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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 11:59 PM   #2551
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

GRAF, EVERT TO MEET IN PLAYERS TITLE MATCH
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Friday, March 25, 1988
Compiled From Wire Reports

Top-seeded Steffi Graf won a battle of 18-year-olds, and second-seeded Chris Evert beat a player half her age Thursday to advance to the women's final in the International Players Championships.

Graf, the defending champion, swept past unseeded Stephanie Rehe, 6-3, 6-1, and Evert beat 16-year-old Mary Joe Fernandez of Miami, 6-2, 6-1.

The two will meet in Saturday's final.

Graf fell behind, 2-0, and committed 10 unforced errors in the first three games against Rehe, ranked 34th in the world. The hard-hitting West German won three of the next four games to tie the set 3-3. But the match turned in the fourth game, when Graf took advantage of three double faults to break Rehe's serve, then won nine of the next 10 games to close out the match in 70 minutes.

"I wasn`t rolled over. I came out like gangbusters. Once my serve started going away a little bit, everything started going down," Rehe said. "If my serve had been better, I know the match would've been a lot closer."

Rehe's serving was shaky for the rest of the match. Graf broke her serve again in the eighth game and in the first, fifth and seventh games of the second set.

Graf had been struggling lately with her usually potent forehand, but it improved as the match wore on and was good for 19 winners.

"I was taking more of a risk with it," Graf, 18, said. "That's the way I should use it. I should go into it, and then the opponent can't do anything about it."

Fernandez, who attends nearby Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, was cheered on by a vocal gang of sign-flashing classmates, who were given the afternoon off by school officials. However, after Fernandez held her first serve to tie the match at one game apiece, Evert was in total control and needed just one hour and six minutes to win the 1,230th match of her career.

"I was very, very nervous today," Evert said. "I felt for the whole match if I gave her an opening, she would have taken advantage of it."

"I pretty much got wiped off the court," Fernandez said.

Evert, relying on pinpoint ground strokes, broke Fernandez's serve to clinch the first set and begin a six-game winning streak. Evert won three of those games at love and ran off 11 consecutive points early in the second set.

"If I had lost concentration for two points, it would've been a different story," said Evert, 33. "I felt throughout the match that if I had given her an opening, she would've taken advantage."

Fernandez upset No. 3 Gabriela Sabatini on Sunday to reach the semifinals of a professional tournament for the first time. She said her five previous matches in the two-week, $2.1 million tourney took a toll.

"As the match progressed, I was getting to the ball later and later," said Fernandez, who made 43 unforced errors to 19 for Evert. "I was a little slow."

Evert has a 5-0 advantage in the young rivalry. Two of the four previous matches went three sets.

"In this kind of match, I have everything to lose and nothing to gain," Evert said. "Mary Joe is really a tough player, but if I win it's expected, and if I lose it`s an upset. I was pretty nervous before the match."

Crowd support for the two South Florida products was evenly divided. About 100 of Fernandez's classmates from nearby Coconut Grove chanted "Mary Joe, Mary Joe" before and after the match.

"It reminded me of when I was her age," said Evert, who broke onto the international tennis scene as a 16-year-old high school student at Fort Lauderdale. "When I was playing Billie Jean (King), my classmates came out a couple of times."
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 12:02 AM   #2552
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

IT'S EVERT AND GRAF IN FINAL
The Miami Herald
Friday, March 25, 1988
JIM MARTZ

When a linesman reversed a call in favor of Mary Joe Fernandez late in Thursday's match, he elicited an uncharacteristic glare from Chris Evert that would have frozen a geyser.

"Come on, Chris, you're up, 6-2, 5-0," a fan grumbled.

But Evert, the No. 2 seed, didn't want to give a millimeter in their semifinal at the $2.1 million Lipton International Players Championships on Key Biscayne.

"He called it out and then went like this," Evert said later, giving a linesman's hands-down signal for a shot that is on the line. "I was so intense, I wanted every point that was fairly mine."

The point earned Fernandez her only game in the second set. Evert then held serve to win in a vintage performance, 6-2, 6-1, in 65 minutes as she advanced to Saturday's 1 p.m. final. In a rematch of the Australian Open final, she'll face top-seeded Steffi Graf, who Thursday night fought off a quick start by 34th-ranked Stephanie Rehe and won, 6-3, 6-1.

"Play like this against Graf!" a spectator hollered just before Evert won match point.

If she does, it may be a long afternoon for the world's top-ranked player. Especially if Evert's take-no-prisoners intensity level is as high as it was Thursday.

"If I had lost concentration for about two points, it would have been a different story," said Evert, who made only 19 unforced errors to Fernandez's 42. "I felt if I gave her an opening,
she'd take advantage.

