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Old Apr 28th, 2013, 07:49 PM   #2581
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Posted a few Steffi related articles on the 1986 thread. Some of them help explain why Navratilova was (and will remain) so bothered by Steffi.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 03:26 AM   #2582
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Posted a few Steffi related articles on the 1986 thread. Some of them help explain why Navratilova was (and will remain) so bothered by Steffi.
Martina couldn't resist proving you right...
An article with tons of mistakes but Martina's comments about Steffi's feelings are 'icing on the cake'


http://espn.go.com/espnw/more-sports...-tennis-career
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 05:24 AM   #2583
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I believe that Martina doesn't have the connection she would like with Steffi nor a true understanding of her, so she does what she seemingly always does: she opens her mouth and makes comments that don't endear many people to her. I don't write that to attack Martina but rather to point out what I see as patterned behavior. For example, Steffi is a private person who appears to be very careful in selecting whom she puts around her and who makes decisions with a lot of reflection. She is not media-hungry, she didn't seem to bask in the feeling that she was better than others, and she appeared to keep many of her inner opinions to herself. Martina consistently puts herself in front of the TV cameras, frequently compares herself and her game to others' games (Steffi played to be as good as she could be herself), and shares her opinions freely.

Steffi and Martina are both incredible athletes and they both achieved a lot during their tennis careers, but as people, they have many differences. If Steffi is bothered by some or a lot of Martina's behavior, she doesn't mouth off about it very much. Martina, though, speaks a lot about her perceived beefs with other people. Sometimes, I think she is absolutely right. Sometimes, she doesn't know what she's talking about.

If Steffi tried to be a blatantly PR-savvy individual (I'm not stating she isn't PR-savvy, just that she is not flashy or fake about it) who stayed heavily involved in the tennis world in a very publicized way and who was more talkative with a greater number of people... if she was more open about her decisions to do this or not do that... if she engaged in playing GOAT games... I think Martina would be one of her friends and Martina would not judge Steffi so harshly. The reality is that Steffi is who she is: fairly private and content with her current role as a wife and mother. Martina does come off as bitter when she makes negative comments while the other person in question is silent or not part of the picture, but she has the right to open her mouth whenever she wants.

Just some thoughts.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 11:57 AM   #2584
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Grafiati View Post
If Steffi tried to be a blatantly PR-savvy individual (I'm not stating she isn't PR-savvy, just that she is not flashy or fake about it) who stayed heavily involved in the tennis world in a very publicized way and who was more talkative with a greater number of people... if she was more open about her decisions to do this or not do that... if she engaged in playing GOAT games... I think Martina would be one of her friends and Martina would not judge Steffi so harshly. The reality is that Steffi is who she is: fairly private and content with her current role as a wife and mother. Martina does come off as bitter when she makes negative comments while the other person in question is silent or not part of the picture, but she has the right to open her mouth whenever she wants.

Just some thoughts.
summed their sometimes distanced personal relation up quite well.

But I can't imagine Steffi would ever propagate her accomplishments or would ever compare them with those of Martina.

Their mutual respect will always beware them from taking anything from their careers.

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Old May 2nd, 2013, 06:41 PM   #2585
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Stef-fan View Post
Martina couldn't resist proving you right...
Oh, my timing was deliberate. It's just a given that around about April 29/May 1, one of the IMG/WTA sorority sisters (Navratilova, Shriver, Evert, King) will pop up and say something. They are so predictable that it's even very possible to correctly guess whose turn it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stef-fan View Post
An article with tons of mistakes but Martina's comments about Steffi's feelings are 'icing on the cake'


http://espn.go.com/espnw/more-sports...-tennis-career
It's difficult to tell how much of it is Navratilova's genuine personal judgment and how much of it is just repeating the standard party line without much reflection on how it sounds, especially in light of current events. (In fact, this article might have been drafted well before the attack at the Boston Marathon.)

It's like Courier's: "Can you imagine being in your office and someone opening the door, coming up behind you and sticking a knife in your [back]?"

