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Old Sep 15th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #2911
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
This might have been a little more physically violent between the police and the reporters and bystanders, judging from a snippet from tomorrow's article. At any rate, I'm sure a jet-lagged Steffi is probably wondering when the world will recover its sanity.

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

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

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

Graf was shaken but unhurt.

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

"At the moment, I feel a bit tired. Now, having this," she said, wiping her eyes. "I'm very excited but it's a little frightening. I hope it's not going to be like this all the time."
Remember reading a German article about this arrival in Seoul, pretty frightening yeah, some team mates complained about the chaos and so on.
Never had the opportunity to see images.
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Old Sep 16th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #2912
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Others shop till they drop. Steffi is probably quite happy to stay put in the Olympic Village.

Shopping fever hits Hurricane Helen Kelesi
The Toronto Star
Friday, September 16, 1988
Mary Ormsby

SEOUL - Helen Kelesi's biggest worry at the Summer Games yesterday was not how to beat Steffi Graf, Gabriela Sabatini or Chris Evert in Olympic tennis.

Rather, the 18-year-old Torontonian fretted about how to ship home $35 cotton quilts she plans to buy in Seoul's famous Itaewon shopping district. Itaewon, famous for its ability to produce men's custom-made suits for $150 in just 24 hours, is raking in pots of money from Olympic athletes, tourists and media.

A popular sport

Kelesi's one of hundreds here who have caught the Itaewon shopping fever.

"The quilts are 100 per cent cotton, and they've got pictures of people and the sun on them. They're really cute, and they'll look nice in my room at home," Kelesi said as she signed autographs for patrolling soldiers, who stopped to watch her practise at the Olympic Park.

"I'm not sure how to get them home, though. I can't really pack them. I'll probably just ship it home before I leave, I guess, because they'll take up a lot of room."

A discriminating shopper from her experience as a world traveller on the professional tennis circuit, Kelesi has already bought a few items from Itaewon - as have many of her Canadian Olympic teammates.

'I can't believe it'

"The shopping here is fabulous, just fabulous. I can't believe it. I got a leather jacket custom-made for me, and I bought sweatsuits like this for a good price," she said, pointing at the pink-and-white warmup suit she wore to the practice session.

Until the women's tennis competition starts next week, bargain hunting will be Kelesi's favorite sport.

Edberg checks in

Olympic tennis organizers breathed a big sigh of relief when the third-ranked men's tennis player in the world, Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg, turned up yesterday.

His compatriot, top-ranked Mats Wilander, and West German ace Boris Becker are both out of the Games with injuries, and the pickings in the men's draw are pretty slim.

But Edberg, the top seed, spoke out in favor of the event when he arrived, along with Anders Jarryd (No. 19 in the world) and the rest of the Swedish Olympic squad.

"It is maybe not the most important tournament of the year, but I was part of it in 1984 in Los Angeles, which was an exhibition, and I enjoyed it very much," said Edberg.

"When you travel with all the other athletes and you are part of the Olympics it is quite a nice feeling. It is very different from what you are doing the rest of the year."

Graf in mob scene

Sensational Steffi Graf, who just wrapped up the tennis Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Open crown, was hoping to pass for just another humble Olympian. No such luck.

Photographers and camera crews at Kimpo Airport mobbed Graf, who arrived with the rest of the West German Olympic team yesterday, as she tried to walk from the arrival hall to a waiting coach.

South Korean police at first seemed taken aback. But then they moved in, wrestling with photographers, elbowing aside stunned onlookers and hustling the 19-year-old court queen outside.
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Old Sep 16th, 2013, 11:33 AM   #2913
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

LOLing at an attempt at a ranking system "compromise." The vote was unanimous, 111-0. Even if you count Steffi's dissent in absentia, it would be 111-1. The players have spoken loud and clear. There should be no discussion about any compromise to appease both the high-ranking and low-ranking players, because the high-ranking players, with the exception of Steffi, obviously voted in favor of the changes (or they were also absent at that particular meeting -- hence Steffi should not be singled out and criticized for being a no-show). But now the unanimous decision goes back to the ranking committee for modifications? And the ranking committee gets the final vote? More of the WTA's version of democracy in action.

Option 1: The whole ranking system change was one big "Who loathes Steffi? Who wants to see her fail at winning the Grand Slam? Raise your hand if you loathe Steffi and want to see her lose! Let's all pick on Steffi!" sophomoric pep rally to try to distract her during the last leg of the Slam. Option 2: Despite the WTA's assertion that one player is not bigger than the sport, one player does in fact have the power to override everyone else, if she has won everything in sight and publicly reminds the WTA that it isn't bigger than the sport, either. It's pretty shameful, no matter which way you look at it. That none of the American tennis media ever called the WTA out on this is proof of either how clueless or how co-opted by the Sorority Sisters they are. No wonder Steffi disdained the whole "political" side.

Also LOLing at Leaird calling this a "computer problem," like it's a programming bug that they can't figure out. ("What's wrong with this contraption? It keeps saying Graf is No. 1. It should say Navratilova or Evert is No. 1. Call tech support and get this thing fixed, pronto!") I guess we can consider the acknowledgement that the timing of the vote was "unfortunate" as being close enough to a public apology. But tune in again in early December for their next attempt to maneuver Steffi out of points by any means other than actually beating her in a match.

EVERT SET TO RETURN NEXT YEAR
The Miami Herald
Friday, September 16, 1988
JIM MARTZ, Herald Sports Writer

Chris Evert is putting off match point on her career for another year.

