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post #2056 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
...@Alfa I love this Wimbledon99 1/4, what a match, the only sad thing about it, is that there were rain delays !

But yeah before Wimbledon, there is Roland Garros, as I've seen the Hingis/Graf a billion times, I probably will watch the 1987 final vs. Navratiliova, young Steffi was a killer, and this match have some drama and crazy points too
On clay, I really like the 85 (?) Berlin final. Steffi was so young and uninhibited, and was hitting topspin backhands all match long, and at one point hit a topspin backhand lob for a winner that Martina could only watch! Can you imagine?

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post #2057 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 01:50 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I was a Martina fan until Steffi came along. I switched allegiance probably at the time Steffi won her first tournament when she prevailed against Chris Evert at Hilton Head. There were three matches between Martina and Steffi that solidified my preference. Not in chronological order: the first was the 1988 Wimbledon final and I’m expressing personal impressions which may contain some minor detail errors. There was great anticipation to this match since Steffi had won the Australian and French Opens in that year and was thus in an obvious position to win the calendar Grand Slam. However Martina was the defending champion having defeated Steffi the previous year for her eighth Wimbledon title tying her with Helen Wills Moody for most Wimbledon titles. Therefore a Martina win would place her as the all time Wimbledon champion; and I believe Steffi had no victories to date against Martina.

The first set was an enigma. I believe everyone would agree that Steffi was dominating the set. She had no trouble holding her service games whereas each of Martina’s service games was a struggle. It seemed only a matter time that Steffi would win a break point and wrap up the set. However Martina hung in there and with the set tied at 5-5 saw her first break point opportunity and got it. She held serve to take the set at 7-5. I remember even the NBC television commentators were dumbfounded at the fact that the set was Martina’s despite being decisively dominated by Steffi.

At the start of the second set Martina broke Steffi again and enjoyed a 2-0 lead in the set, having completed a four game win streak. I remembering thinking at the time such thoughts: “oh shit how can this be? Martina looks like she’s going to win. Can’t Steffi beat her at all?” However that was the end of Martina‘s fun as Steffi took twelve of the next thirteen games to take the title. It was not that Steffi won the twelve games but that Martina was completely slaughtered. She just had no chance. You could sense that the match and title was Steffi’s right from the third game of the second set. And it wasn’t that Martina was playing poorly, it’s just that Steffi was in a different zone unable to be beaten. I remember a comment made by Bud Collins, the color commentator of the NBC crew, which accurately summed up Steffi’s hegemony in the match:

“Martina is seeing balls returned that would otherwise be winners against any other player.”

I always have remembered this match as a watershed for Steffi. Up until that point one could not intelligently argue with certainty that she was or was going to be one of the greats. With this victory there was no more doubting Steffi’s greatness.

The other two matches I’m citing have not much to do with the play but how each reacted to the results. Steffi displayed equilibrium to the results, behavior I personally find most becoming. On the other hand Martina displayed a boorishness and arrogance that I would deem off putting.

The first such match was the 1986 US Open SF: where Steffi was the exciting newcomer all of 17 years having won her first tournament in April of that year. And she was facing Martina the 29 year old veteran with her Hall of Fame credentials already well established. The match was a barn burner decided on a third set tiebreaker wherein Martina had to face down three match points. You could tell at the press conference that the reporters were excited and agitated at the near upset and clearly they expected Martina to acknowledge Steffi as a rising star. However Martina was very cavalier in summing up the match from her perspective. She gave out the impression that it was just a routine inevitable win for her, ignoring the closeness of the result. When one exasperated reporter asked her if she was at all nervous when confronting each of the three match points Martina haughtily replied to the effect (I’m paraphrasing from memory):

“No there was no concern. Each of those points were on my serve so it was no big deal. I knew I’d get out of it.”

For her part, when asked for her reaction of almost upsetting Martina and having three match points, Steffi merely replied:

“I guess I’ll have to play better next time.”