Sadly, a lot of non-celebrity people can imagine it because it happens with regularity, with even escalating frequency and depravity in this day and social culture -- and that's in the United States, a "developed country." One minute you are going about your business, or sleeping in your bed, or watching a movie at the theater, or cheering your friends as they finish a marathon, and the next minute you are dead or being rushed to an operating room. It's just usually not "news" when it happens to one of us little people -- or if it is, you get your 15 minutes of peripheral fame in relation to the lunatic or monster who did it. If you survived, then maybe you get a feel-good follow-up story about how you are doing OK after your legs were blown off or your classmates were shot dead in front of you. If there were "enough" victims, maybe a politician makes a speech about how "something like this must never happen again." And then the world just shrugs and life goes on because there there is no use in worrying all your life about what can happen and nothing that can be done to make sure it doesn't happen again.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 07:26 PM   #2586
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Grafiati View Post
I believe that Martina doesn't have the connection she would like with Steffi nor a true understanding of her...
I agree with this. I read somewhere on CNNSI - although I can't find the article anymore so maybe it was taken down? - that Steffi should have made more of an effort to reach out to Monica. She said that Steffi clearly wasn't that affected by Monica's stabbing because she visited Monica only once then started to rack up a lot more titles as if nothing happened. I find this such a judgmental comment that does not take into account how different people could react to the same situation. Could it be that Steffi felt incredibly bad and guilty (although clearly it was not her fault) that Monica was stabbed because of her then Gunther Parche was practically set free that she couldn't really develop a relationship with Monica? I find this a more natural reaction, especially for someone who is very shy and tries to steer clear of conflict and controversy. As Steffi showed in 95 and 96, when faced with personal challenges, she focuses on her tennis.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 07:41 PM   #2587
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

There also this comment which Navratilova made which is obviously shared with a lot of other people, including us Steffi fans:

“She would have won so much more,” Navratilova said. “We’d be talking about Monica with the most Grand Slam titles [ahead of] Margaret Court or Steffi Graf. Steffi had 22 [Navratilova and Evert have 18 apiece], but she didn’t have anyone to play against."

Before Monica was stabbed, she had won 8 slam titles and Steffi won 11. If of the 11 more titles Steffi won after the stabbing, she won only 4 more and Monica won the remaining 7. Add the 1996 AO she won and let's assume she won 4 more (taking some of the titles from the likes of Arantxa, Mary Pierce, and even Hingis). In this scenario, Monica would have ended up with 20 and Steffi with 15. I'd still say that Steffi with 15 Slams in her era would put her up there among the greatest. Evert won 18 in her era and played second-fiddle to Martina for most of her career and yet she is still ranked as one of the greatest of all time. In the scenario I painted above, Steffi would arguably have been playing in a tougher era and her 15 would be more or less equivalent to Evert's 18. So I find it sad that so many people have to take a swipe at Graf's legacy. She would still have been an all-time great regardless of what happened.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 07:50 PM   #2588
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

And while we are at this game of whatifs, say for instance Chris Evert got stabbed. Martina lost to Evert only five times in her Grand Slam events. So Martina would have won 5 more, which would bring her total to 23. Is Martina's imaginary 23 Slam titles in an Evert-less era better than Graf's 22 in an almost Seles-less era? I don't think so.

Now imagine if Martina got stabbed. Evert I think lost to Martina 9 times in Grand Slam events, so she may have ended up with 27. She would then be the greatest of all time, right? But Martina didn't get stabbed, and she dominated Evert in Grand Slam events. So instead, Martina is regarded by most as better than Evert. But this doesn't take away the fact that Evert is still an all-time great.

So applying this thought process to Steffi and Monica. Monica was stabbed and Graf racked up all those wins. Assume in this instance that Monica is the Martina of her era and Graf was Evert. Graf's total would not have been 22 but most people would still regard her as an all-time great in the way Evert is viewed.

Sorry to rant about this but while I do believe we need to be reminded of Monica's greatness - and I will admit that she definitely could have become the greatest of all time - I wish most people could at least refrain from denigrating Steffi and her legacy.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 09:31 PM   #2589
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by XTN View Post
I agree with this. I read somewhere on CNNSI - although I can't find the article anymore so maybe it was taken down? - that Steffi should have made more of an effort to reach out to Monica. She said that Steffi clearly wasn't that affected by Monica's stabbing because she visited Monica only once then started to rack up a lot more titles as if nothing happened. I find this such a judgmental comment that does not take into account how different people could react to the same situation. Could it be that Steffi felt incredibly bad and guilty (although clearly it was not her fault) that Monica was stabbed because of her then Gunther Parche was practically set free that she couldn't really develop a relationship with Monica? I find this a more natural reaction, especially for someone who is very shy and tries to steer clear of conflict and controversy. As Steffi showed in 95 and 96, when faced with personal challenges, she focuses on her tennis.

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Old May 3rd, 2013, 04:15 AM   #2590
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Oh, my timing was deliberate. It's just a given that around about April 29/May 1, one of the IMG/WTA sorority sisters (Navratilova, Shriver, Evert, King) will pop up and say something. They are so predictable that it's even very possible to correctly guess whose turn it is.
Excellent point. Very few people have ever understood the connection between IMG and all the Seles hype.

