November 21, 1998
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK
Q. Was it a hamstring?
STEFFI GRAF: A hamstring, yeah.
Q. Pulled, torn, tweaked?
STEFFI GRAF: I don't know. Maybe a little strained, I don't know. It happened during the long rally at just 30-Love on her serve at 3-2, and when I ran to the backhand, that is when I felt a little pain and from then on, I felt it.
Q. Was it like a pop or was it just a sharp pain?
STEFFI GRAF: Just a sharp pain at that moment.
Q. Is that similar to the injury you had in Philadelphia last week?
STEFFI GRAF: No, totally different spot and in Philadelphia it was way less than today. But, you know, it has been a long three weeks, and I guess everything feels pretty tired. So I guess it was just a little bit too much today.
Q. It came at a time when you just seemed to be about to take control, you hit a couple of really great forehands. How frustrating is it?
STEFFI GRAF: Well, there is nothing you can do about it anymore. It sure is disappointing, but I pulled out some really good wins and three sets the last few days, the last few weeks, actually. And I am taking -- sure I am disappointed right now because I knew I was really close and I don't know what happened if it wouldn't have happened, but there is nothing you can do about it. That is the way it is.
Q. How did it affect the -- your play? Did it affect your running?
STEFFI GRAF: How did it look?
Q. You seemed to still be running well.
STEFFI GRAF: Well, yeah, it just wasn't quite the same anymore. But -- it was okay.
Q. How would you compare the quality of this match to the one in Philadelphia?
STEFFI GRAF: I don't think the quality was very good. I think we both didn't play so good. I mean, she -- I started again really slow in the first set, and I really had difficulties getting myself involved in the match. And again, there weren't a lot of rallies. In the second set I felt that she made a lot of mistakes and really I had myself going to get into the match because I wasn't really playing even the second set so well, that is at least how I felt. I think we both committed a lot of unforced errors, didn't really have too many long rallies. So I think Philadelphia was clearly a better match.
Q. This is a disappointment. But are you on the whole looking at the last three weeks as a whole as opposed to looking at today?
STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, that is why I am sure after the match I am disappointed right now. I think there would be something wrong if I wouldn't be. But in general, I mean, I gave it everything that I had in the past three weeks and that was a lot. It has been great. It has been exciting. It has been a lot of fun. That is why I can only look back with a very positive attitude.
Q. What is next for you? Vacation? Work?
STEFFI GRAF: Well, honestly I didn't think I would be here, so I kind of had everything planned during that period. So I am actually starting doing commercials on Monday, and I have exhibitions planned and quite a few meetings and stuff back home in Germany. So I don't really have too much time off. I am not playing, but I do some other kind of work.
Q. What exhibitions have you planned?
STEFFI GRAF: I am playing Tuesday in Baltimore. And I am playing in about a week on Monday in Colon, that is it.
Q. Do you know against who yet?
STEFFI GRAF: Next week I play against Jana and in Colon I am playing against Kournikova.
Q. There has been conversation that you are setting something up with Connors or possibly Agassi, is that just rumor?
STEFFI GRAF: It has been so much talk about it. Nothing has finalized and it doesn't look like it is going to be happening. At least as far as I know right now.
Q. What did you have planned for this week that you had to cancel?
STEFFI GRAF: Caribbean.
STEFFI GRAF: Much better here than there. I don't like the sun anyway.
Q. Reasonably confident. Just a minor physical setback. Just a bit of rest will put it right again?
STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, it was pretty strange the last few weeks. I mean not even physically also mentally I realized today I felt really -- I mean, already this tournament I felt a little flat during my match. Always took me a little time to get into playing the right shots and adjusting to the opponents and that usually doesn't take me so long, so I think it is going to be fine.
Q. What you have been going through the last few weeks, how is that going to sort of affect your preparation for starting all over again? Is it going to inspire you more?
STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I hope it is only inspiring; I can only repeat myself. It has been three weeks that I didn't expect to be the way they were coming around and the way things were happening I felt like, you know, once in a while I would like after the wins I would sit there in disbelief so, it has been great. It has been definitely very rewarding for what I have come through.
Q. You proved that you can still beat everybody. What do you expect from yourself next year?
STEFFI GRAF: Well, I never expect anything than the best out of me. I do not have any other goals than to play well. I have no expectation whatsoever.
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