Saying "the competitive fires are still burning," Evert has committed to play at least the minimum required 11 tournaments on the Women's International Tennis Association circuit in 1989.

It will be the 19th year on the tour for Evert, who will turn 34 on Dec. 21.

Speculation grew that she might retire because of her July 30 marriage to former U.S. Olympic skier Andy Mill and because injuries and illness hampered her in major tournaments this year.

But Evert, ranked third in the world behind Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova, told the WITA before she left Aspen, Colo., Thursday for the Olympics in South Korea that she was committing to play on the tour next year.

"She's not retiring, and she's not pregnant," Ana Leaird, WITA spokesman and longtime friend of Evert, said in quelling two rumors.

The pregnancy rumors began last Friday when Evert suddenly withdrew from her U.S. Open semifinal match with Graf, who won the tournament to complete the first Grand Slam since 1970. Evert was diagnosed as suffering from an acute stomach virus that affected other players, including Rick Leach, who withdrew from the men's doubles final.

The events in which Evert will play next year will be revealed to tournament directors Nov. 15 and released to the public at their discretion. She undoubtedly will play in both South Florida tournaments next March, the Virginia Slims of Florida at The Polo Club of Boca Raton, where she has a home, and the Lipton International Players Championships on Key Biscayne.

Meanwhile, Graf appears ready to commit to 11 WITA events next year, too. Last week, her father Peter said she might not play because of the new ranking system that would cost her computer points when she played in the smaller tournaments even if she won. He threatened to start his own tour in 1990.

At a meeting during the Open that Graf didn't attend, the players voted to accept the new ranking system. But the WITA ranking committee is now close to a compromise that will appease both the high-ranking and low-ranking players.

"We're waiting for the rest of the ranking committee to vote," Leaird said.
"Wendy Turnbull is on her way to Korea, and Navratilova is somewhere on a mountain in Aspen. Steffi may still lose points on the new system but not as many.

"It's not a Graf issue. It's a computer problem, and the timing of this coming up at the U.S. Open was unfortunate."
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #2914
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Given what Julie remembers about some of the West German Olympic team being a bit snide with Steffi about the media mob scene, I wonder if her "great welcome" comment is sarcastic -- although she does get a thoughtful and useful gift from some of them soon, so not everybody was giving her the cold shoulder. Maybe once they all saw she was going to wait her turn in the lines, eat with everybody, sleep in the dorms, etc. they softened their stance.

This first morning after the 20-hour flight was when she went out for a little run. With the track team. Specifically, the guys. While it was very much in keeping with the Olympic spirit, and while exercise helps to fight off jet lag, this was a Crazy Stupid thing to do. Pavel Slozil would later say he was very angry he didn't know about it until after the fact. Steffi herself would later admit: "I couldn't walk for two days after that. I got such extreme muscle soreness that I ended up not playing for two, three days because I was gone, but I enjoyed it."

Chuckling at the no phone in the room bit. Things have changed drastically in 25 years.

People in sports
Houston Chronicle
Saturday, SEPTEMBER 17, 1988
Houston Chronicle News Services

Graf just one of guys

Tennis star Steffi Graf began life at the Olympic Games as an ordinary member of the West German team - standing in the breakfast line at the village canteen at 6 in the morning. Graf, a millionaire even before she won tennis' Grand Slam this year, praised the village and said she was looking forward to taking part in the opening ceremony of the Games today. "The Olympic village is much nicer than in Los Angeles. The accommodation is OK and the rooms are better than I expected,'' said Graf. The 19-year-old won the 1984 Olympic tournament when tennis was a demonstration sport. Graf is expected to complete a Golden Grand Slam by taking the Olympic title in Seoul.

Graf managed just four hours of sleep after being mobbed by photographers and journalists when she arrived at Seoul's Kimpo Airport on Thursday night. Graf burst into tears as the media tried to push through a police cordon sent to protect her. This morning, despite sporting swollen eyes, Graf said, "Everything's fine, I'm OK. I was given a great welcome by the other members of the German team.'' For Graf, always in the media spotlight, one great advantage of living in the village is that journalists are banned from the team living quarters. "Steffi needs peace and quiet. It's great that there isn't even a telephone in the room,'' said Guenther Sanders, the tennis team's manager.

[...]
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1988OlympicsRunningTrack.jpg (49.5 KB, 8 views)
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 11:41 AM   #2915
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I wonder if Steffi had to share a bathroom with Hanika, and if so, how long Hanika took in there.

GRAF GETS CHANCE TO MAKE HER SLAM EVEN GRANDER
Sun-Sentinel
Saturday, September 17, 1988
Sun-Sentinel wire services

SEOUL, South Korea -- Steffi Graf says she is glad to be trying to add a fifth crown to the Grand Slam of tennis, even if it means staying in a sparsely furnished apartment instead of a five-star hotel.

The chance, she says, comes just once every four years.

Graf, 19, who became only the third woman to complete the Slam in the same calendar year by winning the U.S. Open last week, practiced on Olympic courts for the first time Friday and said her eyes now were on gold.

The ''Golden Slam,'' they call it.

''The other tournaments are every year,'' Graf said, ''but I can only get one gold medal every four years.''

The favorite in women's singles, Graf worked out for an hour on the hardcourts at Olympic Park, where the first Olympic tennis tournament in 64 years begins Tuesday.

The teen-age tennis millionaire said she was happy staying in the high-rise apartments of the Olympic Village, mingling with athletes she idolized as a child.