It was/is an unethical organization which tried to win at all costs.

But what goes around comes around. Which is why Graf fans should take some pleasure in the fact that IMG (Sony Open) is having to spend what little capital it has today to keep up with Larry Ellison (Indian Wells).
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 09:51 AM   #2591
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by XTN View Post
There also this comment which Navratilova made which is obviously shared with a lot of other people, including us Steffi fans:

“She would have won so much more,” Navratilova said. “We’d be talking about Monica with the most Grand Slam titles [ahead of] Margaret Court or Steffi Graf. Steffi had 22 [Navratilova and Evert have 18 apiece], but she didn’t have anyone to play against."

Before Monica was stabbed, she had won 8 slam titles and Steffi won 11. If of the 11 more titles Steffi won after the stabbing, she won only 4 more and Monica won the remaining 7. Add the 1996 AO she won and let's assume she won 4 more (taking some of the titles from the likes of Arantxa, Mary Pierce, and even Hingis). In this scenario, Monica would have ended up with 20 and Steffi with 15. I'd still say that Steffi with 15 Slams in her era would put her up there among the greatest. Evert won 18 in her era and played second-fiddle to Martina for most of her career and yet she is still ranked as one of the greatest of all time. In the scenario I painted above, Steffi would arguably have been playing in a tougher era and her 15 would be more or less equivalent to Evert's 18. So I find it sad that so many people have to take a swipe at Graf's legacy. She would still have been an all-time great regardless of what happened.
I don't think that Evert played second fiddle to Martina for most of her career. People just tend to focus on Martina's 13 match winning streak over Chris and voilà - that's the Martina/Chris rivalry in a nutshell for them. But there were periods when Chris dominated Martina, periods when Martina dominated Chris and periods when it was more or less even.

Whether Steffi played in a stronger era than Chris or Martina is also debatable. Perhaps Chris' and Matina's competition was comparitively weak from, say, 82 to 86. But when you consider who they had to compete against over the course of their entire careers - Margaret Court (early on in Chris' case anyway), BJK, Virginia Wade, Evonne Goolagong, Tracy Austin, Hana Mandlikova, Steffi Graf and each other - that's an impressive line-up of talent.

I also don't think that Graf fans have to concede so much ground to Monica. Don't get me wrong, Monica was an extraordinary champion who totally deserves her place up there with the all time greats. Without the stabbing she would have gone on to win more majors and more of everything else as well. But to go so far as to say that Seles would have ended up winning more majors than Graf is stretching it in my opinion. She might have of course, this is all just guesswork on our parts after all. But I think it's more likely that Monica would have ended up winning SOME of Graf's majors plus a few that others ended up winning. Monica would have won about 14-16 and Steffi about 17-19. That's my gut feeling anyway.

The reason why some think that without the stabbing Seles would have ended up winning more than Graf is mostly based on two reasons:

1) The fact that they think that it's only the stabbing that was responsible for Seles' (relative) decline. Only a person without a brain or a heart would deny that it was a big part of it, yes. But early on in her comeback Monica was doing fab. If she wasn't the Monica of old she was close and there was reason to believe that she and Graf would continue to do battle for the majors for the next three or four years. But than Monica's dad died - a second traumatic experience in her life. After that Seles was never (or rarely) as great again as she had been in the first year of her comeback and the overweight became really a problem.

2) The myth that before the stabbing Seles dominated Graf. But Seles dominated the rest of the field, yes, but she never dominated Graf. There is no period of their rivalry when Graf was ever dominated by Seles.

