Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Good to be back. I have all this time on my hands (and fingers) being home on disability all day- I'm back on the Blast and check for updates regularly.
I agree, Sabatini had a great game plan, stuck to it, and kind of surprised Graf a little by continuing to move forward instead of her usual heavy topspin baseline game, hitting many shots off her back foot 10 or more feet behind the baseline. It took balls to be frank. While I thoroughly enjoyed Graf's drubbing of Sabatini a few weeks later at Zurich, she just didn't get used to Gaby at the net all the time at the 90 USO, let alone her penchant for drop volleys (many of which weren't that good- sitters really). No excuses, but it wasn't a good match from Graf at all.
I think my favorite all-time shot from Graf was at Wimbledon 91 on match point against Sabatini- a rifle forehand inside-out for a winner which landed relatively short in the court for a ball with that kind of pace. Gaby was well positioned at the net, but had no play at all. It gave me goosebumps then and still does today.
It's funny how that's is probably my favorite shot ever from Graf! Yet it was not on match point (Graf won with a cross-court FH return of serve), but earlier, Steffi hold serve with that point to lead 7-6. I still watch that shot and it's unbelievable, it was such a deep low approach from Gabriela, who was covering the net in the right place, and yet Steffi just slapped that ball to hit a tremedous inside-out shot. She hit a similar shot against ASV in 1995 IIRC, incredible shot too. But there's another shot from Graf I love, it's her BH passing-shot when Hingis was leading 5-4 and serving for the match in their 99 French Open final: after a long rally, Steffi (finally) connected a BH top spin passing-shot that left Hingis still and of course in that crucial stage of the match. So Steffi!
Witness of an Era of Grandeur
Chris the Ice Lady - Martina Grace&Power
Fraulein Forehand - The Divine Argentine
Merciless Monica - Barcelona Bumblebee