Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2 - Page 165 -
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post #2461 of 5946 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Thanks for the excellent reads Amy!

Andre is apparently headed to Mumbai for a private event tomorrow. Not sure if Steffi is coming as well. Only if they were headed here to Delhi...
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post #2462 of 5946 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 2012, 12:53 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Video of Steffi and Andre at the Toy drive (think it might be available only for a short time):

grafan 92: Might be only Andre, no mention of Steffi and the kids accompanying him.
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post #2463 of 5946 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2012, 07:12 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Nice pic...
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post #2464 of 5946 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2012, 12:25 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
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post #2465 of 5946 (permalink) Old Dec 27th, 2012, 08:41 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Thanks for the little updates
Hope everybody is having good holidays ! I am taking profit of it to re watch some (old school) tennis
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post #2466 of 5946 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Found this little behind-the-scenes vignette. Of course, she was probably exposing umpteen people to rubella at the time, so maybe it would have been wiser to heed the medical advice....

The Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Ray Wilson

Paul McNamee knocked on the door of Steffi Graf's Burswood suite with his heart pounding and a desert in his mouth.

As he made the long walk from the Burswood Dome courts, through the tunnel, up the stairs and into the lift to the hotel rooms, McNamee was desperate, pessimistic and anxious. The result of his mission would determine whether Hopman Cup IV (December 27, 1991 to January 3, 1992) was a financial success or a spectacular flop.

McNamee was beside himself earlier in 1991 when he completed the biggest recruiting coup of the cup. Graf and Boris Becker were a match made in heaven for the tennis promoter of the mixed event, two leviathans of the courts who had never played alongside each other. Germany went berserk at the prospect. There was always a romantic notion in Germany that the king and queen of tennis might one day share the same throne. Television network SAT 1 signed a six-figure deal with the Hopman Cup, providing live coverage to Germany of each match involving Becker and Graf.

"It was such a big deal in Germany," McNamee said. "They had never been on court together and it was by far the biggest television deal we had ever done. It was well into six figures, a massive deal. It was really big. For Germans, it was something like the Bobby Riggs, Billy Jean King battle of the sexes, it transcended tennis."

But the terms of the contract would be met only if Becker and Graf appeared together on the same side of the net in the tournament. Germany enjoyed a bye in the first round and then met France in the quarter-finals, when Graf downed Julie Halard in straight sets and Becker made short work of Henri Leconte. Graf, though, was feeling off colour and bailed out of the mixed doubles, a dead rubber.

In the semi-finals, Graf beat Czech's Helena Sukova in the first set but then lost the second before illness again forced her to retire. Becker beat Karel Novacek, and McNamee found himself outside Graf's door because if she didn't make the live mixed doubles, there was no deal. No play, no pay.

"There were minders everywhere when I knocked on the door, and eventually Steffi came to see me," McNamee said. "I said, 'Steffi, how you feeling'? "She said, 'No good'. I told her Boris had just won and that we'd be starting the mixed in 20 minutes. I told her how important it was that she played and she said she'd think about it."

McNamee's stomach was churning as he went to the hotel lobby where he kicked the patterns off the carpet for 20 fidgety minutes. When Graf emerged from the lift with her party, McNamee blended into the wallpaper as she started her walk to the stadium. But just as the Graf entourage was 60 metres from the Dome's entrance, an almighty din broke out. Suddenly, McNamee thought, this is not good.

"There was a lot of arguing," McNamee recalled. "It was about whether she should play or not and the trainer obviously thought she shouldn't. It was very heated."

McNamee was frozen to the spot as the verbal battle unfolded but much to his everlasting relief, Graf kept walking towards the entrance.

"It was a big deal to see Boris and Steffi walk out on court together. They lost in straight sets and Boris did a great job in trying to carry her, but she was really sick," he said. "She knew what it would do for the tournament if she had withdrawn. It was a gutsy gesture against advice within her camp."
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post #2467 of 5946 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

^^Thanks, remember hearing about this story and reading about this Hopman Cup and the German fiasco.

Last edited by djul14; Dec 30th, 2012 at 02:17 PM.
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post #2468 of 5946 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 04:48 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I remember that year... I was so sad that Steffi was sick, because had she been well, it was a sure bet that Germany would have won the Hopman Cup in 1992. Glad that she came back the following year with Michael Stich and they won it.
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post #2469 of 5946 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 01:12 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Posting these here as well, because some of these have priceless drollery. "I asked the guy..."

Graf, Navratilova Gain Slims Semis
February 14, 1992
Neil Milbert
Chicago Tribune

Top-seeded Steffi Graf glided smoothly into the semifinals of the Virginia Slims of Chicago tennis tournament Thursday afternoon. But 11-time titlist Martina Navratilova had to rise above some night-time turbulence in the UIC Pavilion.

