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August 27, 1997

Mary Pierce

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. I wanted to just ask you a general question if I might, Mary. I wanted to ask you what aspect of the game that you get the most pleasure from? What part of it that you appreciate the most?

MARY PIERCE: That is a good question. The competition, I guess. Just when you are having a great match; when it is a close match; when you feel like you are producing your best tennis, and your opponent is as well, I think that is when it is the most fun. That is when it is the most challenging. I guess when there is a challenge.

Q. What has been the biggest challenge of your career?

MARY PIERCE: I have had a lot of great matches, great challenges. Maybe my first Grand Slam final was a big challenge, but it was also a weird match because it was played over two days. I think maybe the Australia Finals. Maybe that whole tournament. Especially this year's Australian Open was a challenge for me, because I didn't play any tournaments for three months, or play tennis for three months. So I was really excited to get back out there and see how I was going to do, where I was at.

Q. Do you have any contact at all with Jennifer Capriati, maybe telling her, "Don't give up," anything like that?

MARY PIERCE: I see Jennifer all the time. I mean, we are on the Tour together and she is one of my friends. I have known her for probably twelve years. We played juniors together in Florida, so, yeah, I see her often.

Q. Is there anything that you can say to her to help -- after yesterday's match did you say, you know, just forget it and keep going?

MARY PIERCE: I didn't see Jennifer after her match yesterday. But, you know, when we are together, I don't think we really talk that much about tennis. We talk about other things. We deal enough with tennis so when we are together amongst other players and friends, we just want to relax.

Q. Speaking of Jennifer, obviously both you and her have had plenty of ups-and-downs. How important is frame of mind off the court, or peace of mind to performance on court, and are you pretty happy these days yourself?

MARY PIERCE: I think that is very important to be mentally fit as well as physically. I mean, with tennis, it is a lot of things: Physical condition, your mental condition, and emotional all play a big role. And your health as well. And, I think all of those things are equally important to play tennis.

Q. Is the mental aspect something that you can actually work on --

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, it is something much, much more difficult to do because it is something that you are going to have to do yourself. But, you are able to work on it and improve it.

Q. Do you make decisions on your outfits or does Nike decide that?

MARY PIERCE: No, it is kind of -- I meet with the designers a few times during the year. I talk to them about different colors and different styles and materials and, you know, everything from buttons to zippers and just things that I like and don't like. Then they come to me with things and then, you know, I try them on see how they fit and go from there.

Q. So black in Paris, orange here. Can you explain any --

MARY PIERCE: Well, black and white, I think, is just very basic colors, classic colors and white is my favorite color and black is a nice contrast. And, I think orange or red, whatever you want to call it here, I think it kind of just goes with New York. It is bright and it is loud. And, it is summertime and the sun is out. So, I mean, you know --

End of FastScripts….

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