I’ve always considered this reaction as the most mature response I’ve ever heard from a female tennis player having endured a close heartbreaking loss especially against a perceived super star. I believe it also displayed sureness not arrogance as if Steffi knew she was in Martina’s league and that her days against her would come.

The other match I would cite was the 1989 US Open final. Martina won the first set rather easily and was up 4-2 in the second set. However, Steffi fought back and the set was tied at 5-5. Then in the eleventh game with Steffi serving she was facing break point. During that point Martina had pinned Steffi out of position forcing her to return an easy put-away lob for Martina. The lob was one of those which would have easily been put away for a winner probably at least 99 times out of a hundred. Inexplicably Martina netted the lob bringing the game back to deuce. That was all she wrote for Martina. Steffi held and then broke Martina to win the set. She won the third set going away at 6-1.

At the press conference Martina was beside herself and very bitter at this loss. She pointed out how lucky Steffi was to hitting so many winners that just caught the line. But her most piteous lament (and paraphrasing again):

“Even so I should have won the match. I flubbed what was virtually match point for me.”

Of course no one was churlish enough to mention that the point might have been a “virtual” match point but still it was not match point’ Had she won the point like she should have she still would have had to serve for the match. I cannot recall Steffi’s reaction to the match so I assume it was non controversial.

There is no denying that Martina Navratilova is one of the all time great female tennis player. However I maintain Steffi was better and I would cite these three matches to support my opinion.
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post #2058 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 02:21 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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@XTN isn't it John Pooley ? I purchased him many matches on dvd, never had a problem

@Alfa I love this Wimbledon99 1/4, what a match, the only sad thing about it, is that there were rain delays !

But yeah before Wimbledon, there is Roland Garros, as I've seen the Hingis/Graf a billion times, I probably will watch the 1987 final vs. Navratiliova, young Steffi was a killer, and this match have some drama and crazy points too
I happened to have never seen this particular match, only the last few points, was it good? Was it better than Steffi's SF win over Sabatini?

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post #2059 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 03:31 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by alfajeffster View Post
On clay, I really like the 85 (?) Berlin final. Steffi was so young and uninhibited, and was hitting topspin backhands all match long, and at one point hit a topspin backhand lob for a winner that Martina could only watch! Can you imagine?
Totally agree, I was quite shocked
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post #2060 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by tkutsaar View Post
I was a Martina fan until Steffi came along. I switched allegiance probably at the time Steffi won her first tournament when she prevailed against Chris Evert at Hilton Head. There were three matches between Martina and Steffi that solidified my preference. Not in chronological order: the first was the 1988 Wimbledon final and I’m expressing personal impressions which may contain some minor detail errors. There was great anticipation to this match since Steffi had won the Australian and French Opens in that year and was thus in an obvious position to win the calendar Grand Slam. However Martina was the defending champion having defeated Steffi the previous year for her eighth Wimbledon title tying her with Helen Wills Moody for most Wimbledon titles. Therefore a Martina win would place her as the all time Wimbledon champion; and I believe Steffi had no victories to date against Martina.

The first set was an enigma. I believe everyone would agree that Steffi was dominating the set. She had no trouble holding her service games whereas each of Martina’s service games was a struggle. It seemed only a matter time that Steffi would win a break point and wrap up the set. However Martina hung in there and with the set tied at 5-5 saw her first break point opportunity and got it. She held serve to take the set at 7-5. I remember even the NBC television commentators were dumbfounded at the fact that the set was Martina’s despite being decisively dominated by Steffi.

At the start of the second set Martina broke Steffi again and enjoyed a 2-0 lead in the set, having completed a four game win streak. I remembering thinking at the time such thoughts: “oh shit how can this be? Martina looks like she’s going to win. Can’t Steffi beat her at all?” However that was the end of Martina‘s fun as Steffi took twelve of the next thirteen games to take the title. It was not that Steffi won the twelve games but that Martina was completely slaughtered. She just had no chance. You could sense that the match and title was Steffi’s right from the third game of the second set. And it wasn’t that Martina was playing poorly, it’s just that Steffi was in a different zone unable to be beaten. I remember a comment made by Bud Collins, the color commentator of the NBC crew, which accurately summed up Steffi’s hegemony in the match:

“Martina is seeing balls returned that would otherwise be winners against any other player.”

