August 27, 1998
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
Q. That I was probably your first win over a named player since the comeback. It was a
pretty incredible performance on your part out there tonight.
STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I thought I didn't make many mistakes. Like you said, she is
definitely a tough player usually tough to play. Maybe she made more mistakes today than
she usually would do. At least I know her, but I think my backhand really worked well
altogether. I just felt that I was much more consistent and stronger.
Q. When she broke you in the first set you were down 3-2 you broke back at Love. At
that point, how important is that for you, even if it is just from a mental standpoint to
be able to break her back right away and do so convincingly?
STEFFI GRAF: It is very important, especially in the early stage of the first set. I
mean, maybe in the beginning I was a little tentative on some shots, but it was a good
game, a very close game. From then on, it seemed like I started to, I don't know, just cut
down and then played a little deeper and little bit longer. From then on, I just felt much
better. But I think it was very important to break back and lead 4-3 and to get a
comfortable service game at that moment.
Q. You said last time that you started in the tournament, then your second match,
uh-oh, that didn't -- did you do anything different tonight?
STEFFI GRAF: I think I had much better, positive attitude. I just, you know -- I don't
know, I just really basically looked at every point. I didn't really try for anything
crazy. I really was trying to find the rhythm. I did that very well. I was patient enough,
seemed to make the right decisions at the right times.
Q. You relied on your backhand a lot tonight. Is that more tiring for you?
STEFFI GRAF: Tiring?
STEFFI GRAF: It's more tiring for the other one (laughter). No, but it was very
important, as it was in the first match. I think I won a lot of points because I felt I
could go backhand crosscourt with her. I kept them pretty low. She didn't really know what
to do off it. She just had to play at my forehand so I think it was vital today.
Q. Was this as well as you played since you came back from the knee surgery tonight as
well as you probably played a match?
STEFFI GRAF: No, I think I have played better. But not probably against somebody that
Q. The fact that she had beaten you 3 of the last 4 times you met, was that a factor at
all in your trying to raise your game today?
STEFFI GRAF: No, every time you go out there it is a different match and no, I didn't
really -- I mean, I know -- we know each other's game very well. We have had some very
close matches, like you said, she won a few times and I think that just make me, who more
than anything else.
Q. How are these courts playing compared to the US Open, National Tennis Center in your
STEFFI GRAF: I haven't played there for two years I have no idea.
Q. From what you remember?
STEFFI GRAF: I think they are pretty similar. I haven't played there for two years. It
is difficult you go from one tournament to another, I wouldn't be able to judge until I
get there. I think, but they are probably pretty close.
Q. What about your next match, what do you know about either one of them, Lindsay or
STEFFI GRAF: Lindsay has been having an incredible summer right now. I have played her
in Stanford. It was very close three-setter. She has been really playing extremely well.
She won all three of the tournaments there. Definitely she is on a hot streak, so, I
definitely have to do play another consistent game and, you know, go for my shots probably
a little more than today.
Q. This whole comeback, what has been like for you mentally; physically how you are
STEFFI GRAF: Pretty well, I guess. Physically I am holding up very well. Mentally I
sometimes not the patient kind of person, so I always like things to progress faster, but
I am doing really fine. I am enjoying myself.
Q. You have played her 15 times?
STEFFI GRAF: Who?
Q. Amanda. Have you ever won -- broken her five straight times like that. You really
disappeared there in the second set.
STEFFI GRAF: Probably not, no, not that I can remember.
Q. How do you explain, you know that, tonight?
STEFFI GRAF: She didn't play her best either. That is one part I played well, but we
all know or probably it was obvious that she can play better. I guess it seemed like she
lost a little control of what to do. She didn't seem like she had a game plan at all
anymore and she just made more mistakes than she usually would. I mean, that is -- as I
would say, I didn't really had any let-downs. It is not like I had -- sometimes after
playing so well for a couple of games, you get -- you maybe start to be a little bit
unconcentrated, but I wasn't at all today.
Q. How much after a player losing track of a game a factor of the way you dominate,
though, do you think it's a possibility that when you start to blow people off the court
like that that they inevitably lose track of any game plan and become very defensive?
STEFFI GRAF: I hope that I keep on doing that. (Laughs), but it is difficult to get to
the point, I mean, I guess that happens if you know, usually I have something to attack,
you know, with me playing my backhand a little more consistent last few days I think it
gets more difficult because my forehand is -- if the backhand gets difficult for them to
do something with, that leaves them guessing more, what to do.
Q. Will you know when you are fully back? What will it take? Will it take a certain win
or will you just know back to the performance level that you expect to be at?
STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, I think I need to show the kind of tennis for a more consistent
Q. Your backhand was a clinic today. Each shot was a little lower. Different spins.
Then at the start of the second set you just came out and started killing some forehands.
Was that consciously to try and change strategy you?
