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September 3, 1994

Andre Agassi


Q. How different did you feel today from the Forget match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Totally two different styles of players, so it is always-- you are never going to feel the same, but I didn't feel like I started off real strong today, a little slow getting started with my feel. Then I picked it up; concentrated well, and won the right points at the right time. At the end of that first set, in order to get that lead then, things started getting rolling to me.

Q. Didn't get into the second week last year, now you are in the second week. What does that mean emotionally, mentally, whatever?

ANDRE AGASSI: To me, that has always been the biggest struggling point for me here in New York-- is the early rounds. You know, seems like once I get by the first one, I really work myself well into the tournament and, you know, now that I am in the second week, I mean, Michael is playing some great tennis and I am definitely going to, you know, have my hands full against him, but when I am hitting the ball well, concentrating this well, I like my chances against anybody. It is just exciting to be here now and to really feel like you are a part of what it is you know you hope to be a part of, which is that last week, getting down to the last weekend.

Q. Do you remember the first time you ever played Michael?

ANDRE AGASSI: First time?

Q. Yeah.

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, in San Diego we played at Morley Field (PHOENETIC) in the 10 and unders.

Q. Do you remember who won?

ANDRE AGASSI: He never beat me until maybe after like the fifth time we played in the pros, then he beat me for the first time in Toronto.

Q. Were your styles the same then pretty much as they are now or what was different?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, Michael, he was always playing, you know, the age group up like similar to Pete, but-- so, he is always smaller, he has always relied on his quickness and he was always too small to come to the net, and so, yeah, he basically had the same style of game. Recently he is adding a bit more power to his game, trying to balance it out a little bit.

Q. Any sense of satisfaction or anything by getting through this far, you are unseeded, anything --

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, just personal satisfaction. There is a lot of personal satisfaction. When you compete at a high level, then you want the players to respect you for what you can do and you want them to fear having you on their side of the draw. When you go out here and you take guys as good as Wayne and you can beat him handily, it is such a confident feeling for me; especially going into the rest of the tournament.

Q. Did you think that players didn't-- had stopped fearing you; didn't really worry about where you ended up in the draw?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, I think people -- players always knew that I was capable of winning any match, but they also, I think, I have gone through stages where they felt all I have to do is hang in there and he is going to give it to me. And, you know, I don't like that much at all. It is not a good feeling, then you have to overcome so many other things just to get -- to discourage them out there on the court. So when you can come out here and play this well and stay focused and close the matches out, then guys aren't so quick to believe they can beat you.

Q. Can you get the sense during the middle of the tournament like this one that things are going so well, it feels a bit different than other tournaments and you almost feel like, yes, concentrating match to match, but this is my time?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, with the field that we got in this tournament you can't expect to win it. You got to go out there and give yourself the best shot to win it. I feel like I have done that. I have prepared as well as I could prepare. And I am mentally committed as much as I possibly could be out there to what it is I am trying to accomplish, staying focused; not giving away too many loose points. I am giving myself the best chance to do it. And I feel like I can. I say that when -- I have only played a couple of Grand Slams where I actually went into the Grand Slams where I felt like you know, I don't think I can. I just don't feel like I am playing well, I don't feel like my game is anywhere near, but I do here, I do feel like I am playing well enough to win it.

Q. When was the last time that happened?

ANDRE AGASSI: I went into after I lost the finals of the French when I came here, I was -- just felt very beat up mentally; another Grand Slam final that I lost, I just didn't feel prepared.

Q. The second one?

ANDRE AGASSI: The second French, yeah, it was my third final, though. And that one in particular. And that was a little rough for me. Then the next year-round I was coming off a big slump going back into the French Open and that was a little rough, but I worked myself into the tournament and it felt like I had a chance, but when you don't believe that you can do it, especially with a player like me, you are not going to and when you do believe you can, that is amazing the kind of tennis you can come up with. So I feel good about the way I am playing.

