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Sampras gains confidence on clay

May 24, 2001

At the World Team Cup tournament in Dusseldorf, Germany, Pete Sampras continues his preparation for the French Open, the only Grand Slam title missing from his resume.

In his third match, he defeated Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Pete used a deft drop shot to gain a crucial 5-3 lead over his opponent. Grosjean was standing too far behind the baseline to reach the ball. Pete then proceeded to close out the match 6-3, winning 8 of the last nine points.

"At certain moments I think it makes sense to use the drop shots," Sampras said, "I won't be using it a great deal, but it does give me confidence using it this week. I'm trying to vary my game...I'll throw them down when the opportunity presents itself. I can't be straight forward,all power all the time. I want to use more finesse and to be more selective."

Sampras is satisfied about his results in this week's matches. "It's been good week and I'm really happy about the way I've been hitting the ball," he said.

"Everyone always talks about it and it's always a topic of discussion - 'Why can't I win the French Open'," he added. "I just haven't had good fortune. I know what I need to do."

He said he just needs a few breaks to win in Paris.

"In the past I did not play well and didn't get the breaks you need to win a major," he said, trying to explain his early exits from the clay courts in Paris.

"In other majors I've gotten the breaks. Maybe this will be the year. My game has gotten better each week here in Europe. Let's just get out there and play."


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