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November 20, 1993

Pete Sampras


Q. Can you explain to us normal people what it means to play like that?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it just -- you just, you know, I was a bit of in a zone there for just about the whole match. I knew it was my day when I hit the behind the back shot off the frame for a winner; I thought it was going to be a good day at the office. He didn't play as well as he has been. I played two best sets I played in a long time. But the ball was, you know, wherever I would put my racket, it was there, and even the miss-hits were going on the line. I got some good line calls. Just one of those days that I won't forget.

Q. Were you aware when you came to matchpoint you needed one ace for the thousandth?

PETE SAMPRAS: I was really thinking about that a lot today. No, I had no idea, but it is pretty ironic.

Q. Have you ever opened with a serve quite as hard as the first ball you hit today? I think it was about 196 kilometers an hour for the first serve. It is hell of a lot, isn't it?

PETE SAMPRAS: Arm nice and loose ready to go. Pumped up. Big match, and you know, I just want to let him know that I could hit it pretty hard, and, you know, my arm has been feeling great and, you know, even throughout the whole match, my serve just kept on getting harder and harder, and he was really having a tough time reading it, but, you know, it is like, you know, fast ball or pitcher: just hit it hard, and hopefully it will hit the line.

Q. Four aces in the first game today; four aces in the first game in the last match. I mean, is that a habit?

PETE SAMPRAS: I wish it was more of a habit every game, but you know, just I am nice and loose and go out there and seemed like he, you know, got off to a good start and you know, I am not planning on it. It just kind of happens, and hopefully I can do it more often.

Q. Could be tough tomorrow to realize that maybe you are not playing as well as you played the day before, I mean, if you start with not with four aces or not with a game like today?

PETE SAMPRAS: Each every day is different. You know, probably cannot maintain this level of tennis for two straight days but tomorrow's match will be completely different than today's. I am going to be playing a serve and volleyer and today I could hit some balls in; as the match went on, I got more and more confident. But tomorrow's match will be a bit different.

Q. Do you in fact approach it differently because it is best of five and you know you are going to have to be out there longer?

PETE SAMPRAS: No, I will play every point like it is a big point. Every serve with be like the first serve of a game. No reason to let up. Indoor tennis, as fast as my points are, I am not really getting too fatigued, just my points are short enough where I can, you know, hit every serve as hard as I can.

Q. Are you going to watch the second semifinal?

PETE SAMPRAS: I will watch it on TV, yeah.

Q. Pete, are you surprised how well you are playing at this stage at the end of a fairly long stint for you?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am a bit surprised the way I am playing. Obviously it is my fifth week and I am surprised that I am still feel pretty fit. My body feels good, and seemed like my tennis throughout the trip was getting better and better. Like I said, I have always wanted to keep a lot of motivation, no reason to let up right now, and like I said, I'd like to win this event and end my year like it has been going all year, just getting better and better, but, you know, tomorrow's match will be a bit different than today.

Q. Andre said that it wasn't just your aces or your service winners, but even when you got into a rally you were playing so well, all-around game; obviously, your serve is your biggest weapon, but it is only one of your weapons now. Do you feel that your all-around game has improved in the last six months?

PETE SAMPRAS: This whole year has been really great, but if I am serving like the way I am serving; hitting a couple of aces a game, that could give me an opportunity to be a bit more carefree and looser on his service games, and you know, once you get up an early break, you just get more and more confident, but a lot depends how I am serving. If I am not serving as well and if I am working hard to, you know, hold my serve and I won't be quite as loose and carefree when I, you know, am returning his serve, so the serve is obviously the biggest part of my game. But hitting two, three aces a game is a bit intimidating. Like playing Goran, sometimes you are not quite as loose on your service games, so it was a day that I can hopefully play again like this.

Q. Watching you playing and looking at the statistics, the most surprising thing is that you lost to Costa in Stockholm. What happened that day and how can you avoid that kind of days?

PETE SAMPRAS: That match is the history books. You know, bad match and that is the way it goes. You can't play well everyday.

Q. It was nothing in particular that day?

PETE SAMPRAS: Just didn't play well. I mean, even though you are one of the top players in the world, you can have an off day.

Q. The injury you had on your leg, the last year, is it all cured, everything finished?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I haven't had any problems. I am travelling with a masseur who is, you know, giving me a lot of rubs and which is important to stay nice and loose and a long road trip is important to stay fit. My shins really haven't been giving me any problems in a long time, so I feel great.

Q. What is his name, the masseur, is he Russian?

PETE SAMPRAS: He is a good masseur. His name is not important.

Q. The name is good?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, whatever.

Q. The name is good?

PETE SAMPRAS: Whatever it is, it is working.

Q. Are you the best?

PETE SAMPRAS: That is up to you to decide. I feel like I am playing very well.

Q. Mark Miles suggested he wouldn't mind having coaches on the court during matches, sort of like playing Davis Cup maybe; sort of to give a better reaction. How would you feel about that?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am not a big-- really in favor of it. Tennis is an individual sport, and you know, Davis Cup is really the only place that you have coaching, but I don't really see that happening on the Tour, and I am not really in favor of it.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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