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December 9, 1992

Pete Sampras


Q. Pete, tough to get motivated, tough to get going after the weekend?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, a little bit. You know, it was very emotional, very tiring weekend. Even though I just played doubles, just to sit and watch the ups and downs of a match was pretty tough, but I decided to play here and I thought I was hitting the ball pretty well tonight considering I hadn't practiced too much on the center court and getting over the jet lag, I thought I played pretty well. I didn't have any problem being motivated. I thought I played pretty well. The court is playing pretty fast which I think helped me out and everything worked out for me.

Q. When did you get here?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, actually had a pretty good flight; left Sunday night on a private jet to New York, and left on the Concorde Monday morning, got here Monday night. Still, the last couple of nights I haven't really slept that well. Something you just have to deal with. I just wish maybe there is an extra day I could have prepared, but as it turned out I got a Wednesday start which worked out well and considering, I thought I played pretty well tonight, but you know it was good that I got here as soon as I can. It would have been nice to spend Sunday night in Dallas and celebrate a little bit, but it was kind of off to the next week.

Q. What are your feelings about playing Leconte next round?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I owe him two matches. I lost a big match in Lyon in the finals in Davis Cup, and--

Q. Paris?

PETE SAMPRAS: Second round in Paris, and he seems to always play pretty well against me. The times he has beaten me, he has played in France which I think he plays better when he plays in his home country, so it is a match I definitely want to win. He has beaten me twice, and there is no reason why I can't beat him.

Q. Is there something special in his games that you don't like?

PETE SAMPRAS: He is a very good shot maker. He can just pull off some shots that is unheard of sometimes. That is pretty dangerous, and he has a good serve. I have always had a bit of a difficult time playing against lefties, and he has a good wide serve and I have a hard time returning that sometimes, and him and Forget are two guys that I have had problems with in the past and he just seems to always play really well. Hopefully I will tag him on Friday.

Q. Pete, Agassi says he'd like to see John McEnroe as captain of the Davis Cup team. What is your opinion?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think that the players on the team should have a pretty good say on who becomes captain. As far as next year, I am not sure who is going to be captain, if Tom is going to be reappointed. It is still up in the air. But I definitely would like to see him eventually be captain. He has always played really well in the Davis Cup and has represented his country very well. He deserves it. He has put a lot of years in the Davis Cup, and eventually I'd like to see him be the captain.

Q. Pete, would you consider that all the stuff that is going on about whether it is going to be McEnroe, whether it's going to be Gorman or somebody else, would you consider that a controversy or is it --

PETE SAMPRAS: No. I mean, me personally, Richard, I am not too controversial. Whatever happens, happens. It is not my decision but I think the players should have some sort of say on what happens on their team. I don't think there is going to be too much controversy about it. I guess it is up to the USTA and who they want to pick to be the captain, but me, personally, I would like to see John be the captain. Like I said, he has proven again that he is a great Davis Cup player and there is no reason why he can't be a great captain. I don't think Tom is going to do it for the rest of his life. He has done it for seven years, and if -- I am not sure what is going to happen next year, but whatever happens, happens. It really doesn't matter to me.

Q. Pete, when you say you'd like to see John be the captain, you are not talking about next year or are you talking about next year?

PETE SAMPRAS: Eventually. I think he disserves it. If it happens next year, great. If it doesn't, I am sure he is going to try to be in '94. It is hard to fire someone like Tom who we just won it. We just happened to win it. We just happened to win the title. It is hard. He came through for us. He did a good job, and it is hard to fire someone that just won the Davis Cup.

Q. How would you like to see the influence of McEnroe on the team?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I just noticed watching Courier and Agassi playing in Dallas and myself playing this year, we seemed to always look at John when we are playing. If it is a tough spot, we look at John. If we win a big point, we look at John. We kind of look at John as a role model, as an idol. To have him on the side, it would be great. I have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a player. He has basically taken over a leadership role with the team, just the way he acts about the practices, kind of organizing everything, which is great. We are definitely got leadership. I would love looking back now at the Davis Cup experiences to have him be in Lyon. I mean, he just would have-- I think I would have -- I don't know if I would have played better. I think he would have helped me out a little bit more in a situation like that.

Q. Coming back to the Davis Cup, but don't you think it is somewhat disappointing not to play the singles than against this background to see how bad Jim Courier did and didn't you feel you could have done it better than him?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I was a little disappointed I didn't play singles, but I just wanted to be part of the team. I wanted to get the cup back where it should be. That is in the United States, and Jim, he is No. 1 in the world. You can't not play someone who is No. 1 in the world. He got to the finals in Frankfurt. He was playing pretty well. Davis Cup, it feels different playing out there. You are a bit more nervous playing for your country. He didn't play all that great but he clinched it for us. He came back with the big match against Hlasek. He had a little bit of bad luck against Rosset but he didn't play at the top of his game but he came through for us. He would be the big match, but I would have liked to played singles, but I was happy to play doubles and I played with John and possibly his last Davis Cup match, and I don't know what he is planning to do next year, but the No. 1 player in the world, I mean, you almost have to play him.

Q. How is this decision being made who is going to play singles and doubles? Do the players have a word to say or is it exclusively the captain's role?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is the captain's role. He just kind of felt, last week, that Jim was playing a bit better than I was and I think during the week he was kind of leaning towards Jim and I was playing doubles with John, so he just went that way.

Q. Pete, some of the verbal attacks of the Americans, especially John and Andre, are somehow still in discussion around here. What do you think about it now and do you think it fits a possible captain?

PETE SAMPRAS: Say again, the beginning, verbal.

Q. The verbal attacks against the Swiss team during the Davis Cup?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it wasn't aimed towards the Swiss. I mean, it is-- the Davis Cup kind of brings a different person out of you. Sometimes, obviously, when I was playing it was very emotional. Against the Swiss, we are more rooting for our team, and that is the bottom line. You know, Jakob and Mark are good friends of mine and they are very well liked on the tour, but I didn't feel any wrongdoing on the American side. We just wanted our team to win it. We did everything we could to do it.

Q. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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