2000 French Open – 4th Round Interview

June 04, 2000
M. Seles defeats Mauresmo 7-5,6-3

Q. Was that kind of a hang-in-there match, wait till she makes a few errors, make sure she doesn’t completely dominate you, make her beat you?

MONICA SELES: Really I think I only did that in a few games when I kind of let it go. Same mistake that I did in Rome. But otherwise I really felt I was attacking, going for my shots. But still I had a couple of letdowns. But, I mean, it’s hard, they were tough conditions out there.

Q. You ran down a lot of balls today.


Q. You were off the court a number of times. You have to be feeling in pretty good shape physically.

MONICA SELES: Definitely. I think a lot of points I won, they were really key points. I just tried to hang in there because it was a tough clay court, it was very slippery. I just ran for every ball and fight. That’s pretty much what I tried.

Q. Could you make a comparison between Rome and this time? Do you think Amelie had a different game from Rome here today?

MONICA SELES: In terms of the game comparison, I think she tried a few things differently. I think it was pretty similar to Rome, except in Rome I played so much better in the first set, I was more aggressive. But it was a huge buildup to the match and it was tough to come out.

Totally different conditions. In Rome I had the whole stadium behind me. Here I had the whole stadium really against me. So I had to just stay very focused. The court was playing totally different. It was a totally different match in every sense I think compared to Rome.

Q. You’re still sick?

MONICA SELES: Yes, I still have a sinus and bronchitis, so I’m still fighting it.

Q. How does that affect you?

MONICA SELES: I’m just trying to get as much rest. I’m very thankful that I decided not to play doubles. Tomorrow that’s really my main concern. Just have as much energy, because I’m definitely going to need it for my next match.

Q. Have you ever won a tournament when you felt sick the way you do now?

MONICA SELES: I think I’m sure in the past, yeah. I’m sure, yeah.

Q. So you don’t think this is going to stop you?

MONICA SELES: Well, I wish I didn’t have to be on antibiotics now, all this medication. But unfortunately that’s what it is, and the doctor felt it’s better to do that so it doesn’t spread longer. That’s what happens when you live in Florida so long, your immune system gets down.

Q. Does it make you drowsy?

MONICA SELES: I just don’t like it because it makes you more tired, I think, and drowsy. But I try to taper it a little bit so I don’t take it too close to the match like today, but sometimes it’s hard.

Like I said, I was here since 2 o’clock and I just wanted to play. But thank goodness I have a day off tomorrow and I’m going to try to get as much rest and stay warm.

Q. A lot of great points. The last one, a little luck on that net cord.

MONICA SELES: Definitely. That was just, “Oh, boy.” At 5-3 when she was up 30-Love, really she had a chance. I had my match point and I double-faulted. I just thought back to Rome. Same scenario, 5-3 up, “Just please don’t go into tiebreak or third set.”

I was really lucky that she missed that ball at 40-all because she didn’t give me too many free points in the match. Then the match I think both of us played, it was so tight. None of us wanted to really win it or lose it. But pure luck at the end there.

Q. You get a little luck like that, do you say, “I’ve had enough bad luck”?

MONICA SELES: I think you take it as they come. I had my share of net cords. I will have them in the future both ways, so.

Q. What do you like best about the way you played today and so far in the tournament?

MONICA SELES: Well, I’m trying to play more aggressively, trying to keep that up every point. Probably I move better and I didn’t give up, which before I would give up a little bit and get down more on myself. Trying to improve upon that. And I get frustrated with a few things if they’re not going as well.

Really for me today the main thing was just to stay mentally strong out there because I had to fight so many things. It wasn’t just like a regular tennis match. Just stay focused what my task was ahead.

Q. Next round you are going to play a French player again. How do you see that match?

MONICA SELES: Well, it can be a very difficult match. I’ve had not really great success against Mary before. She’s also playing some of her best tennis. So I’m sure it’s going to be the same situation that it was today.

Q. It was such a terrible result the last time against Mary. In some ways do you think that maybe helps you, because obviously it’s not going to be like that this time?

MONICA SELES: You never know (laughter).

Q. She might be overconfident.

MONICA SELES: I’m just going to have to do a few things hopefully differently. I’m sure she might want to do a few things differently. Have to talk to Bobby. Hopefully I’ll be raising my game level better. I mean, that’s one thing that I’ve been trying not to have lapses or matches like that, which I had a few this year. We’ll just see if I can rise up to the occasion. It’s going to be up to me.

Q. The way you felt that day, it was such a bad result, one-sided result. Kind of serve to get you going this time?

MONICA SELES: I’m not a person like that. I truly am not. Even like I lost to Martina that match, everybody was like, “Amelia is going to be such a breaking point tournament for her.” I truly don’t look at it that way.

I don’t take too much of a difference in terms of win or loss in terms of two hours after the match. But I do try to learn from that loss, and I hope I can bring that lesson into the match. But only time will tell if I do that.

Q. Do you think Mauresmo was pressing too much today on key points?

MONICA SELES: Well, I think in Rome she said that that was her fault, that she wasn’t pressing too much. So maybe that’s the fault here. It’s hard to look back.

Today I was just a better player out there. And we’re going to play many more matches. She’s going to have many more chances. Same here. It’s tough conditions for her. A tough match, buildup to it all day. You’re waiting for the match. It’s raining half of the time. The crowd is into it even during second serves and all that.

She’s still a very young person. But I think she just had some beautiful strokes out there. She’s so talented. Physically she’s obviously very strong. I just think she’s just going to get better and better.

Q. The last time you and Mary played, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the crowd was pretty equally split between the two of you. Do you remember that?

MONICA SELES: Hilton Head?

Q. No, here.

MONICA SELES: Here they were pretty even, when we played around the fourth round in ’97.

Q. Do you expect pretty much the same?

MONICA SELES: I’ll be curious to see. I know with Mary they’ve been pretty fickle, I guess that’s the word she used once in interview. I guess I’ll just repeat it. So I don’t know. Time will tell.

I’m sure they’ll back Mary. Mary is in part French. They seem to be really behind her in today’s game when she was playing Asa. But I truly will try to worry about things that I can control and not worry so much about stuff that’s really outside of my control.