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September 6, 1998

Steffi Graf


Q. 33 unforced errors. Felt like you never got in a rhythm? What happened?

STEFFI GRAF: Obviously I made a lot of mistakes, easy mistakes. I just couldn't -- I don't know. Yeah, I just never got the rhythm, like you said, just never found my game.

Q. You had said earlier in the week that you were kind of talking to yourself in the matches. How about tonight? Were you trying to find something to change?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, obviously I was trying. But I couldn't really get any depth in my shot. Like I said, I made very early on mistakes, right from the return on. So it was difficult to get a positive attitude.

Q. Is there anything you would do different? You won four out of five points at the net. Maybe going more to the net?

STEFFI GRAF: The rallies weren't long enough to really set up the point to come to the net. Sure, I think that's something I was thinking about, but I just didn't know which shots to come into because I made just too early mistakes.

Q. You warned us the other day not to overlook her. Did you have real misgivings going in?

STEFFI GRAF: What is misgivings?

Q. Concerns.

STEFFI GRAF: No. I just knew that it's not going to be an easy match. I knew I had to play well from the beginning on. It wasn't like I didn't feel good about going in or something.

Q. There's some good left-handed players out there now. Could they possibly be a problem for you during this comeback?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, she uses it pretty well. She uses her serve pretty well, even though I felt she didn't even serve so well. I mean, she served conservative today. I just couldn't take advantage of it because usually she goes for the faster ones in between. But she does use it off the baseline pretty well, too. She has good angles.

Q. Your service returns out of the court just seemed to pin you back.

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, that's correct.

Q. What's the antidote for that?

STEFFI GRAF: Excuse me?

Q. What's your antidote next time for that?

STEFFI GRAF: Just, you know, I didn't have any power on that side at all. I played extremely short. Like you said, I couldn't take advantage of it at all. Usually you can take the speed and try something. But today I couldn't.

Q. I'm sure winning New Haven gave you a lot of hope for this tournament. How disappointed are you that it ended here?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I mean, disappointed, yeah. I'm disappointed right now. But more about the way the match went rather than anything else. I've been playing better the last few weeks than this. I'm still having my setbacks. I feel I can do so much better than that. So I just need to stabilize my game more and more.

Q. Does that mean you will be back here next year?

STEFFI GRAF: Hopefully.

Q. In a match like this, were you trying to like fire yourself up or calm yourself down? What was going on with your mental state during the match?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, during changeovers, I just tried to calm down. Then in the second set, I was trying to push myself a little bit. Just said to myself, "Come on, keep your feet moving, just try to play them somehow in the court." But it didn't really work very well.

Q. Of the Swiss teenagers in the draw, was she the one who worried you the most?

STEFFI GRAF: You know what, I always worry about my next opponent, whoever it is.

Q. So what are your thoughts right now towards the end of the year?

STEFFI GRAF: Towards the end of the year?

Q. Yes. What are your thoughts right now?

STEFFI GRAF: I'm taking a little break after this tournament. I've played a lot the last few weeks. Probably play a couple of tournaments in Europe. I haven't decided exactly which ones I'm going to play. But I'm taking a rest for now.

Q. Your backhand used to be your most consistent shot. Since the comeback, it's gone out on you a little bit. Are you surprised by that? Do you think it's lack of matchplay?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I think that probably has to do with it. I've been trying to work in between tournaments. I haven't really had so much time to do that. If you look back at the last two, three months, I was trying to play a lot of tournaments because I felt what I was missing was a lot of matchplay. But, you know, even though I was trying to get a lot of matchplay, I didn't have a lot of time to really work on things. That's one thing I'll try to do once I get my break now.

Q. How good is she?

STEFFI GRAF: She's good (laughter).

Q. Top 5 good?

STEFFI GRAF: Top 5, in the future or now?

Q. Well, in the next year or so.

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, she has a lot of potential. There's no question about it. She's got so much talent. The thing, you know, what maybe sets her apart right now from the top players is that she doesn't really hit the ball that hard. She uses the court extremely well. But to beat the top players, I think, you know, you need to be capable of really going for your shots, too. I think she has a chance to do that, but at what time I don't know.

Q. On the 12th, when the final is played, do you think you'll be watching it? Where do you think you'll be?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't know yet. I have to see. You know, I guess I've never watched a lot of tennis on television. I don't know. We'll see what's up during the day.

Q. Been a couple of Grand Slams now since you've been back. Looking back at the last few months, do you think it's been harder than you thought it would be to get back? Did you have any expectations of what you'd do at the US Open?

STEFFI GRAF: You know, when I started playing my first tournaments in England, I had no expectations whatsoever. Really, it hasn't changed very much. I've been really going into the tournaments with no expectations whatsoever. Yeah, it has been -- in times, it has been difficult to accept it's going -- that it is going to take a certain time. But then again, I mean, there were good and bad moments. I knew that they would come. But in general, I've been pretty happy the way it's been going.

End of FastScripts….

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