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Old Oct 6th, 2013, 10:54 PM   #2971
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Just thought I'd say if anyone checks out Rennae Stubbs' Instagram account they'd see 1 or 2 pics with Steffi, as Rennae was in Vegas for Billie Jean King's birthday & hung out with Steffi at least for some part of it.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 09:03 PM   #2972
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by fnuf7 View Post
Just thought I'd say if anyone checks out Rennae Stubbs' Instagram account they'd see 1 or 2 pics with Steffi, as Rennae was in Vegas for Billie Jean King's birthday & hung out with Steffi at least for some part of it.
Lovely pics!
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 09:04 PM   #2973
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Ms. Anthropic, Thanks a lot for the great articles. Enjoyed them a lot.
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Old Oct 12th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #2974
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Excerpts from a recent interview from a magazine called "Myway" (can't find it complete online):

On getting old and decrepit: "The signs of age - I see them, too. Clearly, there is one place or another on my body that I would like to be different. But to be honest, I am not all that vain. I often go out of the house without make up or quickly put on whatever clothes to go to the supermarket. ... Age is only a number. Much more important is how I live now -- and be totally aware. ... From high performance sport, my body is sensitive to a lot. A little Pilates, gym equipment, and cycling suffice for me."

On having no schedule imposed from the outside: "That I can thus plan out my time is an absolute luxury. What mother can ever do that? In my view, that is freedom, for which I am thankful."

She never mourned for the old days. "I live in the Now, fully and completely. ... I am exactly there, where I would like to be, and I feel in myself a great awareness for how good life has done for me."

On taming her sweet tooth: "So for the first time in my life, I gave myself a ban on sweets, because I have long realized that a lot of sugar isn't good for me."

But what about ninja? "As a child, I had two dream jobs: veterinarian or photographer for National Geographic. The latter is still on my wish list."

On helping children: "The most beautiful thing about the work is seeing that you really can induce something and give back to the children what was taken from them - self-confidence, faith, a future."

On Andre: "As soon as I admitted my feelings for him, it was immediately love. With him, I know that he understands me. ... Yes, my best friend is Andre. We don't argue. ... When we went out to eat the first time, Andre asked me directly if I wanted to have children. 'Yes,' I said, 'I want to adopt them!' Then he really gave a look! Well, it obviously happened differently."

The daily routine: "My alarm clock rings at 5:30, I take our two dogs for walkies. After that, I make breakfast and drive the kids to school. Afternoons, I pick them up, we eat, and I take the children to their sports."

On the children: "Both are super active, they have that from their parents. Jaden plays baseball, Jaz dances hiphop. Not rarely do Andre and I spend the entire weekend on the ball field or watching Jaz dancing."

On her relationship with Germany: "It's important to me that my children know where I come from. We travel to Germany every year, and they love it. But even here at home in Nevada we cultivate many little German things. Grandma bakes cookies with them, speaks German with them, and they understand almost everything. ... My mother, my brother and his wife and kids - they all live quite near us. But I miss my home, Germany. My roots are there."
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Old Oct 12th, 2013, 05:31 PM   #2975
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

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Originally Posted by MistyGrey View Post
Ms. Anthropic, Thanks a lot for the great articles. Enjoyed them a lot.
Glad people liked them. We still have Brighton and the tour championships and a few odds and ends articles to go (including a 32 word blurb from "The Times" that is brilliant in its understatement).
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Old Oct 15th, 2013, 05:00 PM   #2976
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Not really surprising that Steffi pulled out of Zurich in 1988. I always imagine Steffi after the Olympics as being kinda like Opus in the third panel of this "Bloom County" comic strip: http://www.thecomicstrips.com/store/add.php?iid=83920

ACTION BRIEFS
October 15, 1988
Sun Herald

[...]

STEFFI WANTS TO REST

WEST German Steffi Graf will not defend her European Indoor tennis title in Zurich this week because she is too tired.

