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Old Sep 20th, 2012, 06:12 PM   #2371
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

What a vivid description of witnessing a legend at work! Those shot must've been truly breathtaking... I'd so have liked to have the chance to see those players myself, but living in Argentina, so far away, it's impossible. It's still unbelievable to me after 17 years that I could see Sabatini play official Fed Cup matches in my town, so unexpected and still incredible, not living in Buenos Aires...
To sum it up, I do HATE you for having seen Steffi play live while I never could!
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Old Sep 21st, 2012, 01:06 PM   #2372
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grafiati View Post
Ms. Anthropic, your point about Graf's shots staying low is interesting. I rarely read or heard about that fact, but I witnessed it firsthand when I finally caught Graf playing live at Wimbledon in 1999. I expected to be blown away by Graf's serve and forehand, but Graf's barely-clearing-the-net groundstrokes and so-fast-they-are-a-blur feet were my big takeaways. What impeccable footwork! And what a scare I got when I realized, live, how little net clearance Graf's groundstrokes got. I kept fearing that so many of her shots would go into the net, but I should have trusted her to win the match without too many problems (and she did).
"No margin for error" was the biggest criticism about her groundstrokes from many of the pundits, especially in 1990-1991. Which was why she then tried, against her better judgement, to add more topspin. Which in turn was why she had most of those bouts of spraying and shanking. Thankfully, she realized that, conventional wisdom or not, adding more topspin was merely giving her more errors rather than more margin for error, and she went back to her old mechanics.

My own personal theory is that her net-skimming style evolved as a response to all the serve-and-volley opponents she faced as a youngster. Much harder to put away a volley when the ball is dipping below the net almost just as soon as it's done crossing the net.
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Old Sep 21st, 2012, 04:28 PM   #2373
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Steffi on CNN OPEN COURT:
http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/spo...teffi-graf.cnn
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Old Sep 21st, 2012, 07:07 PM   #2374
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
"No margin for error" was the biggest criticism about her groundstrokes from many of the pundits, especially in 1990-1991. Which was why she then tried, against her better judgement, to add more topspin. Which in turn was why she had most of those bouts of spraying and shanking. Thankfully, she realized that, conventional wisdom or not, adding more topspin was merely giving her more errors rather than more margin for error, and she went back to her old mechanics.

My own personal theory is that her net-skimming style evolved as a response to all the serve-and-volley opponents she faced as a youngster. Much harder to put away a volley when the ball is dipping below the net almost just as soon as it's done crossing the net.
Interesting theory, and I think it's quite plausible.
About Graf top-spinning her shots more, I guess that if you end up winning 28 majors including Slams, YECs and Olympics, and after 13 years of your retirement you're still debated as able to defeat many of the current players even if you're 43, then you were probably right and not the "pundits"
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Old Sep 21st, 2012, 08:22 PM   #2375
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
From all the taped matches I have seen, the NBC feed of the 1993 San Diego semifinal (vs. Martinez) and final (vs. ASV) are two of the best at conveying the "live at the match" feel. Even though both are edited for time, there are some great camera angles and really great sound (at least if it came from a good primary source). It probably won't turn out so well on Youtube, especially not the sound, but maybe there's a high quality torrent floating around.
The 91 Hamburg final springs to mind; I've watched that a couple of times. Perhaps some of her closer matches with Chris Evert as well - I'm always a sucker for great baseliners. But then I was always blown away by her adaptability to Navratilova's game too - I think 1988 Wimbledon is her single most impressive performance, despite the match not being competitive.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2012, 07:58 PM   #2376
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
Interesting theory, and I think it's quite plausible.
About Graf top-spinning her shots more, I guess that if you end up winning 28 majors including Slams, YECs and Olympics, and after 13 years of your retirement you're still debated as able to defeat many of the current players even if you're 43, then you were probably right and not the "pundits"
What's even funnier is that in the 1986-1989 range, there were some "pundits" who considered her forehand to be strange-looking and mechanically inferior. But nowadays it's the classic forehands of Evert and Navratilova that look "wrong" to younger fans. One bit of commentary from the 1987 Lipton final that still sticks with me is Cliff Drysdale saying something along the lines of "I had thought she got lucky against Martina, but I guess that's just how she plays."
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Old Sep 22nd, 2012, 08:21 PM   #2377
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by DiehardSince05 View Post
The 91 Hamburg final springs to mind; I've watched that a couple of times. Perhaps some of her closer matches with Chris Evert as well - I'm always a sucker for great baseliners. But then I was always blown away by her adaptability to Navratilova's game too - I think 1988 Wimbledon is her single most impressive performance, despite the match not being competitive.
The 1989 US Open final is one of my favorites. Even though the score suggests a final set blow out, Martina doesn't give up until she's down 1-5. I still wonder how Navratilova could have groused after the match that she didn't know what was in Steffi's mind or heart. She either wasn't paying much attention before and during her 5-6, 2nd set service game or she just didn't want to admit that the skirt change rattled her.
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Old Sep 27th, 2012, 01:57 PM   #2378
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Just read this on twitter and despite knowing her records, sometimes just blown away by the sheer magnitude of those achievements and how understated she is for what she has achieved...

