1992 U.S. Open – 3rd Round Interview

New York, New York

September 04, 1992

Monica Seles defeats C. Porwik 6-4, 6-0

Q. Monica, you were just sort of slow getting started tonight. Is that —

MONICA SELES: It was really humid out there. At the beginning it was kind of hard to see the ball. I just– one or two points that I played really bad. I doublefaulted on a breakpoint. Just missed easy balls that I shouldn’t have. And then 4-1, I just told myself I’ve really got to lift my game if I want to pull out this first set.

Q. Martina and Jennifer both had big wins this summer, as you know. Then, of course, they both lost here. You had your great wins earlier in the year, yet you sort of had a rough spell since London. Is it particularly hard to sustain a level of excellence?

MONICA SELES: I think it’s very hard now to always, you know, do very well, because the tour– the depth is just there. Both of them have a tough– I mean, tough second and third round. Maleeva Magdalena could be a good player. Sometimes the other players just don’t have that tough of a draw and they don’t have the upsets. But personally, I don’t think– it is hard to say, because let’s say, like, two months ago Martina played Magdalena at Wimbledon. It was an easy match. I didn’t think Martina would have a problem with her, but then Martina was just– is not the Martina that you are used to seeing. Jennifer’s match, I didn’t watch it today, but I played Hy a few weeks ago. She is a tough player. Both of them are very good players. I don’t think that getting to two finals is not good. I am satisfied with it. I don’t want to have the pressure on myself to always have to win. It is impossible. What I try to do now is go out each match and just give everything that I have, pretty much. You know, just not look so much to winning, losing. It doesn’t matter when I look back at three years, I don’t remember my wins and my losses. In three years, I wouldn’t remember what I done at this Open either. It is unnecessary pressure on yourself. That is the point I am at right now.

Q. What happened in your mind and in your game after 4-2 in the first set. How did you change the momentum?

MONICA SELES: I just charted staying better. Started passing her. She was coming in on everything. Sometimes she was just coming in on easy balls that I am not used to anybody coming in and then the beginning, I thought, okay, these are so easy, I can’t miss them and I did miss them. After 4-2, when I broke her, I said to myself, concentrate now and start moving your feet. Just go at it. That is what I tried to do. I had a few lucky shots. In converse, she had a few lucky breaks.

Q. When you were trailing, did you think about Jennifer goes out with an upset, Martina goes out with an upset; could this be happening to me?

MONICA SELES: I don’t think about that during the match. But definitely when you walk into the lockerroom, you see it is match point for Hy, not even know what the score is coming here, you are definitely a little surprised even if you don’t want to. It is still in your head a little bit, look, Jennifer is down and Martina lost. You just really try to take each match at a time. You don’t want to get overconfident. And you know, you are always — the surprise is there. Everybody was surprised yesterday and today also. But that is how the game goes, nobody can win always. There will be bad and good days.

Q. In a match like tonight it was more of a case at some point just sort of giving yourself a mental slap?

MONICA SELES: I think so.

Q. Saying concentrate and then concentrating?

MONICA SELES: My feeling is that she really was coming in, sometimes on great shots, sometimes just a ball, because that — I never had anybody come in and I took them a little bit too easily. I needed a wake-up call, basically.

Q. From there on in, it was just– you just motored down?

MONICA SELES: Yeah, I was a lucky. I start playing a little better.

Q. You said years from now you wouldn’t remember the specific matches. There is a 40 year old guy out there right now. What do you think Monica Seles might be doing when she is 40 years old what do you think —

MONICA SELES: Hopefully married and having some children, I think. Just staying home. Not traveling for a while. That would be probably my goal. I think it is a long way to go. But then again, when I am hurt and I can’t play for two weeks, I miss the game so much, that it would have to be something very strong outside of tennis that would tell me, you know, put the racket down, basically forever, competitively. You know, I might play just one or two tournaments, it is a hard decision. I don’t like to think about it now because — but to think that Jimmy, he is playing at such a high level at age 40, in men’s tennis, it is really incredible. I mean, there will be just one Connors, that is for sure, and he loves it and it is just unreal.

Q. Jennifer came in here after winning the Olympics with a real great amount of confidence, feeling good about herself. I talked to Martina last week after her win over you at L.A.. She said she might have been playing as good tennis as she might have been playing in 1986, the last time she was number one in the world, I think. Both of these players I personally would have felt might be in the final or might be right there. Now they are both out. What does that say about sort of your chances of winning, or does it more likely bring it down to just either you or Graf or Sabatini, one of the three?

