Hi Mike, yeah we've actually talked about that "handshake" incident with Sabatini here before (I dug up the vid on youtube and put it up here). I think the general consensus is that while Steffi had her moments of unsportsmanship, in general she still conducted herself quite well for most of her career (she's had some bad losses where she remained very sportsmanlike after - I think some of her worst losses were in the French Open but she wasn't a sore loser in those matches).
She's had her bad days, but as some folks here have said, she's only been less-than-perfect in a few handshakes but she doesn't do that to diss her opponent or to disrespect them, and she doesn't speak ill of her opponents in post-match interviews.
I wasn't aware Steffi's handshake incident with Gabriela Sabatini had previously been discussed here, so thanks for letting me know. But I agree with you, for the most Steffi conducted herself with class and dignity. And as you stated, she never spoke badly about her opponents in post match interviews. In addition, Steffi never, ever tried to show her opponent up on court.
There was another incident involving Sabatini that occured in early 1991. Steffi was struggling with Sabatini at the time, and Sabatini had just defeated Steffi in the finals of a Florida tournament. After the match, Sabatini said Steffi was losing the confidence to be the number one ranked player. Do you recall this?. It was an odd statement from Sabatini, considering she never attained the number one ranking in the first place. In any event, I thought Sabatini's comment was in poor taste, and should not have been made. But what are your thoughts?. Steffi got the last laugh anyway, disposing of Sabatini later that year in the Wimbledon Final. From what I've heard, Steffi and Sabatini have become very good friends in recent years. Is this true?.
I'm a little hazy on the details, but didn't Steffi show complete class and grace toward Jana Novotna after the 1993 Wimbledon Final?. Steffi knew Jana was hurting, after Jana self destructed in the 3rd set. We all know Jana was being consoled by the duchess, but didn't Steffi also have some comforting words for Jana after the match?. Do you have any knowledge about that, XTN?.
Also, didn't Jana participate in Steffi's farewell tour in 1999?. I can't remember for sure, but if Jana was there, it was a nice gesture on her part returning the favor to Steffi after Wimbledon '93. Speaking about Jana, is she on a friendly basis with Steffi?. I believe Steffi played Jana and Sabatini a few years ago in exhibition matches. Can you confirm this?. From what I remember, Steffi beat Sabatini handily in an exhibition played in Germany?. But I can't recall what happened regarding Steffi's exhibition against Jana?.
Coming from a fellow Steffi fan, I would certainly appreciate any light you could shed on these questions, and I thank you for your time.