Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2 - Page 187 -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #2791 of 5755 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2013, 11:54 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Not in her best form, still wins in 64 minutes.

Houston Chronicle
Sunday, JULY 31, 1988
Chronicle Wire Services and Staff Reports

HAMBURG, West Germany - Top seed Steffi Graf won in straight sets, and Bulgarian Katerina Maleeva posted a comeback victory to advance to the final of the Hamburg Grand Prix.

Graf ousted Bettina Fulco of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 in 64 minutes. Graf, three-quarters of the way toward a Grand Slam with victories at Wimbledon and the French and Australian opens, was disappointed with her play.

"I am not in my best form," she said. "My play is too erratic."

Maleeva came off a bad start to defeat Radka Zrubakova of Czechoslovakia 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. Graf has won all of her previous four meetings with Maleeva.

STRATTON MOUNTAIN, Vt. - No. 2 seed Andre Agassi advanced to the final of the Volvo International tennis tournament, setting up a confrontation today with Paul Annacone.

Agassi, ranked fifth in the world and first among American players at age 18, again employed his powerful forehand and a looping top-spin shot to oust 12th-seeded Dan Goldie 6-3, 6-3.

Annacone, seeded 13th and ranked 48th, returned to his chip-and-charge game to defeat No. 9 seed Darren Cahill 6-4, 6-3 in 68 minutes and reach his first final since 1985.

The temperature on the court was 104 degrees as Agassi made his first final at the tournament where he began his rise to tennis fame two years ago. He lost to Ivan Lendl last year in the semifinals and to John McEnroe in the 1986 quarterfinals.

Lendl, first in the world, was ousted Wednesday by unseeded Roger Smith.

Agassi employed the same blooping shot he resorted to Thursday in downing Goldie. "I knew I'd have to use that a lot today," Agassi said.

He took the first set easily but had trouble early in the second, as Goldie broke him in the second and fourth games.

But Agassi won the last five games.

"I couldn't get a first serve in," Goldie said. "I don't know what my percentage was but it had to be real low."

In the doubles semifinals, the top-seeded team of Ken Flach and Robert Seguso was upset by the South African team of Pieter Aldrich and Danie Visser 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). In the final, Aldrich and Visser will meet Jorge Lozano and Todd Witsken, who defeated Gary Muller and Laurie Warder 6-7 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.


At Bordeaux, France, Haiti's Ronald Agenor defeated a tired and aching Yannick Noah to gain the final of the Bordeaux Grand Prix Passing Shot tournament for the second consecutive year. Agenor, who lives in Bordeaux, reeled off five consecutive victories in the final set to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Agenor meets Austria's Thomas Muster in today's final. Muster beat Horst Skoff 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in an all-Austrian semifinal ...

At Hilversum, Netherlands, top-seeded Guillermo Perez-Roldan of Argentina and Spain's Emilio Sanchez, the No. 2 seed, advanced to the title match with semifinal victories in a Nabisco Grand Prix tournament. Perez-Roldan defeated Magnus Gustafsson of Sweden 7-6 (14-12), 2-6, 6-3, while Sanchez downed Australia's Mark Woodforde 6-4, 6-3 ...
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2792 of 5755 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2013, 12:14 PM
Junior Member
GHFB's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 12
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Such a pity Steffi wasn't at to celebrate with the other No 1's. Although the event was a little cringe-worthy at times, it would have been great to have her there with all the other legends, especially as she holds the record for most weeks at the top.
GHFB is offline  
post #2793 of 5755 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2013, 12:53 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by GHFB View Post
Such a pity Steffi wasn't at to celebrate with the other No 1's. Although the event was a little cringe-worthy at times,
Oh, my goodness. What is up with 23 minutes of nothing at the beginning? Especially on an official upload? Yeah, we can skip it, but wow. As for all the white-washing of women's tennis history, I might do my own serial called "The WTA: The Hypocrisy Is Stunning and the Forensic Audit Is Long Overdue."

