PDA

View Full Version : Hurricane Helen-the Helen Kelesi Thread


Ryan
Apr 24th, 2003, 10:33 PM
I've been looking for Helen pics everywhere but NONE are to be found. I was hoping one of you guys/gals would know where some might be. Thanks in advance.:)

raquel
Apr 24th, 2003, 10:49 PM
I've been looking for Helen pics everywhere but NONE are to be found. I was hoping one of you guys/gals would know where some might be. Thanks in advance.:) Found this :)
http://www.hersport.net/collecti/other/photos/canada_helen_kelesi.jpg

Ryan
Apr 25th, 2003, 10:54 AM
Thanks Raquel :wavey:

louloubelle
Apr 26th, 2003, 12:16 PM
Thanx Raquel

Helen looks quite slim in that pic, a few times during her career I thought her w3eight look set to rival Maryanne deSwaardt!

Ryan
Apr 28th, 2003, 07:37 PM
I haven't found ANY other single picture of Helen anywhere on the web.:o

baleineau
Apr 28th, 2003, 09:19 PM
i know how you feel ryan15. i used to love watching helen, but only have that same picture as above. i had another, but can't find it. it wasn't great.

surely she was in some magazines in the late 80s??? she was attractive and a hot prospect around 86-90.

please, can people dig out their old copies of tennis magazines from around this time.

just wish i could have seen the programme on helen. they won't show it in the UK.

maybe write to helen at the tennis club she coaches at, asking for autograph? we could make a letter from WTA World fans, wishing her well, and then send it. maybe she can send an autographed picture.

Ryan
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:07 PM
i know how you feel ryan15. i used to love watching helen, but only have that same picture as above. i had another, but can't find it. it wasn't great.

surely she was in some magazines in the late 80s??? she was attractive and a hot prospect around 86-90.

please, can people dig out their old copies of tennis magazines from around this time.

just wish i could have seen the programme on helen. they won't show it in the UK.

maybe write to helen at the tennis club she coaches at, asking for autograph? we could make a letter from WTA World fans, wishing her well, and then send it. maybe she can send an autographed picture.


I unfortunately never saw her play because I was too young at that time. But I've researched her results ever since seeing the TSN Profile of her.(which, BTW, was really good). She looked hot even then, but she had a blond wig because of all the kemo she's had. It's being shown here again sometime this week, I'll make sure I fill you in on everything.

baleineau
Apr 29th, 2003, 11:24 AM
thanks ryan15

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.

LOL

helen kelesi rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grafiati
Apr 29th, 2003, 11:32 AM
Nice to read about Hurricane Helen... my first live pro tennis match was Helen vs. Zina Garrison in Chicago (February 1991). I do like Zina but I was cheering for Helen, had never seen her on tv but her aura drew me in. I would really like at some point to see some of her tennis on videotape, maybe sometime I will be in Canada with a VCR to record the documentary :) At the very least I have a Graf match from the Canadian Open in 1998 in which Helen is commentating... but in the future I hope to get ahold of some of her actual tennis.
Great thoughts sent out to Helen :D

louloubelle
Apr 29th, 2003, 01:58 PM
thanks ryan15

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.

LOL

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

Ryan
Apr 29th, 2003, 09:17 PM
Thanks for all the info on Helen's matches, now I just want to find one somewhere and buy it.:o

I liked looking at her Rome result in 90 or 91 when she reached the final, after beating Arantxa like you mentioned. I think just before that she lost Barcelona to Arantxa in the final by a similiar score. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the locker rooms with some players talking about Helen.;)

From what I've heard Fed Cup seemed to bring out the best in Helen.

Rollo
Apr 30th, 2003, 11:50 PM
I tracked down Helen's e-mail if anyone wants a go at sending her a message! It might be an old address, but here it is:

hkelesi@home.com

Rollo
Apr 30th, 2003, 11:54 PM
Here's an article from 1998 describing her fight with a brain tumor. It's by Marilyn Linton of the Toronto Sun

Sunday, August 23, 1998


Four-time Canadian tennis champ Helen Kelesi has been instrumental in raising the profile of brain tumors in North America.

