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September 1, 1993

Mary Pierce


Q. A little bit smoother than your first round match?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, I think the difference today from yesterday was probably I stayed concentrated throughout the whole match instead of like yesterday, my mind was wandering a little bit, so I made less errors and won in two sets.

Q. Is the first round match kind of tough to get through?

MARY PIERCE: I mean, yeah, definitely first round matches are always the hardest ones to get through. You are a little nervous sometimes. It is just all new environment, so you just want to play really well. So first round matches are really tough sometimes.

Q. What about the stadium court what was that like?

MARY PIERCE: It was really-- it was a great feeling. It was kind of impressive in the beginning. It is such a big court and a lot of people are there. I really try not to look around too much. Just try to stay concentrated and focused and looking on the court and just thinking it was like any other court.

Q. Were you surprised at all that you were on stadium court or was that something that you expected?

MARY PIERCE: Kind of yeah, I was a little bit surprised. But I mean, I can't complain about it.

Q. You were asked about this on television I was hoping that you can address it here. Did you have a sense that the crowd was behind you; that they maybe recognizing what you have been through --

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, I kind of felt like you know, the crowd was for me and you know, it is a good feeling to have and to know that the crowd is there with you and supporting you.

Q. What does that do for you when you hear that?

MARY PIERCE: Just makes you feel good. It makes you want to play harder and play better because it is also a good feeling that the crowd is enjoying the match and that they are getting into it too.

Q. Was there anything specific that you heard from someone that made you know the crowd was behind you?

MARY PIERCE: One time I had a breakpoint and it was a guy who said Mary, break her serve, and I will-- or the beer is on me, or something like that. That was kind of funny.

Q. Any difference in your unforced errors between yesterday's match and today's do you attribute that to being less nervous?

MARY PIERCE: I don't think so. I was just staying focused and concentrating because yesterday I won the first set real easy. I kind of relaxed didn't take her seriously. Today I had tried to stay real focused.

Q. The women today unlike the men, the seeds came soaring right through, the men -- I think all five women, seeded women who played today won.

MARY PIERCE: Really. I didn't know that. I mean, it is hard to say. There is a lot of-- the guys on the tour, there is a lot of competition from the top, even -- top 100, I think they all play really well. In the women's, they are starting to have a lot more competition and more players; everybody is trying to work harder and become stronger, so, I mean, there are some good matches in the first rounds.

Q. Mary, these two matches you played now, this has not been your best tennis. We have all seen you play some better tennis. Do you have to play down to the level of your opponent in a sense?

MARY PIERCE: I don't know. That is a good point. Maybe, because when I play against the top players I seem to play better. I mean, it is also kind of hard when somebody doesn't play as good as you. You know you should beat them so you want to play too good, maybe. Then when you don't, you kind of get maybe a little frustrated. I mean, I definitely can play better.

Q. Is that dangerous for you?

MARY PIERCE: Dangerous?

Q. Well, that you are playing down to your --

MARY PIERCE: As long as I win, it is okay.

Q. Yesterday was a little dangerous?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, it was a little too close.

Q. Is it okay? Is it a state of mind you know, the great players throughout the ages have always had that state of mind; they want to come out and win every point on every shot that they hit. They want to win that point. They want a 6-Love, win a bagel?

MARY PIERCE: That is exactly right.

Q. Do you have to work yourself up to that mental state to become a killer?

MARY PIERCE: That is what I am trying to do when I am playing. I don't want to miss one shot. I want to win every point. It is kind of hard for me. I don't know exactly why. Sometimes my concentration, I don't seem to be able to keep it the whole time. That is something I just have to work on like anything else.

Q. How far do you see yourself going in the tournament?

MARY PIERCE: In this tournament?

Q. Yes.

MARY PIERCE: Well, I mean I came here to win. I always do and I am a little disappointed I didn't get to prepare myself as well as I wanted to because I hurt my knee. I am just going to give myself the best chance I have and play the best I can; see how it goes.

Q. What is wrong with the knee?

MARY PIERCE: Injured it about four weeks ago and it is just like tendinitis.

Q. One more victory of possibly playing Steffi Graf.


Q. Do you look forward to playing her? Would you like to play her?

MARY PIERCE: Oh, definitely. I played her in San Diego. I was probably the first match where I had like fun, I really enjoyed it. We had great points. I mean, it was really close. It could have gone either way in the first set. I mean, yeah, I look forward to playing her again.

Q. How did you hurt the knee and where does it affect you most, on what shot do you feel it the most?

MARY PIERCE: I had injured it the Friday just before the Monday at San Diego the tournament practicing. I would probably say it affects me most definitely running. On my serve and my backhand.

Q. Mary, with everything that has gone on with you recently and now that you have played two matches, would you say that you feel comfortable here now?

MARY PIERCE: I mean, yeah, I am starting to feel more settled, more at ease. I mean, it -- also it is kind of hectic here too, so, I mean, you know, as every match -- as I play every matches, I feel better and better.

Q. How difficult is it for you just to concentrate on tennis?

MARY PIERCE: It is-- I mean, I can't say that it is easy, but I mean, I think I am doing pretty well.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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