Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
At this stage of wading through the data, I was tired in the head and all I was doing was reading and could take a break whenever I wanted to.
Sabatini the final obstacle to Graf - Tennis
Friday, September 30, 1988
From Richard Evans
Steffi Graf returned to her most positive form in the semi-finals of the women's singles here yesterday and, by beating Zina Garrison, of the United States, 6-2, 6-0, enhanced the chances of embellishing her grand slam with Olympic gold.
In a rematch of their United States Open final, Graf will meet her great rival, Gabriela Sabatini, whose equally convincing, 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Manuela Maleeva, of Bulgaria, lent an air of authenticity to tennis's efforts to become a top calibre Olympic sport.
Certainly Graf looked more like her true self after a series of less than brilliant performances at the Games. Her Czech coach, Pavel Slozil, said Steffi had been mentally exhausted on her arrival here after the emotional strain of chasing the grand slam at Flushing Meadow.
"In practice she was hitting the ball really well against me," said Slozil. "But during matches she had a tough time concentrating. It was the first time I had seen her so tired in the head. She was still complaining about it only yesterday but today against Zina everything seemed to click back into place."
Garrison was unfortunate to come out of the match with only two games. Often she rallied steadily from the back court and induced enough errors at the start to force the first break of serve and go 2-1 up. At that point it was difficult to envisage her not winning another game.
Well as she played against Maleeva, Sabatini will have to step up a gear if she is to do more than take a set off Graf in tomorrow's final, as she did at the US Open. Nevertheless, Sabatini remains the only player to have beaten the West German this year and, already, she is the only athlete from Argentina to lay her hands on a medal here.
Swedish players are expected to win the equivalent of gold medals every time they walk on court these days, but Stefan Edberg has been unable to provide them with anything more than a bronze which, on current form, is something of a disappointment.
With his partner, Anders Jarryd, who also became despondent in the end, Edberg was beaten 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the semi-finals of the mens' doubles by the reigning US Open champions, Emilio Sanchez and Sergio Casal, of Spain. In the final the Spaniards will meet Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, of the United States. They defeated today's singles finalist, Miloslav Mecir, and his Czechoslovak partner, Milan Srejber, in straight sets.