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September 7, 1992

Andre Agassi


Q. Andre, you have yet to lose a set. How would you describe your level of confidence?

ANDRE AGASSI: My level of confidence is right exactly where I want it, which is, you know, I am playing well enough to win the tournament, there is no question, but you got to kick it in that extra gear, hope everything is there for you when it is time to. I was expecting a rough one, not that it was easy, I just expected him to put up a real dogfight and to come out there and handle it like that. It was-- it is a big confidence boost. Can't ask for much more, getting in late in the tournament.

Q. In years past Connors/McEnroe used to be the big match around here. Do you think that Courier, Agassi, could be a sort of rivalry; to reach that level of Connors/ McEnroe?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I certainly think there is a big enough contrast between us to arouse a lot of interest, you know, it seems like if we played and, you know, on the world-wide television, there's a good chance everybody watching knew who they wanted to win. There won't be been any mixed emotions. So the pieces are there for that to be the case, and we have had a tough record together, beaten each other here and there. Jim has gotten me the last few. That seems to be the pieces that it takes to achieve that one day, and we are both young and both are going to be here for a while. I don't see why not, assuming we would both stay focused and determined to be the best.

Q. What would make the difference in that match?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, when you get to this level, there are so many intangibles that make the difference. You got to go out there and give it your best, hope everything is there for you. Tonight I was-- third set, I am down double breakpoint after breaking him to 1-Love. Then I end up holding. He was discouraged and I broke him. I'm switching sides to 3-0 and maybe I am getting that break and holding serve to go 2-1, maybe we would be in that fourth set. It is so little to separate a match. It is not a question. He is going to play my weakness and I am going to play his. You don't count on people having too weak of a weakness. You give it your best shot, hope it is there for you, get those breaks, make things happen.

Q. Did you McEnroe and Courier's?

ANDRE AGASSI: It saw some of it.

Q. What about Jim's performance?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is not easy to judge. He is such a different player than I am. It wouldn't be fair to Jim or myself to sit here and say what I thought of his performance. He did what he needed to do, and for that, you know, I am sure he is playing well.

Q. Andre, the match you had against him at the French Open, the rain delay that you were ahead and then you lost that match, is that the match that might have changed your career and in how you focused on these Grand Slams, in that it was a loss that meant the most?

ANDRE AGASSI: No. I think it affected me a lot, but I don't think it made me kind of confident that I got really discouraged; I came here, and got beat first rounds.

Q. Is that how it affected--

ANDRE AGASSI: Affected really negotiatively. It wasn't Jim beating me or being in the finals. It was third Grand Slam final that I didn't win. That is not easy to take, emotionally. I lost it, emotionally, I had nothing left. Really to go for it by the time I got here.

Q. That match, was that the first -- I know that apparently you went on to the stands and cried after that match. Was that the first time that it happened to you as a professional, where it hurt you that much emotionally?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah. I'd say so. I'd say so.

Q. Have you ever felt more comfortable at the Open than you do right now?

ANDRE AGASSI: Absolutely not. Not even close. I just feel so good out there. It is just, you know, I mean, doesn't seem like anything is throwing me off, nothing. I started all these other matches great. I came out here tonight; got down a break early. I am just right there. It is a great feeling.

Q. Can you explain why?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know why. I just think winning Wimbledon maybe, you know, done so much for me on the inside; done so much for the public; those who support me and those who are critics of mine. It has, you know, validated me in a lot of ways. I think people are looking at me as an athlete now, as well as an entertainer. It is-- that is a good mixture to have because they can enjoy watching you; yet respect you at the same time.

Q. You were saying on television that you weren't there mentally at the French Open this year. Do you think Wimbledon now has brought you up mentally as tough as Jim?

ANDRE AGASSI: There is no question, I mean, you got to be mentally tough to pull off a Wimbledon victory. When I played him at the French Open this year, I was at a stage in my career, where I was really doubting a lot. I needed to work through a lot of personal frustrations, and I was trying to and I did a great job. I think the French Open was a turning point for me, but I was no where near the level mentally that I needed to be to pull off the tournament. But winning Wimbledon did a lot for me, and it really put me in a position that I feel is now when people see me, you know, in the tournament after a few rounds, they really think that I have a shot at winning it and I believe that, so mentally I do feel that I am in a whole different place.

