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September 3, 1993

Mary Pierce


Q. Mary, do you feel a match with such a hard hitter, is good preparation against Graf in the next match?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, I think they kind of have different games. Brenda, basically, I think her game relies on her service. Today she served really well. From the baseline, she is not consistent as Steffi, but I mean it was a good match to win.

Q. Are you pleased with yourself the way you played today, was your game a bit better than --

MARY PIERCE: Well, I feel like I am playing better than I did my first match. My second match, a little bit better also. But I am still not as happy as I would like to be with my game.

Q. If it had been a little cooler, do you think you could have hit the ball a little harder?

MARY PIERCE: I don't know, maybe.

Q. Gosh, that was some slugging both of you have.

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, pretty fast.

Q. Have you played against anyone who hit the ball as hard as she?

MARY PIERCE: Actually I have. Girl from Belgium. Dominique Monami.

Q. Really?

MARY PIERCE: She hits the ball very hard.

Q. Were you aware that Steffi had a "bye" today; that Wiesner pulled out. Did you know that Steffi did not play today?

MARY PIERCE: No, I did not know that.

Q. I guess she will be fresh for you.

MARY PIERCE: She will be fresh, and so will I.

Q. Is it too soon to know what Angel is doing for you or have there been positive --

MARY PIERCE: I mean, we have just been working together for, maybe almost a month, and in that period I have been playing tournaments, so we really haven't had much time just to practice a lot and work on certain things. Also with the two weeks that I had before the U.S. Open, we really wanted to prepare well, but I really couldn't practice that much because of my knee. We haven't been doing that much.

Q. Is the knee preventative wrap or --

MARY PIERCE: It is hurting me a little bit right now. On a couple of shots, I had a few sharp pains, but most of the time it just -- I am kind of used to it. It doesn't hurt too bad, otherwise I wouldn't be playing. It is all right.

Q. Mary, early in there Steffi was talking about the fact that she thinks other players don't look at her as being as invincible as she might have been. Is that the way you approach the match; that you see some vulnerability there; you see she had some tough matches this year?

MARY PIERCE: Well, I mean, I just go into every match the same, basically. I really don't try and think too much who I am playing. You have to do that especially when you play the top players. You just have to think of the ball that is coming to you and play it the best that you can.

Q. When have you last played Steffi, if ever?

MARY PIERCE: San Diego this year. Probably about four weeks ago.

Q. Do you feel that the hot weather probably is helpful to your knee?

MARY PIERCE: To my knee? Well, yeah, I guess it can't hurt. I guess it is worse when it gets cold. So the warmth keeps it warm, so --

Q. As a tournament progresses, do you feel like you are able to concentrate on the tennis more and more and that there is less in terms of the distractions, of being asked about everything else?

MARY PIERCE: Well, yeah, I guess so, because I guess as more as the tournament goes on, I guess more, you know, I come in to talk to you guys, so, you know, you know basically everything there is and what is going on, so that way I am even in the beginning of the tournament I tried to stay focused on the court, but it is kind of hard. But you know, I think as the tournament does go on it is probably easier. I get more confidence when I win more matches also.

Q. Do you sense that the crowd is little bit more with you now than it was in the past?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, especially here in the states because sometimes when I would play here they would be for both of us or for the other are or sometimes a few people would be for me. But it does seem that the crowd is a little bit more when I am playing now. It is a good feeling. It is nice to know.

Q. Judging by the way you are playing now, Mary, do you feel you are finally ready to breakthrough against a top 10 player?

MARY PIERCE: Well, I mean I have for a long time thought that you know, physically I can play as well as them. I just think -- I still need a lot more experience in the matches, and you know, I did today too, couple of points where I missed some shots which I shouldn't. I think that is the difference. When I play against them I don't really feel dominated by the top players.

Q. How did the match go with Steffi the last time?

MARY PIERCE: I lost 6-4, 7-5, I think.

Q. So it was a close --

MARY PIERCE: It was really close. First set it could have gone either way and every game I had at least one point to win the game. So I could have won the set or could have gone either way, so --

End of FastScripts....

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