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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 03:02 AM   #1801
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Great! I love both Uma and Steffi, and the Kill Bill movies too.
BTW, I finally watched the whole SF between Steffi and Navratilova in 1991 US Open, great stuff! Steffi hit some AMAZING shots, she played fine but Martina was really on that day, and it was awsome how Steffi kept fighting by the end of set 2 to finally take it, and also in set 3 but she couldn't repeat the trick, yet she hit some great returns and passing-shots, it's amazing how she so often got to hit some incredible shots when she most neeeded them.
I just noticed that the Nº5 seed was unlucky for her in those years, as she lost to Sabatini in 1990, Navratilova in 1991, and ASV in 1992, and they were all the Nº5 seed and Steffi lost to them, one round earlier each time, unfortunately for her (and even if I love Graf no matter how much some of her wins hurt me, I don't regret her 1990 loss, sorry pals!).
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #1802
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
...(and even if I love Graf no matter how much some of her wins hurt me, I don't regret her 1990 loss, sorry pals!).
I still say the ball was out!
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 02:33 PM   #1803
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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I still say the ball was out!
Still have a doubt, with the hawkeye we would have been sure. Anyway that's the past.
I was surprised how she doubted if out or not but finally didn't really discussed the decision (so perhaps it wasin actually LOL), some other players would have gone mad (McEnroe, Roddick, S Williams)
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Old Nov 14th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #1804
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Still have a doubt, with the hawkeye we would have been sure. Anyway that's the past.
I was surprised how she doubted if out or not but finally didn't really discussed the decision (so perhaps it wasin actually LOL), some other players would have gone mad (McEnroe, Roddick, S Williams)
And if you study the famous Sabatini celebration closely, she's actually looking back and forth from the linesman and the umpire for confirmation that the call went her way, so she really wasn't sure either, she just started celebrating and knew if she didn't get the call, the crowd (which was heavily in her favor) would get into it. That particular shot, to me, is just as clearly out as Serena's down the line backhand against Capriati was in.

I'm still not so sure about hawkeye. I've seen, and continue to see computer generated shot spot depictions that aren't even where the ball landed. There are times that the naked eye does see a shot clearly, and wide or in down the line shots are some of the more easy calls on court to make.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #1805
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by alfajeffster View Post
And if you study the famous Sabatini celebration closely, she's actually looking back and forth from the linesman and the umpire for confirmation that the call went her way, so she really wasn't sure either, she just started celebrating and knew if she didn't get the call, the crowd (which was heavily in her favor) would get into it. That particular shot, to me, is just as clearly out as Serena's down the line backhand against Capriati was in.

I'm still not so sure about hawkeye. I've seen, and continue to see computer generated shot spot depictions that aren't even where the ball landed. There are times that the naked eye does see a shot clearly, and wide or in down the line shots are some of the more easy calls on court to make.
Great to see you post again Alfajeffster, it has been a long time. Going back to that match; Sabatini was the better player that day (IMO), a better gameplan and execution and deserved to win. To me the 1989 loss against ASV at RG was more painful.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 07:10 PM   #1806
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Great to see you post again Alfajeffster, it has been a long time. Going back to that match; Sabatini was the better player that day (IMO), a better gameplan and execution and deserved to win. To me the 1989 loss against ASV at RG was more painful.
Good to be back. I have all this time on my hands (and fingers) being home on disability all day- I'm back on the Blast and check for updates regularly.

I agree, Sabatini had a great game plan, stuck to it, and kind of surprised Graf a little by continuing to move forward instead of her usual heavy topspin baseline game, hitting many shots off her back foot 10 or more feet behind the baseline. It took balls to be frank. While I thoroughly enjoyed Graf's drubbing of Sabatini a few weeks later at Zurich, she just didn't get used to Gaby at the net all the time at the 90 USO, let alone her penchant for drop volleys (many of which weren't that good- sitters really). No excuses, but it wasn't a good match from Graf at all.

I think my favorite all-time shot from Graf was at Wimbledon 91 on match point against Sabatini- a rifle forehand inside-out for a winner which landed relatively short in the court for a ball with that kind of pace. Gaby was well positioned at the net, but had no play at all. It gave me goosebumps then and still does today.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 08:41 PM   #1807
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by alfajeffster View Post
Good to be back. I have all this time on my hands (and fingers) being home on disability all day- I'm back on the Blast and check for updates regularly.

