Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Yes, Arantxa, I think she don't likes too much your game, either. LOLing at $15,000 for a Mercedes. No inflation...
Zvereva stuns Martina, facing Graf in final
Sunday, APRIL 9, 1989
Houston Chronicle News Services
Fourth-seed Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union upset defending champion and second-seed Martina Navratilova Saturday to set up a meeting with No. 1 Steffi Graf in the final of the Family Circle Magazine Cup tennis tournament at Sea Pines Racquet Club.
Graf overpowered seventh-seed Arantxa Sanchez of Spain 6-2, 6-4 in the second semifinal.
Earlier, Zvereva advanced to today's final with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Navratilova, who double-faulted to end the match.
Graf, the world's top-ranked player, dominated the first set. But Sanchez, ranked 17th, pressed Graf in the second set, mixing lobs and drop shots.
Trailing 5-1, Sanchez twice broke Graf to make it 5-4. But Graf, who has not lost since Pam Shriver upset her at the Virginia Slims Championships in New York last November, broke Sanchez to close out the match.
Sanchez said her ability to retrieve Graf's shots helped her stay in the match.
"She play the great forehand that she has so I know I have to run," said Sanchez. "I think she don't likes too much my game, you know."
Graf, who won the tournament in 1986 and 1987, agreed.
"She's having a lot of high balls and you'll always have to wait and try to hit it and you always have to be more patient than usual, and I'm not the very good type of person who likes to do that."
Graf said she wasn't worried during Sanchez's second-set rally, but admitted she eased up after the first set.
"I shouldn't have let it go from 6-2, 5-1," she said. "I thought maybe I had won it already maybe, I don't know ... At that point I should have gone down and been much more concentrated."
Zvereva, ranked No. 9 in the world, dominated the first set against Navratilova, effectively using cross-court backhands. When Navratilova, ranked second in the world, approached the net, Zvereva frequently passed her.
Navratilova, of Fort Worth, Tex., rallied in the second set, breaking Zvereva's service four times. But Navratilova had trouble with her serve in the final set and double-faulted twice in the first game.
From then on, Zvereva seemed to be able to move her around the court at will.
"I feel very confident to play against her," Zvereva said after the match. "She was playing pretty safely. She had to play more aggressive (to win)."
Navratilova disagreed, saying, "If anything I probably tried to go for it too much because I was missing. I should have let her go for it since my aggression wasn't working."
"If she serves well and I do a couple of good returns, her serve wouldn't go that good," Zvereva said.
Zvereva, who turns 18 next Sunday, said her age may have affected Navratilova's performance.
"She seems very nervous, especially when she's played against youngsters."
Navratilova, 32, said age had nothing to do with it.
"I wasn't nervous; I just haven't played enough on clay to be steady," she said. "I'm 32 years old. I play younger players all the time."
Navratilova said she couldn't take the net against Zvereva.
"She loves to hit passing shots. She takes the shot very early, so you have to stop sooner . . . she has better angles."
Navratilova came back after her singles loss to capture the doubles title. She teamed with Hana Mandlikova of Australia to defeat Mary Lou Daniels of Chicago and Wendy White of Fort Worth, Tex., 6-4, 6-1.
Graf said she was surprised not be facing Navratilova in the final.
"Martina was a little bit off," Graf said. "I saw some good points from Zvereva and she had really some kind of game that Martina doesn't really like.
"But I really don't think it will be difficult (to beat her) especially after Martina won the second set," Graf said.
"It suits me better to play Zvereva, that's for sure," Graf said. "Martina is a serve-and-volley player, so your serve has to be more different than maybe against Zvereva."
Zvereva pulled another surprise after the match by saying she wants all of the prize money she earns. Under the rules of the Soviet Tennis Federation, the players are given a percentage of their earnings and the state keeps the rest.
"The Federation has to change something," Zvereva said. "I cannot continue to play without motivation. I need the money I earn. Now I play on pride."
The teen-ager from Minsk said last week she would like to buy a red Mercedes-Benz and asked, "How much do they cost $15,000, more?"
