Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2 - Page 200 -
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post #2986 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Mr. Bellamy is feeling playful.

Second round offers chance of advancement for Britons - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Thursday, October 27, 1988
Rex Bellamy, Tennis Correspondent

Jo Durie, Sara Gomer and Clare Wood, of Britain, all have chances to improve their world rankings by beating seeded opponents in the second round of the Midland Group championship (the Midland refers to the bank rather than the Black Country) at the Brighton Centre today.

Durie plays Nathalie Tauziat, of St Tropez, who spent the first eight years of her life as near the middle of Africa as makes no difference. The French "Foreign Legion" of tennis (its officer class long embellished by Pierre Darmon and Francoise Durr) has been a recurrent curiosity. Most of the former colonies remain, in political jargon, areas of influence.

Gomer's opponent, in a match that offers a foretaste of the Wightman Cup contest to be played at the Albert Hall next week, is Lori McNeil, of Texas. Yesterday McNeil beat Silke Meier, who has something (not much) in common with John McEnroe. Both were born at Wiesbaden: McEnroe while his father was serving in the United States Air Force. McNeil and Pam Shriver, who beat Laura Garrone 6-0, 6-0, are the only non-Europeans left the singles draw.

Wood takes on Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, who helped Steffi Graf to win the world team championship for West Germany 14 months ago. Another German, Sabine Auer, was beaten 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 by Durie yesterday. This was neither a good match nor a good win. Auer had been beaten in the qualifying competition, filled a gap in the draw, and was serving at 2-4 and 15-40 down in the second set yesterday. In short, Durie had a modest fish on the hook but had the dickens of a job landing it.

Auer beat Hana Mandlikova to reach the last 16 of the Lipton championship at Key Biscayne in March but, since then, has often played as if recovering from shock. Yesterday both players were wildly interesting on the forehand. Ultimately Durie's was the sounder.

The once-formidable Durie, who briefly ranked fifth in the world, has played in all 11 Brighton tournaments. At the age of 28 she often shows signs of wear and tear. But there is still some good tennis in her.

To return to Tauziat, this fluently neat little player disputes pride of place among the French, that is with Pascale Paradis. The spectacular Catherine Tanvier wins less often these days but remains a joyous sight when in full flow.

That was how it was while Tanvier was romping to a 5-2 lead against Jana Pospisilova, aged 18, who reached the semi-finals of the girls' singles at Wimbledon, now ranks fourth among Czechoslovaks, and will inevitably be burdened by some such nickname as "Popsy" (remember the wartime slang?). Pospisilova had a run of five games to win the first set doubtful line calls added to Tanvier's frustrations and a run of six to win the second. Another promising teenager to catch the eye was Maria Strandlund, of Sweden, whose concentration and ball control could not quite endure the stress Manuela Maleeva imposed on them.

Graf won. What did you expect?

RESULTS: First round: J Durie (GB) bt S Auer (WG), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; M Maleeva (Bul) bt M Strandlund (Swe), 6-4, 6-1; J Pospisilova (Cz) bt C Tanvier (Fr), 7-5, 6-2; L McNeil (US) bt S Meier (WG), 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. Second round: P Shriver (US) bt L Garrone (It), 6-0, 6-0; S Cecchini (It) bt N Herreman (Fr), 6-2, 3-6, 6-4; S Graf (WG) bt H Witvoet (Neth), 6-1, 6-1.
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post #2987 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Virginia Wade did present Steffi with the 1,000,000th Dunlop Max 200 G on her off day.

Graf gulps down the serene little tonic from St Tropez - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Saturday, October 29, 1988
Rex Bellamy, Tennis Correspondent

Steffi Graf , who was serving at 1-3 and 15-down in the first set but then won seven games in a row, took some of the fun out of the Midland Group championships by beating Nathalie Tauziat, of St Tropez, by 6-3, 6-2 at the Brighton Centre yesterday.

Tauziat, aged 21, is a tonic. She takes an early ball with free-swinging facility, is often spectacular on the backhand and is developing an impressive touch on the volley. All this was particularly evident during an early assault that took Graf by surprise.

It could not last. As the match went on Graf hit harder and harder, cruelly explored the wide angles, and soon had little Tauziat scurrying about as if caught in a bombing raid with no more protection than an umbrella.