It took a second-set tie-breaker for the second-seeded defending champion to get the best of her friend and doubles partner, Pam Shriver, 6-2, 7-6. In the tie-breaker, Navratilova went back to playing the way she did in the first set and won 7-2.

Graf defeated Manon Bollegraf 6-2, 6-1, punctuating the performance with a 103-mile-an-hour ace for match point.

``I asked the guy what the hardest serve was so far, and he told me 104, so I went for it,`` said the No. 2-ranked player in the world. ``I almost made it.

``Bollegraf started off really well. She went for her shots and didn`t miss. It took me a few games to get into it.``

Once Graf got ``into it`` Bollegraf quickly was out of it. Graf complemented a strong serve with an assortment of well-placed strokes. She was especially effective with her backhand.

Unlike Graf, Navratilova didn`t have the luxury of indulging in impulsive experiments such as serving a rocket for the fun of it. She faltered after a powerful start and had to surmount second-set deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2. It wasn`t until game 11 she managed to take the lead.

``It was sort of an up-and-down match,`` said Navratilova, trying for an unprecedented 158th singles victory. ``I wasn`t as consistent as I`d like. It`s difficult playing her. We know each other`s game so well.``

Nineteen of Navratilova`s points came on passing shots, most of which were on return of service. Her backhand play and 74 percent success ratio on first serves also were important ingredients.

``Martina started incredibly well,`` said eighth-seeded Shriver, who has a 3-38 lifetime record against Navratilova and has lost to her 28 straight times. ``I was pleased I didn`t become overly intimidated by her start. She plays the same style as I do, but she`s just that much better.``

Navratilova and Graf will have Friday off, then engage in semifinal matches Saturday.

Graf will meet the winner of Friday afternoon`s clash between third-seeded Jana Novotna and seventh-seeded Amy Frazier.

Navratilova`s semifinal foe will be the winner of Friday night`s match between fourth-seeded Zina Garrison and sixth-seeded Lori McNeil. Garrison was last year`s runner-up and the Chicago Slims champion in 1989.

Frazier and McNeil had to work hard Thursday. Both succeeded by coming on strong in the final set, McNeil beating Ginger Helgeson 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 and Frazier defeating Debbie Graham 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Shriver was asked to speculate on the outcome if Navratilova and Graf advance to Sunday afternoon`s final as expected.

She hedged. ``Steffi obviously is playing very well,`` said Shriver, alluding to the fact that Graf has lost only three games in her four tournament sets.

``But Martina is a lefty and can attack that backhand really well. When you try to find weaknesses with Martina you have to think a lot.``

The top-seeded doubles team of Navratilova and Shriver is another enigma for opponents. Immediately after their match the adversaries became allies and defeated their quarterfinal foes Peanut Harper and Cammy McGregor 6-4, 6-2.

Also advancing to the semis was the second-seeded team of Garrison and Chicago`s Katrina Adams, 6-4, 6-1 winners over Mary Lou Daniels and Rosalyn Fairbank-Nideffer.
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post #2470 of 5946 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 01:17 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

This one might well be one of the most wry Graf articles. As Jim Sarni quipped, Steffi Graf might be ranked #2, but "she's certainly more fun to write about than Monica Madonna."

TENNIS; Finally, Graf Gets To Start Her Year
February 16, 1992
New York Times

CHICAGO, Feb. 15— Another new year, another new catastrophe for Steffi Graf.

"At least, the year is finally starting for me," she said Friday, lounging in her hotel suite here after an evening of watching John Malkovich emote onstage. Tonight, she was to play Jana Novotna in a semifinal of the Virginia Slims of Chicago, her first tennis tournament of 1992.

"I had such a bad start last year that I had no problems in motivating myself for this one," said the 22-year-old German, who began 1991 with a disappointing quarterfinal loss at the Australian Open to Novotna, then eventually lost the No. 1 world ranking to Monica Seles last March.

Graf went so far in her pursuit of a fresh start that she dismissed her longtime mentor, Pavel Slozil, to start from scratch with a new coach, Heinz Gundhardt.

First, the Flu

"I was training hard, I was even lifting weights," she said. "I really meant for this year to start different."

Graf, mistress of malady, began 1992 in typical fashion. Four days after a complete physical checkup that informed her she had finally achieved maximum resistance to the allergies and viral infections that seem to follow her around the globe like an unwanted personal aura, she came down with a maximum version of the flu on a flight from Germany to Australia, where her new year was scheduled to begin.

