March 19, 1995
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Q. Pete, do you think it is a disadvantage for seeded players
to play after against a guy who has already played a match in
the tournament like a 56 or 96 draw?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I find that pretty difficult when you have
already -- when you are playing a guy that has already played
a match they are used to the conditions, the wind, the court,
the balls and, you know, I have gotten used to that over the past
couple -- since I have been seeded, but. . . .
Q. Is it more of a disadvantage or an advantage to having
PETE SAMPRAS: It is good to play one less match. But on the
other hand, it is always nice to have that extra match, and I
think it is an advantage for someone that has played a match to
play someone that hasn't played. You have got your pros and cons
no matter how you look at it.
Q. Would you describe how you felt you played today?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I think under the conditions, I thought
I played pretty well. It was very, very gusty, but ball toss
was going all over the place and you just had to be prepared.
When you come to Lipton, it is always going to be a little bit
windy, but I thought I played pretty well.
Q. Pete, what is Paul Annacone's role with you now during
this interim period?
PETE SAMPRAS: Paul is going to be traveling with me for the
rest of the year. Tim is not able to go, so Paul and Tim have
been talking every now and again about stuff I need to work on.
They both have pretty similar ideas how I should play, so it
is -- it is working out pretty well.
Q. Your running forehand, which has become such a lethal
weapon for you -- would you talk a little bit about how you developed
that and was it always as good as it is now?
PETE SAMPRAS: I don't think it was anything I particularly worked
on as a kid. For some reason, I just -- I have just got a lot
of confidence with the shot. I feel like if they go out wide
to my forehand that I can hit it down the line or crosscourt and
take a pretty good rip at it. It is something that kind of came
about and I wasn't really concentrating on it - just coming up
better and better last couple of years.
Q. What are the keys of hitting that shot?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, you try to get to the ball as soon as possible
and try to stay on balance and I guess one thing technically I
am just trying to put a little bit more spin on my forehand on
that shot, to try to keep it in the court. And usually the guys
that are in pretty vulnerable positions are probably on the backhand
side, so I could take a pretty good rip at it; go out wide to
his forehand and go from there.
Q. Is there a particular shot in your game that you feel,
"okay, today it is going and this is a good day," I
mean, a shot you find out for the condition of the day; everyday
PETE SAMPRAS: Usually it is my serve, my serve is an indication
of how I am going to play. Even if I am not serving well, I still
feel like I can get through, but I can tell by the first couple
of service games if everything is clicking, and so that is just
a shot that I rely heavily on, so it is was okay today.
Q. Pete, you have played Andre twice already this year and
the public's interest is certainly quite high in men's tennis.
How does the 1-2 rivalry affect your motivation?
PETE SAMPRAS: They are probably more interested in Michael Jordan
right now. It is something that has been talked about a lot in
the past couple of months and Andre has won the last two Majors.
I have been playing pretty well. With our games being so different
and our personalities being so different, I think people like
to see contrast, kind of like maybe a Magic Johnson and Larry
Bird, so it is something that I think time will tell if it can
be compared to a Borg/McEnroe rivalry, but. . .
Q. Would Magic Johnson be Andre?
PETE SAMPRAS: I would be the more conservative Larry Bird and
he is the more flamboyant Magic Johnson.
Q. Is the potential round 3 of the rivalry this year on your
mind or do you try to keep that out of your mind to get there?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, if we meet; we meet. If we don't; we don't.
I mean, we are playing a lot of tournaments this year and there
is a lot of tennis yet to be played and it is much more important
for me to be No. 1 at the end of the year. That is a true indication
in my mind who had the best year. So that is my main goal.
Q. The fact that you and Andre are if not friends, at least
close in the sense that you like each other a lot off the court.
PETE SAMPRAS: Friendly rivals.
Q. When Connors and McEnroe were going at it back in the
'80s they didn't particularly like each other. There wasn't a
lot of bouquets thrown from one to the other. Would it be different
if you and Andre had that kind of a relationship; would you be
talking up the rivalry as much as you are now?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, you know, Andre and I are very different
people. But we are capable of, for instance, sitting down and
trying to work out this Davis Cup situation where we are going
to go over and play. We basically just leave it on the court.
We don't take cheap shots in the media, whatever, just keep it
on the court. And just go out and when I play Andre, there is
no gamesmanship there, it is the better man wins. We just go
out and play. There is nothing too complicated about the whole
Q. What was the reason of this indecision about you playing
in the Davis Cup in Palermo?
PETE SAMPRAS: I think the first problem I had was the schedule
of the Tie and when I looked at my schedule for the first couple
of Ties I wasn't planning on playing. But, you know, I thought
about it, tossed and turned about my decision and, you know, we
all kind of sat down, Jim Courier and myself and Andre, to try
to work out the situation and Andre and I felt we could step up
and play because Jim has sacrificed more there in going to India
last year; playing in Tampa a couple of months ago, so it is a
team effort and I am happy to represent my country against the
Q. Are you going to make yourself available if you win for
the other two?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah. That is if I am healthy I hopefully will
Q. Pete, you essentially changed your mind because you did
this decision in concert with Andre and Jim or is it a personal
PETE SAMPRAS: Probably a little bit of both. As far as the
surface is concerned, you know, I know that it is clay and I will
be playing on clay and Andre only has a couple of days off; he
has to go Japan to play hard court. I had a problem with the
schedule and playing Davis Cup last year really kind of backburned
with my health, but I think playing on the clay I feel things
can work out for us.
Q. How did that respect for Andre develop? Was it immediate
or was there something that had --
PETE SAMPRAS: Just playing him. I really feel like I need to
be at my best to beat him. I think he feels the same way. He
is the one guy that can return my serve as well as anyone and
one guy that I think, if I am playing well, he could still beat
me and just a lot of respect on both sides of the coin, so whenever
I play him, it is kind of like two heavy weights playing each
other. We kind of look forward to that.
Q. Pete, last time you were at Lipton you had a disagreeable
meal just before the final. Has it changed your thoughts about
what you are going to be eating here for the next ten days?
PETE SAMPRAS: Bread and water for the whole week.
Q. Changing the restaurants?
PETE SAMPRAS: No. I just -- I have had some problems with my
stomach and that has up now, so I am healthy and I am ready to
Q. It was pasta; is that right, marinara sauce?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah.
Q. Can you have that now?
PETE SAMPRAS: I can have it.
Q. What is with the commercial that starts tomorrow?
PETE SAMPRAS: You have to stay tuned, Doug. I have seen it and
it is -- it is a tennis commercial that you guys probably haven't
seen before and I like it. And it is different, so, what else
do you want to know.
Q. How many points did you actually play in the commercial?
When it shows how many points will be played, just one?
PETE SAMPRAS: What do you mean "points?"
Q. I heard it says Andre wins? That is what we were told
PETE SAMPRAS: Where did you hear that from.
Q. We have a note upstairs.
PETE SAMPRAS: Don't believe everything you see.
GREG SHARKO: Actually there is a sneak preview.
PETE SAMPRAS: There is -- no -- you guys just have to see it.
It is not like we are in an environment to play a real tennis
match, but we are trying to.
Q. Who won?
PETE SAMPRAS: We didn't really -- no one won.
Q. How long did it take to do it?
PETE SAMPRAS: We started about 8 and ended about -- must have
been about 5 - so, all day.
Q. Did you stop that bus?
PETE SAMPRAS: I was trying to, but he wouldn't stop.
End of FastScripts