Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews

Rogers AT&T Cup 2001 (Canadian Open)
Toronto, Ont. Canada
13 August, 2001

* Monica Seles talked about her next round opponent, Jelena Dokic.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

          Rogers AT&T Cup - Press Conferences


            MATCH: MONICA SELES vs. MARISSA IRVIN
            SCORE / RÉSULTAT: 6-3, 6-2

            WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2001 / MERCREDI 15 AOÛT 2001


            AN INTERVIEW WITH: MONICA SELES


            TOUR OFFICIAL: Questions for Monica, please?

            REPORTER: Congratulations, Monica. I have to ask you, this is, I think, your fourth straight 
            tournament. Have you made a decision on New Haven next week, going into the U.S. Open?

            MONICA SELES: No, not really. Because I want to see how far I go along in this tournament and 
            then make my decision for sure once I know. But right now I'm still planning on going to New 
            Haven.

            REPORTER: Monica, what kind of test are you giving your foot? I mean, with all the play that 
            you've had, especially on hard courts, it can't be easy on it.

            MONICA SELES: Definitely. Last couple of tournaments have been all the same surface. This 
            one was a little bit different and I struggled with the timing tonight. Really, at home, I 
            would be practicing a lot tougher and more hours. The only thing here that coming into this 
            tournament I had so many tough matches. And also, day in, day out, and the travelling. But I 
            talked to my coach, and we made that decision and, you know, we're going to stick with it. 
            Can't second guess myself.

            REPORTER: Were you in a bit of a rush? You had ten double faults tonight. Was that a case of 
            being in a rush to get it over with?

            MONICA SELES: Truly, no. I think my legs have been a little bit more tired and certainly you 
            defeinitely need your legs. I mean, that's what happened in Lindsay's match, and today a touch 
            bit, too. But I was just touch bit struggling with my timing, I think. But I knew coming in 
            Marissa is a tough player. I played her almost a week ago in L.A. and had a very similar type of 
            a match. So I knew I had to hold serve, because she has a good first serve and maybe I put a 
            little bit more pressure on myself than I should have.

            REPORTER: Monica, do you feel at all that you're making up for lost time? Do you feel there's a 
            lot of pressure on you to play a lot and play well just because the injury kept you out for a 
            good chunk at the beginning of the season?

            MONICA SELES: Yeah, definitely. You know, it was tough seeing my ranking finally got up to number 
            4 and then to again lose it back. Obviously, once you drop in the rankings, your draws are 
            much tougher. You get to play the tough players early on and that's what happened the last 
            couple of weeks. But still my priority's to my health. If I would have any pain or any 
            indication of any pain I would immediately stop. Because obviously I don't want to jeopardize 
            anything. But right now I really feel healthy. I mean, I'm doing a lot of prevention work on it. 
            And, you know, I had no problems for the past two months, really, on my foot.

 *          REPORTER: Monica, first of all, I would like to congratulations on behalf of all of the 
 *          Yugoslavian community in Toronto. And also I want to ask you, your next match is against 
 *          Jelena Dokic. What do you expect about that match and what do you think about Jelena?
 *
 *          MONICA SELES: I really like Jelena. Just the style of her game is really -- she's very 
 *          similar to me. Very aggressive play. She doesn't give you too much time. The last time I played 
 *          her was at the Olympics and we had a tough match. And she's been playing well. I got to see 
 *          her last week in L.A. play a little bit. I just really think -- I mean, she has a fantastic 
 *          future. Obviously, she's a top 15 player already at her young age. And she wants to improve. 
 *          She's one of the hardest workers on the tour. And it's just fantastic for me to see players 
 *          coming out from my former country and see them do so well. It's just great to see that. And we 
 *          have a few more young ones coming on. And it's just really -- it's great. That's all I can say.

            REPORTER: Monica, were you disappointed with the way you played tonight, and then you got out on 
            the practice court for about half an hour.

            MONICA SELES: I thought it was five, seven, eight minutes, not half an hour. It was so dark 
            out there.

            REPORTER: Maybe the intensity felt like it was 30.

            MONICA SELES: Just truly, the timing is really off and I hate that feeling. Today I felt that. 
            And, as I said, all -- even going into the match I knew that, because the players had been 
            talking that the balls are bouncing higher and everything. I just wanted to touch, try to get 
            the timing back. I know tomorrow is a very difficult match. I really don't have too much 
            time to hit beforehand and sometimes I like to do that and tonight was it.

            REPORTER: You said the courts are a bit slower and the balls are bouncing higher?

            MONICA SELES: I just think it's -- you know when you had the red court and then they just put 
            this other court over it, it's just a very weird bounce. Personally, in all my years in my tour, 
            I've never played on a court with this type of a bounce on it. It's slow some areas, and some 
            areas it's fast. But this is what it is and I just hopefully I'll have enough time to adjust 
            to it. Because timing-wise, definitely for any match I need to have it.

            REPORTER: Monica you were talking about your next opponent, Jelena Dokic. And there are just 
            so many good young players coming out right now. Is this as strong as you've seen the women's 
            field for a long time since you've been playing in the tour?

