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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 12:54 PM   #3346
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

The attached photos show physical difference between Steffi in 1982 and in early 1994. A pipsqueak's pipsqueak in 1982. The 1994 one is probably my favorite slice backhand picture; you can see how everything, from her toes to her wrist, is going into the shot. (Steffi could probably be a great Frisbee™ or discus thrower.) Tracy, would you like your double bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter?

Graf, Austin recall old match
The Press-Enterprise
Riverside, CA
Wednesday, February 23, 1994
Jim Short

INDIAN WELLS -- This is Steffi Graf's week for getting even.

Yesterday, she balanced the scales with Gigi Fernandez, beating her, 6-1, 6-2, to avenge a 6-4, 6-1 loss inflicted on Graf by Fernandez in 1983.

Today, in the second round of the Evert Cup, Graf will try to do the same against Tracy Austin, who 12 years ago spoiled Graf's professional debut with a 6-4, 6-0 victory in a tournament at Filderstadt, Germany, a suburb of Stuttgart.

Both women say they remember that match well. But both remember it in different ways.

Austin, at that time the tournament's four-time defending champion and second seed behind Martina Navratilova, said what she remembers is that "this little skinny kid from Germany that I'd never heard of before walked on the court. She was 13 years old.

"She was extremely confident, and she started hitting the ball so hard. I was wondering, `How does she do that?' I beat her, but she played very well. I remember how confident she seemed.

"I knew she had tremendous potential. I knew she was going to be extremely good. When she walked out there, she knew what she wanted to do."

That isn't quite the way Graf recalls it, though. She had been given a wild-card entry into the tournament, the first major event of her career, and she said, "Obviously to play Tracy at that time was special and I was very nervous, but I tried my best."

She also recalls that she felt Austin was less than gracious after the match because she "said something in the press that I wasn't liking at the time. She said there are hundreds of players like me in America."

Then Graf smiled and added, "Probably not anymore."

There aren't any players like Graf, 24, anymore, with Navratilova in her final season and Monica Seles inactive. In her 12-plus seasons on the WTA Tour, the young lady from Bruhl, Germany, has compiled a 674-82 record in singles, won 81 titles and earned more than $13.6 million. She's also lost only 10 other sets by 6-0 scores.

She said Austin's post-match comment a decade ago was "difficult to take at that time," but that it didn't serve as a motivational tool. Nor will it lend extra importance to this match.

"I have a lot of respect for her, for what she has done when she was at the top," Graf said of Austin, 31, who has won 29 titles and been ranked No. 1 on two occasions.

"It's a different time. But it also takes a lot of guts to come back after such a long time to play tournaments she used to win and come out maybe losing earlier that she was used to. I think that takes a lot of guts."

So Graf probably remembers their match, too.

NOTES - Lindsay Davenport of Murrieta, the tournament's third seed, will play her first-round match against Natalia Medvedeva today. Defending champion Mary Joe Fernandez also plays her first-round match today, against Angelica Gavaldon . . . Yesterday, Davenport and Lisa Raymond beat Peanut Harper and Radka Zrubakova, 6-2, 6-3, in a first-round doubles match . . . Tournament namesake Chris Evert is not in attendance this week. She is five months pregnant and doctors recommended that she not take any plane trips . . . The tournament featured an oddity yesterday when Anne Mall won her first-round singles match against Catalina Cristea, 6-4, 6-1. They had played Monday in the semifinals of the qualifying tournament, with Mall winning 7-5, 6-3. Cristea got into the main draw as a lucky loser . . . Tournament director Charlie Pasarell has been fielding complaints from spectators upset at being charged $5 to park in a field adjacent to the tournament site. In the past, parking was free. But Pasarell said he is just trying to recoup the $85,000 it costs him to rent the property from the City of the Indian Wells during the two weeks of the Evert Cup and Champions Cup.
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 12:56 PM   #3347
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

12 years later, Graf gets another crack at Austin
TENNIS: The world's top-ranked woman can avenge a loss when the two play today in the second round of the Evert Cup.

The Orange County Register
Wednesday, February 23, 1994
JANIS CARR

Welcome to Steffi's world, where matches are short and memories long.

