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Old Sep 6th, 2012, 01:06 PM   #2350
country flag Ms. Anthropic
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I wonder why the reporter went with "(bleeping) CBS" instead of the more professionally correct "(expletive deleted) CBS."


Graf Cramps Sabatini's Style
September 9, 1989| By JIM SARNI, Sentinel Staff Writer

FLUSHING MEADOW, N.Y. -- The Cramps were back on the prowl Friday at the U.S. Open.

The Cramps got Jay Berger in the quarterfinals. They almost got Jimmy Connors. Now, they were after Steffi Graf.

Graf led Gabriela Sabatini 3-6, 6-4, 5-2, when The Cramps struck the defending champion at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

At the changeover, Graf stood up and sprayed a coolant on both her legs. Graf was in trouble, but she won the final game, thanks, in part, to a pair of fortunate baseline calls and a broken string on Sabatini's racket.

Graf dropped her racket in disbelief after a marvelous backhand volley winner that ended the match. She shook Sabatini's hand at the net, then raced off the court, straight-arming CBS courtside reporter Lesley Visser. No time to talk; The Cramps are after me.

Graf got to the locker room, got some ice on her legs, got her rackets, and got out of the National Tennis Center in a big, black limo, in a big hurry. She looked as though she had gotten over the cramps.

Now, the big question is can Graf get Martina Navratilova in today's women's final?

"Stupid (bleeping) CBS," said an angry Pavel Slozil, Graf's coach. "Playing the final tomorrow. They don't care anymore. Steffi has to play again tomorrow. Is it fair?

"Thank God, she was strong enough to finish. I'm proud of her. I think she will be fine."

The U.S. Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that tortures the players with back-to-back semifinal and final rounds. The women play Friday and Saturday. The men play Saturday and Sunday.

CBS likes it this way, and the United States Tennis Association likes CBS' money.

"Whoever does the schedule is on drugs," said Navratilova. "It has absolutely no rhyme or reason. The schedule is tailored for TV."

Navratilova, the second seed, outlasted Zina Garrison 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in Friday`s first semifinal to set up the second Grand Slam title showdown of the summer. Graf defeated Navratilova 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 at Wimbledon.

Navratilova said she is ready for Graf, better prepared mentally she was in England, but will Graf be ready for Navratilova? Tune in today -- sometime after the first men's semifinal between Boris Becker and Aaron Krickstein. It could be 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. -- on CBS.

"Steffi will relax tonight and we'll see how she feels in the morning," Slozil said. "Maybe, this is good. She won't have time to think about Martina."

Tournament physician Gary Wadler said that Graf responded "very nicely" to the post-match treatment, but would not speculate on Graf's fitness today. Wadler said cramps are "primarily a heat disorder, involving inadequate fluid and dehydration."

"It's not unusual at the U.S. Open," Wadler said. "It's happening more to the seeded players, so there's more attention."

Sabatini applied the heat early, winning the first set and leading 1-0 with a point from 2-0 in the second set.

Graf saved the break point and won the next three games to take control of the second set. Graf ran Sabatini ragged and finished her off in the final set, building a 4-0 lead, before The Cramps finished her.

"Graf was very, very beatable today," said Sabatini, who beat Graf at Amelia Island last April. "I'm a little angry because I had a chance to win."

"Steffi started very passively against Sabatini," Slozil said. "She hasn't played someone who hits topspin and she wasn't used to it."

Garrison, who upset Navratilova in last year's quarterfinals, put up another strong challenge Friday. Garrison led 4-3, serving, in the tiebreaker, but Navratilova responded with two perfect passing shots and two solid serves.

"When it got tight, I was able to come up with the shots," said Navratilova, a four-time U.S. Open champion, who will try for her 18th Grand Slam event title today.

"I lost a lot of confidence after the tiebreaker," said Garrison, who is 1-24 against Navratilova. "I didn't take advantage of my chances. I have to get more vicious. I feel I'm a champion player."
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