Steffi Graf returns to court -- for one match - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Steffi Graf returns to court -- for one match

Steffi Graf returns to court -- for one matchBy KRISTIE RIEKEN, Associated Press Writer
July 11, 2005

HOUSTON (AP) -- Steffi Graf is returning to the tennis court for the first time in six years, but don't call it a comeback.

The 22-time Grand Slam singles champion is interrupting her retirement on Tuesday to play with the Houston Wranglers of the World Team Tennis Pro League.

``It's hard for me to call it a comeback,'' Graf told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. ``It's too early to say if there will be more. It's hard with all the schedules. If it works out, maybe there is another one.''

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Much has changed in the 36-year-old Graf's life since she retired in August 1999 as the third-ranked player in the world.

She married Andre Agassi and had two children -- a boy in 2001 and a girl in 2003.

``Time is a big factor,'' Graf said. ``For a few years, I barely played. It's not easy with my husband still on tour. It's been a challenge to stay in shape.''

Graf, who won 107 career singles titles, said juggling the demands of motherhood and her charity work made it difficult to establish a strict training regimen.

``This year I just picked up the racket more frequently than I have in the last five years,'' she said. ``I've practiced quite a bit the past two weeks, but before that it was very sporadic.''

The 36-year-old German had what is widely considered her best year in 1988, when she won all four Grand Slam singles events in a year and also won an Olympic gold medal.

She acknowledges being ``very nervous'' about the match but also excited about her return.

``It's huge that she is putting her toe in the water,'' said Ilana Kloss, WTT chief executive officer and commissioner. ``I think she's going to see how she feels. ...but we're absolutely thrilled to have her.''

Graf said the generosity that Wranglers owners Jim and Linda McIngvale have shown to her and Agassi's foundations over the years was a major factor in her decision to play again.

Graf played an exhibition match last year in Germany against Gabriela Sabatini.

Graf said she has been trying to strengthen her knees and back after suffering several injuries during her playing career.

She's looking forward to playing in front of a crowd in the fan-friendly format of the WTT, but she cautioned against high expectations.

``How can I be the same,'' she said. ``I live a different lifestyle in general. I think they will see that I'm a little more relaxed than I used to be.

``It will be interesting to see how it's going to work tomorrow (Tuesday).''

The WTT league is made up of 12 teams and plays a three week season ending July 24. The two top teams from each of two conferences advance to the finals Sept. 16-17 in Sacramento. The coed league, co-founded by Billie Jean King, is in its 30th season. On the Net: World Team Tennis, http://www.wtt.com
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 06:34 AM
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This is just a copied and pasted question from another thread:

Steffi is playing for Houston Wranglers right? And they're playing Tuesday?? But it's not being shown on TV. However, ESPN is showing the Houston Wranglers on Saturday. Can anyone tell me if that's the match that's really going on on Tuesday but they're just showing it on Saturday??

Any idea??

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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go steffi go any1 remember that poster lol

Good luck to the Aussie and Balkan girls!
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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steffi and andre who was andre dating before steffi brooke shields.

Brooke has previously dated Boy George and George Michael and Michael Jackson
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennis_freak67
This is just a copied and pasted question from another thread:

Steffi is playing for Houston Wranglers right? And they're playing Tuesday?? But it's not being shown on TV. However, ESPN is showing the Houston Wranglers on Saturday. Can anyone tell me if that's the match that's really going on on Tuesday but they're just showing it on Saturday??

Any idea??
Yes, I'm almost sure they will show Graf on Sat. They always planned to show the Graf match, the Hingis-Nav match, and a couple others. But what we didn't know at the time was that they had no intention of airing these matches LIVE.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlq1986
steffi and andre who was andre dating before steffi brooke shields.

Brooke has previously dated Boy George and George Michael and Michael Jackson
So by that pattern...

The next should be Jackson Browne?

Why is it that the world never remembered the name of Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-
schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-
knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-
grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-ein-
nürnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mitz-weimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shönedanker-
kalbsfleisch-mittler-aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm?
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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Go Steffi!!!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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This is so exciting. I'm so glad that Steffi hasn't completely given up tennis. It's a joy to watch her.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 01:50 PM
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It'll be great for the fans to see this grand champion in action once again.

Traits Gandhi considered the most spiritually perilous to humanity.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levo.
So by that pattern...

The next should be Jackson Browne?

Well, no: the next one in line is ... Elizabeth Taylor!
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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well, i saw a bit of an exibitionmatch at the french open with steffi. it was a doublesmatch with steffi, justine, marat and another frenchboy it was really amusing
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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It seems that players who say they are retired never fully do. They are always showing up at special events. The only player who I have not heard from at all in this regards is Pete Sampras.
Nevertheless, I'm glad to see her out playing.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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Well, i am gonnabe happier about her return if she loses...
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:04 PM
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Yes, the Saturday ESPN match will be the Steffi match. Too bad they are showing it DAYS later rather than live but better that than nothing. It's on at 11:00PM, which is past my bed time but I wouldn't miss it for the world.


Quote:
Brooke has previously dated Boy George and George Michael and Michael Jackson
She also dated Dean Cain, the TV Superman, whom you conveniently left off.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:11 PM
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go steffi.......always in my heart......
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