Originally Posted by GHFB View Post
it would have been great to have her there with all the other legends, especially as she holds the record for most weeks at the top.
After we reach September 7, 1988 on our little trip down memory lane, it will be more clear. Some of the other legends never exactly, uh, um... How do I want to phrase this? Some of the other legends have taken so many potshots at Steffi over the years, from being a kid coming up to being retired for years, and the WTA has only listened to what Steffi had to say only grudgingly if at all, even if what Steffi was saying is absolutely right on an issue of vital importance, that showing up at something like this would have been pointless. To fly halfway around the world for one day of being asked the same tired, inane questions by some teleprompter-reading stuffed shirt, having her photograph snapped for the 2,989,567th time, and hearing the same old "Nothing you've ever done is good enough for us, Steffi" backhanded comments from the peanut gallery makes no sense.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2794 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2013, 12:34 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Laughing out loud at how the Hamburger Abendblatt is trying to spin this that Steffi's anger was "unnecessary." As per the write-up below in the Sydney Morning Herald, the crowd was booing before Pohmann asked the question (I really need to watch the match to see which in fact came first) -- but even if they weren't, there would be some justification for being angry. Especially in light of the ninth paragraph down... The Los Angeles Times reports that a container of eggs was thrown. Not sure if that was in addition to the stuff mentioned here, or whether that is more spin control. "So, what did that guy throw at Steffi?" -- "Oh, uh, just, um, uh, eggs. Yeah, eggs. That's right, just eggs. Just a simple case of hooliganism. No deranged people here."

Look Back in Anger - The Nerves Lay Bare: "Man, What Do You People Want?"
Hamburger Abendblatt
Monday, August 1, 1988
No. 177, Page 11

Hamburg - The Hamburg appearance by the world's best tennis player ended on a dissonant note. A legitimate question by ARD commentator Hans-Jürgen Pohmann and whistles from the 8,000 spectators on the center court at Rothenbaum threw Steffi Graf off balance: "Man, what do you people want then?"

Immediately after her 6-4, 6-2 victory against the Bulgarian Katerina Maleeva, Pohmann asked Steffi Graf about the "excessive expectations of the public" over the court microphone. The Rothenbaum visitors felt themselves misjudged and booed. Steffi Graf thought the whistles were directed at her. Her nerves lay bare.

"I was still too preoccupied with myself," Steffi Graf tried to explain her feelings a half hour later. She did not permit further questions about it: "I don't want to say anything about it anymore." Her final statement: "In the future, I will not think about what pleases the people anymore. I prefer to concentrate on my game."

It also didn't help that tournament director Heinz Brenner took the Hamburg crowd's side and put the blame on the TV man: "We have now heard enough from Hans-Jürgen Pohmann..."

Shall Steffi Graf return in 1989? Speaking into the microphone, she was certainly well-behaved: "I hope to be here again next year." Later, she hinted, "The tournament must fit in my schedule. It is not yet decided."

For Germany's most popular athlete, Hamburg remained a cold, unfriendly city. "We had to consider the bad experiences from the past year to come again at all," said father Peter Graf.

At the beginning of the week, Steffi Graf collected more bonus points when she impressed everyone with her charm and maturity. Later, she felt herself misunderstood ("When I win 6-0, 6-0, it doesn't please the people, either"). What she offered as a sacrifice: "I don't like slow courts and really need to prepare for the US Open." Moreover, the middle finger of her right hand, bitten by her shepherd dog Max, was actually healed, but was still painful.

Steffi Graf's unnecessary anger on the final day made the unfortunate women's tournament at Rothenbaum a definitive disappointment. The athletic standard was never in the discussion; even Katerina Maleeva was, despite bold quotes ("When I go on the court, I want to win, too"), no more than staffage for Steffi Graf. Long baseline duels raised only the appearance of equality. "On a hard court," said the champion, "it would have been over considerably quicker."

A Letter to Steffi Graf

At the championship ceremony, welfare recipient Veit E. (25) threw a bag on center court. Contents: A love letter for Steffi Graf with explicitly erotic comments and two books of sex tips "for girls." Court security gave the man, who gave a deranged impression, over to the police, who handed him back his letter and books.


The women players, accustomed to warmth, avoided the club's swimming pool, except for Silke Meier. The Kaiserslauter resident even showed off an impeccable head-first dive from the three meter board.


The Australian Pat Whytcross, women's tennis tour director and third ranked player in her country just a few years ago, challenged tournament official Uli Boes to a match and lost 3-6, 1-6. In return, she tipped Steffi Graf's final score correctly and won a watch.


A Tournament Week in Numbers

After one hour and 26 minutes, Jürgen Würzner, center court umpire for the final at Hamburger's Rothenbaum club between Steffi Graf and Katerina Maleeva, shut his play ledger. 6-4, 6-2 -- so read the sober score, with which the world's number one from Brühl collected $40,000 prize money for her 26th tournament title.