Announcing her late withdrawal in a terse statement, the organisers said they had been told the world No 1, who won the Olympic title in Seoul two weeks ago, was "tennis weary".
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Old Oct 15th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #2977
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

A repost, but I would really like to hit people over the head as hard as possible that Steffi did a lot to change media and public perceptions about women's tennis (and even tennis in general). Hinton mostly covered motor sports and American football, and Steffi put enough mayhem into tennis to grab his attention.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that matters little. It is Graf in motion who will matter for the ages.
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Old Oct 18th, 2013, 06:20 PM   #2978
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Amazing that right there in one of her earliest ever interviews is a variant on the famous "laugh/smile or play tennis" line -- or possibly it is the source of quote and most of the other instances are media echoes of this interview. Worth an ironic chuckle is the tongue-in-cheek chastisement of Steffi for wrecking havoc with her draw-making; I am surprised no picture exists of Steffi wearing a T-shirt that reads: "Chaos, discord, panic -- My work here is done!" Also noted is Steffi's unfriend, the amiable Sylvia Hanika and her rare charm.

Debut of a Wunderkind
13-year-old Steffi Graf surprises fourth ranked Tracy Austin
Hamburger Abendblatt
No. 243, Page 12
October 19, 1982
by Martin Hägele

Stuttgart, October 19 -- Before the match, Peter Graf put his arm around his daughter Steffi, walked a few steps with her in the forest. Steffi, the 13-year-old wunderkind of German tennis, needed quiet. At the same time Tracy Austin minced around, one leg after the other. Even Tracy, the 19-year-old fourth ranked player from the States, was nervous. Although she had won all the Grand Prix tournaments in Filderstadt until now and along with four Porsches. Tracy, the wunderkind of yesterday, probably already suspected how difficult she would have it against Germany's hope for tomorrow.

The world's No. 4 was scared of a girl who is ahead of no one in these world ranking, because Steffi mostly plays against children.

The $125,000 tournament by the gates of Stuttgart was the first big appearance of Steffi Graf. After 65 minutes, it was over. And at the end there was applause for Steffi. Despite the loss. She had lost 4-6, 0-6. "It is just not yet possible for her to be able to fully get through such an opponent," said her father.

Still, a sensation had been in the air in the first set. Steffi played with more variety, more intelligently than the American, who relied on her shots from the baseline -- and to her own surprise was out-positioned by Steffi Graf again and again.

When the girl from Mannheim had narrowed to 4-5, Tracy Austin hid her face behind a towel. Only after this self-induced hypnosis did she find her concentration -- and from that moment on, she didn't lose a single game more.

"Naturally, I had reckoned I had no chance, but suddenly it was going quite well," explained Steffi Graf during the first press conference of her life.

"The German played well," said Tracy Austin. "I know that feeling, when you have nothing to lose." But then she said: "Come to America sometime, there are many of these young things who have all these hard shots."

So welcome is the news about the exceptional talent, Steffi Graf; so unwelcome is the news about top player Sylvia Hanika. The Munich native as always thumbed her nose at the tournament organizers.

"If you would ask me now, I would say I'm not coming," Sylvia Hanika told tournament director Ulrich Blankenhorn over the telephone yesterday evening at 6:00. But Blankenhorn preferred not to ask. He keeps the hotel room reserved for Hanika and her doctor (Hanika: "I need the doctor on account of my shoulder injury") and hopes that Hanika, quarreling with the German Tennis Federation, shows up on Wednesday in the hall. According to Sylvia Hanika, she would still first need to consult the team doctor of Bayern Munich, Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrth, before she would decide.

The experts doubt that the internationally ranked player will appear for the duel with Eva Pfaff (Frankfurt). The Munich resident is afraid of the No. 4 in the German rankings after the last incidents, claims not only the former Davis Cup player Hans-Jürgen Pohmann. And national coach Klaus Hofsäss accepted no bets at the bar in the tennis hall that Sylvia Hanika would even turn up.

Even if she ducks out, there will still be a German duel today. Of all people, Bettina Bunge and Claudia Kohde were drawn against each other in the first round. Therefore only one of the two friends will carry Germany's hopes in the second round. Incidentally, Steffi Graf is to blame for this catastrophic lot. She was supposed to bring good luck as the draw fairy; instead, she put only cause for conflict in the pot.

