March 12, 1995
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
Q. Started to work that security like Letterman (sic) out
PETE SAMPRAS: They were rooting for him, I don't know why.
I had thought we were playing for Sweden. I thought we both played
pretty well. I don't know what Stefan thought, but, you know,
I think there is a lot of room for improvement. Pretty dramatic
match as far as it was close. When I play Stefan, it always comes
down to a couple of points and today there was no exception.
We both played pretty similarly, so it really could have gone
either way, but fortunately I regained my composure after not
playing a first good first set; he really got off to a good set
and hung in there and started returning better as the match went
on. That was really the difference.
Q. Pete, how concerned were you when you went up those two
service breaks in that first set?
PETE SAMPRAS: Very concerned. I mean, that pretty much was
the first set, even though I got that break back and, you know,
he just got off to a good start. I got off to a bad start serving
two doublefaults and really, he just started the match a little
bit stronger than I did, but if he was going to maintain that
level and if I was going to maintain that level, he was going
to beat me straight, but I just managed to hang in there and returned
a little bit better. That was the one shot that kind of helped
me out was my return and make him play a little bit more and so
it was good that I got that second set and that up a break in
the third and I let him back in a little bit, but it was kind
of a weird match, but it always comes down to 6-4 in the third
whenever I play Stefan.
Q. Do the nose bleeds just happen today? Are you having
problems with them?
PETE SAMPRAS: First one in a long time. I get them occasionally,
but since the weather is so dry here and when I am in kind of
the Phoenix area or kind of the desert area, I always seem to
get them and it was pretty warm day today, so it wasn't surprising,
but fortunately, I got that break right after I broke him then
I got the bloody nose so I didn't mind. Didn't mind trying to
Q. You have had a series of different sort of problems going
just this past year with Lipton and the Yzaga match at the U.S.
Open, Davis Cup match and situation with Jim in the Australian
quarterfinal. Could you comment on these series, either health
problems or disruptions in the matches; do you think that is a
PETE SAMPRAS: No, the Yzaga match was a situation where I was
not in great shape not playing the whole summer; that long match
took its toll. It wasn't really anything to worry about. I just
wasn't physically fit to play five sets. The match in Australia
when I played Jim I did feel like I was pretty fit and came back
from two sets so, that was a good effort, so and the Lipton, I
have had some trouble with my stomach because I take anti-inflammatories,
so that not great for your stomach. There are times where I do
feel a bit queasy, but I am not taking any anti-inflammatories
and my stomach is feeling a lot better.
Q. One follow-up question relating to your body: You said
that you wish on-court you said you wish you were four inches
taller and that you'd like to play for the NBA. What team would
you like to play for?
PETE SAMPRAS: First of all, it's a guaranteed contract, you
know. You know, I don't have to -- I could, you know, in tennis
you have to work for--- you have to work. If you lose you are
not going to make any money. If they guarantee you that money
that is always nice security. I have always been a Lakers fan,
always I have always enjoyed watching Magic Johnson play and now
I have met a couple of Laker guys, I'd say the Lakers.
Q. Could you tell me what happened with Jerry West when
you were golfing with him?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, it is a funny story. How do you know about
Q. That is my job.
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, we were playing at Belair Country Club and
Jerry is a very good player and he is a very great athlete, obviously.
A lot of skill. I am kind of an erratic golfer; not really sure
where, hitting up in the 14th tea and I noticed his drive seemed
a bit old because he didn't have the high tech stuff, so I asked
to hit one and so I always take a pretty good rip at it. I took
a hard swing and the club had came off. And I was -- we were
playing with Mitch Kupchek (Phonetic), we were both on the ground
laughing so hard and Jerry took it well, but I could tell he was
pissed; he was real pissed and so that was -- that was a really
funny story. Probably the most entertaining golf story I have
for you guys. I offered to buy him a new one; probably worth
about 15 bucks, but it is 30 years old, but he hits it straight,
so that was a lot of fun to meet him and to really get to play
some golf with him, so it was good.
Q. When did this occur?
PETE SAMPRAS: This was -- I came back from Tokyo, outdoor of
GREG SHARKO: April.
PETE SAMPRAS: Probably April of last year.
Q. The last two shots you made scooped volley; then a great
drop shot volley. I mean, you play a lot -- you are in pressure
situations; those are two memorable volleys. Is that kind of
memorable to you or is that just --
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it is all just a reaction. You don't have
any -- in that situation any time to think. It is basically the
ball goes; you do whatever you can with the ball to win the point;
sometimes I really just surprise myself with some of the shots
I attempt and to make them at a critical time like that serving
for the match, I am pretty happy with it. So I was just asking
Paul, Paul and what it looked like. I felt like I kind of miss-hit
i, but it seemed like I was in control, hopefully.
Q. You mean the last one?
PETE SAMPRAS: The last one. The other one where he hit the
miss-hit the forehand I barely got that. I knew if I got that
back on the court that he had a long run, but the last one was
just kind of a reaction.
Q. Pete, irrespective of who you play tomorrow in the final,
are you going to have to raise your level and, if so, by how much?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I am definitely going -- if I play Agassi,
he being the first baseliner I am playing all week, it is not
like I am getting a lot of rhythm out there. If I am going to
play him, I am going to have to play at my best and realize when
I play Andre I really need to do that and Boris I have played
him a number of times. It will be a pretty similar match to what
I played today against Stefan, a lot of big serving. Either way,
I feel like I am prepared for either one and it should be a good
Q. With Edberg 29; now he is going to be 30 in January,
you have played him a lot. You have played him when he was a
lot younger. Has he lost just a little bit, the difference between
you guys ranked No. 1 and No. 9 is so small, do you feel like
he has lost it; do you see a footfault here or there, a step --
PETE SAMPRAS: I really don't. I still feel that he still has
the best volleys in the game. I feel he is one of the best movers
in the game. Maybe the one shot he is not hitting quite as well
is maybe his serve. He served pretty well today. He served about
75%. That might be little bit of the difference, but I still
feel that he is still one of the better players in the world and
I know I have to be at my best to beat him. I am sure Stefan
is going to give everything he has to try to win one more major
which he is capable of doing and give it all he has for the next
couple of years until he decides he is going to retire.
Q. When you are out there and playing against him you see
him footfault; is that kind of like he gets a little shaky --
PETE SAMPRAS: He always has been known to footfault quite a
number of times during the match. He just tries get into the
net so quickly, he just happens to do that. When it comes to
a big situation, he is known to doublefault every now and again
because he has got to come in; his groundy game is solid, but
it is not really that penetrating. He is not going to really
hit you off the court. He is going to have to keep the ball low
and really use his brain out there. And use his quickness. So
he has had a great -- has been in the top 10 for a number of years;
he is one of the classier guys that I have played because I know
when I play Stefan that we are just going to play tennis and the
better man wins; no gamesmanship; none of that extra crap that
you have to deal with. That is always a pleasure to deal with.
Q. Pete, could you talk about Andre's game for a minute;
one, what makes it so -- I presume it is the forehand, but what
else and No. 2, has he really improved a lot since hooking up
with Brad and is he a tougher player since then?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I think he is pretty much the same type
of player, you know, stays back; hits the ball extremely heavy.
The thing is difficult he returns so well that is my best shot
is my serve. You know, I think maybe he is playing a little bit
smarter out there and the thing I think he is doing a lot better,
moving better. The game movement is very important for the game
he plays. He always had the talent. It was just a matter of
putting it altogether. He obviously done that in the past eight
months. I am sure Brad has helped him out in a lot of ways, and
so it should be good one if I play him or Boris so.... Looking
forward to it.
End of FastScripts!