Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2 - Page 207 -
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post #3091 of 6247 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2014, 03:56 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
I knew and I have seen the Sabatini-Mona Lisa painting, but I never heard of the other Graf one! And I loooove that painting by Manet, I'm a real art amateur, but I agree the girl doesn't look like Steffi that much, she looks more like Kaley Cuoco!

Ms. Anthropic, I love reading all these posts from incredible years in women's tennis, I want to congratulate you on your effort and tell you've won the gratitude of a bunch of tennis fans!
I am glad that people like these "histories" as much as I do. Tennis' past, both in itself and within greater social contexts, is rich with people and events that would be unbelievable as a work of fiction. The sad part is how much primary source material still hidden away or even lost forever.

Trying to attach a JPEG of the Steffi-Manet painting. Here's the real one: And here's the article where the "right" perspective was found:
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File Type: jpg manetsteffi.JPG (51.2 KB, 11 views)
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post #3092 of 6247 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2014, 04:19 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

On this day, Gaby's loss to Lindsay was the big story. But tucked in there is a mention of one the secrets of Steffi's success: the ability to read the play, even far beyond the standard this-kind-of-shot-is-hard-for-this type-of-grip or this-player's-weakness-is-X knowledge. So often, it's not just that Steffi got to ball so easily because she was fast; it's because she knew exactly where the ball would be before the shot was struck. Again, in all the interviews and post match press conferences, I wish someone had once asked her "How?" If I were an up-and-coming player at one of her training camps, I'd be asking "How? What do I look for?" Maybe it's one of those things that's difficult to put into words.

The Palm Beach Post
Friday, March 5, 1993
VICKI MICHAELIS, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The Mona Lisa of tennis looked a bit meeker Thursday than da Vinci would have liked.

A weathered dullness in the eyes. An expression evoking the sense of vulnerability.

Gabriela Sabatini just wasn't her sleek, fresh-off-the-cover-pages self.

Along comes 16-year-old Lindsay Davenport, a splash of fresh paint on the women's tennis tour who just turned pro last week, and, voila!

Pop art.

The unseeded Davenport outhit, outchased and outshined Sabatini in a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 victory over the No. 3 seed in the Virginia Slims of Florida Thursday at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

Sabatini, apparently still battling a virus she caught at the Australian Open, was one of two seeded players eliminated in the Round of 16. No. 9 Natalia Zvereva also lost in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) to unseeded Barbara Rittner.

Top-seeded Steffi Graf advanced with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Iva Majoli, a 15-year-old whose game has been mentioned in the same company as Monica Seles'.

"Her backhand looks very similar (to Seles')-- the way she hits it, the way she follows it through," Graf said of Majoli. "Her forehand is different. She's playing a little bit more topspin than Monica does.

"She's still got to work on footspeed and her footwork, also the speed of her balls. I could read them really well."

No. 2 seed Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, No. 4 Mary Joe Fernandez, No. 5 Anke Huber, No. 7 Zina Garrison-Jackson and No. 8 Amanda Coetzer also advanced.

Like Graf, Sabatini is a three-time champion of the Virginia Slims of Florida. Chris Evert is the only other player to have won the tournament, now in its 10th year.

Tournament officials commissioned paintings of both Sabatini and Graf before the tournament began. The reproduction of Sabatini, dubbed the Mona Sabatini because it features her face in the Italian masterpiece, will be auctioned Saturday between the semifinal matches, with proceeds going to the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS.

Thursday, the Argentine was weary.

"I don't feel 100 percent. I didn't feel very well at all. If I looked at the way I was feeling, it (the loss) was normal," said Sabatini, ranked fifth, who hasn't played a tournament since Australia in January.

Davenport, ranked 73rd after starting the year at No. 162, led 3-0 in the first set before Sabatini fought back to force a tiebreaker.

Last week at the Evert Cup at Indian Wells, Calif., where Davenport announced her decision to turn pro, the California native led eventual tournament winner Fernandez 4-0 in the first set of a quarterfinal match.

"I thought to myself, `I'm doing it again. I've got to stay with her,' " Davenport said of the first set against Sabatini.

For a player who still wears her 150 pounds like pinchable baby fat and her 6-foot-2 frame like every step she takes is through a 6-foot doorway, that might seem an improbable task.

With the score tied at four in the tiebreaker, Davenport showed it was not only probable but also applaudable. She hit a lob that set up a Sabatini slam to the corner. She sprinted to retrieve it and answered with a backhand winner down the line.

"She can do anything with her backhand-- crosscourt or down the line. Her serve is very good too," Sabatini said. One of Davenport's four aces was clocked at 87 mph.

Sabatini couldn't recover. She double-faulted the next point of the tiebreaker and netted a forehand to lose the first set.

She came out with resolve in the second set, serving above the noise of the fans scrambling to take their seats. She rallied in the third set, as the game went to deuce seven times, only to lose her serve. Then her stamina gave out.

"In the second set, I felt very tired," Sabatini said.

Sabatini's exit marks the earliest that a No. 3 seed has lost in the tournament since Kathy Rinaldi beat Wendy Turnbull in 1985.

Sabatini will be resting today, trying to restore energy in a body weakened by a virus.

"This is frustrating because I don't know what is happening," Sabatini said.

Davenport might do some homework today, if her heart has stopped beating as rapid-fire as her groundstrokes.

With part of the $7,500-- her first tour winnings-- she won at Indian Wells, Davenport bought a fax machine so she can send the homework she does most every night to Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Calif.

The rest of the money, plus what she wins at the Florida Slims?

"I'll put it in the bank. Let my dad take care of it," she said.

Asked if her parents (Dad is vice president of an engineering company and Mom is a housewife) ever travel with her, Davenport said:

"No, not really. So I should call pretty soon."
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The Miami Herald
Friday, March 5, 1993

Lindsay Davenport was all smiles two days ago while telling someone she and doubles partner Chanda Rubin had lost to Mary Joe Fernandez and Zina Garrison-Jackson, seeded fifth in the Virginia Slims of Florida.

It was as if Davenport was happy to have just played two tour veterans. Davenport, after all, is only a 16-year-old high school junior from Murrieta, Calif.

The smile was even bigger Thursday. She played third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini, 22, another tour veteran and a three-time winner of this event.

Davenport won.

"I'm still excited," Davenport said, beaming 15 to 20 minutes after her 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 victory on stadium court at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. "I wasn't sure what was going to happen."

"When I got up 5-love (in the second set), I started feeling real nervous again. But I'm real excited. I just don't know what to do right now."

Neither does Sabatini, who said a lingering virus might knock her out of the Lipton Championships next week.

Davenport's was the second upset of the day. Unseeded and 34th-ranked Barbara Rittner of Germany defeated No. 9 seed Natalia Zvereva of Belarus, 6-3, 6-1, earlier.

Winning with ease were the other seeded players in action Thursday -- Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (2), Mary Joe Fernandez (4), Anke Huber (5), Garrison-Jackson (7) and Amanda Coetzer (8).