First round results: Joanne Russell (USA) - Kathy Horvath (USA) 6-7, 6-2, 7-5, Andrea Temesvari (Hungary) - Duk Hee Lee (South Korea) 6-2, 6-3, Mima Jausovec (Yugoslavia) - Sandy Collins (USA) 6-4, 6-2.

How come you never laughed?

Q. Are you very disappointed, Steffi?

Steffi Graf: I had known that I will probably lose. But I am a little bit depressed now.

Q. What is the difference between Tracy Austin and you?

Graf: She is 19, she has played many more tournaments than I. Therefore she knows better what one must do when.

Q. When will you beat Tracy Austin?

Graf: In two or three years maybe.

Q. Are you a wunderkind?

Graf: I don't know it. But it doesn't burden me, either, what the others say about me.

Q. You were very serious during this match, you never laughed?

Graf: I am here to play tennis, not to laugh. But I have a lot of fun playing tennis, although one doesn't see it so from the outside.

Hamburger Abendblatt · Nr. 243 vom 19.10.1982 · Seite 12
Auftritt eines Wunderkindes
13jährige Steffi Graf überraschte Weltranglistenvierte Tracy Austin
Von MARTIN HÄGELE

Stuttgart, 19. Oktober

Vor dem Spiel nahm Peter Graf seine Tochter Steffi in den Arm, spazierte mit ihr ein paar Schritte in den Wald. Steffi, das 13jährige Wunderkind des deutschen Tennis, brauchte Ruhe. Zur gleichen Zeit trippelte Tracy Austin von einem Bein aufs andere. Auch Tracy, die 19jährige Weltranglistenspielerin aus den Staaten, war nervös. Obwohl sie bisher alle Grand-Prix-Turniere in Filderstadt und damit schon vier Porsche gewonnen hatte. Tracy, das Wunderkind von gestern, ahnte wohl schon, wie schwer sie es gegen Deutschlands Hoffnung von morgen haben würde.

Die Nummer 4 in der Welt fürchtete sich vor einem Mädchen, das in noch keiner dieser Weltranglisten geführt wird, denn Steffi spielt meist gegen Kinder.

Das 125 000-Dollar-Turnier vor den Toren von Stuttgart war der erste ganz große Auftritt von Steffi Graf. Nach 65 Minuten war er vorbei. Und am Ende gab es Beifall für Steffi. Trotz der Niederlage. 4:6, 0:6 hatte sie verloren. "Es ist eben noch nicht möglich, daß sie gegen eme solche Gegnerin voll durchspielen kann", sagte der Vater.

Im ersten Satz hatte noch eine Sensation in der Luft gelegen. Steffi spielte variabler, intelligenter als die Amerikanerin, die sich auf ihre Schläge von der Grundlinie verließ - und zur eigenen Überraschung immer wieder von Steffi Graf ausplaziert wurde.

Als die Mannheimerin auf 4:5 verkürzt hatte, versteckte Tracy Austin ihr Gesicht hinter einem Handtuch. Erst nach dem autogenen Training fand sie ihre Konzentration - und von diesem Moment gab sie kein einziges Spiel mehr ab.

"Ich hatte mir natürllch keine Chance ausgerechnet aber plötzlich lief es ganz gut", erklärte Steffi Graf in der ersten Pressekonferenz ihres Lebens.

"Die Deutsche spielte gut", so Tracy Austin "Ich kenne diese Gefühle, wenn man nichts zu vertieren hat." Doch dann sagte sie: "Kommen Sie mal nach Amerika, da gibt es viele von diesen jungen Dingern, die haben alle diese harten Schläge."

So erfreulich die Nachrichten über das Ausnahmetalent Steffi Graf sind, so unerfreulich sind sie über Spitzenspielerin Sylvia Hanika. Die Münchnerin tanzt den Veranstaltern nach wie vor auf der Nase herum.

"Wenn Sie mich jetzt fragen würden, würde ich sagen, ich komme nicht", teilte Sylvia Hanika gestern abend um 19 Uhr am Telefon dem Turnier-Direktor Ulrich Blankenhorn mit. Doch Blankenhorn fragte lieber nicht. Er läßt weiter das Hotelzimmer für Hanika und ihren Arzt (Hanika: "Den Doktor brauche ich wegen meiner Schulterverletzung") reserviert und hofft, daß die mit dem Deutschen Tennisbund verfeindete Hanika am Mittwoch in der Halle steht. Sie müsse erst noch den Vereinsarzt von Bayern München; Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrth, konsultieren, bevor sie sich entscheide, so Sylvia Hanika.

