Sampras advances to the 3rd round
March 23, 2001
Key Biscayne, Florida - Defending Ericsson Open champion, Pete Sampras
won against Germany's Nicholas Kiefer 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the third
In the final set, Sampras got an early lead after breaking Kiefer's serve
twice in at row. But Kiefer clawed back from 0-4 deficit to bring the score
to 3-5. Sampras stemmed off Kiefer's comeback by serving out the match.
The match ended with an overhead put away by Sampras.
In the next round, Pete will face 18-year-old American Andy Roddick who
defeated Marcelo Rios of Chile 6-4, 6-1.
At the Davis Cup tie last year against the Czech Republic, Pete practiced
with Roddick and has this to say about the up-and-coming player. "Obviously,
Andy has a huge serve ...He's going to come out firing away with nothing
to lose. He'll have his time in the future. Hopefully, he'll wait a couple
Sampras has won this event thrice and has a 41-8 record.
Back to Archives - 2001 | News
2001 Tennis Masters - Ericsson Open
Pete Sampras defeats Nicolas Kiefer
6-3, 3-6, 6-3
March 23, 2001
THE MODERATOR: First question for Pete, please.
Q. Kind of a tough first match for you, isn't it, Pete?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah. Yeah, was very difficult. Nicolas is definitely an
experienced player who's played me a bunch of times and has beaten some
of the top players. I knew going into tonight's match that I would have
my hands full. Play your first match out, he's already played a match. I've
never been all that crazy about having a bye, but, you know, playing tonight
compared to playing in Palm Springs last week, completely different. Very
heavy, very humid, balls were fluffing up pretty good. So took a little
while to adjust to that. But as I got going, I played a pretty good first
set. Lost my way in the second. Made things a little interesting in the
third. But I feel like I hit the ball pretty well and hope I can get a little
bit better on Sunday.
Q. Sometimes it seemed like you had to kill him to win the point.
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, he is a great mover, Nicolas. I was hitting some big
forehands, he was scrapping them back. These conditions, which are a little
bit heavy tonight, you just got to be a little bit patient. You know, but
he's a fighter. He definitely was making me work really hard.
Q. Sets up an interesting third round against Andy Roddick, Pete. Can you
size that up?
PETE SAMPRAS: I practiced with Andy quite a bit at the Davis Cup tie in
LA against I think we were playing the Czechs. Haven't played him, haven't
really seen him play. Obviously, he possesses a huge serve, kind of the
up-and-coming young American that we're all looking at. To beat Rios pretty
handily today, Rios is a great player that's experienced. Seemed like he
kind of just blew him off the court. So he's playing great and he's got
a big game with some big shots. But I just got to worry about what I'm trying
to do, hopefully get my game going a little bit better Sunday.
Q. Not his turn yet?
PETE SAMPRAS: Hopefully not. Hopefully I can get through that, but it won't
be easy. He's going to come out firing away with nothing to lose, and, you
know, he'll have his time in the future. Hopefully he'll just wait a couple
more days. (Laughter.)
Q. Pete, did you feel you got a little out of rhythm in the second set?
PETE SAMPRAS: A little bit when I lost my service game there in the second,
new balls came out, they flew a little bit on my volleys. I just kind of
got a little bit careless and, you know, but Nicolas started playing a lot
better in the second, serving at love, put more measure on my service games.
Had chances to break him back at 5-3 but lost a tough point. Third set,
I just tightened up my game, you know, first break that I had kind of turned
the whole match around. Just kind of went from there. But up two breaks
I just let it slip away a little bit at 40-love. I made it a little bit
Q. Can you talk a little bit about maybe the first time you were growing
up, the first match you had against one of the guys that you watched growing
PETE SAMPRAS: Sure. I remember playing Lendl in Milan. This is when I was
probably 17, 18. First really top player that, you know, that I played.
He took pretty good care of me at the time. (Laughter.) But I held on for
about a set and that was pretty much it. That was my first real match I
was a bit in awe of playing a top player like Lendl who I saw play as a
kid, the Slam that he won. That was my first real taste of playing a great
Q. Andre's the first player since you in '94 I think to win the first Grand
Slam and then the first Masters Series. What does that say about you and
he and your continuing longevity in the game?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, well, I still think even today, even though we're considered
the older players, I think we're still just as good as we were five years
ago. Maybe not quite week in and week out, but Andre's proved that you get
better with age. And I still feel like I've got some good years left in
me. And if anything, you gain experience as you get older at certain moments
of the match. You know, we're still reasonably young. I mean, I don't think
we're quite, you know, anywhere near done. But there's definitely talk of
it because it seems like a lot of guys have been talking about retirement.
I still feel like we play at a high level consistently. If we're both playing
well, there's a good chance we get to the final, like last week. So we'll
Q. Any preference as far as playing at night against playing in the day?
PETE SAMPRAS: I haven't played during the day, but it's obviously a little
bit quicker during the day. Tonight was very, very humid, and tougher to
serve in the conditions. You know, playing during the day, it goes a little
bit quicker. You know, sometimes I like playing at night, just gives you
a little bit more time to take a pretty good cut at it. During the day,
the ball bounces a little bit quicker. I've been practicing during the day
so I've been okay with that.
Q. Do you feel like since you practiced with Andy some of the awe might
PETE SAMPRAS: Possibly. I practiced with him pretty much all week, and,
you know, he didn't seem too intimidated by just practicing. He's played
some top players before, so he's going to go out pretty calm and just go
out swinging away. So he's -- I'm going to have my hands full.
Q. Did he get you coffee and sandwiches?
PETE SAMPRAS: I didn't treat him like that. I treat him with respect and
I didn't -- wasn't going to throw my weight around bossing him around. He
seemed like a nice kid.
Q. You prefer a day or night game? What do you prefer?
PETE SAMPRAS: You just adapt to the conditions. Depends who I'm playing.
I mean, I don't mind playing either way, but, you know, shouldn't be a huge
point in the match. I'll probably play during the day, so we'll see.
Back to Archives - 2001 | News