After whipping Gigi Fernandez, 6-1, 6-2, in 47 minutes Tuesday at the Evert Cup, Steffi Graf recalled the only time she played Tracy Austin, her opponent today.

Graf, then 13, was playing in her first professional tournament in 1982 and had the unfortunate luck to draw Austin, then ranked fourth in the world.

"Obviously to play Tracy at that time was an honor because she had achieved so much," Graf, 24, said.

On Monday, Austin, 31, also remembered their first and only meeting. Sort of.

"I do remember it," said Austin, who will face Graf in today's second round. "I played her in Stuttgart (actually Filderstadt). I was seeded No. 1 (actually No. 2) and this little skinny kid from Germany that I'd never heard of before walked on the court. She was 13 years old.

"She was extremely confident and she started hitting the ball so hard, I was wondering how did she do that? I beat her 6-4, 6-4 (actually 6-4, 6-0) ... I knew she had tremendous potential. I knew she was going to be extremely good."

Graf said Austin's memory apparently isn't as good as it used to be. The German said her opponent that day wasn't gracious.

Graf tried her best to be polite when asked about Austin. But after a little prodding, she said Austin remarked that day there were "hundreds of players like (Graf) in America."

Graf paused momentarily Tuesday and added slyly, "But probably not anymore."

Since that day in Filderstadt, Graf has won 81 career titles, including 15 Grand Slams, more than $14 million in prize money and has held the No. 1 ranking longer than any player.

Fernandez won't dispute Graf's greatness. Not after getting handed a drubbing, on her birthday no less.

"I had a winning record on her for 10 years," Fernandez, 30, said about her one victory against Graf. "But when she's playing like she did today, there's not much you can do."

Sixth-seeded Amanda Coetzer, last year's finalist, advanced with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Ann Grossman, and eighth-seeded Judith Weisner beat Amy Frazier, 6-1, 6-3.

Anne Mall of Laguna Niguel, who qualified for the main draw, won, 6-4, 6-1, against Catalina Cristea.
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 12:57 PM   #3348
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

TENNIS - GRAF BREEZES TO FIRST-ROUND WIN
Daily News of Los Angeles
Wednesday, February 23, 1994
Associated Press

Steffi Graf of Germany needed only 47 minutes to defeat Gigi Fernandez of Aspen, Colo., in a first-round match of the $400,000 Evert Cup women's tennis tournament Tuesday.

Graf will meet comeback-minded Tracy Austin today in the second round.

Graf spoiled Fernandez' 30th birthday with a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of her opponent under sunny skies, with temperatures near 70 at the Grand Champions resort.

Austin struggled to win her first-round match Monday, defeating Radka Zrubakova of Slovakia 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.

Austin, 31, twice U.S. Open champion, has been largely inactive the past 10 years because of injuries. She won U.S. titles in 1979 and 1981.

The two have met on the court on just one other occasion, in 1982 in Germany; Austin beat the 13-year-old Graf handily.

"I remember it very well. I lost 6-4, 6-0. It was my first big tournament," Graf recalled. "I was very nervous. She said something to the press that I didn't like at that time."

Graf remembers being characterized by Austin as comparable to "hundreds of players in America."

"I did have a lot of respect for her as a player when she was at the top," said Graf, who has won the last four Grand Slam titles in succession for a total of 15, the most recent being last month's Australian Open.

"It's hard to come back after such a long time. It takes a lot of guts," Graf said of Austin.

Austin, in an interview after her victory Monday, had a different memory of playing Graf 12 years ago.

"When we played she was a 13-year-old skinny little kid, and she was hitting the ball so hard, and she came on the court so confident. It was obvious there would be great things to come."

Agassi returns in style: Looking leaner, meaner and showing no signs of rust, Andre Agassi made his return to tournament play in grand style with a 6-1, 6-2 rout of qualifier Mark Keil in the first round of the Nuveen Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Agassi, who hasn't played since a Davis Cup match against the Bahamas on Sept. 24, underwent surgery on his right wrist Dec. 10. He has dropped 15 pounds and looked especially quick in the 57-minute match.

Seeded fifth in the tournament he won last year, Agassi did not have a double-fault and won 32 of 41 service points in a sparkling effort at the Scottsdale Princess resort.

