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November 17, 1993

Steffi Graf


Q. Steffi, were you a little worried at all coming in based on your first round and last year and your final matches you played the previous year?

STEFFI GRAF: I didn't try really to think to look back at last year, I know it's going to be a totally different player that I had to play against. Lori is a very difficult player and to play her in the first round in the tournament and I've played Natasha many times and usually she's the kind of player who you can get kind of into a rhythm and can you go for the shots and, so, I mean, I knew if I play my normal tennis, I would be alright. So I wasn't really afraid of the match at all.

Q. Steffi, which foot was it again that the surgery was on?

STEFFI GRAF: The right foot.

Q. The date of the surgery?

STEFFI GRAF: Six weeks ago.

Q. No problems?

STEFFI GRAF: No, not at all. I have no more pain, nothing, so it's been really good since then.

Q. Steffi, are you go to go sell the tennis ball and buy a mansion?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't know who's going to by that, but, no, I have no intention to sell that piece.

Q. It is not going to the secretary's office?

STEFFI GRAF: No. Something like that you have to put in the bank otherwise--you know.

Q. Steffi, there was some stories about you having a back problem this week; can you comment on that?

STEFFI GRAF: I'm fine. I'm physically fit and ready to play the tournament and that's all I want to say to it. I don't really want to talk about injuries or anything any more, I've had enough of it all year long, so I don't want to talk about it.

Q. What is the key to your success and how do you prepare yourself before a tournament?

STEFFI GRAF: The key to my success? It is a long way back. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. It's being very eager, being-- having the talent to play, obviously having the shots, having a strong, aggressive game, I think that was very necessary the last few years.

Q. Without giving any secrets away, what is a typical day for you before a tournament? How many hours do you practice; what's your nutrition?

STEFFI GRAF: No nutrition. I usually practice-- like today I practiced for an hour or 45 minutes in the morning, then I just come back, have some lunch, try to rest a little bit and read, listen to music and today there was a players' meeting on and then just today I practiced a few minutes before my match, 15 minutes and then get ready for it.

Q. Did you find Natasha playing a little differently this time than before, she said she tried to mix it up a little bit and come to the net more?

STEFFI GRAF: I definitely think she tried to come in more and in the first set I was able to pass her very well with my backhand and I was able to try to keep her a little bit more at the baseline. And in the second set, she started serving better, so it was more difficult, but I think there were some good rallies.

Q. Steffi, you don't play to the crowd a lot out there and smile alot when you're playing, is there a reason?

STEFFI GRAF: Who does? Martina, yes. Who else?

Q. Is there a reason why you're like that, though?

STEFFI GRAF: I'm concentrating. I'm trying to do my best out there and that's how I really am. I mean, I'm trying to think about what's up next and-- I mean-- it's just whenever you do something different or at least I do something different it just gets me a win, so I just try to take it as it is.

Q. How concerned do you get when you play somebody like Natasha; I mean, she's never won; do you think one day the odds have to change, this match and worry, or do you figure I have her number, you know, there's no problem here?

STEFFI GRAF: I'm not somebody who likes to look back on the statistics. Sometimes I'm surprised when I hear them, so, I prefer to take the match at the time that I play it really.

Q. Usually?

STEFFI GRAF: It's always a different surface, different situation. You never play the same and, so I'm really not afraid to lose once, I'm not. I'm not trying to look back.

Q. You hit a lot of forehand winners from the back court, very few times hit backhand winners. Have you considered to add that new shot to your game, hitting a topspin backhand for a winner from the back court?

STEFFI GRAF: I'm trying to get better at it. Still the forehand will always be my best shot because I have a lot more confidence in it and I always had it and I'm working on my backhand. I think it has gotten better, but still I don't feel as comfortable are, so I never will have that many winners off a backhand. I never will, but maybe I had will get a few more.

Q. Is there a certain point of your game right now that you feel is really clicking on all cylinders?


Q. Is there a certain aspect of your game that you feel right now is really coming together, this time of year?

STEFFI GRAF: It's difficult to say that right now after the operation. I think before, I can talk about the time before, I don't think it's really right now I can say that because I really haven't had enough practice to say I'm 100 percent or I'm working on something specific, I'm not. And before I think there were certain things that were starting to get better in my game, you know, I-- quite a few times, backhand topspin and passing shot is getting better, my serve is getting better. Overall I just played more consistent.

Q. And right now you don't feel at that level?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I don't.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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