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tennisIlove09
Jul 12th, 2005, 05:40 AM
Steffi Graf returns to court -- for one matchBy KRISTIE RIEKEN, Associated Press Writer
July 11, 2005

HOUSTON (AP) -- Steffi Graf is returning to the tennis court for the first time in six years, but don't call it a comeback.

The 22-time Grand Slam singles champion is interrupting her retirement on Tuesday to play with the Houston Wranglers of the World Team Tennis Pro League.

``It's hard for me to call it a comeback,'' Graf told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. ``It's too early to say if there will be more. It's hard with all the schedules. If it works out, maybe there is another one.''

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Much has changed in the 36-year-old Graf's life since she retired in August 1999 as the third-ranked player in the world.

She married Andre Agassi (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/17/) and had two children -- a boy in 2001 and a girl in 2003.

``Time is a big factor,'' Graf said. ``For a few years, I barely played. It's not easy with my husband still on tour. It's been a challenge to stay in shape.''

Graf, who won 107 career singles titles, said juggling the demands of motherhood and her charity work made it difficult to establish a strict training regimen.

``This year I just picked up the racket more frequently than I have in the last five years,'' she said. ``I've practiced quite a bit the past two weeks, but before that it was very sporadic.''

The 36-year-old German had what is widely considered her best year in 1988, when she won all four Grand Slam singles events in a year and also won an Olympic gold medal.

She acknowledges being ``very nervous'' about the match but also excited about her return.

``It's huge that she is putting her toe in the water,'' said Ilana Kloss, WTT chief executive officer and commissioner. ``I think she's going to see how she feels. ...but we're absolutely thrilled to have her.''

Graf said the generosity that Wranglers owners Jim and Linda McIngvale have shown to her and Agassi's foundations over the years was a major factor in her decision to play again.

Graf played an exhibition match last year in Germany against Gabriela Sabatini.

Graf said she has been trying to strengthen her knees and back after suffering several injuries during her playing career.

She's looking forward to playing in front of a crowd in the fan-friendly format of the WTT, but she cautioned against high expectations.

``How can I be the same,'' she said. ``I live a different lifestyle in general. I think they will see that I'm a little more relaxed than I used to be.

``It will be interesting to see how it's going to work tomorrow (Tuesday).''

The WTT league is made up of 12 teams and plays a three week season ending July 24. The two top teams from each of two conferences advance to the finals Sept. 16-17 in Sacramento. The coed league, co-founded by Billie Jean King, is in its 30th season. On the Net: World Team Tennis, http://www.wtt.com

TF Chipmunk
Jul 12th, 2005, 06:34 AM
This is just a copied and pasted question from another thread:

Steffi is playing for Houston Wranglers right? And they're playing Tuesday?? But it's not being shown on TV. However, ESPN is showing the Houston Wranglers on Saturday. Can anyone tell me if that's the match that's really going on on Tuesday but they're just showing it on Saturday??

Any idea??

SM
Jul 12th, 2005, 06:50 AM
go steffi go :) any1 remember that poster lol

mlq1986
Jul 12th, 2005, 07:07 AM
steffi and andre :rolleyes: who was andre dating before steffi brooke shields.

Brooke has previously dated Boy George and George Michael and Michael Jackson :tape: :tape: :tape:

auntie janie
Jul 12th, 2005, 12:05 PM
This is just a copied and pasted question from another thread:

Steffi is playing for Houston Wranglers right? And they're playing Tuesday?? But it's not being shown on TV. However, ESPN is showing the Houston Wranglers on Saturday. Can anyone tell me if that's the match that's really going on on Tuesday but they're just showing it on Saturday??

Any idea??

Yes, I'm almost sure they will show Graf on Sat. They always planned to show the Graf match, the Hingis-Nav match, and a couple others. But what we didn't know at the time was that they had no intention of airing these matches LIVE.

Lemonskin.
Jul 12th, 2005, 12:08 PM
steffi and andre :rolleyes: who was andre dating before steffi brooke shields.

Brooke has previously dated Boy George and George Michael and Michael Jackson :tape: :tape: :tape:
So by that pattern...

The next should be Jackson Browne? :D

JenFan75
Jul 12th, 2005, 01:34 PM
Go Steffi!!!

Sam L
Jul 12th, 2005, 01:44 PM
This is so exciting. I'm so glad that Steffi hasn't completely given up tennis. It's a joy to watch her.

