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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 01:15 PM   #2716
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4times View Post
Another mention in Jon of SI's mailbag


• On this the 25-year anniversary of Steffi Graf's Golden Slam, Anonymous notes: "From Maria Sharapova to Tsvetana Pironkova to Sorana Cirstea to Monica Puig, one thing that most of them have in common is their admiration for Steffi Graf -- and tennis pundits say she didn't do anything for the game. Little did they realize that just playing on the court is enough to inspire millions around the world."
"Not doing anything for the game" is another myth. She very much supported the tournaments. When necessary, she "governed," albeit in an indirect way. Just in 1992 alone, for example, the fine for playing an exhibition held against a sanctioned tournament goes from $10,000 to $100,000 (after Steffi's comments about how to fix the problem) and the WTA starts implementing a drug testing policy (after Steffi's public comments that neither she nor any player she's talked to has ever been drug tested outside of the Olympics). If it was a real issue, not just a political tempest-in-a-teapot game, she weighed in.

As to the promotion of the game, she was in "Vogue" magazine before it was in vogue for a tennis player to be in "Vogue." She never gave interviews? Then why have I posted so many? Why have I watched so many? Why did she participate in so many tennis clinics for kids? Why was it documented so often that she spent as much time signing autographs as she did playing?
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 02:57 PM   #2717
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBS0ahF3nm8
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #2718
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

http://www.newscom.com/nc/displayOpe...1String=agassi graf&search2String=a&dispOutput=&eaCurrentPageNum= 1&bylinesearch=&locationsearch=&sourcesearch=&acti onsearch=&postersearch=&attrsearch=&capwrisearch=& categorysearch=&scatssearch=&scodesearch=&specials earch=&subjectsearch=&feature=sipaphotosfour&vg=fa lse&searchPhoto=Y&searchVideo=Y&searchText=N&searc hGraphics=Y&searchkey=[]&sort=d&searchSet=no&searchSetName=&searchHZ=Y&sea rchVT=Y&daterng=&searchtype=newsearch
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #2719
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Inspiring Graf in dominant form - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Tuesday, June 28, 1988
Richard Evans

A little boy in a red anorak ran onto the centre court to ask Steffi Graf for her autograph after the West German No. 1 seed had completed a fearsomely impressive, 6-2, 6-2, victory over the Miami schoolgirl, Mary Joe Fernandez.

Graf obliged, but I doubt whether the All-England club committee will be quite so amenable to the idea of autograph seekers racing all over their sacred grass. Quite apart from the fact that it interrupted the curtsy Graf was making to her occasional doubles partner, the Princess of Wales, the thought of stampeding herds chasing players off the centre court will, quite understandably, turn the committee members a deeper shade of purple than their club colours.

It was easy to appreciate, however, why Graf inspires such acts of spontaneity and adulation. Fernandez had played with considerable aplomb for a 16-year-old facing a world No. 1 on the centre court, but despite her beautifully-timed service returns and studied accuracy whenever she trusted herself to go to the net, one service break at the beginning of the second set was all she had to show for her efforts.

In 1986 Fernandez had lost to Graf on cement and clay, but has now discovered that the German has her number on grass too. Fernandez, however, is something of a part-time player in comparison to her totally professional opponent because this lawyer's daughter is an honours student at Carollton High School and has at least half her mind on other subjects.

It may be something of a relief to get back to advanced mathematical calculus after trying to fathom how Graf can make a forehand travel quite so fast with quite so much accuracy. And there is always the consoling thought that she will play less well than she did yesterday and beat a lot of other players.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #2720
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I think MJF even had a point for 3-0 in the second set, but then Steffi did whatever it was that Steffi almost always did in those situations and ran off 6 games in a row. After the match, she was asked if she ever got nervous playing on Centre Court. "Not very often," she replied. It's already starting to feel like home.

EVERT SURVIVES SCARE FROM ADAMS
Sun-Sentinel
Tuesday, June 28, 1988
JIM SARNI

WIMBLEDON, England -- Monday was one of those gloomy English days filled with a forboding sky and hidden danger seemingly lurking behind every corner.

