1998 Lipton – 3rd Round Interview

Key Biscayne, Florida

March 23, 1998

A. Kournikova defeats M. Seles 7-5, 6-4

Q. Monica, what do you think about Kournikova’s game?

MONICA SELES: It’s hard for me to say what I think, just coming off. It’s really fast. I haven’t played too many balls. But she played really good, both sides very good, running very well, all-around good game.

Q. I saw that you were dropshotting her, like she was dropshotting you, instead of usually hitting the ball hard. Is that a change of game? Is that something new you’re starting to do?

MONICA SELES: Not really. I just think I’m not feeling the ball as well, so I’m trying different shots. But not really, no.

Q. Monica, could you talk about your overall game today? Go into some detail about what happened. Did you not feel comfortable?

MONICA SELES: Well, I think I gave too many easy shots on key points, I think; too many unforced errors. That’s not playing a few times. I left the ball and let the ball bounce. I had no feeling of whether it is going in or out. I’m happy with the amount of preparation I got. I definitely improved over the day before yesterday, and the more I’m going to play, you know, the better chances I will have.

Q. Is the serve just indicative as to how it’s tough to come out and play?

MONICA SELES: I think I’m just not serving enough. The timing is not there. It’s a little bit more windy. I got shaken, a lot of second serves. Her return is so great, so you’re not going to get away with that. That’s what happened on those points today.

Q. As far as stamina, I mean, do you think you’re still working at it? Are you at your top right now?

MONICA SELES: Well, I didn’t work much on it. Hopefully it’s not my top. You know, we’ll just see. I think time will tell that.

Q. Monica, do you intend to maintain a full schedule through, let’s say, Wimbledon, or are you going to look at it week to week?

MONICA SELES: At this point I really don’t know.

Q. Monica, I wasn’t here at the beginning. What happened at 5-3? What went through your head in the first set?

MONICA SELES: I really don’t think anything is happening. It’s just that I’m not hitting enough balls. I don’t have that confidence to finish the match off, which has been happening the past year, since I really took my practice hours down. But that’s one part I tried to improve upon. Today I had the same thing happen to me, in the second set also, just too many free points. When she needed it, she played some great shots. I think that’s why she won the key points today.

Q. Do you think it’s more mental than physical in those moments?

MONICA SELES: I think the more I play, I notice that I got better. But it’s really hard not playing for a month, playing those key points well. You feel so much pressure on me, you know, if I make this point or I don’t, which I think like last summer when I played more tournaments, I felt more comfortable. Hopefully I’ll get to do that.

Q. Are you still planning on playing Amelia?

MONICA SELES: I’m just going to take it really a day at a time. That’s what I kind of decided coming into Lipton. I hope so. I really love both tournaments, but just a day at a time.

Q. You seemed to move better. Did you work on that?

MONICA SELES: Not really. I just think, you know, probably — I don’t know if I lost weight a little bit. Maybe that has helped. But I haven’t really worked much on anything the last few months. I did feel pretty good. I can’t say I’m tired now or anything like that.