|09-07-2004, 12:20 AM||#1|
Agassi Interview Excerpts (9/6/04)
Some excerpts from the Agassi interview on Day 8 that I found interesting. I sorted out these excerpts, so they're not in the order of the original interview.
-On Watching Tennis (Sargisian)
-Learning from other Players (Hewitt)
On Watching Tennis (watching Sargisian's previous match)
Q. Did you watch that match on TV?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, I did. Never been so nervous in my life. It's a lot easier playing than watching when you really care about it. You know, I was pulling for him. It was a great display of tennis and heart, by both players.
On Big Points
Q. You mentioned playing big points. Is there a particular game plan or approach, what are the keys when you know it's a big point, how you handle that different from ordinary points?
ANDRE AGASSI: You know, there's a skill and a discipline to not making a point any more or less important than the next for me and my style of game, because my game is about sort of squeezing somebody out there and putting the pieces of a puzzle together. But when you get to a crucial point of a match, you have to be willing to win it. You have to show that you're willing and expect to win the point, not hope that your opponent's going to lose it. So it's a fine line because you don't want to live too dangerously, but you need to try to take it.
Q. Willing to take risks, having confidence to take risks?
ANDRE AGASSI: Calculated risk, calculated risk. It's calculated. It's controlled aggression.
On Learning from other Players (Hewitt)
Q. In the past, which player have you been able to learn the most from?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, that's hard to say. I mean, I learned a lot from guys that make great decisions out there. You know, I think Lleyton Hewitt is a great example. It's why I'm working with Darren now, is the respect that I have for what Darren has taught him since he's been a little boy, which is how to make good decisions out there. You watch that. You watch the strengths of other guys. Anybody that's No. 1 in the world, you can absolutely count on the fact that they're setting the standard for the rest of the guys, and the rest of the guys are constantly trying to figure out how to beat them and how to learn from them.
Q. And the decisions that Lleyton makes, is that in terms of constructing points?
ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, just shot selection, movement, intensity. You know, watching the way these guys play big points. I mean, you finish the year No. 1 in the world, and guys are breaking you down and learning from you. We'll just go through it. Andy last year. You know, year before, Lleyton, Lleyton, Guga. You learn from the best.
Q. You played some really memorable matches here. What do you think about the Federer quarterfinal?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, looking forward to it. Should be a lot of fun. I mean, there's nothing more you ask for than to play a big event against the best player in this environment. It's time to bring the best tennis.
Q. What do you appreciate most about Roger's game?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think his biggest weapon is his forehand and his movement. He's a really explosive mover. His forehand's just a nasty shot. You know, he does a lot of things really well. He does a few things really great. That makes him quite a tough player.
Q. When you're not playing him, what degree of enjoyment do you have in watching his style of play?
ANDRE AGASSI: It depends who his opponent is because, you know, most of the time he's making it look too easy to enjoy. But, you know, I study the game for the sake of always aspiring to be a better tennis player. You know, there are just some guys that you can learn a lot from, and then there are other guys that you just can't do what they do and how they do it. And Federer's one of those guys that just plays the game on his own terms in a way that others just can't. That's his style, and it's very unique.
Q. How much can the crowd, the fact that Roger is going to have to play the very popular US legend on Ashe stadium, how much will that play into your favor?
ANDRE AGASSI: I'm going to have to establish a lot from the basic X's and O's before that's a factor. I think not playing in four days is not ideal for him. I think that going out there in a big environment is something that he has proven to be the best at this year. I'm going to try to give something for the crowd to cheer about. But that's going to start with me.
Q. When you play Roger, talk about how fine a line it is between playing maybe too conservatively, or playing super-aggressive.
ANDRE AGASSI: I go out there with the intention of having to play my best tennis, there's no question about it. That's the good news playing him, if that is good news. The good news is there's not a whole lot of thinking. You better shoot for your best stuff right away, not take your foot off the pedal. When you see him dance around, hit a forehand winner, know that I didn't walk that line very well that point. And when I press and just miss the line, know that I didn't walk that line very well. But if I can hit my shots aggressively and play to the standard I know I can, I have every intention of winning the match.
Q. I think it was three years ago when you had the night match quarterfinal against Pete. A lot of anticipation before that match. Talk about your feelings now going out against Roger versus then going out against Pete.
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think it's a difference when you've played somebody 35 times. You know, it's a magical thing when you spend your whole life competing against somebody, competing for No. 1 in the world, competing for Grand Slam titles, doing it again and again, and then doing it in your 30s, you know, out here at the US Open. It's a whole different animal as far as that goes. But needless to say, the standard is every bit the same. I need to get out there and put together a great match.
|09-07-2004, 07:04 AM||#4|
Join Date: Feb 2004
I wish Safin had such approach to the game:
" Should be a lot of fun. I mean, there's nothing more you ask for than to play a big event against the best player in this environment. "
|09-07-2004, 08:10 AM||#5|
Agassi won the first three encounters which occurred in 1998 (Basel - straight sets)), 2001 (US Open - straight sets), and 2002 (Miami finals - 4 sets).
Federer has won the last three encounters. Twice at the Tennis Masters Cup last year in Houston where it was a really close and exciting round robin match, a straight set final, and a pretty good 3 set match at Indian Wells this year.
I checked it out at http://www.atptour.com/