2000 Evert Cup – Indian Wells – 3rd Round Interview

March 13, 2000

M. Seles defeats P. Schnyder 6-0,6-3

WTA: Questions for Monica.

Q. Your thoughts about playing Patty.

MONICA SELES: The last time I played Patty, I won 7-6, I think, in the third set. I knew coming in it’s going to be a tough match. She’s a tough lefty player, great hands. I was surprised. It was a little bit of a different match out there today. When two lefties play, it’s very different. I was just happy that I could finish the match in a pretty quick time.

Q. Are you able to judge how well you played or is it your opponent making that many errors?

MONICA SELES: It’s very hard. I mean, today it was just tough because, you know, the wind was blowing, she was making some weird shots, I was hitting for sure some weird shots. Just percentage-wise, I played a better game. But I’m just looking forward to each match that’s ahead of me. That’s all I worry about.

Q. It kind of looked like she wasn’t even in the match.

MONICA SELES: She is like that. That’s her type of personality. You can’t let that affect you. You do what you can control. It’s her. She did that when I played her in Hilton Head that time. That’s her style of play.

Q. Your next opponent is Sabine Appelmans. What are your thoughts about that match?

MONICA SELES: Sabine is another left-hander. I had a tough couple of last matches against her. I played a three-setter last year in the Australian Open against her. It’s going to be a lot of long rallies. Just have to play certain things in my game and really that’s it.

Q. Going back to when you weren’t able to play, how much were you restricted physically? What could you do?

MONICA SELES: Really zero. The only thing I could do was ride the stationary bike and pool workouts to a certain degree, then some free weights really, but no wait bearing, any exercises on it.

Q. Did you actually sort of take perhaps a little extra time before coming back this time just to be absolutely sure or not?

MONICA SELES: Not really. I was at the borderline. I was planning to play in Scottsdale – somehow ended up being Oklahoma. I was like, “I need to play, Doctor.” The one thing was that the MRI had to come back clear, and thank God it came back clean at that point. I thought it would come back by Australia, and it didn’t. It would have been a huge setback, I think, if I couldn’t have started when I wanted to again.

Q. Looking back, how much do you think you were physically restricted last year even when you were playing?

MONICA SELES: I don’t know. Regarding the foot, it really started bothering me at The Open. I guess the way my foot is, the doctor said I’m going to have more of a pronation so the insoles had to be made a little differently. Some athletes had more trouble. I never had trouble with it, but now I’m taking some more precaution because it’s very slow healing, especially where I had it in my navicular bone area. But I don’t think so. One thing, I would never come back if I had pain, that’s for sure. But I really did not have pain the last month or so.

Q. How close do you think you can get in the coming months to where you’ve been in the past?

MONICA SELES: Well, I’m just looking forward to — I think the next few weeks, the main goal is to be healthy and play through the tournaments. I need to do that for my points and rankings, so many things that come with it. Hopefully I have a couple of weeks before I go off to Europe where I really would like to train hard physically and finally be able to run, because I haven’t run, really zero. I feel that would be a huge addition to it. I already feel stronger that I biked a little bit, and swam. But I think for me running would be even a bigger of a jump in terms of helping move better on the court.

Q. Have you set any targets?

MONICA SELES: In terms of working out?

Q. I just wondered even now, the French maybe, one of those things.

MONICA SELES: Definitely. I think the French and Wimbledon would be really the main goals, but I have to be careful that I’m not overdoing it, too. I started in Oklahoma. Just where I’m playing a lot, singles and doubles. I think I’m going to have to cut back because I’ve been playing a lot of matches the last couple weeks, but everything feels good. That would be my priority, being healthy. If I’m healthy, then definitely those two tournaments would be my main goals, by far.

Q. Now that you are back, do you think there’s possibly some hidden advantage with the injury, that you might come back more recharged, hungry?

MONICA SELES: I definitely think so. I had a long time to think about a few things. Hopefully decisions that I made are going to stay with me through the good and the not-so-good times. I’m very happy that I changed racquets. I really think it’s helped already. I feel much more control on certain shots that have given me trouble. I still feel my serve has a long way to go. That would be my goal really for the Grand Slams, to have a little bit of a weapon with my serve. If I want to win the Grand Slams, I think that’s my only chance – to do it that way. I have a long road ahead of me, but just have to see.

Q. Is that something you’re targeting now, getting the serve right?

MONICA SELES: Definitely. I think I need the first serve back. Whenever you play the top four or five girls, they all have a big first serve and a very solid second serve. They’re holding their service games. If I’m not able to do that, I will always lose 7-5, 7-6, 6-1, those scores.

Q. Can you do that without risking more problems to the back?

MONICA SELES: My back I have really zero problems, nothing. The shoulder, nothing. Really more with the shoulder, it’s been five years that I haven’t had a single problem. As long as I do the exercises Dr. Steadman prescribed. I think if I’m careful how I go, it should be a question of finding the right way to improve the serve, too.