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March 28, 1996

Vincent Spadea


JOE LYNCH: Okay, Vince was first time in his career he has won four consecutive ATP Tour matches reaching the quarterfinals here. His best performance in a super nine and will probably go to the high 70s from his 90s in the ATP Tour rank. First question.

Q. Vince, going into this match, you had to have expected something leaving the court, did you pretty much get what you expected out there?

VINCE SPADEA: Yeah. I mean, you know, how he plays and when he is executing his shots, you got to make sure you are executing yours to stay in the match. Didn't happen as good as I -- it needed to be, so...

Q. This is just one of those matches you will learn from losing?

VINCE SPADEA: Well, I look at it where I think he played at a high level for him. I mean, he is at a high level just if he doesn't play great, but I thought he actually played well for himself and he was serving pretty well and, you know, I had a few breakpoints, I had a couple of chances more than what happened last time, it was a closer score, but I didn't really hit into his service games and, I mean, it was going to be a learning experience, so --

Q. So, you leave here feeling good, maybe not from the loss, but what a great tournament it was for you?

VINCE SPADEA: I guess you can say that. I guess, it's self-explanatory. I am just using it as a stepping stone, hopefully, to go in and keep on these kinds of tournaments,. Hopefully, I can keep playing at a high consistent level. I mean, I didn't think I hit the ball terribly today. I could have done a few things better, gotten more returns in play, but he was hitting serves, you know, on the line or close to it and I would imagine his first serve percentage was fairly high, so that was about it. I mean, I didn't serve outstanding, but that's not really my game anyway, and, you know, I started gaining control of the points. He wasn't missing many shots from the back, usually he gives you a couple more free points when he needed to. I am talking about, I mean, when I was up a break and I held serve, he just kinds of hit those balls in the net. I am not talking about that, breakpoints, you know, he is hitting forehands on the line, serves, second serves right on the line, I mean, he could have been going either way and then he hits an inside out forehand on the line, so, I mean, if he is one tad bit off, you know, I can get back in the match, it's a learning experience and I need to just stay where I am holding a serve a little bit more convincingly, and just getting some more free points. I wasn't serving at full speed in terms of everything, for whatever reason.

Q. Could you feel the momentum of the crowd appreciating your play?

VINCE SPADEA: Yes. I felt that every time I've come in here and played and today it just happened to be a bigger crowd, so, yeah, I mean, that certainly was an addition, an advantage for me. I was trying to work with it and do my best out there and Pete had a lot of answers for it.

Q. What were your thoughts when you first walked out on the stadium court and started warming up and started playing the first game?

VINCE SPADEA: I was feeling really good, really relaxed, really comfortable and just ready to play my best tennis and it wasn't intimidating at all. I mean, it was just a matter of going out and, you know, playing a guy. The first game, actually, I was actually was one of the best times I've -- that I returned a serve, I was up maybe love-15 or love-30 or whatever, but I mean it wasn't like a 40-Love boom, boom game like some of them. I kind of like -- I chose to receive serve, which is something I kind of regretted after I did because, you know, he held serve so comfortably that you are always serving, always down a game and it's like it kind of puts a little extra pressure on you, especially when you are not serving like him and you are working for every point and he is hitting his groundstrokes really well and, you know, so it puts a little extra pressure because then he can go up and get some of that bigger lead if you are --

Q. What was your logic to pick that, what were you thinking when you --

VINCE SPADEA: Well, I just felt that, you know, I just wanted to get in the match, get sweating and just hit a few returns, see the ball, see his serve because, you know, I don't play him every day, so just something different to look at, I just wanted to get used to it.

Q. Most people have never played a match with Pete Sampras, what is it like to be on the other side of his service game?

VINCE SPADEA: Well, I mean, he's very accurate, you know, and he's explosive, so sometimes it is hard to even start your move to the ball because it's already by you, so -- it is a tough thing to be in, but, you know, he kind of had service strategy, you know, and I didn't counter it at all.

Q. What was that?

VINCE SPADEA: Well -- no, forget I said that. That's tennis talk.

JOE LYNCH: Someone else might read the transcript.

Q. How significant did you think the sun was when you were serving particularly?


Q. Yes.

VINCE SPADEA: No factor at all whatsoever.

Q. Vince --

VINCE SPADEA: I didn't even know it was there.

Q. Had you lost to Andre in Australia?


Q. Given the choice between wanting to play Peter, wanting to play Andre, is it simply picking your poison or would you actually prefer games that are suited either --

VINCE SPADEA: No, it is pretty much the same, it is quick, you know, all the points are quick and you can't afford to be slow out there. I mean, Andre is constantly moving you, Pete's sort of just trying to slap and overpower you kind of -- I mean, so it's just different because with Andre you are always in a point, but it is always a struggle and with Pete you are just trying to get involved and then it's like, you know, it's different. I mean, every shot counts with them, you know, it's like every ball you're just trying to make the most of because they are not going to give you a lot of openings, so that puts a little more pressure on you when you are hitting some shots.

