Mens Tennis Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have watched by ESPN2 longer version of that interview,
including very nice moments of US Open 1994 and 1999,
years of Andres US Open wins!


:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is newest interview in written form:

Andre Agassi
Thursday, September 1, 2005

Transcribed Interview

A. AGASSI/I. Karlovic

7‑6, 7‑6, 7‑6

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Was this a match you would characterize as sensible tennis on your part?
ANDRE AGASSI: "Sensible tennis"? There's no matches you get through unless you're playing sensibly. You have to. Today required a lot of concentration because it only took a mental lapse for one or two shots and the set's over with. So it's really difficult mentally to stay the course.

Q. It looked like you didn't slug with him. That's why I was asking if you felt this was the best way to approach it.
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it was pretty windy out there, breezy. You know, I don't want to take any unnecessary risk as it is. On a calm day if I'm taking risks against a guy like that, all he needs is one game and then he's gonna win the set. So you want to make him earn it by playing the game he's not comfortable with. If he was getting in too much, I would have hit it a little bit bigger, but I still couldn't afford to get too risky. Points happen too quickly out there.

Q. What was the serve like?
ANDRE AGASSI: It's an incredible serve. I'm trying to figure out where it is I would need to have to stand on the court to have the same trajectory.

Q. How many boxes did you stand on?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, because it's not a function of how fast it is because a lot of guys can serve it 135‑plus. The trajectory is the main issue, because you're lunging, but then it's up. You're sort of diving, but then you can't reach it, even if you dive perfectly and on cue.

Q. You've played some tall guys over the years: Rosset, Krajicek, people like that. Is it more difficult than any of those?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, he's definitely taller than those, but everyone presents their different elements. I mean Rosset was nearly 6'7". For a big guy, he got around and hit forehands unbelievable. You were scared to death to leave any ball hanging so you had to hit, you know, big and aggressively because if you take anything off your shot, he'd make you pay. Krajicek wasn't nearly that tall. He's 6'5, but he'll get in. You have to play him like you're playing a great baseliner because he can just do too much if he gets a look at that ball by either coming in or... Ivo, he doesn't hurt you if you lay off on a few, but he can get that occasional one away, so you sort of live on, you know, walking on egg shells out there because you don't want to lay off too often, because it's just not a healthy thing to do; you want to keep swinging, keep your confidence going. But you're just so tempted to keep the ball in play because you know that's not what he's comfortable with.

Q. Twelfth game of the second set, Karlovic is serving 5‑6 down. You hit three return of serve winners to die for. I don't know if you can remember that.

Q. You had a set point but couldn't convert because he served a bomb. How did that frustrate you?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, Ivo was leaning backhand on that set point. I said when he tosses it, just slide a little bit because he's been liking to hit that today. I know he can hit every corner. But, still, you're jumping at it. I could have thrown my racquet and probably not touched the ball. I think the most important part of returning in a situation like that is when you do get your racquet on the ball, what do you do? Because that makes your opponent feel like they have to serve close to the lines, and that's what you want them feeling. If he was getting away with just body serves, and I was just missing returns, that's only going to loosen him up more to serve better. I felt like every time he served big, it was big and close to the lines. That's fair enough; that's too good.

Q. The serve was returned and the points were unfolding. Could you talk about the challenge of trying to pass somebody with a reach that big or lob over them? I assume it's a bit more of a challenge.
ANDRE AGASSI: Visually, it appears that way, but not necessarily. It's easy to underestimate in tennis how much movement is an issue. I mean, you could have great reach, but if you don't get down or get in quick enough, there's depths that you're working with, too. So if he's getting in slow, I can then get it down. Like when I did block his return back, he was always playing a pretty low volley. But there are moments out there that are really awkward. You just don't expect somebody to be able to cover that much ground by just sticking out their racquet, you know. That's pretty amazing, to sort of feel that. But you have to stay convicted on your shots and, you know, make him earn it with the quality of his play. Sometimes he does it by sticking out his racquet; other times he lets a good swing go; other times he can hit some balls that surprise you that he misses. So you just have to concentrate and concentrate point after point. You never know when the match is getting decided out there against a player like that.

Q. Fourth game of the second set, first point, he had a 134‑mile‑an‑hour serve, and you were playing a chip‑and‑charge or push‑and‑charge return.
ANDRE AGASSI: I've done that occasionally. Sometimes you draw a bead on where they're going to serve. I was against the wind. On that side of the court it's tough because if you're not putting your weight behind the ball, the thing's just hanging there and he's coming in. 6'10", it's not easy. So you want to get your weight through the ball. And if you had a feeling where he was going, I was just moving for it and blocking it; I can play that pretty well if I'm on it. I'm taking a chance because I'm guessing, but it's an educated guess.

Q. How is your back? Did you feel it a little more today?
ANDRE AGASSI: It was a good sign to play a guy where I had to lunge a lot and jump around. It was two and a half hours. I felt pretty good. So I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Q. Where would this guy be if he just bounced the ball and started the rally with that, didn't have the serve?
ANDRE AGASSI: He'd be as good as me if you took away my backhand (smiling). Everybody has ‑‑ I mean, it's not even fair to just sort of look at it through that lens because everybody presents their challenges and, you know... The best way to answer your question is to look at stats, you know. How often is the guy breaking? How often is he playing tiebreakers? His game, he plays tiebreakers probably twice as much as the next person that plays the most breakers because his hold game is that good and he struggles that much on the ground game. But if I was coaching him, I'd fine him $100 every time he hit a ground stroke. I would. I'd just ‑‑ he'd play like Paul Annacone. Stick your racquet out and come forward.

Q. You said you took some pace off the ball because it was windy and all those things, but, I mean, you consistently took pace off the ball the whole match. Was that a strategy, whether it was windy or not?
ANDRE AGASSI: No, no, quite the opposite. I mean, I feel like when you play a guy that's not comfortable from the ground, you've got to treat him like he's good because that's what separates, ultimately, my strengths. You know, if I go out there and I think, "Okay, well, you might miss," and I lay off, lay off, then I'm half the baseliner I normally am and I give him more looks than he should have. So you want to play against serve‑volleyers when they're at the back as if they were good ground‑strokers because it keeps you executing your shots. But in windy conditions you want to keep swinging but you sort of change your margin for error because of the wind. You allow more room to make a mistake and still have the point be alive. That's all I was doing. I was just aiming for bigger parts of the court and playing with a touch more rotation.

Q. Was it awkward trying to break his serve?
ANDRE AGASSI: No, I broke him one time. You come out to a match like this, and you hope for that at least. So you never know what to expect playing somebody you never played before. But he was ‑‑ in his most difficult moments, he was more awkward than I anticipated.

Q. You made a decision to start a family and continue this globe‑trotting life style. Do you see guys on tour making that decision, and what are the pros and cons of that?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, for me, it was ‑‑ having a family was something I always dreamed about and looked forward to, certainly to find somebody that you want to have a family with. I mean, that's an incredible time in your life. So to postpone that, for me, I never really considered it. When it was right, I did it. But that's how I do most things, unfortunately. It's just a young sport, so you don't see a lot of guys at that stage of their life mostly. But I think once they do, they have to make that decision personally.

Q. We're focused on tennis here and sports and fun and competition. There is a serious disaster in our country. Your thoughts on that? And if I could ask, have you done anything personally for that?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, listen, none of us can leave the TV on very long without ‑‑ I have to change the channel after two minutes. You just can't bear to watch it. When I watched 9/11, how long can you watch it for without, you know, truly being devastated? It's a tragedy. It's terrible. You've got families starving, no food, no water, no electricity. You have power lines in the water. Nobody knows ‑‑ nobody can be rescued. Nobody knows where to go, what to do. That doesn't even count the potential diseases that are going to come as a result of this and the lives that are going to be affected and lost, people losing family and losing homes. It's terrible.

Q. What part of the relief effort are you helping with? Are you going to do public service announcements?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. Jim Curley just asked me if I would do that. I said I would after this. I know that the ATP and WTA are getting together to put a lot of clothes and shoes and stuff together to auction off to somehow raise money and help. This is going to be an ongoing effort. You look at the tsunami that hit and you think, you know, "Geez, how long does that stay in the news?" Is it how long people care about it? But those lives are still affected. And this is going to continue for a long time. I mean, schools and, you know, hospitals. You know, this is something that needs to be ‑‑ we need to stay for the long haul.

