1992 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Post Match Interview
Pete SAMPRAS loses to Stefan Edberg
3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
September 13, 1992
INTERVIEW WITH PETE SAMPRAS
Q. Pete, the doublefault in the tiebreaker, how much of a factor was that? Was that the turning point?
PETE SAMPRAS: I hit a lot of doublefaults the whole match, serving for the third set at 6-5, doublefaulted on breakpoints, doublefaulted the first point of the game. Just my serve kind of let me down. I served pretty well at the start, but as the match wore on, I started pressing a little more and more on my serve, trying to hit it too good. My first serve percentage was very low throughout the match.
Q. Was that trying -- You were thinking Edberg is quick, you wouldn't know how you would hold up?
PETE SAMPRAS: As the match wore on, especially in the fourth set, I was running out of gas. It is just I have been playing a lot of tennis this summer. Maybe more mentally than physically. I just-- I was very tired, very exhausted. I had a very long night, last night, and didn't get too much sleep, but I am not giving any excuses. He won the important points. But I can't say that I didn't have my chances here. Serving 6-5 and just my serve kind of let me down a little bit. He hit some good shots. I think the level of tennis wasn't all that great, that I thought we were both pretty tentative out there. But he came up the better man.
Q. In two weeks you will be playing on clay; do you think it will be a different result?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I am not playing singles, I am playing doubles; hopefully, with McEnroe. So I will leave it up to Jim and Andre to do the job.
Q. When you look back on the year, you have had a lot of good Grand Slams, but a lot of near misses, I guess. Was it really-- does it hurt?
PETE SAMPRAS: I mean, this is the type of year I can look back on. I was close, but just wasn't enough this year. I came close at Wimbledon, and had my best chance here to play Stefan, a person that I have beaten twice before, and I had my chances. Started off playing pretty well. This is a year that I came across, but it wasn't enough.
Q. What was wrong with your legs?
PETE SAMPRAS: My shins, especially in the third and fourth, were getting very sore. You know, just a lot of hardcourt tennis for me, especially the last couple of months, it just takes it toll. But I am-- like I said, I am not giving any excuses.
Q. Would you tell us when you left here last night about what time it was and when you got to sleep, and how sick you actually were last night?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I just -- beat Courier, I guess I got into the referees' office about 10:00 and got a couple of IVs into me. I was very dehydrated, had some diarrhea, just had a stomach virus. I guess I left here about 12:00; got back to my room and got a massage and probably ended up going to sleep probably about 3:00, 3:30 at night, and I got up about 8:00 this morning. So it wasn't the best night, but I just didn't feel good after that match. Just had some stomach cramps and just dehydrated. I wasn't drinking enough, probably, but I had definitely had my chances today. I am not giving any excuses, like I said. It just wasn't enough, today.
Q. Was there any doubt you would play today, at any point?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, I mean, last night I went to sleep; I was having some problems, cramps. I woke up this morning still kind of had them. I took some stuff to hopefully settle my stomach a little bit. It seemed to work. I was eating some proper foods, rice and pasta, but I was definitely concerned. But I think when the afternoon came around, I was in fine shape.
Q. How much do you think that affected you today?
PETE SAMPRAS: It didn't affect me too much.
Q. Even in the third and fourth set?
PETE SAMPRAS: Maybe I showed it a little in the fourth. I ran out of gas a little bit. My body was a bit stiff at that point. But in the first, you know, two and a half, three sets, I felt fine. After I lost that third, maybe, it was more mental than anything. Maybe mentally I was just I was telling myself, you know, my body can't do it, and as a result, it didn't.
Q. Pete, you started so strong, it looked so swift. Then, about midway, after the second set, it seemed like a few things happening, either mentally or physically, or did he come on much better?
PETE SAMPRAS: I think he started playing a little bit better. Like, I serve-- my serve kind of let me down, didn't serve quite as well. It was really weird. I had my chances in the third set. Had him Love-40; the first game; had some breakpoints. I was on his serve, I felt like, you know, at the changeovers, I kind of felt it slipping away a little bit. I had my chances, and you know, played some loose points on my serves, but it is a match I definitely could have won, if I would have gotten the proper points. But as it goes, it wasn't enough today.
Q. This result will mean in the next rankings that Stefan is number one, Jim Courier is number two and you are number three. Do you think that is an accurate reflection of where they stand?
PETE SAMPRAS: At this point, Stefan, he is deserving to be number one. Jim has had a very solid year, winning Australia and the French. I don't know what the point difference is. I didn't think of the ranking, playing today. I didn't think about it. I didn't even know what the situation was, as far as if I would have won or if he would have won. He defended his title. Jim gets to the finals here last year and lost some points. He deserved it. He won the biggest tournament in the world, or one of the two biggest tournaments in the world. You have to give him credit.