Venus rising: The target venue for tennis phenom Venus Williams' debut on the women's pro circuit is the Virginia Slims of Manhattan Beach Aug. 8-14, according to Charles Bricker of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

It's not cast in concrete. But her father, Richard Williams, said Tuesday, "We've told Venus it's OK if she keeps her grades up."

The family selected Manhattan Beach because it's about 10 miles from where Venus, 13, grew up in the tough neighborhoods of Compton. She will be the requisite age 14 to play on the WTA Tour by August and would play as an amateur.

The Williams family has no current plans to let Venus turn pro until she is out of high school, unlike other young teen-aged stars such as Jennifer Capriati and Mary Pierce.

Williams said if he gives Venus final approval after this school term, he will call Manhattan Beach promoter Jerry Diamond about five weeks before the tournament and request a wild card.

"We would very much welcome her to participate in the tournament. I would certainly talk to the WTA, but I'd love to give her a wild card," Diamond said.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 02:55 PM   #3349
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Pretty "funny" how Austin has forgotten about her 1982 comment
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 04:54 PM   #3350
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Steffi immediately regretted not taking the high road.

Austin overwhelmed by Graf
TENNIS: The top-ranked women's player blanks the former No. 1 in straight sets in the second round of the Evert Cup.

The Orange County Register
Thursday, February 24, 1994
JANIS CARR

The past caught up with the present Wednesday and discovered Steffi Graf does indeed have a future in tennis. A long future.

Tracy Austin, the former No. 1 player who didn't think Graf was anything special as a 13-year-old, certainly didn't entertain any similar thoughts after being walloped by the current No. 1 player, 6-0, 6-0, in a second-round match at the Evert Cup.

The only other time Austin failed to win a game in a match was against Chris Evert at the 1982 season-ending Toyota Championships.

But Austin, who returned to the tour a year ago after a four-year absence, said she was pleased with her performance against the world's best.

"She played awesome," Austin, 31, said. "Obviously, Steffi is a level above everyone else. A definite level above everyone else.

"I can't describe how good she is right now," she added.

But 12 years ago, Austin found the words to describe the 13-year-old up-and-coming German, whom she had just beaten, 6-4, 6-0. As Graf remembers it, Austin said afterward there were "a hundred girls like her in America."

Austin disputed Graf, saying those comments were taken out of context.

"I definitely said some positive things about her," Austin said.

Austin said without a crystal ball, it is impossible to predict how well a 13-year-old would do over the course of 12 years. No matter how much talent or potential they exhibited.

"If we all knew that, we would all be psychics," Austin said. "...If the question came up about another 13-year-old, I'd say the same thing."

Graf declined any further comment on Austin. She said there was no extra motivation to win this match and regretted bringing up the 1982 incident.

"I knew as soon as I said it," Graf said, "I thought `Why did I say that?' But it was too late."

Graf took control of the match early and never let go, putting away the former No. 1 player in 43 minutes. Austin won just 21 points - only two of which were winners - no games, but sympathy from her opponent.

"It must be an awful feeling to be on the other side," Graf said. "That you are out there and can't do anything. ... It is not a nice spot to be in."
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 04:56 PM   #3351
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

No title available
USA TODAY
Wednesday, February 23, 1994
RICK KAPLAN, Gannett News Service

Steffi Graf, accustomed to defeating today's top women's tennis players, battled the past Wednesday.

But former No. 1 player Tracy Austin proved no challenge, either, as the top-seeded Graf won 6-0, 6-0 in the second round of the Evert Cup tennis tournament at Hyatt Grand Champions.

"She played awesome," Austin said. "Obviously, she's just a level above everybody else. A definite level above everybody else on the tour. I played my best. That's all I could do. The end."

The end came quickly, as Graf won in 43 minutes and advanced to a Friday quarterfinal match against Ginger Helgeson. It was the first time Graf had held an opponent without a game since a third-round victory over Helen Kelesi at Wimbledon last year.

Austin's last 6-0, 6-0 defeat came in 1982, to Chris Evert at the Toyota Championships in East Rutherford, N.J. She beat Graf 6-4, 6-0 in their last meeting, a 1982 match that was Graf's first as a professional.

Graf more than evened the score Wednesday.

