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Écrit par Jerome   
19-09-2006

THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS'95

Key Biscayne, FL

March 24, 1995

A. AGASSI/M. Larsson

7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (1)

AN INTERVIEW WITH

 

ANDRE AGASSI

GREG SHARKO: Questions for Andre.

Q. After struggling with your service return almost the entire match, how do you explain coming up with two tremendous returns in the tiebreak?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I didn't feel like I was struggling my return. I felt like, you know, it was just really windy and you are going to make some and you are going to miss some, and I got a few great returns to get the break in the first set; then I lost my serve and got the break back, and at 5-All, I even hit -- returned a few great ones to break him there. But it was very strange tennis today. I think he is a very lethargic kind of player who is a great shot maker who that is a strange combination; also with the wind moving around, there were times when I was hitting a ball with heavy pace, aiming for the center of the court, and it was just slipping past the baseline, plus I would have to say, it is absolutely one of the worst overofficiating matches, not by officials -- there were a few calls I felt like he missed on game point at 4-3 I think he should have overruled a forehand wide that Larsson hit in the second set when he ended up breaking me just the linesmen, it seemed like they were missing calls all over the place. And so it was one of those matches, where you got to kind of persevere and hope you get through it.

Q. Andre, at this tournament how hard does it become not to look ahead or at least down deep, think ahead about playing Pete?

ANDRE AGASSI: It doesn't cross my mind. I mean, quite honestly. You think about it along the lines of it will be nice if we are playing on Sunday. But I don't think about anything past that. I mean, today was a good win for me considering the circumstances and how well he was serving, and I am smart enough and I have been around long enough to know that I could have very easily have lost the match today, so it is one at a time. I have no problems with a perspective on that.

Q. How about on the evenings when you are away from the tournament, during those times, do they creep in?

ANDRE AGASSI: You look ahead. You size up the draw. You kind of have your guesstimates on who is going to beat who; it doesn't change the fact that the only thing on your mind is the guy you are playing next.

Q. Andre, if you had to look back and pick out one or two shots that you would like to be able to replicate when you presumably and hopefully you play Pete, which ones would they be, like the backhand smash, or the overhead --

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, quite honestly everything I did well today I'd like to do well again on Sunday. But hopefully the conditions will be a little bit more suitable for a great tennis on Sunday because with the wind swirling around, it, is I mean, wind is incredible equalizer. It takes two people who -- one might be clearly better and then it makes it very unpredictable, and I felt that is what happened today. I mean, it is like you weren't sure who was going to win what point. Some points you thought, for sure, you lose; you win. Some points you think, I am -- no way I am going to lose this one and you make it. So, to me, it is just a question of executing my game plan on Sunday, just being intense, and moving my feet well and focusing and concentrating well, and that is about it. And hopefully I will beat him this time.

Q. Are you saying that the wind was the main reason the match was like it was?

ANDRE AGASSI: Like it was -- in what sense?

Q. What is --

ANDRE AGASSI: What is your question?

Q. That you almost got beat.

ANDRE AGASSI: I am saying the wind is a reason why it was very unpredictable tennis why there were strange things going on out there. If it had been calm today, you would have seen just really good or great tennis. And who wins? Who knows. All I am saying is, today, a lot of points were leaning my way and then I lost them and a lot of points it looked like he was going to win then; I won those. It was very unpredictable tennis, stage. At deuce at 4-5 I hit a good serve out wide, he barely gets his frame on it; goes up, I just kind of -- that is not coming over; then all of a sudden it was like, that thing is coming over, and I ran up there and I wasn't there in time, so, I mean, that is unpredictable tennis.

Q. You only lost two matches this year. Did you really have to get used to the idea of maybe losing a match today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Did I have to get used to it?

Q. Yeah, it must have been a strange feeling for you because you are not used to it anymore to lose a match?

ANDRE AGASSI: That is not true. When you are out there 6-All, you hit a great shot to go to the tiebreaker, I mean, that is what you play for. That is the reason why I am playing this game, that feeling of being pushed to having to raise your game at the right time. There is a great feeling to take in a good player like Ferreira and beating him handily. There is a great feeling about competing hard and getting through a match like today.

Q. It wasn't even better for you to win this day, the top match played, than maybe an easy win?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, I think there is benefits to both, both have a tremendous effect on your confidence because you get a look at what it is like and you get a little more comfortable with serving, you know, down breakpoint at 4-All in the third, that kind of thing, but getting through is the most important thick. I mean, I like to play well all the time, but sometimes you don't, and today I think both of us played well at given times and, you know, it is just one of those matches that when it is all said and done, I am glad that I got through it. It does give me a lot of confidence.

Q. Going back to the wind, when it gets in that bowl of the court, is it consistent or is it swirling and changing all the time?

ANDRE AGASSI: You feel it leaning towards one side from like left to right, but there are times when it is in your face and then it is swirling around, I mean, you can't say, okay, this game, I got to really exaggerate how hard I hit it because the wind is going to hold it back. The wind was definitely moving like towards away from the umpire's chair, which is why, you know, there were a lot of aces off to that side on the deuce court. But the rest was definitely swirling. It was just all over the place.

Q. At 40-30 in the 12th game of the third set, you pushed a ball deep to his backhand; made a net approach; then you hit the volley deep. What happened on that volley, Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, on game point?

