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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 01:18 PM   #2701
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Becker meets match in parking lot
Houston Chronicle
Thursday, JUNE 23, 1988
Houston Chronicle News Services

WIMBLEDON, England - Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker met his match in the form of a fearsome parking-lot attendant.

The attendant fired a volley at Becker when the West German refused to pay a five-pound ($9) fee to park his sports car in a public area after being turned away from the players' parking lot.

"The tight sod," said Tom, the attendant. "You would think with all the money he earns he could spare a fiver for the car park."

Becker was refused entry to the players' lot because his car was not carrying an official sticker.

Pat Cash's flamboyant and macho appeal has not fully captured the Wimbledon crowd. Teens at the tournament are screaming for Becker.

The West German, determined to regain the singles crown Cash took a year ago, has re-emerged as a heartthrob at the All England Club.

With Becker and Steffi Graf relegated to adjacent side courts Wednesday, security suddenly became a problem. Graf was escorted out to the No. 3 court for her match against France's Karine Quentrec surrounded by 10 security guards.

During the second set of Graf's 6-2, 6-0 second-round victory over Quentrec, screams erupted from a nearby pedestrian lane.

It was only Becker heading for his match, almost hidden from view by 15 bodyguards ready to fight off any frantic female fans.

Pam Shriver's run of bad luck with her health continued Wednesday with the disclosure that she is suffering from a mild case of infectious mononucleosis.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 01:20 PM   #2702
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

And here we learn the reason for the 10 security guards...

SHRIVER DIAGNOSED WITH MONONUCLEOSIS
San Jose Mercury News
Friday, June 24, 1988
Mercury News Wire Services

Pam Shriver, seeded third, announced Thursday that she has infectious mononucleosis, then went out and made Svetlana Parkhomenko feel ill by posting a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

"I was diagnosed last week through a blood test, but I've been checked out and given the OK to play, so here I am," Shriver said.

Shriver said she might have been stricken when she did not have proper rest earlier this month in a tournament in Eastbourne, England, and then was exposed to bad weather.

GRAF GROUPIE: Steffi Graf's notorious groupie has arrived. Jim Levy, the 50-year-old multimillionaire who shadows Steffi Graf's every move, arrived in time to watch Graf defeat Karine Quentrec on Wednesday.

Levy is already in trouble with Graf's father for showering her with gifts, including a Porsche worth $88,000, furs and jewelry.

"So what?" asked Levy, who is described as a playboy. "I like to give her gifts. I always watch her play whenever I can and I shall try to be here every day."

QUICK-CHANGE ARTIST: For the second time, Barbara Potter changed her shirt at courtside in the middle of a match. Unlike Monday, she enlisted the help of ballgirls who shielded her with towels. Nonetheless, her beige bra was visible and she received a chorus of wolf whistles.

"There is no rule against ladies changing their shirts on court," a Wimbledon spokesman said. "But modesty has always prevented them from doing it before. The practice is not encouraged. The committee has asked the WITA to pass this message on to Miss Potter."

ETC.: Wimbledon plays out the fifth set, and Derrick Rostagno and Marty Davis of San Jose seemed to play forever. Former Stanford standout Rostagno finally won the marathon 6-2, 6-3, 6-7, 4-6, 16-14.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 01:26 PM   #2703
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Meanwhile, Steffi twiddles her thumbs...


LENDL, GRAF WIN
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Friday, June 24, 1988
Associated Press

Top-seeded Ivan Lendl overcame his own erratic play and the driving serves and volleys of Michiel Schapers to pull out a five-set victory today at Wimbledon.

The women's top seed, Steffi Graf, advanced to the fourth round in much more easily, but ninth-seeded Hana Mandlikova made an early exit from her second consecutive Grand Slam tennis tournament.

A sixth men's seed was eliminated as the fourth round got under way. Paul Aannacone of Knoxville, Tenn., beat 12th-seeded Jonas Svensson, a French Open semifinalist from Sweden, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

Pat Cash, the defending men's champ who survived a five-setter in the second round, breezed into the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over fellow Australian John Fitzgerald.

Also among the winners was American Tim Mayotte, the men's 10th seed, who beat Joakim Nystrom of Sweden 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Lendl, yearning to win Wimbledon more than any other tournament, rallied to beat Schapers, the world's 43rd-ranked player, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.

Schapers has had a good year. The Dutchman hasn't won any tournaments, but he reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and at least the semifinals of two other events. And he is best on grass, as he showed against Lendl.