"I didn't want to let her in the match. I played her at Stuttgart (West Germany) and felt I played well. But I was ahead, 6-2, 5-3, and let up and needed to win, 6-4, in the third set. Maybe I learned a little."

And Fernandez, the 16-year-old from Miami, learned another lesson about mental toughness from her long-time idol.

"She was just too dominant," said Fernandez, who is 0-5 against Evert. "I was getting to balls later and later, and she kept pounding and pounding. She hit everything on the line and in the corners.

"I knew she'd be tough. She always is tough mentally. She never lets anything affect her. If she keeps playing like this, she'll stay on top for awhile."

Evert jumped on top of Fernandez with a service break in the fourth game and never eased up. She pinned Fernandez to the baseline with deep groundstrokes and tossed in a few drop shots and lobs for good measure.

In defeating fifth-ranked Gabriela Sabatini last Sunday, Fernandez charged to the net 50 times and won 34 of the points. But she came in only 19 times Thursday and won just 10 points as Evert answered with pinpoint passing shots.

"There weren't a whole lot of strenuous rallies," Evert said. "She tried changing games and coming in, but my passing shots worked real good.

"I don't think she could beat me from the net. I was happy when she came in."

As temperatures climbed to the 80s, the patience and stamina of both players were tested. And Evert, 33, persevered.

"My feet were burning out there," Fernandez said. "I got tired in the heat. It was the hottest it has been in the tournament.

"I've had a tough couple of weeks, played a lot of matches. Naturally I had to get slower."

Asked what it will take to beat Evert, Fernandez said, "I have to get to balls quicker, attack her and control the points better."

As Evert said, this was a match in which she had "everything to lose and nothing to gain." In a tournament with three teen-agers in the semifinals, the pressure was on her.

"I felt that pressure," Evert said. "And it worked in a positive way. I was pretty nervous before the match."

But not so nervous that it rattled her game.

"I'm still trying to be a fighter on the court and not be too mellow," Evert said. "With the players today, you have to be."

Graf found that out against Rehe, an 18-year-old Californian who broke her serve in the first game and grabbed a 2-1 lead. Then Graf's potent forehand kicked into high gear.

"I wasn't rolled over, I surprised some people," said Rehe. "Then she picked up her game and I made a few errors. She's not the No. 1 player for nothing. Her forehand just blew by me in the second set."

Graf was one of those surprised at Rehe's gangbusters start. "She was going for her shots and using an aggressive style. At 3-3, I picked up my game. I started taking more risks and was going into the forehand. That's the way I should go into it."

And what about Evert?

"She's much more eager this year," said Graf. "Yes, I'm surprised. I mean . . . 33. Maybe (her engagement last week to Andy Mill) helped her, too."

Fernandez was asked if she thought Evert could defeat Graf. "It's tough to say. Graf is playing well. Chris has to play really well and go for her shots more. But with Chris, anything is possible."

Thursday's results

Women's singles

SEMIFINALS

Steffi Graf (1) d. Stephanie Rehe, 6-3, 6-1; Chris Evert (2) d. Mary Joe Fernandez (15), 6-2, 6-1.

Men's doubles

SEMIFINALS

Anders Jarryd-John Fitzgerald d. Paul Annacone-Christo Van Rensburg, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 6-1; Ken Flach-Robert Seguso d. Kelly Jones-Michael Mortensen, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (11-9).

Mixed doubles

SEMIFINALS

Michiel Schapers-Ann Henricksson d. Bud Cox-Wendy White, 6-4, 6-4.

Today's schedule

1 p.m. session

Stadium court -- Miloslav Mecir vs. Jimmy Connors; Lori McNeil-Betsy Nagelsen vs. Steffi Graf -Gabriela Sabatini.

7 p.m. session

Stadium court -- Mats Wilander (1) vs. Yannick Noah.

TBA -- Jim Pugh-Jana Novotna vs. Ken Flach-Betsy Nagelsen; Candy Reynolds-Paula Smith vs. Gigi Fernandez-Zina Garrison.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 12:03 AM   #2553
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf, Evert to clash in Lipton final
USA TODAY
Friday, March 25, 1988
Doug Smith

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - No. 1 Steffi Graf of West Germany and No. 2 Chris Evert square off Saturday in the Lipton International Players Championships women's tennis final.

No. 1 Mats Wilander of Sweden and No. 2 Jimmy Connors are on course to meet in Sunday's men's final.