Q. Yeah.

ANDRE AGASSI: Is that what you don't say -- I was up game point.

Q. It was 40-30 at that time?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, he is kind of strange in the sense that he doesn't move great, but he is very big. He covers a lot of court and so and he is also very lethargic. It is not like he has, you know, quick footwork, he kind of plays lazy, but again, I think he is one of the best shot makers in tennis. So that combination, it puts a sense of fear in you when you have that put away shot, you don't want to take for granted that you can hit that ball in open court, so sometimes, you over intellectualize it. That is what I did there.

Q. Andre, he changed his pace a lot today. Did that you think help him or hurt him?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think that is the way he plays. I felt like if he goes for those big shots all the time he is going to make a lot of errors, so I think him changing it up is what makes him most comfortable and makes him play the best, and I just felt like, you know, we both played really well considering, you know, the wind out there, and I mean, we made more unforced errors than -- I made more unforced errors than I am used to, but I felt like I made few unforced errors considering the circumstances, and then at the end, it just kind -- I kind of picked it up at the right time.

Q. How much does it help having the crowd behind you like that?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is nice because, you know, if you can get the crowd into it, if you can get the lead, then it really helps you, but like in Davis Cup matches, if we go to Italy and we are blowing them out, then that helps, so you got to do your part and be close to that edge of winning and then it does make a big difference.

Q. How confident did you feel going into the final tiebreaker the way you finished the 12th game with the ace and the --

ANDRE AGASSI: That is a big thing because when you finish a game so strong, you know, you get the momentum going into the tiebreaker now all of a sudden, you know, we had kind of a deuce game there, he hasn't served in maybe 4 minutes, so it is a little tougher. It is a tougher position for him to be than me. I'd rather serve myself into the tiebreaker than have the guy hold and then we start that first point. You know, the momentum is key. If you can get the momentum, then you can possibly runaway with it. I think that is what happened. I got the momentum and I kept it.

Q. Playing Davis Cup with Pete, what kind of feeling is that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it is an exciting one. I mean, to have that kind of confidence in your teammate is --- geez, I couldn't ask for a better teammate.

Q. Are you unbeatable?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. No, not at all. I wish that was the case, but it is not.

Q. Do you play well enough right now to beat Pete if you that is who you play in the finals?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I feel like I am playing plenty well enough. It is a question of executing the game plan and playing well there.

Q. You could have played maybe before, why was it right now that you decided to play together with Pete Sampras in Davis Cup again?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think, you know, we both been through our emotions of wanting to play and not wanting to played based on the scheduling and how tough it is considering our goals, so we just got together and talked about it and discussed it a lot and eventually I had think we just felt like if we both made the sacrifice that takes the pressure off the other one to have to go down there, if we both went then we are both trying to win the French Open. He wants to hold onto No. 1. I want to take it over, so if we both go, then it is fair, either we both go or we both don't. As we talked about it, I think we got a sense of just a sense of excitement to go play.

Q. Was it also some kind of would be ashamed not to play if --

ANDRE AGASSI: I always think it is a shame. I think Davis Cup is a great thing. I just get very depressed about how the USTA handles a lot of things with the Davis Cup because I think it is something that the players should be -- have no hesitation about, but they do.

Q. Does Brad have a philosophy about playing tiebreakers and if he does, has he discussed it and utilized it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, there is no question. There is no question. Tiebreakers are every point is a turning point, every single one, so, you know, you want to make a lot of first serves in the breaker and you certainly not want to stay away from the unforced errors. But it is just a question of playing them. I mean, you got to get out there and play the breakers if you couldn't get to play the tiebreakers, it is kind of tough sometimes when you are thrown into one. You tend to make a few mental errors at 4-1 when I was up in the tiebreaker, I mean, you think, okay, I am going in complete control now or 5-1, I am in complete control, but that tiebreaker turns around quick. He wins one mini break on my serve which we had deuce -- he wins one point on my serve and he hits a couple of first serves and it is 5-4 and it is a different ballgame, so every point matters.

Q. How would you play, for example, a tiebreaker point differently than the point at say 5-6 or 6-5?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think every tiebreaker point is similar to a 30-All point in a normal game.

Q. Did you enjoy leading the crowd in the end there in the chant for the great rivalry?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, that was fun. I just want to get them a him excited to cheer for Pete. I don't want them -- we have two Americans against two Swedes today. We want the Americans to come out on top.

Q. You think he might do the same for you tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: What is that?

Q. Lead the crowd?

ANDRE AGASSI: See, I am already in the finals, so now he is going to probably tell them to cheer for him on Sunday.

Q. Any further thoughts on the kicking of Pete's butt on Sunday.

ANDRE AGASSI: What are you talking about?

Q. You told your dad on TV you were going to kick Pete's butt next week at the Lipton?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, and everything is according to plan so far, one more day.

Q. Your father is okay?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, he is doing well. He is out of the hospital and feeling good, thank you.

Q. He come to Italy very good?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. If he watched me play Italy with all you guys cheering, he will have a heart attack. That is very stressful.

Q. Everybody will support you in Palermo you have a good time?

ANDRE AGASSI: You want to bet?

Q. I bet.
 
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