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post #181 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:00 PM
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Re: 1992

Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
Good writing, but it makes someone who never saw her think she had no power at all. She wasn't as big a hitter off the forehand as Graf of course, but Yayuk's forehand was hit so hard her nickname was Yayuk "Bazooka" or somethig like that. I was lucky enough to see her in the early 90s when I lived in Indonesia.
I have found that tennis journalists (especially the Brits) often prize "good writing" (or "humorous writing" or attempts thereof) over accurately descriptive writing. While sifting through all these articles, it's noticeable how little of the tennis matches themselves, even something as simple as the statistics, show up in the stories. As the one wag said, "I'm paid to write about tennis, not watch it."
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post #182 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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Re: 1992

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Tuesday, June 30, 1992
Mike Jensen

It was the hottest day of the year in England.

A thermometer on Centre Court yesterday measured 93 degrees. A line judge on Court No. 2, a victim of the heat, was helped off during Jennifer Capriati's match.

Capriati, the No. 6 seed, was almost a victim herself, but her problem was a 19-year-old human backboard named Naoko Sawamatsu, the first Japanese woman to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Sawamatsu, who made a sound like she was crying every time she hit the ball, took the second set from Capriati, and was ahead in the third and deciding set. But her returns that had been clearing the net cord by inches suddenly found the netting itself, and Capriati escaped with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

Capriati, who hadn't dropped a set, or even been taken to a tie-break in her three previous matches, was within minutes of losing. Leading by 4-3 in the third set, Sawamatsu had a game point but hit a forehand into the net, and followed it by hitting an easy backhand into the net.

With that game gone, Sawamatsu, ranked 35th in the world, lost the next two games and the match.

"I was not happy," Sawamatsu said. "It was really disappointing. I felt tired, but it didn't matter. Tired or not. Jennifer was tired, too."

All eight women's matches featured a seed against an unseeded player, and only one seed bowed out. No. 13 Zina Garrison lost to Natalia Zvereva, who is ranked 30th in the world, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

The best match today should feature Capriati against third-seed Gabriela Sabatini, one of three women left who haven't dropped a set through four rounds.

One of the others, No. 12 Katerina Maleeva, will play fourth-seed Martina Navratilova. The last one, top-seed Monica Seles, will play 14th seed Nathalie Tauziat.

Capriati wasn't the only seed to drop a set. Defending champion Steffi Graf dropped her first one to Patty Fendick, but never lost her serve again and survived, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Fendick, a former Stanford player, was bouncing all over the place and, at first, giving Graf fits with her serves and by lurking around the net. Fendick looked relaxed early on - at one point she kind of skipped back to the baseline after burying an overhead - but Graf became pretty relaxed herself and said she was unaffected by the heat.

"It's not easy to play against her the way she plays, with the kind of serve she has," Graf said. "I mean sometimes I was so far away from it because she really kicked it in really well. I just couldn't get going in the beginning."

Seedings in parentheses.

Fourth round: Nathalie Tauziat (14), France, def. Amy Frazier, Rochester
Hills, Minn., 6-0, 6-3. Natalia Zvereva, Russia, def. Zina Garrison (13), Houston, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Monica Seles (1), Yugoslavia, def. Gigi Fernandez, Aspen, Colo., 6-4, 6-2. Katerina Maleeva (12), Bulgaria, def. Julie Halard, France, 6-0, 6-3. Jennifer Capriati (6), Saddlebrook, Fla., def. Naoko Sawamatsu, Japan, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Gabriela Sabatini (3), Argentina, def. Kristin Godridge, Australia, 6-2, 6-1. Martina Navratilova (4), Aspen, Colo., def. Yayuk Basuki, Indonesia, 7-5, 6-2. Steffi Graf (2), Germany, def. Patty Fendick, Sacramento, Calif., 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
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post #183 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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Re: 1992

Top women seeds hear new tune in round of 16
The Sun
Baltimore, MD
Tuesday, June 30, 1992
Don Markus

WIMBLEDON, England -- The depth of women's tennis forever has been under scrutiny, from the years of King and Court, through Evert and Navratilova and now with Seles and Graf.

Yesterday's round of 16 at Wimbledon might have been an indication that the top players are starting to find a little competition. Or maybe they were just looking ahead.

Though none wound up losing, several of the top seeds were pushed to the brink, and others were in a fight for at least a set. Only 13th seed Zina Garrison, a finalist here two years ago but struggling of late, lost.

"I think you have to give credit to the opponents,'' said defending champion Steffi Graf.

For the third straight match, nine-time champion Martina Navratilova saw her concentration wane for a short while. This time, it came early during her match against Yayuk Basuki of Indonesia.

But Navratilova broke Basuki's serve in the final game of the first set and went on to a 7-5, 6-2 victory at near-empty Centre Court, which had cleared out for afternoon tea after Jeremy Bates' loss to Guy Forget.

"I had to create my own excitement,'' Navratilova said.

It put Navratilova, seeded fourth, into today's quarterfinals against 12th-seeded Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria, a 6-0, 6-3 winner against Julie Halard of France. It was in the same round last year that Navratilova was upset by Jennifer Capriati.

"I know what happened last year, and I don't want that to happen again,'' said Navratilova, 35. "If I do, the gig's up.''

The gig was nearly up for Capriati yesterday. After winning the first set and dropping the second in her match against Naoko Sawamatsu of Japan, Capriati was down 4-3 in the third. Sawamatsu, a respectable 35th in the world, was serving.

"I didn't want to lose in the round of 16,'' Capriati, 16 and seeded sixth, said after twice breaking Sawamatsu back and holding on for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory. "It puts me in a fighting mood.''

That is the mood she would like to be in when she faces third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini in a quarterfinal today. Sabatini, who along with Seles and Maleeva has not dropped a set, won yesterday over Kristin Godridge of Australia, 6-2, 6-1.

Graf, looking for her fourth Wimbledon title, certainly is match-tough going into her quarterfinal against Natalia Zvereva of the Commonwealth of Independent States. She had her second straight three-setter yesterday, a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Patty Fendick. Zvereva had beaten Garrison, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

"I didn't serve very well in the first set,'' Graf said. "I gave her a lot of chances to get into the match. I couldn't get it going in the beginning, but she definitely played a good match.''