Q. What do you think you can do? Can you do something personally in the position you're in, or do you feel kind of helpless, like everybody else?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, certainly helpless is a fair word to use. I hope there's something I can do, you know. I'll be a part of anything that might make a difference. I think it's hard to know right now what to do. I mean, what do you do? What do you tell those people that are sitting there, waiting to be rescued and people can't even get to them?

Q. Have you ever been there?
ANDRE AGASSI: I've been there one time.

Q. Long time ago?
ANDRE AGASSI: No, maybe two years ago.

Q. Can you compare these three tiebreak sets to the famous match with Pete and the four tiebreaks?
ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, sorry. We're back to the match tonight. Uhm, no, it's a different animal. I mean, I had a lot more looks against Pete to break, and he had a lot more looks to break me. So it was ‑‑ there was a higher standard of rallies and pressure points, and there was more of them and there was ‑‑ it was definitely a different style of tennis. Today was awkward and probably pretty standard for Ivo. He's played a lot of tiebreakers. When you see him go out on the court, you can already chalk up two tiebreakers, minimum it seems. He just plays a lot of them. I didn't expect to escape that.

Q. Did you watch any of Andy the other night? What's the moral of the story, I suppose, for a guy like Andy?
ANDRE AGASSI: In reference to the match?

Q. Yeah.
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, it was a tough match, an awkward match. I played Muller twice. Once he beat me in Washington. I didn't quite play him right. He certainly pushed me around the court and outplayed me in a 6‑4, 7‑5 set match. In LA, made a few adjustments and was able to ‑‑ beating him the same score, I was able to be in control of most of the match. That night Muller was bringing his game and Andy was just taking it, you know. He wasn't as aggressive as he needed to be, and Muller was keeping him from doing it, you know. So it was an uncomfortable hole you get yourself into out there when a guy starts dictating to you the terms. That's exactly what Muller was doing, and deserved to win that night.

Q. What adjustments could he make?
ANDRE AGASSI: I'm not in the business of coaching my peers, so...

Q. Earlier today Ivan Lendl was here for a promotion. You don't see him around tennis a lot anymore. When you were young, he was a standard for fitness and preparation during his long run. Did he have an impact on you when you later made a commitment to fitness?
ANDRE AGASSI: I think he certainly set a standard for all of us. Anybody that plays No. 1 in the world tennis, you can be assured that every other player out there is looking to learn from them and looking to figure out what they need to do to not only beat them, but also get the most out of themselves and to adopt philosophies or approaches to the game. But I've always had a belief in strength and fitness. I just didn't always have the discipline. I just never ‑‑ I didn't always have the priority, I didn't always have the commitment to it. But that grew, as I did, and it's become the most important part of my career, and certainly the reason why I still have a chance when I come out here.

Q. Sorry to ping‑pong back like this. I'm just curious, why were you in New Orleans? What memories did you take?
ANDRE AGASSI: I was there for one night. I played an exhibition with Andy for Emeril Lagasse's foundation. We had fun. We just weren't there long enough to tap into the pulse of the city but long enough to get to meet a few people and enjoy some entertainment. So that was it.

Q. When you're watching that, when you're talking about watching it, how heart‑breaking it is, does it make you think any differently about playing tennis or anything else? Did it change ‑‑ is anything in your mind different after something like that?
ANDRE AGASSI: It certainly puts in perspective that we're out here hitting tennis balls and playing a game. It's tough. There's, you know ‑‑ I don't have to look very far in my life to understand where tennis fits. You know, I have to look as far as my children. But when you see a tragedy like this, it just really puts into perspective how life can turn in an instant.

Q. Andy looked as devastated as you did in his press conference after you lost in '93 in the first round to Thomas Enqvist. He took great solace from the fact you were able to bounce back the very next year, in '94, and win it for the very first time as an unseeded player, albeit under Brad's tutelage. What would you say to him right now?

Q. Yeah.
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, the same thing I'll say to any player out there that is going through a difficult time, is keep your head down, keep working and keep getting better. That's all you can do .I mean, I was a few points away from losing today, too. It comes down to a few points here or there, you know. You have to assess why you lost, you have to figure out what you can do about it, and then you have to go to work, you know. It's not going to be easy because I know it's important to him, being here. It's going to be disappointing not being here. But in the long haul it makes you better if you use it right.

Q. You were talking about perspective. You mention 1993, '94, it's 2005. Is it more fun, more relaxing, that you feel you're playing with the house money coming into the tournament? You're not the favorite. Is it more relaxing, more fun?
ANDRE AGASSI: I still put myself through the same dramas that I used to and always have. It's not easy to be around me during an event like this, I can only imagine. But with that being said, I think that a lot changed in my career after falling to No. 141 in the world and coming back and winning in Paris. I just have a lot to be thankful for inside those lines; certainly outside those lines as well. So I'm more motivated now than ever to get out there and figure out a way through the battle.

Q. When you fell to 141, did you have doubts? Did you doubt you might come back?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, absolutely. Never considered being able to get back to the top again ever. But that wasn't important to me. What was important to me was to make a decision for a way of life, to get the most out of myself every day. Just to do that, build a little momentum, and refuse to not get a day better each day. That hasn't stopped.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...
:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Andre Agassi
Saturday, September 3, 2005

Video Interview here

Transcribed Interview

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. What was the key adjustment for you today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I went out there and I certainly didn't have my rhythm. I wasn't timing the ball very well. A little bit had to do with the way he was hitting it. When I did time it, he would hit it pretty well anyhow.

I was just sort of out of sorts. I wasn't timing it well. I think I was still in the locker room there in the first set. I knew it could only get better from there as far as my standard went. I think he got a little careless early in the second, allowed me to settle in a little bit more. Then the standard started gradually picking up.

Q. Taking care of business there, closing the match in four sets when he threatened to take you to five. That has to feel good?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it feels good because I was at a place in my game out there where the standard was really high and I was going to make him earn it one way or the other. I wasn't thinking about saving myself from the fifth. I was thinking about every point. I like when I get that focus. It means I'm really doing my job well usually. At that stage I wasn't thinking about the fifth. I was thinking about every point, which is a good sign.

Q. You said on television that you were aware of what James did. Could you expand on that a little bit. You said you also were aware of the draw and the possibility of maybe seeing him in a round down the road.

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, we're still a long ways away from it, but, yeah, I was playing after him so it was hard not to take a lot of interest in the match. Try not to watch too closely because you don't want to get sort of emotionally drained watching it, you know, because you got to play right afterwards.

Q. Has that ever happened before?


Q. Has that ever happened?

ANDRE AGASSI: Has what ever happened?

Q. Has that ever happened to you?

ANDRE AGASSI: At Davis Cup it's happened a few times.

I thought he played a great match. He played smart. He had to execute perfectly and aggressively. It was great to see him play that way. There's nobody that deserves it more after the year he had last year. Just to see him out here, is a great feeling, let alone watching him play so well. He's truly one of the classiest people you'll ever meet.

Q. Successful players have longevity in any sport, like you 20 years at the US Open, Roger Clemens in baseball. At times they'll change their approach or game in some way to keep that longevity going. Have you changed or approached your game any differently?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, my game had to evolve along with the rest of the game. The game's gotten a lot more aggressive than it used to be. But the most that's changed about my game has been, over the years, my training and my decision making with scheduling. I can't afford just to go play every week as much as you want to at times.
You have to make the decision to not play to prepare, to recover or prepare. I had to get smarter with those decisions to help my body and my mind at this stage. It gets harder and harder. So that part's changed.

Q. You used your dropshot increasingly. Can you talk about that shot and its effectiveness, and can you go to it too often?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think it's possible to go to it too often, but the good news, when you cross that line and you go to it too often, it means you've really established to the guy that he has to worry about it, which means the second you go back to striking the ball, it's going to be effective against him.

But a guy like Berdych, I mean, he stands a good portion behind the baseline because he's such a big guy, he can afford to. Takes big swings at the ball. .

So my hope was to sort of edge him forward a little bit so that his swings became more risky by getting him close to the baseline. Otherwise he just settles into a nice grove and it seems like he'll never miss. He'll just hammer the ball left and right.

It's a one sided breeze out there, so it really lends for when you're on one side of the court, it really lends to using that shot effectively.

Q. How significant does your advancing, James' win, just the overall success of Americans to the sport's popularity in the United States?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well tennis has gotten deeper and stronger and more international over the last number of years. So to see guys like Robby or James, myself at that matter, still be sort of into the second week, I think it's a good thing for this tournament being here in America. It's a great thing for the sport. I mean, the American market is a big one, and I think James would be a great ambassador of the sport if he steps up and starts playing like he's been playing. That's a great thing for the game.

