home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 15, 1998

Pete Sampras


Q. Could you feel the momentum switch to you when you broke him in the third set, the final shot?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it was a huge turning point. The first three, four games of each set is so pivotal. You saw it in the second set when he broke me early. In the third we played that long point. I kind of scraped off a good forehand, hit a good backhand, the crosscourt dink. From that point on, he just seemed like the balloon popped for him. Seemed like he let up just a little bit. I broke him again, and that was pretty much the match. You know, like I said, the first three games of each set is huge. Especially when he's serving that big and he's playing that big, I mean, he's very, very tough to play. You know, once I broke him in the third, just kind of felt a little bit of relief that I kind of had the match in my hands if I could serve it out. You know, he maybe helped me out a little bit in that second break. It was good tennis out there. I mean, he's very tough to play.

Q. (Inaudible)?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, that's not the only reason. I mean, I only really show the emotion on big occasions. On a big point like that, anything that can really change the course of a match, sure, I'm going to show some emotion. You know, he's beaten me a number of times, and he was playing big tennis. I mean, I felt a little bit not very much in control of the match. He was serving very big. It felt like, you know, he was playing big tennis. And once I broke him in that third, it kind of felt like a big relief. It was a huge point.

Q. Do you feel as sharp as you did last night?

PETE SAMPRAS: You know, it's just a different player. Playing Magnus, I'm not taking anything away from Vince, but Magnus has proven over the years that he's a consistent Top-10 Player. You know, he's had some injuries. You know, he's got a big serve and he backs it up with big groundies. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I knew it was going to be a good fight. So, you know, I was prepared. Anytime that someone has beaten you three, four times, you better be ready. And I certainly was tonight.

Q. How about tomorrow (inaudible)?

PETE SAMPRAS: I hope he's not due. He's the hottest player on tour right now, you know, winning last week in Toronto. Seems like he breezed through this tournament in his matches. You know, the court's playing reasonably quick out there. So, you know, he's a solid, solid player who has proven that he can win the big matches, winning the US Open last year. He's playing well. It's a pretty straightforward match. He's going to be coming in a lot, serving and volleying a lot. It depends on my return of serve, see if I can make him play. That's usually the difference over the past few matches. But, you know, he'll be ready. It will be a good match.

Q. Do you remember anything about that first time when he did beat you?

PETE SAMPRAS: He did beat me, that's right. I forget the losses. Yeah, yeah, I remember he was kind of an up-and-coming player. You know, I just remember his serve gave me a lot of problem, had the big kick serve, gave me a lot of problems. That was kind of his breakthrough match, beating me. From then on, he just kind of got better as the years went on. Obviously, last year broke through at The Open.

Q. Did you think after that match he can really be in the Top 5?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it's hard to say at that point. You know, one thing about Patrick is that he is a great athlete. You know, he really moves very well. One of the best movers on tour. When I played him a number of years ago, he's a serve and volley player. You always are aware of guys that come in a lot and serve and volley. He certainly has the athletic ability to do that. He has improved his groundstroke game, his returns have gotten better over the years. You know, he competes well and he's a strong, solid pro.

Q. How many times have you wrapped your arm?

PETE SAMPRAS: Every match. I'm just doing it tonight because I kind of want to get out of here.

Q. Do you think at all about the ranking? You've been at No. 2 for a week.

PETE SAMPRAS: You know, everyone I think is a little bit blowing up the whole ranking situation. I think it comes down to the end of the year. That's the true indication of who had the best year. If you do well at the majors, which I'm hoping to do this year, especially The Open coming up, your ranking will take care of itself. This year is important. I mean, I really want to try to end the year No. 1 and break the record. That's one of my major goals of the year. Certainly doing well here helps.

Q. (Inaudible)?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, sure it does. I mean, Super 9's, everyone's playing them. It's kind of a Grand Slam feel. You know, everyone's playing here. Certainly tells you you're playing at a high level, especially with The Open coming up, and this tournament has always had a great field over the years. If I can win this, it certainly gives me a lot of confidence going into The Open.

Q. (Inaudible)?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I mean, all these guys are good. I mean, it doesn't -- Yevgeny or Patrick, all these guys can play. Patrick right now is the hottest player on the tour, I mean, winning last week, Super 9, he's backing it up here, getting to the final here. You know, he's playing great. He's probably playing the best so far of anyone for the past couple weeks. Tomorrow's just will give me a true test. All these matches are test. Playing Magnus tonight was a test. I mean, he's a tough player. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible)?

PETE SAMPRAS: I mean, each player is different in preparing for The Open. For me, I need to play -- I don't need to play too much. Even playing three weeks in a row is on the edge of playing too much for me before The Open. You know, some players decide to play every week. You know, you can burn yourself out a little bit. I mean, it just depends on the personality, depends on the player, on what's best for The Open. I've just kind of experienced over the years what's the best preparation for me. Certainly playing here is perfect timing. I mean, this is a perfect week with the field they have here. You know, works out real well.

Q. Every match you say the next match is a straightforward match. What is not straightforward?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, when I played Goran, that's not straightforward. Playing a few guys isn't straightforward. You know, Goran is someone that you don't know what's going to happen. That's a bigger roller coaster. You know, you play these guys so many times, you kind of know what to expect. You know, it's kind of a boring question, "What are you going to do for your next match?" So I give you a boring answer.

Q. (Inaudible)?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I mean, Wimbledon was a huge confidence booster for me. The year up to that point wasn't great by any means. To have won the biggest tournament we have in the game was huge. It was a big, big moment for me, winning it five times now. You know, I put so much pressure on the Grand Slams. I felt like kind of the monkey off the back a little bit. I felt like I finally got it this year. So coming into Toronto and here, I felt pretty good. My game's there. You know, Wimbledon was a big -- a really big turning point for me.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297