New York, New York
September 12, 1992
Monica Seles defeats A. Sanchez-Vicario 6-3, 6-3
Q. Monica, congratulations. What were you thinking of winning the two sets when she came back?
MONICA SELES: I was not too happy, but– and in the first set, I was up 5-1, I should have closed the match, but in the first set I felt I didn’t have many chances to put the first set away. But the second set, I had 40-15 on her serve and then 30-Love, then again, 40-15. I just felt it slipping away, probably a little bit more nervous than I should have. I was really glad when that net cord just gave me another shot at it.
Q. Monica, how much did the wait affect you? Arantxa said it bothered her a little bit.
MONICA SELES: The wait?
Q. Before the men’s match?
MONICA SELES: Definitely bothered me a lot. I have been here since 11:30, and you pretty much don’t know when the matches are going to end. The Chang/Edberg began with momentum in that match; was changing so often. One point I said Edberg is finishing; then another point, Chang. It evened out totally. So many break of serves. You never knew what is going to happen. You don’t know if you should eat. Sitting in the lockerroom, it is freezing down there. It is really hard. It is not really fair for the finals that you wait that long. You usually don’t have that before big matches. You got to think about the match.
Q. What did you do during the wait, as far as eating; stuff like that?
MONICA SELES: I just eat my– some pasta and some bagels, read TIME, probably I know every page in NEWSWEEK and TIME, and just watched some of the points. I get a little bit too nervous when I watch any match. I don’t have a favorite, but just watching, you know, somebody misses an easy shot. I try not to look at the match. Pretty much it is– at one point I slept for like ten, fifteen minutes. It was just getting too long. I think it is the longest match in the history of the Open, pretty much, something like that. It had to be us.
Q. Monica, your thoughts on two U.S. Opens in a row?
MONICA SELES: Oh. Well, I mean, last year was very special, because it’s the first time I won the Open and going in last year I was not so sure if I could do it. This year, when the draw came out, I felt I had a tough draw. I was not sure if I would be able to do it in the second week, when I became pretty sick. I was not feeling too well, so — but I kind of just saw myself– said, take day by day. It is just great, winning this two in a row. I mean, up to last year, I never played really well here. It is nice, I can play some great tennis. I think having pretty tough — not playing so well the two weeks beforehand here, I think my game just kind of played a lot better, probably not as well as some other tournaments, but I was playing definitely a lot better today than before.
Q. Monica, there has been a lot of talk about the increased depth in women’s tennis. Now, you come in here and you play, like you say, half the tournament sick and you still don’t lose a set. Do you see this increased depth–
MONICA SELES: I mean, I played two matches sick. I was sick. I can’t complain. The only match I felt a little sick was Patricia Hy when I played. I was playing fine. But I mean, before three years ago, you would not see Steffi losing in the quarters. That has happened quite many times, now than Martina also losing in the early rounds. Gaby, pretty often, before it was always, basically, you know, Gaby, Steffi, Martina, always get to the semis. They are losing much earlier. I was pretty lucky that they lost to Ferrando a few years ago. I did not lose that early. I am sure my turn will come. You know, it is just hard, because all the top players, you know, you have the pressure that you always got to win, and you go into the match and I think a lot of players maybe lost this tournament also because they had a little bit too much pressure on themselves.
Q. When Arantxa was in here she said she felt nervous today and one of her problems she was trying to rush the points a little bit, she said; make them go faster; force them a little bit. Did you sense that early on were you able to take advantage of it at all?
MONICA SELES: I was pretty nervous today. Also, I think both of us were. I mean, we had some great points, but I think you know, I don’t think I was playing that aggressive as against Mary Joe yesterday, but then again, Arantxa runs back so many balls that other people would not just even run for. She is like Chang, basically. As I said, I was nervous even to close out the match, which usually doesn’t happen were me. I don’t know why. They say the long wait makes you think; going back and forth; what is going to happen, you go out there, it was a little more windy. You get a little nervous. Some matches you do; some matches you don’t.
Q. You didn’t sense particularly anything with her?
MONICA SELES: I felt she was– it is hard — I was more nervous myself. I really worried about myself. I don’t think she made any unforced errors. She didn’t give many too many easy points. I had to work for it.
Q. When did all that congestion and the cold go away?
MONICA SELES: Basically the day before yesterday night, and yesterday I was feeling a lot better.
Q. Because when you were in here yesterday, you sounded pretty bad.
MONICA SELES: I was feeling a lot better, yeah. And then pretty much this morning it was all gone. I mean, I still– my nose is runny and I still cough up, but it is just, you know, it is so much better, I don’t have the — temperature is gone since yesterday. I am not feeling hot and cold. Only thing, my hands get a little bit cold sometimes, but that is all.
Q. You and Arantxa had a really quick warm-up. It was only like 14 minutes; then you got started right away. Did you sense you just wanted to get the match going coming out?
MONICA SELES: Quick warm-up, did we?
Q. It seemed like it was really fast.
MONICA SELES: I don’t know. I really — I felt it was enough, the usual, to me. I think we took the five minutes.
Q. You win the Open, again, your third Grand Slam, and yet the crowd’s reaction was subdued.
MONICA SELES: Yeah. I thought you were going to Wimbledon, sorry.
