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post #2343 of (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2012, 06:51 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
It's better thank you !

But look the one about the 88 Grand Slam they only speak about the (non) reaction and the other one (us open 89) about Navratilova (who lost).
It's not the first time, it's still, I feel like it's more about how she is (was) than about the game and what she accomplished.
That's probably why I didn't have read a lot of US articles (I think)

Well, there are quite a few examples from the US press where her victories are "celebrated" or "marveled at" rather than "respected" (some more begrudgingly than others) or "detested." But yes, the psychological profile/analysis of the athlete as a person has always been a big part of our sports writing. Part of it has to do with our "culture of personality." Part of it has to do with most American sports press being almost scared of things that are "subtle" and perhaps even "contradictory." Part of it also has to do our media (print and TV) just going by the comments from press conferences or being more comfortable with stereotypes and focusing on what they think people want to read/hear rather than with paying attention to what's actually going on in front of them (this applies to much more than just Steffi/tennis/sports).

So for some them, Steffi and her accomplishments were a very puzzling subject. Some of them never did/will comprehend it. Some of them just simply got used to her, or at least decided she was preferable to the "alternatives." Others were able to understand or appreciate it during/after her vulnerable moments. And a few started out liking her and ended up despising her. Although to be fair, I don't think it was only the American press that was this way. I'm given to understand the French press can be a tough crowd. To say nothing of some of things that came out of the non-tabloid German press.

And don't forget the Italians back in her early days! They esteemed her with so much animosity that it made Bud Collins go seek her out in 1983:

The first time Collins saw Graf play was at the U.S. Open when she was 13.
An Italian friend of Collins told him about "this monster, Graf."

"These guys, Italians, don't talk about women's tennis," Collins said. "They
wouldn't come into this room to see Suzanne Lenglen's reincarnation.

"So I made a point to go out there and I had a nice chat with her. She was
very shy."
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