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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 06:56 PM   #2266
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

on another note, Steffi's accent-you can hear an american twang coming through more and more. Imagine in years to come, she's going to sound like an american-will be weird having grown up with her and her german accent
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 04:28 AM   #2267
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4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice 4times is just really nice
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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My favoutite part of this interview - the first 2-3 shots of her on the courts. What intensity, hitting the ball clean and hard, constantly bouncing on toes. So lovely to watch.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #2268
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Apologies if this was posted before:

SPORTS OF THE TIMES; Make Steffi Play Lefty
By GEORGE VECSEY
Published: October 02, 1988
New York Times

The most awesome thing about this Miss Steffi Graf is not that she is 19 years old and has already won the Grand Slam Plus One. That's history. Oh, no. The real scary thing about this Miss Graf is that she roared through the final match of the Summer Games, not just a kid having a fine time at the Olympics but also a superb technician adding a level to her game.

For her Golden Grand Slam, she added a drop shot to her repertory, feathering shots over the net the way Junior McEnroe used to do.

Graf's development of a change of pace was one of the last impressions to sink in at these Games. Among others were:

* The realization that the drug crisis is really not about steroids but rather about masking agents. Your pharmacist is better than my pharmacist.

* South Korea is a complex, modern and quite gracious nation; able to plan and run a Summer Games. The more one thinks about it, the brief brawl by officials in the boxing ring a week ago was an isolated lapse by sports yahoos; hardly a national scandal.

* For many Korean men and women, there was the perhaps unforgettable jolt of seeing western women in positions of authority.

To say nothing of authority on the tennis court. With those occasional beanbag shots, Graf ran her doubles partner, the clueless Gabriela Sabatini, around and then off the court by a 6-3, 6-3 count here Saturday. If anything, Graf was more controlled and conscious than she had been in winning the U.S. Open, Sept. 10. Coming after her romp through the four Grand Slam events this season, Graf had understandably been sounding weary earlier in the week, making the Summer Games sound like just one more stop on the tour - the Emphysema Slims Greater Seoul Junior Chamber of Commerce Classic.

But just as Pam Shriver and Zina Garrison and Miloslav Mecir saw the uniqueness of winning the first tennis gold medals in 64 years, so Graf came to appreciate what she was up to.

"I'm very excited to achieve this," she said after the match. "Not many people in the future will achieve this, winning the Grand Slam and the gold medal. That's amazing.

"I came here really tired and not expecting too much. When I was playing, I was down, just down."

Graf gets a tepid press most of the time because she is so phlegmatic; much in the way Ivan Lendl is belittled because he doesn't get up there and perform the old buck-and-wing for us.

But Graf is still only 19, a young woman who seems to be listening and watching more than she is talking. Her father is sometimes accused of controlling her too much. He should try bottling his formula for raising a stable and successful child.

She's just getting interesting, this Miss Graf. For her fifth lap of the Golden Grand Slam, she came out with a drop shot never before seen in such abundance. Sabatini is known to play well for a while and then tire.

"After the first couple of games, I could see she couldn't keep it up," Graf said later.

Seeing Graf plunk the ball over the net on occasion, one could not help wonder if she were doing it for amusement, the way McEnroe used to invent shots, the way Larry Bird will force himself into some preposterous off-the-ear, falling-out-of-bounds heave from 35 feet, just to keep from getting bored.

Graf doesn't seem the type to play mind games with herself, but one could not resist asking the question: What next?

"Today it was my plan to make her run," Graf said. "I was just sticking to what I was doing. Maybe in the future, I will come to the net more."

There is plenty of future because there does not seem to be anybody in women's tennis who can chase down that superb forehand.

We may have to wait a generation for the maturation of some of those charming but squawking babies that were brought into the tennis stadium by their mothers yesterday. (What would McEnroe have made of a stadium full of googling one-year-olds?) Motherhood has not been the only option for women in contemporary Korea. In addition to the fabled fisherwomen of the southwest coast, many women work in offices in modern Seoul.

In fact, one of the electronic gadgets in the appliance stores is a rice warmer that keeps a Korean-style snack warm for when the children come home from school and mother is still at work. Most people work five full days and a half Saturday in this boom country.

Advancing to management jobs is not so easy, however. Many Korean men had trouble dealing with - or even looking in the eye - western publicists, western technicians and even western executives of the female persuasion.

One male journalist found great delight in referring all visitors to his bureau chief. "She boss?" they would say. Korean women seemed to enjoy the presence of western visitors in offices, streets and subways. Some even started up innocent conversations, just to test their English - or maybe their nerve.

