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Old Apr 17th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #31
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http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=75315
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 12:10 AM   #32
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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/fea...back_1991open/



Quote:

Here was Connors even invading the women's competition, where teen queens Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati admitted undying "loooooove" for Jimbo. Thirty-four-year-old Martina Navratilova, a self-described "spring chicken compared to him," latched onto Connors's archaic coattails and rode them into the sunset, declaring how Jimbo -- and herself, of course -- could "inspire a few people to get out of their wheelchairs or to get off their fat butts and get something going."

Faith healing by forehand? Jim and Tammy do Flushing Meadow? Hey, Martina, after watching Seles deflate you 7-6, 6-1 last Saturday to win the women's championship, some slim butt might have suggested: Practice what you preach.

In truth Navratilova had won three grueling three-setters en route to the final, including a thrilling semifinal triumph over Wimbledon champ Steffi Graf. In Seles, however, she faced the winner of the single most extraordinary match ever between two players -- male or female -- under the age of 18. In a baseline slugfest of devastating pace and accuracy, Seles, 17, defeated Capriati, 15, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6. Seles prevailed only because she had a bit more courage and will to survive, especially after double-faulting to fall behind 3-2 in the tiebreaker. Seles then swept the last five points of the match.

Stadium Court audiences, rooting first for youth (Capriati) and then for age (Navratilova), cruelly hooted Seles in her last two matches. Earlier Navratilova had even mocked Seles after a reporter mistakenly addressed Navratilova as Monica.

"I need a haircut," she said before glancing down at her shirt. "I am wearing a bra. But it's Martina, thank you."

So what if Seles didn't wear a bra during her matches? Or if she seemed to change hairstyles every odd game? So what if she sat in the stands with actor Alec Baldwin, exchanged kissy-hugs in the stadium tunnel with Elke Sommer and, after winning on Saturday, told the crowd how much she had appreciated the support of Donald Trump ... well, O.K., let's not excuse that last one. Sometimes glamour-puss girls just want to have a little pretension as well as fun.

On the court Seles is a distaff Connors at heart, all grit instead of glitter, pounding, sweating, never giving up. You read it here first: She will become one of the great women's champions of all time. In the final, Navratilova stayed with Seles until the tiebreaker, which Seles won 7-1. The second set was no contest. Seles dropped only three points in the last four games. This year Seles has reached the finals of all 11 tournaments she has entered and has won six of them. She's three for three in Grand Slam events. Only Wimbledon, which she withdrew from because of those mysterious and controversial shin splints, is "missing," as she said on Saturday, "from my collection." Maybe the rest of the women's tour should start playing with less underwear



and



http://www.wso.net/monicaseles/articles/home_alone.htm

Quote:

When she left the game at 19 she was the absolute best. She had amassed 32 singles titles in only four years, won seven of the previous eight Grand Slam events that she played and made the finals in 32 of her last 33 tournaments. Other players had more athleticism. What separated Seles was her unbreakable win. And this: "No one really knew her," says Martina Navratilova.

Though Seles's 23-month absence is the longest of her career, it's not the first time she has slipped out of sight. In 1993 she missed 63 days with an unspecified viral infection, and in 1991, shortly after becoming No. 1, she went incommunicado and skipped venerable Wimbledon. In the firestorm that ensued, the frothing British tabloids suggested everything from the possibility that Seles was pregnant (or a "Wimble-mum") to the notion that she was romancing Donald Trump. When Stephanie Tolleson, Seles's agent, finally tracked her down, she implored Seles, "Say something. At least let me tell them all you're not pregnant."

Seles shot back, "How do you know I'm not?"

Even in the best of times, Seles is a bundle of contradictions. She can be charming yet coy, good-hearted but peevish, publicity-loving and abruptly inaccessible. She cultivated an image as a glamorous enigma. Yet she often becomes hurt or angry when, inevitably, she's misunderstood. She insists on near-total control while reserving her right to act unpredictably.

