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March 19, 1994

Steffi Graf


Q. Steffi, how did you finally solve your second service return problems in this match?

STEFFI GRAF: I just tried to step in a little bit more than I did. I was playing a little bit too much and I tried in the first set -- I just tried too much to go for the lines instead of just trying to get it in play and I just need to get some rallies.

Q. Is that because that slow second serve looked so fat and easy to hit?

STEFFI GRAF: Probably. And I don't really -- I just didn't step in because I was so slow, I just didn't move my feet very well.

Q. What went through your mind after you lost that first set?

STEFFI GRAF: Not much, no, it just was -- I don't know, there wasn't, there wasn't really very much I cared about, I was just -- which was very strange, I just took it the way it was. I wasn't upset or -- it just happened.

Q. What is your thought process like when you feel you're doing something wrong like that and you find the answer, do you try a couple of things and say, this is what I got to do?

STEFFI GRAF: I didn't have to -- I didn't had to ask myself what I'm doing wrong, it just was so obvious, I didn't really try to get into longer points, I just tried for too much and it's just -- the good thing was in the second set I just started to play better and just kind of got a bit more into it.

Q. Were you kind of emotionless out there and do you have any idea why?

STEFFI GRAF: I'm tired at the moment, I'm really tired of tennis, to tell you the truth. And that's why the last couple of days it's been difficult for me to be out there.

Q. Is that because you play all the three tournaments together, you think?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, I think it was a big mistake to play Delray Beach, I've been playing the fifth tournament in a couple of weeks, I think it is a bit much.

Q. You shouldn't get -- so we don't get the wrong impression, when you say you're tired of tennis at this point, it doesn't mean a long range problem, does it, maybe just some weeks off?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I think I'm ready for a couple of days at least, I think I'm ready for that.

Q. You're definitely not ready to step back from tennis?

STEFFI GRAF: No, no worry about that.

Q. You also feeling any pressure from the fact virtually the whole women's tennis seems to be on your shoulders at the moment?


Q. That doesn't worry you?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I can handle that, it's just for myself it's been just tennis, tennis, tennis and I think I need a break from that.

Q. Steffi, out of all those set points you served, you weren't just like once you thought about the streak, didn't you?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I was surprised because every time she had set point, I was like oh, that's it, then she did a doublefault, she missed an easy one, I was like, oh, maybe that's not it. She doesn't want it.

Q. Steffi, in the few days you want to take off, will you -- you won't pick up a racket, will you do any sort of training or just --

STEFFI GRAF: I'll sleep. I don't know right now. I'll just see what I want to do. I think I -- I just -- probably I'll just don't do anything, maybe some running, I don't know, see what happens.

Q. Your next tournament will be Hilton Head?


Q. This is 88 tournament titles, I'm curious, what did you do with all the bowls and the trophies and the various things that you win at these tournaments, where do they go?

STEFFI GRAF: Actually, they are at different places. Like the ones I've won down here they stay in Boca. The ones that I've won in New York, they are now in New York and the ones in Europe, they're in Europe.

Q. Are they in storage or do you keep them in a place where you can display them for people to come to your home?

STEFFI GRAF: No, not really, most of them, they're in Germany, they're actually in the secretary's room, I really have a lot of contact with them.

Q. What about the Australian ones?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't know, somewhere.

Q. Actually, how much satisfaction do you have winning this tournament today the way you played?

STEFFI GRAF: I really don't want to give an answer to that one. I mean, it's good to come back playing maybe not the best first set and to stay in there and to try to, at least, get myself into it and kind of pushing myself maybe, I think that's fine, but I'm not that happy about the way I was playing.

Q. Getting a set against you, is that something you're glad to have out of the way or is that totally irrelevant?

STEFFI GRAF: I've been saying it for the last couple of weeks, it didn't really matter to me too much, and so my mind was just not really on that.

Q. Steffi, you know the way that you expect to win every match that you play and you work towards that, that's why you said you work harder than any -- Natasha just came in and she said her expectations aren't like that, she would be kind of happy to get to the quarters of a Grand Slam, can you understand that thinking in another player?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, I can, in a way I can. You always have to know, you know, what you want for yourself and where you can go and what you can achieve, and I don't expect to win every match. I mean, I know I can do it, I think that's what you need to know.

Q. I wonder, do you sense there are a number of very good women players in this tour were not driven to be number 1 who are satisfied to be four or five or six?

STEFFI GRAF: I didn't get the beginning.

Q. Do you believe that there are a number of women on this tour who are very good players, who are not driven to be number 1 but were satisfied to be four, five, six, in that area?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, that's what I've been saying, I don't think -- there are a lot of players, more -- quite a few players happen to have a lot of talent, and I think they can get further than they think they can get maybe.

Q. Do you agree on that kind of thinking, or is it against your personality?

STEFFI GRAF: It is a little bit against my personality.

Q. Were you upset in anyway with the crowd today, they seemed a little bit in the early part when they boo'd and were rooting for shots to go in that weren't in?

STEFFI GRAF: I did get upset quite a few times because there were a lot of calls that there shouldn't have been any discussions about them, they just got into it and that's fine with me.

Q. Did you have any concerns after losing the first set, the title might slip away?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I wasn't worried about anything out there today, I just played.

