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Old Sep 22nd, 2013, 11:54 AM   #2926
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

"Pressure, pressure, constant pressure." Pressure makes diamonds. It also makes unidentifiable crushed smears. If anyone has ever wondered why Steffi Graf was sympathetic to Capriati and Seles (yes, really) from very early on and warned from the start that they might not survive "the process," this article makes it clear.

Here, Steffi is in "the process" of becoming, nolens volens, a 24/7 international celebrity commodity, a full time "unit shifter" of everything from tennis tournament tickets to shoes to newspapers and magazines of varying degrees of repute. And she replies, "Oh, hell no." I can only think that she has seen the examples of Michael Jackson and Princess Diana and might already have, even at this relatively tender age, an inkling that it cannot end well. Her battle to preserve some of her privacy and normalcy against the Market Forces and their servants is more epic than any match she ever played.

THE SEOUL GAMES / DAY 6 : AFTER THE SLAM : Graf Has Place in History, No Place Just for Herself
September 22, 1988
BILL DWYRE, Sports Editor
Los Angeles Times

SEOUL — To watch the life and times of tennis star Steffi Graf is to witness the erosion of youth, the invasion of privacy.

Everyone wants her--newspaper reporters, fans, photographers, sponsors, bobbing heads in front of TV cameras. She lives her life in a fishbowl. She might as well be called Wanda.

She is here to play for West Germany in the Olympics, and she and her contingent are trying to play down the importance of this tournament. After all, just weeks ago, she completed only the second [sic] tennis Grand Slam by a woman, matching Margaret Court's feat of winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles in the same year.

So what purpose does an Olympic title serve? Would she then have achieved a Grander Slam?

Her coach, Pavel Slozil, said: "There is no pressure here, except maybe from the German press."

Ah, the German press. And the American and Korean and British press, and on and on.

She arrived at the airport last Thursday night, and as were track and field superstars Carl Lewis, Ben Johnson and Florence Griffith Joyner before her, was mobbed and jostled by photographers. It became so chaotic that she finally broke into tears.

Both the mob scene and the tears are significant.

To put the mob scene in perspective, Chris Evert arrived here in virtual privacy.

Graf's superstar performances on the court have caught up to her off it. Her life, for the foreseeable future, is not her own. Right around the corner are appearances on the front pages of those magazines they sell near the checkout line in supermarkets. The headlines will scream: Does Steffi Have a Boyfriend? Can Steffi Serve Up a New Romance?

To put the tears in perspective, Graf turned 19 on June 14. Most others her age are just leaving the nest, perhaps for college or jobs. Graf has traveled to virtually every country in the world, makes so much money she doesn't even think about it and can conduct interviews easily while switching from German to French [sic] to English without so much as pausing to reload her mental Berlitz.

The tears may be those of confusion. She is 19, but the world asks her to be 30, to handle herself with Evert's poise and Pam Shriver's wit. The world forgets how she has been forced to cram for this exam that has become her life. It forgets that, when she won the gold medal in the Olympic demonstration tennis event in Los Angeles in 1984, she had just turned 15.

IT IS TUESDAY NIGHT, somewhere along a narrow back street in Seoul's Socho district. Adidas, the West German athletic shoe and clothing company, has rented a large home and put up its signs everywhere.

Taxi drivers squeeze down the tiny street, cursing each other as they jockey to deliver their human goods to this strange Western-looking place called Club '88, tucked out of the mainstream of everything in Seoul. There isn't even a subway stop nearby, and there are subway stops near everything in Seoul.

The guests pour in, most of them reporters. The line goes slowly at the front door as each is offered trinkets and T-shirts, all with the company's name displayed prominently. Most accept the offer.

There is a spacious yard next to the home where the guest of honor, Stefanie Graf, sits in a far corner, brooding.

"She is really angry about this, really angry," said Claudia Kohde, her West German teammate and a star player on the tour in her own right. "We were not told there would be journalists here. We were not told about any interviews. All she wanted to do is come here and have a nice quiet dinner, in private."

A reporter approaches her and returns quickly, spurned. "She just blew me off," he said. "She said she didn't come here for that tonight."

The shoe company pays her a great deal--the specific amount is impossible to get from either side--to wear its products and do a few promotional things. She is currently among its biggest stars. And at the moment, its most temperamental.

