1999 Australian Open – 1st Round Interview

Melbourne, Australia

January 19, 1999

Monica Seles defeats T. Krizan 6-1,6-0

INTERVIEWER: Monica, you must have had an urgent dinner appointment?

MONICA: Well, my agent, it’s his birthday today, so I kind of had one. But I was just really so happy to get on court after waiting all day following the Kiefer match, I wasn’t sure if it will finish, and obviously I didn’t want to follow the Kiefer match. I was just so happy when they moved us.

INTERVIEWER: Any problems with the game, Monica?

MONICA: Sorry?

INTERVIEWER: Any problems with your game?

MONICA: Well, I think, it was just hard – it was a weird game because it was windy. The court was shaded so I just played a really safe game, didn’t make too many unforced errors, running really well out there. It was just a good comfortable first round to play. Obviously I haven’t played any matches this year, so I am really happy with the way I played.

INTERVIEWER: How come you didn’t play in any of the lead-up tournaments?

MONICA: I chose not to play because my grandmother passed away and I had a couple of tough weeks there, and I just felt I wasn’t ready and just wanted to have the best shot at Australia by just getting ready for that one, for this one.

INTERVIEWER: Monica, given that you haven’t lost here, would it feel strange to lose if you did lose?

MONICA: No, because I think eventually if I – hopefully I’ll play tennis for a few more years, and that streak is going to end. Same for Canada. These streaks are meant to be broken. But I’m sure going to go fighting for it, as I do for every tournament. Obviously I enjoy playing here, so I probably play better because of that; but when I step on the court I really don’t think about it.

INTERVIEWER: What is it about this location; is it the surface?

MONICA: Not only the surface, I just like the way, especially the stadium court is laid out. Like, you have a few stadium courts that you really like, and there are ones that you really don’t like, and this is one in the group that I really like. So the crowd obviously have been really good to me from the beginning. I have some friends and relatives here, so that makes it a more welcoming place to come.

INTERVIEWER: Where are the other courts that you like?

MONICA: I really don’t like any of the other ones, because it gets really shaded and windy on them.

INTERVIEWER: But are you talking about, like compared to other – – –

MONICA: My second one would be Wimbledon Centre Court. The third one the French, and least is the US Open.

INTERVIEWER: Monica, are you fit enough and capable of beating Lindsay?

MONICA: Lindsay? Gee, I haven’t looked at the draw. It’s a long way to Lindsay for all of us. I had some tough matches last year against Lindsay, a couple. I had one that I lost to Lindsay. Obviously the form she displayed in Sydney, it was just fantastic. So at this point of this tournament that’s not even in my mind, I’m just looking to my second round opponent.

INTERVIEWER: So, Monica, what are your expectations here?

MONICA: I mean, when I come into a tournament if I don’t really expect to win otherwise I don’t think I would be playing, so that’s kind of my expectation. But otherwise I just try to win every single point.

INTERVIEWER: Have you got any expectations for the year?

MONICA: Well, I’m just so happy my first one came through, just to start the year off in Australia; which it was very tough for me to miss the last two years, so that one hasn’t really come true. The second one is really to get back into the top and have some consistency in terms of my practice and my tournament schedule, so if I can keep my player commitments and all that stuff. So if it’s up to me I’m sure I’ll do it if nothing else comes into my life.