March 25, 1995
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Q. Someone said on television you issued a plea for a good
wish to Monica. Could you elaborate on that?
STEFFI GRAF: Well, Pam asked me probably Monica is watching.
And if she were would I say something and I said that I miss
her and hope that she is going to come back soon.
Q. This was in response to what Pam asked?
STEFFI GRAF: Yes.
Q. Steffi, the fact that not only Monica is not here, but
Conchita and Mary Pierce and even Jennifer. Is that a disappointment
to you, do you regret that?
STEFFI GRAF: Well, I think that she choose a different schedule.
For them it is more to play the clay court. I respect that.
Everybody has to choose what is right for them and I choose that
hard court season is more important to me right now. It is very
difficult with the schedule. Everybody has commitments and, you
know, so everybody is trying to do the right thing. Already next
week there is a clay court for many people. It is, in fact, for
myself, it is really difficult to change from hard court to clay
court in one day. I don't know how to do that. I think some
people just choose different ways to for there schedule.
Q. Will you be playing Fed Cup at all this year?
STEFFI GRAF: Right now, I am just going to see what I am going
to do next few weeks. Right now, I am thinking about playing,
but everything is going to depend how I am going to do the next
Q. Do you require a certain fee to play Fed Cup for Germany?
STEFFI GRAF: No, that has been said in the papers. I have not
even, you know, I have been happy that I am playing so far, I
never even talked to anybody nor did my father, so we haven't
really -- I mean, I think I am kind of trying to make my schedule
now. I wanted to get this tournament over seeing what I am going
to do next few weeks. Because I do need a couple of weeks off
and I want to work on my game a little bit harder and so I have
to choose what I am going to do right now and I do that next few
days. Before that, I have not made any decisions so far.
Q. Will you require a fee to play Fed Cup?
STEFFI GRAF: No, I don't because that is something I don't care
about. I mean, I am playing to play, you know, for my country
and I don't care about money. I think that it has been such a
big issue in Germany with Stich and Becker. I think it is terrible
the way it has been going so far and I have no intentions about
something like that.
Q. Does not being No. 1 make you not feel psychologically
any different, trying harder?
STEFFI GRAF: No. Not really. I don't think at all. I think
it does really make a difference for me even when I get on the
court because I don't think about it. It -- I can't even say
it takes pressure off me because whenever I go out on the court,
I am trying to do my best; not thinking if I am one, 2, whatever,
so it is not a factor at all right now.
Q. Have you talked to Monica Seles at all in the last --
STEFFI GRAF: No, I haven't.
Q. Not since she went out?
STEFFI GRAF: I haven't talked to her for about a year now, that
I haven't talked to her.
Q. Do you have any intention of talking to her?
STEFFI GRAF: If I could reach her or can reach her, I would
love to, but right now I don't know how to do that.
Q. You would try?
STEFFI GRAF: We have been trying, yes.
Q. You have tried?
STEFFI GRAF: Yes, I have tried.
Q. What was the problem?
STEFFI GRAF: Well, if you can't get through to a number, then
you just don't get through to a number. It has been difficult
for a lot of people to get through.
Q. Any chance of your playing Eastbourne this year on the
STEFFI GRAF: Probably not because it is very close between Paris
and Wimbledon and I think it is -- I mean, right now I am trying
to lower a little bit the tournaments that I play, so I have no
intentions because it is just too close for me to get rid of the
grass court. I prefer to have enough time in between so I can
get a couple of days off and get ready for the grass.
Q. Were you pleased with the way your back has been feeling
throughout the tournament and particularly the day after your
STEFFI GRAF: Oh, yes, I have been very happy because there were
six matches in eight days and sometimes it is not easy one, longer
ones, than I have had this year, so I have been responding to
it well. I am extremely happy with the way my back is feeling.
Q. As you think about your schedule, is it probable that
you won't play again now until Europe and clay then.
STEFFI GRAF: That really depends how I am going to be the next
few weeks. I mean, I am scheduled, next four days I am having
a commercial to do. Then I am trying to work a little bit more
on my conditioning and see how I am going to be playing on clay
courts. In December I have felt some problems playing on clay
courts; hopefully that is going to be all right this year.
Q. It seems curious that most people would say hard courts
are harder on the body than clay courts. What is the difference
STEFFI GRAF: It is the sliding. That is really a lot tougher
on my sacroiliac joint. When I tried it was, you know, just didn't
work, so for some reason the hard court has been a lot easier
because probably after the way my back is getting into position
on the clay courts.
Q. Have you come to a diagnosis of the back as far as --
you had talked at the Virginia Slims, I think, or somewhere about
how much of it was congenital. Have you come to a realization
that you are always going to have it no matter what you do, what
percentage is congenital and what percentage is tennis?
