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Old 03-12-2004, 04:56 PM   #28
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AHA! Caught you sneaking in some MTF action, Mr Q. Get back to work and don't come back until you're done! and thanks for the audio links

American Agassi finds plenty of reasons to keep going

Mar 12, 2004

INDIAN WELLS, United States (AFP) - Those thoughts of retirement keep creeping into Andre Agassi's head, but each time they do he swats them away like a well-placed backhand.

"I'm looking for reasons to quit. I am just not finding them," said Agassi.

The 33-year-old American said he feels confident heading into his opening match at the 2.8 million dollar ATP Indian Wells Tennis Masters Series event which gets underway this week.

"I feel good. I am practising well so I still believe, that if I play the way I know I can, I can still win."

One of the most decorated players in tennis history, Agassi endured a nagging right shoulder injury last year that forced him to withdraw from the Indian Wells tournament. He has also been bothered by right wrist and hamstring injuries.

"I have been injured here two years in a row," said Agassi. "My first concern is just nursing anything these days. I don't want to be nursing something all year long. I want to be at my best."

With his 58 career ATP singles wins, eight Grand Slam titles and more than 28 million dollars in career prize money, Agassi could walk away with his head high.

"I am proud of the fact I am out there still doing it," he said. "There are some handicaps with getting older but there is also some arsenal with getting older. And I don't think much about age when I am on the tennis court."

The fifth seed is also only the fifth player in tennis history to win all four Grand Slam titles.

He won Indian Wells in 2001, beating Pete Sampras in the final 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 6-1. While Sampras enjoys retirement, Agassi rolls on.

"For me it has always been about the challenge. When I used to come to this tournament and Pete was the No. 1 or 2 seed I used to answer questions about him on Sunday and my answer was 'I don't recognize Pete being in town until our Saturday matches'.

"It has always been one match at a time for me. With the guys on the tour now I am finding enough reasons to be challenged. I don't need Pete as an additional one."

Agassi finished 2003 in the top 10 rankings for the 14th time in his 18-year career and became the oldest player to finish in the top five since 35-year-old Jimmy Connors in 1987.

"When time comes I feel I am playing my best tennis and not winning, there are going to be a lot of things I can feel good about that day.

"When it is over I just don't want to be the last one to know," he said.
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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