ABC will televise the women's match at 1 p.m. EST Saturday and the men's match at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Graf, the defending champion, beat unseeded Stephanie Rehe of Highland, Calif., 6-3, 6-1 Thursday night in a semifinal match. Evert stopped No. 15 Mary Joe Fernandez 6-2, 6-1 in the other.

Graf beat Evert in last year's final. ``I think Chris will have to play really, really well and go for her shots to beat Steffi,''said Fernandez.

Said Graf: ``The way I was playing in the second set is the way I will have to play to beat Chris. I think this year is going to be a tougher match.''

Friday's semifinals: Wilander vs. Yannick Noah of France and Connors vs. Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 11:45 PM   #2554
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Seriously,huge THANK YOU Ms. Anthropic
I will need time to read all the articles you ve posted, and I already know it will be a pleasure
I've just read the last one, worth reading and its end
By the time I am finished here with 1988 and in the 1986 thread, your eyes will be very tired.

One of the things that surprised me, both at the time and looking back, is how quickly the press just accepted Steffi's results as "natural." Maybe it was because Martina's really dominant streak had already conditioned them to think that if the top player's match lasts more than an hour it is a kind of upset, or maybe it was because Steffi herself was athletic and played this newfangled type of game that her superiority was considered obvious. Or maybe it was because she was relatively new and shiny (and had not yet come to loathe the press truly and deeply) that the press just gravitated to her.
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 11:00 PM   #2555
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf makes point with win over Evert at Lipton
St. Petersburg Times
Mar 27, 1988
DARRELL FRY

KEY BISCAYNE - "I needed to win this tournament for myself," Steffi Graf said. "I wanted it very badly."

And as the best woman tennis player in the world, what Steffi Graf wants, Steffi Graf usually gets.

Graf reaffirmed her standing on the tour Saturday afternoon by holding off Chris Evert 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the $2.1-million Lipton International Players Championship.

"Everybody was writing that I wasn't as confident as I used to be. I was just too eager to play. I wasn't being patient," Graf said, referring to her upset loss to Gabriela Sabatini in the final of the Virginia Slims of Florida two weeks ago in Boca Raton. "Winning this match was very important to me. It meant a lot."

In monetary terms, the win meant $112,500 for Graf. Evert, the second seed from Boca Raton, received $56,250.

Graf also defeated Evert in last year's Lipton final, 6-1, 6-2. In their only other meeting this year, in the Australian Open in January, Graf won 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).

"I'm disappointed, but I'm not devastated like I was last year when I got blown off the court," Evert said afterward. "The last few times I've played her before the Australian I was getting beat so badly. Before I could think about beating her, I just wanted to stay with her and I did that pretty well (Saturday)."

Graf served extremely well, allowing no more than one point on serve in five games, but her usual supersonic forehand produced just five winners to 17 unforced errors.

Evert had several opportunities to tighten the screws on the top seed, but she was able to capitalize on only a few. On the rare occasions when she did grab an advantage, she didn't hold on to it.

"I don't know whether I just wasn't used to being in that position or I was rushing or whatever," Evert said. "It was a matter of a couple of points and Steffi still is playing the pressure points a little bit better than I am right now."

The pressure points. The near-capacity crowd of 7,253 went silent on each one. The first came when Evert broke Graf's serve to even the first set at 4-4. If Evert had held serve in the next game, the pressure would have been on Graf to hold serve or lose the set. But Evert double-faulted at love-30, and Graf broke back and then held at love to take the set.

In the second set, Evert, 33, took on another opponent: the heat. On-court temperatures rose to more than 100 degrees. As Evert attempted to run down shots from Graf, she took longer and longer breaks between points, toweling off and catching her breath.

"It certainly took a lot out of me," Evert said. "And I think it took a lot out of her."

With Evert leading 4-3 in the second set, both players again converged at pressure-point junctures. Twice Evert had break-point chances that would have put her up 5-3 and serving for the set. Twice Graf rose above her.

Again in the next game, after Graf held to even things at 4-4, Evert had a game point that would have moved her out to a 5-4 lead. But Graf prevailed, rocketing a service return for a winner.

Finally, with Graf holding break point at 4-4, an Evert drop shot didn't clear the net, giving Graf the break and putting her in position to serve out the match.

For Graf, the pressures of staying No.1 apparently are no threat. Since the start of 1986, her match record is 162-9. While second-ranked Martina Navratilova is vacationing, Graf has the two biggest titles of 1988 in the bag and is setting her sights on the French Open, the next Grand Slam tourney, May 23-June 5.

Evert, although playing well, is still looking for her first tournament title of the year. Largo is the next stop, where she's the top seed and defending champion in the $200,000 Eckerd Open, beginning Monday at the Bardmoor Country Club.

