March 23, 1995
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Q. Andrei, you say you wanted to play Pete to know where you are standing this time; what do you think?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I think I am doing better than I was doing and I could have done better. Pete told me after the match I should have won, but I don't think I was strong enough yet to finish the match and I should have broke him at 3-1 and I just got very tight when I was serving, but he played well. He proved to be strongest player mentally, at the moment, in the men's tennis and for me, I only saw that I am on the right way; I am doing okay.
Q. What happened on the key game point where you didn't get enough on your overhead exchange?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: That is what I said, I got a little uptight. I didn't have enough confidence to kill the ball. Obviously, volleys are not my favorite part, but this one I should have won and on the smash the crowd start screaming; I lost my concentration. Pete did everything to get this ball back and he deserves a lot of credit.
Q. At one point, you went to one corner and spoke a little bit with Bradshaw?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Because I didn't think it is fair -- to me anyway, I have a little bit problems with my eyesight, and my vision with two eyes open is 55%. When play the night, it is completely different atmosphere, and to me, even the bounce on the court felt a little bit different, and I just told him I don't think it is fair that Pete is playing every match on this court and he obviously knows how it feels and when the court is a little bit noisy, people are walking around, which is okay, but you have to get used to it, and I just told him how am I supposed to beat Pete. He is the best player already and he gets advantages like that. I mean, I understand for spectators, for TV, for everything, but I think at least before the match when the player meets Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi, I mean, they should have a chance to play on the court where they play. And to me, when the bounce felt different. Maybe I am wrong; maybe because I didn't see the ball very clearly, but I just told him that normally I wouldn't have any chance to win if I didn't get this break back in the second set.
Q. Is this frustration you are feeling, this anger you are feeling about the -- because of frustration? I mean, are you going to feel this way tomorrow after you have had a good night sleep?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Well, tomorrow I will try to play golf or just spend time in the pool and not to think about this. I mean, of course I was thinking to play Jonas in the semifinal and have a chance to play Andre in the final; maybe it would have been great for my ranking, for my points, for my confidence, everything would be great. But I proved to myself that I am on the right way, and I had to put myself down mentally; I shouldn't do that because the clay court season is coming up, it's my favorite and just, I think I played a great match. I have no regrets for what I have done. Perhaps, if I would have another chance now at 3-1 passing shot, maybe I would have passed him. But at that moment, you know, I understood why I made the mistake. I was just very tight. I wanted to win very badly; but I feel angry now; but I am sure I won't feel angry tomorrow. Now, I have the diary for every player, and now I know a lot about Pete. Next time, maybe he will not get advantage of one set like he did today. I mean, next time, I will be more ready how to play him and I will just try to analyze what I have done wrong and try to, next time, not to make the same mistake.
Q. When did you actually think that you had an opportunity or a big chance to win in the third set when he had that break and sort of said, "Hey, here I am. Maybe I am through the next one"?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Honestly, yes. Even when I was up 3-1, I didn't feel -- feel that I could win. I just had fun on the court. It was funny for me; the spectators that saw Pete win so many times were rooting for him. I thought people liked me anyway, they would support me more because, you know, I broke him back in the second set; I came back they have more nice -- I mean, beautiful tennis, and they should enjoy it. They were supporting him. I was thinking about that. I was thinking where I am. Then at the breakpoint, at 3-1, I realize this is the ball; this is the point. If I win this one, I win the match. Because I knew he is not going to come back no matter what. And I returned two times his second serve; very short. He came in, and at that point I could have passed him and two times I miss-hitted it.
Q. Two forehands both pretty much the same --
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: 3-1 when he was on the baseline I shanked my forehand wide. Another one when he came, I shank it to the net. And another one was also, you know, out. I mean, it just shows that -- it just shows that -- this is the third time I played against No. 1 in the world; and for me, it was a big moment. He could have been the biggest win in my career. I just got very tight. But, now, I know maybe how to deal with it. I just should take it as a very important point, but not to think of future. I was already thinking a little bit of serving at 4-1 and this is wrong, I regret this a little bit, but I don't regret what I have done in the match.
