10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity



Graf to play Henin in show match for charity

Former number one Steffi Graf is to play the current women's top player Justine Henin in an exhibition match in Germany next month for a children's charity foundation.

Graf, 38, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in an exclusive interview that Henin had immediately agreed to the showcase match in Mannheim on October 27.

The 22-times Grand Slam winner's rare return to the court is to help the Children for Tomorrow foundation she formed nine years ago to support children and families in Africa who have been traumatised by war, violence or repression.

Graf retired from tennis eight years ago, but the German played a similar charity exhibition match in Mannheim against Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini two years ago.

Graf won that encounter 6-4, 6-2, but said it would be "ridiculous" to think about beating 25-year-old US and French Open winner Henin.

"I haven't played any tournament tennis for eight years. Sure, I've tried to keep myself fit but playing tennis is different to going jogging, cycling or training with weights."

Graf said she had now started playing some more tennis to get in better shape for the event, but finding time for the court was difficult in her daily schedule with husband Andre Agassi and their children Jaz Elle, three, and Jaden Gil, five.

"If I've had a racquet in my hand eight times this year it's a lot. That's why I can't seriously measure up to someone like Justine. Of course, I will try on October 27 to keep up with her.

"But that's not the point of the event. We want to have some fun, to please the spectators and most of all to do something for the children."

Graf, who was world number one for an uninterrupted 377 weeks between 1987 and 1991, said the idea of playing Henin came after she had built up a friendly relationship with the Belgian over the past few years.

"When I phoned her up at the beginning of the year it was no question for her. She looked in her dairy and immediately agreed to play," Graf said.


Henin has established her own charity foundation to help children suffering from cancer.

The possibility of husband Andre joining the event in a mixed double has not been completely ruled out, although Agassi has his own children's charity event next month.

Since Agassi retired following last year's US Open, there was more time for family life in Las Vegas, although the couple are also busy with hotel and holiday centre projects.

"We were mostly travelling as a family so it's not the time which is the biggest change but the inner calm which Andre in particular has much more of now.

"He no longer has the stress and his calm radiates on the family. Family life is much more balanced. It is the way I wanted it and what I had also thought it would be like from my own experience."

Proceeds from the exhibition match will go to a number of projects including a new therapy centre for traumatised children, new therapy rooms for child victims of violence in townships near Cape Town and the first nursery in Eritrea to include therapy care support.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany for Charity

Current #1 vs the former #1...it should draw a great crowd and lots of $$$$$ for charity.

Its also nice to see Graf embracing one of the best of this generation to play with. Its nice to see their friendship expanding into something which does good for others.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany for Charity

Frauline Forehand vs the Belgian Backhand should be interesting!

RIP Elena Baltacha, thank you for dedicating your life to a sport we all love. You'll be missed but never forgotten.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany for Charity

That's great!

Merci Justine!


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany for Charity

Its gonna be wonderful

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany for Charity

Nice

I wonder how Justine will handle those treacherous slice backhands

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity

take it with a pinch of salt
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity

I'm surprised Graf is even considering playing doubles with Andre since the last time they played, Andre f*cked her up in the mouth with his racket.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany for Charity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forehand_Volley View Post
Current #1 vs the former #1...it should draw a great crowd and lots of $$$$$ for charity.

Its also nice to see Graf embracing one of the best of this generation to play with. Its nice to see their friendship expanding into something which does good for others.
€€€€€

but otherwise you're right!
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity

I hope they'll both emulate the great Bruce Springsteen in one respect. Unlike most performers who do a big charity concert now and then, The Boss (sorry Justine) doesn't just donate his time, but contributes $10,000 or so himself. Sure most of the money raised is still from ticket sales, merchandise auctions, and donations, but its nice 2C ppl like that "pony up" themselves. I hope these 2 will follow that example. (Andre has personally funded his Las Vegas program for @ risk youth a great deal BTW).

I also hope that neither takes a dollar, Euro, etc. (though their expenses will properly be paid). It was written somewhere that when Anna K designated St. Judes Childrens Hospital to receive the 30K she won in a skills competition where the $ was going to go to a charity a few years ago, she was paid an appearance fee by the Memphis tournament to show up and present it, money she needed like Siberia does more snow. If this is true, not telling them to add it to what St. Judes got was classless.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity

yay!!! this would be so fun!!!


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity

Quote:
Originally Posted by *JR* View Post
I hope they'll both emulate the great Bruce Springsteen in one respect. Unlike most performers who do a big charity concert now and then, The Boss (sorry Justine) doesn't just donate his time, but contributes $10,000 or so himself. Sure most of the money raised is still from ticket sales, merchandise auctions, and donations, but its nice 2C ppl like that "pony up" themselves. I hope these 2 will follow that example. (Andre has personally funded his Las Vegas program for @ risk youth a great deal BTW).

I also hope that neither takes a dollar, Euro, etc. (though their expenses will properly be paid). It was written somewhere that when Anna K designated St. Judes Childrens Hospital to receive the 30K she won in a skills competition where the $ was going to go to a charity a few years ago, she was paid an appearance fee by the Memphis tournament to show up and present it, money she needed like Siberia does more snow. If this is true, not telling them to add it to what St. Judes got was classless.
Justine has set up a whole foundation for sick children, more specificially cancer patients, years ago. It's called "Les vingt coeurs de Justine" which is a double entendre in French with "vainqueur", the former meaning "twenty hearts" and the latter "winners".
Not only does a lot of her money go to it, she also spends some of her time off with the kids. Check it out:
http://www.20coeursdejustine.be/public/index.asp?lg=e
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 08:24 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity

Quote:
Originally Posted by keinimod View Post
Justine has set up a whole foundation for sick children, more specificially cancer patients, years ago. It's called "Les vingt coeurs de Justine" which is a double entendre in French with "vainqueur", the former meaning "twenty hearts" and the latter "winners".
Not only does a lot of her money go to it, she also spends some of her time off with the kids. Check it out:
http://www.20coeursdejustine.be/public/index.asp?lg=e
Justine is one of my favorite players, and this is one of the reasons. (Presumably she founded 20 Coeurs largely in honor of her late mother, who died of cancer of course). Again, if Kournikova accepted anything other than direct expenses for showing up in Memphis to present that $30,000 check (which wasn't even from her own funds anyhow) to St. Judes instead of saying "add my fee to the contribution" it not only sucks, its virtually a pathological addiction to money.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 08:32 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity

Graf was one of the first persons to call Ju on her cell phone after she won RG this year . Ju regulary calls steffi for advise.
It'll be great to see them play against eachother

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2007, 08:38 PM
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Re: 10/27/07: Graf vs Henin Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany at SAP-Arena for Charity

What great words from Steffi. She seems so peaceful. Good on Justine for accepting to play without hesitation too.

Sounds like a fun event.
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