Two players who didn't meet much resistance yesterday -- in fact, one hasn't been challenged yet at all here -- will meet in the other quarterfinal. Top-seeded, top-ranked Monica Seles defeated Gigi Fernandez, 6-4, 6-2, and 14th seed Nathalie Tauziat of France had no problems with Amy Frazier, winning the first seven games in a 6-0, 6-3 victory.

Asked if she is looking ahead to the final, Seles said: "I don't want to look that far. I mean I don't think I've done anything else differently. I think I'm playing great between the first round and the fourth round. It's just that I've got a lot of grass matches and I'm feeling more comfortable as I go further and further.''

As the tournament progresses, it seems inevitable that the top four seeds will end up in Thursday's semifinals. Sabatini has beaten Capriati eight of 11 times, and Navratilova has been victorious five of six times over Maleeva.

The other two would be even bigger upsets. Graf is 9-0 against Zvereva -- including a 6-0, 6-0 shutout in their first meeting at the 1988 French Open final -- and Seles has won both of her matches against Tauziat, both in straight sets.
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post #184 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:07 PM
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Re: 1992

Tuesday, June 30, 1992

WIMBLEDON, England -- Jennifer Capriati is back on Centre Court, against Gabriela Sabatini, at Wimbledon today.

A year ago, Capriati stunned nine-time champion Martina Navratilova, the biggest victory of her life, before losing to Sabatini in the semifinals.

To get to Sabatini this time in the quarterfinals, Capriati stopped Naoko Sawamatsu, the first Japanese player to get this far at Wimbledon. The feeling was relief.

''I did not want to lose that match,'' said Capriati, who rallied in the final set for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory on Court 2. ''I didn't want to lose in the round of 16. I've worked hard for Wimbledon , I'm really psyched to be here and want to go a lot farther.''

Today's other quarterfinals match top-seeded Monica Seles against Nathalie Tauziat (14), defending champion Steffi Graf (2) against Natalia Zvereva, and Navratilova (4) against Katerina Maleeva (12).

For the second match in a row, Graf won a three-setter Monday, beating American Patty Fendick 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Seles stopped American Gigi Fernandez 6-4, 6-2.

Navratilova beat Yayuk Basuki of Indonesia 7-5, 6-2. Sabatini routed Kristen Godridge of Australia 6-2, 6-1. Maleeva downed Julie Halard of France 6-0, 6-3. Tauziat trounced American Amy Frazier 6-0, 6-3. Zvereva upset Zina Garrison (13), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Capriati led 3-0 in the final set, but Sawamatsu won the next four games and had a point for 5-3 twice on her serve.

Capriati answered the first at 40-30 with a crosscourt backhand and the second on Sawamatsu's ad with a backhand volley.

Capriati held serve at love for 5-4, then broke at 30.

''I was always losing, then when I was ahead 4-3, I thought a little bit about the victory,'' Sawamatsu said. ''I got a little nervous at the end.''

"She may have taken in the moment and said 'whoa,' " Capriati said. "She made a few more errors there."

Capriati was kicking herself for giving Sawamatsu a shot at the upset. Capriati played superbly to finish off the first set, then took a 2-0, 30- love lead in the second. Sawamatsu won the next five games. Capriati closed within a point of 5-all but missed a backhand on break point, and netted a forehand on Sawamatsu's third set point.

Capriati was on another roller coaster in the final set.

"I was in the shower after the match, saying, 'Why do you have to do this to yourself?' " Capriati said. "I have to stay more focused. It was a weird match, but she's a very different player."

Sawamatsu strings her racket looser than any other on the tour, which causes balls to bounce off and not come up on the grass.

''I'd hit a hard shot, then it would just ping off her racket,'' said Capriati, who had never played Sawamatsu before. ''I heard how she played from other players, but I had to figure it out for myself.''

''I don't think Jennifer played her best tennis,'' said Sawamatsu, who converted six of seven break points. Capriati converted eight of 19.

''Grass is a whole other ball game,'' Capriati said. ''Everyone has a chance. You have to be mentally tough.''

Capriati proved her toughness, leaving Sawamatsu on the verge of success.

''I was in the shower thinking that the quarterfinal is very far for me,'' Sawamatsu said. ''Maybe next time. That is my dream.''

The quarterfinals are standard operating procedure for Graf, but she hasn't had to work this hard to get there for a long time. Graf held off big-serving Mariaan de Swardt 5-7, 6-0, 7-5 in the third round Saturday, then came from behind to fend off Fendick, a former Stanford All-America.

''I didn't serve very well in the first set, and that's why I gave her a lot of chances to really get into it,'' Graf said. ''I just couldn't get going in the beginning, and she played very good in the first set.''

Graf could have another ordeal today against Zvereva, who pushed her to three sets in the same round at the French Open last month.

Zvereva, coached by Juan Nunez of Boca Raton, has defeated Conchita Martinez, Eastbourne champion Lori McNeil and Garrison, each in three sets.
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post #185 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:09 PM
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Re: 1992

Graf remembers her lines in time to have last laugh - Wimbledon 1992
The Times
London, England
Tuesday, June 30, 1992
Alix Ramsay

THE line-up for the women's quarter-finals was being decided yesterday and it looked like just another day at the office for the top seeds. But those who were billed as no more than walk-on extras had other ideas.

It was Steffi Graf's nerve as much as her tennis that was put to the test as the No.2 seed took on Patty Fendick, of the United States.

Fendick is known as one of the comediennes of the women's tour, good for a one-liner and a practical joke, but Graf was not laughing as she lost the first set to the Californian 6-4. Fendick's other claim to fame is as a doubles player, and she popped up all over the court to cause Graf trouble, jumping up for a smash and whooping with delight as it won her the set.

But midway through the second set Graf remembered that it is her forehand that wins her matches. Once that had clicked into gear, Fendick's days were numbered. If she came to the net, Graf passed her; if she stayed back, Graf outhit her.

As the forehand returned, so did Graf's confidence. She conceded just three points on her service during the set and by the third set Fendick had all but given up the struggle. Graf won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Jennifer Capriati, the No.6 seed, scraped through to the quarter-finals by the skin of her teeth, taking nearly two hours to beat Naoko Sawamatsu, of Japan.

Capriati cruised through the first set after a flurry of early breaks. But by the second set Capriati's concentration deserted her, and with it went her grip on the match. From 2-0 up, she lost five games on the trot. Where her shots had been too fast and too powerful for Sawamatsu, she could hardly get them in court.

Sawamatsu is nothing if not tenacious. She kept her head down and ran herself into the ground on the baseline. Nothing was going to get past her if she could help.

