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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 06:49 PM   #2311
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
..."Graf retires from tennis and the sun goes dark."
Unfortunately, it did go dark for me. I had these stupid thoughts in the back of my mind that she would just keep playing forever, you know, like Martina- way past her prime. I should've realized it had to come to an end, and if she was losing to a player like Amy Frazier (a player she owned), then it only would've gotten uglier, and I'm glad I didn't witness that. I don't think, being the perfectionist she was (and is) that she could've allowed herself to keep going. I, like so many people around the world, stopped watching women's tennis entirely for a few years. It took Justine's rise to the top to spark my interest again. I still think if Steffi's body could take the training, and she got herself into match shape, she could beat many of these players now.
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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 07:10 PM   #2312
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Was that one of the days the CNN/SI board crashed because of too much traffic?

Another bit of retirement trivia: There was a total solar eclipse in Europe on that Wednesday (the 11th), and Steffi had toyed with the idea of announcing her retirement then. The headlines would have been great: "Graf retires from tennis and the sun goes dark."
In French slip away = s'ECLIPSEr , so the headline of l'Equipe on that day was : "Graf s'eclipse"
(bad quality sorry)
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 12:47 PM   #2313
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by alfajeffster View Post
Unfortunately, it did go dark for me. I had these stupid thoughts in the back of my mind that she would just keep playing forever, you know, like Martina- way past her prime. I should've realized it had to come to an end, and if she was losing to a player like Amy Frazier (a player she owned), then it only would've gotten uglier, and I'm glad I didn't witness that. I don't think, being the perfectionist she was (and is) that she could've allowed herself to keep going. I, like so many people around the world, stopped watching women's tennis entirely for a few years. It took Justine's rise to the top to spark my interest again. I still think if Steffi's body could take the training, and she got herself into match shape, she could beat many of these players now.
If Sara Errani could reach the final of the French Open, it would be a pretty good bet that Steffi as a 40-something could show a lot of current players the exit. A few years ago, I remember she had a practice session with some young Next Big Thing (who wasn't after all), and afterward Steffi drolly remarked something like that her slice backhand caused the opponent no end of frustration. "Low and deep to the forehand" would probably win her even more points now than it did back in 1996.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #2314
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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We had much the same thing here in the U.S. Bud Collins was always saying she should go to net more. It became a kind of recurring joke between Steffi and him.

Bud: Are you planning on going to the net a little more?
Steffi: No, but I'll go in a few times -- just for you. [And she smiles coquettishly at him.]

Bud: Was that *you* I saw going to the net so much?
Steffi: Yeah. Actually I was thinking about you during the match.

Bud: You played serve and volley!
Steffi: Yeah, but I made a few mistakes on it, too, I have to admit. So, uh, some good ones, some bad ones.
Priceless! Thanx for posting!
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #2315
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by alfajeffster View Post
Unfortunately, it did go dark for me. I had these stupid thoughts in the back of my mind that she would just keep playing forever, you know, like Martina- way past her prime. I should've realized it had to come to an end, and if she was losing to a player like Amy Frazier (a player she owned), then it only would've gotten uglier, and I'm glad I didn't witness that. I don't think, being the perfectionist she was (and is) that she could've allowed herself to keep going. I, like so many people around the world, stopped watching women's tennis entirely for a few years. It took Justine's rise to the top to spark my interest again. I still think if Steffi's body could take the training, and she got herself into match shape, she could beat many of these players now.
I think you're wrong Alfa... if her body could resist, she could beat everybody.
Of course, she could lose to some players like Serena, but I see no reason game-wise why she couldn't beat any of the current top players, no matter what the teen fans believe
The very fact that it's still debatable if the older top players could win against current ones proves how good they used to be back then. Otherwise, no one would even mention that possibility.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #2316
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