To no surprise, Davenport, who just turned pro last week, was the talk of the day. She was to have been like 15-year-old Croatian Iva Majoli, a young wannabe in over her head against someone superior. Majoli, who beat No. 11 seed Gigi Fernandez in the first round, played top-seeded and defending champion Steffi Graf on stadium court before Davenport's match. Graf won, 6-2, 6-2, in 54 minutes.

"It was hard for me because she played really well," Majoli said. "She didn't give me a chance."

Sabatini didn't give Davenport a chance either. Davenport, last year's U.S. Open junior champion, simply took it.

"This is all really taking me by surprise a little bit. Each tournament I keep getting better and better," said Davenport, who in her professional debut at the Evert Cup last week lost to Mary Joe Fernandez in the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals here, Davenport will play Coetzer, a South African.

Sabatini's third-round loss marks the earliest the No. 3 seed has lost in the Slims of Florida since 17-year-old Kathy Rinaldi upset Wendy Turnbull in the third round in 1985. But at least Rinaldi, who began that year ranked No. 23 in the world, was the No. 13 seed.

Davenport is unseeded. Her current ranking is No. 73, a 26- position leap from last week's ranking. She is likely to jump another 25 spots or so by the time she plays in the Lipton.

"I just want to get through this tournament and play my next match well, hopefully not have a big letdown and keep going," Davenport said.

Keep going? Sabatini would just like to get going. Without taking anything away from Davenport's achievement, she acknowledged what most everyone suspected: She is not feeling well. Playing in Lipton -- at her part-time home of Key Biscayne -- is hardly a definite.

"If I'm not feeling well, I'm not going to play," said Sabatini, who has been battling a flu-like virus for the past 4 1/2 weeks.

Sabatini had not played a tournament since the Australian Open and had to spend at least one full week in bed. Her doctor told her it is just a virus -- one that could last for as long as two months -- but she said she might return to him to be sure it's not more.

"It is very frustrating because I don't know what's happening," Sabatini said. "I still don't feel well. I ask myself, 'What's happening?' "

Of course, she knew Thursday. Davenport was happening.

Davenport, at 6-2 and roughly 150 pounds, did not just win against Sabatini. She beat her, running down balls someone her size wouldn't seem to have a chance to get. Davenport played the angles well with her forehand and backhand.

"She can do anything with her backhand," Sabatini said.

Davenport was up, 3-0, in the first set before her nervousness allowed Sabatini to come back and lead, 5-3. After a comeback of her own, Davenport fought through seven deuces to go up, 3-0, in the second set and went on from there like the steady breeze through the tennis center.

"I didn't get real nervous in the second set until I got up, 5-love," Davenport said. "Then I thought, 'Oh, my gosh! I might win this!'

"I kept praying until I got up and through the end."

Stephanie Rehe's body failed her again, which in turn brought a premature end at least for now, to the Rehe-Steffi Graf doubles team.

Rehe, who upset 15th-seeded Radka Zrubakova in the second round, had to quit in the middle of her match against No. 8 seed Amanda Coetzer because of a pulled muscle in the upper thigh area of her left leg. Rehe, from Oceanside, Calif., trailed, 5-3, in the first set when she had to retire.

Rehe and Graf, the tournament's sixth seeded doubles team, had to default their afternoon match against Larisa Neiland and Jana Novotna, the No. 2 seeds, because of a new Kraft Tour rule. The rule states that players who have to default in singles also must default in doubles if the doubles match is the same day.

"This is nothing new," Rehe said. "My body seems to let me down in a lot of matches."

In 1987, Rehe had trouble with her abdominal muscles. She missed all of '89 because of a back injury that required surgery and extensive rehabilitation. The back injury, she said, might be the reason for her continued physical problems.

"I woke up this morning feeling like the Tin Man," Rehe said. "I couldn't move.

"I was really disappointed. I had never played Amanda, and I felt I had a good chance."

Michelle Jackson-Nobrega of Palm Beach Gardens, an early- round loser in doubles at the Virginia Slims of Florida, beat doubles partner Luanne Spadea of Boca Raton, 7-5, 6-2, at the Biltmore Tennis Center in a pre-qualifying tournament to make the qualifying tournament for the Lipton.

Yael Segal of Israel also made Lipton qualifying, which begins Monday, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Susi Lohrmann of Germany.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Saturday, March 6, 1993

DELRAY BEACH -- All it had was three sets of tension and drama, a comeback from 5-1 in the second set, Steffi Graf on the ropes, Zina Garrison-Jackson on the ropes, great shotmaking, five match points and about 100 rounds of wild applause.

That's all.

When the slugfest was over, 2 hours and 15 chilling minutes after it began Friday, Graf had outgunned Garrison-Jackson in this two-woman assault on the net and outgutted her on the scoreboard.


The score was 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4. That's five in a row for Steffi over Zina, and 10 of the last 11. But what's murdering Garrison-Jackson is how close she keeps coming. The last three losses have been three-setters.

The victory moves top-seeded Graf into the Virginia Slims of Florida semifinals today against fifth-seeded Anke Huber, who defeated back-weary Mary Joe Fernandez of Miami, 6-4, 6-4.

Second-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario plays No. 8 Amanda Coetzer in the other semi. Sanchez Vicario defeated unseeded Barbara Rittner, 6-1, 6-0. Coetzer, trying to get into her second consecutive final, defeated teenager Lindsay Davenport, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

This 12th match between Graf and Garrison-Jackson was much like their previous tours de force. Two women looking to swamp the net at every opportunity.

There were 199 points played, and 118 (59 percent) were settled at the net.

But Garrison-Jackson also brought a more effective serve this time, and, with intermittent success, she kept hammering it at Graf's backhand side.

''It was a lot stronger first serve than I had,'' Graf said. ''It was tough to play against.''

Graf called it ''a strange match,'' and so it was.

She breezed through the first set, fell behind 1-5 in the second, caught up, went ahead, lost the tiebreak, then gritted through the almost dead-even final set.

''Steffi came right out and, bam, played well from the start,'' said Garrison-Jackson. ''But before I knew it I was up a break in the second and things started to roll.''

With her serve sharp and her backhand slice pinning Graf to the baseline, Garrison-Jackson could crowd the net. She bolted to a 5-1 lead and had a set-point in the seventh game. Graf looked ripe for a knockout.

But Graf, ranked second in the world, knows how to counterpunch.

''I decided to get a good service game in, then get her serve back into play and see what came up,'' she said.

Her score did. She won at love for 4-5. She tied it at 5-5 as Garrison- Jackson's first service began to fail her.

She went up 6-5 and had two match points on Garrison-Jackson's serve in the 12th game. But she couldn't put her away.

Into the tiebreak they went and Zina won the final three points to even the match.

The third set was more drama as they swapped games to 4-4 before Graf broke with the help of a delicate lob which hit the baseline beyond Garrison- Jackson's racquet.

In the final game, Garrison-Jackson had two break points to tie it again and Graf three match points. She finally cashed in when Garrison-Jackson hit a forehand over the baseline.

