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March 13, 1994

Steffi Graf


Q. You are making this look too easy so far?

STEFFI GRAF: Do I? Well, I think today I had a good match, some good rallies, so I am pleased with that.

Q. How was the wind out there?

STEFFI GRAF: Not too difficult. Not as yesterday. I think it was more difficult yesterday, but sure, it is still around, but not too bad. For here it is good.

Q. You must be fairly used to it down here the amount of time you have spent down here?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, it is always a little bit difficult in the beginning. Since I have been here now for two weeks I am fine. I play enough here in the wind, so you get used to it.

Q. Steffi, we have been writing about the sort of gap between you and the rest of the field for a long time, especially with Monica being gone. Is there something that other players can do to close the gap between you and them, or is it just a question of talent, you have more than others, or what do you think about that?

STEFFI GRAF: I think it is a combination of talent and work. I mean, I think one of my good parts is that I am still trying to improve and I am working hard on it. Sometimes you can sense that others maybe don't try as hard as I am. That is probably the biggest difference.

Q. You think other players, if they worked harder, they could narrow the gap?

STEFFI GRAF: I think so.

Q. Do you have any idea why they don't; there must be so many opportunities for them?

STEFFI GRAF: Don't ask me. I have no idea. It is difficult to say why. I mean, I am surely in an easier position to work harder because I have been lucky the way things are going, always able to meet the right people that did the right things for me or knew what to do. I have been lucky in that sense.

Q. Do you really think you are not much more naturally gifted than, say, number 212-- I don't want to pick a name or even number 50?

STEFFI GRAF: I mean, I think I have to be gifted, probably. Probably, it is more difficult for me to say what is -- what I have ahead of the others it is really difficult. I am gifted to have that forehand.

Q. Steffi, Arantxa, I understand, said she has vowed to beat you this year?

STEFFI GRAF: What is vowed?

Q. She has promised that she is going to beat you this year?

STEFFI GRAF: She promised?

Q. Right.

STEFFI GRAF: She always does.

Q. Do you say good for her, good to her for having those thoughts, or does that give you more motivation, more of a challenge to keep that gap going?

STEFFI GRAF: It is something that I don't really care about, to tell you the truth. She always has that kind of confidence and even if she loses or if she wins and I think it is good for her. I think that is what maybe sets her apart from other players.

Q. Steffi, are you commuting this week from Boca?

STEFFI GRAF: Sometimes. It depends on what time. If I play early, I can do that. If I don't, it is difficult, especially if you play day after day, it is difficult. If I have a day in between, definitely, I am always going home.

Q. So you have the hotel room down here, but you are sort of coming back and forth?


Q. I know we have asked you this before; how easy or difficult is it for you to maintain a such a high level of motivation and play when you know or probably know that you can win so comfortably, because you do seem to maintain a very high constant level of play yourself?

STEFFI GRAF: Not always, but I think I had difficulties in Indian Wells. I didn't have really too much trouble in Delray. It just depends on how well you can concentrate. Sometimes I can. Sometimes I am not able to do it. But mostly I am. I think that is another gift, probably I could say that I have that no matter what, I always try to stay in. It is probably because I am somebody who likes to do everything very well on the court and I don't like missing easy shots, so it is easy for me.

Q. When you are on court, are you concentrating solely, again no matter who you are playing on what you are doing on your shots or are there one or two players whose game you might concentrate on something they can do as well?

STEFFI GRAF: When I am on the court I am not always thinking about tennis, actually. So it is just depends on how much I am into the match, really, and how close it is, or how good the match is. Then I think about what I should do.

Q. Have there been any particular players over the years when you have gone on court and you have actually been thinking to some extent on what they can do in addition to what you can do?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes. Yes, always do. If I talk to my coach before a match we always discuss the strengths or weakness of the opponent or what maybe I should try more during a match. Yeah, I do that. I am not only concentrating on my game.

Q. Steffi, much has been said and written about your record this year not dropping a set in 24 matches; you haven't even lost 100 games this year. In a match, do you feel any sort of pressure to keep that record going or you don't even think about it?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't think about it at all. It is something that I don't worry. That is what I said last week even when I was close to losing a set, if I don't want to lose, I should just not play. I am out there to play and I don't worry about the scores.

End of FastScripts....

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