            MONICA SELES: Definitely, by far, I think so. That's why I think women's tennis is so popular 
            right now, because the matches are really very difficult. Starting from round one, you cannot 
            like say, oh, I'm just going to get the semis and then the tournament kind of starts anymore. 
            And also the players are hitting the ball a lot harder and everybody has a good serve nowadays. 
            And it's much more of an aggressive type of game, which before you could still be retrieving 
            and do very well. So, and also I mean the youngsters are very hungry. They want to beat 
            all the players out there. It's definitely a lot tougher nowadays, but I think it's great for 
            women's tennis. There just couldn't be a better time for it.

            REPORTER: Monica, I read that earlier this year, if I'm correct, that you were working with 
            Harold Solomon. Could you tell me what he did working with you to improve your game?

            MONICA SELES: Well, I really just worked with Harold the two weeks of Australia because my 
            coach Bobby Bancks at that time couldn't come with me and Harold was already going for the ATP 
            and AAT meetings. So we just worked those two weeks and that was it. But he helped me 
            tremendously. I mean, just kept me focused there, because, you know, I was kind of in a big 
            trouble going into the tournament.

            REPORTER: Two-part question, Monica. Your injury, can you describe what it was, exactly. 
            And the second part of the question, with injuries, you're probably the best person to 
            answer this question, but how injured did Lindsay Davenport look in the final last week?

            MONICA SELES: Well, I had a stress reaction on my right foot. And we're seeing a lot of foot 
            problems on the tour. I mean, Lindsay made that decision. She -- I can't speak for her, because 
            I'm good friends with Lindsay. But, you know, definitely it was frustrating, both playing 
            Martina, also, not only Lindsay, who both were playing very well. You know, each one of us 
            makes that decision. And, you know, I'm sure, she made the right decision that was for her. I 
            can't go into that.

            REPORTER: Can you just take us through, on your decision to play here? I mean, because with all 
            the players that did pull out, I mean, you legitimately had a reason to not have to come 
            here, but you still decided to.

            MONICA SELES: Well, for me, truly, it goes back to -- I always like playing in Canada. But when 
            I came back in 1995, I mean, myself coming back, I wasn't sure -- actually coming back, if this 
            is a good decision or, you know, I'd been off from the tour for two and a half years. And the 
            reception that I received here was just so overwhelming that it made, really, my whole 
            tennis career really from then on so much easier to make all the decisions. Yeah, this was such a 
            great experience, I want to keep playing tennis. The fans were really happy to see my back and 
            that I'll never forget. And I think that will stay beyond my kind of tennis type feeling when 
            I go to other tournaments. And, really, one of the reasons why I didn't enter originally 
            because I felt it was too much for me to play. And I usually would not play four weeks in a 
            row. But I talked it over with my coach on Friday or Saturday -- no, Friday -- Friday. And 
            we talked long over. And I said I really would want to go play and give it my shot. If I'm too 
            tired or if my foot stops hurting, you know, I'll just stop playing. But it would be great 
            feeling to go back again, you know. I mean, I'm 28 -- I mean, 27. Who knows how many more years 
            you play, so might as well.

            REPORTER: Monica, since your comeback in Toronto, the original one when you came back, 
            some of the tennis commentators on TV may have been a little hard on you, saying that you 
            weren't fit enough to keep up with the Williamses and others. Do you feel you answered 
            your critics back by your great performances over Hingis and Serena in the last few weeks?

            MONICA SELES: Yeah, I mean, definitely. For me, I think, what's been really hard, I've had a lot 
            of off-court stuff's that's been happening, losing my dad, losing my coach was really the 
            toughest. And we see that with other players, when they stop working with someone they like, 
            their ranking and a lot of things drop. For me it took me a very long time to find someone that 
            was comfortable. And just when I kind of found someone he had family problems and he couldn't 
            travel with me. So I was going through a lot of stuff that I kind of felt I couldn't concentrate 
            on the tennis. And I think to be the best in tennis you have to be really be very focused and 
            not have any other distractions and have a great team around you. I've been really lucky with the 
            last couple of months to found some people that I really feel very comfortable with. And I think 
            it shows in my game. I'm feeling happier out there on the court, and much more focused. And I 
            think that translates into results.

            TOUR OFFICIAL: Last question for Monica.

            REPORTER: Just getting back to the Davenport and Hingis injuries, does the WTA need to consider 
            its rules? Should players be allowed to continue playing in the tournament they're in if they've 
            pulled out of a tournament the next week?

            MONICA SELES: Definitely we have to look at that seriously, no question. You know, but it's 
            difficult. Because I think the tour's also asking us to play a lot of tournaments. And 
            everybody's kind of getting injured, whatever injuries there are or aren't. But, I mean, that 
            -- yeah, I mean, definitely. If you're injured, then you shouldn't play, no question there.

            TOUR OFFICIAL: All right, thank you.


              Copyright 2000 Tennis Canada. All Rights Reserved.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
The interview article quoted from Rogers AT&T Cup 2001 Official Website.

Back