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September 6, 1998

Monica Seles

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Monica, well done, but what happened that second at 4-1?

MONICA SELES: I don't know. I think she picked up her game a little bit. I think my mind just wandered off. I got her way back into the match with those two breaks. It was just -- I think the conditions were so tough. It was so windy. Just the whole match, really even till that point, I never felt that I was like really -- I could control where the ball was going. So, yeah.

Q. You also stayed a little bit too much back. What was that?

MONICA SELES: Oh, yeah. I don't know. I think what started me on the wrong foot, four racquets broke. I knew I had three in my bag. It flustered my mind a little bit more. Never happened to me before. I started pushing the ball much more than I should have really, and she's not a player that you can really do that against. But it's tough in that wind, to really kind of take any control because it just swirls around.

Q. She said at 4-3 in the third set, she felt like either you got tight or you started pushing the ball, or you were just being strategic in taking the pace off. What were you doing at that point?

MONICA SELES: I don't know. Because at 4-3 I felt my racquet, again, broke on one of the serves. I served that double-fault. Should I changed the racquet or not, going down at Love-30? I think at that point, Okay, whatever, I'll just serve out that game. I served two great serves. Then I served that key serve to hold my serve, go up 5-3. I really gave it to her to go down to Love-30. I knew if I could keep my own mistakes down, I would be okay. But it was really close, really pretty much the entire match, after 4-1, when I was up.

Q. Did your racquet break, like the frame crack? It wasn't a string, was it?

MONICA SELES: No, it's the frame broke, yeah.

Q. How confident are you going into the quarterfinals?

MONICA SELES: If I play Martina it's a different match. You go in differently. Obviously, it's a Grand Slam. Really no other tournament I've played in my career has this much wind as this one. I remember from last year and this year. I don't think any of the players can figure out why. I just don't think it's fair towards the players because it's hard to really play your game. You kind of have to use so many tactics out there and fight the wind. So I'll just, you know, when the time comes, try to adjust my game for my next match, and hopefully I can -- not hopefully, I'm sure can I raise my level of game.

Q. Do you consider yourself not a good wind player?

MONICA SELES: I never played really in wind. I mean, wind is wind. But this is more than wind. I mean, you hit a ball, and it goes here instead of going here (indicating), by two meters it can vary. I never played in conditions like this. I talked to 20 players now, and we all say the same thing.

Q. But only in the stadium, right?

MONICA SELES: I think definitely more in the stadium. The old stadium definitely was less. I talked to a few players who played outside. They said, "Oh, outside is terrible also, too." But I think definitely the stadium, more of the top players who got a chance to play on it, really are not happy with it at all.

Q. So what happens, do you become more tentative? Do you think more about your shots? How do you adjust your game?

MONICA SELES: For me, for sure, it just like -- in today's case, it definitely became a lot more tentative. I didn't feel if I hit the ball, the ball is going to go there. I kind of felt very unsure. And I don't like that feeling. I'm going to have to try to work on that to decide what I'm going to do my next match. But it's just tough to wait for a serve, then the serve just to jump away from you with the wind, the wind swirls. Every ball, you've got to be a little bit like a hundred percent. I paid the price today when I wasn't.

Q. Worse than the Lipton?

MONICA SELES: Oh, yeah. In my case, for sure.

Q. When you say your mind wandered, where did it wander to?

MONICA SELES: I just think I took it a little bit too easy, "Okay, this is just going to be finish-it-off." I just starting serving with no thought process where I'm going to serve or what shots I'm going to do. I lost that game in like a minute on 40. Then I lost her service game on 40, too. Those two games went by quick. Then I got a little bit tight. I had 40-15 on my serve to go up 5-3. I definitely got tight on a few points there. That was it.

Q. Can you give us some thoughts about Fed Cup draw? Is Croatia a good choice?

MONICA SELES: I think it's a tough draw, no question, because it's played in Croatia. I'm sure it will be played on clay. It's a very tough draw. But every team literally who is in that world group is going to be tough. I think we knew that, that we'll probably get a tough draw.

Q. Do you tend to talk to yourself during a match, like today?


Q. In what language?

MONICA SELES: In every language that comes to my mind (laughter). Depending on the choice of my words (laughter).

Q. How do you feel coming back in Croatia from all those years?

MONICA SELES: I'm very excited. The last time -- I don't know where we'll played, obviously. Gee, the last time I was in Zagreb or anyplace was probably 13, 14 years ago. So obviously I have a lot of memories, and a lot of pictures from there. It should be really exciting. I mean, I'm very good friends with Iva and Mirjana, and of course me, I can't for a long time. I'm sure it's going to be a fun week for all of us.

Q. When you talk to yourself, what do you say?

MONICA SELES: If I'm positive, I say, "Come on." If I'm negative, then I say terrible stuff to myself. It's hard not to get sometimes frustrated out there when you're up 4-1, not to get down on yourself. But I'm trying to work on that.

Q. Will you continue playing doubles with Mirjana Lucic?

MONICA SELES: We decided to play San Diego and here. We haven't really talked. I mean, I don't know if I'm going to play doubles really at all next year. We'll just play it by ear.

Q. How you like her?

MONICA SELES: I love her as a person. Obviously her game, too. I mean, we had a lot of fun playing with her. I was really happy.

