1999 Australian Open – 3rd Round Interview

Melbourne, Australia

January 23, 1999

Monica Seles defeats S. Appelmans 6-3,3-6,6-4

INTERVIEWER: Monica, quite a battle out there today?

MONICA SELES: Yeah, definitely. I just never felt I had my rhythm, even, really, after the first set. I had a very hard time out there today, so I just need to really work on that.

INTERVIEWER: When you didn’t drop a point in the first three games of the third set, you must have thought it was probably going to be slightly more easy than it eventually became?

MONICA SELES: Not really, because I didn’t feel like those first three games I kind of won on my own. She made a lot of mistakes to give them to me. I got frustrated there, which was fine at 4-1; but I took way too much longer to get back out of that frustration. But thank goodness, physically I was fine, that I could just kind of stay in the point as long as it takes, because I can’t hit two winners in the court today. So I just tried to play safe, and lucky it worked out.

INTERVIEWER: How concerned are you, Monica, by that performance getting towards the end of – – -?

MONICA SELES: I mean, each match you go in differently, you know. It depends how much wind there is, and I’m just going to hit it, and try to forget about this one, and really re-focus, because, I mean, I have a really tough one if I play like this, for sure, I won’t come out the winner.

INTERVIEWER: Was that anything to do with the conditions, the wind or anything, or was it just a bad day?

MONICA SELES: It was a bad day, but it was windy. But I think theworst was, I think, for both Sabine and for me, on one side of a leftie you cannot see the ball when you throw it up and you can’t serve. Both us made some really, really weird service mistakes and the games were going by what side we were on. But obviously, that’s going to happen sometimes more in the match, and somehow I have just got to deal with it better, changing my toss and moving around, because I can’t drop as many as service games as I was doing today.

INTERVIEWER: Monica, what was that, that you were complaining about at the end of the match?

MONICA SELES: Oh, I wasn’t complaining about anything. At 4-2 the umpire called a deuce in, sorry out. Then she called it in. And if that’s the case, you need to replay the point. But I looked up to the board. I couldn’t hear the umpire and it says “Advantage Seles”, so I said “Fine, I’m not going to say anything”. At the end she said it was out, and I lost the next point and I thought it was deuce, and then she called it a game. So I felt I didn’t know what was happening. I felt unfair out there and I was just – I complained to her, and I was just telling that at the end of the match.

INTERVIEWER: Inevitably, it’s going to be raised again, you still haven’t lost in Australia. It’s quite an amazing record?

MONICA SELES: Yeah, it is. I mean it’s really wonderful, both in Australia and Canada. But now I plan to play again I don’t think it’s going to stand for a long time; but even up to now it’s really great. So I’ve played some great tennis here, really, from the beginning of my career, through a lot of different stages in my life.

INTERVIEWER: And how do you feel in yourself? Good?

MONICA SELES: Myself, I feel fine. I mean I don’t feel I’m feeling the ball fantastically; I haven’t hit up as much coming in. But at least physically I felt good out there. It was windy, and hot. I feel fine. But I just need to hit some more balls the next few days, to get back a little bit more of my ground strokes.

INTERVIEWER: What do you think about your match against Sandrine?

MONICA SELES: I’m looking forward to it. Sandrine and I always play some tough matches, but Sandrine is a tough, a great fighter, and I really like her as a person; so whenever I go out to play against her I really truly enjoy playing against her, and I’m sure this one will be no different.