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March 12, 1995

Pete Sampras


Q. Started to work that security like Letterman (sic) out there?

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 clean up.

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 little unusual?

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 it?

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 last year.


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 one.

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!

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