Steffi Graf contested five matches at Rothenbaum on route to the champion's check. The balance of a tournament week:

In 5 hours and 3 minutes (averaging an hour and 36 seconds per match), she won 60 games, gave up only 20. Hourly wage: $7920 or DM14,866. She managed to break serve 28 times and lost her own serve nine times. The umpires noted 318-222 points in favor of Steffi Graf, 16 aces, and 18 double faults. That her opponents won just 24 points on their own merit spoke for her superiority. In contrast, Steffi Graf directly won 116 points, 58 of which with her forehand, her best weapon. Her first serve was at 64.7% -- a below average quota.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2795 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2013, 12:39 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

August 1, 1988
Sydney Morning Herald

BONN, Monday: World No 1 Steffi Graf easily beat Bulgarian Katerina Maleeva 6-4 6-2 to win the $A249,060 Hamburg women's tennis tournament yesterday - then angrily turned her attention to the disenchanted West German crowd.

The Australian, French and Wimbledon champion, whose form fluctuated wildly during the tournament, shouted "Not satisfied today?" at the 7,000-strong crowd when they whistled and booed her during a courtside interview.

When they did the same again a few minutes later the 19-year-old West German, looking close to tears, yelled through the microphone: "What do you want from me then?"

The interviewer had asked about her attitude towards the spectators who, in the earlier rounds, criticised her for beating her opponents too quickly or for making too many errors.

Her shouted remark was the reply.

Graf, wearing a bandage on the middle finger of her racquet hand, the legacy of a bite inflicted by one of her three dogs, made several forehand errors in trying to force the pace of the match.

Although she dropped service four times she broke back almost at will and never looked in danger of losing the final - her 26th tournament win since April 1986.

Graf said she would go to the Spanish resort of Marbella for a week's holiday and then leave for Mahwah, New Jersey, to defend her title there.

The West German will use the hard courts at Mahwah to prepare for the last step (the US Open title) of her quest to become the third woman player to win the coveted tennis grand slam.

* Second seed Andre Agassi won his fifth singles title this year when he beat 13th seed Paul Annacone 6-2 6-4 in the final of the $A610,197 Stratton Mountain men's Grand Prix tennis tournament in Vermont.

The 18-year-old American sensation, ranked fifth in the world, relied on his powerful forehand passing shots and backhand lobs to beat Annacone.

"I feel that was the best I played all week," Agassi said. "I could have done a few things better but you can't complain.

"In general, I was playing good tennis."

Annacone double-faulted four times in the first three games and said he might have been trying too hard.

"I was trying to serve too big and I think that's one of my problems because that's my weapon," he said.

"I'm not really pleased with the way I played today, but it was a very productive week for me."

The match was decided in the ninth game of the second set after both players had held serve to 4-4.

Agassi broke Annacone with a passing shot, then held his own serve in the next game.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2796 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2013, 12:41 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Agassi Wins His Fifth Title of the Year - TENNIS
Monday, August 1, 1988

Andre Agassi won his fifth Grand Prix singles title of the year yesterday by defeating Paul Annacone, 6-2, 6-4, at the Volvo International tennis tournament in Stratton Mountain, Vt.

Agassi, 18, used his trademark forehand passing shot to help win the tournament where he first received national attention two years ago.

"I feel this was the best I played all week," said Agassi, ranked fifth in the world.

He earned $114,000, the second-biggest payday of his career. "Not bad for a week's work here," Agassi said.

Annacone, ranked 48th, got himself into trouble early by double-faulting four times in the first three games. "I was trying to serve too big," he said.

Annacone had his serve broken in the third game of the first set and again in the fifth when Agassi blasted a forehand passing shot.

In the second set, both players held serve until the ninth game, when Agassi broke serve with a passing shot on a service return.

That gave Agassi a 5-4 lead and when Annacone missed a service return at 40-30 in the 10th game to give Agassi the match, Agassi threw up his racket in elation.


Steffi Graf won the 40th Grand Prix title of her career, but she became angry at a TV reporter's question after the match.

Graf beat Bulgarian Katerina Maleeva, 6-4, 6-2, in the finals of the tournament in Hamburg, West Germany. She earned $40,000 for the victory to push her career earnings to $2.8 million.

