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November 17, 1993

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, are you perhaps still wondering why you needed to play a third set?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah. Well, after being up a set and on serve 40-Love, his serving, I felt pretty good about my chances. That is why Goran is where he is. He has one of the biggest serves. He had five first serves in. That is a tough guy to break. One point I did break him in the third set. He missed his first serve. That is the difference. But, you know, I got a bit tight there when I was serving at 4-5, 40-15. Missed a couple of easy forehand volleys and doublefaulted on set points. And the times I have lost to Goran in the past, I have gotten down on myself, you know. I just told myself just to hang in there and, hopefully, just get the breaks, try my hardest. As it turned out, 2-All, we had some really good long points. I made him work.

Q. Pete, obviously your serve has become a huge weapon for you this year, the amount of aces you have hit. Are you doing anything hugely different than, say, you were this time last year?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not really. My serve has always been the biggest part of my game and today, I don't know what my percentage was, but I think it was very high, and there is nothing really technically I am doing different, you know, I am just -- the rhythm is there and it was on today.

Q. Were you not slowing it down at the beginning?

PETE SAMPRAS: In the beginning?

Q. Yeah, beginning of the serve--

PETE SAMPRAS: No, maybe you know something, I don't. No, I felt the same.

Q. Pete, that angle, slow up the first serve something new, you use that quite well now?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I don't want to be too predictable. I want to mix it up. One thing I try to do with my serve is toss it in the same place for a flat serve and for the one out wide and, you know, just -- that is the serve you got to-- you have to hit against Goran to try to really swing it out wide and not hit 120; hit it 95, but the placement is the important thing. That is another added thing I am working on, and today it worked out. I thought I was mixing up my serve really well in every corner from the service box.

Q. Was Goran serve too predictable today?

PETE SAMPRAS: As far as, you know, did I read it?

Q. You were moving too much on your backhand side on your returning --

PETE SAMPRAS: He didn't serve quite as well as he usually does. When I played him in Paris, the conditions were faster. Here, they made an effort to slow it down. I was starting to pick it up in the third set, but when he gets it in, it is, you know -- it is nearly impossible to get it back. But when you are confident and when I got off to that break in the third set, I started to read it pretty good. You know, when he gets it in, it is tough.

Q. Did you wait a little bit in the fifth game of the third set, to wait maybe for his mistake?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't understand.

Q. Fifth game did you wait for his mistake? Is it true or not; being more patient?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I wanted to make him work. I wanted to -- important thing with Goran is, you know, when you get that second serve opportunity, to hit it back and start the rally off, because, you know, just have to take advantage of the fact that he misses his first serve and, you know, we had a couple of long points. I hit that stupid drop shot, obviously, I regret hitting and the breakpoint, I just told myself to be patient; hit it deep and maybe wait for the ball to come in, and just not make any careless errors, and just to make him play a lot of balls.

Q. Did you pop a string at 4-All in the second set or did you break your frame?

PETE SAMPRAS: I broke two strings.

Q. Kind of bothered you a little bit; you were looking at your rackets the whole rest of the set a little bit?

PETE SAMPRAS: The whole European trip my strings have been breaking in strange places, and, you know, I was-- just bad luck, just -- I don't think it really got me down. That is not the reason I think I lost my serve. It was just didn't play, you know, good point on game point.

Q. Is this probably the best match you played against Goran out of the 7?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, this is the best match I have played against him. Yeah, this is the best match I have played against him. I mean, it was, you know, in the second he, you know, came up with the big serve. This is the best I have played against him. He didn't serve quite as well as he usually does and I took advantage of that and made him work. And you know it is a good victory for me because Goran obviously has given me a lot of problems and to get through it, you know, and rebounding after the second set loss, you know, it was good for me.

Q. You now have overtaken his record for the number of aces and you were 28 short of a thousand; does that mean anything to you?

PETE SAMPRAS: No. Not really. It really -- not really. It doesn't really. I'd rather win.

Q. What is your level of confidence right now, yourself. In general?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is good. Today's match was big for me. Winning last week, you know, secured my No. 1 ranking, which is really nice. And, you know, I have always played really well here. The court has nice speed. It is not too fast; nice medium court, and, you know, I am happy the way I am playing.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts�.

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