The 28-year-old tennis legend, known as Hurricane Helen for her feistiness, was stopped in her tennis tracks three years ago by a brain tumor.

She has since had three operations, is now coaching with Tennis Canada and was a TSN color commentator during the recent Canadian Women's Open.

That summer back in 1995 her knowledge of brain tumors was nil, she says from her Vancouver home. "It was definitely not part of the sports world."

In becoming a spokesman for the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada, one of Kelesi's main goals is to heighten people's awareness.

In addition to spreading the word that a brain tumor diagnosis doesn't necessarily mean a death sentence, Kelesi says she wants more people to be aware of symptoms.

In her own case, the painful headaches she suffered were first diagnosed as stress or sinus related and treated with Tylenol. She had vision problems and eventually lost her sense of smell.

She says that other warning signs include nausea and vomiting, seizures, loss of movement, co-ordination or sensation, speech difficulty, hearing loss and memory difficulties.

"You need to be assertive with your physician when asking for help," Kelesi cautions, explaining that she had no idea that her own symptoms might be serious and suffered for eight months before an opthamologist demanded a battery of tests after an examination revealed a swollen optic nerve.

She also says that the "no pain, no gain" training philosophy she learned may have hindered her from initially paying closer attention to her symptoms.

baleineau
May 1st, 2003, 10:27 AM
I tracked down Helen's e-mail if anyone wants a go at sending her a message! It might be an old address, but here it is:

hkelesi@home.com

the email address doesn't work :sad:

Ryan
May 1st, 2003, 07:14 PM
Thanks for the article Rollo! :D


BTW- I can't believe I didn't ask this before, but what game did Helen play? I'm assuming clay was her best surface, but did she play tennis like she acted?;)

raquel
May 1st, 2003, 10:36 PM
http://thumb-1a.image.altavista.com/image/49121770
Found another Helen picture, but quite small! :) Yes I remember what Michael Mewshaw wrote about Helen in 'Ladies Of The Court', there was a lot of swearing at her opponent and the linespeople!

baleineau
May 1st, 2003, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the article Rollo! :D

BTW- I can't believe I didn't ask this before, but what game did Helen play? I'm assuming clay was her best surface, but did she play tennis like she acted?;)

clay was her best surface, along with hardcourt. she was okay indoors. on grass she faired quitely poorly, with about 6 consecutive 1st round defeats at wimbledon.

she was a hard-hitting baseliner, 2 handed backhand, top spin forehand. her net game was suspect. she basically grinded her opponents down from the back of the court. she chased down everything and NEVER gave in. her serve was average.

it suited her personality.

i loved the way she'd yell "yes" when hitting a shot that was only going to land long or wide. she'd hit the ball, know it's going to miss, and then shout "yes" to try to influence the call. then she'd act all surprised and concerned at the call, and use that as the basis for questioning the decision at length. she would also hope that a net-opponent would volley her errant shot by mistake.

she also grunted in orgasmic fashion, getting louder and more urgent as the point developed.


she'd pump fist.

when she won a point with a winner, she'd savour the moment, and take time over the next point. if her opponent made a lousy error, she'd rush the ball boy to give her a ball so that she can start the next point quickly before the opponent calmed down and regrouped. if she made an error, she'd check her racket or look at the sky, or glare at someone in the crowd.

helen's personality was very much tied in with her game, tactics, gamesmanship and whole on-court demeanour.

a fighter with 100% belief that she's better, even when 6-0 5-0 down LOL

and of course, there'd be tears, bewilderment and shock at the end.

if she wins, she charges to the net to shake hands and beam at her opponent. if she loses, she crawls to the net, head down, gives a weak handshake and slumps in her chair.

baleineau
May 2nd, 2003, 10:23 AM
http://thumb-1a.image.altavista.com/image/49121770
Found another Helen picture, but quite small! :) Yes I remember what Michael Mewshaw wrote about Helen in 'Ladies Of The Court', there was a lot of swearing at her opponent and the linespeople!

helen looks so sly in that picture. love it :kiss:

Ryan
May 2nd, 2003, 06:53 PM
Thanks raquel and balieneau.:D

R&J
May 3rd, 2003, 06:59 PM
thanks ryan15

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.