"It would be a good tournament for me to win," Evert said. "It would do something for my confidence."
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 11:04 PM   #2556
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

GRAF'S CRUCIAL POINTS DOWN EVERT, 6-4, 6-4
The Miami Herald
Sunday, March 27, 1988
JIM MARTZ

Invariably, Chris Evert would climb the mountain and hang there by her fingers. Then Steffi Graf would stomp on them.

So close to climbing back over the edge, but . . .

"When I had chances, I couldn't pull them out of the bag," said Evert after Graf defeated her Saturday, 6-4, 6-4, to successfully defend her women's singles title in the $2.1 million Lipton International Players Championships on Key Biscayne before 11,253 fans, some of whom waved West German flags for their native Steffi.

"It was a good, quality match, just a matter of a couple of points. Steffi is playing the pressure points a little better than me right now."

Graf, who won $112,500, came off the court feeling as if a giant anvil had been lifted from her shoulders.

A year ago in the Lipton, she whipped Martina Navratilova and Evert back-to-back in straight sets to begin her eventual rise to the No. 1 ranking. This time she was eager to win because Gabriela Sabatini beat her two weeks ago and she heard the talk that maybe she was vulnerable and losing confidence.

"After playing four weeks in a row, this match was really important for me," said Graf, "especially after losing to Gaby. I knew it would be tough.

"I needed this win for myself and to get my confidence for the next tournament. Yes, it was more satisfying than last year."

Then again, she didn't have to deal this time with Navratilova, who skipped the tournament because she wanted a break and didn't want to play on hard courts with her tender knees. Graf claims she missed her.

"It's such a big tournament, it seems everybody should be here," said Graf.

Not only was Graf at Lipton, she was in sharper form than at Boca Raton. Just as Evert expected.

"Against Gaby, she was pretty wild, but she wasn't the same today," Evert said. "You're always tougher after a loss. She's a champion, more determined, still on top of her game. She's right back on course."

Added Graf, "I was eager to play, and patient. But if you had seen me practice this morning, you would wonder if I was No. 400 or 500."

Graf left all her bad shots on the practice court. The victory was her sixth in a row over Evert, squaring their head- to-head record at 6-6. But here's how close it was Saturday on a warm, breezy afternoon:

* First set, Evert down a service break and another break point at 1-3, climbs back in with an ace (yes, ace) and a rousing crosscourt forehand volley.

Then she breaks Graf for 4-4, but Graf storms back, losing only one point in the next two games to take the set.

* Second set, Evert down a service break at 2-3, nails a forehand crosscourt to break Graf. Then Evert has two break points that would give her a 5-4 lead, but she nets a backhand service return on one and Graf charges to the net for an overhead on the other.

In the next game, after three deuces, Evert is down a break point and tries her first drop shot of the match. It hits the top of the tape and bounces back. End of game, end of Evert as Graf serves out the match.

"It was always going back and forth," said Graf. "It would be deuce, advantage me, advantage her. It was very important at 4-all and the two games before that."

Leading 3-1 in the second set, Graf became upset at the end of a lengthy rally when Evert hit a backhand down the line that Graf thought was wide. When a linesman yelled "fault" on Evert's next serve, Graf sarcastically said, "Thank you."

"That call really disturbed me and I was getting mad," Graf said after the match. "For two games I didn't concentrate" and Evert forged ahead, 4-3.

Though Graf hit only one ace, she served superbly. She won three service games in the first set at love, and that's against a player who prides herself on one of the best service returns in the game.

"She's physically stronger and faster than I am, and I have to work very hard to win one point," said Evert. "I have to be on top of my game every point.

"It was close, but when it came down to the crunch, she was a little better. It's hard to know what more I have to do."

Evert admitted she was disappointed in losing, "but not devastated like I was last year when she blew me off the court (6-1, 6-2).

"I had a very good tournament. I'm playing better than I was at this time last year."

Graf has played four weeks in a row -- winning at San Antonio just before Boca Raton -- and is looking forward to two weeks off before playing at Amelia Island, Fla.

"Even though I had a good match, I think I can play better," she said. Evert doesn't think Graf will dominate the circuit as she did last year in winning 75 of 77 matches.

"You know Martina is going to do well indoors," said Evert. "She picks her schedule because she knows she can win there.

"I don't think anyone will dominate. There will be a few upsets. Pam Shriver and Gaby and I will do some damage. It's getting more equal each year."
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #2557
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

TENNIS; Graf Beats Evert For Lipton Title
FRANK LITSKY
New York Times
March 27, 1988

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla., March 26— Forget the tentative Steffi Graf who was beaten by Gabriela Sabatini two weeks ago in Boca Raton and lost more points off her vaunted forehand than she won with it. Forget the up-and-down 18-year-old West German player who struggled with her game here in the early rounds of the $2.1 million, two-week Lipton International Players Championships.