A company representative paces nervously, as one reporter after another seeks specifics on when this promised meeting with the press will happen. It is already 45 minutes past the scheduled time and Graf shows no sign of moving from her dinner table.

"She damn well better do this," the shoe company man said. "We pay her lots of money."

So they do. And, eventually, so does she.

One by one, the bobbing heads in front of the TV cameras get their audiences. The questions are the same. Should tennis be in the Olympics? Did you like marching in the opening ceremony? What's it like, when you are used to living in luxury hotels, to live in the Olympic Village, 2 to a room?

Like a light bulb, she turns on for each interview. And off with the TV lights until the next crew parades in for its 3 minutes.

Only once does she react to a question in a manner other than that of a smiling robot. When a Mexican woman asks her if she has a boyfriend, she laughs a little, almost wistfully, then says: "I would like to, but I can't. I don't have the time. You cannot have a boyfriend and be gone somewhere else every week. You cannot carry on a relationship on the long-distance telephone."

After the TV charades, she is escorted upstairs to do radio and newspaper interviews. She doesn't walk there, she stalks. She grimaces. She sits on a couch, a German radio man starts his question, the photographers in the back of the room start snapping and her face lights like a Christmas tree.

It's not that she's a phony. She's simply tired of the routine, tired of being everybody's 2-minute showcase on the 6 o'clock news.

English-speaking reporters get 2 minutes. A news-service reporter asks all the questions, and before anybody else can get a word in, she is escorted back to safe harbor, her corner table in the yard.

Just before she sits down, her father and constant companion, Peter, reaches for her hand, pulls her toward him and gives her a gentle kiss on the cheek. If one were to translate, one would take the gesture to say something like: "You are such a wonderful dear for putting up with all these jerks."

Included in that group, it would seem, would be the people putting on the party, the same people paying her 6-figure salary in U.S. dollars every year.

On the way out, after stopping for another couple of T-shirts, 1 news-service guy says to another: "You know, she is kind of sexy, in her own way. There is really something there."

IT IS WEDNESDAY MORNING and there's another bright blue sky in the Land of the Morning Calm. On a back court in the Olympic tennis complex, Steffi Graf is practicing. Only Graf never just practices as most people practice.

Her opponent is Slozil, the Czechoslovakian who has been her coach since November, 1986. He is 32 years old, just a few years off the tour, where he was among the world's best clay-court players. She is beating him like a drum.

"I think in a match situation, I would still beat her," Slozil says after the session, speaking in gasps as he tries to get his breath back. "But right now, she beats me 70 to 80% of the sets we play."

At a point in their practice session-slugfest, they got into a baseline rally that went for about 10 strokes before Slozil made his way to the net. Graf hit a screaming backhand down the line, but Slozil lunged and sent a perfectly angled volley shallow and wide to her forehand side.

She streaked after it from the opposite side of the court, somehow reached it, flicked her wrist and hit a passing shot just inches long to his left. When she saw it miss, she let loose a string of angry German. And this was practice.

"She doesn't like to lose points, any points, anytime," Slozil said.

In many ways, her practice sessions are like the rest of her life. Slozil, a small, quiet man off the court, is a bulldog on it. He pressures her. He serves and volleys. He returns and comes in. He hits his baseline shots as if Pancho Gonzalez, not Steffi Graf, were on the other side. Pressure, pressure, constant pressure.

And the pressure from the outside never stops, either. As she plays, a Korean security guard leaves his post at the nearby gate and walks to the side of the court. He is one of those here who never smiles, who appears to live in his uniform.

But the sight of Graf is too much for him. He reaches into his pocket for a tiny camera, and quicker than you can say "Panmunjom," snaps off a couple of pictures. Then he hitches up his holster, checks to see that his gun is still in place, and marches away. Smiling.

When Graf is done, a few Koreans ask her to pose with them for pictures. The smile clicks on, then off. For those moments when it does click on, when she stands there in her MTV T-shirt, long silver earrings and stringy blond hair, she looks 19.

A few more pictures and father Peter steps in to whisk her away. But not before another affectionate peck on the cheek.

Graf won't play her first singles match here until Friday. Her anticipated final against Evert, assuming the seedings hold true, won't be until Oct. 1.

"When she first got here, she was tired, we were all tired," Slozil says. "But the last few days, she has practiced very well. Better, I think, than anytime in the last 6 months."