Q. During this tournament, Andrei, did you pick up anymore -- recurring any physical problems that you have had before?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: No. I feel fine, and this has been a great week for me, for my tennis, for my confidence. I lost some weight. I am moving much better than I was before and I don't feel any pain, you know, in any part of my body, and my goal in this tournament was to get as far as I could. I thought the quarterfinal was pretty far already, and if I would -- -- if I would have won today, it would have been a bonus. But, you know, I was very close and I am not disappointed -- I mean, I am disappointed, but I cannot be angry. I achieved a lot for my fitness, for my confidence, for my groundstrokes, for everything. Now I am happy that the clay court season starts and I have this feeling that I can play. It was very important for me to play a match like that, to play against the best player in the world, and to have a chance to feel that I am back in the competition, that I am back in the race. I mean, now, I know that I am on the right way; I am doing okay; and I should continue doing like this, and, you know, I am sure that the results will show it this year.
Q. How was the pasta this year?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: It was okay.
Q. At 4-3, you had 4-3, and the break at 4-3, and then that particular game, Pete basically coerced you into the net on two, three occasions, Love-30, he sort of blocked a serve back, then he passed you; both of them inside the service line. Were you, at that stage, worried about his passing shots coming into the net and on those particular points?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Honestly saying, maybe it sounds a little bit crazy, but I wish he didn't give me these easy ones. I wish he would have give me tough ones because I was working a lot on my volley game at the net and my net coverage improved a lot. I mean, I am not -- I am far from Stefan Edberg or Pete, but I can cover the net good and I wish he would have played some low shots so I could block it, and probably, I would make them. Because I was working on it a lot. On the easy shots, when the ball floats, I had so much time to think where to -- but I got confused, because, you know, I knew that this is Pete Sampras, obviously, and I knew that if I put this ball away I can win the match. These thoughts at 3-1, they never left me until I lost. I wish he would have played some good passing shots and I would try to cover the net. But I know it sounds a little bit crazy, but I didn't feel very comfortable hitting those smashes, and I mean, I will work on it.
Q. Isn't that a ball that you don't think where you are putting it, you just crush it?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I did that, but I missed them both. I mean, this one I had to think because the crowd start to scream a lot. I mean, when he had third breakpoint and he put this ball very high and I practice this one shot and I hit it probably nine out of ten or ten out of ten on the practice, but the people was screaming; it was a little bit dark, and I missed it. I went for it. At least I wasn't a pussy or something.
Q. Crowd was noisy; that is the noisiest crowd they have had all week.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Yeah, but I think it is embarrassing for them. They saw me fighting. I didn't act like a jerk on the court and I think I deserved a lot of credit and they were supporting Pete like he is an underdog. I normally thought that people want sensation, but obviously not in Miami.
Q. Where do you go from here?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Clay court, finally. I am happy that now I have a chance to play on clay. I mean, I am hitting the ball good, and I hope to see Pete on clay, because we played four times, four times he beat me on his favorite surface, indoor, outdoors, hard court, so now I am home, and "welcome."
KEVIN O'KEEFE: Any questions for these guys, Andrei?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: How come you are all here today? I mean, what is wrong? I know these three guys. They come in everyday and where is Fred, I forgive him, because he has things on the TV, but you all, what are you doing?
KEVIN O'KEEFE: Do you know who they are? Let us go around the room.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: These three guys I know and this guy I know.
KEVIN O'KEEFE: You should know everybody else.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: They are not interested in me. They are only interested in some stories. I know him also. And the rest of them, I don't even know yet. It is funny that you all are here. I know you. And I mean, I think it is not fair. I think it is not fair if I am interested for you to talk to, you should ask me every time, not only when I lose, because now in fact I don't want to talk to anybody. You know, even if Jesus Christ would come down to the crowd, I wouldn't ask him anything. No, but it is true. It is true. And I mean, unfortunately this is the time when you all come here and you expect me to say something funny. And you will never hear because I am disappointed. I mean, you should come when I win, and otherwise why you even come? It is not fair. Right or wrong?
KEVIN O'KEEFE: All these people just came in today.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: That is what I am saying. It is not right?
Q. No, because I think that we owe a lot of respect for the way you played tonight. You played a good match.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Okay. But fine.