Throughout her strenuous ordeal Tauziat maintained an engaging air of serene insouciance: puffing out her cheeks when winded, pouting when frustrated and grinning impishly whenever some blazing riposte left Graf stranded. To some extent, the loser upstaged the winner.

Pam Shriver, who beat Manuela Maleeva in the Zurich final last Sunday, will play her again in a semi-final today. Shriver had to maintain a consistently high level, technically and tactically, to beat Sylvia Hanika 7-5, 6-2.

The well-muscled, left-handed Hanika is awkward to play because there is not much of a pattern to her game. She can hit hard but has a predilection for spin, often an excess of it, and seldom plays consecutive shots of the same kind. Her opponents can expect nothing but the unexpected.

Shriver's active mind served her well. She had a succession of tricky questions to answer but anticipated many of them and was usually ready with a telling response. Hanika, though, was playing so well that it took Shriver eight games to gain an edge.

Then, with the first set almost tucked away, came the kind of hiccup that can disconcert players prone to self-doubt (which, at present, Shriver is not). She was about to serve at 5-3 and 40-0 when the umpire asked her to wait until a ball girl at the net had sent three balls down to the end of the court.

This chore completed, Shriver's first service briefly deserted her, Hanika perked up and the West German won nine points out of 10. But Shriver had the composure to put all that behind her, take the set by playing an astutely designed point and build firmly on a hard-earned advantage. This entertaining match was illuminated by smart thinking and much subtle manoeuvring a deft nudge here, a deep thrust there.

Shriver's first task after a match is to swathe assorted joints in enough bags of ice to keep a bar going all evening. But at present she looks fit enough and confident enough to beat Maleeva, whose command of the basics is exemplary if predictable.

Maleeva had a 6-3, 6-2 win over the boisterous Sandra Cecchini, whose tennis implies a belief that energy, like money, is better spent in this world than set aside for the next.

RESULTS: Quarter-finals: P Shriver (US) bt S Hanika (WG), 7-5, 6-2; M Maleeva (Bul) bt S Cecchini (It), 6-3, 6-2; L McNeil (US) bt C Kohde-Kilsch (WG), 6-2, 6-3; S Graf (WG) bt N Tauziat (Fr), 6-3, 6-2.
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post #2988 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 2013, 01:58 PM
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Graf rolls into semis
Lexington Herald-Leader
Saturday, October 29, 1988
Associated Press

BRIGHTON, England -- Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf extended her winning streak to 42 matches yesterday as she swept into the semifinals of the $250,000 Midland Bank women's tennis championships with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over France's Natalie Tauziat.

Although the 19-year-old West German won in 59 minutes, she had to survive some anxious first-set moments against a tenacious opponent.

Tauziat broke Graf to lead 2-1 and held a 3-2 edge before the world's No. 1 player rallied and gave up only four points in the last four games of the set.

Although Graf broke to lead 1-0 in the second set, the first four games went to deuce before she broke through for a 4-1 lead and made the match safe.

Graf will face American Lori McNeil in the semifinals today. McNeil defeated Claudia Kohde-Kilch of West Germany 6-2, 6-3 yesterday.

Pam Shriver of the United States, seeded No. 2 behind Graf, also reached the final four with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over 1984 titlist Sylvia Hanika of West Germany.

Shriver must beat Bulgarian Manuela Maleeva to have a chance at playing Graf in Sunday's finals.

Mayotte, Gilbert to clash

PARIS -- Americans Tim Mayotte and Brad Gilbert both had straight-set victories yesterday and will face each other in the semifinals of the $1.1 million Paris Open tennis tournament.

Mayotte, the defending champion and No. 2 seed, beat the eighth-seeded Andrei Chesnokov of the Soviet Union 6-3, 6-0. Mayotte is the only seeded player left in the tournament.

Gilbert saved 17 of 19 break points -- including four set points -- to beat France's Guy Forget 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

In another quarterfinal match yesterday, Israel's Amos Mansdorf defeated Aaron Krickstein of the United States 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).

John McEnroe was to meet Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland in the fourth quarterfinal match late last night.
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post #2989 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

No free pizza for Tauziat even though Steffi criticizes herself for playing poorly. I am sure it drove people nuts.