They also couldn't miss the gallant performances of the South Korean female medalists in team handball, field hockey, archery and table tennis. Things may not be the same after these Games. Women may soon be asking for raises and advancement.

But back to Steffi Graf. What can she do for an encore? In what might have been a message to her father, she said she was going to take a rest and then perform in some minor tournaments - "It depends on how I feel."

When she goes after a second Grand Slam next year, she needs a challenge. She ought to announce to the world that she is becoming a serve-and-volley player, rush the net whenever possible - as somebody else said about Mount Everest, because it is there.

If that works out, she might want to think about an ambidextrous Grand Slam. This Steffi Graf has plenty of time for improvisation.
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #2269
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

THE SEOUL OLYMPICS; TENNIS COMPETITORS PROS IN NAME, FACT
By PETER ALFANO
Published: September 11, 1988
New York Times

THERE will be no mistaking who they are and how they came to afford fancy cars and all the modern conveniences. There is no need to hide their net worth in a trust fund. The tennis players who are coming to Seoul, South Korea, are professionals by any definition the International Olympic Committee chooses to use. They are among the rich and famous in the athletic world.

For the first time in 64 years, tennis will be a medal sport in the Olympic Games, and among the hammer throwers, gymnasts, weight lifters and swimmers lodged at the athletes' village will be stars like Steffi Graf and Boris Becker of West Germany, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg of Sweden, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia, Henri Leconte of France, Andrei Chesnokov and Natalya Zvereva of the Soviet Union, and Chris Evert and Pam Shriver of the United States.

They are the bigger names in the men's and women's singles and doubles competition, playing for gold instead of money. And contrary to popular opinion, they say they are actually looking forward to it.

"I'm very excited," Graf said. "What I enjoyed in the Los Angeles Olympics was the different scene in the village. It was easy to talk to the athletes."

"To be part of the Olympics is very nice," Edberg said. "I enjoy meeting the other athletes."

Tennis was reinstated as an Olympic sport by the I.O.C. in 1981, after a great deal of lobbying by Philippe Chatrier of France, the president of the International Tennis Federation. Tennis was a demonstration sport at the Summer Games in Los Angeles in 1984, although none of the established professionals were allowed to compete.

Instead, a pair of promising teen-agers, Graf and Edberg, won the women's and the men's singles. They are the current Wimbledon champions.

They were able to participate in the Games this year because of Chatrier's efforts to persuade the I.O.C. to open the Olympics to the best athletes in tennis.

"We did not want a third-class player as Olympic champion," Chatrier said in a telephone interview. In May 1987, at a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, the I.O.C. voted to permit the top professionals to play in the Seoul Olympics on an experimental basis.

Owen Williams, the executive director of World Championship Tennis, said: "I have mixed emotions. Personally, I wouldn't have thought tennis belonged in the Olympics, that a Boris Becker, earning $5 million a year, could play. But the I.O.C. is two-faced. The members have deluded themselves for 50 years that they are running an amateur events."

Chatrier said he had based his appeal on the fact that the best track and field athletes in the world, for example, earned a great deal of money, directly or indirectly.

"I wanted the tennis players to rub shoulders with (Edwin) Moses, Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis, top athletes making money," Chatrier said. "I pleaded that our professionals not be discriminated against. When I hear about the money these others are making in track, I hope it will make people get off my back, leave my millionaires alone."

How will those millionaires be received in Seoul? Chatrier said that the 10,000-seat center-court stadium in seoul is sold out for the last four days. NBC has promised him substantial coverage. The BBC will broadcast 27 hours of tennis to Britain.

Still, Chatrier acknowledges that the Olympics belong to track and field, gymnastics, swimming, boxing and basketball. Tennis will not become a major sport in the Games right away. And there could be problems in the future should the Summer Games conflict with the United States Open. He believes this is an important first step, however.

"It is the most important thing to happen to tennis since the open movement," said Chatrier. "Eighty percent of the governments in the world will not support a sport unless it is in the Olympic Games. This will put those governments behind tennis, add to the boom."
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #2270
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

If tennis doesn't belong to Olympics, a lot of other sport shouldn't, I never really get that controversy professionnal/non professionnal because let's be honest, nowadays and since yeaaarrs, 2/3 of the Olympics sports are as Tennis involving $$$$
And I don't even speak about the money flooding for the ceremony, Olympic village, etc...
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #2271
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Steffi Graf, Riding Grand Slam Crest, Mobbed in Seoul
September 15, 1988
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — Tennis Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf arrived for the Olympics today and caused a near-riot at Kimpo Airport.

