Originally Posted by baleineau
i'm so sorry for you that you didn't see her play. i saw the following matches:
1. SF of European Open against Barbara Paulus in 1990. A really close match. I was immediately drawn to Helen (and women's tennis) because of her extreme grunt, endless questioning of calls and other decisions, constant cussing of ball boys, and glaring looks at Paulus. Helen lost, in a final set tie break i think.
2. Helen versus jennifer, first round of wimbledon 1990. Centre court. helen played okay, but was overpowered by the young, debutant. helen grunted and yelped, and spent a lot of time cussing her dress.
3. helen versus jo durie, wimbledon 91, 1st round. it was a really wet wimbledon, and matches were well behind schedule. helen and jo came onto court 13 in the light drizzle. it was a classic helen match. she was doing "nothing" worthy of winning, but looked/acted like she should be winning. both players were off-form and affected by the conditions. helen argued numerous times about calls, about the line judges, about the damp balls, about her opponents' "unreal" winners LOL.....even at 6-3 5-2 and 40-15 to Durie, Helen was screaming at herself to "c'mon" and slapping her thighs. at the end, she walked slowly to the net, slumped in her chair, and buried her head in her towel. there were tears mid-way through the match as well.
4. Helen versus Julie Halard, Fed Cup, 1992. This is the only match i ever saw helen win. she was really pumped up, screaming after some points, lot's of "fucks". "You're so fucking lucky!". Smashing the racket into the wind-shield.....screaming "yes" and pumping her fist when julie double-faulted.......and, on winning, rushing forward to embrace julie with a big handshake and beaming smile, and then exchanging high-fives with her stunned captain and team mates.
5. she lost 6-0 6-0 to Graf at wimbledon in 93. she still managed to toss her sunglasses at the ground and crush them, but realy couldn't misbehave as she was clearly outclassed.
i recently got the tape of her match with Seles at roland garros 1990. very attitude-filled affair.
also read about a match against mcquillan at roland garros 1991 3rd round. Lots of grunting. mcquillan won, but complained about helen. helen had beaten sukova in the previous round.
there was also a match in rome 1990 against ASV. one report mentioned a 68-stroke rally won by helen. helen won the match 6-4 7-5.
a match against shriver in canada 1993 also had some drama, with pam walking off court at one point. helen won.
then there was a match against novotna, won by helen, with a scoreline 1-6 7-6 7-6. i bet some drama happened there as well. that was 1991.
helen kelesi rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah Ryan you are unlucky to not have seen her play.
Baleineau I saw many of those matches you did. helen's one of my fave players!!!!
Helen and Rachel had history. When rachel at 18 or 19 beat Helen when she was ranked 13. Helen did everything she could to upset Rachel during a nite match at the Aussie Open in the 3rd rnd. Helen was extremely unfit and overweight for this slam. She basically argued on any close ball to give herself a chance to slump on the net and gain her breath. Rachel didn't help matters by dropshotting Helen often in which Helen glared at Rachel.
Helen would applaud the linesmens decisions to which the crowd got a bit angry with her. At one point she was stalling and someone in the crowd yelled 'whenever you're ready dear'. Rachel won 6-2 7-6.
Rachel did well to beat helen again @ the French, but during a Wimbledon 2nd rnd match (the match b4 the Graf pasting) Helen used every trick in the book and it was annoying that Rachel became unsettled when during her previous matchs it didn't phase her. Rachel lost in str8 in a poor match. Helen's match against Graf was amusing because Steffi couldn't help but smile at Helen when she smacked her 60 60 and I don't think it was a sympathetic smile either!!!!
I first saw Helen at Queensland as a 17 year old??? playing and losing to Anne Hobbs in another illtempered match. At the time I would've thought that Kelesi was an exuberant teenager but her behaviour never improved. Not that Anne was always well behaved too, so it was an interesting match.
Fed Cup was Helen best tournament I think. She was able to beat the likes of Sukova and Linqvist during this time. I saw her match against Helena in the Fed Cup in melbourne in 88 (year after her fed cup victory over Sukova in Canada) and helen made all sorts of bold boasts that she would handle Sukova again. Sukova made Helen's boast look even more realistic because she said that she hated playing her. Well on court 1 the crowd was pro-Helen, but Sukova smacked her despite the many 'cmons'. Helen really didn't even get a chance to argue calls or put Helena off. Sukova had the 'eye' and served that many aces and unplayeable volleys that half way thru the 2nd set I went back to centre court. The score was 62 61 or something similar.
The Seles match at the French was a close one. I saw it only tele and I reckon if Helen was fitter she would've won because Seles wasn't playing well. The match was apparently marred by Helen abusing Seles before the match because Seles dumped her as a doubles partner. They had teamed up for Rome and Helen apprently thought they had a longstanding committment.
Another Roland Garros match, Helen was playing Sabatini and was 5-3 down in the 3rd in a qtr final but still playing well. At duece Helen hit a shot, gaby played it back, but then stopped to argue the ball was out and have the mark checked. Helen hit a winner off the next ball. Confusion reigned but the point was given to gaby for match point. helen was livid and lost the next point and stomped off the court in tears. During her press conference she complained that the ball was in and accused the tournament officials of not wanting a Graf-Kelesi semi final. helen also made the point that if she won that point she WOULD have won the match!!!
Helen was warming up for the match with Capriati at Wimbledon and nailed a ball boy during warm up with a practice serve. She finally got some crowd support in her entire career by giving the ball boy a hug. Though I always wondered whether Helen actually saw the ballboy but decided to serve anyway.
Manuela Maleeva once said that she hated playing Helen not because she thought she was a good player but because she couldn't stand her.
Helen got most annoyed when Pat Hy became a Canadian and knocked Kelesi off her no. 1 Candian perch. The ranking was often decided by a Canadian championships - a tournament for only Candian players. Helen beat Hy in Hy's first champs, but Hy got revenge the year after. I heard that Helen made a comment along the lines that she didn't consider Hy to be Canadian. Helen made mention that during the Canadian fed Cup in 87, that after some wins it was finally good to have some publicity because everyone from Canada just thought that Carling Bassett was the only good player.
Richard Mewshaws book ladies of the Court dedicates a few pages to helen. Most not nice, but amusing!!!
Yes helen does rock