In addition to Seles's talent, tennis misses her flamboyance and her sense of the absurd. For her debut on Court Central at the French Open in 1989, she flipped roses to the crowd. For a while she changed hair colors like other people change socks, trying to decide whether to go blonder ("You know, the Swedish goddess look," she said) or shave her pate like rock star Sinead O'Connor--"until somebody reminded me my head would get pretty sunburned," Seles cracked.
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 05:07 AM   #33
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Thanks, Diva
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 11:54 AM   #34
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One player who didn't appreciate Seles was Gigi Fernandez. An Aussie tennis magazine article early in 1993 had some Gigi barbs aimed Monica's way.
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 12:18 PM   #35
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Excerpt from Sports Illustrated:


Agassi and ecstasy. (Andre Agassi wins Wimbledon)
Sports Illustrated, July 13, 1992
Curry Kirkpatrick

The only poor soul Ivanisevic didn't serve off the court and into the umbrella concessions was Graf, who the better she plays at Wimbledon, the more we seem to pay attention to others. Such as Martina Navratilova, who had won six All England titles in a row when Graf came along in 1988 and knocked her off in the finals. And Steffi's own father, Peter, whose tabloid-chronicled extramarital excursions in '90 may have cost her a third straight title. And Monica Seles, who got more press for not playing the tournament in '91 than Graf did for winning it.

Last week Graf whipped up on Gabriela Sabatini and Seles -- back-to-back, belly-to-belly; the victims played as if they were done dead already -- in about nine minutes and 47 seconds to win once more. You may have heard about it. Then again, you may not have if you were anywhere within range of the ear-splitting performances of Seles, who once again stole the thunder, this
time literally, from Graf.

While everyone else, from the All England Club to the tabloids to Navratilova, was in a uproar over Seles's grunting, Ivanisevic took exception to her silence about the war back home. Seles is an ethnic Hungarian from Serbia. "I am playing for me and Croatia," said Ivanisevic, "but she is playing for I don't know what. Nobody knows what she stands for. Maybe she does not want to know her country anymore."

Nobody recalled Sabatini ever discussing human rights violations in Argentina, and to outsiders the reticence of the 18-year-old Seles, who left Yugoslavia for Florida when she was all of 11, seemed reasonable. Nonetheless, on the morning of her semifinal match against Navratilova, Monica and her family had to be evacuated from their rented house after Scotland Yard reported that Croat supporters had mailed a bomb threat to Monica.

By this time Seles was producing more controversy with her grunting. As her noisemaking taxed the eardrums of even the lofty London Times, which could not decide whether she sounded like "feeding time at the zoo" or "strangled bagpipes" and demanded that she shut up, the only mystery was when all of this oppression would come crashing down on her. The hindrance rule in women's tennis is clear: "Continual distraction" of play is subject to a warning and then a penalty point. But was Seles disrupting play? "It's part of my game," she said. "I hate it, I can't help it."

As for the fact that she doesn't grunt in practice -- "She can stop it on purpose," said Navratilova -- isn't that as natural as the Washington Redskins running through pregame plays without pads? The point is, Seles was grunting when she was in swaddling clothes, when she was beating both Sabatini and Graf to win her third French Open last month and when she played Navratilova 11 times before last week. Nobody formally complained about the grunting then.

Why now? Elements of both sexism and jealousy were evident in the whole charade. McEnroe and Jimmy Connors have groaned for years, and Agassi emits some horrendous guttural bellows -- all to little protest. Further, Seles was the hottest player in tennis, having won the last five Grand Slam events she had entered. In none of those tournaments did she have to play in the presence of gruntometers supplied by the tabloid press.

At Wimbledon, Nathalie Tauziat of France also complained about Seles's noisemaking before losing to her 6-1, 6-3. The woman should get a real job; she's simply not good enough to complain. And, oh, did Navratilova squawk just about the time she fell behind 6-2, 2-2. The umpire called Seles to the chair for a warning, and Navratilova wound up winning the second set tiebreaker 7-3 with some exquisite volleys.

In the last set Navratilova again asked the umpire to warn Seles -- courtside TV microphones picked up Martina saying of Monica in something out of an Ivana-Marla bitchalogue, "She sounds like a stuck pig!" -- and though Seles double-faulted at deuce in the seventh game and lost a 4-2 lead, she kept thrashing Navratilova's serve and approach shots with those double-handed passes off both wings. In the end Seles prevailed 6-4.

