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Transcript - CBS Morning Show

September 10, 1990

And it's 18 minutes after the hour. What a performance yesterday at the US Open by 19-year-old Pete Sampras. He used powerful serves and a flawless ground game to upset Andre Agassi. Sampras is the first American man to win the US Open since John McEnroe did that back in '84, and the youngest person ever to win the men's title. And Pete Sampras is with this morning with our own Greg Gumbel. I was out there yesterday nursing a case of whiplash from watching his serve. Congratulations.

Pete Sampras (US Open Champion): Thank you.

Greg Gumbel reporting: Good morning, Pete. Congratulations to you, indeed. People are waking up this morning and wondering what is Pete Sampras doing--US Open Champion, have--have you had time to think about why over one two-week period that it--it all came together for you?

Sampras: It was unbelievable; it just happened so fast, playing you, then McEnroe and Agassi--it just happened almost too quick. It was like a dream come true.

Gumbel: We're going to watch a little of you in action. I want to ask you about a case of nerves. Were you nervous? Do you ever get nervous during big matches?

Sampras: Yeah, I got very nervous before I played McEnroe, because he had a lot of good cuts before, but playing Andre in my first Grand Slam final, I wasn't really too nervous after the first couple of games--was like playing--was like playing another match.

Gumbel: Do you think he was nervous?

Sampras: That's probably one of the reasons why I won the match, because he was very tentative, he was hitting the ball very short and I took complete advantage of that.

Gumbel: When you came into this tournament, what'd you think the best you would do, how high would you go?

Sampras: You know, I thought I'd a chance to get around a 16 or the quarters, but I think the Lendl match kind of gave me a lot of confidence, and didn't really expect to be in the position I am rightnow.

Gumbel: Folks are talking about that 120 mile an hour serve of yours. I'm guessing that you've had that serve for a while, but the rest of your game has--has--has come through.

Sampras: Yeah, I've had it for a couple of years, but when I was younger I really couldn't serve until I started getting much bigger and taller ,and now--I was always a short kid--five, six--seven, now I'm six feetand, you know, 165
pounds, so I can get a lot of--a lot of good weightinto the serve, but my whole game revolves around my serve.

Gumbel: You've done a couple of interviews this morning. How many did you do after the match last night?

Sampras: After the match was--was just out of control, I mean, I went into the press room and there's about 50 to a hundred people from all around the world and--it--it's different, it's going to take me a while, you know to settle this victory in.

Gumbel: Tell the folks how much sleep you got last night?

Sampras: Not one minute of sleep. I couldn't wait to get up in them orning, do all these interviews. It was tough; I just sat back in my bed and just kind of realized, you know, what I did--and I still can't believe it.

Gumbel: Perhaps the best story out of this whole situation is--is that of your parents.

Sampras: Yeah.

Gumbel: Describe what happened to them--beginning--their intent was to watch it, right?

Sampras: Yeah, but they get very nervous, especially my dad. He doesn't like to watch me play live or on TV and, you know, while I'm playing he's either shopping or--or jogging, but he--you know, it's unbelievable: He really--he's very emotional, which is quite surprising because I don't get very nervous.

Gumbel: And how'd they find out about your win?

Sampras: They were shopping in Long Beach, and my mom went up the escalator or something and saw me on a big screen TV, and they saw me shaking hands with Andre and she--and she didn't know who won and she asked some guy who won, and--and she like--and then he told them Pete Sampras won and she flipped out, and she just hugged the guy.

Gumbel: She just attacked him.

Sampras: Yeah, she attacked him, and it was unbelievable.

Gumbel: Do you have any idols on the tour? You close to anybody on the tour?

Sampras: Yeah, my doubles partner, Jim Courier, who--I've got to know him pretty well in the last couple of years, and we're both the same age and--but that's as far as--that's about it right there.

Gumbel: OK, you are off to Florida to play an exhibition, and then your next stop is Berlin. It's going to be kind of whirlwind--kind of different for you now.

Sampras: It's going to be very different. I'm going to have a--a lot of guys really going after me, but just as long as I keep working hard and keep a good head on my shoulders I'll be all right.

Gumbel: Congratulations.

Sampras: Thank you.

Gumbel: And good luck keeping your head on your shoulders, by the way.

Sampras: Thank you.

Gumbel: Pete Sampras. Paula.