2003 Italian Open Interview

05/14/03 2nd Round Interview: Petrova d. Seles 6-3,4-1,retired

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was it a knee problem?

MONICA SELES: Sorry? No, no, no, it's my foot. It's my foot.

Q. What do you have?

MONICA SELES: It's a lot of problems that I have on my feet for the past six months. That's why I've been off and on on the tour. Yesterday I started feeling it again. I pulled out of my doubles for precaution. Today I tried, but, you know, I can't run to the level that I need to run if I want to win a match. If I'm in pain, then it's just no need to get it worse.

Q. What are you going to do now? Are you going to be able to play in Roland Garros?

MONICA SELES: Well, I'm going to try a new treatment I think. There's some treatment for laser that I've never done. So, hopefully, try that and I'll see. I have ten days. I don't know myself to that, the answer.

Q. Do think you'll be able to train?

MONICA SELES: I hope so. I definitely won't be doing any movement, but I think if the ball is fed to me from the basket, I hope so. And to do fitness on the bike or in the pool, definitely no running. It's a problem that comes and goes. I've been battling with it. Miami, I was fine, and then I tried to play. Two days, started hurting. So I literally can wake up three days from now and be nothing. It very much comes and goes.

Q. Is it something you have to deal with until the end of your career, or do you think you can be cured one day?

MONICA SELES: Well, I mean, definitely it would take at least six to nine months to cure this. Other players had it, Kournikova, and she had to have surgery. It's one of those problems that's pretty serious. I just don't feel at this stage of my career I want to have surgery and be off nine months and come back to the world of tennis. It's one of those things I've got to see how badly it's going to be hurting. And if it can get better, I'll take a little bit more time off. If it's not, then I have to make a decision to stop.

Q. And what is it exactly that you have?

MONICA SELES: I have a stress reaction on my sesamoid bone and plantar --

THE INTERPRETER: Don't ask me to translate that (laughing).

MONICA SELES: It's a multitude of problems on the bottom of the foot that when you take an MRI it shows up. Then if you get it worse, then you have a stress fracture, and that's when you have to -- that's very serious.

Q. Are you going to stay some more days in Italy?

MONICA SELES: I think so, probably. I don't know. I mean, I just came off the match so I've just got to see, talk to the trainer, see what treatment I need to do. Because I think I will try to want to do everything possible at least to try to play the French.

Q. You played just five tournaments before this one. Now you want to prepare for Roland Garros. How disappointing is it to feel the pain?

MONICA SELES: Yeah, definitely. I mean, that's one thing that I have to accept in my mind, there are certain pains that, you know, you can play through and there's no need. Why I still want to try, because there are days that it feels fine and there are days that it's so painful. So that's where I can't make a decision because it's a little bit consistent. Definitely the last - since February there have been more days of pain than less, and that's what I have to take into consideration very much so.