Q. That is later. Does that ever bother you and why don’t you think you quite get the fan appreciation that you–
MONICA SELES: I think it really started with Wimbledon. I believe a lot of people– the stories that were just written about me which were just awful. Even now when I look back, the things they wrote and I think a lot of people picked up, which is very bad, but– and then also I guess, when you become number one, it is always a little harder, with everything that you do; with the relationship with the players, with everybody — it is a little more difficult. I felt that with the crowd also when I became number one for a while, there is always– it’s a little tougher in a sense that when I played against Steffi, when she was number one and I was number three, it was always like that also. But I really feel there are a lot– they are a lot better than like last year than, say — I think they are realizing who I am, pretty much so. Last year, it was a tough year for me because at Wimbledon; all the stories that were written. I think a lot of people basically just heard about me then. That just brought so much more people knowing me. They just thought all the stories that were written were true, which they are kind of– I still think people remember that a little bit.
Q. Monica, you have talked about before about improving your serve and volley game. Is it — is it hard to work on your serve and volley game a lot when you are still able to win most of the tournaments without it?
MONICA SELES: I try to come in more. I am probably going to play doubles, after this tournament, pretty much every tournament I am trying to do that. But like Arantxa didn’t come in many times either, actually yesterday. It is hard to come in. Arantxa– I came in three times, I missed. Once I felt I’d missed easier shot. The other times — it is hard because they have a spin on it; they go very fast. It is different at practice and only thing that the serve and volley game is– you don’t have– you cannot go into the match and — it is different during practice because there is no pressure, but a match there is pressure. You go into a net. It is– you think what am I doing here; I am supposed to stay back because for seven, eight years, you have been playing at the backcourt. But I am volleying extremely well in practice; that is why I might play a little more doubles. Hopefully, that is going to help me. I don’t want to put that pressure on myself because the more I am thinking I got to go in; I got to go in, the more I kind of freeze up when I get there. It is like, “what am I doing here; I am not supposed to be here.” You can’t have that thought. So–
Q. Every player seems to have a clear idea of what strategy they are going to use against you and how it is going to be successful. Why are so few of them successful at it?
MONICA SELES: Hard to say. Like when I lose a match, I don’t think I just lose a match because of strategy, I still think my game is involved and a lot of times I am not playing as well as the other opponent. Like the match is usually when I lose them, it is one or two points. I mean, I can choke a little bit also on one or two points usually I do sometimes. I don’t know, I mean, I definitely — I don’t usually. I mean, sometimes read the papers the night before my match and just read what they are going to try to do during a match. Usually they don’t do that, so I don’t know.
Q. Why don’t you think they do that? Do you think they get into the match sort of give up —
MONICA SELES: It is hard for somebody like the backcourt player now to start coming in and then I pass, you know, some great shots and, you know, it is hard to keep coming in. I mean, you got to be pretty good volleyer to come in to me or to Arantxa or to Gaby because they will pass you really well.
Q. Who are you going to play doubles with?
MONICA SELES: In Tokyo, I haven’t decided yet. I have two or three players I am going to ask. Hopefully, they haven’t committed yet. I think I would love to play doubles. I don’t know, I mean, when I played, I always done pretty well. If I find a good partner, it is a lot of fun. I found like two or three times, I had a great fun, but usually, I am the oldest player. Jennifer and Helena we never played the same tournament, so I can’t play them. But I would just love to do that. I made myself come in at doubles. I stayed back at doubles. I said, why am I playing doubles then? That is the purpose of it, to come in. But then you are seeing Mary Joe and Arantxa coming in more. Hopefully, it’s going to make me come in more.
Q. Monica, you lost your last three finals. Can you talk a bit why and what the difference was today?
MONICA SELES: I think the Wimbledon final was very different from all of them. I mean, Steffi just played a great match, and that day just whatever I tried, it was really being off, and she just had the answer to all my shots. Against Martina, Virginia Slims of L.A. and Canadian Open, I felt my game was just not there. I felt maybe I shouldn’t have played with that ankle. I should have just — it is hard to make that decision, because you have to make up the tournaments at the end of the year and I didn’t know if I wanted to do that, but it was a lesson to learn, and I just felt it was different; the two losses were a lot different than Wimbledon. So today, I told myself, you know, just go at it; stay as tough as you do in the semis; also don’t let it up, because it’s the finals. I am sometimes satisfied with second place.
Q. How about the Canadian Open?
MONICA SELES: I basically played the whole tournament with the ankle. I felt I shouldn’t have, but I still–
Q. How are you playing now?
MONICA SELES: I am just taping my ankle, but it has been fine. I took a few days off after Canadian Open and just done some treatment on it. I haven’t done treatment here. I was taping it everyday.
Q. You needed seven hours to win this tournament. Stefan Edberg needed five and one-half hours to win only a semifinal match.
MONICA SELES: That is incredible, how long Edberg had to play. I don’t understand. It is just unreal. He had to play so many days in a row. He had about three of the longest matches probably in the history of the Open; then he has to play tomorrow. That is just unbelievable. I take my hat off to him.
Q. You mentioned Wimbledon. Would that be the only thing that separates you now from two back-to-back Grand Slams? Is that a goal of any added emphasis?
MONICA SELES: I don’t want do that. Wimbledon is extra special. I would love to play some great tennis there. This year, it definitely helped getting into the finals, but I think when I got to the finals I made the occasion too big. I just thought, “whoosh,” and I shouldn’t have. So next year when I go back, I learned a lesson from it. But I would not like to do that to myself, because it is like Lendl, I think it is almost like obsession. It is a tennis tournament. Everything is, you know, with the number one ranking with the U.S. Open; you got to open all and put it in perspective. That is why I don’t want any tournament to be something that I definitely got to do. If it happens, it was meant to happen; if it doesn’t, I am happy.
Q. Thank you very much.