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post #226 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Re: 1992

Stifling Grunts As Imposing For Seles As Graf
Women's Final Could Bring More Static Over Volume
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Saturday, July 4, 1992
Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Two obstacles stand between Monica Seles and her pursuit of a Grand Slam sweep.

One is Steffi Graf, the defending Wimbledon champion.

The other is a growing rebellion over Seles' grunts, which opponents contend drive them to distraction.

Seles, the top seed, faces a formidable player in the Wimbledon women's final today - weather permitting. Graf, seeded second, is anxious to regain the world's No. 1 ranking she gave up to Seles 14 months ago.

Germany's Graf looked devastating in her semifinal victory over Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini, whipping drives with her famed forehand in a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

In reaching her first Wimbledon final, Seles was pushed to three sets by Martina Navratilova in Thursday's semis, but showed she could raise her game on the crucial points.

Graf has won five of the eight matches that the two have played over the past three years. But Seles won the last one - an epic three-set struggle in the final of the French Open last month that finished 6-2, 3-6, 10-8. In their only meeting at Wimbledon, Graf won 6-0, 6-1 in 1989.

After winning the Australian and French opens this year, Seles is halfway home to the Grand Slam sweep, needing to win here and at the U.S. Open next month.

At 18, she has won all six Grand Slam finals she has played, missing only the Wimbledon crown. She withdrew from the tournament at the last minute last year, blaming injury.

Despite a less-than-formidable serve and a stubborn reluctance to go to net, Seles appears to have mastered the grass. But she's had less success with silencing her grunting.

She received two warnings from the chair umpire during her match with Navratilova, a nine-time Wimbledon champion. Navratilova said a grunt on one crucial point deceived her into thinking that the shot was hit harder and would go out, while it actually dropped in.

''Her argument is she is not doing it on purpose,'' Navratilova said after the match. ''But she can stop it, you know. She can stop it on purpose.''

Seles said that she's trying to overcome the habit, but will need time.

Graf hinted that she may not be so understanding. Asked whether she would complain, Graf said, ''We'll see.''

The Yugoslav-born Seles had another unpleasant distraction. The Scotland Yard bomb squad searched her Wimbledon residence Thursday after tournament officials received a letter threatening Seles.

No bomb was found, and police aren't saying who they suspect may be responsible for the threat. But before the tournament began, a Croatian diplomat warned of possible demonstrations against Seles unless she disassociated herself from Yugoslavia.

Seles has been living in the United States since 1986.

On the court, she will face one of the strongest serves on the women's tour, which Graf used to set up point after point in her match against Sabatini.

Graf said she would stick to the same strategy against Seles.

''When I have the chance I'll try to come in,'' Graf said. ''I'm just playing my usual - my sliced backhand and go for my forehand.''

Seles, however, will counter with one of the best service returns in the women's game. She scored 10 points on Navratilova's serve, and 27 more on passing shots that disrupted her opponent's rushes to the net.
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post #227 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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Re: 1992

Charting a Graf-like path - Seles faces same trials that tested '91 champ
Saturday, JULY 4, 1992
Josh Young

WIMBLEDON, England - Steffi Graf knows exactly how Monica Seles feels because she has been there.

When Seles and Graf, the top two players in the world, meet in the women's final today, Seles will be trying to overcome an unusual amount of negative press to win her first Wimbledon title. Graf, who will be going for her fourth title in five years, lost under similar circumstances in 1990.

Seles, 18, also is halfway to tennis' Grand Slam - achieved by winning Wimbledon, the Australian, French and U.S. opens in a calendar year. Graf, 23, is the last player to win the Grand Slam, in 1988. Of course, if Seles wins today she would look ahead to the U.S. Open in September to complete the slam, but her immediate dilemma is the British press.

Normally, a player's relationship with the men and women who report on tennis is an insider story. At Wimbledon it gets attention because of the almost daily questioning and hammering, mostly by reporters working for Britain's infamous tabloids, which sometimes takes on a life of its own.

In 1990, Graf was tortured by British reporters during Wimbledon over stories that her father, Peter, had an affair with a German model and had fathered the model's child. Graf, the two-time defending champion at the time, was beaten in the semifinals. The story had a happy ending, as Graf returned a year later and won her third Wimbledon title.

"The British press can be very cruel," said Graf, who got another dose this year when the tabloids published the address of her rented house and unwelcome visitors began showing up. "It can affect your tennis. You get frustrated with the stories, and then if your game is off, you feel it even more."

Seles tangled with local writers last year - and she didn't even come to Wimbledon . Her conspicuous, unexplained absence led the tabloids down one of their most creative roads. Their stories ranged from Seles hiding out with Donald Trump to her being pregnant.

This year, things have not drastically improved for Seles. She prepared for the onslaught of questions about her 1991 disappearing act, but none came. Instead, the tabloids declared open season on her grunting.

Although Seles has been grunting since she came on the tour, it has not received serious consideration until Wimbledon this year.

"They picked on me three years ago here for the grunting," Seles said. "I never got a warning during the year, nobody ever talked about it, and now it is a pretty big issue.

"I've said a million times that I am not doing it on purpose, and I would like to get rid of it."

The press coverage has been so overwhelming that two of Seles' opponents have complained about her noisemaking, and the chair umpire in her semifinal match twice asked her to tone it down. Nathalie Tauziat and Martina Navratilova both said they could not hear the ball coming off Seles' racket over her grunting.

"It's always been an issue, but it's the first time that umpires have reacted to it," Graf said. "There are times when it gets close that she gets really loud, and if players are disturbed by it, then it's fine that they say something."

Seles dismissed the possibility that she might begin to lose her concentration because she is trying to curb her grunting. Whether or not it affects Seles' game, the issue is clearly grating on her nerves.

As if the grunting issue wasn't enough, Seles also has had to contend with other negative stories. Those include death threats allegedly made against her, a story that she has abandoned her childhood tennis club, another that she has a starving grandmother in Yugoslavia and still another that if she and Croatian Goran Ivanisevic both win, Ivanisevic not join in the traditional champions dance with her because she is from Serbia.

Still, Seles managed to beat nine-time champion Martina Navratilova in a tough, three-set match in the semifinals. She did not lose a set in the early rounds, and her comfort level on the grass courts is as high as she could expect.

Graf, meanwhile, has struggled in a couple of her early-round matches. British reporters have tread lightly on Graf's personal life, except for a brief spat when they photographed her with a man who supposedly is her boyfriend.

Graf has learned how to handle writers and she knows how to win Wimbledon finals. For Seles, this is all a relatively new experience. The question to be answered today is, does Seles need another year before she is ready to win the title?



* Head-to-head: Graf leads 5-3.