Steffi Graf's lowest singles ranking from March 1987 to June 1997 was number two.
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Old Sep 27th, 2012, 04:46 PM   #2379
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Stef-fan, thanks for sharing that. The way that sentence is written does have a pretty strong impact. And it's a record. 10 years ranked either 1 or 2.

And of course, in more than 70% of that time frame, she was at #1.
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Old Sep 28th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #2380
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by XTN View Post
Stef-fan, thanks for sharing that. The way that sentence is written does have a pretty strong impact. And it's a record. 10 years ranked either 1 or 2.

And of course, in more than 70% of that time frame, she was at #1.
Well, put it another way:
For more than a decade, at her best, she was No:1 and
when she was not at her best, she was No:2

Don't think I can say that of any other tennis player, male or female, at least in the open era (I am not good with tennis history, so might be wrong).
The closest I can see is Navratilova, when not at her best, she was at No:3.
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Old Sep 29th, 2012, 09:41 AM   #2381
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I agree with your verdict...


That is really a great idea.
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Old Oct 5th, 2012, 07:41 PM   #2382
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf a Tennis Player for the Masses And, as She Nears Peak, for the Ages
The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution - Saturday, October 15, 1988
Author: Ed Hinton

Sports columnist Ed Hinton writes on West German female tennis player Steffi Graf, ranked the No. 1 woman in the world.

I feel a little now like an Australian adventurer was feeling when I met him on a train hurrying west through Germany late at night, years ago.

Not that I've ever been shoved to my knees in Nairobi with a .50 caliber Webley cocked and pointed at my head, as he had; nor made a killing off the black market of Cairo; nor been so elated at having put safe distance between myself and Russia as to find cause to get roaring drunk, as he did that night.

No, I feel as he did only in that I've seen a wonder incongruous with all the rest of my experience, and the images won't go.

On his slippery foray into the Soviet Union - he'd brought out icons and free-lance photographs of helicopter installations - he'd managed to see the Bolshoi Ballet. He couldn't get his mind off it. For all he'd seen, he'd seen nothing quite like that.

"I don't know nothing about ballet," he said, "but I wanted more o' this."

Tennis, in that it is a realm of the rich and aspirant rich, is somewhat the ballet of sports, appreciated by the few, force-fed to the many via television. John McEnroe himself has said that tennis is grossly over-represented on television, to please "that 1 or 2 percent" who care, but care with clout.

Tennis, danced out in mediocrity or mere brilliance, still isn't swallowed by the great unwashed or even semi-scrubbed, for tennis is a game of nuances to an audience waiting for the towering home run, the bone-crushing sack, the "whoooo!" dunk, the spectacular crash . . .

But now, enter the dazzler, the Anna Pavlova to transcend her art, loosed upon the world to overwhelm it, no matter its tastes.

Enter Fraulein Steffi Graf, on legs so sleek, so strong that - well, two more to match them and you'd have a Derby favorite.

I'm no tennis expert, but I've seen lightning strike in fields; so her serves strike in front of opponents, and flash away. I have seen tracer bullets fly, little white dot-blurs, across the old World War II film footage; such are her returns.

Enter Fraulein Graf, speaking her native German neither with the stereotyped Prussian harshness nor the slow Bavarian sweetness, but a madchenhaftgeplapper, a girlish chatter. Her English is similar, with only traces of accent.

Enter Fraulein Graf, age 19, not yet even at full grace - and yet a yearling already wearing more than a Triple Crown.

She has already won the only Golden Slam - the Australian, French and U.S. Opens plus Wimbledon, plus an Olympic gold medal, all in a calendar year, 1988.

I saw her in the process of winning the gold medal at Seoul, and like the Australian tough haunted by the images of the Bolshoi, I cannot get it off my mind, not even back at home amidst dear old unwashed football.

I saw her devastate Zina Garrison, the American who only recently had ended Martina Navratilova's reign as the iron empress of tennis, in the U.S. Open.

The Aussie rogue's words echo: "I don't know nothing about ballet, but I wanted more o' this."

At Seoul, I saw Pavlova - sensed that even in the bud, Steffi Graf is suddenly the best female tennis player of all time, and perhaps even one to shed the segregation, the "women's" adjective.

For the first time I saw a tennis player whose performance is as right-between-the-eyes to the masses as any 80-yard touchdown run.

She has her lapses, her off-matches, but when she is at her pinnacle - where she soon will be consistently - there is a combination of grace and might that you cannot miss.

Whether she will ever be one for the TV commercials is unknown, for her face is still a schoolgirl's, blemished, squinting under camera lights. Graf sitting still is unimposing. Silent, she could pass for a too-tall senior at some high school in Gwinnett County.

But that matters little. It is Graf in motion who will matter for the ages.
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Old Oct 6th, 2012, 11:06 PM   #2383
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf is the 2nd best women player of all time behind the GOAT Monica Seles.
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Old Oct 7th, 2012, 10:28 AM   #2384
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Thanks Ms. Anthropic for this article ^^ cool one
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Old Oct 7th, 2012, 01:54 PM   #2385
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Thanks Ms. Anthropic for this article ^^ cool one
+ 1

Envy those who get to see her play on Oct 16 for WTT charity match.
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