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March 11, 1999

Steffi Graf


Q. Was there a point in the second set there where you felt the match started to turn around a bit, after you got down 3-1?

STEFFI GRAF: Not till the end of it. I mean, I cut down on mistakes, but I still didn't feel I was playing that well. Only until at 5-4, you know, I had the chances then to break her, but I didn't feel any earlier than that.

Q. Did the wind bother you today?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't know what bothered me today. I mean, it made the conditions a little more difficult, but I don't think it was a big factor at all.

Q. Do you have an explanation why you got off to such a slow start then? Any ideas?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I don't (laughter). It would be a whole lot easier knowing. I just played so differently today than I have done the last few days. Obviously, she's somebody that goes for her shots. Either make it or miss it. You don't really get that much of a rhythm. I just made so many mistakes early on. I mean, when I was going for my shots, I just didn't have a good feeling at all. I didn't know where I was hitting them. I missed them by meters. It was just awful, honestly.

Q. The reason I asked you about the wind is that you seem to have changed your toss; it wasn't quite as high.

STEFFI GRAF: It didn't really bother me very much, I have to say. It's just the feeling that I've had today. Even on the serve, I didn't feel very good at all. I mean, sometimes I was going for them, but most of the time I was trying to get them in because I was missing quite a few. I didn't want to give her too many chances on the second serve because she was doing very well on the second serve return. She was really going for her forehands and doing that very well.

Q. If you didn't feel you were playing very well today, how do you explain pulling it out in the third like that?

STEFFI GRAF: I just tried to get -- I mean, I was trying to pull the ball in play somehow. My backhand was at least reasonable. I mean, I kept the ball low. I didn't make that many mistakes off it. Kind of felt at least, you know, I got into the points with my backhand. Then I was just trying to play it safer. That's when I got her to play more points. Eventually, she would start making mistakes.

Q. What frame of mind are you going to go into the final?

STEFFI GRAF: Frame of mind? I have a day. That's the good thing about it. I have a day's rest. I can go out this afternoon, go out on the court again, go hit some shots. I have tomorrow. The good thing is that I've played the matches before so well, that's kind of what is a little strange, that I got out there today playing the way I did. That wasn't very impressive. Hopefully, I can turn things around again.

Q. You just played a match in which you had to rally in both the second and third sets against a formidable opponent. Yet, listening to what you're saying, you'd think you lost. Are you that much of a perfectionist about tennis?

STEFFI GRAF: Tennis? You know, that's what I've been asked a lot of times, "What does it mean to you to win titles?" I've always said, the most important thing is to play well. I didn't do that today, so I'm not happy about it. Probably a little later on, in a couple hours, I look forward to the finals. But right now, I'm just not happy the way I played basically (laughter).

Q. Who is going to win the second semifinal?

STEFFI GRAF: That's going to be a tough one. I think Sandrine won in Melbourne a very close match. Serena has really been playing well the last few weeks. With maybe a little more confidence and matches into the year, it will be interesting to see. She obviously played very well so far this tournament. I think she has a little edge on Sandrine.

Q. Do you have a preference?


Q. Irrespective of how the matches have gone, would you have been a little disturbed if the situation were reversed and you had to play a semifinal and final on successive days without having a day off?

STEFFI GRAF: I think it's a very strange schedule altogether. I played three matches in a row now. That's ridiculous. You have a period of ten days. You play three days in a row. I mean, that's a very odd schedule. Sure enough, the way they've been going about it, it's just been a little strange. At least you do it either the top half and the bottom half. Just mixing it up. You should play the semifinal, both of them should play the same day to give it a fair shot. It doesn't necessarily mean it has to make a difference, but it just makes more sense at least.

Q. Do you think we're going to see a dominant No. 1 again in women's tennis, say in the next couple years?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't know; as little as you. What's been shown the last few years is that the depth is getting bigger. A lot of players can win against each other, even on the top. Right now it doesn't look so much like it.

End of FastScripts....

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