August 9, 1996
Q. Was the long matches a problem?
PETE SAMPRAS: I don't think it was much of a factor. I felt pretty good physically. I
just ran into a player that was on fire. I have never played a right-handed serve that was
so overwhelming. He seemed like he was hitting 2, 3 aces a game. I never really felt like
I was into the match. I don't think it had anything to do with the long match yesterday. I
felt pretty good.
Q. You are saying against a right-hander, what about Philippoussis in Australia?
PETE SAMPRAS: I thought that was good, but this was pretty -- just as good. Love-15,
four aces in a row; always seemed like he was serving aces whenever he needed it, and when
a guy is serving that big, it puts a lot of pressure on your service games. I didn't play
that great on my service games. I got a little careless and missed some shots, but he
played great. I mean, he really returned well and one of the best performances I have ever
played against, nothing really I could do. I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty well.
But I just ran into a player that was on fire.
Q. Did you get to a point where it was almost mentally discouraging or was it
completely that he was just out --
PETE SAMPRAS: A little bit mentally discouraging. I felt like, you know, you play a
good point. You get up Love-15 or something; all of a sudden, he serves a couple of aces
and service winner and the game is over, it was frustrating because seemed like everything
he tried and everything he hit was on the line or very close to it and he was serving
really big. Nothing you can really do but just hang in there and I thought I did that
pretty well. He just played some really good service games to break me, service return
games, so, it is disappointing. You just have to accept it. He played a great match and
from here I go to Indy and hopefully have a good week there, so, you know, there are
definitely some things I need to work on, trying to get these serves back.
Q. Do you feel you kind of feel almost like how players normally feel when they are
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I certainly hope that is the way they feel sometimes. Yeah, but I
can see how discouraging it is when someone is serving that big and playing that well. You
know, I guess it hasn't happened that often to me to have the server maybe Ivanisevic or
Philippoussis has done that, but Enqvist, who isn't really known to serve that
consistently, that was the difference. He serves really hard, but he doesn't consistently
make them a lot and today he was on and that is really it. That sums it up.
Q. Do you think the he might cool off at some point?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I was thinking, you know, you know, he is going to have to keep
this up to take me out and, you know, he pretty much did throughout the whole match. He
hit a big serve on matchpoint and missed an easy forehand, just hoping that he would kind
of come down to earth and give me a chance to kind of get into this match and I never
Q. Seems like there have been an awful lot of three-set matches in this tournament this
year. Is that a factor, so many guys are coming up playing at the same level; that you are
all here in this one tournament?
PETE SAMPRAS: I think it is more coincidence than anything. I really don't have an
explanation for that.
Q. A few minutes ago Thomas sat here and said that he was particularly thrilled because
he had beaten, in his, mind the best player ever. What is your reaction to that?
PETE SAMPRAS: I guess that makes him pretty good, I guess (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER). It is a
nice compliment to hear that from him. I have played him a bunch and he has come so close
to beating me and today he obviously beat me pretty handily, but it is nice to hear a nice
compliment from someone that is a good player like Thomas, and so it was nice of him.
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