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September 4, 1998

Steffi Graf


Q. Is that like the old days coming in and zooming through a match?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I mean, yeah -- obviously it wasn't a very long match, there weren't any rallies really, I felt -- and that is what she said afterwards, that she was really nervous and had a hard time settling down during the match. I think you could see that. She was just trying for too much too soon and so we barely had any rallies and so that is how it got to be a quick match.

Q. Something happened at the start of the match when they were tossing the coin. You guys both burst out laughing, do you remember what that was?

STEFFI GRAF: It really wasn't the toss, but the thing was that I choose receive, which I never, ever do and it was so funny because the umpire she looked at me because she has probably never heard me say it. She was like: Really. I was like: Yeah, I think so. So she was more surprised probably than any of us when I said I want to receive.

Q. Why did you, because I was surprised too?

STEFFI GRAF: I felt I wanted to warm-up a little bit before I had to serve.

Q. Mirjana was saying earlier that she felt you have supported her a lot with a lot of stuff that is going on in her life. Is there something that you just feel you sort of can relate to her, her being so young?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, first of all, she is a very nice kid and I think -- and very openminded. So that kind of, you know, I wouldn't go to somebody or I wouldn't talk to somebody probably where I'd have to feel that, you know, sometimes you get a look by somebody you know if somebody would like to talk or if she is somebody that, you know, sometimes you can also offend somebody by saying something where you have to feel that maybe there is something you can do about it. So I have had the feeling that she was open and that is maybe why I talk -- I find it easier to talk to her.

Q. Monica said when she first came on the Tour that she felt very alone, that none of the veterans came and talked to her. She was sort of a fish out of water. When you first came on Tour, were you very much by yourself or did some of the veterans help you?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, help, I mean, usually when you start playing the Tour, you have got either a parent with you or a coach and they are there to support you. I have always had that. I think it is very difficult -- I think it is asking a lot by, you know, by other people or by veterans to help you. I mean, I think that it is not their job to do that. I think it is nice if people come up to you and maybe give you suggestions, but I think nobody should feel obligated to do it. It has to come from that person. I don't feel that I have -- I expected it, I mean, I think it is normal if you come into a Tour and all the players are there, that there is certain differences in the way you go about your life. And no, I didn't expect it and I mean, they weren't that much support, no.

Q. None of the players came forward to really help you?

STEFFI GRAF: Help me? I mean, I don't think I needed help very much. I don't know. You know, the one time that I did get maybe some support and motivation was when I hurt my thumb in Australia and Martina wrote a very nice letter to me saying that, you know, I don't have to worry about it, I will be back, that was very sweet. But I don't think -- I don't know -- I felt I needed that much.

Q. Mirjana is dealing with having aspects of her private relationship with her parents made public. You have had to deal with something somewhat similar to that. What does it take to get through something like that?

STEFFI GRAF: I still see some differences there. But I think anything that is personal is put on the spotlight, it is very difficult to deal with. These things that, especially in her case, should be left in the family and that is the place to discuss it. The way things happen, I guess she had to speak about it and maybe that is going to be painful the next few weeks or it has probably been and it is going to be for a little while. But I think eventually it will just help her and I believe that she has done the right decision and she will come through with it. I mean, that is obviously a time things don't go always the way you want to.

Q. What do you think she should do, Steffi, about her tennis, get herself back into -- she is obviously struggling for consistency?

STEFFI GRAF: I think she knows. I think she knows. I definitely think she needs the right guidance right now.

Q. As a tennis coach, you mean?

STEFFI GRAF: I am talking about a tennis coach, yeah.

Q. You had said that Martina wrote you a nice note after you hurt your thumb. Did you feel support when you went through the knee surgery? Was it kind of a similar thing or did you feel people were dismissing it, that your career was going to be over?

STEFFI GRAF: Other players or people in general?

Q. People in general.

STEFFI GRAF: Definitely, by no means I felt I didn't have the support. There is always a certain thing that you always have to go through by yourself, but friends and family they have always helped me. But I also had to feel that I got a lot of support by, you know, just by anybody that knew what I was going through. And you still can feel it now when people tell you how much they enjoyed me, you know, doing this kind of comeback. You even realize then that there and everybody was hoping it would happen and they have been supportive of it.

Q. Did Heinz possibly know anyone who was on the Swiss Air flight?

STEFFI GRAF: No, he didn't.

Q. Is he okay? Was that somewhat traumatic for him?

STEFFI GRAF: Absolutely. We talked -- that was the first thing we talked about in the morning. It was a shock for all of us because these are flights that have regularly been taken, especially him, and just -- especially during this time and during this tournament. I mean, I didn't know about Marc Rosset. I found out today in the paper, but it is a very scary thought, extremely scary thought.

Q. Do you find it strange at all, or interesting that whenever anybody -- when Martina Hingis is asked about you -- in the past she has said her career is kind of in the past and I am just beginning; she never really puts you in with some of the top players. Does that bug you at all?

STEFFI GRAF: I have been asked that question too many times.

Q. Sorry.

STEFFI GRAF: No, it still doesn't bug me. No. Everybody has got to know what they want to do and I definitely know what I want and so now I don't worry about that at all.

Q. Do you play with Babolat gut and did you know Pierre Babolat?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I didn't know him. I have heard that he was on the plane, but no, I didn't know that and I am not playing with him, no.

End of FastScripts....

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