Steffi Graf's Problems
Hamburger Abendblatt
October 29, 1988

Steffi Graf is still two wins away from her 28th Grand-Prix title. At the English resort of Brighton ($250,000), the Grand Slam winner is in the semifinals after a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 21-year-old Nathalie Tauziat.

This time, the match lasted 59 minutes because Steffi Graf started extremely nervous and unfocused. The Frenchwoman lead 3-1 in the first set, but after that didn't win another game in that passage. "I had serious problems with my serve and the forehand," said the 19-year-old German after the match.

Her next opponent is Lori McNeil. Claudia Kohde-Kilsch presented only a little opposition to the American. Result: 6-2, 6-3.

Munich native Sylvia Hanika likewise went down to second seeded Pam Shriver. The American decided the mediocrely played match 7-5, 6-2, after 88 minutes. She meets the Bulgarian Manuela Maleeva, who defeated Sandra Cecchini (Italy) 6-3, 6-2, in the semifinals.
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post #2990 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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October 29, 1988
Sun Herald



IN WHAT would have to be the ultimate ego trip, Steffi Graf is working on her driving and that does not mean her forehands and backhands. Just out in Europe is a motor car called the Corsa Steffi Special. It is a limited edition Opel by General Motors that the West German wunderkind is plugging ... and the cost of driving Steffi is around A$9,500. It is the first time ever that a tennis player has had their name put on a motor vehicle and this one is a nippy little white two-door with stars along the side and an obvious No1. And what's Steffi's driving like? Well, her forehand really has pace.

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post #2991 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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Lori McNeil was one of those rare opponents who was prepared to play the tennis equivalent of a sword duel on a yard arm of ship caught in a giant maelstrom or a light saber duel over an active volcano. More than once, Steffi would publicly wonder why Lori didn't have more success.

Graf edges McNeil
Houston Chronicle
Sunday, OCTOBER 30, 1988
Houston Chronicle News Services

BRIGHTON, England - Pam Shriver's hopes of a revenge match with Steffi Graf were dashed by a stomach virus when she withdrew during the semifinals of the $250,000 Midland Group championships.

After the top-seeded Graf had struggled to beat Lori McNeil 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the first semifinal, Shriver was forced to retire when she was trailing 6-7, 1-2 to Bulgarian Manuela Maleeva.

The 19-year-old West German had beaten Shriver in the semifinals at Wimbledon. On Friday, the second-seeded Shriver said the only way to close the gap against the all-conquering Graf was to play against her as often as possible.

But the American never got a chance and looked uncomfortable for the 70 minutes she was on court against Maleeva, making anguished faces whenever she missed a shot.

"She didn't seem too bad during the first set, which lasted 54 minutes,'' said umpire Tony Little, "at 1-2 in the second she came up to the chair, said that she was feeling dizzy and could not continue.''

In the earlier match, Graf had been made to struggle far harder than expected by McNeil before posting her 43rd consecutive win and the 69th out of 71 matches this year.

The Houstonian, who had taken a set off Graf in all three of their previous matches, threatened to upset the Grand Slam and Olympic champion after fighting back in the second set.

"Lori hits the ball deep and flat and it is difficult to go in against her,'' Graf said. "I'm relieved to have won because I had a bad feeling about the match this morning. Once in a while you play badly, but I do not think it has anything to do with my long year. Lori just has a difficult game.''

McNeil, who will play against Britain in the Wightman Cup match at the Royal Albert Hall next week, started well but lost four consecutive games and the opening set.

She attacked hard in the second set, cutting out unforced errors, and took the decisive break in the 12th game to level the match.

The fifth-seeded American stayed with Graf until 4-4 in the final set. But with an upset growing ever closer, Graf gained a crucial break and then served out the match.

Gilbert, Mansdorf meet in rich Paris final

PARIS - Brad Gilbert and Amos Mansdorf advanced to the final of the world's richest indoor tournament by winning semifinals Saturday at the $1.1 million Paris Open.

Gilbert, ranked 23rd in the world, reversed last year's defeat at the Paris Open by beating fellow American and the No. 2 seed, Tim Mayotte, 7-5, 6-3. Mayotte was the last remaining seed in the event, in which $262,000 goes to today's winner.

In the other semifinal, Israel's Mansdorf edged Switzerland's Jakob Hlasek, ranked 25th in the world, 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-2).