The No. 1-ranked player in the world was distracted by noise on court No. 2, a small showcourt located right by one of the main pedestrian walkways at the All England Club. At one point, the Czechoslovakian player yelled at someone in the crowd, "Shut up!"

Lendl also had trouble with the 6-foot-5 Dutchman until the final set, when he showed the type of overpowering tennis that has taken him to the Wimbledon final the last two years.

Lendl broke Schapers for the final time in the sixth game of the fifth set, then served out the match at love.

Graf had her toughest match of the tournament so far, but it was not that tough.

Aiming to keep her hopes of a Grand Slam intact with her first Wimbledon title, Graf beat Terry Phelps of Larchmont, N.Y., 6-3, 6-1 in a Center Court display of muscle.

The 19-year-old West German took just 50 minutes to wrap up the victory. She won six games in a row in the second set, sending one forehand service return back so hard and fast that Phelps looked like a hacker as she swung at the ball at her feet and missed. It was so embarrassing in front of 14,000 fans that Phelps herself had to laugh.

"Maybe today was a better match, more rallies, but I have not had any tough competition," said Graf, who lost twice as many games to Phelps as she had in her first two matches combined.

Also winning on a muggy, overcast day were men's seventh seed Henri Leconte of France, over Barry Moir of South Africa 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-1; and women's seeds Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia, No. 6; Zina Garrison of Houston, No. 12; and Mary Joe Fernandez, No. 16.

Mandlikova, runner-up at Wimbledon in 1981 and 1986, lost to Anne Minter of Australia 6-4, 6-3. Last month at Paris, Mandlikova was eliminated in the second round of the French Open by Bettina Fulco.

"It is very difficult to play my best. I've had so many injuries this year," said Mandlikova, who was sidelined for nearly two months with a leg muscle injury before the French Open. "Anne is a very difficult player and her best surface is grass."

Minter, moving through the third round at the world's top grass-court tournament for the first time, said she was happy to get the match over in two sets.

"I glad I didn't let it slip away," she said. "Today, she got very few forehands. We didn't have very many real rallies."

Garrison, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 1985, breezed through the third round with a 7-6, 6-0 victory over Elizabeth Minter, the younger sister of Mandlikova's conqueror. Garrison has not lost a set in the tournament.

Neither has Fernandez, a 16-year-old from Miami, Fla., who beat Iwona Kuczynska of Poland 6-4, 6-1.

Sukova lost her second set of the tournament before rallying to beat Etsuko Inoue of Japan 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.

With Martina Navratilova, an old friend and rival, watching from the stands, Mandlikova saved four match points before hitting a forehand long to give the Minter the victory.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #2704
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Enjoying reading the articles, thanks for taking the time and effort to share them Amy

There are some nice pictures on newscom.com, Steffi is in dusseldorf promoting teekanne
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 08:23 PM   #2705
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
The link doesn't work for me, what was it about ?


Thanks for the stats from the 88 Wimbledon final, it's been a long time since I last watched it, but I do remember that this 2nd set was so (well and the 3rd and 1st set too actually lol)
Winners from everywhere, at a changeover Navratilvoa looked so dejected (quite like about to cry )
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 09:08 PM   #2706
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
The link doesn't work for me, what was it about ?
Pictures from the exhibition in Zug. (Although the kids' faces were pixelated out. Bild has some standards these days.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Thanks for the stats from the 88 Wimbledon final, it's been a long time since I last watched it, but I do remember that this 2nd set was so (well and the 3rd and 1st set too actually lol)
Winners from everywhere, at a changeover Navratilvoa looked so dejected (quite like about to cry )
There are so many points that are still jaw-droppers. Steffi hits this one overhead smash in the first set that bounces out of court over the top of the backstop. Over the top of Centre Court's backstop. On the old "soft and greasy" grass. With a Dunlop Max 200G. It's a good thing Navratilova's back is turned so she doesn't see it and freak out even earlier.

And then the point at 0-2 in the second set that really marked the turn-around. Probably somewhere around that point Steffi has her "don't think, just play" revelation. Navratilova hits a great mis-hit drop volley. There's no way anyone should get to it before it double bounces, so most people wouldn't even think to try for it. Steffi doesn't think, she just runs-as-a-reflex.

I wonder if Navratilova ever figured out that her body language and facial expressions really worked against her on some occasions. After this match, Steffi said that when she looked over at Martina in the locker room during the rain delay, Martina seemed so down and that if she was going to play the way she looked, there was no way she would come back and win. You just can't "tip your hand" like that against Steffi.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 10:11 PM   #2707
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Pictures from the exhibition in Zug. (Although the kids' faces were pixelated out. Bild has some standards these days.)




