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September 11, 1993

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, are you in a good mood; can we ask questions?

PETE SAMPRAS: Sure. What's so funny?

Q. I'll tell you what, we asked Volkov and he wasn't very funny on us. He was the same as on the court, he wanted to get out of here.


Q. Do you think when he came out that he, you know, that he really didn't want to-- he didn't want to be there, he looked like --

PETE SAMPRAS: He came out ready to play, you know, serving pretty well.

Q. After a while--

PETE SAMPRAS: I won the second set, I could see him just kind of-- I don't know-- lose interest. I could see him, the way he was carrying himself, that he-- I think he knew he was in trouble.

Q. How well would you rate the way you served today?

PETE SAMPRAS: I served really well, under the circumstances, you know, there's a bit of wind out there, and it took me a while to get used to the court. Under the circumstances, I thought I got a pretty good groove and hit a lot of aces and played a lot of short points. I don't want to hit 20 ball rallies with Volkov. That's not really my game. It's serve was on today.

Q. When you don't serve that well and don't have any breakpoints against you, is there anybody who can beat you?

PETE SAMPRAS: Anything can happen. Hopefully, I'll serve well tomorrow and give it my best shot.

Q. Pete, you talked last year about getting to the finals and maybe not realizing what you-- what it could mean to you and so forth, and it really hurt you when you didn't win. Is it different for you this year; are you still thinking about that?

PETE SAMPRAS: I'm not thinking about what happened last year. Last year was, you know, a bit of bad luck, getting sick the night before, and it's tough to come back to back Saturday, Sunday and I'm not going to be thinking about it tomorrow.

Q. Do you feel well though?

PETE SAMPRAS: I feel good, yeah.

Q. Are you now to think of you're game or are you ready --

PETE SAMPRAS: I think the last couple of matches the last two sets against Chang and today I thought I hit the ball really well. You know, the timing wasn't really that great at the start of the match because of the wind but as the imagine wore on I started hitting better and better and we just go from here.

Q. How do you approach playing somebody like Pioline isn't said steady of Courier or Edberg?

PETE SAMPRAS: This is it, Pioline, Courier, Edberg.

Q. Have you played him.

PETE SAMPRAS: I played him couple times before and saw him play against Jim and he's a talented player.

Q. What do you expect from him tomorrow?

PETE SAMPRAS: He's going to come out swinging, he's got a really nice backhand and he's been playing well all week, and I hope I can put the pressure on him and serve like I did today and we'll see what happens.

Q. What about being the possibility of being the favorite-- playing a guy you probably should beat, different at Wimbledon, probably a toss up between you and Courier?

PETE SAMPRAS: It's just about fairest match I play. Today I was expected to do win, I came through, I'm expected to win tomorrow and I'll go out and do what I do and hopefully things work out.

Q. Could you compare and contrast yourself to Connors and McEnroe, American guys--

PETE SAMPRAS: Very different personalities. I keep things to myself, I don't share too much emotion, those guys, are just, you know-- I'm just different, you know, our personalities are very different, they're much more out spoken on the court and I try to keep things within me.

Q. Wally Masur said he felt like when he gets to the final of a Grand Slam it's like a tournament onto itself; do you know what he's trying to say or do you have any feelings-- when the final of a Grand Slam comes it's different than the past tournament?

PETE SAMPRAS: This is one of the biggest tournaments of the year, and you know, it's different playing the finals the U.S. Open versus a tour event, there's a lot more on the line than-- hopefully I'll prepare well tonight and get a good night's sleep and play well tomorrow.

Q. Have you ever seen the stadium less full for some of your matches late in the tournament?

PETE SAMPRAS: I'm not too concerned. I don't really look around the stadium to see who's watching or how many people are there, I try to keep myself focused-- what was the question exactly?

Q. Did you notice that the stadium was not exactly full?

PETE SAMPRAS: Like I said, I'm not really looking out, you know, at the top row which is about a mile high.

Q. Pete, do you consider yourself a tennis purist?

PETE SAMPRAS: I try to, you know, conduct myself in a very classy way and just go out there and try to win and, you know, just play with the class, and that's what I'm all about and I try to keep things under control and in perspective and, you know, I just try to keep things simple.

Q. Pete, Davis Cup people are facing a big decision soon, you have a great win with "Mac" and Flach and Leach came out saying that they really wanted "Mac" on board, thought it would bring a great sense of on-court strategy to the Davis Cup. Would you like to see him as captain?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think the USTA should at least give him an opportunity to see what he can do. If it works out great, great; if it doesn't, it doesn't but give him the opportunity to see what he can do, because he's represented his country for the last-- his whole career and he deserves a shot.

