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September 7, 1992

Pete Sampras


Q. So Pete, are you learning to enjoy five set matches, or--

PETE SAMPRAS: I'd rather not play five setters. You know, obviously, it's pretty tough for my body, you know. Came out, started pretty well today, won the first set 6-3. I went in a really bad rut. I think my body language was very casual out there for the last two sets, I lost 6-1, 6-1. Then I think the crowd helped me out a little bit in the fourth, especially in the fifth, but as for the match, I wanted to win the match. Everybody knows about the final in Lyon, I don't know, which was disappointing, and this match was very important to me, not personally, but as far as the whole experience goes, from last year. It was something that really bothered me for the next two, three months, after the loss, but in these had five setters, you know, I mean, I am winning these matches, but I am not really playing that great right now. I am kind of playing in spurts a little bit. Playing a couple of good games and playing five bad games, something you just can't do. But I am happy with the win.

Q. Pete, how do you explain what happened in the second and third sets?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, it is-- I don't know, it is a combination of, you know, I played a couple of loose games. He broke me earlier in the second. And he just started playing a little bit better, started returning my serve and I basically lost it, second and third, and in the fourth, started playing a little bit better. In the fifth I thought I played a solid set. Might have been the best set I played in the tournament. Really served well, hit my groundies pretty clean, the second and third, something had-- I just can't do -- I have no explanation, I just lost it. You know, it is going to happen, and you just have to find a way to win. That is what I did today.

Q. Mentally, is that good for you knowing that you can find a way to come back and win like that?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, especially against Martin, and today, being down a break in the fifth set against Martin, and not quitting is something that, you know, maybe it is the clay court season that I did pretty well at and the -- I think maybe the whole mentality kind of helped me out a little bit, as far as not quitting is something that, you know, I kind of refuse to lose tonight, and you know, want to play hard until the last point. That is what I did.

Q. Pete, do you think just are a little bit lucky to be here right now?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, pretty fortunate. Like I said, I am not playing all that great right now. Maybe it is a combination of me being a little bit tired from having a long summer, but a good summer, but I am getting through these matches. That is the most important thing, I won. And I am happen with the way I am competing. I am not really with the way I am playing, but I am competing really well, that is just as important.

Q. Is it a bit helpful that the temperature has been fairly cool?


Q. In terms of your body and your physical fitness?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I mean the hardcourt is obviously pretty tough on my body. As far as the weather is concerned, you know, I don't -- I don't mind playing in humid weather. You know, living in Florida and training in Florida, I am pretty used to it, so, you know, obviously, it is -- I really don't mind playing in hot or cold weather, really.

Q. Forget had suggested that you are playing very dangerous. I think you he used the word crystal, that you might drop the crystal if you keep on getting into these kinds of tough situations,. Do you feel like that or do you feel like you are on some sort of almost lucky roll here and you can't lose here?

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I haven't lost in awhile. Hopefully you know, I will play a little bit better against Volkov, a person that I played before and beaten him and hopefully my tennis will get a little bit better, but I am not quitting out there. I think my body language was very poor in the second and third and the fourth. I kind of, you know, got a little bit more motivated. I am not sure if I am going to win this tournament. I am going to give it my best shot. I am not playing really that great right now. But you know, winning the match, that is the most important thing.

Q. These last two matches, were these the type you would have won a year ago or not?

PETE SAMPRAS: A year ago here?

Q. Or just in your career.

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, yeah, I mean, it is a match where I came from behind, you know, not playing that well; I found a way to win. And that is what you got to do. You can't play well everyday. And I didn't play all that great the last couple of matches. I found a way to win. That is what I did.

Q. Were you capable of doing this sort of thing a year ago?

PETE SAMPRAS: I don't think so. I think it was, you know, against Martin, a year ago, I probably would have lost that match, and this year maybe it is a different story; maybe I am a bit more mature, a bit hungrier out there, and it feels good to win some matches.

Q. What about all your play on clay this year, has that helped you in some tangible or--

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I mean, it has made me, you know, a little bit in better shape, you know, I don't feel very too tired the last couple of matches. I think I am, you know, I don't -- I don't think I showed it today but, I have been pretty consistent as far as my groundstrokes in Cincy and Indianapolis. Here I have been a little inconsistent with my groundstroke play. Hopefully I will get a little bit better. My clay court experience was great for me, compared to last year which was a disaster. That is a surface that I definitely wanted to improve on, and I did, you know, I played pretty well. So I think it has helped. I think clay had helped my grass game, indoor game. It is a surface that I definitely need a time to, you know, to improve on, and that is what I did.

Q. Peter, when you broke him first game in the fifth set you pumped your fist into the air. And you looked toward a corner box at that point. Did you think you were back in control?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, at that point, after holding my serve at love to win the fourth set, and then you know, a little momentum was switching on my side. That was a big game, obviously. That was the break right there. Then I played a really solid game to break him again to win the match. He made a couple of errors. That is when I had kind of felt I am capable of winning this match. So that was a very big game.

Q. You talk about body language a lot. Is this-- are you getting coached about that in the same Tony Pickard told Stefan kind of hang-dog out there and lackadaisical; straighten his spine?

PETE SAMPRAS: I say that my personality and Stefan's, we are both very non-emotional on the court. There are times when our head dropping down and we are not really, you know, walking that quickly. We are just kind of there kind of going through the motion. It is something I did today in the second, third set, and it is going to happen. I mean, kind of the way I play, the way I am, it is something I can't do. In a two out of three set match, I would have lost. Three out of five kind of saved me. It is just, you know, it is my personality. It's a lot of energy to try to do that every point. You know, it is something I am just not used to quite yet.

Q. Do you know what to expect from Volkov?

PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I played him a couple of times before. Obviously, he is playing very, very well beating Ivanisevic and Gilbert today, and you know, he is a very talented player, a great athlete, and, you know, it will be a very tough match to beat him.

Q. Pete, you talked before about one of your successes has been able to-- if your serve isn't working, be able to do other things. Do you think that is what was happening the second and third set that you were kind of losing it on all points?

PETE SAMPRAS: I just, yeah, I think mental, maybe more than anything; maybe a little bit burnt out playing a lot of tennis. Maybe it was just-- he raised his level of tennis a little bit. I kind of dropped down a little bit. I am sure I looked very-- I am sure, very casual out there, something that I just can't help from doing sometimes. I just do it. And mentally get a little bit burned out, and I think the crowd kind of helped me, like I said before, in the fourth, especially the fifth, I thought I played a really solid fifth set, but you know, it takes a lot of energy for a guy like me, a personality like me, just mentally very laid back and to be 100% focused every point is tough sometimes.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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