Q. Could you talk about the fourth set today. You were in and out of trouble a lot, kind of living on the edge for a while there. What did you rely upon in your experience to get you through the fourth set?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, the good news in the fourth set was the standard had improved dramatically. It started to become toe to toe tennis, which is what I wanted it to be from the first game. He had chances. I had chances. Then he got the break, only for me to play a good game right after that and break him back.

So at that stage I just kept making him play a quality match to win this, make him hit every ball, make him push to the very end. When I snuck back in the second set, you feel like you have more life and it gives you an opportunity. I was only looking at it as that. Had we gone five, I would have still been out there with the same mindset.

Q. When you see someone like Berdych who has the shots, the exuberance, he just maybe needs some seasoning, are you reminded of yourself 20 years ago?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, there's no question I had unrealized potential for many years early on. I had to learn how to play the game. In my mind, as good a player as Berdych is, he can be a lot better, so he still has a lot to discover himself.

Q. When you're down 5 3, what's going on through your mind?

ANDRE AGASSI: In the first or fourth?

Q. The fourth.

ANDRE AGASSI: I was thinking, you know, make him play well to close this set out, and then the worst case you're going to be starting the fifth serving, then go to work again. There's not much more you can do than treat every point with urgency and hope for the best, and that's pretty much what I was doing.

Q. Can you comment on Malisse's game.

ANDRE AGASSI: We played a few times. He's a talented player with a great flair for the game. He has a big forehand and solid backhand and moves incredibly well. He has a deceptive first serve and it can get very streaky.
It's always a tough match when we play, it's always toe to toe tennis.

Q. You prefer that kind of game, those kind of matches?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know really. I mean, sometimes you prefer contrast, you know. There's a lot to playing a guy like Malisse gives me the chance to settle in a little bit earlier because we're going to hit more balls. That's always a bit of a relief when you go on the court.

But by the same token, he'll make you work harder for it. Even if you find your range, it's going to take you longer to accomplish the job. You know, other times I've always enjoyed playing a guy like Rafter, or somebody like this, who plays completely, completely different.

Q. Most would say of you these days that you're thoughtful, respectful, committed to your community and of course your family. Yet the phrase, if I'm not mistaken, in the commercial is "once a rebel, always a rebel." Could you comment on that?

ANDRE AGASSI: That's the tag line, and I didn't say it (smiling).

Yeah, I mean, I don't know what to really say about that, to be honest. I think that there's a lot of things I've been a part of in the past that have probably changed. But there's a certain there are certain parts that have been such an important part of my own evolution, you know, and I'm just not so eager to let that go.

Q. I got to ask. What's that little rebel still in you? What part of your personality?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you know (smiling)...

Yeah, I always feel like I'm itching to do something I shouldn't be doing, you know. So I'm not sure what it is. It's a good thing I don't recognize it so well.

Q. Could you maybe speak a little bit of the difference of your approach to what you wear on the court according to your early years where you were known for the very flamboyant image. Now you're more conservative maybe.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, the beginning I, you know, sort of wanted to bring something to the game that would maybe impact those that don't normally watch it, maybe to draw interest to the game, to the fans out there that might not necessarily ever have taken the time to appreciate the sport of tennis.

You know, now, I'm at the stage where I've just thought to myself, "If I dress like my wife, maybe I can play like my wife" (laughter).

Been working, by the way.

Q. Do you sometimes feel nostalgic to wear any of your legendary outfits you wore?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no. That's like my hair, it's all gone (smiling).

Q. Jeans pants and stuff like this?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, no, that's gone. It served a purpose, and hopefully parts of it served good purposes. But, yeah, no, I like to I don't like to dwell too much on that.

Q. You had to reach a lot today, lunge a lot again. Did the back hold up again?

ANDRE AGASSI: It did. It felt good, you know. It felt good. We were out there for two and a half hours, just over. So that's good news.

Q. You've said you'll continue playing this game as long as you feel like you can step on the court and bring your game. More recently you said you will a continue to play as long as people are entertained and you can put on a show. Looking at that second answer, is that realistic enough to keep you in the game, or is it being out there and getting to the second week of the tournament?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think it's one in the same really. I don't think you really inspire and entertain unless to some degree you're competitive and a threat. So, you know, listen, you're discovering this with me. I should say I'm discovering it with you.

I don't know what my mindset is. I don't always understand what my motivations are. I know what my responsibilities are, and I know how those responsibilities motivate me, but, you know, I've never been through this before. I've never been 35 years old before. I've never, you know, never played 20 Opens before. This is the first time. So I'm sort of wondering about all that myself, and I have for a number of years now.

So while I appreciate the respect of my words and the attention to them, I caution you to take them too literally when it comes to me trying to get a feel for what I'm looking for at this stage of my career, because, you know, I take it one day at a time, you know. I take it so it's hard for me to be totally clear myself.

Q. When you're able to hit a dropshot from the baseline like you did to force that tiebreak, does that ever grow old to you, or do you feel as, you know, good about that as you might have when you were 12 years old and pulled off a shot that you hadn't, you know, before? I mean, does this ever get old for you? Do you take your shots like that for granted ever?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, no, when he's hitting a forehand to the corner and I'm running there knowing I'm not getting it, that gets really old, I assure you (smiling).

But, no, I think a perfectly played dropshot is one of the prettiest shots to watch in the game, next to the topspin lob. In order for the dropshot to work, somebody has to be respecting what it is you might do besides that, and you've earned the chance to execute something at that moment that, when it leaves your racquet, you know if you've done it or not.

So when you do it well, the second it leaves your racquet you get about a second and a half to be a spectator and watch it.

Q. You were just talking about your wife a few moments ago. Are there things you learned from her about tennis either on or off the court?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I suppose watching her going about her life is the greatest lesson I could learn. I mean, in tennis, when you evolve as a person and you're more disciplined in your life and more commitment and passion and focus and intensity, it all translates into the tennis court, and vice versa. When you start showing more discipline on the court, then your life starts to reflect that.

So seeing how Stef went about parts of her career, most of it I wasn't anywhere near seeing close up, but more importantly how she goes about her life. It's pretty clear focus, every day reflecting her values and priorities. So I aspire to that.

Tennis is still a big priority for me, so I try to make sure it has its place every day.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"Tennis is still a big priority for me, so I try to make sure it has its place every day. " , Andre Agassi

:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gigan said:
"Tennis is still a big priority for me, so I try to make sure it has its place every day. " , Andre Agassi

and after that somebody hopes that Andre will retire?
stupid you!
:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Andre Agassi
Monday, September 5, 2005

Transcribed Interview

A. AGASSI/X. Malisse

6‑3, 6‑4, 6‑7, 4‑6, 6‑2

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. Tough but highly profitable day at the office. You're into the quarterfinals. Don't need to think about Federer until the title round. At this stage, how do you assess your chances of becoming the oldest ever US Open champion of The Open era?
ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know. I mean, for me it's about one match at a time and doing what's asked of you. Each match, it's had to be more. Today was no exception. The standard that Malisse played in the third and fourth was really high. I needed to answer that. I did in the fifth. I'm a lot closer than I would have been had I lost today, so that's good.

Q. Could you speak a bit about your physical state and sort of emotional or mental state when the tiebreak ended.
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, tiebreaks, while you have to execute, you also in some cases need a little bit of luck. I felt we both executed, with the exception of a double‑fault I had at 3‑2, both played a good breaker. 5‑3 in the breaker, I hit a real good return that he had to pick up and scrap himself back into the point. You know, you're just telling yourself, "Keep executing, there's a lot of tennis left out here," after that breaker. So I just kept my head down and kept wanting to make him earn it. He kept raising his game all the way through the fourth set. Appeared like the wheels were starting to come off a little bit towards the end of the fourth set, but I couldn't get into the points on his serve. He was hitting the lines, hitting them real close to the lines. But then in the fifth, I settled down a little bit on my service games and my groundstrokes, put enough pressure on him to get that break.

Q. How important was it that you were serving first in that final set? Did it give you a bit more of a boost?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think it helps to be serving first in the fifth. You know, it helps to take care of your serve. The fifth set, it has a lot to do with momentum. If you're just hanging on and just hanging on to hold, you know, you feel like the guy's going to start taking his chances any second now. I mean, you can't live on the edge like that much longer. You know, the third and fourth set, I felt I was a bit living on the edge with my serve. He was getting a lot of good swings at it, had me under a lot of pressure. But the fifth, I had a few good easy hold games and started to relax a little bit more and hit my spots a little bit better, so that helped me to relax on my return games, as well.