Q. Did you sense, at all, he was slowing down?


Q. Do you know -- do you have any idea why?

VINCE SPADEA: You mean towards the end?

Q. Yes.

VINCE SPADEA: Well, I think he felt that it was getting warm out there and that I felt it was getting warm out there, but I'm, you know, it wasn't -- I saw him slowing down. That's a good -- that's something that I was trying to -- it was hard to capitalize on because it came at the very end, it was like the clock was ticking really fast, you know, with him serving. The idea is to try to keep playing your game and to keep dictating the points, but you don't dictate anything on his serve, it is more of just trying to get into the point instead of -- and, you know, it only happened the last three games, I think, so, I thought that -- I think the biggest game was that game at 4-3, I mean, I am not going to say it could have been a turning point, but any tennis match anything could be a turning point and you could sense that he was -- we had that long rally, that I think gave me breakpoint or something where we kind of went side-to-side a lot and I noticed he, you know, you could kind of notice he is hanging his head on his serve, he has the hat and everything and I felt that that was the point that could have made something happen and kind of hesitated on the shot, looking at the ball to see if it was in or out rather than -- he just slapped a winner. It was more -- I don't even think he thought about it, if that would have gone wide, who knows what could have happened, but, I mean, that's just one small thing. I mean, he was dictating the match, obviously.

Q. You are talking about that second serve that hit the back line?


Q. Did that surprise you how deep he hit it?

VINCE SPADEA: Yeah. I actually thought he was very close to doublefaulting on that, just the way he was -- just his whole -- how he was walking around, I thought he was -- that's why when he hit it that deep, I didn't really go after it as aggressive as I should have.

Q. Did he leave you a difficult return?

VINCE SPADEA: It did, yes, kind of got the ball planted in my feet because I didn't get a good hit at it.

Q. Did you feel that at any time once he got a break ahead he really did not go after everything, he was just playing it out, holding the lead?

VINCE SPADEA: Of course, that's what he does.

Q. So, he held a lot in reserve only to use when it was necessary?

VINCE SPADEA: Of course, that's Pete Sampras. I mean, if you've seen him play, I think it's pretty obvious -- he serves so strong his service games, he is so confident no matter if he is up 5-4, 6-5, he will take the extra break, but he is not going to kill himself and that's good for him. For my style game, it probably wouldn't work out, but....

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Vince?

Q. When you play a Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi, what do you learn from that in terms of where your game is and where you want to go?

VINCE SPADEA: Well, like I said, it's just a tough match. I mean, very explosive, these guys are -- they're in good shape, they are quick to the ball, they're heavy strokes, deep and you got to be hitting your shots the same way and you got to emotionally be involved the whole way through, just improve some things in your game as well, you know. It is one thing to go up and possibly beat them once and it is another thing to do what they are doing, I could conceivably have won the match today, but not necessarily am I, you know, I still need to take some things to another level in my game, so you just go in learning about yourself that way and what you need to do to keep working on.

Q. So, was a match like this encouraging to you? You sound a little down. I don't know if it is because you are hot or tired.

VINCE SPADEA: I am not that hot. I felt good out there. I am not that tired or anything.

Q. Is it encouraging or discouraging to be beaten like you were today by Pete Sampras?

VINCE SPADEA: I don't know. I don't know really. I don't know what I am feelings. I'm not really happy or anything and -- I am a little disappointed, but I think that's natural, you know, I think it is encouraging that he was playing at a high level and I kind of thought that I could have still gotten in the match, but it is discouraging that I got broken so early in both sets and that I couldn't maintain at least being up and holding serve so that I had an opportunity to put him -- let him serve like he did, you know, at 3-All, 4-All, 5-All, so, that is why I am disappointed, you know, it was just -- I mean, when you get broken in the first game, in the second set, it's like -- I didn't mind so much that game because he was just -- I didn't make that many unforced errors. I mean, the first game at 2-All I made like two or three unforced errors, that was unacceptable for -- but, you know, I kind of rushed and went for too much too soon, but there is such a fine line playing a guy like that because if you don't hit a good shot, he starts running around with the forehand, so, you are trying to go for a shot with a controlled aggression and it's like sometimes you go too much for the line.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Vince?

Q. Vince, thinking not just today, but of the whole tournament, what has the past week meant to you mentally just as far as your confidence level?

VINCE SPADEA: It has been definitely a step forward for me and it's been a great week and, you know, I won four matches and emotionally I was really comfortable out in every match, even today, even though things didn't work out today, it's -- you know, 90 percent, 95 percent of the players experience what I did against a guy like that. So, it's not demoralizing or anything, but it is a great week, so, hopefully, I can continue to beat players on a consistent basis and if the only players I can't beat in these types of matches, then I think I am in the right direction and hopefully it will just keep continue to work on this kind of a level, but I don't think today is going to be my last, you know, the final thing. It is going to be a matter of going the next week and beating the players that I am capable of playing, even if you do miss a shot or two, it just happens that you can't afford to do it against the number 2 in the world-type.

JOE LYNCH: Okay. Thank you, we will be right back with Pete Sampras.

End of FastScripts....

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