* Road to final: Seles - 1. def. Jenny Byrne 6-2, 6-2; 2. def. Sabine Appelmans 6-3, 6-2; 3. def. Laura Gildemeister 6-4, 6-1; 4. def. Gigi Fernandez 6-4, 6-2; QF def. (14) Nathalie Tauziat 6-1, 6-3; SF def. (4) Martina Navratilova 6-2, 6-7, 6-4.

Graf - 1. def. Noelle van Lottum 6-1, 6-0; 2. def. Marianne Werdel 6-1, 6-1; 3. def. Mariaan de Swardt 5-7, 6-0, 7-5; 4. def. Patty Fendick 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; QF def. Natalia Zvereva 6-3, 6-1; SF def. (3) Gabriela Sabatini 6-3, 6-3.

* Outlook: The two best players in the world contest their second Grand Slam final of the year. In the French Open final on clay in May, Seles beat Graf 10-8 in the third set with an incredible display of shot-making and tenacity. Seles, winner of the last five Grand Slam events she has played, is hoping to win her first Wimbledon title. Prior to this year, she had never advanced past the quarterfinals. This year, she has played better than expected considering her lack of grass court results. She has lost only one set in six matches, and that was to Martina Navratilova. Although Graf was pushed to three sets twice in the early rounds, she showed her stuff against Gabriela Sabatini in the semifinals. In last year's final, Sabatini served for the title twice against Graf, but this year, Graf never gave her a chance to find her rhythm. In every regard, the win was a confidence-builder for Graf. Technically, Seles and Graf are baseliners. While Seles is admittedly scared to go to the net, Graf doesn't mind going there to close out points. Graf also serves better than Seles, while Seles has a better put-away shot from the backhand side. The match should have its share of exciting baseline rallies. Graf clearly has the edge on grass against Seles. The two played here once, with Graf winning 6-0, 6-1, but that was in 1989. Seles has been the best player in the world since she took the No. 1 ranking from Graf in March 1991. Still, Graf seems like the better bet on grass, under the circumstances.
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post #228 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2012, 06:25 PM
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Re: 1992

Organisers offer refund - Wimbledon 1992
The Times
London, England
Saturday, July 4, 1992

THE rain-check arrangments, operated for the first time at Wimbledon, mean that spectators who had centre court and court one tickets for yesterday's washed-out play can either claim a refund or apply for a ticket for next year.

The All England Club chief executive, Chris Gorringe, made the announcement to the spectators after play had been abandoned for the day. Spectators who want a 1993 ticket instead of a refund will pay at next year's prices, he added.
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post #229 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2012, 06:25 PM
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Re: 1992

Matchless display by Evert - Bad weather stops Wimbledon tennis
The Times
London, England
Saturday, July 4, 1992
John Goodbody

CHRIS EVERT, the former Wimbledon champion, helped to keep up the spirits of centre court spectators as they huddled beneath umbrellas yesterday by conducting them in a singsong. The weather forced play to be abandoned without a match being started.

People were cheered by the fact that for the first time they were eligible for a full refund or to claim a similar ticket for next year.

The crowd was entertained to "Mona Lisa" and "Bye Bye Blackbird" by one of the service stewards a staff sergeant with the Royal Green Jackets who is between tours of duty in Northern Ireland. There were also interviews with famous figures of the tennis world and the crowd performed Mexican waves.
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post #230 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2012, 06:27 PM
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Re: 1992

Neither rain nor cold nor the encroaching gloom of night could stay Steffi Graf from another Wimbledon title.
Saturday, July 4, 1992
MIKE DAVIS, Gannett News Service

Neither rain nor cold nor the encroaching gloom of night could stay Steffi Graf from another Wimbledon title.

Not even the presence of the No. 1-ranked player in the world on the other side of the net could rein in the 23-year-old German, who, amidst the deafening silence on Center Court, scorched the previously unbeatable Monica Seles 6-2, 6-1 in a rain-ravaged final Saturday to convincingly secure her second consecutive Wimbledon ladies' singles championship and her fourth overall.

"The best match I've played in a long, long time," was the way Graf, ranked No. 2, described her 11th grand-slam tournament title.

Considering the circumstances and the caliber of opponent, it may have been the best match any woman has played here in nearly two decades.

Seles, who outlasted Graf 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 in a memorable French Open final last month, had never lost a grand-slam final in six chances.

She had won the last five such tournaments she had played in, and had taken 41 consecutive grand-slam matches.

She also was halfway to a sweep of tennis' four major tournaments - something Graf herself accomplished in 1988 - after winning the Australian and French opens this year.

But all that was swept aside by the relentless Graf, who consolidated her 6-3, 6-3 semifinal rout of No. 3 Gabriela Sabatini with the most impressive victory in a women's final here since Billie Jean King beat Evonne Goolagong Cawley 6-0, 6-1 in 1975.

"I don't look at it as revenge (for the French)," said Graf, who earned about $410,000. "And it didn't get to me that I had to stop her from the grand slam. What was satisfying was to beat the No. 1 player in that kind of way.

"I didn't expect to finish the tournament like this," added Graf, who lost the first set in her fourth-round and quarterfinal matches. "I can't remember when I've played two matches that good back-to-back."

"I never thought I would win the grand slam this year," said Seles, who withdrew from Wimbledon with an injury last year after reaching the 1990 quarterfinals, her best previous showing here. "With the level of the players now, I felt it would be near impossible, even after I won the French."

What was most remarkable about Saturday's match - besides the pervasiveness of Graf's victory - was its length and its sound level.

The players first had to wait for the men's singles semifinals, rained out Friday, to be played. Then they had to endure three second-set rain delays, of 45 minutes, 1 hour 45 minutes and 1 hour 47 minutes in duration. Graf required only 58 minutes of actual playing time to complete the job, but the match ended 5 hours and 22 minutes after it began, at 7:29 p.m. London time.

For Seles, it ended with neither a bang nor a wimper - nor even with a grunt.

Her notorious noise - which had elicited complaints from two previous opponents, Martina Navratilova and Nathalie Tauziat, and had been a cause celebre in the London newspapers throughout the fortnight - was almost completely absent Saturday.

Though Seles clearly made a conscious effort to tone it down in the wake of all the controversy, she said it had no effect on her play.

"I didn't want to think about it, and I don't think it should have been made into such a big issue -- every day the headlines and the grunt-o-meters. But it wasn't a key today. I don't win because I grunt, and I didn't lose to Steffi because I didn't grunt."

Graf wondered about that, though.

"So much talk about grunting, maybe it got to her a little. I could imagine it might."

By the time the players returned to the court after the third rain delay - with Graf up 6-2, 4-1 and 15-30 on Seles' serve - Seles didn't look too interested in being there.

But she said the rain had nothing to do with the outcome, either.

"It was tough for both of us," she said. "She just handled it better. I mean, Steffi played an excellent match. She really never let me into it."

