2002 Pacific Life Open – 3rd Round Interview

Indian Wells, California
March 9, 2002
Monica Seles defeats Martina Sucha 6-0,6-3

MODERATOR: Questions for Monica.

Q. Was it a little tougher in the second set than you thought?

MONICA SELES: Well, definitely at 2-Love when I was serving, I let a little bit my concentration slip in that game with a double-fault. Then she picked up her game after I think 2-1.

Q. She seemed to be hitting a little deeper, like maybe she got over her nerves about facing Monica Seles.

MONICA SELES: Yeah, definitely. I think she started being more aggressive, and I went the other way, I started kind of just pushing the ball, a little bit disappearing from the match. But at least, you know, I won the important points, although I didn’t finish the match as I would have liked it to.

Q. Is that common for top players when they’re playing the lower-ranked players, you’re rolling through a match, to lose focus?

MONICA SELES: No. I mean, it’s difficult to keep that level of intensity up the entire time. Each match is unique. This one, she picked up her game, I dropped my game. You know, it got to be 3-All: but then I held serve, which was key, to go up 4-3. That kind of set me up for the match.

Q. I’ve often wondered, when you win a first set so easily like that, do you get bored or think it’s going to be a cake walk?

MONICA SELES: No. When you win a set 6-0, the player has zero to lose. They’re going to come out and whack that ball. That was the story in the last match and today’s match. Just try to worry about what you can control. Today at 2-Love, I let a little bit go. It’s a good lesson, I’ll try not to repeat that.

Q. Do you recall how you heard about the September 11th stuff, what you were doing?

MONICA SELES: I was actually in Brazil playing in a tournament there, just finished practicing, got back to my room.

Q. Did they have it on television there?

MONICA SELES: They had it, but it was Portuguese, so I didn’t really understand it. But obviously the pictures, I mean, was enough to see it.

Q. Did it change anything for you in a general sense of tennis or life?

MONICA SELES: I think it changed for everyone. I mean, just the way the world is operating.

Q. I think you had said last week that you had been playing a lot of tennis of late. You played six weeks.

MONICA SELES: Yeah, I played eight weeks in a row starting from Hopman Cup through Dubai.

Q. How do you feel?

MONICA SELES: I feel okay. I mean, originally Indian Wells wasn’t on my schedule, but I decided I really wanted to play. So far I’m really happy, happy with the schedule, that I have a day in between each of my matches. Gives me time to rest. My first two matches, I really haven’t been pushed that hard. The difficult ones are just coming up.

Q. After your first match you said you felt refreshed. Do you still feel refreshed?

MONICA SELES: I did a little bit too much training yesterday. My coach and I just talked about that. Got to slow down a touch bit. But that was a good lesson to learn. I will take it easy. Hopefully I’ll be feeling refreshed like I was in my first match for my next one on Monday.

Q. What do you do to relax in between matches on off days?

MONICA SELES: I have a lot of friends here, so I spend time with them, with their kids. I know a lot of people in this area. It’s been quite busy. Actually, I’ve got to slow down a little bit and just focus on my tennis (laughter).

Q. What prompts somebody to schedule this many tournaments in a row?

MONICA SELES: Really I’m kind of forced to do that because I don’t play anything in the fall in Europe because of the championships moving to Germany. So I kind — with the way the rankings are set up, my ranking dropped just because I didn’t have enough tournaments on the schedule. You know, I probably would not do it this way next year. I’ll probably have some breaks in between. But it was a lesson learned. Try not to make that same scheduling problem.

Q. There was a traffic accident you had. Was it scary?

MONICA SELES: It was definitely scary. Everybody, who has been in an accident, everything happens in slow motion. I was okay. I was really worried about my mom. She has had some more difficulties getting back to her health and normal routine. For me, it was okay. But it was a scary experience.

Q. Is that why she’s not here?

MONICA SELES: That’s one of the reasons, yeah.

Q. You said earlier this week the conditions are difficult for some players and that was one of the reasons you didn’t put it on your schedule early. Are you getting a better feel for the conditions?

MONICA SELES: Definitely. The more matches you play, the better it is. My first-round match was extremely windy. Today it was perfect out there. Hopefully the weather will not get any hotter than it has been the last two days. I’m feeling more and more comfortable with it.

Q. Will you take a week after Key Biscayne?

MONICA SELES: Yes, definitely. Can’t wait for that week, to be honest (laughter). Then, yeah, start back at Amelia, hopefully.

Q. Does the prospects of winning this title look pretty good now? Kim is out. Justine struggled a bit. How do you feel your chances are?

MONICA SELES: Well, as always, whenever you come into a tournament, you feel good. At the same time you just try to take it a match at a time and look at my part of the draw, just playing the winner of Iroda and Ai. That’s all I worry about I think. Some of the players have struggled, and some like Martina haven’t. It just depends.

Q. How do you like that match? You’ve taken care of one Martina. Can you take care of another one?

MONICA SELES: It’s so far down the road. Truly I have a tough one against both players, whoever wins tomorrow. You know, I just hate to look that far down the road. I’ve learned my lessons not to.