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March 16, 1996

Steffi Graf


Q. Steffi, against Lindsay, you were kind of clueless as to why you won the match. Today, how did you withstand the challenge?

STEFFI GRAF: I mean, I felt I was dominating more the first set. I just didn't really return very well. In the second set, kind of felt the other way, but still I was able to get the important points, especially at 5-4 when it was a close game and I played some really good shots and kept her on the move and I think that was probably the key at the end that, I kept her a little bit more on the move and just played a little bit more patient at some important shots.

Q. Steffi, does it surprise you that you are able to win a match in which you committed 53 unforced errors?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I mean, I think we both didn't play our best tennis. I mean, that was pretty obvious out there. Obviously, the heat was a big factor, but still it wasn't the best, I mean, I think we both didn't return as good as we could.

Q. You said on-court that almost (inaudible) happened the same to you? Was that for real?

STEFFI GRAF: That was for real. I have been cramping since, so I could feel better right now.

Q. Did you consider asking for ten minute weather time-out?

STEFFI GRAF: I think I would have, but it probably would have been actually a mistake, because once, you know, you are in the game and you kind of keep going, once I think you stand still, I think it kind of gets to you and I was just happy to see the set was over. But I think I probably would have made a mistake by asking for a ten minute break.

Q. Aren't you surprised that every time you come after a break, you win a tournament?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah. I still don't want that to make a habit out of it. So I mean, it feels great and I have had some tough matches, some close matches and I think that will happen for the next few tournaments.

Q. Was there any back pain today?

STEFFI GRAF: No. It has been fine. It was great yesterday already, which was a surprise to me because of the match that we had. I felt good yesterday and the same today.

Q. Did you do anything different after that important match?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I was pretty excited, so I was awake 'til 1:30, so maybe that was the difference. No, I got a lot of treatment afterwards and did the same yesterday, so not really anything different.

Q. Right now it looks like you will play Lipton?


Q. What comes next?

STEFFI GRAF: Key Biscayne, The Lipton.

Q. Tennis is very much a game of memory and nostalgia and here in California, some of us first remember you when you played the Olympic exhibition in 1984. Would you take a moment and recall that experience; what it was like for you, especially that match with Reggi?

STEFFI GRAF: Oh, I mean, there is lots to talk about that one. I mean, first of all, I think I have never had that much fun being at the Olympics even afterwards. I was 15. I had never really won something big like that. I was there by myself because I love sports and I did it very early on. It was a playground for me seeing all the other athletes and seeing all the other events and not really being known at all, so, I mean, I could have run around. I don't know. Every day I was until 12:00, 1 o'clock in the evening, I was going through the camp or watching some stuff and so I think it was very pure. I mean, I think that is probably how all the other athletes would feel if they only have a few events a year long, and because as a tennis player you have so many big events; you lose it a little bit, so I think that will probably be always my best memories. And talking about that match, I do remember coming back into the U.C.L.A. camp and, you know, we were all in that one hallway, had all our rooms, and I was screamed and yelled at from all the other Italians. They were like screaming at me because I beat -- first beat Cecchini; then I beat Reggi so they weren't very happy with me and I just remember getting back to the room and everyone was started yelling and I was like, "what did I do?" But it was a lot of fun, great memories.

Q. Are you going to be playing this year in the Olympics?


Q. What are you going to do today afterwards?

STEFFI GRAF: Actually I am leaving to Las Vegas, yeah.

Q. Winning money?

STEFFI GRAF: No, actually I am there for the boxing fight.

Q. What kind of chance do you give Frank Bruno?

STEFFI GRAF: (Indicating thumbs down) Not really too much, honestly, but still, I look forward to it.

Q. Both you and Martinez would dress in a very traditional and classic tennis fashion. Do you think that is how tennis players should appear for the fans?

STEFFI GRAF: I didn't understand the beginning.

Q. You dress in a very traditional and classic tennis fashion. What do you think of the players who are very bizarrely dressed and what do you think tennis fashion should be like?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I think about classic dressing, I think that would be a dress. So we are in the middle of it, but still I don't like it too colorful honestly. I like it very plain and I think that is the way it should be. It actually should be more white because that is the tennis tradition color.

