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September 10, 1994

Steffi Graf


Q. What hurts more Steffi, your back or your heart?

STEFFI GRAF: I mean, right now I am disappointed. Sure, I mean, I think it is just disappointing, I wasn't able to raise my level when I wanted to.

Q. Steffi, why didn't you take an injury timeout?

STEFFI GRAF: Because there is nothing you can do. You can just wait, but it is not going to get better, and I have done all that I can to handle as much pain as possible. It hurt for about maybe two, three games real hard, then it was okay. Then it started getting better, actually.

Q. When Arantxa changed her plan of attack in the second set, did that make it difficult for you to counter adjust?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I think that was probably the most difficult today. I played well in the first set and I just didn't keep doing what I wanted to do and she played more aggressive at times than I did, and I think that is something that shouldn't happen, really.

Q. Was the wind a difficult fact for with your toss?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I have been serving so well the whole tournament, and today just didn't -- didn't really work too well. I don't know if it was the wind or if it is just -- I just -- tried to get the first serve in, even like not even try to hit it as hard and still didn't work. I mean, just couldn't get the rhythm, really.

Q. Did Arantxa, going in to the third set really -- obviously, it raised your chances, but did it mean that it was going to be awfully difficult for you to win, considering the conditions?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I tried not to think about anything. I just wanted to play and see how things were going and, no, it is just -- she played better than I did. That is all.

Q. What happened on that actual point, did you pull something or is it something that just caught up with you, all the pain from the weeks?

STEFFI GRAF: No, it is -- I don't like talking about it if you lose, so I'd rather not talk about my back.

Q. Steffi, the way you played in that first set was unbelievable. I mean, were you thinking about that at all, how well you played that first set and a little bit surprised, as you said, she played better than you, but you played that first set in 22 minutes?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I mean, I just couldn't stay with this level. That is all. I didn't feel as confident anymore in the second set. I started making some easy mistakes and suddenly she didn't make that many unforced errors anymore, and stepped in when she could and, so, just things didn't work anymore.

Q. In the tiebreaker, Steffi, second half of the tiebreaker, you clearly seemed to either lose concentration or your rhythm and ended with a flurry of forehand errors--

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, but I don't think that is concentration, definitely not. It is just -- I don't think I took enough time during points to really -- to think about what I should do with the next point. Maybe I should have taken a little bit more time at that stage.

Q. How much did it mean to you to save those matchpoints? At one point you made a gesture with your hand to Arantxa?

STEFFI GRAF: Because if I would have gotten that game, I think I would still have been in it and that is why getting, you know, saving the matchpoints and then even having the possibility to even it out, was big.

Q. I meant more emotionally, not just the score of the match, but on a pride level, because if you are hurt and you save two matchpoints, was it very important to you to do that?

STEFFI GRAF: Still lost. So I don't think it matters too much.

Q. Steffi, you have been No. 1 for so long and are still No. 1 on the computer, but after Arantxa has won the two Slams, could you give us your thoughts on who should be considered to be No. 1?

STEFFI GRAF: That is up to you. That is up to you.

Q. Steffi, were you disappointed to maintain your first set level. Was the disappointment particularly that you were in the position so often to win a point and didn't quite put it away and she, by scurrying around, won it instead?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I know that I have more possibilities than I showed today. I mean, there is so much more that I can do and not showing it, that is what disappoints me. It wasn't enough out there that I showed.

Q. You said earlier that by playing more tennis you are certainly not going to get any better, at least these last two weeks. Looking ahead, will you now have to take or want to take some time off to get this problem, this physical problem all settled?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, definitely have to take some time off.

Q. Will you play at all anymore --

STEFFI GRAF: No, next couple of weeks, definitely not, no.

Q. How about the rest of the season?

STEFFI GRAF: It is something, I don't know, I just hope I can do that. I mean, I just have to take some time off. I am going to see the doctor next week and we are going to talk about how long a period I have to take off and what I have to do during that time to make it heal faster.

Q. Where is your doctor?


Q. Somehow, would you describe Arantxa's personality on the court and what allowed her to hang in after that first set?

STEFFI GRAF: She is somebody that-- like she fights for every point, even if she is down like she was today, and, you know, she just never gives up and she has very positive thinking and that is something great to have in tennis.

Q. Can you recall a particular point during the match or moment during the match where you started to feel the momentum or the tenor of the match, the rhythm of the match is starting to change?

STEFFI GRAF: That is -- there were still-- I mean, I have had so many chances, 4-All in the second set I had breakpoint, and I mean, I had a couple of chances like that, so it was really difficult to say that it is going the other way. Obviously, in the beginning of the third set I didn't feel very good at that stage.

Q. Steffi, this is the third time this year where you have had a match that has been so close with her and you lost it each time. Can you pinpoint really why that should be?

STEFFI GRAF: That is difficult to say, but I think -- maybe I have lost a couple, but I think I have won quite a few close ones too.

Q. You lost tight ones?

STEFFI GRAF: That happens.

Q. Do you hate losing as much or more than ever in the past?

STEFFI GRAF: It is nothing that -- no, I don't think hate is a right word at all, and I don't think it is about losing, really. I think it is not being capable of playing better. I think that is more -- I think it is more disappointment -- I don't hate it, not at all. I think it has become easier to lose, but still I am a competitor and I like to do well.

Q. Steffi, were you wearing a back brace today?


Q. How long have you been wearing it?

STEFFI GRAF: Four weeks.

Q. Steffi, how much of a factor is the difference between somebody who has won it three times and somebody who hasn't won it yet; how much of a difference does it make?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't think it makes a lot of difference, not at all: I think it is something you don't think about when you are in the match.

Q. Steffi, I know you have been involved in a lot of great matches, but the way you two fought each other in the last game, did you feel like you were part of something special in that last game?

STEFFI GRAF: You don't want to hear my honest opinion on that one.

Q. Yes, we do. Are you happy for her?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I don't think you want to hear my honest opinion.

Q. We want to hear any of your opinions. We can take it.

STEFFI GRAF: I think it was-- obviously, it was a very close match and that is why people got excited and everybody got into it. But I don't think it was exceptional level or something like a match that -- there have been great matches, but I don't think it has been one of the great matches.

Q. Did you lose because of your back, Steffi?

STEFFI GRAF: No. I don't think so.

Q. Steffi, is that the best she has played against you?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, the last two sets she really played well. I mean, she -- she will, I mean, she didn't really make many mistakes anymore. She played off the forehand, which doesn't always happen. And she came in, didn't make many mistakes at the net, so I think she probably played the best for a while.

Q. After that first set, did you think, "I can't miss"? Were you thinking that?

STEFFI GRAF: No, but I kind of had a feeling that things were going so well that -- no, I didn't think that way. I just felt very good; felt it was my match, in a way.

Q. Do you think she did specific things today because she knew you were hurt?

STEFFI GRAF: No -- I mean, I don't think so. But she knew that after the first set she had to change something in her game and she did it the right way.

End of FastScripts....

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