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March 15, 2000

Pete Sampras


MIKI SINGH: Questions for Pete.

Q. What did you do differently in the tiebreakers this time?

PETE SAMPRAS: What did I do differently? As far as?

Q. He had a lifetime 4-0 lead in tiebreakers over you. I wondered whether you were aware of that?

PETE SAMPRAS: No, I'm not aware of that. That's a statistic. When you go out and play -- it was -- kind of -- what's your question (laughter)? Tiebreaks, obviously I came back from a 4-2 deficit in the last one and managed to squeak it out. Wayne has obviously played me very tough over the years. He's a great shot-maker. I don't think we both played at a very high level, but it was exciting tennis. I managed to, you know, pick off a couple forehands cross-court, which was nice. I just kind of squeaked it out at the end.

Q. Do you think you've hit as many forehands like that in a match? There were a tremendous number.

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, yeah. I was missing a lot of them, too. I was going for a lot of big shots. I've just relied on that shot pretty much over the past ten years. Today they were dropping in. He was putting a lot of pressure on my service games; made me work very hard. He's a tough guy for me to play because he's got a good all-around court game. The forehand definitely kind of saved me today.

Q. How did you feel physically on the court, the weather?

PETE SAMPRAS: It was hot. No question it was a hot day. Not having played many matches this year, you go out in the heat, I thought I handled it pretty well. I mean, we were both a little bit tired at the end. I certainly hope I can recover okay for tomorrow.

Q. Is that a fair surface?


Q. 12 double-faults is a little atypical for you. Having a little problem today? Was it the sun?

PETE SAMPRAS: At one point, it was a little difficult. I was going for big second serves. When you're going for that type of speed, especially playing Wayne, who was putting a lot of pressure on my service games, I had to go for a lot. I threw in a couple doubles, which is going to happen when you're going for big second serves.

Q. What is it about him that makes him so tough for you? Is it that he puts good pressure on your serve?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not only that; he's a very talented player, he's a great shot-maker. He believes he can beat me. He's done it before. You know, Wayne has got as much talent as anyone on tour. Mentally he has his ups-and-downs. He seems to obviously be very positive when he plays me. He came up with some great shots. I was serving big. Looking at the clock, 128, 130, he was getting it back pretty easily. He played well. I played pretty well myself. It was a good one to get through.

Q. Like to see a night match tomorrow?

PETE SAMPRAS: Doesn't matter.

Q. Byron thinks he has a better shot at you if you play during the day because he likes the heat.

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, it was hot out there. I thought I handled it pretty well today. It won't be an easy match because Byron will make me work a lot, doesn't miss much. Should be a good one.

Q. How does it affect the quality of play when it's so hot, and you haven't been outdoors that much?

PETE SAMPRAS: The conditions are a little bit quicker. The ball goes through the air just a touch quicker than last night. We were both having a hard time kind of controlling it out there. It is quicker, no question. It's quicker during the day.

Q. With so many guys falling out today, have you looked at the draw, thought about how wide open it is?

PETE SAMPRAS: There are no easy draws. I mean, you look at all the upsets. If players are ranked 30 or 40, they're capable of beating the top players. I play Byron, I'm going to have my hands full against him. You can't look ahead in the men's game. That's really the kiss of death.

End of FastScripts….

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