Q. Steffi, there are a few rumors floating around with regard to your future management with Tiriac. Can you tell us what happened. Have you met with Ion?

STEFFI GRAF: I met earlier this year with Ion. We had some talks and I am not doing anything right now and there have been a lot of rumors and I am ready to talk about it once I decide on something and I have not decided on anything and then I will talk about it.

Q. Are you leaning towards --

STEFFI GRAF: I am not talking about this issue until, you know, it is something that I will decide on. Right now, I don't put my mind on it at all, so I play my tennis, and once I get a break I will discuss it and think about it.

Q. Back to the match today, do you think your mental discipline was the biggest difference particularly in the tiebreaks when you fell behind?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I mean, it was the one thing -- I mean, I felt not very relaxed on the court today. And I felt I was tentative quite a few points and also the way I started the tiebreak, it was not, you know, not just going for the shots. I was on the defensive and at 5-2, I think I just relaxed a little bit more and I hit an ace and even on the second -- on the next point, I started to be a little bit more offensive and then she helped me a little bit on the last two points.

Q. Do you feel this event bigger than the one you played two years ago?

STEFFI GRAF: Yes, I mean, it was a lot stronger field. There is no comparison. You have had some incredible players and two years ago it definitely the field definitely wasn't even as strong as it was this year.

Q. Is this the strongest, in general, your sport has been in quite sometime?

STEFFI GRAF: Talking about the overall players?

Q. Yes.

STEFFI GRAF: Absolutely. I think it helped so much that Monica came back and also, you know, Jennifer been playing only her second tournament, but I think it is somebody that you can probably expect a lot in the next knew tournaments and also with a lot of the younger players starting to play better and better and the way Lindsay played, she lost quite a bit of weight and she has been hitting them so well, so I think there is a lot to look forward in the next few weeks.

Q. You brought up the fight and in boxing you have, though, a knockout punch. Of all the players you faced what is the one stroke that is most like the knockout stroke, the knockout punch of all the players that you have played?

STEFFI GRAF: This tournament?

Q. In your career?

STEFFI GRAF: In general?

Q. Yes. What one stroke?

STEFFI GRAF: That I didn't like?

Q. Correct. That you most feared.

STEFFI GRAF: I didn't like Martina's left-hand serve in coming in.

That is definitely one stroke I didn't like. Other than that, Mary Pierce can hit it off extremely early and can go for it. The same as Monica, she can play some incredible angles, when you get her off-court.

Q. One more rumor....

STEFFI GRAF: No, I did not get married.

Q. There is a rumor that you will meet with Gunther Sanders in the Federation of the German Federation?

STEFFI GRAF: I am going to meet him?

Q. You will meet with him and discuss possibly corporation contract.

STEFFI GRAF: I am sorry. That is definitely a rumor.

Q. How would you play if you had to play against you and had to beat you?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I think it is something that I rather not discuss because I think you always know yourself the best and what you don't like, so I rather pass on that.

Q. What did you feel were the two points of the key games for this match today?

STEFFI GRAF: First set there were a couple of points in the tiebreaker that were very important. Second set, you know, she was leading 4-3; I got the break to 4-All; that was an important game as well as the game at 5-4 when she was serving and she was leading 30-Love. There were some big points at that moment and obviously then again in the tiebreak, it was when I was down 5-2.

JIM FUHSE: Steffi, we have someone here who actually wants to apologize to you, Ryan, the ball kid who fainted. Ryan come on up. We are going to actually make Ryan a part of the Tour; except you are going to present him with his T-shirt that you are going to autograph.

STEFFI GRAF: Are you feeling better, Ryan?

RYAN: Yes.

STEFFI GRAF: What happened? I didn't hit you though?



RYAN: I am very sorry for interrupting the match.

STEFFI GRAF: No. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER). Please, don't, don't. Please, no. I hope next time things will work out better for you.

JIM FUHSE: Why don't you guys stand up for one picture here.

RYAN: Thank you.

End of FastScripts........

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