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September 5, 1995

Pete Sampras


Q. How do you feel you played?

PETE SAMPRAS: Pretty good. Pretty well. I mean, seemed like the first set really kind of determined the whole match. We were both a little bit tentative in the beginning; not playing that great. Then I, you know, whenever I play Todd, it always comes down to a point here and there and it came down to a tiebreaker and I played pretty solid. From that point on, I kind of escalated my tennis to a higher level and Todd, you know, really, I think, got a little bit discouraged at that point. He doublefaulted three times his first service games. It seemed like his level dropped a little bit. I was starting to get a read to his serve and starting to feel a little bit more comfortable out there. As the match went on, I started to play a lot better, so it was a good one to get through. I think the match would have gone a lot different if I would have lost that first set. But, you know, I feel like I played pretty well.

Q. He said your groundstrokes was as good as he has ever seen them, at least, against him. Are you at the top of your game there, do you think?

PETE SAMPRAS: My groundies, I am hitting them pretty well. I still think I can hit them better, but my whole game revolves around my serve. If I am serving well and hitting two aces a game, that just makes the rest of my game that much better. And -- but, you know, I was really starting to get a feel on my return and because he has got extremely tough serve to get back - 6 foot 6; got a huge kick serve and it is a tough one to get over, chip it and if you don't hit the return quite deep enough, you know, you are going to be in a defensive position, so, you know, if I could serve well; get a higher percentage, I don't know what my percentage was tonight, but I think I can serve a little bit better. But I served pretty well when I had to.

Q. Any thoughts about Byron Black?

PETE SAMPRAS: I played him a couple of times. Things went pretty well against him. I haven't lost to him and he -- obviously doesn't mind playing a player like me. He beat Stich today who plays just like me. He returns extremely well. Doesn't really serve all that big, so I can get into his service games. I just need to stay patient; hopefully hit my groundies pretty clean and deep. Pretty straightforward match. I played him probably three, four times probably so far, so I kind of know what to expect. It is a match that I think if I play, I should get through.

Q. Do you relish getting back through a game where you can get into some service games a little more consistently as opposed to playing against Todd and Philippoussis?

PETE SAMPRAS: As far as returning?

Q. Yeah, I am sorry.

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it is always nice to play somebody who doesn't serve that big and Todd has got a huge serve. He doesn't hit it that hard, but he hits the corners -- hits all the corners, and very tough serve to read because he is so tall. So it is going to feel good to at least see a serve that I can see, you know, Philippoussis I don't know what to really expect and Todd, I kind of knew what to expect a little bit more, so he is obviously to beat Enqvist, who I think is one of the best players in the world, and Stich today, I mean, he has got to be oozing with confidence.

Q. How about his two-handed forehand, is that unusual to play against at all? Does it limit him in his mobility; do you think?

PETE SAMPRAS: A little bit. He doesn't have quite the versatility and the reach on the return and on the out-wide forehand shot, but, you know, he has been hitting it all his life so I am sure he is used to that.

Q. That doesn't affect your strategy at all --

PETE SAMPRAS: Not really.

Q. -- with moving him around?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not particularly.

End of FastScripts...

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