There are so many points that are still jaw-droppers. Steffi hits this one overhead smash in the first set that bounces out of court over the top of the backstop. Over the top of Centre Court's backstop. On the old "soft and greasy" grass. With a Dunlop Max 200G. It's a good thing Navratilova's back is turned so she doesn't see it and freak out even earlier.

And then the point at 0-2 in the second set that really marked the turn-around. Probably somewhere around that point Steffi has her "don't think, just play" revelation. Navratilova hits a great mis-hit drop volley. There's no way anyone should get to it before it double bounces, so most people wouldn't even think to try for it. Steffi doesn't think, she just runs-as-a-reflex.

I wonder if Navratilova ever figured out that her body language and facial expressions really worked against her on some occasions. After this match, Steffi said that when she looked over at Martina in the locker room during the rain delay, Martina seemed so down and that if she was going to play the way she looked, there was no way she would come back and win. You just can't "tip your hand" like that against Steffi.
I had the chance too see the pic on the Bild newspaper (Bunte.de has those pics too: http://www.bunte.de/society/steffi-g...aid_42648.html), and, well, those kids are not Jaden and Jaz, they don't look like them not even with their faces covered. This is realy a big fail by Bild and Bunte.
P.S. Thanks for your articles, Ms. Anthropic, you're better than an encyclopedia.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 02:37 AM   #2708
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by bia View Post
I had the chance too see the pic on the Bild newspaper (Bunte.de has those pics too: http://www.bunte.de/society/steffi-g...aid_42648.html), and, well, those kids are not Jaden and Jaz, they don't look like them not even with their faces covered. This is realy a big fail by Bild and Bunte.
P.S. Thanks for your articles, Ms. Anthropic, you're better than an encyclopedia.
It is not a fail by Bild and Bunte -- it is an epic win by Steffi and Andre that the tabloids don't know what the kids look like!
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 06:07 AM   #2709
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

[quote=Ms. Anthropic;29893249]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'

WOW! What. An. Interview.

Her responses range from thought-provoking, sensitive, humourous and just that bit self-deprecatory.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 09:11 AM   #2710
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/...094879173.html

Q. This week there's a commemoration of 40 years of the WTA. We have some of the best players ever playing right now. When you think of the sport, who do you consider the greatest woman player ever and why?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's an extremely tough question because I wasn't part of the generation which consisted of incredible players. I can only speak of the generation that I was part of.

I never played Steffi Graf. I never played Chris Evert. Never played Navratilova. So those are considered incredible champions.

So I think on many different levels, they all deserve a tremendous amount of respect. And I don't think one should be called greater than the other. There's no real reason for that.

Q. If you could play one player who you haven't played?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Probably Steffi.

Q. How do you think you'd play with her great forehand, her speed?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think she'd chop me up (smiling).

Q. You were old enough to see her play and remember seeing her play. Do you remember her being dominant and thinking when you watched her that she was so dominant, she could beat anyone?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I don't think I ever thought about dominance. Quite honestly, I never watched so much of tennis. I don't know many statistics. I just never followed it all the time. Just when the Grand Slams were on television, I would watch. Other than that, I never really ... I don't know anyone's record or how they did against each other or who had a dominant year and who didn't.

I enjoyed watching her play because of her game, her composure, the way she carried herself. Yeah, there's just so many positives about her.

Q. You said she would chop you up. How do you think it would work out if it were Graf against Serena Williams?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Such different styles. I think till this day, I'm sure maybe Steffi plays here and there, but I think she still has a pretty incredible slice, especially on grass, which is a big weapon to have.

I don't know. I think it would be a really interesting matchup.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #2711
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by grafan92 View Post
Enjoying reading the articles, thanks for taking the time and effort to share them Amy

There are some nice pictures on newscom.com, Steffi is in dusseldorf promoting teekanne
http://www.rp-online.de/region-duess...club-1.3492113
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #2712
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4times View Post

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

WOW! What. An. Interview.

Her responses range from thought-provoking, sensitive, humourous and just that bit self-deprecatory.
She hit a winner on every answer! This is why I never understood the print journalists and TV commentators (and certain players) who called Steffi "distant" or "enigmatic" or "robotic" or "one dimensional" and suchlike. Granted, there are only a few of them propagating that myth, but there were times when they seemed to shout the loudest.