"I played the points well," Graf said. "Maybe my serve was the only part of my game that I wasn't 100 percent happy with."

Austin won just 21 points in the match, and hit only two winners.

A sequence at 2-0 in the second set demonstrated Graf's dominance.

Down 15-30, she rifled a serve that Austin could only return into the net. On the next point, Austin barely ticked a Graf serve as it sailed by her. Graf closed out the game with an ace.

"It must be an awful feeling to be on the other side, to realize that nothing's working for you," Graf said. "It's difficult to change. It's not a nice spot to be in."

Austin's predicament grew more grim as Graf closed in on the victory.

"There are a few times you have to tell yourself, 'Come on, concentrate,' " Graf said. "But I didn't try for 6-0, 6-0."

In addition to top-seeded Graf, the Evert Cup's second, third and fourth seeds all won easily Wednesday.

Defending champion Mary Joe Fernandez, seeded second, beat Angelica Gavaldon 6-3, 6-3, in a first-round match. Completing the first round, third-seeded Lindsay Davenport defeated Natalia Medvedeva 6-4, 6-1. In second-round action, No. 4 Natalia Zvereva topped Linda Harvey-Wild 6-3, 6-3.

The second round concludes today. Fernandez faces qualifier Anne Mall and Davenport plays Elna Reinach.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 04:58 PM   #3352
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

TENNIS - THIS TIME, GRAF TEACHES AUSTIN
Daily News of Los Angeles
Thursday, February 24, 1994
Associated Press

Steffi Graf, who was 13 years old when she last played Tracy Austin, gave a command performance Wednesday, routing the former champion 6-0, 6-0 in the $400,000 Evert Cup at Indian Wells.

In winning the second-round match in 43 minutes, Graf showed why she is the No. 1 women's player in the world and why Austin is more than a decade removed from the top of her game.

"She played awesome," Austin said. "She is on a level above everybody else."

The only other time Graf and Austin played was in 1982, with Austin winning 6-4, 6-0. Austin, 31, a former two-time U.S. Open champion, is trying to make a comeback from numerous injuries.

"I did my best," Austin said. "I had a low percentage on my serve. You're in trouble with that against her. She is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. I can't describe how good she is right now.

"She is always intense, always ready, always fit. It's hard to pick another athlete in any sport who has been so consistent. She is totally dominating. And she hasn't lost any of her desire."

The 24-year-old German lost a total of just 21 points, 10 of those on her serve.

"I didn't really know what to expect," Graf said. "I played the points well on my serve."

The day before their match, Graf said she remembered the first time she played Austin.

"It was my first big tournament," she said "I was very nervous. She said something to the press that I didn't like at that time."

Graf recalls being characterized by Austin as comparable to "hundreds of players in America."

Austin remembered being impressed by Graf, saying earlier this week: "It was obvious there would be great things to come."

Asked Wednesday about Graf's recollection of her statements, Austin said: "Maybe I should get the credit for her being so good. I made her mad and that motivated her. Actually, I think she took it out of context. I had said she was a terrific young player and that there were lots of good young players out there.

"I couldn't predict she would ever be No. 1. I don't have a crystal ball. I think she realizes that now."

In first-round matches Wednesday, No. 2 seed Mary Joe Fernandez defeated Angelica Gavaldon 6-3, 6-3, and No. 3 Lindsay Davenport beat Natalia Medvedeva 6-4, 6-1.

In other second-round matches, No. 4 Natalia Zvereva beat Linda Harvey- Wild 6-3, 6-3; Iva Majoli stopped Lisa Raymond 6-3, 2-6, 6-1, and Ginger Helgeson defeated Elena Likhovtseva 6-0, 6-2.

Burillo upsets Edberg: Jordi Burillo, rocking his jet-lagged opponent with 120-mph serves, delivered a big upset with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Stefan Edberg in the first round of the Nuveen Championships at Scottsdale, Ariz.

In beating the world's No. 3 player, Burillo complemented his booming serve with a sparkling return game to win with surprising ease.

The 21-year-old Spaniard had never been ranked higher than last year's season-ending 56th. Entering the match Burillo was 0-5 in singles play this year and ranked 69th in the world.

