2002 U.S. Open – 3rd Rnd Interview

August 31, 2002

Seles d. Cho 6-1,5-7,6-3

MODERATOR: First question for Monica.

Q. Are you a little mad right now? If so, at whom?
MONICA SELES: If I’m mad, the only person to be mad at is myself (laughter).
That’s how it goes. I mean, definitely it’s not something I’m happy about. What can you do?

Q. Conditions really seemed to change at about 5-1.
MONICA SELES: Yeah. I think conditions, my brain went away from the court. It’s just very windy out there. I think she probably decided she had nothing to lose, started running balls down. I had a couple of chances. But she was just too good there.

Q. How did your brain go away from the court?
MONICA SELES: It just went away. It just went away. Lesson learned.

Q. Where did it go?
MONICA SELES: Definitely checked out of the tennis court.

Q. Is a match sometimes too easy?
MONICA SELES: No. I mean, I played her in Japan in October. I had a tough two setter. I knew she beat two solid players. I knew I had to hit a lot of balls today. In windy conditions, that can be tough. I was actually surprised how easy things were. But definitely I thought of that too soon.

Q. You said the other night that the crowd helped you in that match against Schwartz. That was on the grandstand. It’s it more difficult to feed off energy in Arthur Ashe Stadium?
MONICA SELES: Yeah, definitely. It’s just so big. You just don’t feel there’s many people there so close to you. The other two courts definitely have a different type of atmosphere. It’s a lot windier on that court, too.

Q. We’re so used to seeing top women players as yourself coast through the early rounds of these tournaments. Do you think that’s fair? Do you think the women’s game is improving? Do you expect that of yourself?
MONICA SELES: I would say the last two, three years, I mean, everybody has been having a lot of tougher first or early rounds, which before kind of you didn’t have that. It just shows the depth in the women’s game. Now they always — before she said, “There’s no depth.” It has really changed. It’s great to see that.

Q. Does it shake your confidence when you have to fight through matches like Schwartz and today, or does it make you feel better to say, “I did get through”?
MONICA SELES: It’s more about how I’m playing in terms of my confidence. It’s always great to pull through matches, but at the same time you’re kind of not happy to start off like against a Schwartz or finish off, or like the middle of this match.
Coming in, I didn’t have as much preparation. Maybe I’m not — definitely I’m not playing as well as I would have liked to.
But Monday it’s a new ballgame, it’s a different level of a match you have to play.

Q. What is your mindset in the first week of the event versus the second week?
MONICA SELES: I just think it depends how many matches you have coming in. For me it was important to get through the first round because I don’t think I had one match this summer that I played. I was not as match tough.
In a Grand Slam, you never know what can happen. On a day like today, it’s so windy out there, it’s such an equalizer. You can’t time the ball, it makes it very difficult.

Q. You said after the Schwartz match that your life is very complicated. Could you give us an idea of what those complications are or how they impact your tennis game?
MONICA SELES: Yeah, well, I mean, I think that’s my private life, so I would not want to go into that. I would just hope that everyone respects that.

Q. Was it windy all the way from the beginning or did it actually change?
MONICA SELES: My personal opinion is that Arthur Ashe is a lot windier than the other courts. Definitely in the beginning of the second set, I wouldn’t say at 5-1, it definitely started swirling a lot more. It was kind of one end you were into the wind, two changeovers later, that was against the wind.
I definitely have a tougher time. She just played too good there.

Q. Assuming that you do play Martina in the next round, she has almost as few matches as you do.

Q. Can you look ahead to that one?
MONICA SELES: Well, definitely. I played Martina a couple times here. This is probably the least successful place I had against her, here. I know both of us are kind of not playing our best tennis. It’s going to be one of those matches that you just try to raise the level. I mean, both of us know the tennis we can play. It will be interesting to see which one can show up with their A game, I guess.

(Note: this is a partial transcript)