Latham repeat winner
Top-seeded Kate Latham of Mountain View, Calif., repeated last year's win over second-seeded Carol Baily, Steamboat, Colo., in the 35 singles finals of the USTA National Senior Women's Clay Court Championships, sponsored by American National Bank/Post Oak and Dan Boone BMW, Inc., at the Houston Racquet Club.
Latham's score was 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. In 1988 Baily managed to score in only three games.
Latham and Baily then teamed to win the 35 doubles finals 6-1, 6-2 over Christine Putnam, Escondido, Calif., and Christy Schaefer, Hinsdale, Ill.
Latham, a former touring pro ranked as high as No. 21 in the world, is now teaching tennis in California and attending college.
Fifth-seeded Lee Burling, Oswego, N.Y., reversed last year's 55 singles finals by defeating defending champion and top seed Nancy Reed, Winter Park, Fla., 6-3, 7-5.
Jane Crofford, Nashville, and Olga Palafox, Fort Lauderdale, the No. 3 seeds, upset the No. 1 seeds, Mary Ann Plante, Winter Park, and Reed 6-0, 6-0 in the 55 doubles finals.
In the 65 singles finals, the No. 1 seed and defending champion Betty Eisenstein, Washington, D.C., beat the No. 3 seed, Dodo Cheney, Santa Monica, Calif., 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).
Cheney won her 188th gold ball from the USTA, a record for national championships, when she and partner Corky Murdock, Los Angeles, captured the 65 doubles. Cheney and Murdock, seeded No. 1, defeated the No. 2 seeds, Phyllis Adler, Los Angeles, and Sheila Evans, Indianapolis, 6-2, 6-4.
The 45 singles finals between No. 1-seeded Cathie Anderson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and No. 3 seed, Suzanne Crary, Bredwood City, Calif., will be held at 10:30 this morning.
U.S. jumps ahead of France
Ken Flach and Robert Seguso beat Yannick Noah and Guy Forget of France 6-2, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 and clinched the Davis Cup quarterfinals series for the United States on Saturday night.
Taken to the tiebreaker twice, the U.S. team prevailed after the second set 7-4 and won the fourth-set tiebreaker 7-3.
Seguso used a strong serve to handcuff Forget and Noah on consecutive points, giving the Americans a 6-3 lead in the final tiebreaker. On the next point, Seguso put a shot away at the net for the victory.
With Andre Agassi's victory over Henri Leconte and John McEnroe's earlier win over Yannick Noah, the U.S. holds an insurmountable 3-0 lead over France in a Davis Cup quarterfinal match in San Diego.
Agassi recovered from a third-set loss Friday night to beat Leconte 6-1, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. McEnroe prevailed in the opening match over Noah 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.
Flach and Seguso, who improved their Davis Cup record to 10-0 as a team, took control in the first set with a pair of service breaks that resulted in a 4-1 edge.
In singles play Sunday, McEnroe is scheduled to play Henri Leconte in the first match with Agassi meeting Noah to close the series.
France at first announced that Leconte would play doubles Saturday night but left open the possibility of change and decided to play Forget, who entered the match with an 8-0 doubles record in cup competition.
Meanwhile, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, the Czechs took a 2-1 lead over defending champion West Germany in their Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal tennis match by winning the doubles in five thrilling sets Saturday.
Milan Srejber and Petr Korda beat Boris Becker and Eric Jelen 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 in 3 hours and 47 minutes to put Czechoslovakia one victory away from the semifinals.
In Split, Yugoslavia, site of another David Cup quarterfinal match, two Yugoslav 6-footers fired a total of 27 aces Saturday to give Yugoslavia an unbeatable 3-0 lead over Spain.
Slobodan Zivojinovic and Goran Ivanisevic beat Emilio Sanchez and Sergio Casal 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 13-11 in a four-hour battle. The meet hung in balance until the Yugoslavs broke the Casal's serve to take a 12-11 lead and capture the final game, set and match.
Yugoslavia faces the winner of Austria vs. Sweden.