Mayotte beat Gilbert in the final of this tournament last year and had beat him all five times they had met, including the Olympic semifinal.

"The last two or three times he beat me he served better,'' Gilbert said. "His first serve today wasn't that good and that gave me confidence.''

Gilbert dominated the play. Mayotte, usually a good server and ranked No. 8 in the world, was broken five of the 11 times he served and had five double faults.

Mansdorf won a see-saw tie-breaker in the first set of the semifinal against Hlasek. Mansdorf went out to a 6-3 lead, but Hlasek took the next four points in a row to reach set point at 7-6.

Mansdorf held off that one and another set point before taking three points in a row to win the tie-breaker, 10-8. The pair went to another tie-breaker in the second set.

"We always have close matches because we have similar styles,'' Mansdorf said. "Two years ago in a Davis Cup match I beat him 12-10 in the fifth set.''

Nijssen defeats Connell

BERGEN, Norway - Unseeded Tom Nijssen of the Netherlands outclassed No. 8 seed Grant Connell of Canada 6-3, 6-1 to win the $15,000 first prize in the $75,000 Bergen Open tournament. Connell earned $7,500.

Connell, a former Texas A&M player, also lost last year's Bergen Open singles final, to Patrick Kuhnen of West Germany.

Becker in Masters

NEW YORK - Boris Becker, on the strength of his victory last week in Tokyo, has become the fourth player to qualify for the $750,000 Nabisco Maters.

Becker currently sits in fourth place in the Grand Prix singles standings with 4,316 points. This marks the fourth consecutive time Becker, soon to be 21, has qualified for the tournament. Others who have qualified are Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg and Andre Agassi.

This year's event is scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 1.
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post #2992 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 2013, 12:47 PM
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Warrior queen Steffi forced to battle all the way against Lori - Midland Group tournament
The Sunday Times
London, England
Sunday, October 30, 1988
Sue Mott

BRIGHTON is honoured. Swift on the sensible heels of Mrs Thatcher has come another warrior queen in the athletic, all-conquering, Golden Grand Slam-winning shape of Steffi Graf. We only need Boudicca to make a miraculous reappearance and we'd have a hat-trick by the sea.

But it seems the privileged locals will have to content themselves with flaming arrows from the racket of the 19-year-old West German, who had beaten all-comers with conspicuous ease until she met Lori McNeil yesterday in the semi-final of the women's tournament sponsored this year by the Midland Group.

The 24-year-old from Texas was in fantastically combative form. A natural aggressor, she maintained a dominance at the net that was clearly disconcerting to the world number one, who we have come to regard as almost almighty.

For one brief, radical moment when McNeil broke Graf's serve in the final set to level the score at 4-4, we wondered whether Graf's run of 42 consecutive victories was about to be theatrically halted. But though under siege, Graf was not daunted. She rallied to win 6-2 5-7 6-4.

Unfortunately, this marvellous match of switching fortunes was watched by less than a full house at the Brighton Centre. And the spectators were hell-bent on decorum. Nothing disturbed the reverent air of concentration except the occasional squawk of a baby and the reverberating thwack of Graf's pelting forehands.

Not until the moment when McNeil smashed her way to set point in the second set did the first cry of "Come on Steffi!" rend the air. "Come on Lori!" immediately countered a cultured accent.

Nevertheless, unusually for a Graf match, we were witness to genuine excitement. Although Graf took the first set in 28 minutes, she was prone to the odd error and grunts of self-disgust. McNeil was plaguing her by hitting to a good length and with a dastardly mix of angles.

The Texan's prime weapon, however, was her vicarious pace. She made canny use of the West German's velocity, converting it to her own advantage, and frequently pinning Graf into uncomfortable corners.

More than once, Graf's coach, Pavil Slozil, felt moved to shout "Come on!" in one of the variety of languages at his disposal. His pupil's struggle had come as a shock, particularly as she had asked what time the stores shut in Brighton that evening. He had anticipated a swift win, followed by a shopping expedition.

But the disposition of a champion is not to dwell on danger. Graf was asked after the match whether the struggle had affected her confidence. "No," she said, incredulously. "I won it."

That straightforward zeal has much to do with her prowess and the accumulation of $1.3m in prize-money this year. But she also allows herself the luxury of self-criticism.

