March 15, 1996
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
JOE LYNCH: With so many people, if you don't mind, raising your
hands so we get a chance to get to everybody. First question.
Q. You didn't seem to be able to get your groundstrokes working
consistently at any time in the match.
PETE SAMPRAS: That is a good observation. I don't know what
happened, to tell you the truth. Seemed like my shots, especially
from the backcourt, they were just flying on me. I don't know
if it was the dry altitude but seemed like throughout the whole
match, I really didn't feel like I was comfortable, even though
I won the second set, I had -- really didn't feel like I could
really swing out and swing hard and the ball, you know, would
feel like I had some good control, but I have never missed many
forehands. I was really spraying them on both, backhands and
forehand, and the serve was okay, but really just struggling and
had a bad day, and you know, he has always played me pretty tough,
Paul has. He has beaten me a couple of times and he is very consistent,
but the match, I feel like I should win if I play well. If you
are not going to play well, you are not going to win - I don't
care who you are playing. I just didn't play well, plain and
simple. The only person to blame is myself.
Q. Pete, what is it about Haarhuis's game that gives you
so much trouble?
PETE SAMPRAS: He hits the ball with a lot of top and it kicks
up high on this court and up to my backhand. He has got some
heavy groundstrokes. He serves pretty well. He has a good all-around
court game. He comes in and someone that if you let him dictate,
he is going to dictate and I did that a little bit too much, played
a little safe on some big points, but he always has given some
top players trouble and I am certainly one of them.
Q. How difficult is it to start your tournament in the quarterfinals?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it wasn't difficult at all. I mean, I played
a match yesterday and I was, more or less, used to the conditions,
but, you know, really didn't have any affect today.
Q. You seemed to have trouble returning his serve too?
PETE SAMPRAS: I just had trouble with the whole day. I mean,
every aspect of my game. The ball really kicks up high on this
court and with it is so dry here, it was -- you know, it was kicking
up high and I was missing a lot, and just didn't really feel like
I could take a good crack at the ball. I felt like I was tentative
and being a little bit safe and the ball was flying on me a little
bit more than usual, and -- but just wasn't a good day.
Q. Can you go to a Plan B. against a guy like this or do
you just feel like you are going be victimized out there?
PETE SAMPRAS: When you are in a match situation you want to
maybe try some new things; you always to resort what feels comfortable
out there. I just felt it is the way I always played; just kind
of hit the return early; maybe looking back, I could have done
a little bit more with his second serve; maybe chip and charge;
maybe give him a new look. Like I said, you always resort to
what is comfortable, and, you know, just learn from these losses
that maybe, you know, when you are down in the third set maybe
try something different, but it takes a little time, but it was
just a tough day for me.
Q. It is hard to resort to what is comfortable when nothing
is comfortable, I guess.
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, you are right. It is not a great feeling
when you feel like it is just not there. Just, you know, I was
overhitting and just missing, missing easy balls that I normally
don't miss, and I don't know why. I just was -- timing wasn't
there. Just didn't feel too comfortable out there. Eventually
it is going to catch up to you when you don't play well. And
I won the second set and I just didn't feel it. I didn't feel
like I usually do, and these days happen. You just at this point,
just have to bounce back and, you know, get back to the drawing
board and have a good Lipton.
Q. There are reports out that you won't be playing Davis
Cup against Czechoslovakia. After such a tremendous effort last
year, are you going to be taking the whole year off from Davis
Cup; can you comment about that?
PETE SAMPRAS: I have decided not to play the second round, but
I would be available if needed in the last two rounds.
Q. I guess, Michael and Andre aren't playing either from
what the reports we get; any comment about some of the top Americans
bowing out from second round match?
PETE SAMPRAS: I think we have to understand that as far as the
timing of the second round, it is impossible. The week after
Lipton, it's going to be over in Europe; I go over to Asia. You
hope one guy was hopefully going to step up and Todd has always
done that, but I did it last year and I paid the price in some
ways, and decided, you know, not to do it this year.
Q. San Jose, you played such a great final. Not including
today, have you had a match like that since?
PETE SAMPRAS: That was some of the best tennis I played in a
couple of years. I was basically in the zone for the most part
and, you know, you wish you wake up everyday feeling like that,
but unfortunately you have days like today where your wake up
and it just wasn't there. So C'est la vie.
Q. Was your ankle giving you any concern?
PETE SAMPRAS: No.
Q. Same question?
JOE LYNCH: That would be a double "no." It looks
like that takes care of it.
End of FastScripts........