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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 11:04 AM   #2686
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by XTN View Post
Tennisfan, there is a link to your post in John Wertheim's Tennis Mailbag on CNN SI! Second time I've seen the mailbag provide a link to this thread. Cool! (And yes, Rene Simpson must have felt horrible having to face Steffi twice that year and not winning a single game in 4 sets!

ETA: here's the link (look for the line in page 2 of the article that says "In praise of Steffi Graf, who won the Grand Slam 25 years ago.") http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ten...?sct=tn_t11_a4
XTN, thanks so much for the info!
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #2687
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Some "famous last words" from Drysdale, but a pretty good call from Evert (she has been practicing with Steffi and she will make more commentary in the next few days). I just love how Steffi refuses to put the cart before the horse, as our saying goes.

Wimbledon has grand significance
USA TODAY
Monday, June 20, 1988
Doug Smith

WIMBLEDON, England - Any other year, a Wimbledon singles title would be a major prize for either No. 1 in the world Steffi Graf or No. 2 Mats Wilander. Neither ever has won the tennis world's most prestigious two-week event, which begins today.

But Wimbledon victories this year would give both a third jewel in the game's ultimate crown: the grand slam.

Graf and Wilander already have won the Australian and French open singles titles this year. Only four players have won the grand slam - sweeping the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in the same year.

Will West Germany's Graf or Sweden's Wilander be the fifth? Neither has the strong serve-and-volley game that is more suited to grass playing surfaces. However, both are mentally tough, tenacious competitors, who consistently give strong efforts at major events.

Graf and Wilander won singles titles at the two-week Lipton International Players Championships last March. Both were finalists at last year's U.S. Open, where No. 1 Ivan Lendl beat Wilander and No. 2 Martina Navratilova beat Graf. Graf also lost to Navratilova at last year's Wimbledon. Wilander lost in the quarterfinals to champion Pat Cash.

"I think it's very possible for Steffi to win the slam,'' says Chris Evert, the No. 4 seed. "Anybody who says Graf can't win on grass doesn't know anything about tennis.''

Of Wilander's bid, No. 8-seed John McEnroe says, "This is his chance. Let's see if he steps forward.''

McEnroe might be Wilander's first major obstacle; they could meet in the quarterfinals. Sweden's Stefan Edberg is a likely semifinal foe, should Wilander get past McEnroe. No. 1 Lendl, No. 4 Cash and No. 6 Boris Becker are in the other half of the draw.

Says Wilander: "I know you have to have a certain style of play to win the grand slam. I have the game to play well on clay, hard courts and grass.''

Navratilova and No. 5 Gabriela Sabatini loom as Graf's major barriers. Sabatini has the only two victories against Graf (38-2) this year.

"Last year, I would have said no way Steffi could do it because I wouldn't have bet against Martina on grass,'' Evert says. "This year, Steffi is very confident, and I think she's too young to feel the pressure.''

Graf, who celebrated her 19th birthday last week, also is oblivious to the historic significance of the grand slam. She couldn't name any of the previous winners nor was she interested in discussing her chances of joining them.

"I'm not into the history of tennis,'' Graf says. "The grand slam is not what I'm concentrating on. Maybe in a couple of years. I'm just thinking about improving my game.''

Navratilova, 31, is concerned about securing a place in tennis history. She'll be trying for a record seventh consecutive and ninth overall Wimbledon singles title.

"My goal is to win Wimbledon, not to stop Steffi from winning the grand slam,'' she says.

The important role of surfaces keeps coming up in players' conversations. The four previous grand slam winners won the event when three of the events were played on grass and the French was on clay. The Australian Open shifted from grass to synthetic rubber last January. The U.S. Open has been played on a hard surface since 1978.

"Now that the slam is on four different surfaces, I don't think anyone will ever win it again,'' ESPN commentator Cliff Drysdale says.

Because of the game's international exposure, the next grand-slam winner is sure to be more famous and far richer than the previous winners.

"For a good player with charisma and personality, the grand slam would be worth more than being No. 1 in the world,'' says Ion Tiriac, Becker's agent.

Exactly how much would a slam be worth? No one dares to say.

Ted Tinling, 77, a longtime tennis promoter, says, "Nobody knows what the slam is going to be worth in today's marketplace until the agents put a value on it. But the prestige would be enormous.''