In the last 6 months, she has won the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She has also won the hearts of millions of tennis fans. In fact, at this stage of her life, it could be said that Steffi Graf has it all.

Except, sadly, her teen-age years and her privacy.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2013, 11:57 AM   #2927
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

A great idea, soon to be trend-setting with other Olympians.

Graf gets her set own set of wheels
The Toronto Star
Thursday, September 22, 1988
Canadian Press

The world's No. 1 tennis player, Steffi Graf of West Germany, was touched when other German Olympians gave her a gift.

The West German cycling team presented her with a racing bike so she could wheel to and from the practice and competition site near the Olympic Village with ease.

The 19-year-old had been getting mobbed by autograph seekers when she walked anywhere. No one wanted a repeat of the airport crush upon Graf's arrival which reduced the winner of the 1988 Grand Slam to tears in the Kimpo Airport terminal.

What's in a name?

Track and field star Carl Lewis enjoys watching tennis - even if he makes some mistakes with players' names.

Lewis faced a crowded news conference in his first formal appearance before reporters and took questions on a wide range of issues, including the question of professional athletes competing in an amateur event.

"Olympics is an amateur event but it's for amateurs and professionals," he said, and went on to mention tennis, which returned this year as a medal sport for the first time since 1924.

"Because Chris Evert Lloyd," and he stopped, realizing the tennis star is now divorced from tennis player John Lloyd.

The reporters laughed with Lewis, who quickly tried to explain that he really enjoys tennis.

And he asked the news media to do something they are not good at.

"Don't tell her."

Seeking Sri Lanka pin

Among the serious traders of Olympic pins in the bustling shopping district of Itaewon was former National Basketball Association star-turned-broadcaster Rick Barry.

One day this week he was haggling with a group of South Korean merchants over trading pins. But he couldn't get the return he wanted on a pin which he said is rare.

"They don't really know what a good pin is," he said.

Barry was especially proud of a one-inch-wide U.S. basketball team pin with an American eagle on it, saying only 1,000 were made. And he was seeking the Olympic pin of Sri Lanka. The merchants didn't have one.

Bring on Tyson

Sang Lee says he has the heavyweight to deck Mike Tyson.

"Once Jimmy Kim hits him, it's all over," said Lee, with a wave of the hands.

Kim, a 21-year-old student at California State-Long Beach, is the Olympic heavyweight champ of taekwondo, the Korean martial art in which you seldom throw a punch when a nice swift kick will do.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Kim has a devastating spin kick to the head. At least that's what his opponents report. To the naked eye, it's just a blur.

"Mike Tyson cannot punch me from here," explained Lee, the U.S. taekwondo coach, stretching out his arm. "But Jimmy can kick him from there. And the foot is three times more powerful than the hand."

Lee suggests an exhibition match between his champ and the world heavyweight boxing champ. "For charity." Uh-huh.

A wad's a wad

Interesting message on two different packets of chewing gum made in Seoul.

One tasty pack has a pink flower drawn on it with the words: "Be always happy with excellent taste and flavor" printed underneath in Korean and English.

On another sophisticated gold pack it reads "Memories of your elegant fragrance."

Sure. Try telling that to your mum when she finds it on the bedpost.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2013, 11:30 PM   #2928
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

You know what, I ve never watched the Olympics final But I will.
Thanking you again Amy for all the articles !!!

Already read the one"THE SEOUL GAMES / DAY 6 : AFTER THE SLAM : Graf Has Place in History, No Place Just for Herself" from the Los Angeles Times, but still worth reading it again.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:08 PM   #2929
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Recall that the vote included a decrease in the points awarded at the Slams, yet now the points are back to the same. And the compromise for ending the play-down rule? There is no more "down" to play! The $200K and $250K tournaments now award the same points (at least to the winner) as the $300K tournaments! Wow, if I were a tournament director who had made the effort to raise a $300K purse, I might be a little bit irked about that. It would have been less ridiculous to reinstate the play-down rule with a few more stipulations about when it can be invoked, despite the unanimous vote.

TENNIS; 'Fairer' ranking system lures Graf back to Slims '89 tour
USA TODAY
Friday, September 23, 1988
Doug Smith

Steffi Graf, the No. 1 player in the world, has reconsidered her decision not to commit to play 11 tournaments on next year's Virginia Slims tour, Phil de Picciotto of Advantage International, the firm that represents Graf, said Thursday.