Only as the possibility of defeat began to look more like a probability did Capriati pull herself together.

After she had broken back to 4-4, her service returned and she needed only one chance at match point. Gabriela Sabatini, in the next round, may not be so willing to let the careless Capriati off the hook.

Monica Seles overcame Gigi Fernandez 6-4, 6-2. In their two previous meetings, Fernandez has managed to claim only three games from the world No.1 but within 15 minutes she had doubled that tally with powerful serving. As Seles resorted to her infamous grunt, however, it became apparent that she meant business.

As the grunts became louder, the shots became harder and Fernandez had no way of stopping them. Worryingly for her future opponents, Seles feels that a solid workout in the heat of the midday sun has done her nothing but good. "I am feeling much more comfortable as the matches go further and further," she said.
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post #186 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:11 PM
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Re: 1992

Monday, June 29, 1992
Josh Young,

A sampling of the best that London's gossip tabs have to offer from Wimbledon:


In a rush to get away from the tabloid photographers that stake out her house, Martina Navratilova backed her rented Porsche into a Japanese businessman's BMW and caused about $3,000 damage on Saturday.

Martina shouted, "Oh no!" But it was too late. The tabloids all had a better picture than they could have hoped for.

Japanese businessman Kanjio Fujita later told the Daily Mirror: "I can't believe somebody so famous crashed into my car."


1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, who lives in London, is not going to play full-time tennis again, his coach Rocky Loccisano told the Daily Express.

"I had a long chat with Pat the day after his match and I can't see any way he is going back on the circuit. Pat will continue to put his family first," Loccisano told the paper.

Confirmed Cash: "I don't think it's any secret that I've been fed up with tennis for some time now."

Loccisano said the 27-year-old Cash, who lost to John McEnroe in five sets, is still considering applying for a wild card at the U.S. Open.

"He showed everyone what a great player he still can be and he's very appreciative of the way his fans in this country have stayed with him, but he still finds it hard being around the circuit," Loccasino said.


British flash-in-the-pan Jeremy Bates has a new theory: If you can't outrun the press, tell them where you are going so they can get there first.

"I've never had problems talking to any of the press," Bates said. "There was this chap following me around on Friday. I was just telling him where I was going so he could get there first. He was taking my picture at the bus stop. I turned to him and said, `OK, we're going to the bank now.' When I came out of the bank, I said, `OK, now I'm going to practice.' It was better than giving him a hard time."
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post #187 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:12 PM
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Re: 1992

Tuesday, JUNE 30, 1992
Josh Young

A sampling of the best that London's gossip tabs have to offer from Wimbledon:


Steffi Graf has been searching for a house in Wimbledon Village according to the Wimbledon Comet newspaper.

The three-time Wimbledon champion is looking for a London base in addition to her homes in Bruhl, Germany (where her parents live), and Boca Raton, Fla. She is renting actress Tessa Wyatt's home in Wimbledon Village during the fortnight.

"The Wimbledon Village is ideal for her," a Graf friend told the Comet. "She is within easy reach of the West End, which she loves, but she can also enjoy some peace and quiet."

Graf said that she has been thinking of adding a London residence "for quite a while."

Graf enjoys London but does not want to live in the busy central London area. Since she arrived for Wimbledon, Graf has been busy going to theater, seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love, and concerts, including Prince, Guns and Roses and Lionel Ritchie.


British music fans rejoiced Sunday on National Music Day at Clapham Common, the brainchild of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. Others participating included Cliff Richard, the Pasadenas, the Wee Pappa Girl Rappers and Nomad.

Cash traded his tennis racket for an electric guitar and led 6,000 amateur musicians in the giant jamming jamboree. Dressed in shorts, a tank-top T-shirt and dark glasses, Cash said, "I jumped at the chance to join in. As a kid I stood in front of the mirror strumming my tennis racket."

Around 150,000 drinkers in pubs across Britain joined in with song sheets provided by Carling Black Label beer, which is where Carling Bassett got her first name. Although he, too, is buddies with Jagger, John McEnroe skipped the event to rest for his next match.


After rain forced Wimbledon to play tennis on the middle Sunday last year, this year tennis players took the day to relax and dodge the tabloid photographers.

Jeremy Bates kept his 15 minutes of fame alive when he held an impromptu press conference in his front yard for about 25 photographers, camera crews and reporters in the afternoon. He and his fiance, Ruth Leech, then headed to showbiz haunt Langan's Brasserie for dinner.

The Kraft Tour held its annual party in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Cocktails began at 7:30, with dinner called for 8:15 p.m. Promptly at 8:15 p.m., flashes began popping as Chris Evert with Andy Mill, Martina Navratilova with coach Craig Kardon and Gabriela Sabatini with coach Carlos Kirmayr arrived simultaneously. Also attending were Kathy Rinaldi with fiance Brad Stukell, Virginia Wade, Rosie Casals, Wendy Turnbull, Kathy Jordan, Laura Gildemeister, etc.

Navratilova was given a large globe with 158 lights as a gift for her breaking Evert's all-time tournament title record. Evert quipped: "They didn't give me anything when I broke the record."
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post #188 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Re: 1992

Daily News of Los Angeles
Wednesday, July 1, 1992
Steve Wilstein, Associated Press

Grunting, like snoring, is tough to stop. Just ask Monica Seles, who faces a player uprising over her shrill, two-tone braying on every shot.

"Muzzle Monica" is the war cry at Wimbledon as she moves into the semifinals for the first time to meet nine-time champion Martina Navratilova.

Defending champion Steffi Graf also is in the semis, but she won't know her opponent until today. A stormy, rain-delayed session ended Tuesday with the crowd grumbling over the suspension of the Gabriela Sabatini-Jennifer Capriati match. Sabatini was about to serve for the match in the squinting dusk at 6-1, 3-6, 5-3.

No one wanted to leave except Capriati, who was eager to play on after winning the second set, but then asked for a suspension when she fell behind, 5-2, in the third.

If the women can't beat Seles, and so far nobody has in 40 straight Grand Slam matches over two years, the new strategy seems to be to silence her.

Nathalie Tauziat fired the first salvo on the grunt front Tuesday, lodging an official complaint with the umpire, and Navratilova also blasted Seles' yowls.