For Chris Evert, trouble was Chicago's Katrina Adams, the 123rd-ranked player who won the first set of their fourth-round match at Wimbledon.

Suddenly, it was growing a little gloomier on Court 3.

''I didn't want to lose to her. That was not the way I wanted to go out at Wimbledon '88,'' Evert said. ''Even though I respect her game, I still feel I'm a better player and I shouldn't lose to her. I got mad after I lost the first set and I started to think of how I would feel if I lost.''

Evert fueled her anger into a 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 victory to advance to today's quarterfinals.

Gabriela Sabatini and Natalia Zvereva were not as lucky.

Sabatini, the fifth-seeded Argentine, was ousted by No. 12 Zina Garrison of Houston 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

Zvereva, the eighth seed from the Soviet Union and a French Open finalist, was upset by Ros Fairbank, a South African who now lists San Diego as her hometown, 6-2, 6-4.

Top seed Steffi Graf , No. 3 Pam Shriver, No. 6 Helena Sukova and Pascale Paradis also advanced, but defending champion Martina Navratilova, the second seed, was caught in limbo.

After waiting five hours through the Ivan Lendl-Mark Woodforde marathon to get on court, Navratilova was halted by rain and darkness, down 4-2 to No. 13 Larissa Savchenko of the Soviet Union.

Graf ousted No. 16 Mary Joe Fernandez of Miami 6-2, 6-2, but it was more work than the score indicated. Shriver had an easy time with No. 14 Katerina Maleeva, 6-2, 6-2. Sukova ousted Barbara Potter 7-6, 6-4, and Paradis outlasted Deer Creek's Anne Minter 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Today, Evert faces Sukova, Graf meets Paradis and Shriver opposes Garrison. Fairbank, meanwhile, awaits the Navratilova-Savchenko winner.

Wimbledon '88 has been an adventure for Evert, who has fought off two lightly regarded opponents in three sets. Last week, No. 93 Christina Singer of West Germany gave Evert a scare with her booming hit-and-miss serve.

Adams, who grew up playing with a Chris Evert autographed wood racket, brought the same weapon Monday and pounced on her childhood heroine.

''I came out playing well and I wanted to win,'' said Adams, 19, who left Northwestern to turn pro in January. ''But I used a lot of energy during the first set. In the third set, I mentally and physically ran out of gas.

''It's hard when you are playing Evert to try to keep up with the mental game. She came up a lot stronger and I could not do anything.''

''I think it's a lot easier when you're 18 or 19 to go out there and jump around and start out quickly,'' Evert, 33, said. ''I've played so many matches that I just can't go out there jumping up and down every single day. Sometimes it takes me to be down 4-2 or a set to be motivated. I'm not talking about the Martinas; I get excited about playing them. It's the players who are not in the Top 10.''

Evert got started right away in the second set, breaking Adams in the first game. Evert broke again and built a 5-1 lead before Adams recovered and won a few games. Evert then broke Adams in the final game of the set and raced through the final set in 17 minutes. Adams won only seven points.

Sabatini's comeback fell apart when Garrison won the first five games of the final set.

''I wasn't surprised she fell apart,'' Garrison said. ''I had chances in the second set to take her in two sets, and I just didn't take advantage of the opportunities.

''I knew if I could get to the net in the third set, I could win pretty easily. I don't think she's comfortable on this court. Her confidence level on this court and on clay -- it's like unbelievable.''

Graf, who plays confidently on every surface, needed 54 minutes (her longest match of the tournament) to dismiss Fernandez.

''It was my toughest match, there was more tension,'' said Graf, who took over from 2-all in each set.

''I had my chances,'' said Fernandez, who led 2-0 in the second set. ''Steffi played the important points better.''
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 03:03 PM   #2721
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

If any of you read the mailbag of John Wertheim, after that comment posted that said "and tennis pundits say she didn't do anything for the game. Little did they realize that just playing on the court is enough to inspire millions around the world.", the anti-Graf folks seemed to just come out of the wood work.

