2003 Australian Open – 2nd Rnd Interview

January 16, 2003

Koukalova d. Seles 6-7(6),7-5,6-3

MODERATOR: Questions for Monica, please.

Q. You really needed that to be over in straight sets, didn’t you?
MONICA SELES: Oh, definitely, it was a struggle from that second game on when I sprained it, I knew I would be in trouble. I tried to fight it out there, but she was just too good.

Q. Had some good returns.
MONICA SELES: She played very well. She definitely made me run. She came up with some great shots at very important times.

Q. How did you hurt it? Looked like you were going for a volley.
MONICA SELES: Yeah, I thought she was going to hit to the open court. She wrong-footed me, I just went over it.

Q. How much pain were you in?
MONICA SELES: I was in bad pain. It’s an ankle sprain. These courts aren’t the best for it. It’s my first time getting a sprain on them, so I guess I was due for one.

Q. If this had been another tournament, would you have defaulted?
MONICA SELES: It’s hard to say. I wanted to play. I worked really hard. Just tried to hang in there.

Q. You’ve had an ankle strain here before, didn’t you?
MONICA SELES: It could have been. I don’t know. I mean, I never had an ankle sprain on my left foot, so that’s new. I had three on my right. Sure didn’t come at the best time.

Q. Is it to do with the grip of the sole on the court?
MONICA SELES: I think it’s just more stickier than the other courts. But, I mean, it surprised me today since it really wasn’t as hot. When it gets hot, it gets a lot stickier. My shoe is very well worn in. All these years, I know the drill. But it’s still stickier than other courts.

Q. Obviously it’s disappointing. Given your results last year, the way you played here, through the year, it must be doubly disappointing?
MONICA SELES: I mean, definitely. Right now I want to get out of the pain. I’ve been in it for the past two and a half hours. That’s my main goal, to get through that, have a good night’s sleep, get some treatment on it, and hopefully not be out too long because of it.

Q. Will it require any sort of scan?
MONICA SELES: I’ll probably take one tomorrow just to be safe. It’s always better. Then go from there.

Q. You came into the tournament where you had a bit of a foot problem, I think in Hong Kong. Completely unrelated to that?
MONICA SELES: No. That was on the bottom. That was separate. Totally wasn’t the ankle. Today was just a classic rollover of the ankle. Just bad luck. What can you do?

Q. What are the rules about pain killers? Are you allowed to take anything during the match?
MONICA SELES: I don’t know. I mean, I took about seven Tylenols. That was what the trainer gave me to take for pain. That’s been really it. I haven’t asked if I can take anything else. I don’t know what’s allowed with the new drug protocol.

Q. You still had pain after taking the tablets?
MONICA SELES: I think the adrenaline, you try to block it out. But you do feel it when you have to move. And she definitely made me move today.

Q. Did it cause more unforced errors than normal? It just seemed.
MONICA SELES: I was just a step slower. I couldn’t change directions. She was not a player that I could get away with that. Maybe if I had gotten away with it today, I definitely wouldn’t have gotten away with it the day after tomorrow. Just one of the things that happened. I tried to tough it out, I couldn’t do it.

Q. Probably tough to say, but do you think had you won, do you think you could have played in two days?
MONICA SELES: Who knows. I mean, who knows. If I would play through pain again, sure. You try to put your head over the pain. If that’s good or not in the long run, I don’t know. I’m happy. That’s probably not the case.