To say the contretemps had its effect on Seles in the rain-plagued finals -- a rematch of her battle with Graf for the French Open championship, which Seles won 10-8 in the third -- is an understatement. "In Paris, Monica was really loud," Graf said with a smile before the match. "Will I complain here? We will see."

Graf didn't have to. Cracking the same deliveries with which she had dispatched Sabatini 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals with the loss of only eight service points, Graf took apart Seles 6-2, 6-1. Though it was the most one-sided 5 1/2-hour match in history -- 58 minutes tennis, the rest rain delays -- nobody could blame the blowout on Graf, who said she didn't expect "to finish the tournament like that," rolling over her two fiercest rivals as if they were Nathalie Tauziat or somebody. "But I knew I had it in me," she said.

And what was in Seles? For one thing, not a single loud grunt. Everything had finally gotten to the teenager. Without grunting, she had no bounce, no pace on her shots. Without grunting, she was Rapunzel without the hair, Streisand without the nose. "Whatever I tried, they [the shots, resumably]
kept not going there," she said with no excuses, no tears.

Flat and listless, Seles was a portrait in dispiritedness -- the grunter de-chorded. "I didn't want to think about it," she said of her no-sound persona. "I just thought hopefully I can start [not grunting] somewhere, so I started here."
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 12:29 PM   #36
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An old article I found that has nothing to do with the topic since it was written during Wimbledon 2002.

Seles remains sentimental favorite

By GARY SHELTON, Times Sports Columnist
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 30, 2002

WIMBLEDON, England -- The noise was the same as ever, raw and loud, primal and triumphant. It started from somewhere deep inside of her, then emerged like a force of nature to crease the perfect English afternoon, carrying across the courts and across the calendar.

Ah, yes, you thought upon hearing it.

Monica has won.

She has spent half her life as a professional tennis player now, and the sight of Monica Seles has changed. She is older, heavier. The look of innocence, of course, disappeared from her eyes long ago.

The sound of her remains the same, however. Seles still has that trademark grunt, that glass-shattering, siren-like bleat that sounds part anguish and part achievement, part shriek and part battle cry. It is sharp, and it is shrill, and the truth of it is it used to annoy the heck out of many of us.

As the winning point blew past Japan's Ai Sugiyama on Saturday, it sounded very much like music.

The tennis world has heard from Monica Seles again. Turns out, she might have more to say. Turns out, there are a few grunts left in the old girl after all.

Wouldn't it be grand to see? Wouldn't it be fabulous to see Seles charge after one final moment before she says farewell? Wouldn't it be great to see her capture Wimbledon, the one major that has eluded her, before her light fades completely?

Wouldn't it seem, somehow, like justice?

People forget. Everyone agrees what a horrible thing it was on April 30, 1993, when deranged Steffi Graf fan Guenter Parche shoved a knife into the left shoulder of Seles, the blade a millimeter away from leaving her paralyzed. But not enough people seem to remember how dominant Seles was at the time.

She was Tiger Woods. She was Michael Jordan. In the spring of '93, Seles had taken over the game. She had ripped it out of the hands of Martina Navratilova and Graf, and she was on her way to being compared with anyone who had ever played.

From 1991-93, Seles won seven Grand Slam titles out of eight she entered, finishing second in the other. She was only 19 years old, and she seemed to be getting better. Who could guess how good she would become, how often she would win?

Then there was the tournament in Hamburg, and a fan rushing behind her. There was pain, and there was blood.

And Seles would never be the same.

It was one of the greatest tragedies in the history of sport, one of the cruelest moments in the history of humanity. It was as if Parche cut into her shoulder blade and cut away all the greatness that seemed promised to her. Seles was absent from the tour for 27 months. The player she had become was gone forever.

Can you imagine what it must be like to be Seles, to lie in the dark and try to count the titles, the money, the moments that were taken from you? Can you imagine the anger that most of us would feel? The bitterness?

Ask Seles to compare herself to the old days, and she is lost for an answer. She doesn't watch what she was, she said. You don't ask her why. It would be too painful to see. Ask her if she ever thinks of what was lost during those 27 months, and she corrects you.

"You mean that one day," she says simply. "Definitely. There would be a different standing in the history books. But that wasn't my choice."