The International Tennis Federation awarded Navratilova a $1 million bonus for winning the grand-slam events over a two-calendar year (1983-84) period, but ITF spokesman Joyce Hume says no bonus has been proposed for future grand-slam winners.

Jean-Noel Bioul of International Management Group says corporations with endorsement contracts with Wilander, including Sergio Tacchini clothes, Nike shoes and Rossignol rackets, are aware of Wilander's position, but, it's too early to do anything now. "We are putting some thoughts together and some companies have expressed an interest in making commitments, but I can't tell you which companies we've talked to.''

Phil dePicciotto of Advantage International, the firm representing Graf, says companies with products his client endorses will gain the most during Graf's chase for the slam.

"Everybody has their eye on what Steffi and Mats are doing,'' dePicciotto says. "They're reaching a wider audience; it's not just a sports story.'' DePicciotto says Graf has long-term endorsement contracts with adidas clothes, Dunlop rackets and Opel cars. "She would not become involved with any products just for money or for the sake of being involved.''
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 07:20 PM   #2688
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Have you seen this one, Steffi in Berlin, in "her" Stadium...
http://www.bild.de/sport/mehr-sport/...1696.bild.html

I adored this tournament back then
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 07:19 PM   #2689
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

It's a shame. I think I read somewhere that the Rot-Weiss club doesn't even have enough members to fill the olden days stadium. Of course this is where I go off on a grumpy Gen-Xer rant about how my parents could show me (when I wasn't even that young) places from their youth that hadn't changed much, if at all. I can't do that. Every park and playground, every vacant lot, every school, every house, every main thoroughfare, every shop, every non-fast food restaurant has changed -- and most of them not for the better. The future ain't what it used to be.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 12:41 PM   #2690
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

BEST! INTERVIEW! EVER!

Life and style
The Guardian
Saturday 22 June 2013 03.00 EDT
Q&A: Steffi Graf
Rosanna Greenstreet

'When did I last cry, and why? He said it was guacamole. It was wasabi'

Steffi Graf, 44, was born in Germany. She became a professional tennis player at 13
and, in a career spanning 17 years, won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. In 1988 she became the first woman to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and Olympic gold. She is married to Andre Agassi, has two children and lives in Las Vegas. She runs the charity Children For Tomorrow.

When were you happiest?

My happiness lives in the present. It's my life this morning, this evening, with Andre, my kids.

What is your greatest fear?

That the world we are passing on to our children is not the world we hoped for for them.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?

The man I know the best: Andre.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I am a serial procrastinator.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Inconsideration.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Any time I'm in front of a mic.

Property aside, what's the most expensive thing you've bought?

The first racket Andre used in a pro match at 16 and the one from his last game – the
bookends of his career.

What is your most treasured possession?

My memory.

What would your super power be?

To eradicate the effects of war. Then to eradicate war. Then to eradicate the reason for war.

What is your favourite book?

The Tender Bar, by JR Moehringer. After reading it, Andre collaborated with JR on his memoir, Open.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Anything sweet is my kryptonite.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Where do I start?

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?

Catwoman. Cher. Björk. Halloween at our house is intense.

What was the best kiss of your life?

The kiss of a parent, the kiss of your husband, the kiss of your children: you receive them in that order in life, and they each make you feel alive in a different way.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

The five living first ladies.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

"Next question."

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

The good, the bad, all of it, got me to the life I live today. Leave it in.

When did you last cry, and why?

He said it was guacamole. It was wasabi.

How do you relax?

I find more peace in the rumble of our busy lives than in a quiet house.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

A pause button. If I could be watching my kids enjoy something, and hit pause to make it last.

What keeps you awake at night?

Andre, the kids, my foundation and sometimes the dogs.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a happy, caring mother and wife.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

A new day means a new chance to be the person you want to be.

Where would you most like to be right now?

Around the kitchen table with Andre, the kids, their friends, our families. It's noisy, fun
and carefree, and there's not another place I'd rather be.

• My Body, My Enemy, by Claire Beeken with Rosanna Greenstreet, is available as an
ebook from amazon.co.uk.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 04:43 PM   #2691
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

After administering her second consecutive double bagel, Steffi admitted: "And after I play against (coach) Pavel Slozil, the ball comes in from the other girls so much slower and easier."

