Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
For Graf, No. 1 status isn't enough
Monday, March 28, 1988
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - West Germany's Steffi Graf isn't satisfied being the best woman tennis player in the world. She's thinking only about getting better.
Graf tightened her grip on the No. 1 ranking Saturday, defeating Chris Evert 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the $2.1 million Lipton International Players Championships.
"Even though I think it was a good match and there was a lot of fight, I still think I can play better," said Graf. "If you're into sports and you want to be good, you can't be satisfied when you miss balls."
Graf completed the two-week tournament without losing a set. While conceding she wasn't at her best, Graf added, "Coaches are talking about how to beat me, that's why it's getting tougher."
Graf suffered her first loss to Gabriela Sabatini at the Virginia Slims of (Boca Raton) Florida two weeks ago, setting off Steffi-is-slipping talk.
"She was pretty wild in that match against Gaby," said Evert. "She wasn't (Saturday). She did not get impatient. She's still playing the pressure points better than I am right now. She's a champion."
Graf beat Martina Navratilova 6-2, 6-3 in 57 minutes in the Lipton tournament semifinals last year, then humbled Evert 6-1, 6-2 in a 58-minute final.
Graf's father, Peter, said Graf had begun to think she couldn't lose, but "now she says, 'I'm here to fight.' "
Statistics from Steffi Graf's 6-4, 6-4 victory against Chris Evert in the Lipton International Players Championship match (by TennisStat):
First serve pct. 67 72
Aces 1 1
Service winners 10 4
Double faults 0 5
Placement winners 18 24
Unforced errors 28 28
Service games held 8 6
Service games broken 2 4
Total points won 79 62
Approaches to net 10 21
Points won at net 8 13