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August 14, 1999

Andre Agassi


ANDRE AGASSI: He played pretty an incredible game. He hit first points incredible forehand on the run, back up the line, I barely got my racket on it. Then he hit a backhand flick on the line, Love-15, and then he hit a huge running forehand crosscourt passing shot which is just too good. Then I hit a big shot to his forehand; he threw up a high lob that was moving a little bit in the wind. I knew he was covering the crosscourt. I tried to hit -- slam it in the middle and I hit it long. Then I had hit a good serve to his forehand. He rifled it to my feet. That game was to his credit. Then it is difficult when you get down a set and break against him. Set and two breaks, it is just mere formality finishing the match.

Q. You were down 4-Love and you were serving at Love-30 there was a point in which --

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, well, I would have taken any point I could get. You certainly want to make it interesting to make a guy have to beat you, but at that point I mean, he wasn't doing a whole lot wrong. He was rolling with the momentum and certainly had the confidence going. So once he got up in that second two breaks, then he hits to another gear.

Q. Do you think it is the best he ever played against you?


Q. Do you think it was better than the L.A. match?

ANDRE AGASSI: It is different conditions out here. This is playing faster than L.A. and the ball is hot and it is hard to really control. You are only going to get a few opportunities. That is why you have seen a lot of close sets here this week. Pete tends to play the big points well and he won that breaker which was huge and it is hard to stop him when he is taking those kind of chances on the serve and coming up with it. It is hard to stop. But, no, tennis is probably a little bit better in L.A. just because it was a touch lower and we had a few more rallies.

Q. When you lose the tiebreaker how hard is it --

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I mean, you are used to it. It is not like you are in the breaker thinking: This is it, I either win this match or I lose the match here. You are just thinking: Do everything you can to win the set and then when you lose it, you are thinking about creating more problems for him somehow. But he played a great first game of the second and I couldn't touch his serve until he decided to double three times in a row.

Q. Yesterday you were talking about all the things that he does well. When Pete is doing things well, anything you can do?

ANDRE AGASSI: Depends what surface we are on. If it is a fast court and it is playing quick, I have to play well and get lucky. Play well and get lucky. It is not a whole else -- not much else I can do except play well and hope to get lucky.

Q. Talk about his serving today, was it first time -- certainly hard for you to get points on --

ANDRE AGASSI: You noticed that? Yeah. Big serve.

Q. (inaudible)

ANDRE AGASSI: He is taking big chances on the second serve and to me it boils down to a lot more to his second serve that it does his first serve. If he is serving big seconds pretty consistently it allows him a lot of freedom on that first serve.

Q. (inaudible)

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I think over the course of last fall and early part of this year he certainly -- looked like he was tapering off a lot and taken him a few months to hit his stride, but, yeah, he played inspired at Wimbledon and he certainly hasn't stopped since. He's obviously made himself the guy to beat again.

Q. Do you think you might have a little bit to do with that?

ANDRE AGASSI: I don't know, I would just be guessing. You could ask him that.

Q. How would you grade how you played today?

ANDRE AGASSI: I played well in the first set. Got down and then my game dropped off a lot. I just -- it kind of takes the wind out of you a little bit to get down a break early in the second against Pete, so I went through a couple of games there where I shouldn't have lost my serve, probably the second time in the second set. It was a good first set. I felt like we were both playing well and we had some good points and he came up with the right ones at the right time.

Q. How do you feel like you chances now at the Open, knowing that you are --

ANDRE AGASSI: When you play somebody so many times you get to a point where it really doesn't matter the wins or the losses. It is about how you do that day. While it is not ideal to lose to him going into the Open, it is always different every week, every court, three out of five sets, there is always variables. If I could only have one, I would take it at the Open. That is how I choose to look at it. But I think Rafter is a guy to beat at the Open and then Pete is. Rafter is two-times defending champion and Pete has been playing since Wimbledon the best this summer. Those guys are certainly leading the race right now.

Q. After a match like this, would you like to go back out right now and start --

ANDRE AGASSI: Tomorrow, I'd wait for a new day because today he was serving well.

Q. When you won the three games in a row second set, did you feel you had momentum to take it to a third?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I was still down a break, I realized that my work was still cut out for me. But I was just looking for any opportunity to try to take advantage out of it. He held pretty solidly in both those service games, so all I could really do at that point was force him to serve it out and force him to come up with the shots and to not squander any opportunity if it did present itself. I did feel momentum, but he is an experienced player who knows how to stop that.

Q. (inaudible) is he the one to beat tomorrow?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yeah, I mean, I think Rafter has a great game for him on this court. It is going to be a good match. If there is any part of Pete's game that is not a great strength would be his return of serve; especially off the backhand and Rafter has a good kick athletic serve volleyer who can hold serve and he is quick enough to keep the ball in play and maybe something good can happen for him. So I would certainly call that match a pick-em, but a lot has to be decided tonight if Rafter can go out there and show himself against Kafelnikov, then I'd call it a pick-em.

End of FastScripts....

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