home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 2, 1996

Steffi Graf


Q. How was it in the nursery today?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I guess maybe a little easier than probably everybody expected.

Q. Why?

STEFFI GRAF: Why? Probably, I mean, she was trying a little bit maybe for too much. I think especially in the first set, she made a lot of mistakes. We didn't have a lot of long rallies to make the other one work for the points.

Q. You said maybe a little bit easier than everyone expected. Were you part of the ones that thought it was going to be a tougher match or did you think you could beat her this easily?

STEFFI GRAF: The thing is, I've seen her play once on television. It was rather difficult to judge. The only time I saw her was playing against Paulus. It was difficult to tell how she would respond to somebody playing a little bit faster than Paulus. Usually I go into a match thinking it's going to be a more difficult match. When you're 15, you try to go for a lot of shots. You have nothing to lose. I figured it would be tougher.

Q. You said that she was going for too much. What were the positive things about her game?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I think -- you could see already in the other match I watched her, she has so many different shots. I mean, she's coming in she's gutsy, she will try. She's really eager out there. She's got a good physique, which is going to definitely work for her, good service motion, good backhand. Just needs to be a bit more patient. Obviously experience is missing, but she definitely has the shots.

Q. Can you compare Venus to her?

STEFFI GRAF: Difficult. The way Venus played against me, she impressed me. You can't compare, because one match can be very different. You know, Venus, from what I've heard, she plays a great match, some bad losses, too. The time she played against me, she definitely caught my eye, no question about it. She's got an incredible serve, she can hit with a lot of strengths. She's just -- her body is built so different. I mean, if you see Anna, she's still really slim, she probably needs a few more years to get a strong physical body. But with Venus, she's got it already so you can't really compare these two players.

Q. How do you compare her to Hingis?

STEFFI GRAF: To Hingis? Three different players we're talking about (laughter). They all have the same age, but you barely can compare it. She has got so much more experience than both of them together. From that point on, you cannot compare them at all. But Venus, you see, she definitely needs to play a lot more tournaments because she always plays one or two rounds, then doesn't play for a couple months. I think that's where the problem starts. With Anna, this has been her first Grand Slam tournament. You know that they won't be showing the kind of stability and experience on the court. So Martina is already so much further ahead in that department, it's difficult to compare them.

Q. The very fact that you're talking about Anna and Hingis and Williams, what does that tell you about the state or strength of women's tennis and the direction it's heading?

STEFFI GRAF: It's good. It's always important to have these new faces come out, especially since in the last few years there hasn't maybe been that much excitement around. It is good to know that the future is going to show up.

Q. Were you surprised by the Hingis match today?

STEFFI GRAF: I definitely was. I know she's an extremely good all-around player, not making a lot of mistakes, but I still expected more from Arantxa.

Q. Steffi, Hingis said that her new generation of player has a lot more variety to their game than the previous generation. Would you agree with that?

STEFFI GRAF: It's true when you see all of these three players that you look at right now. They got a lot of shots, you know. But you also strengths where you're at. Even if you look at the past, these players always had similar strengths. I think the youngest player, we need to find out what their strengths are.

Q. You think Anna should finish high school before joining the Tour?


Q. Do you think Anna should finish high school before joining the Tour?

STEFFI GRAF: It would be up to her, what does she feel like.

Q. If you could give her some advice.

STEFFI GRAF: I won't do that because everybody has a different life and is used to something different. You have to pick and make your own choice; I can't make the choice for anybody or make any suggestions for anybody.

Q. Steffi, she's only just turned 15. You see what she's wearing on the court, what she wears in the players' lounge, her demeanor. Do you think for someone who has only just turned 15, is there anything slightly disquieting about it?

STEFFI GRAF: Don't you like it (laughter)? I know you just got married, but. I know exactly where you're trying to lead to, don't worry.

Q. I'm not trying to lead you anywhere, just making the point that she's still very, very young, and she's kind of dressing like Mary Pierce.

