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November 18, 1995

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, you got off to a sort of bad start. Did you always feel that you were trying to play catchup after that?

PETE SAMPRAS: A little bit. I mean, I started off the first three, four games feeling like I was hitting the ball pretty well, moving well, and I got off to a tough, tough, you know, early break and, you know, he was serving well on the big points. It just seemed like throughout the match I never really found my range and Michael was, you know, playing very well; returning my serve well; really was taking my best shot away and that was my serve. I had a couple of chances to get back into the match and maybe we could have still been playing out there right now, but he just won the important points today and that was really the difference. I just felt I just was making too many errors, too many -- just simple groundstrokes errors and he was coming in, dictating play, and I was the one just kind of on my heals throughout the whole match. And that was not really the game plan I had going into today's match, but, you know, I just wish I could have just played a little bit better.

Q. Michael seems to have become a much more aggressive player in the last year. Would you say this is true --


Q. -- Ratio of aces, first serves, all that?


Q. Is that something that you were prepared to deal with or were you surprised by the amount of attacking he did?

PETE SAMPRAS: I knew if I hit the short ball, he was going to come in and I played him at the Australian and he must have hit 19, 20 aces, so, I knew his serve improved quit a bit over the past couple of years and 15-30, 30-All point, he was coming in with the big ace, that is something he didn't have four years ago, but he improved that part of the game. He is coming in, attacking the short ball. You can't afford to hit short balls against him, so, I think he realized that if he is going to get to the top five, top four in the world, he is going to have to do that. And he has done that.

Q. How disappointing is this for you? I mean, you obviously felt that this was your tournament?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I played real well here in Frankfurt; had a good week; got to the semis, but I don't play tournaments to get to the semis or get to the finals. I come here to win them, and I just wish I could have played a little bit better. I don't mind losing as much if I could have just played better, plain and simple, if I could have just found my range, but, you know, I got to bounce back from this defeat and go to Moscow for the Davis Cup Final and Munich and then the year is finally over.

Q. Are you going home in the meantime?


Q. You played very well against Becker in the second day. Do you find you had to play too well maybe very soon in the tournament and then went down?

PETE SAMPRAS: No, not really. I felt I played well against Boris. I mean, Boris and Michael are two different players and I was ready for both matches. I just didn't play as well today as I did against Boris. I don't think -- if you are asking me if I thought I peaked too early, I don't think I did. I thought I played pretty well the first couple of matches and today I just had an off day. It is plain and simple.

End of FastScripts….

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