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Interview with Pete Sampras (Jan 15, 2009)

Interview with Pete Sampras
January 15, 2009
American tennis legend and two-time SAP Open champion Pete Sampras will play James Blake in the Charity Singles Exhibition match of the SAP Open on Monday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. Sampras spoke to the media earlier today about his tennis career, the SAP Open, and life after tennis.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everyone, getting up this morning and joining Pete for today’s call. Pete returns to the 2009 SAP Open to play an exhibition match against fellow American James Blake on Monday, February 9, at 7:00 p.m. Pete played in an exhibition at last year’s SAP Open, where he defeated Tommy Haas. In his career Pete has played at the SAP five times, capturing the title in 1996 and ’97. This will be the second time that Pete and Blake have met. In their first meeting this past December, Pete defeated Blake at a charity event in Baton Rouge which benefitted victims of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

Before we start I’d just like to have Bill Rapp say a few comments. Bill?

BILL RAPP: Good morning, Pete. Just wanted to thank you again for being on the call, and we’re very excited to welcome you back to the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Two part question for you. Back in ’96 I remember well the final where you played for the No. 1 ranking in the world here against Agassi. If you’d talk a little bit about that match, and then also give us your thoughts about playing on opening night against James Blake here at the SAP Open.

PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I remember playing Andre. It was for the No. 1 ranking. I think he won Australia a few weeks earlier, and I just remember I played great. I was 3 and 2 and sort of got in the zone there for a little bit. Walking out on the court, I mean, whatever it seats, it was packed, and it felt great. I’ve always enjoyed playing in San Jose and looking forward to coming back to play James, who’s been a good friend over the past number of years. I’ve been trying to help him do a little bit better. It’s a challenge for me to go play James. You know, I played pretty well against him in Baton Rouge, but he’s a great player. He moves great. He does a lot of really, really good things out there. I just remember playing Tommy last year

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