I always have remembered this match as a watershed for Steffi. Up until that point one could not intelligently argue with certainty that she was or was going to be one of the greats. With this victory there was no more doubting Steffi’s greatness.

The other two matches I’m citing have not much to do with the play but how each reacted to the results. Steffi displayed equilibrium to the results, behavior I personally find most becoming. On the other hand Martina displayed a boorishness and arrogance that I would deem off putting.

The first such match was the 1986 US Open SF: where Steffi was the exciting newcomer all of 17 years having won her first tournament in April of that year. And she was facing Martina the 29 year old veteran with her Hall of Fame credentials already well established. The match was a barn burner decided on a third set tiebreaker wherein Martina had to face down three match points. You could tell at the press conference that the reporters were excited and agitated at the near upset and clearly they expected Martina to acknowledge Steffi as a rising star. However Martina was very cavalier in summing up the match from her perspective. She gave out the impression that it was just a routine inevitable win for her, ignoring the closeness of the result. When one exasperated reporter asked her if she was at all nervous when confronting each of the three match points Martina haughtily replied to the effect (I’m paraphrasing from memory):

“No there was no concern. Each of those points were on my serve so it was no big deal. I knew I’d get out of it.”

For her part, when asked for her reaction of almost upsetting Martina and having three match points, Steffi merely replied:

“I guess I’ll have to play better next time.”

I’ve always considered this reaction as the most mature response I’ve ever heard from a female tennis player having endured a close heartbreaking loss especially against a perceived super star. I believe it also displayed sureness not arrogance as if Steffi knew she was in Martina’s league and that her days against her would come.

The other match I would cite was the 1989 US Open final. Martina won the first set rather easily and was up 4-2 in the second set. However, Steffi fought back and the set was tied at 5-5. Then in the eleventh game with Steffi serving she was facing break point. During that point Martina had pinned Steffi out of position forcing her to return an easy put-away lob for Martina. The lob was one of those which would have easily been put away for a winner probably at least 99 times out of a hundred. Inexplicably Martina netted the lob bringing the game back to deuce. That was all she wrote for Martina. Steffi held and then broke Martina to win the set. She won the third set going away at 6-1.

At the press conference Martina was beside herself and very bitter at this loss. She pointed out how lucky Steffi was to hitting so many winners that just caught the line. But her most piteous lament (and paraphrasing again):

“Even so I should have won the match. I flubbed what was virtually match point for me.”

Of course no one was churlish enough to mention that the point might have been a “virtual” match point but still it was not match point’ Had she won the point like she should have she still would have had to serve for the match. I cannot recall Steffi’s reaction to the match so I assume it was non controversial.

There is no denying that Martina Navratilova is one of the all time great female tennis player. However I maintain Steffi was better and I would cite these three matches to support my opinion.
Great post
Agree with you, never had the heart to watch the famous 1986 us open 1/2, perhaps one day

The 1988 Wimbledon Final, I do love this match, don't know what happened near the end of the 1st set, but the rest, the last 2sets, were just insane tennis from Steffi, probably the best I saw her play, because yes Navratilova was actually playing great.

And I really love the 1989 us open final, really entertaining match from a high level, with some crazy winners too.