LOL

helen kelesi rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sounds like she played and showed alot of emotion on the court - wish I could have seen her play.

Ryan
May 3rd, 2003, 07:33 PM
*Watching Helen Kelesi profile RIGHT now* :angel:


They showed clips of her playing, and she was HOT. :drool:

Ryan
May 3rd, 2003, 07:44 PM
I'm loving this! :D They've shown scenes from the 1987 Fed Cup, where Helen beat Carling, and the Quebec City match vs. Shriver. Pam herself talked about it.

The scoop: On MP for Pam:eek: Helen's contact lens fell out, so she complained for a bathroom break. Pam went off the court and went into the bar(lmfao) and was determined not to come back.

They talked about the RG 88 QF vs. Gaby, and Helen said that she KNEW she was cheated out of the match, with 100% sincerity.


More to come.;)

Ryan
May 3rd, 2003, 07:55 PM
Ok, the brain tumour was directly behind her forehead.:eek: They showed an X-Ray of it, and that thing was HUGE. Helen still has some scars on her forehead because of it, and thats understandable.


They showed afew more clips of her playing, and it was really cool how she could throw in two high topspinny balls then pound a forehand down the line and force an error. Chris Evert said she respected Helen because of how spunky and fiesty she was.

Rene Simpson said that Helen would play mind games with you before you even got on court. If she knew you were going to play her 2 days before she wouldn't even look at you.

Now they're talking about these "millets"(SP?) that were encroching on her optic nerves, and if the doctor fully removed them she would go blind. Skip ahead, her forehead became infected.:sad: So they removed it, and Helen only got a synthetic forehead in the summer of 2001.

The only time, her neurologist said, that he saw Helen cry was when her forehead burst:eek: and spurted green liquid while Helen was awake.:sad:


She now coaches in Saskatoon, and looks IMO still bangin.:D

baleineau
May 4th, 2003, 03:30 PM
thanks ryan15

LMAO at helen requesting a bathroom break on match point down. i can imagine pam was pretty pissed off. LOL

has anyone ever done that at MP down? i don't just mean an injury break of 2-3 minutes but an actual 5-min bathroom break? helen was naughty LOL

Rollo
Feb 10th, 2004, 01:49 PM
And here's Helen!

Rollo
Sep 7th, 2005, 11:29 PM
http://tennisbc.org/images/24/helen_kelesi_pik1.jpgKelesi as a junior, aged 14.

cinbin
Jun 12th, 2007, 03:12 AM
http://www.ontarioracquetclub.com/ORC/tennis_helen.html
There is a more recent picture of her there.^^
thats where she's been working, and there's a phone number. BUT she just recently got let go(I don't know why they kept her webpage up), if you call there you could probably get an email if you really wanted to contact her.

Robert1
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:36 AM
Sounds like she played and showed alot of emotion on the court - wish I could have seen her play.

If you were a Seles fan you would have :eek:

Ricksasha
Jun 13th, 2007, 04:45 AM
This thread is about Kelesi. Ryan, I'm pretty sure I have some Helen
Pic's from some of my older wta publications. I'll look for them for
you, and if I find any, I'll post them in the "classic photo's" thread.