Today in the final, Graf played like the world's top-ranked female tennis player, which she is. She beat Chris Evert, 6-4, 6-4, in a match she dominated from the start. Though it took 1 hour 40 minutes, a long day for her, her power overcame Evert's finesse and wore down the 33-year-old local favorite. On the Baseline

The 12,000 seats at the International Tennis Center were jammed on an afternoon in which the temperature neared 90 degrees at the airport and 120 on the concrete court. For the third straight year, Graf and Evert were meeting in the final here. Evert won in 1986, Graf in 1987. Their career series now is tied at 6-6, with Evert winning the first six matches and Graf everything since.

Graf earned $112,500, Evert $56,250. Similar purses await the winner of the men's final Sunday between top-seeded Mats Wilander of Sweden and second-seeded Jimmy Connors.

Among the women, Graf was seeded first and Evert second. Graf stayed at the baseline and belted crunching topspin forehands and mostly sliced but fast backhands. Evert generally stayed at the baseline and caressed the ball rather than punish it. It was Graf the puncher against Evert the counterpuncher.

The first set went to 4-4 before Graf broke Evert and served out the set. In the second set, Graf was leading, 3-1, when Evert's crosscourt backhand was called good. Graf stared in horror at the line umpire, complained to the chair umpire and, she said later, could not concentrate for two games.

Evert won that game and broke Graf in the next, tying the score at 4-4. In the next game, Evert saved 2 break points. Then her forehand approach was long, her drop shot hit the net and Graf had the decisive service break.

''It was a good match,'' said Graf, ''a lot of fight in it. But I think I can play better.''

In seven matches over two weeks, Graf did not lose a set. But last year, in this tournament, she played better. She routed Martina Navratilova in 57 minutes in the semifinals and Evert in 58 minutes in the final. Graf Strong at Finish

''I'm disappointed I lost today,'' said Evert, ''but I'm not devastated like I was last year when I got blown off the court. The way she had been beating me, before I could think about beating her I had to stay with her.

''I had my chances, but she's definitely playing the pressure points better than I am. She's stronger than I am, faster than I am and moved better than I did. It's hard to know what to do against her.''

Graf's strength told as she won the last three games of the match.

''In those games,'' said Evert, ''I kept hitting to her backhand and she kept hitting it back lower and lower. That's when her best tennis came out. I thought her backhand was better than her forehand, which is uncharacteristic.''

Evert was pleased with the way she played and Graf was more or less pleased with her game.

''I needed to win this tournament for myself to get confidence for the next tournament,'' said Graf.

John Fitzgerald of Australia and Anders Jarryd of Sweden upset top-seeded Ken Flach and Robert Seguso of Sebring, Fla., 7-6, 6-1, 7-5, in the men's doubles final. . . . Graf's victory raised her career earnings to $2,200,274 and moved her past Helena Sukova into sixth place in career earnings.
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 11:16 PM   #2558
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

For Graf, No. 1 status isn't enough
USA TODAY
Monday, March 28, 1988
Doug Smith

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - West Germany's Steffi Graf isn't satisfied being the best woman tennis player in the world. She's thinking only about getting better.

Graf tightened her grip on the No. 1 ranking Saturday, defeating Chris Evert 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the $2.1 million Lipton International Players Championships.

"Even though I think it was a good match and there was a lot of fight, I still think I can play better," said Graf. "If you're into sports and you want to be good, you can't be satisfied when you miss balls."

Graf completed the two-week tournament without losing a set. While conceding she wasn't at her best, Graf added, "Coaches are talking about how to beat me, that's why it's getting tougher."

Graf suffered her first loss to Gabriela Sabatini at the Virginia Slims of (Boca Raton) Florida two weeks ago, setting off Steffi-is-slipping talk.

"She was pretty wild in that match against Gaby," said Evert. "She wasn't (Saturday). She did not get impatient. She's still playing the pressure points better than I am right now. She's a champion."

Graf beat Martina Navratilova 6-2, 6-3 in 57 minutes in the Lipton tournament semifinals last year, then humbled Evert 6-1, 6-2 in a 58-minute final.