Just add the 1987 FO final the craziest points from this match were Steffi's topsin backhand winners
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post #2061 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
I happened to have never seen this particular match, only the last few points, was it good? Was it better than Steffi's SF win over Sabatini?
Better, I don't know, but seriously from really high level, crowd involved, some drama, and plenty of backhand winners from Steffi that just disgusted Navralilova
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post #2062 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

^^And no, I am not a spam
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post #2063 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Thanx Djul14, I found the match in on Youtube so I'll watch it later and tell about it. And you should definitely see the 86 US Open semi, it was a GREAT match, lot of drama but also great tennis, with some tremendous shots by both players at the some crucial points. A true pleasure to watch, one of the best between Steffi and Martina IMHO.
I also like their 1991 US Open semi, a contrast of styles with Martina playing some of the best tennis she played in the last years of her career. All the spotlights were for the other semi, which was great, but I think the match between Graf and Martina is unfairly underrated or gets too little attention compared to the other, which was between the American new star and with the new power play, maybe that explains the excess of attention it got (or gets?). I mean it was a great match too, but I don't think it was the BEST match at the Open as some apparently believe, I think it was lacked enough variety in game to be so.

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post #2064 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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^^And no, I am not a spam
May be spamer's spam then!!!

Like all the US open Steffi-Martina encounters for very different reasons.
You have to watch the 86 match despite Steffi losing it, still love how mad she was with herself for losing a close match (Martina trying to pat Steffi's shoulder and Steffi just walking away not realizing that and Martina just shrugging ). Any other teenager would have been happy giving the great Martina such a tough time but not the young Steffi.
I think the 91 US open match got lost in Connors win over Krickstein (hope I am right) but Steffi-Martina match was after that and so did not get the same attention as the first one.
Also, read somewhere that Steffi was sick prior to 89 US open and even asked for tourney officials for a replacement but felt bad when she eventually won after stating she was sick and apologized to Martina at the end (beleive this was in NYT, will try to pull up the reference).
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post #2065 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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...Also, read somewhere that Steffi was sick prior to 89 US open and even asked for tourney officials for a replacement but felt bad when she eventually won after stating she was sick and apologized to Martina at the end (beleive this was in NYT, will try to pull up the reference).
This was the major where she made a lot of New Yorkers mad. After the trophy presentation, I've heard she skipped all the press and duties and parties (no Letterman, Carson or anything) and jumped right on a plane back to Germany. I'd be guessing, but I am guessing Peter had something to do with this. It doesn't sound like Steffi to me, but she did it.

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post #2066 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by alfajeffster View Post
This was the major where she made a lot of New Yorkers mad. After the trophy presentation, I've heard she skipped all the press and duties and parties (no Letterman, Carson or anything) and jumped right on a plane back to Germany. I'd be guessing, but I am guessing Peter had something to do with this. It doesn't sound like Steffi to me, but she did it.
I take it back, it is the year end Virginia Slims Championship in 1989 and not US Open 1989. Below is the link.
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/21/sp...ref=steffigraf

Alfa, I am not sure it just had to do with Peter Graf rather than WTA (or should I say WITA which it was named for a brief period) treating Graf as an outsider at that time. Have to remember Graf was the first non-American to be so dominant after the Evert and Navratilova era and WTA was run mostly as American run organization at that time (correct me if I am wrong). Peter Graf's attitude did not make it easy for Steffi but it was lot more than just that.

No less than SI (saying this since it predominantly is an American sports magazine)published this in 89 quoting an tour official:
It's no secret that when Steffi suddenly started showing up in tournament finals, whipping up on all of our—and the rest of the world's—fresh young things as if they were harmless gnats, the American-dominated women's tennis establishment wasn't exactly thrilled. "You think they didn't see a [potential problem] coming?" says a high-ranking tour official. "They didn't exactly relish the idea of a foreigner owning the game."

Have to say this, one thing Steffi rarely gets any credit for is making the women's global and not just restricted to US. It made easier for players like ASV and Seles many more later on as they no longer were considered outsiders like her.
At least that is my 2 cents on this issue.

Last edited by Stef-fan; May 10th, 2012 at 11:07 PM.
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post #2067 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2012, 03:35 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Stef-fan View Post
May be spamer's spam then!!!

