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September 5, 2005

Xavier Malisse

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK, A. AGASSI/X. Malisse 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 4-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Fourth game of the fifth set, crowd got it into for Agassi. Did that trouble you at all?

XAVIER MALISSE: No, not really. I mean, it was fun. Hit a good shot. Obviously, they'll get into it. No, I felt comfortable. You know, I've always felt good on the second serve with Andre that I could take it early and get a couple of hits. You know, he just came up with some good shots at the end. It didn't trouble me. I didn't get in a panic mode. I just kept playing my tennis.

Q. Would you have liked to play the first two sets the way you did in the third and fourth?

XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, of course. In the beginning, you kind of see a little bit. I think from the back, he was just too solid in the beginning. I couldn't get to the net. All his backhands were deep and cross-court. You know, I couldn't play too aggressive. If I would play too aggressive, be hitting stupid shots from way back. You know, he served well. I think the only -- I started ripping good returns on second serve, and I should have done that a little earlier in the match.

Q. Did the way the fourth set ended with your Love game, one of your best games of the whole match, it really seemed like he was on the ropes at that point. Were you surprised at his energy, how he was able to crank it back up for the fifth set?

XAVIER MALISSE: A little bit, yeah. The game he played, first game of the fifth set, he hit three winners. He started serving really well. I didn't play much differently. I went for my shots. A couple went long. You know, you got to have that little bit of luck. At the end, too, even match point, I couldn't hit it any harder, any more perfect. He hit a slice down the line for a passing shot. You know, he was just too good in the fifth set.

Q. Fourth game of the fourth set, you hit four consecutive aces. Were you feeling a bit like Pistol Pete at that stage?

XAVIER MALISSE: No, no. I've only done that a couple times. I'm sure he's done it a lot more. It's nice to get free points against Andre. I'll definitely take it.

Q. Will you have more confidence against him? Lost four in a row, never won a set. Next time you play him, do you believe a little more you could beat him?

XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, definitely. It's like I said before I played him, I need to get that first set so I can get my beliefs up that I can do it. You know, I really believed in it in the fifth set. Like I said, he came up with the goods. All you can say is "too good." The next time I will have that confidence and we'll see how it goes.

End of FastScripts….

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