HanaFanGA
Jun 13th, 2007, 05:51 AM
Besides highlights, the only 2 times I got to see Helen play were in 1990 at Amelia Island and the French. At Amelia she played a tough 2 set match against Aranxta. This match had all kinds of potential for some volitility given those two. But I only remember Helen arguing a few calls and Aranxta doing her customary finger pointing. This being my first real chance to see Helen actually play, she was not what I expected for the nickname Hurricane Helen. I thought she was rather girly and very cute. She had a soft, sexy kind of grunt when she hit the ball. So I had a hard time imagining some of the stories I had heard about her.

I watched the first games of Helen vs. Monica at the French. But I was pressed for time and decided not to even tape the match thinking Monica would win easily in a matchup of styles that wasn't all that appealing to me. That turned out to be a mistake. I wish I had a copy of whatever was televised now.

That's interesting to hear about Helen's feelings about Patricia Hy, though typical of many situations like that including Mary Pierce/Tauziat, Mandlikova/A.Minter, etc. I liked watching Hy play so I always wanted her to do well.

Rollo
Jan 25th, 2008, 07:44 PM
Here's Helen's thead....does anyone have recent or additional news to share?

arnbaltos
Jan 27th, 2008, 09:07 PM
Here is a pic I found.

arnbaltos
Jan 27th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Here is a pic I found.

arnbaltos
Jan 27th, 2008, 09:13 PM
Ok, it's not linking my pic. Have to try another time.

Calvin M.
Jan 28th, 2008, 11:10 PM
Here's a photo of HK:

http://cache.viewimages.com/xc/1275988.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF19390335F8FA9CA92A63A4E8DE540543931 9930FDCFC4C15FBB

arnbaltos
Jan 29th, 2008, 01:12 AM
Let's try this again:

jhimnine
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:10 AM
<img src="http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa197/rhoeo2000/helenkelesi18.jpg">

jhimnine
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:15 AM
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa197/rhoeo2000/helenkelesi18.jpg

jhimnine
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:22 AM
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa197/rhoeo2000/helenkelesi13.jpg

jhimnine
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:27 AM
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa197/rhoeo2000/helenkelesi13.jpg

jhimnine
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:28 AM
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa197/rhoeo2000/helenkelesi14.jpg

A Magicman
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:33 AM
Thanks for sharing the pics.

The photo in the pool is SO 80s and frankly speaking a little scary, too. :lol:

It's really cool to see that she seems to be fine. And fitter than during her active days. :lol:

Ms. Anthropic
May 23rd, 2014, 05:55 PM
Kelesi enjoys sweet satisfaction in Paris
The Toronto Star
Tuesday, May 30, 1989
Canadian Press

PARIS (CP) - Canada's Helen Kelesi gained a quick dose of sweet revenge yesterday at the French Open tennis championships when she eliminated a rival who had ordered her off a practice court last week.

Seeded 10th in the two-week long event at Roland Garros, Kelesi ousted Czechoslovak Radka Zrubakova 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour to gain the second round of the Grand Slam event.

Kelesi, of Thornhill, Ont., and Zrubakova had met under less-than-cordial terms last week in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, where the Canadian was visiting her cousins from her father's side of the family.

Kelesi was forced to cut short a practice match at the city's top tennis club when Zrubakova showed up and claimed the court where Kelesi had been training.

"She came on with her coach and a little dog and kicked me off the court," said Kelesi. "I couldn't believe it. I thought we were friends, but I'm not sure now.

"She said she had it reserved, but there were lots of empty ones around."

Simpson advances

Also advancing with a victory on a busy opening day in Paris was Rene Simpson of Toronto, playing only her third tournament on red clay.

On the men's side, Glenn Michibata of Toronto ousted Tobias Svantsson of Sweden 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Simpson made quick work of American Meredith McGrath, an 18-year-old ranked 114 in the world. The former Canadian junior champion won 6-1, 6-4 in just over one hour.

"I'm just back from two months out with tennis elbow," said Simpson. "I was happy to have a match under my belt.