Q. Because of what happened in the Grand Slams, the near misses, being a tough year, can you look back on this, saying it was a good year, great year, or will these losses sort of--
PETE SAMPRAS: It was a good year, but like I said, I am not satisfied. Like I said, it came very close at Wimbledon. I just came close. I couldn't finish it off, like today, it was just one of those years that just missed. It missed by-- I just missed it. But it was a good year. I mean, I improved on some surfaces that gave me problems in the past, on clay and grass, and I can look back at this year and I thought I played pretty well on some surfaces that gave me trouble in the past. But this is my best chance to, perhaps, win a Grand Slam, this year, was playing out here today.
Q. Have you had a more difficult serving day, would you say?
PETE SAMPRAS: I am sure I have, but--
Q. I mean, at a stage like this.
PETE SAMPRAS: What do you mean? In the final?
Q. Well, since you have become a very good player.
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I mean, I have had some very bad serving days, but today was not the day to have that bad serving day. You know, I think I was just going for too much, trying to hit the line and just missing it by inches, and then I had to stay back a little bit, and he chipped and charged when he had to. It wasn't a good serving day for me, at all, today. I think I was just pressing a little bit too much. I have had days like this before where my serve didn't come through for me, but I feel pretty confident, my groundies, that I can win some matches, but playing someone like Stefan, you have to serve well.
Q. You haven't lost in so long; did you think about that in the fourth set at all?
PETE SAMPRAS: No. I mean, coming down to-- he saw me, my head was dropping a little bit and my energy wasn't that high. I think he saw that, he started playing much better. He played a pretty good fourth set. But you know, when I hit the 4- Love, I knew my chances were looking very slim.
Q. How did you feel about the way you volleyed in the times you did come in?
PETE SAMPRAS: Not particularly that well. I didn't think I played all that well today. Returned okay. And served -- didn't serve that well. And volley, you know it's just a very sluggish day for me.
Q. You commented on him defending the title. But can you comment on from a player's point of view the achievement of the way he did it? Did it surprise you that he would win three, five set matches; play five days in a row?
PETE SAMPRAS: He definitely deserves it. Almost losing to Krajicek and having a tough match five hour match with Chang and come out and he seemed like he looked pretty fresh today. He deserves it. He came a from behind and did it. That is the mark of a champion.
Q. You said you were going for too much on your serve. Because of who you were playing or because of the occasion?
PETE SAMPRAS: Maybe because of the occasion. Maybe I was a bit tight especially when I was serving four -- at 6-5 -- doublefaulted a couple of times. My serve just basically let me down a little bit, and you know, I usually serve pretty well against Stefan, but I think maybe it was the occasion. I was a little bit more tight today than I normally would be. I think that affected my serve.
Q. You think you might have a greater appreciation of how tough it is to win a Grand Slam than you would have two years ago?
PETE SAMPRAS: Like I said, coming into this tournament I felt like if I could have won. I think it would have meant more to me you know, this year as far as than 1990. 1990, it all happened so fast; probably too fast. I really didn't know what it all meant. After beating Agassi I felt like I just won a tournament. I didn't realize the importance and the history of this tournament. In coming in today, it was, yeah, I definitely knew of the importance. You know, it's a huge match. It is one of the biggest tournaments in the world, and-- but just-- I just came up a little bit short today.
Q. Were you more tight this time than you were two years ago?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I mean this time, two years ago I came out and I had nothing to lose and I played Andre and he probably knew of the occasion or the situation a little bit more than I did, and losing the finals of the French couple of times, and he came a little bit tight. I think that showed, you know, I came out a little bit tight today. But you know, it's just a pretty tough day for me at the office.
Q. Is the scheduling a little screwed up, because one of the semifinalists is playing nine o'clock Saturday night; has to come out on Sunday to play again?
PETE SAMPRAS: I think it's pretty disappointing. This is the only Grand Slam that does it. The French, Wimbledon, Australia, they play Friday and Sunday. It gives that person a day off -- two people a day off, and then yesterday I get down at 9:30; by the time you get a massage and sleep, it is late, and you have to play the next day. I think the USTA or whoever makes the decision you know, I don't know why they do that. But I think it is unfair. I mean, you know, Stefan had a tough match five hour match. He got done about four or five o'clock. I got down about nine, ten o'clock, so-- but it was-- I didn't feel like I had the advantage or disadvantage.
Q. Thank you very much.
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