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September 4, 1993

Pete Sampras


Q. What did you do all day, Pete?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not too much, Tommy. Just I got here about 1:00, figured I was going to play around two o'clock and just rained, and there is nothing really too much you can do. Just hung around the players' lounge and in the locker room, and just have to wait for the rain to stop. It was about 4:00, 5:00. I knew I was going to play at 7:30, which was really nice. But you know, just not too much you do. Everyone is in the same boat.

Q. A lot of talk from couple of the players on the conditions of the players lounge how there is no privacy on a day like today. Does it make it tough?


Q. Do you find the conditions that bad?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is a little uncomfortable, the players lounge. There is a lot of people ask for autographs. That is a time where you want to be left alone and not be bothered. I just basically spend most of my time in the locker room hanging there with the other players, but the lounge is kind of just crawling around with people. Tough to get some privacy.

Q. You are sometimes a slow starter. Were you ever at all concerned that because of the long delay you might be a little off to begin?

PETE SAMPRAS: Like I said, knowing I played at 7:30 I was --

Q. That helped?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, really helped. And I thought I started off pretty well. I almost got off to an early break, but it was a good match. On my part, I thought I served pretty well for the most part. And, you know, it was a cool night. So the court was playing a bit slick, if you know what I mean, but I mean, it played pretty well on the big points and returned a little bit better as the match went on. I am pleased.

Q. How about the way you served?

PETE SAMPRAS: I thought I served a little bit up and down. There was a streak there for about 4 service games where I couldn't buy a serve, but it is just kind of maybe trying to hit a little too hard, took a bit off of it just get it in, and playing a little higher percentage tennis but a little up and down, but I was pretty pleased about it.

Q. How would you compare the way you are playing now to three years ago, just to pick a year?

PETE SAMPRAS: Let's see, this time three years ago I was basically just kind of still in the tournament and, you know, seeded 12 and ranked 12; expectations weren't really too high. As far as my tennis, I feel I am much more consistent player from the backcourt. I am not losing my concentration quite as much. I am just a different player than I was three years ago. I had 2 unbelievable walks, hopefully that will happen here.

Q. Are there any moments that are deja vu from '90; I mean, even small things, where you catch the bus, small things that take you back to it?

PETE SAMPRAS: Not really off the court. On the court, you know, I walk on that center court; this is where my life basically changed at this very tournament; I have had a lot of great memories playing here. I am sure I will for the next ten years, but there is nothing really I can really point out that--

Q. Smells from the hamburger stands?


Q. We have a very serious development in tennis these days, the era of designated celebrity friends and Barbara and Andre and Jim and Sophia. If you had to choose one celebrity friend, who would you like?

PETE SAMPRAS: Good question. I am not too much into the celebrities. Sorry. I don't know. I haven't really thought about it. Sorry.

Q. Lady Di?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, she has got a lot of power.

Q. What do you know about your next opponent?

PETE SAMPRAS: Played him twice before and beat him both times, but I think he had made a lot of improvement in his game, obviously, surprised to beat Andre, you know. I have seen him play and I played him; good counter puncher serves. His first serve is real hard. Just a matter of me staying back with him and being patient. Obviously, serving well. But I should know what to expect because I played him before.

Q. Looks like you would meet Michael Chang in the quarters. Do you think Michael has a chance against you, good chance against you?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am not really looking that far ahead, playing Michael. Right now I'm concerned about playing Enqvist and I will worry about it when the time comes.

Q. Do you see any difference these days since you won Wimbledon in how the crowd is treating you, a lot of criticism you about your on court demeanor. But do you sense a difference now?


Q. Yes.

PETE SAMPRAS: I feel like -- that thing, incident, in England was obviously blown out of proportion with the press, but I feel that the crowd really accepted the way I played, the way I act over in England. Here, obviously I have got a lot of good fans, but it hasn't really changed my life on or off the court after winning Wimbledon. It is basically the same, same ballgame.

Q. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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