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September 24, 1995

Andre Agassi


Q. Andre, this injury of yours, did you give it any serious thought to try to go for it regardless of how much pain you were in? I mean, ultimately, what was the final factor in your decision to step aside and give Todd the chance?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, ultimately the decision is based on one thing. That is, you know, what is best for the team. If I felt like my 90% would be better than Todd's 100, then I would suck it up and go out there and do it. But I wasn't even close to 90% today. And it was a tough decision on one hand, but easy on the other. It is difficult because you want to play. You want to go out there for a lot of reasons. But it was easy in the sense that there is no question that Todd was going to bring more to the table today than myself.

Q. Andre, you spoken about reading C. S. Lewis and in reading his work, and your pain. How does this bittersweet quality not being able to win affect you.

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know if I'd try to take it to that kind of drama, but it is disappointing to not go out there and play. I have a responsibility, you know, and the responsibility is to be at my best and if I am not, it needs to be communicated; needs to be talked about and decisions need to be made. And, you know, we all felt confident with Todd. He is a great backup singles player and, you know, it is disappointing for me, but I think it helps for Todd to go out there and win. It helps. Had he not won today I would have felt a bit more disappointed that I wasn't healthy. But he won and that is what we are here for, and, you know, he is the ultimate team player and he proved that today.

Q. What kind of treatment were you getting and second, when did you finally decide you weren't going to be able to play?

ANDRE AGASSI: I will let the doctors tell you about the treatments. It wasn't confirmed 'til 9:30 this morning. We gave it as long as possible to see if it would relax or feel better and it actually felt worse today.

Q. Did you have a feeling on Friday that this could happen?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I knew when it happened. It happened at 2-1, 15-All in the third set against Mats. I hit a serve and I felt something tear; something pull, and I happened to break the next game and only had to serve twice more, but I definitely felt it getting a little bit worse. After the match it wasn't a problem, when I cooled down. It wasn't until I went out there and tried to hit some balls yesterday that I knew it was a problem.

Q. Can you describe for us how you felt about Todd's performance today? Seemed to me that he obviously came through, but that he was really pulling some things from his heart. Can you describe how you felt?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, I am very proud of Todd for a lot of reasons. I think probably lastly, the way he played. For him to get up and to go out there and be ready to play is so much for anybody to ask for considering that he was here to play doubles; considering he was practicing all week with doubles; considering the let-down yesterday after having the chance to clinch it in the doubles and for him to go to sleep last night and wake up this morning and be ready to go come out here and compete on that level was absolutely astonishing. I really think he deserves the utmost amount of respect and credit for that. His tennis, in my opinion, was flawless. I felt like he played absolutely a great match.

Q. Will you be the one to represent the U.S. with Pete Sampras in the Davis Cup final?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, we haven't come this far to not continue.

Q. Andre, you worked with Gil continously. He keeps you in great shape. Probably came as a bit of a stun to him that you would have something happen to you. Has he been a factor the last couple of years. You seem to be strong.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, my training has been quite intense. Gil has done a great job for me. But I have put my body through a lot these past few months. And, you know, I haven't rewarded it yet for paying off for me. And keep asking it to do more and more and it is going to breakdown. I need some time off. I have that now. I am going to take advantage of it.

Q. All week people have been talking about the altitude and the ball carrying more. Do you notice that at all here?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, absolutely.

Q. Even growing up and playing here all the time, it still affects you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, sure, even though -- I mean, altitude is like, you know, it is like anything. If you leave it for a little while, you got to come back and get adjusted to it all over again. Even though I grew up here, I play all year around all across the world; the same tournaments that all the other guys are playing, so I am not more used to the altitude than they are. Except the fact that I have experience with it and I know and I have confidence in myself to get through it. But it is still a very big factor in everybody's tennis.

Q. What do you think about the Russian team?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, they certainly pulled off a miracle over there in Moscow. To be down 2-0 and to come back and win, that was an incredible effort, and, you know, it is going to be interesting. I am kind of-- in a sense, I am glad we are playing Russia because we never played them before and Germany has been around a long time and I really think it is going to be an exciting final and, you know, I have never been to Moscow, so hopefully it will be a great week. But I think that for them to get through was a very surprising result, but we talked about it before the Davis Cup started this week and we gave them a shot at it. It wasn't like they were, you know, 10 to 1. It wasn't -- they weren't that favored, but Becker got hurt; I am sure that helped their cause a little bit.

Q. Andre, in the final will you be thinking at all about the French Open match against Kafelnikov?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I won't at all. I mean, I feel like if I am playing my best tennis, I can beat anybody and I am going to go there prepared to play and ready to play and, you know, it is nice to be healthy, and I wasn't at the French and I wasn't today. That is a helpless feeling, but I think more than anything, when -- when unfortunate things happen like that at the French or here, it motivates you to really peak and play well when you have the opportunity.

Q. Do you think the Russians will put down clay and if so, will that affect the makeup of the U.S. Team?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think there are a lot of variables that are going to make a decision for who plays for what team. I would think they would play red clay like they did. That would be my initial guess without really thinking much about it. And it could affect our team. You know, we have a lot of options, though, it is nice to have Pete. It is nice to have Courier; nice to have Chang, nice to have Todd, it is nice to have is a lot of tough players, so we got the luxury of having options, which is nice.

Q. Realizing you can't speak for the Tour, what do you think the future for tennis in Las Vegas is going to be?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I can say honestly that this weekend has certainly helped the cause. The support that was shown here is -- you can't ask for better support anywhere in the world and we did it here. You know, they were talking on TV all day long Friday and Saturday how they have never seen a Davis Cup crowd in the United States like the one here in Las Vegas as far as capacity and also as far as enthusiasm, so I certainly feel like it has presented a good case for itself to get a big event here. The politics of it, I am not sure, but, you know, that is something that I hope to be able to influence down the road.

ART CAMPBELL: Thank you very much. Doctor Sndyer, the doctor who made the diagnosis, is available for questioning on the side of the room. I expect Thomas Enqvist out momentarily. I am going to keep you informed on other interviews. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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