"As the match advanced, she screamed a lot, a lot, a lot," Tauziat said after losing, 6-1, 6-3, in the quarterfinals. "It's very important for me to listen to the ball when she hit the ball, and I couldn't listen. That's why I asked the umpire, 'Can she scream less?' It was too late anyway."

Tauziat didn't ask the umpire to try to muffle Seles until it was 5-3 in the second set, and Seles' groaning groundstrokes had been speeding past the Frenchwoman for nearly an hour.

The umpire, David Crymble, called Seles over to the chair to relay Tauziat's request for a gag order. Seles listened, said OK, and hustled back to serve out the match at a slightly lower decibel level.

The "gruntometers" at courtside, which last week registered Seles' sounds somewhere between a train and a pneumatic drill, hardly budged.

Seles, in the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time in three tries, doesn't have any quarrel with those who would like her to muffle her high- pitched noises. She just hasn't figured out how to stop something she's being doing since she first began pounding tennis balls.

"I'm really trying to get rid of it," she said. "You don't know how hard I'm trying. When I'm doing it, I'm not realizing I'm doing it. I'm not doing it on purpose to hurt anybody, but I don't think I'm going to win a match because I'm grunting. I don't think she lost today because I was grunting."

She argued that it is unfair that she's singled out for her grunting when so many other players do it. Jimmy Connors has been doing it for 20 years, and John McEnroe's grunts get louder every year. Sabatini and Capriati growl, as does Navratilova on occasion.

But somehow none of those disturb players and fans the way Seles' unladylike noises do.

"I won't watch Monica Seles because she grunts," said Mardi Cone, a Cincinnati native living in London for 20 years. "She's a brilliant player, but I just can't take it. My husband and I have tickets to the women's final, but I refuse to go because Monica will be in it. My husband is going to find someone else to go."

In order for Seles to reach the final, though, she'll have to get by Navratilova, who beat Katerina Maleeva, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), Tuesday.

At 35, Navratilova is still dangerous on the grass she loves so dearly. The prospect of playing Seles doesn't worry her a bit.

"What have I to be afraid of?" Navratilova asked. "It's not like you're going to be boxing or anything, where you may get your head knocked off. I don't play Monica; I play the ball. I have absolutely nothing to be afraid of."

And the grunt?

"That's not up to me to control. That's up to the umpire," she said. ''In practice she doesn't make any noise, so I don't think she has to make that much noise. It's distracting in that you don't hear the ball being struck.

"You depend on hearing the ball hit the racket. You don't see it. You hear it first, then you see it. When people mis-hit a ball, or the way they hit it, you react to the sound of the ball being hit on the racket. When you can't hear it, that is difficult. To that effect, it is a disadvantage."

Graf, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Natalia Zvereva, will have to cope with a noisy and tough opponent no matter whom she plays.

Capriati and Sabatini went at each other with all the vigor of a rivalry that dates back three years, when Sabatini handed Capriati her first loss as a professional at age 13.

Sabatini kept digging herself out of trouble in the first set, opening up each of four service games at 0-30. She fought off all but one of six break points in the set, and broke Capriati three straight times.

It was hard to see in the dark, cloudy evening when the match began about 7 p.m., but the sky brightened a bit midway through the second set. Capriati finally held to open the first set, and after an exchange of breaks, went ahead, 5-3, when Sabatini double-faulted and was broken at love. Capriati served out the set and, with a nod of approval from her father-coach Stefano, told the umpire she wanted to go on with the match.

The sky at the time, 8:21 p.m., was no darker than at the start of the match.

Sabatini, though, took the offensive and a 3-0 lead as she got going on a 12-point run. Capriati broke back to make it 3-2, hitting a perfect backhand drop shot with Sabatini back by the baseline.

But Capriati again ran into trouble on her service, finally dropping it to 4-2 after a courageous rally by both players. The final point came as Sabatini dropped a short forehand crosscourt, Capriati raced into to scoop it up with a backhand, and Sabatini put it away crosscourt.

On the changeover at 5-2 after Sabatini held following another of their superb rallies, Capriati requested a suspension. Referee Alan Mills came out and agreed to bring the match to a halt if Sabatini didn't win it on Capriati's next service.

Capriati scrapped to hold after seemingly endless rallies. She gained the advantage after a duel that included a drop shot by Sabatini, another scoop by Capriati, a backhand response and a reflex backhand volley winner by Capriati. When Sabatini slapped the next serve into the net, both players went to the side to pack up their rackets. The only loser was the crowd.

A match suspended Monday was completed before the women took Centre Court in the first day of rain so far in the tournament.

Boris Becker, ever the gentleman, danced quickly into the quarters and inconvenienced the ladies as little as possible on a schedule-switching day.

Becker did a version of a moonwalk after one spectacular running backhand down the line during his 6-1, fifth-set dismissal of Wayne Ferreira in the half-hour completion of a suspended match.

"I had the perfect start today; he had the perfect start yesterday," said Becker, who exaggerated only slightly. He won eight of the first nine points Tuesday, breaking Ferreira at love in the second game en route to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (8-6), 6-1 victory.

Seles, scheduled to open play on Centre Court more than three hours before Becker began, had to wait until he finished. But that was really only the start of the commotion on the slightly crazy day.
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post #189 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Re: 1992

"Play as LOUD as you can."
Tuesday, June 30, 1992
MIKE DAVIS, Gannett News Service

"Play as LOUD as you can."

That used to be one of Andre Agassi's slogans, but Monica Seles has usurped it, audibly, at Wimbledon.

Seles' famous "grunt" - the two-syllable, high-decibel expulsion of air she emits when striking the ball - has been a source of amusement and some controversy ever since she burst onto the world tennis scene three years ago.

But the last 10 days, it has become something close to an obsession in Londontown.

The world's No. 1-ranked player - who created a major stir when she skipped Wimbledon last year - has been asked about the grunt in almost every postmatch press conference here.

London tabloids have charted its volume with decibel-measuring devices dubbed "grunt-o-meters" (the loudest reading has been just below that of a pneumatic drill).

And there have been scattered reports of unnamed opposing players saying the grunt is a distraction during matches.

On Tuesday, though, there was an outright complaint, with a name attached to it. It was lodged by Frenchwoman Nathalie Tauziat, who appealed to chair umpire David Crymble about Seles' grunting, then met the international press corps after losing to her and became the first player at Wimbledon to officially go on the record about it.

Only, Tauziat didn't call it grunting. She called it "screaming," which actually is closer to the truth.