Die Experten bezweifeln, daß die Weltranglistenspielerin zum Duell mit Eva Pfaff (Frankfurt) erscheint. Die Münchnerin habe nach den letzten Vorkommnissen Angst vor der Vierten der deutschen Rangliste, behauptet nicht nur der ehemalige Davis-Pokal-Spieler Hans-Jürgen Pohmann. Und Bundestrainer Klaus Hofsäss nahm an der Bar in der Tennishalle keine Wette darauf entgegen, daß Sylvia Hanika doch noch auftauchen werde.

Selbst wenn sie kneift, kommt es heute noch zu einem deutschen Duell. Ausgerechnet Bettina Bunge und Claudia Kohde wurden in der ersten Runde gegeneinander ausgelost. Nur eine der zwei Freundinnen trägt deshalb in der zweiten Runde noch deutsche Hoffnungen. Schuld an diesem katastrophalen Los ist übrigens Steffi Graf. Sie sollte als Losfee Glück bringen, statt dessen zog sie nur Konfliktstoff aus dem Topf.

Ergebnisse erste Runde: Joanne Russell (USA) - Kathy Horvath (USA) 6:7, 6:2, 7:5, Andrea Temesvari (Ungarn) - Duk Hee Lee (Südkorea) 6:2, 6:3, Mima Jausovec (Jugoslawien) - Sandy Collins (USA) 6:4, 6:2.

Warum hast du denn nie gelacht?

Frage: Bist du sehr enttäuscht, Steffi?

Steffi Graf: Ich habe gewußt, daß ich wahrscheinlich verlieren werde. Aber ein bißchen bin ich jetzt schon deprimiert.

Wo liegt der Unterschied zwischen Tracy Austin und dir?

Sie ist 19, sie hat viel mehr Turniere gespielt als ich. Sie weiß deshalb besser, was man wann machen muß.

Wann schlägst du Tracy Austin?

In zwei oder drei Jahren vielleicht.

Bist du ein Wunderkind?

Ich weiß es nicht. Aber es belastet mich auch nicht, was die anderen über mich sagen.

Du warst sehr ernst bei diesem Spiel, du hast nie gelacht?

Ich bin doch zum Tennisspielen hier -- und nicht zum Lachen. Aber ich habe sehr viel Spaß beim Tennis, obwohl man das nach außen gar nicht so sieht.
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 02:13 AM   #2979
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by fnuf7 View Post
Just thought I'd say if anyone checks out Rennae Stubbs' Instagram account they'd see 1 or 2 pics with Steffi, as Rennae was in Vegas for Billie Jean King's birthday & hung out with Steffi at least for some part of it.
They both look great.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 01:38 AM   #2980
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I believe something else happened in Steffi's life on October 22 in another year. I think it was 2001 or so.

The following article was a full page in "The Times," a rare, if not unprecedented, honor.

Golden girl with all the aces - Steffi Graf
The Times
London, England
Saturday, October 22, 1988
Rex Bellamy

Tracy Austin, part-time player and part-time television commentator, competed in both doubles events her first appearance since 1982 during the recent United States championships. What mattered, though, was Steffi Graf's possession of a crown Austin once seemed destined to inherit from Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

Austin briefly took over the No.1 world ranking in 1980, aged 17. She was twice US champion, twice reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, but was then afflicted by problems in the hips, back and neck. By 1983, the once bright flame of her career had been doused.

There was much the same story to tell about Andrea Jaeger at much the same age. Theirs have been the most prominent case histories often cited as examples of "burn-out". We are talking about the hazards both physical and mental of imposing an excess of competitive stress on growing children.

The warnings were not lost on Peter Graf, who was running a tennis school in a little town near Heidelberg, West Germany, and had a precociously talented daughter. The Austin story was coincidentally apt, because in Steffi Graf's first match as a professional aged 13 she gave Austin a strenuous work-out. That was in Stuttgart, October, 1982.