In the men's singles tournament, replacements were making waves, and Swedish officials were gritting their teeth and reminding themselves that rules are rules.

When Mats Wilander, the Swedish winner of three-quarters of this year's Grand Slam, pulled out of the Olympic tournament with a foot injury, his place was taken by Andrew Castle of Britain.

Sweden tried to replace Wilander, winner of the Australian, French and U.S. Open men's championships, with another of their country's players. Because the July 31 entry deadline was long passed, however, doubles-entry Castle was placed in the singles field as well, and all the Swedes could do was brood about their misfortune.

Both of Sweden's remaining players, Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd, are already down to play both singles and doubles.

Earlier, Robert Seguso of Boca Raton and Kim Bong-soo of South Korea, also doubles entries, came into the 64-player singles event as wild cards, replacing Ramesh Krishnan of India and Andres Gomez of Ecuador.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 11:42 AM   #2916
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Everyone would eventually concur with Steffi that the balls bounced very inconsistently.

GYMNAST'S ZOO TRIP PROVES TO BE COSTLY
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Saturday, September 17, 1988
Compiled from wire reports

A trip to the zoo has cost a 15-year-old British gymnast a last-minute place at the Olympics. Police in western England searched all day Friday for Lisa Grayson after she was named as a replacement for Karen Kennedy, an injured member of the British women's gymnastics squad. But Grayson was at the zoo with her family, and by the time police caught up with her it was too late to catch a Friday night flight to the Olympics. ''The doctors say this was the last possible flight that she could have taken because of jet lag,'' Grayson's trainer told reporters. ''It's a very long flight, and if she was not on it, she would not be fit to compete when the Games begin.''

FLAGGED DOWN

THERE APPARENTLY was some controversy in the selection of the American athlete to carry the American flag in the opening ceremonies. Evelyn Ashford, 1984 gold medalist in the 100-meter dash, was chosen, but there was some sentiment for discus-thrower Mac Wilkins. Said Steve Scott, co-captain of the U.S. track team: ''I feel for Mac because I think that he deserves it more than anybody else. It's an incredible honor, and he's always been for the athletes and tried to do his best for the athletes.''

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

ORGANIZERS OF the biggest Olympic Games in history suggested that even aliens in outer space might have tuned in for the opening ceremony. The stadium echoed to the sound of dragon drums, and the ceremonies ended with the arena being circled by 88 South Korean children born on Sept. 30, 1981, the day Seoul was awarded the Olympic Games. Said Games officials: ''This is a wondrous day for plants, animals, humans, robots and even extraterrestrials from outer space.''

RADICAL IDEA

THE INTERNATIONAL Cycling Union (UCI) approved a radically restyled American racing bike with handlebars pointing forward and upwards. U.S. Coach Mark Hodges said the bike, made from carbon fiber and aluminum, was expected to cut three to four minutes from times at Sunday's 100K team time trial. Weighing just under 4.4 pounds less than those of other teams, it was first used in the U.S. Olympic trials but had not been seen in international competition before.

SWIMMERS TURN PRO

THE INTERNATIONAL Amateur Swimming Federation (FINA) decided to allow swimmers to earn money from endorsements and sponsorship, outgoing president Robert Helmick said. The money must be kept in a trust fund while they are still competing. FINA's general congress changed its rules to drop the use of the word ''amateur,'' apart from in its official name, newly elected secretary general Ross Wales said. ''There were 1 1/2 pages on what was amateur. All that has been jettisoned,'' he said. The move puts swimming in line with other sports.

MIXED RESULTS

OLYMPIC FAVORITES Steffi Graf and Stefan Edberg, practicing just hours after flying into Seoul, had differing verdicts on the new Olympic tennis courts. Grand Slam winner Graf had still to get the feel of the hardcourt surface after an early-morning training session that followed just four hours' sleep. Graf: ''The courts aren't so good because I can't tell how the balls are; not one bounces in the same way.'' Wimbledon champion Edberg, out a few hours later in the hottest part of the day, was happier. ''It is good. It is very fast, but we will get used to it.''

RECORD NUMBERS

THE NUMBER of athletes reached a record 9,627 from 159 countries. The previous high was 7,894 in Munich in 1972.

SOFT PROTEST

LIBYA SAID it planned to send only a symbolic team to the Olympics to protest what it called the ''practice of violent games.'' The official news agency JANA, monitored in Beirut, said, ''It [Libya] calls for abolishing all violent sports like boxing and wrestling in all its kinds.''
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 11:43 AM   #2917
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I am sure there is a great story behind this little blurb. I can imagine Steffi thinking, "Wow, that's Carl Lewis! I can't believe I get to see Carl Lewis up close and in person! Hey wait, if Carl Lewis goes through the gate, he'll have everybody's attention, and I can slip through quietly."

Even E.T. would enjoy the opening officials say
The Toronto Star
Saturday, September 17, 1988
Compiled from wire reports

Organizers of the biggest Olympic Games in history suggested yesterday that even aliens in outer space might tune in for the opening ceremony.

Summer Games officials released to reporters the text of a special commentary that will be broadcast in eight languages to the 70,000 spectators at the pageant.

It says the stadium will echo to the sound of dragon drums and end with the arena being circled by 88 South Korean children born on Sept. 30, 1981, the day Seoul was awarded the Olympic Games.

It adds: "This is a wondrous day for plants, animals, humans, robots and even extraterrestials."