"As the match advanced she screamed a lot ... a lot, a lot," she said after Seles beat her 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals. "It's very important to me to listen to the ball, when she hits it, and I couldn't listen.

"So I asked the umpire, can she scream less?"

Crymble did speak to Seles, but Seles refused to divulge the content of their conversation.

Then, asked specifically about her grunting, she repeated the answer she's been giving throughout the fortnight - that it's something she's not able to fully control.

"As I've said, it's just part of my game, and it's hard to get rid of," she said. "I haven't had any problems with it, and I don't think it bothers other players.

"I've played a lot of players who grunt - lower-ranked players who don't get the attention - and it never bothered me. If you're really concentrating, you can't let it bother you. You can't let anything bother you."

However, Tauziat said "a lot of players" are bothered by Seles' racket - particularly by the fact that it tends to get louder as the tension level in her matches heightens.

"The more the point is long, the more she makes the noise," she said.

"I think all the players are agreed, but nobody has said anything. I think everybody has to say something and maybe the umpires have to do something with her, talk to her."

Several players, including Martina Navratilova, have noted that Seles does not grunt during practice.

"I don't know why in a match she must scream like this," Tauziat said. "I played her two years ago at the Lipton and during one point she screamed a lot and I think she fell and twist her ankle, but she didn't. She just made a noise when she hit the ball."

She said she didn't believe Seles was trying to gain a competitive advantage by deliberately grunting. She said she was not angry at Seles, and that the "screaming" didn't affect the outcome of their match. "She's better than me," Tauziat said.

Seles appeared weary of the whole subject. After fielding 10 consecutive grunt-related queries at the start of her press conference Tuesday, she finally said, "I'm not going to answer that question anymore."

But the questions undoubtedly will continue.
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post #190 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:21 PM
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Re: 1992

America's Miss no longer a hit
Houston Chronicle
Wednesday, JULY 1, 1992

WIMBLEDON, England -- The calendar insists it's a year later, but something is terribly amiss.

Mostly with the miss.

Right, I'm talking about our darling little Jen Jen. A year ago on Centre Court, the sun was shining brightly and Jennifer Capriati was a precious, precocious princess fearlessly challenging the queen on her court and winning. The queen is dead, we tsk-tsked, pronouncing Martina Navratilova's Victorian-era-length reign over the women's game finally finished.

Long live the queen, we said, feeling very sad for the nine-time champion.

But the course of human events doesn't always follow the prescribed course, does it? The twists, turns and switchbacks of fate can give a guy or a girl whiplash. As of this morning, Navratilova is back in the Wimbledon semifinals like nothing ever happened, while the princess is hanging from the window ledge by her fingernails, a Gabriela Sabatini service game shy of banishment from the party she became the life of in 1991.

Capriati, sweet 15 turned sour 16, has yet to win a tournament this year, and frustration is written all over her brooding baby face. She is not a happy camper. Some were calling her quarterfinal confrontation with the Argentine Sabatini "the Gaucho vs. the Groucho." They played on a gloomy, weepy, sunless afternoon, an ideal backdrop for what has become a winter turned spring turned summer of Capriati's discontent.

The pressures of being a millionairess and a meal ticket and a restless, hormone-tormented teenager have conspired to wring most of the fun out of tennis for her.

Rise to the throne on hold

It's a temporary condition -- a "phase" no doubt, although she hates that word -- and you still suspect she eventually can leave a lasting mark on Wimbledon, perhaps even one approaching Martina's. But her seemingly preordained, guaranteed ascension to the throne remains on indefinite hold despite a breakthrough of sorts against Sabatini, whose own case of the shakes kept her from making the kill before the gathering gloam handed Capriati a stay.

Gaby will be leading 6-1, 3-6, 5-3 when play resumes. She, too, has much to prove here. Navratilova, meanwhile, continues to prove herself daily, although she has no need or obligation whatsoever to do so. She just keeps rolling along like old man -- excuse me, woman -- river.

Everybody wants to retire her. Everybody except her. Martina is one stubborn lady. You know, she probably really thinks she can next beat Monica Seles, clear-cut proof of the onset of senility.

Or is it?

"If you are going on history," Navratilova argued after shoving Katerina Maleeva out of her way, "I'm the big favorite. . . . I'm looking forward to it. I have nothing to lose now. I'm where I wanted to be, to have the opportunity to test how good she really is. I have nothing to be afraid of. What's the worst thing she can do to me?"

Grunt, I think. But that's another story.

John McEnroe, the senior surviving male at 33, takes his ageless-wonder act in against Guy Forget in the men's quarters today, but Navratilova, at 35, might be the more likely to go forth, given Seles' poor-to-non-existent track record on grass, which is a world of its own.

Shame on anybody who would dare suggest Martina should plop herself down in the nearest rocking chair, wipe her wrinkled brow and call it a day. Martina could reign again

"Who are they to tell me when I should quit?" she said, eyes flashing behind her bifocals. "I mean, I was told to quit in 1980. People were writing me off because I had a bad year. Then, I was written off again in 1987. I will quit when I feel like it.

"I mean, if I quit when I'm ranked 50, that's up to me, and I'm not planning on doing that. I've been reading for a long time, `This is Martina's last Wimbledon ,' but age is not a good enough reason. Some people are burned out at 25. I'm alive at 35. Age is a state of mind, and I'm defying it as well as I can."

Capriati, in turn, is struggling with her age, a far more difficult one. Mostly she wants everybody -- parents, sponsors, coaches, sycophants, etc. -- out of her face now. It won't happen, of course, and the friction between her and the myriad factions tugging at her can only get worse.

She wants a normal life, an impossibility when you are the family cash cow. Oops, bad choice of words. That's another problem. On top of everything else, she's getting chunky, too. Little Jen isn't so little anymore. She looks to be pushing 140 pounds at a point when baby fat is supposed to be burning away, not coming on strong.

Many, many years ago, although she wasn't quite as young, Navratilova battled the same growing pains and worse, being a chubby Czech stranger in a strange and hedonistic land. Somehow she survived; somehow Capriati will, too. But that doesn't mean her immediate future will be one long slumber party and pillow fight. The pain is real.
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Re: 1992

The Miami Herald
Wednesday, July 1, 1992

Throw out all the trimmings just for a minute and put the glasses on Gabriela Sabatini.

