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March 21, 1999

Steffi Graf


JIM FUHSE: Basically the story why we have the dog here with the player is that Steffi last night found this dog on the streets of Miami. As she's wont to do, as she has other places, she brought him home. Steffi, you can say what you want about that.

Q. Did you give him a name yet?

STEFFI GRAF: No. Actually, I have five dogs already at home but I was hoping maybe if I bring him here, they would find the right family for it.

JIM FUHSE: There's many other dogs like this around the Florida area. Steffi has always cared very much about dogs, animals in general. If they don't adopt this dog, hopefully they'll adopt other dogs. There's a lot more out there. How about tennis now?

Q. Obviously, you're feeling good about your game. Tell us about where you're at right now?

STEFFI GRAF: It's been going extremely well. The way I was going out there, I've been really going for my shots, serving extremely well, returning well. It seems whatever I'm trying out there, it really is going the right direction.

Q. I know you love these courts, always had success here. Is it the fact that the ball stays up for you?

STEFFI GRAF: Usually I don't like the slow courts so much. I've been playing on the hard courts for quite some time now, so I feel pretty comfortable. Last two days I've been playing a little bit on the slower surface. I've gotten accustomed to it pretty well.

Q. Is there any part of the game that you still haven't reached the level that you'd like to be at?

STEFFI GRAF: Not right now. I mean, the way it's been going, not really. What we've been training on is definitely return of serve, is going more for my forehand. That's been really working very well. I'm very happy that's the way I'm going to play.

Q. Do you feel you are at the form before the injuries came?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I would definitely say so. We'll definitely put some flea stuff on him.

Q. Are you playing better than when you played against Serena?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, against Serena, it wasn't consistent enough. I mean, we had some very good games, some good rallies. But then I would have some lapses in between. That's the thing, that I was a little disappointed about, that I didn't find the consistency against her in the key matches. But I hope match by match I'm feeling better and better about it.

Q. What do you need to be more consistent on the game?

STEFFI GRAF: For example, I didn't serve so well. There were games against Serena where I served well, and games that I didn't. I certainly at times really didn't go for my shots as much.

Q. He was just roaming the streets?

STEFFI GRAF: Actually, we were about to go to the basketball game, to the Heat game. He was running around, everybody looking at him. He just walked around. Then we put him in the car and he immediately slept there. We went to see at halftime. We came back, he was still sleeping there. Then I took him back home. He was great during the night. He didn't bark. I would love to keep him actually. It's going to be very difficult for me to give him away, that's for sure.

Q. No name yet?

STEFFI GRAF: No. Everybody has been asking. I was thinking of calling him Heat. I don't know. I haven't found a name yet. Hopefully, the family will choose the right name.

Q. What kind of dog is he, any idea? Just a mutt?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah. Anybody kind of cut those ears in a very bad way. They didn't do a very good job. But he's very nice, very playful. He didn't do anything in the apartment, you know. He was very nice. He waited till this morning. But I guess he was a little nervous, as nervous as I was when he came in here.

Q. How do you compare the Williams sisters now that you've had a good look at them?

STEFFI GRAF: I was surprised the way Serena was playing. I think she was really going for her shots. I think both are trying to attack more and more. Serena, I think she probably has a little better serve, second serve, as Venus has right now. Obviously, you know, she gained quite a bit of confidence by winning against some top players. Right now I felt that Serena is a little more consistent than Venus was.

Q. How about your next possible opponent? Zvereva or Tauziat, people you're familiar with?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I've played both of them plenty of times. They're both trying to come in a little more than usual players are. Nathalie obviously a lot more than Natasha. Natasha tries to mix it up quite a bit, which I usually have not always felt so comfortable with.

JIM FUHSE: Anything else in English? Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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