Player of the day: MONICA SELES
(From the USOpen site)
When most people look at Monica Seles, they are overtaken with two emotions: sympathy and respect. Respect for her legacy that includes nine Grand Slam titles. Sympathy for an athlete senselessly cut down in her prime. Respect for the humility with which she has handled her comeback and the endless questions that have followed. Sympathy for a decent human being who was harmed for a reason most of us cannot comprehend.
Sympathy and respect.
Whichever of the two is the motivating factor, there is no doubt that the fans roaming the grounds of the USTA National Tennis Center are hoping to see Seles win one more Grand Slam title here in Flushing Meadows.
After all she's been through, it seems incredible that we are even talking about Seles competing in the 2002 US Open. And perhaps we should label it 'a miracle' that she reached the quarterfinals on Tuesday when she defeated another former US Open champion, Martina Hingis.
Although the final score, 6-4, 6-2, reflects a one-sided affair, Seles refused to see it that way. "It was a see-saw game," Seles said in her usual humble manner. "Some points she played her A-game, some points I did. Some points we just made a lot of errors." Sixty-seven to be exact; 33 of which belonged to Seles.
She made a high number of errors; her serve was neither deadly accurate nor overwhelmingly powerful. But at the end of the day for Seles, the stats don't matter. Winning and losing don't even matter. "I really never played tennis for winning the Grand Slam or to be No. 1 and stuff like that," Seles explained. "Maybe it was a very naive thought, maybe. I don't know. But truly it's really not the driving force in me today. I love to play tennis."
It was about giving fans the opportunity to watch one of their favorites take one more step towards reaching the top -- again.
Today was about one champion who is still doing something she loves.