Forget the $32 for a half-pint of Cliquot Ponsardin champagne out in front of the All England Club. Forget the $50,000 that even the quarterfinals losers rake in over here, and think, for a change, Sabatini Takes Wimbledon, instead of Graf Takes Wimbledon or Navratilova Takes Wimbledon the way it's been the past 10 years and seems like forever.

Before our wondering eyes, Sabatini has grown into an extremely imposing woman. She's 5-8 by the press guide but 5-10 or 5-11 if anybody wants to try to measure, and hold on there, bub!

Now she's thinking big, too.

I think she could be ready to go all the way through Wimbledon .

At last.

So she's only 22. She's been batting away here for eight years now, and the fact is, Sabatini might have dethroned Graf a year ago but for missing a simple floater to her backhand.

Now, this afternoon on Centre Court, Sabatini has to win only one of the next three games against 16-year-old Jennifer Capriati. Referee Alan Mills, yielding to Capriati's entreaties and his own good sense, called the quarterfinal match on account of nobody could see the ball any more at 9 p.m. Tuesday with Sabatini ahead, 6-1, 3-6, 5-3, and fixing to serve for the match.

If Gabby Sabby can pull that off, and no reason she can't, she gets a semifinal shot at Graf while Martina Navratilova goes at it with Monica Seles.

And you know something else? One of these days Capriati might be right there where Sabatini is now. Remember the times none of us thought Sabatini would ever be this cool, this controlled, this thoughtful?

Sabatini was 16 once, too, and acting like it, just the way Capriati is acting now. All those hormones were racing around Sabatini, and she wanted to do what Capriati is doing now -- throwing a fit now and then, just wanting to be 16 years old, for crying out loud, and please get out of my face -- but somehow Sabatini couldn't manage it.

She kept it all inside for so long. Only now is she really a woman who can let go.

"I feel confident," she says. "I feel like I can play with anyone. I feel . . ."


"Yes, different."

Even different from the 1990 U.S. Open, which she won in shocking tandem with Pete Sampras in the men's.

Until about a year ago, the Argentine would wind up that massive forehand topspin and the tricky backhand slice and topspin and nobody knew exactly where it was going.

Especially at Wimbledon, where the ball comes off the grass like a greased pinball, nobody knew. She was making waves here even when she was 15, when she started moving as far as the third round every year except once when she was 19, and all the gray heads wagged and said, "Just wait until she grows up -- upstairs."

She's up there. She's taking her time, putting just enough topspin on the forehand to make it hard to handle but not enough to wear herself out midway.

While Seles works on the latest chapter of How Green Was My Volley, while Navratilova nurses those 35-year-old knees, while Graf tries to start swinging for the fences again, here's the woman who just might take the whole cake.

She figured to make the final of the Lipton, where she loved a massive rooting edge even though she lost to Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. The Key Biscayne crowd was wild for her
because she grew from adolescence there, pushing her old clunker of a car out of a shopping plaza when it broke down before she even had a driver's license.

She has no advantage here. Capriati is just as popular as Sabatini at Wimbledon.

Sabatini never let Capriati hold service even once in Tuesday's first set. She double-faulted to give Cappy the second set, but then came back roaring to where she stands now -- a single game from the semis.

As for Sabatini's, ah, looks, please don't ask.

Back when when she first showed up here, I wrote that she had every man in the stands practically on his knees, and I was accused of being sexist.

Now? Put it this way: She's turned into a hell of a tennis player without sacrificing a whole lot in the way of appearance.

Again, we could be saying the same thing about Capriati's game in 1998 if she can stand being this rich until she's as old as Sabatini is now.

Now, Capriati is being 16. Wandering around wool-gathering. Losing her train of thought. Attacking too soon or too late. Just being 16.

Forgive Capriati her Case of the Searing 16s, and if Sabatini, Key Biscayne's own, finally gets it done at Wimbledon, she's jolly well earned it.
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post #192 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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Re: 1992

Scripps Howard News Service
Wednesday, July 1, 1992

What was supposed to be a rather sedate women's quarterfinal round at Wimbledon Tuesday turned into a succession of controversies and criticisms and the best match was suspended in the middle of the third set.

A three-hour rain delay, Steffi Graf's outburst against the media, complaints about Monica Seles' grunting and the continuation of Boris Becker's fourth-round match proved mere preludes to the real drama.

With darkness shrouding Centre Court, 16-year-old Jennifer Capriati and 22-year-old Gabriela Sabatini went into a third set with some of the longest and most athletic of points played here.

Finally, with Sabatini leading 5-3, the match was halted because of darkness. Capriati's father and coach, Stefano, thought the third set should never have been started. Jennifer even questioned officials about finishing the second set. And she called referee Alan Mills onto the court after seven games of the third.

"Can you see?" Stefano asked reporters who surrounded him in the stands after the match. "I think it should have been stopped after the second set. But I'm not the umpire."

Then as he was walking away, he turned and smiled, "It was beautiful tennis, wasn't it?"

The match will be completed Thursday. It might only last one game because Sabatini will be serving.

The winner will play Steffi Graf later that day in the semifinals. The defending champ powered past unseeded Natalia Zvereva 6-3, 6-1 on Tuesday.

The other semifinal will have No. 1 seed Monica Seles against No. 4 Martina Navratilova. Seles, still in the hunt for the Grand Slam, defeated No. 14 Nathalie Tauziat 6-1, 6-3. Navratilova got past No. 12 Katerina Maleeva 6-3, 7-6(7-2).

Becker needed just 29 minutes to cap off his fourth-round match with No. 14 Wayne Ferreira, winning the fifth set 6-1 to go with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(6-8) score from Monday. Becker meets Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

A remarkably dry and hot Wimbledon ran into its first significant rain problem around midday. When play finally began, so did the controversies. Tauziat went to the chair umpire in the second set to complain about Seles' much-publicized grunting.

The umpire called Seles to the chair and asked her to keep the noise down if possible. He did not penalize or warn her.

Afterwards, Tauziat was loud and clear with her opinion.

"As the match advanced, she screamed a lot, a lot, a lot," said Tauziat. ''I couldn't really listen to the ball when she hit the ball. It's very important for me to listen to the ball.

"The more the point is long, the more she makes the noise. I think during practice she didn't scream like this. So I don't know why on the match she screams like this. I play her two years ago and during one point she screamed a lot and I think she fall and twist the ankle, but she didn't."

Both players admit they aren't friends, but they say there is no animosity. Tauziat even conceded that the grunting probably didn't affect the outcome, particularly when she lost the first five games in just 15 minutes.