So... about Steffi, there are people like me here, who every October 24th has a moment of nostalgia a propos the retirement of Gabriela?
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 08:14 PM   #2317
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Was that one of the days the CNN/SI board crashed because of too much traffic?
I am not sure actually. But I do know a lot of us Graf fans were online then to console each other. I do know that the Steffi message boards there were the busiest although a lot of the stuff being posted was kind of inane LOL. I do have to say that I was lucky enough to get a CD of Steffi's farewell song, "A Change in your Life", by Seven Sins. Heidi Graf used to post in those message boards as well and four posters including myself were luckily drawn to win that CD. I still have it with me. Here's the farewell song, if you are interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KURy1OA6rYo
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 08:26 PM   #2318
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by alfajeffster View Post
Unfortunately, it did go dark for me. I had these stupid thoughts in the back of my mind that she would just keep playing forever, you know, like Martina- way past her prime. I should've realized it had to come to an end, and if she was losing to a player like Amy Frazier (a player she owned), then it only would've gotten uglier, and I'm glad I didn't witness that. I don't think, being the perfectionist she was (and is) that she could've allowed herself to keep going. I, like so many people around the world, stopped watching women's tennis entirely for a few years. It took Justine's rise to the top to spark my interest again. I still think if Steffi's body could take the training, and she got herself into match shape, she could beat many of these players now.
Yeah, I had just started working then and I had grand plans of one day watching a Grand Slam event and seeing Steffi play live so that announcement ruined those plans LOL.

In 1998-1999, while she had a lot of great highs, she also had some bad losses that she would never have had if she was in good shape. She lost to Sabine Appelmans right after her comeback in 1998, but in her other three matches against Sabine, she never lost more than 2 games in a set! Also, that loss to Zvereva in Wimbledon 98 was tough. It put a blemish in an otherwise completely one-sided H2H that spanned more than a decade. Then there was that loss to Julie Halard-Decugis in the 99 German Open. (Although the 96-97 season had its tough moments too. I hated seeing Steffi lose to Amanda Coetzer against whom she was so dominant in the past.)
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 08:37 PM   #2319
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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I think you're wrong Alfa... if her body could resist, she could beat everybody.
Of course, she could lose to some players like Serena, but I see no reason game-wise why she couldn't beat any of the current top players, no matter what the teen fans believe
The very fact that it's still debatable if the older top players could win against current ones proves how good they used to be back then. Otherwise, no one would even mention that possibility.
Agree. While I do think that Serena at her best would be near-impossible to beat, Serena isn't always at her best. A peak Steffi, or a peak any-past-great for that matter, not only had exceptional championship mettle, they also had extraordinary consistency so over the course of a few years, the more consistent player will surely notch at least a few wins and maybe even have an edge in their head-to-head. The same is true for all the other hard hitters out there. I guess a lot of them are like Davenport and Pierce (and well, you can argue that Davenport and Pierce can hit just as hard as Sharapova, Azarenka, and Kvitova).
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #2320
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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So... about Steffi, there are people like me here, who every October 24th has a moment of nostalgia a propos the retirement of Gabriela?
I was also, well, still am, a fan of Sabatini so I was also saddened by her retirement in 1996. It did seem like she lost a bit of her mojo after that loss to Mary Joe Fernandez in the French Open. She had a lot of bad results after that and it took a long time before she won another tournament. Which is why I was really happy when she won the 1994 year-end championships. For me, if Graf couldn't win it, then it was great that Sabatini did.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 08:47 PM   #2321
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
If Sara Errani could reach the final of the French Open, it would be a pretty good bet that Steffi as a 40-something could show a lot of current players the exit. A few years ago, I remember she had a practice session with some young Next Big Thing (who wasn't after all), and afterward Steffi drolly remarked something like that her slice backhand caused the opponent no end of frustration. "Low and deep to the forehand" would probably win her even more points now than it did back in 1996.
Schiavone did win the French Open playing a different style of tennis than most of the other current crop of women. I think a lot of players now just play the same style of wham-bam tennis, and I personally can't really fault them for that, but it leads me to believe someone who can change the pace and hit a different ball than everyone else has a good chance of throwing her opponents off.
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Old Aug 16th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #2322
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I saw Serena play against Eleni Danilidou at Cincy 2 days ago. Eleni plays slice backhand quite a bit, and I could see that even Serena was quite troubled by that shot (Eleni can also hit disguised dropshots the way Steffi used to do, using her backhand). So yes, if Steffi were match-fit, she would beat many of the current players.
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #2323
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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I saw Serena play against Eleni Danilidou at Cincy 2 days ago. Eleni plays slice backhand quite a bit, and I could see that even Serena was quite troubled by that shot (Eleni can also hit disguised dropshots the way Steffi used to do, using her backhand). So yes, if Steffi were match-fit, she would beat many of the current players.
Probably Gaby and Conchita could also drive today's players crazy, at least ground stroke to ground stroke. Hard-kicking topspin followed by biting slice.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2012, 02:37 PM   #2324
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Might have been Steffi's own personal "longest day."


