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March 12, 1998

Steffi Graf


Q. Tell us how your injury happened, Steffi?

STEFFI GRAF: Sudden movement. It just really was severe pain right away. I was hoping that it was something like a cramp, but it was too strong. I mean, I finished the game somehow. But, I mean, I knew that I probably strained something. Hopefully only a strain. I mean, I tried to continue, but there was no way. I couldn't move.

Q. Had you had pain in that area at all this week?

STEFFI GRAF: No, not at all. I mean, it was just a sudden move, I guess, that just happened. I mean, I have no idea. I've never had anything like that before. I guess I'm pretty much through everything.

Q. Probably a severe disappointment to you, because you have been playing well this week.

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah. I mean -- yeah, obviously I'm really disappointed, kind of sad right now. Hopefully it's going to be a quick recovery, it's not too severe. I stopped early enough, so hopefully it's not going to take too long.

Q. Steffi, do you sometimes think, "How much more? How many more times is this sort of thing going to happen?"

STEFFI GRAF: That's what I'm thinking right now. It's like, What else? Like I said, I mean, I think hopefully get everything out of it soon enough. It was such a good feeling to be playing well, the way things were happening. It was nice. Hopefully, I'll get to it soon.

Q. Do you think it was too much, this match, for you now?


Q. Too much, this match?

STEFFI GRAF: Too much?

Q. Yes.

STEFFI GRAF: No, I don't think so. Again, I was pretty tight. I mean, I was tentative, especially in the first set. You know, I'm not very loose right now during my match. So maybe just because I'm a little tight and nervous at times, I'm just not loose enough. I guess that's a little bit the key to it.

Q. Can you walk away from this tournament, though, having learned that at your best, you can still hit the heights? Isn't that a significant thing to go away with?

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah. I mean, that's -- it's difficult to look at it right now. I mean, obviously, I'm worried about the injury. But, you know, either way, the outcome tonight, I was very happy about the way things were happening, and hopefully I can keep up with that.

Q. Steffi, after the first injury, the first injury time-out, you went back out, looked at the score. Did you think that you were going to be able to finish up the match or did you have a feeling in the back of your mind?

STEFFI GRAF: The minute it happened, I knew. I mean, the second it happened, I was like, "Oops." I mean, you always -- I mean, I always try. I almost made the game. I almost had a chance. But just standing there, I was scared I would worsen it. It just wasn't possible to stay.

Q. Is it too early to say whether you'll play Lipton or not?

STEFFI GRAF: It depends how severe it is. Usually, if it's a strain, they say it's one or two weeks. So I think it's going to be cutting it close. Going to have to see how it's going to go.

Q. Steffi, it was tennis at a very high level. Do you think that played a part in bringing on the injury?

STEFFI GRAF: I didn't feel it was very high level. I think it was a good match, but I don't think it was a high level. I think there were too many errors in the match to really to be at the top level. I mean, it was close, but I just don't think it was at that kind of level.

Q. You said the other day to play Lindsay would give you an idea where your game is and how you're progressing. Up to what happened, at that stage, how would you say you were doing?

STEFFI GRAF: Much further than I expected, again, if I'm just more used to playing again. And today, like in the first set, I had so many chances, I just didn't really -- you know, I just didn't really follow through playing the right points at the right time. My forehand was a little bit shaky. So I guess, you know, once I start believing that I can do it, and I think soon that will happen, because maybe I just didn't believe too much in myself yet. But as I was playing, I mean, yeah, I feel -- I mean, I was ahead of time.

Q. Were you impressed with her? Did she play with confidence? Did she play with more confidence than you've seen her?

STEFFI GRAF: Probably not very different, no.

Q. Steffi, you've had so many setbacks, so many injuries in your career, head to toe. Can you think of any injury that you haven't had?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, this one I haven't had before. I think there are a couple left (laughter). That's the scary thing about it.

Q. Do you find yourself actually having fun out there before the injury? Certain points were well played.

STEFFI GRAF: Yeah. Even though I felt I was pretty tight out there, I still enjoyed it. You know, I tried hard. It was good. I mean, it was a close match. Yeah, I mean, I did enjoy myself a lot.

End of FastScripts....

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