In today's link: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ten...?sct=tn_t11_a4, someone from Germany implies that Steffi knew about Peter Graf's tax evasion (which I honestly do not believe for a second, and at least neither does John). Then someone else says "Incidentally, most tennis experts agree that Graf was decidedly uninvolved as the number one player and not an attribute to the WTA off court. I'm not trying to be offensive..." but that sentence pretty much sounds offensive.

It made me curious, what are the contributions of the current crop of top players to the tennis organization? I don't know if any of them play leadership roles in the WTA and have made significantly more contributions than Steffi (at least from a perception standpoint). If they don't, I wonder then why Steffi seems to keep getting singled out for her supposed non-contribution. Was it because she was the #1 player who came after the folks who were so involved?
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 04:29 PM   #2722
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by XTN View Post
Then someone else says "Incidentally, most tennis experts agree that Graf was decidedly uninvolved as the number one player and not an attribute to the WTA off court. I'm not trying to be offensive..." but that sentence pretty much sounds offensive.

It made me curious, what are the contributions of the current crop of top players to the tennis organization? I don't know if any of them play leadership roles in the WTA and have made significantly more contributions than Steffi (at least from a perception standpoint). If they don't, I wonder then why Steffi seems to keep getting singled out for her supposed non-contribution. Was it because she was the #1 player who came after the folks who were so involved?
They need to try to find a reason to justify their dislike/hatred of Steffi. It would be so much more emotionally healthy for them to just say, "I am biased against Germans even though the war ended like 68 years ago," or "My favorite is <insert name here> and I really, really need my favorite to be considered the best ever by everyone, but my favorite's claim to best ever is not as strong as some other players' claims, so I really, really need to find a way to diminish the other players. Yes, I am that shallow and insecure."

Like I said, Steffi was not a serve-on-the-council type of leader, especially because so much of serving-on-the-council is just having to bullshit or listening to other people bullshit. But when there were really important issues, Steffi acted.

When Seles, ASV, Martinez, Sukova, and the others played that exhibition instead of Brighton, Shriver, who was WTA president, wanted to fix the problem with suspensions. Steffi, however, rightly and astutely pointed out that that would still be hurting the tournaments, nor would it stop players from playing exhibitions held against tournaments while suspended; her solution was to add more zeroes to the fine, which had been at a ridiculously low level. I wonder why Navratilova, Evert, and Shriver never raised the fine before this -- oh, maybe it was because they played exhibitions held against tournaments all the time. In fact, I don't think there was even a rule against it until 1987 or 1988 (coincidence?). Oh, but it wasn't a "problem" when Navratilova, Evert, and Shriver did it in previous years. The hypocrisy is stunning.

Or what about in 1994, when IMG tried to take over the WTA? And guess whose side Billie Jean King was on. Hint: it wasn't the WTA's. That's right, BJK was all for enslaving her own "creation" to IMG. Once again, while Steffi wasn't on the players council, she was standing right behind them as the biggest (and maybe only) reason they could say "No!" and mean it. That the WTA's independence survived was thanks to Steffi never thinking, "Eh, IMG will fill my pockets even better than the current system. Let's do it." She could have sold out so many times, but never did.

And don't get me started on the whole drug testing issue. It's almost like a running joke. Steffi would say "We're not doing enough." A year later they would make a little better effort. Then the press would ask Steffi if it had gotten better. Steffi would say "Yes, but we still aren't doing this." And then the cycle would repeat.

And do the IMG/WTA Sorority Sisters really want Ms. Anthropic to recite many of the stupid, self-serving, and/or catastrophic decisions they made in their tenures? Shall we start at the beginning? A cigarette company as a sponsor? Really? Ever heard of the phrase "deal with the devil"? What about Pam "Sure, let's let Kraft out of their sponsorship contract early even though we don't have another sponsor lined up yet" Shriver? There's a lot of information, not just old newspaper articles, that could be "liberated" that would be very embarrassing for certain people.