Graf, 19, had more trouble after the match than during it when she was interviewed at courtside by television commentator Hans-Juergen Pohmann, a West German ex-Davis Cup player.

In remarks carried by microphone to the crowd of 7,000, Pohmann asked whether Graf was annoyed by public criticism of her game. Some have accused her of beating her opponents too quickly, and others have complained that she plays poorly when she wins at a more leisurely pace.

People began to whistle. Graf blew up.

"My God, I've just won a tournament. Could you please tell me what else you expect?" Graf said in a harsh tone.

Addressing the crowd with the mike, she demanded, "People, what do you want?"

Tournament director Heinz Brenner then took the mike and said, "I think we've now heard enough from Herr Pohmann."

Graf appeared distressed during the awards ceremony and was late for the postmatch press conference. She apologized for her outburst and admitted to a possible misunderstanding.


Second-seeded Emilio Sanchez of Spain defeated top-seeded Guillermo Perez-Roldan of Argentina, 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, to capture a Grand Prix tournament in Hilversum, Netherlands.

After winning the first set, Sanchez lost the first game of the second set before winning six games in a row. Perez-Roldan, ranked 14th in the world, won the third set, but he seemed exhausted in the fourth.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2797 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2013, 07:28 PM
Senior Member
djul14's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,202
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

What a wonderful week in Hamburg Seriously ?!
I don't know why she returned there the following years.
djul14 is offline  
post #2798 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2013, 10:56 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
What a wonderful week in Hamburg Seriously ?!
I don't know why she returned there the following years.
There is kind of "Chaos, panic, destruction -- my work here is done" humor about Steffi sometimes. And there was also a sense of "you will not scare me away" defiance about her. Also, I bet the appearance fees were pretty good; Vogon money is one of the hardest currencies in space.

To me, the big question is why would the other players return. I'm sure it must have been very unpleasant or at least confusing for Maleeva, too.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2799 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2013, 12:28 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

"Today I push my boundaries in everyday life"
July 30, 2013
Interview by Martina Ochs

Husband, children, gym chain, charity. Open like never before, Stefanie Graf speaks about the challenges in her life.

It is incubatingly hot in Berlin. Yet the heat seems to bead off Stefanie Graf -- she is used to such temperatures in Las Vegas, where she lives with husband Andre Agassi and their son and daughter. The 44-year-old looks fresh as she honors members of her fitness chain "Mrs. Sporty" for their achievements. Until the end of her tennis career 13 years ago, she herself was regarded as one of the most committed and ambitious athletes of all time.

Q. In sports, you tested out boundaries. Do you miss that?

Graf: Not at all! Very frequently, I am asked if I miss the successes. But that was never the point for me. Tennis was so intensive a time that demanded of me very physically and mentally. I always expected a lot from myself and am happy that I am no longer at the mercy of it today. When this pressure fell away from me, I had the feeling of finding more evenness and balance.

Q. What did you expect from yourself? To always win?

Graf: It absolutely felt that I could win a tournament and nevertheless was not satisfied, simply because I played beneath my possibilities. For me, developing further as a tennis player and improving my game were always the most important. If I had the feeling that it wasn't going how I wanted, I was just dissatisfied. Finding a mental evenness was unbelievably difficult.

Q. How do you push your boundaries today?

Graf: By dealing with everyday life. We are a very active family. My business activities like "Mrs. Sporty" and my charity also claim their time. And naturally, I would like to spend as much time with my husband as possible.

Q. You are in Berlin for your gym chain. What does your own exercise program look like?

Graf: I love endurance training! Today I still jog now and then, but no longer as much as before. I bicycle a lot, and sometimes power walking is on the program. This year I started again with upper body weight training, since I realized that I need to strengthen that area.

Q. As a former high performance athlete, do you feel the symptoms of wear and tear?

Graf: Most certainly. And I was somewhat surprised how early they showed up. As you know, I had already struggled with some injuries toward the end of my career. The body simply doesn't want to go along with the work load anymore. Andre and I play tennis only very seldom, aside from charity matches for our foundations. It certainly becomes more difficult from year to year.

Q. You have been married for almost twelve years. Routines arise for many couples...

Graf: In our life, there is no routine! We haven't seen each other for eleven days now, which is unusual because we are seldom apart for longer periods. And we can't wait to see each other again.

