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Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 01:49 PM   #2425
country flag Ms. Anthropic
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Steffi was also a very good tourist. She probably could have done advertisements for various cities' Tourism Offices.


Graf Has An Easy Time Of It
November 11, 1992
Mark Kram
Philadelphia Daily News

When Steffi Graf came to Philadelphia for the $350,000 Virginia Slims tennis tournament this week (her first visit, incidentally), she had scads to see and do. There was the Eagles-Raiders game at Veterans Stadium on Sunday, shopping in Center City on Monday and... oh, why, of course... tennis last night at the Civic Center.

The opponent was one Elena Brioukhovets and it was over in a little less than an hour. Calling on a wicked serve and superior athleticism, Graf whipped Brioukhovets, 6-0, 6-1 and... where were we?... looked forward to stopping in at the Art Museum today and seeing the Flyers tomorrow at the Spectrum. Oh, and the Liberty Bell. She also plans to see that.

"I am enjoying it," said Graf, the top seed in the tournament and two-time U.S. Open champion. "We drove in on Saturday from New York and I got to see the game Sunday."

And... ?

"Well... I think it was important for Philadelphia to win after their last three or four matches. Now Randall (Cunningham) comes back. "

We were tempted to ask Steffi her opinion of the four wideouts, but, well, tennis called... Now that she has beaten the Russian Brioukhovets (who probably took longer to get through U.S. Customs than to lose to Graf), Graf is scheduled to take on the winner of the showdown today between Zina Garrison and Conchita Martinez.

(That is, of course, if her travel agent can somehow squeeze it into her schedule.)

Graf professed to be delighted with her performance, and why not? She came, she saw, she conquered. While Brioukhovets summoned up enough to pick up a game in the second set with a smart backhand down the sideline, it was clear from the beginning she was in too deep. Graf beat to her right, beat to her left, beat her up in close to the net, and beat her deep. In the first set, when the Russian slipped a winning point down the side and grinned to herself (as if to say, "Finally!"), the relentess German spun her around with an ace that looked like something landing at Philadelphia International.

"This was one-sided, but I enjoyed it," said Graf, the winner of seven singles titles this year and the runner-up to Monica Seles for the Kraft Tour lead. "I was happy with the way I played."

Graf spoke of needing to improve her net game, but did not seem especially concerned. When asked if she was looking ahead to the Virginia Slims championships in New York next week, Graf said, no, she was concentrating on this week. Which, so far, has been a blast.

"I got this crazy T-shirt today," Graf said. "I am having a good time."

Oh, one other thing: How did you enjoy American football? How does it compare with European football?

"The two are such different sports," Graf said. "Two different types of people go to the games. In Europe, soccer is more rowdy, more crazy."

Someone should have walked her up to the 700 level. Now that would have been a sight...

HIGHS AND LOWS

Ever since Zina Garrison stunned Steffi Graf and Monica Seles at Wimbledon two years ago, before losing to Martina Navratilova in the final, she has skidded out of the upper rankings of the sport. After topping Brenda Schultz, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (9-7), yesterday Garrison conceded that her "priorities changed" in the wake of her sudden brush with stardom. Garrison said that her "dedication" for the sport seemed to dwindle.

"Wimbledon was a high and it was followed by a low," said Garrison, ranked 18th in the world and unseeded in the tournament this week. "I had to decide if I still wanted to continue doing this. The answer was yes. I still enjoy the competition, being out there with something on the line."
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