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March 11, 1996

Steffi Graf


Q. Steffi, after your first match you said it was too short to gauge how you were playing. This one was a bit longer. How would you gauge your play?

STEFFI GRAF: I am trying to be diplomatic now. And I wish I would have played a little bit better, but I guess it was good for me to come back after being down 4-1 in the second set and come back and play a couple of games a little more solid and to be getting back into the second set and playing two games at 5-4.

Q. You were angry at one stage. You slapped the balls into the stand. Were you angry at lines calls or yourself?


Q. Did you feel you were tested today?

STEFFI GRAF: Absolutely. I mean, I thought sometimes I really was playing some really deep and low backhands and she was really playing them extremely well. She didn't get intimidated by a lot of shots. She played some good shots off it. I really do think she was playing, testing me quite well.

Q. What did you think when she missed that easy overhand and then you were able to break, "thank God", or what?

STEFFI GRAF: No, I mean, actually it wasn't as easy as you thought because I could have miss-hit it and it came kind of awkward, so it really wasn't that easy as you might think.

Q. Steffi, do you think a match like this makes you a little bit more tournament-tough or --

STEFFI GRAF: Absolutely. Absolutely, because I did get into some situations where I had to play well or I had to play solid and I did. At some point maybe I didn't as well as I could, but these kind of matches you need to get to that point when you play the top seeds, to get tested at those moments, you have to get through them.

Q. Julie made the point that you don't have to get to that point; that your history suggests that you don't have to be match-tough to win.

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I do feel that I need to and I think it is inside. I mean, at some points today I felt like I was not really stepping in and I think that will probably come with the more matches I am going to play. I think I was stepping up; be a bit more confident and go out and be a little bit more looser and more relaxed and I think that is what I was missing a bit today.

Q. When you are behind 4 to 1, did you ever get tempted to let it go?

STEFFI GRAF: No. Not really my attitude, even though I wasn't really happy about the game that, you know, where she broke me from 2-1 to 3 1, and got a couple of chances to break back to 3-2 and I didn't use them, but no, it is -- you know, try to -- I know that I still got chances to break her. I just have to be a bit more concentrated and play the points a little bit better.

Q. When you are in that situation, down 4-2, second match of the year, is it the physical part that takes over or does the mind take over and carry you through it?

STEFFI GRAF: It is the mind. I mean, you really got to focus a little bit better and try to think about more about what you want to do and she plays pretty predictable, so you just have to put your mind on the court and I think I did that a little bit better then; returned a little bit better and just use the court better.

Q. How much did that backhand service return down the line that you hit have to do with you winning today, Steffi?

STEFFI GRAF: My backhand down the line -- which one was that?

Q. The break --

STEFFI GRAF: Oh, yeah, when she was trying to come into the net.

Well, it helped me a lot. Also I think it was very important shot when I got the game to 6-5 and when I played the backhand down the line and she came in the passing shot, I think those were two key points.

Q. When you have time off, which parts of your game get the more rusty than others?

STEFFI GRAF: Get a little bit defensive. I think that is what happened a little bit. You don't go as much for the lines as you maybe would do and so it -- getting a little bit more defensive and also lacking a bit of confidence to step in.

Q. Did you note that the Knicks beat the Bulls last night?

STEFFI GRAF: I watched it, yeah. Didn't expect that one, though.

Q. Last time you were here you bought a dog.

STEFFI GRAF: The store is not there anymore. It is luckier for me.

Q. You already went and looked?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, the second day I was here.

Q. You already went and looked?


Q. Are you looking for a new dog?

STEFFI GRAF: No, please, I do have to say after being home for three months and being with my two German Shepards, it is extremely difficult and I miss them so much and that is why I know I would be tempted for another one because I do miss my animals a lot.

End of FastScripts........

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