"I played very defensively and concentrated on not making any mistakes. I'm usually aggressive on hard courts, but on clay, I don't hit many winners. It can be frustrating sometimes."

Kelesi, who had failed to live up to her status earlier this month in Rome, said taking time off to visit Czechoslovakia recharged her batteries.

"It was like going back to the Middle Ages," said the world No. 15. "I didn't watch television or listen to the radio. It takes three years to get a telephone installed.

"When I went to the market for fruit, all they had was potatoes and onions. But it was really good for me to see a new lifestyle. I enjoyed myself."

Kelesi spent time for the first time since 1986 with her five cousins. Her father fled his native land in 1968 during the uprising against the Soviet Union.

"There is so much love in that family, it's really amazing," Kelesi said. "My 18-year-old cousins are good tennis players too. I once gave them rackets and balls, and they both have pretty good forehands now."

Kelesi said she's taking life at Roland Garros "one match at a time."

"I had a good match today. I was nervous at first, but I pulled it out. It really helped my confidence. My strategy was to put her on the defensive."

Kelesi, a quarterfinalist here last year, next faces Andrea Temesvari of Hungary.

Rollo
May 24th, 2014, 12:36 AM
Kelesi was forced to cut short a practice match at the city's top tennis club when Zrubakova showed up and claimed the court where Kelesi had been training.

"She came on with her coach and a little dog and kicked me off the court," said Kelesi. "I couldn't believe it. I thought we were friends, but I'm not sure now.

"She said she had it reserved, but there were lots of empty ones around."

Talk about sweet revenge. Classic!

Don't rile up "Hurricane Helen":devil:

Ms. Anthropic
May 25th, 2014, 01:20 AM
Talk about sweet revenge. Classic!

Don't rile up "Hurricane Helen":devil:

I imagine Kelesi saying something salty to Zrubakova after getting bumped from the practice court and adding "And your little dog, too!"

Of course, Hurricane Helen's temper worked against her on a few occasions -- and was just as likely to rile up other players, some of whom were best left unprovoked.

Ms. Anthropic
Jun 30th, 2014, 08:40 PM
Of course, Hurricane Helen's temper worked against her on a few occasions -- and was just as likely to rile up other players, some of whom were best left unprovoked.

And here's a great example. 'Tis pity Kelesi and Hingis were not contemporaries. Or should that be contemptoraries?

Temper helps kill Kelesi at Wimbeldon - She loses after battling umpire, judges and ballboys
The Toronto Star
Thursday, June 29, 1989
CP

LONDON - Hurricane Helen Kelesi huffed and puffed her way through a bitterly contested, rain-delayed match but eventually blew herself out of the Wimbledon tennis tournament yesterday.

The No. 13 seed from Thornhill was eliminated 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 by unheralded American Shaun Stafford after a lengthy struggle sandwiched around a 3 1/2-hour rain delay.

The match was marred by more than a dozen Kelesi squabbles with the umpire, the line judges, the ballboys and ballgirls, squabbles that eventually left the crowd cheering Stafford's every move.

Later in the day, Glenn Michibata of Toronto succumbed 6-7 (7-2), 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to Czechoslovakian Marian Vajda while Jimmy Connors made one of his earliest exits ever from Wimbledon with a second-round loss to Dan Goldie.

Crucial calls

Kelesi, a 19-year-old native of Victoria dubbed Hurricane Helen because of her volatile temper, said later she felt the disputes with the officials were "definitely a factor" in her loss.

"There were some pretty crucial calls against me," she told a news conference. "I'm not saying that if I got them, I would have won, but it definitely was a factor. You shouldn't have to fight twice for the same point."

Kelesi was visibly upset as early as the third game of the first set when Stafford broke the Canadian's serve on a ball that appeared out to Kelesi and to a large section of the crowd. Kelesi complained bitterly but the umpire refused to overrule the linesman despite chants from the crowd of "Out! Out! Out!"