Andy T
Jul 12th, 2005, 01:50 PM
It'll be great for the fans to see this grand champion in action once again.

Globetrotter
Jul 12th, 2005, 02:51 PM
So by that pattern...

The next should be Jackson Browne? :D


Well, no: the next one in line is ... Elizabeth Taylor! :lol:

DragonFlame
Jul 12th, 2005, 02:57 PM
well, i saw a bit of an exibitionmatch at the french open with steffi. it was a doublesmatch with steffi, justine, marat and another frenchboy it was really amusing :)

sunset
Jul 12th, 2005, 03:19 PM
It seems that players who say they are retired never fully do. They are always showing up at special events. The only player who I have not heard from at all in this regards is Pete Sampras.
Nevertheless, I'm glad to see her out playing.

Globetrotter
Jul 12th, 2005, 03:23 PM
Well, i am gonnabe happier about her return if she loses... :devil:

miranda_lou
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:04 PM
Yes, the Saturday ESPN match will be the Steffi match. Too bad they are showing it DAYS later rather than live but better that than nothing. It's on at 11:00PM, which is past my bed time but I wouldn't miss it for the world.


Brooke has previously dated Boy George and George Michael and Michael Jackson

She also dated Dean Cain, the TV Superman, whom you conveniently left off.

manu32
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:11 PM
go steffi.......always in my heart......

goldenlox
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:12 PM
I think Steffi is playing Lena L. - a current top 20 player who made the FO semis.

Calimero377
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:29 PM
I think Steffi is playing Lena L. - a current top 20 player who made the FO semis.



Poor Lena L. .....

goldenlox
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:31 PM
Lena played Steffi 2 close 3 setters in the '90's.
Now it's time for revenge.

Pengwin
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:32 PM
LL will win

Calimero377
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:34 PM
LL will win


Don't think lucky loser will win.
Although Graf might be injured or lack the will/motivation to win ....

goldenlox
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:35 PM
Lena will bust her up. 5-0 or 5-1. Sacramento wants to win the WTT title.

Pengwin
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:35 PM
Don't think lucky loser will win.
Although Graf might be injured or lack the will/motivation to win ....

Lucky Loser - Summary of Graf's tennis career.

Calimero377
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:37 PM
Lena played Steffi 2 close 3 setters in the '90's.
Now it's time for revenge.


Don't think so.
LL is 6 years older now than in 1999.
And don't forget that she isn't even top-15 currently!

CooCooCachoo
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:37 PM
Poor Lena L. .....

:tape:

:devil:

raquel
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:42 PM
I know it's WTT but I am pretty sure WTT is played with players playing flat out to win points for the team - it's not an exhibition type atmosphere I believe? Therefore it will be interesting to see what happens if Steffi does play Elena L.
Would be good to see how a 6 years retired Steffi does against a GS semi finalist of this year and a top 15 player. Hingis has been playing players in the lower end of the top 100 but Steffi plays a much tougher opponent. If Elena wins then it's expected - she's still playing regular tournaments at the highest level. But this is Steffi. Even after 6 years retired I think Elena might still feel some extra pressure.

I'm going for Graf to win. If she's still speedy around the court, then the forehand would still be a huge weapon and the slice would still have bite. Go Steffi :devil:

blumaroo
Jul 12th, 2005, 09:19 PM
Im going for Steffi as well. C'mon now, its Steffi Graf! On sheer talent alone, she should win.

ezekiel
Jul 12th, 2005, 09:27 PM
I think Steffi is playing Lena L. - a current top 20 player who made the FO semis.

who hasn't beaten a top player in a long while save for serveless Dementieva at RG. This is actually decent match up as they are not that far apart age wise at least :tape:

ys
Jul 12th, 2005, 10:09 PM
Don't think lucky loser will win.
Although Graf might be injured or lack the will/motivation to win ....

No, Gunther, she will be beaten fair and square.. :)

DragonFlame
Jul 12th, 2005, 10:41 PM
lol, and its coming on tv? in europe? well you guys keep me informed it would be really fun if graff would win :p

abayen
Jul 13th, 2005, 01:08 AM
shouldn't this match be over by now?
anyone know the score? calimero??


lol, and its coming on tv? in europe? well you guys keep me informed it would be really fun if graff would win :p