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August 31, 1996

Steffi Graf


Q. Steffi, have you ever expressed more public displeasure with a chair umpire than you did today?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I mean, it was a little strange call. I'm usually not too upset about calls. To tell me he saw a clear space, I mean, just seemed a little strange to me because he was on the opposite side of the court. Probably it helped me a little bit to start getting a little bit more aggressive.

Q. How angry were you with the chair umpire?

STEFFI GRAF: Really upset. I was close to saying, "You'll be happy that you have a clear space between me." I'd rather say it here than on the court.

Q. You play better when you're angry?

STEFFI GRAF: Sometimes it helps, especially I think it helped today because, I don't know, again I had a little problem with the start, getting really into the match, somehow finding my rhythm, my timing. It definitely helped then because I was a little bit too quiet in the beginning.

Q. Do you find that often that being angry or upset about other things in your life helps you with your tennis, be more aggressive?

STEFFI GRAF: Not really, no. When you go out on the court, that's all you think really about. Sometimes you get upset or you just really are quiet. Today I was a little bit too quiet in the beginning, just kind of let these games slip away.

Q. Are the slow starts because of lack of match practice?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't know. I mean, usually I don't have a problem to start matches. I don't know why it's been happening the last two games. As long as it's only two games yet, I won't be too concerned.

Q. You could easily have been down 3-5 in that first set.

STEFFI GRAF: Absolutely.

Q. What would have happened?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't want to think about that. I'd rather not.

Q. Doesn't she have a sort of history of playing loose points like that, like she did on that backhand volley on game point at 4-3?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, with her, she can play some great games and then always has lapses in between. That usually happens a lot to her, that she will try some crazy thing; sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. She tries to mix it up a lot. You know you want to get your chances.

Q. Your next opponent, Kournikova or Barbara Paulus? Who do you think it's going to be, Kournikova or Paulus?

STEFFI GRAF: It's difficult for me to say. Right now I would say Paulus, but I have not seen Kournikova play, so it's difficult for me to pick a winner because I cannot judge Kournikova's game. It's difficult to tell.

Q. Steffi, as you look at your draw, do you have trouble with motivation before you get to the semifinals, which looks like the first real challenge?

STEFFI GRAF: Not at all. I mean, every time I go out there it's pretty much a challenge in the moment. I haven't shown what I really can do on the court, at least for a longer period. I've been having some lapses; I want to cut them out. I definitely don't have a motivation problem.

Q. Your focus is really on yourself?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, absolutely.

Q. Lapses because of injuries?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, you know. The consistent training has been a bit difficult at times. I only played one tournament before this one, which really was very little.

Q. The other day Agassi was saying that it's different tennis later in the tournament, that when he's playing Pete Sampras, it's a whole different mind set, different game than these early round matches. Do you not go through that or see it that way?


Q. Do you not go through it or see it building that way?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I never had that attitude. Especially he shouldn't say that, you know. You never know what happens in early rounds. Especially in men's tennis, it's even more difficult in early tennis. You really shouldn't look that much forward to these games; you should concentrate on every single round.

Q. Are you planning to play tennis for ten more years?


Q. Steffi, do you find the drive to win is the same at every Grand Slam tournament or does each one have kind of a different mode about it?

STEFFI GRAF: Not really. I'm usually pretty much always the same way pumped up for tournaments. I'm just usually differently prepared for them. In terms of eagerness, it's usually pretty much the same.

Q. Steffi, the new ranking system under consideration by the WTA to do away with a divisor would not work in favor of somebody that does not play a lot of tournaments, as you are not now. How do you feel about that?

STEFFI GRAF: Honestly, I have not really put any word in it because I don't really care. Maybe there's some mistakes being done, but to me it doesn't really matter about the computer ranking, has never been that important. I haven't really put my mind on it. I don't really care about it.

End of FastScripts....

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