While not quite the drubbing of the French Open final, it was still thorough: "I'm always like that," said the 19-year-old West German, who lost only 22 points in the match. "I try to get the points over with very fast."

Wimbledon opens arms to 'new' McEnroe
Fiery American keeps his cool; Shriver struggles
Houston Chronicle
Wednesday, JUNE 22, 1988
Rick Warner, Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England - John McEnroe, behaving like a choirboy and playing like an angel, returned to Wimbledon in triumph.

There was a quiet determination about him, a sense that the whole world was watching and waiting for the first angry swipe of the racket or the first X-rated word from his mouth on Tuesday.

At least for one uneventful afternoon at the All England Club, McEnroe was a much different person and, perhaps, a much different player from the one who left here in shambles three years ago after a quarterfinal-round loss to Kevin Curran.

From the rousing ovation he received as he walked onto Court 1, to the forehand down the line that closed out his straight-set victory over Horst Skoff of Austria, McEnroe barely made a peep.

"It's a whole new ball game," McEnroe said after disposing of Skoff 6-1, 7-5, 6-1. "It's like starting over. To me, thinking about the past is not productive."

In contrast to McEnroe's happy return was Pam Shriver who buried her face in her hands, exhausted by the two hours she had spent on the court and hardly exhilarated by the result of her first-round match.

"It's hard to jump up and down when you beat Dinky Van Rensburg 8-6 in the third set," Shriver said.

Shriver, the women's third seed, was relieved after barely surviving against Van Rensburg. Down 4-1 in the third, the 25-year-old Shriver came back, with some help from Van Rensburg, to win 6-2, 4-6, 8-6.

It took back-to-back double-faults by the 20-year-old South African at 4-2, 30-15 in the final set to open the door for Shriver. After letting six break-point opportunities slip away in the third set alone, Shriver finally got one back with a backhand service return winner.

When Shriver came off Court 13 after her unexpected struggle, she saw that both top-seeded Steffi Graf and defending champion Martina Navratilova were nearly done with their matches despite starting 90 minutes later.

"I was dying. I was out there 1 1/2 hours before they started playing, and when they finished, I was still in the third set. It certainly crosses your mind that you wish life was a little easier," Shriver said.

For everyone but Shriver, life was certainly easy at the top of the women's draw Tuesday.

Graf, played her opening match as if she had a plane to catch, needed only 46 minutes to shut out Hu Na 6-0, 6-0. Navratilova, the No. 2 seed, defeated Sabrina Goles of Yugoslavia 6-1, 6-2 in 50 minutes. Fourth-seed Chris Evert beat Alexia Dechaume of France 6-1, 6-2 in 65 minutes in a match that was also her 100th here. Fifth-seed Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina took 58 minutes to beat Carling Bassett Seguso 6-2, 6-2.

Other wins were secured by No. 6 Helena Sukova, No. 8 Natalia Zvereva, No. 9 Hana Mandlikova and No. 10 Lori McNeil.

The women's seeds were reduced by one, however, when No. 11 Claudia Kohde-Kilsch of West Germany withdrew because of a knee injury.

No. 14 Andrei Chesnokov of the Soviet Union was eliminated by Udo Roglewski of West Germany 7-5, 6-4, 6-4, but all other men's seeds won. Among those advancing to the second round were No. 2 Mats Wilander, No. 5 Jimmy Connors, No. 9 Miloslav Mecir, No. 12 Jonas Svensson and No. 16 Slobodan Zivojinovic.

Curren, the last player to beat McEnroe in the 1985 semifinals, suffered a first-round defeat to Chile's Ricardo Acuno 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.

McEnroe, 29, showed flashes of the old McEnroe, the player who was ranked No. 1 in the world for four straight years. The feather touch around the net. The booming, twisting serves.

McEnroe also showed some of his old bravado in the postmatch interview. He said he would love a chance at Wilander, the No. 2 seed who is halfway to a Grand Slam. The fire really came back when someone mentioned a comment by Boris Becker, who said that a mellow McEnroe couldn't win Wimbledon.

"How could he possibly know anything about that?" McEnroe snapped. "He wasn't even around when I would have kicked his butt."

On the crowd's warm reception, he said, "It was nice. Hopefully it'll get better the longer I hang around."

Graf also was pleased with her opener.