Graf sat at the interview table, chewing on the collar of her warmup jacket and complaining of hunger.

''No surprises,'' she said of the match. ''You know she's coming in on pretty much everything she can.''

But Graf's passing shots just about balanced out Garrison-Jackson's success at the net. In fact, all aspects of the match were about equal, except the final score.

The last time Garrison-Jackson defeated Graf was in the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1990, a huge win for her at the time.

Now, however, five years later, 1990 must seem like an eternity ago.

-- Fernandez's back has worsened during the week and it was obvious from her play. She didn't seem to have her normal movement on the court. The loss broke an eight-game winning streak for Fernandez, who won at Indian Wells last week... Huber also is having back problems and talked of skipping Lipton if her health doesn't improve. She is 0-5 lifetime against Graf and now 2-3 vs. Fernandez... Sanchez Vicario is 5-0 lifetime vs. Coetzer.



1. Steffi Graf d. 7. Zina Garrison-Jackson 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4.

2. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario d. Barbara Rittner 6-1, 6-0.

5. Anke Huber d. 4. Mary Joe Fernandez 6-4, 6-4.

8. Amanda Coetzer d. Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 6-2.




Sandy Collins-Rachel McQuillan d. Jill Hetherington-Kathy Rinaldi 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Sanchez Vicario-Rennae Stubbs (5) v. Nanne Dahlman-Louise Field, postponed.


-- Steffi Graf and Zina Garrison-Jackson put on a match good enough to have been the final.


-- A spectator had an apparent heart attack while Graf and Garrison-Jackson were warming up and was taken to a Delray Beach hospital, where he listed in stable but serious condition. Five minutes after he was taken off on a stretcher, another man, just a few rows away, collapsed from the heat. He was revived and taken to a hospital for examination.


-- ''I hadn't really thought about it. But now that I do, it would be nice.'' -- Amanda Coetzer, asked if she had been hoping for a rematch with Mary Joe Fernandez, who beat her in the finals at Indian Wells last week.

-- ''I'm hungry, very hungry.'' -- Steffi Graf, after 2 hours and 15 minutes of grueling tennis against Zina Garrison-Jackson.


-- The matches were long and it pushed Arantxa Sanchez Vicario's starting time back about an hour, but she didn't get impatient. ''I went back to the hotel and rented a very funny movie,'' she said her not-quite-perfect English. ''Thelma and Louis.''

She finally got on the court about 8 p.m. and dusted Barbara Rittner, 6-1, 6-0. ''I played a great match,'' she said. She won't change anything for her semi against Amanda Coetzer today at 1 p.m. ''I know her. She knows me. I know what I have to do.''


-- STADIUM COURT (Beginning at 1 p.m.): Semifinal -- Sanchez Vicario (2) vs. Amanda Coetzer (8). Quarterfinal -- Sanchez Vicario-Rennae Stubbs (3) vs. Nanne Dahlman-Louise Field.

-- STADIUM COURT (Beginning at 6 p.m.): Semifinal -- Steffi Graf (1) vs. Anke Huber (5); Larisa Neiland-Jana Novotna (2). Sandy Collins-Rachel McQuillen (7); Gigi Fernandez-Natalia Zvereva (1) vs. winner of Sanchez Vicario- Rennae Stubbs (3) vs. Nanne Dahlman-Louise Field match.


Steffi Graf (1) d. Zina Garrison-Jackson (7) 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4; Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (2) d. Barbara Rittner 6-1, 6-0; Anke Huber (5) d. Mary Joe Fernandez (4) 6-4, 6-4. Amanda Coetzer (8) d. Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 6-2.


-- STADIUM COURT: Sanchez Vicario (2) vs. Coetzer (8), 1 p.m.; Graf (1) vs. Huber (5) (6 p.m.).
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf edges Garrison-Jackson
St. Petersburg Times
Saturday, March 6, 1993
Associated Press

Steffi Graf took command at the start, won five consecutive games in the second set, reached match point five times and still almost lost to Zina Garrison-Jackson.

After 2 hours and 15 minutes, Graf, the top seed, finally eliminated Garrison-Jackson 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 in Friday's quarterfinals at the Virginia Slims of Florida.

"A strange match,'' Graf said.

She advanced to today's semifinals against Anke Huber, the No. 5 seed, who beat No. 4 Mary Joe Fernandez 6-4, 6-4.

California high school junior Lindsay Davenport, who upset Gabriela Sabatini on Thursday, fell to eighth-seeded Amanda Coetzer 6-4, 6-2. Coetzer will play the winner of the Arantxa Sanchez Vicario-Barbara Rittner match.

Graf's match began to take odd turns in the second set, when she fell behind 5-1 and then rallied for a 6-5 lead. She had two match points in the 12th game, but Garrison-Jackson hit a forehand winner and Graf hit a forehand long. An hour later Garrison-Jackson was still battling.

"That's the difference between champions and fill-in-the draw players,'' said Garrison-Jackson, the seventh seed. "I'm never going to give up.''

In the final set, Graf broke serve in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead. Garrison-Jackson survived two more match points but then hit three consecutive errant backhands to give Graf the victory.

Courier tops Rosset in Champions Cup

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Jim Courier dropped a set for the first time in three matches before he rebounded for a 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6- quarterfinal victory over Marc Rosset at the Champions Cup.

Courier, the top seed, advanced to a semifinal today against No. 4 Michael Chang.

Chang defeated No. 5 Petr Korda 6-1, 6-3. No. 14 Wayne Ferreira defeated Alberto Mancini 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), and No. 15 Alexander Volkov defeated Fabrice Santoro 6-4, 6-1.

"I've had some good years and some bad years here,'' said Courier, who won here in 1991. "I feel pretty good, and now I've won 14 out of 16 of my last matches. I definitely have a lot of confidence.''

Courier's victory avenged losses to Rosset at the Summer Olympics and the Davis Cup last November.

Courier named player of year: Jim Courier, only the 10th player to be ranked No. 1 in the 21-year history of the ATP Tour rankings, was selected 1992 Player of the Year Friday night.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The Palm Beach Post
Saturday, March 6, 1993
VICKI MICHAELIS, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Stadium court at the new Delray Beach Tennis Center is a slippery surface for Virginia Slims of Florida champions.

Top-seeded Steffi Graf nearly lost her foothold on a chance to repeat as tournament champ with a second-set breakdown against No. 7 seed Zina Garrison- Jackson Friday. She persevered through a 2-hour, 15-minute match for a 6-1, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4 victory.

Graf will face No. 5 seed Anke Huber -- a 6-4, 6-4 winner over fourth- seeded Mary Joe Fernandez Friday-- in the 6 p.m. semifinal today.

The tournament's only other returning champion, No. 3 seed Gabriela Sabatini, lost her chance for a fourth title Thursday with a collapse against 16-year-old Lindsay Davenport.

Friday, Davenport's second pro tournament ended as her first did last week at the Evert Cup (where she announced her decision to turn pro)-- in the quarterfinals. She lost to No. 8 seed Amanda Coetzer in straight sets.