Graf's reversal comes two weeks after Graf's father, Peter, said he opposed the Women's International Tennis Association (WITA) decision to change the computer ranking system and that his daughter would not commit to next year's tour.

The new computer system, effective next January, eliminates the "play down rule,'' which had allowed top players to maintain their average when competing in tournaments awarding points lower than their overall average.

"Advantage met with the WITA Council and there was a lot of support for finding a way to make the computer system fairer,'' said de Picciotto.

Despite the compromise in the distribution of computer points, Graf, whose computer average is 316, will lose points in any event she plays except the grand slam events, which are worth 350.

"I think we have a good solution to the problem,'' said Ana Leaird, a WITA spokeswoman. "We came up with a compromise that makes the top ranked players and the lower ranked players happy.''

Lendl needs rest

Ivan Lendl, No. 2 player in the world, had his sore right shoulder examined Tuesday by Los Angeles physician Dr. Frank Jobe. ``Dr. Jobe confirmed again that Ivan has a problem with his shoulder and he told him to rest it for awhile to see if it improves,'' said Jennifer Proud, Lendl's spokeswoman.

TEXT OF GRAPHIC:

WITA computer ranking system

The change in points awarded on the women's tour.

1988 1989

winner winner

Grand Slam event 350 350

Two-week events 200 240

$300,000 180 200

$250,000 160 200

$200,000 140 200

$150,000 120 150

Source: Women's International Tennis Association
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:10 PM   #2930
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Poor Leila's last name was misspelled in like every other appearance throughout these articles. I think I fixed them all.

Graf overcomes shaky start, shoots for `Golden Slam'
Daily Breeze
Friday, September 23, 1988
Associated Press

SEOUL -- Steffi Graf launched her bid for tennis' first "Golden Slam" by overcoming a shaky start to beat Leila Meskhi of the Soviet Union 7-5, 6-1 Thursday (Friday in Seoul) in the second round of the women's Olympic tournament.

Graf, who completed the Grand Slam at the U.S. Open earlier this month and is favored to add the gold medal in Seoul, took 66 minutes to wear down Meskhi after receiving a first-round bye.

Joining Graf in the last 16 were Pam Shriver of the United States and Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union.

Shriver, the No. 4 seed, beat Jill Hetherington of Canada, 6-2, 6-3. Zvereva, seeded No. 6., outlasted Australia's Anne Minter 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Also through was No. 10 seed Katarina Maleeva of Bulgaria, who beat Gisele Miro, 7-5, 6-1.

Graf, who has had to deal with constant media attention since her arrival in Seoul eight days ago, had more than a few problems in her first match, against an opponent ranked 35th in the world.

Meskhi won the first five points, courtesy of five straight Graf errors, and put as much pressure as she could on the West German's backhand.

Occasionally, Meskhi switched her attack to Graf's normally impenetrable forehand, and drew several mistakes from that side too.

In the end, however, she was worn down by the 19-year-old West German's punishing groundstrokes, running out of stamina as Graf ripped through the last six games.

Graf said winning the gold medal would be as important as any of her four individual Grand Slam tournament titles but not as great an achievement as having all four at the same time.

She said she could not think in terms of a "Golden Slam."

"I have achieved enough this year. I don't feel any pressure," she said. "The one has nothing to do with the other. If it works out, it would be nice."

One of the biggest tennis shockers of the year was pulled off Thursday when 25-year-old Kim Bong-soo of South Korea upset fourth-seeded Henri Leconte of France 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Joining Kim in the final 16 will be all three American entrants, Tim Mayotte, Brad Gilbert and Robert Seguso. All of them won in four sets Thursday, Mayotte against Italy's Diego Nargiso, Gilbert against Andrei Chersakov of the Soviet Union and Seguso against Australia's Darren Cahill, who was seeded ninth.

Anders Jarryd of Sweden, Jacob Hlasek of Switzerland, Amos Mansdorf of Israel and Martin Jaite of Argentina were among the seeded players from other countries to advance.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:12 PM   #2931
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I can just imagine it:

Steffi: "One thing doesn't have anything to do with the other thing."

Peter Graf, de Picciotto, the ITF, and the IOC [in unison]: "Be quiet, kid!"

