Originally Posted by Just_Me
how do you know what she prayed for ?
Can't find the interview, but here's an article...
On the mend: Graf advances to finals in French Open
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The
, Jun 4, 1999
by ROBIN FINN, The Associated Press contributed to this
Anybody else would be in traction by now, or resting on her collection of Grand Slam laurels.
But Steffi Graf, with her aching spine and 29-year-old legs banished to the background while a 22nd career Grand Slam singles title comes ever closer, has never been one to take a shortcut when there is a more treacherous route available.
And no Grand Slam tournament presents a greater test of nerve and verve than Roland Garros, where every match has marathon potential. Those who flinch when clay grit gets in their eyes and under their skin, as happened to Graf on this windy day, should battle elsewhere. Graf, a five-time French Open champion who won this title in 1996 but didn't play here last year because of knee surgery, stormed into the final with a 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-4 comeback against Monica Seles, the player who defeated her for the 1992 title. The 25-year-old Seles couldn't quite match Graf's gumption on the critical points of their 1-hour-56-minute semifinal Thursday. "I was able to take the risks I needed to, especially in the end of the third set," said Graf, whose backhand slices slithered over the net so low that Seles needed to kneel like a supplicant to field them. "After match point, it was extreme joy," the German said about the instant when Seles buried a backhand return in the net, a mistake that delivered Graf to her first Grand Slam final since she collected the 1996 U.S. Open. "It's great after a few years to be in a final; it's something I really did not believe that I'd be able to do when I got here." In the final Saturday, Graf will wield a 6-2 record against top-ranked Martina Hingis, a player who never doubted she would reach the final here, the only Grand Slam to elude her grasp so far. The 18-year-old Hingis lit herself a candle at Sacre Coeur before this event began and Thursday, after humbling its defending champion, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, 6-3, 6-2, she said she would not return to the cathedral again until this title belongs to her. "I will go after and say, `Thank God,' if I win," Hingis said of her celebration plans. "If I lose, no."
She doesn't lose often when Grand Slam titles are at stake. In 1997, when she was just 16, Hingis won all three other Grand Slams but fell one victory short of a sweep when she fell to Iva Majoli in the final here. In men's play today, meanwhile, four unlikely players make up the semifinalists. Andre Agassi, the only seeded player left in the men's event, faces Dominik Hrbaty, and Andrei Medvedev takes on Fernando Meligeni. Agassi, 29, is closing in on the record books. A championship victory here would make him only the fifth man to win all four Grand Slams, and the first since Rod Laver in 1969.
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