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March 9, 1998

Steffi Graf


Q. That was quite something, Steffi.

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I have to say. I didn't really think I would go out and play like that tonight. Felt great. I was going for my shots. Played very deep, pretty hard. Felt pretty good.

Q. It was very impressive, indeed.

STEFFI GRAF: Thank you. It was great to be out there.

Q. Steffi, now that you've played a bit, are you feeling restless or impatient for things to really start falling together and to just keep on going?

STEFFI GRAF: Not at all. Maybe two, three months ago I did feel maybe a little more impatient. Now, the last few weeks, definitely not, no. I don't feel like that at all. I'm very much aware that I'm going to need time. No, most of the times I used to be impatient. Right now, I'm definitely not.

Q. Steffi, you look like you were moving tonight as you were, say, two years ago. Are you really running that fast?

STEFFI GRAF: I don't know.

Q. Does it feel like you're as fast as you were?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I mean, looking back at the last few weeks, I think I can be faster because I haven't really been doing a lot of agility drills or anything like that. We've done it a little bit during practices. But as I've been, again, sick for almost the past two weeks now, it wasn't easy to train very much. So I think I still have room for improvement. But I felt good, felt like I anticipated the balls pretty well.

Q. You were quoted when you played your first tournament saying you weren't sure how much you wanted to go on, time would only tell whether you wanted to continue your comeback. Are you any nearer a decision or are you going to see how it goes?

STEFFI GRAF: I think I decided a little while ago that I want to play. I needed to find out if I'm capable and the knee is capable to take it. I do feel in the last few weeks it's been very solid. I don't see a problem. I should be able to play well and continue.

Q. Do you look ahead at all through 1998 and think, "This is where I want to be at a certain time, this title, I want to win this year"?

STEFFI GRAF: I've never done that, and I won't. I mean, my main goal is to play well at the Grand Slams. That's the time I want to be ready to play, and I want to do well. Winning, I've never asked of myself anything like that.

Q. At this stage, you are going through trying to put all the pieces together, are the conditions a factor, the surface, indoors, outdoors, or it doesn't matter at all?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, I don't think right now it matters too much. I mean, wherever you play, you need to focus and be ready for it. It doesn't really matter too much right now, no.

Q. Steffi, Hingis usually says that it doesn't matter to her who she plays. We've heard that from a lot of No. 1's in the past. Is she a barometer for you now? Do you want to go out and play her to see how good you are, considering that since you left she's been the No. 1?


Q. No?

STEFFI GRAF: No. I mean, hey, I'm just starting again. As I said earlier in the tournament, I don't see myself being able to be at that level right now. I don't. I'm -- it's nothing that I'm thinking about at all. I'm taking every match as it comes and use it as practice. That's how I look at it right now.

Q. I know you don't watch a lot of tennis on TV, but do you think that she's much improved since last time you played her?

STEFFI GRAF: I can't tell. I mean, when did we play last?

Q. Chase Championships.

STEFFI GRAF: I mean, yeah, some time has come by. Probably she had some big wins. I think she probably feels more confident out there winning these big majors, playing against top players. So probably there will be some difference, the way she goes out there.

Q. What were your feelings as you watched her on the titles that you'd won so many times? Were you wishing her well or were you thinking, "Wish it was me"?

STEFFI GRAF: I really don't look at it this way. You know, they're playing the tournament. If she's doing well, I mean, they deserve to win the tournament. That's all there is. I don't have -- I don't feel like, "Oh, she's winning my favorite tournament, that or that." I don't look at it this way. She deserved. She had a very good year. I didn't feel any wrong with it.

Q. Do you think the Tour changed in your nine months' absence?

STEFFI GRAF: The Tour changed?

Q. Yes.

STEFFI GRAF: I don't think so.

End of FastScripts....

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