Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2 - Page 175 - TennisForum.com
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post #2611 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Navratilova sez: "Hey, she probably put money on all the horses, just so she could say she picked a winner!"

Steffi sez: "Nope. I even managed to pick Orb before his odds shortened. I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am!" (To clarify, I am just making that up.)

Jaz has inherited some of her mom's sense of humor if she is not even 10 years old and is picking a horse called Unlimited Budget. Funny on many different levels.
I was thinking exactly the same thing.

By the way, I found this tweet written by a BBC radio tennis commentator. Interesting.

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post #2612 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2013, 01:59 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Posted Hilton Head articles in the 1986 thread.
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post #2613 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2013, 03:26 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I always LOVE it whenever they mentioned any greatness about Steffi while watching the ATP matches. Commentator Rob Koenig did just that yesterday when Federer was leading 5-1 in the first set in just about 15 mins (he eventually won the 1st set in 19 mins). Koenig said, "well, we haven't had someone winning this fast for quite a while. It used to be pretty common for Steffi, back in those days. She just used her low sliced backhand, great forehand and powerful serve to the max. Remember the French Open final? How long did it take her to win that one? Was it just about 35 mins?"
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post #2614 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2013, 08:55 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by tennisfan2808 View Post
Was it just about 35 mins?"
Akshully, it was 32 minutes. Poor Natasha, just a really nervous kid in a really high pressure situation against the worst possible opponent.

And when we get to the U.S. Clay Championships tournament in the 1986 thread, there's one match time that is a little on the dubious side (especially the first set), but if it's for real, just wow.
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post #2615 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2013, 09:00 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Meanwhile, returning to 1988, Steffi has been tearing through Berlin. She didn't often crow about her form, but when she did, it was no bluff. After losing twice to Gaby, she went home and worked on her forehand, probably hitting bloody thousands of them, to use Stolle's phrase.

GRAF FACES HANIKA TODAY
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Sunday, May 15, 1988
Compiled From Wire Reports

Top-seeded Steffi Graf eliminated Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, and Helena Sukova defeated Silvia Hanika in the semifinals of the West German Open.

Graf blasted Kohde-Kilsch, 6-1, 6-0, 39 minutes. Sukova defeated Hanika, 6-2, 6-3.

Graf will play Sukova today for her third consecutive West German title. Sukova is ranked seventh in the world.

Graf, ranked No. 1 in the world, defeated Kohde-Kilsch for the third time in 1988.

"Claudia lacked energy and fighting spirit," Graf said after the match. "I think I am in the best form of my life."

Kohde-Kilsch said nothing worked Saturday.

"Everytime I tried to get something going, it went wrong," Kohde-Kilsch said. "Steffi has become much stronger."
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post #2616 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Yes - you are right, Ms Anthropic - the FO 88 final lasted a mere 32 mins! Actually I hardly got to watch all those matches where Steffi pummeled her opponents 6-1 6-0 or 6-0 6-1 in 35-40 mins. I wonder HOW on earth she did that. And not only once or twice but numerous times too.. gosh.
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post #2617 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2013, 12:27 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Actually I hardly got to watch all those matches where Steffi pummeled her opponents 6-1 6-0 or 6-0 6-1 in 35-40 mins. I wonder HOW on earth she did that. And not only once or twice but numerous times too.. gosh.
Some of them are a case of the opponent giving up. Either out-right tanking ("I know I won't win this, so why bother to try?") or being so over-matched and embarrassed about it ("Please get me off this court quickly!"). Some of them, especially from 1986 and 1987, are a case of a modern power-based game meeting a more finesse- and/or moonball-based tennis game.