Graf played aggressive, almost errorless baseline tennis, relying on her punishing forehard and powerful serve (36-of-47 first balls in).

Afterward, she thanked Heinz Gundhardt, who replaced her longtime coach Pavel Slozil last year, for "being an optimistic person, giving me a lot of belief and focusing me really well on the matches. He has to get some credit."

Seles probably was happy just to get out of town. The 18-year-old world No. 1 spent two weeks fielding questions about grunting, her weight, her disappearance after withdrawing last year and her reluctance to speak out on the situation in war-torn Yugoslavia, where she was born but no longer lives.

And last week she reportedly received a death threat, supposedly the work of terrorists from Croatia, the bitter enemy of her native Serbia.

Said Seles afterward, with a relieved smile, "I'm taking a vacation for a while."
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post #231 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2012, 06:28 PM
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Re: 1992

Silent Seles' shot at Grand Slam quieted by Graf
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Sunday, July 5, 1992
Steve Wilstein, Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England - No grunt, no Grand Slam.

A muted Monica Seles gave in to her critics and melted silently in the rain yesterday as Steffi Graf hummed to her fourth Wimbledon title, 6-2, 6-1.

It took nearly 51/2 hours to play 58 minutes of tennis in a match that was interrupted three times by rain and finally ended in the gloom of a dark gray evening at 7:29 p.m.

"There's been so much talk about that grunting, maybe it got to her and it bothered her," Graf said.

This women's final was the first to be played on Wimbledon 's equivalent of the U.S. Open's Super Saturday, when the men's semifinals are bunched together for a day-night extravaganza.

Like Samson shorn, Seles seemed powerless without her trademark grunts. Her game lacked rhythm and accuracy as she wandered the court aimlessly with a distracted, frustrated frown.

Graf, perfectly relaxed and strong as ever, did her part to spoil Seles' bid for a third major title this year and a chance to match the Grand Slam that Graf achieved in 1988.

Chasing down shots from corner to corner, putting away winners on the run, whacking back killer returns and serving hard and deep, Graf might have beaten Seles even with the grunts.

"I just hoped I could start somewhere, so I felt maybe I could start here in the finals," Seles said of her ill-timed attempt to muffle herself and change a habit that has been with her for years.

But she didn't use it as an excuse.

"I don't win my matches because of grunting," she said, "I don't lose to Steffi today because I was not grunting."

Seles' high-pitched braying - U-n-n-h-h-H-E-E-E-E!!!!! - on almost all her shots in previous matches brought criticism from rivals, warnings from officials and ridicule in the British press.

As she stepped onto Centre Court for her first Wimbledon final, fans in the stands carried tabloids that called her "Public Enemy No. 1" and "Little Miss Grunt." One paper bannered: "Monica: I Will Beat The Hate Mob," while another asked, "Will They Have The Courage To Silence Monica?"

Even one of the highbrow papers commented loftily, "We must trust that she learns to curb the sound effects before the women's game begins to go the way of all-in wrestling."

Seles sounded overwhelmed by it all.

"Every day, the papers, the headlines, the gruntometers and everything - a lot of people making such a big fuss," she said. "I'm not the only one who's doing it, and I thought why are they picking on me?

"When I was in the locker room and read my letters, 95 percent of the people said, `Don't listen to them.' So I'm in the middle now. I don't know which way to go. Even if I don't keep grunting . . . it's such an issue."

Giving up the grunts may have pleased the aesthetes and Graf, but the 18-year-old Seles paid a high price for her sacrifice.

She had won the past five Grand Slam events she entered, missing only last year's Wimbledon because of shin splints, and taking 41 consecutive Grand Slam matches.

But this was one of the worst defeats of her career, and the most lopsided women's final at Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova beat Andrea Jaeger, 6-0, 6-3, in 1983.

Graf began the match with authority, holding service at love, and never relented even through all the delays. Jumping on Seles' unusually short serves and putting pressure on her in long rallies, Graf broke her to take a 3-1 lead. Seles accommodated with an abundance of errors, including a mis-hit forehand on break point.

Graf's backhand slice kept the ball low on the moist grass, making it difficult for Seles to pick up. Seles prefers the high bouncing balls on clay and hard courts and still is learning the nuances of grass-court play. That was especially evident against Graf, an expert on this surface.

Graf's variety of shots - slices and topspins from both sides - her angled, inside-out forehands, drops and lobs, exasperated Seles more than the rain.

Graf moved Seles around like a puppet, bringing her in, then sending her back, moving her from one side to another. Graf ended that one-sided opening set with a perfect forehand crosscourt pass after drawing Seles in on a short backhand that clipped the net cord.

The first rain delay, which lasted 47 minutes, came with Graf leading 1-0 in the second set. The players returned to play at 3:31 p.m., got in five points in two minutes, then were chased away again by rain.

They came back again at 5:20 p.m., and this time managed to get in a few more games.

Graf, closing in on her second consecutive championship, led 6-2, 4-1, with Seles to serve at 15-30 when the match was halted for the third time. Nearly two hours later, they returned to the court, given bouquets of flowers, then set about to finish it up.

Seles took the next point, but then netted a forehand for the first of four break points. On the last, she netted an easy backhand to fall behind 5-1.

With charcoal clouds scudding overhead, Graf didn't risk another delay. A fan offered encouragment as she stepped up to serve, yelling with a German accent, "Just do it!" She did.

Seles took the first point on a superb lunging backhand return crosscourt, then watched Graf sweep through the final four points.

Everything Graf hit was near perfect, even her mistakes. She mis-hit a forehand, and it angled crosscourt for a winner. She smacked a deep serve that Seles drove into the net. Graf hit a forehand deep into the corner, and it clipped Seles' outstretched racket edge to set up championship point at 40-15. And in a blink of an eye it was over, Graf serving an ace up the middle that Seles just stared at, again in silence.
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Re: 1992

July 5, 1992
Seles Bows Out Quietly as Graf Retains Title
New York Times

WIMBLEDON, England -- The defending Wimbledon champion, Steffi Graf, with forehand and eyes ablaze and energized by a serve that pierced her opponent like so many arrows, abruptly ended Monica Seles's hopes for a third Grand Slam title in 1992. Dodging a trio of distracting rain delays, Graf crushed the world's No. 1 player, 6-2, 6-1, in this afternoon's final.

"I knew I had it in me," said Graf, who hadn't often been able to make that claim over the past two years of professional self-doubt and internal family strife, all of which appears to have been resolved to her satisfaction. "I think I am playing here the best tennis of my career."

