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Pre-Wimbledon interview with Jim Courier

June 25, 2000

Jim Courier: Back here at home at Wimbleton, do you ever just walk on the grounds and feel like this is the place that you built?

Pete Sampras: Uh, Well, uh, yeah, I mean there are times that... do an interview with Jim (laughing) I don't really want to say that I built it, I just want to say that I've, obviously done well. Every time I go back to the club and walk through the gates, I think it is the most unique place in the world to play and to compete. Um, I don't necessarily think it is the place that I built, I'm not really like Boris' back yard; it's a great place that I have played but I don't look at it as a place that I have just played well, and won many times.

JC: Let's put Pete Sampras out there against Bjorn Borg with wood rackets on the centercourt of Wimbledon on a Sunday. What do you think would happen out there?

PS: Well, that's a good question, it's hard to say what might have happened if we would have played, but definitely a hypothetical that I have dreamt about, because he reminds me of Andre a little bit because of his great return and his great hands and his feet, but I have always felt as a great serve and volleyer playing a great baseliner on grass, that the serve volleyer should win. It's really hard to say what would have happened in that.

JC: That would have been fun to see for sure. So Pete you're a big Lakers fan. You've got to be pretty excited about the Lakers getting the championship.

PS: I'm very excited. Being from L.A. area and moving back there, I spent a whole year going to a lot of the games , and obviously very big fans of Shaq and Kobi and what they have done.

JC: Were you at game 7 of the Portland series?

PS: Yeah

JC: Do you remember that moment where Kobi threw that alleyoop up to Shaq, just an outrageous alleyoop?

PS: Sure

JC: Do you ever have moments on the court where you feel like that?

PS: Not quite that expressive, but sure, sure, I mean, I've had moments of, I've shown emotion in certain times of a match and certain points of the game that was a huge, that was the game right there. You know, up two sets to one and I get that break you know you do show that emotion.

JC: I understand there has been a few changes in Pete Sampras' life in the last couple of weeks.

PS: Yeah, I got engaged a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, very happy, very excited and I met a great lady that I am going to share my life with. So, it's a (Choke) chapter of my life that I am looking forward to is settling down and having a family one day and it is exciting and I am really happy and obviously if you are happy off the court it helps your tennis in some way and so I am just looking forward to it, looking forward to getting married and settling down.

JC: So, When you got here at Wimbledon this week, did you take any special time to walk the grounds and get, uh reacquaint yourself with the location?

PS: Mmm Hmm. Each year that I have come here, I always make a special trip to the center court and just sit in the stands and just stay on the court and look around. Um, you walk through the club and you walk through the locker room, and you always, it gives you that great feeling and you walk through those gates and just look around and it hasn't changed in a hundred years and there are no sponsors and no horns and whistles. It's just purely Wimbledon and there is so much atmosphere and tradition here that it's amazing and you appreciate it. I've definitely appreciated it now more at 28 than at 21 because the older you get, this is like kind of a surreal feeling out there. Like its a historical place and whenever you win here you feel like you are making history.


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