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November 17, 1997

Mary Pierce


Q. Looked like you were pounding your forehand, have you hit it better?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, I think so. I think I played well tonight. This is the best I feel like I've been playing lately. It's been kind of tough because I was sick and it's been taking me a little while to feel like I'm back in the groove again. But tonight was the closest I felt to being happy the way I played. I think that it's good I feel good about it as my first match. And, you know, I've got another day where I can rest and practice a little bit more and hopefully be even better for my next match.

Q. Was it your sort of style of play? Did it give an easy rhythm?

MARY PIERCE: Yes. I really didn't have a lot of rallies. Usually a little bit more rallies. This evening it was a little bit easier than I expected. I think I served really well and I just tried to stay really aggressive, stay on top of her. Basically, be aggressive from the first ball.

Q. If you were her, what would you have tried to have done?

MARY PIERCE: I don't know.

Q. Mary, the infection you've had lately, how has it shown itself to you when you tried to play; feeling tired or what?

MARY PIERCE: Weak, dizzy. Those are the main things, really. Other than that -- I mean, I was a little bit tired. Just, you know, you get tired really quick. If your body or something goes down, your conditioning goes down. But, you know, that was a while ago and, you know, I wouldn't be playing if I didn't feel like I was ready. You know, I've been working hard the last few weeks to try and be fit and play here, so, I'm feeling pretty good.

Q. It was the recurrence that made you pull out of Philadelphia?

MARY PIERCE: Yeah, I wasn't feeling well. I came back too soon. I was eager to play because basically since the U.S. Open, September, October I only had one competition, and that was Federation Cup. Not really any tournament. I was eager to play. I was getting, not bored, but anxious to compete again. I just went to Chicago too soon. I practiced not even a week and not even full out, so I wasn't even ready to go play. It was too soon, so that's why I went back home to get ready to play here.

Q. Are you tempted to serve and volley more on this surface?

MARY PIERCE: I would like to say any surface. Except maybe once in a while on clay. But it's something that Craig and I have been working on a lot serving volleys, hitting a deep shot, taking advantage of it, taking the ball in the air, putting the ball away. Something I need to do more of. Take advantage of my good shots.

Q. Would you say it's been, on the whole, a bit of a frustrating year for you?

MARY PIERCE: Not at all. No, I think, you know, you always want to do better, but, you know, looking back a year ago from now when I was frustrated, you know, I was concerned about my shoulder, out with that and, you know, I was out three months, didn't touch a racket, didn't see a ball for three months, which is a long time. And I just came back, made the finals at Australia and won the Italian Open. I had a lot of great wins and matches. Unfortunately I got sick towards the end of the year and missed a few months, but that just happens. Overall I'm pretty happy. Hopefully next year will be even better.

Q. Are there any male players you enjoy watching?

MARY PIERCE: Male players? I enjoy watching Sampras, Rafter, Philippoussis, they have aggressive games, kind of similar to mine. I liked watching McEnroe, Connors they were also fun to watch. Lendl, Wilander, Becker just a lot of guys, yeah.

End of FastScripts....

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