Graf Provides A Double Treat
Special to The New York Times
Published: August 21, 1989
New York Times

MAHWAH, N.J., Aug. 20— It was not a day of formidable opponents or close matches for Steffi Graf. Her remarkable ability seemed to dwarf the portable stadium at Ramapo College, built for the United Jersey Bank Tennis Classic.

But the modest surroundings didn't prevent the 20-year-old West German from looking every bit like the best women's tennis player in the world as she won a semifinal match this morning and the singles and championship this afternoon.

The close view provided by the small facility was a treat for the fans, as Graf's elegantly powerful game continually drew gasps of disbelief from the 4,128 spectators who watched the final.

'She's Really Something'

''Boy, she's really something,'' said Art Hansen, a 60-year-old sales engineer from Ridgewood, N.J., who, from a seat in the sixth row, was watching her play live for the first time. ''When you're here you can really see how overwhelming she is.''

It took Graf a while to adjust to the topspin play of Andrea Temesvari, but when she did, she handled the 23-year-old Hungarian easily, 7-5, 6-2, to win the championship and the $40,000 singles prize.

In the morning, Graf won a semifinal match against Linda Ferrando, 6-1, 6-2. The semifinals were rescheduled because of rain Saturday. It was the first time Graf had played a singles semifinal and a final in the same day.

And after the singles championship, Graf went on to win a doubles semifinal match and the final with Pam Shriver, 6-2, 6-4, over Louise Allen and Laura Gildemeister. Rain had backed those matches up as well. Graf started playing this morning at 10 A.M., and four victories later, she finished at 5:43 P.M.

A Whipping Forehand

She was at the top of her game in the first match of the day, whipping her signature forehand deep into the corners. Her match with Ferrando, the 47th-ranked player in the world, lasted only 40 minutes.

The 23-year-old Temesvari, however, struggled in the morning against Stacey Martin. That semifinal lasted 2 hours 23 minutes, and took its toll on the Hungarian as the ensuing championship match progressed.

Both Temesvari and Graf held serve in the first set until the West German broke in the 11th game. With the score tied, 15-15, Temesvari sliced open shots wide on two consecutive points, and then double-faulted, giving Graf a 6-5 lead. Graf held serve to win the set.

After taking the first game of the second set with an ace, Temesvari appeared to tire. Graf won 15 of the next 16 points, and went on to victory in a match that lasted an hour.

''I didn't play too well, I have to say,'' Graf said, alluding to the first set. ''I knew I didn't play close to what I can play, but I knew if I kept trying I would come back.''

Temesvari, ranked 56th, put Graf on the defensive with powerful first serves in the first set, but in the second she started missing and Graf was able to gain advantage when returning second serves. Temesvari, who is making a comeback after missing almost two years because of injuries, said she needed to develop more consistency while serving, adding that fatigue was also a factor.

''I got tired by the end of the first set, and my feet started burning,'' she said. ''I played two matches at Hilton Head this year, but a semifinal and a final is different. When you play Steffi, you run around and you don't get any easy winners.''

Graf, who has a 61-2 match record this season, went over the $1 million mark for the season with the singles victory. After winning the doubles, she had earned $1,025,905.

This was Graf's 10th singles championship of the year, the 38th of her career and her 3d here in four years.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #2325
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Great day at the offcie ^
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