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September 24, 1997

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, how did you feel --

PETE SAMPRAS: To beat the Aussies?

Q. Yeah, to beat the Aussies. No. Coming in over here, you got the day's rest; whereas the Woodies didn't; Rios didn't.

PETE SAMPRAS: Some played three matches. I played every day, so I was a little bit worn out today. Jet lag is always a little bit tough coming over here. So, just happy I got through today.

Q. Pete, do you feel ready to spend four or five weeks in Europe by the end of the season?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, my schedule isn't too bad. I play next week in Basel, then I have a couple weeks off. I come back for Paris, Stuttgart. I come back; go for Hannover. I come back. That's a lot of traveling. It's not like I'm going to be here for four or five straight weeks, which is tough. I'll be making a lot of coast-to-coast trips, which isn't that fun. But, we're in the final of the Davis Cup, and so we're excited about that. But, it's just the end of the year; I'm trying to finish strong, trying to finish this year No. 1 and hopefully win the Davis Cup.

Q. And, concerning the No. 1 spot by the end of the season, do you feel confident keeping it?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah. I think this time of the year I seem to play pretty well. I have a lot of points to defend coming up, but I feel like I'm playing well. The Davis Cup will certainly -- it was real good for the confidence. I'm playing quite a bit this fall, so hopefully I can end at No. 1. But, regardless, that's important. But regardless, I can always look back at this year, and to have won two of the majors is something that will always stand out more than my ranking. But, something I want to do.

Q. Considering the way you're playing these days, doesn't it feel even worse thinking back about the US Open?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I wish I would have played like I did over the weekend at the US Open, but it didn't happen. Sure, it was disappointing to have lost a close match; a match I felt I probably should have won. And, I felt going into this year's Open, I was going to be tough to beat. I had a good summer. But, it happened. You just have to move on and try to put it behind you. It's hard sometimes. But there are goals I want to achieve for the rest of this year. Davis Cup was a good motivation to get me back playing again. Just give it my best shot next year.

Q. Pete, how important is it for you to play a tournament like this one comparing to the big ones?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, especially just playing Davis Cup, very emotional, it was a lot of fun. You know, on a flight coming to Europe, it was a bit of a letdown. I feel like I really come to play every match, regardless where it is or when it is. But, you know, today I felt a little bit tired. Fortunately I have a day off tomorrow to recover and get some sleep. But, I've always played pretty well in Munich. I like it here.

Q. Pete, usually you're here for the Compaq Cup at the end of the year in December. This is the first time you're here in September. Everybody from America goes out to the Oktoberfest. Are you going out?

PETE SAMPRAS: I'm not planning on it. I don't really drink much; especially the German beer, it's a lot stronger. So pretty much staying in the hotel, and that's really it.

Q. Have you seen anything of Boris' match today? Have you any feelings about that? Also, his scheduling plans for the future?

PETE SAMPRAS: I saw a little bit of it. And obviously very surprised what happened. But, Jonas is playing well; just had a good Davis Cup weekend; returns well. The court is playing quick. If you're a little bit off, Boris obviously wasn't on top of his game. It can happen. As far as his future, I mean, I still find Boris very, very tough to play. You know, anywhere, anytime I play him, he always comes up and plays me very tough. One of the best players I've played in my career. So there's a lot of respect I have for him. And, he's had a great career. You know, when he wants to stop, I'm sure he'll stop. But, from the looks of it, he wants to continue to play, you know, so we'll see.

Q. You just mentioned Becker being one of the toughest players you've ever faced. If had you to list the Top 5 in order, of the toughest players that you've faced, who would they be?

PETE SAMPRAS: At one point, Agassi was a couple years ago. He was very, very tough for me to play. A lot depends on the surface. Agassi probably consistently on all the surfaces. Becker indoor. Ivanisevic on grass. I mean, those guys stand out. Muster on the clay, even though I haven't played him much. A lot depends on the surface. There are a lot of good players out there.

End of FastScripts….

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