Q. What do you do when you relax together? Watch television?

Graf: Only rarely. But with us, everyone loves the "National Geographic" channel. Our whole family is crazy about animals, we would love to have a zoo. Currently, we are concerned with two dogs, a black retriever and a Yorkshire terrier. He is the boss of the house, he has everything under control.

Q. Who has to take the dogs out?

Graf: The mama! One time, I had a step counter on for a day, and it came to 20,000 steps! I've got the dogs very much to thank for that.

Q. That sounds strenuous.

Graf: Sometimes it is. The first dog actually seemed like a third child to me.

Q. You have a great figure. Is your metabolism as good as in your playing days?

Graf: Almost as good, although I love sweets, cakes, and pastries, and more often I don't begrudge myself something. But because of experiences during my sporting career, I am automatically wired to eat more fruit and vegetables to compensate for that. And I don't drink alcohol. It just never tasted good to me.

Q. Do you cook at home yourself?

Graf: Oh, yes, quite often. Our little one has already started to cook, too. Everyone who eats breakfast with us receives an omelette in different variations served by her. And Andre can grill wonderfully and make perfect schnitzel.

Q. What does he call you: Steffi or Stefanie?

Graf: He has his own variant and says "Stef" to me. I like that very much, too.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2800 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2013, 06:56 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

There are times when being around Steffi must have seemed like watching a Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy movie...

Sunday, August 7, 1988

Jennifer Capriati is running out of worlds to conquer. The 12-year-old from Lauderhill, who won the Easter Bowl title last April in Miami, has added the U.S. Girls' 18 Hardcourts and Clay Courts this summer. This week, Capriati tries to add the U.S. 18 Nationals in Memphis.

''She's playing really well. I guess she's going to have to go to Pluto to play now,'' Capriati's father, Stefan, told Florida Tennis Association tournament coordinator Bobby Curtis last week.

Capriati cannot play professional tournaments until her 14th birthday.

Vincent Spadea of Boca Raton is also halfway to a U.S. junior Grand Slam, having won the Boys' 14 Hardcourts and Clay Courts. Spadea, 14, competes in the Boys' 14 Nationals this week in Shreveport, La.

The fourth tournament in the Slam is the Indoors in November.

The last Florida players as dominant in their age groups were Tommy Ho and Kathy Rinaldi.

Andre Agassi has moved up to No. 4 in the rankings, passing Boris Becker. Agassi, 18, the youngest U.S. player to be ranked in the Top 5, started the year at No. 25.

John McEnroe was 19 when he reached No. 4 in 1978. Jimmy Connors climbed to No. 3 in 1973 when he was 20.

Agassi, who won his fifth tournament of the year at Stratton Mountain last Sunday, plays in Livingston, N.J., beginning, Aug. 15.

-- Chris Evert -- or is it Chris Evert Mill? -- returns to the tour this week at the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles. Evert is seeded No. 1, Gabriela Sabatini No. 2. Martina Navratilova was to play, but pulled out. Defending champion Steffi Graf , who rose to No. 1 on the computer after winning the tournament last year, elected not to play.

-- The biggest threat to Graf's bid for the Grand Slam may be her German shepherd, Max. Back home in West Germany two weeks ago, Graf was bitten on the right hand by Max as she broke up a fight between her dog and a neighbor's cocker spaniel.

Graf went to the hospital for a cast. When she returned home, Max saw the cast and jumped on her arm. Graf saw the doctor for nine consecutive days but still won last week's Hamburg Open without losing a set.

The Hopman Cup, an eight-country, coed team competition named after former Australian Davis Cup captain and great Harry Hopman, will debut in Perth, Australia, Dec. 28-Jan. 1. One man and one woman will represent each country, playing singles and mixed doubles for an $80,000 first prize.

Tournament promoter Paul McNamee said Graf will represent West Germany, and that negotiations have begun with Becker as Graf's partner.

The Australian team is composed of former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash and Czech-born Hana Mandlikova, who will be playing for her adopted country for the first time.

Henri Leconte will play for France.

The United States, Sweden and Japan are also expected to participate, although no players have been selected.

