Players' Comment on Roger
Hi, good to be here with Roger Fans ^_~
In view of Agassi's unstinting compliment at the 2003 Master Cup Houston, I would like to make a collection of players' comment on Roger. I'll try to put a few myself:
2001 Wimbledon Sampras Interview 07/02/2001: (excerpts)
Q. What emotions are playing out in your head now?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, just very -- I'm very disappointed obviously. I lost to a really, really good player today. He played great. He's a great shot-maker. He won the big points.
I had my chances throughout the match, had a couple breakpoints there in the fifth. You know, he came up with some really good stuff at huge times. He played a great game to break me. I give him a lot of credit. He really played very well.
Q. As Centre Court debuts go, have you ever seen anyone quite so composed as that?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, he was very relaxed. His demeanor on the court is pretty similar to mine. He's pretty relaxed. Goes out and plays. Doesn't get too emotional, too many highs and lows.
He's got a great backhand, serves well. He's definitely got a good all-around court game. Doesn't have any holes in his game. Great athlete. I mean, he really played really well.
You know, just getting off the court, I'm disappointed, I mean, obviously. You know, I had a few chances. I felt like I had it at 4-All. Hit a good return. You know, wasn't to be. You know, I came up a little bit short.
Q. You said against Cowan that you didn't think you were going to lose the match, even when it got to 2-2. Did you feel like you were in danger, down 2-1 today? That is a big difference?
PETE SAMPRAS: Two sets to one?
PETE SAMPRAS: Yeah, I mean, I let it slip a little bit in the third set, missed that overhead. You know, I felt like I had pretty good control of the match in the third. He came up with some good stuff. You know, down two sets to one, the way he was playing, I knew it was an uphill battle. But I played a really, really good tiebreaker. I tied it up and played really well.
The fifth set, you know, we were both playing pretty solid, and he got the break. I mean, he really made me play on that last service game. But I can only know I had my chance there at 4-All in the breakpoint - backhand there, kind of hit it back to him.
You know, it's tough out there. And he definitely has got a great future. I mean, he's already proven that he's a great player. He's got a good chance to maybe go all the way.
Q. There are other Roger Federers out there, as you well know. Jim Courier says they're coming out of the woodwork, young players with a lot of talent. For you, do you now redouble your efforts, work even harder, or do you sit down sometime after the emotions have passed and start considering what you want to do in the future?
PETE SAMPRAS: Well, sure, there are a lot of young guys coming up, and Roger is one of them. But I think he's a little extra special than some of the other guys. I mean, he's got a really good all-around court game. You know, all I can try to do is rebound from kind of a disappointing year and get ready for the summer. It's going to take me a while to get over this one.
But just keep trying to work hard, do the training, put in the practise hours on the court, and hopefully I can have a good summer. Maybe The Open can be a little bit better than here. It's disappointing. It's a tough, tough loss, you know, to deal with.
Q. A decade ago you had a match against Lendl at Flushing Meadows that you had your breakthrough on, similar round I think, too. Did this match have that kind of feel, but you were on the other end of it?
PETE SAMPRAS: I mean, not really. That match -- no. I mean, I really haven't thought about that. You know, I lost to a talented player that's a great shot-maker, similar to the way I was when I was younger, and still today. He's got a great grass court game. He's got all the tools.
Q. You hit with Roger before. When he beat our guys in the Davis Cup, did you ask Todd or Jan-Michael about him at all?
PETE SAMPRAS: I've seen Roger play. I've practised with him. I had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to do out there. You know, he's got a good all-around court game. Doesn't have any holes. It's a little different when you compete against him. His serve, I couldn't really get ahold of. His shots, he was on. You know, I've seen him play enough over the years to kind of know what to expect.
Now you guys' turn ^_~