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November 15, 1995

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, Boris said that in the first set particularly he felt that he had been hit by a freight train. How well did you know and feel that you were playing?

PETE SAMPRAS: At that point, at the start of a match with the crowd being as loud as they were, it was really important for me to get up to a fast start and I did that and I got off to a pretty early break and broke him again and really couldn't play any better. I mean, everything was great. I was returning well. Making him play. I was serving pretty big, and just needed really -- tough to maintain that level for two sets against Boris, so first set was a great set. I just, you know, I played well.

Q. Pete, yesterday Chang said that he thought you were dominating last year more than this year. I can't tell the difference. Can you?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, last year I was a little bit more consistent week-in and week-out. I won a lot more titles and matches; this year, it has been a little bit up and down with my results, but I have always measured my year on the major titles and that is, to me, the most important thing in my career. But I have been pretty consistent for the past four months ever since Wimbledon, five months and beginning of the year, especially through the clay court season which wasn't all that great. The French Open was disappointing, but, you know, last year for the first six months, I was pretty much unbeatable. I won like 10 titles and I got injured, but this year it has been a little up and down, but it has been very successful coming back from a very disappointing French to come back and win Wimbledon and The Open and play well and win Paris indoor and doing well here, you know, certainly is pretty good.

Q. Pete, about the only record you have got to go for here is to have a 100% record. Is that something that you think of as an extra spur this year?

PETE SAMPRAS: Hopefully, I can just get to the weekend at this point. I am hoping to play well tomorrow night against Ferreira. There are a lot of great players here, so I feel like the way I am playing now, I am going to be tough to beat. If I can maintain that level of concentration, intensity, and serving big I am going to be pretty tough to beat, but just the same old cliche, it is one match at a time, so hopefully I can play well tomorrow night.

Q. But the event itself generates all the adrenaline you need; doesn't it?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I am ready to go. I had a week off after Paris; got here in plenty of time to prepare and practice. When you got all the top guys playing here, except for Andre, you are up for it. You walk into this tournament like it is a major because if you are not ready, you are not going to win. You are playing someone that is top 8 in the world; that has had a great year and you just need to be ready to go.

Q. Are you surprised you are not a bit more tired after a very physical and emotional season?

PETE SAMPRAS: Right now I am in a pretty good groove. I had some time off after the Davis Cup in Davis, three weeks to get ready for the fall season and had three solid weeks; then had a week off. I am not putting things in my schedule where I am playing four, five straight weeks like I have in the past. Had a week off after the Paris indoor to go home and kind of let the batteries get recharged up again and get ready for here. But maybe the end of Munich, that is the time where I will be pretty fatigued. After the Davis Cup final, I am still pretty much motivated and ready to go.

Q. How long were you actually at home for, Pete?

PETE SAMPRAS: I was just home for until Wednesday night. Then I went to L.A. to do a Nike spot for a couple of days and flew here Saturday. Got here Sunday.

Q. How much did you see of a tennis racket in that week?

PETE SAMPRAS: I hit a couple of balls on Wednesday, didn't have -- hit a little bit Thursday and Friday for a couple of hours and that was it.

Q. Courier/Enqvist, were you surprised how easy Enqvist won it?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I was surprised. Enqvist is a good player and Jim is a good player. I felt it was a pick-'em match. I didn't see anyone being the strong favorite and Enqvist I saw most of the match because it was right before me. I felt it was unbelievable the way he was serving, the way he was hitting his groundies, and Jim just seemed like he just wasn't there and that is the way it goes.

Q. Pete, this is Boris's court in a way because this is his area of the world. Do you feel like at all that it is sort of your court because you have had a lot of good memories when you walk out onto the court?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I am very comfortable playing on the court. It is always different playing Boris. It is one thing to try to beat him because he is a great player; another thing you have to deal with the crowd and they play at his pace. That is a little difficult, but I have won here twice, he has won here before. It is not anything that complicated. You know, it is really just going out and playing.

Q. Pete, has it gotten to the point now any tournament you enter that you really want to win you will win it?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I expect myself to win it. I mean, that is the pressure that -- I have expectations that I put on myself. I feel like every time I step out on the court, even if it is on clay, I expect myself to win.

End of FastScripts….

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