Steffi: "But--"

Peter Graf, de Picciotto, the ITF, and the IOC [in unison]: "Why don't you go practice?"

Steffi: "Fine." [Storms off, muttering under her breath.]

The ITF [to Peter Graf and de Picciotto]: "What would improve her mood?"

Peter Graf: "Tickets to the men's 100 meters might help."

Peter Graf, de Picciotto, and the ITF look at the IOC. The IOC nods.

Graf Finds Laser-Guided Form
USA TODAY
Friday, September 23, 1988
JIM TERHUNE, Gannett News Service

SEOUL - Was that a nuclear weapon out there on center court, or was it a tennis player?

Steffi Graf's the name, right-handed laser's her game.

Leila Meskhi knew that. She didn't know what to do about it. She would "try to find a weakness and take advantage." She would "have a strategy, but the trick is to be able to use it."

Well, the funny thing was that some of the 20-year-old Soviet's stuff worked Friday in the Olympic tennis venue. The girl who stunned Pam Shriver in the U.S. Open earlier this month made the world's finest female player work for a 7-5 first set victory and got the first game of the second.

Then the winner of all four Grand Slam tournaments this year hit semi-stride and cannonballed her way to a 6-1 decision.

Graf was easily the most stirring performer, male or female, of the early rounds.

The crowd sighed as forehands and volleys sizzled into Meskhi's court, challenging the naked eye to pick them up.

Graf's passing shots rocketed by Meskhi while she was standing on the baseline.

But this was the 19-year-old West German's first match in Seoul, and often her machine gun turned into a blunderbuss - one ball blundering into the net, the next busting over the baseline.

"She was playing a very good match," Graf said. "I watched her beat Shriver in the Open and saw she had a very good backhand. She had already played a match here, and that helps.

"It took me time to adjust. The (hard) court felt like it was really going into my legs and back. But I played the second set at a higher level, and she couldn't do anything."

Graf, with five aces to Meskhi's none, won 66 points, but Meskhi won 50.

And Meskhi, ranked No. 35 in the world, crackled many backhand drives down the line for winners that probably reminded Graf of Graf.

Graf won the U.S. Open three weeks ago. She said went home for three days, didn't sleep much and was tired when she arrived here with the time difference.

"In the beginning it's been difficult," she said.

She also indicated that winning a second Olympics (she took the 1984 title at age 15 when tennis was a demonstration sport) would not be as spectacular as the Grand Slam events.

Asked if she were going for a "Golden Slam," she smiled and said, "You're amazing. I won the Grand Slams and I'm trying to play as well as possible and win the gold. But one thing doesn't have anything to do with the other thing.

"This women's field has the standard of a Grand Slam (eight of top nine ranked players are here), but I wouldn't include it as high as the Slam."

Also on Friday, the United States maintained its clean slate. Shriver and Zina Garrison opened with victories to move into the round of 16, Shriver whipped Canada's Jill Hetherington, 6-1, 6-4, and Garrison eliminated Mexico's Claudia Hernandez, 6-1, 6-4. No. 2 seed Chris Evert plays Saturday.

Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, the world's top-ranked doubles team, opened with a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 decision over the Indonesian pair of Wailan Walalangi and Suharyadi.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:14 PM   #2932
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Olympics '88 - Graf gains easy victory over Soviet
Houston Chronicle
Friday, SEPTEMBER 23, 1988
Reuters News Service

SEOUL, South Korea - Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf made a slow start in the Olympic tennis tournament today before turning up the power to score a 7-5, 6-1 win over Leila Meskhi of the Soviet Union.

Graf repeatedly netted shots off her forehand during the first set and failed to capitalize on a break point in the seventh game when a backhand also went too low.

Like many players before her, Graf blamed some of her hesitancy on the balls.

"She had a chance to have a match before and I didn't,'' Graf said of Meskhi, who beat Czechoslovak Regina Rajchrtova in the first round. "To get used to the balls is not that easy.

"In the second set I was playing a little bit higher and she couldn't do anything.''

Like the other 11 seeds, gold medal favorite and world No. 1 Graf, who has lost only twice this year, was given a bye into the second round of the singles tournament.

Graf, 19, finally nailed the first set after breaking Meskhi for 6-5 on the center court.

She broke Meskhi, ranked 35th in the world, three times in the second set and when challenged with a breakpoint against her at 3-1 coolly produced an ace to keep herself on top.