And in a few days, I will post two articles from Wimbledon 1988 that will perhaps educate many of the young'uns about just how important "leading on the court" was back then.

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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 12:48 PM   #2723
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

And another run of six consecutive games. I think I detect the beginning of a pattern.

Mayotte's bullets pierce the gloom - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Wednesday, June 29, 1988
Rex Bellamy

For the first time since 1964, the era of Wilhelm Bungert and Christian Kuhnke, two West Germans, Boris Becker and Patrick Kuhnen, have reached the quarter-finals of the men's singles at Wimbledon. For the second time in three years, only Tim Mayotte will carry the flag for Uncle Sam.

The pairings are: Ivan Lendl v Mayotte, Pat Cash v Becker (the past two champions should have a resounding clash of arms), the unseeded Kuhnen v Stefan Edberg, and Miloslav Mecir v Mats Wilander. The women's semi-finals will be Steffi Graf v Pam Shriver and Chris Evert v Martina Navratilova or the unseeded Rosalyn Fairbank.

Mayotte completed a 6-4,

7-6, 4-6, 6-2 win over Henri Leconte and Becker overpowered Paul Annacone 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. With Kuhnen's five-set triumph over Jimmy Connors, the three matches punctuated a gloomy evening with explosive noises.

A lady told me: "I can't stand these crash-bang-wallopers. That's not tennis." For better or worse, it happens to be grass-court tennis. But those who prefer more tactical manoeuvring, with a dash of subtlety, can look to the Mecir-Wilander match to modify an otherwise curried dish.

Leconte is such a flamboyant, exciting player that one is always sorry to see him go. It is as if a box of fireworks has been emptied. We saw the best and worst of him in the two sets played yesterday flashes of sudden splendour and shots so commonplace that one could hardly believe he had played them.

This will be Mayotte's fifth appearance in a Wimbledon quarter-final. He is a gentle man but, on court, hard-eyed and remorselessly violent. He was too naggingly consistent for Leconte. Their shots sang through the gloaming like bullets. That was equally true next door, on court one, where Becker confirmed his supremacy over Annacone.

These two have now played six matches and Annacone has won only one set. When Becker was serving, Annacone looked like a batsman facing Malcolm Marshall during the onset of twilight. In tennis, the umpires do not carry light meters.

The resident court one pigeon stayed well clear of the firing line. Even Annacone's service is awesome in almost any company except Becker's. When Annacone is receiving service he likes to chip and charge. But even when he did manage a decent chip, the chances were that any ensuing charge would rapidly confront him with the advancing bulk of Becker.

Becker confidently passed the test of his service returns and passing shots. He looked awfully powerful. Of his coming clash with Cash, his successor as champion, Becker said: "It has nothing to do with tennis. It's mental."

The extraordinary Graf had a 6-3, 6-1 win over Pascale Paradis, who broke service in the first game, but had no more break points and lost five of her eight service games. Graf won six consecutive games for the match. She was beaten by Navratilova in the United States final but has since won 19 successive grand slam singles in straight sets.

There was no play until 5.20, and Pam Shriver had three breakfasts inside her by the time she went on court with Zina Garrison, whom she beat 6-4, 6-4. Of her next match, with Graf, Shriver said: "I'm going to have to gamble a lot and go for my volleys. To beat the No.1 player in the world you've got to play a hell of a match."

Evert beat Helena Sukova 6-3, 6-4. Predictably, this was a tough match. Evert was aware that she had no time to go through the gears, it had to be straight into top. She began well and maintained her form, under increasing stress, to reach the semi-finals for the 16th time.

Sukova has all the shots and, at her best, puts them all together so fluently that she can make tennis look ridiculously easy. She took a set to find her range. After that, she was almost Evert's equal. This was a thoughtful, tactically engrossing, highly skilled match a joy to watch.