By the time her flight landed in Perth, her ears were blocked and her equilibrium had vanished. After she played several Hopman Cup matches, the doctors ordered her to rest, and the rumor mill traced her illness to several dramatic sources.

"They said I was sick because I was depressed and not happy with myself and tennis and felt so locked into my life," said Graf, who holds 10 Grand Slam singles titles. "No kidding, I'm not a person who jumps out of bed in the morning and says how great everything is, but the truth was, I got the flu from my brother. Simple."

And as soon as she recovered from that, she came down with a harsh case of the German measles. She still can't figure out where she caught that.

"I was feeling better, and then one night I felt a bump on the back of my head and I started getting red marks on my chest," she recalled. "But then there were eight bumps, so I knew I couldn't have banged my head that many times and not known it."

Australian physicians, unsure of just what ailed her, sent Graf home to Germany, where her mother, meeting for her at the airport, almost didn't recognize her.

"My hands and joints were swollen and everything hurt so much that I was walking like a very old lady," Graf said. "My mother took one look at me and said, 'What have you done to yourself now?' "

Once the measles subsided, Graf got back to the business of starting her year with a new coach, new methods, and something of a new attitude. Sequestered in Florida with Gundhardt, she submitted to a practice regimen that at first was nearly as painful as her measles had been.

Moving Around the Court

"He has a different way of doing things from Pavel and me; he had me hitting from the corners for 15 minutes, and then hitting from the net for a half-hour straight," said Graf, who is continually bombarded by suggestions that she volley more often.

The latest such adviser was a fan who spoke with her as she signed autographs during a Kraft Tour promotion here on Thursday.

"Come to the net more," urged the fan, and received a classic Graf shrug in reply. "Come to Chicago more," he added. "That's better," she said.

But Graf hasn't been able to dodge Gunthardt so easily.

"He doesn't listen too much to what I say," she said. "If I say I can't do it, he tells me I can. I'm the kind of person who needs to be pushed, and sometimes Pavel was too close to me to push hard enough, I think. Heinz doesn't just push once, he keeps at me."

The changes he has imparted to Graf's game are, so far, "small differences, but they are there," she said.

"I'm using my hips more to bring power to the serve, and I'm hitting my forehand a little earlier," she added.

As for her volley: "I know what the right thing to do is, but I don't always make myself do it."

In Chicago, Graf has kept to herself, as usual, accompanied to Bulls games and the theater by her mother. The stiff shoulder that prohibited most volleys and overheads and forced a myriad of "tablets and injections just to make it through Wimbledon" last spring is gone, as is wrist strain that made it "hard to even hold the racquet" last fall as she claimed three straight tournament victories after her loss to Martina Navratilova in the United States Open semifinals.

"At last, all is fine -- so far," Graf said. Navratilova Rallies

The city that named a day in her honor only Wednesday seemed on the verge of retracting the welcome mat Saturday.

Martina Navratilova's quest for a record 158th singles title as well as a record 12th title at the Virginia Slims of Chicago almost came to a premature halt in the semifinals this afternoon against Lori McNeil. But after being "just killed" in the opening set, Navratilova regained her composure, broke McNeil in the first game of the second set, and emerged with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

"It was like she had a radar and knew what I was going to do even before I did," Navratilova said of McNeil's first-set assault. "But when I broke her to start the second, that broke the spell and I was back in the match."

Navratilova, 35 years old, shares the record for most career victories, 157, with her retired contemporary, Chris Evert.
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post #2471 of 5946 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 01:19 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Steffi lives it up - New Graf steps out in style
Chicago Sun-Times
Sunday, February 16, 1992
Len Ziehm

Steffi Graf's first visit to Chicago wasn't memorable. Many of the people who put on the Virginia Slims of Chicago tournament didn't even remember she was here in 1986.

"I was a much different person then," Graf said. "I was by myself, and I walked the streets a lot."

That Graf played only doubles, pairing with Gabriela Sabatini. They reached the final before losing to the then-famous "Twin Towers" of 6-1 1/2 Claudia Kohde-Kilsch and 6-2 Helena Sukova. Graf also was starting with a new coach, Pavel Slozil, at that tournament.

The Steffi Graf visiting for this Chicago Slims - in what well could be her last appearance here - is a different person indeed.

Instead of walking the streets alone, she is seeing the sights. All the sights.

On Monday, it was the Art Institute; on Tuesday, the Bulls' game; on Thursday, the Steppenwolf Theater to see John Malkovich in "A Slip of the Tongue." She also found "a couple of nice restaurants."

"I watch a lot of basketball matches," she said. After watching the Bulls, she acknowledged Michael Jordan "really nailed 'em."

That's hardly a comment you would expect from an athlete portrayed by the international media as insular and one-dimensional.