"I say 'hi' to her, but that is where our communication stops between the two of us," said Seles. "I'm not doing it on purpose. And if it really bothers somebody -- I'm trying to get rid of it. I don't think it's fair to talk so much about it, especially because I'm not the only player doing."

Much has been written about Seles' grunting, which sounds like "hun-hee" when she hits the ball. One tabloid newpaper even took a "Grunt-o-meter" to courtside.

But this is the first time another player has publically challenged Seles. Navratilova, a veteran of 20 Wimbledons, saw the opening as a chance to play a few mind games with her 18-year-old semifinal opponent.

"In practice she doesn't make any of the noise," Martina said. "So I don't think she has to make that much noise. It's distracting when you don't hear the ball being struck. You depend on hearing the ball hit the racket. You don't see it first, you hear it first. When you can't hear it, that's difficult."

Graf had plenty to say, too, but not about players. She began by criticizing one of the London papers for printing the address of the house she is renting during the tournament. She said that allowed fans and media to find and badger her.

"They shouldn't have done that," said Graf, visibly angry. "People have been coming to my house at 11 o'clock at night, ringing the doorbell, knocking on the door, calling the house, sleeping in the garden. That's not right. I will answer questions here, but they shouldn't be coming to our house."
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post #193 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2012, 06:25 PM
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Re: 1992

Seles, Navratilova advance
St. Petersburg Times
Wednesday, July 1, 1992

All the fuss about Monica Seles' withdrawal from last year's Wimbledon might have been the wrong thing to do. Consider the rubble left from her first five matches this year.

Tuesday, the physical evidence looked all too familiar: Nathalie Tauziat of France, the 14th-seeded woman in The Championships, was flattened 6-3, 6-1 in 55 minutes. That makes five straight-set wins in as many matches for the Yugoslav pro from Sarasota.

Seles eases into the semifinals Thursday against the Queen of Wimbledon , nine-time champion Martina Navratilova. The 35-year-old grass-court whiz mowed down 12th-seeded Katerina Maleeva 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).

"My tennis was pretty good today, but my concentration was going a little bit up and down in the second set,'' said Seles, who skipped Wimbledon a year ago, citing shin splints. "But I'm in the semis, so it's the same in all the Grand Slams: In the semis, it gets really tough.''

Defending champion Steffi Graf is in the semis, too, after similarly wiping up unseeded Natalia Zvereva 6-3, 6-1 on a day when the status quo was maintained and 28,486 fans, plus a late-afternoon downpour, visited the tournament.

The one exception was the Jennifer Capriati-Gabriela Sabatini quarterfinal, which was delayed by the rain and then suspended by darkness with Sabatini serving for the match at 6-1, 3-6, 5-3. Capriati, who has beaten Sabatini only three times in 11 matches, repeatedly requested that the match be postponed from the start of the third set.

With Sabatini leading 5-2 and Capriati fighting to hold serve and stay in the match, the Saddlebrook teenager again asked chair umpire Gerry Armstrong to suspend the match: ""I can't see the ball.'' Finally, at 9:01 p.m. local time and after Sabatini netted a backhand, the nearly two-hour match was called.

Tauziat was so overwhelmed by Seles that the French pro's last resort was to complain to the chair umpire that Seles' now-famous grunts were distracting.

"My complaint was (that) as the match advanced, she screamed a lot, a lot, a lot,'' Tauziat said. "I couldn't really (hear) the ball when she hit the ball. It was too late anyway.''

Wimbledon 's grass courts were expected to tame Seles' tour-wrecking baseline game that has carried her to the top of the sport.

No volley, no trophy is the general line of thinking on grass. But like five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg, Seles adheres to no rules but her own. She's not just in the semis, but she has surrendered four games in a single set only once.

Her berth in the semifinals marks her best showing at Wimbledon. She reached the fourth round in 1989 and the quarterfinals in 1990.

The British oddsmakers didn't give Seles, 18, much of a chance at the beginning of the fortnight. ("Let's face it, her record at Wimbledon is pretty dismal,'' wrote one tabloid.)

"Even though people say she's not a natural grass-court player, she has a very good return, and she even has a little bit of a slice serve, so she shouldn't be underestimated,'' said Graf, who beat Seles 6-0, 6-1 in the 1989 Wimbledon. "She is definitely the one to beat.''

Her impressive record aside, even Seles, who has won the last five Grand Slam tournaments she has entered, admits her encounter with Navratilova on Thursday will be unlike any match she has had in the tournament.

"Martina has played so many great matches on this court, she knows every angle of it,'' said Seles, who is 6-5 against Navratilova.
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Re: 1992

Rainy-day women go on as expected
The Sun
Baltimore, MD
Wednesday, July 1, 1992
Don Markus

WIMBLEDON, England -- No surprises here. It finally rained at Wimbledon , significantly enough to postpone play for more than three hours yesterday. All three favorites who finished their quarterfinal matches yesterday were winners.

What were you expecting, a dry two weeks at the All England Club?

And who were you expecting to see, Nathalie Tauziat in the semifinals at Wimbledon ?

Form held, both from the skies and on the courts. Three of the top four seeds -- No. 1 Monica Seles, No. 2 Steffi Graf and No. 4 Martina Navratilova -- moved on to tomorrow's semifinals with relative ease.

Third seed Gabriela Sabatini, a finalist here against Graf last year, will have to wait until today to finish her match with No. 6 Jennifer Capriati. The two split sets, when play was suspended at 9 p.m. with Sabatini serving for the match at 5-3.

"It was what everybody was thinking,'' Graf, the three-time and defending champion, said after beating unseeded Natalia Zvereva of Ukraine, 6-3, 6-1. "I thought we [the top seeds] would win, and I thought Sabatini and Capriati would have a good match.''

After a shaky start by Capriati, 16, it turned into a very good match, perhaps the best that has been played in the women's draw this year. It was called after Capriati complained twice of being unable to see the ball.

"Can you see?'' asked an angry Stefano Capriati, the player's father, talking to reporters outside his box after the match was called. "I thought the match should have been called after the second set, but I'm not the umpire.''

The elder Capriati's opinion was backed up by several courtside photographers, one of whom said they stopped shooting because of a lack of light after the second set. The match will be resumed this afternoon after the men's quarterfinal between Pete Sampras and defending champion Michael Stich.

