Q. What do you remember of 1995?
MONICA SELES: Last night when I was watching the tribute on the teleprompter, it was just like bringing all the memories back. Really, it's the first time I had a time to kind of, you know, at this stage in my life to kind of remember. Before you just keep going, going, so you never have a chance to think about what you've done. I don't know if I would have -- my hat goes off to myself, how well I played under those circumstances (laughter). There's nothing I could compare to that time, the day when I walked on to play against Kimberly, my first match, and to actually win the tournament was very special. Q. Do you sometimes pick up a racquet now?
MONICA SELES: Yeah, I still play three, four times a week. I still go down, hit with the kids at different academies near where I live. I still try. It's just the level I'm playing is not the level that I would feel comfortable coming back. This is one promise I've made myself. If I'm not playing a certain level, for the sake of coming back, I'm not doing that. Last summer I proved that to me. So we'll see. Time is running out. I think I'm at that stage, I'm okay with either way that it's going to go. Q. Why have you not officially retired? What are you waiting for?
MONICA SELES: I don't believe in official retirement. Once you retire, you really want to be retired. I don't think I'm at that stage yet. When I really feel I'm definitely retired, then it's retiring. But I don't feel I'm that stage yet. Q. What would it take for you to come back and play on the tour right now with the women here?
MONICA SELES: I think for my body to stay a little bit continuously healthy, although you see a lot of young players now are battling tons of injuries. So it's not just, you know, when you get to 31 that it comes. But I think it's just really the level that you want to play. When I left, I was a top 10 player. I never really have been out of kind of that area and I would like to make sure that I can play at that level. And I think you have to be very realistic about that. Q. Are there injuries that are holding you up?
MONICA SELES: Well, I had a stress fracture, and I had a bone fracture. My bone split, my sesamoid bones, I had surgery with that. That's one of the main reasons I had to stop playing originally.Q. It's still bothering you?
MONICA SELES: It's one of those that comes and goes. You have good days, you have good weeks. Then you have weeks for two weeks that you can't really do much.Q. When you have two good weeks and you start playing a fair bit, do you feel you play pretty well?
MONICA SELES: Yeah, then you play really well. For me it helps when I go to one of the these academies and play with these young kids. I think to me that's good judgment of where your game is. Then you get going. What my mistake has been in the past is you get very excited, and then you up your training program. I was always a player if I didn't train the right amount of hours, I didn't feel comfortable going, even though many times my coach has said, You're at that stage you really need to worry more about your fitness, not so much how you play, because even if you closed your eyes you could still play tennis. But I never felt that. I need to put in the hours. Maybe that has been my downfall, maybe putting in too many hours. I don't know. But definitely when I have the two good weeks, I get really excited. Then when you have the bad weeks, or you go in a cast, then you're like the other end. So it's a very up-and-down feeling. But I've got into dealing with it much better in the last year.Q. Why did you choose Toronto 10 years ago to come back after being off for so long?
MONICA SELES: Just I think it worked with the schedule, the way your schedule is beings made. I really decided less than a month before Toronto to decide to come back to play tennis. I didn't really have much of a choice. Then I played an exhibition in Atlantic City. After that, I felt, gee, I'm playing pretty good. Toronto was one of the tournaments that in the past, really before 1995, I'd never done well. I've never won Toronto. I figured it was a good way to come in. You have no pressure, you never really played well this tournament. That was really kind of the idea behind it. I changed my luck.
Q. You don't go that often to tournaments on the women's tour.
MONICA SELES: No, I've been down to Miami and I was at Wimbledon. Those were the only two other ones, yeah.
Q. And when you are on-site, do you miss playing?
MONICA SELES: I don't miss like -- I miss the playing part. I don't miss the traveling part. That part I definitely don't miss. I don't miss the waiting around for your match. That nervousness, I definitely don't miss. I miss the playing part. I miss the feeling you get when you walk on the court and when you come off the court. I definitely miss that. But certain things you miss, certain things you don't miss, I guess, yeah.
Q. What about the players? Are there people who come up to you and say they miss you?
MONICA SELES: Well, players never say that, I mean (laughter). That would be asking a lot. I certainly didn't miss the players when someone retired. That's selfishly. But I keep in touch with quite a few players, obviously quite a few near Sarasota, Bradenton area where I live. I have a couple of friends, so I keep in touch with them. I "mentor" a couple of the young ones coming up.