But some of them are the real deal, when the opponent is actually a good player and trying, but everything is working for Steffi. There's a great quote from Patty Fendick from the 1988 USO: "I've seen her on days when she makes an opponent look like they never played tennis before."
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post #2618 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2013, 12:37 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I don't know if Steffi's "no one could have beaten me" was a not-so-subtle dig at Navratilova, who had been making similar statements about her own game for most of the year, even after losing. At any rate, I am sure this did not sit well with Team Navratilova, and things would eventually become somewhat heated. At least Steffi got to practice her speech for the French Open.

Graf defeats Sukova
Houston Chronicle
Monday, MAY 16, 1988
Houston Chronicle News Services

WEST BERLIN - Steffi Graf defeated Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia 6-3, 6-2 to win the West German women's tennis championships for the third straight year.

Graf, ranked No. 1 in the world, was in complete control of the match, dispatching No. 7 Sukova in 54 minutes for her 23rd Grand Prix victory.

"I've never been in such good form," the jubilant Graf said following her victory. "The way I was playing today, no one could have beaten me.

"I played my very best. It is a good omen for the Paris tournament (French Open)."

Graf apologized to the crowd in her native country that it wasn't a longer match: "I am sorry it went so fast."

Sukova admitted she had been outclassed and said she never expected to be able to defeat the West German star.

"Steffi just plays too fast for all of us," she said. "She had a winning shot from every position."

Sukova broke Graf's service in the first game and held her own for a 2-0 lead before Graf took control of the match. But she was unable to keep up the momentum under Graf's barrage of strokes.
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post #2619 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Some of them are a case of the opponent giving up. Either out-right tanking ("I know I won't win this, so why bother to try?") or being so over-matched and embarrassed about it ("Please get me off this court quickly!"). Some of them, especially from 1986 and 1987, are a case of a modern power-based game meeting a more finesse- and/or moonball-based tennis game.

But some of them are the real deal, when the opponent is actually a good player and trying, but everything is working for Steffi. There's a great quote from Patty Fendick from the 1988 USO: "I've seen her on days when she makes an opponent look like they never played tennis before."
That's a nice quote from Patty Fendick (I remember she was one of the few players who actually won more games off Steffi at 88 USO, Steffi won 4 and 2 I think, based on my memory). I remember also another quote from someone (I cant remember who) which was published in World Tennis mag also in 1988. "Steffi didnt just beat you. She dispatched you." I was so young then I didnt even know what "dispatch" meant then. Haha...
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post #2620 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 18th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by tennisfan2808 View Post
That's a nice quote from Patty Fendick (I remember she was one of the few players who actually won more games off Steffi at 88 USO, Steffi won 4 and 2 I think, based on my memory). I remember also another quote from someone (I cant remember who) which was published in World Tennis mag also in 1988. "Steffi didnt just beat you. She dispatched you." I was so young then I didnt even know what "dispatch" meant then. Haha...
Posting the 1986 U.S. Clay Courts Championships articles (also did 1986 Amelia Island). The match against Vermaak is particularly interesting.
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post #2621 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2013, 11:46 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by tennisfan2808 View Post
Yes - you are right, Ms Anthropic - the FO 88 final lasted a mere 32 mins! Actually I hardly got to watch all those matches where Steffi pummeled her opponents 6-1 6-0 or 6-0 6-1 in 35-40 mins. I wonder HOW on earth she did that. And not only once or twice but numerous times too.. gosh.
Her power and level of athleticsm was new age and seemingly from another planet for women at the time (Navratilova somewhat matched her in athleticsm, but not in power). That probably explains the alot of such lopsided scores even for really good players. It took awhile for the other women to get used to facing such power and physicality and implementing it themselves into their games to close the game. Steffi truly took womens tennis to a new level at the time though.
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post #2622 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2013, 10:41 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

http://www.migrosmagazin.ch/menschen...vorgeschwaermt
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post #2623 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2013, 11:04 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Translation please!
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post #2624 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2013, 02:02 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Translation please!
Let me take this moment to whine about translating something from German to English that was first translated from English to German. All kinds of inaccuracies are inevitable.