Edberg arrived Monday night after a flight from Germany, where he won the Stuttgart Open and increased his 1994 singles earnings to $511,019 and his record to 15-1. He said he couldn't find his rhythm against Burillo.

"It's always a chance when you travel from one continent to another," Edberg said. "I felt OK confidence-wise, but playing under such totally different conditions, that was the tough thing."

"I didn't expect to win," Burillo said through an interpreter. "I was playing pretty bad. I didn't have a lot of confidence, but this game will give me more confidence."

Burillo's performance highlighted a day of upsets. Only four of eight seeded players survived.

Brad Gilbert was one, and he made the quarterfinals of the 32-player, $313,750 event by defeating Niklaus Kulti of Sweden 7-5, 6-3. Gilbert, No. 28 worldwide, was seeded third as the winningest player ever in ATP events in Scottsdale.

In other second-round matches, Brazil's Luiz Mattar, who upset No. 6 seed Javier Sanchez of Spain in the first round, defeated Grant Stafford of South Africa 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Chuck Adams eliminated Byron Black of Zimbabwe, 6-1, 6-4. Black, who went to USC, had ousted No. 4 seed Mark Woodforde in his first match.

McEnroe, Becker ousted: John McEnroe and Boris Becker, who are partners in the doubles competition, were beaten in first-round singles matches at the Rotterdam indoor tournament at Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Becker, the No. 4 seed, lost to local favorite Paul Haarhuis 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, while McEnroe fell to third-seeded Magnus Gustafsson of Sweden 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

Gustafsson has already won two tournaments this year, beating McEnroe's younger brother Patrick in the final at Auckland in January and defeating Sergi Brugera at Dubai earlier this month.

Top-seeded Michael Stich and No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic advanced to the second round.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 04:59 PM   #3353
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf Turns Tables on Austin : Women's tennis: The world's top player rolls to 6-0, 6-0 victory in 43 minutes in Evert Cup, recalls loss almost 11 1/2 years ago.
February 24, 1994
JERRY CROWE
LOS ANGELES TIMES

INDIAN WELLS — Steffi Graf spent another 43 minutes on the stadium court in the Evert Cup at Hyatt Grand Champions Wednesday, long enough to overpower Tracy Austin, 6-0, 6-0, and avenge her earliest professional defeat.

Graf, 24, was barely a teen-ager when she lost to Austin at Filderstadt, Germany, in her pro debut almost 11 1/2 years ago.

"When I played Steffi the first time, she was a little kid--13, just starting out--and I was at the top," said Austin, comparing the only two matches between the current and former champions. "Now, I'm an old lady at the end of my career and she's at the top."

Austin, 31, is 12 months into her comeback, but is not ready to challenge the top-ranked player on the WTA Tour.

"It must be an awful feeling to be on the other side and to realize that nothing is really working for you," said Graf, asked to put herself in Austin's shoes. "It's not a nice spot to be in."

Not that she would know.

Graf has dominated women's tennis in the absence of Monica Seles, who has not played since last April 30 when she was stabbed by a spectator at a tournament in Hamburg, Germany.

Graf has won 62 of her last 64 matches and four consecutive Grand Slam tournaments. She is 14-0 this year and has yet to lose a set.

And it probably didn't help Austin that Graf was stung by a comment allegedly made by Austin after their long-ago meeting.

Austin, Graf said Tuesday, had told reporters that "there were hundreds of players like me in America."

Graf, though, said she found no inspiration in the perceived slight--"There was really nothing behind it," she said of her performance--and that she regretted bringing it up before the second-round match.

"The minute I said it, I said, 'Why did I say it?' " she said.

Joked Austin, who said Graf had taken her comments out of context: "Maybe I should get some of the credit (for her rise to No. 1). Maybe I made her mad and motivated. Maybe she could share her trophies with me."

Austin, who won only 21 points Wednesday, said she felt no embarrassment in absorbing only the second shutout loss of her pro career.

"She's one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and I did the best that I could," Austin said. "I have my head up high.

"You know, Aranxta (Sanchez Vicario) lost (to Graf), 0 and 2, at the Australian Open, and she's the second-best player in the world. Steffi is . . . I just can't describe how good she is right now."

