Sampras and Roger Federer, two of the greatest tennis players of all time, have mesmerised the fans on their India debut in the International Premier Tennis League.

Asked whether he expected a raucous reception on his arrival on Sunday, Sampras said: "I had a feeling. I have travelled all around the world and met a lot of people from India. They love tennis. They are excited to see you, they are enthusiastic, they are nice people. I could be in Germany or Los Angeles, I meet them and they know tennis, know Wimbledon.

"They seem to know I did pretty well there. I see it as a great tennis town. I am happy I am here finally and hopefully I will come back."

Sampras, whose 14 Grand Slam singles titles was a record until it was broken by his good friend Federer, was asked a barrage of questions on how the game has evolved ever since he stopped playing professionally in 2002.

The American mastered the art of serve and volley tennis which doesn't find a place in the modern game of playing from the baseline.

"My generation had serve and volley but it also had contrast. I was playing Boris Becker one day and Andre (Agassi) the next day. Now everyone plays the same and from the back. These three four guys (Federer, Djokovic, Nadal) are so much better than the rest. No one really wants to come, they don't know how to come in, that has been the biggest change, the style of play," said the 43-year-old.

He further said: "I don't think the courts have gotten quicker, the style of play is just one dimensional, everyone is staying at the back and they are great at it but it would surely be nice to see come contrast.

Sampras said he doesn't see the current style changing anytime soon.

"The kids growing up are watching Novak, Roger and Rafa, they would like to play like them. My generation we had Stefan Edberg, Boris, (John) McEnroe who served and volleyed and I became familiar with it," he pointed out.

The 2014 season saw first major winners in Marin Cilic (US Open) and Stan Wawrinka (Australian Open), challenging the supremacy of the 'top three' -- Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

However, Sampras feels the top three will continue to dominate in 2015.

"Novak is the obvious choice, Roger is motivated to get to number one again, Rafa's fitness is uncertain but once he is healthy he is in the mix. Dimitrov (Grigor) is showing signs, he needs to learn how to win but he has got the talent. But I still see those three guys dominating. I see guys threatening them but when push comes to shove you will see those three in the second week of Majors, in semis and finals.

"Wawrinka, Cilic are up and coming. It is going to be an interesting year but I still think those three are the cream of the crop. They have the experience so they will be tough to beat," reckoned the seven-time Wimbledon champion.

What does a player need to succeed in the prevailing scenario and he said, "You need a good forehand. You look at Novak, Roger, Rafa, their forehands are penetrating, consistent, they are weapons. You need to have that shot or some sort of a weapon from back court. So I would say forehand is a start. Having a good serve helps to set it up but the game is a lot more physical now, you need to move well. You have to have a weapon."

"To have the serve and volley game, you need to start young. I started at 14. Serve volley takes time, the instincts, sense of play."

During his time America dominated tennis but all that is now a thing of the past. Sampras called the tennis scene back home grim and attributed the decline to the popularity of the game world over.

"It looks a bit on the slim side (in America). I don't really know anyone who is coming up. We got to take small steps. We are not in the 90s anymore. It takes time to see American tennis back to where it was. The game has become so international, so global, players are playing all around the world.

"The world is hungrier and we are not just producing young kids with potential. It is just a phase and hopefully it doesn't last that long," he said.

After retirement, Sampras has only appeared in a handful of exhibition matches. And it is going to continue that way, he said.

"At the moment I don't see myself travelling on tour for coaching. Boris and others are older, they are open to travelling. The Davis Cup captaincy is something I am not interested in either. I am not going to rule that out but I don't see myself doing it at the moment."

On his IPTL debut, he said: "I was a bit rusty yesterday, jet lagged, had a rough trip from Los Angeles. I feel better now. The format is much quicker. It is fun and exciting for the fans."

On the tournament concept, he said: "There is a time and place for having these rules and now is the time."

But like Federer, he also would not want to see any changes in the way the game is played on the tour.

"Look at the history of tennis. All began with US Open, Wimbledon. It is a very traditional sport and I don't see them changing any rules or hear that horn that we hearing here," he quipped referring to the innovative format IPTL is following, blending tennis with dance and music.

"It is exciting, fun but when it comes to the heart of the sport it is not going to change any time soon. What fans love to see are great rivalries. Like Rafa versus and Roger in Wimbledon."

Federer and Sampras arrived in India together. Asked about his friendship with the Swiss great, Sampras said: "Roger is being really nice when he says that I am still his idol. He looked up to me when he was young and now many people look up to him. I am happy that he broken my record. He is a good man. We spent a week in Asia three four years ago and we hit it off. Some personalities click instantly. It has been good to hang out with him last couple of days," he signed off.

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