Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
I would not be surprised if Steffi and John Korff didn't engage in some good-natured teasing, razzing, and practical jokes to this day. The upcoming Hamburg-Mahwah stretch is filled with you-cannot-make-this-up incidents.
GRAF TO PROVIDE RAMAPO TOURNEY WITH GRANDEUR
Tuesday, July 19, 1988
If she wins the U.S. Open later this summer, Steffi Graf would be the first woman to capture the grand slam of tennis since 1970.
And by just appearing at the United Jersey Bank Tennis Classic the week before the U.S. Open, Graf will ensure a grand slam for the organizers of the tournament at Ramapo College.
Graf is the hottest commodity in tennis, and her presence would guarantee a series of sellouts for the medium-sized U.S. Open tuneup.
"We're delighted to have Steffi back this year," tournament director John Korff said Monday at a news conference promoting the event, which runs from Aug. 22-28.
Graf, the top-ranked women's player in the world, has won the first three grand slam events this year the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon. A singles win at the U.S. Open would make Graf the first grand slam winner since Margaret Smith Court in 1970.
Graf has entered the UJB Classic each of the last five years. She didn't play in 1985 because of a toe injury, and she missed last year's tournament because of last-minute dental work.
Just to be safe, tournament organizers have a list of Bergen County dentists.
So far, four former singles champions Graf, Jo Durie, Kathy Rinaldi, and last year's winner, Manuela Maleeva are expected to play in the tournament.
Play in the 28-player draw will begin Monday, Aug. 22 after a three-day qualifying tournament. Graf, who won the tournament in 1986, has a first-round bye (one of four) and is expected to play her first match Tuesday, Aug. 23 in the evening session.
Prize money has been increased by 33 percent to $200,000 for singles and doubles, and the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals will be televised by Madison Square Garden Network and FNN Score.
Last year's championship doubles team, Lori McNeil and Gigi Fernandez, will be back, but they won't be playing together. McNeil will be paired with Betsy Nagleson, and Fernandez will team with Robin White. Each team will try to well, sort of defend its title.
Graf, of course, is favored to win the singles competition.
"With Graf, it depends on how she's playing," said Fernandez, who is ranked No. 51 in the world in singles. "If she's on, she's unbeatable. "
Tickets are available through the tournament office (825-9100), or at any United Jersey Bank branch.