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August 31, 1993

Mary Pierce


Q. Mary, what happened when you were serving for the match at 5-2?

MARY PIERCE: Well, I honestly don't remember too much about that game. The match was just so long. I mean, the first set I played really well. Everything was working, you know, everything was great and then in the middle of the second set I just, you know, started to relax too much. Sometimes that happens when I win a little easy, I just relax, don't focus as much as I should. Then I let her back into the match a little bit. She started to make a couple of good shots, and then I got a little tense and my shots weren't working as well, because I wasn't playing aggressive like I did in the first set.

Q. What has happened with your leg?

MARY PIERCE: I injured it about four weeks ago in the tournament in San Diego, and it is just been bothering me ever since then. It is just like a tendinitis in my knee.

Q. Mary, you seem to at difficult points in the match look up at your family and coach a lot. Is that something you normally do for support at tense moments?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah. I mean, it helps a lot just to look to the side and see that you have people there who are with you, and you know it gives you some strength and it makes you feel good.

Q. Was it difficult to focus on tennis with the other stuff that is going on with you recently? Was it hard to just go out there and play?

MARY PIERCE: Well, I mean, I can't say that it is easy. It has been hard, but you know, I think I am doing pretty well when I get on the court. I try and stay focused and concentrate on what I have to do.

Q. Is there anything in particular that you do to keep your mind off the other things that might be troubling you?

MARY PIERCE: Not really. I just don't really think about. I kind of put it away and just, I am on the court. That is what I am supposed to do-- is play tennis and just concentrate.

Q. With all the attention that you have gotten partly because of the Sports Illustrated story-- which I guess you talked to them-- are you glad that you went public with everything or how do you feel about that?

MARY PIERCE: Well, you know, I decided to do that because I felt everywhere I was going, you know, everybody would always want to talk about it, always ask me questions and things. This way I felt that I will do that article and that way, you know, everybody will know because I think Sports Illustrated is a really big magazine. Probably the biggest one for sports. I thought everybody is going to read that. They will know what is going on. So that way I feel good. I got it over with and that way we can just kind of forget about it, turn the page and in this part of my tennis-playing career and, you know, I am glad about the decision that I made, and this way I can just start focusing more on my tennis and let everybody else know that I am just playing tennis too.

Q. Do you feel like the worst is over now or do you think there is a lot more that you are going to have to endure?

MARY PIERCE: No, I don't think so, really. I feel really good. I am happy and I've just been working really hard, and everything is fine.

Q. How did you find Angel; how did you --

MARY PIERCE: Well, I knew him before as a friend and with some other friends also. I just knew that he wasn't really working with anybody now, I just asked if he wanted to work with me.

Q. Anything in particular that he wants to do with your game? Is there anything different that he wants to do with your game?

MARY PIERCE: We have been working for almost like a month together, and we haven't really had that much time just to work on certain things, because I have been playing tournaments and I have injured my knee, so I couldn't really do really much. We are just focusing more a lot on strategy, just thinking a little bit more and using my shots to the best potential, and that is about it.

Q. Do you feel, Mary, that you are now really starting to learn something about tennis?

MARY PIERCE: I mean, yeah, I can kind of notice sometimes that I am thinking a little bit more on my shot that I should make, you know-- I mean, today probably isn't is a good example. I made a couple of mistakes that I usually shouldn't have. But I do feel like I am also probably more relaxed, so I don't get as frustrated. It is easier for me to think just what I have to do.

Q. Is it all strange for you to play and not hear your father's voice?

MARY PIERCE: It is not strange. I mean, it is nice. It is okay.

Q. Have you spoken to him since you have been in New York; has he tried to contact you?

MARY PIERCE: No, I mean, for the time being we are not in contact very much. That way we can just let things settle down a little bit.

Q. Do you plan on calling him soon, if you ever do? Would you ever ask him for advice about your performance on the court?

MARY PIERCE: No, I don't think so. We have talked about this before and you know for my tennis he is not going to really be involved with me anymore.

Q. The article indicated that you were fearful of your father; are you, in fact, afraid of him?

MARY PIERCE: You know, I thought I said before when I just talked about the Sports Illustrated article that I did answer all of your questions about everything, so I would -- I would just like to-- that you understand and respect my privacy for my family and for my private life and you know what I wanted everybody to know and everything I have said. So I would appreciate it if you didn't talk about it any more.

Q. Was this a difficult match to get through because it is the Open and it is so public? I mean, did you think that this was a really key match to get through?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, I mean, definitely the first matches are always tough, and I mean, I wasn't really nervous, I just wanted to play really well and I wanted to get past my first match, and you know at the U.S. Open it is a really big tournament. I just want to do really well.

Q. Are you at the top of your game now?

MARY PIERCE: Honestly, I don't think I can say yes, because this year I haven't been very fortunate. I have been sick a couple of times and I have injured my knee, so I haven't really had the chance to get in really top shape and also with my game, I mean, I am not playing that bad either, so I mean, I just hope that every day and every match that I play that I get better and better.

Q. If your dad is watching this interview, do you have any message for him?

MARY PIERCE: Hi. That is about it.

Q. Thank you, Mary.

End of FastScripts....

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