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post #2960 of (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The career in one year! Time to give the cumulative and culminant effort and achievement a soundtrack! I know Steffi is probably more of a C.S. Lewis person, but here goes:

Graf is champ here, too - Win over Sabatini caps 'Golden Slam'
The San Diego Union
Saturday, October 1, 1988
Mark Zeigler, Staff Writer

The Australian Open. The French Open. Wimbledon. The U.S. Open. The Olympic Games.

West Germany's Steffi Graf , 19-year-old queen of the tennis world, won them all -- the "Golden Slam," as it is called -- not in a decade or a lifetime, but in one year.

"That's amazing," Graf admitted after defeating Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini 6-3, 6-3 in the Olympic gold-medal match yesterday. "I think it is something not many people after me will achieve."

Graf completed the Grand Slam last month when she beat Sabatini in the U.S. Open final. But the Grand Slam had been done five times before, twice by women. No one, however, had won an Olympic gold medal the same year.

Tennis returned as an official medal sport for the first time since 1924. In 1984 at Los Angeles, it was a demonstration sport, and Graf won that title, too.

The victory was Graf's 40th straight in singles this year. She has lost only twice in 68 matches, both times to Sabatini.

"I thought I was going to make it a better match," said Sabatini, who extended Graf to three sets at the U.S. Open. "She played much better than the last time I played her. She did not make many mistakes with her forehand. I had a chance in the first set and then I had to run after a lot of balls."

Graf's forehand will do that to you.

Graf, fittingly, ended the 81-minute match on a forehand that Sabatini could only hit into the stands. She did her customary hop and skip to the net, smiled, shook Sabatini's hand and rushed into the stands to hug her father.

Sabatini, with the silver, became the first Argetine to win a medal since the 1972 rowing team.

"For my country, it means very much," said Sabatini, 18. "For a long time, we could not win a medal. I feel very happy to be the one."

Sabatini led by a service break midway through the first set. But even then she began to tire and Graf began to pound the forehand that is as legendary as it is lethal. Graf won 14 of the next 16 points and the final four games of the set.

Graf continued to drive Sabatini from corner to corner, tossing an occasional drop shot (her latest weapon) into the mix. "I was making her run around and I thought that she won't be able to keep up," Graf explained.

Sabatini stayed even until the fifth game, when Graf broke serve. Sabatini lost serve again in the ninth.

"I was really tired coming here," Graf said. "I'm just happy to get it done."

Late last night, Ken Flach and Robert Seguso of the United States won the gold medal in men's doubles, beating Spaniards Emilio Sanchez and Sergio Casal 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7. Flach and Seguso were serving for the match at 5-4 and 7-6 in the fifth set but were broken both times.

Casal and Sanchez won the silver.
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