Davenport made numerous unforced errors and showed little of the attacking confidence she had against Sabatini.

"I was impatient. I was going for too much," Davenport said. "I'm a little worn out from last week and this week, and I think it finally caught up with me."

Coetzer, who will play No. 2-seed Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in today's other semifinal at 1 p.m., upset Sabatini last year in the quarterfinals.

"I just played a solid match, hitting some balls back and hoping she would miss," Coetzer said of her win over Davenport.

Sanchez Vicario defeated unseeded Barbara Rittner 6-1, 6-0 Friday.

"I played a great match, and I felt very comfortable and I didn't make mistakes," Sanchez Vicario said.

Miami's Fernandez, ranked No. 7 in the world, succumbed to soreness in her back and the unrelenting baseline game of the 11th-ranked Huber.

She started feeling stiffness in her back during a doubles match Thursday. Against Huber, she was forced to take a three-minute injury timeout for treatment.

Fernandez broke a 39-tournament losing streak last week by winning the Evert Cup.

"You always like to keep winning, keep the streak going. But you don't win all the time. You've got to keep things in perspective," Fernandez said.

Garrison-Jackson had to alter her perspective Friday when a man suffering a heart attack in the stands delayed the start of her match with Graf about an hour.

"I'm too emotional. I'm worried about if the guy's OK," she said. "I was trying to settle down and realize this is tennis, and you've got someone taking care of him and you've just got to go out and play."

Graf started the match with robotic calm, easily winning the first set 6-1 as Garrison-Jackson went 0-for-11 on her approaches to the net.

Graf gave away her serve with two consecutive double faults in the first game of the second set, and Garrison-Jackson's net game came to life, allowing her to take a 5-1 lead.

Graf started relying less on her backhand, which she began missing, and more on forehand passing shots to fight back to a tiebreaker. Garrison-Jackson won the tiebreaker on excellent serves (she hit a 90-mph winner) and volleys. "I was just playing one point at a time and forgetting what had happened," said Garrison-Jackson, who earlier this week credited newfound mental focus to her new trainer, track guru Bob Kersee.

"Overall, I have to give myself a B-plus. I was totally out in the beginning, but I hung in there."

Graf and Garrison-Jackson traded games through most of the third set, each breaking the other's serve once, until Graf revived her backhand and ran Garrison-Jackson side to side for the win.

"It was a strange match," Graf said. "We've had a lot of close matches before, but she's never served that strong."

Graf has beaten her semifinal opponent, Huber, in each of their four meetings. Sanchez Vicario has defeated Coetzer the five times they have played each other.

"I know the way she plays, and she knows me, too, so I know what I have to do," Sanchez Vicario said.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The Miami Herald
Saturday, March 6, 1993

Steffi Graf vs. Zina Garrison-Jackson might be the best women's tennis rivalry people hardly think about. They have played 12 times, including Friday's incredible quarterfinal match in the Virginia Slims of Florida. Six times, they have gone to three sets, including Friday's sensational match.

Graf has won 10 times, including Friday's breathtaking? . . . no, awe-inspiring? . . . no . . . indescribable 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 victory at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

"It was a strange match," said Graf, the defending champion and No. 1 seed.

Said Garrison-Jackson, who was seeded seventh, "I was down. Then I was up. Then things were close again. I just played tennis. I didn't worry about what was happening."

Here is what did happen on a marathon day, on which matches got so far behind that a late doubles match with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Rennae Stubbs against Nanne Dahlman and Louise Field had to be postponed:

* Miamian Mary Joe Fernandez, the No. 4 seed, failed in her attempt to win back-to-back tournaments for the first time since the fall of 1990. Fernandez, who won last week's Evert Cup at Indian Wells, Calif., lost to fifth-seeded Anke Huber, who sometimes trains at Turnberry Isle in North Dade, 6-4, 6-4.

Huber will play Graf in an all-German semifinal at 6 p.m. today. The match will be televised live by SportsChannel, as will the other semifinal.

* Lindsay Davenport, the 16-year-old who won over the crowd with Thursday's straight-sets upset of Gabriela Sabatini, lost to eighth-seeded Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, 6-4, 6-2. Coetzer was the runner-up to Fernandez in the Evert Cup.

* Second-seeded Sanchez Vicario of Spain beat Barbara Rittner, also from Germany, 6-1, 6-0. Sanchez Vicario and Coetzer will meet in today's first semifinal at 1 p.m.

* Two spectators had to receive medical treatment. One man, identified as Richard Conover, 61, suffered a heart attack while Graf and Garrison-Jackson were warming up. He was taken unconscious to Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach. Reports after the match said that he was in critical but stable condition.

The other man, Paul Garland, 62, from Boca Raton, had to be treated for heat exhaustion within a minute after Conover was taken away. After receiving fluids in an ambulance at the tennis center, Garland returned to stadium court to watch Chapter 12 of the Graf vs. Garrison-Jackson rivalry.

Usually, Graf vs. Monica Seles or Graf vs. Sabatini come to mind when there is talk about today's women's tennis rivalries. The Graf vs. Garrison-Jackson pairing, however, started tough back in 1985 in the WITA Championships. It has rarely wavered.

"I started off so well in the first set," said Graf, who won the set in 26 minutes. "I was calm."

Partly because of Garrison-Jackson and partly because of her own unforced errors, Graf just as quickly found herself trailing, 5-1, in the second set.

"I just tried to settle myself down and just play," Garrison-Jackson said. "Before I knew it, I was up a break in the second set, and then things just started to roll."

For a while anyway. Graf won five games in a row and had two match points. She lost them both, lost the tiebreaker, and had to fight through the third set to take the match.

It would seem someone might need considerable time to recover from such a match.

"I'm pretty much over the match," Graf said just 10 minutes after it ended. "I'm hungry right now, very hungry. I'm just looking forward to the match today."

Huber has never beaten Graf -- never even come close really -- in four matches over the past two years. Huber was 1-3 against Fernandez, having lost three matches in a row. She described Friday's victory as perhaps her biggest since she beat Martina Navratilova in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final in 1991.

"I played very well a few games, but it was still not my best tennis because she also didn't play very well," said Huber, who is 6-25 lifetime against players in the Top 10. "She couldn't play well because of her back.

"But I'm happy with the way I played and that I won."

Fernandez's back began getting stiff during her doubles match Thursday afternoon. She had to receive treatment during her match against Huber.

"I've had trouble in the past," Fernandez said. "So I have to be careful."
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

For the record, Anke exclaimed, "Meine Fresse!" When the reporters asked Steffi about it after the match, Steffi explained, "I don't think there is an English word for it exactly. Literally, it's a bad meaning for the word mouth." Ms. Anthropic would translate it to American English as: "My piehole!"

Delray Beach blowouts
The Washington Times
Sunday, March 7, 1993

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Top seeds Steffi Graf and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario scored easy victories to advance to today's final at the Virginia Slims of Florida.

First, Sanchez Vicario beat Amanda Coetzer 6-2, 6-2. Then Graf turned in an even more dominating performance against fellow German Anke Huber, winning 6-1, 6-1.