Peter Graf who is still Steffi Graf's coach and manager, though he now shares both roles with others made sure that his adolescent prodigy had a carefully planned programme. Her zest for the game must, he insisted, be tempered by regular, refreshing breaks for what most teenagers regard as a normal life.

Graf also has inherent insurances against injury. She is a stronger, more gifted athlete than Austin and Jaeger. She also has a greater capacity for winning cheap points that is, lessening the physical and mental stress by shortening the rallies.

At first she depended on her forehand for the winning shots. Now, her entire game has a cutting edge. She takes the fastest road home. For her, the baseline is a launching site for winners, rather than a base for attritional warfare.

In May, 1986, when she was a month short of her 17th birthday, I backed a hunch and went to Berlin partly because the ambience of the Grunewald suits me, but chiefly because it seemed that, for the first time, Graf would beat Navratilova.

In their three previous matches, Navratilova had never lost more than five games. This time she was beaten 6-2, 6-3. It was significant that Graf never lost faith in her then vulnerable backhand, which Navratilova peppered profitably to assume a 3-1 lead in the second set. Graf kept playing backhands until the cracks were repaired.

The result meant that Graf had won four professional tournaments in a row (previously, she had not won any) and had beaten Evert and Navratilova for the first time. The breakthrough was completed on an afternoon when sunshine painted the Grunewald's wonderland of tall trees and scattered lakes in gold and there was a bright new aura about Graf when she came into the Press room.

We had seen the player, but knew little about the person. She seemed a nice enough lass friendly and unaffected, the kind who enjoys romping with dogs. Her eyes sparkled as she told us about Ben, the Boxer, and how much she missed him when she was away playing tournaments.

There have been rumours that she sometimes talks to Ben on the telephone, in lieu of domestic wuff-and-tumble. Now he shares her affections with two German Shepherds. At play, the dogs tire before Graf does.

In 1986, Graf still packed schoolbooks in her luggage mostly about biology, geography and German literature. But already tennis was giving her a wide education and she was passing the exams with honours. Chris Evert said that, mentally, Graf was the most formidable young challenger since Austin. "I don't remember Steffi being an average player. She has always been tough," Evert said.

The 1988 Steffi Graf is almost the complete player and so tirelessly enthusiastic in her pursuit of perfection that the "almost" may soon become slightly insulting. She has the ideal build for tennis. Her exceptional athletic talent is the basis for such fast footwork and reactions that these, in turn, lead to balanced stroke preparation (half the secret of good timing).

The forehand is still Graf's most spectacular weapon. At times she hurls herself into the shot with such convulsive fury, with both feet off the ground, that one expects something to break the racket, the ball, or Graf. She covers the court so fast that she can hit that forehand from anywhere.

The backhand, much improved since a more muscular forearm widened her range of controlled pace, comes in three varieties: slice, often heavy; top-spin, producing the dip and the high bounce that are so difficult to attack; and, at rare moments of self-indulgence, a full-blooded shot, taken early and hit with top-spin.

Now physically mature, Graf has the most powerfully aggressive baseline game since Maureen Connolly's and a better service (with both balls) than Connolly or Margaret Court, another player of comparable quality.

Her forecourt play, although not in the Court-Navratilova class, is good and will be better, with scope for improvement in low volleys and half-volleys. A solid grounding on shale courts has taught her when and how to play the drop shot and lob. There are technical refinements to come, but she is already equipped to deal with any type of player on any surface.

Two of the least obvious aspects of Graf's excellence are the power with which she hits through the ball at the moment of impact and especially when returning service her deft use of the short angles.

On big occasions she is sometimes prone to transient phases of inhibition and error. She is human enough to wobble, but too resilient a competitor to fall. As a whole, her game varies only between the admirable and the breathtaking.

The boisterous zest of Graf's tennis, her evident enjoyment of the game, is an outlet for impatient young energies and a taste for adventure. Between rallies, her brisk, soldier-like walk is reminiscent of Connolly. The last point is history. Graf is only interested in the next and wants to get on with it.

