August 25, 1997
Flushing Meadows, New York
Q. Did you get iced down, Mike?
MICHAEL SELL: Stretched out a bit.
Q. What was your schedule this past week?
MICHAEL SELL: Qualifying. I started Wednesday.
Q. And prior to that, didn't you play in the Bronx tournament?
MICHAEL SELL: Bronx Challenger.
Q. So you've been pretty active?
MICHAEL SELL: Very active.
Q. How many matches have you played in the past week?
MICHAEL SELL: The past week? Five in the Bronx for singles, four in doubles that week,
and then three here. It's been a busy week.
Q. How did you feel coming here for the first time?
MICHAEL SELL: Well, I was here last year. I lost in the second round quallies.
Q. Of the qualifying?
MICHAEL SELL: Yes. Playing in a Grand Slam is great. The Bronx Challenger last week
when I won, helped me a lot with confidence, realized I could play with the big players. I
knew coming in here if I could play my game, hit my shots, you know, I could do pretty
well. So far it's happened that way.
Q. You're playing in the doubles also?
MICHAEL SELL: Yes, sir.
Q. With who?
MICHAEL SELL: David Witt. We got a wildcard.
MICHAEL SELL: Yes.
Q. Have you played with him before?
MICHAEL SELL: Never played with him before. Played him a bunch of times in singles, but
never in doubles.
Q. Do you know who your next opponent is yet?
MICHAEL SELL: I think I play the winner of another qualifier. I don't know the name of
that, and Daniel Vacek.
Q. In high school, you won the state singles title twice?
MICHAEL SELL: Yes.
Q. What years were those?
MICHAEL SELL: Sophomore and senior. '89 and '91.
Q. In the NCAAs for Georgia, how far did you go?
MICHAEL SELL: For three years I went to the Round of 16. One year I went to the
Q. This is your second year on The Tour?
MICHAEL SELL: Yes.
Q. And last year, did you do anything at all?
MICHAEL SELL: I was ranked low 300s, high 200s, getting involved in the system, playing
a few satellites, Challengers, to get up there where I could play.
Q. Coming along the way you planned and figured?
MICHAEL SELL: Yeah. It's a long process for most people. I had to go through it.
Hopefully I'm in the very latter part of it so I can play Challengers and Grand Prixs, so
Q. How was your game today? What did you feel about it?
MICHAEL SELL: I thought it was good. I moved really well. Cecil is a good friend of
mine. I knew we'd have a lot of long rallies. Going into it, I knew I'd have to dictate
play and go for my shots, which I did today.
Q. Somebody said you were almost ready to give up the game before you won the
tournament in the Bronx?
MICHAEL SELL: I wasn't ready to give it up. You know, I had another six months to a
year. I mean, it entered my mind, you know, a little bit, but not to a point where I was
going to give it up if I didn't do well the next couple months.
Q. Your family is a big tennis family?
MICHAEL SELL: Yes.
Q. You have three sisters?
MICHAEL SELL: Three sisters. The oldest sister, Jenny is the head coach at North
Carolina State University; my middle sister, Kris is a junior at Kansas playing tennis; my
littlest sister, Kathy is going to play for Duke next year.
Q. Who is your coach?
MICHAEL SELL: Allen Ma.
Q. What was the atmosphere like for you? Is this something you've always dreamed about,
playing here, finally happened?
MICHAEL SELL: Yeah. Once I got to the main draw, my great friends from home all came
up, my family was here, they were pretty rowdy, really got me going when I lost the second
set, really pumped me up and gave me a lot of energy. So I really thank them for this.
They got me through it.
Q. How does the Open feel different than all the tournaments you've played over the
last couple years?
MICHAEL SELL: Well, I mean, playing a satellite, you know, you don't play a great
place. The courts are cracked. Sometimes it's just not a good place. The Challenger level
is a little bit better. You finally get line judges and things like that. Here, being an
American, playing at the US Open, is a dream. You know, once I got in, I wanted to prove
that I belong here and see how far I can go.
Q. Did you play at all in the Challenger that we had recently?
MICHAEL SELL: Which one was that?
Q. The one about a month ago.
MICHAEL SELL: Flushing Meadows, no, I did not. I was injured. I tore a groin muscle at
the French Open this year.
Q. You were trying to qualify at the French?
MICHAEL SELL: Yeah, uh-huh.
Q. Bronx wasn't the first tournament after your injury?
MICHAEL SELL: The Bronx Challenger?
MICHAEL SELL: No. I played two previous Challengers.
Q. Do you feel like you've peaked at just the right time?
MICHAEL SELL: I'd say. I'd say my confidence is the highest it's been. I wanted to peak
here at the US Open. Playing a couple Challengers before this really helped me out with my
confidence. To really pull it together is a thrill.
Q. Do you think this will impact the rest of your tennis career in some way?
MICHAEL SELL: I think so. Now that I know that I can qualify in a round, see how far I
can go at a Grand Slam, knowing I can beat the top players in the field, I know I can do
it every week. Every week I won't do it, but I know I can do it every week, every time I
step on the court.
Q. Is there a point in the rankings where you kind of feel like, "I pushed into
the area that I want to be in, if I want to stay in this game"?
MICHAEL SELL: I would love to be Top 100. That's my ultimate goal. But, you know, in
December, I wouldn't mind being in the low 100s, mid 100s, to get me a strong start for
the new year. But I'm just going to reevaluate where I am after a year and go from there.
Q. Did you see the article in Sports Illustrated where they took athletes who were the
hundredth ranked in their sports?
MICHAEL SELL: I did not.
Q. Interesting perspective. I just wondered, you said you'd be happy to be in the Top
100. That was your ultimate goal.
MICHAEL SELL: Uh-huh.
Q. If you got to 99, would you be thrilled?
MICHAEL SELL: Oh, I'd be happy. I'm sure when I got to 99, I'd want to be 50. If I got
to 50, I'd want to be 30, so forth. I will never be satisfied really until I'm obviously
No. 1. But, no, I won't be satisfied once I get -- I'll be thrilled, but I won't be
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