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August 25, 1997

Todd Larkham


Q. You look like you're enjoying yourself out there, Todd.

TODD LARKHAM: Yeah, I sure was. It's just an experience of a lifetime. Unbelievable. Someone like me ranked 200 in the world, I mean, I've played my whole life to walk out there. There's no way I was going to not enjoy that. I just had a great time. You know, I hope the crowd liked it. He's way too good, I think.

Q. Did you learn anything out there tonight?

TODD LARKHAM: I've learned many, many things. I mean, I think I rushed it a lot there. I think I could have taken a lot more time. Whole thing -- I mean, I was with him for a little bit in the first set. Then the whole thing seemed to get quicker and quicker. I mean, maybe I could slow it down, especially on my serve. I mean, I've learned a lot of things.

Q. You said last night that you're really worried how your nerves would settle down. Did they ever settle down?

TODD LARKHAM: I think it settled down pretty quick. We had some good points in that first set. I mean, I held first game, then I got broken. I thought I settled down pretty quick and I was really enjoying it. Didn't take me long.

Q. Where do you go from here, Todd?

TODD LARKHAM: I go back to the Challenger circuit. I mean, I'm still -- move me maybe 15 spots, qualifying here. That's great. I've had the best year of my life. With my coach, with my brother, he's really made the difference. You know, I'll keep grinding. My goal is Top 100. I'll be a Top 100 player at Wimbledon. Good results. Come close against other guys. Maybe in a year or two I'll be getting in here without having to qualify. That's my goal anyway.

Q. What was the reaction back at home from mom and dad?

TODD LARKHAM: Parents were elated. I mean, it just happened out of nowhere. I mean, suddenly I'm on centre court. Hoping to win a couple rounds in quallies. I was sick before the qualifying. Never played in America on my life. Hardly ever played on hardcourt in my life. I was really happy just to qualify. Then to play Pete, I mean, it was a amazing. You know, I'm going to learn from it. Hopefully I can be a better player from that experience.

Q. Any marked differences, things that were most obvious to you?


Q. Pete, generally.

TODD LARKHAM: He's just unbelievable. I mean, everyone knows that. But I think the other things I noticed, his speed around the court. For a guy who is like 6-2, he's unbelievably fast. I thought I was quick. He's an amazing athlete. I think he wins a lot of points like, that gets a lot of balls for a tall guy. You don't think he's going to get there. He's really fast.

Q. Did the crowd become distracting at all at the end?

TODD LARKHAM: No. I was loving it. I'm glad they had a good time. Glad I didn't get trounced. I mean, I did get trounced. I'm glad they weren't bored and everything. I'm happy with that. Weren't annoying.

Q. Pete seemed to play pretty well for his standards. Does that change your estimation of your own game?

TODD LARKHAM: I don't know. I'll have to speak to my coach and think about it. I really don't know how he played. I mean, he served phenomenally. I never played him before. I thought he played well.

Q. I thought he played well and I thought you played pretty well.

TODD LARKHAM: That's good.

Q. How do you think you played?

TODD LARKHAM: I think I hit the ball pretty good from the ground. I mean, I think I've served a lot better, in the qualifying. I mean, my rhythm was way off today. I think that's due to a lot of nerves. I mean, I would have a serve much better if I had any chance. Had to hold a lot easier if I was going to put pressure on his serve. I was struggling from the very first game to hold. When he's holding like that (snapping fingers), it puts pressure on me. I think that's how he win as lot of matches. He holds so easily. Goes up the other end, so much pressure on the opponent.

Q. Leading into this match, thinking about playing Pete Sampras, now having played him, was he as good as you thought? Was he better than you thought?

TODD LARKHAM: His serve is way better than I thought. I thought I'd get my racquet on a few first serves. I mean, I'd like to see the stats, but I reckon I won four or five points off his first serve. That's phenomenal. He wins like 80, 90 percent. I think that's the big thing that I noticed. His second serve is great as well. He can put it in all four corners of both squares. Those are the two things I noticed most.

End of FastScripts….

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