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March 23, 1997

Monica Seles


VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Monica.

Q. Monica, how do you feel about your game?

MONICA SELES: I felt I played a little bit better today. It wasn't as windy. I always had some tough matches against Amy, so I was glad I could close it out in two. Obviously I'm missing match toughness, but at least I played better than the day before yesterday.

Q. There were a lot of breakpoints, particularly early in that first set, that long game. I mean, is that encouraging to you that you played tough on those?

MONICA SELES: Definitely. I think the more closer matches I have, even going into the third set, just helps me, as long as I keep playing. That's the reason I'm playing doubles this week. I've just got to get to play some matches because I've been off so long.

Q. No pain again, Monica?

MONICA SELES: No pain nowhere, no.

Q. Do you sense that you're getting really, really motivated again to play?

MONICA SELES: Oh, definitely. I think the last three, four weeks, I obviously missed it a lot, so many things happened. I just realized this is what makes me happy, even if it's tough sometimes off the court. Whenever I stepped on the court, I always had so much joy from it.

Q. What's brought that motivation back?

MONICA SELES: I think I always had it, but it was just frustrating to keep getting injured. Once I felt I started playing well, something would happen, I didn't play for three months. I kept getting these long breaks. I didn't practice as much. I started losing my confidence. Now the key thing is to just start practicing regularly, not have those months off. Pretty much that.

Q. Except for matchplay, what do you think you need to get on the top again?

MONICA SELES: I need probably better court movement, better serve and return. Those are the key parts of my game. I need that back.

Q. What sort of training are you going through, Monica, to get rehabilitation back?

MONICA SELES: I do my special exercises pretty much every day. In terms of training, it's just really playing six days a week, not two days a week. Those are for me the goals. Better not play so much in one day, but be more consistent. For me the problem was I didn't play for two or three months. I'd be so excited that I'm playing, I would overdo it and get injured somewhere else. I learned from that, it's better to be in moderation.

Q. Your practice with Zoltan?

MONICA SELES: With my brother?

Q. Yes.

MONICA SELES: No. He doesn't play tennis anymore.

Q. Do you look at the finger as somewhat of a blessing in disguise in that it made you rest your shoulder, made you not get overexcited about playing again?

MONICA SELES: I think a little bit, definitely. Also I didn't imagine I would miss the Australian Open. That was one of the toughest ones. In some ways I believe some things happen for a reason. Probably it happened for a reason, so.

Q. Monica, what is your opinion about Martina Hingis, her game, her personality? She's becoming the next No. 1 at a very young age.

MONICA SELES: Extremely young age, amazing. I played Martina in San Francisco. She beat me just off the court. For Martina, what's unusual at that age is amazing maturity. She has a great sense on the court where you're going to hit the ball and all. It's very hard to read her strokes. She's good at both sides. It's not like she has one weakness. She's a very good all-around player, tough mentally. She's a tough player obviously, to be No. 1. She just seems to have a great balance in everything. That's very nice to see.

Q. Do you feel Martina will have a very long reign at No. 1?

MONICA SELES: That's hard to say. I think what Steffi and Martina has to do, it's going to be harder and harder. Everyone is playing good tennis now, and everybody is fit. Five years ago, Steffi was the only one fit. Now Martina. They're growing bigger. Venus and Lindsay, Venus at age 16 is 6'2". There will be changes in tennis. Only time will tell.

Q. Monica, can you play again in Germany?

MONICA SELES: I don't know. That's not in my thoughts at all at this point.

Q. We all know how young Martina is. Do you feel she might be a little bit too young for so much pressure and so much expectation? There's a long catalog of players who have buckled under it.

MONICA SELES: I don't think that's Martina's personality, at least now, from what I've seen. When we play an exhibition, she likes to have fun. She doesn't take anything too seriously. I think that's great.

Q. If I remember correctly, you actually enjoyed being No. 1. Did you feel this sort of weight on you?

MONICA SELES: The only year I did feel it was that period after I missed Wimbledon, there was a six-month period that was very tough on me. Before that and after that, no, it was great. But that six months, they were tough.

Q. Monica, looking forward to the European circuit, are you going to be playing the French Open, Wimbledon? Have you got plans?

MONICA SELES: I'm pretty sure I'm going to definitely play. If something major doesn't happen, yeah, definitely.

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: One last question for Monica.

Q. Is it difficult having tough early matches when you used to run right through them with very low scores and very little competition? Mentally on you, is it very tough to prepare now and then find yourself in real struggles?

MONICA SELES: It's hard. I'm playing early matches. For me I know I only had 15 days to practice. You don't have the same confidence if you had two months of playing, not playing after literally Kimiko or Martina. That's the one missing a little confidence that I can control the ball wherever I want to. Obviously that comes from hitting a lot of balls. That I think for me, at least what I feel, is missing. Maybe from the outside it's different.

Q. Shoulder pain is gone?

MONICA SELES: Yes, no problems.

Q. Is that from rest?

MONICA SELES: I think rest and also rehabilitation, all those things.

Q. You've been working on rehab?

MONICA SELES: Yes, pretty much, and could to keep in moderation the amount of serves I serve.

Q. Serve more aces on the first ball?

MONICA SELES: I'm getting better. Still struggling with the toss.


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