The mood in the rain-drenched stands changed quickly, however, as Kelesi continued to argue line calls. She verbally protested at least seven more, including the one that cost her the first set.

In the second set, she briefly held up proceedings, demanding a tour referee be brought in to make a ruling after the umpire called a timeout after spotting a loose ball while she was in the middle of one of her serves.

'A tough feeling'

Kelesi eventually desisted as the crowd clapped rhythmically for her to get on with play and contented herself for a while with slamming her racket on the ground, holding her head in her hands after missed shots and snapping at the ballboys and ballgirls.

"It's a tough feeling," she said later. "It's frustrating. I felt I could do a lot better here."

"I just don't feel confident on grass. It's not really suited to my game."

It was Kelesi's first loss in the first round of a tournament this year, but the fourth time in five years she's gone out that early at Wimbledon. In 1986, when she did pass the first hurdle, she was eliminated in the second round.

Kelesi led in both sets but came up short each time in the lengthy match, postponed from Tuesday night by rain.

She had two set points in the first set and was up an early break in the second, but Stafford, a 20-year-old from Gainsville, Fla., who is ranked 78th in the world, exploited her powerful serve and the extra reach at the net generated by her 5-foot-11 frame.

But at least equally important, she kept her cool while the Hurricane was blowing on the other side of the net.

HanaFanGA
Jun 30th, 2014, 09:15 PM
I recall a match between Hurricane Helen and Aranxta (Amelia Island) that got very uncomfortable because of all of the gamesmanship on both sides of the net. Her record in slams seems a bit modest, but she was quite a good player.

I hope that her health is good these days.

Ms. Anthropic
Jul 1st, 2014, 06:46 PM
I recall a match between Hurricane Helen and Aranxta (Amelia Island) that got very uncomfortable because of all of the gamesmanship on both sides of the net. Her record in slams seems a bit modest, but she was quite a good player.

I hope that her health is good these days.

Last I knew she was teaching at a tennis academy. Probably specializing in Arguing Line Calls, Tearful Outbursts, and Tactical Stalling. Another favorite Hurricane Helen match was against Shriver, herself a world-class crybaby, staller, and skuldugger, in Quebec City in 1993. Shriver later told a story about how she left the court during that match, intending not to come back, and went to the club's bar and ordered some booze but didn't get served, so she went back to the match.

Hy, Kelesi earn upset victories
The Record
Kitchner, Ontario, Canada
Friday, November 5, 1993
CP

Patricia Hy of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Helen Kelesi of Toronto upset two of the bigger names in women's tennis Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the $200,000 Bell Challenge women's tennis tournament.

Hy, ranked No. 48 in the world, used a flurry of passing shots to outlast top-seeded Helena Sukova of the Czech Republic, runner-up to Steffi Graf at the U.S. Open earlier this year, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.

Sukova came into the tournament as the world's No. 12-ranked player.

"I was actually disappointed I let her back into the match after leading 5-2, but I'm very happy; it's a big win," said Hy, reigning Canadian women's singles champion. "It will help my confidence in terms of closing out tough matches like this."

It was the second time in three career meetings that Hy has defeated Sukova. Hy, who meets Debbie Graham of the United States in today's quarter-finals, also ousted Sukova in the fourth-round at the 1992 U.S. Open.

In an earlier match that ended with an intense 30-second tete-a-tete at the net, Kelesi saved three match points en route to a 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 upset of fifth-seeded Pam Shriver of the United States.

The match was marred by flaring tempers, countless delays and a teary outburst from Kelesi, 24, who had suffered straight-set losses in her two previous career meetings with Shriver, ranked No. 35 in the world.

"It's the most horrible on-court experience I've ever been through in 16 years of tennis," said Shriver, who doubles as president of the Women's Tennis Association. "It was a continual battle of unpleasant stuff."

