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December 6, 1994

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete what have you been doing these past two weeks?

PETE SAMPRAS: I just went to Florida on Monday after Frankfurt, and left Wednesday for L.A., spent Thanksgiving in Los Angeles with my family; came back to Florida on Monday and started practicing on Wednesday. So I have only been really been here the past four, five days. Other than that, I was in L.A. I didn't pick up a racket; just slept a lot, ate a lot; watched all the ball games; watched the Cowboys beat the Packers, which was great, so that is what I did, really.

Q. When you have had a little break like that, is it always slightly nervous coming into the first match?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I mean, I am not going to forget how to play. Obviously, I played quite well at Frankfurt, so I definitely didn't want to come over here; fly across, you know, half the world and go through the motions. I wanted to prepare well; got here on Sunday. I thought I played pretty well today. I didn't play great by any means, so I wasn't really worried about the fact that I haven't practiced too much. I figured once I get out there and it all kind of would come back to me, and I think it did for the most part.

Q. Did the sight of him on the other side of the net bring back any unpleasant painful memories?

PETE SAMPRAS: Any nightmares? I thought about it, sure. When I saw the draw I was thinking obviously this is a good opportunity to get back at him because the Open was -- I saw him for four hours. That was a bit too long for me, so -- and the court is playing so fast that it really helps my game out. And so I definitely will get back at him.

Q. It is very fast, Pete?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't think it is very fast. I think it is very, very, very fast.

Q. Faster than Frankfurt?

PETE SAMPRAS: Absolutely. I mean, there is an altitude here about 900 meters, which is, I don't know, 1700 feet. And the court is the same court they have had since I have been playing here, and every year I just tell them it would be better tennis to watch and to play if they slow it down and each year it just seems like it is the same fast court which I really like in a lot of ways and I don't like because it is tough to return. It is tough to hit groundstrokes. Obviously, it is good for my serve and volley game, but I like the court a bit slower.

Q. In terms of speed, how does it compare to Wimbledon Center Court?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it is different, but it is in the same type of, I guess, atmosphere. I mean, it is kind of the same realm of speed as far as either -- basically the strokes are the same out there, pretty short swings. You need to get to the net as soon as possible, so I mean, I would compare it to grass court.

Q. Pete, all the eight guys from Frankfurt are here; all this year's Grand Slam winners are here. Do you think the political argument against the ATP Finals is now behind us?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think so. I think the first year obviously was much more political; a lot of the top guys didn't play, but now I think everyone is more or less committed to play. So I think the politics of the whole Grand Slam Cup, ATP Finals, I think, is kind of behind us.

Q. Could you, Pete, think of a way of improving it actually, of making it more appealing to the players to give it that sort of -- take away that feeling that it is still maybe a bit of an exhibition, can you think of a way of doing that?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I am not treating this like an exhibition. I am treating this as -- I am not going to be satisfied with nothing, but a win. It is not the same as a Wimbledon, but I want to play well. I want to win, because obviously. We all know there is a lot of prize money to be won; a little extra Christmas shopping, so it is always nice.

Q. Any one thing that can be done do to maybe make it just in line with the other major events?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't know. I think it is pretty much pretty well received by the fans. Each year a lot more people are coming, I don't know -- all the top guys are playing, so I think I think those are the two main components of a good event.

Q. How do you feel physically, do you feel good?

PETE SAMPRAS: I feel fine, yeah.

End of FastScripts....

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