2000 Evert Cup – Indian Wells – QF Interview

March 15, 2000

M. Hingis defeats M. Seles 6-3,6-1

WTA: Questions for Monica.

Q. What was missing in your game?

MONICA SELES: She was playing very well today, except one game really where she gave it to me in the second set. For me, for sure, my serve a little bit let me down. That would be pretty much what would stand out.

Q. How much of a factor was the weather out there?

MONICA SELES: Not much today really. I mean, I feel fine now. I’m playing doubles. Today’s match, I didn’t feel it as a factor. It was hot out there for both of us. We talked about it after the match, but we’re used to it.

Q. What were you disappointed about today?


Q. What do you need to work on?

MONICA SELES: Right now, my serve I think for sure, the past two weeks.

Q. Any particular aspect of the serve?

MONICA SELES: No. That i have to figure out. It’s going to take me a day or two to figure out so hopefully I can make the adjustment for Lipton. That would really be my main goal. I cannot expect to hold one service game in a match. That’s been happening the past four or five matches.

Q. You weren’t able to get on her serve very well either. Did she serve well or did you not return well?

MONICA SELES: She was placing it well. I think in the first set when I broke her a couple of times, then losing my service game, I preoccupied my own mind with my own service. I was battling a little bit my own self. I thought, So many great chances here, you can’t hold your serve at key times. If you don’t do that at 4-1, everyone serves well, and against Martina, if you let her go that far away, it’s pretty difficult to get it back.

Q. You recently said that in five years or so you thought Lindsay would probably emerge as the best of the young group. What do you think Martina would have to do to change that?

MONICA SELES: Well, the last few times Lindsay has dominated Martina they have played. If they get to play here, it will be interesting. The court is a very fair speed, not fast, not slow, so it’s going to be very even. One thing that Lindsay definitely has over Martina is her serve. Lindsay holds her service game as lot easier and she’s a great returner. Martina has also some other good aspects. It will be an interesting match.

Q. Is Martina’s backhand the best backhand you’ve ever faced? Could you talk about that?

MONICA SELES: I think Martina’s and Chris Evert’s, those were the two most solid backhands that I faced, I think so.

Q. What is the best backhand you faced and who was the toughest mentally you faced?

MONICA SELES: It’s so hard to pick one person. Best backhand, Chrissy and Martina, just on top of my head. Mentally, all the No. 1 players you have to mention all equally, Steffi, Martina, Chrissy, Hingis, Lindsay. You have to be to be No. 1.

Q. And the forehands?

MONICA SELES: I think probably Steffi’s stands out the most on top of my head, and Martina’s when she would come in and hook the forehand.

Q. You played Hingis a lot now. Is she improving?

MONICA SELES: I think she’s definitely improving. From what I’ve seen, she works really hard. Her mom is fantastic, doing a great job at that. You keep seeing her practicing and everything. I think she knows that everybody is gunning for her position, everybody wants to be there, there are a lot of good other players. Even if she’s No. 1, she’s still improving. It’s great to see that.

Q. Switching topics, you’ve been a pretty big celebrity a long time in your career, but you’ve also managed to win nine Slam titles, be No. 1. Kournikova, on the other hand, is a very good player, but is yet to win a title, having problems dealing with her celebrity.

MONICA SELES: Anna, having problems? I don’t see it that way.

Q. She likes her celebrity, but when she gets on court, she’s not winning the titles yet.

MONICA SELES: I just think her game is not there yet. I think it will be. I really feel the new coach she’s hired, he’s a very good coach. She definitely had a very good draw here. I think she knows she let a good one slip by a touch bit. But she’s just not there. I mean, you know, it depends who’s she’s playing. A lot of players are more intimidated by her, a lot of players are not. One thing with Anna, I must say she does work really hard, I think she wants it. If she has that attitude for the next few years, I think sooner or later she’ll come through. But then you see so many other young players coming up like Dementieva. I don’t really think she’s having a tough time dealing with it from what I’ve seen.

Q. Did you ever get distracted by the attention so that it affected you on court?

MONICA SELES: From the press?

Q. From the press, from fans.

MONICA SELES: Maybe just from the press when I didn’t play Wimbledon in ’91, then I came back at Mahwah. It was an absolute circus, maybe that one week. Just that one week that absolutely surprised me what was happening. Besides, that no.

Q. What is the best part of celebrity and the worst?

MONICA SELES: They’re mostly good things. So many things. Martina Hingis was quoted a few times, some great quotes. Just so many doors open, opportunities. Being a tennis player, being a celebrity or not, it comes with the territory. I can’t complain. In my life, it’s been terrific.

Q. Does it seem strange at such a young age, you’re always asked about somebody young and up-and-coming. Does it feel strange to be a grand old lady at your age?

MONICA SELES: In tennis, it is. You’re old or in the older end. Same in ice skating, gymnastics. Martina, when she was leaving the tour, when I was beating her, “You’re going to be in my shoes one day.” Everybody will be in those shoes, Hingis, Kournikova, Lindsay. It’s just the nature of the whole beast, I guess, the circuit. I’m at that stage right now where I’m kind of caught in the middle in terms of the age.

Q. How frustrating is it for you to go out early –?

MONICA SELES: Frustrating because I felt I was playing well this week. Against a player like Lindsay, Martina, you have to have all aspects of your game to come together. It’s not just not here, but the last few matches I’ve played how things in my game haven’t come together. Hopefully I have a week to try to correct that. But at least it gives me more of a hunger to try to be better. At least that’s a good thing.

Q. What would it mean to you to play the Olympics for the United States?

MONICA SELES: It would mean a lot. I had a great time playing it in ’96. I personally don’t feel tennis should be in the Olympics. The decision, it’s there. I had a great time staying in the village. It’s fantastic to see all those other great athletes that you see. As a tennis player, I have an iffy feeling about it. If I’m going to be selected, for sure I’m going to go.

Q. And not the Olympics with tennis because?

MONICA SELES: So many sports, people have to be an amateur to compete in the Olympics. Here we’re tennis players who are not amateurs, we’re competing it in. In ice skating, if you’re a professional, you can’t compete. It’s like a double standard. It does not make sense to me. Really the true spirit of the Olympics is to allow every professional to compete or you don’t in every single sport.

Q. Was the heat on the court today a factor at all?

MONICA SELES: No, not at all.

Q. How do you like the facility?

MONICA SELES: I love the facility. I had a tour of it about a week ago from bottom to up. It’s just fantastic. I think the tournament did a beautiful job.

Q. You and Jennifer in doubles, very exciting. What is the plan on that?

MONICA SELES: We’ve been playing great. We just started last week on a fluke to play together. It’s been going great. We have a tough match today. We’ll just see, but most importantly we really enjoy playing with each other, we enjoy each other’s company. That’s a pretty good combination.