September 3, 1998
Flushing Meadows, New York
Q. Can you go a long ways?
MARY PIERCE: I don't look at it that way. I just take every match as it comes, work hard to be ready for each match and just to enjoy it every time I step on the court, play hard and have fun. And in tennis anything can happen and a Grand Slam is long, anything can happen. There are a lot of great players you have to play against, so I just take every match at a time.
Q. What are your expectations for this tournament?
MARY PIERCE: I really don't put expectations -- I wouldn't say "Expectations." I think that every tournament I go in, of course you want to win. I have confidence in myself and I know that, you know, I believe in myself, so when I step on the court, it is to win, of course. But that -- I don't want to say that is secondary. It is always in my mind, but that is not the thing when I go on the court. If you think about winning or losing, it puts too much pressure on you. I play my best tennis when I just try and think of the process, of the outcome, enjoying every point and whatever comes out of it, will.
Q. How do you assess your form compared to the best tennis you have played in the past?
MARY PIERCE: I feel like I am playing great tennis right now. I feel like I am hitting the ball well. I think the main thing -- I wasn't able to prepare as good as I wanted to with my groin injury that I had in San Diego. That kind of lingered for the last few weeks. Preparation hasn't been that great. Physically, I wouldn't say that I am where I want to be, but mentally and my game, I feel very good.
Q. Certainly looked impressive enough this afternoon.
MARY PIERCE: Thank you.
Q. A lot has been made of the fact that your father is here at the tournament. Is that a distraction to you? Have you seen him or is that just -- or is that just a lot to do about nothing?
MARY PIERCE: I think so. I am just here to do my job. He is here to do his job. So that is it.
Q. Did he watch your match today?
MARY PIERCE: I don't know.
Q. Over the last two years you suffered quite a bit from kind of injuries that half go away, come back again, that kind of thing. Have you thought about that why that should be, why should you have so much bad luck with injuries in fact?
MARY PIERCE: I don't know. My main goal lately this year is just to be healthy and if I stay healthy, I am able to train well and prepare well and be able to play on a consistent basis. That is what is missing in my career is the consistency. . I think my main goal is taking care of myself and being healthy.
Q. If I might, this afternoon there was quite a long discussion with Andre and then Lindsay about Davis Cup and Fed Cup. Was your experience with the Fed Cup this year, was that hurtful to you? What are your reflections on that? Do you think the players should have a lot of input into the process or do you think it is more a matter for the federations and the coaches?
MARY PIERCE: I think that the players should definitely have input with, you know, with whoever is in charge or organizing or putting it on because the players are a part of it. It is very important to the players to play Fed Cup, to represent your country and so it is important to speak to the players so that they are able to fit that into their schedule because our schedule alone is very demanding and we don't have an off-season and Fed Cup really takes a lot out of you even though you only play two or three matches, mentally it is lot more demanding than any other tournament that you play emotionally as well. It is really important to try and schedule it into the year, so, I think it is definitely important to have input.
Q. My understanding from a distance was that you were asked not to play because you could not practice-I don't know whether that is correct-and was that difficult for you?
MARY PIERCE: Was what difficult for me?
Q. When you did not play Fed Cup for France this year.
MARY PIERCE: What do you mean?
Q. Was it a difficult experience being off the team?
MARY PIERCE: It was their decision. There is nothing I can do. I told my captain how I felt and that I was available to play and under the circumstances and the situations and they didn't pick me. I wasn't selected for the team. So I just had to keep going and train and get ready for my tournaments.
Q. You have won a Grand Slam. You have beaten the best. What will it take for you to win the US Open?
MARY PIERCE: Well, obviously, it will take some great tennis and, you know, it is two weeks long like I have been saying and I like it - it is kind of nice to play a match, then have a day off; then play another match where you can rest; then get ready for your other match. I feel good. I am just looking forward to each match just to go out there and have fun and play hard.
Q. Do you have the confidence to win?
MARY PIERCE: Always. You always have to have confidence in yourself when you step on the court.
End of FastScripts....