Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
The fault line has started to slip. A fickle, heckling crowd and a sarcastic, impatient tennis player are not a good mix, especially for the unfortunate opponent lined up next. Given how petulant Hanika was, I don't understand what they could have against Steffi.
Steffi Graf's Bad Day - Fans Demand a Refund
Friday, July 29, 1988
No. 175, Page 13
Everyone has the right to a bad day. Even Steffi Graf? When the world's best tennis player marched into the quarterfinals at the women's tournament at Hamburg's Rothenbaum club after a strangely weak performance of 6-4, 6-2 against the Yugoslavian Sabrina Goles, she promptly reaped criticism from the 3,000 dissatisfied spectators.
With Steffi Graf behind 0-3 in the first set, tournament director Heinz Brenner pondered from the stands: "When has that ever happened? Ten minutes played and still not won a game!" Some visitors even demanded: "Money back!"
Steffi Graf said: "They won't get it from me. What do the people want? I was still on the court for 69 minutes." Father Peter Graf saw himself vindicated: "They have become too accustomed to Steffi's quick wins."
Sabrina Goles certainly produced one of the best matches of her life. "She always knew where my balls would land," said Steffi Graf. But even that was no excuse for the world's number one: "There are days when nothing at all works. At the end, I didn't know I had won at all."
Steffi Graf lost four service games and reached the unbelievable quota of 52 unforced errors (among them six double faults) -- also a record.
For today's quarterfinal against the Italian Raffaella Reggi, she promised: "That won't happen to me again. Maybe it was really good that life on the court was made difficult for me once in a while." Of the three times she has measured herself against the 20th ranked player, she has won the last two.
In the round of the last eight, there are two other German players. Silke Meier (Kaiserslautern) meets Radka Zrubakova (Czechoslovakia). Isabel Cueto (Stuttgart) plays against the Bulgarian Katerina Maleeva.
Yesterday Silke Meier defeated Sylvia Hanika (Munich) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 after two and a half hours, for Silke Meier the "far and away best result of the year." She now once again holds out hope for a place on the German Federation Cup team, which defends the trophy in the beginning of December in Melbourne.
That also goes for Sylvia Hanika, who has reconciled with team chief Klaus Hofsäss. The loser grumbled about the Hamburg clay courts: "They are slow even for clay. Such a surface is an equalizer." That means: "Differences between Number 16 and Number 80 are neutralized."
That is also the reason why so few world class players came to Hamburg, fumed Sylvia Hanika furthermore. "Actually, I only came because the organization, the perks, and the player hotels are so good."
The victor saw it completely different. "A totally normal clay court," thought Silke Meier. Thus it is in tennis.