- Blast from the Past (http://www.tennisforum.com/59-blast-past/)
- - 1992 (http://www.tennisforum.com/59-blast-past/471092-1992.html)
Lets drift back in time to 1992.
Some of the #1 chart topping songs:
The tennis world was ruled once again by Monica Seles, who by year's end had repeated a near stranglehold on the women's tour by taking 3 out 4 slam titles.
need to edit....
Originally posted by Ms Anthropic...
Graf Beats Sanchez For Phila. Tennis Title
Steffi Graf Didn't Just Want To Win. She Wanted To Win Fast.
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario Didn't Let Her.
November 16, 1992
By Diane Pucin
Though she complained that her play "wasn't very good," Steffi Graf, the top seed, beat Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the No. 3 seed, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, yesterday in the finals of the Virginia Slims of Philadelphia.
The match took 1 hour, 40 minutes, and that was much too long in Graf's mind.
"I just played too slow and let things happen," Graf said. "I just waited and waited and didn't step into the ball."
If this summation seems overly harsh from someone who had just won $70,000, her fourth straight tournament and her 19th straight match, well, Graf is a perfectionist. Even in Saturday's semifinal, when Graf needed only 42 minutes and nearly whitewashed poor Jennifer Capriati, 6-0, 6-1, Graf was grumbling about her serve.
Yesterday at the Civic Center, that serve was Graf's savior. In the third set, Sanchez was seldom given a chance to hustle to every ball because Graf was winning points quickly off a 95 m.p.h. first serve.
But the rest of her game wasn't as bad as Graf believed. She wasn't perfect, as she nearly had been Saturday. But Graf was still using the court in well-conceived patterns.
It's just that Sanchez can be as pesky as a 2-year-old, getting into every corner, causing trouble when you least expect it. There was no shot Sanchez wouldn't run down, no point Sanchez would give up on. Just some points that lasted too long.
"I been like this since I was a kid," Sanchez said. "I always have very good physical conditioning, and I always been very good runner."
Sanchez's game has also evolved in the last year into one of the most aggressive and varied on the tour. The 20-year-old from Barcelona, Spain, who was thrilled to see Catalan flags hanging from the balcony and who thanked a vocal Spanish cheering section in Spanish, is more likely to rush the net, try a volley, throw in a drop shot or an offensive lob than any player but Martina Navratilova.
From just being a threat on clay courts, Sanchez has moved into the top echelon of women's players and is a threat on all surfaces.
In fact, Sanchez seemed happier yesterday with the announcement that she would move past Navratilova and into the No. 4 spot on the computer rankings, her highest ever, than with her $35,000 paycheck for the week.
"What I wanted to do this year is finish No. 4, and I made it," Sanchez said. "I have a very good year, and I am very happy."
The winner wasn't so happy. Graf, 23, who has won eight tournaments this year including Wimbledon, wished she'd been more like Sanchez in the second set. Graf said she wished she had gone more to the net.
"I had her on the run," Graf said, "and on many occasions I could have gone to the net and put the points away. But I didn't move around."
The crucial game in the second set was the third. Sanchez had broken Graf's serve in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. The third game was breathtaking. It took 22 points, and Graf had five break-point chances. But the scrambling Sanchez saved them all and finally held serve and took a 3-0 lead on a service winner.
The third set was just the opposite. It was Graf who jumped into the 3-0 lead, and she didn't need any 22-point games to do it.
"Steffi served much, much better" in the third set, Sanchez said. "When she serves great, she doesn't have to think so much in the rallies."
But Graf is always thinking. About how to get better, about what is wrong, about how to be perfect.
Graf did think up the perfect "thank-you" speech for the crowd. She had attended last week's Eagles' game and the Flyers' 8-5 victory over the Islanders. "I made the Eagles win. Then I made the Flyers win. Finally I won. So I am very happy."
So happy she frowned while walking off the court. So happy she'll probably practice five hours today. So happy she may be perfect next time.
NOTES. Next year, the Virginia Slims of Philadelphia tournament will have more than double the $350,000 in prize money that was offered this year. The tournament will be worth $750,000 and be one of only seven top-level tournaments in the world.
The No. 2-seeded doubles team, Gigi Fernandez and Natalia Zvereva, beat the unseeded team of Conchita Martinez and Mary Pierce, 6-1, 6-3, to win the doubles championship and $20,000.
Yesterday's attendance of 4,607 pushed the week's total to 45,139, better than last year's 45,019. . . . Graf and Sanchez headed to New York to play in the season-ending $3 million Virginia Slims Championship at Madison Square Garden. Graf, who hasn't played Monica Seles since the Wimbledon final, is eager for another shot at Seles, the world's top-ranked player. "We haven't played for a while, and that's something I'm not very happy about," Graf said. "Hopefully, I'll get another chance soon."
That would have to be in the Slims final Sunday, because Seles is seeded No. 1 and Graf No. 2.
Seedings in parentheses.
Finals: Steffi Graf (1), Germany, def. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (3), Spain, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Finals: Gigi Fernandez-Natalia Zvereva (2) def. Conchita Martinez-Mary Pierce, 6-1, 6-3.
Again from Ms Anthropic-a report from Brighton.
Nostalgic Graf not happy
The Times (London, England)
Wednesday, October 21, 1992
THE 26th successive victory on the seafront took just 57 minutes yesterday, Steffi Graf beating Larisa Savchenko-Neiland, 6-2, 6-3, to reach the second round of the Midland Bank championship in Brighton.
Graf, though, was not happy. "No rhythm," she complained. "No rallies. I'd prefer to play a match where I can get a feel of the court. We both just went for everything." Graf was rather more accurate than the talented but erratic Latvian.
This is very much the autumnal part of the year for the Wimbledon champion, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Graf's route through the European indoor season from Leipzig (three titles out of three), through Zurich (six out of seven), to Brighton (five out of five) is well worn and highly profitable. But the nostalgic trail through her good memories does not end there.
On her day off in London on Monday, Graf took a detour to Wimbledon, just to check that her precious Centre Court was still there. "It wasn't planned. I wanted to take a look," she explained. She even managed to get in without her members' badge. "I just ran through the main entrance, so they had no chance to stop me," she said.
By happy coincidence, the Wimbledon trophies were in the process of being transported to an exhibition, allowing Graf to lift the famous plate above her head for the second time in the year. More than a touch of Martina Navratilova about that.
According to most forecasts, the Midland Bank trophy will be back in safe keeping by late Sunday afternoon as well. For, though the field is one of the strongest at Brighton for many years, there is no obvious candidate to end the German's run. No Seles, Sabatini or Sanchez Vicario.
Of the young pretenders, on view, Magdalena Maleeva has the added advantage of local knowledge. Maleeva has enlisted the help of Pavel Slozil, who guided Graf to ten grand slam titles. Having worked with Jennifer Capriati earlier in the year, Slozil is in perfect position to assess the 17-year-old Bulgarian.
"She is very talented.," Slozil said. "Maybe at the moment she has Steffi's will to win. Every match, every practice, every ball is very, very good. She is very quick. I have always said I would like to work with the men or with somebody who is not in the top ten and who doesn't have a difficult family." A pointed reference to fathers Graf and Capriati. Slozil's new charge did not let him down yesterday, beating Sabine Appelmans in straight sets.
RESULTS: Singles, first round: M Maleeva (Bul) bt S Appelmans (Bel), 6-4,
6-1; L Meskhi (Geo) bt R Zrubakova (Cz), 2-6, 6-2, 6-2; N Tauziat (Fr) bt P Fendick (US), 6-3, 6-7, 6-2; L McNeil (US) bt L Gildemeister (Peru), 4-6, 6-1, 7-5; S Graf (Ger) bt L Savchenko-Neiland (Lat), 6-2, 6-3; A Huber (Ger) bt B Schultz (Holl), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4; P Paradis-Mangon (Fr) bt K Maleeva (Bul), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1; J Novotna (Cz) bt P Hy (Can), 6-0, 6-3; C Dahlman (Swe) bt E Maniokova (CIS), 6-2, 0-6, 6-4.
Another report posted by Ms Anthropic.
Graf marches on in regal fashion - Tennis
The Sunday Times (London, England)
Sunday, October 25, 1992
IT SEEMS a fair swap. Our Queen visits Germany; Steffi Graf comes to the Brighton Conference Centre for her annual thrashing of all-comers at the Midland Bank tennis championships.
The 23-year-old Wimbledon champion is far and away Germany's most famous ambassadress, exuding a wholesome, if slightly taciturn, charm. It takes only a small leap of imagination to see her donning gloves to shake hands politely with her ball girls.
As it is, the gloves are metaphorical and more of the boxinghttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png variety. Anke Huber, a fellow German burdened by the soubriquet "the new Steffi Graf," played supremely well for an hour against her older and wiser opponent before going down 7-5 6-2. The response from the public was favourable, despite our small differences with the Bundesbank.
Graf, being a creature of habit and more than a little addicted to shopping round the famous Lanes of Brighton, was returning to the scene of five previous victories. The punters clearly appreciate the loyalty. While Sheffield Wednesday fans were hardly tactful in Kaiserslautern this week, singing: "There's only one Winston Churchill," some members of the Brighton crowd had equipped themselves with German flags daubed with glowing tributes to their heroine.
"I feel proud to get such support," Graf said. "But sometimes when people scream you get a little bit embarrassed." The Queen probably feels the same way.
The match began with a cabaret rather than a regal touch, with the Mistress of Ceremonies declaiming "welcome!" in a rich variety of European languages. Whether this was a friendly gesture to the two German semi-finalists or a covert plug for the Maastricht Treaty was unclear.
Either way, Graf looked immediately at home. The tournament favourite won the first two games of the match, and in the process invited an investigation by the Monopolies Commission for her continuing dominance of this event. But the balance of power shifted and suddenly we were witnessing a contest.
Until this moment, 17-year-old Huber had not even singed the edges of the Great British tennis-going public's consciousness. Reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon on an outside court, as she did this year, is no harbinger of national limelight. She might have been written off as a pudding bowl haircut on two stocky legs, but she has revealed herself in Brighton as a powerful puncher of the ball who aspires to play the Andre Agassi way, taking the ball early and building her game from the baseline.
She also seems endearingly pragmatic, tucking the spare ball under her knicker elastic and uttering squeals of damnation when a shot failed to obey her command. Graf, at least, knew what to expect, having teamed up with Huber in Germany's Federation Cup win three months ago. But it might have been significant that Graf's mother, Heidi, was spotted puffing heartily on a cigarette before the first ball was struck.
Their fears became reality during a first set of sterling entertainment. Graf's serve was broken twice as the younger woman charged to the net at will, demonstrating a spirit greater than Graf ever showed at her age. But then the four times Wimbledon champion, with her iron-fisted forehand, needed few other avenues of attack in those days. Huber's fearlessness, and her ability to delve into the corners of the court, unsettled the champion. Graf was frequently forced to parry instead of strike, so fiercely was the ball played to her feet.
There was also the matter of a grunt. Not being Monica Seles, Huber escaped censure for the noise a chirrup crossed with a moan which assumed greater prominence in the engulfing hush of the restrained English audience. Perhaps, as Seles discovered, complaints rise with one's world ranking, and Huber is ranked only 11th. By comparison, Graf noiselessly began to assert herself as the first set progressed. She held serve in the seventh game with the help of two aces but still struggled to break her opponent's serve until the crucial last game of the set.
In her quarter-final the day before against Lori McNeil, of the United States, Graf had awarded herself 10 out of 10 for performance. "Today ... five," she said in mock disgust. Still, she is appearing in her fifth successive Brighton final today, this time against Jana Novotna, who beat Mary Joe Fernandez 6-3 6-4. The sponsors will be delighted, not to mention the local hard-pressed shopkeepers who may have found the recession has suddenly eased in these parts. "I cannot resist the antique shops or the little restaurants," Graf said. And, of course, the pfennigs are going a little further this year.
Another from Ms Anthropic...
Graf's seaside success story survives stormy challenge - Tennis
The Times (London, England) - Monday, October 26, 1992
THE spoils went the usual way yesterday, Steffi Graf winning her sixth title in seven years at the Midland Bank championships in Brighton and a cheque for Pounds 40,000. But for much of the longest final on record at this tournament, the scales were tipped firmly in favour of Jana Novotna, who came to within two points of cutting short Graf's highly profitable seaside excursions before faltering in the third-set tie-break.
Poor Novotna must be sick of the sight of Graf. After defeats in the final of the European Open in Zurich and semi-final in Leipzig, this was the Czechoslovak's third loss to Graf in the last four weeks and she will rarely have a better chance of putting matters to right. Graf had to issue an official apology for sneaking the title out through the back door with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 victory that owed as much to obstinacy as skill.
"I was lucky to get out of that," she said. "All I can say to Jana is 'sorry'. This is the third time in four weeks."
Even when Novotna, the world No.9, was 30-0 and serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set, Graf refused to surrender a title she regards as her personal property. She won the next four points, breaking back with a stock-in-trade forehand cross-court shot and, her confidence restored, sent her loyal band of followers into raptures by romping away with the tie-break.
History suggested that it would be a long and hard-fought affair. Their last four matches on indoor carpet had gone the distance, each player winning twice, and Novotna had given fair warning of her challenge when taking the first set off the champion in the semi-final in Brighton three years ago.
Graf was at the height of her powers then but Novotna, one of the few natural volleyers on the tour, has always had the game to test Graf. She did so to the full again yesterday.
Despite the see-saw finale, both players pinpointed the second set as the moment of truth. Novotna, serving consistently and returning brilliantly at times, had broken Graf twice to take the opening set and kept up the momentum early in the second.
She led 3-1 and, though broken back to 3-3, had three chances to break the champion again at 4-4, which would have left her to serve out for the match. Three unforced errors, the result of overeagerness and taut nerves, handed the psychological initiative straight back to Graf, who duly broke decisively to level the match.
"I was ahead and on top of my game at that time, so that's when I felt I could win it," Novotna said. "When you get as close as I did, it hurts, but I have showed once more that I can keep up with her and one day I'll find the right ball to finish it off." It will become harder with each defeat.
Despite surviving the second set, Graf still could not find any rhythm in the face of Novotna's deliberate pace. She was broken in the first and seventh games of the final set and only seemed to shed her inhibitions early in the tie-break, an inch-perfect lob and an old-fashioned winner off her otherwise erratic forehand contributing to a 5-0 lead. For the first time in a match that lasted two hours and 32 minutes, she had a precious safety cushion.
"She let me back into the game in the second set. She wasn't aggressive enough," Graf said. "But when I was right down, I just thought how mad I would be if I lost. This is my title."
Graf promised to back next year to extend her sequence of 30 consecutive victories, stretching back to 1985, and there was at least some consolation for Novotna, who partnered Larisa Savchenko-Neiland to victory in the doubles title.
RESULTS: Singles: Semi-finals: S Graf (Ger) bt A Huber (Ger), 7-5, 6-2; J Novotna (Cz) bt M J Fernandez (US), 6-3, 6-4. Final: Graf bt Novotna, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6. Doubles: Semi-finals: Novotna (Cz) and L Savchenko-Neiland (Lat) bt P Fendick (US) and A Strnadova (Cz), 6-2, 6-3; C Martinez (Sp) and R Zrubakova (Cz) bt Fernandez and N Zvereva (CIS), 6-2, 6-4. Final: Novotna and Savchenko-Neiland bt Martinez and Zrubakova, 6-4, 6-1.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4NSn...e=results_main (part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paCij...feature=relmfu (part 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Q80...feature=relmfu (part 3)
The sideshow encounter of the year was a Battle of the sexes II-with Jimmy Connors vs Martina Navratilova.
There is even commentary from Bobby Riggs-and Billie Jean was coaching Martina.
Highlights from the match of the year-the epic Roland Garros final. Had Grad won she would have split the slams with Seles.
The match in full (German commentary)
Graf d Sanchez in the semis:
Monica had a nailbiter in the semis vs Sabatini:
The Wimbledon final in its entirety. Was Seles thrown off by all the controversy over her grunting? Perhaps. Graf was at peak form however, and the final result was never in doubt. This was "slice and dice" Steffi to perfection.
Seles never again reached a Wimbledon final.
Graf's Wimbledon semi vs Sabatini:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St9wqG1GBy4 (part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bHu_...feature=relmfu (part 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvdMx...feature=relmfu (part 3)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkxsP...feature=relmfu (part 4)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-FfQ...feature=relmfu (part 5)
The very close and controversial Navratilova-Seles semi:
Marian de Swart had a serve and volley game that gave Graf a scare earlier in the event:
La Bella Gabriella beat Graf at Amelia Island, a Tier I type event in 1992.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4Eey...feature=relmfu (part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qL4r...eature=related (part 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J9AT...feature=relmfu (part 3)
The Miami (Lipton) semis from 1992: Sabatini d Graf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRMQh...eature=related (part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajS9C...feature=relmfu (part 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk_UJ...feature=relmfu (part 3)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afCKx...feature=relmfu (part 4)
Sanchez won the Lipton over Sabatini in the final:
The New South Wales final at Sydney. Gaby vs Arantxa
Highlights from Navratilova vs Sabatini indoors in Tokyo. Sabatini won in 3 sets.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9OkA...eature=related (part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weFos...feature=relmfu (part 2)
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