Secondly, let me laugh that little Miss I-Lost-My-Passport/Wallet/Keys/Any-Important-Item has allegedly turned into a model of organization.

Migros Magazin
21 May 2013

Q: Is it true that Heinz Günthardt, Stefanie's coach at the time, brought you two together in 1999?

Graf: Yes, Heinz was the middle man.

Agassi: Yes, he was helpful ... (grins)

Graf: Many coaches busy themselves as procurers ... (laughs)

Q: Apropos of Heinz Günthardt, he is participating in your first tennis exhibition in Switzerland. What can the spectators expect at this event?

Agassi: I don't yet exactly know what the format will be. But we will be playing a little mixed doubles ...

Graf: ... And playing doubles. We start the day playing with juniors from the area. Mansour Bahrami, Henri Leconte, Heinz Günthardt and Amélie Mauresmo are in on it. That's a fun troupe, you can expect shots that you never see at tennis tournaments. Bahrami and Leconte are the Harlem Globetrotters of tennis!

Agassi: You will see good tennis and a lot of fun. We certainly don't take it so seriously anymore, but we are still proud of our play.

Q: Which do you prefer, playing with or against each other?

Graf: For me, quite clearly together!

Agassi: (thinks about it somewhat longer and then looks at his wife) Yes, that's fun. She still runs so well. That's why I always worry that she will hurt herself when I'm on the other side of the net.

Graf: True, we both worry about each other a lot. We also want to have fun in the process, and when we play against each other, there is too much pressure.

Q: During your professional years, you both played in Switzerland. Stefanie still holds the record with six victories in Zürich. Andre, you played in Basel. What memories do you have of Switzerland?

Agassi: My most beautiful memory was probably in 1986. I was looking for a tournament in between two other tournaments, and I decided on Basel, although I knew nothing about Basel, not even where it was exactly. It went super for me, I reached the quarterfinals and beat a couple of good players. I felt for the first time that I can hold my own against the better players, too.

Graf: I have many tremendous memories of Zürich -- on and apart from the court. That was my favorite time of the year, because it was indoors and I preferred to play indoors. But probably I have even more good memories away from the court. I flew on a helicopter in the mountains. I love the mountains, the lake, and the food. When we were getting to know each other, I was always enthusiastic about Zürich with Andre. I even thought that I might settle down in the area sometime.

Agassi: Early on I promised her that I would go back to Zürich with her one day, if she stays with me.

Q: But then you were dragged to Las Vegas...

Graf: (laughs) Yes, a little bit further away than I thought.

Q: Never problems with the desert climate?

Graf: No. I'm certainly no sun worshiper. I don't especially like the heat. But you don't spend a lot of time outside when it's hot. In the summer we are often in Europe or otherwise travelling, because the children aren't in school then.

Q: You are athletes. So you wouldn't yet feel advancing age like the rest of us.

Graf: But yet a lot is more difficult.

Agassi: It is more difficult, but when something is important to you, you push on through. Sport is a part of our lives. We know our bodies and are rather efficient concerning our fitness routines. I do fitness training four or five days per week -- endurance and strength. And when I have matches, I spend a couple of weeks on the tennis court. because it's nice to prepare for something and take the time for it.

Q: Your two children, Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle, are, interestingly enough, absolutely not enthusiastic about tennis.

Graf: They love all kinds of sports. Jaden's passion is baseball, but when he's on the golf course, he also likes it. Or basketball. We do a lot together, like snowboarding for example, and it's fun for everyone. They inherited our energy.

Agassi: True, they are very active in sports. And it's also important how we feed/support ourselves. There our children can learn the most from us.

Q: Can you set an example with your children from your own childhood, which you sacrificed for pro sports?

Graf: Apart from tennis, not much time remained for certain things that we prefer now. We ourselves wouldn't have gone for snowboarding, the children brought us to it. Jaz likes to ride. Now I've gotten on a horse once again. For the first time in a long time.