Lewis makes splash

A crowd of people hanging around the athletes entrance to the Olympic Village suddenly burst into excited babble and parted to let an athlete through the gate after Steffi Graf's coach elbowed his way through.

However, the athlete wasn't Graf.

It was none other than Flat Top himself, Carl Lewis. Lewis, wearing skin-tight royal blue warmups and a white polo shirt, hustled through the entrance escorted by four Korean officials who had to jog to keep up with the winner of four gold medals in Los Angeles.

However, the Koreans were not acting as bodyguards for Lewis, who had flamboyantly employed such goons four years ago in L.A. The four officials eventually cornered the Houston sprinter, who is still a great hero in Asia, to have photos taken with him and have autographs signed.

Graf, by the way, followed right after Lewis. But no one noticed the Grand Slam winner as she wandered through the gate alone.

Those wacky Aussies

A cryptic sign hanging from an Australian swimmer's balcony in the athletes village:

"Two eyes, two hands, two swollen glands."

Not even other Australian athletes knew what it meant.

Swedes dope test team

Sweden is dope testing its entire 207-member Olympic team after police recently broke up a drug ring whose members said their customers included Olympic athletes, a top sports official said yesterday.

"We are trying to test as many of our athletes as possible before they compete in Seoul," said Bengt Sevelius, head of Sweden's National Association of Sports.

Swedish police said last week they had broken up a drug ring that smuggled and sold 200 kilograms of anabolic steroids and synthetic growth hormones to body-builders and athletes.

The drugs, with an estimated street value of $975,000 Cdn., were smuggled from southern Europe and Mexico and distributed through body-building gymnasiums, police said.

Police said some of the 10 people under arrest had named four members of the Swedish Olympic track and field squad as buyers of anabolic steroids.

Swedish sports officials asked for the names of the four athletes, but police refused.
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 12:30 PM   #2918
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I did manage to find one article that criticizes the WTA for the ranking change vote. And that it is years later, in a time when players scream "COME ON!!!!" and pump their fists fiercely after every other point of a match, Steffi's low key reaction is refreshing.

Sports of The Times; Graf's Misleading Reaction
Peter Alfano
September 13, 1988
New York Times

THERE was a brief expression of joy, but Steffi Graf mostly looked relieved after winning the United States Open on Saturday to complete the Grand Slam. It had been a difficult two weeks, the 19-year-old West German admitted, because she was constantly reminded about the Slam, which many tennis fans and those in the news media said was a foregone conclusion. The irony was that when Graf finally fulfilled those expectations, what should have been a special moment was anticlimactic instead.

Some people thought that Graf should have staged a response, sinking to her knees in the manner of Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon, or tossing her racquet in the air. And the vanquished, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, Graf's doubles partner, was not held blameless either. She could have done more than offer a cursory handshake.

The reasoning is that sports is theater, too, not just the business of playing games. Only five players, Graf among them, have ever won the Grand Slam. This was not an everyday occurrence.

In contrast, Carrie Cunningham, a 16-year-old from Livonia, Mich., cried during the postmatch ceremony when she won the girls' juniors final on Sunday. And Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl displayed more emotion during their gut-wrenching five-set match later that day than anyone thought they were capable of.

It would be wrong, however, to conclude that Graf is insensitive and aloof, a tennis machine lacking feelings or a sense of history. She had spoken several times to Margaret Court of Australia, who won the Grand Slam in 1970, and fully appreciated its significance. She found it hard to believe that neither Martina Navratilova nor Chris Evert had ever won the Slam.

THERE were contributing factors to the almost business-as-usual response that Graf displayed, among them the aforementioned great expectations. At 19, she has already accomplished all the goals she could have had in tennis. Her success is taken for granted, especially in West Germany, where her triumphant return to Bruhl, Sunday morning, was so low key, it was almost indifferent. It would have been a scandal, though, if Graf had lost to Sabatini.

Also a factor is that in the whirlwind life of a tennis professional, there is little time to dwell on such wondrous achievements as the Grand Slam. Graf and her family left one of her favorite cities in a rush Saturday evening so that she could rest at home for a couple of days before leaving for Seoul, South Korea, and the Olympic Games. In Seoul, she will be playing for herself, but also, more pointedly, for her country.

''With Boris Becker out of the Olympics,'' said Pavel Slozil, Graf's coach, ''Steffi has to win two gold medals. The people in Germany expect it.''

It was odd that the crowd of more than 20,000 at the National Tennis Center on Saturday was lukewarm in its response. With a chance to see history made, most of the spectators cheered for Sabatini. In general, they applauded as if they were watching the final at Amelia Island.

The next day, many of those same people became emotionally involved as the Wilander-Lendl match developed into a test of wills. Perhaps the fans had a better grasp of what was at stake on the stadium court. Lendl, the self-made champion, was stubbornly refusing to relinquish his Open title and the No. 1 ranking, both of which he had held for three years.

And this was Wilander's opportunity to finally be considered the best in the game after seven years of hearing criticism that he lacked the desire and courage to do it.

Graf and Sabatini, on the other hand, are relative newcomers, who have had few trials and tribulations. Success has come easy, especially for Graf, who in winning 27 Grand Slam matches this year, lost only two sets.

She and Sabatini have yet to win the affection of American fans, many of whom would rather have watched still another Navratilova-Evert showdown in the Open final.

Even Graf acknowledged that she won the Grand Slam too soon. Thus, it would be unrealistic to ask her for insight she can gain only with time. In 10 years, she will have a better understanding of her accomplishment Saturday.