STEFFI GRAF: No, I am going to have that no matter what I do.
It is the way it is going to go. Even if I am going to stop playing
today, I will have some problems eventually, but that is just
Q. The pain will come and go randomly; it is not your participation
on the Tour?
STEFFI GRAF: I don't think it really has much to do. Depends.
Obviously, sometimes it has to do how much I work out, that is
absolute. So that is why I have been cutting that down.
Q. Were you concerned at all in the second set that it might
get away from you?
STEFFI GRAF: Well, it was difficult because there were so many
different moments, like in the beginning of the second set I mean,
it was 2-All and 3-2 it was really close. There were some long
points and she started to play very well, very deep and started
to go more for her shots and I let a little down and I knew that
it is going to be difficult. Then again, I won two quick games
to 5-2 and I was thinking, all right, so here we go and then again,
you know, for the first time I started to serve well during that
game and she just played some incredible returns and then next
game I had the chance at matchpoint to go for the forehand and
I missed it, maybe trying for too much at 5-4 I was -- I wasn't
getting nervous at all, but I was saying, okay, let us start it
all over again, but she just played very well in these two games.
Q. You said you were a little surprised that it did end up
being Kimiko in the finals instead of Gaby. What were you expecting
from Kimiko? I am sorry to backtrack a little bit, in general,
how did you feel Kimiko played? This is your fifth time playing
STEFFI GRAF: I think she was -- the good thing was that I had
a very good start in the beginning, breaking her at 2, 3-Love
then I think she was trying for it a little bit too much making
quite a few errors. Then in the second set she just started to
play better points; didn't try for too much and started to play
much better tennis, running around very well and playing very
deep and so it got a lot more difficult. I think she deserves
where she is at because the way she has been playing the last
Q. Do you feel she is a player that you can read well on
STEFFI GRAF: Not really, because she has strokes that maybe
are a little bit for -- her forehand is a little bit unusual,
and she has got a good backhand down the line, so sometimes it
is not that easy to read.
Q. Are you surprised at her power given her size?
STEFFI GRAF: Yes, but I think that comes from her speed and
I think she is one of the fastest players around the court and
she has very good stamina and I think that is why she has the
ability to use the power of your pace because she is there very
early and takes the ball invest early.
Q. When people talk about Monica's situation, a lot of us
have assumed that a big part of the problems is emotional because
she is playing tennis, supposedly. Have you found anything about
the episodes be scarring for you? Do you ever find yourself dwelling
on it or thinking about it for you, having been I don't know,
peripherally involved with it, I mean, the whole episode with
Monica a lot of us have assumed there is an emotional, something
to hang on emotionally because she is playing, so do you ever
find that it is scaring for you or a night mare for you to look
back on it or have you been able to totally block it out?
STEFFI GRAF: It is not totally to block it out. Last ten days
I have been confronted every interview every time again, so that
doesn't make it easier. It doesn't make it possible to block
it out - not at all. Even the months before, you still -- you
still times think about it, so it is not very possible to block
it out. You try as good as you can, and, you know, you hope you
don't have to think about it too much. That is all.
Q. Is there something in your makeup that you suspect you
would just go out and play do you think if it were you would be
playing in your makeup -- you seem to be somebody who uses the
court to block out problems, or get back to tennis quickly when
you have had problems. Have you ever thought about if you would---?
STEFFI GRAF: No, it is not possible because you are not in the
situation, so it is impossible to really think what you would
do. From the outside you can say, I think the best way would
have been to come back, but, you know, you have no idea probably
what kind of thoughts you have of coming back, if you see the
people; if you get questions about it, it is not possible to foresee
how you would react to it. And maybe you think the right thing
would be to come back. You don't know because you are not in that
Q. How much do you think it would mean to women's tennis
to have her back?
STEFFI GRAF: Obviously, it would make a great deal. I think
that would be very, very helpful right now and we have had a lot
of big names dropping out, you know, not being there and it would
help the tennis extraordinarily. It would be a big, big help.
Q. You mentioned a commercial earlier. What is it all about?
STEFFI GRAF: It is deodorant.
Q. For United States or German television?
STEFFI GRAF: It is all over. It is worldwide.
Q. What is the deal?
STEFFI GRAF: Rexoona, it is called.
Q. Can you tell us what you will be doing in the commercial?
STEFFI GRAF: Showering.
Q. For four days?
STEFFI GRAF: Something like that - no, lots of things. That
is a little part only.
Q. The public service was what, was that special Olympics?
STEFFI GRAF: Yes.
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