Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Shaking my head at how rampantly unprofessional women's professional tennis was. On one hand, the rules are clear about making noise during play, and Shriver had every right to claim a hindrance let -- but obviously Lee Jackson, who, you will recall from our previous installment, seemed all for judging the accuracy of line calls based on the crowd's and a player's reactions to them, decided some rules are more flexible than others. On the other hand ... Jesus H. Christ, Pam, it's just one point and it wasn't even a break point, and you were up 40-0 on your next service game. Here's some free worldly advice from Ms. Anthropic: If you don't have self-control, you won't have anything, or at least not anything that cannot be taken from you very quickly and easily. But I guess that's 30 years too late to help Pam's tennis career.
Young Steffi, meanwhile, is quite the observant realist. "Know the enemy, know yourself..."
Navratilova rallies to defeat Shriver
The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution
Sunday, November 23, 1986
From Wire Reports
NEW YORK - Martina Navratilova rallied to beat a determined Pam Shriver 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 Saturday for her 52nd consecutive victory and a berth in the final of the $1 million Virginia Slims Championships tennis tournament.
The No. 1 seed will meet second-seeded Steffi Graf of West Germany, who ousted No. 4 Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia 7-6, 1-6, 6-1, in Sunday's best-of-five-sets championship.
The winner will collect $125,000, the runner-up will get $60,000.
Shriver played one of the best matches of her career, as she came close to repeating her upset over Navratilova in the quarterfinals of the 1982 U.S. Open.
"I thought it was over today," Navratilova said of her streak, the fourth-longest in modern tennis. Navratilova has strings of 74 and 54 matches, and Chris Evert Lloyd won 56 in a row.
Navratilova was almost down two breaks in the decisive third set when, for the third straight day, a controversial point played a key role in a match.
"I've never felt so positive about a match in my life," Shriver said. "I thought I was going to win it."
She might have won, except for the controversial point that came after Navratilova had rallied from a love-40 deficit to pull to deuce in the fifth game of the third set.
On the next point, Navratilova hit a shot that hit the net. Thinking she had missed the point, giving Shriver the advantage point, Navratilova began to berate herself.
But the ball climbed over the net and dropped at Shriver's side. Shriver raced to the ball, but she couldn't lift it back over the net.
Shriver complained to umpire Judy Popkin and tournament referee Lee Jackson, claiming Navratilova's vocal outburst interfered with her play.
"Pam's the only one who knows whether it affected her or not," Navratilova said. "I thought it was going into the net and so I started to say something. But then it hit the tape and I stopped. You can say that it was the turning point, but she was up 40-love in the next service game. . . . She probably thought about that point the whole match, but there were many turning points."
"It's obvious what happened," Shriver said. "The umpire's got to make the decision. It's an obstruction."
Shriver closed out the second set by holding serve at 15 and the match was even at one set apiece. Shriver grabbed the lead in the decisive third set, breaking Navratilova at 30 in the first game. They then traded service breaks in the next two games, setting up the tense and dramatic finish.
In the Graf-Sukova match, Graf had a 5-2 lead in the first set and was serving for the set when she lost serve at 30 as her big forehand deserted her. She finally took the tiebreak 7-5 after Sukova saved three set points.
Then it was Sukova's turn. She dominated, both the backcourt and at the net, to rush through the second set and tie the match.
But with Graf's 15-year-old brother, Micheal, who came to the United States on Friday for the first time, in the Madison Square Garden crowd of 17,128 watching, the 17-year-old West German found the range with her forehand. Pounding winner after winner, Graf easily brushed aside the tall Czechoslovak to reach the final.
The last time Navratilova and Graf met was in the semifinals of the U.S. Open, when Graf held three match points before Navratilova won in a third-set tie-break. Since that loss, Graf has won 17 straight matches.
"Everyone is expecting me to have a close match with Martina again, but I don't know," Graf said. "I don't feel as comfortable at the moment as I usually do."
Navratilova and Shriver later teamed up to win the doubles crown, defeating Sukova and West Germany's Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, 7-6, 6-3.
The champions shared $45,000, while Sukova and Kohde-Kilsch split $23,000.
Davis upsets Teltscher
HOUSTON - Unseeded Scott Davis pressed Eliot Teltscher's serves mercilessly to beat Teltscher 7-5, 6-4 in Saturday's semifinal singles match and advance to the finals in the $279,000 WCT Houston Shootout.
Davis, who upset top-seeded Jimmy Connors in Friday night's quarterfinals, broke Teltscher's service in the 11th game, then held his own for the victory.
"I played well, but it probably should have been easier," said Davis of Bardmoor, Fla. "I didn't concentrate as well as I would have liked when I got up. Maybe last night's match took a little out of me."
In the second set, Davis broke Teltscher in games one and five to take the st raight set win.
"It's always been a strategy against Eliot to take advantage of his second serve," Davis said.
Teltscher of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., said his poor serves made the difference in the match.
"I had served well all week, but not today," he said. "Scott really puts the pressure on your serve.
Davis will meet the winner of Saturday's evening semifinal match between Slobodan Zivojinovic and Derrick Rostagno in Sunday's championship. Davis, 24, is ranked 43rd in the world, and is 2-0 against Connors, having won their only other previous meeting, 6-3, 6-4, in Tokyo in October, 1983. Connors, who has 105 career singles titles, has not won an event since November, 1984.
In doubles play, Richard Acuna and Brad Pearce defeated Kim Warwick and Blaine Willenborg 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3 to advance to the doubles finals. In the second set, Warwick-Willenborg fought off a match point with the game score 5-4 and tied the set 5-5, then took the tie breaker 7-3. Acuna-Pearce broke serve in game eight of the deciding set. Acuna served the match game, which was won in four straight points. The game was won at love.
Acuna-Pearce will face the winners of tonight's semifinal match between Paul Annacone and Gary Donnelly, the No. 2 seed team, and Chip Hooper and Mike Leach, the third-seeded team.
Anger bests Kriek in S. Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Defending champion Matt Anger of the United States beat South African-born American Johan Kriek 7-6, 7-6 Saturday night to gain a berth in the final of the $375,000 Altech South African Open tennis tournament against Israel's Amos Mansdorf.
Mansdorf defeated South Africa's Eddie Edwards 6-0, 7-5 in the other semifinal. Anger, unseeded despite his victory in the event last year, won both tiebreakers against Kriek by scores of 7-4 to advance to Sunday's title match. The women's final Saturday was an all-South African contest, with top-seeded Dinky van Rensberg beating Rene Mentz 6-3, 6-1.