Tauziat wasn't upset about not seeing the ball, but she was about not being able to hear it. During a 6-1, 6-3 victory for Seles, Tauziat griped to chair umpire David Crymble about her opponent's now-famous grunting. Crymble admonished Seles, but did not penalize her.

Seles would not talk about the incident later, but said: "Everybody is thinking that all the players are going to complain, so as I said, going back to the grunting, it's part of my game and, I mean, I haven't any problems with it.''

Tauziat did.

"My complaint was, as the match advanced, she screamed a lot, a lot, a lot,'' said Tauziat, who challenged Seles only a little, a little, a little. "I couldn't listen to the ball when she hit the ball. The more the point is long, the more she was screaming.''

Having opponents grunt wasn't Graf's problem yesterday. Having unwanted visitors ringing the doorbell at the house she is renting here has become one. So were pictures in one local tabloid identifying a male companion as Graf's new boyfriend.

When she was asked last night whether the man in the picture was her boyfriend, Graf attacked the question as if it were a short lob. She also was not pleased with the reporter's putting the address of the house in the story.

"He's not my boyfriend. He's just a friend who came over to watch the tennis,'' Graf said sharply.

As for unwanted visitors, Graf said: "It's not right for people to ring your bell at 11 o'clock at night. They're coming in the garden. They're sleeping in the garden. It's not right for a journalist to do that.''

Meanwhile, nine-time champion Martina Navratilova quietly goes about her business. She is forgotten by the tabloids, forgotten by the bettors and forgotten by just about everybody who gives her little chance of stopping Seles -- backhands or grunts.

Navratilova had what is becoming her typical letdown here: This time, it came in the second set of a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) victory over 12th seed Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria. Navratilova served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, only to be broken and forced into the tiebreaker.

"You don't go into a match thinking you're going to win, 6-3, 6-2,'' Navratilova said a bit testily afterward. "It just doesn't happen. If you do, you're in trouble. You're in the future, you know. You can't control how she plays.''

Asked about her semifinal matchup against Seles, Navratilova said: "Well, she's No. 1, she's playing very well, hitting the ball really hard. You know, I've got nothing to lose. I'm the underdog here. I'm where I wanted to be and have an opportunity to test how good she really is.''
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Re: 1992

Wednesday, July 1, 1992

WIMBLEDON, England -- Another sleepless night for Jennifer Capriati at Wimbledon.

The 16-year-old Floridian will wake up this morning knowing she must break Gabriela Sabatini's serve or her Wimbledon is over.

Capriati was put in that situation after darkness halted Tuesday's dramatic quarterfinal with Sabatini ahead 6-1, 3-6, 5-3. The match will resume after the Pete Sampras-Michael Stich quarterfinal, scheduled to begin at noon (7 a.m., EDT).

It was 9:01 p.m. when tournament referee Alan Mills heeded Capriati's plea to stop play. Capriati tried in vain to have the match stopped at the 5-2 changeover, but Mills ordered the players to continue. Capriati held at deuce, making a miraculous, one-handed stab volley to stave off a match point.

''The match should have been stopped at a set all,'' said Stefano Capriati, Jennifer's father and coach. ''They stopped the men's match (Boris Becker vs. Wayne Ferreira), why won't they stop a women's match?''

Capriati starred in another Agatha Christie tennis mystery in the quarterfinals a year ago. She led nine-time champion Martina Navratilova 6-4, 2-3, down a break, when rain interrupted the match at 6:35 p.m.

Capriati returned the next day to finish an amazing upset. She fell behind 3-5, then won the last four games in a row to dethrone Navratilova.

Capriati will have to climb the mountain this time to join defending champion Steffi Graf, top-seeded Monica Seles and Navratilova in this year's final four.

In Tuesday's other quarterfinals, Graf defeated Natalia Zvereva 6-3, 6-1; Seles beat Nathalie Tauziat 6-1, 6-3 and Navratilova defeated Katerina Maleeva 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).

For the first time this year at Wimbledon, rain stopped play Tuesday, causing a three-hour delay. Capriati and Sabatini, playing a Grand Slam match for the fourth time in the last five events, took Centre Court at 7:02 p.m., after Becker won the fifth set from Ferreira and Seles beat Tauziat.

It was already pretty dark, and there are no lights at the All England Club. The photographers were having trouble taking action pictures, and many of them left before the first set was over.

Sabatini won the first set, but it took 40 minutes, as five of the seven games went to deuce.

Capriati had six break points, but could convert only one in the third game. Sabatini saved three break points in the first game, which lasted eight minutes, an eternity on grass.

Sabatini was down love-30 in all four of her service games in the set. She rallied to win three of them. Meanwhile, Capriati was broken three times.

The light seemed to improve in the second set, and Capriati's game brightened. She took a 3-1 lead. But Sabatini broke right back and held for 3- all.

Capriati picked up her game, and won three games in a row -- 12 of 14 points -- to even the set.

Sabatini seemed to let a bad baseline call on the first point of the 5-3 game bother her, and was broken at love.

It was now 8:21 p.m. There was still some light left, but Capriati was fading.

Capriati won the first point of the third set, a long rally that ended with a great get provoking Sabatini to miss an overhead. Capriati got to 15-30 again (eight times in the match), but then she lost the next 12 points to 0-3, love-15.

Capriati, who has trouble seeing the ball at night without contacts (which she did not have in for Tuesday's day match), made nine unforced errors in the first three games.

But one thing about Capriati: she never gives up. Capriati fought back to 3-2, breaking Sabatini at 15, but Capriati couldn't win a 40-30 point for 3- all.

Sabatini broke for 4-2 on her second chance, after Capriati saved one break point with a big overhead.

Mills was watching the match from the wings. If Capriati had held for 3-all, he may have stopped it. But Sabatini was two games away from victory now.

Sabatini raced out to 40-love on her serve. Capriati won the next two points with a forehand return and a forehand volley, but then lost a duel of volleys at the net.

It was 8:55 p.m., and Mills forced Capriati back on the court to hold serve to stay in the match.

Capriati fell behind 15-30, and Sabatini had a great chance to reach match point, but she smashed a forehand crosscourt wide as she slipped and fell on the grass.

Capriati blasted a backhand winner for a game point, but netted a forehand. Deuce, and Sabatini was two points away again.

The next point was the best of the match. After a wild up-and-back exchange, Capriati was guarding the net, when Sabatini, disdaining the lob, tried to pass her on the backhand side. Capriati reached out desperately and stabbed it for a winner.
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