I mean, take Bruce Jenkins during Wimbledon 1988 for example. He will say that she's distant, that he wonders what she's really like, that her English press conferences are "bland." Meanwhile, in those same articles, he tells us she hits with a ballgirl to warm-up for her warm-up, that she mock-complains (or maybe not-so-mock) about missing a Bruce Springsteen concert because her doubles match ran long, and that she comments about the Euro soccer tournament. Well, Bruce, let me put it together for you: she's a 19-year-old kid with a sense of humor and sense of fun who likes going to concerts and movies, likes to read, likes to watch other sports, takes her tennis seriously, but still keeps a good perspective on its importance in the grand scheme of things.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 04:35 PM   #2713
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

It would have made such a fun advertising campaign, Steffi racing to finish a match while the pizza man races to deliver the pizza...

GRAF, BECKER CONTINUE TO ROLL AT WIMBLEDON
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Saturday, June 25, 1988
Al Morganti

Steffi Graf and Boris Becker have turned the first week of Wimbledon into their own cabaret.

The West German stars continued their perfect tours of duty yesterday. After three rounds, Graf, 19, and Becker, 20, have yet to lose a set.

Graf, the top seed among the women, defeated American Terry Phelps on Centre Court, 6-3, 6-1, yesterday. A short time later, Becker, seeded sixth among the men, stepped onto Court No. 2, where he eliminated American Sammy Giammalva, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4.

It is becoming increasingly evident that Graf, bidding for her first Wimbledon crown, is headed for a rematch with Martina Navratilova in the women's final. Becker, meanwhile, has set his sights on his third Wimbledon title.

Yesterday's victory could be termed a marathon for Graf, who needed 50 minutes to defeat Phelps. Generally, Graf could order a pizza before a match and be finishing off her opponent when it arrived.

Graf needed only 34 minutes to win her second-round match against Karine Quentrec of France in this tournament, and at the French Open earlier this month, she required only 32 minutes to defeat Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union for the championship.

"I agree, I haven't been having a tough opponent or competition," Graf said, "but I'm sure it's going to come."

Graf and Navratilova - who is seeking a record ninth Wimbledon singles title and a record seventh in a row - seem to be on a collision course to meet in the final for the second consec utive year. But Graf, who already has won the first two legs of the Grand Slam - the Australian and French Opens - this season, won't dare peek ahead.

"I haven't focused on that," she said, "and I will not focus on it. That (matchup) is not the case yet."

Neither will Graf admit to feeling the pressure building.

"Martina has won (Wimbledon) so many times, and Chris (Evert) has won. There isn't much pressure on me. I don't worry about it. I still have many years to come if I don't win it this year."

As for Becker, he had some trouble with Giammalva, winning a tie-break in the first set before pressing on to another victory with the help of 17 aces. Now he is growing confident that he can regain the title he won in 1985 and 1986.

"I've had 50 aces in three matches," he said. "There's not much more you can do to improve that. I have to just keep it the way it is.

"On grass, how you play depends upon how good your serve is working. And at the moment, I think it's as good as it's been in a long time."

Despite the fact that he was on the court for 2 1/2 hours yesterday, he said he never felt he was in danger of losing.

"It took a long time," he said, "but I don't think (Giammalva) was ever in a position to really beat me. It was always me getting in position to break his serve. Mine was pretty strong."

Becker's chances of recapturing the title increased when John McEnroe was knocked out of the tournament by Wally Masur of Australia on Thursday. However, Becker could face a tough test in the quarterfinals if form holds and he meets defending champion Pat Cash.

Cash routed fellow Aussie John Fitzgerald, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, yesterday on Centre Court and later called it "my court."

*

Ivan Lendl, top seed among the men, struggled for almost four hours before escaping Dutchman Michiel Schapers in five sets, three of which went to tie- breaks. The scores were 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1.

Lendl never has won a Wimbledon title and doesn't like playing on grass. But after Schapers boomed a service winner to beat him in the fourth-set tie- break, Lendl broke serve twice in the final set before closing out the match with a service winner of his own.

"I felt, in the fourth set, he was getting tired and having more trouble with his serve," said Lendl, who reached the fourth round of the tournament for the sixth straight time. "In the fifth set, it really showed."

*

Americans Tim Mayotte and Paul Annacone advanced. Mayotte, seeded 10th, knocked off Sweden's Joakim Nystrom in four sets, and Annacone beat another Swede, 12th-seeded Jonas B. Svensson, also in four.