Like all the US open Steffi-Martina encounters for very different reasons.
You have to watch the 86 match despite Steffi losing it, still love how mad she was with herself for losing a close match (Martina trying to pat Steffi's shoulder and Steffi just walking away not realizing that and Martina just shrugging ). Any other teenager would have been happy giving the great Martina such a tough time but not the young Steffi.
I think the 91 US open match got lost in Connors win over Krickstein (hope I am right) but Steffi-Martina match was after that and so did not get the same attention as the first one.
Also, read somewhere that Steffi was sick prior to 89 US open and even asked for tourney officials for a replacement but felt bad when she eventually won after stating she was sick and apologized to Martina at the end (beleive this was in NYT, will try to pull up the reference).
I hadn’t remembered that; but I guess that goes to explain better their attitudes in the ensuing press conference. Steffi having had the chance to calm down and recover from her disappointment of the loss was in the mindset to make the gracious reply. Martina on the other hand possibly thought she was being snubbed by an ungracious newcomer who should have been satisfied with her performance considering she was a newbie on the big tennis stage. Thus Martina was probably offended; and hence her cavalier arrogant demeanor at the press conference. This of course is pure speculation on my part and I bet neither one of them actually recall their respective feelings on that day.
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post #2068 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Stef-fan View Post
I take it back, it is the year end Virginia Slims Championship in 1989 and not US Open 1989. Below is the link.
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/21/sp...ref=steffigraf

Alfa, I am not sure it just had to do with Peter Graf rather than WTA (or should I say WITA which it was named for a brief period) treating Graf as an outsider at that time. Have to remember Graf was the first non-American to be so dominant after the Evert and Navratilova era and WTA was run mostly as American run organization at that time (correct me if I am wrong). Peter Graf's attitude did not make it easy for Steffi but it was lot more than just that.

No less than SI (saying this since it predominantly is an American sports magazine)published this in 89 quoting an tour official:
It's no secret that when Steffi suddenly started showing up in tournament finals, whipping up on all of our—and the rest of the world's—fresh young things as if they were harmless gnats, the American-dominated women's tennis establishment wasn't exactly thrilled. "You think they didn't see a [potential problem] coming?" says a high-ranking tour official. "They didn't exactly relish the idea of a foreigner owning the game."

Have to say this, one thing Steffi rarely gets any credit for is making the women's global and not just restricted to US. It made easier for players like ASV and Seles many more later on as they no longer were considered outsiders like her.
At least that is my 2 cents on this issue.
This is one thing people really miss about Steffi Graf. She never liked or ever wanted to be a celebrity, star, or representative to the media for the WTA or anyone else. The WTA felt that she dropped the torch held for years by Evert and Navratilova. They felt it was her responsibility and job to pick up the duties of promoting the game. She also didn't fit in (and yes, I'm going to say it) with the predominantly lesbian crowd that ran the WTA or want anything to do with them. She kept to herself in the locker room, and wherever possible, demanded private dressing rooms and special considerations for her privacy. Chris Evert, in particular, said more than once that she was disappointed that Steffi didn't pick up what Evert felt was where she left off.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #2069 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2012, 02:57 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Have you checked these matches on Youtube?
1995 US Open Final:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cz7vu0NXwk

1987 2nd Round:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EQHEX2kSCc
1987 US QF:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDNbHtKi600

1998 Eastbourne QF:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBPp77XDZmQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB3CNmhQcIk

1999 Evert Cup Final:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmPm7gJSd6g

My friend downloaded some videos for me in the past,but I couldn't see the ball better in the 95us final match which is in my previous download box.If this latest 95us final is in better quality,please let me know. Due to my very low internet connection I can't download large files myself.

Steffi Graf - My Best: "Steffi is the goddess of Tennis" : John McEnroe
"She let her racket do the talking. I've always looked up to her and the way she approached the game" : Pete Sampras
"In my opinion she 's the best lady that has ever played" : Andre Agassi
"She's one of the greatest players, maybe even greatest" : Richard Krajicek
"Steffi is the best all around player of all-time, regardless of surfaces" : Martina Navratilova
"Steffi is definitely the greatest singles player ever" : Billie Jean King
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post #2070 of 6247 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

steffi will playing against martina hingis in 2 weeks in taiwan for the " rise of legend 2012 "
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