2002 Wimbledon – QF Interview

July 2, 2002

Henin d. Seles 7-5,7-6(4)

MODERATOR: Who is first?

Q. What did you think was the difference and how would you appraise Justine’s game at this point?
MONICA SELES: Well, I think she just played the key points better than I did really, both sets, and that’s why she came out the winner today.

Q. In general, how much progress has she made, and do you see her creeping into that level with the Williams sisters and Capriati?
MONICA SELES: Well, I wouldn’t say over one tournament that she’s at that level. That’s hard to say. This is her favorite surface. She played a wonderful match. She has a great match — I think it’s going to be a match-up against Venus.

Q. What do you think about your performances over the last seven, eight days in general?
MONICA SELES: I think I played well overall the tournament today. I thought I could have — could have been less error-prone. But Justine was just too good at the end there.

Q. For all the titles you’ve won, how much did you want and do you want still to add Wimbledon?
MONICA SELES: Oh, I really want to add any Grand Slam titles but obviously Wimbledon even more because I’ve never won it.

Q. I know it might be difficult at this time, but you’ve spoken a bit in the past about seeing in future age retirement. Do you think about it after games like this?
MONICA SELES: No, no, no. That doesn’t cross my mind, retirement after a match like this. I’m just more disappointed at the match at this stage, and that’s what I worry about.

Q. What was your philosophy today on coming to the net? It seemed like you were trying to do it, then sometimes you’d stop yourself. Were you a little back and forth on what you should do there?
MONICA SELES: Not so much. Just having a hard time finding the range with my groundstrokes. I was missing a lot more. And when that was the case, I said, “Okay, let’s just try to change it up.” But it’s kind of hard to do that. And I was I think successful sometimes and sometimes I wasn’t.

Q. You looked very cold out there. You were wrapping yourself in towels on the changeovers. What were the conditions like? How difficult were they?
MONICA SELES: Well, it was just chilly I think for everybody out there. With all the rain delays, I think we just wanted to go out there and play uninterrupted. And thankfully at the end we got to do that.

Q. You mentioned the tough match that Justine has ahead of her, which you would have had if things worked out a little bit differently. How do you rate her chances now against Venus?
MONICA SELES: Well, I mean, Venus, the last two matches she played, she’s playing really almost flawless tennis. But I think Justine also wants revenge from losing to Venus last year. I think it’s going to be a fabulous match. It’s hard to say who has a better edge or not because it’s the semis, anything can happen. I think it’s going to be a great tennis match.

Q. You beat Justine four times before. Now it was the first match on grass. Does this mean that she’s really a much better player on grass than on the other surfaces?
MONICA SELES: It’s hard to say because each match we play, it was very tight. As I said today, she just won the closer points better. In the past matches I’ve done that. Have to give her credit for that, the way she’s playing. Definitely grass suits her game more than I think other surfaces.
But I think she’s a very good player on all surfaces, as we’ve seen in the past.

Q. Do you think it’s quite strange that someone who’s a lot smaller, possibly not as well-built as the Williams sisters, could be one of the few people that could provide a challenge to them?
MONICA SELES: Yeah, definitely interesting to see that on Thursday.

Q. Is it quite ironic in some ways that someone that is small could do that?
MONICA SELES: I wouldn’t say that. I mean, gosh, you know, size is not just — I mean, Venus and Serena are not No. 1 and No. 2 because of their size. I mean, they have pretty good tennis skills out there. If that would be the case, then you could just take any general Joe who is 6’2″ and give him a racquet and play tennis.
It definitely helps, but that’s not all they have. They really improved a lot, I think, their tennis game in the last couple years.

Q. Talking about Wimbledon, you still would like to win this, and perhaps any other Grand Slam, but this is one you’ve never won. Do you find that perhaps as the years go on, it may be one that will you have to accept has got away from you?
MONICA SELES: Oh, yeah, definitely that could be the case. I’m fine with that. But, you know, I know I gave it the best shot that I could, and that’s I guess the best that I can do.