Tennis Notes

Second-seeded Mary Joe Fernandez defeated Angelica Gavaldon, 6-3, 6-3, and third-seeded Lindsay Davenport, a 17-year-old senior at Murrieta Valley High, defeated Natalia Medvedeva, 6-4, 6-1, in first-round matches. . . . Fourth-seeded Natalia Zvereva eliminated Linda Harvey-Wild, 6-3, 6-3, in a second-round match. . . . Among the no-shows this week is the woman for whom the tournament is named, Chris Evert, who bowed out after doctors recommended that she not fly here from her home in Boca Raton, Fla., because of minor complications with her pregnancy. . . . Boris Becker has declined an invitation to accept a wild-card entry into the Newsweek Champions Cup, which starts Monday and runs through March 6 at Grand Champions.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 05:04 PM   #3354
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Steffi probably really did treat it as a "normal match' -- because if it were "personal," the score would have been 6-(-1), 6-(-1). As in negative one.

Davenport moving up, having fun
The Press-Enterprise
Riverside, CA)
Thursday, February 24, 1994
Jim Short

INDIAN WELLS - On Monday, Tracy Austin was talking about how a little success leads to heightened expectations and keeps a player motivated to improve.

So meet Lindsay Davenport, 17, a senior at Murrieta Valley High School.

Last year at this time, during her first tournament as a professional, Davenport was ranked 99th and talking about wanting to be in the top 50 by year's end.

"I didn't really know what to expect," Davenport said. "But once I turned pro, it was really like a new commitment and I worked a lot harder. I just kind of played, as an amateur, and didn't really give it a full effort. Once I turned pro, I did."

That effort began paying off on March 8, when Davenport was ranked 48th after advancing to the Evert Cup quarterfinals and beating Gabriela Sabatini at Delray Beach, Fla. Then she began talking about making the top 20.

That goal was reached on Sept. 13, when Davenport was ranked 20th for the first of three times before the season was over.

Yesterday, after a 6-4, 6-1 victory over 24th-ranked Natalia Medvedeva in a first-round match on stadium court at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, Davenport said her sights now are set on the top 10.

"I think that's reachable," Davenport said.

So far that's the biggest understatement of the week, since she opened play here seeded third and ranked 13th in the world.

The two players seeded above her, top-ranked Steffi Graf and seventh-ranked Mary Joe Fernandez, both won yesterday.

Fernandez, the defending Evert Cup champion, completed the first round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Angelica Gavaldon, then Graf roared into the quarterfinals with a 43-minute, 6-0, 6-0 thrashing of Austin.

Fourth-seeded Natalia Zvereva, Ginger Helgson and Iva Majoli joined Graf in the quarters, and they will take today off while those in the bottom half of the bracket catch up.

That includes Davenport, who will meet Elna Reinach of South Africa. They are two of the tallest players on the WTA Tour, Davenport at 6-foot-2 and Reinach at 5-111/2, but the similarity ends there. Reinach is ranked 86th and Davenport is one of the game's rising stars.

She's also having fun, which she believes has been one of the major factors in her success.

"Tennis is a part of my life, it's not 100 percent of my life," said Davenport, who has arranged her spring schedule so she'll be able to attend her senior prom and graduation (three days before Wimbledon begins).

"There's certain things that I'm not going to miss out on. My parents know that, and the coaches. Everybody knows that who's involved with me and they think it's great.

"School is a big part (of her life). I have a lot of fun. If I just played tennis and went home, I don't know how well I'd do. This way I have a really good balance.

"I don't take it (tennis) that seriously. I like to have fun with it. We try to make all my practices fun - intense but fun.

"I'm pretty serious on the court and when I work I work hard and I think it's good to have both of those (elements). I'm able to practice hard, but still enjoy it."

Davenport won her first title at Lucerne last May 23, beating Nicole Provis in a three-set final, and put together a 38-16 record in singles.

She opened this season with her second title, at Brisbane, Australia, then lost in the quarterfinals of both the Australian Open and Virginia Slims of Chicago, and is 11-2 today.

"I've just played really consistent and well the whole year and it's real exciting, and I keep looking forward to going to the next tournament," Davenport said.

Austin, who lost in doubles on Tuesday, can head for her next tournament now. But contrary to appearances, she said she enjoyed her match against Graf.