Q. In the fifth game, in the third set, when you got the break, you had to run very hard to get to the ball.

MONICA SELES: Yes, the ball.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how much you wanted to get there and if it was different? You'd been out of position quite a lot, she'd gotten you out of position.

MONICA SELES: Well, I mean, I just felt I'd run for every ball pretty much. Because I for sure wasn't hitting too many winners today. I was really retrieving today most of the match. I mean, if I'm going to pick this style of game for this match, I better do good, otherwise I was going to be out of the tournament. So thank goodness on that point, when I hit that backhand back down the cross, it was really a great shot. I mean, that's the shot you sometimes make.

Q. Did she make you concerned about your conditioning at all?

MONICA SELES: Oh, no, not -- I feel fine now.

Q. Is it the kind of wind where you might be better off if you didn't hit it flat?

MONICA SELES: Well, that's why I think I'm going have to reassess today obviously. I haven't hit on the stadium for the last four days. I think tomorrow I'm going to try to hit on it again. But the wind just swirls. Sometimes you feel you're into the wind, sometimes just coming from the side. But I think if I choose to play defensive like I did today, I have to hit my balls at least longer, or if I choose the other way, then I just have to hit through it. So that will be a choice I got to make, which style of game I prefer to do, I think, for my next match.

Q. Once you choose that, will you stick with that? If you start off playing defensively, will you stick with that through a match?

MONICA SELES: I think it all depends. I better be adjustable when I go into that match.

Q. The four racquets you broke, are you talking about breaking racquets or strings?


Q. They cracked?

MONICA SELES: They cracked. I think it was just the heat, it was so hot for them. And I put them really from the way cold of the air-conditioning. I think they went.

Q. Did they break of their own?

MONICA SELES: They break in the point when I hit it a few times. I could just hear it. I mean, the first ball in the first set, then like three other times I could just hear it, boom. Sometimes I'm not too sure, because it's a tiny crack. But for me, before it breaks, obviously it just breaks totally.

Q. It's not from hitting the court, just from hitting the ball?

MONICA SELES: Oh, yeah, definitely. I think it's really the temperature. I just got them in this morning from the stringing. I think it was so cold, and I immediately put them out in the heat. I think it was just too much for them.

Q. How many did you break?


Q. Today?

MONICA SELES: (Nodding head.)

Q. Is that why the second serve, double-fault, hit the bottom of the net?

MONICA SELES: Pretty much.

Q. You had no more left in your bag then?

MONICA SELES: I have two more left. But going at that pace (laughter). Have to call Yonex immediately on the court.

Q. When did you break the last one?

MONICA SELES: I wasn't counting. Right when I served that double-fault, it was the third set at 4-3.

Q. Your fellow owner in the All Star Cafe, Andre Agassi yesterday said the key to his future, financially more than tennis or anything, was how the stock market was going.

MONICA SELES: It is to all of ours.

Q. I don't know whether you heard, but he doesn't want you to even look at downtown, he wants to put up a roadblock to prevent you from going back to the stock market.

MONICA SELES: Oh. So, huh (laughter)?

Q. He wants to put up a roadblock to prevent you from going there.

MONICA SELES: Mr. Grasso invited me back (laughter).

Q. The most important question is whether you feel sorry for Andre?

MONICA SELES: No, I think he's set (laughter).

Q. Kimberly Po said a few minutes ago she would expect to you beat Martina Hingis, probably in two sets. If Hingis were to beat you, it would take her three very tough sets.


Q. How far along are you in your game where you inspire this confidence in others looking at it?

MONICA SELES: That's very nice of Kim. I mean, I don't know. I just want to go out on the court. I just worry about the ball. As soon as I worry about other stuff, I get into trouble. I'm just trying to work on that. I don't know. I mean, it's a new match. If I play Martina, it's tough. Martina hasn't lost to too many this year, really just a couple of us. It's the Grand Slam, so she's going to be really psyched for it, for sure, she's going to give it all her best. But same here. Whoever is going to be better that day will come out the winner.

Q. Is yours a style of play that you think would particularly give Hingis more trouble than other players on the tour?

MONICA SELES: Probably, yeah. But I think there are a few players who have a style of game can hurt her a little bit more. But then it can also not have that effect, depending on how many mistakes you do, what shot selections you choose at certain times.

Q. How did it come about, what exactly did you do that started that day?

MONICA SELES: Well, I went with the head of Chase Bank, because they sponsor the women's US Open and the Championships, to the stock market. You have to hold a button which he and I held, so it wasn't just me (laughter). He had a little part in it, too. You hold it for I think like 15 seconds, then you just open the stock market.

Q. You press a button?

MONICA SELES: Actually, technically his hand was on the bottom, mine was on top, so (laughter).

Q. Does it make a sound?

MONICA SELES: No. It's just like a little red light comes on. It's a fascinating place, that's for sure.

Q. How it came that you and Mirjana are playing doubles?

MONICA SELES: I practiced with her at Wimbledon. I've known Mirjana for a while because of my dad, when she used to be really young, like gosh in Eastbourne I first met her a long time ago. She just asked if I wanted to. I said, sure, it would be really fun. I really enjoyed it.

End of FastScripts….

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