Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Even after a five week break, the media and Steffi are, unfortunately, right back where they left off at the Lipton: Getting on each other's last nerves. Steffi's criticism of the German press from back in 1988 echoes: "All they write about is the minutes or the money." We note Arantxa is the first beneficiary of this newfangled MRI gadget.
An hourly wage of $5865 - Steffi Graf wins her second match at the Citizen Cup
April 28, 1994
Stefan Reckziegel and Christian-A. Thiel report from Rothenbaum
Hamburg - "What should I do then? Please make suggestions." Steffi Graf can no longer stand the constant questions about how she can contribute to greater attractiveness in the face of her oppressive dominance in women's tennis. Because even the Italian Linda Ferrando was no more than a sparring partner, at 6-1, 6-1 in her second match at the Citizen Cup.
Steffi Graf bravely received even such silly ideas as the payment of an hourly wage instead of prize money: "It depends on how high the sum." Currently, she is working in Hamburg ($9000 for the quarterfinals) for $5868 per hour. And counting.
The 85 places in the world rankings that separate Linda Ferrando (No. 37) from Graf's first opponent, Silke Frankl (122), amounted to just 2 games and 22 minutes. The 6-1, 6-1 result was decided after 57 minutes.
The Italian chose the formula with which she had beaten Monica Seles at the 1990 U.S. Open: Serve and volley. "But clay is maybe not the right surface for that," Steffi Graf exposed her opponent's style of play as a mistake. "You just have a lot more time to react." At the end, her supremacy was so sweeping that Steffi Graf "had difficulty keeping my concentration." 2500 spectators were thankful when she finally lost a game to go 5-1 after a Rothenbaum hour.
In the quarterfinal against Magdalena Maleeva (No. 14), the anticipated resistance might finally emerge. However, the No. 1 is confident: "I must fear no one here."
Maybe she was already glad to hear that Monica Seles still aspires to come back. A year after the attack in Hamburg, she told the magazine "Sports Life": "Of course I will play tennis again. I don't want to be remembered just as someone who grunted and giggled." The time frame is undetermined.
Two other German players joined Steffi Graf in the quarterfinals. But the ladies who arrived had more trouble than expected. Sabine Hack (24) required 2 hours and 13 minutes to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 against Meike Babel (19).
And Barbara Rittner (20) made her life unnecessarily difficult against Petra Begerow (19). Only after more than two and a half hours did she win 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 -- because her young opponent beat herself. She lost the decisive service game with a double fault. "She still needs time," said the women's team coach Klaus Hofsäss of Petra Begerow.
Meanwhile, Barbara Rittner sought a reason for her indifferent performance. "I put myself under too much pressure." In the quarterfinal, she won't need this worry. Against the fifth-ranked Jana Novotna, the German is a gross outsider.
* * *
High Tech: After the launch of the ultrasound scanner in 1987, the medical center at Rothenbaum is celebrating a new world premiere. For the first time, the physicians have a portable MRI at their disposal. The DM500,000 piece of equipment was resourced from the company Esaote Biomedica from Pisa. Orthopedist Bernd Kabelka: "Before her next singles match, Arantxa Sanchez will have her knee in the tube for a half hour." Unlike X-rays, the picture shows ligaments and tendons and is totally harmless.
Glitch: Steffi Graf had bad luck. The radar gun, which measures the fastest serves on Centre Court, malfunctioned -- of all the times -- during her match against Linda Ferrando. So she didn't know if she had finally reached her goal: "I would like to finally reach the 170 (km/h) mark." Her record: 169 km/h, in Hamburg 167.
Return: Boris Becker is playing again -- at least in doubles. At the tournament in Munich, he won at the side of Czech Petr Korda against the South Africans Haygarth and Kruger 6-3, 7-5. Becker's start in Hamburg has become more likely. 16 bodyguards will be deployed for his protection. Michael Stich has reached the quarterfinals in Munich after a 6-4, 6-3 win against Slava Dosedel.