Graf became the first person in 18 years to win the Grand Slam: the Australian, French, and U.S. opens plus Wimbledon in the same year. She is trying to become the first person ever to win the Slam and a gold medal, nicknamed the "Golden Grand Slam.''

"I have achieved enough this year,'' she said. "I won the Grand Slam and I am trying here to win the gold, but ... I have to put the one thing out of my mind and concentrate on the other. But it would be nice if it worked.''

Graf admitted to a mental letdown after completing the Slam and said she was "very tired'' when she arrived in Seoul, but feels stronger after several days of rest.

With Meskhi gone - following the early exit of both the Soviet Union's men players Andrei Chesnokov, the eighth seed, and Andrei Cherkasov - Russian hopes of a medal in the singles rest entirely with the 17-year-old Natalia Zvereva.

Sixth seed Zvereva, on course for a quarter-final clash with Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini, ousted Australia's Anne Minter 6-4 3-6 6-1 in a match which settled into a monotonous pattern of service breaks and long baseline rallies.

The Minsk girl, losing finalist at the French Open this year, clinched the match on a double fault by Minter.

"The plan for us (the Soviet women) was to win a bronze medal and I think we can do it,'' Zvereva said.

Graf's scheduled opponent for the final, American Chris Evert, and five other seeds play their first matches on the Seoul Olympic Park's hardcourts on Saturday.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:15 PM   #2933
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

TURNBULL ALONE AFTER MINTER MISSES VOLLEYS
CRAIG GABRIEL
September 23, 1988
Sydney Morning Herald

SEOUL, Friday: Only one Australian singles player, Wendy Turnbull, is left in the Olympic tennis competition.

Anne Minter was beaten yesterday by sixth-seeded Natalia Zvereva, of the Soviet Union, 6-4 3-6 6-1.

It was anyone's match for two sets as Minter and Zvereva matched it stroke for stroke from the back court with drives that were hit hard and deep.

The Australian drilled the ball from side to side and tried to keep Zvereva on the run, but she retrieved some great returns.

The Soviet teenager is known for her drop shot but resisted the high-risk stroke, especially when she noticed Minter was returning the ball for a winner almost every time.

"I missed a few easy volleys and that made me lose a bit of confidence,"Minter said. "I should have come to the net a bit more but I was pleased with my ground strokes."

The momentum swung to Minter after she won the second set but then it turned once more early in the third set when she allowed break points to slip though her racquet strings.

They were three vital unforced errors and instead of the set being 2-2 it was 3-1 to the Soviet and that allowed Zvereva, who was begining to tire, to get a second wind, gain confidence and play much better.

Minter had played Zvereva once before at the Virginia Slims of Florida tournament in February last year and won in three sets. Since then the Soviet teenager has grown about 8cm, reached three major finals, including the French Open, and beaten Martina Navratilova twice.

"I would like to win a gold medal more than Wimbledon because this is the most important tournament for me," Zvereva said.

"For me it is even more important than the French, Wimbledon and US Opens. Here I play for my country and the USSR team."

After Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini, Zvereva is the hottest player on the women's circuit. But her coach, Olga Morozova, a Wimbledon and French Open finalist in 1974, suggested that the teenager had to get stronger mentally and physically before really challenging them.

"She hits a lot harder now but she still moonballs a lot," Minter said. "I think she has matured in her game and she has got a lot more confidence."

Graf, the grand slam champion, opened her quest for a gold medal and is trying to achieve something that has never been done before - win what is being termed a "golden slam".

"I won the grand slam and I am trying to play as well as possible here and maybe win the gold," she said.

"The one thing doesn't have to do with the other. I have done the one thing. Now I am concentrating on the other. If it works, that would be nice."

Graf is a hot favourite to win the gold medal, but the teenager says she does not feel any pressure because "I have achieved enough this year".

The West German was pressed in the first set by yet another up- and-coming Soviet player, Leila Meshki, who defeated Pam Shriver in the US Open two weeks ago.

Once "Fraulein Forehand" began to swing into her merciless stroke, and the Korean crowd gasped at its power, the match was virtually over and Graf closed it out 7-5 6-1.

"She played a good match at the beginning and I wasn't nervous," Graf said. "It took me some time to get used to the conditions. This is a bit different to other tournaments but when you go out on court it's just the same."