In women's play, ninth-seeded Hana Mandlikova was ousted in straight sets by Australian Anne Minter, and Americans Barbara Potter, Zina Garrison and Mary Joe Fernandez advanced to the round of 16.

*

Second-seeded Mats Wilander, who, like Graf, is halfway to a Grand Slam, will play way out on Court No. 14 today when he faces Menno Oosting of the Netherlands.

THE RESULTS

Seedings in parentheses.

MEN'S SINGLES

Third round: Mark Woodforde, Australia, def. Diego Nargiso, Italy, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Andrei Olkhovsky, Soviet Union, def. Chris Pridham, Canada, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Paul Annacone, Bridgehampton, N.Y., def. Jonas B. Svensson (12), Sweden, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Ivan Lendl (1), Czechoslovakia, def. Michiel Schapers, Netherlands, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1. Henri Leconte (7), France, def. Barry Moir, South Africa, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0), 6-1. Tim Mayotte (10), Bradenton, Fla., def. Joakim Nystrom, Sweden, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Pat Cash (4), Australia, def. John Fitzgerald, Australia, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Boris Becker (6), West Germany, def. Sammy Giammalva, Houston, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4.

WOMEN'S SINGLES

Third round: Zina Garrison (12), Houston, def. Elizabeth Minter, Australia, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0. Anne Minter, Australia, def. Hana Mandlikova (9), Australia, 6-4, 6-3. Helena Sukova (6), Czechoslovakia, def. Etsuko Inoue, Japan, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-2. Pascale Paradis, France, def. Robin White, San Jose, Calif., 6-4, 3-6, 9-7. Barbara Potter, Woodbury, Conn., def. Jo-Anne Faull, Australia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Steffi Graf (1), West Germany, def. Terry Phelps, Larchmont, N.Y., 6-3, 6-1. Mary Joe Fernandez (16), Miami, def. Iwona Kuczynska, Poland, 6-4, 6-1.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #2714
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Another mention in Jon of SI's mailbag


• On this the 25-year anniversary of Steffi Graf's Golden Slam, Anonymous notes: "From Maria Sharapova to Tsvetana Pironkova to Sorana Cirstea to Monica Puig, one thing that most of them have in common is their admiration for Steffi Graf -- and tennis pundits say she didn't do anything for the game. Little did they realize that just playing on the court is enough to inspire millions around the world."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ten...?sct=tn_t11_a4
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 01:50 PM   #2715
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

No food or drink when reading this one, mainly for the zingers directed at Gaby. If you recall, back in the spring Gaby's star status was "upgraded" to include more tournament perks. Well, those perks come with implicit and explicit strings attached, and judging from the way Gaby was being treated by the press at the French Open and Wimbledon, she has not come through on her side of the bargain or she has otherwise rubbed some people in high places the wrong way.

Of course, the most ironic thing about this one is that Steffi and Gaby are going to win the doubles tournament, even though they are "doing it wrong." Gaby would go on to become very popular with her fellow players and a conventional doubles player.

I immediately thought of the attached picture (which I named "Why Are These Chairs So Close") when I first read this article.


Sabatini, Graf: Oddest couple playing doubles
Houston Chronicle
Sunday, JUNE 26, 1988
ED FOWLER

WIMBLEDON, England - They shatter the stereotypes. Playing doubles, the little dialogue that passes between them almost always is initiated by Steffi Graf. She'll make a brief remark and Gabriela Sabatini will respond with an even shorter answer and they'll quit their chairs and head back onto the court.

The Prussian flamenco and the Latin waltzer. They hail from West Germany and Argentina and their partnership was forged somewhere in between, perhaps in the Sea of Necessity.

Actually, any whimsical quality can only be ascribed to Graf in juxtaposition to Sabatini. Two doubles matches Friday proved instructive.

Normally, no one pays much heed to doubles but these early round exercises served to throw a spotlight on the future shape of the women's game. On court No. 2, Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver, probably the best female tandem ever, fought off three match points to work through against Jenny Byrne and Janine Thompson, a pair of plucky Australians.

Starting a bit later, Graf and Sabatini had scarcely an easier time holding their ground on court No. 1 against Aussie Anne Minter and Hester Witvoet of the Netherlands. It wasn't so much winning or losing that mattered, though, as how they played the game.

Navratilova and Shriver discussed strategy on-court, commiserated, swapped smiles and applauded one another. Graf and Sabatini went about their grim business with an economy of communication. A few terse words, a rare nod were all that passed between them on court. On the sideline during changeovers, mostly they stared silently straight ahead.

