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September 1, 1995

Steffi Graf


Q. Do you think you will ever lose a set against her?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, we have played -- we haven't really played a lot last few years, but we used to play a lot years before, and I usually like the way she plays. I feel comfortable playing her.

Q. Steffi, at breakpoint, second game of the second set, you hit that backhand topspin lob; remember that? You gave a real nice, big smile after that one.

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I lost my service right after that.

Q. I wasn't going to get to that. I was talking about the lob and the smile. I am wondering if little things like that become very big things to you now, to bring a smile?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't know. It is just that I have had a couple -- played a couple of points that made me smile. I think what it shows that maybe I was more relaxed as the match kept going on. I think it takes more kind of good shot for me to smile. I think it is harder to make me smile - if that is what you are going at?

Q. But you did. Comments on your next opponent - either Gigi Fernandez or Chanda Rubin.

STEFFI GRAF: Gigi played, I think, those two matches very well. But I still give Chanda the edge; she has been playing very well the last couple of months. Obviously, you get -- she has great results, Paris as well, getting to the finals in San Diego -- was it San Diego? I think. And playing some really good tennis. So I think it is definitely somebody I always knew had a lot of talent, but at times I saw that maybe she started to be more confident on the court. So I definitely don't think that is going to be an easy match.

Q. In your half of the draw you could see Chanda Rubin in the next match. You could see Pierce in the quarterfinals. You could see Martina Hingis in the semifinals. Could you just talk a little -- people continue to say things about women's tennis. Could you talk about the competition there and if any of those are true challenges to you?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I think every match right now is a challenge for me, but sure, I mean, you talked about a few names that are younger players and players that are starting to improve and grow into the game. So I think that is nice to see -- to see a few different faces out there.

Q. Is Mary Pierce really a challenge?

STEFFI GRAF: Oh, yeah sure. Sometimes you are still not sure if she is going to play -- how she is going out there. Sometimes she plays some great tennis; sometimes she can make quite a few errors. So you are not quite sure how she can do. But once she is on, she has shown it quite a few times. I think, definitely, she is a tough one to play.

Q. Have you noticed any less attention on you since Monica came back?

STEFFI GRAF: Definitely.

Q. In what way?

STEFFI GRAF: I mean, it is difficult to say, but, you know, for example in Toronto I think it was less pressure being there. The attention was less, I mean, talking about tennis.

Q. You played Chanda Rubin twice. How would you describe her game right now and if you do play her in the next round, what sort of challenge does she pose?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I sort of answered that a little while ago. The two times we have played, I think they were quite a bit back, and I haven't played her lately since she is playing better. Like I said, she has really improved in the last few months and she is a more confident player; talented player; has a great serve and she can really go for her shots.

Q. Steffi, you talked about it being perhaps harder to smile. Is there anything you are doing to help yourself relax?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I have got good friends and my family here and, you know, going maybe for dinner or for lunch. It is just trying to relax in between.

Q. You often said that being in New York is easy for you because it is anonymous; you can go around. Is there that sort of sense of that calm for you by being in New York?

STEFFI GRAF: It always helps if you have got your own apartment or your own house where you are playing at. So I think that helps a lot for me. Obviously I know the area good enough to know to feel comfortable where I am going, so obviously, that helps.

Q. Is your back still holding up okay?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, it is doing pretty good.

Q. Are you playing less intense because of that?

STEFFI GRAF: No, not really.

End of FastScripts...

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