Q. Were you playing on the second, third or fourth wind in that fifth set?

Q. Did you catch a second wind in the fifth set?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I was a bit discouraged there in the fourth. As hard as I was wanting to try, there's not a lot you can do when you're just not getting into the points. I mean, he went through a stretch there where I was lucky if every third point I was in the point. I mean, he was hitting ace after ace. So, you know, physically it felt great, but I just needed a chance, and I didn't get that till the fifth.

Q. What happened with your serve in the third and fourth set? You refound it in the fifth.
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. He went through a stage where he was returning exceptionally well in the third and fourth, especially on my second serve. He was really taking chances on it. That always happens when a guy's holding so easy. I mean, he was going through periods where I wasn't touching his serve. That allows you to really hit out and take your chances. Once he started putting that pressure on my second, then it's a function of how I'm going to respond to that, and I didn't respond well to that for maybe an hour and a half out there. Again, I was holding on in the third ‑‑ in the fourth especially, and partly in the third. With that being said, I had a 5‑All breakpoint. I covered the middle serve, hit it firm, hit it well. Just hit the tape. You have that shot again, you know, you break and it's a straight‑set match. I knew that match was close to being real tough because all these matches are. It was just good to step up in the fifth the way I did.

Q. Does it help mentally going into the fifth knowing how up and down he can be, not somebody who usually sustain as high level?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, I'm sure Youzhny would disagree with you there. So in my mind, I knew that he had come back from two sets to love in his last match, down, I believe 5‑3, Youzhny serving for it. If he's been unpredictable, he's answered that question this tournament. He's knuckled down and gotten the job done there. I wasn't happy about being in a fifth after being up two sets to love, but I did know I was going to make him earn it. He was going to have to play another great set. When I got on top, I think the wheels came off quickly.

Q. You always get the crowd support. If Blake should happen to win, they love him as well. Might that be different for you, the atmosphere?
ANDRE AGASSI: You know, listen, I mean, James is an easy guy to like and he's an easy guy to root for. If he's getting the better of me, if we happen to play, you know, I couldn't wish it for a better person. You know, he deserves support. I just hope it to be a great standard match.

Q. You mentioned the back was no issue at all in the fifth set. Were you feeling it at all? If you weren't, how good a sign is that?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's a great sign. I've trained hard. This is why you work so hard so that, you know, physically you can do it. Something like a nerve, you never know when it's going to be an issue. But I'll feel it on cool‑down, when my body cools down. I'm not a big fan of just standing around and going for walks when it starts to cool down. As long as it's not coming on the court, you know, when I'm active, then I don't mind a little pain. It didn't. It makes me feel great that I can play the five sets without that. That's certainly a good indication that everything's holding up. But I'll keep my fingers crossed from this day forward. I live under ‑‑ I play by different rules now. My body plays by different rules. I need to listen to it.

Q. When did you learn what had happened to James over the last year and a half? Did you know at the time?
ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, yeah. As he was going through it, you knew it. Obviously, when he hurt himself in Rome, broke the vertebrae in his back. That was tragic news for those peers that compete against him. You wouldn't wish that on anybody, especially him.

Q. Did you have any kind of contact with him when he was off the tour?
ANDRE AGASSI: No. I spent some time, when I did see him, certainly expressing my condolences. Then as the year unfolded, with the tragedy of his father, what can you do except offer your support and prayers?

Q. Is it your impression that Blake really has improved to the point where he has the entire package now or do you think it's still possible he's just on a hot streak and is kind of rolling?
ANDRE AGASSI: I think he's always been a real dangerous player. You know, you never know when somebody comes of age or game. Some people, it happens a lot earlier than others. I haven't played him in a while. Certainly watching his wins over the last couple weeks have been great, not only here, but also in New Haven. Just looks like he's doing a lot of things well. Yeah, I would need to play against him to have a clear indication as to where his game is now versus the last time we played. There's no question he's doing something better than he used to do.

Q. What does it say about you that in your last service game of a match that lasts 2 hours, 55 minutes, you're able to throw in three consecutive aces?
ANDRE AGASSI: It tells you that even a blind dog can find a bone every now and then.

Q. How tough was this mentally for you today, just staying with it?
ANDRE AGASSI: Getting up two sets helps a lot because a guy can play great for two hours. In worst case, the match is going to be even. It's tough going through it. Early in the fourth, I was really discouraged. He had a couple great shots on my service game. I made one error, got careless, couldn't get into the return games. I was pretty discouraged there, but had every intention of making him do it for another set. Then when the fifth starts, best thing you can do is put everything behind you and focus on the next point. Pretty experienced at doing that. So mentally, I was ready for that challenge. You know, got up early in the fifth, which always makes it easier.

Q. Does it hit you at any point before the fifth set, "I was two points away from the match"? Do you think about that?
ANDRE AGASSI: You're aware of it, but two points from the match, but there's still a person standing in the way there. I mean, it's not like, say, in basketball where you run out the clock and somebody throws up a half‑court shot that happens to go in and rips your heart out. This is a guy that's forcing me to close him out, and I didn't do it because of his standard. He played some good shots and some big points late in that tiebreaker, he deserved that set and outplayed me in the fourth. The match was even, as far as I was concerned.

Q. Fourth game of the final set, you've already seen numerous breakpoints come and go. You pull the trigger, rip your backhand. What is going through your mind as you're preparing to hit a shot like that?
ANDRE AGASSI: The previous breakpoint, I got into a bit of a (fondle?) point, where I was hitting the backhand cross‑court, not doing a lot with it. He ended up getting the error for me. I just told myself, I can't live that way. You know, I'm not going to get my chances and then not take it, not go for it. I can live with losing; I can't live with not taking my chance. The next breakpoint, we got into the same backhand to backhand. In typical fashion, I took it to the other side of the spectrum and just fired it up the line. I was thankful I did that.

Q. When Borg left, John McEnroe said basically for a while he was wondering where his rival went. When Pete retired, did you suffer any kind of motivational letdown at all? Did you have to adjust? Did it have no effect whatsoever?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, to say it has no effect would be probably overstating it because there is an effect. You grow up with a guy, you compete against him for so long, he's such a big part of your career, something that's pretty special, so you do have that sense of personal regret that he's not around any more. You miss having that around. But as far as actual tennis or my motivation, it had zero impact.

Q. He wasn't like a measuring stick in that sense? You just moved on?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, there was a time that he was, for sure. You know, for me it's always been about the challenge, the everyday perseverance and pushing myself. You know, I've never been motivated by any given person or any given accomplishment. I've been motivated by overcoming challenge and overcoming the hurdles and obstacles that face me, in most cases by the day. Pete leaving was certainly one of those obstacles and one of those opportunities gone. But there was and still is plenty out there to get motivated by.

Q. Isn't the challenge here, though, the tournament, that you're three matches from another possible title, rather than the day (indiscernible)?
ANDRE AGASSI: While winning is something you always want and it's something that you work for, it's like serving for a match, you know, you don't talk about holding serve, you talk about what you're going to do with that first serve, what you're going to do with that first shot. Then if it's 15‑Love, what are you going to do with the next serve. It all boils down to your next step. My next step is not this title. My next step is my next match.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports
:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Look fans, what Blake says in the interview on Andre and on the upcoming match:

It looks that he speaks too much! ;)

What do you think fans?

THE MODERATOR: Questions for James.

Q. You often spoke admirably of Andre Agassi during this tournament. Now you have to play him.

JAMES BLAKE: I think I'll still speak admirably of him before the match, after the match, if someone interviews me during the match, I'll probably say nice things about him. He's really a true gentleman, one of the friendliest guys in the locker room. That's something that's impressive when you don't need to do that because you're one of the legends of the sport. You've got everything you can ever dream of, but he still knows how to treat people. And that's something that I really admire.

He's helped me with scouting reports, helped me when I go out to Vegas, he hooks me up with hotels. He's just a great guy that will help out young guys with anything, leading by example, you know, leading by his words. He's someone that you can tell your kids to look up to and be proud of it.

That's kind of the goal I have as a tennis player and a public figure. He's obviously had a lot more success on the court. But he's also a great human being. I'm proud to be a competitor with him.

He's been my biggest win in my career so far to date. Hopefully it will be again. But I don't think either of us are going to go out there and hang our heads in shame after the match. I think we have a similar attitude. We're going to go out there, leave it all on the court. He's been through this so many times 35 years old, his 20th Open. I don't feel like he's going to be nervous. He's going to go out there and just let it rip. I'm going to try to do the same.