As Seles was ready and willing to admit, perhaps even before the 58-minute mismatch actually ended, Graf had the upper hand this afternoon and didn't fail to use it. "I don't look at it as revenge," said Graf, who not only lost her No. 1 ranking to Seles last year but also watched with rising indignation as the chatty teen-ager eclipsed her reputation as the most dominant force on the Kraft Tour. "It had a lot to do with believing in myself; I went out there knowing I had all the shots for it. But of course it was a great satisfaction to go out and beat the No. 1 player the way I did," said Graf, now 6-3 against Seles and 45-4 at Wimbledon.

It was Graf's fourth Wimbledon title in the last five years and Seles's first loss in a Grand Slam final in seven appearances. In the lopsided match, a subdued Seles seemed continually overwhelmed by Graf's piercing forehands and gravity-defying backhand slice. The afternoon was finally reduced to an exercise in futility for Seles once a second rain delay halted the proceedings with Graf up a set and 4-1. "After that I felt it was impossible to come back," said Seles, who put a muzzle on her grunting today and seemed, according to Graf, inhibited by all the attention directed at her noisemaking.

"There was so much talk about her grunting that I think maybe it got to her a little bit," said Graf. Seles, with her hair scraped back in a white snood and a nervous smile plastered across her face, didn't use her absent grunt as an excuse for losing her first Grand Slam final. But she did say she felt the original hue and cry against it was a demonstration of gamesmanship on the part of her non-friend Nathalie Tauziat, whom she defeated in the quarterfinals.

"I don't win my matches because of grunting and I didn't lose my match to Steffi because I was not," Seles said. "But I never had to deal with so many things outside of tennis as I did here: every day in the papers, headlines, gruntometers, everything. And I thought, 'Why is everybody suddenly complaining now?' "

Once again, it was an unfulfilling Wimbledon for the world's No. 1 woman player, she of the multihued hair, multilayered strokes and multimillions. Seles missed her chance for a Grand Slam in 1991 because she sidestepped Wimbledon, and she missed it again this year because even though she defied her brief and unspectacular previous history here by showing up and two-handing herself a path to the final, she met a tigress there in the figure of the defending champion.

"Whatever I wanted to try, they were not going there," said Seles, who dropped serve four times. "I just couldn't handle my returns, not just on the first serves but on the second as well. Everything is what I had trouble with: I couldn't get my first serves in, and on my second serve she basically took over the point."

Seles might have defended her Australian and French Open titles this year, the latter at the expense of today's opponent, but she was no match for Graf in this gloomy finale on grass that was thrice delayed by showers and concluded in near-darkness. Graf used her forehand like a rapier and Seles, forewarned about the censure that would meet her renowned grunting if she forgot resident protocol and lapsed into it, never packed her machete strokes with their usual noise or poise.

Seles had contested and won her previous six Grand Slam finals, but Graf, who used last year's Wimbledon like resuscitation for an indifferent attitude, had plenty of motivational reasons for making sure Seles didn't get a good grip on this one. Graf is the last player to capture the Grand Slam, a feat she accomplished in 1988, and as fixated as the 23-year-old German was on repeating as Wimbledon's champion a second time in her career, she was also intent on seeing that Seles got no closer to a 1992 Grand Slam.

"I don't think I showed very much weakness today, and I didn't see much of a game plan from her," Graf said. "She was just going out and trying to hit the ball hard, which I stood up to."

Seles said she never expected to secure this year's Grand Slam, thus her apparent lack of devastation here after posting her finest Wimbledon result in three visits. "It's really kind of almost my first time playing Wimbledon in one way, with a different attitude," said Seles, who admitted she still hasn't played often enough on grass to love it. "And I personally never thought I would win the Grand Slam this year, not even after getting to the final of Wimbledon. I really felt that to be impossible for this year."
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Re: 1992

Graf steps out of Seles' shadow Defending champ silences top seed's Grand Slam bid
The Sun
Baltimore, MD
July 05, 1992
Don Markus

WIMBLEDON, England -- Steffi Graf began this year's Wimbledon as both defending champion and afterthought, confident in her chances yet obscured by the spotlight following Monica Seles and her chase for the Grand Slam.

Graf is no longer an afterthought.

And Seles is no longer chasing the Grand Slam.

In a ladies' championship match that took more than five hours to complete because of rain, but less than an hour to play, Graf won her fourth Wimbledon title with a thoroughly convincing, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Seles on sodden Centre Court at the All England Club.

Despite three delays, the 23-year-old German never lost her concentration and won the 11th Grand Slam title of her career. The loss prevented Seles, 18, from having a chance to join Graf and Margaret Court as the only women to win the Grand Slam.

"I really don't look at it as revenge," said Graf, who lost a now classic three-set marathon to Seles in this year's French Open final, with the final set going to 10-8. "It feels great to win the final in that way. It's definitely the best match I've played in a long time."

Asked what the difference was between this match and the one in Paris, Graf said, "I think it had a lot to do with me believing in myself. I just went out there knowing I had all the shots for it. It felt great walking out there. The surface suits me better than her. There is no doubt about that."

There were few doubts as to who was better yesterday. It was the most one-sided Wimbledon final since Martina Navratilova defeated Andrea Jaeger, 6-0, 6-3, in 1983. It was also the most one-sided victory for Graf in a Grand Slam final since she defeated Natalia Zvereva in two love sets at the 1988 French Open. Yesterday's victory was worth $410,000 to Graf.

Playing under threatening skies throughout, and with the temperature dipping to around 60 degrees by the end, second-seeded Graf tore through top-seeded Seles in the first set, taking advantage of her opponent's shaky first serve and overall jittery appearance.

"I think she really didn't have any kind of game plan," said Graf, who rarely will criticize another player. "She was just trying to hit the ball, and I stood up to it. She wasn't serving very well."

But the most noticeable thing missing from Seles' game was her grunts. As much as her double-fisted blasts from both sides of the court have become a trademark, so had the grunts. They had reached a screechy crescendo at the French Open and had become a source of controversy in her past few matches.

Yesterday, though, Seles was mostly silent. Except for a few mild bellows after the final rain delay -- she was down 1-4, 15-30 in the second set at the time -- Seles let her racket make most of the noise. Her shots seemed to lack their typical explosiveness, too.

Seles refused to blame her loss, her first in a Grand Slam final after six straight victories, on the turmoil that surrounded her the past two weeks or the rain that caused delays of 45 minutes, 1:45 and 1:47.

"The first [delay] was maybe the key one at 6-2, 1-0," said Seles, who lost in 58 minutes. "I had so many games 30-0 and lost my serve. After the second rain delay, I was down 4-1, I didn't feel I would get back into the match."

As for not grunting, Seles said, "I didn't really want to think about it, but I said to myself, Hopefully I can start somewhere.' I didn't win all those matches because of grunting,and I didn't lose to Steffi because of it."

Said Graf, "There was so much talk about all that grunting. Maybe it got to her a little bit. Maybe it bothered her. I could see it."

