November 21, 1993
Q. Tell us something you didn't say outside.
PETE SAMPRAS: Who said that?
PETE SAMPRAS: What did you say?
Q. Tell us something you didn't say outside.
PETE SAMPRAS: Out on the court? Well, it is disappointing. Like I said, I obviously had a great year, and I can hold my head up high, but I had my chances today, but Michael, you know, when we get down to the crunch time he seems to get through it - last year at the Grand Slam Cup. He won 3 breakers and today he deserved to win. He just played a little bit more solid than I did. But I will get over it.
Q. You both seemed very nervous; were you?
PETE SAMPRAS: I didn't start off like I have been. First game I got broken; that was obviously not a good start. But, you know, maybe a little nervous, but once you start getting out there and playing him, I was fine. I am sure he was, too.
Q. Did the call at 3-1 in the first set tiebreak really unsettle you?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it was close. I thought it might have been out. I was hoping it was out. But then it was 4-1, and he served it out. It was disappointing, but basically just evens out through the match.
Q. You don't usually show too much of that, few times today you did--.
PETE SAMPRAS: 3-1 in the breaker, I will show some emotion.
Q. It happened a few other times today.
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I am normal; I show the emotion when I get a bad line call, or if I am upset, but more or less, I am pretty calm.
Q. You think perhaps, Pete, you peaked a bit early yesterday, in fact, maybe five weeks continuous play was a little bit much at the end?
PETE SAMPRAS: Maybe it cost me at the end, but yesterday, I played at a level that was impossible to maintain, and today was a different match and a different day, and it was, you know, it was tough to play at that level yesterday, but I didn't think I was going to be able to do that. Five weeks in a row in Europe, you know, it has been a good trip, and maybe at the end there I just got a little mentally tired and, you know, fourth set he just served huge, and I really had no chance.
Q. Did you have any physical problems the fourth set?
PETE SAMPRAS: No. Just -- it was just kind of the air was out of the balloon. When I lost that third set breaker it was, you know, I had some chances and, you know, he just got on an early break, and he was -- he probably aced me eight, nine times in that set, so --
PETE SAMPRAS: Sorry, 12. Rub it in a little bit.
Q. You expect Michael Stich to become a strong challenger and in the running for the No. 1 spot next year?
PETE SAMPRAS: Sure. He has a game that is a big game. When he gets on a hot streak, like he has - four, five weeks - he is a dangerous player. He is obviously a better player indoor than outdoor. He will be in the race.
Q. You got the No. 1 ranking at the end of the year, what does that mean to you?
PETE SAMPRAS: That was my major concern and goal when I came on this trip was to try to, you know, maintain that ranking, and I felt good at Antwerp to get it. That kind of took a bit of the pressure off me this week. Only 11 guys have done it. It is a great accomplishment.
Q. Don't you think it is a little tough for Jim Courier to be not be No. 2 in the world?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, Jim had a good year, getting a win in Australia and two Grand Slam finals. But you got to give a lot of credit to Michael. He, last four, five weeks, he plays unbelievable. Basically the ATP final is kind of the last major title and he deserved it.
Q. What goes through your mind in Germany at the end of a match which is designed to sort of create a rather emotional atmosphere?
PETE SAMPRAS: What was going through my mind?
PETE SAMPRAS: Obviously, still a little disappointed. But like I said to the fans, Michael just played a bit better than I did, and I am happy for him. He is a nice guy, and he will be in the race for next year, but, you know, just have to go home and rest and take a little vacation.
Q. Do you feel the Grand Slam Cup, do you feel the year is over, more or less, in your mind?
PETE SAMPRAS: Grand Slam Cup is still pretty important, but I don't plan on picking up a racket for a while, just -- just I will be picking up the golf club much more than the tennis racket over the next two weeks. I am going to enjoy my time off and let it all sink in; the year, it has just been getting better and better, unfortunately, my ninth finally just wasn't good enough.
Q. Tee time yet?
PETE SAMPRAS: I am playing with Vitas Gerulaitis. Got it all worked out. Tuesday.
PETE SAMPRAS: In my course in Tampa, so we have been talking about it all week.
Q. Pete, did you hurt yourself when you took that dive?
PETE SAMPRAS: I am sure tomorrow I will have a bit of a strawberry on the side of my back area, but it is a big point, breakpoint, and I dove. But I am fine. It didn't affect me throughout the match.
Q. Pete, you had some feelings about when you came here, about Europe. Now, after this week has it changed a little bit?
PETE SAMPRAS: Once you are winning matches, it obviously makes the time go by much quicker. I enjoyed my stay here, my fifth week here, and Frankfurt I have always played pretty well. Each time I come here I seem to enjoy it a little bit more because I am going to be here for the next 3-4 months every year for the next however long I want to play.
Q. Did you like the ceremony?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I thought it was -- the event did a really nice job at the end. Obviously Michael got a bit emotional and the music and the whole thing. It was a sweet ending for him.
Q. How disappointed are you really right now, losing this final compared to the other big finals of the year, when you lost them before?
PETE SAMPRAS: I think the toughest final I had to get over was losing to Edberg couple of years ago at the Open where, you know, that was -- definitely different degree of losing in the finals. This one hurts, but, you know, it doesn't hurt quite as much as a couple of years ago, but it is important. I mean, I definitely wanted to win here, but the year is basically, in my mind, more or less over.
Q. Would it be hurt more to lose this tournament to some degree - you know what I am saying- in terms of the ATP value?
PETE SAMPRAS: This tournament doesn't have quite the prestige and history of a Grand Slam title. I have kind of been on both sides of winning them and losing them, and there is a huge difference, and you know, I am disappointed, but I seem to handle my losses pretty well, and tomorrow morning I will be on the next flight home and hitting the golf course.
Q. Anymore questions?
End of FastScripts....