The retirement talk is Monica's own fault!
If her and her people are going to continue to duck the question, the question will continue to come up. Listen to some of these cryptic, noncommittal answers from today:
Interviewer: There's been talk that this might be her last year in the tennis game. have you heard anything <pause> coach?
Mike Sell: I've not heard anything, and I don't think this is her last year.
Interviewer: You don't?
Mike Sell: No.
Interviewer: So if she retired, you'd be surprised?
Mike Sell: I'd be shocked.
And here's an evasive exchange with Monica herself:
Interviewer: Usually impolite to mention a woman's age, but certainly in this case because you are an athlete we can say you are 28, and we keep hearing that this might be your last US Open, that you might retire. Can you clear that up for us?
Monica Seles: Well, I think just really for the last 2 years, but then again especially at the Australian Open, front page news I'm retiring, then here. All I just want to say to everyone I really just still enjoy playing tennis, why still ask those questions? And I'm still playing at a very high level and<cut off>
Interviewer: So right now you are not even thinking of it?
Monica Seles: Oh no no no, it hasn't even crossed my thoughts. I don't know where that came from. I ...really don't know. But it didn't come from me.
Interviewer: And we were talking before, off the air, Pete Sampras is running into the same type of thing right now, the media, the public, we wanna know. I don't know if we are in a hurry to retire people or if we don't see them at the level of champion they once were that there's something wrong with this picture.
Monica Seles: Well its really funny. I know in my case, its the past 2 years, literally, a lot of times, when are you retiring? And I see that with Pete, and a little bit with Andre, and its just unfortunate because let us play as long as we want to play, and when we feel we are tired of the travelling, or the of the playing, or for whatever reason we will retire. But you look at other sports and you can still play at a very high level into your early thirties. I mean I know I am at the later stages of my career, but you look at other players retired early. Like Sabatini, she retired at 26. And then I read an article that Mats Wilander said that he wished he'd taken a maybe 6 month break before he retired. Then you see a lot of them coming back. So I think its an individual. But I just, for me I think its such a boring question to be answered each time.
With the level of evasiveness and double-talk coming out of Monica's camp, I'm beginning to think there is something to these retirement rumours. No doubt the media will attempt to glean a clearer answer from her after the Venus match tomorrow.