Graf's father, Peter, said Graf had begun to think she couldn't lose, but "now she says, 'I'm here to fight.' "

Graf-Evert

Statistics from Steffi Graf's 6-4, 6-4 victory against Chris Evert in the Lipton International Players Championship match (by TennisStat):

Graf Evert

First serve pct. 67 72

Aces 1 1

Service winners 10 4

Double faults 0 5

Placement winners 18 24

Unforced errors 28 28

Service games held 8 6

Service games broken 2 4

Total points won 79 62

Approaches to net 10 21

Points won at net 8 13
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Old Apr 1st, 2013, 11:41 AM   #2559
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf to Publish Autobiography
Polar Foil Journal
April 1, 2013
Cally M. Otter

Described by those with access to advance copies as a collection of essays and reminiscences that range in tone from petulant complaining, tedious self-aggrandizement, egregious plagiarism to blatant lying, comes "Closed: What Do You People Want From Me Anyway?" the much-awaited autobiography of German tennis legend Steffi Graf, available this summer in both English and German from the obscure publishing firm Narrenschiff.

Upon hearing the news, Rennae Stubbs, tennis television commentator and long-time friend of Graf, tweeted: "What the hell? This can't be for real! #Unpossible!"

Many had long assumed Graf's written memoirs would never hit the shelves, given the reticent nature of the retired star. Apparently, Graf's reluctance was overcome when she saw the success of husband Andre Agassi's autobiography.

"I'll be honest," Graf said. "When I saw what Andre pulled off, I was thinking to myself, 'I've got to cash in on that, too.' So I wrote some things down, whatever popped into my head, and shopped around for the best advance and percentage of sales contract. Yes, it's sensationalist garbage, but it's guaranteed to sell millions. Because sensationalist garbage is what people want. After years of suffering from tabloid headlines, I'm finally going to make that sort of trash, and the idiots who buy it, work for me. Cha-ching!"

Reportedly, people affiliated with women's tennis, past and present, are uneasy and agitated about potential bombshells and otherwise embarrassing behind-the-scenes incidents being divulged in the book.

In the preface, Graf reveals: "Many of my former associates, including Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Gabriela Sabatini, Pam Shriver, Anne Person Worcester, Gerry Smith, Merrett Stierheim, Peachy Kellmeyer, Ana Leaird, John Korff, and Günter Sanders among others, took up a collection and offered me $25,560,437.91 not to publish this book. I am not dissuaded, but I do wonder which one of them contributed the 91 cents -- probably Arantxa because I understand the tax man also came for her, although I note, with some acrimony, that no one went to jail."

Pre-order sales are expected to be extremely brisk, possibly even record-setting in Graf's native Germany, but no book signing tour has been scheduled yet. While publishing house spokeswoman April Fuhl anticipated great demand for in-store appearances by the former champion, she said Graf was hoping the bulk of sales would be for the electronic edition, so that she will not be inconvenienced by irksome people who want an autographed printed copy.

Promotional excerpts have been made available to media outlets that have good standing with Graf, which is evidently a rather short list. A small sampling from the table of contents yields chapter titles such as: "Look On My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair!"; "Paint It, Black"; "Enjoy the Silence"; "I Don't Need No Stinking Motivation"; "It's None of Your [Expletive Redacted] Business"; "What Do You Want Me To Do About It?"; "Nihil me paenitet hujus nasi"; "Here's Another Nice Mess You've Gotten Me Into"; "Cruel Is A Matter of Perspective"; "Wrote My Will Across The Sky In Stars"; and "We Can't Stop Here! This Is Bat Country!"

The following previews from "Closed" have been approved for general audiences:

** If there's one thing my tennis career taught me, it's that Sartre was correct when he wrote, "L'enfer, c'est les autres."

** You know things are surreal when Michael Jackson is the only person you have encountered over the whole summer who has treated you like a normal human being.

** A successful marriage is based on equal parts of romance and respect. Andre calls me his Goddess and I call him my Fanboy.

** Then they want me to be on the players' council or whatever it's called. Yeah, me. I'm just a teenaged Realschule dropout, and they want me to make decisions about how to run women's tennis. That's when I knew tennis was doomed. Of course, it didn't go over well when I asked them if they had ever heard of the phrase "conflict of interest." It went over even less well when I asked the head guy what we were paying him for if he wants the players to run things. Typical CEO. At least they finally stopped asking me to go those soul-crushing meetings after I went to one and feigned death for the duration.

Come on, I know how many people out there complain about their television commentary. So you can imagine how horrific it is to be trapped a room with all of them, forced to listen to them babble about nothing for hours on end.

** Once, when we were still juniors playing in Miami at the Orange Bowl, I dangled Mary Joe Fernandez by her braid over the alligator pit at the Seaquarium. You can't start establishing dominance over your rivals too soon.

