Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
"And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer." -- Hans Gruber, Die Hard, 1988
"Great Alexander wept, and made sad mone (moan), because there was but one world to be wonne (won)." -- Robert Hayman, Quodlibets, Book II, 1628
"Alexander cried when he heard Anaxarchus talk about the infinite number of worlds in the universe. One of Alexander's friends asked him what was the matter, and he replied: 'There are so many worlds, and I have not yet conquered even one.' " -- Plutarch (c. 46 – 120 AD), Moralia
You can see how we've managed to turn that one on its head over the millennia. A variant article of the preceding one.
GRAF ADDS GOLD MEDAL TO HER COLLECTION
Saturday, October 1, 1988
New York Times News Service
There are no more worlds for Steffi Graf to conquer, at least not for the time being.
In what has probably been the most successful year any player has enjoyed in tennis, the 19-year-old West German completed the first Golden Slam today, adding the Olympic gold medal to her prize collection of championships, numbering Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the French Open and the Australian Open among them.
Graf defeated Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, 6-3, 6-3, to win the gold, overpowering her 18-year-old rival with her patented forehand, the shot that has taken her to the top of the women's game, where she is unchallenged.
Thus, Graf became the first player, male or female, to win a Grand Slam and a gold medal at the Olympics.
She has lost only two matches in 1988, both to Sabatini. But those came last March in Florida, ancient history in the weekly grind of the tennis circuit.
Since losing those matches, Graf has defeated Sabatini three times, at the French Open, in the U.S. Open final, and today. This was her 14th victory in 16 meetings against the player given the best chance of challenging her in the near future.
Pam Shriver and Zina Garrison were like giddy schoolchildren Friday after outlasting Helena Sukova and Jana Novotna of Czechoslovakia, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8, to win the gold medal in doubles.
And although he was a bit disappointed, Tim Mayotte appeared pleased when he received the silver medal in the men's singles competition, losing to Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
"We really didn't know each other too well before the Olympics," Shriver said of her budding friendship with Garrison. "Now, Zina is someone I'm rooming with, practicing with, someone who beat the stuffing out of me in singles, and a friend."
Shriver and Garrison hugged following the match, an emotional moment, heightened by the fact they wasted five match points before finally winning. Garrison, who also won a bronze medal in singles, called it a special moment in her life. "I'm going to hang the medals above my fireplace," she said.
Shriver said: "It's been five or six years since I've gotten a kick out of a match like I did this one. If I do nothing else in tennis, this will be the highlight of my career."
Graf, as was the case in the U.S. Open final, accepted her victory in a calm fashion, smiling and waving to her family as she walked to the net to congratulate her opponent. She then walked to the guest seats, where her father and her coach, Pavel Slovil, were sitting, and embraced them.
The match was a bit closer than the scores indicated, with Sabatini holding three break points in the first game. Graf saved them all, but Sabatini had the first break, going ahead, 3-2, when she kept Graf on the defensive with her own deep groundstrokes.
Graf broke back, however, and that apeared to demoralize Sabatini. Graf broke her again in the eighth game, forcing two backhand errors, then closed out the set in the ninth, hitting her first ace.
Sabatini rallied in the second set, regaining her composure, staying even with Graf through four games. Then, Graf broke her in the fifth, ripping a forehand winner on Sabatini's second serve.
Graf wavered a bit in the next game, facing two break points. But she saved them with a drop-shot winner and a forehand pass down the line. Graf used the drop shot effectively today, catching Sabatini well behind the baseline. It accounted for three clear winners and kept Sabatini guessing.
Sabatini fired two aces to hold her serve in the seventh game, then made her last stand, holding two break points against Graf in the eighth. A forehand winner and a service-winner enabled Graf to get even, and she eventually held service.
She closed out the match in the next game, her forehand just too much for Sabatini to counter Saturday. She appeared less inhibited than in the Open final, hitting with more assurance.