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December 10, 1993

Pete Sampras


Q. Your thoughts of being in the semis here once more?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am thrilled. I am obviously happy. I beat Michael for the second straight time. He has given me a lot of problems in the past. The tennis, I felt, wasn't really all that great today. But I managed to get through it and served pretty well when I had to. But, you know, I am kind of surprised I went through this far because I really didn't know what to expect, because I didn't practice at all the last couple of weeks after Frankfurt. I played more golf than I did tennis. So it feels good to get through it.

Q. Did you think it was pretty good tennis in the first set, Pete? Second few more mistakes, but --

PETE SAMPRAS: I mean, I really didn't feel that comfortable today. I really felt I didn't hit the ball that well. Maybe, you know, playing Michael for so many years has something to do with that. I don't think really any of us really felt that great because the court is so quick. It is really tough to get a good rhythm out there. Obviously, it is great for my serve and volley, and I managed to serve really well on the breakpoints, but I don't know what it looked like, but I felt like I didn't really hit the ball that great. Hopefully, it will get better tomorrow.

Q. Pete, how much better do you think Michael is now than when he won the French, because he obviously worked so hard and he serves quite big now?

PETE SAMPRAS: You have to give him a lot of credit because he has really changed his game for the surfaces. He has gotten better on the grass and on indoor supreme; you have to give him a lot of credit. He has changed his game. Obviously, he is still a counter-puncher, but he is coming in more and mixing it up more and serving better, so you just have to give him a lot of credit. He realized in order to stay somewhere in the top 10, you have to be a bit more aggressive and he has done that. With the help of his brother Carl, I think he is going to be a player that is going to be around for a long time.

Q. Michael Stich said earlier this week, Pete, that after all that has happened to him this year he has come here with no pressure; doesn't feel any pressure at all. Are you in the same boat?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, exactly the same boat, basically. It is just a little extra Christmas money. But I definitely wanted to play well here, you know; try to end this, the third year, on a very positive note. Regardless of what happened here, obviously it has been a great year, didn't quite prepare really that well; didn't practice too much last couple of weeks, and, you know, I just, you know, here I am in the semis.

Q. If it is Christmas money, what is on the shopping list?

PETE SAMPRAS: That is a good question. Couple of different things I am looking at, but maybe a couple of jetskis, Wave Runner, something like that; that should be a good Christmas for me.

Q. You say you hadn't prepared much before coming here. Don't you think that may have been a good thing; you probably needed a break after the five weeks; you probably would have been worse off?

PETE SAMPRAS: Absolutely, I definitely needed to put the racket up and let my mind have a rest. Five straight weeks in Europe, playing pretty well, you know; I just needed to just get away. And I didn't hit a ball for about seven, eight days; maybe hit a couple of hours before I came here, which is great; which is something I definitely need. Just some down time to put the racket up and relax and just enjoy life, because obviously this tour is pretty tough sometimes and you know, I flew in here the day before it started, and, you know, you get a little lucky sometimes.

Q. Pete, Dr. Meyer-Wolden told us that he was wondering about that the players, the players here, would make a claim to the ATP for the point allocation of this tournament. What do you think about it?

PETE SAMPRAS: A political question. I am not too good at these questions. Really, you were the first person that has mentioned that to me. I haven't heard about points being given here. I really would have to think about it. So I really can't answer it. Sorry.

Q. Pete, when you were winning first time here in Munich, afterwards you gave the foundation $250 million --

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't have that much.

Q. Do you know what happened with this foundation?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I gave a quarter of a million to Cerebral Palsy, which they ended up building a house in the Los Angeles area for people with Cerebral Palsy? I basically did that for my father, whose sister had it, and we have talked about if there was a moment that I can do something really nice for him, so it was a great opportunity three years ago to donate some money. And, as it turned out, I had a decision to either -- had a decision to either give it to a lab and do some science work, and maybe build a home, and that is what they have done. Basically they named it kind of a Pete Sampras home in the L.A. area for people with Cerebral Palsy.

Q. What do you think of Nick Bollettieri officially coaching Boris Becker?

PETE SAMPRAS: I haven't really thought about it too much. But I think Boris definitely has a lot of other things going on in his life, and Nick - who I know pretty well - is a great motivator, and maybe that is something that Boris needs is somebody to get him excited about playing the game and enjoying it. Again that is obviously a question you have to ask Boris. I have thought about it for two minutes since you asked the question.

Q. Yesterday Stich said that he hoped to have a good a year next year as he did this year, it would be tough to do that. Even if he did and he was going for No. 1 it would be unreachable if you continued to play the way you are playing. Do you think you will be unreachable again next year?

PETE SAMPRAS: If I am playing the way I am playing?

Q. In his opinion you are unreachable, he said.

PETE SAMPRAS: Am I unreachable? Thank you, that is a good compliment. Obviously, to duplicate what I did this year is going to be a pretty tough task. I definitely did get the breaks this year, especially with my Wimbledon victory. But I think one thing that I am doing well, I am still enjoying it. You can still have fun being No. 1, and I think a lot of guys in the past, I don't know if they can't handle the pressure or they think they can't handle it, but I seem to enjoy it. It is something that it is a a great achievement. I hope to stay No. 1 for as long as I can. The main thing is I am not putting too much extra pressure on myself. I am just going out there and playing the game I have always been playing for the last three, four years. That is really it. So I just -- just keep on enjoying it; have fun.

Q. Thank you, Pete.

End of FastScripts....

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