"I just think that was a great first match for me," said Graf, who has won two legs of the Grand Slam. "When we started hitting, I thought it was going to be much tougher, but I was returning awfully well. I think she wasn't really having too much power, so I could take advantage of her game all the time."

In her match with Goles, Navratilova had little trouble.

Last year, when she won a record sixth straight Wimbledon and her eighth overall, Navratilova had not won a tournament all year. This year, she has won six of the nine tournaments in which she has played.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 04:44 PM   #2692
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Here we see Evert take an approach opposite Navratilova's. Maybe she realized trying to get Steffi's goat was not a smart tactic; maybe Chrissie was just as annoyed with Martina's "I'm better, I shouldn't lose to you people" blustering (see the Houston 1988 final) and was trying to get Martina's goat; maybe she was simply pointing out the obvious.

WIMBLEDON NOTES: First steps taken on sore feet
USA TODAY
Wednesday, June 22, 1988
Doug Smith

WIMBLEDON, England - Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert won first-round matches at Wimbledon Tuesday despite a common problem: sore right feet.

"Grass is easier on it," said No. 5 seed Connors, who beat Leif Shiras 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.

"I think the grass is helping me, too," said No. 4 Evert, who beat France's Alexia Dechaume 6-1, 6-2.

Connors, 35, said his sore foot forced him to withdraw from the recent French Open.

"The doctors have told me that two small bones are broken and the only way to correct it would be to have an operation to take them out," he said. "If I do that, I'm out. I vowed that if I ever had to have an operation I'd quit."

Evert, 33, says a bone spur in her foot contributed to her third-round French Open loss to Arantxa Sanchez.

"I hope I'll meet Arantxa again in a tournament before I retire," Evert said.

For Connors, the pain returns whenever he plays too often on hard surfaces. He said he'd consider playing clay-court events if he has trouble this summer on hard courts.

"I'm going to stop playing when it's time to stop," he said.

Evert takes lessons

Evert practiced with No. 1 Steffi Graf a few times last week and learned a lot.

"I'm glad I'm not in her half of the draw," Evert said. "She's playing well. I can't see Graf losing. I'm 100 percent sure Steffi will get to the final and I can't say that about Martina (Navratilova). She's in my bracket and I think I have a shot at beating her."

Evert defeated Navratilova in the Australian Open semifinals and in the Virginia Slims of Houston final this year.

"Steffi's serve is matching Martina's," Evert said. "And she moves better. She's ironed out all of her weaknesses and gotten muscular. She's developed into a wonderful athlete.

"Gee, she could hire me as her public relations person."

Net gains sought

No. 2 Mats Wilander and No. 5 Gabriela Sabatini won first-round matches Tuesday, then said they're striving to improve their net games.

"I have to come in a little bit more and I would play better," said Sabatini, who beat Carling Bassett Seguso 6-2, 6-2.

"I'm never, ever going to feel that grass is a natural surface for my game," said Wilander, who beat Argentina's Eduardo Masso 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). "I'm never going to be the kind of player who takes risks and comes in."
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 04:46 PM   #2693
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The humorous thing here is that Evert-as-a-TV-commentator was often stuck back in 1985/early 1986 when it came to Steffi, like some aunt who just won't grasp that you're not a kid anymore. ("She's been working on her new topspin backhand...") We also see early evidence of Bruce Jenkins' problem of not understanding Steffi. And Martina remains convinced that she plays tennis the "one, true way."

Evert Predicts Upset of Navratilova - WIMBLEDON NOTEBOOK
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Wednesday, June 22, 1988
Bruce Jenkins

Wimbledon, England - For perhaps the first time in her life, Chris Evert looks forward to her post-match press conferences. She runs into a lot of old friends there, people who gently kid her about her age, her never-ending career, and her curious status as a Wimbledon underdog.

It has become fun for Evert, who played her 100th match at Wimbledon yesterday, but we haven't seen the last of this steel-nerved champion quite yet. "I definitely see an upset among the top two players," she said yesterday. "And I don't see it being Steffi Graf."

In other words, Evert is plotting an upset of eight-time champion Martina Navratilova before the much-anticipated Graf-Martina final can take place.

"There is definitely a gap between those two and the rest of us," Evert said, "but I had a good match with Martina last year (a three-set semifinal that many called the best of their long rivalry), and I'm 2-0 against her this year. You just don't know."