Q. That is why we are congratulating you.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Just come here and say "congratulations" and leave. Don't ask me questions. Okay, fine. Okay? I mean, next time just do that. I mean, if you have respect for me as a tennis player just come to me; I am in the player's lounge every time; I sign you autograph if you want. But don't come here and ask me questions when I lost. You know, ask me questions when I win. And then when I lost the match, I would come here and talk to you; I would come here with pleasure. Now, in fact they brought me here because I didn't want to come. You know, because I knew that I would see more than one person or two people in this room and I would feel bad. Because I do not think it is fair. I don't think it is a fair treatment. You ask players to come when they lose. Why?
Q. Sometimes they are better. You are. Sometimes it is better to talk to the loser. Most often it is better to talk to the loser. He has more good things to say. He is more analytical. I am sure you will be much better than Sampras will be. That is why we like to hear you.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: That is fine. Then come every time.
Q. We come when we can.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Oh, I am so sorry. I know you laugh. I saw all this food you are eating, it is free, just pick up the Coca-Cola and drinking it. Of course, it is nice spending time, but you are here to do your job. Of course, all the newspapers ask for a story about Pete and Andre, which is pretty fair. I mean, is it fair because they are two best players in the world. I don't expect to be in this group. I just think if you come here, you should come every time; not only when I lose. It happens in every tournament and until I reach the semifinal or quarterfinal, only these three guys come, because they know me and they write something. The other people only come when I lost to say, "good job, what do you think about your match." This is not fair. I am also here, human being. You hurt me when I see you all coming here whenever I lost. Come here when I win. And then you feel a right, you can feel correct when you come here when I lose. You know, now you have time. And now it is 9 o'clock in the evening. Normally you should be going to sleep very soon. You have time now and you don't have time at 3 o'clock, it is not fair. It is not fair. Because at 3 o'clock is when you do the job. Now, it is time when you relax because most of the newspapers already printed the stories, and it is closed. I mean, I know how it works. You cannot tell me that now you have time and you don't have time at 4 o'clock because you eat lunch. That is not fair. Right?
KEVIN O'KEEFE: You want to continue talking?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I mean, I cannot prove it to you because I am probably twice or three times younger than all the people here. I am not older than anybody in this room. And of course, to me, I am only saying my opinion. I am not trying to think the way I think. I am not trying to make you think the way I think. I am just saying my opinion. If you don't agree, it is okay. But this is the way I feel, and I think if you like talking to me; if you think that I am the personality on the Tour, you should come talk to me when I win; not only when I lose because when I win, I only hear couple of questions, again from my friends, already, I mean, these people, I don't consider anymore journalists -- they are journalists, but they are my friends. They come to talk to me; to pay respect and to say congratulations. Right?
KEVIN O'KEEFE: You say you want more friends?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: No. No. Because I hear -- I can hear from everybody here and there they say, oh, Andrei is such a funny guy; such a nice guy and everything, but I don't see it. I mean, if you think that I am a nice guy; if you think that I can tell you the stories, then come not when I lose, right?
KEVIN O'KEEFE: Want us to bring Pete in here at the same time?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: This was my proposition already a long time ago. You should bring two players or three players at the same time.
KEVIN O'KEEFE: We will bring Pete in here.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: You can if you want.
KEVIN O'KEEFE: We will do it.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I actually have to go to sleep already.
Q. You will feel better in the morning, Andrei, have a glass of vodka when you get home. Are you playing any Davis Cup Tie before going to Estoril?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: No, because our group is playing in late April.
Q. How did you find out about the workings of the newspapers? You do show a good understanding of journalism. Have you inquired about it? How have you found about it? Many are not through today. Many are through; many are not through because Graf is still playing.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: All the time --
KEVIN O'KEEFE: Pete wants to come in here with you too.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Sometimes the journalists ask me for the interview. He says, please, rush and come here because my newspaper is closing; now they have to print the story, I mean, I found it out from you guys.
PETE SAMPRAS: I brought my dirty laundry for him to do.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I think you should do mine as a present.
PETE SAMPRAS: Thank you. I needed that.
KEVIN O'KEEFE: Questions for either player.
PETE SAMPRAS: This is a first.
KEVIN O'KEEFE: It is Andrei's idea. He thinks we should do it everywhere. You think we should do this everywhere?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Yeah. You shouldn't perhaps ask the Tour's enemies on the court to come together and talk, say, he is an ass hole; he beat me today.
