Andre Agassi rules out comeback
by Lily Leung - Sept. 25, 2009 11:05 AM
The Arizona Republic .
Immediately after Tuesday's press conference at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, The Arizona Republic spoke to Andre Agassi and Jim Courier for an exclusive telephone interview.
An abbreviated transcript of the chat:
Question: A buzz word in tennis these days is "comeback." You've got Kim Clijsters winning the U.S. Open, and Justine Henin just announced she's returning to the sport. Andre, are you eyeing a comeback?
Agassi: That would be negative. No, no. I'm sure Kim has inspired a lot of people. But she can't inspire this 39-year-old who understands their weaknesses much better than their strengths.
Question: So this is the second of three years that the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships has been held in Surprise. Jim, where do you see this tournament going in the future?
Courier: Well, certainly the tournament was off to a terrific start. We had wonderful crowds, great tennis. And coming back this year, having Andre join the tournament, obviously for tennis fans, is something extremely special because Andre doesn't play very often. CTCA signed for three years, so there's another return next year.
Question: Andre, have you been to Surprise before?
Agassi: I have not. But I'm looking forward to it. Every time I've been to Arizona, I've loved it. I grew up in the desert. As a result, I've always felt very comfortable there.
Question: Andre, you've played at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (now Fairmont Scottsdale) hotel when it still hosted tennis tournaments. There's been talk that the Surprise tennis facility could fill the void that the hotel left, in terms of providing professional tennis to Valley fans. Your thoughts?
Agassi: It was a great tournament. It's been a loss certainly for that community to not have that event. So to regain it somewhere (else) and allow sports fans (a chance) to get out and enjoy tennis, I think it's a great thing.
Question: And Jim, any thoughts from you?
Courier: One of the great things about this tournament is that it does provide that opportunity for fans that might miss out otherwise. They don't have to travel too far to see tennis in their own backyard.
Question: Right now, tennis has Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick. What are your thoughts on the current group of top players on the men's side?
Agassi: The first thing you have to do is put it into context of what we've been spoiled with over the last number of decades. . . . The standard is pretty high and the sport is growing. . . . As a result, we're not seeing quite the same level of dominance with the talent that's out there now, with Federer and Nadal. But I think Roddick has represented our sport in a great way. I think he's one of the greatest competitors, not just in tennis but also in sports. . . . It wouldn't be right to not have an American somewhere in the near future step up and really put their stamp on the game. That's what you hope.