Kelesi barked at chair umpire David Littlefield throughout the first two sets. Shriver twice complained about the four-time former Canadian champion's grunting and what she described as delay tactics.

After Kelesi saved three match points in the 10th game of the second set to even the score at 5-5, Shriver pointed to Kelesi's coach, Eric Hayes, seated in courtside boxes near Kelesi, and shouted, "You shut up!"

"I was definitely pointing at her coach because there was a lot of talking going on," said Shriver, suggesting Kelesi was being coached from the sidelines.

Kelesi took the attack personally and broke down in tears, demanding a point penalty against Shriver, which was refused by Littlefield and tour director Brenda Perry.

"I was just so offended to hear those words come from the mouth of our association president and it hurt," said Kelesi.

Shriver said both players apologized after the match.

Kelesi meets second-seeded Natalia Zvereva of Belarus in today's quarter-finals.

HanaFanGA
Jul 1st, 2014, 10:13 PM
I've got to go back and read it but I think Michael Meshaw's book on the 1991 ladies tour had a Hurricane Helen episode from Kitzbuhel, maybe against Conchita Martinez. It had something to do with Helen and her dad cursing each other out throughout the match.

I loved that your article mentioned Patricia Hy. She was so little but she was a hard flat striker of the ball, much like another favorite of mine, Laura Gildemeister.

Sonf@
Jul 1st, 2014, 11:13 PM
Conchita won the tournament but she wasn't the player to whom Helen lost but Florencia Labat ;).

Mewshaw focused on Kelesi's relationship with her father Milan for two or three pages before going somewhere else. Helen constantly insulted him but the consensus among the other players and coaches was that he was the only person that could handle Kelesi on and off the court.

Some excerpts:

"Helen was a foulmouthed hellion who argued with linesmen and umpires, shouted at opponents, and screamed obscenities at herself and at her father. At the French Open, in front of hundreds of fans, she had called him an 'asshole' and hollered 'I hate you!'"

"Serving to reach a tie break, Kelesi watched one of Labat's returns rip past her and screamed 'Fucking bitch!'. Moments later, Labat banged another winner, and Helen hollered, 'Fuck that line!'"

"When Labat broke to win 7-5, Kelesi whacked her racquet into the windscreen, then cracked it against a fence pool"

"In her father abscense, she perked up, holding serve, then breaking to 3-0. But the instant Milan returned, she lost two points to 0-30 and whirled on to him: 'Will you leave? Just leave!' He stayed, and she slipped to 1-3 before it sank in on him that she meant it; she wanted him out of there. Although he left, it didn't change Kelesi's luck or her language. 'Why is she so fucking good?' she wailed as Labat went on cracking forehand winners. Hurricane Helen lost the set and the match, stalked off court, marched straight into the tournament director's office, and growled, 'Where do I get my prize money?'"

HanaFanGA
Jul 2nd, 2014, 12:37 AM
Thanks Sonf@! That was even worse than what I remembered.

Ms. Anthropic
Jul 2nd, 2014, 04:07 PM
Thanks Sonf@! That was even worse than what I remembered.

We should remember that Mewshaw's book contains a lot of embellishments and anecdotes which have no extraneous verification, not necessarily fabricated by him directly, but by the people who talked with him. It's possible that she really did get that bad, but usually when a player starts directing F-bombs at the opponent or the officials, they get a warning/penalty. She wasn't that big of a star, even at a tournament like Kitzbuhel, to get away with something like that.

That being said, Helen has the rare honor of being the only player I know of to make Steffi angry about missing a double bagel by one game.

HanaFanGA
Jul 2nd, 2014, 09:54 PM
We should remember that Mewshaw's book contains a lot of embellishments and anecdotes which have no extraneous verification, not necessarily fabricated by him directly, but by the people who talked with him. It's possible that she really did get that bad, but usually when a player starts directing F-bombs at the opponent or the officials, they get a warning/penalty. She wasn't that big of a star, even at a tournament like Kitzbuhel, to get away with something like that.