She has been ranked No.1 in the world since August, 1987, and is winning more than $1million a year (plus off-court earnings). She has become the youngest of French women's champions and the first German of either sex to win Australian and US championships. She led West Germany to its first triumph in the world team championship.

This year, conceding only two sets in 27 matches, Graf became the fourth woman to complete a grand slam of the four major singles' championships (she should become the first to do it twice) and spiced the dish with an Olympic gold medal. She was beaten only twice last year, by Navratilova, and only twice this year, by Gabriela Sabatini.

At the age of 19 years and four months, Graf reminds me of that great squash player, Heather McKay, who reached the top and then by practising with men continued to improve. Graf's sparring partner, Pavel Slozil, has an enviable but tiring job.

Graf still has plenty of incentive. A second grand slam would, for a woman, be unique. But Graf's tally of five grand slam singles' titles is a modest haul when compared with the records of Court, Helen Wills Moody, Evert, Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Suzanne Lenglen, and Connolly whose career was cruelly brief.

One doubts if Graf will stay in the game long enough to rise to the top of that heap. She is the best of her generation and will be better. But her appetite for tennis may eventually be sated. She cannot count on avoiding injury. And professional tennis is a jungle: at the slightest hint of weakness, some predator will pounce.

It could be Sabatini, or Natalia Zvereva, or Mary Joe Fernandez, or some comparatively unknown child such as Monika Seles of Yugoslavia. In 1989, it could even be Navratilova, but I doubt it. The immediate future is a much younger dog fancier. Steffi Graf.
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Old Oct 25th, 2013, 01:28 PM   #2981
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Shriver and Graf hitting the heights - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Tuesday, October 25, 1988
Rex Bellamy

Pam Shriver, who won a tournament in Zurich on Sunday, took a closer look at the Alps before flying to England for the Midland Group championships, which begin today at the Brighton Centre. She hired a helicopter for an aerial survey of the Matterhorn. This enterprising method of filling in a rest day will surprise nobody. Shriver is full of bright ideas and is no stranger to heights. At the age of 16 she was already six feet tall and there is no evidence of shrinkage.

Steffi Graf, who is scheduled to beat Shriver in the Brighton final, has been ensconsed since Sunday in a luxurious suite at a seafront hotel. Neither Graf nor the tournament is having to pay the usual going rate of Pounds 1,000 a night. Graf, incidentally, uses a Yorkshire-made graphite racket. On Thursday the Dunlop people will present her with the millionth model of the Max 200 G. This raises two questions. Who was counting? And does the 'G' have anything to do with the fifth note in the diatonic scale of C major?

Graf's first opponent will be Iva Budarova. Shriver plays Monique Javer, a Californian who has American and British passports and a name that implies further affiliations. The 27 players who went straight into the main draw (Raffaella Reggi withdrew, temporarily damaged) represented 11 nations, but 18 of these competitors were British, French, German or Italian. Graf and a compatriot, Sylvia Hanika, are the only former winners in the singles draw, though Shriver, Jo Durie and Manuela Maleeva have been runners-up.

Yesterday was devoted to the qualifying competition. Five players four qualifiers, plus a "lucky loser" to replace Reggi advanced to the main draw. Sabine Auer, who plays for a Heidelberg club (Graf-Becker country) had a walkover into the last eight of the qualifying event because her scheduled opponent, Michelle Oldham, of Camberley, banged her head during a driving mishap on the way to Brighton.

The Midland Group, which has suppoted the national schools' championships since 1983, is the fifth comnpany to sponsor the Brighton event in 11 years. The others were three car manufacturers and a hosiery company. There are plenty of potential sponsors for events that attract celebrities and the consequent publicity. But backing professional tournaments is more expensive than it needs to be. The prize-money is excessive, the players (especially the leading players) are pampered and the host of promotional costs includes subsidies that support small armies of empire-building administrators.

There is so much money available that, in order to stay ahead of its competitors, the Brighton tournament has increased its prize-money by 20 per cent. The singles winner will receive about Pounds 28,400 from the total prize fund of Pounds 142,000. Obviously, Graf should win. She has come a long way since 1984, when she was beaten in the first round by Catarina Lindqvist, and 1985, when Durie dismissed her in the second round. The runner-up (Shriver?) will take Pounds 14,200, which should more than cover the cost of chartering that helicopter.
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Old Oct 26th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #2982
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Tennis really was Steffi's salvation. Imagine having that much physical and emotional energy, but no outlet for it. How many kids are we drugging into convenient stillness when four or five hours of running themselves ragged every day is what they really need?