The loss stopped Seles' streak of Grand Slam championships, which included this year's Australian and French Opens, at five. It was also her first loss in a Grand Slam match after 41 victories.

Though she cried a little at the post-match ceremony, Seles seemed fairly composed afterward. When asked if she was disappointed at not having an opportunity to pursue the Grand Slam, Seles was also a tad fatalistic.

"I really personally never thought I was going to win the Grand Slam," she said.

"After I won the French, I thought even if I won here, it wasn't going to be easy. It would have been a lot of trouble to win the Open, playing 14 days and seven matches."

In victory, Graf proved that she is a more complete player than when she was top-ranked, even more dynamic perhaps than when she won all four Grand Slam events in 1988. With the help of new coach Heinz Gunthardt, a former men's tour player, Graf is in the process of developing an aggressive game.

Though she still breaks most fundamentals by running around her forehand and often hitting it wrong-footed, Graf is taking more chances, coming to the net and putting pressure on her opponent.

"I didn't expect to finish it like this," said Graf, who after beating Sabatini 8-6 in the third set last year lost nine games in her last two matches. "I really didn't, but I knew that I had it in me."

As she paraded around Centre Court, showing off her silver plate and acting playfully with the fans, Graf seemed more content than at any time in her career. Her first Grand Slam win since her last Wimbledon victory might have been the best match she had ever played.

"It's a nice feeling, I can tell you," she said. "It gives you a lot of pleasure."

Women's box score

The box score of Steffi Graf's 6-2, 6-1 victory over Monica Seles yesterday in the Wimbledon women's singles final:

.... . ..... .. ..... Graf. .. . . . . . .... ... . Seles

Aces.. . . . .. .......... 3. . .... . .... .............. 3

Double faults. . ......... 0. ........... ................ 2

serve pct............ 77................. . .... .... 55

Pct. 1st-serve pts. won.. 69. ... ....................... 58

Pct. 2nd-serve pts. won. 100 .. ..... ....................40

Service games held ....... 8...............................3

Break points against. .... 2. .... . .................... 12

Service games broken. .... 0 . ....... .. ... .............4

Placement winners. ...... 17. ............................ 9

Pct. backcourt pts....won 58. ........................... 38

Points won at net. ....... 7. ............................ 6

Total points won. ....... 69. .... .. .. ............. .. 44

Time of match -- 58 minutes.
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post #234 of 648 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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Re: 1992

Sunday, July 5, 1992

WIMBLEDON, England -- It was the longest of finals; it was the shortest of finals.

It was the best of Graf; it was the worst of Seles.

Steffi Graf whipped Monica Seles 6-2, 6-1 to win her fourth Wimbledon title in the last five years Saturday.

Graf stopped Seles' march to the Grand Slam in 58 minutes, but the match, which was interrupted by rain three times, lasted nearly 5 1/2 hours.

It wasn't until 7:29 p.m. local time, in the near-dark and cold, with the Duchess of Kent and her friends in the Royal Box bundled in their royal blankets and NBC off the air, that Graf slammed an ace past Seles on match point.

''It feels great to win the final in that kind of way,'' Graf said. ''That's the best match I've played in a long, long time.''

It was the worst beating Seles has taken since she took over the No. 1 ranking from Graf last year, her worst loss at a Grand Slam since Chris Evert pummeled her at the 1989 U.S. Open.

''Steffi never let me into the match,'' said Seles, gruntless and unusually gutless. ''I couldn't handle my returns and I couldn't find my rhythm.''

Seles played with little heart, seemingly worn down by all the outside issues during the fortnight -- her grunting, her citizenship, death threats, even the silly butter addiction.

Seles had been portrayed as the Wicked Witch of Wimbledon, and it appeared that she didn't want to win this title that way.

''There has never been so many things outside the court as here,'' said Seles, 18, who met every distraction with style and a sense of humor.

''It kind of hurts a little bit, but most of the players have to go through it. Every year, it's somebody's turn but I really had fun this year. I personally never thought I could win the Grand Slam this year.''

''I don't know Monica that well, but maybe the grunting issue got to her a little bit,'' Graf said.

Seles, who opened 1992 with victories at the Australian and French Opens, had won the last five Grand Slams she'd entered, missing only Wimbledon last year with shin splints.

Seles' last Grand Slam loss was a shocking upset by lightly regarded Italian Linda Ferrando in the third round of the 1990 U.S. Open.

Seles edged Graf 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 in a dramatic French Open final last month on clay. Graf said she did not feel like an avenger or a Grand Slam-buster.

''There is great satisfaction in beating the No. 1 player,'' said Graf, who is now 6-3 against Seles.

''The difference between Wimbledon and Paris had a lot to do with believing in myself. I have the shots for it and I have the game for it.''

And grass is the surface for it. Graf has won four Wimbledon titles by age 23. Navratilova, the nine-time recordholder, had two titles at the same age.

''This Wimbledon title is as big as any other one,'' said Graf, who has lost only to Zina Garrison in the 1990 semifinals the last five years.

Graf struggled through a pair of three-setters against Mariann de Swardt and Patty Fendick midway through the tournament, but she hit her form in the last three rounds. Graf trounced Natalia Zvereva in the quarterfinals, then Gabriela Sabatini in the semifinals.

''Maybe the last time I played this well two matches in a row was when I beat Chris and Martina back-to-back at Key Biscayne,'' Graf said. ''That was several years ago (1987).''

Graf and Seles took the court at the traditional 2 p.m. starting time, following the Andre Agassi-John McEnroe semifinal on Centre Court.

Graf rolled through the first set and led 1-0, 30-15, when rain stopped play at 2:43 p.m.

The players returned 48 minutes later, but only for five points. Graf and Seles were locked at deuce when another shower hit after two minutes of play.

The match resumed a second time at 5:19 p.m., after a delay of 1 hour, 46 minutes.

Seles held for 1-all. Graf held at love for 2-1, broke Seles, who doublefaulted on break point, then held again at love for 4-1.

Graf took a 15-30 lead on Seles' serve, when the rain gave Seles a stay of execution at 5:32 p.m.

The match was finally completed after another long delay of 1 hour, 49 minutes.

Graf needed eight minutes to pull the plug, breaking Seles in a long deuce game, then serving out the match at 15.

''It didn't make any difference if we had played today or come back tomorrow,'' said Seles, who made 47 errors and hit only nine winners. ''With Steffi ahead 4-1, it was almost impossible to come back.''

Anatomy of a rainy final:

-- 2:07 p.m.: Play begins. Graf leads 6-2, 1-0, 30-15 when play stopped at 2:43 p.m.

-- 3:31 p.m.: Play resumes after 48-minute delay. Graf leads 6-2, 1-0, deuce when play stopped.