Q. Andre, before the tournament started were you worried coming in here unseeded not knowing where you would be in the draw?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, worried, no. But there is a sense of concern you have for it. Because you are not sure as you are preparing for the tournament do I want to be peaking on Monday to start the tournament or do I want to be peaking the second week. That is a little tough. When you see your draw, then it gives you a little better feel for mentally when do you want to be peaking, play a qualifier first round is a little better than playing the top seed first round and to play Wayne Ferreira third round is not easy draw by any means, but at least I had a couple of matches. Now I feel like to get through this one as handily as I did, is just what I need.

Q. Were you happy with your draw?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, actually I am very pleased with it. I mean, I have good results against Chang and quite honestly, I'd like to play Muster after Chang to get even with him for that French Open, you know, match, and so yeah, I do, I do like my draw.

Q. What makes you feel that you believe that you can win this and that you are playing well enough?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know.

Q. There is nothing that clicks, there is nothing that --

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, I just know when I am out there and I am -- I'd rather be no other place when I am competing; I am using all my shots, I mean, and then I feel legitimately like I am a level better than a lot of players. And that is what you need; plus a little bit of luck to get you over that extra hump to hopefully give you the title. I mean, geez, we got some great players left there and by no means am I expecting to win or favored to win. It is just something that just I am moving along, watch out.

Q. When you said before "when you don't believe you can do it, you are not going to do it, especially with a player like me;" what does that mean, I mean, did your game fall off that you are not so confident?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I tend to be more of an emotional player than somebody like Lendl, or you know, somebody who is a lot more -- Courier, well, now we are seeing a different side to him. But I tend to be a lot more emotional. When things are feeling well I play well. The idea is to play not based on how I am feeling; that I am going there day after day playing my level of tennis and that is what I think I am slowly starting to catch on to and Brad is helping me a lot with it.

Q. Michael mentioned that matches against you and against Pete and Courier have a bit more emotion. There is a different element to them. Do you ever get that sense as well?

ANDRE AGASSI: Pete, Courier, me, Chang, we are all capable of winning a tournament and so we go out there with that kind of respect for each other, and when you do that, you have to have your level of play up another notch, because if it doesn't, you are going home, no questions asked. When I am playing Michael, I am going out there feeling like this is a match I am going to have to play my best tennis.

Q. Were you surprised at the number of mistakes Wayne made today?

ANDRE AGASSI: Wayne is a sporadic player. He hits some big shots and makes some errors, but it was just important -- I expected him to make errors and I expected him to make some incredible shots. He did a lot of both. But I just got the best of him on the errors. I felt like I was putting a lot of pressure on him and putting him in that position.

Q. Are you available for Davis Cup, Andre?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know, to be quite honest. I haven't talked to Tom yet and there is a lot of variables involved. I have made it kind of clear that I have committed for five years. It was definitely my No. 1 priority. Now my priorities have shifted. That is the bottom line, but it is possible that I would be able to play. I won't be able to answer that yet.

Q. Do you feel the same way you did when you the first week when you won Wimbledon, I mean, does it feel different?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't think any tournament really feels the same. I don't think any win really feels the same. You just -- you just got to feel good; feel good about how you are playing and I do.

Q. The second set, the computer said you only had one unforced error. That is -- is that close to perfect as someone can get, or did you feel close to perfect?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, somebody can get a set without one unforced error.

Q. Have you?

ANDRE AGASSI: I have never done that. But it is possible. I was just trying to stay as focused as possible and I think my unforced errors are a reflection of me accomplishing that.

Q. Would a win here be -- winning the tournament here be more to you than winning Wimbledon because it is your home country and everything?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think if I only could win one tournament one time it would be Wimbledon, but a second Wimbledon or U.S. Open, and I'd like to win this one.

Q. Have you said why black is the color this year?

ANDRE AGASSI: No, I haven't said that. I am waiting for you guys to come up with a reason why it is. I am waiting.

Q. Don't worry, we will?

ANDRE AGASSI: I am waking up every morning hoping I am going to read something.

Q. You are not reading the Boston Globe.

ANDRE AGASSI: Thanks, guys.

End of FastScripts...

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