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March 24, 1996

Steffi Graf


Q. Were you pleased with the way you played today in comparison to the first match?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes. I think it was pretty solid match. I think that overall when -- I mean, I had maybe one or two service games where I had a couple of seconds. I was serving extremely well. Passing shot, my backhand felt pretty good, so, in general, not bad.

Q. Were you aware that your record with Gigi was even before the match?

STEFFI GRAF: No. I played her in December. I played an exhibition in Mexico and she beat me there, so that's the last match that I remember playing against her. No, I didn't know.

Q. You are going to start wearing the dress a little bit more?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, especially in the wind it is so much easier, I don't have a skirt coming up all the time, so it is a little bit easier. I am getting more used to it.

Q. You seemed to be fidgeting out there underneath -- (inaudible)

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I always need something.

Q. You talked about the wind. The wind seemed to bother you a little bit today?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, sometimes it is difficult with the toss on the serve and in the first set it was coming pretty much from one direction; then it started to swirl around a little bit. That's when she started to let down a little on her serve because she started serving so well in the first set and finally when things changed a little with the wind in the second set, we both started to serve a little bit different.

Q. Is she a tough opponent for you because she plays so much serve and volley it is hard to get into a rhythm?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, it is more difficult. There aren't that many players around that come to the net and take the opportunities, try to keep the ball low and approaching every single possibility, so you have to focus a little bit better and obviously you have to get used to it because you know you don't have long rallies.

Q. 35 winners; three unforced errors.


Q. Yes.


Q. Apparently you didn't think you felt that well.

STEFFI GRAF: I felt great. I didn't know I had that kind of statistics.

Q. I've got another rumor for you.


Q. Bild has reported that the contract with the German Federation is ready to be signed and will be signed in Tokyo, the week of April 15th.

STEFFI GRAF: I have no idea what -- I mean, I don't know about this rumor. It is the first time I am hearing it and the first time, you can be sure that this is not true.

Q. It's not true?

STEFFI GRAF: At least I don't know anything about it.

Q. I don't mean to stick you, if I need to pursue this, who do I talk to, your business manager?


Q. Who might that be?

STEFFI GRAF: That's Phil.

Q. Steffi, can you comment on the marketing strategy that seems tennis is taking over now? You have the fan-friendly booths out back and they have children talking to you after your match. How do you feel about that?

STEFFI GRAF: I think it is really important to have the contact with the spectators, you know, and to kind of give back a little bit. I think these things always actually have been fun because, you know, people start talking to you. They kind of tell you what's their feelings, or, you know, what kind of questions they have and what they are interested in. I think it is a nice feedback that we, as players, get from them. I think we can give something back, too, so I think it helps communication a lot.

Q. Any part of your game do you feel has to rise before this week is over -- any part of your game has to pick up a little bit or are you really satisfied at the moment?

STEFFI GRAF: I mean, sometimes -- I mean, if I really search for something now, maybe sometimes on my return I will step into my slices as often as I used to, or should do, so maybe that's the only thing I would criticize.

Q. Steffi, was the fourth game of the first set vital, the long game?

STEFFI GRAF: I remember the long game. I am just trying to remember did I lose it or win it. I did lose it, though. It was -- I mean, there were a couple of closer games and I think all of them were important because I felt that I had quite a few chances to break her and, you know, she didn't really have too many chances on my serve until the last game of the second set; the first set, it gave me kind of the confidence still, I should maybe want to --

Q. Do you think it kind of broke her spirit?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I don't think so. She really played well until that -- I mean I got that lucky break, a little lucky break with the easy volley on the first point and a little miss-hit on the second point with my forehand, so, you know, I didn't think that that game I was playing as well as I did the other game that I lost.

Q. Do you think this is the best you played since you started back this year?

STEFFI GRAF: I did -- I had a really good match against Amanda Coetzer. I played really solid, but on the other hand, today was a good step forward because she, like we mentioned before, she doesn't really give you that much rhythm and you constantly have to be on your toes, so it was a good test.

Q. Your back is feeling fine?

STEFFI GRAF: The back has been feeling good.

End of FastScripts....

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