I don't think I'll be nervous either because I know I got nothing to lose. Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals of the US Open, I'm sure as heck not going to go home and say I had a bad tournament. I'll probably be disappointed right after the match, but other than that, I'm going to go down swinging, giving a hundred percent. Once I get over the initial loss, I'll think about some of the good things that have happened this year, some of the good things that happened this tournament.

But, you know, if I win, I won't be surprised either. I won't get ahead of myself. Similar to today, if I get up a break, if I'm up two sets to one and a break, I'm not going to start getting head of myself, thinking this is Andre Agassi, the legend, I'm going to beat. I'm just going to try to keep the same maturity and the same focus and perspective I've had so far this tournament and this whole year.

They still worked us so hard every Sunday when we'd go down there. We'd come home from that just beat from doing sprints, from doing pushups, from doing situps, from jumping rope. It wasn't about turning you into pro athletes. It was just about learning how to work hard and enjoying it, seeing the progress, seeing that, okay, the first day you did it, you could do 30 pushups, now a month later you can do 40, ad now a month later you can do 45. Seeing that progression, being happy with it, happy with whatever success you have. If you're the best one there and you're doing the most or if you're one of the worst ones there, but you're still improving. Just comparing yourself only to yourself, not to the others, and working hard and enjoying that progress.

And I still do that today because I don't want to go out here and compare myself to Roger Federer, I don't want to go out here and compare myself to someone that's in the quallies here. I want to just do the best I possibly can. That's something I learned at a pretty young age.

Q. Do you remember the first time you ever saw Andre Agassi play tennis?

JAMES BLAKE: Geeze, I don't know. I think it must have been here. Yeah, I think I saw him here back when he had those lime green shorts hanging out of the denim shorts. I think I got a pair of those, too, the denim ones. Not the lime green ones, I couldn't pull that off. The denim shorts, I remember that. He had the long hair, the earring. People didn't know if his name was Agassi or Agassi. I remember that, being in school and talking about how talented he was.

Q. What grade were you in?

JAMES BLAKE: Man, had to be like fifth or sixth grade. Yeah, I was probably like 10 or 11 years old. What was he, he was 25. I guess I probably started kind of late because he was probably in his early 20s by then, taking the world by storm already.

Q. Against Nadal you played almost a perfect match. Do you think to beat Agassi, you will have to play again a perfect match?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, well, I didn't go into playing Nadal thinking that way. I thought I was just going to play within myself. I think too many times in the past I've gone out playing a guy that's ranked that high thinking I have to play a perfect match and going for too much and playing kind of into their hands and letting them play a little conservative and me beating myself.

I didn't do that against Nadal. I maybe played a perfect match, but it felt like it was within myself. I didn't feel like I was going for too much. I felt like I was going for my shots when I had them and not overplaying.

That's the same thing I'm going to try to do against Andre. I'm going to try to play within myself. If he comes up with shots that are too good, I'll tip my hat to him and say too good. If I do need to adjust, if I'm getting beat, if I'm down a set and a break, he's really beating me that way, I might have to adjust and figure out some other way to play.
But I'm always going to try to keep playing within myself. I'm not going to go out just trying to blast winners from every corner just because it's Andre Agassi. I'm going to try to play my game.

I think that's a better barometer to find out where you are. Instead of going out and if you have that one unbelievable day where everything's going in, you still don't really know how good you are because you were that good on one day, but it's not going to keep up. If you lose and were going for everything, you don't know how good you are because you didn't play your game. I want to go out and find out how good I am playing my game.

Q. For the two matches, you had the support of the crowd. When you play Agassi, how will you feel the crowd will respond to you or Agassi?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, I think it's I hope it's a very fair crowd. I think my friends are definitely going to be here. But I know he's got fans all over the world, especially here. He's won here. I mean, he's such a legend. He's got so many fans that I think they're also going to be cheering very vocally for him.

But I think we're both respectful of each other, I think. So I think the fans I hope the fans take a cue from that and are cheering winners, not really cheering the errors or the double faults or anything like that. Just fair about it. That's all I hope for, but I really don't know because it's going to be a night match, I think. People have a Heineken or two. They get a little rambunctious. They might scream a little too early. I might make a get, he might make a get they didn't expect.

I am sure that is going to happen. He's dealt with it a million times in his career. I've dealt with it a few times here already. I don't think we're going to be affected too much by it. He's an unbelievable professional. I'm never going to be angry at a New York crowd. I don't think either of us will be affected negatively.
:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
An interview with Patrick McEnroe
Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Transcribed Interview

An interview with:


Q. How do you see tonight's match?
PATRICK McENROE: I see tonight's match as a potential blockbuster. I think James has got a great shot. I think, you know, Andre, this is old hat for him in that it's a huge occasion. Wednesday night at the Open he played Pete obviously a few times. To me, a lot of it depends on how James handles that. I think if it gets down to the Xs and Os of it, James has a great shot. I think he's playing well enough to win. But, you know, handling the situation, how Andre comes out after he's had a couple tough matches, I'm like you guys. I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to sit back, relax and enjoy it. I think it's going to be a great night.

Q. Do you think Andre will sit back and say "Okay, it's over, back to play Davis Cup"?
PATRICK McENROE: (Laughing). That's not going to happen. It would be great for him, but that's not going to happen.

Q. Was Andre in the mix?
PATRICK McENROE: I spoke to him, sure. I spoke to him early on in the summer. As always, he's very straightforward and honest. My conversation with him was, Just let me know if you're definitely not going to play, and he did. He called me right back and we talked and he said, you know, just based on his health and based on the last time he played on clay we know what happened, the sliding, the movement, so he doesn't want to take that risk at this point, which I certainly understand. You know, knock on wood, the other guys have stepped up. So I feel as good as I felt, you know, going in with the second guy as I felt in a while.
:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Andre Agassi
Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Transcribed Interview

THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. Andre, at some point did you think to yourself, "I'm 35, I won't have that many more chances out here, I don't want to go out right now"?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I've been thinking that for four years.

Q. During that match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, yeah, sure. I mean, obviously you never know when it's your last go. I mean, I certainly have no plans one way or the other. But I've been around long enough to know how short‑lived all of this is. And, you know, I was just happy it turned into a match out there.

You know, I was real frustrated. He started off letting a few balls fly. I actually liked the way I was hitting the ball when we started the match. I liked the way I was feeling, got comfortable. But he let a few second‑serve returns fly. Then he started swinging for the fences. I sort of overreacted to that by picking up the pace of my ball too much. I lost my rhythm and started missing a lot.

It wasn't until I was down a break that I sort of settling back down and just tried to at least hit a few more balls.

Q. How hard is it to block out the pressure and play one point at a time and slowly get yourself back into this match?

ANDRE AGASSI: It's a discipline. You know, it's not easy to do that necessarily. I mean, some days it's easier than others. But, you know, when you play a guy that you have to treat each point with urgency, it does make it easier because there's no real option. I mean, it's not like you can get away with less.

So your choice is pretty simple out there.

Q. Have you ever seen Blake playing so well as in the first two sets?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, he was really hitting the ball clean and big and making me feel like I was a step behind on all my shots. And, again, like I was saying, I overreacted to that and I started pressing too much and hitting too big just to try to hang with him a little bit. And I lost my rhythm doing that.

But, no, it was quality tennis, and the tennis stayed pretty high throughout. And it ended on a high note, too.

Q. Three months ago you didn't even know if you were going to be playing. Now you're in the semis.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, yeah, it's pretty amazing, you know. It's pretty amazing. Just feels great. I mean, the time I spent during Wimbledon at home, you know, just not knowing if I'll play again, let alone, you know, be ready in just a few weeks' time.

With the help of Darren and Gil, just made a lot of decisions over the last few months that have really helped put me in this position. I can't thank their support enough. I certainly feel a bit overwhelmed with it because, again, I love this sport and I have a chance to be out here doing this. It's just amazing for me.

Q. When was the last time your adrenaline pumped as much as it did at the end of the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, you know, it actually ‑‑ it didn't feel much different, you know, at the end than it did throughout that stage of me coming back in the match. Because I sort of found my groove out there and I just was focused on it. I just didn't want to let go of my rhythm, my timing, the pace I was playing, all of that. I just wanted to keep focused on it.

