Re: Houston 1989: Seles d. Evert 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
This has to be one of the greatest "debuts" in tennis. Matched only by Evert's "debut" victory over newly crowned Slam Champion Margaret Court in Charlotte in 1970. I am well aware that Seles played 4 Pro tournaments before Houstone (Boca, Lipton, New Orleans '88 and D.C. '89) just as Evert had played several women's events in south Florida before Charlotte. Still, these matches were early enough in their careers to be considered "debuts" of a sort. The only one that I can think of that is nearly as impressive was Serena's debut tournament (and I do believe that it was in fact the first pro event she played) in Chicago in '97 where she defeated none other than...Monica Seles and served notice that she was ready for the big time. Of the three, however, Seles is the only one who actually won the particular event.
Don't forget Capriati's pro debut at the Virginia Slims of
Florida in 1990. In fact Capriati reached the final in two of her first three tournaments scoring wins over players like Helena Sukova and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario along the way. The win over ASV was particularly impressive as the Spaniard, who was the reigning French Open champion at the time, was walloped 6-1 6-1 on the green clay of Hilton Head Island.
Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)
"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)