PETE SAMPRAS: This vulgarity these kids use.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I learned it from you, Pete.
Q. Key point at game point third set and you got the lob up that didn't quite get up very high, and do you think that ball was going to coming at you about 100 miles an hour?
PETE SAMPRAS: Which point?
Q. The one that Andrei was not able to get by you.
PETE SAMPRAS: The one he kind of gagged the overhead? Was that the one he is talking about? I just knew it was going to go there. I just sped in there and just tried to get my racket on it and tried to hit a lob and came out to be a good shot, and, you know, I thought the tennis today was a very high level. We both played pretty well, and I obviously got off to a great start and up a break in the second, I just started rushing things trying to add to it quickly and Andrei started playing a lot better; serving a lot better and before I knew it we were one set-all. I was a bit frustrated down on myself, and down a break couple of times in the third and I just hung in there and really managed to get the right point at the right time and, you know, this match could have really gone either way. I told him at the net that he probably should have beaten me. He probably should have closed me out there, but as the matches all went today, a lead, you know, I guess it wasn't a good omen.
Q. How important do you think it was, the crowd support?
PETE SAMPRAS: Oh, they definitely got behind me. They knew I was a little bit upset and frustrated and I showed a little bit of frustration and they kind of got behind me. It seemed like it was a good crowd; really helped me out today.
Q. Problem with the racket seemed to doublefault --.
PETE SAMPRAS: Just the conditions were very humid and strings were just fraying.
Q. What is the deal with it, Pete.
PETE SAMPRAS: I was sweating a little bit. We both were. I string them up pretty tight with thin gauge and they break and it wasn't good timing, so I just, you know, what can I do? Really not in my control. Strings just break.
Q. Can you comment or talk about suggestions about your next match?
PETE SAMPRAS: Meet played him last week; got one of the best returns in the game. Does everything pretty well; serves well; moves well. He again was down and out against Wilander and snuck back and won the match. I feel pretty good going into the match. I feel extremely relieved to even be here, so hopefully I can play like I did today and I think I can come out with a win.
Q. This rivalry with Andre has it is become a little bit difficult not to look beyond the next match that is coming up and get your mind off trying to get to a final with Andre?
PETE SAMPRAS: I know you guys hate to hear it, really it is one match at a time, the old clich√É¬©; you can't look ahead, who I am going to play next round; you just have to concentrate on-the-job at hand and try to win, so you can't look ahead especially when, you know, guys like Andrei, they are playing well and, you know, I could have easily been on my way home tonight.
Q. You were one break ahead in the second set; you seemed to lose a little bit of concentration; you missed two forehands quite easy, one doublefault. And then I mean, what happened then, I mean--
PETE SAMPRAS: I was just talking to Paul. That was a time where I just started rushing things; trying to go for the big shot too early and trying to end the match and you can't afford to do that. I need to take my time and -- but I think on the other hand Andrei started lifting his game a little better; started playing better; combination of those two things result in a couple of points in the tie breaker. That didn't go my way and we were one set-all.
Q. He says in order to try and play you guys, either you or Agassi, or the top boys, that he felt in the quarterfinals they should have a chance to get out there and play on that Center Court which you guys have played two, three matches on it; that is what he said to Bradshaw. Can you comment on that?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I am sure if I was in Andrei's position I would feel the same way. I obviously played every match out there. I was used to the surroundings, the wind and the condition, and he obviously didn't play any of his matches, so you know, it's not really my decision or my position to say, but I mean, it is a bit unfair for him not to have played on the court. You know, that is the way it is like every week, obviously, they want all the top three, four players to play on the Center Court, and -- but I don't know what else to say about it.
Q. I saw your girlfriend, she was watching Andrei; she tries to analyze your opponent's game or just having fun?
PETE SAMPRAS: She was watching him play?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: There were five spectators. She was No. 5.
PETE SAMPRAS: She likes tall good looking guys. Andrei is a pretty good looking guy, don't you think?
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Maybe she likes Mark.
PETE SAMPRAS: I don't know.
Q. Do you think the umpire was a little bit influenced by some protest of yours when there was overrule and then overrule in your favor afterwards, just afterwards?