-- 5:32 p.m.: Play resumes after delay of 1 hour, 46 minutes. Graf leads 6-2, 4-1, 15-30 when play stopped.

-- 7:21 p.m.: Play resumes after delay of 1 hour, 49 minutes. Graf wins 6-2, 6-1 at 7:29 p.m. Match length: 58 minutes.
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Re: 1992

Graf conquers Seles, elements to win 4th title
Sunday, JULY 5, 1992
Josh Young

WIMBLEDON, England - Nothing was going to stop Steffi Graf from winning her fourth Wimbledon title. Not three rain delays, not temperatures that dipped into the mid-50s and not the game of No. 1-ranked Monica Seles.

In a match that started four times and spanned five hours, 22 minutes, No. 2 seed Graf routed Seles 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes of playing time. It was the most lopsided women's final since Martina Navratilova beat Andrea Jaeger 6-0, 6-3 in 1983.

Graf, 23, said she has never played better than in her past two matches, in which she lost a total of only nine games. In the semifinals, Graf defeated No. 3 Gabriela Sabatini 6-3, 6-3.

"The final was the best match I've played in a long, long time," Graf said. "I think it had a lot to do with believing in myself. I went out there knowing that I have the shots and the game. I felt great out there."

For Graf to say she may have never played better is to say she played unbelievably. In 1988, Graf won the Grand Slam - Wimbledon, the Australian, French and U.S. opens - and the Olympic gold medal.

"I played great. I don't think I showed any weaknesses," Graf said of her last two matches. "Better than in 1988 and 1989."

When pressed for a comparison to the Sabatini and Seles matches, Graf went back past 1988 and '89, when she was ranked No. 1. She went back to 1987 when she beat Chris Evert and Navratilova in straight sets in less than an hour in back-to-back rounds at the Lipton tournament.

That Graf defeated Seles so easily is amazing considering the numbers Seles has racked up since taking the No. 1 ranking from Graf in March 1990.

Seles, 18, had won all six of her previous Grand Slam finals. She had a 41-match winning streak in Grand Slam tournaments. More importantly, she was halfway to the Grand Slam that Graf achieved in 1988.

"I personally never thought I would win the Grand Slam this year," Seles said. "Even after winning the French Open and getting to the finals of Wimbledon. I think with the level of players there are, I would have needed a lot of luck."

Seles would have needed more than luck to beat Graf yesterday. One thing Seles did do was curb her grunting, which has drawn so much attention during the past two weeks.

"I thought that hopefully I could start [trying to curb it] somewhere, so why not in the finals?" Seles said. "But I didn't lose to Steffi because I was not grunting."

Graf dictated the play and continually exploited Seles' lack of grass court understanding.

Although Seles won the six matches coming into the final by playing her game, the only accomplished grass court player she faced was Navratilova in the semifinals. She beat Navratilova with her service return.

Against Graf, Seles seemed to have no real strategy. Graf repeatedly sliced her backhand into the middle of the court, the place where the grass is the most worn and the ball bounces differently every time. Graf often ran down balls that Seles thought were sure winners and converted them into points.

"Steffi played an excellent match and she really never let me get my rhythm on my serve and groundstrokes," Seles said.

Following a rain-delayed match is almost as difficult as playing one. Rain first stopped play at 2:44 p.m., 36 minutes into the match with Graf leading 6-2, 2-1. Play resumed at 3:30 p.m., but rain halted it two minutes and five points later.
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Re: 1992

A Silent Seles Goes Out Like a Lamb : Women: Graf beats her non-grunting opponent, 6-2, 6-1, for her fourth championship in five years.
July 05, 1992
Los Angeles TIMES

WIMBLEDON, England — It was dry, it was wet. It was the longest of finals, it was the shortest of finals. It was Steffi Graf unloading a trainload of forehands past Monica Seles and collecting her fourth Wimbledon title.

It was a dreary, water-logged Saturday at the All England Club where Graf slugged her way past a dead-legged Seles, 6-2, 6-1, in 58 minutes of tennis and 4 hours 24 minutes of rain delays.

Graf would not be halted from winning her 11th Grand Slam tournament title, even by the three rain delays that transformed the women's final into little more than a exercise in futility for Seles.

After winning at Australia and France, Seles had her hopes for a Grand Slam doused, first by the weather and then by Graf's unerring shot-making.

"I just couldn't find my timing, my rhythm," Seles said. "She kept making all the shots."

Seles answered the question of the day when she disappeared in the final without a sound. After enduring two weeks of critical newspaper stories and critical comments by fellow players about her grunting during matches, Seles lapsed into near-total silence.

Her usual slashing, judo-chop game also was missing, but Seles said her silence was not a factor.

"I don't win my matches because of grunting, and I didn't lose to Steffi today because I was not grunting," Seles said.

"When I was in the locker room during the rain delay, I read all these letters, and in about 95% of them they say 'Don't listen to them, Monica, keep on grunting.' So I don't know which way to go now.

"Even if I do keep grunting, I just feel it shouldn't have been such a big issue pointed out to me the whole two weeks."

In silence and under leaden skies, Graf was in control from the opening minutes. If not for the rain, the match would have been over long before tea time.

Graf, who lost her No. 1 ranking to Seles in March of 1991, won her fourth Wimbledon title in five years, denied only in 1990 by Zina Garrison, who defeated her in the semifinals.

"It feels great to win the final in that kind of way," Graf said. "This was definitely the best match I have played in a long, long time. It has a lot to do with believing in myself, I would say."

Graf dominated from the start, but Seles clearly helped her along by contributing to the most lopsided women's final since 1983, when Martina Navratilova brushed aside Andrea Jaeger, 6-0, 6-3.

Seles made 47 errors, put a little more than half of her first serves in play, double faulted twice and generally played like someone who couldn't wait to get out of town.

She nearly acknowledged as much.

"I mean every day in the papers--headlines, gruntometers and everything, and then a lot of people making such a big fuss," Seles said.

"I mean, in the whole Kraft tour, not one single player asked anything about it--not one single journalist or anything. So I really felt, you know, why is this tournament the one to be asked?

"So I felt, 'Why is everybody picking on me?' "

The first rain delay occurred after Graf had closed out the first set with ease and taken a 1-0 lead in the second. After a 45-minute wait, they played five more minutes before another delay, then 14 more minutes before another break, this time with Graf leading, 4-1.

By then, Seles believed she had no chance.

"At that point, I think I felt like I could get into the match," she said. "It was too tough. Being 4-1 down, I think it's almost impossible to come back."

Seles had never lost in six Grand Slam tournament finals and hadn't been beaten in any Grand Slam event since she lost to Linda Ferrando during the third round of the 1990 U.S. Open.

Graf's memory of Grand Slam tournament defeats doesn't have to be nearly as good. She lost to Seles in last month's French Open final, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8.