While conceding that her serve was in vibrant working order, she admitted: "My passing shots weren't working very well, my backhand was terrible and all round I was not playing as I wanted."

Lori McNeil was slightly more philosophical: "I came close, but when you win it's more effective."

Not unlike another leaderene of our acquaintance, Graf looks set to go on and on and on. To premature questions about her retirement, she merely looks puzzled and makes tentative noises about the age of 28. Which is another nine years yet.

By 1995, Chris Evert will be old enough to be a grandma and a whole fledgling generation of female tennis players could have been demoralised by West German manufactured efficiency.

Pam Shriver, seeded two here, disagrees. The tall American remains stubbornly convinced that Graf, having stumbled twice this year against Gabriela Sabatini, could be due for another small collapse of form.

"Well, all right," said Shriver, conceding to reality, "maybe just a little tiny trip." But, of course, Graf's win over McNeil represented just one minor shoe-scuff.

Unfed by sensation, we have been sadly reduced to speculating whether the three dozen red roses Steffi received on Friday were from the sports minister, who is an ardent admirer. But all romantic gossip was dashed when it transpired that the floral tribute came from Germany.

Ironically, it was Shriver herself who had the misfortune to slump in yesterday's second semi-final against Manuela Maleeva, one of the few Bulgarians to be a dollar millionairess at the age of 21.

Suffering from dizziness, Shriver was forced to retire from the match with the score at 7-6 2-1 to her opponent. A stomach virus was declared responsible and The Sunday Times can only hope it was nothing she ate. She was our guest at lunch a couple of days before.

Maleeva has the dubious honour of meeting Graf in today's final, which will be televised live in Germany, but not in this country.

"Next year, when cable television comes in, they'll be down on their knees begging for coverage," predicted the promoter, George Hendon.

This may be true. Although more likely will be the sight of TV producers down on their knees begging for a British player to stay in the tournament beyond Thursday.
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post #2993 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 2013, 12:49 PM
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Well, maybe that's what Tracy was thinking at the time, but it's not what she was saying, for whatever reason. For the record, at 1988 Brighton, Pam Shriver stated: "But I don't think Graf's dominance will last. Once we've become a little more familiar with her pace, things will get more balanced." At best, it's another case of Pam's hopeful bravado. At worst, it's failure to understand Steffi Graf did not turn tennis into a hitting contest; she turned it into a running contest.

Dana Hills coach calls it quits - Art Jenkins guided the Dolphins to two CIF championship titles
The Orange County Register
Sunday, October 30, 1988
Janis Carr


Even at 13, Steffi Graf didn't fear any of the top-ranking players.

Tracy Austin recalled recently she played the West German in 1982. Austin, then 19, was ranked No. 2. Graf was playing her first pro match.

"She came out hitting every ball about 400 mph and I said, 'Who is this kid?' " Austin said.

"I was ranked No. 2 and she was not bothered by that at all. She played like I was her next-door neighbor." Still, Austin won.

Austin will team with John Lloyd in a mixed doubles exhibition at The Forum on Nov. 27 as part of the Michelin Tennis Challenge Series.

Austin and Lloyd will take on Pete Sampras and Stephanie Rehe at 6 p.m. Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert will play in the featured match at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations and The Forum box office.
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post #2994 of 6040 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 2013, 01:11 PM
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Scheduling Fed Cup in December in Australia is another example of the people behind the scenes in tennis being totally clueless. They've already been there and done that when they played the AO in December and the top players balked. To say nothing of the need for an off-season.

The Charlotte Observer
Monday, October 31, 1988
From Associated Press Reports

Steffi Graf, saving her most powerful display of the tournament for the final, beat Manuela Maleeva 6-2, 6-0 Sunday, winning the Midland Group women's tennis championship, her 11th title of the season.

The $50,000 first prize boosted Graf's 1988 earnings past the $1.3-million mark as she extended her winning match streak to 44.

Maleeva, who was seeded third, played her usual baseline game but found Graf even more steady from the back of the court, a far harder hitter and a clever exponent of the drop shot.

Maleeva stayed in the match for just five games, at which point she trailed 3-2. Then, Graf, the world's No. 1 player, took control, ripping through the last nine games for a 54-minute victory.