That being said, Helen has the rare honor of being the only player I know of to make Steffi angry about missing a double bagel by one game.

The Kitty Kelly of tennis?

I have to admit I've read a couple of Kitty's books. :devil:

Ms. Anthropic
Jul 8th, 2014, 06:45 PM
The Kitty Kelly of tennis?

I have to admit I've read a couple of Kitty's books. :devil:

The silliest thing is that tennis has so many scandals just barely concealed and so much spitefulness right out in the open that there is no need to make anything up. I mean, Mewshaw probably could have written a whole book about all the tennis marginals and their willingness (often from the safety of anonymity) to sling mud and spread lies about many of the very people that make their existence possible. It's a very interesting phenomenon.

Ms. Anthropic
Jul 8th, 2014, 08:44 PM
Relaxed and focused...

Pressure mounting for Helen Kelesi
The Toronto Star
Friday, July 21, 1989
Mary Ormsby

A few months shy of her 20th birthday, Helen Kelesi fears time is passing her by on the professional tennis circuit.

She's No. 17 in the world, a ranking she has earned from sheer guts and determination, but that's not enough to make it to the top. Especially not in a sport where 20 years of age seems to be the cutoff point at which women are expected to have shown glimpses of greatness.

Kelesi watches uneasily while younger players, such as 16-year-old Monica Seles, 17-year-old Aranxta Sanchez and 18-year-old Natalia Zvereva move past her into the higher rankings.

The game's finest female player is Steffi Graf, who is 20. Gabriela Sabatini, No. 3 in the world, just turned 19.

Kelesi knows she has to win a Grand Slam tournament or a major event against a tough field to narrow the gap between her and the young stars slipping by her. If she wins a big one, others must follow for her to move into the world's top 10 - and stay there.

"I've got to do it now," Kelesi said, referring to the pressure she feels to win a major event.

"When I'm 23 or 24, I don't want to work like a buffalo out there. I want to be able to use my experience in matches."

What Kelesi needs is a full-time coach.

She trains with her father Milan, but has hired other coaches on occasion to give her game a boost. But that hasn't always been smooth. She fired her last coach, Tiburs Darrou of France, before the French Open because of a personality clash.

"I could never relax when I was with him, he was go, go, go all the time," she said. "I was very agitated around him and I don't need that when I'm training. I need to be relaxed and focused."

Kelesi did well without Darrou, reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open, but she lost a match she should have won to 17-year-old Mary Joe Fernandez of the United States.

Kelesi, who has beaten some of the world's top players, can't afford to lose to such players or in Grand Slam quarterfinals if she hopes to improve the quality of her game. She feels the right coach would rectify that.

"It's very important for me to find a good coach. I'd like to find somebody and stick with him for years, not just months," she said.

"I need someone to guide me right now, use their input and experience to help me and show me what to do. I don't want to drill for four hours a day if I'm doing the wrong thing over and over."

Trial and error process

Finding the right coach is a trial and error process. For example, Martina Navratilova changed coaches even when she was ranked No. 1 if she felt the partnership was getting stale or her game wasn't progressing.

Part of improving at a sport is recognizing when a problem exists. Kelesi has already acknowledged what is holding her back and wants to do something about it. That puts her a head and shoulders above many pro athletes who either can't admit they need help or stubbornly work themselves into a state of exhaustion in training harder and longer and repeating the same mistakes.

She also made a mature decision in skipping a San Diego tournament to play in next week's Canadian closed championships, the $100,000 SunLife Nationals.

Kelesi was tired after spending almost two months travelling around Europe.

Despite her fatigue, the Thornhill pro is enjoying her most successful season. She has won more than $100,000 and earlier this year was ranked No. 13.

A rejuvenating break at home could be a timely move for Kelesi as she will compete in two major events over the next two months; August's Player's Ltd. Challenge in Toronto and the U.S. Open.