Turnbull plays her second-round match today against Tine Scheur-Larsen, of Denmark. They have played once before, about three years ago in the Federation Cup, and Turnbull won.

"I know Tine really well," Turnbull said. "I don't mind playing her and I am sure she doesn't mind playing me."

Quote of the day from Ion Tiriac, Boris Becker's manager: "The only amateurs in these Olympics are the tennis players." (The tennis players had to give up rights to all endorsement income to play here).
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:37 PM   #2934
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
You know what, I ve never watched the Olympics final But I will.
Like the 1988 USO final, it has some really fun points. Gaby actually wins a point with a between the legs shot. Steffi doesn't care much, because she made Gaby run like a kilometer just to win that one point.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 02:10 PM   #2935
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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You know what, I ve never watched the Olympics final But I will.
Thanking you again Amy for all the articles !!!

Already read the one"THE SEOUL GAMES / DAY 6 : AFTER THE SLAM : Graf Has Place in History, No Place Just for Herself" from the Los Angeles Times, but still worth reading it again.
Try to watch that Olympics final if you can. I thot there were some nice rallies. Some of Steffi's forehands were simply breathtaking to watch too.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 03:29 AM   #2936
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Yes, there were some great points. Gabriela tried to fight but Steffi was on a higher level that day, and her physical superiority was evident. Sabatini resisted in the end IIRC, and it was fun to watch.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #2937
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
Yes, there were some great points. Gabriela tried to fight but Steffi was on a higher level that day, and her physical superiority was evident. Sabatini resisted in the end IIRC, and it was fun to watch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzJwT95SO5Y

The 4-3 game has the between the legs shot. I also love the 30-40 point, and the look Steffi gives Gaby when she's ready to serve the next point and Gaby is still walking around.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #2938
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Good for Kitty Godfree for making a return trip to the Olympics 64 years later! LMAO at Steffi wanting some time to get away from it all at the sensory overload chaos known as the Olympics.

OLYMPICS '88 - Seoul Summer Games - Tennis back where it belongs, ex-medalist says
Houston Chronicle
Saturday, SEPTEMBER 24, 1988
HARRY SHATTUCK, Staff

SEOUL, South Korea - Not since 1924, when a dispute arose at the Paris Games, has tennis been played as a medal sport in the Olympics.

And Kitty Godfree of Great Britain, a medalist in the 1920 and 1924 Games, has traveled to Seoul to celebrate the sport's return.

She is 92 years old.

"But I still ride my bicycle every day,'' Godfree says. "It's awfully good exercise, especially for the limbs.''

In Godfree's era, no medal ceremonies were scheduled to honor winners. "You received your medal by post,'' she says. "There was a lot of applause, and that's all that mattered. Everybody was jolly well pleased that you won, and that was that.''

Asked how tennis has changed in the 64 years between Olympics appearances, Godfree says professionalism "has changed the game completely. By that, I don't mean that the hitting of the ball is different. Or the rally. A forehand drive is still a forehand drive, and they were wonderfully played by Suzanne Lenglen back in the '20s.

"But today they've got much better racquets. The balls seem to be better. And, of course, they have the opportunity of earning a lot of money which enables them to have everything of the best, like a coach and trainer and anything else they need.''

Should tennis remain in the Games?

"My feelings are it never should have been taken out of the Olympics,'' Godfree says. "I think it was a muddle that need not have happened in Paris.''

Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg, top seed in the men's singles, may beg to differ with Godfree in one respect.

"I might as well admit it, but these are the worst balls we play with in tennis,'' Edberg says of the Korean-made tennis balls utilized here.

"You can hit two shots the same way, and one goes out and the other hits the line. I find that very difficult. They are heavy and inconsistent.''

Unlike Edberg, American Pam Shriver has delighted fans and the media here with her upbeat approach to the Olympics.

"The courts here are so beautiful because they have so much space and they have no commercial messages, no banners at the back,'' Shriver says. "It's easy to focus.''

Shriver, who tired of walking but doesn't want to rely on buses, says she bought a bicycle to move about the area. She has watched swimming and gymnastics, and Shriver admits to sneaking into the latter without a ticket.

One problem, however, has developed with the bicycle.

"Andy Mill borrowed it and had a crash,'' Shriver says, referring to U.S. teammate Chris Evert's husband. "I think I want to take the bike home. But I may have to let Andy play bumper bike with it.''

