, interruption from the umpire even the third set, I mean, it is not that I just won the first one and I mean, it was just -- it is fun to go out there and hit the ball like that, and, you know, then you play first round in a tournament, it is like slow motion, you know? It is amazing the level of play that you can achieve when you have that kind of intensity out there. It is great for the game. It is great for my motivation, and, you know, off the court to work harder; to get better. It is everything that you work for.

Q. You talked earlier on this week about with Brad you were mentally tougher. Do you think you let yourself down today mentally?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I do. I am disappointed in myself mentally today because I feel like I never should have got -- let that get the best of me. I mean, I never felt like -- I should have had to deal with it. I mean, there is no reason why that should have been a factor out there, but the fact that it was, you got to be able to overlook those things and, you know, some go your way and some go his way. When I played Pete in Paris, 5-4 down in the tiebreaker, I hit a second serve. If you can watch it on the tape, I hit it like three inches long, and they didn't call it. You know, sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't -- But what was your question?

Q. Whether you feel you let yourself down mentally?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I do feel like -- I do feel like I let myself down simply because you should be above and you should be able to say okay, it didn't go my way, but, you know, but -- got to turn that around.

Q. What is your plan now, you are going to play the Grand Slam Cup; what do you do between now and then?

ANDRE AGASSI: Take a little time off and practice a little bit and, you know, have a good time, but right now my next goal is to do everything I need to do and the plan for Australia and Grand Slam Cup you can make a lot of money, but I am not going to die wishing I had another 1.6 million to the winner, so I am just going to go there and enjoy myself and get ready for Australia.

 
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