A. AGASSI/P. Mathieu
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andre Agassi, please.
Q. How was that for a first match? How was your toe, first of all? Did you feel it at all?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I felt it a little bit, but it was a couple times early it was slightly hesitant. But when I pushed through, it never got worse. I felt like I could really push through it, so that was reassuring.
You know, it was a tough match, tough first‑round match. He plays real talented tennis. He can come up with some great shots and certainly makes you feel the pressure to hit every ball exactly the way you want or else he'll take advantage of anything you leave short. It was a good one to get through.
Q. Was your toe still swollen before the match?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's maybe 20% more than normal, which is down from twice the size.
Q. How about your serving, you had a lot of good serves in that game.
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, thanks. I didn't start off so well. Missed a lot of first serves early but then I found my rhythm and started to relax a little bit more on it.
That always makes your life a lot easier out there when you can get a few free points.
Q. This afternoon it was very humid, about 90 degrees. Still kind of warm tonight. Would you like to see that continue for another week?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I like the heat and humidity. I prefer the sun with the humidity, though. Somehow it feels normal.
But when you're out there at night and you're sort of sweating and you can't stop and everything's getting wet ‑ your grip and your racquet ‑ that gets a bit uncomfortable.
But we come to know it down here, at least I have over 19 years. So I don't wake up with any other expectation really.
Q. Was it a harder first‑round match than you thought it would be or did it go as you might have thought?
ANDRE AGASSI: It went perfect to plan. Just tough enough, and then find a way to win each set.
But you expect them all to be tough. There's nothing I take for granted out there, especially anymore. And it's a good one to get through. First set could have gone either way, he had his chances. Next set, it could have been a lot easier on me if I had ‑‑ I could have made it easier on myself if I had converted a 30‑Love hold at 2‑1.
But all in all, I feel real good about it.
Q. The newspaper I work for is doing something about you turning 35 in a month. I just wanted to know, when you reflect about basically everybody else was far stopped at that age, how do you reflect about that? I know you've been asked that a lot.
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, yeah, I don't know what to say really. I understand why somebody's not playing at 35; it's not easy. It's really difficult from a number of standpoints.
But, you know, I still do it. I'm still out here trying to figure out how to get through these matches and, you know, it gets harder every year. I don't know how to put it in context really, of what it is I'm doing now versus what others have or haven't done. I just can say that I'm still thinking about the tennis when I'm out there, and that's a good thing.
Q. How much experience have you gotten from Jimmy Connors when he was playing at such a late age? Do you remember back the watching him, what you were thinking?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I certainly remember playing him a number times. Connors was a great competitor, you know, so I think I always try to learn from everybody, really.
Nothing really about the age. I mean, I was always amazed at what he was doing because there was no reference point for me, you know, nobody else was doing it, so I figured it was pretty hard to do.
But I had a very young perspective, and I was just trying to figure out how I could beat him.
Q. Do you know what you'd be doing on that day?
ANDRE AGASSI: What day?
Q. In a month, your birthday.
ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, no, no. I don't know (smiling).
Q. Anything planned?
ANDRE AGASSI: No.
Q. It's a special day. You're 35.
ANDRE AGASSI: Is it? I don't know. I've never had it before, so I don't know how special it is (laughing).
Yeah, I'm not a big birthday person. I mean, I try to make more of a big deal of it now because of my kids and I know how much my children enjoy it. I'm trying to show more enthusiasm to my own birthdays, but it's not an easy thing for me to do. I don't make plans, and I feel like I'm doing pretty good if I turn my cellular phone on (smiling).
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Andre Agassi forever