Though protected by a wall of Korean security officials, the 19-year-old West German was hustled and jostled as she tried to follow her teammates to a waiting bus outside. Roped barriers, hastily erected to clear Graf's path, were knocked down by reporters and photographers, tripping several people.

Graf was shaken but unhurt.

"I've never had a reception like this anywhere before," said Graf, who won the Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Open last weekend, the first woman to win all four major tennis titles since 1970.

"At the moment, I feel a bit tired. Now, having this," she said, wiping her eyes. "I'm very excited but it's a little frightening. I hope it's not going to be like this all the time."
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #2272
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
If tennis doesn't belong to Olympics, a lot of other sport shouldn't, I never really get that controversy professionnal/non professionnal because let's be honest, nowadays and since yeaaarrs, 2/3 of the Olympics sports are as Tennis involving $$$$
And I don't even speak about the money flooding for the ceremony, Olympic village, etc...
Yes, the Olympics suffered from "shamateurism" as much as tennis did before the Open Era. Philippe Chatrier was very bold and honest; at the time, I don't think it was certain the IOC wanted to admit that most of the top athletes in the high profile sports were professionals in all but name.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 06:35 PM   #2273
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Steffi Graf, Riding Grand Slam Crest, Mobbed in Seoul
September 15, 1988
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — Tennis Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf arrived for the Olympics today and caused a near-riot at Kimpo Airport.

Though protected by a wall of Korean security officials, the 19-year-old West German was hustled and jostled as she tried to follow her teammates to a waiting bus outside. Roped barriers, hastily erected to clear Graf's path, were knocked down by reporters and photographers, tripping several people.

Graf was shaken but unhurt.

"I've never had a reception like this anywhere before," said Graf, who won the Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Open last weekend, the first woman to win all four major tennis titles since 1970.

"At the moment, I feel a bit tired. Now, having this," she said, wiping her eyes. "I'm very excited but it's a little frightening. I hope it's not going to be like this all the time."
Remember reading a german article about this^^ German Team arrival at the 1988 Olympics, it looked as it was a real mess
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 12:49 PM   #2274
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

THE SEOUL OLYMPICS: TENNIS; Graf Hits Stride, Trounces Garrison
By PETER ALFANO, Special to the New York Times
Published: September 30, 1988

The quest appeared to be taking its toll on Steffi Graf. She arrived in Seoul almost two weeks ago looking beleaguered, then was engulfed by a wave of reporters and photographers at the airport. The Grand Slam champion sounded tense in her first post-match interview and the weariness showed on the court, where Graf struggled in her early matches as she hasn't all year on the professional tour.

The Golden Slam is what her business agents called her bid to win the four major championships of tennis: Wimbledon, the United States Open, French Open and Australian Open, along with a gold medal in singles at the Olympics.

But when an Australian reporter brought up the subject, she bristled, saying: "I won a Grand Slam, and now I am trying to do the best I can do to win a gold. One has nothing to do with the other."

Graf still does not want to equate the two, but her mood brightened considerably yesterday, when she played her best match of the Olympics, routing Zina Garrison, 6-2, 6-0. The victory set up a rematch of the United States Open final against Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, whom Graf will face for the gold.

"I am excited," she said, "because I played great tennis. I am very pleased, especially after the last couple of days when I did not play that well."

No Time to Rest

Graf is getting accustomed to her surroundings. She is staying in the Olympic Village, which lacks some of the luxuries she enjoys on the tour. Graf rides a bicycle, she has gone to several events, even to the boxing to see friend from the Netherlands compete, and said she enjoys meeting other athletes. But this is usually the time of year she spends with her family in Bruhl, West Germany, counting down the end of her tennis season.

"When I came to Seoul, I was really tired," Graf said. "I wanted some time to be away."

For the first time in 64 years, tennis is a medal sport in the Olympics. Although the players are competing as individuals, most have said they feel a certain pride representing their countries.

Graf's countrymen expect her to win tournaments, in a convincing manner. They can be unreasonable, Graf said, but that did not lessen her enthusiasm for competing for West Germany in the Olympics.

She won the singles title when tennis was a demonstration sport in Los Angeles in 1984. What she had not counted on, however, was the physical toll playing here so soon after the United States Open would take.

End in Sight

With the end in sight, though, she was in top form against Garrison, who reached the semifinals at the Open and has continued to play well at the Olympics.

She is known for her forehand, the most intimidating shot in the women's game. The hard courts here are playing a little slowly, prolonging the rallies, which would appear to work in Graf's favor against Sabatini. In the Open final, stamina was the difference as Graf was easily the stronger player in the third set. Sabatini, on the other hand, is the only player who has beaten Graf this year, doing it twice last spring in Florida.

