November 20, 1997
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY
Q. H how big is that compared with your other wins.
MARY PIERCE: Which other wins?
Q. Obviously winning a Slam?
MARY PIERCE: Okay. It's a great feeling, but it's still not like winning a Grand Slam tournament, there's nothing like winning a Grand Slam tournament. This is very satisfying for me this evening, I think I'll sleep well tonight. It's, like I said, very satisfying this year. It's been a good year for me, hopefully I'll do better next year, but this makes it even nicer to end the year like this, and feel like I'm playing this good of tennis. I feel pretty fresh, because I missed the last two months, September and October, so I kind of wish there were a few more tournaments after this, I feel like I'm playing well. I'm going to try to keep going this tournament. Try to rest tomorrow and get ready for my next match; just keep going.
Q. Can you do any better than you did in the third set?
MARY PIERCE: I think I played better in the first set, actually. The first set was pretty flawless. I went out and secured all my shots the way I wanted to, strategy-wise. I did what I wanted to, was very aggressive, taking the ball early on the rise, not letting her get a chance to get into the point. The second set, like I said out there, I had a little letdown. I think I'm not completely back in shape, match shape. I think it will take me a little while still, but third set basically I just -- I just basically gutted it out. I said it's the last tournament of the year, the third set, one more to go, so give it your all.
Q. Did you feel tight the third set?
MARY PIERCE: Yes, I did. Very tight -- not very tight. I got a little bit tight, the last game a little bit. I think that's a normal human reaction.
Q. Were there moments where you thought I just can't do this?
MARY PIERCE: You mean physically-wise?
Q. Because you were so nervous standing there getting ready to serve?
MARY PIERCE: No.
Q. No moments where you thought this is slipping away?
MARY PIERCE: Well, I was really close when I was down 4-2, and 4-3 and 4-All. Those games could have down any way. Those were key games for me to come back from 4-All.
Q. Do you feel like she was playing as well as she could?
MARY PIERCE: No. I think that to me her balls seemed a little bit shorter, and not as penetrating. She never really hit the ball very hard, but she always took the ball very early and found great angles, and made amazing shots. And I think this evening to me she seemed a little step slower, and the balls weren't as penetrating to me.
Q. Does this win give you a different perspective on the future, winning big, this moment, does this give you a good perspective for the future? What does it mean?
MARY PIERCE: Yes and no. It just shows that I can beat anybody any day when Mary Pierce is playing her game, playing her tennis. But this is something I already knew and I think everybody else knows that. The time will come when I will be able to play this way consistently.
MARY PIERCE: A little in the second set. I tried to keep stretching it, but a little more in the third set.
Q. A lot of players have not figured out how to beat Martina Hingis, do you think you showed us a way to beat Martina Hingis?
MARY PIERCE: I think everybody knows you have to play great tennis, and you have to expect her to make some amazing shots and just accept that, to keep going each point, just to forget it and go to the next point, and be aggressive. The only way to beat her is not let her be in charge.
Q. Mary, what about semifinals?
MARY PIERCE: I have no idea, I haven't looked at the draw it doesn't matter, I played Tauziat this year once, I beat her in San Diego. Iva, we're good friends, we know each other well, we know each others games, we play each other many times. She's won, I've won, we had close matches. I think we played in Berlin and I won that, that was in red clay and outdoors, and it's different, it's the last tournament of the year, everybody is going to go for it.
Q. Given how little you've played the last several months, did you come in here tonight saying I can win this match or were there doubts in your mind, too?
MARY PIERCE: No, never doubts in my mind. Why go out on the court if you have doubts? Everybody should have confidence in themselves, go out on the court and really not think about winning or think about losing, just think about giving a hundred percent. You can't control if you're going to win, you can't control if you're going to lose, but everybody can give a hundred percent. And when I do that is when I play my best tennis. Some days they're good days, and some days they're bad days.
Q. In career victories, how would you rank this, not as good as winning a Gland Slam?
MARY PIERCE: It's really hard for me right now, I just stepped off the court. Maybe tomorrow I'll realize I beat the No. 1 player in the world. It's a great match for me because I felt like I played great tennis. But it's not great at the same time. I've played some of my best tennis in my career, I have great memories here. I remember beating Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini, I've had a lot of great matches, and this is one of them.
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