PETE SAMPRAS: No. I was disappointed and I felt the serve was a little bit too close to overrule, and he never really -- that was the first overrule he made and obviously didn't go my way, so I was a little bit upset, but I don't think he goes out there and tries to even it out. I get one call; he gets one call. He just calls them as he sees them. Sometimes he is right and sometimes he is not.
Q. Pete, last year the game plan for the French Open was to minimize the number of tournaments and spend a lot of off-court practice time, getting ready; the same game plan this year or what are you going to do this year about getting ready to play?
PETE SAMPRAS: Playing a lot more on the clay next week in Palermo and I am playing Barcelona, week off Monte Carlo; two weeks; Rome. I am going to be on clay for about 2 1/2 months. I feel I needed to play more on clay to play better and hopefully one day win the French. That is the one Major I have not won and the biggest challenge of my career is to win the French and I feel like the more matches I can get under my belt before I play there, hopefully, I can come through recall.
Q. You think that strategy last year as it turned out was not the right one?
PETE SAMPRAS: No, I think my schedule was fine last year. When I talked it over with Tim, end of last year, he suggested let us try to play a little bit more on clay, and so that is what I am doing. So hopefully it works out.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: You might get tired.
PETE SAMPRAS: But my body won't get so sore on the clay.
Q. Andrei just said he welcomes you on clay. Any comment on that?
PETE SAMPRAS: I am not a bad clay court player.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I know.
PETE SAMPRAS: I am getting better.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I am joking. I had to find some kind of excuse.
Q. Do you have the impression that Andrei didn't play at his best in those two crucial games of the third set that he helped you a little bit even --
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I disagree.
Q. I am asking him.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: But I can tell you from my side, I did the best what I can. There is no way that I would say, okay, Pete take it, you are a nice guy.
PETE SAMPRAS: We should get together in these press conferences more often.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: It is true, maybe it didn't look for you the best what I could do, but it was a crucial moment and I tried my best obviously. We just didn't turn out to be my best tennis, but I played -- this was the best at that moment what I could do. And I told you this before, I mean, I don't think -- I don't think there is anything more to add. I mean, there is no way -- I mean, doesn't matter how nice Pete is, I mean, I wouldn't give him this match if I could -- if I could hold it in my arms, I mean, I got a little bit tight. I wanted to beat him so badly because he has a big mouth.
PETE SAMPRAS: You have got a big nose.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: It is better than big mouth. And I haven't beaten him anywhere yet. We haven't played golf; maybe only game I can. But he always escapes. He always says I have to play semifinal or final and I normally leave on Monday or Tuesday, so we never have a chance to play, but, you know, on clay, or on clay tennis, or golf on the golf course, it's the only chance that I have. Maybe backgammon.
Q. Is Andrei considered the great philosopher of the ATP Tour?
PETE SAMPRAS: Who said that? Who started that rumor?
Q. I am asking if he is.
PETE SAMPRAS: The great Philosopher. Andrei is a bright guy; always going to tell the ATP how he feels and I will tell them how I feel about the ranking system tournaments, whatever, so -- nothing really there.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: My English is not good enough.
PETE SAMPRAS: That is such horse shit.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: I mean, but you have to understand Pete likes to play here on hardcourts, I mean, now he has improved a lot on the clay and I honestly think that maybe if we have the system that ATP is trying to propose now, maybe he wouldn't play much on clay and he wouldn't improve as much as he did.
PETE SAMPRAS: I am going to disagree.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: Okay, with but I am talking about myself. I wouldn't come here. I would prefer to go to Mexico or --
PETE SAMPRAS: You would play here.
ANDREI MEDVEDEV: But I wouldn't play on grass. I would never come indoors, those kind of things like Berasategui last year he came to Masters, he wasn't ready to play there because he played the whole season on clay, and I mean, he wouldn't never learn how to play indoors or hard courts if he wouldn't try and for me, I agree that for spectators, for press, for everybody, for image of tennis, we should give our best effort when we give on the court and we do, maybe it doesn't turn out to be the best tennis we can play, but we tried we try our best.
PETE SAMPRAS: You are right Andrei, you are right.
KEVIN O'KEEFE: You don't have to agree. Thank you.
End of FastScripts