And it was the same thing at the tiebreaker. You have to sort of show a bit of experience there and tell yourself, "Okay," you know, "Just don't change," you know, "Just keep hitting your shots, take your chance if it's there. If the ball falls for you, then great." Certainly, when it was over with, that was an amazing feeling.

Q. You had the 5‑4 point, 7‑6 point, were you reading his serve by then or leaning that way?

ANDRE AGASSI: I thought he was losing a little legs on his serve. You know, he's not terribly tall, so I was, couple times, giving him the wide serve in the ad court because he wasn't getting up, and that's a low percentage serve if you really don't go up after it.

So I was sort of giving him that one. If he can bang it out there, then good for him. But it looked like the edge had come off his intensity. That's a little easier to get away with a bender up the middle, and I didn't want to give him that. So I was sitting on it a couple times.

Q. At 5‑3 in the third set, is that when you got the sense you could win?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, James is a guy that runs on high octane. You know, he's a fighter jet, you know. He burns the fuel fast and furious. And he's gotten much better with that over the years.

But, you know, he plays so big and so fast that if an edge does come off, it's a big relief, you know, 'cause just he flies around the court. I put him over anybody on the tour in the straight 100 meters. He's the only guy on the tour that actually looks like he's increasing speed when it's time for him to stop. It's just he has to stop, that's why he's not getting faster, you know.

And so when you see a little bit of that edge come off, where he sort of coming down into warp speed, you know, it gives you a little breath of life.

Q. You came back against Medvedev Roland Garros final, so obviously that's the final, a special moment. Just talk about this coming back from two sets down, US Open, Wednesday night, you know, hitting outright return of serve winners, then even to win the match. Pretty special stuff even for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Pretty amazing. I don't know if I can put in context how this compares with some of my greatest experience on the tennis court, but I know it's right up there because this is what you work so hard for, you know.

To be honest, with the way a mentality like mine sort of works, is this means as much to me as doing it in the finals. This is what it's about. It's about just authentic competition, just getting out there and having respect for each other's game and respect for each other's person and letting it fly and letting it be just about tennis.

It's, you know ‑‑ unfortunately it doesn't happen as often as you'd like. Two guys need to play well and then the balls need to fall at the right place at the right time to create that sort of drama. And it all came together tonight.

Q. Did you learn anything about yourself tonight?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have more of a knack of getting myself two sets in a hole than I want to have (smiling). You know, I don't know.

No, you know, listen, it's just ‑‑ it's hard for all this to sort of settle in that quickly.

Q. Were you surprised, going into the fifth set? Did you think maybe you had him beaten, or were you surprised he came back strong in the fifth like he did?

ANDRE AGASSI: You never know how somebody's feeling physically. You never know how somebody's feeling mentally. You don't know if he's going to be disheartened and disspirited that it's now tied up or you don't know if he's going to go, "Here it is, it's a sprint to the finish and I'm going to bring it now." You always leave room for how somebody might respond to it. You expect the worst, hope for the best.

Yeah, I expected him to be tough to beat in the fifth. And he was. When he goes up tempo, you know, he can really, really surprise you when you're not expecting it.

Q. Do you ever surprise yourself with the stuff you do?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, it's all a bit surreal. You know, I just ‑‑ I get out there and I try to work and, you know, I come off the court and many times in my career I just feel like it's been a dream, you know. And that's the way it feels here. It's a dream for me to be doing this. I feel the same way with my children. I feel the same way off the court. Yeah, it's all surprising to me.

Q. Right now you probably believe in tiebreaks in the fifth set, but before tonight, do you believe in tiebreaks in the fifth set or do you think they should be played out?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, if the match isn't decided by then, you know, what are we waiting for. Let's get on with it. It's a long time to be out there to feel like the match should end differently than a bounce here or there. That's what a tiebreaker is. But that's ultimately what a match like that is, it's an even battle.

The great thing about tennis is it doesn't matter what the rules are. You still got two guys that have to deal with it; you have two guys that have to figure it out; you have two guys that have to somehow get the most out of themselves when it matters the most. And it's a great sport because of that.

Q. You're still putting on performances like this. What goes through your mind when people ask about the "R" word?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I've been asked so much about it, I'm sort of ‑ I don't want to say callus to it, or numb to it ‑ I just don't know how to answer it that it answers the question, you know? I mean, I suppose I'll have to keep answering it, which is fine if, you know ‑‑ I'll gladly take somebody along the ride with me. I don't know for a long time how my career is going to end. I don't know what I'm going to do, how I'm going to do it, when I'm going to do it.

When I get asked that question, it's sort of ‑‑ I'm just a bit numb to it really. I mean, all I can say is what I feel, and it's been the same, it's been no different. I don't know what's going to happen.

Q. An artist is judged by his greatest paintings. How does this incredible performance, incredible event tonight compare with your other highlights, the Olympics, the French Open?

ANDRE AGASSI: If it wasn't so late, I'd be excited to read about that tomorrow (laughing). But I know most of you probably missed your deadlines...

Q. Having said that, I know you just came off the court, but can you compare it with your other performances?

ANDRE AGASSI: Again, there are a few moments on a tennis court that are that special. You know, and there's different reasons why something can be that special, you know. It's winning the last of the four Grand Slams, the one that you could have won first a decade earlier; coming off a divorce in your life, a shoulder injury, not even knowing if you're going to play the tournament; coming back from two sets to love. It's like a fairytale, a situation like that.

Tonight it's the same thing. You've got two Americans in the quarterfinals, a night match at the Open, two guys that respect each other's game and person. I did interviews before I came here, people said, "It's your 20th Open, do you have 20 minutes for you?"

"Sure. What do you want to talk about?"

"What does the Open mean to you?"

That's what it means, what you just saw out there. There's no place like it. It's 1:15 in the morning, 20,000 people out there, and tennis won tonight. That happens here in New York.

Q. Have you been attacked in a similar way by a devil‑may‑care way, for that length of time?

ANDRE AGASSI: Sorry? I didn't understand that.

Q. I mean, the way he went at you with his shot‑making for such a length of time. Have you had that kind of experience?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I've been...

Q. You've been attacked by a lot of people?

ANDRE AGASSI: I've been bombarded before. I've been the reason for a lot of it sometimes, sometimes you can really make somebody look that good. Other times you can't live up to the standard they're playing.

Tonight that first set, he was untouchable. I felt pretty good, but he let it fly. Second set I felt a bit more like I rushed that set, I let it get away. But he was still playing the same standard. I just felt like I should have made some adjustments that would have made it a little tougher for him.

But, no, like I was saying, his upside is as good as anybody's when he uses his speed and his power like that, no question about it.

Q. Jimmy set a pretty high bar here. Is it possible to go through a run like this without thinking about him or even to feel like your business is finished here without making a run that absolutely rivets New York?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I always have wanted to do that, you know. I hope for that every time I play here, you know. I mean, certainly what Jimmy did was incredible. I wasn't ‑‑ when he was 35, or 36, when we played, you know, I don't know if I was old enough to really understand what it meant for him to be doing what he's doing. And certainly that year he got to the semifinals, I lost first round. I didn't have a chance to really absorb what was actually happening in a first hand sense.

I know, I've heard him talk about it as if it was the most meaningful thing to him. So that certainly speaks volumes with a career like that. I know that a match like this tonight can add to your life regardless of the titles on the line.

Q. You've had Slams that were just surprises to everybody: Your first Wimbledon, '94; Open, '99. Now this one. Do you feel this coming, or is it a surprise to you when it happens? I mean, you've had it over and over again.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I've gone into Slams with so many different feelings. I've gone in times feeling great and sort of dominating, you know, just sort of taking care of business, and it only gets better and you're wondering, you know, "Well, when am I going to feel the slightest bit uncomfortable," and it never happens.

Other times, feeling great and just get uncomfortable and something shocking happens. I've felt bad ‑‑ I've worked myself into tournaments. I've felt bad and I've gotten treated like I felt bad.

So I've sort of been on all sides of it, you know, obviously doing it so many times.

But in this particular case I came in feeling good. I mean, I've made a lot of good decisions with my body this summer, trained hard, hitting the ball great, you know. Won in LA, was playing well in Montreal and nearly won there. So I knew I could play well here, I just was hoping for a few good things to happen because, you know, the older you get, the little things get harder.

Q. And '91, when you saw Connors making his run, did you think, "39, 35, whatever, you're not gonna see me doing that at that age, I can't imagine doing that"?