There was an official statement to the effect that, after a mild winter, the growth of grass had been exceptional. "This grass," the statement said, "is both denser and softer than normal." But the fine weather of the first week meant that the courts were subjected to more continual wear and tear than usual and the courts had suffered.

The courts are certainly cutting up rather badly and there are five days to go. Given that, plus the exciting residue of the draw, we can look forward to a lot more fun. And I must remember to ask Lendl about his socks. He wears them up to calf level and, whatever the heat of battle, they always stay up.

Rumour has it that, a long time ago, Lendl was provided with such comfortably adhesive socks that he cornered that particular market. One has a mental picture of some sock-packed cupboard (firmly closed against his marauding German Shepherd dogs) in his Connecticut home.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #2724
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

While his underlying premise had/has a certain validity for certain players, he pretty much fails in coherently supporting his point. First he claims that in becoming more muscular and athletic than bygone days, "the women have become no more than second-rate men" -- but then he slams Shriver and Evert for being unathletic. He feels they should rely "feminine qualities," which I take to mean slower, more "graceful" movements accompanied by some good, old-fashioned jiggling T&A and prettily painted faces -- but then yearns to again see a scrambler like Casals. He claims no takers for his women's final tickets -- but scalpers were selling theirs for $530 (in 1988 money). Perhaps he just longs for the country club days, when it was a game for the idle-but-not-particularly-athletic rich and one could enjoy a few cigarettes and snifters of brandy between games. Whatever. Nevermind. Because on Monday, July 4, 1988, he will change his tune about the entertainment value provided by at least one of the women.

Miller's June 30 and July 4 columns and the switch from "Miss Navratilova and Miss Graf" to "Ms. Navratilova and Ms. Graf" in the "New York Times" immediately after the 1986 U.S. Open semifinal are two of the greatest and purest "moments of triumph" for women's tennis over maligning and condescension by the media, possibly the top two. Do they still say Steffi Graf made no contribution to the advancement of the women's game? Sometimes the only way to make converts is on the court. With action, not with empty words.

Equality that led to game of faults; Ladies at Wimbledon
The Times
London, England
June 30, 1988
David Miller

It is time the truth were told. The ladies at Wimbledon are, so to speak, without clothes. In the altogether. Talking tennis, of course. Were the championships dependent on the women's game, they would go bust: or should I say broke. The women's singles prize of Pounds 158,000 is wholly out of proportion to the relative entertainment provided.

Women's tennis, and Wimbledon, is taking money under false pretences. Their matches are short on personality, drama and endurance: and on length. A survey has shown that only 12 per cent of the tennis-viewing public is primarily interested in women's singles, compared with 60 per cent for men. The crowds on the two main courts utilize women's matches as an expedient moment to go to tea.

Before those hard-working and sociable folk who run the Virginia Slims circuit send out a lynching posse, let me say that I have admired much about the women ever since first seeing Hart and Brough, then Bueno, Court and King, Evert and Navratilova; not to forget the home contingent of Truman, Mortimer, Jones and Wade.

Yet in becoming more serious, in being led by the energetic Billie Jean and muscular Martina towards a new world of women's equality, the appeal of the women has in fact become less. The reason is simple, though for a man to state it will seem, to the women, outrageous.

It is that the women have become no more than second-rate men.

With their sex being slower, weaker and, in tennis, demonstrably less fit, the women's game could never benefit from an increased emphasis on those qualities when compared with men. There are only two real athletes in women's tennis, Navratilova and Steffi Graf. Chris Evert, one of the most perfect drivers of all time from the baseline, is out of breath if she goes once to the net. She is a beautiful racket player and a former champion of great poise, but many of those women now at Wimbledon have personalities less prominent than good county players.

How often do we see a woman able and willing to scramble as Rosie Casals once did? The lack of depth and of mobility in the women's ranks is evident from the presence in the semi-finals of the 33-year-old Evert, a non-volleyer on grass, and Pam Shriver, who should say a prayer of gratitude each night that one so unathletic can earn over $3 million from the game.