Evert's comments spiced up a pretty routine day on the women's side. It was Navratilova 6-1, 6-2 over Sabrina Goles of Yugoslavia; Gabriela Sabatini 6-2, 6-2 over Carling Bassett Seguso; Evert 6-1, 6-2 over Alexia Dechaume of France, and Graf 6-0, 6-0 over Na Hu (the Chinese defector who has always been known as Hu Na, but she's now saying people had it wrong and should know the correct version).

It was an historic victory for Martina - her 42nd in a row at Wimbledon, breaking Bjorn Borg's post-war record of 41 (1977-81). "I feel ready to win again, and I think I'm a heck of a bet," she said. "I know I'd put money on me." (The odds list Martina at 13-8, with Graf favored at 8-13.)

A British male writer asked Martina whether, under new coach Tim Gullikson, she "hoped to play more like a man."

"I play tennis the way it should be played, man or woman," she said. "(Sadistic laugh) You chauvinist."

Evert's latest practice partner is a formidable opponent, too - none other than Graf. "I always practiced against a lefty (simulating Navratilova), and that's not beneficial," said Chris. "Against Steffi, I can assess her game, and get a pretty good idea where mine is. I'm just amazed how she shot up and grew, got so muscular. I've been impressed with her since she was 15, but she has developed into a wonderful athlete a lot sooner than I thought.

"Jeez . . . she should probably hire me as a PR agent," said Evert.

It's hard not to like Graf, except perhaps for the tremendous distance she keeps between her personality and the public. Pam Shriver, on the other hand, has always worn every emotion on her sleeve - and sometimes that works against her.

Shriver had an unexpectedly tough first-round battle yesterday before outlasting Dinky van Rensburg of South Africa, 6-2, 4-6, 8-6. "I don't think that's anything to jump up and down about, beating Dinky 8-6 in the third," cracked Shriver.

"Come to think of it, my last three wins at Wimbledon were 10-8, 10-8 and 8-6. Maybe it's something I enjoy."

THE LOCALS

Tiburon's Elly Hakami earned the right to play Navratilova with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Kathy Horvath . . . Triumphant ex-Stanford players included Patty Fendick, 6-2, 6-3 over Camille Benjamin, and Derrick Rostagno, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 over Jaime Yzaga of Peru. But Dan Goldie suffered his third straight first-round loss, this time 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland; Elise Burgin was trounced by Belinda Cordwell of New Zealand, 6-4, 6-3, and Marianne Werdel fell to Jo Durie of Great Britain, 6-4, 6-2 . . . Ann Henricksson of Mill Valley defeated Beth Herr of Dayton, 6-3, 6-2 . . . The first-round matches featuring Heather Ludloff (Foster City) and Peanut Louie Harper (San Francisco) were postponed because of darkness.

Only one men's seed has been knocked out so far: No. 14 Andre Chesnokov of the Soviet Union, by Udo Riglewski of West Germany, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4, yesterday . . . Peter Doohan, conqueror of Boris Becker last year, suffered a first-round loss to Ken Flach, 7-5, 7-6, 6-3, and 1985 finalist Kevin Curren, troubled by an ankle sprain that required re-taping during the match, was knocked off by Ricardo Acuna of Chile, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.

Claude Kohde-Kilsch, the No. 11 women's seed, was forced to withdraw with a badly strained tendon in her left knee . . . John McEnroe said it was a "nice gesture" for the Wimbledon committee to seed him eighth, when strict rankings would have seeded him 14th. "But it only makes sense," McEnroe said. "Tournaments should set the seedings based on the surface, who has the best chance to win - not the rankings." In the opinion of many, Wimbledon should have carried through with its idea. The notion of Becker playing Pat Cash as early as the quarterfinals doesn't make much sense.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 12:29 PM   #2694
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Fittingly, there was an article yesterday about Wimbledon ballkids, and this incident with Steffi and the ballgirl was brought up.

Right balance is recovered by Mandlikova - Wimbledon
The Times
London, England
Thursday, June 23, 1988
David Powell

Hana Mandlikova returned to the centre court yesterday for her first appearance there since the 1986 final. If she needed a reminder that things have changed since then, she got it. The arena was half empty: Mandlikova, who was absent, injured, from Wimbledon last year, is not the crowd-puller she used to be.