In the 21-minute second set, Graf, the Grand Slam winner and Olympic champion, lost only 10 rallies. Her punishing forehand overwhelmed Maleeva, whose attempts to keep the ball low with sliced backhands had no effect on her opponent.

"I played far better today than in my four previous matches this week and that was a relief," said the top-seeded Graf, who has won 70 of her 72 matches this year, her only two defeats coming at the hands of Gabriela Sabatini. "Once in a while you have a bad day. I had two very bad ones in a row, but today I concentrated much better and had a feeling for the ball."

Graf, who will compete in the Virginia Slims championships in New York next month, still is undecided whether she will play for defending champion West Germany in the Federation Cup in Melbourne, Australia, in December.

"I would have to go to Australia for eight weeks in a row and would not have Christmas at home," she said.

* Amos Mansdorf of Israel won the world's richest indoor tennis tournament, beating American Brad Gilbert, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the $1.1 million Paris Open.

For his fourth career title, Mansdorf collected $262,000, more than 10 times his best previous tournament paycheck. Gilbert won $131,000, also his best-ever payday. Neither finalist was among the tournament's eight seeded players.

Gilbert, who lost last year's Paris final to Tim Mayotte, had beaten Mansdorf earlier this month in the semifinals of a tournament in Tel Aviv.

"I did a lot of things different than I did two weeks ago," Mansdorf said. "He beat me in straight sets so there was a lot to change."

Mansdorf, 23, advanced past the first round of the tournament when the world's No. 1 player, Mats Wilander of Sweden, had a relapse of the flu and pulled out at the last minute.

"I saw the draw and thought I got unlucky to play the No. 1 player in the world in the first round in a big tournament," Mansdorf said. "But I just got lucky this time."

* Second-seeded Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria broke No. 1 Zina Garrison in the opening game of the final set and went on to post a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory in the championship match of the Virginia Slims of Indianapolis tennis tournament tournament Sunday.

Maleeva needed just 30 minutes to win the final set of the one hour, 46 minute match, earning $17,000 from the $100,000 purse by posting three service breaks in the last set.

"I think it was very good for me that I broke her in the first game of the third set," said Maleeva, who had defeated Garrison only once before in five previous professional matches and lost four straight. "In the second set she served well - not hard, but deep."

"I feel the match today had a little bit to do with me being off a little bit and her being on," Garrison said. "The whole match I felt a little flat. I could never really get my game to its peak. She took advantage of opportunities I gave her."
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Maleeva's exit is almost too quiet for Graf's liking - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Monday, October 31, 1988
Rex Bellamy, Tennis Correspondent

Steffi Graf won nine games in a row to beat Manuela Maleeva 6-2, 6-0 in the singles final of the Midland Group championships at the Brighton Centre yesterday. This was Graf's 44th consecutive win and the 70th of a year in which has only twice been beaten.

Graf's prize of Pounds 28,400 was hardly dented by the load of compact discs she carried home ("I've never bought so much music"). Her only other assignments this year will be the Virginia Slims championships in New York and, possibly, the world team championship in Melbourne, from December 4 to 11.

Graf and Claudia Kohde-Kilsch won that title for West Germany last year, but several celebrities are reluctant to play in Australia so soon before Christmas.

Maleeva, who tends to look dejected before there is any cause to do so, is thoughtful and solid, varies the pace and angle of her shots, but basically relies on deep drives from both flanks. The pattern of her game is predictable because she plays from the head, never indulging the heart.

Maleeva began well, concentrating on Graf's backhand in an effort to avert mayhem. But Graf was soon at her best, overpowering the Bulgarian with fierce forehands and services and disrupting her rhythm with drop shots and heavily sliced backhands. Graf's adjustments of the racket head were so facile as almost to escape notice.

The Franco-American doubles final forecast by the seedings was almost ruined by Jo Durie and Sharon Walsh-Pete, playing their last tournament in harness before Walsh-Pete retires from full-time tennis to become a promoter. This is the same Walsh who, aged 18, quelled Virginia Wade and Winnie Shaw with booming backhands in the 1970 Dewar Cup tournament in Edinburgh.

In most respects this slickly organized Brighton tournament was admirable. A strong field produced attractive tennis in a comfortable setting and there were refreshing contributions from such promising youngsters as Nathalie Tauziat, Jana Pospisilova, and Maria Strandlund.