Agassi: Until we had children, I always had the feeling I was missing something in life. Not anymore. Because I can spend my time with my children, which many parents can't do, because their work doesn't allow it.

Q: After the end of your active tennis career, a new life began for you. Does everything revolve around your children today?

Graf: The family is at the center. What surprised me is how active the children are. After school, there's homework, baseball, dancing, painting, piano...

Agassi: ... then dinner, bath, and bed.

Graf: There is always something going on. It's a challenge to coordinate everything along with my work for my charity. I try to deal with that in the morning, when they are in school. But it's great when you can put the children in the top spot.

Agassi: I'm also busier than ever. Between businesses and charities, you constantly have to adjust your appointment schedule. Life is a constant balancing out.

Q: Children in general play an important role in your life. The exhibition in Zug benefits Stefanie's children's relief organization "Children For Tomorrow." Andre operates a school in Las Vegas. Why have you focused your charitable work on children?

Agassi: I find it a simple manner to relate to children. Their innocence speaks to me, and their future is still so unbelievably important. How you can help them is somewhat more complicated. Education is the vehicle for their future. That I landed up in our hometown of Las Vegas with the Agassi Prep School was the result of a long process.

Q: How are the roles allocated at home? Which of you is the more strict and who is more like your own parents?

Agassi: Every generation spends a lot of time on giving their children what they themselves didn't have. And thereby you forget to give them what you did have. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses. Steffi's strength is certainly her talent for organization. She is always a step ahead. And you need that if you want to keep pace in our family. I am the one who loses patience sooner. And the children know when my patience is wearing thin.

Graf: We are in tune with each other. We communicate constantly.

Q: Is that why the relationship works?

Agassi: You need goals and interests that go together, and that's the case with us. Time with family and friends is important for both of us. We are good for each other because our differences complement each other. But we are also similar to each other and attend to each other.

Q: Wouldn't a coaching job appeal to you?

Graf: I always still like to have a look at a game, and I'm involved in the Adidas Team Program. They come for two weeks at a time to Las Vegas, in order to prepare for the hardcourt season. It's fun to help the younger generation and pass on experiences and tips. Sometimes it doesn't even have to do with what happens on the court, but rather what's around it. But in order to coach someone, you have to travel 20 to 25 weeks, and we aren't willing to do that.

Q: Professional tennis is a serious affair. Therefore the question: Aside from the clowning interludes of Bahrami and Leconte, what else makes you laugh?

Graf: (looks to her husband for help) What is that TV series called again? "Bang Theory"?

Agassi: Yes, "The Big Bang Theory" -- it's funny.

Q: Apropos of perspective: Roger Federer will one day retire. You already have that step behind you. Will he have to reckon with a shock then, or what advice can you give him for the time after his active career?

Agassi: We have seen with others that it can be difficult. But with us it went rather well. If I had known how good I would do, I probably would have stopped sooner.

Graf: Roger has such a phenomenal career. So many memories and experiences. Probably it will surprise him what else there is in life. He already has two small children, a wife, a foundation -- he has a full life, it will hardly be boring for him.

Q: Can he still improve this at this late point in time in his career?

Agassi: Roger can't surprise me anymore -- only further impress me. His problem is having to compare himself with the best player of all time. Can he be better at 32 than the best of all time? He set this standard.

Graf: He manages his strength very well, and prepares well for the big events. He knows when and how he can bring out his maximum. His career is unbelievably remarkable.

Q: Previously, your perfect days were defined by victories. How does a perfect day look for you today?

Agassi: Time with the children, with friends, to achieve something at work, to fully devote your body and spirit. When you are surrounded by everything that is good and dear to you, you have a marvelous day.

Last edited by Ms. Anthropic; May 21st, 2013 at 09:02 PM.
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post #2625 of 6040 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Steffi and Andre on BBC5 on the eve of FO:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sjhkm
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