Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Steffi Graf's First Strike - "Hey, give the other girl a game!"
6-0, 6-3 in 38 minutes. The scoreboard at Rothenbaum illustrates how superiorly Steffi Graf won her initial match. Regina Marsikova won only five points on her own merit, 20 more were thanks to errors by Steffi Graf, who gave up more than one point only twice in her eight service games.
Thursday, July 28, 1988
No. 174, Page 17
Hamburg - The mood is boisterous. Wednesday, 2:40 p.m.: At Hamburg's Rothenbaum club, the crowd awaits the athletically alluring show of the women's tennis Grand Prix. Steffi Graf, the international number one, has her first entrance. Her opponent is Regina Marsikova (29) from Prague, 172th on the world ranking list. That means 6-0, 6-3 after 38 minutes for Steffi Graf.
More than 3,000 spectators -- more than the total attendence on the first two days combined -- came. People throng around the corridor of the player entrance: Through this lane, she must come.
In the first row of the players' box sit her mother Heidi and her father Peter Graf, brother Michael with girlfriend Anette, coach Pavel Slozil -- and Otto Waalkes, who apparently offers a private show which Heidi and Peter Graf find amusing.
A call goes through the masses: "Steffi! Steffi! Steffi!" Regina Marsikova is also warmly greeted.
The match begins. The first set lasts only 14 minutes, Steffi Graf concedes four points. "Slow it down!" calls someone from the crowd. "Hey, give the other girl a game!"
She does. In the first game of the second set slips her second double fault. The second game she allows her opponent at love. The Hamburg citizens accompany this rare gift from Steffi Graf with half touched, half astonished applause. They want to see good tennis, but no "execution."
But Regina Marsikova has no chance. Between her and Steffi Graf lie whole worlds of playing levels. Graf said she didn't imagine winning so easy, and her astonishment sounds real. After the dog bite on her right hand, she began practicing her serve again only three days ago, two days ago for her backhand.
How does she feel as the rescuer of the weakly booked tournament? It certainly wasn't pleasant to be constantly watched, but: "I have experienced worse already." The curiosity in Hamburg in 1987 was worse, since at the time she had just deposed Martina Navratilova as number one in the world rankings. "This time I feel more welcome," says Steffi Graf.
Aside from Steffi Graf, there are three other Germans still in play. After her 6-1, 6-2 win over Sabine Auer (Radolfzell), Sylvia Hanika (Munich) meets Silke Maier (Kaiserslautern; 6-1, 6-1 over the Argentine Gabriela Mosca). Isabel Cueto (Stuttgart; 6-4, 6-3 over Wiltrud Probst from Fürth) plays against Niege Dias (Brazil; 6-2, 6-2 over Norwegian Jonsson).