2003 Australian Open
Interviews & Match Stats

01/14/03 1st Round Interview & Match Stats: Seles d. Kurhajcova 6-0,6-1
THE MODERATOR: First question for Monica, please.

Q. You still seem to be able to keep up the same intensity up 6 -0, 3-0. How do you do that?
MONICA SELES: It was just a little bit wild there, 3-love in the second set. In a Grand Slam, anything can happen. We saw that last night. You just want to close the match.
It was tough. We waited so long for the match. I didn't know what to expect. She hits that ball so hard, and I was just happy that I played it aggressively enough to win in two easy sets.

Q. Is that the perfect start, you not having to go on too long, ready to go for the next one?
MONICA SELES: Not really. I think in a Grand Slam you're just ready for everything. It really would not matter to me. You know, just really one point at a time, match at a time. Tomorrow it won't make a difference. I'm just happy I'm still in the tournament and look forward to the second round.

Q. Do you feel there's no pressure on you this year?
MONICA SELES: Yeah, that's been the case for the past three, four years. I'm just really at this very happy stage in my career where my body's still letting me play, I'm still enjoying working hard and playing some good, solid tennis.

Q. After what happened to Jennifer last night and Serena today, what pressure does that bring you in your first round?
MONICA SELES: I truly don't look at the other scores because that's really so irrelevant at this stage. I just worry about what's ahead of me. I don't watch any of the other matches. Obviously when someone like Jennifer, the defending champion, loses, everybody talks about it so you hear about it. I just try to worry about, you know, what's ahead of me and what's my business.
But it shows how strong the women's tour is, though, that first rounds are as tough. Anyone can beat anybody nowadays.

Q. You've got a qualifier in the next round. Do you know much about her?
MONICA SELES: No, no. But, you know, she's -- she has to play very well, she beat Maria Sharapova, who I played two weeks ago in Hong Kong, who's a great young player. I'm going to ask around the other players and see what I can come up with.

Q. Having an easy game tonight; you've got a qualifier in the next round; is it good, from your point of view, to have matches when you're expected to win?
MONICA SELES: You can't -- you never know. I mean, it can be good, it can be bad. I've been doing this for so long. At the end of the day it doesn't matter. Every day is a new day. You could wake up, not feel good, you could wake up, feel great. That's so irrelevant. I just try to go home, get a good night's rest, come back, practice, and be the best that I can be for my next match.

Q. How do you keep the hunger going after being on the tour for so long?
MONICA SELES: For me it's so simple. I just love to play tennis. Besides that, that's why I start as a little girl - I said this so many times - that's the only reason I keep playing. I'm lucky enough to play at a high level still professionally but I know I'll play tennis as a sport for me for a lifetime.


  Match Summary
  Kurhajcova(SVK)Seles(USA)
  1st Serve %25 of 39 = 64 %26 of 39 = 67 %
  Aces02
  Double Faults31
  Unforced Errors119
  Winning % on 1st Serve10 of 25 = 40 %21 of 26 = 81 %
  Winning % on 2nd Serve4 of 14 = 29 %8 of 13 = 62 %
  Winners (Including Service)621
  Break Point Conversions0 of 1 = 0 %5 of 8 = 63 %
  Net Approaches3 of 6 = 50 %9 of 10 = 90 %
  Total Points Won2454
  Fastest Serve173 km/h165 km/h
  Average 1st Serve Speed157 km/h150 km/h
  Average 2nd Serve Speed111 km/h126 km/h

01/16/03 2nd Round Interview & Match Stats: 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.


  Match Summary
  Koukalova(CZE)Seles(USA)
  1st Serve %92 of 117 = 79 %71 of 113 = 63 %
  Aces47
  Double Faults23
  Unforced Errors6247
  Winning % on 1st Serve56 of 92 = 61 %47 of 71 = 66 %
  Winning % on 2nd Serve13 of 25 = 52 %16 of 42 = 38 %
  Winners (Including Service)5128
  Break Point Conversions6 of 10 = 60 %4 of 16 = 25 %
  Net Approaches5 of 7 = 71 %2 of 6 = 33 %
  Total Points Won119111
  Fastest Serve154 km/h172 km/h
  Average 1st Serve Speed135 km/h150 km/h
  Average 2nd Serve Speed123 km/h129 km/h