Vaguely disquieting features were the inhibited reaction of the public and the modest quality of the doubles draw. Only three of the eight singles seeds competed in the doubles. In the women's game, as in the men's, the status of doubles has declined. The leading players can earn all and more than they need from the singles, without the chore of competing in doubles often late in the evenings.

The overpaid celebrities (of both sexes) need reminding that doubles is an exciting part of roles as entertainers. Even in singles, their personalities tend to be suppressed, with seldom a hint that there is pleasure as well as profit in playing a game for a living.

This neglect of the 'fun' element communicates itself to the public, especially in such a formal environment as that at the Brighton Centre. There were times, this past week, when the quietly attentive public were more like a church congregation than a crowd at a sports event. One half-expected the umpires to announce hymn numbers.

Most players, men and women, would have to seek other jobs if their incomes depended on gate receipts rather than sponsors. But the withdrawal of sponsors is about as likely as home rule for Midhurst.

RESULTS: Semi-finals: S Graf (WG) bt L McNeil (US), 6-2, 5-7, 6-4; M Maleeva (Bul) bt P Shriver (US), 7-6, 2-1 (ret). Final: Graf bt Maleeva, 6-2, 6-0. Doubles: Semi-finals: I Demongeot and N Tauziat (Fr) bt J Durie (Avon) and S Walsh-Pete (US), 6-7, 6-1, 7-5; L McNeil and B Nagelsen (US) bt I Budarova (Cz) and C Wood (GB), 6-1, 6-4. Final: McNeil and Nagelsen bt Demongeot and Tauziat, 7-6, 2-6, 7-6.
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post #2996 of 6040 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2013, 08:24 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2


Blunderkind - Steffi Graf
The Sunday Times
London, England
Sunday, November 6, 1988

Steffi Graf had them blushing when she accepted the winner's cheque at the Midland Group-sponsored women's tennis championship in Brighton.

She graciously acknowledged Pretty Polly for sponsoring the event which would have been appropriate when they bank-rolled it in 1986, the last time Graf entered.
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post #2997 of 6040 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2013, 08:26 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Posted a few articles about the Umbrella Incident during the 1986 Federation Cup over in the "1986" thread. What are the odds of walking by an umbrella on a table while a strong enough gust of wind topples the table but the umbrella shaft misses your head and the table misses your leg proper? These mighty winds arise with astounding frequency in Steffi's career, usually to her advantage, but she would always be a little skittish about umbrellas if she wasn't holding them.
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post #2998 of 6040 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 06:11 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Shriver will drop out as well. It really was a stupid location.

Sports People; Graf Withdraws
November 2, 1988
New York Times
Associated Press

Having already won the Grand Slam and an Olympic gold medal this year, Steffi Graf announced yesterday that she was withdrawing from the Federation Cup in Australia next month, the top championship in women's team tennis. Claus Stauder, president of the German Tennis Federation, said he was told by Graf's father and manager, Peter Graf, that his daughter needed to rest after a busy 1988 tournament schedule. The Bild newspaper of West Germany reported that Graf wanted to skip the tournament scheduled for Dec. 5-11 in Melbourne to spend Christmas at home with her family. With Graf, West Germany beat the United States in last year's final.

Gabriela Sabatini also withdrew from the Federation Cup, leaving fifth-ranked Pam Shriver as the top competitor. Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert also have said they will not compete in the women's equivalent of the Davis Cup.
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post #2999 of 6040 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 06:12 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Big names skip Federation Cup
Wednesday, November 2, 1988
Compiled by Greg Boeck, Carol Herwig, Beth Tuschak

Pam Shriver says she's not surprised Steffi Graf has pulled out of this year's Federation Cup tennis tournament, Dec. 5-11 in Australia.

Shriver, in Worcester, Mass., for this week's New England Virginia Slims, said she, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova aren't playing either because "the timing ... is really difficult for the players.''

"To go, then come back for Christmas, then go back down'' for the Australian Open in January is just too physically demanding, said Shriver.

"It's a shame. We all love to play Fed Cup.''

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post #3000 of 6040 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 06:24 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Thanks Ms.A for posting all your valuable collection.

By the way, wondering if anyone watched this?
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