August 25, 1997
Flushing Meadows, New York
Q. You look like you're feeling better.
MONICA SELES: I feel a lot better. My temperature was gone for the last two days, that
has helped. I still have a lot coming up. I feel good. Nice to have a pretty fast match
tonight out there.
Q. Monica, I'm from Sarasota. How does it feel to have all these fans behind you in New
York and everywhere you go now?
MONICA SELES: It's really a great feeling. It makes it even extra special for me.
Really thrilled to be out there playing. That's one of the reasons why I decided to come
Q. Monica, what did you think of the facility?
MONICA SELES: Well, I just got to practice on it a day, just yesterday, and tonight.
It's really hard to say. Tonight the stadium looked beautiful.
Q. How does it play? Less wind is what I'm hearing. Swirling wind anyway.
MONICA SELES: There's a lot of wind down there.
Q. Is there really?
MONICA SELES: For me at least. Tonight was not bad. Practice last night it was.
Q. Swirling wind?
MONICA SELES: Yes.
MONICA SELES: Very unpredictable.
Q. Any mixed emotions for you going out on the court during the ceremony?
MONICA SELES: Great to see the past champions, the ones I haven't met before and the
ones I met before. It was just very special. Very special night.
Q. Could our Tennis Magazine purchase some of the photographs you took out there?
MONICA SELES: Well, I just wanted a videotape. I think down the years, 20 years or
something, I can show my family or whatever. It will be really special. See all the
champions out there.
Q. Was there any champion in particular that you had always looked forward to meeting
that you met tonight?
MONICA SELES: No. There was about ten that I really wanted to meet, and I met almost
all of them. And a few of them I haven't seen for a few years. It was nice to see them
Q. Monica, do you feel this is your best shot to win the Open since Hamburg?
MONICA SELES: No. I mean, I really believe every year I had a good shot. I got to the
Open the last two years, into the Finals. I definitely have been playing better every year
at the Open than a lot of the other tournaments. So just match at a time. I had some good
matches, some good wins the last few weeks. I played a lot of tennis. The Open, I'm going
to try to play every other day so I feel rested. As long as I get over this virus and
Strep throat and get my full energy back, I'll be really happy.
Q. How would you describe the development of Martina Hingis' game over the last year
and a half, two years? What's the biggest challenge in pursuing her? It seems as though
everybody looks at it as the tournament to pursue Martina Hingis?
MONICA SELES: That's always the case with the No. 1 player. That's normal. The year she
has had, been quite unbelievable, losing just two matches. She just seems to have a very
complete game. She's tough mentally, too. That's why she's No. 1.
Q. You seem like you're feeling pretty confident after these wins over the past couple
MONICA SELES: I felt confident going into Wimbledon. Look what happened there. I just
take it a match at a time. As long as I give it my best shot. I know I practice hard,
that's what matters to me. The results will hopefully sooner or later come.
Q. You mentioned you were under the weather tonight. You were doing things in this
match, noticed you were having trouble getting that first serve in.
MONICA SELES: The second set I had a little bit of a hard time. I never played in this
stadium with the lights. A little bit -- it took me a while to adjust to it. And she's
also an unpredictable player. She hits the ball really hard and zooms these fast serves at
you, so it's hard to get your rhythm a little bit. My first serves, the last four games of
my service games, I started to struggle a little bit.
Q. What were your thoughts, Monica, about being chosen to play on centre court the
first night, the match leading up into the presentation? What were your thoughts?
MONICA SELES: It was a great honor. When they told me, I said, "Wow." It's a
very special night, one of those nights that it's a high. The same when I came back, the
night match, the first night match at the US Open in '95. You maybe have ten moments like
this in your tennis career.
Q. Did that make you feel special, thoughts of you about the USTA, about the United
MONICA SELES: Oh, definitely, both ways. Also I felt really proud playing in the Arthur
Ashe Stadium. In 1991, when I was going through a lot of stuff, a lot of different things,
he took the time out to come to one of my practices and talk to me. And that meant a lot
of to me. It also brought back a lot of memories from that.
Q. Monica, do you feel weakened? The Strep throat thing?
MONICA SELES: Yeah, definitely. I had a temperature till Saturday, pretty high one,
like 100.8. It's definitely taking a toll on my body. But I also played a lot of
tournaments, so already I was a little bit tired going into last week. But I pretty much
just rested. I'm not playing doubles. I canceled that. That should help.
Q. Monica, knowing that you were -- this presentation was going to happen after your
match were you thinking, please, God, don't let me be upset?
MONICA SELES: For sure. A lot of things were new tonight. First time playing in the new
stadium, new Nike outfit. The other one, knowing -- it is a difference playing. And just
to think that all the champions were watching your match. That's a little bit of pressure,
Q. So how do you think you'd do against some of those past champions?
MONICA SELES: That's hard to compare. I mean, a lot of them I haven't seen play. A lot
I've seen play on the Classic matches. It's hard to say.
Q. Obviously, you played with many of them who were out there. If you had to choose one
of the players that was out there, but you hadn't played, had to choose one to go out on
centre court with, who would you play with?
MONICA SELES: That's hard. The players I haven't played with, probably Suzanne Lenglen,
Maureen Connolly, Billy Jean, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, too, I'd love to play her.
There's a couple there, yeah.
Q. Monica, what was the reason you played so many consecutive weeks coming into last
MONICA SELES: Well, mostly I was entered in three of them. So after I lost early in San
Francisco, on my mind was, I should play some matches, I need to get some matches going.
Then going into Canada, my main reason was really -- because each time, my bonus pool,
because I pulled out, I lost a lot. I could regroup. It was a tier-one event. What decided
for me, I won two years in a row. A lot of memories started in '95. I was afraid to go
back because of that, so many things have changed since. So at the last minute, I didn't
have too much time to think about it. I was actually very happy that I did it. It was
great for me mentally.
Q. Were you pushing to get the No. 2 ranking?
MONICA SELES: At that point, no, because I knew I had to get to the Finals or win it
and beat a certain amount of ranked players to get it. So that wasn't. At Wimbledon, I was
also No. 2 ranked. My theory is: Whoever you meet at any point, except maybe the first or
second round, till you get used to the court and the crowd, it doesn't make a difference.
Q. Are you going to do anything special to stay healthy over the next couple of days?
MONICA SELES: Years or days?
Q. Days. Years is too long.
MONICA SELES: Yeah. Mostly just try to rest a lot, get my practices in while the
weather is pretty cool. Really rest, that's what the doctor says.
Q. Did you talk to Steffi when she came out?
MONICA SELES: I did, yes.
Q. What did she say?
MONICA SELES: Wow, it was so short. You say, "Hi, how are you? It's great to see
you." Hard for me to judge.
End of FastScripts