Seles satisfied

Other than suffering a slight groin pull, Monica Seles came out of her 7-6 (1), 2-6, 10-1 exhibition victory over Martina Navratilova at River Oaks on Thursday night feeling good about her evening’s work and the reception she received from Houston’s fans.

“Except for (the groin pull), I am happy with everything, and especially my foot,” she said, speaking of the injury that has kept her off the tour for almost four years and has required two surgeries. “This was a good start and I am looking forward to playing more.”

Seles, who flew in from her home in Sarasota, Fla., on Thursday morning, had three warmups, which spoke to her admitted nervousness about playing in front of a paying audience for the first time in ages.

Navratilova was herself going all-out for the first time since celebrating her 50th birthday last fall.

She had arthroscopic knee surgery in November, having injured it “playing on very bad clay in Warsaw.”

But she likes the way she’s playing, too, although she did add: “The problem isn’t hitting the ball. It’s getting to it.”

River Oaks tennis director Van Barry said Seles called as soon as she got back to Florida to thank him for the experience, saying she couldn’t have been treated better.