Q. Do you feel you are with Jim now mentally?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, it is tough to compare. I mean, Jim and I are such different players. I am an emotional player. I like going off the energy of the crowd, the energy of the excitement that is in the air, and you know, Jim seems to take off different things, so it is-- you can't compare, you know, McEnroe's way of bearing down mentally to Borg's way or anybody. You just got to make sure that I am giving it my best and I guarantee you that if I am giving it my best I am confident enough to say that he has a hell of a match in his hands and I think he knows if he is playing his best, I have got a hell of a match in my hands. Nothing to do with how mentally strong I am compared to him. It is a question of me digging down and giving it my best. I think I am there.

Q. How do you feel after this game regarding past history after you just played?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think tonight was a big test for me mentally. I don't think things were working real well for me. I do not think I was hitting the ball extremely clean. I fought through it. That says a lot. If I am doing that mentally all of a sudden I can start playing well at the same time, it is a whole other level of tennis and it is a confidence builder to pull out a match like this when you don't feel like you are necessarily hitting the ball really clean, so, sometimes it is better for you not to play well and win matches; it does a lot more for you.

Q. You used to say as an American winning the U.S. Open was more important to you than say a Wimbledon. Do you still believe that, if so why?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have said a lot of things before. Yeah, no, I don't believe winning this is the most -- is the most important. I don't think there is, you know, Wimbledon is second to none.

Q. What if you were to win here, what would it do for you?

ANDRE AGASSI: It would be unbelievable to win the first and second biggest tournaments in the world. It would be something, I mean this is a great event, one that deserves ultimate respect and appreciation and that is how I feel about it. But I think most people feel that Wimbledon, there is nothing like it. So my opinion, this would be an exciting-- and my career wouldn't be complete without this title. I mean, it is something that I really want. But it is not how I felt about it in comparison to Wimbledon a few years ago.

Q. On television tonight, Barbara Streisand was actually interviewed. She said that you are playing like a zen master, very much in the moment. What do you think that means and also, this is a comment, this is an appearance from a woman who is not normally out in the public eye anymore in the New York area. Why do you think you have been able to bring her out here two times?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know Barbra does what she wants to do. She is her own woman. I didn't bring her anywhere. I think that we have developed, I mean I have always had an unbelievable amount of respect for her, you know, and I am not usually one to judge people through their work, but some of the things that she has been a part of is completely amazing. You have to know that you are passionate person to do the things that she has done and to accomplish the things that she has accomplished. And you know, It has been such a great honor to me to think that she feels even somewhat of that for me. It is exciting, you know, she obviously has a lot of respect for me on a personal level, and now she has come out and watch me play and now it is overflowing into the professional level, and that is the ultimate compliment from somebody who has accomplished that much.

Q. Any idea what zen master might mean?

ANDRE AGASSI: I am going to have to talk to her about that one.

Q. How long have you known her?

ANDRE AGASSI: First time since maybe about four, five months.

Q. Andre, do you think the crowd is reacting to you this year after Wimbledon?

ANDRE AGASSI: Extremely different.

Q. How?

ANDRE AGASSI: Supportive of me. I think they feel like they know me a little better and that is very fulfilling to me, because it is so hard for somebody in the public eye to ever accurately give the public a clear perception of what kind of person you are, and it is very rare, but I think Wimbledon allowed me the platform to do that and, I think they really have a better feel for what I am; in turn, I have a better feel for who they are.

Q. Has that helped in a match?

ANDRE AGASSI: It does. It does extremely. I enjoy the energy, you know, I have played here couple of times against Connors where it was completely opposite. I enjoyed that energy. There is no better feeling than being out there and the people pulling for you.

Q. Without making this just an image question as opposed to what you are doing out there, you have been clean shaven the last couple of matches after the old look. Does that mean anything whatsoever?

ANDRE AGASSI: Oh, I just shaved today. First match without a beard.

Q. Does that mean anything? I mean, some people shave for good luck; some don't shave until they win Wimbledon, I don't know?

ANDRE AGASSI: I kind of shaved when I went to be clean shaven. I don't try to over intellectualize it.

End of FastScripts....

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