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March 26, 1999

Steffi Graf


VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions in English.

Q. Did you ever really feel comfortable out there? Maybe you did three match points down. Did you feel comfortable today?

STEFFI GRAF: Not at all. I mean, even if I got that game, I mean, I was trying to be positive. But I guess it was one of those days that I couldn't put a ball in play. Especially with the forehand. You know, I tried the wrong shots at different times. I don't know why, but right now it's difficult to know. You know, just I didn't feel very good out there at all.

Q. She was getting everything back. Seemed like had you to hit three winners to get the point.

STEFFI GRAF: But I didn't even go for my shots because I missed them early on. Especially the way I started the match, I think it was three or four second serves of hers. I missed every single forehand. You know, the way it just started, I barely went for my shots because I felt, "Okay, let's at least try to get them in somehow." Even that, because maybe I was just trying to put them in, that made it even more -- made it even worse, I think.

Q. Do you feel you might have come to the net more? Was that an option you could have considered?

STEFFI GRAF: But I didn't have a lot of shots to do that. When we had longer rallies, I mean, maybe that's the only time. But they were very few. I made the mistakes early on. Because I was very tentative, you don't go with those kind of shots with that. I knew I wanted to play serve and volley, but it just wasn't happening.

Q. Sometimes if you do that, even though it's risky, it can pump your game up a little bit, help the confidence if you score.

STEFFI GRAF: There were two when I did two in a row. She made mistakes on them. I tried again a few. Every time I missed the serve. But then, you know, I was trying to change pace, I was trying to play a little higher, I was trying to play a little safer, but that didn't work either.

Q. Were you impressed with her composure tonight?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, especially on the few points that I played well, she did, too. She came up with better shots. I didn't think that she was serving very well, but I couldn't take advantage of it at all.

Q. You're sort of saying the same things you were saying last week having played Serena.

STEFFI GRAF: That's different.

Q. You were talking about being tentative. I was wondering if it is something about playing them that makes an opponent not quite go for it? They scramble the game up, make it difficult for an opponent to play their natural game.

STEFFI GRAF: I wanted to be aggressive early on, especially on her second serves. When I started making the mistakes, you just don't want to give everything away. Then you're trying to put them in. That doesn't work. Then suddenly, you know, it's difficult to find a game plan.

Q. To see them play one year later, you have a feeling you're watching the future of tennis. They're going to dominate for a period of time. They don't have any glaring weaknesses. Isn't that the whole package out there, basically?

STEFFI GRAF: Absolutely. Their athleticism is incredible. They move extremely well out there. They're taking risks. They go for their shots. They don't really have a certain weakness. They're trying things, they're trying to come in. They're very tall and big. That's definitely a plus. All those things are definitely working for them.

Q. Do you have a favorite for the final?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, Serena is really playing very well right now. I think she's serving a little better and returning probably a little more aggressive than Venus is. That's probably a key.

End of FastScripts....

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