home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 24, 1997

Monica Seles


DEBBI EDWARDS: Questions for Monica.

Q. Monica, do you feel you've put yourself into a situation now where you can make a run right through to the end? Is your game coming around to that level?

MONICA SELES: I think I played better today. A little bit still frustrated with a couple of the games when I had so many chances. I definitely played best from the past three matches today. I have a tough one tomorrow against Irina Spirlea. That's pretty much all I'm thinking about right now.

Q. Are you enjoying particularly being back out on the court, having been away for that time?

MONICA SELES: Oh, definitely. Anytime I can play tournaments, I'm happy because I play them so rarely the last few years. From that point of view, yeah.

Q. Growing up, you had such a drive to be No. 1. You slept it, thought it. Can you get that back, do you think?

MONICA SELES: Well, whenever I was off the court, I know people from the outside always thought that was my goal, I never thought of it. Maybe subconsciously it was in me. Still my goal is to be the best that I can be. Obviously that would be great to be back at that spot. I really would like to be at more at Grand Slams. If you do well at Grand Slams, you get that spot, whoever does well.

Q. Do you prefer by now that everything calm down a bit with all the spectators after having had your comeback that people just see you as one of some top players?

MONICA SELES: I think so, definitely. I think also I really felt it throughout last year after I played all the Grand Slams, yes.

Q. Monica, can you say where your game is, the level of it? Do you think it's far below what it was after your comeback when you won in Australia? Do you think it's where it was, say, when you played in the finals last year at the US Open? Do you have any sense of how far you are from where you want to be, the level you want to be at?

MONICA SELES: I think I'm still quite far from where I see myself I can be, in terms of consistency. I think that's just from not playing consistent practices or consistent matches. That was like typical. I watched a little bit of the Hingis/Williams match. The experience from Martina had from playing so many matches clearly showed. I think with me that's definitely missing. If I'm up 40-Love, I'm still losing games, key points, make some easy unforced errors. It's consistency this year, which I hope I can carry out.

Q. When you went into, say, the Open last year, you were beyond those problems with consistency?

MONICA SELES: I think so. Till the Open I felt pretty good. I played quite a lot of tennis for Fed Cup, the Olympics, then Toronto. I did feel pretty good going into the Open, yeah.

Q. I know you hear this every time you come off, but were there any problems today?

MONICA SELES: Nothing, no.

Q. Looking a bit forward to the claycourt season, have you made already your schedule for claycourt sessions?

MONICA SELES: Yes. I plan to play Hilton Head and Amelia Island.

Q. And in Europe?

MONICA SELES: Probably Rome, I think, but I'm not sure at this point. Quite a few things depend.

Q. The new ranking system since the beginning of the year, you have to play a lot of tournaments to come in the rankings higher and higher. You haven't played a lot of tournaments this year, so you need practice. Do you think it's possible to play in Germany once?

MONICA SELES: I don't know. Obviously I had one of my biggest wins in Germany. That's where a lot of things started for me. I'm going to make this short. For me it's hard to go back where all the things happened and what somebody did to me was never punished. For me it's very hard to go back and feel safe again there.

Q. But the German audience I think will be very, very happy when you would come back. For instance, in Berlin, where you beat Steffi the first time.

MONICA SELES: I had some great matches. That was one of the biggest wins of my career. The whole streak pretty much started there. It's tough. I mean, I think anybody in my shoes would look at it that way, too.

Q. Is there a chance to come this year?

MONICA SELES: I don't know. I do not know. It's tough.

Q. Do you have it in your mind that you may never play Germany?

MONICA SELES: I do not know. You can never say anything. But obviously the things that happened to me there, not just the stabbing, but everything afterwards, wow. I don't think it was fair towards me, anything. But that that should keep me away, I don't know.

Q. You haven't made that decision in your mind, "I'm never going back"?

MONICA SELES: No. As I said, I've had some great matches there. It's terrible what happened to me and all the things afterwards.

Q. Is it still hard for you to talk about this or is now a little bit more relaxing?

MONICA SELES: Well, that's tough. I mean, obviously it's always hard because what happened changed a lot in my life and in my career, too. You have to move on. I think I moved on after I came back. You take it day at a time.

Q. Does a win like this today sort of get you excited about even thinking about actually winning the tournament again? Can you feel a momentum building? I know it's always one by one.

MONICA SELES: That's a tough one because obviously I don't feel as comfortable on the court, having the mistakes that I make. I'm used to having my dad there who will pinpoint what I make, try to improve it the next morning. A lot of things have changed. I'm trying to just adjust to that. That's really now what I'm struggling more with. I told myself as long as I keep practicing, try to play each point at the time. I'll be fine. When I felt like I played more aggressive today than the previous two matches, it definitely helps.

Q. Last question to this. Are you aware that most Germans also don't understand the sentence?

MONICA SELES: From the letters that I get, I do. I think for the person not to spend a day in jail for what he did, I don't think that was fair to me. I do know that. You have to understand my point: how do I feel safe to sit in that chair again and put my back? Gosh, if somebody attacks you, you see that person, that's different. But somebody from the back to attack you, not even seeing him, no way of defending yourself, is a totally different story.

Q. Monica, are you confident that you can get back to where you want to be, have the same mental edge that you had before, or do you feel the only thing that could really hold you back is the nagging injuries?

MONICA SELES: I think probably the practices and the consistencies that I had before, I never really realized that I had them because it was so automatic for me. When I didn't play those two and a half years, that was, I think, definitely hard on my game because I lost a lot of the ball touch that I had. Key points, I would hit everything this close to the lines (indicating). Now a lot of times they would be flying out. That and just the matches, that they're not there. Before if I would have been in the third set 6-All, I would know a little bit more what to do. Now I'm still trying to find myself in matches.

Q. Is the mental hunger still the same?

MONICA SELES: It's still there. I really believe that it's still there.

Q. Since you came back, before the injuries started, but once you came back, did you feel mentally that you got back to a place or you still had not reached that?

MONICA SELES: I really felt sometimes that I was very close if I would have kept going like after the '95 US Open or even after Australia. Each time I would feel that I couldn't play for three, four months. Each time after three or four months, I was so excited I could play, I practiced for a couple weeks, I'd re-injure somewhere again. I learned my lessons there. That's why I told myself now to be more consistent and hopefully I'll get to that for the French or Wimbledon. Last year, I mean, disappointing results at both Grand Slams.

Q. Are there injuries bothering you still?

MONICA SELES: No, nothing.

Q. Nothing at all?



MONICA SELES: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297