STEFFI GRAF: I better don't say anything now. Well, I think she's been introduced to being in the public eye really early on. That may not always be the easiest thing to get accustomed to. From my experience with her, she seemed a very sweet girl. Even if she has maybe that kind of attitude, I don't think that really is what is within her, at least that's what I've felt. You know, I think -- I know what you're trying to say. Maybe that is a little bit much, but I think it's good because she can show it. I think it's all right. I mean, she definitely needs to pay attention to being a normal girl. There's no question about it. Everybody has or should at that age. From my instinct, I would say she would.

Q. Did you think at all about your match with Tracy Austin?

STEFFI GRAF: Not really.

Q. How old were you when you played her?

STEFFI GRAF: 13 or something, 14 years.

Q. What was the score then?

STEFFI GRAF: 6-4, 6-Love. 4-All and 3-Love. That was it.

Q. How about your next match?

STEFFI GRAF: A little bit different, very different. Maybe what you saw her today was inexperience. That match was experience. We just played the Federation Cup, it was a tough three-set match. She's somebody who knows what to do and has a lot of variety in what she's doing. She can come in, play from the back. She definitely won't give me any easy mistakes. Definitely need to be much more patient than I've been in the last three matches.

Q. How do you feel about the way your game is coming together?

STEFFI GRAF: Getting there slowly, but it's getting there.

Q. Steffi, when you were 13 and playing Tracy Austin, did you know what your strengths were or were you still trying to figure that out?

STEFFI GRAF: I think my forehand was always pretty much my strength. I always relied a lot on it. I always took a lot of risks. I wasn't afraid to. I think that showed pretty early on.

Q. Are you still the risk taker that you were back then?

STEFFI GRAF: A little bit too much, yeah. I think I was a lot more patient when I was younger.

Q. When you're playing Anna, she plays the points very quickly and she hits out almost everything. Those are things you do, too. Do you ever get the feeling you're playing for yourself?

STEFFI GRAF: For a while, we played similar. I mean, yeah, she's rushing a lot through the points. I've been at that stage very, very similar, I think. I know I served and took the next ball already and was ready to serve right then. So there are definitely some similarities in that department.

Q. Steffi, why do you think you're more of a risk taker now?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, if I -- I don't know. It's just sometimes -- it's difficult to say. Maybe also not practicing as much as maybe I did during that time, just makes it different, because you feel you should go more for your shots. When I look at some older tapes, I felt I was a bit more patient then than I am now.

Q. When you answered that question about her provocative clothing, you paused necessarily, understandably, to think it over. Here you are getting a question like that about a child. Does it make you feel a little motherly out there to be talking about someone so much younger?

STEFFI GRAF: It is certainly -- when you're out on the court, you don't worry about these things, not at all. When you're off the court, you do think about these things, too. I'm not thinking as a mother yet, so. Sure I worry about some of the young players playing, maybe hopefully they will go that direction, but that's all I can do.

Q. Can you describe the progress in Martina Hingis' game from what you've seen in recent months? How far along is she, and how would you describe her style of play?

STEFFI GRAF: It's a very talented, intelligent game she's playing out there. She knows exactly what to do. Maybe she doesn't have that all-court game that some of us have, but she's using the court really well. She makes you play a lot of shots that maybe you shouldn't try for. But because she plays them really close to the lines, shorter ones, longer ones, she knows really well what to do on the court. She won't try for too crazy shots when she needs to. 15 years old, she knows very well what to do. I mean, that's definitely something that is rare to see at that age. I think the last few months she's definitely improved her serve as well as getting more aggressive in the matches.

Q. If you were to give Anna any advice, what would you tell her?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I mean, it's difficult from two matches to really say something. I think what was good to see, I've seen it a few times now with some players, she was really upset the way she played after the match. She really was not very happy. That's good to see. The eagerness is definitely there, so she'll make her way just based on that, I reckon, probably she'll have to be a bit more patient. She's trying a lot of shots out there. Maybe just keep it a little simpler.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297