STEFFI GRAF: No, what happened a little bit in the beginning of the first set, that,
you know, it was a little bit of a waiting game what the other one would do, what I would
do. I really didn't go as much as for my shots as I usually would like more in the second
set. I really went more for my forehands. I really didn't do that too much in the first
set. That was something that I wanted to focus right on in the beginning of the essential
set because I felt that I needed to do that.
Q. It is not that you thought that that was going to work or you thought maybe she was
conscious of the backhand, you just wanted to worked on the forehand then? Run it that
way? It looked like there were two different --
STEFFI GRAF: Yeah. Yeah, I just -- you know, it wasn't consciously in the first set, I
didn't wanted to do it, but I just didn't take as much risk as I would take in the second
set and in the first set I didn't play my forehand as well as I usually could do and so I
just wanted to -- so I concentrate add little more on the second set.
Q. You said the other day that one thing you play well in practice. But then you can't
do some of the same things in a match. Do you feel tonight was a step in the right
direction and also you said you lacked confidence. You indicated that you needed more
confidence. Do you feel more confidence after tonight?
STEFFI GRAF: I felt already during the match much better. It seemed like, you know, I
was able to just get my mind straight out there and I knew it would be a difficult match,
but like you said, I bad a better attitude and what really worked well is what we have
been working on is my backhand. It is something that I was hoping it will happen during my
matches as well and it is finally coming there.
Q. Does this mean a lot to your confidence a win like tonight?
STEFFI GRAF: Yes! That is what you wanted to hear, yes (laughter). Yeah, I think it
will. Absolutely. You don't -- you don't win against a player like that, that kind of
score if you are not playing well.
Q. You talked about the rhythm and staying in the rhythm. When you had that one
controversial call that you talked to the chair ump about, it seemed like you came back
from that composed and that may have had the potential to shake somebody a little bit, but
didn't seem like it affected you at all. How do you come out of something like that?
STEFFI GRAF: I was upset because I felt it was -- I mean, they were close calls when
you are not quite sure, but this one I felt very obvious because I was standing in front
of it, still I should have played it anyway. But, I just told myself to just play the next
point. I mean, yeah, I got upset, but then served a good point and she kind of made a
mistake off the next one. So I just wanted to finish it the right way.
Q. You said at Mawah people didn't really understand why you were coming back, that,
you were shocked that some people didn't understand. Are you doing it more for yourself
now than ever before, just enjoying it more than ever before?
STEFFI GRAF: I have always done it for myself. Not that I mean, you know, I have always
been the one out there, you know, nobody else -- not for anybody else. I mean, other than
Q. Just for your own enjoyment, I suppose, is what I am getting at?
STEFFI GRAF: It has always been for my enjoyment, not that I don't enjoy it when people
get into it, not to leave that out. I mean, it is great to see the others having fun
watching me. But I have always been the one that decided I wanted to be out there and I do
enjoy myself very much. But I have always done it. Maybe a little more now.
Q. You have been plagued by injuries the last couple of years. Do you sense any kind of
urgency at this stage of your career; how important is it for you to win now?
STEFFI GRAF: Urgency for what?
Q. Your career, as far as winning grand Slams over the next couple of years or winning
titles, do you sense a certain stage of your career --
STEFFI GRAF: I think I have done it already. But, yeah, I could -- I wouldn't mind
doing it again.
Q. Do you sense the clock ticking maybe on your career?
STEFFI GRAF: (LOOKS AT HER WATCH) No, I don't feel that way. I really don't. I mean,
no, once I am out there I don't think about these things. And like I said, my goal has
never been to win a certain amount of Grand Slams or certain amount of tournaments. I have
never been somebody that worries about numbers, but I certainly worry about or I care
about what I am doing out there if I like it or not.
Q. At the end of the match you must have signed 100 autographs. I can't ever remember
you seeming to enjoy that more at the end of a match than tonight?
STEFFI GRAF: That is not true. I think I have now -- I think I have always been like
that after matches.
Q. It just seems as though you are appreciating your place in tennis more. You seemed
happier. Just that is the impression I get. I was wondering whether you could comment on
STEFFI GRAF: Well, yeah, but that is definitely -- yeah, I mean, but that is a totally
different thing. Yeah, I appreciate probably more the way things are going especially
right now because I know how hard they have come about and how long of a road it has been
to get to the point where I am right, but I mean, what I do -- I have been able to say
that luckily for the last few weeks or the last few months how people responded towards me
playing and, you know, that is something I think I have always done after matches, to give
autographs and take my time. I think I have always done that. That hasn't been any
different. Just people coming up more and more.
Q. Are all these standing ovations emotional still? You have been getting them week
after week. Do they touch you the same way now as they did at Indian wells and Hannover?
STEFFI GRAF: Yeah, no different. Yeah, I am not getting used to them yet. (Laughs) I
hope I never will. And I wouldn't because they are always special to me.
End of FastScripts