The pundits are also beginning to scratch their heads about what motivates Steffi. Most of them will never truly wrap their minds around it.

Steffi Graf: New Desire For Tennis
Hamburger Abendblatt
October 26, 1988
No. 251, Page 19
ra

Brighton - Steffi Graf returns to tournament tennis play, and already the minutes are being counted again. For her opening victory in the women's Grand Prix in the English seaside resort Brighton ($250,000), the Olympic champion required only 48 minutes. Then she had defeated Iva Budarova of Czechoslovakia, 6-3, 6-2. For the statistics: It was the 62nd win in singles for the world ranked No. 1 this year -- against only two losses.

Steffi Graf refuted all the critics who had expected lacking motivation after her Grand Slam triumph: "I had no problems whatsoever. When you practiced for only eight days, you automatically have the desire again to play tennis." She views the future calmly: "I don't feel pressure anymore. I'm not thinking about a second Grand Slam, either. What comes just happens."

Iva Budarova said what every Graf opponent this year found out: "Steffi hits harder and quicker than any other player I've competed against in the past ten years. It's unbelievable. You think you have already won the point, and then she still hits the deadly shot."

In the second round, Steffi Graf meets Hester Witvoet from the Netherlands.

Saarbrück's Claudia Kohde-Kilsch easily survived the first round in Brighton, 6-1, 6-2 over the Italian Golarsa. In a purely German duel, Sylvia Hanika (Munich) overcame Wiltrud Probst (Fürth) 6-1, 6-2.
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Old Oct 26th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #2983
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

GRAF CRUISES IN OPENING MATCH
Lexington Herald-Leader
Wednesday, October 26, 1988
Associated Press

BRIGHTON, England -- Steffi Graf brushed aside the challenge of Iva Budarova of Czechoslovakia to post a 6-3 6-2 victory yesterday in her first competitive match since winning a historic gold medal at the Seoul Games.

The 19-year-old West German needed 45 minutes to advance to the second round of the $250,000 Midland Group Championships at the Brighton Center, where she is the top seed.

In other first-round matches, fifth-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France flirted with disaster before beating Celine Cohen of Switzerland 2-6, 7-5, 6-1, while Italy's Sandra Cecchini, seeded seventh, defeated Britain's Julie Salmon 6-1, 6-4.

In a minor upset, Britain's Claire Wood, who is listed 129 places below Elna Reinach in the world rankings, whipped the 28th-ranked, unseeded South African 6-2, 6-0.

Graf encountered few problems against the 28-year-old Budarova, although the Czechoslovak veteran took more games off the West German star than in either of their two previous confrontations.

As owner of the first-ever "Golden Slam" -- the Australian, French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open championships, as well as the Olympic title -- Graf produced all the power and speed that has made her the world's top-ranked player.

Budarova, ranked 98th in the world, never troubled the Graf serve despite going for outright winners with almost every shot.
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Old Oct 26th, 2013, 07:31 PM   #2984
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

REGULAR SHORTS
October 26, 1988
Sydney Morning Herald

MINTER'S POOR RUN CONTINUES

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday: Australian Anne Minter has continued her run of early dismissals when she was eliminated in the first round of the $US100,000 ($A122,310) women's tennis tournament here yesterday.

Minter, the sixth seed, crashed to American Stacey Martin 6-3 6-4.

Chinese-born Hu Na, of the United States, chalked up another surprise by eliminating the eighth-seeded Leila Meskhi of the Soviet Union.

The unseeded Hu Na, who defected to the United States in July 1982 at the Federation Cup in California, snatched a dramatic victory by winning two tie-breaks for a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-1) victory.

Giant-killer Beverly Bowes, who was the shock finalist at Nashville at the weekend, failed to reach the second round and was beaten 6-3 1-6 4-6 by third-seeded fellow-American Stephanie Rehe.

