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post #2679 of (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2013, 12:18 PM
country flag Ms. Anthropic
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I would pay money for the audio/video of the quote below in bold. There are a lot of ways she could have said that, and the tone would make all the difference in the interpretation. It could have been said in a matter-of-fact manner, or sarcastically, or (as journalist Dave Kindred once described the way she said something at the previous year's Wimbledon) "casually but not without subtlety," or it could have been an imperious roar of a promise.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Wednesday, June 15, 1988
Rick Warner, Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Wimbledon doesn't begin until next week, but John McEnroe already is off to a good start.

McEnroe, who is returning to the famed grass courts for the first time in three years, fared well in Tuesday's draw.

The three-time champion opens against Horst Skoff, 19, of Austria. Then McEnroe is not scheduled to face a true grass-court player until the fourth round, when his opponent could be hard-serving Kevin Curren, who beat McEnroe in the 1985 quarterfinals.

British bookies were so impressed by McEnroe's draw that they shortened his odds to 5-1 from 7-1, making him the third choice behind co-favorites Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker.

Lendl, the top seed and No. 1 player in the world, meets Britain's David Felgate in the opening round. Becker, the sixth seed and two-time champion, faces John Frawley of Australia.

Felgate, ranked 360th in the world, said he would not be intimidated by Lendl.

"I am the best man at a friend's wedding on Saturday and have to make a speech," he said. "The prospect of having to do that frightens me more at the moment than playing the world's No. 1 player."

Lendl, Becker, defending champion Pat Cash and French Open runner-up Henri Leconte are in the same half of the draw. Barring upsets, the quarterfinal pairings would be Lendl-Leconte and Cash-Becker.

If the seedings hold up in the other half of the draw, second-seeded Mats Wilander would meet No. 8 McEnroe and third-seeded Stefan Edberg would play No. 5 Jimmy Connors in the other quarterfinals.

Wilander won the first two Grand Slam events of the year, the Australian Open on hardcourts and the French Open on clay. But he has never made it past the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, which requires an aggressive serve-and-volley game.

In women's singles, top-seeded Steffi Graf opens against Hu Na of the United States. No. 2 Martina Navratilova, who is seeking her seventh successive Wimbledon singles title and record ninth overall, meets Sabrina Goles of Yugoslovavia in the first round.

Like Wilander, Graf is halfway to the Grand Slam after winning the Australian and French Opens. But she is more concerned about winning her first Wimbledon than completing the Slam.

"This is the most famous tournament in the world," said Graf, who lost to Navratilova in last year's final. "This is the one everyone wants to win."

Graf, who is skipping this week's warm-up tournament in Eastbourne to practice privately in London, turned 19 Tuesday. At the draw, she was presented with flowers, gold earrings and a birthday cake decorated with candles arranged to form the No. 1.

Asked how she was celebrating her birthday, Graf said, "I practiced this morning. And I'm going to practice again this afternoon. Then I'm going home for the night. I will have my party after Wimbledon."

Navratilova seemed pleased with her first-round pairing against Goles, ranked 48th in the world.

"I guess I'd rather play her than McEnroe," she said after winning her second-round match at Eastbourne.

Navratilova and fourth-seeded Chris Evert may have a chance to avenge their upset defeats at the French Open.

Navratilova, who was beaten in Paris by 17-year-old Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union, could meet her in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Evert, who lost to 16-year-old Arantxa Sanchez of Spain at the French Open, is seeded to meet Sanchez in the third round.

Evert, still bothered by a heel injury that hindered her at the French Open, plays Alexia Dechaume of France in the opening round.

Sanchez's brothers, Emilio and Javier, will play each other in the opening round of the men's singles. It will be the first brother matchup at Wimbledon since before World War I.
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