I agree, Sabatini had a great game plan, stuck to it, and kind of surprised Graf a little by continuing to move forward instead of her usual heavy topspin baseline game, hitting many shots off her back foot 10 or more feet behind the baseline. It took balls to be frank. While I thoroughly enjoyed Graf's drubbing of Sabatini a few weeks later at Zurich, she just didn't get used to Gaby at the net all the time at the 90 USO, let alone her penchant for drop volleys (many of which weren't that good- sitters really). No excuses, but it wasn't a good match from Graf at all.

I think my favorite all-time shot from Graf was at Wimbledon 91 on match point against Sabatini- a rifle forehand inside-out for a winner which landed relatively short in the court for a ball with that kind of pace. Gaby was well positioned at the net, but had no play at all. It gave me goosebumps then and still does today.
It is great ''talking'' to you again, those were fun times at the original SG thread. After having been a fan for such a long time, I have to say that my favorite matches are the ones in the latter stages of her career, maybe she wasn't as quick and mentally strong as in the late 80s, begin 90s, but to me the way she played tennis with her final racket (the Black Wilson), was like watching someone who has been great at st for a very long time, hard to explain, I just watched some '99 matches of her on youtube and the way she hits, is so different than from her best years, again difficult to explain, to me the Max 200g was a lot of hard work for her and the Wilson made her shots so much easier and nicer to look at. Great to have you back, hope you are well!
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Old Nov 16th, 2011, 01:00 AM   #1808
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Does anybody have a copy of this month's Freundin magazine to post the interview with Steffi?

http://www.freundin.de/Artikel/freun...t_1600827.html
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Old Nov 16th, 2011, 06:38 AM   #1809
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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It is great ''talking'' to you again, those were fun times at the original SG thread. After having been a fan for such a long time, I have to say that my favorite matches are the ones in the latter stages of her career, maybe she wasn't as quick and mentally strong as in the late 80s, begin 90s, but to me the way she played tennis with her final racket (the Black Wilson), was like watching someone who has been great at st for a very long time, hard to explain, I just watched some '99 matches of her on youtube and the way she hits, is so different than from her best years, again difficult to explain, to me the Max 200g was a lot of hard work for her and the Wilson made her shots so much easier and nicer to look at. Great to have you back, hope you are well!
Oh, I understand and agree totally. I noticed immediately that she had made some adjustments to her forehand, and was much more consistent. Her Indian Wells final, even though she lost to Serena, is one of my favorites because Graf's level of play and consistency were outstanding. Serena had to win that match, and even though Steffi had a few chances, that Williams serve did the trick. Otherwise, Graf would have taken it. All that from a player with so much wear on her body, and frankly, a knee that would've put anyone else into retirement. I used to hit with the 200G, and still have one, but don't have the upper body strength to even swing it any more. I always loved the point of contact on the forehand farther out and somewhat late, of course, not in the same league as Steffi, but watching her play back then with that bazooka forehand was inspiring.
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Old Nov 16th, 2011, 04:13 PM   #1810
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

(Warning : non tennis and stupid post)
1min ago I was here reading the last posts with the tv on, and I suddenly heard a voice I knew. Yes it's her, a commercial for Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo) on French TV with Steffi
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Old Nov 17th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #1811
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajeffster View Post
Good to be back. I have all this time on my hands (and fingers) being home on disability all day- I'm back on the Blast and check for updates regularly.

I agree, Sabatini had a great game plan, stuck to it, and kind of surprised Graf a little by continuing to move forward instead of her usual heavy topspin baseline game, hitting many shots off her back foot 10 or more feet behind the baseline. It took balls to be frank. While I thoroughly enjoyed Graf's drubbing of Sabatini a few weeks later at Zurich, she just didn't get used to Gaby at the net all the time at the 90 USO, let alone her penchant for drop volleys (many of which weren't that good- sitters really). No excuses, but it wasn't a good match from Graf at all.