Q. At the time, when you saw him doing it?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, sure. I mean, yeah, I never ‑‑ you can't. You see ‑‑ I mean, you see all these guys, what's Federer, 23, 24, you know, Hewitt 23, 24; Roddick, Ginepri, James, all these guys, add 12 years and stick them out there. It's a hard thing to imagine. That's 12 years of wear and tear. That's 12 years of a lot of miles. It would be a big equalizer for sure.

Q. What's your secret?

ANDRE AGASSI: Secret for what?

Q. Still at your age, 35.

ANDRE AGASSI: Surround yourself with good people that know how to help you and make good decisions, and train and work hard.

Q. And what about Ginepri, since you have to play him now? I mean, is he very different from Blake? Do you expect him to be very different, the way he plays?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, we played a few times, but he's obviously playing way better than the times that I've played him, just like James.

So I really don't know what to expect. I didn't spend a lot of time watching the match today, so ‑‑ I know Darren did, so we'll have a chat about that and see what he's doing and all that.

But regardless, you know, it's going to be an opportunity for both of us to go out there and play some great tennis and to make hopefully some magic happen this weekend.

Q. What did you say to James at the end of the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Just a few kind words that were just meant for each other. That's all.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is part of interview related to Andre Agassi

An interview with: ROGER FEDERER

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said you stayed up late and watched the Agassi Blake match last night. Do you try to avoid dramatic matches like that when you take the court yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: It's nice to be in them, but you learn a lot about what kind of player you are, what kind of person you are, because you go through so many how you say emotional moments. You're winning, you're losing, it's just back and forth.

Watching this, I was my pulse was just like (pounding his chest). I couldn't believe it, how the match turned out, because it was looking so one sided.

It's definitely nice to play them, but I almost prefer to watch them, to be honest.

Q. Is that one of the best matches you've watched? What was your feeling? Obviously, you didn't turn it off until 1:30 in the morning?
ROGER FEDERER: It's not that late for me. I always go to bed around 2 or 3 in the morning. So for me, that was perfect timing, you know (smiling).

No, I've seen some great ones, you know, but this was great because it was, you know, I would say so late in the night, you know, night session, two great players, two Americans in America, you know. It's just many things that need to be in place.

And the way they pushed each other, the quality of the tennis stayed great till the end, where there was hardly any errors anymore. The quality of the game, I thought, was extraordinary as well.

Q. How about the spirit of the match?

Q. The spirit in which it was played, the way they treated each other.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's the normal thing, isn't it? I mean, they both have a respect for each other, and I think you saw that during the match and after the match. I didn't expect anything else, you know, because they're two class players and I would be in shock if it would have been different.

Q. Why do you think Agassi won? What did he do to come back like that?
ROGER FEDERER: In my eyes, James gave it away, so...

James should have locked it up many times. But happens, you know. It's for him also first time he's in this position, and obviously against Andre it doesn't make it easier.

But Andre did incredibly well to come back, that's for sure. And staying cool, you know, all the way through, that was incredible. But I thought James had him and let it go.

Q. I have an impression that a significance difference between you and other players is when they hit bad shots they tend to get down on themselves. That perpetuates bad playing. When you hit a bad shot, it doesn't seem to bother you at all. Am I right about that? Doesn't seem to bother you.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, so so, huh (smiling)? I'm not happy when I miss a shot, let's put it that way.

Q. How important is it to you personally or how important has it been over the last couple years to show the guys who used to beat you regularly Nalbandian, Agassi, Hewitt that you're an improved player and someone that can dominate them?
ROGER FEDERER: For me it was I think most important to just beat them once, so at least I could look at the draw a little bit more relaxed. Where before I would look at the draw and go, "I hope this guy's not in my section and this guy's not there, and I hope they lose," you know, these sort of things.

Now I look at it very relaxed. I go like, you know, "No matter who's in the draw, I just want to win my matches," you know. Because you can have a very mental effect on you if you know that let's say Nalbandian is coming your way. If you have a horrible record against him, you might even lose earlier, trying not to play him, or you want to play so well to be ready for that match because you know he's not going to lose. For me, that was just important.

I think a big turnaround was the Aussie Open one and a half years ago, and also the Masters just before that when I was in the group with Agassi, Ferrero and Nalbandian. I had bad records against all of them and I beat all of them. That gave me really a lot of confidence.

Q. I know you said that you felt Blake gave that match away. But when you were watching last night, Agassi, were you thinking at all, "Here's a guy who's 35, playing in front of a crowd, and if I happen to play him in the final, maybe he does have some type of special level where he could really push me and possibly beat me"?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, well, it's still quite far away in my eyes, you know. For me, I expected him being in the semis after looking at the draw now. Okay, it's incredible what he achieved now in the last match coming back from two sets to love because that's not the ordinary results.

But still I'm concerned about Lleyton right now. Especially if I'm in the semis, I don't look further than the semis. Beforehand, okay, maybe one or two rounds. But this, here, I cannot.

For me, Agassi is the favorite, you know, heading into the Ginepri match, so I expect him to be in the finals. But, again, Robby has been playing great. I had a rough one with him in Cincinnati, so I give him a chance.

o far the draw was good for Agassi. He took advantage of it. He's a good enough player. I'm not surprised he's there. Obviously, with the crowd, that's always going to help in your home country. Even against an American, he has the backup from the fans, which I think is normal, because he's been around for so long. Obviously, if we are playing, you're not only playing him, but the fans as well.

Q. You'll probably play the first semifinal on Saturday. Would you prefer it that way? Agassi is the big draw, plays the later match. Would you feel good about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I would be happy about that. Last year I played second, after Lleyton, and obviously, you know, if things go bad or bad, I mean, bad is out, but not so good and you win in a tough match, you obviously will be maybe hard to recuperate.

I think we're fit enough to bounce back.

Q. How does it figure into your thinking that last year at this tournament the only player who really gave you a match was Agassi, you went five sets. It was close. How does that figure into your thinking given that you think that Agassi is probably going to be a final round opponent if you reach the final?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, for me, when he enters a tournament, he's on top of his game; otherwise, he's not going to enter it, right?

So I think, he, again, showed that here. It was a pity to see him play the way he did at the French Open, in pain. Obviously, if he enters the US Open or Montreal or LA, you know he's going to be on top of the game, and he's showed it. And especially in the States, he's even harder to beat.

He gave me a rough match last year. For me, that was no surprise. I mean, obviously we had to stop and come back, and the conditions were a joke, you know, the next day in the wind. So it was pure luck.
So thank God I was up two sets to one, otherwise I think I would have lost, because I consider him one of the best players in the wind we've ever seen maybe.

Q. I guess what my question really is, how do you think your games have changed relatively since last year? Do you think he's better and you're better?
ROGER FEDERER: No, we're the same still, I think. I don't feel a big difference.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...
:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:

