home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 6, 1999

Monica Seles

Flushing Meadows, New York

WTA: Questions for Monica.

Q. How do you account for your performance?

MONICA SELES: I played well in the key points today. Obviously, I let Jennifer back a little bit in both sets. Thank goodness I woke up in time and started playing better tennis. It was tough conditions out there, windy, with the rain in the beginning. It was just a really good match.

Q. Because of the time away from tennis that the two of you had over the last few years, you've only played once since 1992. As a fan, you feel you're a little cheated. Do you have that same feeling?

MONICA SELES: Definitely, from my point of view. I got stabbed when I was No. 1 in the world, winning all the tournaments. No other player in history had to deal with that. From that point on, for sure. For whatever reason, that's what I got dealt with. I don't like to go back there. But right now, I'm just happy where I am and playing good tennis. What's passed is past.

Q. Can you remember the match you played against Jennifer at La Costa in 1991?

MONICA SELES: Yes. I remember it was a very hard-hitting match. I think I lost to Jennifer 7-5 or 7-6 in the third set. We started something that I had before with Steffi, starting again with Jennifer; one match she would win, next match I would win. I think we were both hitting the ball so hard that people were amazed at the level.

Q. Sort of like today?

MONICA SELES: Yeah, yeah, definitely today we also hit the ball hard. But you have five other players that hit it hard now, too, who are stronger physically than we are.

Q. Were you transported to 1991?


Q. Yes.

MONICA SELES: Well, definitely. I just remember I lost to Jennifer in San Diego a couple weeks before. I really wanted to do well. I never believed I could win The Open for that reason. The year before I lost in the third round. I didn't really like playing there. It was just real important for me to win that match. It was going back and forth, very seesaw match, I remember. To win a tiebreaker, it's always fantastic to be the winner, but it's heartbreaking because you would hate to advance to the finals of a Grand Slam like that, on three or four points. Obviously, it gave me the chance to win my first Open, which Jennifer could have won. It was a pretty important match.

Q. Deep into the second set, crunch time, she hit a first serve that almost hit the baseline. Do you think maybe she was getting a little tight toward the end?

MONICA SELES: I knew her serve has been going off. I have definitely seen that in the last couple of tournaments. Both of our serves were so off today. I mean, it was really, I think, who would be better at returning the second serve and who would take advantage of that. She served some wild double-faults. I had my share of wild double-faults. I think it's also hard, it's so windy. It's really swirling out there. Your toss is moving around.

Q. You were up 5-3 in the first set. She played a great game to get back at 5-4. She has the serve, loses it. Seemed like a turning point of the match?

MONICA SELES: Definitely. I was really surprised at that, especially because I was into the wind. That side was very difficult to play upon. I was pretty mad at myself. I was up 40-15 the service game before. I served two double-faults here and there. I just said, "You know, you can't play like this." I just played very aggressively from that side, I think. She missed two shots. That was it.

Q. What is the hardest part about coming back to the Tour after being away for a while?

MONICA SELES: Probably for me the hardest one was not to look back what could have been, just to be happy that I'm back playing again and not worry about the past from my point, probably playing tennis again because I didn't play at all for two and a half years, just to get used to everything. At first, it's always new and exciting. But once the novelty wears off, you have to deal with the reality of every day of it.

Q. Did you look back a lot and sort of wonder what might have been?

MONICA SELES: Oh, yeah. Obviously, everybody would have done that at that point. I was 19 when everything happened. For sure. But not too long. Obviously, after I came back, my dad became ill, I had other things to focus on.

Q. Was there any novelty about today's match when you got on court?

MONICA SELES: No, no. I just said that I'm going to look at it a point at a time, just fight, play the best tennis that I can that day. Win or lose, I'll give it my best shot.

Q. How close is Jennifer to being at the level of the elite in the game right now, do you think?

MONICA SELES: It's hard to say. If she's playing like she has been, she's very close. You have to keep up the consistency. On the Tour, you have to play 18 tournaments a year. I think it's fantastic to see Jennifer, that she's really working hard, putting in the effort, mentally. What's really most important from my point of view, she really seems happy. That's just great to see that. I think you have to give a lot of credit to Harold, because he did a fantastic job. Yeah, I mean, she's 23. She has some fantastic years ahead of her if she keeps this up.

Q. Are you looking for a full-time coach?

MONICA SELES: I don't know at this point. I just really want to concentrate on my next match. I don't know in my life what's happening right now (laughter).

Q. How do you look forward to your next match?

MONICA SELES: A lot of hard and fast balls. Obviously, Serena hits really hard both sides. I lost to her twice. Just going to have to really practice well today. Obviously, I play doubles first. Just go out there and really fight and run and play aggressively.

Q. Is she one of those players who you consider to be more powerful than you are?

MONICA SELES: Well, it's hard to say. Physically, she covers more ground than I do at this point, today or tomorrow. From that point of view, she does have that advantage. On the groundstrokes, that's hard for me to say.

Q. Are you still struggling to get comfortable with this stadium the way you may have been with the old ones? Maybe you were never comfortable there.

MONICA SELES: I finally resolved that this year. I just realized that it is going to be windy for the rest of my career year. The stadium is going to play fast, all these things. I just said, "I'm just going to do the best can I with it. It's windy for my opponent, everybody else, stop moaning about it." You are always going to have favorite places and not. Hopefully it's going to grow on me.

Q. What do you think of all the attention sort of going to the Williams sisters, Martina, Lindsay, and you sort of being --?

MONICA SELES: It's very well-deserved. They played better than I did this year. They won the Grand Slams. Anytime you win a Grand Slam and you're No. 1, No. 2, win seven or eight tournaments before the US Open, it's totally deserved. I had some decent results, but nothing spectacular.

Q. Do you like the fact that a lot of attention hasn't been focused on you?

MONICA SELES: It does not matter to me at all, A or B. I'm in my own world. I just do what I can that's in my hands.

Q. Does it seem strange that you're playing this dynamite match against her in '91, and eight years go by before you play again?

MONICA SELES: Well, definitely. I mean, for sure, after we played that great match, if someone would have come up to me and said what's going to happen, I'd say, "Oh, yeah, right." If someone would say in April I'm going to be stabbed at a tennis tournament, not have a chance to win a lot of Grand Slams, I would say, "No way." That's what happened. Jennifer had a layoff for different reasons. Things happen in your life. It's just great to see that she's back, she's enjoying it, I'm playing, too, that we're just going on with our lives, that we're not stuck and still worried about what could have been and that stuff. We're just here and trying to change the future.

Q. Where do you see your game right now?

MONICA SELES: Well, I feel I'm playing better off the groundstrokes. I definitely feel Jimmy has helped me tremendously there. I'm playing a lot better matches and points, how I'm constructing them. I still think, you know, physically, I'm not at the level of a couple of players. It would be nice if I could kind of complete that. But I'm going to need some consistency. Hopefully, after The Open, I'll be able to get that.

Q. Do you think it's possible for you to work yourself into a championship level at this tournament?

MONICA SELES: It's hard. I mean, I believe that. I would not be playing, I think, if I wouldn't. It's hard because physically you have to come back for three very difficult matches. I mean, that's one thing I really want to change, that I be able to do that. I really feel game-wise I'm there. We'll just have to see. The day off helps. I have a doubles match. I feel fine right now. I really just want to take it a point or a time. Win or lose, give it my best shot.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297