It was their first meeting since October, 1982, when Austin spoiled then 13-year-old Graf's first professional tournament by beating her, 6-4, 6-0.

On Monday, Austin said she remembered that Graf displayed enormous potential and obviously was going to be an outstanding player. On Tuesday, Graf said what she remembered was Austin saying there were hundreds of players in America like her.

Yesterday, both said those memories were not a factor in the match.

Graf said she regretted saying anything and treated the confrontation "as a normal match," and Austin said she felt Graf had taken her comments 12 years ago out of context.

"She played awesome," Austin said after winning just 21 points from Graf yesterday. "She's obviously just a level above everybody else on the tour. A definite level above everybody else.

"I can't describe how good she is right now."

NOTES - Tournament director Charlie Pasarell said he was misunderstood while explaining why there is a $5 charge for parking this year. It was reported that it cost $85,000 to rent the land from the City of Indian Wells. There is no rental fee. The $85,000 is the cost of maintaining the parking area and providing personnel for it. Pasarell said there also is a weekly parking pass available for $30. . . . Something else new has been added for next week's Champions Cup men's tournament - night matches. There will be two matches - usually a singles and a doubles - beginning at 6:30 each evening, in addition to the usual daily schedule.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 05:33 PM   #3355
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by djul14 View Post
Pretty "funny" how Austin has forgotten about her 1982 comment
Again, this is one of those times when character of the players and the Zeitgeist of the eras are revealed. In Austin's defense, "psychological warfare" was an even bigger component of competition than the physical aspects of the game in the late 70s and early 80s. It was something Austin herself experienced as a teenager on the tour. (And it's worth remembering that Austin was only 19 years old in 1982.)

Of course, Tracy could have said, "Wow, was I ever wrong!" or explained that she was maybe deliberately downplaying to the perceived threat of this new talent, while secretly thinking, "Oh, we're all in trouble soon." But then she goes right back to talking out of both sides of her mouth by saying she'd say the same thing about any other young player with "tremendous potential."

Steffi, in contrast, was always positive when asked to assess a youngster's potential. Even when she saw many weaknesses in the kid's game, she would say, "Well, she just needs to work on this, this, and this," rather than say, "Hundreds like her." And when she played/saw a youngster who really did have tremendous potential, she was very open about it.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 04:05 PM   #3356
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Steffi's day off, so the media are forced to acknowledge, albeit with an air of disdain, the existence of the second seed. This is the first time during the tournament that Mary Joe Fernandez was asked into the interview room. How can the other players "do press" if the press doesn't want to talk to them? Sure, maybe Mary Joe should have been more pushy and demanded some coverage -- but she wasn't that type of person, and seemed to prefer being "forgotten."

It's something Andrei Medvedev nailed during the 1995 Lipton: the media only wanted to interview him after a loss (especially if it was against another top player). The tennis media had no right to complain about how "anonymous" the players were, since the tennis media were the thing keeping them anonymous.

It's a struggle for Fernandez - TENNIS: The top seed and defending champion needs almost two hours before dispatching Mall, a qualifier, in the Evert Cup.
The Orange County Register
Friday, February 25, 1994
Author: JANIS CARR

Mary Joe Fernandez won a match Thursday at the Evert Cup. She also won Wednesday, but does anyone care?

Unfortunately for her, whenever Steffi Graf is playing in a tournament, the rest of the field becomes a bunch of who's who-who cares. That is, unless someone such as Fernandez, the tournament's defending champion and No. 2 seed, nearly falters in a second-round match. Now, that's news.

Suddenly, the media wants to know how Fernandez, ranked seventh, wasted four match points before putting away former Dana Hills High standout Anne Mall, 6-4, 7-6 (11-9), to move into today's quarterfinals.

Mall, 19, was a qualifier into the $400,000 event.

"It was a very long match," said Fernandez, who needed 1 hour, 53 minutes to win, longer than Graf has taken to win two matches. "Anne played very well from behind. She was ready whenever I was going for my shot and she hit some big passing shots."

Fernandez, 22, said she doesn't mind the lack of notoriety. She said she prefers the forgotten champion role.

"I'm not one to like being the center of attention or the spotlight," said Fernandez, who faces last year's finalist, Amanda Coetzer, in the quarterfinals.