** When she thought no one was looking, Pam Shriver would pull out a picture of Michael Dukakis, sigh longingly and even caress the photo. At the time, I didn't even know who he was or why she was trying to keep it secret; I just naively figured she was worried about public opinion if everyone found out she had the hots for some guy. So I said to her, "It's 1988 and it's OK to be openly heterosexual in women's tennis thanks to players like Chris Evert. People will accept your lifestyle -- or they won't even care because it's not like you are a star or have much of a future anymore. So don't worry." It was only much later that I learned about the whole Democrat versus Republican game in American politics. Wonder how a WASPish Republican cheerleader teaming up with a liberal-leaning immigrant lesbian worked...

** If I can ever get proof positive about who took that pool-side photograph of my bare backside, I'm going to come for him with a helicopter of my own and put one of the skids right up his ass. Then I'll take a picture of it.

** Little known is the fact that I went to Bollettieri's tennis academy as well, albeit briefly, because, as Andre described, it was really only a place to pick up bad habits. Then my father sent me to a remote mountain in Japan where I was tutored by a group of sage Yamabushi in both martial arts and esoteric Buddhist and Daoist philosophy and learned how to enter a state of mushin no shin. The idea being that if somehow my tennis career didn't work out, I could become a ninja. Because ninja was second on my list of things I wanted to be when I grew up. The third was veterinarian and the fourth was pirate.¹ (Footnoted: ¹The fifth and sixth were, respectively, Pippi Longstocking, as she is called in English, and the television show version of Morticia Addams. Eventually, I found out they weren't real jobs, but you must admit I did pretty well at combining those two characters for my public persona.)

** I thought they were the greatest ever Halloween costumes for us. Andre was Jeff Tarango, complete with Breathe Right Nasal Strip. Gil Reyes was Bruno Rebeuh, complete with red handprint stenciled on his cheek. I was Benedicte Tarango. I thought about inviting Alex Mronz over to play himself, but decided that would be really, really awkward, so we got Darren Cahill for that part. Only five people knew what we were referring to, though.

** Down 4-5, 0-15 in the second set against Hingis in the 1999 French Open final, I said to myself, "Hold on! She is not really Swiss. She is originally from Czechoslovakia -- and she is serving for the match! Now I have her right where I want her."

** Ron [Swanson] is a great guy. I see a little bit of myself in him. We're both somewhat prickly, maybe due to experiences beyond our control, but we're really not mean. Although I do wish I had thought of a swivel-mounted shotgun for my press conferences. At the time, that would have made my life so much easier.

** Every time I had so much as a double digit winning streak going, the tennis press always seemed to pipe up with "Graf is killing tennis. Help! Help! They're being repressed! Did you see her repressing them? You saw her, didn't you?" articles. Yeah, blame it all on big, bad, despotic Graf and never once mention the professional short-comings of the people on the other side of the net. Oh, no. That would hurt too many people's egos and wallets. Bloody peasants.

** I always told the tournament support staff that I'll win this match in 60 minutes or less or your pizza is free. Not great pizza, mind you, because that's a lot of people to buy pizza for, but decent pizza. That's why I always hated it when my opponents stalled between points.

** To all those people who persistently complained that I didn't look like I enjoyed playing tennis, all I can say is: Would you please look at my feet? Pick just about any match that doesn't involve my kneecap popping off and watch how I move. I dance. I gambol. I frolic. I am an exultation of energy. Do you think I would move like that if I didn't enjoy playing? I thought not.

And, is it not possible that so many of the players commonly thought to exhibit a zest for tennis by their tantrums, gamesmanship, vulgar gestures, and other antics are acting that way because they do not really enjoy playing tennis? Rationally considered, people who are screaming threats or insults are not enjoying themselves. So would you all please shut up about it now?

** I stepped into my tennis skirt one leg at a time, the same as everyone else. Except I usually wore a wrap-around skirt. I guess that metaphor really fell apart, didn't it?

** I felt so bad for Monica while she was sitting out, but I didn't know what to do for her. So each year, I sent her an anonymous gift subscription to one of those cheesecake of the month clubs. When she finally returned to competitive tennis, I took one look at her waistline and cringed. But then I decided to renew the cheesecake subscription and also add one for glazed hams.

** International Management Group was trying to sign me. We will make you into an even bigger star, they said. Wow, talk about completely misunderstanding me. It should have been obvious to them that that was a total turn-off for me. And let's not forget constantly trying to impress me with their pact with Yog Sothoth! I made it clear to them from the start that I have no interest in eldritch abominations, and that any kind of association with such beings is guaranteed to end badly.

