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March 12, 1996

Steffi Graf


Q. So do you feel you were doing better than you expected? Worse?

STEFFI GRAF: Today, much better than I expected. I think I knew it would be a difficult match and I think it helped me a lot yesterday to have a little bit tougher match and I was a little bit angry after the match and I think that attitude helped me a lot today because I knew I got to be concentrating out there. I got to focus on what I was doing, and just be a little bit more patient and I think that worked extremely well today; especially with the windy conditions that we had, I think, I did pretty well.

Q. Anywhere in the Tour, outdoors, where it is not windy sometimes?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, over in Germany we don't have that much wind.

Q. Have you been following what has been happening, the sort of the emergence of a new group of challengers, Majoli, Anke with her breakthrough in Melbourne, Chanda Rubin, since you have been away?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I have been following it. I mean, obviously, it is different if you -- I mean, it is difficult, I mean, things will not change in four months dramatically --

Q. Sure.

STEFFI GRAF: -- (cont'g) but I did realize that the younger players started to get probably a little bit more confident out there.

Q. And yet in those four months, you said, "not dramatically," but there has been a big change because it seems that that group have replaced the people like Gaby and Jana as the challenge to the top 2 or 3?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, but this doesn't start in these three or four months. This starts a little bit earlier, so you could see that happening at some point and it was just a matter of time when, you know, when these players have a little bit more experience and trust in themselves and has helped them on a few occasions the last few months so, obviously, it worked.

Q. Have you met Seal?


Q. Are you mad about that? I mean, he was on the court and everything and he was watching, so would you have liked to have met him because you like music?

STEFFI GRAF: I like music, but -- maybe some other time.

Q. How were the conditions out there today?

STEFFI GRAF: Difficult with the wind and the last few minutes the temperature started to drop a little bit, so it is not the easiest conditions, but since I have been down in Florida and the wind is always pretty strong there, I kind of got accustomed already a little bit to it, so I kind of like playing in the wind compared to the other players.

Q. The dog you purchased here in Palm Desert, what is his name?


Q. And where does he live, in Germany?

STEFFI GRAF: He lives usually with my mother.

Q. In Germany or here?

STEFFI GRAF: Wherever my mom is.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEFFI GRAF: I think a little bit closer to the German Shepards. We can get into the discussion now - I don't mind, but I do feel a little bit closer to German Shepards because they tend to guard you a lot better and you get a different relationship. Golden retriever is always friendly to everybody and the Shepards usually get closer to the person that that they deal with more.

Q. What are the names of your Shepard dogs?

STEFFI GRAF: Max and Dacho.

Q. You mean they are more likely to bite us than the golden retriever?


No, but different character, very different.

Q. How did you feel about having played two consecutive days?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, you know, because I haven't really played a lot of matches, I do have to say that even if I didn't get tired yesterday during the match, but I do have to say my body kind of felt it, and probably because I haven't really played that many matches, and you tend to get a little bit more tighter than if would you play with somebody else, not as a real match, and so my body feels it a little bit, so I am taking the day off tomorrow and probably my body likes it too.

Q. Is it a question of finding out how the foot and everything is standing up to it before deciding your schedule or have you worked that out pretty well already?

STEFFI GRAF: With what?

Q. Which tournaments you are playing over the next few months and so on.

STEFFI GRAF: No, I haven't. And I am in like the process of doing that. Obviously, Key Biscayne will be my next tournament and from then on, what is going to happen, I haven't really got the clearest picture yet, honestly, but I do have to see how I feel and my foot has been great, so maybe just got to watch out a little bit more my back and hope that stays in the right position.

Q. When Chris Evert was your age, she didn't do it because you have had two years now, I guess, missing a fair chunk of the year because of your injuries, Chris, when she was about your age ended up taking the early part of the year off a couple of years in a row just because she had been playing for so long, she needed a break and she came back well. Could you see it happening in the next couple of years to get a way say, January-- Well, January would not be good because of Australia.

STEFFI GRAF: It is a different time schedule than probably when it was when Chris was playing, so it is difficult to compare it. I mean, I can't really -- obviously, I can't really say that these breaks have been very damaging because I have always been playing pretty well afterwards even though I really haven't been too comfortable not playing, but I do have to say, I wouldn't want to skip Australia, I mean, it has been two years in a row, and to miss a Grand Slam, it is really difficult and the way the schedule is made, it is almost usually impossible to take two or three months off unless you really want to miss one of the big tournaments and I think that -- it is not possible anymore.

Q. You never felt being tired with the circuit and tired of playing all the time that you would want to get away; have you ever been closed to feeling that way?

STEFFI GRAF: Sure, you are. Absolutely. I think everybody gets to that stage because, you know, if you play so many years on the road, oh, yeah, you miss it, and -- but still, I have been lucky because I have had these injuries that I have had the breaks and that I had to take them, and so I don't feel too bad about it.

End of FastScripts........

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