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November 19, 1996

Steffi Graf


STEFFI GRAF: Well, I've always said that the only thing I would criticize about tennis is that it's 11 months of the year, and basically the months you have off you have to prepare for Australia. So I do think that there are not enough breaks, and with the rules that you've got to commit -- you've got to sign up for 12 tournaments besides the Grand Slams, which is 17 tournaments, is asking for a lot. And especially for the players that have been on the Tour for such a long time, it is pretty difficult to play a year through without any injuries, and like you say at the end of the year it gets more difficult.

Q. How does your back feel?

STEFFI GRAF: It's been feeling okay. I was surprised that it felt that good yesterday. I just hit for a few minutes, rested it up and definitely felt a lot better today.

Q. With your own competitive intensity, is it difficult to understand Kimiko's retirement?

STEFFI GRAF: No, it's difficult to be in somebody else's position, you don't know how they live their life and how they feel about what they're doing. She had the best year this year, and I think she could have gone even further than she did. And that's maybe the thing that's a little bit different from what I think about my approach to the sport. It's kind of in a way sad that somebody has more potential than she's given a try for.

Q. On the other hand are you a little bit jealous at somebody's ability to just say I want to move on?

STEFFI GRAF: No, not even a little bit.

Q. And you have not at any time in all these years thought about that for yourself?

STEFFI GRAF: Sure I think about it at certain times, but it's not in that kind of sight at the moment, no.

End of FastScripts....

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