Q. Who do you mentor?
MONICA SELES: It's a couple of the girls from Yugoslavia.
Q. When you were a teenager in those years, one of the things you talked about was outside interests. You were talking about becoming an actress. I remember I saw you in a supporting role in The Nanny.
MONICA SELES: Yes, terrible.
Q. I thought you were good.
MONICA SELES: Thank you.
Q. I'm not a TV critic. Have you thought of doing that, especially when you see what Serena and Venus Williams do? Have you thought at this point in your life maybe you'll be a tennis commentator or consider acting as you once did?
MONICA SELES: I think in terms of what I like to do in terms of a job or schedule, I think really getting into architecture, is one area that I like to see. So we'll see. In terms of tennis, I think once I do decide to fully stop, it's more doing stuff with kids because I really believe tennis is going through a touch bit of a stagnation, especially in the States, not so much in Europe, and kids are not participating really in general in sports at all. I mean, I have a lot of God-kids, goddaughters, all this stuff. Most of them, computer, video games. I just think it's important to get out and get moving. It doesn't have to be in a professional level. I think a lot of times people misunderstand you have to play tennis only if you want to be a top player. But I don't agree upon that. And the way I started playing tennis was very simple, so it really doesn't take a lot. But either way, whatever sport it is, at least you go out and get out moving. That's kind of one of my things that's close to my heart. I guess those two would be.
Q. Who do you mentor?
MONICA SELES: One is Jelena Jankovic. The other one is an upcoming girl. No need to get the agents involved.
Q. Maybe we could take her ourselves.
MONICA SELES: Let the girl breathe. Later on in her life.
Q. Do you have any explanation for your foot problems?
MONICA SELES: I truly believe it's when you're a child, I had all these problems with different bones. That's been kind of like my issue. I think it's just playing too much on the hard courts when you're growing up. Like all the doctors said, your bone just kind of never becomes solid. A classic example was when I was stabbed at 19, I was like 5'7". Two years and a half from not playing, I grew two and a half inches. Usually most women don't grow at 19. But I think the tour is anyway looking at the whole issue of injuries. I think you see that now starting younger. I think my generation, at least with me it started at 27, my whole injury problem. I guess maybe some bodies break down more than others. I don't know. So it's one of those.
Q. Who is your favorite player to watch on tour right now and why?
MONICA SELES: Men's, women's?
MONICA SELES: I mean, women's I like, any time you see a top player play each other, like when you have a Venus, Maria playing, or Lindsay, Venus. Any time, one of those matches are great because you know you're going to see great tennis. That's really it. As everyone else, you like to watch the youngsters because you see the potential and you see the raw material and you just wonder, you know, where that potential's going to take them.
Q. Speaking of youngsters, since you raised so much good money for junior tennis last night, you probably know in Canada, two of our up-and-coming players are Aleksandra and Sharon Fichman. Sharon is only 14. I wanted to know what you thought of either one of them? Do you see something in your life when you watch a 14-year-old do very well?
MONICA SELES: Well, I've never seen them play, so it's hard to say. I think from 14 to 16 in women's tennis is a critical age because, I mean, women's tennis you have to do very well at an early age. So I think for them the next two years are going to be important in terms of their game development, the mental aspect of it, just getting the right amount of exposure, playing tournaments, training and finding that balance.
Q. Everybody talks about you and Steffi and Martina and Chrissy. Do you ever run into Steffi around the tour?
MONICA SELES: I haven't seen Steffi. I saw Andre last time when I was out there to watch my friend Tommy in the men's LA tournament. That was the last time. But I didn't see Steffi, no. Martina I run into all the time. My neighbor. Chrissy I ran into quite a few times. Not as often as Martina. Who else is there? I don't know. Gaby, I guess.
Q. Maria Sharapova, what impresses you most about her game?
MONICA SELES: I got to see Maria grow up a little bit at Bollettieri's when I would go hit there from all the coaches that work with me, that have worked with her there. She just always impressed me. Her work ethic was always pretty amazing. Very mature. I think she surprised everyone how fast she has got into this point. But I played her a year before she won Wimbledon. I remember calling my agent saying, "Wow, this girl has improved so much in one year and she has grown and physically become stronger." I think very well-deserved. Yeah, she's going to win many, many more Grand Slams. But, again, it's just key for her, for all the top players now to stay healthy. That seems to be what keeps holding her back. That's what's been hurting most of the tournaments this summer, is just injuries.