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August 8, 1996

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, Mark gives you a hard time when you are playing him. What is it about his game, the fact that he is a lefty or is there something else that troubles you the way he plays?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think the fact that he is a lefty has a little bit to do with it. It is difficult, you know, when I played Mark is his backhand slice, it stays very, very low and on that court, it skids and I was having a hard time kind of getting over there and hitting some forehands. He has got a good serve - not a huge serve - but good enough serve to get you and he is very quick. He does everything really well. You know, it was the best he has ever served against me, serving a lot of aces. That is something that Mark normally hasn't done against me in the past; that is why he was one point away from beating me. But just -- he is real crafty out there; got the short backhand slice - very difficult guy to play.

Q. Do you remember playing him four years ago here?


Q. Matchpoint situation?

PETE SAMPRAS: I didn't think about it until you just said it.

Q. Is that the only match that you remember?

PETE SAMPRAS: Matchpoint, yeah. I mean, I played him five, six times since. It has always been close 4 and 5, 5 and 6; I just managed to kind of, you know, squeak by.

Q. Do you remember what you thought to yourself before and after that matchpoint tonight?

PETE SAMPRAS: No, you don't really think too much out there; especially at that point, you just trying to play a smart point. He hit a pretty deep ball. I hit kind of a forehand inside out that kind of won me the point, you know, I was so close to kind of taking control of the match many, many breakpoints; didn't really convert on too many of them. I think only a couple, but, you know, matchpoint, you just try to play a smart point and not try to go for too much. I went for the shot and made it and I could have very easy been sitting here as a loser because he played extremely well and well enough to beat me.

Q. Did you loosen up sort of after that; did you kind of say to yourself, well, you know --

PETE SAMPRAS: I mean, I got through it, sure, but I am still hanging around; still a lot of work to be done. I think it was 4-5 at the time, so it was a good chance if I could have got through that game a tiebreaker was going to happen, so that is what happened.

Q. Did a win like that encourage you on where your game is at this point? Obviously, you haven't played since Wimbledon?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is a good fight. I mean, Mark is very difficult and to hang there and down a break in the third, you know, I felt like I kind of competed well and didn't get upset at myself after I lost the first set with many breakpoints. I had a good attitude out there, and played well; hit the ball well.

Q. Three hours and 4-- (inaudible)?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is 11, 12 o'clock now. I play second match after 1, so I feel pretty fresh. It was still humid, but cooled down. It wasn't like it was last couple of days. Tomorrow it won't be so hot. Hopefully my recovery will be good and I can play a good match against Enqvist. It is always tough playing a hard match on hard court; little bit tougher on the body versus clay or grass, but I feel like I am in pretty good shape.

JOE LYNCH: That was longest match of the tournament thus far also.

Q. Tell us about Enqvist (inaudible).

PETE SAMPRAS: Pretty good. I am trying to think Montreal 6 in the third; played tight match at Davis Cup. He has got some big groundies; backs it up; got a huge serve and backs it up with some big groundies. Got to the finals here, I believe, so he is comfortable playing here. Just a straightforward match; not a lot of surprises, but he is very dangerous when he gets his game going.

Q. You were invited to take part in the Republican Convention. You must be in Indianapolis next week (Inaudible.) Were you impressed by it or --

PETE SAMPRAS: Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to make it, but, you know, if Bob does look for a running mate, I am available. No taxes.

JOE LYNCH: You got to pay.


Q. You promise that; we will vote for you?

JOE LYNCH: You got to be 35, you have got ten years.

PETE SAMPRAS: Flat tax, that is right.

Q. You mentioned that he was playing well, pretty crafty guy. How were you playing tonight? Were you maybe not on your game?

PETE SAMPRAS: I thought my game was there, I really did. I felt I was serving pretty well most of the match. I just wasn't converting on the breakpoints. I had so many in the first set. I just wasn't -- he played those points well, but I got a little tentative on some. I could have won the match in straight sets with couple of points here and there, but I felt like I was hitting the ball well, you know, we are -- both played as well as we could, I thought, at the same time and that resulted in some good tennis.

Q. Talk about your overheads tonight, in particular (Inaudible.) It looked like you were really jumping a lot higher than even usual. Did you measure that?


Q. We are a group here from Indianapolis. I know you don't want to look ahead but can you talk about that tournament?

PETE SAMPRAS: Indianapolis is a stop on the Tour that I think all the players look forward to playing. You know, the people -- especially the volunteers really treat the players like we are royalty. You walk in there; you have got a beautiful players lounge; great eating facility. It is a great stop. The conditions and the court is pretty similar to the U.S. Open which is a couple of weeks after that, so, you know, it is definitely going to be a fun stop, play a little golf and have a little fun.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else?

End of FastScripts….

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