Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Nostalgic Graf not happy
The Times (London, England)
Wednesday, October 21, 1992
THE 26th successive victory on the seafront took just 57 minutes yesterday, Steffi Graf beating Larisa Savchenko-Neiland, 6-2, 6-3, to reach the second round of the Midland Bank championship in Brighton.
Graf, though, was not happy. "No rhythm," she complained. "No rallies. I'd prefer to play a match where I can get a feel of the court. We both just went for everything." Graf was rather more accurate than the talented but erratic Latvian.
This is very much the autumnal part of the year for the Wimbledon champion, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Graf's route through the European indoor season from Leipzig (three titles out of three), through Zurich (six out of seven), to Brighton (five out of five) is well worn and highly profitable. But the nostalgic trail through her good memories does not end there.
On her day off in London on Monday, Graf took a detour to Wimbledon, just to check that her precious Centre Court was still there. "It wasn't planned. I wanted to take a look," she explained. She even managed to get in without her members' badge. "I just ran through the main entrance, so they had no chance to stop me," she said.
By happy coincidence, the Wimbledon trophies were in the process of being transported to an exhibition, allowing Graf to lift the famous plate above her head for the second time in the year. More than a touch of Martina Navratilova about that.
According to most forecasts, the Midland Bank trophy will be back in safe keeping by late Sunday afternoon as well. For, though the field is one of the strongest at Brighton for many years, there is no obvious candidate to end the German's run. No Seles, Sabatini or Sanchez Vicario.
Of the young pretenders, on view, Magdalena Maleeva has the added advantage of local knowledge. Maleeva has enlisted the help of Pavel Slozil, who guided Graf to ten grand slam titles. Having worked with Jennifer Capriati earlier in the year, Slozil is in perfect position to assess the 17-year-old Bulgarian.
"She is very talented.," Slozil said. "Maybe at the moment she has Steffi's will to win. Every match, every practice, every ball is very, very good. She is very quick. I have always said I would like to work with the men or with somebody who is not in the top ten and who doesn't have a difficult family." A pointed reference to fathers Graf and Capriati. Slozil's new charge did not let him down yesterday, beating Sabine Appelmans in straight sets.
RESULTS: Singles, first round: M Maleeva (Bul) bt S Appelmans (Bel), 6-4,
6-1; L Meskhi (Geo) bt R Zrubakova (Cz), 2-6, 6-2, 6-2; N Tauziat (Fr) bt P Fendick (US), 6-3, 6-7, 6-2; L McNeil (US) bt L Gildemeister (Peru), 4-6, 6-1, 7-5; S Graf (Ger) bt L Savchenko-Neiland (Lat), 6-2, 6-3; A Huber (Ger) bt B Schultz (Holl), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4; P Paradis-Mangon (Fr) bt K Maleeva (Bul), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1; J Novotna (Cz) bt P Hy (Can), 6-0, 6-3; C Dahlman (Swe) bt E Maniokova (CIS), 6-2, 0-6, 6-4.