Wimbledon is the only grand slam tournament which Mandlikova has failed to win. She probably never will. Steffi Graf, at 19, is seven years her junior. The years separating the Navratilova-Evert era and the Graf one were not quite enough to leave the stage clear for Mandlikova to dominate.

At her best, Mandlikova hits tennis balls like she never wants to see them again. When her direction is in harmony with her power, everyone is beatable. Her problem has been inconsistency. Brilliant one moment but profligate the next, she flirts with disaster.

Mandlikova has achieved nothing lately to bring her into conversations about who the champion might be. However, she has come through two rounds without dropping a set and, though, typically, she made more errors than Graf yesterday, she produced some flashing shots against the American, Ann Henricksson, of which the German would have been proud.

It is reasonable to suggest that Mandlikova will be the first examination of Graf's nerve this Wimbledon. They are scheduled to meet in the quarter-finals. Henricksson is an accomplished grass-court player and Mandlikova's 6-4, 6-2 victory was comparable for achievement with Graf's 6-2, 6-0 win over the French lucky loser (some luck!), Karine Quentrec.

Pat Cash voiced the opinion last year that the women who make up the numbers are not worth the money they are paid. Graf, who succeeded Mandlikova last year as runner-up to Navratilova, is proving the point. Quentrec, who is ranked 168th in the world, earned Pounds 2,815 for her second-round defeat in which she played the part of a puppet on a string.

Meanwhile, Mandlikova's match came at a good time for tea, in between watching Lendl against Cahill and Leconte against Chang, and half the centre court took the opportunity.

Two weeks ago, Graf arrived 20 minutes late for her much publicized game with the Princess of Wales. Yesterday, she discovered what it is like to be on the receiving end, if not in a match, at least beforehand. Quentrec was so engrossed in an 8-6 final set between two of her compatriots, Pascale Paradis and Nathalie Herreman, that she neglected to check how the match which preceded hers on court three was progressing.

"I had to rush to get changed when I saw Steffi coming out," Quentrec said. In the meantime Graf knocked up with a ball-girl. "I was so embarrassed," Penny Joannou, aged 16, from Norbury, said. Most people are when Graf is on the other side of the net.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 12:45 PM   #2695
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I am sure the "rank and file" players viewed Steffi as some cruel practical joke being played on them by Nature. It was bad enough to face the Jaws forehand riding on Secretariat's legs, but then add that Steffi could easily breathe in one more liter of air than the average woman's deepest breath, and it becomes quite hopeless.

I believe I have the picture referenced in the caption.

GRAF EASILY WHISKS BY QUENTREC
Daily News of Los Angeles
Thursday, June 23, 1988
Associated Press

Steffi Graf, the women's top seed, lost her Grand Slam shutout streak but still blitzed 18-year-old Karine Quentrec of France, 6-2, 6-0, only 34 minutes Wednesday.

After watching two of her French friends play on a nearby court, Quentrec, ranked 168th in the world, barely made it to her match in time. She showed in street clothes, and had to make a quick change while Graf warmed up with a ball girl.

Quentrec won the second game, halting Graf's string of 26 straight games at Grand Slam tournaments, but that was the high point of her day.

"She plays better than the men - boom, boom," Quentrec said after winning just 22 points. "Physically, she would play for 10 minutes and never take a breath. She serves, she plays, she serves ...so quick. Still, I should have won more than two games. Maybe next year."

Also advancing in straight sets were ninth-seeded Hana Mandlikova, No. 12 Zina Garrison, No. 14 Katerina Maleeva and No. 15 Sylvia Hanika.

Quentrec got a place in the main draw when Italy's Raffaela Reggi withdrew with a back injury.

"She was playing out of the dark for me," Graf said in her imperfect English. "I had no idea who she was, I didn't have a clue."

When Quentrec won the second game, it halted a winning streak Graf began in the final game of her semifinal victory over Gabriela Sabatini at the French Open.

Graf is running through Wimbledon like a freight train. She smashed Hu Na, 6-0, 6-0, in 46 minutes in her first-round match Tuesday.

The train left the station in Paris, where Graf stunned Natalia Zvereva 6-0, 6-0 in the French Open final.

Graf has won 37 of her last 39 games in two Grand Slam tournaments. Five of her last six sets have been won at love.

The West German teen-ager is a 4-6 favorite to win Wimbledon, dethrone eight-time champion Martina Navratilova and seize the third leg of the Grand Slam.

