2001 Australian Open – QF Interview

Melbourne, Australia
January 23, 2001
J. Capriati defeats M. Seles 5-7,6-4,6-3

Q. A week ago Rod Laver was talking about the game now becoming so physically stressful because of the power and the hardcourts, it was inevitable that players would retire younger. Do you agree with that? How physically tough was a match like today?

MONICA SELES: Yeah, definitely. I mean, both men’s and women’s tennis is a lot tougher physically. Today was really a tough match out there I think for both of us, a lot of running and hard-hitting.

Q. Can you explain what happened from a set and 4-2?

MONICA SELES: Well, I just pretty much — Jennifer lifted her game and I think I went the other way. I think my serve really let me down. Started off very slow in the third set. She just fought a lot harder and I think wanted to win a lot more today than I did.

Q. Seemed like there was a lot of dodgey line calls. Was that frustrating for you?

MONICA SELES: Not so much. You get them both ways at different times in different matches. But today I think was just a case that she was better, she played better at the key points.

Q. How much was the virus, the fact that you’ve been feeling poorly in the run up to this event, a factor today?

MONICA SELES: Not so much. I think I’ve been struggling with my game the last three weeks. As I said, it was kind of surprising that I even made it this far because I never felt really comfortable, even in Sydney, coming to Melbourne, for different reasons. Thank goodness for doubles because I think that kind of kept me at least playing and not worrying, stressing out so much. I just have to assess it and try not to repeat the same mistake as coming into these last two tournaments as I did.

Q. Did you lose a little bit of energy in the fight from your last match with Justine?

MONICA SELES: I think I left a little bit of energy three weeks ago, just with my preparations, a lot of things not being so clear workout-wise and stuff like that. I’m not used to that. It’s been a lesson learned the last few weeks, what I can do, what I cannot do. Definitely I played another doubles match after Justine’s match. If I had a letdown, I would have felt it yesterday a little bit, not so much today.

Q. You said you didn’t make a physical preparation between the Fed Cup and the Australian Open. You will do it now after the Australian Open. It means that you will start to play again in Indian Wells?

MONICA SELES: Right now I don’t know where I’m going to play next. I mean, in terms of my preparation, right now I still have the doubles to worry. I’m just happy I’m having a day off tomorrow, then just try to, you know, pick up my game because our next doubles match could be really tough one, I think, whoever wins. I’m just really focused on that.

Q. Are you satisfied or happy with your great consistency in Grand Slam tournaments, or are you starting to become a little inpatient to win more semis and finals?

MONICA SELES: Each one is very different. The last three that I lost, I lost to really the person that won the tournament, I think except Lindsay. This one was very different, I mean, just the way that I played this tournament, compared to the other one was really not up to par. You know, at least I tried to fight. The match previously I won because of that. Today that just wasn’t enough. Jennifer was too good. So definitely it’s frustrating when you keep losing in the quarters. What else can I say about that?

Q. Can I get your thoughts on the security scare yesterday? Anna Kournikova seemed to laugh it off. Do you see it as something serious?

MONICA SELES: I didn’t really get a chance to see it, so I don’t even know what it was, so I can’t comment on that.

Q. Do you think more needs to be done about controlling what fans bring into the complex?

MONICA SELES: I think you would have to ask a security person. I’m no expert on that.

Q. You took the break at the start of the third. Did you have a particular injury problem?

MONICA SELES: No, no. All I did was just change shirts. My shirt was soaking wet. It was just uncomfortable. I just decided I wanted to change. Unfortunately the locker rooms are so far away, it took longer than usual. Not my fault.

Q. You won’t be involved, because you’re not playing in the quarterfinals, but I think the system here is that Martina will play Serena tomorrow, then she’d have to come back the very next day and play Venus. Do you sort of agree with that system of playing quarters and semis back to back like that?

MONICA SELES: I really was surprised when that happened I think in ’98 when I had to play Graf and then I had to play Martina. I thought it was really crazy in a Grand Slam to do that. It’s much better, which was previously, that you play the fourth round, the quarters. A few of the players, when we were talking in the locker room, agree with that. That’s always up to the tournament. I mean, hopefully they’ll take in the players’ recommendation. Ultimately, it’s their decision.

Q. That really affected you that year?

MONICA SELES: That year, definitely. It was really tough. You come back, you finish your match at 5:00, and next day play first at 11:00. I think it’s going to be tough, whoever wins that match between Martina and Serena, probably to face again probably Venus. She still has to beat Amanda.

Q. Would you ever think of doing something on the part of the players to change that?

MONICA SELES: Myself? No, I’m not on the committee anymore. I think a few players that are on the it now, they will try, I’m sure.

Q. Would a solution be to catch up earlier in the tournament, maybe play two rounds back to back second or third?

MONICA SELES: I think so. I just don’t see no reason why, when the rounds are definitely easier from the first to the fourth round, why you couldn’t play back to back than when the rounds get tougher. I think even here with all of us playing doubles, kind of being set up in the same area of the draw, it becomes difficult for the tournament, like even tomorrow, how to schedule because of the doubles.

Q. Any time in the future you’ll play doubles with Dokic?

MONICA SELES: Well, right now I don’t know. I mean, I’m just really happy to be playing doubles here with Martina. I really have no idea. But if the opportunity comes, definitely. We’d make a good team. She’s a great player. I mean, very similar to my game. One of us would have to attack the net a little more.

Q. Will you ever come to visit Yugoslavia?

MONICA SELES: I think so in the future. I was there a couple years ago. I see no reason. I’ll go back pretty soon.