The player who held the world's No. 1 ranking longer than anyone else - man or woman - does guard her privacy, a lesson learned with difficulty in Europe after her father was charged in a paternity suit by a German model. She calls the German press "horrible."

While she fulfils her media commitments, she makes no effort to enhance her charisma.

"I do not care about public images," she said. "I do not work on this at all."

Graf, though, is not one-dimensional. Driven, yes.

She loves photography, skiing, movies and impressionist art. She enjoys all music, but especially Phil Collins and Bruce Springsteen. She enjoys reading, primarily works of German authors. She has three dogs.

Though she has no steady boyfriend, she has been known to enjoy the company of men.

Vogue magazine used her as a model, but she isn't likely to pursue that employment area.

"I saw Cindy Crawford on TV," she said. "There's a long way to go (for me)."

Still, her father once reported that Playboy magazine offered $750,000 if Graf would pose nude.

As for tennis, she admits to being "jealous" of Martina Navratilova's approaching a record 158 singles championships. But she has no plans to chase that mark.

At 22, Graf has 61 titles. Navratilova is 35. Graf doesn't think she will be playing that long.

She isn't so driven by tennis that she lives on the court, like many of her rivals who play both singles and doubles. Navratilova always has done that. Graf stopped playing regular doubles three years ago.

The only thing similar about the Graf of 1986 and the Graf of this week is that she again is breaking in a new coach. Heinz Gunthardt, an affable former Davis Cup star for Switzerland, has replaced Slozil.

Gunthardt has no coaching experience, having spent his time recently doing television work and writing in Europe. Gunthardt lives with his wife and two young daughters in Zurich, a three-hour car ride from the Grafs' German residence in Bruhl.

"The father (Peter Graf) called me before the ( Virginia Slims Championships) to see if I could come for a few days of sparring," Gunthardt said. "Afterward, he called again and wanted me to go to Australia with them."

Graf got sick at the Australian Open. A case of rubella, the German measles, left her bedridden for two weeks. That's the only reason she competed here.

Normally, Graf would have played the warmup tournaments for the year's first Grand Slam - the Australian Open - then the Australian and the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

After that, she would move to her American residence in Boca Raton, Fla., where she lives in a house with her parents in an adjoining villa. All are surrounded by dense palm trees and a driveway usually lined with sports cars.

Chicago would be a rest week for her first American tournament, the Virginia Slims of Florida in Boca Raton. There would be no need to play an indoor tournament in between all those outdoor ones.

Graf, though, needed competition this year after missing the Australian swing and Tokyo.

Whether she plays Chicago again is doubtful, but the week did give Gunthardt his first close look at the woman who was ranked No. 1 for 186 weeks in a row - ending on March 11, 1991, when Monica Seles took over.

"Steffi likes to work," Gunthardt said. "Even if it's early, she's there and ready to go. That's very nice. Sometimes, she expects too much of herself."

They practiced 45 minutes twice a day here, usually at Mid-Town Tennis Club. "Then we did our own thing," Gunthardt said. He will be part of the Graf entourage at only about half the tournaments. The only other member of that entourage this week has been Graf's mother, Heidi.

"Steffi doesn't need a coach every day of the year," Gunthardt said. "Your input comes across better if you don't see each other all the time."

He won't comment on the coaching work of Slozil and said he will be paid a flat salary regardless of Graf's record on the court.

"I'm a small piece of the puzzle," he said. "Obviously, I'd like her to win tournaments. It'll be challenging to work with her. My goals are to do the best I can, even if she doesn't win. Her goals are more black and white."

Such as being No. 1.

"I was disappointed I couldn't play the Australian," she said.

"I practiced hard before it. But I'm really eager right now because this is my first tournament in 2 1/2 months, and I'm 100 percent fit."
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post #2472 of 5946 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 05:31 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Will read it later, thanks Ms. Anthropic.

Yesterday, there was the portrait previously aired on NRW (or something...), remember ?
But this time it was on ARD (Nb 1 channel), and I missed it, I know it was aired afterwards because I saw a tweet from Barabara Rittner
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post #2473 of 5946 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 07:10 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Will read it later, thanks Ms. Anthropic.

Yesterday, there was the portrait previously aired on NRW (or something...), remember ?
But this time it was on ARD (Nb 1 channel), and I missed it, I know it was aired afterwards because I saw a tweet from Barabara Rittner
Is it the one mentioned in this link?
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post #2474 of 5946 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 09:29 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

^^yes it is !
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post #2475 of 5946 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Interesting documentary. You can see Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Gφrges

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."

Good Luck
Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki N. Petrova M. Hingis
T. Paszek A. Chakvetadze K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova A. Myskina
GNTM 2015
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