Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
It would have made such a fun advertising campaign, Steffi racing to finish a match while the pizza man races to deliver the pizza...
GRAF, BECKER CONTINUE TO ROLL AT WIMBLEDON
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Saturday, June 25, 1988
Steffi Graf and Boris Becker have turned the first week of Wimbledon into their own cabaret.
The West German stars continued their perfect tours of duty yesterday. After three rounds, Graf, 19, and Becker, 20, have yet to lose a set.
Graf, the top seed among the women, defeated American Terry Phelps on Centre Court, 6-3, 6-1, yesterday. A short time later, Becker, seeded sixth among the men, stepped onto Court No. 2, where he eliminated American Sammy Giammalva, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4.
It is becoming increasingly evident that Graf, bidding for her first Wimbledon crown, is headed for a rematch with Martina Navratilova in the women's final. Becker, meanwhile, has set his sights on his third Wimbledon title.
Yesterday's victory could be termed a marathon for Graf, who needed 50 minutes to defeat Phelps. Generally, Graf could order a pizza before a match and be finishing off her opponent when it arrived.
Graf needed only 34 minutes to win her second-round match against Karine Quentrec of France in this tournament, and at the French Open earlier this month, she required only 32 minutes to defeat Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union for the championship.
"I agree, I haven't been having a tough opponent or competition," Graf said, "but I'm sure it's going to come."
Graf and Navratilova - who is seeking a record ninth Wimbledon singles title and a record seventh in a row - seem to be on a collision course to meet in the final for the second consec utive year. But Graf, who already has won the first two legs of the Grand Slam - the Australian and French Opens - this season, won't dare peek ahead.
"I haven't focused on that," she said, "and I will not focus on it. That (matchup) is not the case yet."
Neither will Graf admit to feeling the pressure building.
"Martina has won (Wimbledon) so many times, and Chris (Evert) has won. There isn't much pressure on me. I don't worry about it. I still have many years to come if I don't win it this year."
As for Becker, he had some trouble with Giammalva, winning a tie-break in the first set before pressing on to another victory with the help of 17 aces. Now he is growing confident that he can regain the title he won in 1985 and 1986.
"I've had 50 aces in three matches," he said. "There's not much more you can do to improve that. I have to just keep it the way it is.
"On grass, how you play depends upon how good your serve is working. And at the moment, I think it's as good as it's been in a long time."
Despite the fact that he was on the court for 2 1/2 hours yesterday, he said he never felt he was in danger of losing.
"It took a long time," he said, "but I don't think (Giammalva) was ever in a position to really beat me. It was always me getting in position to break his serve. Mine was pretty strong."
Becker's chances of recapturing the title increased when John McEnroe was knocked out of the tournament by Wally Masur of Australia on Thursday. However, Becker could face a tough test in the quarterfinals if form holds and he meets defending champion Pat Cash.
Cash routed fellow Aussie John Fitzgerald, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, yesterday on Centre Court and later called it "my court."
Ivan Lendl, top seed among the men, struggled for almost four hours before escaping Dutchman Michiel Schapers in five sets, three of which went to tie- breaks. The scores were 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1.
Lendl never has won a Wimbledon title and doesn't like playing on grass. But after Schapers boomed a service winner to beat him in the fourth-set tie- break, Lendl broke serve twice in the final set before closing out the match with a service winner of his own.
"I felt, in the fourth set, he was getting tired and having more trouble with his serve," said Lendl, who reached the fourth round of the tournament for the sixth straight time. "In the fifth set, it really showed."
Americans Tim Mayotte and Paul Annacone advanced. Mayotte, seeded 10th, knocked off Sweden's Joakim Nystrom in four sets, and Annacone beat another Swede, 12th-seeded Jonas B. Svensson, also in four.
In women's play, ninth-seeded Hana Mandlikova was ousted in straight sets by Australian Anne Minter, and Americans Barbara Potter, Zina Garrison and Mary Joe Fernandez advanced to the round of 16.
Second-seeded Mats Wilander, who, like Graf, is halfway to a Grand Slam, will play way out on Court No. 14 today when he faces Menno Oosting of the Netherlands.
Seedings in parentheses.
Third round: Mark Woodforde, Australia, def. Diego Nargiso, Italy, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Andrei Olkhovsky, Soviet Union, def. Chris Pridham, Canada, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Paul Annacone, Bridgehampton, N.Y., def. Jonas B. Svensson (12), Sweden, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Ivan Lendl (1), Czechoslovakia, def. Michiel Schapers, Netherlands, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1. Henri Leconte (7), France, def. Barry Moir, South Africa, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0), 6-1. Tim Mayotte (10), Bradenton, Fla., def. Joakim Nystrom, Sweden, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Pat Cash (4), Australia, def. John Fitzgerald, Australia, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Boris Becker (6), West Germany, def. Sammy Giammalva, Houston, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4.
Third round: Zina Garrison (12), Houston, def. Elizabeth Minter, Australia, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0. Anne Minter, Australia, def. Hana Mandlikova (9), Australia, 6-4, 6-3. Helena Sukova (6), Czechoslovakia, def. Etsuko Inoue, Japan, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-2. Pascale Paradis, France, def. Robin White, San Jose, Calif., 6-4, 3-6, 9-7. Barbara Potter, Woodbury, Conn., def. Jo-Anne Faull, Australia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Steffi Graf (1), West Germany, def. Terry Phelps, Larchmont, N.Y., 6-3, 6-1. Mary Joe Fernandez (16), Miami, def. Iwona Kuczynska, Poland, 6-4, 6-1.