2000 U.S. Open – 3rd Round Interview

New York, New York
September 01, 2000
M. Seles defeats C. Rubin 6-3,4-6,6-4

MODERATOR: Questions for Monica.

Q. What was the turning point in the third set?
MONICA SELES: I don’t think there was really a turning point from my point because I was just trying to stay in this match today and just really fight. There’s not much else I could do really today. Obviously, when I broke, Chanda held, but then I lost my serve immediately. From the match score, probably that second break was pretty key.

Q. Were you feeling okay? Is there something wrong?
MONICA SELES: I just haven’t felt that great all this morning, so I don’t know. It was just good that I could fight through it and have the afternoon off.

Q. Do you think it’s a flu?
MONICA SELES: I don’t know myself. I just don’t quite feel well. You have days like that, and today’s one of them. I don’t know.

Q. The humidity has been bad the last couple days. Is it sapping the strength of the players?
MONICA SELES: Not mine really because I hit yesterday early from 8 to 10 in the morning. I drink a lot of water. It’s definitely tough conditions. Not really. I mean, I don’t say I would be tired from the match today.

Q. Did you surprise yourself? You had a couple big serves in the last game. Were you surprised you could even do that?
MONICA SELES: I just didn’t want to get into long points. I just did not feel my legs at all today. It was really strange. I just wanted to serve well because my return game was nowhere where it should be against a player like Chanda, if you want to win the match comfortably.

Q. You had a couple of tough three-set matches last week. Do you think your fitness helped you out there for that?
MONICA SELES: Definitely. Well, I mean, I played Nathalie was the only match that I had three sets. It was different, it was so quick. This one definitely because it was pretty long, you had to fight the point. Chanda is a fighter, too. I knew she’s not going to give up. I just tried to stay in that match.

Q. Jennifer in the next round. If you play her, beat her, do you feel like you’re climbing the ladder a bit?
MONICA SELES: Well, definitely. I mean, it’s a challenge, same for Martina and Lindsay. It’s for everybody. Venus started playing better this last two months, but the whole year has been a challenge. For all of us, it goes up-and-down, but definitely. Here I just try to look at each match, because I have a very tough draw. If I play Jennifer, it’s going to be a very difficult match. I really don’t want to look further than that one.

Q. Do you feel like you’re destined to forever meet Jennifer Capriati at the US Open? Seems like every year she’s in your draw.
MONICA SELES: Much more. Certain players, it’s really strange, you play always; certain players you never get to play. Jennifer and I have played a lot of matches, more so here.

Q. When you see her in the draw, are you like, “Oh, no, not again”?
MONICA SELES: No. Really when the draw is done, I kind of look at the first round. You quickly peek. You try not to think about that.

Q. About a year or so ago, you were entering a lot of matches where you felt not too different from the way you felt today, a little out of sorts. Could you sort of describe what you can do generally when you’re feeling well these days that you maybe couldn’t do back before you were under a regimen with Bobby?
MONICA SELES: Probably play more aggressively. I think I hit the ball a little harder. My serve has been steadier. I run down more balls I think would be the most obvious one.

Q. When about when you’re training? Can you run farther than you used to?
MONICA SELES: Yeah, obviously run farther and faster. Just from doing it over and over, you improve.

Q. Do you have a favorite thing that you’re doing with Bobby right now?
MONICA SELES: No (laughter).

Q. Is it miserable or do you like it?
MONICA SELES: No, I mean, it’s fun in its own way. It’s not something that I enjoy. I love playing tennis. I love the game of tennis. But, you know, my dad was a track and field athlete. I don’t really enjoy track and field. But I enjoy doing it with him.

Q. Is it something you look forward to or, kind of like the rest of us, something you have to do?
MONICA SELES: I think from what I’ve seen, some people love to work out; it’s the first thing they do in the morning. For me, my choice would be to work out by playing tennis. Tennis is different, don’t burn as many calories, whatever. You know, it’s one thing that you have to do nowadays, and I know I have to do for the rest of my life. You just want to make peace with it.

Q. When you were No. 1, when you walked into the tournament, you were expected to win. Do you still expect that?
MONICA SELES: Nowadays it’s not really one player or two players. You have to worry about the draw. I think there’s five players that realistically can win this tournament. So things have changed since then. Obviously, I’m a different player than I was then. It’s hard to say. I mean, if I would not think I would win it, I think the other 127 players too wouldn’t compete. They might as well just stop and enjoy life.

Q. I think a lot of players think four players could win now.
MONICA SELES: I think if you look at it, for sure, you have to think the Williams sisters and then Lindsay, who have been playing well. I think Martina and Pierce have a great chance, too.

Q. Bjorn Borg is quoted in a Swedish newspaper saying that even though he’s enjoying women’s tennis, he at the age of 44 would still beat any of the best of the women’s players. How do you respond to that?
MONICA SELES: I really have no idea.