The final should be closer, even though Graf has a 17-3 record against Sanchez Vicario.

"I think I can win [today]," the second-seeded Spaniard said. "I feel very positive because of the way I'm playing right now."

Rather than relying on her ground strokes as in the past, Sanchez Vicario is learning to win points with power as well as patience. In one sequence against Coetzer, for example, she hit a pair of service winners, belted an ace, then moved in and put away a backhand overhead to take the game at love.

"Since last year, I've been improving on hardcourts," said Sanchez Vicario, who prefers clay. "My hardcourt game is getting better and better all the time."

She recently began working with Carlos Kirmayr, formerly the coach for Gabriela Sabatini. He has encouraged Sanchez Vicario to diversify her game.

"I'm feeling a lot more comfortable coming to the net," she said. "That's what I'm working on with Carlos."

Nonetheless, Graf said she expects to win if she plays well. She expressed doubts about a big change in Sanchez Vicario's game because of Kirmayr.

"They just started working together," Graf said. "You can't change a whole lot in two weeks."

Against the eighth-seeded Coetzer, Sanchez Vicario served three aces and won 15 points at the net. But what she still does best is get the ball back, and she repeatedly chased down shots in the corners.

"The fact that she runs so well is always on your mind," said Coetzer, who has not won a set from Sanchez Vicario in six matches. "Often you find yourself trying to do too much. I wasn't sure what my tactic should be - go for the shots or play a waiting game."

By beating Coetzer, Sanchez Vicario earned her first berth in a final this year. Her most recent title came in the Canadian Open last August.

Graf, seeded No. 1, is seeking her first title since winning the Virginia Slims of Philadelphia in November. She was able to dominate the fifth-seeded Huber from the baseline, winning the first five games and closing out the match with perhaps her best shot of the night, a sizzling cross-court backhand winner.

Graf even managed a rare on-court smile when Huber shouted something in German after hitting a poor shot, and a spectator asked Graf to translate.

"I said, 'I cannot do that,' " Graf said later. "It's an expression that is difficult to translate."

Huber has lost every set in her five matches against Graf and said she may have a mental block because they're both German.

"I've never played good against her; maybe it's because of [her being German]," Huber said. "I always want to play good, and then I don't."

Graf had another explanation for her success against Huber: "I like the way she plays."
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The Palm Beach Post
Sunday, March 7, 1993
Dave George

Amanda Coetzer was backed into a corner and forced to punt in Saturday's opening Virginia Slims of Florida semifinal. Four (games won) and out.

Hey, somebody had to warm up Aranxta Sanchez Vicario for her doubles match later in the day. Coetzer got $15,000 for helping to fill out the weekend field in a tournament that lost three-time champion Gabriela Sabatini early on.

How shallow was the Florida Slims pool? Simply put, the last significant women's tournament that didn't include at least one of the Maleeva girls was played with ponytails.

Coetzer and Anke Huber were just a pair of semifinal smudges at the Delray Beach Tennis Center Saturday, necessary if not noble. If you were there, too, take this test. Wait one month and then see if it's not easier to remember where you parked for the tennis on this day than who you saw defeated, and by how much.

"I am a little disappointed because the score is too high," said Huber, who didn't start punching back against Steffi Graf until she trailed 5-0 and required a thunderous effort thereafter to offer token 6-1, 6-1 resistance.

Graf, the top seed and defending champion, looked genuinely worried at times that she might not be able to hold the match under an hour. A flurry of unforced errors by Huber helped her get there, however, with 30 seconds to spare.

This is one of those deals like Marlon Brando getting $1 million for mumbling a few lines in the first "Superman" movie. Easy money for the sad semifinalists for just showing up, but getting in position to receive it is a bear.

Coetzer, you see, is not just going through the motions here. She's a player. Last week, she pushed Mary Joe Fernandez to an 8-6 tiebreaker in the third set of a final at Indian Wells and checked in at No. 14 in the world, a lifetime best. Note that she started five years ago at No. 442, a steeper ascent over that stretch than Bill Clinton.

The next leap, spanning the chasm between tennis' hard-working honor students and its true prodigies, is the one mere numbers cannot measure. It's the difference between working your way methodically from "Chopsticks" to Chopin, one page at a time, and being born with completed compositions already in your head.

Forgive, then, a career semifinalist a few giddy moments like the one Saturday when Coetzer spotted a friend in the box seats and responded with a broad smile and a sheepish wave. She was trailing 6-2, 5-2 at the time. When you have warning-track power like Coetzer and Huber, there's little point in trying for a barrage of home runs against a player who has won one of tennis' Grand Slams.

"Even though the score doesn't show it today, I feel like I'm getting closer and closer," said Coetzer, who maintained that she played better while getting waxed in the semifinal than she did in the three matches that got her there. "I remember playing Aranxta last year at Lipton and getting really intimidated, overpowered.

"You need a bit of luck when you play someone like this. You are hoping one of them will have a bad day."

Huber no doubt took the same wish into her night semifinal with Graf. Nobody cares that Huber is No. 11 in the world, not as long as she is No. 2 in Germany. This match gained as much notice in Munich as the rivalry between Subaru and Lexus does in Tokyo.

"I like the way she plays," said Graf, who has yet to drop a set to Huber in five matches. "I can calmly set up the point."

As a consequence, tournament organizers can calmly set up a promising final between Graf and Sanchez Vicario, the top two seeds. This is how it was supposed to end, a dramatic meeting of two champions convinced this tournament is theirs alone.

Had Coetzer or Huber made it through instead, the story would have been sweet, like a Lennon Sisters reunion tour. That's how ticket sales for today's 2 p.m. championship would have gone, too. A one, and a two . . .

Sanchez Vicario and partner Rennae Stubbs are in the doubles semifinals, raising the possibility that Aranxta could play three matches today-- the singles final and a pair of pairs. All the same, she is better equipped for that physical and mental challenge than Coetzer, one of the game's most accomplished players, was Saturday for one of the most important matches of her life.

"She (Coetzer) hits very good moon balls," Sanchez Vicario said.

That's the kind of compliment top-5 players pay to the second 10. That, and how they have good personalities.
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The Miami Herald
Sunday, March 7, 1993

Anke Huber and Amanda Coetzer were in the wrong stadium for the wrong round.

At least that is the way top-seeded Steffi Graf and second-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario made it seem. Graf and Sanchez Vicario treated Huber and Coetzer more like pests to be brushed aside Saturday than serious challengers to the Virginia Slims of Florida final.

Graf, with her 6-1, 6-1 victory over Huber in an all-German semifinal, and Sanchez Vicario, with her 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Coetzer, are the only ones left in this $375,000 tournament. They play in the final today (2 p.m., SportsChannel) at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

It is the fourth time in the 10-year history of the tournament the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have met in the final. Graf has been involved in two of the previous three No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchups, as the No. 2 seed in 1986 and as the No. 1 in 1991.