** I could never understand the players who enjoyed the whole schmooze-with-the-press routine. Our tournaments are held in some of the most interesting and lively cities in the world, but they want to spend the afternoon or evening in a claustrophobic room, listening to themselves talk? When they near the end of their lives, they will wish they had those afternoons and evenings back, in order to do something more meaningful with them. And they call me a tennis machine or inhuman -- which, although I know it was meant to hurt my feelings or vilify me in the eyes of the public, never seemed an insult to me. Quite the contrary, given the actions and beliefs of far too much of the human population. Plus, such characterizations of me scared the hell out of most of my opponents, including the ones who called me those names in the first place. That's yet another example of how awesome I am: Even their attempts to deride me backfired.

** To this day, I'm asked if there is anything I regret about my tennis career. To be honest, just one thing. I never managed to hit the ball back into Sanchez Vicario's silly little ball holder. If I could have done that -- and I came so freaking close once during the 1994 Australian Open final -- it would have been shown on sports highlight reels forever!

** As the 1992 Wimbledon Ball was nearing its end and we all sat and chatted over empty crème brûlée ramekins, Andre looked at me with eyes that can only be described as shining with hope, and said, "It's still a little early. We're young, rich, and full of sugar. What do we do?"

And I, being young, rich, and full of sugar (not to mention champagne), stood up and shouted, "Let's go crazy Broadway style!" I then burst into renditions of "If a Girl Isn't Pretty," "I'm the Greatest Star," and "You Are Woman, I Am Man." Andre just stared in shock and stammered random syllables, which puzzled me greatly because I thought he liked Streisand...

** The US Open does prepare you well for dealing with small children. While there you experience the whole gamut: inconsolable sobbing, hysterical laughter, inexplicable clumsiness, projectile vomiting, drooling, uncontrolled bowels and bladders, maniacal fits of temper, tender displays of affection, total lack of forethought, irrational beliefs, inane or impossible-to-answer questions -- and that is just what you encounter in the room where the press interviews the players.

** I must stress the importance of getting a second, or even third, medical opinion. For instance, after the first surgeon I consulted for my knee operation described his procedure in detail to me, I was left wondering, "But if our knees bent the other way, how would we ride a bicycle?"

** Given that I love dogs and snow and ice, one of my dreams for the future is to compete in the Iditarod. By that I mean harness myself to a sled and race against the dog teams. It will be fair, if they give the dogs a 25 mile head start.

Excerpted from "Closed" by Stefanie Graf. Copyright 2013 by Stefanie Graf. Excerpted by permission of Narrenschiff, a division of Markante Unwahrheit, GmbH. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Last edited by Ms. Anthropic : Apr 1st, 2013 at 11:50 AM.
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Old Apr 1st, 2013, 01:50 PM   #2560
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Old Apr 2nd, 2013, 02:36 AM   #2561
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Ms. Anthropic, you made my day. Thank you.........
I only hope that the actual media had one tenth of the sense of humor you have.
Well, I guess that it is too much to ask these days.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2013, 06:33 AM   #2562
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Best April Fool story for me, you are a genius!!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2013, 03:12 PM   #2563
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Brilliant! Thank you!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2013, 05:45 PM   #2564
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

[quote=Ms. Anthropic;26297594]Graf to Publish Autobiography
Polar Foil Journal
April 1, 2013
Cally M. Otter

Brilliant Amy! Absolute genius :-D
Thank you!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2013, 09:07 PM   #2565
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stef-fan View Post
Ms. Anthropic, you made my day. Thank you.........
I only hope that the actual media had one tenth of the sense of humor you have.
Well, I guess that it is too much to ask these days.
To be fair, some of those are very much egregious plagiarism. "Help! Help! They're being repressed!" is a riff from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." "We're young, rich, and full of sugar. What do we do? -- Let's go crazy Broadway style!" is straight from a Simpsons episode (although they do not spoof "Funny Girl"). "But if our knees bent the other way..." is straight from a Pinky and the Brain episode. "Put one of the skids right up [his] ass" is from very obscure background dialog in "Apocalypse Now."

"Now I have her right where I want her" really was used at least once in a press conference. After the 1994 USO semis against Novotna: Q. Does part of your mind when you are at 2-5, 15-40 say, "Oh, I got her right where I want her," or are you maybe expecting some sort of gifts from her?

STEFFI GRAF: Well, you know, I think at that point it didn't really get to her. I think it was happening at 5-All...

"60 minutes or less or your pizza is free" was inspired by a quip from an article from Wimbledon 1988: "Generally, Graf could order a pizza before a match and be finishing off her opponent when it arrived."

And of course most of the "chapter titles" are relatively famous quotes or riffs, although one or two are double references.
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