home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 9, 1992

Pete Sampras


Q. How does it feel to have easy match for a change?

PETE SAMPRAS: Feels goods. I thought I played really well. Better than my last two matches. You know, I think he kind of helped me out a little bit today. I won the first set, got up a break. In the second set, seemed like he just packed it in a little bit there, and kind of helped me out. Third set, he really didn't compete that well, and I thought today I was hitting the ball really well from the back court and served pretty well. All and all, I thought it was a good day for me.

Q. Pete, when do you think he actually stopped playing the second set?

PETE SAMPRAS: He was up a break in the first. I wasn't really playing all that great. Won that first set, then I got up a break up 3-1, 4-1, game, he kind of just nonchalantly missed a couple of easy volleys. He packed it in a little bit. It's a match where you have to be careful, because he can easily come back and hit a couple of good shots. It's a match where you have to keep your concentration and not let up. It is pretty tough when you are playing some guy who is not competing that hard. You have to maintain that concentration; do what you to have do. That is what I did.

Q. Can you understand somebody doing that in the quarterfinals of an Open?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, you know, it was really weird. I mean, quarterfinals of an Open is a very big match for myself and for him. I think maybe it was the heat, maybe, got to him, maybe he just got a little bit frustrated out there, but, you know, he is a very streaky player. He can play two great sets and lose it. But I was little bit surprised, a big match, I mean, semi-finals of the Open is a very good achievement, especially, a guy like him. So it was a little strange to me.

Q. Since the winner is next for you Pete, will you watch Courier/Agassi tonight, and if it goes forever, again, will you stay with it or will you go to sleep, like a lot of people? Will you watch Courier, Agassi tonight?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I am sure I will.

Q. If it goes to 1:00 in the morning, like that match last night, will you stick with it or--

PETE SAMPRAS: No, I mean, if it's too late, I am sure I will go to sleep. I have played Jim and Andre a number of times. That match is more or less a pick. I really don't have any particular person that is going to win that tournament -- I mean, win that match. They both play very similar games, but I played them a number of times and vice versa, so, you know, I'm going to go out and do what I have do.

Q. Did you watch any of last night?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yes, I saw little bit of the Lendl/Becker match.

Q. Did you go to the end?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah. I saw the end. I had a hard time sleeping.

Q. Do you think it is necessary to play that late? To take for-- a match to take that long? Is there-- is that some kind of a flaw in the system when it takes five hours?

PETE SAMPRAS: No. It is not a flaw. They started at 7:30, a night match, and they played a long five set match, five hours, and you got to do what you got to do. You know, they finish at 1:00, I am sure Ivan, you know, will recover very easily. He has a day off today, which is good. So I don't think there is a flaw in the system at all.

Q. What about the spectators?

PETE SAMPRAS: What about the spectators?

Q. If you go to a baseball game that goes that long, it is a drag?

PETE SAMPRAS: Then you can leave. I mean, a long baseball game, 15 innings-- I mean, you can be more than happy to leave, or a true tennis fan is going to stay and watch to the end.

Q. You have been here-- first couple of games, first game or couple of games, you missed a couple of easy shots or things that you could have put away, all of a sudden you just put it all back together. Did you say something to yourself or did a different feeling come back?

PETE SAMPRAS: 2-1, I played a really loose game; missed a couple of easy volleys. Then, you know, it was a pretty tough, you know, day for tennis. It was bit windy out there. The wind was kind of blowing in one direction the whole time. I just played a little bit better and better. First set was key, he kind of packed it in, like I said before, just started hitting the ball a little bit better and cleaner and deeper. I think maybe he just got a little bit frustrated with the heat, whatnot, I played a pretty tentative game at 2-1, but I bounced back very nicely.

Q. Have you lost at little respect for him as a competitor, because he seemed to pack it in, or because you don't know the situation he just let--

PETE SAMPRAS: I respect him. He obviously is a very dangerous player and you know, must be a good player to be beat Gilbert yesterday or two days ago, but a match like this, big opportunity. I was a bit surprised he kind of packed it in a little bit. But I will take it.

Q. Did you come into the match today still maybe a little bit worried or nervous that you might not be over whatever it was that you were having problems with the last couple of days?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I think I showed that a little bit in the beginning getting down early break at 2-1; not really too confident out there, but as the match wore on and on, I start hitting the ball a little bit better. Kind of got out of that little rut that I was in the last couple of matches. Then as the match went on and I start getting bigger lead, I started playing much better.

Q. Is this some kind of match that makes you feel like you are really out of it and got to get it out of your system?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I don't know if it was the butterflies, I kind of got that out of my system. I am playing the tennis I am capable of playing, I was hitting the ball really clean today, returned pretty well. My groundies I felt confident, and served okay. It was a very good day for me.

Q. Courier was saying that earlier in the week that it is a mystery to him, basically, he doesn't know how he is going to play when he comes out. I know you have had some difficult matches here. Do you have any idea when you come out on a day or is it always unclear until the game gets going?

PETE SAMPRAS: Exactly. You don't know what is going to happen; you don't know how you are going to feel, the wind, the sun, how hot it is. Not every day is the same on this tour. In tennis, you got to hope for the best; hopefully you will get the breaks, and because you know, sometimes you just -- go out there; you are not sure what is going to happen. You kind of hope for the best, and try your hardest.

Q. To be a champion, is that the guy who adjusts by, what, the second set or the third set to get through all of that; not knowing how you are going to feel? What separates the guys who get bounced out early and the guys who can overcome that?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't understand the question. I am sorry.

Q. You say you never know how you will feel. But the guy who gets to the end of the tournament somehow figures it out. I mean, does that just happen during the match?

