Mary's 2nd Round Interview
M. PIERCE/K. Srebotnik
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Mary Pierce.
Q. Are you playing as well as you were at LaCosta?
MARY PIERCE: I don't feel like it. I think, uhm, today was tough. There was a little bit of wind ‑ obviously not as much as yesterday; I didn't play yesterday. But it was kind of tough out there at times. I do feel like I'm serving really well. You know, I'd like to improve a little bit on my second serve. I think my return's improved as the match went on at the end today, but I do feel like I'd like to return better. I feel like I'm hitting the ball pretty good. Movement, I'd like to get a little bit better on that as well since I didn't ‑‑ I had to take 10 days off after San Diego with my leg strain. So, you know, didn't get to work a lot on my movement because I had to kind of take it easy when I started coming back. You know, overall, feeling not too bad but, you know, I definitely feel like I have room for improvement.
Q. Did you suffer that injury in San Diego or after you'd left San Diego?
MARY PIERCE: It was in LA when I was practicing.
Q. How is it doing now?
MARY PIERCE: Oh, it's good. Yeah, my leg is great. It's been 100% for almost two weeks now. So, yeah, it's good, thanks.
Q. Were you a little surprised at how you've been able to get things back together? I mean, you've had some ups and downs in your career. I remember we talked in Australia, it didn't go as well as I think you had anticipated. You've had a pretty good season since then.
MARY PIERCE: Uh‑hmm. No, I'm not surprised because I feel like when I'm well prepared, I'll play well. I think that's kind of normal for anybody really, at least to the best of your ability that you can. You know, I didn't do well in Australia. Wasn't ‑‑ you know, you always hope to do well, but, you know, my brother actually thought that I shouldn't have gone and played there. He even told me beforehand. Because I had a shoulder injury, I was out for two months, I had only started hitting lightly, and then when I got to Melbourne as well. So, you know, I just didn't have enough tennis in me to really play a Grand Slam tournament. But, you know, I've been working hard over a year now and just getting fitter, and that's really made a big difference, you know. And just my game is a very physical game. I need to have, you know, my legs to be able to play my game. You know, I think it just kind of makes a lot of sense. Just been, working hard, getting in good shape, practicing well, working on my game and all kind of things. It all comes together.
Q. Can you talk about your decision to go back to Bollettieri and why you decided to go?
MARY PIERCE: Well, I've been living in that area since I'm 18. First time I went there was when I was 13. I own a villa there, they started building places and stuff, and the academy has changed a lot over the years. So I bought a place there like over six years ago, and I still have it. And whenever I am in the States, uhm, you know, I'll go there, you know, home, because it's a great place to train. There's, you know, all the facilities that you need, courts, different surfaces, gyms, lots of great guys to hit with. And, you know, so I've been doing that, you know, for a while I guess now. Whenever I have tournaments in the States, I'll go there a week before. Or if I have a week off, like the week off between ‑‑ let's say I was supposed to play Toronto and then here, I had a week off, I'd go there and practice just for a week. Then Nick started coming out on to the courts with me, I guess, after Indian Wells this year and, you know, just come out on the court a little bit and train and give some advice. That's pretty much it.
Q. You've seen so many young players over the years come through. Of the new generation, the Vaidisova, Sesil Karatantcheva, what would you notice about them? Have you hit with them?
MARY PIERCE: I haven't hit with them. We don't practice together, we're on different schedules. I played a match once against Nicole at Indian Wells this year and, what else can I say?
Q. Is there anything distinctive about this younger generation?
MARY PIERCE: They seem to be mentally, uhm, different, I guess. You know, a lot more, I don't know ‑ I don't know, I can't find the right words, probably.
Q. Tennis‑wise or off‑the‑court‑wise?
MARY PIERCE: I only know them really tennis‑wise. But game‑wise, tennis‑wise, pretty aggressive players, baseliners. Aggressive, I would say.
Q. Is Nick different with you now? I mean, from the perspective like back then you were kind of a kid and now you're an adult. Does he approach you differently, how you work?
MARY PIERCE: Uhm, yeah. I mean, I think, uhm, I've changed over the years a lot as well and I know myself really well. I know my game really well. Uhm, you know, it's more of, you know, my brother is my coach and we work together every day and Nick has great experience and, you know, he's been in the game for many years and worked with a lot of great players. So he has, uhm, good advice, and that's mostly how it works. He comes and advises, I guess you could say.
Q. Was it Nick's decision to kind of start working with you more?
MARY PIERCE: Uh‑hmm.
MARY PIERCE: I don't know. I didn't ask. He just said, "Oh, when you come back, I'll come back, I'll work with you, we'll get on the court." I said, "Okay."
Q. How do you avoid sibling rivalry? Everybody has to have some of that, someplace, I would think.
MARY PIERCE: What do you mean?
Q. Well, everybody with a sibling, there has to be some kind of, I would think not always getting along.
MARY PIERCE: Between my brother and I?
MARY PIERCE: Oh, yeah, that happens all the time.
Q. How does that work, a coaching relationship?
MARY PIERCE: My brother and I being my coach? Oh, I think just our love for each other, our respect for each other, you know, and having God in the center of relationship personally and professionally and just communicating, that's the biggest thing, is just really open communication.You know, it's like anybody and everybody, you know. I think that you don't always agree on everything. Everybody does everything differently. Different ideas, different times. So, you know, he knows and I know that, you know, he's here for me, and wants the best for me. So that's the best thing really that I know. It's great to have him with me.
Q. Can you talk about your matchup against Jelena in the next round?
MARY PIERCE: Yeah, we've never played that I can think of. So I've seen her play, you know, quite a bit. She's a good player. She's young, talented, and she's been moving up and doing well. It will be a really good match. I'm looking forward to it.
Q. In terms of your style of games, do you approach this match in any particular way?
MARY PIERCE: Uhm, no, not really. I mean, just always usually the same way, just play my game pretty much.
Q. Do you consider it a badge of honor to be one of the older players on tour?
MARY PIERCE: Badge of honor, no, not really. It just means I have more experience really.
Q. Do you feel the age difference, though, sometimes in the locker room?
MARY PIERCE: Oh, yes, definitely.
Q. In like what, music taste?
MARY PIERCE: Just, you know, it's pretty obvious things, maturity level, how you go about things, I guess.
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