"I wouldn't give Steffi the gold medal right away though she's playing great," Garrison said. "You never know. She did play so well, though. Everything zipped past me."
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 12:57 PM   #2275
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Remember reading a german article about this^^ German Team arrival at the 1988 Olympics, it looked as it was a real mess
Do you still have the story? I have been known to translate interesting German (and French) articles about Steffi.
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 01:40 PM   #2276
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Do you still have the story? I have been known to translate interesting German (and French) articles about Steffi.
Wow,can't remember from which newspaper it was, will try to find it, but don't hope too hard
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 06:23 PM   #2277
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Watching Penis (er, I mean Venus) Williams on court today is so much like watching Gael Monfils. I know I'm going to get racist reps for saying this, but it's really not. She's such a great athlete that she gets away (especially on grass) with a big first serve, not having any clue as to where the return might go. It doesn't matter. She's athletically able to run just about anything down, and today she hit winners, most of which were off balance and on the back foot. Seeing how fast the grass is for the Olympics, I can't help but think an in-form Steffi Graf would've dusted Williams clock. She would get many more of those one-dimensional Venus service bombs deep, if not with pace, forcing Venus into errors not knowing which way to go. i much prefer watching Serena, who's not nearly as gangly. Ah well, nothing to lose sleep over.
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 10:19 PM   #2278
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Do you still have the story? I have been known to translate interesting German (and French) articles about Steffi.
I couldn't find it again, I am sorry, I remember reading journalists were fighting, some other members of the German Team were angry (at Steffi) because of all this mess. A hockey trainer said something to her because she didn't came to see them playing. While some other athletes were delighted to see her (even from Ost German team). And even without the press, it was hard for her because of the others asking her for a pic or autographs the whole time.
But I still read (nowadays) how she really liked the Oplympics, hard to believe sometimes^^.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 02:54 PM   #2279
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf, Edberg win in tennis
August 12, 1984
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Steffi Graf of West Germany beat Yugoslavian Sabrina Goles, and Sweden's Stefan Edberg defeated Francisco Maciel of Mexico Saturday to earn exhibition gold medals in the Olympic tennis tournament.

The 15-year-old Graf took advantage of Goles' back problems to post a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in the women's division at the UCLA tennis center.

Edberg thwarted a late bid by Maciel to take it 6-1, 7-6 and win the men's title.

Since tennis is a demonstration event this year, Edberg and Graf were presented gold medals with a different imprint than those awarded in the Games traditional events.

Maciel earned the silver and the semifinal losers Jimmy Arias, of Buffalo, N.Y., and Paolo Cene of Italy received the bronze. Silver also went to Goles and bronze to France's Catherine Tanvier and Italy's Raffaella Reggi.

Edberg, 18, the third seed in the tournament, breezed through the first set, but was sorely tested in the second.

Both players held serves to send the set to a tiebreaker. Maciel opened a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker. Then, leading 6-5 [?], the Mexican fell down during a rally to lose a point and double-faulted on the next serve.

"I was lucky today," Edberg said, "especially when he fell down and double-faulted."

Edberg had upset the top-seeded Arias in the semifinals.

In the women's final, Goles had trouble bending for the ball in the third set, and Graf began hitting low slices to her.

Goles, the 19-year-old seventh seed, said later that her shoulder hurt in the first set, and she had to ease up on her serve. The problem in her lower back began in the second set, she said. Goles lost her serve three times in that frame.

"I was sleeping in the first set," Graf said. "I had trouble getting into the game. But in the second set she began to miss easy shots and I got back into it."

Graf, from Heidelberg, is ranked 47th in the world.

Goles, ranked 38th, had ousted top seed Kathy Horvath in the quarter-finals.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 03:12 PM   #2280
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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I couldn't find it again, I am sorry, I remember reading journalists were fighting, some other members of the German Team were angry (at Steffi) because of all this mess. A hockey trainer said something to her because she didn't came to see them playing. While some other athletes were delighted to see her (even from Ost German team). And even without the press, it was hard for her because of the others asking her for a pic or autographs the whole time.
But I still read (nowadays) how she really liked the Oplympics, hard to believe sometimes^^.
Yeah, I remember a bit from a press conference when Steffi talked about beating Cecchini and Reggi at the 1984 Olympics and then going back to the UCLA dormitory and all the Italians were screaming and yelling at her; Steffi pronounced that experience "a lot of fun, great memories."

But then again, considering some of the controversies, uproars and frenzies she encountered at regular tournaments, maybe the Olympics just seemed like a nice leisurely stroll in comparison.
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