Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?
There's a video on YouTube of the complete Anna vs. Steffi Graf match at Eastbourne (1998). You'll see AK completely dismantling her game with smarter more aggressive play, more mobility(believe it or not!) and crisper high-angle shots. She even causes Ms. Graf to lose her steely composure. I believe Anna suffered a compression injury in her thumb and had to withdraw. She never recovered from that injury, which can hinder ball control, something she would be later criticized for. Kinda sad to see what could have been.
Thank you so much for calling my attention to this match. I always hated Graf -- partly because I'm a Navratilova fan, partly because I think her slam count is inflated by the Seles stabbing, and partly because I found her game boring and her personality obnoxious. She also won way too much. Her completely discourteous snubbing of Kournikova at the end of that match was exactly the sort of thing that always rubbed me the wrong way. It was really nice to see Anna K win. Her tennis abilities never received the respect they should have, being overshadowed by the glamor and sex symbol aspects.
"I really have friends on the tour, and I'm really happy for it. ...I remember when I was young and someone told my father that I'm too nice for tennis. So I'm just glad that I can be nice off the court and fighting on the court." — Petra Kvitova, May 8, 2005
P. Kvitova def. S. Williams 6-2, 6-3