What might women's tennis have become if not for that day? In '93, Seles beat Graf in a stirring Australian final. At that point, Graf had 11 Grand Slam wins and Seles eight. Since then, Graf won 11 Grand Slams and Seles one.

Who knows how different those numbers might be? Who knows if Graf would have raised her game to create a wondrous rivalry? Consider this: In 1999, a poll in Tennis Magazine ranked Graf the best player of all time. Seles was ranked second.

Since returning from her injury, Seles' only Grand Slam victory was in the '96 Australian Open. She can flash the old skill at times, but she has never been able to remuster the focus that being No. 1 demands. She did not keep up as athletes became stronger, better conditioned. Who can blame her? When you are haunted by what might be behind you, how can you look to the future?

Oh, Seles has had a fine career. She has been in the top 10 most of the time, and she has made a lot of money. But when one has been a legend, when one has had greatness snatched away, how can life as a quarterfinalist be enough?

Somewhere along the way, Seles got old. She is 28 years, six months old now, exactly twice the 14 years, three months she was when she turned pro. The most common question she hears is about retirement.

"I don't know," Seles said. "I don't want to have that pressure on me to say, "Okay, I'm going to definitely retire by a certain date or the year.' There is no need to do that. I'm not a person who is going to have a farewell tour or that stuff."

Still, she dreams. One more Grand Slam. One more moment.

"That's the one thing that really drives you," she said. "You want to win any Grand Slam. That's one of the reasons I'm playing."

Can Seles make a run? Probably not. As she once said, "life isn't a storybook." Seles lacks her old quickness, not to mention that air of confidence. There are times she seems to be swimming upstream, times when she has to scrap to stay alive. She would have to win four more matches, two of them probably against the Williams sisters. It's a lot to ask.

But who knows? Seles beat Venus in the Australian this year. Maybe she could do it again. Maybe she can get a bounce or two, a call or two, a break or two. After all, if life owes anyone a moment at the end, it owes Seles.

So watch her. Pull for her. Turn her into your favorite player.

And, sometime along the way, if it so moves you, grunt.
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 01:49 PM   #37
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the only thing i no from that 1993 period or wateva was that after the stabbing, monica was heaps pissed coz graf didnt call to ask how she was? not that hard 2 pick up a fone or 2 get her number thru some1...
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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 06:52 AM   #38
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Yes, Hingis-Seles, Alfa's post was very funny. So funny, that I reported it to WTA world who replied they delete his account now or later (if further posts in that language occure). LOL. Some people really have no culture.

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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 07:07 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slice
the only thing i no from that 1993 period or wateva was that after the stabbing, monica was heaps pissed coz graf didnt call to ask how she was? not that hard 2 pick up a fone or 2 get her number thru some1...
Right, and being asked about it Graf said, she couldn't get through to Monica. Bull****. Anybody, any Tennis fan can get through to Monica's agent, and Graf wants to tell us, SHE couldn't get through!
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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Robert1
Yes, Hingis-Seles, Alfa's post was very funny. So funny, that I reported it to WTA world who replied they delete his account now or later (if further posts in that language occure). LOL. Some people really have no culture.
He was being sarcastic.
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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #41
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Judging Alfa by his earlier posts, I think he has a lot of sympathy for Monica about what happened to her. I don't believe that post of his suggests his true feelings about her at all. Its just another shot in the war of words between Monica and Steffi fans.
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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 02:10 PM   #42
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Probably, but it's quite poor trying to insult other posters by insulting their fave, even more so when you actually like their fave, too (or pretend to like).

Anyway, Monica before 93, wow, she was sooooo good.
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Old Apr 20th, 2004, 03:37 AM   #43
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Robert, believe me, I am almost 100% sure that Jeff did not literally mean to insult Monica. I have read a lot of his previous posts and it is evdient that he has respect and admiration for Monica. He was just being sarcastic because it may have seemed as though you were thought that he hated Monica when that was not true.

Monica was great...and she still is.
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Old Apr 20th, 2004, 05:11 AM   #44
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Let's go back to the topic of this thread please.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #45
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Several points about Monica's media image in those years.

No one has yet covered this angle.