Between points, they took up positions marionette-style, evincing no trace of bonding either between themselves or with the crowd. They're a team in the sense that their names are listed together, their fortunes are linked and they know the principles of doubles play.

Otherwise, they go together like wiener schnitzel and empanadas.

Even within the context of their own match, the contrast between them and another team was striking. Minter and Witvoet held constant conferences between games, complete with quips and grins. It looked like a pajama party on one side of the net and a chamber music recital audience on the other.

And Virginia Wade, the former British champion who is now a BBC commentator said, "Talking on court is a very essential element of doubles."

Unless, perhaps, you're that good. Laurel and Hardy never saw eye-to-eye but they always played well. Graf and Sabatini don't feud, of course, they simply maintain an icy co-existence, like partners in a marriage gone sour.

"Pot roast for dinner."

"OK."

Their relationship, such as it is, stems from their interaction, such as it is, in the very different world of singles. In the women's locker room, Sabatini is as popular as lice. She is considered uncommunicative, aloof and haughty, except by those who think ill of her. The locker-room diagnosis: "tennis elbow of the personality."

Part of this image is attributable to her quiet nature - shyness, she insists - and part, undoubtedly, to her status as the tour's glamour queen. If she could absorb either Chris Evert's easy warmth or Graf's nose her stock would rise, if not soar. The nose is out of the question and many call her plea of shyness a copout. Evert tagged her "arrogant" and Ted Tinling, the women's tennis fashion designer and historian of the game, sniffed, "She uses her shyness as a shield as it's not excusable.

"She's the biggest crowd-puller in the women's game and as a public entertainer she has a duty to be more outgoing. It's time she came out of her shell."

In fact, Sabatini wouldn't make a cover girl. She has broad shoulders and, overall, a thickly athletic build. A candid photo of her in a cutaway midriff bathing suit in one of the local high-brow publications shows as much. In the realm of international female sports stars with built-in name identification and following, though, she is undeniably a marketing superstar. Her silky silent mien, often called a Garbo mystique, is no hindrance whatsoever. Call her sultry and she won't care.

Consider that in Europe and Latin America a female athlete's converting a well-turned ankle and well-placed dimple into an extra buck isn't considered a felony against feminism. References to same in the media don't elicit a deluge of mail suggesting anyone who notices such attributes when he should be riveted on the backhand volley is a sexist pig. Human nature is more human.

C'est la vie.

If this were only about tennis, endorsement incomes would be reversed. Gorgeous Gaby makes well over $5 million a year, Steffi considerably less. Graf, halfway to a Grand Slam, ranks No. 1 in the world, Sabatini No. 5.

She sells Perrier, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Fuji film, Prince rackets, Ebel watches, Sergio Tacchini shoes and clothes and the rest of the Walgreen's/Tiffany's/Abercrombie & Fitch inventory. A line of Sabatini perfume and cosmetics is scheduled for next year.

Graf isn't without endorsements but she has her limits, most externally imposed. Ebel turned her down in favor of her doubles partner and American marketers reportedly whispered a suggestion that she check in for a nose job. Jade cosmetics, with whom she has a contract, made her up and got designer Gerry Weber to vamp her up for photos. The result was that the exercise wasn't repeated.

While not unfriendly or unpopular, Graf is nevertheless relentlessly businesslike and a hard woman to partner. Her game is so strong that it requires a special talent to complement it. For most of this decade, the top doubles teams have been composed of a dominant partner and a lesser one, witness Navratilova-Shriver and John McEnroe and Peter Fleming, who always said McEnroe and anyone made the best pairing in the world.

Once, Graf enjoyed that kind of differential vis-a-vis Sabatini and could find in it balm for any wounds inflicted by her lower position in the vixen rankings. She won the first 11 matches they played.

Then last spring, Sabatini beat her twice in Florida. Women's tennis held the promise of a sizzling rivalry for years to come. Graf is 19, Sabatini 18.

Graf won their semifinal match in the French Open. They could meet in the semis again here. Meanwhile, the uneasy alliance of mousey blond Teuton and resplendently remote Latin continues in doubles.

Lest anyone assume their on-court cartel suggests warming relations, Graf declared in a signed article for a West German newspaper, "We are not friends."

They celebrated putting away Minter and Witvoet with a brisk handshake. Maybe they play together simply because neither of them fits with anyone else.
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