Shriver says she enjoys visiting with South Korean fans. "When the Koreans want your autograph, they let you know,'' Shriver says. "They're pretty aggressive. I think all Koreans would be serve-and-volleyers if they played tennis.''

At the Athletes Village, Shriver says, "Most of the athletes below me are in track and field. I'm hoping some of their speed comes through the floor, and suddenly I'll find myself agile and quick on the court.''

Shriver and Houstonian Zina Garrison easily won first-round matches in women's singles. Evert was to make her Olympic debut Saturday.

In men's singles, the American team received a bad break in the draw in that teammates Brad Gilbert and Robert Seguso were pitted against each other in the third round late tonight.

"It cut down on my scouting work, that's for sure,'' U.S. team captain Tom Gorman said.

Women's Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf of West Germany, who breezed through her opening match, scoffed at attempts by her agents to bill these Olympics as a Golden Grand Slam.

"I won the Grand Slam, and I'm trying here to play as well as possible,'' Graf says. "But the one doesn't have anything to do with the other.''

Graf, whose U.S. Open triumph only two weeks ago in New York completed her sweep of the American, French, Australian and British Wimbledon championships, says she is not at a physical peak for these Games.

"From the States, I went home for three days and didn't get much sleep, with a lot going on,'' Graf says. "So I came here and I was really tired. I wanted to have some time to get away. But it's the Olympics, so that is impossible.''

Graf opened up with a 7-5, 6-1 victory Friday over Leila Meskhi of the Soviet Union.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 12:19 PM   #2939
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The story of her life: Saddled with a diminutive of her name and a catch phrase for the achievement for which she is best known, both of which she doesn't like.

One of the anecdotes floating around about her practice with the track team was that she held her own pretty well.

ATHLETIC GRAF HAD OLYMPIC DREAMS AS A RUNNER
Sun-Sentinel
Saturday, September 24, 1988
News/Sun-Sentinel wire services

SEOUL, South Korea -- If life had turned out differently, Steffi Graf might be competing on the track in Seoul, instead of on the tennis court.

Although the queen of women's tennis looks like she was born into the sport every time she hits the ball, she thinks she might also have made it as a runner.

''I certainly have the eagerness and if I would have had the chance two years ago, I might have done it,'' she said. ''I think I would have gone for the 800 meters.''

She declined to say what her personal best was for the distance, although she is reported to have been among the three fastest in West Germany a year ago.

''Let's just say I am not bad for a tennis player,'' Graf said.

Graf certainly needed to be quick on her feet as she launched her bid for the ''Golden Slam,'' trying to add a gold medal to the Grand Slam of tennis she won two weeks ago with a victory at the U.S. Open.

She had an edgy start, making an uncharacteristic number of errors on both her forehand and backhand before putting away Leila Meskhi of the Soviet Union 7-5, 6-1 in the second round Friday.

Graf's performance against Meskhi, ranked 35th in the world, was not up to her usual standard. She had problems with her timing and did not get into stride until the second set.

''I've been pretty tired,'' Graf said. ''I only had three days between the U.S Open and coming to Seoul and it took me awhile to adjust.''

Graf, who won the demonstration event in Los Angeles four years ago, said she was glad tennis has returned to the Games.

''To me, it's as important as the four Grand Slam tournaments but not as important as holding them all at the same time,'' she said.

Talk of the being the first person to win the Golden Slam annoys her.

''One thing has nothing to do with the other,'' she said. ''I don't like the term 'Golden Slam.' ''

The United States also did well Friday as Ken Flach and Robert Seguso won their first-round doubles match in straight sets, and Pam Shriver and Zina Garrison posted second-round women's singles victories.

Garrison, who beat Martina Navratilova on her way to the U.S Open semifinals, said she already pictured herself as a medalist. All losing semifinalists in the tournament gain bronze medals.

''I know where I'm going to put it, above the fireplace at home in Houston,'' Garrison said. ''But finding a place for it is the easy part. Now I've got to win it.''
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 01:12 PM   #2940
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzJwT95SO5Y

The 4-3 game has the between the legs shot. I also love the 30-40 point, and the look Steffi gives Gaby when she's ready to serve the next point and Gaby is still walking around.
How I miss Steffi and Gaby! I wish Gaby had won more majors (not the ones that Steffi won though)
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