2000 U.S. Open – 4th Round Interview

New York, New York
September 03, 2000
M. Seles defeats J. Capriati 6-3,6-4

MODERATOR: Questions for Monica.

Q. You came out very strong right at the beginning. Jennifer even talked about that. How did you do that?
MONICA SELES: Well, I just really knew it would be a really tough match ahead of me today. I really had to be on my toes. Thank goodness I started off really well. But starting off so well caught up with me at the end, that I didn’t really finish that well.

Q. This year you have not beaten anybody higher ranked than you, haven’t lost to anyone ranked lower than you.
MONICA SELES: I know (laughter).

Q. Why is that? Have you reached your potential?
MONICA SELES: I reached my peak. I think this is it for me (laughter).

Q. It’s over, you’re making an announcement?
MONICA SELES: It’s over.

Q. No surprises?
MONICA SELES: I have no idea. I really enjoy to play. I enjoy the challenge. That means those players are better. Only means I can keep working harder and trying.

Q. We saw a little bit of a different side of you today. We’re not used to seeing you argue so many calls. Were they so bad, or were you determined to win?
MONICA SELES: No, my opinion is they were. There’s two sides. Obviously on TV when they replay, you can tell. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll ask my friends when I call them tonight. I’m sure I’ll hear from them – you were right or really wrong, one or the other today.

Q. You usually let that go. Were you just determined to win?
MONICA SELES: Not really lately. Not really the last year or two. I mean, if we watch me in New Haven, I argued quite a few calls. I don’t know. Maybe just changing as a person. I think today, when it’s such an important match, more pressure, maybe more a little bit on the edge, I guess.

Q. Today it has been officially announced that the Chase Championships will be moved in 2001 from the Garden to Munich. Would you consider playing that at all?
MONICA SELES: At this point I don’t plan to play it, no.

Q. A lot has been made leading up to this match with Jennifer on your personal travails of the past few years. At this point in your life, how happy are you? In your dealings with Jennifer, does she seem happy?
MONICA SELES: I think it’s probably one of the happiest that I’ve seen Jennifer. I think her boyfriend has a really good influence on her. She’s really happy. I think her relationship with her family is fantastic. I think she’s found some peace. I remember last year when we played again, did the press conference, she broke down when she made the statement. I think she’s changed a lot in a year. It’s great to see that.

Q. How about you?
MONICA SELES: I’m probably the same. For me really I don’t let too much stuff — stuff affect me too much up and down. I’m kind of pretty even through the hard times or through the good times.

Q. Jennifer said it can get annoying when the 1991 match you guys played is brought up every time you play. How do you feel?
MONICA SELES: Well, you have to take it because that’s one of the classic matches that the public enjoys so much. I think it’s the first time in women’s tennis you had two such hard hitters. We were punching, literally, each other back and forth. I think she was 15, I was 16 or something. So it changed the face of women’s tennis. So it’s normal it’s going to be brought up. I think you just have to accept it. I think that’s great for both of us. That match really in the end was pure luck, won in the tiebreaker.

Q. In all likelihood you will face Martina. Any thoughts?
MONICA SELES: Well, I definitely have to cut down my errors because Martina is not going to give any free points like the other players do. Up to this point she has been playing really well. She hasn’t really been tested. Obviously, I’m going to have to be very aggressive out there.

Q. Were you feeling your game going down a little bit?
MONICA SELES: I just really got very flustered with how sweaty I became there. I was dripping in my own sweat. I had like a hard time moving. I think my mind like went away. Suddenly at 3-2 I realized my breaks are slipping away, I better wake up because it’s going to be a third set. Thank goodness that in time I did.

Q. When we mention that stat about not having beaten any players ranked higher than you, being able to beat the players ranked lower, you say, “I know, I know.” Has it become almost a mind block for you that when you get to play these players, it’s like, “Here we go again”?
MONICA SELES: No, no. I really don’t think about it. Truly when I look at the other side, at that point you know who you’re playing, but really my mind, I don’t know who I’m playing, I’m playing the ball truly.

Q. Specifically with Martina, what are the biggest challenges in her game for you?
MONICA SELES: Well, I think in the past when I’ve been successful against her, I have to cut down on my errors and be really aggressive because really the only way to beat Martina is if you overpower her. I think her style of game, she’s the best at that. If I get into that again with her like some matches, then really it’s the match is over really quick. But at the same time you have to be aggressive, you have to cut down your errors, too. So it’s a fine line.

Q. How confident are you when you go in to play her these days?
MONICA SELES: That doesn’t cross my mind A or B really against anybody, so.