-- Coach Angel Gimenez on Gabriela Sabatini: ''Very few girls on the tour -- maybe six or seven -- understand the game tactically. The rest just lift the ball back and play for the error. Gabriela knows all the time exactly what she is doing out there. If there are five options, she will pick the right one. She is always thinking, always learning.''... Elise Burgin, a journalism graduate from Stanford University, said she has learned a lot from last week's Olympics controversy, in which she was bumped from the U.S. team by Evert. ''As a tennis player, you get an education you can't buy anywhere,'' Burgin said. ''You need to be positive and look ahead. I'm just 26 and have a lot of living ahead. There are going to be lots of positive moments ahead.''... Jimmy Connors' newest hobby is a 42-foot speedboat that he uses at his home in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. Connors says he hits speeds of up to 80 mph: ''I boat like I play tennis.''... The 1989 Australian Open (Jan. 16-29) has raised its prize m oney to $2.4 million, up 33 percent over this year's purse.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2801 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2013, 07:02 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

A little blurb from Inside Tennis about Sorana Cirstea experience training with Steffi "I've Been Wearing People Out On A Tennis Court Since 1973" Graf: A semifinalist at Stanford last year, she reached that stage again before losing to Cibulkova. Most interesting, though, was her recollection of a wintertime visit to Las Vegas, where she works out annually with famed trainer Gil Reyes and the coolest of all tennis couples, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Cirstea idolized Graf as a youngster and remains in awe, telling Matt Cronin of ********************, "She's the most incredible athlete I've ever seen. Forty-five minutes [hitting] with her is like two hours with someone else. If she were healthy, she could play on tour easily."
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2802 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 2013, 06:24 PM
Senior Member
djul14's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,202
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Surprising (answer, to me) but interesting :


NICK BOLLETTIERI: It would have been fantastic to [coach] Steffi Graf, because she was such an outstanding athlete with [great] movement. She worked. She didn’t offer an alibi, or ask “Why me?” and all that. To coach her would’ve been a hell of a treat. I probably would have put her on a two-handed backhand because if she had a two-handed backhand, I don’t think that anybody would have ever beaten her… [As for her low, deep, cutting, slice backhand]

it was good—a defining slice has a place, absolutely. But can you imagine if she had a two-handed backhand? And why? Her great footwork, her great foundation … When I talk about Serena as being the best player, that would have been a battle [with Steffi] … [Serena might be the best player of all time because] her serve stands in a class by itself. The movement of Serena—being able to get to those balls— and her big volleys, big returns, and she’s just got so much forehand. [Still] Martina, she was the best. She saw every inch of the court … [and that’s] not that easy.
djul14 is offline  
post #2803 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 2013, 07:30 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Surprising (answer, to me) but interesting :
Bollettieri would not have survived the process of coaching Steffi. He thinks she was easy to coach? Maybe in the sense that she wanted to work, but Pavel Slozil and Heinz Günthardt both witnessed that willful streak, even if she sometimes played it up for laughs. "She's not dysfunctional, but she's certainly not easygoing." I pity the fool who thinks she'd be a nice, pliable student.

Bollettieri also shows his lack of understanding about the backhand. We've been through this so many times.

Steffi's one-handed flat or topspin backhand drive was atrociously good. Just watch matches against serve-and-volleyers. There are even times against Navratilova when a two-handed backhand could not pull off the shot that needed to be pulled off. And she would use it in rallies in practice sessions against men. And so many of them will testify to it. "She has weapons, like a really strong backhand, which you never see in a tournament." I wish people could understand that better. She had a ferocious weapon that she hardly ever used in a live match. Speculation on my part: If she had used it regularly, she would have absolutely killed women's tennis (even more than she did, for those that believe that she did). If the level of play had been such that cracking the backhand had been really necessary, she would have, and could have, done it.