Among particular tennis broadcasters, Monica could do no wrong. (Much like for different reasons now Serena and Venus can do no wrong.) That's how the myth that Monica dominated tennis during those years got started. She could skip Wimbledon or even lose in the finals to Graf but you wouldn't have known it from all of the praise she got from the likes of Mary Carillo, Besty Nagelson, and Cliff Drysdale.

There is no denying that this claim to dominance was based in part on Monica's record in Grand Slams, against opponents often other than Graf I might add. But it was also based in large part on the need to market Seles as Graf's eventual replacement as the best player in the game. More than the record of wins and losses to Graf, that is what really mattered when one connected the dots.

And, what dots were those you might ask? Monica's agent was no other than Mike McCormack, one of the early backers of the WTA and a principal at IMG, still the biggest and most influental sports agency in the sport of tennis. Another of McCormack's clients was Mary Carillo, the freshly minted play-by-play commentator for CBS's US Open coverage. McCormack had an even closer connection to the other creator of the myth of Monica's dominance, Betsy Nagelson. He was married to her.

McCormack wanted to make Monica not just the biggest name in tennis, but also in sport. Nothing wrong with that. Problem is that part of that strategy might have involved an attempt to denigrate Graf's accomplishments at the expense of Monica's. Or, at least that is the way it seemed once McCormack's wife and Carillo took to the airwaves. Those two are largely responsible for creating the myth of Monica's dominance and also for creating the doubts about Graf's acccomplishement during the years when Monica was absent from the game.

Was there any malicious intent behind the constant criticism that Graf got from certain representatives of the media, one will never really know. It is interesting however to note that McCormack had once courted Graf as a client, long before Seles came on the scene. She turned him down and the rest is history.

The myth of dominance covered over a lot flaws in Seles' game even in the early years when she was quite successful. While Graf couldn't escape criticism for any physical imperfection, the same commentators hardly noticed that Seles did not have a fitness or nutritional regime fitting an "athlete" of her stature. While Steffi's speed and fitness (figure that?) was often questioned when she failed to run down a Seles drive, no one ever uttered a peep about the fact that Seles's speed and movement could become a liability against a faster or more powerful player or even a mature Graf.

When Seles returned to the game in '95, her game and mental concentration were no longer enough to overcome her lack of fitness and speed. In that crucial '95 US Open final, Graf outlasted Seles mainly because of her superior conditioning.

It is worth noting that there is an interesting figure sitting in the Seles's box that day. He even appears on the television coverage, clapping almost too zealously for Seles after she hits a shot past Steffi. It is only fitting that he should appear on the TV coverage that day, because there were really three reputations at stake that day - Graf's should she lose to the player whom everyone assumed deserved all of Graf's Grand Slam titles, Seles should she prove not to be a match for Graf, and Mike McCormack should all the professional investment he made in Monica go to waste if it turned out that Monica would never regain the form she had.

Graf won that day and saved her claim to greatness for ever. Monica lost, but gave a good showing. As for McCormack, it must have been clear after that day that Monica would never be the promotional tool he once envisioned. In her tennis skirt, Monica no longer looked like the cute tennis waif she had been prior to the stabbing. During Monica's absence, both Steffi and Monica had gone from being girls to being women. But, genetics had not been equally kind to both. Steffi had become the statuesque woman, long legs, small hips, and great posture that not only cemented her physical status in the sport, but that also would in a number of years catch the attention of the sport's biggest name, Andre Agassi. On the contrary, Monica was beginning to show signs of a weight problem, that plagues her even now. Of course, it is unfair to say that Monica had a weight problem. In reality, she just didn't have the most favorable body type for a mature athlete. Unable to face the facts, even co-conspirators like Nagelson and Carillo made Monica's readjustment to the sport worse by claiming she had a weight problem.

Could someone have predicted the course of history in 1993? Quite possibly, even down to the stabbing. I'll leave you guessing about that one because it would take some extracurricular development of this argument. What I will say is that Monica's athletic shortcomings since her first comeback were already evident before '93. No one addressed them because more was at stake in Monica's success in '91 thru '93 than the Wimbledon Ladies Plate, nothing less than the ego and empire of Mike McCormack.

Last edited by LDVTennis : Apr 26th, 2004 at 07:57 AM.
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