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March 20, 1995

Pete Sampras


Q. You are still keeping the stringers busy, I see.

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, keep on breaking those strings. I mean, I string my rackets 34 kilos, which is about 75 pounds with thin, thin gauge, and they just keep on going on me.

Q. It doesn't really matter.

PETE SAMPRAS: I have got about five or six brand new ones before I go out and play.

Q. How long would you keep a racket, roughly?

PETE SAMPRAS: About, four, five months, and, you know, probably strung them about 50, 60 times; by that time, the racket is pretty dead and soft and, you know, usually just give it to charity.

Q. How do you feel it is going this week for you so far?

PETE SAMPRAS: Things are going really well. I thought I played extremely well today. Jared is a guy that, in my mind, has got a lot of potential. He has got a real all-around court game. Serves pretty well. I thought it was the best match I played in a couple of weeks to tell you the truth. And so I have returned well; did everything pretty well. Had a bit of a hiccup there in the second set and -- but managed to regain my composure, breaking back, so it was a good one to get through.

Q. One of the guys here complained about the wind. You don't seem to have excessive amount of trouble with it.

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I kind of have to go out with a good attitude. It is windy; tough conditions, but it is the same for both players and there have been a lot of upsets this week. It seem like there is always a lot of upsets at the Lipton; go out with a good attitude; it's going to be windy; move your feet; maybe lower your ball toss; adapt as best you can. I seem to handle it pretty well this week and last couple of years.

Q. Making any other adjustments in terms of things like grip or --

PETE SAMPRAS: Nothing. Maybe the ball toss is a little bit lower; moving your feet a little bit more. Those are the two things I concentrate on.

Q. Have you played much on the outer courts outside?

PETE SAMPRAS: I haven't played one match.

Q. What is the difference in terms of protection?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is a big difference. The stadium, really, it swirls a little bit, but it is not quite as bad. I hear playing on the outside courts, it is a nightmare.

Q. Are you surprised at all how much the thing with you and Andre has taken on a life of its own?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think the game has been missing it for the past couple of years, so now everyone has kind of gotten hold of it and it is really a great story. I mean, you got two guys with two different backgrounds; two different lifestyles that are 1 and 2 in the world, so it is something that is good for tennis. I am enjoying it. I am sure he is enjoying it with the knew Nike ad coming out the last couple of days. It is something that has become a lot of fun for me, and I have played him twice this year. It is something time will tell if it can be compared to a Borg/McEnroe rivalry and so it is something that it is good for me and good for the game and it feels good to be part of that.

Q. Do you perceive him any differently or is there actually now a substantial difference in how you look to a match with him or situation with him because it has taken on all the hype?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I have said when I play Andre it is kind of two heavyweights going at it. I feel like I really need to be at my best to beat him and I think he feels the same way when he plays me. He is the one guy that can return my serve as well as anyone. You really got that contrast which I think everyone in this room really likes - that contrast of style and personalities and Andre and I, as we all know, are pretty different.

Q. I don't know if you talked about this at Indian Wells at all, but what is the difference with having Todd Snyder as your trainer on a full-time basis as opposed to Pat Etcheberry when you were home and training?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, Pat moved to Orlando and so I live in Tampa; it really wasn't working out and Todd and I have been pretty good friends. He has been the Tour trainer for a number of years and I have a lot of confidence in his ability as far as keeping me healthy. That has been a problem for me, my health. So I felt if I could work out things with Todd and I spoke with him end of last year as far as traveling with me on a full-time basis, and he thought about it and he worked it out and so it has been working out really well. He stretches me, and massages me, so these are things that hopefully can prolong my career and when you are 28, 29 that is a time when you kind of pull up a little bit sore, hopefully I can do the things I have to do as far as stretching and preparing myself so I can have a long, long career and stay healthy.

Q. Is it any difference in intensity because I mean, once you reach a level of fitness, I imagine you are there and you are maintaining and not preventing injury more than anything?

PETE SAMPRAS: What I am trying to do with Todd is just maintaining, like, for instance, this evening I might go for a bike ride or do a little strength stuff with Theraband, because when I have been playing for a month and a half, you need to maintain your fitness, and you need to eat the proper foods, just kind of a combination of a lot of things that, really, I need to stay healthy.

Q. Do you need someone to push you to do that?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, there are times when I need someone.

Q. Are you lazy in that area?

PETE SAMPRAS: I can -- if there -- I don't mind watching NCAA tournament versus going for a bike ride, but you have to. So, yeah, I do need to be pushed a little bit, you know. But I have become more disciplined in the past couple of years because in order to stay on top, you need to keep on working hard.

Q. Is there a major dietary change?


Q. Over the last few years.

PETE SAMPRAS: I am doing whatever I can to keep my hair on my head.

Q. Good luck.

PETE SAMPRAS: Sorry, Bud, it was just an open court.

End of FastScripts....

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