Q. You felt he did a good job --

PETE SAMPRAS: I thought-- I really wish he was at my first Davis Cup title in Lyon where I kind of froze and choked a little bit. He is someone that has been through it and you could talk to about my matches, but unfortunately he wasn't there.

Q. It would have made a difference?

PETE SAMPRAS: It would have made a bit of a difference, but I look up to him a lot.

Q. Do you sometimes-- you say don't take care of the crowd, do you feel disturbed when you get less attraction by journalists, by people, or even when spectators are against you, like at Wimbledon?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't think the people were really against me. I think things were blown out of proportion a little bit, but what can I do, go out there and try to win. I'm not trying to prove a point. My main goal is to try to win tennis matches and so far it's going pretty well.

Q. Obviously, you played better as the match went on if anything, but is it difficult not to get impatient, third set of semifinal at the U.S. Open, and say let's get out of here and play tomorrow?

PETE SAMPRAS: I was up a break in the third, you know, didn't want to lose my concentration and give my serve broken and we were tied at 4-All. I wanted to stay focused and once I got that second break, I just went from there.

Q. Not too many people can say they've won Wimbledon and U.S. Open in the same year; if you win tomorrow what would that mean?

PETE SAMPRAS: It would mean a great year.

Q. Those two tournaments back to back?

PETE SAMPRAS: Those are the two biggest tournaments in the world and I'll give it my best shot tomorrow.

Q. How has the fact that winning Wimbledon-- has it had any effect on this tournament how you've done here, have you been able to relax more here?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I mean Wimbledon was a very big win for me mentally, if I would have went down to Jim in the final it might have set me back some time and I had a letdown after winning it. That summer wasn't really that great, but the U.S. Open is the main goal here and I got my shot tomorrow.

Q. We haven't seen a lot of Pioline over the years, he seems to be pretty tricky, one day he's dodging Medvedev from the baseline, he serves a pretty good game, he tries different things; is there anything particularly that frightens you about him that he might be dangerous?

PETE SAMPRAS: Basically he's going to be swinging away tomorrow. He really has nothing to lose. It's his first Grand Slam final, he's going to be swinging away, he's got a beautiful backhand and his first serve is really good, he's got a good all-around game he doesn't really have any weaknesses in his game and it should be interesting.

Q. Pete, some tennis viewership said the ratings are down; do you think people appreciate your game whereas a lot of folks talk about the flamboyancy of a McEnroe or Connors, do you feel you're a straightforward guy?

PETE SAMPRAS: I certainly hope so. I can't change my attitude for better ratings. I'm not going to-- you know, show too much emotion. I just go out there and try to win and I'm not very controversial and controversy sells tickets and the ratings go up and that's not my style.

Q. Pete, at the end of the tournament all the top seeds are gone; do you think the field is getting stronger and deeper?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I mean, the depth of tennis today just goes to show you can't take anything for granted. You know, Wally Masur getting to the semis, I mean, the depth of tennis today is much stronger than it was ten years ago. There are a lot of upsets this year, it shows, a Grand Slam event, top players, you can go down.

Q. Can I follow up. You said people-- there's been people lost, the seeds lost and-- disappointed. Would you say it's bad for the sport of tennis that there's a much better player coming over, that makes the sport better?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't understand the question.

Q. You said you were disappointed that we lost many seeded players, it's better for the sport itself?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think it's exciting Pioline, 15 in the world, you know, it's exciting the underdog could prevail and I'm sure people would like to see myself and Courier play, but that's the way the draw worked out.

Q. Pete, how do you explain the fact that Pioline, a guy like Pioline hasn't won a career title yet?

PETE SAMPRAS: He's only really played well the last couple years. He's improved a lot in his game and he's filled some holes, I don't know. I don't know why.

Q. What's your basic routine tomorrow? What time will you get out here?

PETE SAMPRAS: I'll get out here probably in the afternoon and have a hit maybe around 2:00, 2:30. I don't want to get here too early and be lounging around, but get out here and stretch and warm-up.

Q. How long do you hit?

PETE SAMPRAS: I'll hit for about half hour.

Q. Pete, what do you with your strings at the change over?

PETE SAMPRAS: When I see the strings fraying and looks like it might break, I put String-a-Ling (ph) and it keeps the strings together and as a result it doesn't break quite as quickly.

End of FastScripts....

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