What's more, she could not have felt warmly toward the association that runs the sport. The Women's International Tennis Association continues to live in the past. Last week, the membership voted in mid-tournament to change the way the computer rankings are determined; an already imperfect system was made worse. The change would have penalized Graf, bringing her back to the field, which none of the women were capable of doing on a tennis court.

Instead of putting its new superstar, one of the outstanding athletes in the world, on a pedestal, the W.I.T.A. gave the impression that they resented Graf's success. It was all so petty. The animosity toward her was apparent even in the press box, where a couple of representatives of women's tennis were rooting for Sabatini.

Now, a compromise is reportedly being arranged, one that Graf will find acceptable. But can anyone be surprised when she and her family are on the first plane to Germany? They will celebrate among themselves.

POLITICS cast a shadow on the men's game, too, as the Association of Tennis Professionals announced on the eve of the Open that it was forming its own tour in 1990, breaking from the Grand Prix circuit. Wilander strongly backs the new tour.

Then, there were the injuries that hampered the play of Boris Becker, Yannick Noah and Henri Leconte, all of whom lost without a wimper. Wilander won despite suffering from shin splints, he said.

And Evert had to withdraw from her semifinal showdown against Graf because of a stomach disorder. A potential last hurrah was postponed.

The Open showed that the tennis season is already too long, and there are still three months to play. If not for Graf and the kid in blue denim shorts, the Open would have been a disappointment.

Given the length of the season, injury and fatigue factors, and the luck that is needed to survive, Graf's Grand Slam is even more noteworthy. So she did not hop over the net in jubilation. Years from now, there will be at least 100,000 people who will claim to have been in that 20,000-seat stadium on Saturday. And they will say that Steffi had a tear in her eye.
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #2919
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The Tennis Machine preconception is beginning to take serious hold in the media, even in the very same articles in which they report great examples of very human, very natural emotions and responses. So Steffi Graf didn't act like she saved the world when she won the Grand Slam. She did not save the world; she merely won four tennis tournaments. And she knew/knows it. We knew/know it.

After Scoring A Grand Slam, Graf Moves On
September 18, 1988
Bill Lyon
Philadelphia Inquirer

Her first opponent had a sense of history: "Your number comes up every so often," shrugged Elizabeth Minter, an affable Australian, when informed that she would be meeting Steffi Graf in the opening round of the U.S. Open.

"But," she brightened, "at least the match is on videotape, so I'll have something to show the grandkids."

Another opponent had a sense of fatalism: "I think that 98 percent of the players who go against Steffi are scared to death before it ever begins," philosophized Patty Fendick.

Rather like fighting Mike Tyson?

"Exactly," she agreed. "They don't stick to any kind of game plan. So I tried to do something different. I volleyed and kept coming in."

Pause. Rueful smile.

"I still got my butt kicked."

Such is the power and the domination of Stefanie Maria Graf, a 19-year-old West German with the legs of a Rockette and a buggy whip of a forehand. She uses those long legs to range all over the tennis court, and frequently beyond the boundaries, to retrieve most everything struck her way. And then when she does get to the ball, she sends it back trailing blue sparks.

Steffi Graf smites the fuzz off the ball.

And, all the while, she appears totally unimpressed with what she is doing. Last weekend, in muggy, late-summer humidity in the borough of Queens, she finished off what she had begun in January in Melbourne and continued in Paris in the springtime and extended in London in midsummer. She won the U.S. Open, to go with the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon.

The four major tennis championships. In less than nine months. It is called The Grand Slam. Capital letters, please. Those who have accomplished it constitute a very short, very select list: Two women (Maureen Connolly in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970) and two men (Don Budge in 1938, Rod Laver in 1962 and '69).

Clearly, then, what Graf accomplished on the swift, hard surface in Flushing Meadow was something for the record book. Yet she did not sink to her knees, overcome, a la Bjorn Borg. She did not stab the air with a fist. Nor did she burst into tears. No, she smiled, briefly, then trotted to the net for the obligatory, and cursory, handshake from her beaten foe, Gabriela Sabatini. Mostly, she seemed relieved.

In the minds of many, Steffi Graf's Grand Slam was a foregone conclusion. She is so overpowering as to appear invincible. The perception follows, not illogically, that she is so much a tennis machine that she is also aloof and cold, insensitive and without feeling.

That is, by all accounts of those who know her well, an inaccurate image. Rather, they say, she has been trained to be all business on the court. No flamboyance. No flair. No distractions. Stoicism and concentration. Get it over with and get on to the next round. Occasionally, she has felt it necessary to apologize to the crowd for winning too fast.

Women's tennis has belonged for most of the last two decades to Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. But the torch has been passed. Or, rather, Graf has seized it. Forcefully. As Gene Scott, former U.S. Davis Cupper, observed: ''Martina and Chris are ranked No. 10 and 11 in the world now. Steffi is 1 through 9."

Graf's success is so taken for granted that when she jetted home to Bruhl, there was virtually no reception. The mayor explained that the town would do it up right when she returned from Seoul, South Korea.

With a gold medal.

Unlike the four other Grand Slammers, Graf is eligible to compete in the Olympics. She will, of course, be expected to win. Big. Impressively. Decisively.

She has won more than $2 million in just the last two years. And now the Slam. And yet there is no time to celebrate. First, the Olympics. Then, very soon, it will be time to defend her Australian Open championship. And then yet another challenge: Back-to-back Slams?

Asked once what was the worse part of tournament tennis, Steffi Graf lowered her head, nibbled at her lip, and whispered: "Expectations."

