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September 8, 1995

Steffi Graf


Q. Were you happy with your game today?

STEFFI GRAF: Was I happy? Afterwards, yes.

Q. How about during?

STEFFI GRAF: During? I think, I mean, other than maybe my return which was sometimes a little off, I felt pretty good out there; especially, I think, from being down 4-2 and breakpoints in the second set, I think I played a few very good game at that stage and tried to come in force the points. I think I played really well then.

Q. You said a couple of days ago that coming in because of the back problems and a couple of other distractions, you didn't really have any expectations; are you surprised you are in the final?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I am. I definitely am.

Q. How much so?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I mean, how much ? How much can you expect to be there? I mean, obviously I knew I would have my chances against her, but I sort of didn't feel all the odds were for me. So I just relaxed out there, but I mean, I cannot really say how I expected it, but it is there.

Q. What was the problem with your foot?

STEFFI GRAF: I have a little bone irritation.

Q. How much was that troubling you today?

STEFFI GRAF: It was a little problem.

Q. Right foot?

STEFFI GRAF: Left foot.

Q. Steffi, when you won the French and Wimbledon and said it was important to know that despite your back you can overcome and win, would it mean just as much to you here to overcome physical and emotional distractions or do you feel like you have already proved that to yourself that you can do it? Is that an important thing for you here?

STEFFI GRAF: Otherwise, I wouldn't be here, you know, if I wouldn't feel it means something to me or if I wouldn't feel like it is important to me, and otherwise, I don't think I would have gone through all the emotions that I have gone through these past two weeks if I had the impression that it is nothing special.

Q. I guess, I should say, in comparison would it mean more or you don't know yet?

STEFFI GRAF: It is difficult to say, but right now what I have achieved already means so much -- more than what I have achieved during Wimbledon or Paris. So not thinking about the outcome tomorrow or anything like that at all. I mean, just what I have done these past two weeks, I think that definitely means a lot more.

Q. Once you entered in the court, do you leave all the problems outside or do they still pop out during the match?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I mean, I focus pretty well out there. I try to, you know, to concentrate on what I am doing; concentrate on my breathing; try to really stay on the court. I have been pretty successful with that.

Q. You had a lot of blows throughout your career - physical, emotional, technical. How do you compare what you have done through the last few several weeks to some of those in the past?

STEFFI GRAF: You can't really compare it. I think it has been definitely the most demanding time -- the most demanding inside of me. I really -- it takes -- it took a lot out of me the last few weeks, and so it is definitely much more than any other stage in my life.

Q. Do you think having gone through it before, you have learned to concentrate or is it natural? I mean, other players marvel that you can do it over and over.

STEFFI GRAF: I mean, in a way, obviously experience helps you. There is no doubt about it. I think that knowing you have been so many times on the court and been through a lot of things, I think it also is a little bit of a routine too, absolutely.

Q. If indeed you meet Monica in the final, she is up 5-1 in the first set, what do you think that event -- that much anticipated event will mean for women's tennis?

STEFFI GRAF: We will see. But already I think everybody is looking so much forward to that match and talking so much about it that I think, obviously, will create a lot more excitement.

Q. What do you think would happen if you were well prepared; no distractions, and all set for a Grand Slam tournament, and when was the last time that that occurred?

STEFFI GRAF: Ooh... When was that? I think, the best prepared was Australian Open about two years ago. I think, I was in physical -- one of the best shapes that I have been in, worked out greatly. Physically, I had no injuries, no problems. I think at that time, I definitely played the best tennis of my life.

Q. If you were in that situation now, scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think it would improve your play on court?

STEFFI GRAF: It is impossible to really tell that. I think, it is really too tough to tell me.

Q. You used to dream of playing Martina at Wimbledon on an empty grass court, nobody around. Any dreams of playing Monica here at the U.S. Open?


Q. Nothing?


Q. Are you looking forward to the match with Seles, with Monica?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, absolutely. Right now, I will, you know, -- I really haven't focused too much on that match because I didn't really know if it is going to happen; didn't really think it is going to happen,. So I think I will take time to focus maybe a little bit harder, but, obviously, I am excited to be in the finals and play against her. I don't think it could get any better than that.

Q. You said, obviously, it was important enough for you to come here dispite all the things that are going on. Did you seriously entertain thoughts of not coming and what made you decide to come?

STEFFI GRAF: It is too far behind. I mean, I am here and I played and, you know, if there were any doubts or not, I don't think it really matters right now.

Q. Steffi, we all know that Monica says a million times, "She is just here to have fun." For you, when you are out on the court -- are you having fun out there or is this just something for you to prove out there for you?

STEFFI GRAF: No, it is not because otherwise, it wouldn't mean so much to me to win this match today. I think a lot of emotions come through after the match, and I don't think, you know, if you don't enjoy it and don't look forward to it as much as I have been, I don't think it would be worth being there.

Q. Pete was saying he was playing Wimbledon largely for Tim Gullikson. In any way, are you playing for your father or is this just for Steffi?

STEFFI GRAF: I think, I am playing for a lot of people at the moment. I am playing for a lot of people.

Q. In this match against Sabatini, Sabatini won the toss and chose to receive. Now, you can choose whether you want to serve with the wind or against it. You chose to serve against it is. That something you always do or...

STEFFI GRAF: No, it was a bad mistake by me, actually. I kind of looked at the banners and it kind went a different way as it was on the court. When I was walking up the side, I was, "why on earth am I trying to serve with the wind" which doesn't make sense because you got to play the next two games against it. It was a tactical mistake.

Q. Gaby was asked if she lost the match mentally or physically. What do you think?

STEFFI GRAF: I think it was a combination of both of these things. Obviously at 4-All, 5-4 we both were really tight. You could feel quite a few points, the tension there was in both of our tennis. I think obviously at the end of the second set, it got to a mental state, yeah.

Q. You said that you were playing for a lot of people. Could you elaborate on that a little?


Q. Not even a little bit?

STEFFI GRAF: Not even a little bit.

Q. What about the problems that Monica presents when you play her? Why is she so tough to play?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, what I have seen here this tournament she has -- she really improved her left-hand serve which really serves out wide and she has got a winning edge there because she is placing her serve really well, and even if there are close stages in the match, she really goes for her shots and she -- she is not really getting tense. She seems to be really going for everything and doing that very well. She has a lot of control in her strokes.

Q. Win or lose tomorrow, is this a memorable tournament for you considering all the things that you just said?

STEFFI GRAF: Absolutely. No doubt about it.

Q. Win or lose?

STEFFI GRAF: Win or lose.

Q. How is your mother doing? Is she dealing with this as well as you are?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I think so. Yep.

Q. Is the foot injury one that just came up over the last two weeks or is it something that you had earlier?

STEFFI GRAF: No, just occurred a couple of days ago.

Q. What about after tomorrow?

STEFFI GRAF: After tomorrow?

Q. Yes. What are you going to do? You were saying at the beginning of this tournament that perhaps you will just take some rest at the end of the year.

STEFFI GRAF: I will take my rest after tomorrow.

Q. You just quit tennis for the rest of the year?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I don't have that in my mind. Not at all. But I do, like I said before, I do need to rest up a little bit and then start playing again and getting different therapies and I don't intend to retire the rest of the year - not at all.

Q. Would you be here or in Germany or somewhere else?

GRAF: Combination.

End of FastScripts....

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