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November 20, 1994

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, to end the year like this, does this overcome a lot of the frustration? You had to suffer the injuries and everything else the second half of the year.

PETE SAMPRAS: Absolutely. This is -- I finally got a break, really. If Boris doesn't win his match on Friday, I am at home, and he won his match; came back. And that was the break I needed because I haven't gotten so many bad breaks over the summer and at the Open that, I guess, I was due. And I played one of my best matches yesterday and really was up against a tough opponent and a tough crowd, and I came through. So this really ends my year on a great, great note. Kind of gives me a bit of satisfaction. It's a win here because the fall hasn't been great and so I am going to go home; enjoy this; spend Thanksgiving with my folks and come back for the Grand Slam Cup.

Q. Pete, what's the big difference between Wednesday and today, of course you won and Boris didn't, could you expand a little bit more on what was the difference between the two matches?

PETE SAMPRAS: The difference today was I returned a lot better and when I return a lot better and put a bit more pressure on his serve, and as a result, he hit a number of doublefaults. Not on the account-- it seemed like he was hitting a lot of them. And I knew if I didn't return well that he was going to be hitting huge second serves. He has got the biggest second serve I have ever tried to return. One thing I talked to Tim yesterday about was staying a little further back; give me more time to make him volley. He volleys good, but he is not like an Edberg volleyer, so that was really a huge, huge point in the match. And I just hung in there after losing the first, and the crowd was very loud. I just tried to block that out. I tried to use that as a bit of motivation, and got off to a bad break and that kind of put the crowd out of it. That was it. I played really well today. This is one of my better matches of the fall.

Q. Are you saying that his doublefaults were maybe as a result of the fact that you were returning well?

PETE SAMPRAS: That is what I said, yeah. Yeah, I mean, because I didn't really put any pressure on his service games. He was continuing to hit huge second serves and today, I just stood back a little bit more, tried to make him volley a little bit, keep it low, then he kind of felt the pressure a little bit and then doublefaulted quite a number of times. That was a huge point of the match.

Q. Pete, you started the last game by doublefaulting, everybody screaming, what kind of pressure did you feel at that point?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I just tried to take some deep breaths, relax, not try to worry about the situation, and try to get my first serve in. If I don't get my first serve in against Boris, he just cracks the second serve. He could easily be up Love-30 against me. It could have really changed the match. I hit some big serves that was kind of the key in the last game. Boris, he is so difficult to play because he just takes a huge cut on the second serve and comes in and you are always under pressure, and that is possibly why he doublefaulted that first point, and -- but I needed that first service; was key to the match.

Q. Were you feeling the heat from the crowd?

PETE SAMPRAS: I could definitely hear it. Oh yeah, just try to shut that out and not worry about it and understand that they are going to be loud and accept that and not try to worry about it.

Q. What did you tell him when you shook hands?

PETE SAMPRAS: I thanked him for letting me play. Over the week that was just a bit of luck and that is something that I haven't been getting the past four, five months and I got a break this week.

Q. Pete, you won the tournament today, but then also will you have been No. 1 for the whole calendar year, first guy since Lendl did it in 1987. How do you feel about that?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is great. Great accomplishment. Just proves that I have been really consistent even though I pulled out of six events; I still maintained that No. 1 ranking by a pretty good margin and I hope to continue that. I got Andre kind of right behind me dying to be No. 1, so just need to keep on working hard and I think that things are going to happen.

Q. Pete, are you going to play Davis Cup next year?

PETE SAMPRAS: I haven't made any definite decisions as far as Davis Cup. I will wait 'til the year is over after the Grand Slam Cup; then think about it. Then make my decision before Australia if I am going to play the first round.

Q. Are you going to change your schedule this year?

PETE SAMPRAS: Next year, well, only thing I am changing next year is I am playing a little bit more on clay. Previous years I have gone over to Asia and played on the hard court where this year I am playing events in Barcelona and Monte Carlo to try to get my game better for the French, a tournament that I would love to win and so that is really the only difference.

Q. Pete, you had lost five time out of six on carpet against Becker. What was really different, just your return or you think you probably -- he was also a little tired today?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't think he was tired. I thought with the crowd behind him I thought he looked pretty fit to me. The difference was my return. I returned a lot better; made him hit a lot of volleys. Because if I didn't return well, then I am always under pressure with my service games. And, you know, Boris is probably one of the best indoor players that is on the Tour right now. And if you can get his serve back; especially his second serve which is just as big as his first, then that is obviously much -- that is much better.

Q. What is next, Pete, are you going to Disneyworld?

PETE SAMPRAS: No. I am going to -- close, Tampa is pretty close. I am going to go home for a little bit; then I will see my folks for Thanksgiving; then take a little time off and get ready for Munich.

Q. Are there still parts of your game that you work on or just keep going?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, there is not really a lot of off time to really change things in your game and really work on things. There are minor things that Tim sees that I can't see in my game, but there is nothing really specific that we are working on right now.

Q. What do you think about Boris comeback, in general?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think he is obviously very motivated. I think since Nick he has -- is enjoying the game a lot more. He is settled with his wife and his kid; seemed like he is really happy out there. As far as his game is concerned, he is moving a lot better than what he was a year ago. He is more confident and, you know, I have played him indoor and he is really good indoors. You know, he is working harder, I am sure, and he is playing better.

Q. After losing the first set did you think here we go again like last year, against a German?

PETE SAMPRAS: Fortunately, it is three out of five, and that I just told myself if he is going to beat me, he is going to have to play that type of tennis in the first set because he was hitting -- he must have aced me probably six times in the first set, and I just told myself to not get down on myself, and he's got two more sets to win and I just need to start returning and once I did that, then that kind of change the course of the match. And then his serve really kind of dropped there for the second and third a little bit, and I took advantage of that.

Q. What have been the most and the least satisfying moments of the year?

PETE SAMPRAS: Being injured right after Wimbledon was very frustrating and the Open experience was kind of the icing on the cake because of not being in shape and losing the match because I wasn't in shape was very discouraging, and that was -- I wasn't satisfied at all.

Q. Most satisfying?

PETE SAMPRAS: I have to say my two Majors and then here. This definitely ends my year on a great note. So I am going to go home and enjoy it.

Q. Do you think you played better today or yesterday?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it was a completely different match. You know, Andre stays back and Boris comes in. Two players that what they do they do it very well. I think, you know, yesterday I played at a level that I really had to play to beat Andre and today I think was the same because Boris hasn't lost a match all week and I had to raise my level compared to when I played him on Wednesday, so I think it was tough to say because it was a completely different match.

End of FastScripts....

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