The most overpowering female tennis player in the world, at that moment, seemed very vulnerable.
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 12:33 PM   #2920
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Actually, it's just soreness from over-doing it on the track. At least she didn't go to the equestrian grounds and try to run with the cross country horses.

TENNIS
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Sunday, September 18, 1988
From wire reports

GRAND SLAM winner Steffi Graf hurt her left knee in practice but said the injury was not serious and would not hamper her performance. The women's gold medal favorite needed treatment from the West German team masseur. ''There's no need to worry. Actually it's nothing,'' Graf said. ''There's absolutely no danger of me pulling out.'' Graf appeared to have problems serving because of the injury, which occurred when she was practicing with her Czechoslovak coach Pavel Slozil at the Olympic Park where the women's competition opens on Wednesday.
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 11:46 AM   #2921
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Article mostly about Garrison. Poor Zina had to share a room with Shriver; she should have gotten a medal just for enduring that. Not sure if the tennis courts had lights. Even if they didn't, there was probably enough ambient light for warm-up type hitting if one had decent night vision.

OLYMPICS '88 - Seoul Summer Games - Garrison waits for the Graf express
Houston Chronicle
Monday, SEPTEMBER 19, 1988
FRAN BLINEBURY, Houston Chronicle Staff Writer

SEOUL, South Korea - It's been something of a culture shock for Zina Garrison so far at her first Olympic Games. But not because of the clash of ancient Eastern tradition vs. more modern Western values.

"It's the room I'm in in the Athletes Village,'' Garrison said. "It's so small.''

Indeed, after a life on the pro tennis tour, where the top athletes are accustomed to luxurious hotel suites with the finest furnishings and 24-hour room service, Village life can be a jolt to the system.

For one thing, Garrison has found herself living in a coed dormitory with the other male and female members of the U.S. tennis team.

Secondly, she is actually having to share her bedroom with Pam Shriver. And then there are the long, long lines at the cafeteria.

"Boy, I haven't experienced anything like those lines since back in high school,'' Garrison said. "No matter when you go in to get something to eat, it seems like there are always about a hundred or so people ahead of you.

"Rooming with Pam has been a real experience, too. She's a little bit weird, you know. Then she's also a very light sleeper, so she's told me that I have to tip-toe around the room very quietly if I come in late at night and she's already sleeping.''

But Garrison is not complaining. "It's just different,'' she said. "I guess you could say this is kind of the college life that I never experienced. I'm not saying that I'd like to live this way all the time. But it's been fun being together and very close with so many other athletes.

"It's been great walking outside the Village and there are so many people hanging out windows yelling at each other. There have been cheering contests. We all get together and yell `USA! USA!' I'm so glad I came.''

With tennis making it's return to the Olympics as a medal sport for the first time since 1924, there was a question of how seriously many of the professional players would take the Games after a long summer of competing in Grand Slam tournaments. But there was never a doubt in Garrison's mind.

"I made the commitment back in the beginning of the year, and I have been working and trying to gear myself toward the U.S. Open and the Olympics for the last several months.''

Garrison, of course, made her big splash by beating Martina Navratilova earlier this month at the U.S. Open, but then lost in the semifinals to Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini.

"There's no question that the match with Gaby was a very winnable one,'' she said. "A couple of points here and a couple of points there and it might have been different.''

Still, the victory over Navratilova has given Garrison a very high recognizability quotient among the Olympic athletes.

"I'll be walking around the Village and people will stop and just stare at me. After a couple of minutes, maybe they'll walk over and look closely at my name tag. They'll say, 'I thought you were Zina Garrison. I just expected you to be taller.' A lot of them tell me they watched the match against Martina.''

To date, Garrison has crossed paths in Seoul with old friend Carl Lewis and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, whom she already knew. The other day she met sprinter Butch Reynolds, which she called a thrill.

But the grandest experience was marching in the Opening Ceremonies. Garrison arrived at the Olympic Stadium with Chris Evert.

"Chris and I looked at each other, and we just shook our heads. The crowd of 100,000 was pretty overwhelming. It was a great feeling. I'm one of those people who hardly ever smiles, and I just couldn't stop smiling.''

Of course, the beaming smile fades when Garrison and all the rest of the women think of Steffi Graf, who won the Open to complete the Grand Slam and is here playing for West Germany. Graf won the gold medal in Los Angeles in 1984 when tennis was a demonstration sport.

"Yes, Steffi is still Steffi and she's still out there. I don't expect to see any letdown from her after winning the Grand Slam. She just loves tennis so much. She's so committed.

"A couple of mornings ago, Pam and I went out running at about 6:45 a.m. The very first person we ran into was Steffi. She had her racquets under her arm and was on her way to hit. It was unbelievable. Pam and I looked at each other and laughed. I mean, it was still dark out.''

So far, Garrison, who will open play on either Friday or Saturday, has not seen much of Seoul.

"I'm kind of afraid to leave the Village,'' she said laughing. "Because security is so tight here, I'm scared they won't let me back in and I'll lose all my things.''
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #2922
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Probably a repost, but still amusing. All reports point to Steffi being a "bottomless pit" as a teenager. But then, she was burning up calories like mad, so it all worked out.

Sept. 1988
"Australian Tennis"
By Kim Trengove

In many ways it fits the image that Wunder Kid Steffi Graf throws caution to the wind when it comes to refuelling the tank. Like her tennis, Steffi takes to food with abandon and relish. Single-minded and obsessive, she is not one to listen to advice when it comes to regulating her daily fare.

