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Old Nov 23rd, 2011, 08:50 PM   #1816
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by XTN View Post
...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...
I agree with most of what you shared, however, it must be noted that prior to Seles, Graf's only rival was Navratilova, who attacked from the net, not with power baseline shots. Graf learned to play tennis with a standard size frame, whereas Seles, ASV, Pierce and Davenport et. al. used snowshoes, making hitting ping-pong bazooka winners from the baseline second hand. Steffi had to learn to be more defensive, a style which up until then was pretty much foreign to her. Throw serious back problems and knee surgery (not to mention almost a year off the tour), and it's remarkable she came back at all.
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Old Nov 24th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #1817
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I agree about how Graf had to adjust to other big-hitters and learned how to be more flexible about her game. I have to disagree, though, about Martina being her "only rival": she was the player to dethrone, of course, and gave Steffi, tough matches (US Open 89 for instance) but since she beat Graf at the US Open 87, they played only four matches but still she had to wait four years until she beat her again at Flushing Meadows in 1991. In truth, in her prime and until Seles became a dominant player since 1990, Steffi only lost once to Shriver (she was not at her best physically, but she finally lost), once to ASV and 3 times to Sabatini, who was almost the only player to give Graf a tough match or take at least a set from her during the German's first period of dominance between 1988 and 1990.
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Old Nov 24th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #1818
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
I agree about how Graf had to adjust to other big-hitters and learned how to be more flexible about her game. I have to disagree, though, about Martina being her "only rival": she was the player to dethrone, of course, and gave Steffi, tough matches (US Open 89 for instance) but since she beat Graf at the US Open 87, they played only four matches but still she had to wait four years until she beat her again at Flushing Meadows in 1991. In truth, in her prime and until Seles became a dominant player since 1990, Steffi only lost once to Shriver (she was not at her best physically, but she finally lost), once to ASV and 3 times to Sabatini, who was almost the only player to give Graf a tough match or take at least a set from her during the German's first period of dominance between 1988 and 1990.
Not to be disagreeable or denigrate your post, but I submit the possibility of something more to their doubles partnership than met the eye might have had something to do with the few losses. She still dominated everyone from the baseline, and even though she ended up 9-9 with Martina, it's not a far stretch to say the head to head would've been much different had they played more often, and yes, I still maintain this was by design. Ah, but that's all conjecture and cannot possibly be proven, so let's do the right thing and not guess any more- what happened happened. Point is, back then there was nobody who made Steffi change her game. Why change a winning formula?
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Old Nov 28th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #1819
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
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
Thanks, it's great to have these conversations again with you all. Glad you guys understand what I mean, it's just like a singer who has been singing a song for 20 years, I loved watching the Graf strokes in the final years of her career, even in 1997 when she had so many difficulties with her knees and all, her strokes, her serve were so much more beautiful than in the 80s and mid 90s.
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Old Nov 29th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #1820
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I think Graf's slice backhand became more of a weapon around 1994-95 after she'd worked with Heinz Gunthardt for a couple of years. She was able to keep it low and out of the hitting zone of her opponents thereby forcing them to often hit awkward, defensive shots. In some ways her loss in basic foot speed due to various injuries resulted in her defensive game getting better because she had to work the point to set up her forehand. In the latter half of her career, she became sort of like the baseline version of an attacking player. Instead of constructing a point with groundstrokes and approach shots to set up a winning volley at the net, she used roughly the same strategy to open up the court for her forehand. I remember discussing this with someone a few years ago and we agreed that Graf, in some ways, could play confidently because she knew that around 90% (if not more) of her opponents' shots were going to go to her backhand. At that level of the sport, it's a true luxury to be able to remove the element of surprise from one's opponent's game that regularly.
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 10:26 AM   #1821
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Have you read about this one :