Q. Steffi, Natasha said she began to tire in the second set, and if you look at the few net approaches she made in the third set, you tend to believe her, do you believe that this victory by you is as much a part of your fitness as the strokes you had today?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't think it should have been because we didn't have a lot of long rallies in the first set. I think there were a lot of mistakes, maybe in the middle of the second set I was able to move her around a little more, but I didn't think it should have been a match where you get very tired. I don't think the first -- maybe it's different if you're on the court, I'm not very objective. I didn't think it should have been a big factors of fitness.

Q. She was able to pass you a number of times with backhands, returns or whatever, is her backhand hard to meet?

STEFFI GRAF: She hits it very late and she uses a lot of wrist with it and she place a lot of shorter passing shots, so you never really quite know what to do; if you should come in, if you should stay back, you know, she does it very well, that's why she has beaten Martina a couple of times. I think especially with the backhand is her strength.

Q. When and where do you play next, please?

STEFFI GRAF: I'm playing Hilton Head.

Q. When?

STEFFI GRAF: In almost a week's time.

Q. Steffi, do you like to play the same week in the tournament where the men are playing?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't really care too much about that.

Q. Key Biscayne tries to be the fifth Grand Slam tournament, all playing together men and women, that's why I wanted to know?

STEFFI GRAF: But it doesn't affect the tennis or anything. It's necessary if they want to get that status, but it's not really effective for me.

Q. How high would you rate this tournament as a women's tournament?

STEFFI GRAF: It's difficult. I mean, there is still quite a gap to go to the Grand Slam tournaments because not all of the players -- even a lot of the men was a great turn out, but I think in the women's there are still a few women missing and I think nine days is not a very long time to make a decision.

Q. You mentioned the stadium, that you liked it, what did you like about it and what role do you think that will play in elevating this tournament?

STEFFI GRAF: I think it was very necessary for them to get something stable here, what I like a lot about the stadium, it's not, even if a lot of people fit in it, still you don't feel like it is a huge stadium like the U.S. Open or something. Still the court is quite nice and small.

Q. Given your present feeling about over tennis, if you had not committed to Hilton Head, would you not play it then coming up?


Q. Yes, you would not play it?

STEFFI GRAF: I would not play it.

Q. You said you weren't concerned, but when you got the 4-1 in the third set and then she broke back, did anything pass through your mind that to start lifting your game a little bit so she doesn't get going?

STEFFI GRAF: I mean, I was in that set I was trying to tell myself, hey, if you even lose that game you can serve the next one, so no, I wasn't --

Q. Steffi, I kind of hesitate to ask you this, but if you had been playing, maybe Aranxta or Jana today, do you think you could have won?

STEFFI GRAF: I think -- it's difficult to say, maybe I would have been a little bit different on the court. I don't know, I have no idea. It's difficult to say if -- I'm not in that position right now.

Q. Are you surprised given what a good volleyer she is, especially in doubles, that she doesn't attack you more; I think she only rushed net like ten times a set?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, she did a lot in the first set because I gave her a lot of opportunities, and I think starting from the second set I played a little bit deeper, my returns were starting to come in a little more. She hasn't gotten the chances she had maybe in the beginning to come in. Maybe she could have taken a chance a few more times, but then I started to play a little bit better, too, my passing wasn't very on in the first set.

Q. Steffi, given that you're tired of tennis, was it harder to go through almost an hour work out?

STEFFI GRAF: No, not really, it's not I'm tired physically, I'm tired mentally.

Q. Steffi, she has a little dance she goes through from time to time, and at 3-1 deuce in the second set she hit a backhand down the line to give a breakpoint and she went through a dance, do you have any emotional reaction to that?

STEFFI GRAF: I haven't seen it once during the match. I never look over, I just --

Q. You've never seen her little dance?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I saw it after the match during the ceremony but I have not seen it during the match. I never look over. Sorry.

Q. Can you remember the last time you felt this mentally exhausted as well as now?

STEFFI GRAF: It was actually last year around August.

Q. Around August?


Q. August?


Q. Is there anything dangerous, not in the physical sense, but dangerous for your game in playing just mentally drained?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, it is. Because you don't pump yourself up for every point and you just don't move as well, yeah, it is.

Q. Back in the summer you actually were worrying about the foot, weren't you?


Q. Back in the summer, in August, you actually had the problem of worrying about the foot as well?

STEFFI GRAF: That's true, yeah.

Q. What are you going to buy with $150,000? Another dog?

STEFFI GRAF: No, no more dogs. No, I think it will go straight to the bank.

Q. Heard a lot of the incident with Boris Becker and Agassi and playing with the ball girl. I've been watching you over the years off court as well as on, and Steffi Graff, she's so serious, so stoic, so stereotypical of the German, is there a way to be a little more playful, could you see yourself in that situation like Boris Becker was where you can play with a ball girl, lighten up at some of the matches?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I'm not that kind of person. It's just when I'm on the court I'm very serious and I'm out there to do well and to perform. It's not my character, really, to do these things. You know, sometimes I'm really relaxed and I'm easy about it, but, no, it's just not me.

Q. Do you feel people should publish like more your generosity, I remember Toronto, the Aids research by giving that exhibition, is that something you may want to do in the future, somehow so people can say Steffi Graff is a very, very soft feminine woman as well as a great tennis player?

STEFFI GRAF: I'm not the kind of person who feels that she has to show herself in a special way. When I'm in the public or when I'm playing tennis, I'm the way I am and I don't think I want to do anything to persuade the people to think I'm like that or that. I do what I think I'm right what I should do and what I feel I should do and I'm not doing it for any purposes.

End of FastScripts....

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