This is one hungry teenager, and given Graf's beanstalk rise to the top of women's tennis in the past two years, who could criticise the fertiliser she uses? For when Steffi's million dollar right arm plunges into the fridge, there's no telling what it will pull out.

"I've never had a special diet," she says, during a heavily patrolled "10-minutes-only" liaison with TENNIS Magazine. "I actually eat whatever I want. This would be bad for other players - or people - to read because I eat cakes and all the bad stuff, Danish pastries, cookies...

"I watch it during tournaments and I don't eat meat - only very, very little - and I like vegetables very much. I love all kinds of pasta with white sauce. I have to watch it because I could eat all day." At 173 cm and an evenly distributed 64 kilos, Graf could never be described as overweight. Her right arm may have the power of a cane cutter but it is not abnormally bulging with muscles or protruding veins. On the contrary, she wears gold Bracelets elegantly and her legs are perfectly tapered and much admired by spectators of either gender.

As Aussie opponent Janine Thompson commented after her devastating loss to the West German at the National Tennis Centre in January, Steffi plays like a man, so it's hardly surprising she eats like one too.

"I like to cook, especially German food," says Graf, her eyes twinkling for the first time in three minutes. "I like cooking Kaiserschmarren - a pancake with diced apples, raisins and nuts. It's not normal, it's really special. Usually you have it for dessert but I eat it for a main course."

A devastatingly mature young woman, the only sign of this dubious eating is the odd blemish on Steffi's cheeks and chin, which should fade by the time she gets the keys to the door (or should I say, the keys to a castle in Western Europe). To balance the pancake addiction, she devours great quantities of vegetables, "especially broccoli and cauliflower". Another favorite dish is veal cutlets in a special mushroom sauce with spetzler - home made noodles.

In Graf's sharp and direct English vocabulary, everything is "special" in the kitchen providing she is the cook. "Tell her about the drink you invented," urges father Peter, who sits nearby pretending not to listen to the interview but forever casting sideways glances. Steffi wriggles girlishly, quaintly embarrassed by this revelation.

"She has created her own drink," he prods. "It's called 'Steffi Graf's Drink'." As he waves her on to elaborate, she shyly mutters, "Oh, it's kiwi juice, citrus juice (lemon) and pear juice."

"But it's in a special combination," adds Mr. G. enigmatically. "It's two parts this, one part of this..."

While on the subject of liquid, Steffi and her father both talk earnestly about a commercial fruit juice which she endorses, but for most of the time she favors plain water and has little curiosity about alcohol. "For breakfast I like muesli with some fruit, like strawberries or blackberries," continues Steffi, getting into the nub of her daily ritual with only two minutes left of interview time. "I eat pasta most of the time for lunch and dinner, but sometimes I go for Chinese. Mostly I eat Italian food. It was good staying at the Regent Hotel (Melbourne) because there was a German cook there and he made me anything I wanted. " Preferring to eat 2-2 1/2 hours before a match, Steffi never fantasises about food during her duels, but thinks of little else when it's over, which might explain why her press conferences are so short. German food, featuring large quantities of fatty pork and dumplings, is not a dietician's utopia, but Steffi believes her country's eating habits are reforming and fresh, crispy plump vegetables are now in vogue. "Americans have the big advantage, except for fast foods," she scoffs. "That's terrible stuff."

Yes, the 1988 French Open champion draws the line at French fries! With only 30 seconds to go, this miracle of modern tennis reveals the bottom line beyond which her mouth will not travel, and I for one, am greatly relieved.
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 12:28 PM   #2923
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The dinner mentioned below will be explained and described in greater detail in an article tomorrow. Let's just say Steffi has arrived at the disturbing conclusion that the world will not be regaining its sanity anytime soon.

GRAF FINDS LITTLE PEACE AT GAMES
The Dallas Morning News
Wednesday, September 21, 1988
Paul Majendie, Reuter

SEOUL, South Korea -- The dazzling tennis skills of world number one woman player Steffi Graf have made her a millionaire and brought worldwide adulation. But she is wearied by constant media attention at the Olympics.

Reduced to tears by scores of jostling photographers on her arrival at Seoul's Kimpo airport last week, she was confronted by another batch of reporters when she went for dinner on Tuesday with one of her sporting goods sponsors.

As they lined up to interview Graf within minutes of her finishing her meal, the 19-year-old West German complained, "It has never been like this before."

Graf, who as a little known 15-year-old won the Los Angeles Games exhibition tennis event, said: "I was hoping to have it quieter than at the U.S. Open. No, I was wrong. It shows the Olympics are a little bit different."

Even at the athletes' training track she cannot escape. Pursued by an insistent Italian camera crew wanting to know who she thought would win the Carl Lewis-Ben Johnson 100-meter showdown, she fled.

"I want to be left alone," she told them as she scampered away.

Nevertheless, Graf told the reporters who crowded her after dinner that she wholeheartedly supported the introduction of professional sports to the Olympics and regretted that more top men tennis players had not come to Seoul.

Graf, who plays her first Olympic match on Friday, said tennis "is a great sport and I am very happy it is part of the Olympics. I hope other professional sports can come in too so there won't be so much jealousy in the future."

Four of the five top women tennis players have entered the Games but the men's draw, with the exception of Wimbledon winner Stefan Edberg from Sweden, is much weaker.

"It is a sad thing for tennis. I hoped that other tennis players would support it as well. There were injuries," she said.

