Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Yesterday, the crowd gave Graf the bird; today, Graf gives the crowd the bird right back. The gloves, or at least the bandages on her finger, come off, and if ever a scoreline was intended to send a message to many different parties, this is the one. Poor Reggi was probably asking herself: "Why did it have to be me?" Undoubtedly, much of the tennis world, especially the "Stop Steffi" movement, was watching carefully to see how Steffi responded to being heckled. It could not have been encouraging. Don't make her angry. That tactic might have worked when she was 15 or 16. She knows what to do with her anger now.
A side effect of this was that it seemed to prove what many had already suspected: Steffi Graf could blank out most opponents at will. If 98% of the other players were scared to death to play her, it was because 98% of the other players knew she could double bagel them if she really wanted to. This fed the "Steffi hysteria" among the rank-and-file players (and even some of the top players).
Steffi also gets in a subtle verbal swipe. I guess she saw HSV's opening home game vs. Borussia Dortmund, which was quite the 0-0 dud. Throwing Hamburg's catch phrase back in their faces, she comments that she saw "no sssuper match." At least she didn't ask for a refund.
"Is that better now?" - Steffi Graf wins 6-0, 6-0
Saturday, July 30, 1988
No. 176, Page 13
Hamburg - Steffi Graf put the conditions straight again. At 6-0, 6-0, she gave the Italian Raffaella Reggi no chance in quarterfinal of the women's tennis tournament at Hamburg's Rothenbaum club. "I can't play much better," said the world's number one, who this time delayed her opponent for only 45 minutes. In front of only 2,000 spectators, the Italian allowed herself to celebrate each of her four earned points.
The two other German players in the Rothenbaum quarterfinals were dumped out. Last year's finalist Isabel Cueto lost 2-6, 6-7 after a hard struggle against Katerina Maleeva and complained: "It's a shame that I wasn't allowed to play on the center court." Silke Meier was defeated by Radka Zrubakova (Czechoslovakia) 2-6, 1-6 and said: "I was so tired."