PETE SAMPRAS: It happens during the match sometimes. Like today I started off extremely slow, missed a bunch of bad shots, and as the match wore -- gets on and on, you start hitting the ball a little bit better, a bit comfortable. Early match nerves can, you know, is pretty tough to deal with, you know, a little bit of luck is involved. I could have been ousted against Martin being down break in the fifth. I feel pretty fortunate. So, you know, just have to hope for the best. Like I said, you are not really sure you are going to play especially on a day like this, a little bit windy, pretty warm, and just got to try your hardest.

Q. Two years ago, did you adjust to those factors, as well as ever?

PETE SAMPRAS: Two years ago, match against Martin would be probably a match I would have lost. I think the match with Martin and Forget, I really competed well. I didn't pack it in. Like two years ago I might have gotten frustrated and kind of -- not thrown in the towel, but not really been intense and so, you know, maybe it was the clay court kind of helped me out a little bit throughout this year, but I think I kind of got that bad tennis out of my system, but that kind of, you know, dull playing, I was doing out there. Today I felt much more confident.

Q. Is it a matter of finding out what shots are working for you that I can't use the backhands the same way today; I better hit -- or the way he is playing you, that determines what starts to work for you?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I think what starts to work for me and not work is my serve. You know, I feel like if I am serving well, I can be a little bit more loose on his service games, if I am not serving well, then I basically, have to resort to playing the backcourt, that is something that I -- that I hope doesn't happen. But I-- my serve kind of determines how I am going to play.

Q. You have been to this situation already this year semi-finals; you have been late quarters at the French. How important is it to win on Saturday for you?

PETE SAMPRAS: It is huge. It is very important. This is my last chance of the year to try to win a Grand Slam. That is what I basically tried to gear my year to, and I will give it my best shot. Obviously, my opponents are going to be playing very good tennis, Courier or Agassi, so this is very big for me. This is a big tournament. And the Wimbledon loss was obviously very disappointing to Ivanisevic, so I am going to try to get this win.

Q. Anyway if you were to lose on Saturday would you look back at this year as a waste, a failure, anything like that, because of how close you have come and not being able to push it that one more step?

PETE SAMPRAS: I am sure I will be very disappointed, but I have to look at the situation where my results, last year on the clay and the grass was not very good, and this year, I really, really improved on some surfaces that really gave me some trouble. On clay season, though, I didn't win the French; I was happy with the way I played. This coming match on Saturday is very big. So I have to give it my best shot and hope for the best.

Q. Pete, do you get a sense that finally at this tournament and this year, the American tennis, the younger guys who are finally out of the shadow of Connors and McEnroe that you guys are now going to have to carry the game in the United States both on and off the court?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't -- I don't feel any responsibilities to that, that I have to carry the game. I think the game is very exciting to watch. I think American tennis is very strong. You know as far as you know, holding the torch from Connors or McEnroe I just -- I -- it is not that complicated. I just go out and played my tennis. As far as what people think about me, you know, it really doesn't matter to me. I just -- I don't really understand.

Q. Well, tonight, for instance, Courier and Agassi are playing a match. There is a lot of excitement about it; maybe it is the next Connecticut and McEnroe. Do you look forward to having that sort of rivalry with one of these other American players that a whole tournament is focused in, zeros in on?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I mean I have always had a very good rivalry with Michael Chang. Personally, I played him all my life; always had goods matches with Courier and Agassi but Courier and Agassi is a very good rivalry because they basically grew up in the same Bollettieri system and it is a very big match for both of them.

Q. Do you think the fans are going to find as much enjoyment out of these new rivalries since most of it is strictly just tennis words in the old days there was more personality coming out, there was anger, there was a lot more going on out there, than just two guys hitting a tennis ball?

PETE SAMPRAS: Right. I think the Courier- -I am sorry, the Connors and the McEnroe, and the Lends, I don't think personally they really liked each other, especially at the top of their games when in their mid twenties, where, myself, I get along fine with Agassi, Chang, and Courier. We are good friends. Obviously, we are not that close, but you know, there is nothing personal out there, by any means. I don't hate anyone. I just go out there and play tennis. That is all I try to do.

Q. Going into the semis how would you compare the way you are playing this year compared to two years ago?

PETE SAMPRAS: Last year, I beat Lendl in the quarters, and at this point, you know, a lot of things were going on in my mind, two years ago, and it all happened really fast. Whereas, I am going to have two days rest and to think about how big this match is and hopefully things will work out for me.

Q. Is there any advantage to winning easily when possibly Courier and Agassi may beat their brains out against each other?

PETE SAMPRAS: I think it is good for me. I have had two tough five setters. My body -- my feet are a little bit sore. As far as my body, I think it is good two days off; rest a little bit; get ready for Saturday.

Q. Do you hope those two guys play forever tonight?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, until Sunday morning. I mean, like I said, there are two days off Thursday and Friday. If they played until 1:00 in five hours, I am sure as good a shape as Courier and Agassi are in, they will be good for Saturday.

Q. You didn't like the way you left last year; what you said afterwards about the responsibilities and you regret what you said. Do you come in here really trying to redeem yourself from last year in more ways than one, trying to-- regarding tennis as well as how you handled yourself afterwards?

PETE SAMPRAS: Like last year, I think it put a lot of pressure on myself at the Open. I think that affected my tennis a little bit in the quarters. Against Courier. This year I am some kinds of-- coming in; playing very good tennis, you know, in Cincinnati and Indianapolis; I am going to give it my best shot. Last year, I have saved some things, after I lost couple of days after I didn't feel -- I felt I possibly could have defended my title, but you know, it was a situation-- I just wasn't used to coming back, 19 years old, and something-- maybe I was a little bit too young to handle. But now 21, I feel pretty good.

Q. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297