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March 22, 1995

Andre Agassi


GREG SHARKO: Questions for Andre.

Q. Andre, do you think your game is peaking as the week goes along?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have to say that tonight was a great sign for me. I really -- Wayne came out, I think, firing on all cylinders; serving big; hitting big off the ground; playing well and then being able to control the match like that, just kind of shows you what level I was playing at. I really felt I was hitting the ball strong and moving well, and serving real well.

Q. Three aces in one game in the first set; pretty happy about that.

ANDRE AGASSI: That about maybe happens once in my career, huh?

Q. I think you can get one more.

ANDRE AGASSI: I will get another one sometime.

Q. Is that, I mean, for someone like you, is that a particularly good feeling, really pumps you up even more?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, it is a big part of my game. I mean, in the sense that if I can utilize my serve to get free points off of, I think that takes my game to another level because now my opponents have a lot more to be concerned about, really. I mean, my strength is, obviously, my ground game, and I think if they feel like they are going to get every time, every point that I am serving, they are going to get into a rally, you know, that allows him at least the opportunity to become carefree, but if they feel like they are only going to have a few opportunities to rally with me, then it maintains -- it helps me maintain that much control of the match. So it is a big thing Brad and I have been really working on and it is going to come around. I really want to have a big serve one day and I really think I can.

Q. Have you ever served when you won the world Championships in Frankfurt in '90 or '91?


Q. That seemed to be the biggest you have ever served in your career there, I mean, --


Q. Question of getting back to that?

ANDRE AGASSI: I served pretty big. No, I mean, I am not really just kind of swinging, I mean, you know, I think in '90 I kind of was going for a lot more power and I had a good week of serving. I am not -- I don't go for power really on my serve and, you know, it is pretty rare that I am hitting them over 113, you know, and if you are hitting a serve 110, 111, 112, that is very controllable and very strategic. Actually, that is just kind of where the serve power has gone. I wish everybody I played served 110 or 111, 112. So I feel like I am moving my serve around and being strategic with it. I don't feel like I am just serving big.

Q. You play Magnus Larsson now. What does that mean to you now? You lost to him in Munich.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I did, and, you know, win or lose, the time before doesn't have much bearing on it outside of how you felt, you know, with the match. I mean, it not being an ATP Tour tournament, I mean, makes it a little bit different. I think that end of the year money tournament, it is a little tougher to gear up for, and so I didn't feel like I was competing as well as I could have. But needless to say, I am aware of his capabilities because I did get out there and play against him, and he is a very strong player. I look for him to make, you know-- between him and Enqvist to make the biggest moves this year. I think, you know, Magnus has gotten his game together. He has gotten his mind together. He has always had the ability and we are really starting to see it happen for him. It is nice to see because he does everything really strong. I mean, he is a big hitter off the ground and serves big, and he covers the court not with speed, but just because he is a big guy. So it is a tough match up for -- really for anybody to play against him. I believe he is a really good player and I am looking forward to it.

Q. Andre, you obviously looked very confident; you have looked confident the six months now on the court. You have talked in the past about having a fear of success. Has that gone away completely and, if so, can you explain what that really meant?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think in the past when I would win smaller tournaments relatively speaking to the Grand Slams, if anything, that just put the pressure on me more to have to come through when I got out there in the Grand Slam, and, you know, that was always difficult for me and I think that reflected in my first three Grand Slams finals, I just-- I was favored in all of them and just didn't convert and so it was always difficult for me, then after that point, to do well because I just kept reminding people that I can't seem to win the big one, you know, I can't seem to really do it. But if I lost, you know, then they wouldn't necessarily feel like maybe he can't do it because he can't do it. Which was okay to me. I'd rather be the underdog at that stage of my career and I think now I have gotten over a lot of those doubts and I have gotten over a lot of those fears about going out there and just laying it on the line and accepting what happens, and with three Grand Slams now, under my belt, I feel like I kind of have that whole stage behind me and thank God it is at a relatively early stage of my career.

Q. Does that make the challenge of the French then this year a lot more acceptable, easy to deal with, than it would have in the past?

