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December 11, 1992

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, a tough match, especially in that first set?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I felt like I really got outplayed in the first set, down four, five breakpoints. I got a little bit lucky in the tiebreaker, being down 3-Love mini-break. I was kind of hanging on in the first set. He was hitting some unbelievable return shots that were just too good, and I just hung in there and I got at little bit lucky in the tiebreaker and just went from there.

Q. Pete, do you think for the time of year you are playing very well?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think I am playing pretty well; didn't feel like I played all that great tonight, but I managed to squeak by. The last couple of months have been pretty good, and you know, I am pretty pleased about my year, been a very solid year. Hopefully, I will end it very well, winning this tournament, and you know, hopefully I will play Australia next year and just go from there and hopefully have another good solid year.

Q. Pete, you are here by yourself. Tim Gullikson is not here and what is the difference?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am here with my sister, Stella, actually. Tim wasn't scheduled to be here, and you know, to be nice it will be nice to have him here, but I seem to play okay when I am by myself.

Q. But he is still your coach?


Q. Are you at all surprised that after the U.S. Open that you have been able to sort of put that behind you and come on fairly strong towards the end of the year?

PETE SAMPRAS: It took me about two, three weeks to get over that U.S. Open experience, a tournament that I felt I had a good chance of winning, and to get sick and not play very well in the final was pretty devastating for myself, but I got back and played a pretty good doubles match at the Davis Cup that kind of got the experience in that U.S. Open ordeal kind of out of my head. But every now and again, I do think about it. You know, you never forget the first one but I think the second one is a bit sweeter, but Stefan seemed like he was more or less destined to win that tournament. He came from behind every match, including myself, but the last couple of months have been pretty solid for me. I played pretty well, and hopefully we can just go from here.

Q. First winner of the tournament, you didn't seem changed from '90 to this year?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think the crowd was definitely -- what? I am sorry. There are many more people in the stands. When I won here in 1990, there weren't too many people here and seemed like this year in '92 that the people have responded to the tournament very nicely, and the crowd seems like they are more involved, and there is more of an atmosphere. Hopefully, each year, this tournament will get better and better with the crowd. So far, I think they have sold out for the weekend. That is great. Everyone is happy; the promoter is happy. That is all about it.

Q. Going into this match against Michael Stich, do you have a special plan especially that he is playing in front of his home friends?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I played him a couple of times in the past at Wimbledon in the quarterfinals; then again at ATP finals in Frankfurt, so you know, he obviously playing very well. I have seen him play his two matches. He seems much more motivated than he was earlier in the year. It is going to be a tough match for me to win. He is going to have the crowd behind him. It is something I just have to deal with. But I think I am playing okay. I am not playing great tennis, and hopefully things will work out for me tomorrow.

Q. More personal question, what do you think about John McEnroe being coach of Andre Agassi and what about Nick Bollettieri you have been working with him too?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't know where he got his information. I never worked with Nick Bollettieri in the past. As far as John coaching Andre, I don't see John travelling with Andre week in week out. I think John will more or less advise him on some different things here and there. Seems like those two have gotten really close this year, and I think John has played a pretty major role in him playing better, especially at Wimbledon, but I don't see John travelling you know, as much as he was in the past, and I just think he will be kind of an advisor, kind of a person that Andre can speak to when things aren't going that well, so that is what I would assume.

Q. McEnroe said he is going to be an advisor not only to Agassi, but also to other people. Are you one of these?

PETE SAMPRAS: I certainly hope so. I think I have become much closer to John this year - him being part of the Davis Cup, and I think you know, whatever he says, basically everyone listens to because he has been through it. I believe he is 33, 34. He has had a very up and down career, and it is someone that I think I would probably go to for advice, about different issues about tennis and everything else, and he has been through it. He has the experience that I don't have, and so, I mean, you know, he played a very major role in the Davis Cup victory, and I hope he is still involved with Davis Cup next year, but it is someone that I have grown to be pretty close to this year, and you know, personally I have always respected him and I have always looked up to him.

Q. Thank you.

PETE SAMPRAS: Thank you.

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