"I'm not thinking about the Grand Slam," said Graf, who won the Australian Open in January and added the French Open two weeks ago. "I just think about the tournament I'm playing."

Caption: photo
At your service Wimbledon ballgirl Penny Joannou, 16, can't believe her good luck. She practiced with Steffi Graf when the top-seeded woman arrived early for her match.
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File Type: jpg 1988WimbledonWithBallGirl.jpg (86.8 KB, 7 views)
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 01:03 PM   #2696
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

In an article to come, Bruce Jenkins will plaintively wonder what Steffi Graf is "really like." And all the while, the answer is in front of him on a daily basis.

Navratilova continues to dig that hole, either unable or unwilling to understand. If you will permit me a small conceit -- "There can be nothing small about your conceit!" I hear you shout. Very well, if you will permit me a large conceit:

Something like this: Once upon a time, the players of the WTA found a kitten. She was small and quite helpless. "Oh, how cute!" they said and decided to keep her around.

After a few months, the kitten was bigger, playful but clumsy. "Oh, how funny!" they said as they watched her futilely chase the red dot from a laser pointer and trip over her own tail. Although she was starting to eat more, they decided to keep her around.

After a few more months, the kitten was bigger yet, more energetic and had become coordinated. She had ceased to trip over her own tail and was more interested in chasing the ankles of the person holding the laser pointer. Her orange and black striped coat and supple form were quite impressive. "Oh, how comely!" they said as they forgave her a few scratches and bites, some of them deep, on their extremities. Although her appetite had grown to an almost alarming level, they decided to keep her around.

After a few more months, the kitten was much bigger than even a very large dog. Her strength, speed, stamina, and agility had rendered playtime fraught with peril. And playtime happened whenever the kitten felt like it. Everyone had bad scars and/or fresh wounds. Some people required major surgery after a few casual swipes from the biggest paws ever seen on a house cat. Some people were disappearing altogether. Her appetite had increased to a truly insatiable level, and she often looked at people as if trying to figure out if she liked them or merely liked to eat them. They were now uncertain about what was going on and had second thoughts about keeping her around.

They decided to have a meeting before Wimbledon.

Mandlikova: "Something is not right here. This is the biggest house cat I've ever seen."

Evert: "I think that's because she is really a tiger."

Shriver: "Maybe we can convince her that she is a house cat that likes to eat dry kibble, with an occasional can of tuna as a special treat."

Navratilova: "What are you all talking about? She is a house cat, and a young one at that. If we just show her who is boss and bop her with a rolled-up newspaper, she will get scared, run away, and leave us alone."

Evert: "I will watch from a safe distance when you test that theory."

Rest of the players: "TIGER!!!! RUN!!!!"

* - * - *

Shortly after Wimbledon, Navratilova is wondering if she will ever get out of the hospital and how a house cat could inflict that much damage. This was far beyond toxoplasmosis. She re-reads the card attached to the flowers that Evert sent her: "Get well soon. But we told you she was a tiger, you idiot."

Everyone else is trying to hide, usually without success. The tiger has concluded she merely likes to eat them. She knows where all the tastiest bits are and how to get at them quickly. She has decided she will stay around.

Cash, Lendl Survive Struggles - WIMBLEDON NOTEBOOK
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Thursday, June 23, 1988
Bruce Jenkins

Wimbledon, England - The major stories of Wimbledon unfold on many fronts, often simultaneously. It's a full day of marvelous tennis on 18 courts, with each match having at least something to offer.

Let's check in with some of yesterday's participants.

Pat Cash: Things looked grim for the defending champion on Court 1 as Javier Frana, a left-handed topspin artist from Argentina, won two of the first three sets. "I figured if he keeps pulling out great shots, then he's too good for me," said Cash. "I didn't think he could. And I was right."

Reeling a bit, Cash was down a break point as he served to open the fourth set. Whack! An ace. The rest was familiar Cash brilliance as he won, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. "I'm fit enough to play 10 tough sets in a row if I have to," he said.

Ivan Lendl: There was a bit of Peter Doohan nostalgia as Darren Cahill, another wiry, tough Australian, had Lendl in trouble (Doohan was the man who upset Boris Becker during last year's tournament). But it was a temporary scare as Lendl prevailed, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

The win wasn't without a warning from the chair umpire. "He thought I said `stupid jerks' after a few bad line calls," said Lendl. "I actually said `stupid calls.' "

Well. Harumph.