She lost both times, in 1986 to Evert and in 1991 to Gabriela Sabatini. Graf, the defending champion, has never won this tournament in consecutive years.

"I'm looking forward to doing my best and playing like I did today," Sanchez Vicario said. "I don't have anything to lose. She's the one who has the pressure."

Said Graf, three-time Slims of Florida champion, "Every match she has won so easy. So she must be playing well."

Graf is not playing badly either. Huber and Coetzer give Sanchez Vicario a chance of winning . . . depending on how Graf plays.

If it is at all like Saturday, Graf could win her 70th career title.

"I played solid throughout the match," Graf said. "What I was trying to do was just be really on the whole match. That's what I really did. I played very calm."

Huber, meanwhile, could do nothing the way she wanted. She committed 45 unforced errors, enough to give Graf 11 games. With that, Graf only needed to work for one more.

"I have never played good against her," said Huber, now 0-5 lifetime against Graf.

Not many people have, including Sanchez Vicario. Graf has won 17 of their 20 matches.

"I think I have some chances the way I played," Sanchez Vicario said. "I'm strong. I'm really consistent. I'm very tough. I'm moving really well. I'm very happy with myself."

Sanchez Vicario has competed in the Virginia Slims of Florida only once before. She lost in the third round four years ago and never came back until this year. She didn't like the surface. You know, hard courts.

But in the time it takes most college students to earn a degree, Sanchez Vicario has learned how to play on hard courts and now stands a chance of winning her fourth straight title on the surface.

"I'm feeling much better now maybe than last year," said Sanchez Vicario, who is in her fourth hardcourt final in her past eight final appearances. "I think I'm getting better and better all the time."

Sanchez Vicario's past three tournament titles have been on the hard courts at the Canadian Open and the Lipton Championships last year, and in Washington, D.C., in 1991. She even had her landmark first hardcourt victory over Graf last year at the U.S. Open.

"The fact that she runs so well is always on your mind," Coetzer said of Sanchez Vicario. "You find you have to do more to do well, then you find yourself trying to do too much and you make errors."

Said Graf, "She's a player you cannot just give a couple of games away because she's going to take advantage of that."

In her past two matches, Sanchez Vicario has lost just five games. She has gotten far more work from her doubles matches. She and partner Rennae Stubbs are seeded third. They needed three sets Saturday to beat Nanne Dahlman and Louise Field.

If Sanchez Vicario and Stubbs beat top-seeded Gigi Fernandez and Natalia Zvereva in a match following the singles final, Sanchez Vicario will play three matches today, one singles and two doubles.

"Doubles helps me with my game," Sanchez Vicario said. "I can practice some returns and volleys and serves and overheads. That makes me feel better to go into the singles and do that too."


Seedings in parentheses

Singles semifinals: Steffi Graf (1), Germany, d. Anke Huber (5), Germany, 6-1, 6-1; Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (2), Spain, d. Amanda Coetzer (8), South Africa, 6-2, 6-2.

Doubles quarterfinals: Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Spain/ Rennae Stubbs, Australia, d. Nanne Dahlman, Finland/Louise Field, Australia, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 6-2.

Semifinals: Larisa Neiland, Latvia/Jana Novotna, Czech Republic, d. Sandy Collins, Odessa, Texas/Rachel McQuillan, Australia, 6-2, 7-5.


Stadium Court: 2 p.m., Steffi Graf (1) vs. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (2); (after suitable rest for Sanchez Vicario) Gigi Fernandez-Natalia Zvereva (1) vs. Sanchez Vicario-Rennae Stubbs (3); (after suitable rest) Fernandez-Zvereva or Sanchez Vicario-Stubbs vs. Larisa Neiland-Jana Novotna (2).
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Methinks the backhand slice had something to do with some of the errors.

Another easy one for Graf in Slims
St. Petersburg Times
Sunday, March 7, 1993

Anke Huber is almost always compared to Steffi Graf, partly because of her smoking groundstrokes, but mostly because she's German.

The next Steffi Graf? Perhaps.

But Saturday, she was just next, the fourth straight victim in Graf's march into today's Virginia Slims of Florida championship match. This one was brutely swift (59 minutes) but no less painful, 6-1, 6-1.

"I always want to play well against her, but I never do,'' said Huber, who is 0-5 against Graf. "It is very difficult for me to play her.''

Graf's fifth and final opponent is second seed Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who took out eighth seed Amanda Coetzer 6-2, 6-2 earlier Saturday at the Delray Beach Tennis Center to reach her first Slims of Florida final.

It's a title match that will be somewhat of a hill for Sanchez Vicario to climb. She has beaten Graf only three times in their 20 previous matches. Her last win, however, came on hard courts like the one they will play on at 2 p.m. today before an expected crowd of 6,000-plus.

The two players last met two months ago in the semifinals of the Australian Open, a match Graf won 7-5, 6-4. Still, Sanchez Vicario is a rapidly improving hard-court player who last year won the Lipton Championships and reached the U.S. Open final on hard courts.

And coming into the final this afternoon, she has dropped only five games in her past two matches.

"I'm getting better and better over the tournament,'' Sanchez Vicario said. "I'm in the final and I'm feeling very comfortable. I have nothing to lose. (Graf) is the one who has all the pressure.''

Graf, 23, certainly wasn't feeling any of that Saturday against Huber, a rising 18-year-old, who emulates her neighbor who lives 20 minutes or so from her in Germany. Although Huber is about to crack the top 10 (she's No. 11), this was one of those matches that the fifth-seeded pro could have just mailed in the result. What the top-seeded Graf has typically done to opponents, Huber did all by herself, committing 45 unforced errors (Graf had only 19) and double-faulting six times.

"I just made too many easy mistakes,'' Huber said, laughing at herself. "I'd have five good shots and then I don't know.''

Although Huber hit more winners than Graf (13 to 12), it took one of Graf's few unforced errors to keep Huber from being shut out in the opening set. What looked to be a routine Graf backhand return of serve sailed long to make it 5-1.

Graf stumbled for a moment, holding off repeated break points to close out the set. After that, though, the second set read like a replay of the first, with Graf striking without fault and Huber burying herself with her own shovel.

"I like the way she plays,'' Graf said. "She has a lot of trouble with my slice (backhand) and she makes a lot of errors.''

Coetzer almost was beaten before she started against Sanchez Vicario - and before some of the 7,519 fans got settled in their seats. The speedy and resilient Spaniard, who could run down a ball all the way into an adjacent court, had Coetzer pressing from the beginning.

"She runs so well it's always on your mind,'' Coetzer said. "You feel like you always have to do more with the ball and you find yourself making errors.''

And that spelled doom for Coetzer, who doesn't have an array of weapons. Coetzer had only seven winners.

Basically, Coetzer had two real shots at rocking Sanchez Vicario. But in the opening game of the second set, Coetzer netted a forehand on break point and then mis-hit another one.

"I played a great match, and I did the right things,'' Sanchez Vicario said. "I knew I had to be patient and wait for the opportunities.''

