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September 1, 1996

Pete Sampras


Q. 3, 4 and 2, was it you playing that well, Volkov playing badly or both?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think it's the best match I've played so far in the tournament. I felt real fresh today. Volkov is a player that's dangerous, very hot and cold, kind of casual. You don't know what he's thinking. Just got to hang with him. He missed quite a number of shots. I played real solid, I served real big. If I can serve that big, you know, makes my game that much better all-around, so I was pretty pleased.

Q. He said he had no chance, that we could take a look at the number of aces you had, he just had no chance. Does it just boil down to the serve, do you think?

PETE SAMPRAS: It helps. When I'm serving that big, it gives me an opportunity to be that much more aggressive on my return games. I feel like I really wasn't threatened on my serve the whole match a lot. My whole game revolves around my service percentage. If it was like it was today, I feel I'm tough to beat. Next match is going to be some big serving, see what happens there.

Q. What about playing Mark again in a Grand Slam? Is that something you're welcoming?

PETE SAMPRAS: It's dangerous. He's got a big game. He proved that in Australia. Got back at him at Wimbledon. He's got a big serve. It's like playing a right-handed Goran. You have to hang with hill, he's going to pop his aces. When you get that opportunity to break, try to convert, stay solid on my service game.

Q. What about tournaments like this, seems every time you meet him in a Slam, would you rather play him in San Diego?

PETE SAMPRAS: Just the luck of the draw. It's interesting, some guys are always in your quarter or half. He's one of them.

Q. If you serve well, the match will be something like the Wimbledon match you had against him?

PETE SAMPRAS: You know, it's a little bit quicker. It's going to be similar. We're both going to be coming in, serving big. A match that comes down to a point here and there. Depends on who is putting pressure on the other guy's service game. That's what it really boils down to.

Q. You read that new book that's come out about you?

PETE SAMPRAS: I'm sorry?

Q. You read the new book that's come out?

PETE SAMPRAS: The Nick Bollettieri book?

Q. No, a guy by the name of Branham.

PETE SAMPRAS: No, I haven't read it.

Q. You haven't read it?


Q. Does last year seem like a long time ago, how well you played, how everything seemed to work well last year, and this year things just haven't been going as well?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I haven't gotten the big victory that I was getting last year, especially at Wimbledon. This match I played against Krajicek came down to a couple points. Those were points that over the years I've won. This year I came up short. You can't win every match like that on grass, playing someone that serves that big. My last opportunity here is to try to win here. It's the last Grand for the year. It's been a little bit disappointing in a way, but I felt I made some good gains on the clay, proven I can win out there. It's been pretty good. It hasn't been what it has been the last three years, but hopefully I can kind of salvage it this year.

Q. You think like in the assessment of the summer, seems like almost that run you had in Paris has been forgotten. That was pretty good.

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I was down and out against a couple guys, and fought hard, showed that I can play well on clay. I just ran out of gas against Kafelnikov. Had some mixed emotions when I left Paris. I felt I made some good gains, but on the other hand I was two matches away from winning it the first time. Had some mixed emotions. That's the way it goes. Hopefully one year I'll get through and win it.

Q. That missed overhead at 40-Love, was that because you were too relaxed?

PETE SAMPRAS: I just miss-timed it, miss-timed the jump.

Q. Does that happen very often?

PETE SAMPRAS: Sometimes (laughter).

Q. Are you going to miss this place, this stadium, with the new one next door?

PETE SAMPRAS: That's a good question. I think in a lot of ways, I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what the new locker room is like, the new players' lounge. It's going to be nice. I'm not saying this place isn't nice. It's just times change and you have to move on to bigger stadiums. You see it in football, basketball. In some ways I will miss this place. Over the years, this court has been very good to me.

Q. What's the best and worst about this court?

PETE SAMPRAS: I like it because it's a hardcourt, my favorite surface. I've always felt when it gets breezy, it's a very tough court to play on, bounces off the stadium, swirls around. You never have a good feel which way it's going. Noise level, people moving around behind the court. That's the US Open.

End of FastScripts....

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