May 15, 2002
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. How are you feeling about your game in general?
MARY PIERCE: Better. I feel that my game's just slowly getting better and better every match I play. And that's basically what I'm looking for, so...
Q. Would you prefer to have matches like that at this stage to get yourself some match toughness, or would you prefer an easier route?
MARY PIERCE: Well, if I have easy matches, that would mean maybe that I'm playing really well, or my opponent didn't play too good. But having matches like this, you know, it's more time on the court. Three sets. It's good for, you know, the physical part of my game and also the mental part of my game. So you can take them both ways I guess.
Q. Jennifer next. I guess you couldn't have a better way to find out exactly where your game is than to play someone of her status?
MARY PIERCE: Right, yeah. It's exciting for me. Just, you know, I came in this week and want to play as many matches as I can before, you know, I go to play the French Open. And to play anybody in the top is great for me because, you know, first of all, those are the matches that are so exciting to me. Not that the others aren't, but it's just a challenge. And I just look forward to that. It brings out the best in me. And to kind of just, you know, to see where I am and play against the top players that I haven't played against in a while. So just to get a feel for them.
Q. Is there perhaps a little extra edge to it because she inherited your French Open crown which you weren't able to defend?
MARY PIERCE: An extra edge in what way?
Q. Does that make you a bit more determined to actually try to get a victory?
MARY PIERCE: Because she won the French Open last year?
MARY PIERCE: Oh, no. Not really. I'm really proud of her, and I'm very happy for her. It's just great to see how well she's doing and, you know, coming back and everything she's been through and overcome in her life. It's just a great story for anybody in the world about life in general. So, I mean, I'm happy for her to see how she's doing. For me, it's just a great opportunity just to have a great match and have a lot of fun and play against a top player.
Q. What were the results of the other matches you played against Jennifer Capriati?
MARY PIERCE: Uhm... Gosh. You'd have to ask these guys, they know (smiling). I don't remember. I haven't played Jennifer in a while.
THE MODERATOR: 2-nil, Capriati, '92, '93 French Open, fourth round.
MARY PIERCE: Thank you. It's been a while. We haven't played in a while.
Q. The court was very crowded. Do you think about the Italian public who loves you so much?
MARY PIERCE: I love this country and the people and the food. And I just think it's beautiful. I love playing here, and they seem to really love me and support me when I play here. So it's just great. It's really nice to see.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.