Courier ousts Chang, reaches Champions final

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Jim Courier continued to treat the desert as his home away from home and invincibility as a fact of his professional repertory as he dismissed defending champion Michael Chang, 6-4, 6-4, in the semifinals of the Champions Cup.

"If you can beat the No. 1 guy in the world, there's no reason why you yourself can't be No. 1,'' said Chang, who was reminded by his peer that he isn't quite ready to get there. Courier controls their career rivalry 5-3 and has downed Chang in straight sets in four consecutive meetings.

The match sent a relieved Courier, already victorious at the Australian Open and Memphis, into his third 1992 final and ended Chang's nine-match winning streak here.

Courier faces No. 14 Wayne Ferreira, a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 winner over No. 15 Alexander Volkov, in today's final.

Courier admitted he prefers his opponents faceless. Too much familiarity, he said, can play havoc with one's concentration.

Chang, with his unchangeable face and body language, comes close to being the ideal opponent for Courier; he keeps things impersonal, too. What he couldn't do, and in that he has plenty of company among the top 10 players, was match Courier's power from the baseline.

Instead, he could trace his uncharacteristically high 25 unforced errors to the pressure exerted by Courier's locomotion.

Ferreira needed just 64 minutes to dispatch Volkov. The Russian was the first seeded player Ferreira faced this week.

Volkov led the first-set tiebreak 3-2 when Ferreira reeled off five straight points for the set.

Ferreira opened a 4-2 lead in the second set and won match point with a 119 mph ace. He connected on 82 percent of his first serves.

- Information from the New York Times and Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The Miami Herald
Sunday, March 7, 1993

Famous last words: "I was just trying to drive the price up," said Cinde Martin, marketing director for West Palm Beach radio station Sunny 104.3 (WEAT-FM).

Martin's bid of $4,200 Saturday bought the station the Mona Sabatini painting, a full-size reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa using Gabriela Sabatini's face. The tournament auctioned off the painting between semifinal matches in the Virginia Slims of Florida.

The money will go to the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS.

"I thought it would go for over $5,000," Martin said. "When they said, 'Going twice ...' I started thinking I might not have a job on Monday."

Martin said she will use the painting in station promotions.

The Slims of Florida commissioned the oil paintings of Sabatini and a version of Edouard Manet's The Bar at the Folies-Bergere featuring Steffi Graf for about $12,000. The tournament will keep the Graf painting.

Richard Conover, who suffered a heart attack Friday while Zina Garrison-Jackson and Graf were warming up for their quarterfinal match, received a bouquet of flowers and a get-well wish from Garrison-Jackson.

Garrison-Jackson said after her match that worrying about Conover affected her play. She lost, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4.
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Not Glamorous, Not Unexpected: It's Graf, Sanchez
March 7, 1993

DELRAY BEACH -- Steffi Graf was coolly indifferent. This is just another final, and she is going to win it.

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario was all business. The early-week joking is over. She's ready to bust that 0-6 streak against Graf in title matches.

It might not be the most glamorous championship final. No doubt Virginia Slims of Florida honchos were hoping for Graf vs. Gabriela Sabatini, a guaranteed sellout.

But they're stuck instead with the two best players in the tournament, and, if you like quality women's tennis, this is going to be a good one.

Graf, seeded No. 1, has staggered a bit along the way but had a gutty win over Zina Garrison-Jackson in the Friday quarters.

Sanchez Vicario, seeded No. 2, started slowly, losing her first set of the tournament on Tuesday to Canadian Helen Kelesi. But she hasn't lost a set since.

And both simply roared into the final with easy wins Saturday.

First, Sanchez broke Amanda Coetzer's game and spirit with a 6-2, 6-2 win in 1 hour and 14 minutes.

Then Graf needed just 59 minutes to destroy Anke Huber 6-1, 6-1.

Confidence? It fairly oozes from both.

"I was solid throughout the match," Graf said without emotion. "I just wanted to be really on the whole match, and that's what I really did. I played very calm."

Said Sanchez: "I played smart. I was patient. I moved the ball around. And when I had the short ball, I went to the net."

These two combatants have met a whopping 20 times since 1988 and, most recently, on the hardcourts of the Australian Open, where Graf won 7-5, 6-4 in the semis.

But things have happened to the powerful little Spaniard since. She hired Carlos Kirmayr, once a tutor to Sabatini, to get her off the baseline and to the net -- the final ingredient, she believes, needed to vault her from No. 4 into the top two or three.

Maybe Graf doesn't think Arantxa is playing more effectively. "They have been working together just a few weeks. It's difficult to change a lot in a couple of weeks," Graf said.

But tell that to Coetzer. Sanchez made 21 approaches to the net and put away 15 for points.

Coetzer, whose best friend is the baseline and whose second-best friend is the moon ball, couldn't out-steady Sanchez and in the fifth game of the second set. She cracked, making four unforced errors.

When Sanchez got the serve back at 4-2, she blasted two service winners and an ace, then punched a wonderful three-quarter backhand overhead for a winner for 5-2.

"I thought I was hitting better today than I have all week," Coetzer said, astonished. "I just missed. And it's always on your mind that she will run down many balls."

The Graf-Huber match needed little commentary. Huber, 0-4 lifetime against Graf, seems rattled playing her.

She had 45 unforced errors out of 103 points played (44 percent). She hit six double faults. She was so bad that Graf came to net only five times and won four of those points.

Whether she can beat Sanchez again depends a lot on how deep Arantxa can keep Graf at the baseline.

On Friday, Garrison-Jackson did it with slice to Graf's backhand. But Sanchez has not shown great slice here. So she will have to depend on her topspin and sheer power of her strokes.

Graf has a way of starting slowly sometimes, taking time to settle in. She can't afford to ease into this match, and she knows it.

"Arantxa is a player you can't give a couple of games away to," she said.

In a way, this match could resemble the Garrison-Graf match.

Like Garrison, Sanchez has great speed and competitiveness, though she may not be looking to get to the net as often.

Graf holds a 17-3 edge over Sanchez which for most players would be enough to present a mental block.

But one of those three wins came last year in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. Sanchez won 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

She knows she can win today. Heaven knows, she could use a touch of glamour.


-- SATURDAY'S SEMIFINALS: Arantxa Sanchez Vicario d. Amanda Coetzer 6-2, 6-2; Steffi Graf d. Anke Huber 6-1, 6-1.

-- TODAY'S FINAL: Sanchez Vicario vs. Graf, 2 p.m.



-- Ranking: 2

-- 1993 W-L: 13-2

-- Results: At Australian Open, lost to Monica Seles in final; at Pan Pacific Open, lost to Martina Navratilova in semifinals.

-- Age: 23.

-- Vs. Sanchez Vicario: 17-3 lifetime, 1-0 this year.

-- Her game: Total all-around game. Forehand ground stroke her most potent weapon. Was dominant against baseliner Anke Huber on Saturday and showed courage and stamina in beating Zina Garrison-Jackson in a split-set quarterfinal.


-- Ranking: 4

-- 1993 W-L: 11-2

-- Results: At Sydney, lost to Huber in quarters; at Australian Open, lost to Graf in semis.