Boris Becker: His only problem was the parking lot. For some reason, he was denied access to the Aorangi courts lot, where the players normally park, and he apparently had some choice words for the attendant.

"No problems at all," said Becker, fearing an assault of nasty tabloid headlines. His match went smoothly, too: 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 over Karel Novacek of Czechoslovakia.

Steffi Graf : Let's not call her too stuck-up. She was all ready to play Karine Quentrec of France on Court 3, but Quentrec was caught up in the travails of another French player, Pascale Paradis, and was actually watching Paradis' match on Court 14.

So, to kill the time, Graf asked if anybody would like to hit, or "knock up," as they say over here. She asked a ballgirl, 16-year-old Penny Joannou of Norbury, who reluctantly complied.

"I was totally embarrassed," admitted Penny. But what an experience.

Paradis won, by the way. And so did Graf, 6-2, 6-0.

SHOWDOWN LOOMS

Graf was, in the words of her father, "unbelievable." Peter Graf said he'd never seen her play so well on grass. "It's 20 percent better than last year. If she continues to play like this she'll have no problems."

With the Australian Open and French Open titles behind her, Graf is on course to become the first woman since Margaret Court (1970) to win all the Grand Slam tournaments in one year. Martina Navratilova, like everyone else, senses the changing of the guard at the top.

"The era of Chris (Evert) and myself is definitely coming to an end," said Martina. "But it ain't over till I say it is."

Navratilova said many of the women are "petrified" of playing Graf. "They think they'll get killed by her forehand. As for me, why should I be? I'm pain free. I feel as good as I can. I can hit more shots, I can do more with the ball. I'm a better player. I mean, it's not like being up against Mike Tyson."

SCORES AND HIGHLIGHTS

The list of Bay Area players in the women's draw has been cut to three: Patty Fendick, Elly Hakami (who meets Navratilova on Court 1 today), and San Jose's Robin White, who defeated Laura Golarsa of Italy in the second round yesterday, 6-4, 6-2.

The bad news: Ann Henricksson of Mill Valley took a Centre Court loss to Hana Mandlikova, 6-4, 6-2; Peanut Louie Harper of San Francisco was eliminated (6-7, 6-3, 6-4, by Sarah Loosemoore of Great Britain), and so was Heather Ludloff of Foster City (6-3, 7-6, by Radka Zrubakova of Czechoslovakia).

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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 10:24 PM   #2697
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Navratilova self adoration is amazing

Thanks for the articles, I particularly LOVE this 88' Wimbledon, what a final
Don't want to kill the suspense, but if you had the stats of the final vs Martina I will sleep better. Couldn't find it.
Especially curious to know the amount of winners by Steffi, that was insane Tennis.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 11:36 PM   #2698
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Navratilova self adoration is amazing

Thanks for the articles, I particularly LOVE this 88' Wimbledon, what a final
Don't want to kill the suspense, but if you had the stats of the final vs Martina I will sleep better. Couldn't find it.
Especially curious to know the amount of winners by Steffi, that was insane Tennis.
Actually, Navratilova is totally bluffing, and both Steffi and Chris Evert know it, even if Navratilova doesn't. There will be some more great quotes coming up here and at the US Open.

The stats from the articles don't have a "winners" number, but by my count Steffi hit 57 winners (as in Navratilova never got her racket on the ball). If we also consider shots that forced errors, the number gets really unbelievable. This is a match where you can watch the opponent go from being Type 1 Graffed to being Type 2 Graffed to being Type 3 Graffed.

To help you sleep extra better, Steffi's winners break down like this:

Forehand Groundie * Backhand Groundie * Forehand Volley * Backhand Volley * Ace * Overhead
to 4-3, 1st set 6 6 1 1 1 1
to 0-2, 2nd set 1 4 1 0 2 4
to 6-2, 2nd set 9 3 3 1 1 0
to 3-1, 3rd set 3 1 1 1 0 0
to end 3 2 1 0 0 0
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 03:39 AM   #2699
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I laughed when some guy yelled during one of her matches, "Will you marry me, Steffi?" And she replied, "Are you rich?"
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #2700
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

http://www.bild.de/unterhaltung/leut...140.bild.html#
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