For 10 days I have advertised two tickets for the women's final, a potential meeting between Navratilova and Graf, in exchange for two tickets for tomorrow's men's semi-finals. There have been no takers. The threat of the Wunderkind to the long-reigning queen apparently has less appeal than the queen would wish.

In establishing her domination over the women's game, Navratilova may have done herself $13 million worth of good, but the effect on the game is, I suspect, open to question. There may now be a sizeable, independent women's circuit built upon sponsors keen to exploit a television vehicle, but muscular women's tennis can never compare favourably directly alongside the men: even if the queen were to share with her contemporaries the secrets of her personal nutritional adviser which have helped her develop such a physique.

Women's tennis now needs to be viewed, for its own sake, as a separate commodity; which unlike, say, women's athletics, it can afford to be. But in comparison with men, the women lost ground, I feel, when they set out to reduce the importance of perceived feminine qualities. The viewing public, which for tennis includes a high proportion of women, is not bowled over by functional girls from east of the Rhine or west of the Rockies, when the alternative is Becker, Cash, Leconte, Edberg or Wilander.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 01:18 PM   #2725
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Has anyone seen any confirmation as to whether Steffi is going to be at this WTA 40 year celebration thing later today? I saw it's listed as fromer No1's & champions but hadn't actually seen her name listed as attending yet. Hope she is since to me she is the greatest champion the WTA has ever had & the main reason I'm a fan of WTA & tennis in general even years after she has retired.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 03:59 PM   #2726
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?V...D=2K7O3RTDACIB

beautiful!
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 10:04 PM   #2727
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by fnuf7 View Post
Has anyone seen any confirmation as to whether Steffi is going to be at this WTA 40 year celebration thing later today? I saw it's listed as fromer No1's & champions but hadn't actually seen her name listed as attending yet. Hope she is since to me she is the greatest champion the WTA has ever had & the main reason I'm a fan of WTA & tennis in general even years after she has retired.
She wasn't there, and if she had been listed I think her name would have been announced So I didn't expected her to be present.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 10:38 PM   #2728
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
She wasn't there, and if she had been listed I think her name would have been announced So I didn't expected her to be present.
Yeah I thought so too since she's such a huge name that she'd be at the top or near the top of any list of names attending. *sigh*

Shame she didn't attend but at same time entirely predictable for her since she's not keen on these events that honour her (even partly), tends to keep away from stuff like this event. It's part of why I'm a fan of hers love how humble & quiet she is about her great career, no books, no commentating, no trying to hog the limelight, just got on with her life & did what she wanted to do.
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Old Jul 1st, 2013, 09:49 AM   #2729
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

You know what? I almost hope she didn't attend this event on purpose, I mean, WTA (former players) and american media have quite trashed her with this discussion about Serena being the GOAT, and then the talking about Seles stabbing and how she would have won all Steffi's slams otherwise, and things like that. I know Steffi doesn't care about her records, but she deserves some respect ultimately. It sounds like they're saying she's an impostor that didn't deserved anything of what she won! They're pretty much trying to change history. So, I wouldn't mind if she was like: "Well, ok, if I didn't deserve what I accoplished, then I'm not worth to be here, you can do without me, I don't belong here". Being a person of acts and not of words, this could be her response to all that talking.
Sorry if I'm going a little too far, maybe Steffi wasn't offended at all. I was.
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Old Jul 1st, 2013, 12:36 PM   #2730
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Considering that Steffi was always disinterested in the GOAT debate, and considering that it seems like the media, particularly the American media, the WTA, and the loudest "fans" only care about the GOAT debate, it stands to reason she would want to keep her distance. It is a sad indictment on just how dysfunctional tennis culture remains. When a sport must disparage previous great players in order to generate "ink" or when arguing about eras is all most "fans" want to do, that's not healthy. Are they wondering why tennis doesn't seem to be attracting the quality and/or numbers of athlete they'd like, particularly from the U.S.? The bigger puzzle is why anyone would want to play professional tennis at all, given how toxic it seems even from a distance.
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