ANDRE AGASSI: A lot more exciting and a lot more enjoyable, you know, I think that is the difference. I mean, I always went out there and in Grand Slams I had a lot of great performances in Grand Slams and rose to the occasion, but I don't think I ever quite enjoyed what it was that was happening when I was doing it. In the Australian Open I really got a chance to enjoy it as I went along and I'd win the matches and I'd be at dinner feeling good versus worrying about the next match and taking one step at a time now and it is enjoyable for me, and, you know, and it is nice challenging somebody to come beat you, and getting out there and trying to defend your ranking to defend the respect that you have earned. It is all an exciting part of how I am looking at it. I think the biggest difference now is I can go out there; enjoy it and the result from that is just I think playing better.

Q. Being Roland Garros the only Grand Slam event you haven't won yet, wasn't it wiser to play more clay before instead of going, let us say, to Tokyo or those places, I mean, you don't regret that choice?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, unfortunately you make your schedule before the U.S. Open and I hadn't won the U.S. Open or the Australian Open or the French Open. Kind of screwed, now that I think about it. But on a much more serious note, I don't feel like I need that much time on the clay. I want to get certainly a few tournaments and I want to get some practice, but it is not something that I feel like I need that much. I am not that disappointed with my schedule. I feel good about it. It is always, you know, a tough trip making it over there to Asia when you have got the European Tour next. But that is the part of the sacrifice and I like playing all parts of the world. I think I will have plenty of rest and plenty of preparation.

Q. Presumably having reached the French final twice without having had too much break beforehand on clay and coupled with it, the new feeling you've got, sort of would take care of that?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, and plus with Brad too. I make really quick gains with Brad. Adjustments happen really fast; doesn't take much time, and I have always seemed to respond pretty quick. I mean, the year that I won Wimbledon I didn't really play after the French. I got to the semis of French in '92; then I just kind of took the time off because it was very exhausting for me at that stage. I was fighting a lot of things, and showed up there and I did it. And I have done that with the French a few times. That is no standard that I care to set or to care to subscribe to, but which is why I am feeling good. I will be over in Paris a week ahead of time; not to mention playing Hamburg and I feel pretty good about that.

Q. Does the fact that you and Pete-- obviously, we have talked about the rivalry that you and Pete have, but you are both gunning for your first French make; is it more exciting?

ANDRE AGASSI: I think certainly from a fan's perspective it is an exciting -- it's an added element, you know, there is two people now that have to lose before the tournament says, darn, I mean, because that is the story, you know, for either one of us to win it is going to be a big story, you know, Jim has won it twice, and so for me, Pete, for one of us to do it, it is going to be nice. If it wasn't the case then there would only be one person to kind of, in a sense, pull for it. I think most people would pull for Pete if he was the only one that hadn't won it; likewise if I was the only one.

Q. You mentioned making such quick progress with Brad. Is there anything that you have gained from getting to know him as a person as well or all been in relation to strategy and the things he has taught you on the court?

ANDRE AGASSI: Professionally, it has been over the top what he has managed to help me with, and on a personal level, he is an addition in my life. He is somebody that I have grown close to and somebody that I mean, the guy has a really great heart. I really enjoy being around him, and it is just -- I couldn't be happier with a relationship on all levels.

Q. What do you like most about him away from the professional side?

ANDRE AGASSI: I like really his simplicity. Very kind of simple kind of guy. I mean, if you give him a TV with a sports channel and remote control and somebody who will just sit there and listen, he is in paradise, there is something nice about that. There is something very endearing about him.

Q. Right now, you seem to have -- you and Pete the edge on hard court and the others-- do you feel you have the same edge against, Sergi Bruguera and Courier on clay?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, certainly every surface poses there difficult players. You know, me growing up in Vegas and Pete growing up in Southern California, hard court is, I think, our -- naturally our best surface, or not that our game is most effective on it, but that we are most comfortable on it, and the Europeans, like Sergi or Berasategui, these guys who play, grow up on clay, you know, they definitely pose a difficulty, and they are definitely more comfortable on the clay. I think that if there is a surface where Pete and I are -- more so Pete, than me, I think, because my game is a little bit more adaptable to the game, if there was a surface that we could be vulnerable to somebody coming from the outside and then upsetting us, it would be on clay court, but when you are confident and you are striking the ball well, and you are hitting the ball hard and consistently you could play on cow dunk and it is not going to make a difference, so it is all a question of just making the adjustments necessary and believing in yourself that you can do it.

Q. Is Brad traveling with you?

ANDRE AGASSI: Haven't completely discussed that yet. We have kind of been a little back and forth on it. I don't know yet.

End of FastScripts....

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