STEFFI GRAF MADE TO BATTLE

BRIGHTON, England, Wednesday: World No 1 Steffi Graf was made to work hard in her first match since winning the Olympic women's singles tennis title in Seoul.

The 19-year-old West German grand slam winner was hardly her usual devastating self at the start but she eventually beat Czech left-hander Iva Budarova 6-3 6-2 in the first round of the Midland Group women's championship yesterday.

It was Graf's 40th consecutive victory but she was still not satisfied.

"My aim is to play much better," she said. "The fact that I've won the grand slam this year will not make me any less keen to do it again next year."
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Old Oct 26th, 2013, 07:32 PM   #2985
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Wood widens her horizons - Clare Wood
The Times
London, England
Wednesday, October 26, 1988
Rex Bellamy, Tennis Correspondent

Clare Wood, who had qualified for the main draw by winning three matches at a total cost of seven games, beat Elna Reinach 6-2, 6-0 in the first round of the Midland Group championships at the Brighton Centre yesterday.

Both players have South African roots. Reinach is from Pretoria and Wood, aged 20, spent the first 10 years of her life in Zululand. Reinach, nine months the younger, has advanced faster she is 129 places higher in the world rankings but this result, the best of Wood's career, suggests that statistics have exaggerated any disparity in their basic abilities.

Wood played her best tennis but, partly as a consequence, Reinach did not. Wood served so well that she had only one break point against her. She will not assume that she can play like this every time she goes on court, but her confidence must have been enhanced, her horizons widened.

Wood's family home is down the coast, at Rustington. She did much to restore the dignity of Sussex after Julie Salmon, of Brighton, had been beaten 6-1, 6-4 by an Italian, the seeded Sandra Cecchini, who was 6-1 and 4-1 up before Salmon began to play well enough to test her.

Iva Budarova won four games out seven, but was beaten 6-3, 6-2 by Steffi Graf, who had taken a well-earned rest after adding an Olympic gold medal to her grand slam of the four major titles.

The left-handed Budarova reasoned that it would be futile to stay at the back of the court and confront a machine-gun with a rifle. She decided to have some fun, hit harder than usual, see what she could do in the forecourt, and put the ball away at every opportunity.

Sporadically, it worked well. Her main problem, in trying to put the ball away was in finding a patch of court unpopulated by the fleet-footed Graf. Budarova has played no other woman who moves as fast, hits as hard, and produces so many winners from unlikely situations. At such moments, Budarova smiled sweetly, which she does uncommonly well.

Budarova's blonde, teenage compatriot, Petra Langrova, wore a Graf-style shirt (star-spangled) but did not play Graf-style tennis. She was beaten 6-1, 6-3 by Sara Gomer.

The day began with a flurry of left-handers and a concurrent flurry of Italians. One of the left-handers, Belinda Cordwell, of New Zealand, was narrowly frustrated by one of the Italians, Laura Garrone, the 1985 world junior champion.

Ultimately, Cordwell's concentration insisted on a breather and Garrone's ground strokes were too much for her. Cordwell, often advised by Mark Cox, travels huge distances from Wellington to play tennis. I hate watching her lose, because she is a good lass and gives 100 per cent only because she cannot give more.

RESULTS: First round: N Herreman (Fr) bt A Grunfeld (GB), 7-5, 6-7, 6-2; L Garrone (It) bt B Cordwell (NZ), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; S Gomer (GB) bt P Langrova (Cz), 6-1, 6-3; S Cecchini (It) bt J Salmon (GB), 6-1, 6-4; I Demongeot (Fr) bt C Caverzasio (It), 6-2, 0-6, 6-1; S Graf (WG) bt I Budarova (Cz), 6-3, 6-2; N Tauziat (Fr) bt C Cohen (Switz), 2-6, 7-5, 6-1; C Wood (GB) bt E Reinach (SA), 6-2, 6-0; P Shriver (US) bt M Javer (GB), 6-4, 6-0; C Kohde-Kilsch (WG) bt L Golarsi (It) 6-1, 6-2; H Witvoet (Neth) bt C Dahlman (Swe) 6-7, 7-5, 6-4; S Hanika (WG) bt W Probst (WG) 6-1, 6-2.
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