Tennis Prose



Press Conference Flashback: Andre Agassi Monte Carlo 1996


April 23, 1996

Andre Agassi


Q. Andre, I guess it’s not easy to play a match in these conditions when you are expecting something else?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, that’s right.

Q. So how did you handle the match?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, you know, there’s not much you can really do except try to, you know, stay relaxed and yet not so relaxed that you forget about what you’re doing. I think the most difficult is the first few games right when you come out, make sure your feet get moving quick or else you cannot find your rhythm sometimes for an entire set.

Q. Andre, how are you coming to this tournament? What are you doing specifically to prepare yourself for the French?

ANDRE AGASSI: I’ve been working pretty hard since Key Biscayne. I got sick, unfortunately, pretty bad. I couldn’t make it to Barcelona. That kind of hurt my preparation for here and affects my long-term plan for Paris. But really, I’ve just been trying to get into good shape and have been hitting a lot of balls – nothing quite like getting out there on the clay. Really, it’s kind of experimental for me. I use this week as, you know, to prepare myself for Paris.

Q. I’ve been told you were practicing in San Francisco at Brad Gilbert’s?


Q. Mary Pierce was there as well. Did you play with her?


Q. You didn’t hit —


Q. A special question about, do you know the new rules of ATP tournament for clothes? They want really special clothes; not too long shorts; not T-shirts. What do you think about this?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I don’t know about the rules so I’d have to kind of hear about them first, you know, specifically, and see what I think of them. I don’t know what they are.

Q. Your look is quite — is always very important when you play tennis, it’s an important, special look. You want to keep it really special?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I don’t try to be special, I just wear what I like really, you know. To me it’s comfortable wearing big shorts. I think that, you know, wearing little shorts that ride up your butt is not quite my style, you know.

Q. Thank you.


Q. Andre, Thomas has reeled off three titles in a row, coming in hard. Is he the guy you see mainly as the one who has got to be beaten?

ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think anybody that wins the French Open has established themselves as a player to beat the next year-round really, so absolutely.

Q. Nothing’s changed, you feel about him? Do you think he’s still as strong?

ANDRE AGASSI: I mean, to win the clays this year, you must be in good form. You can’t win these tournaments without being in good form.

Q. Are you going to stay in Europe now, Andre, from now until the Open?


Q. Going back to the States?


Q. What do you think is more difficult, to win at Roland Garros or to win ten tournaments on clay, as Muster has done? He has done both, but between the two things?

ANDRE AGASSI: In one year, you mean?

Q. Yes.

ANDRE AGASSI: Ten tournaments in one year?

Q. Yes, on clay, as he did. What is the biggest achievement?

ANDRE AGASSI: Both seem pretty damn impossible to me, to be quite honest. I haven’t done either yet, so….. I think probably to win ten tournaments on clay, to establish — in one year, to establish yourself that consistently. Good, big tournaments, especially. I think that it’s possible to have a good two weeks in Roland Garros; seen a few guys do it. Both are extremely impressive.

Q. We saw that you’re playing Hamburg while Pete is playing Rome. There was sort of an agreement between you two or you just decide not to fight together, one against the other, before Roland Garros? Why did you pick Hamburg and he picked Rome?

ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I don’t know why he picked Rome. To me, you make your schedules individually. You have to play seven of the nine big tournaments. I think the sport is way too diverse. There’s way too many tournaments. There’s way too many possibilities to not play somebody for a long time. I think a lot of it’s not good, but it has nothing to do with us. We just go with the rules and make our schedule. To me, to play Rome, it leaves me with only one week before the French; that leaves me really not mentally in the right frame of mind. I like to come into the French feeling like I just had some time to regroup mentally, and I prefer playing a week earlier, just the timing of the events. I think with Pete, it’s a chance that it’s a little quicker in Rome than it is in Hamburg, a little more familiar, you know, as far as similar to the French Open.

Q. Andre, I believe you’ve been to see the new No. 1 court taking shape at Wimbledon.


Q. Were you impressed?

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes, very impressed with it. I was really pleased to see there wasn’t a bad seat in the whole house. Every seat was a spectacular view of the court. It’s going to definitely — if it gets embraced, it’s really going to be an enjoyable court to have, as much as center, I think. Maybe the tradition and mystique of center will still be there, but it’s a great court, much better than what they have now certainly.

Q. Better than the No. 1 —

ANDRE AGASSI: Yes. The shade and wind you get on that court is very tough.

Q. Wind can be a particular problem, because it eddies along the side?

ANDRE AGASSI: As well as the light. The shade creates a problem. It’s a difficult court to play on.

Q. It will mean an end for people standing to see. Will you miss that sort of the ordinary fan can get in and get a good yell and good scream?

ANDRE AGASSI: That’s always appreciated by the players certainly. I don’t know what their reasons would be. I haven’t heard. I enjoy anybody that’s going to be in there for the sake of the game, you know. It’s nice to have that.


  • catherine · October 16, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I think there’s a bit of confusion here. It was the Centre Court which had standing room, not No 1, and these had to be removed from sports stadiums after the Hillsborough football disaster. There’s now a move to bring them back (as they do in Europe)but that won’t happen at W’don.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 16, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine; who is mixed up? Andre?

  • catherine · October 16, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I think the interviewer says No 1 when he means the Centre.
    As far as I can recall, and it’s a long time ago now, there was no standing room on the old No 1 court. I sat there many times – the press seats were right next to the court and the light in the afternoons was great for photographers. But No 1 wasn’t so good for players because as Andre says, the shadows and the wind could make life difficult. It was also a bit noisy.

  • Duke Carnoustie · October 19, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Two things.

    Why the Mary Pierce question? I don’t get it.

    Also an agreement between Andre and Pete not to play the same clay events? Why?

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 19, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Pierce hits the ball hard and she could hang with Agassi. Pierce used to train with Spadea and Jim Pierce told me she did the alley to alley drill better than he did, that's hit fh in one alley and then bh in other alley and back and forth, exhausting drill Vince was gassed by it and Mary was a machine who could do it longer. Seles used to beat up on Courier at Bollettieri and Courier supposedly said he never wanted to hit with her again. Good question about Pete and Andre pact to play opposite clay events. Maybe they didn't like to play each other as much as we thought.



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