August 10, 2000
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Pete.
PETE SAMPRAS: I just ran into a Tim that is playing great. He really served well and
was hitting unbelievable passing shots. He really played a great match. I wasn't at my
best, but I think he had a lot to do with that. He definitely outplayed me in just about
every area. He got off to a good start. I kind of let it slip away a little bit. He got on
a great roll and was just too good. He played really well.
PETE SAMPRAS: Just Alleve.
Q. Did you have pain somewhere or...?
PETE SAMPRAS: There's always a little pain somewhere. (Laughter.) But I think today was
in the head. I just -- a little soreness, but nothing too serious.
Q. Otherwise you were feeling okay?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah.
Q. Your serve didn't seem as sharp as usual.
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I just didn't really find a rhythm on it. You know, he was on top
of it early. And I wasn't really picking the corners, wasn't hitting it that well. It
wasn't the best serving day.
Q. Did you have any hints this morning when you woke up that you weren't feeling maybe
up to 100 percent?
PETE SAMPRAS: No. It was a late night, then I slept in pretty good, late match, so
there was plenty of time to recover after yesterday. Just came out a little bit flat and
he played great.
Q. Of all the times you played him, is this far and away the best he's played?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah. I mean he's come real close. Probably should have beaten me in one
final at Queen's. First match we played on hard court in quite some time, I think. He, as
we know, he's got the game to play great and he's got a complete game. Out of all the
young guys, he's the one guy that has the most complete game. It's just putting it all
together at the right time. And I think he's gone through little spurts here and there of
playing well and not playing so well. But today he showed that when his game's on, he's
tough to beat.
Q. This tournament is usually a strong one for Americans. This year, for some reason,
Americans have not done well. Any explanation for it?
PETE SAMPRAS: We have no explanation. We still have Todd Martin in there. It just goes
to show this game is going to be dominated by Americans for the next number of years,
myself and Andre, Todd Martin, Gambill and guys like that, we can do well and still be at
the top of the game. But if you look to the future of the game, you see a lot of young
Australian, European, South Americans that are going to be in the top of the game.
Q. Why do you think the Europeans have done so well? Clay courters are doing so well on
PETE SAMPRAS: I mean everyone's hitting the ball big, serving well. And there's always,
you know, so many serve-and-volleyers in the game we have today. So it's not surprising to
see the Kuertens and the rest of the clay courters do well on hard court. They've, you
know, changed games a little bit, been more aggressive and you're seeing good results.
Q. When he keeps coming up and hitting those shots by you and getting them into you,
does that wear on you mentally? ...(Inaudible)?
PETE SAMPRAS: You keep on, you know, I got to stick to my guns, I still want to come
in. If he was going to pass like that for a couple sets, it was too good, and he was able
to do that. Really picked off some great passing shots. I only had a couple chances and I
didn't get them. But he just outplayed me in just about every area.
Q. You talk about Tim having spurts in his career. Do you feel that the one thing
holding him back is his lack of consistency?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, he's, you know, got to a certain stage and, you know, his year this
year hasn't been what he would have liked. But I think Tim, not being as successful as he
wanted, it will make him hungrier. It will make him want it more. We know he's got the
game. I've always said it. I've practiced with Tim enough where he holds his own easily
and beats you quite a number of times in practice. It's just a matter of putting that
practice into the matches, and he did that tonight. Tomorrow's a new day and a different
player, and it's just a question of being able to stay at that level for not only one day
at a time, but weeks and months.
Q. Is it very rare for you to sit down after a match and go, "He outplayed me in
PETE SAMPRAS: It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, you just got to say too
good. I mean I played Novak in the Davis Cup and felt the same way, where I just ran into
a hot player. It happens. So... You know. I'll just relax and get ready for New York.
Q. Any particular part of your game that you were not disappointed in tonight?
PETE SAMPRAS: Didn't really serve that well. And, you know, I thought I was
serve-and-volleying pretty solid and he was coming up with some great passing shots. But,
you know, I didn't play poorly, I just wasn't at my best. The way Tim was playing, I
needed to be at my best today and I wasn't.
Q. Do you feel like if you could have gotten it to a third set that he might have
cooled off a little bit or enough that you could have been more into it?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I was hoping he was going to cool off a little bit in the second. I
think I helped him out a little bit by not being that sharp. And then he got the lead and
a set and a break, the way he was serve-and-volleying he was going to be tough to beat,
and come back and beat him in the third. You know, I certainly got some time to improve a
few areas of my game.
Q. How are you feeling, preparation-wise? Are you satisfied?
PETE SAMPRAS: I've gotten plenty of matches. It's disappointing not to go into New York
without a victory. When you win tournaments of this caliber, you bring a certain aura
about yourself that can definitely help you out in a Slam like the US Open. So in that
aspect it's disappointing. But I've gone into New York playing well and I've won, and I've
gone to New York not playing well and won. But I'd much rather go in there playing well. I
think I'm playing okay. You know, I'll let the body rest a little bit and get ready and go
into New York, you know, hopefully playing my best.
Q. Will you play between now and then?
PETE SAMPRAS: No.
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