Her compatriot Boris Becker and Swede Mats Wilander both pulled out because of injuries.

Graf, the first winner of the world's top four tournaments in one year since 1970, said: "Winning the Grand Slam -- there is no other achievement bigger than that. To play on all those surfaces makes it really something special."

Asked if she had a boyfriend, Graf offered an amused smile and a discreet reply. "For a tennis player that is very hard. There is no time. You can only talk on the phone. I will have time enough in the future."
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 12:30 PM   #2924
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf wants to add gold to her good fortune
St. Petersburg Times
Wednesday, September 21, 1988
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea - Four years ago, a 15-year-old player with a refreshing spring in her step and heaps of potential upset the favorites to win the women's title at the demonstration Olympic tennis event in Los Angeles.

She was the youngest athlete in the tournament.

Earlier this month, that same teen-ager achieved what only four of her predecessors ever accomplished - winning the coveted Grand Slam of tennis by taking the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in the same calendar year.

Nothing, she said, could possibly rival that success. But she never forgot the Olympic experience that launched her career, and now she is in Seoul in search of gold.

Her name, of course: Steffi Graf . Her goal in Seoul? The ''Golden Slam.''

''In a way I feel I have a debt to pay,'' Graf said Tuesday, the day when tennis returned to the Olympic Games as a medal event for the first time since 1924. ''I suppose you could say Los Angeles is where I had my first major breakthrough. I'm sure it helped me.''

The West German is the top seed in a field consisting of 18 of the world's top 24 players. She's had almost no time to prepare since winning the U.S. Open to sew up the Grand Slam.

''I still don't think anything is bigger than winning the Grand Slam,'' Graf said as she relaxed with her father, Peter, at dinner in downtown Seoul.

''But it's the first time tennis has been back in the Games and, in time, I certainly think it will have the same importance as the individual major events. I don't think some of the players who are not here understand that. For me, it is very important. Also, it's important that people get to know tennis more.''

She has strong feelings about the heated debate on whether millionaire professionals like herself should be allowed to compete in the Olympics.

''Other professional sports should be allowed in too. That would take away the jealousy over tennis,'' Graf said.

Graf, who will not play her first match until tonight (Thursday in Seoul), said she has been enjoying life in the Olympic Village, mixing with athletes of other sports and enjoying the company of her teammates.

But the adulation she receives in public - she virtually was mobbed on her arrival at Kimpo Airport - has been a big surprise.

''I'm happy in the village. It's a lot quieter than going out where it's never been like this before,'' Graf said. ''I was hoping for a quieter time than at the U.S. Open. But no, I was wrong.''

Edberg launches bid for gold with straight-set victory

SEOUL, South Korea - Top-seeded Stefan Edberg of Sweden launched his bid for a gold medal Tuesday with a 7-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Austria's Horst Skoff.

Edberg, the Wimbledon champion, had several early lapses of concentration before wearing down the tenacious Skoff in one hour, 52 minutes.

America's medal hopes got off to a good start as fifth-seeded Brad Gilbert whipped Michael Tauson of Denmark 6-2, 7-5, 6-1.

The man Edberg said he fears most, No.3 seed Miloslav Mecir of Czechslovakia, also won his opening match, coming back from a set down to beat Eric Jelen of West Germany 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6.

Spain's Sanchez brothers post wins, as does Aussie Cahill

SEOUL, South Korea - Spanish brothers Emilio and Javier Sanchez and Australia's Darren Cahill, a U.S. Open semifinalist, won first-round matches in the Olympic tennis tournament Tuesday night (Wednesday in Seoul).

On another cloudless day at Olympic Park, sixth-seeded Emilio Sanchez downed Shuzo Matsuoka of Japan 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. At about the same time on another court, Javier Sanchez won 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 against Sadiq Abdullah of Nigeria.

Cahill, the ninth seed and Australia's top medal hope in the first full-fledged Olympic tennis tournament in 64 years, beat Alexander Antonitsch of Austria 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2.
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 12:30 PM   #2925
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Top seeds advance in tennis
Daily Breeze
Wednesday, September 21, 1988
Associated Press

SEOUL -- Spanish brothers Emilio and Javier Sanchez and Australia's Darren Cahill, a U.S. Open semifinalist, won first-round matches in the Olympic tennis tournament Tuesday night (Wednesday in Seoul).

On another cloudless day at Olympic Park, sixth-seeded Emilio Sanchez downed Shuzo Matsuoka of Japan, 6-3, 6-4, 6- 3. At about the same time on another court, Javier Sanchez won, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3, against Sadiq Abdullah of Nigeria.

Cahill, the ninth seed, beat Alexander Antonitsch of Austria, 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2. Antonitsch was warned for swearing and was moody throughout. But he was unable to ruffle Cahill.

Cahill said he rates the tournament highly, despite the absence of several key players including Boris Becker, Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe.

"I wouldn't swap a Wimbledon title for a gold medal," he said. "But I'm sure a gold will be up there with Wimbledon and the other major tournaments in years to come. These Olympics are a very big part of my life."

Tennis returned to the Olympics as a medal sport this year for the first time since 1924 and the friendly spirit of the Games was captured in a moment of light-heartedness by Horst Skoff.

None of the 12 seeded women play until Thursday since all have first-round byes.

Some, like top-seeded Steffi Graf, have been using their time not only to practice, but also to savor what, for professional tennis players, is a unique experience.

"Seeing all the different athletes and watching all the other sports, you feel like you are always pulling for someone," the teen-age Grand Slam champion said.
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