· Banned
6,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A. Agassi – 14.11.05 1
6-4, 6-2
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Andre, you appeared to be holding your right shoulder there. Is that what was giving you trouble during the match?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, no, less than the ankle. But when you haven't played in so long, you know, I mean, I couldn't really hit balls for a couple of months because of my sprained ankle, or for a month at least. You come back, try to get ready in a hurry and you force it and things just don't respond if you try to do it too soon.
Just from serving, in the last week of trying to get ready, it was just a little stiff and sore. But the movement is more of an issue.
Q. How do you think about your triple breakpoints, sixth game in the second set?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, that was probably the highlight of the match for me, unfortunately. Good opportunity to get back in the match. But you base so much on the -- you know, how the meat of the point is going, and I wasn't on top of it, you know. Where I should have been controlling the match I wasn't, and then the other areas he was even doing better still.
So I just would have prolonged my agony out there.
Q. But we saw the same thing happen in the fifth game when you take the lead, but you just can't make it. So what do you think about that?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think it's probably a sign of just not playing many matches and not feeling terribly good.
Q. What is the state of your ankle exactly? Is it hurting? Is it apprehension for you?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it's not easy to ask it to do what I'm asking it to do. Especially on this surface, it's very sticky. It stops and everything else moves. It's hard to have confidence. Then when you try a little bit, it's still painful.
You know, movement is everything. If you're not in position, you're playing high-risk. Yeah, so today was obviously taking a chance to test it out. I practiced for an hour and that's pushing it. And today, I was just getting worse. It's not ready.
Q. How do you expect your next two matches, and how do you adapt to the surface or something like that?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, listen, with the state of my ankle right now, there's no chance for me to be able to play again. This is -- for me to go out on the court to play like this, nobody wants to see it. It's very dangerous and risky for my future to be ready for anything in the next four or five weeks. So this is just, you know, an unfortunate setback.
But for me to get on the court and to be ordinary and for my ankle to get worse as the match went on, it's not good.
Q. Will you play in the tournament?
ANDRE AGASSI: No, I can't play like that, absolutely. With what I'm feeling, I cannot.
Q. Did you expect it to be that bad, or when you went on the court?
ANDRE AGASSI: Listen, I came here a week ago. Coming here a week ago, I felt there was a 25% chance I would be playing. It was still very swollen. But the first few days it made good progress. But to play 35 minutes, I was starting to really feel it in practice. To play an hour, I had to stop the practice. As a few days go by, I thought, "Okay, it's 50/50, I can play."
Last few days, it's arguably not getting worse, so I have to try and see and give it a chance to push through. But it has way too much effect on my movement. I'm scared to hurt it worse. It's still very painful, especially after 35, 40 minutes of being on the court. It doesn't do anybody any good for me to be out there, except for my opponents. That's it.
Q. Are you very disappointed at that, first? Second, do you think there's a risk of also having a problem getting ready for Australia?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think that's always a risk whenever you're playing with an injury. I mean, three weeks ago was very unfortunate. When I sprained my ankle, I had a third-degree sprain. It's still swollen. It's still very painful. That's when it was unfortunate.
I mean, to come here and to have a chance was optimistic. You know, today was just clear for me that it's not -- I can't be on the court like that. I just can't do it. I swore I'd never do it before today, and I did it.
Q. Although you lost today, your first serve percentage I believe was higher than Davydenko's. Are there any other positives you can take from the match?
ANDRE AGASSI: I got to spend a week in Shanghai. This is good.
Q. I'd like to thank you personally for playing today despite your injury.
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well...
Q. You are going on to play next days, after all those negative considerations?
ANDRE AGASSI: No. I've said this now four times. It's not possible for me to be on the court.
Q. I'm so sorry. Just arrived.
ANDRE AGASSI: Thank you.
Q. Another question. Have you heard that Nadal is not going to play, too?
ANDRE AGASSI: I just heard that tonight. That's terrible. I hope his injury is something that doesn't last very long, because, you know, it's just been terrible this year for the amount of players that haven't been ready to play here. It's probably a sign that, you know, things need to change somewhere for guys to feel better about their physical ability to get ready for a tournament this big. It's the end of a long year and it's not easy. It's very unfortunate.
Q. At what point in the match did you know you could not go through?
ANDRE AGASSI: As you're moving and you're playing, you're not having the confidence, which is fine. I wasn't trusting it. I wasn't moving good, but it wasn't so bad I could push through. But then when you feel like it's only getting worse, not when it either stays the same or sometimes it can warm up when it keeps getting worse, and this happens after, you know, 30 minutes of tennis, it's 30 minutes of movement.
But at the end of the day, even if it affects your movement a little bit, there's no chance out there. Guys play too good. This tournament is too strong. It's impossible - for me at least.
Q. A lot of players talk about the scheduling being too hard, and especially now you see Madrid, Bercy and even here, it seems with all the injuries, there is really something wrong. Everybody talks about it, but doesn't really seem that players do a lot about it. Can you players not do more about it?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it's everybody's choice when they play. Ultimately there's penalties and it's not easy when your opponents are playing. The schedule of the year is a difficult one and requires lots of adjustment, and you do not have much off time and all that.
I try to make my own decisions that keep me healthier. But the physicality of the game is also getting more, you know. It's too difficult for guys to run as hard as they do over and over again, you know. The ball's faster. Guys are stronger. The movement is much more violent now. So this means the potential of more injuries, you know.
So maybe somewhere as athleticism of the game improves, maybe there has to be some adjustments that make it possible for guys to go 100% all season and then have some time. But it's too bad it happens here, you know. I mean, Shanghai deserves more than this, to have so many players not be here, if China does as well as the game does. This is a big tournament and should have everybody here and healthy, and it doesn't. That's very sad.
Q. The second set you were broken. Did you think about giving up, or you decided to keep going?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, giving up is relative. You're still hoping for something good to happen. It's very easy to get discouraged and to not have much hope.
Again, the areas of the match that I should have been controlling; I wasn't. I wasn't in position. I was playing very high-risk tennis because of my movement. He's too good for that.
Q. I know you told us, Andre, that you did it playing racquetball. Could you just explain a little, elaborate how the accident happened.
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I just came down on my foot on the movement and rolled over and snapped it to the floor. I mean, it was a third-degree sprain, which, you know, sprains are in one, two and three levels, depending on how many ligaments are damaged. All three of mine were torn, had tears.
Ankle was swollen. I couldn't walk for, you know, 12 days. Tried to rehabilitate quickly. Came here with very low expectation of being healthy, but as I practiced the first few days it improved. Okay, I thought maybe if I tape it and I support it, maybe I can push through, but I couldn't, you know.
But the foot went to the outside and down. So on the outside, three ligaments were gone and on the inside I had the compression of the bone hitting bone. So I have a bone bruise on the inside, on the inside of my foot, which is actually more of a pain than the outside.
Q. Since you said it's impossible to play, what is your plan the rest of the week? Are you leaving or are you staying? Second question is, we heard that you injured your back, too. What is the situation with your back?
ANDRE AGASSI: No, my back is okay. But, you know, what I do is I have to figure it out now. I mean, I don't know the best way to get my ankle healthy. I have some time. The most important thing is that it's healthy for next year because this year's over with.
Most likely I'll leave, go back to my family, and try to get healthy soon so I can continue my preparation for another year.
Q. I know you probably don't want to spend too much time debating the future of the sport, but all the elements of tennis come to this event, the players are here, the ITF, the ATP under new leadership. Do you think this is an opportunity for tennis to get together and debate what is best for the future of this tournament so we're not in this position where players have to forfeit in big events? It's an opportunity for the players to have a stronger say in the calendar so the sport isn't in this position in the future.
ANDRE AGASSI: I think there's areas where it's important the players have a stronger say but there's a lot of areas where it's important that they don't.
You know, doing things right requires a lot of sacrifice from each party, and it's understanding and accepting that sacrifice and leading the way with a short-term cost for a long-term gain. I think any time everybody's together to work this out is ideal. But, you know, you just can't stick a bunch of people in the room to talk about it. Somebody or something has to truly represent the better interest of this sport or else it will never move as a unit.
We all have opinions, and we all think we're right, but it's important for there to be resolve in the direction that we're going, and that's not going to happen by trying to appease everybody's opinion. I'm not sure. It certainly starts with communication, but I'm not convinced that everybody trying to represent themselves is the best way for it to happen.
Q. Three times in Shanghai, didn't win a match. Your fans will be more sad than you are. What do you want to say to your fans here in Shanghai?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, it makes me feel very good that people will be disappointed that I've lost every time I've come to Shanghai. You know, I mean, that's some consolation to have that support. But nothing removes the disappointment of not being able to play at my best or have success here, you know. This is not just an important tournament; it's an important area of the world, and one that I think the game can benefit a lot from.
So, you know, I'm sorry for four ordinary performances. It's not what I hoped for.
Q. How do you deal in your mind with the fact that a kid like Nadal, an 18-year-old, is dealing with all the problems in the last three tournaments? He's just a player that just won in Madrid. He pulled out at the very last minute. He had to walk over in Bercy and he has to walk over now. Even a kid at 18 couldn't go all the way.
ANDRE AGASSI: So the question is
he's young and injured, is that a concern?
Q. Yes. He's 18. He's not doing the whole schedule.
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, yeah, you know, listen, Nadal is a great talent, and he has for sure raised the bar for how players need to approach this game, you know. It's a very physical game. But he's writing checks that you only hope his body can cash. He plays very hard every single point. You hope he can stay healthy. But it is a lot of wear and tear.
A great career not only takes what he has, but it also takes some luck too, you know. You have to be healthy.
Q. There has been a lot of talk about the surface. Could you comment a little bit more on it. Is it a little bit hard to play on it?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, it's a difficult surface. I think, you know, it's always good to have a court that represents -- a tournament that represents an entire year of success. The top eight should have a court that allows that sort of a compromise between all of them: if you want to play up, you want to play back, you want to play high, you want to play fast. I mean, this is what the court should be, you know.
It's definitely a court that's going to favor some players over another. It's difficult also to move on. Some of these indoor courts are, you know, but this one especially. The surface in Paris, in Bercy, is the same. The surface in Basel is the same. It's very difficult on the body because your feet stick, you know, when you move.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports

:wavey: Andre Agassi forever :wavey:
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.