MONICA SELES: I don’t think so. Because all of us are pretty close matches. I think Steffi really doesn’t have that many tough matches ’till the quarters, not any players that can upset her. But Gaby had a tough match today also. So, I will have a tough next round also. So I don’t like to look too forward. But, you know, Martina played, you know, a great match, I think in L.A. but I still think my performance was really awful. Not too good there. And Jennifer she did play excellent in Barcelona. I certainly thought that seeing her play in San Diego – she was playing great tennis – you know, that we would, maybe meet in the quarter finals, seeing her play. But that is tennis, you know, I came in here three years — two years ago, also winning L.A. and just being in a great winning streak and lost in the third round. I mean, and last year I won, the Virginia Slims of L.A. and I still won here. I mean, same thing last year when I had the second round, three set match, it is a strange game. Just really got to go out there and take everybody very seriously.

Q. When insiders talk about you they sometimes say, well, the public hasn’t really appreciated what you have done or accomplished at this age. If there is one thing you think that the public misunderstands about Monica Seles, what is it?

MONICA SELES: I think after Wimbledon there have been so many stories written about myself even when I read them, myself, it is kind of a strange, why do people come up with all of these — most of them are lies, I mean 90%. I have read a lot of these papers and people don’t know what to believe, I think whatever happened over 1991 Wimbledon, always I think people forget that how young I am, even last year 17 – I am 18 this year, they think I am 27 or 30, and they think — there have been just so many things written about myself, but not so much about my game. That is what I like to be changed. I still think I am a tennis player. There shouldn’t be a page on my grunting or missing Wimbledon, being pregnant, and these rumors. I don’t think too many tennis players have to go through with it. Maybe just four or five, but I had think I had my share of all these things for quite awhile now. I think it is enough. I see no reason why it is always bring up things that are just so unimportant.

Q. Are these things sticking or do you see some change?

MONICA SELES: I am seeing more change. I think people are realizing that all the things are written about Wimbledon are just — not balogney — but just unfair, and I got a lot of letters after Wimbledon this year about the grunting issue. Just a lot of supporting letters that kind of meant a lot to me, because you know, as I said, I am just really surprised what happened out there. Just not the players and just how much of an issue was for 14 weeks for people to stay outside of your house and then watch me practicing on the court that I had at the house and just taking all those things that you measure — I felt a little bit out of the points and just always picking on me with the grunting issue. You go out there and see — today, I was practicing I heard another girl grunting. Nobody ever said anything to them. Helen Kelesi’s grunt. Why was I singled out every day? That was the main question in the press conference everyday for all my seven matches.

Q. I read the interview that you had where your first round match or second round where there was a lot of discussion questions about that. The one question I didn’t see asked and I apologize for missing it, why did you stop after Wimbledon?

MONICA SELES: The grunting?

Q. Yes.

MONICA SELES: Basically, I felt that there is so much emphasis on it and I didn’t want people to always write about Monica’s grunting. At one point two years ago, Monica is giggling. Everybody was saying everything about that; then again, nobody ever wrote about my game. Every year Wimbledon, it was the grunting every year. This year it went out of anybody’s imagination, I think, how much they were just writing about it. And I was, I guess, a little bit more surprised especially after the semi-final match and maybe fought a little bit too much about it in the finals which I shouldn’t have, but after the final I made a promise to myself it doesn’t matter if you are grunting or not, you can’t worry about that. That is not the most important thing out there. And just you know, don’t make an issue out of it. It is the same thing I know that I was not pregnant in the 1991. It is the same thing that I know to grunt or not grunt, that is not going to win or lose me a game. That is why I made a promise to myself. That is what I am going to hopefully try and do.

Q. You talked about the depth in women’s tennis. How long ago would you say there was more depth, how long ago would you say it was more difficult to remain at the top?

MONICA SELES: I think since around 1990, it started, ’89, when Steffi was slowly not being so much dominant. That is when it started, being a lot of top players losing matches in the early rounds, which before not happen. In the earliest would be quarter finals, but never second or third round. I think it is still unusual what happened here, but that is just shows that even top players, you know, Steffi for myself, we play three sets with a lot of lower ranked players who before everybody say, oh, Steffi is going to go out 6-Love, 6-Love. You don’t see that much anymore.

Q. How fast do you think you won that second set?

MONICA SELES: 20 minutes?

Q. 18.

MONICA SELES: 18 minutes, okay, close. Thank you.