http://www.bild.de/sport/mehr-sport/...0762.bild.html

To sum up, she accuses Steffi of having deliberately lost a match, the double olympics SF, for them (so her = Kohde-Kilsch) not to win a gold medal, because Steffi's dad didn't wanted her (Kohde-Kilsch) to have gold...
First, I think it's ridiculous.
But god, the womand doesn't even look at her own performance. Says something like that 23years after. And says it on an interview, not face to face.
Poor woman.
I remember reading a long itw from her, published in 1985, or 86, you just can feel how she already felt pissed by the celebrity of boris becker, who became a star and not her and her new national rival...
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #1822
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Do you think anyone would have cared about her bankruptcy statement if Steffi's name wasn't there ???
Pathetic and easy way of getting attention.
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #1823
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Have you read about this one :

http://www.bild.de/sport/mehr-sport/...0762.bild.html

To sum up, she accuses Steffi of having deliberately lost a match, the double olympics SF, for them (so her = Kohde-Kilsch) not to win a gold medal, because Steffi's dad didn't wanted her (Kohde-Kilsch) to have gold...
First, I think it's ridiculous.
But god, the womand doesn't even look at her own performance. Says something like that 23years after. And says it on an interview, not face to face.
Poor woman.
I remember reading a long itw from her, published in 1985, or 86, you just can feel how she already felt pissed by the celebrity of boris becker, who became a star and not her and her new national rival...
Why did Steffi (Peter) decide to lose in the semis and not in the final?
Also she (Kohde-Kilsch) is taking away from the opponents they lost too.(Novotna and Sukova)
Both already had to suffer from Steffi in singles a lot, so to claim that even in doubles it was all about Steffi's (Peter's) mood
is pretty low.

I think she lost her mind a little bit.
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 07:38 PM   #1824
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I agree with you, that it's a lack of respect to the players who beat them too.

In other news, Steffi has apprently withdrew from newt year exhibition in Halle(http://www.zeit.de/news/2011-12/17/t...n-auf-17121003)...I had ticket for this event
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #1825
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
I agree with you, that it's a lack of respect to the players who beat them too.

In other news, Steffi has apprently withdrew from newt year exhibition in Halle(http://www.zeit.de/news/2011-12/17/t...n-auf-17121003)...I had ticket for this event
Sorry to hear that, should have warned you. There was a report few weeks back about Steffi informing Halle tournment that it is not certain that she would play for sure, not sure if it is before or after you bought the ticket.
May be there is a refund!!!!!
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 07:56 PM   #1826
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Stef-fan View Post
Sorry to hear that, should have warned you. There was a report few weeks back about Steffi informing Halle tournment that it is not certain that she would play for sure, not sure if it is before or after you bought the ticket.
May be there is a refund!!!!!
I bought it before.
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #1827
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
I agree with you, that it's a lack of respect to the players who beat them too.

In other news, Steffi has apprently withdrew from newt year exhibition in Halle(http://www.zeit.de/news/2011-12/17/t...n-auf-17121003)...I had ticket for this event
Oh.....too bad I did not know that Steffi had withdrawn. What is the reason for it, someone knows?
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #1828
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Oh.....too bad I did not know that Steffi had withdrawn. What is the reason for it, someone knows?
Injury.

Seleçao don't worry, send me the ticket I 'll pay you (don't worry again lol)
I will find a way to sell it, or get a refund, or live with it
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 08:28 PM   #1829
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Injury.

Seleçao don't worry, send me the ticket I 'll pay you (don't worry again lol)
I will find a way to sell it, or get a refund, or live with it
Thanks my friend! ... But no, YOU don't worry!! It's far easier for me here in Germany to sell it. I don't think that I will go there myself *LOL* So don't worry!! I'm just glad that I didn't already send it to you.
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #1830
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Seleção82 View Post
Thanks my friend! ... But no, YOU don't worry!! It's far easier for me here in Germany to sell it. I don't think that I will go there myself *LOL* So don't worry!! I'm just glad that I didn't already send it to you.
Check your private messages my fiend
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