-- Age: 21

-- Her game: Very steady from the baseline but sometimes needs two or three games to get rhythm. Ground stroking helped immensely by long rallies in win against Amanda Coetzer on Saturday. Serve can be a weapon. Won't serve-and-volley but will come to net on short balls and is a lethal volleyer. Does she have a good enough slice backhand to pin Graf to the baseline? That's the key to the match.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The Palm Beach Post
Sunday, March 7, 1993
VICKI MICHAELIS, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The Virginia Slims of Florida ends its first stay in its new home at the Delray Beach Tennis Center today.

If Arantxa Sanchez Vicario has her way, the 10-year-old tournament also will have a new champion to mark its entry into a second decade.

Sanchez Vicario, seeded No. 2, plays defending champ and No. 1 seed Steffi Graf in a 2 p.m. final today.

Each beat their semifinal opponents in straight sets Saturday.

Graf eliminated No. 5 seed and fellow German Anke Huber 6-1, 6-1. Sanchez Vicario beat No. 8 seed Amanda Coetzer 6-2, 6-2.

Coetzer held her serve early in each set, then faded both times behind a battery of unforced errors. She had 32 unforced errors in the match.

"The fact that she runs so well is always on your mind," Coetzer said. "You find you have to do more to do well. Then you find yourself trying to do too much, and you make errors."

Coetzer has never won a set against Sanchez Vicario, although she's taken her to three tiebreakers in their five meetings.

Coetzer played almost solely from the baseline, shooting moon balls to run Sanchez Vicario and following them with powerful groundstrokes. Only six of those strokes were winners.

"I did the right thing," Sanchez Vicario said. "I knew I had to be patient, and wait for the opportunities."

She found quite a few of her opportunities at the net, an area of the court she's feeling more comfortable at since she recently started working with coach Carlos Kirmayr. Kirmayr used to coach Gabriela Sabatini, whose variety on the court is matched only by her striking beauty.

"I moved the ball, but when I had a sure ball, I went to the net," Sanchez Vicario said. "I won a couple of great points (15 total) at the net."

Sanchez Vicario's serves also helped her at the end, although she posted a shaky first-serve percentage for the match (56). She won the seventh game of the second set on two aces, both 97 mph, a 96-mph service winner and a backhand volley.

Sanchez Vicario had a 98-mph serve this week that put her in a group of the third-fastest servers on the women's tour. Graf is alone at second, with one clocked at 100 mph.

Brenda Schultz, who lives in Delray Beach, is first with a 107-mph serve. Graf's serve is just one attribute of her game that had Huber outmatched Saturday.

Huber hails from a German town about a 20-minute drive from Graf's hometown, but she has a long way to go to bridge the difference between her No. 11 world ranking and Graf's No. 2.

"It's tough for me. I always wanted to play good (against Graf), but I never did," said Huber, whose best showing in her four losses to Graf was on carpet last year at Brighton, England, when she lost 7-5, 6-2.

"I like the way she plays," Graf said, apparently because of the ease with which she can beat her. "Obviously my slice can do a lot of damage to her."

Huber had 45 unforced errors in the match, some of them off tentative approaches to the net.

"I tried to go to the net when it's not my game," she said.

Graf was so confident in her game that it wasn't hard to affect the stoic German calm. Huber, meanwhile, broke her countrymen's code with a few stamps of her feet, a few tosses of her racket, and even an outburst in German.

Graf turned to the crowd behind her after the outburst, seemingly to translate, though she wouldn't say.

"It's an expression. It's kind of difficult to translate. I don't think there's an English word for it," she said.

Graf, who has a home in Boca Raton, has reached the final of the Florida Slims six times and has won three times.

But Sanchez Vicario doesn't consider this Graf's home arena. That's why in today's bullfight, the Spaniard wants to play the part of the bull-- charging the net and making Graf turn from the attack.

"It's my first time I've played the final here, and the crowd has helped me a lot," Sanchez Vicario said. "I'm going to put pressure on her, try to go a little bit more to the net, be aggressive when I have the chance."
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The Palm Beach Post
Sunday, March 7, 1993

* WHERE: Delray Beach Tennis Center, 50 N.W. First Ave.

* WHEN: Singles final 2 p.m. today; doubles semifinals and finals to follow.

* TICKETS: $24.

* PARKING: Limited parking is available in downtown Delray Beach. Tournament parking will be at Lake Ida Park. To get there, take I-95 to the Atlantic Avenue West exit. Go west to Congress Avenue, north to Lake Ida Road and east to the park, which is on the left. Cost is $3. Shuttle buses will run continuously to and from the tennis center.

* INFORMATION: Call 930-7546 in Palm Beach and Martin counties, 305-491-7115 elsewhere.


No. 3-seeded doubles team Aranxta Sanchez Vicario and Rennae Stubbs rebounded from a first-set tiebreaker loss to dominate Nanne Dahlman and Louise Field 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 6-2.


Leading 3-1 in the first set against Anke Huber, Steffi Graf came in from the baseline to get a drop shot, which she lobbed to the corner for a winner and a 4-1 lead in her 6-1, 6-1 semifinal victory.


Jennifer Capriati, who missed the Florida Slims for the first year since her debut at the tournament in 1990, watched the semifinals Saturday from a box seat on the east side of the court. Capriati announced she wouldn't be playing the tournament about a month ago, so that she could rest before the Lipton Championships March 12-21 at Key Biscayne.


"I make sure I call him straight after the match, so he won't worry."

-- Amanda Coetzer, 21, on her father, a lawyer in South Africa.

"Everyone who's playing tennis, I think, wants to be like her."

-- Anke Huber, on fellow German Steffi Graf .

"We live 20 minutes apart, but we never really practice together because of the age difference."

-- Graf, 23, on Huber, five years younger.


Even though she was eliminated in the round of 16, Brenda Schultz leads the ace count for the week with 20. Schultz, the fastest server on the women's tour, lives in Delray Beach. . . . Graf is in second, along with 16-year-old Lindsay Davenport, who served a 97 mph ace in her quarterfinal loss to Amanda Coetzer Friday. Sanchez Vicario rounds out the top three with 10 aces. . . . Sanchez Vicario, who also played a doubles matches Saturday, potentially could play five matches in two day s by tonight.


Cinde Martin, marketing director for WEAT-104.3FM bought the reproduction of the Mona Lisa commissioned for the tournament for $4,200. The painting, which depicts Gabriela Sabatini, was auctioned between matches on stadium court Saturday afternoon. Proceeds will go the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS. . . . The reproduction of Edouard Manet's The Bar at the Folies-Bergere depicting Steffi Graf will not be sold.


Sanchez Vicario, 30 minutes after her semifinal singles win over Amanda Coetzer, teamed with Rennae Stubbs to beat Nanne Dahlman and Louise Field 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 6-2.

No. 2-seeded Larisa Neiland and Jana Novotna defeated Sandy Collins and Rachel McQuillan 6-2, 7-5.
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