Lifetime: Graf 10 v Seles 5
Before the stabbing: Graf 6 v Seles 4
After the stabbing: Graf 4 v Seles 1
During Seles years where she was year end #1 (91 & 92): Graf 3 v Seles 1
During Seles entire reign as World #1: (91,92, part 93): Graf 3 v Seles 2
Matches in Majors prior to the stabbing: Graf 3 v Seles 3
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 11:33 AM   #2592
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I've also had this feeling that IMG was, and is, somehow responsible for the developing of this story through the years. I still remember many critics towards Seles at the beginning, many controversial stories about her behavior after the stabbing. I remember reporters saying on her comeback that she was playing better than ever. I remember in particular an article by an italian reporter who described very well why he couldn't stand her at all, it was around the year 2000 something. After that, don't know why, it seemed to me that it was a must not to talk badly about Seles. That same reporter wrote a couple of other articles about her, he wasn't so warm with her, but no more harsh critics.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 01:01 PM   #2593
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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I've also had this feeling that IMG was, and is, somehow responsible for the developing of this story through the years. I still remember many critics towards Seles at the beginning, many controversial stories about her behavior after the stabbing. I remember reporters saying on her comeback that she was playing better than ever. I remember in particular an article by an italian reporter who described very well why he couldn't stand her at all, it was around the year 2000 something. After that, don't know why, it seemed to me that it was a must not to talk badly about Seles. That same reporter wrote a couple of other articles about her, he wasn't so warm with her, but no more harsh critics.
C'mon now, Seles was stabbed and her legacy robbed, how can you be harsh or criticize her
When you have 'mouthy friends', IMG backing, billionaire boy friends, 'available' to the media and take liberties at changing your narrative (for whatever reason), it is easy to manipulate anything, even history.....
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 01:08 PM   #2594
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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I don't think that Evert played second fiddle to Martina for most of her career. People just tend to focus on Martina's 13 match winning streak over Chris and voilà - that's the Martina/Chris rivalry in a nutshell for them. But there were periods when Chris dominated Martina, periods when Martina dominated Chris and periods when it was more or less even.

Whether Steffi played in a stronger era than Chris or Martina is also debatable. Perhaps Chris' and Matina's competition was comparitively weak from, say, 82 to 86. But when you consider who they had to compete against over the course of their entire careers - Margaret Court (early on in Chris' case anyway), BJK, Virginia Wade, Evonne Goolagong, Tracy Austin, Hana Mandlikova, Steffi Graf and each other - that's an impressive line-up of talent.

I also don't think that Graf fans have to concede so much ground to Monica. Don't get me wrong, Monica was an extraordinary champion who totally deserves her place up there with the all time greats. Without the stabbing she would have gone on to win more majors and more of everything else as well. But to go so far as to say that Seles would have ended up winning more majors than Graf is stretching it in my opinion. She might have of course, this is all just guesswork on our parts after all. But I think it's more likely that Monica would have ended up winning SOME of Graf's majors plus a few that others ended up winning. Monica would have won about 14-16 and Steffi about 17-19. That's my gut feeling anyway.

The reason why some think that without the stabbing Seles would have ended up winning more than Graf is mostly based on two reasons:

1) The fact that they think that it's only the stabbing that was responsible for Seles' (relative) decline. Only a person without a brain or a heart would deny that it was a big part of it, yes. But early on in her comeback Monica was doing fab. If she wasn't the Monica of old she was close and there was reason to believe that she and Graf would continue to do battle for the majors for the next three or four years. But than Monica's dad died - a second traumatic experience in her life. After that Seles was never (or rarely) as great again as she had been in the first year of her comeback and the overweight became really a problem.

2) The myth that before the stabbing Seles dominated Graf. But Seles dominated the rest of the field, yes, but she never dominated Graf. There is no period of their rivalry when Graf was ever dominated by Seles.

Lifetime: Graf 10 v Seles 5
Before the stabbing: Graf 6 v Seles 4
After the stabbing: Graf 4 v Seles 1
During Seles years where she was year end #1 (91 & 92): Graf 3 v Seles 1
During Seles entire reign as World #1: (91,92, part 93): Graf 3 v Seles 2
Matches in Majors prior to the stabbing: Graf 3 v Seles 3
All that would make sense if they were the same age and joined the pro tour at the same time.

You forgot the part where Seles is 4 1/2 years younger than Graf. Graf had a massive head start in everything and in 1989 accumulated 3 wins against a 15-year-old playing her first full year on the pro tour. Monica was the one that was on the ascendency. She brushed aside Graf in the early 90s like Graf brushed aside Martina in the late 80s. Difference is that Graf was in her early 20s, Martina in her early 30s.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 05:20 PM   #2595
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
All that would make sense if they were the same age and joined the pro tour at the same time.

You forgot the part where Seles is 4 1/2 years younger than Graf. Graf had a massive head start in everything and in 1989 accumulated 3 wins against a 15-year-old playing her first full year on the pro tour. Monica was the one that was on the ascendency. She brushed aside Graf in the early 90s like Graf brushed aside Martina in the late 80s. Difference is that Graf was in her early 20s, Martina in her early 30s.
Good point about Seles being younger. Look, I'm not trying to take anything away from Monica - I'm just trying to be fair. But when some bloggers and even people like Pam Shriver almost casually start taking away slams from Graf and assume that Seles would have won everything under the sun, that's not fair to Graf either. To be honest, there is no right answer to the question of how the Graf/Seles rivalry would have played itself out over the years. We just don't know. All we know for sure is that we as tennis fans were robbed of one of the great rivalries in history.
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