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September 8, 1999

Mary Pierce

Flushing Meadows, New York

WTA: Questions for Mary.

Q. Disappointing, obviously. How did you look from where you were?

MARY PIERCE: I try to take the best out of everything and be optimistic and positive so that I can learn from that experience, you know, go forward from there. I wasn't happy with the way I was playing in the first set especially. I think my serve let me down today. I served much better in the second set. You know, I had my chances. I guess that's what makes Lindsay one of the top players and such a tough player is that she's always there and she plays the big points well. You know, I give her a lot of credit. She played a great match. I'm just proud of myself, I kept hanging in there. I started getting it back together in the second set. I just fought for every point and tried the best that I could, hung in there. You know, I'm just proud of my effort. I know there are some things that I still have to work on. This match probably motivates me more, opens my eyes even more to what I need to do. I mean, she won this tournament last year. She's No. 2 in the world, was No. 1. I had two match points. I have to look at it that way, that my game is coming along and I need to work hard on my game to improve. You know, just to try to get better.

Q. Were you nervous a little bit before the rain delay? Was it getting to you a little bit?

MARY PIERCE: You know, I'm human. I got a little bit nervous and a little tight. I went for that shot, which I really didn't need to do. It was short and I felt like I could go for it. I've learned from that. You know, of course, I wanted to keep playing. Unfortunately, it rained, so we had to stop. Disappointed that I didn't finish the match off. You know, there's nothing I can do about it. I just relaxed and thought what I needed to do. It was 5-All in the third set. Just go back out there and keep concentrating.

Q. It was hard for us watching to get a sense of the pressure of that situation. What's that like to be in a high-level match, be serving to the defending champion across the net?

MARY PIERCE: It's great. It's a lot of fun. You really don't think who is on the other side of the net. You try not to think about the score either. You try to think about what you've been doing and what's gotten you there. Just keep continuing focusing.

Q. On that shot you referred to, Lindsay said she felt it was out. On television it looked very, very close, might have been an inch from the line. How did it look to you?

MARY PIERCE: It felt good (laughter). But it wasn't, unfortunately. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

Q. The rains actually began at 5-4. Were you thinking in the back of your mind, "I'm going to end it right now"? Did you say, "Oh, no, how could this happen now?"

MARY PIERCE: I was hoping it wasn't going to rain. I have no control over that. I just tried to play every point the best that I could, hopefully to finish the match off. If not, you know, if it was going to rain a little bit, it's better to stop because the courts are very slippery and it's dangerous. You guys saw what happened to Mary Joe. It was the right decision when it started raining a little bit to stop.

Q. It seemed like after the rain delay, it almost helped you. Seemed like you were less nervous afterwards. Did it help you?

MARY PIERCE: It was nothing either way. I mean, I just went back to the locker room and changed, you know, just tried to focus, listen to some music. Just relax and wait until the rain stopped.

Q. Were you less nervous after it?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, I mean, it's different. It's a different situation when you go back. It's 5-All in the third, it's all even. Anything can happen. You just try to play it point by point.

Q. Did your coach tell you anything during that time?


Q. You might need a little distance from this, but could you sense the high-quality nature of that match? What does that say about women's tennis that in a quarterfinal it could be as high-quality as it is these days?

MARY PIERCE: I take that as a compliment actually. Thank you. I think, yeah, that just says a lot about women's tennis right now. I think a lot of players, you've heard us say, even in the first rounds you don't have easy matches anymore. You know, it's great for the fans. I'm sure it's very exciting from first round, especially quarters onwards, they're going to see great tennis because we have so much depth in women's tennis right now. It's just much more challenging as a player, for the players.

Q. You spoke a minute ago about how you try to block out who your opponent is, not think about what the score is. When it's match point, you're serving in that situation, how hard is it really to do that? Were you successful at that point to really block out those things?

MARY PIERCE: I guess not (laughter). I didn't win the match. It's like anything else. Just takes practice. This is one of those opportunities that I got to work on that and to practice. Hopefully there won't be a next time. No, I'm just kidding. Hopefully the next situation I'm in, I'll have already experienced it. You know, I've been in that position already before. You just sometimes want it so bad, you put a little bit extra pressure on yourself instead of just playing the points like any other point.

Q. There was a fan who kept saying that this was your day. Did you feel like it was your day?

MARY PIERCE: Every day you have to feel like that, you know, if you're in a tournament or you're not. I love what I do. I have so much fun when I'm on the court playing. I love training, working out. I just feel very fortunate and lucky to be playing professional tennis, be playing for as long as my body and my mind wants to.

Q. Are you the type of person that will replay those two chances?

MARY PIERCE: I already did that. It's over. I have my doubles right now that I'm looking forward to. My partner and I are excited about that. It's our first time playing together. We're in the quarterfinals here. We'd like to keep going.

End of FastScripts….

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