I think my favorite all-time shot from Graf was at Wimbledon 91 on match point against Sabatini- a rifle forehand inside-out for a winner which landed relatively short in the court for a ball with that kind of pace. Gaby was well positioned at the net, but had no play at all. It gave me goosebumps then and still does today.
It's funny how that's is probably my favorite shot ever from Graf! Yet it was not on match point (Graf won with a cross-court FH return of serve), but earlier, Steffi hold serve with that point to lead 7-6. I still watch that shot and it's unbelievable, it was such a deep low approach from Gabriela, who was covering the net in the right place, and yet Steffi just slapped that ball to hit a tremedous inside-out shot. She hit a similar shot against ASV in 1995 IIRC, incredible shot too. But there's another shot from Graf I love, it's her BH passing-shot when Hingis was leading 5-4 and serving for the match in their 99 French Open final: after a long rally, Steffi (finally) connected a BH top spin passing-shot that left Hingis still and of course in that crucial stage of the match. So Steffi!
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Old Nov 17th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #1812
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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But there's another shot from Graf I love, it's her BH passing-shot when Hingis was leading 5-4 and serving for the match in their 99 French Open final: after a long rally, Steffi (finally) connected a BH top spin passing-shot that left Hingis still and of course in that crucial stage of the match. So Steffi!
You mean THE shot
(that changed the match)
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Old Nov 23rd, 2011, 08:29 AM   #1813
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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You mean THE shot
(that changed the match)
Is there any Steffi fan who doesn't remember that shot?

I sort of recall a point in that same final against Hingis where Steffi hit a slice backhand that Hingis couldn't dig up. I think Steffi hit it with such speed (as slice backhands go, I think Steffi has the fastest one because she really leans into it and moves forward), underspin, and precision that it seemed to land right in front of Hingis' feet and she was unable to deal with it. I think Hingis was also sort of inside the baseline at the time so she sort of got caught in no man's land. Maybe I can try to rewatch that match online to find out if my memory is correct.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2011, 04:47 PM   #1814
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warriorroger View Post
It is great ''talking'' to you again, those were fun times at the original SG thread. After having been a fan for such a long time, I have to say that my favorite matches are the ones in the latter stages of her career, maybe she wasn't as quick and mentally strong as in the late 80s, begin 90s, but to me the way she played tennis with her final racket (the Black Wilson), was like watching someone who has been great at st for a very long time, hard to explain, I just watched some '99 matches of her on youtube and the way she hits, is so different than from her best years, again difficult to explain, to me the Max 200g was a lot of hard work for her and the Wilson made her shots so much easier and nicer to look at. Great to have you back, hope you are well!
I think alike, I guess you can say that Graf played with some "detachment" in her shots in her finals years, and I had that same sensation about other greats in the last part of their careers, when they seem to master their "art" with such ease that they could do some things "with eyes closed" and you just enjoy their calmness when doing smth so difficult, making it look so easy.
Great to "talk" to you both, Alfa and WarriorR
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Old Nov 23rd, 2011, 05:29 PM   #1815
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

(Hope you don't mind someone else weighing in on this conversation...) I'm not a tennis expert but I think that in her best years, when she was on, she hit with such incredible abandon but in the latter stages, she was a lot more, hmm, resilient for lack of a better term. It was interesting to watch Graf steamroll her opponents early in her career because she looked like a genius with a tennis racquet who could do anything with the ball. She even hit topspin backhands as a rally shot and could pass anyone at will with her backhand. In the latter stages of her career, I felt it was so much easier to put pressure on her backhand (although maybe that is also because people just started hitting harder and getting Graf out of position a lot more). I do think she hit a lot more unforced errors in her earlier years.

However, as you have also suggested, her forehand became a much better rallying shot later in her career and she started moving the ball around better. I feel that 1994 may have been one of the biggest turning points in her career. At that time, she lost every tough match she had against ASV and got blown off the court twice by Mary Pierce. Her resolve in tough matches against difficult opponents and her ability to rebound against people who were hitting exceedingly hard off both wings were put into question. But maybe her back problems that nearly ended her career provided some perspective. All of a sudden, in 1995, ASV couldn't beat her anymore after that, even in very tough matches (Wimbledon, French Open). Maybe her experiences playing Pierce helped her develop an ability to hang in there when her opponent seemed to be blowing her away. She had a few matches against Lindsay Davenport where Lindsay racked up 4-5 games in a row but Steffi managed to steady herself and get through. She also lost to Seles 1-6 in the first set of the 1998 year-end championships but somehow managed to get the ball back in a lot more and got through that one as well.

(I sort of think that in 1994, Graf may have felt - even subconsciously - that the only player who could arguably outhit her was Seles. So when she ran into Pierce in the FO, it is possible that her pride - or refusal to accept that anyone could hit harder than her - prevented her from adjusting her game to the situation or slowing down and trying to make a better match out of it. That she remained incredibly competitive against Davenport, Seles, and both Williams sisters very late in her career when her body was already battered may have been a consequence of the realization in late 1994 that she needed to play smarter and hang tougher against these players who could hit her off the court. True enough, she beat Pierce very convincingly early in 1995.)
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