But the real point is that Steffi's slice backhand was atrociously good. In fact, she had so many different slice backhands that it is hilarious people can't understand what she did with it. Hard and deep and biting to draw the error or set up the forehand or take the legs out from underneath many opponents by the middle of of the second set (run fast, stop, kneel, hit shot, get up, run fast, stop, kneel, hit shot, get up -- again and again). Slow and deep and biting to play for position and drive people nuts. Curve balls for the element of surprise or to draw the error and to play in strong winds. And of course, drop shots. Oh, my God, the drop shots. Evert can talk all she wants about "disguise" on drop shots with a two-handed backhand, but Steffi's backhand wins that contest. So many modern tennis players love a fastball in the strike zone just as much as any baseball player. If you can throw something off-speed and out of their strike zone, they are lost. Bollettieri should know, since most of his "products" are great examples of that.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2804 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 2013, 10:52 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I posted some French Open articles and two Steffi-as-an-up-and-comer pieces in the "1986" thread.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #2805 of 5755 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2013, 03:48 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,835
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Another August 13th. (Where/when is the time going?) An interesting one by Charles Bricker, if only because it documents just how much Steffi mystified or was misunderstood by some of the media. I'm not sure why they thought having many moods was somehow puzzling. Bricker is also totally mistaken about the Hingis stuff. And as for Steffi "announcing" that it was her last Wimbledon and thus ruining Davenport's day, he absolutely ignores that Steffi had been barraged with "When are you retiring? Is this your last Wimbledon? Will you be back next year?" from almost the moment the tournament started. I mean, "Will you be back next year?" is almost the first thing out of Bud Collins' mouth in both the NBC post-match interview and in the press conference. She tries the "I don't want to talk about it right now" and "Can we talk about today?" lines, but once again, the media ain't letting go of it and refuses to admit that maybe they were the ones who misplayed it. As for what more she could have done for women's tennis, I find it amazing that no one can ever give a specific example of what more they wanted her to do. So here's to Steffi -- good on ya for getting out, leaving it behind, and living your life!

Graf Was Proud Champion Until The End
Sun Sentinel
August 15, 1999

Your favorite image of Steffi Graf? I guess that's personal, isn't it? And anyone who has followed her career for 17 years (yes, that's more than half her life) has one of those special moments that won't easily vanish from mind.

She could laugh. Not a deep belly laugh, but a throw-back-your-head laugh that usually didn't last long. She could cry. She did that when she was asked about her jailed father after she won the U.S. Open in 1995.

She could seem incredulous, as she did after winning the French Open this year. She could be introspective, deep and profound. She could also be tiresomely boring.

Graf had a million moods and will never be fully understood except by those close to her. And it's a crapshoot that even her most intimate friends know what is on her mind, because above all else Graf has been a private tennis player over the years.

She dropped the other tennis shoe Friday. Everyone knew it was coming. It was simply a matter of whether she would play the U.S. Open and retire or do it now. She did it now. Her timing on the court was fabulous. Her timing off the court was never good.

When she said after her loss to Lindsay Davenport in the Wimbledon final that that was her last Wimbledon, she took the spotlight away from Davenport. She should have shut up for a few days, then made an announcement. But that's Steffi. She doesn't like publicity machines and so had no one to advise her.

What Steffi did for tennis is hard to calculate. One hundred seven championships and 22 Grand Slam titles. More than $21 million in prize money and untold millions more in endorsement money. She was No. 1 for a record 374 weeks.

And beyond that, one of the great sportswomen of her time. No one, to my knowledge, has ever heard Steffi Graf belittle an opponent. She has glowered at chair umpires and questioned calls. But she has never thrown her racket and always carried herself like the champion she was.

She had a fault, though perhaps one she could not help. As much as she did for women's tennis, there was so much more she could have done. The privacy she demanded often put her at odds with WTA Tour officials who wanted her to do television spots or more public appearances.

When her father went into prison in Germany for tax evasion, she became more than private. She became morose at times. But her personal emotional strength never broke. She continued to win Grand Slam titles.

The debate will start right away over whether she is the greatest female player. I'm sure she has no interest in anyone's view on that. She played for the love of the game and for her personal pride.

That, I believe, is what drove her back from the succession of injuries in 1997 and 1998. She would never say it, but she was insulted by Martina Hingis' thoughtless comments which paid Graf no respect. Calling her too old to be good any longer, too beaten up ever to win another Grand Slam.

I'm No. 1, Hingis told the world. Steffi's day is past. When Graf fought back from injury and whipped Hingis in the French Open final, sending Hingis fleeing from the court, briefly, in tears, was there anyone outside the Hingis party who wasn't overjoyed at Graf's greatest triumph?

After the loss in the Wimbledon final she went to San Diego, feeling uninspired and believing that all her tennis motivation was at last used up. She went anyway, to see whether it would be rekindled once she was on court. It didn't, and she pulled a hamstring muscle. Again.

That was enough.

"I can't let my life be governed by therapies and treatments,'' she said a few weeks earlier. Maybe that's why she finally called it quits. But more likely it's because she had what she wanted.

Maybe she didn't go out at the top of her game. But she went out on top of Hingis. That was the key.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome