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Old Sep 1st, 2012, 03:21 PM   #2341
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
You may think I am paranoid, but I ve still found US articles about Steffi (her victories), strange, almost "mean" (i don't know how to explain). Those last two are good examples.
Maybe you will like this one a little better....

Martina Blows Best (Last?) Shot at Steffi
Bill Glauber
The Baltimore Sun
September 10, 1989

NEW YORK -- Steffi Graf gives away nothing. No emotion. No passion. No anger.

She just plays quietly -- her ponytail flapping in the breeze, her feet lifting off the ground, her right arm lurching into a wind-up, ready to crank that monstrous forehand. The score, the crowd, and the stakes are simply background elements to be ignored.

"I have no idea what's going on in her mind and in her heart," said Martina Navratilova.

Saturday, Navratilova made Graf sweat, forced her to display grace under pressure and finally opened her competitive heart on the desert-like floor of the Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Graf survived. Again. She beat Navratilova, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, to win her second consecutive U.S. Open title.

"I like the sport very much," said Graf. "If that doesn't show, I don't care. I just like it."

Graf's deeds speak loudly for her love of the game. She has won seven of the last eight Grand Slam singles titles. Only a case of food poisoning and menstrual cramps prevented her from making it eight of eight in this year's French Open final.

"Every time I see a chance, I try to take a point," said Graf, 20.

Graf came close to caving in. Friday afternoon, she was battle-weary and unsteady, but rallied to beat Gabriela Sabatini in three sets before dashing off the court with leg cramps.

"I didn't see any way to get out of it," she said. "I was glad it was over with."

But she had to come back again on less than 24 hours' rest, coming face to face with the reality that television runs American sports.

"This is very bad," Graf said. "I don't understand how they work it with television. They have too much influence and control over what is going on. There is so little time to recuperate and be ready for the finals the next day.

"I had hot baths and liquids Friday and two massages today," Graf said. "I felt quite good and very fit. That makes it mean so much more to win it."

Saturday, Graf was in trouble. Big trouble. Navratilova, seeking her 18th Grand Slam singles title at age 32, displayed an effective serve-and-volley game, pulling ahead a set and then breaking Graf's serve in the first game of the second set.

"I tried to keep in there," Graf said. "I fought for it."

So did Navratilova. They slugged it out in the second set, punching and counterpunching, [unreadable] battling back until a crash in the eighth game. Navratilova, needing to hold serve to push ahead 5-3, collapsed. She double faulted twice, was caught flat-footed on a gorgeous forehand volley and cracked when Graf skidded a forehand approach at her feet. It was 4-4, but it was finished.

"When Steffi got going, she was like a runaway train," Navratilova said.
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