Graf is 6-3 against Seles and has won three of their last four meetings.

"It's a great satisfaction to go out there and beat the No. 1 player the way that I did, that's for sure," Graf said.

Perhaps nearly as satisfying is the nearly $410,000 Graf won.

Additional Coverage


The rain at Wimbledon continues to plague NBC, which left the women's final before its completion. C12
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Re: 1992

Graf takes fourth title with overwhelming display against Seles - Wimbledon 1992
The Times
London, England
Monday, July 6, 1992
Andrew Longmore

THE rain did its best to disguise the extent of the beating, but the facts cannot be so easily covered up. In 58 minutes of domination, thinly spread over nearly five and a half hours on the centre court on Saturday, Steffi Graf won her fourth Wimbledon title, overwhelming Monica Seles 6-2, 6-1 and reducing talk of grand slams to the realms of fantasy, not just this year but also for the foreseeable future.

Graf has already surpassed the achievements of such distinguished past champions as Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court and Chris Evert in winning four titles and, at the age of 23, has plenty of time to win more. More importantly, with the encouragement of her new coach, Heinz Gunthardt, Graf has found a new sense of perspective, learnt to have fun on court, and rediscovered her enthusiasm. It is Seles who now has to take another step forward.

Like her fellow No.1 and grand slam aspirant, Jim Courier, Seles learnt the hard way that confidence, resilience and pounding ground strokes are not sufficient qualities to master the intricacies of grass-court tennis. At least, not against a champion in prime form.

"The serve was not there, which is a key part of my game, but Steffi played an excellent match and never let me find my rhythm," Seles said. The top seed, who had surfed into Wimbledon on a wave of impressive statistics, was submerged by her worst defeat since her first appearance at Wimbledon three years ago. Then she won just one game off Graf; on Saturday, it was a mere three. Which poses two questions.

Has Seles, dominant on all other surfaces, shown only minuscule improvement on grass? Or has Graf, who in the semi-final against Sabatini, the No. 3 seed, and in the final against Seles, become a much better player than in 1989, when she was regarded as at the height of her powers?

The good news for Seles, at least, is that Graf thinks it is the latter. "I have played the best tennis of my career over the past two or three days. Better even than 1988 or 1989. It is four or five years since I put together two matches like that back-to-back."

The bad news is that, on the basis of this one-sided final, Seles still has a physical and mental chasm to leap before she offers a strong challenge to Graf's increasingly secure tenure of the Wimbledon title.

The German made the world No. 1 look exactly what she is, a novice on grass. For perhaps the first time in her life, Seles realised she had stepped a little out of her depth and, whereas in the final of the French Open she had run for every ball, refusing to be beaten, on Saturday the fire in the belly had vanished along with the air in her lungs. There was no grunt and no fight. "When I was 4-1 down in the second set, I thought there was no way I could get back into the match," she said.

Four breaks for rain gave Seles every chance to recover, but barely affected Graf's momentum. The third spasm of play, which lasted 13 minutes, sealed an issue already moving beyond doubt. Seles levelled the second set to 1-1, but lost the next three games, including a double fault to lose her serve. When play resumed at 7.21pm on a bitter evening, Graf took eight minutes to assert her superiority.

Later that night, Graf celebrated her triumph at a party. A surprise visitor was her father, Peter, who defied doctor's orders by taking the first plane to London after his daughter's victory, the most comprehensive in a Wimbledon final since Navratilova beat Jaeger in 1983. Graf delivered her speech of thanks in the kitchen, but Seles might be the one feeling the heat over the next year.
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Re: 1992

Graf reigns supreme
St. Petersburg Times
Sunday, July 5, 1992

When it was finally over after nearly 5 hours Saturday and the women's tour was safe from the dominating clutches of Monica Seles, Steffi Graf floated around Centre Court with the Wimbledon champion's plate like a schoolgirl showing off her report card to 16,000 of her closest friends.

You get that giddy when you recapture something dear to you and conquer something once thought unconquerable, eluding stiff winds and a steady drizzle that threatened to ruin the whole thing.

"It is a nice feeling, I can tell you,'' Graf said. "It gives you a lot of pleasure, the feeling.''

So, the rest of the tour may belong to the top-ranked Seles, but Wimbledon, mind you, remains as German as BMW. Graf's 6-2, 6-1 win through three rain delays was her second straight and fourth in the last five years at Wimbledon. It halted Seles' 41-match, six-tournament Grand Slam streak and wiped away any chance of the Yugoslav pro challenging Graf's title as the last winner of consecutive Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open championships.

"I really personally never thought I would win the Grand Slam this year, really,'' said Seles, the winner of the Australian and French opens. "Even after the French and I got to the finals here at Wimbledon, I still thought there's the U.S. Open and playing 14 days, several matches every day, to be in the top shape, I really felt it would be near impossible this year.''

It took what Graf, 23, said was the best tennis of her already remarkable career, and thus made for the sweetest of her four Wimbledon conquests. The 240,000 pounds (about $455,000) that came with it didn't make it too bad, either. Nor did the fact that the win avenged her dramatic three-set French Open final loss to the 18-year-old Seles a month ago.

"I think (the difference) had a lot to do with believing in myself, I would say, and I just went out there knowing that I have all the shots for it and I have the game for it,'' Graf said. "I just really felt great walking out there.''

Saturday's final was a curious one from the start. Seles, believe it or not, didn't grunt. Not a peep.

Then, after a mostly sunny day, a light rain delayed the match for about 45 minutes. The players returned for only two minutes and five points before the drizzle returned. Nearly two hours later, they got in 4 games before rain delayed the match once more for another two hours. It was growing dark and unseasonably cold when play resumed at about 7:25 p.m. local time.

Neither player said the delays bothered her, though. And as for the absence of grunting, Seles said, "I just thought, you know, hopefully I can start somewhere, so I felt maybe I can start here in the finals.

"When I was in the locker room during the rain delay, I read all these letters, and in about 95 percent of them they say, "Don't listen to them, Monica, keep on grunting.' So I don't know which way to go now.

"Even if I do keep grunting, I just feel it shouldn't have been such a big issue pointed out to me the whole two weeks,'' quickly adding that her silence on court Saturday didn't contribute to her losing.

No, that was all Graf's doing. She had come up with a wicked brew of tennis in a 6-3, 6-3 semifinal throttling of Gabriela Sabatini, and it was obvious she saved a special batch just for Seles.

Nobody outhits Seles and her double-barrel strokes from the baseline. But Graf did Saturday, ripping 13 baseline winners (10 off her forehand) to Seles' eight. On top of that, Graf slammed three aces and 15 service winners, while Seles, who lives in Sarasota, had as many aces but only seven service winners.

It was those numbers that enabled Graf to gobble up three straight games to go up 4-1 in the opening set and back Seles into a corner she's rarely been in.

"I just couldn't handle the returns - not just on the first serve, but on the second serve either,'' Seles said. "Whatever I wanted to try, the ball just kept not going there. Steffi never let me into the match to get my rhythm.''

That Graf broke Seles' serve to take the opening set - not surprisingly with a forehand winner - was a sure sign of danger. It had been 15 matches since Seles had lost the first set of any match.

Before Seles really could worry about that, she had something else to think about - the rain. Play stopped with Graf up 1-0 in the second set. Five points and another rain delay later, Seles managed to pull even to 1-1.

An anxious Graf, though, warmed quickly to the rapidly dropping temperature (it got down into the 50s) and the swiftly dwindling daylight. Just as she did in the first set, she snatched three straight games to pull away 4-1.

Of course, Stefanie Maria Graf two games from the Wimbledon title is like Jack Nicklaus going to 18 at Augusta one par away from victory. And Graf, following the third rain delay, came out and sunk Seles like a 3-foot putt.

"I don't think it would have made a difference if we played it (then) or (suspended the match until today),'' Seles said. ""You know, against Steffi, being 4-1 down, I think, it's almost impossible to come back.''
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Re: 1992

Graf's best silences Seles
Monday, July 6, 1992
Author: Doug Smith

WIMBLEDON - Steffi Graf felt great about winning her fourth Wimbledon title but not about ending Monica Seles' bid for a grand slam.

"It did not really get to me that I had to stop her or anything,'' Graf said. "I think it is a great satisfaction to go out there and beat the No. 1 player and I think that was really it.''

Graf struggled to three-set victories against unseeded players in third- and fourth-round matches but played superbly in the semifinals and final. She defeated No. 3 seed Gabriela Sabatini 6-3, 6-3 Thursday and No. 1 Seles 6-2, 6-1 Saturday in 58 minutes.

"I definitely would say this was the best match I have played for a long, long time,'' said the German, who won the grand slam in 1988. "I didn't expect it to finish like this, I really didn't, but I just knew I had it in me.''

Seles, who won the Australian Open and beat Graf in an epic battle in the French Open final, played the Wimbledon final without her usual sound and fury. Seles repeatedly was criticized in the media for grunting on each stroke. A London tabloid said a "grunt-o-meter'' compared her shrieks to diesel engines.

Seles did not express concern until opponents - Nathalie Tauziat and Martina Navratilova - objected to her grunts.

"It just gets louder and louder; you can not hear the ball being hit,'' said Navratilova, beaten 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 in the semifinals.

Seles might have been concentrating more on being soundless than hitting the ball soundly against Graf.

"I think there was so much talk about that grunting or whatever, maybe that got a little bit to her,'' Graf said. "It was repeated every day. Probably that riled her a bit, I could imagine.''

Said Seles: "I didn't really want to think about it, but I just thought, hopefully, I can start somewhere. So I felt, maybe I can start here. But I don't think that was a key. I don't win my matches because of grunting. I didn't lose to Steffi because I was not grunting.''

Seles said 95% of the letters she receives encourage her to keep grunting.

"I don't know which way to go now,'' she said. "I just feel it shouldn't have been such a big issue pointed out to me the whole two weeks. I'm not the only one doing it, so I felt why is everybody picking on me?''

Despite the loss, Seles maintained a comfortable lead in the computer rankings. Graf, who leads the series 6-3, doesn't believe she can catch the 18-year-old Yugoslav this year.

"I have not really looked at the points or standings or anything, so I really don't know,'' she said. "That is nothing I worry about right now, not at all.''
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Re: 1992

Offering no excuses, Seles wins respect
St. Petersburg Times
Tuesday, July 7, 1992

It dangled there, right in front of Monica Seles' face, but she didn't bite.

After Saturday's Wimbledon final, Seles, of Sarasota, had every opportunity to pin her 6-2, 6-1 loss on something other than the obvious: her opponent Steff Graf. Instead, she admitted without the slightest hesitation that Graf simply outplayed her.

This Seles seemed different from the one who stirred up the big stink last year by bailing out of Wimbledon three days before it started - without so much as a goodbye. She seemed different from the one who went into seclusion for weeks afterward, trying her darnedest not to explain herself (she later said she had shin splints).

This year's Wimbledon was nearly as controversial for Seles, what with all the heat she caught about her grunting (she was warned during two matches to keep it down, and the local papers played it up daily), and the criticism over her indifference toward the civil war in her native country of Yugoslavia.

Seles could have subtly laid at least some of the blame for Saturday's 59-minute spanking on those distractions. And if they weren't convincing enough, she could have mentioned how the three rain delays and the deteriorating daylight affected her concentration.

Instead she said this: "The rain delays and the darkness, you know, that's just how it happened, and that's how you've got to take it. I don't like to think, you know, 'what if this didn't happen?' I gave it a good try, and there were many interruptions, so it was tough for Steffi and for me, for both of us. She just handled it a lot better than I did.''

Even more striking was the fact that Seles smiled and laughed throughout nearly the entire interview - even though it was one of the worst losses of her career.

"I usually try to keep a balance after winning and losing,'' she said. "I'm going to have off days like (Saturday) but I'll come away having learned a few things.''

Perhaps we can learn a few things from it, too. Even though Seles lost the match, she might have won something much more important: respect.

**The quote of the tournament: This one comes from singles runner-up Goran Ivanisevic, who was asked if he had called chair umpire John Frame a "monkey'' during his five-set loss to champion Andre Agassi.

"Probably. I don't know. Maybe I did. I told him something, but I don't know if it was 'monkey.' I called him something, anyway, but I don't know which one. But a nice one, not a bad one.''

So did he or didn't he?

**Women's Grand Slam Cup? The men's tour has a season-ending Grand Slam Cup. Now the women's tour is considering the idea for 1993. The women's International Professional Tennis Council apparently is mulling over the idea and is expected to make a decision sometime in September, possibly at the U.S. Open.

**Mo' Money: As if Agassi doesn't already make enough money through his many endorsement deals, his Wimbledon victory Sunday is expected to bring him even more big bucks. A Grand Slam victory is usually good for at least $1-million in endorsement contracts. But what's left for Agassi to put his name on?

**TV sticks with tennis: Now, here's a switch. Several NB affiliates stuck with the suspended John McEnroe-Michael Stich doubles final against Richey Reneberg-Jim Grabb even after the five-set duel went past NBC's originally scheduled sign-off time of 3 p.m. Sunday.

Local stations are notorious for switching away from longer-than-expected tennis matches, but apparently McEnroe's widespread appeal kept some stations tuned in. NBC eventually bailed out on the match at 4 p.m. to show the U.S. Olympic basketball team's game.

The match was completed Monday.
Ms. Anthropic is offline  

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