"It's fine by me. Steffi is by far the best player in the world and deserves the attention."

Mall, who recently moved from Laguna Hills to San Marcos, is attempting to make a name for herself as she begins her second year on the professional tour. A victory over Fernandez would have been a giant step.

"This was the farthest I've gotten in a major tournament," said Mall, who won the CIF Southern Section Division 4-A title as a senior. "I got a little nervous on my serve because my arm was tired after playing so many qualifying matches."

A Junior U.S. Open finalist in 1991, Mall enrolled at UCLA that fall and played in seven matches for the Bruins. A chronic stress fracture in her foot limited her play.

After the season, Mall decided playing collegiate tennis wasn't going to help her improve. So she turned pro and hired teaching pro Ed Ward, who helped turn her patient baseline game into an aggressive all-court game.

Mall credited Ward for changing her game around and creating an impenetrable confidence, the kind she showed against Fernandez.

Mall erased one service break before dropping the first set, 6-4. She then overcame a 5-2 deficit and two match points in the second set to send it to a tie-breaker.

The No. 1 ranked doubles team of Gigi Fernandez and Natalia Zvereva were upset in the first round by Lindsay Davenport and Lisa Raymond, 6-4, 6-4.

Results

AT INDIAN WELLS

SINGLES

SECOND ROUND

Mary Joe Fernandez (2), Miami, def. Anne Mall, San Marcos, 6-4, 7-6 (11-9); Lindsay Davenport (3), Murrieta, def. Elna Reinach, South Africa, 6-2, 6-1; Amanda Coetzer (6), South Africa, def. Robin White, Del Mar, 6-2, 6-1; Judith Wiesner (8), Austria, def. Tami Whitlinger, Neenah, Wis., 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 04:08 PM   #3357
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Free pizza for Ginger Helgeson and the tournament staff!

TENNIS ROUNDUP - GRAF HAS TO WORK FOR ANOTHER VICTORY
Daily News of Los Angeles
Saturday, February 26, 1994
Associated Press

Top-seeded Steffi Graf had her toughest time yet, but still was a convincing winner in the $400,000 Evert Cup on Friday, beating Ginger Helgeson 6-1, 6-3 in a quarterfinal match at Indian Wells.

Graf was extended to one hour, 19 minutes by the unseeded Helgeson, who won one more game than Graf lost in her first two matches at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort.

Graf, of Germany, is ranked No. 1 in the world. She has played 15 matches this year without losing a set.

In today's semifinals, Graf will face 16-year-old Iva Majoli of Croatia, who upset fourth-seeded Natalia Zvereva of Belarus 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).

In the other semifinal, sixth-seeded Amanda Coetzer of South Africa will face No. 3 Lindsay Davenport.

Coetzer upset defending champion Mary Joe Fernandez 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4) on Friday while the 17-year-old Davenport rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 victory over No. 8 Judith Wiesner of Austria.

Helgeson had two break points on Graf in the seventh game of the second set with Graf leading 4-2. However, Graf held service. She held service again in the final game of the match, although Helgeson again had a break point but couldn't take advantage.

"She's obviously a better player than the ones I've played before," Graf said. "I had to concentrate. I was up-and-down, but I played the big points. I have to always be ready and get my shots.

"No matter how the match goes, I'm always happy to win."

Helgeson said she believed she made Graf "earn 90 percent of her points. I'm happy with the way I played, I pushed her."

Zvereva complained about line calls after her match.

"I got ripped off," she said. "I thought I had a good chance to win the first set, and something just didn't click. The bad calls stressed me out. The best way to handle them is to try to have fun and be humorous."

Fernandez, the No. 2 seed, had beaten Coetzer in the tournament finals last year. However, Coetzer turned the tables this time in a hard-fought match that lasted two hours, 10 minutes.

"I kept thinking about last year's match, because everything is so similar," Coetzer said. "Mary Joe, when she gets behind, starts attacking. When she gets ahead, she starts missing."

Agassi makes semifinals: Fifth-seeded Andre Agassi overwhelmed No. 3 seed Brad Gilbert 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals of the Nuveen Championships at Scottsdale, Ariz.

Agassi, who had not competed since he injured his right wrist in last year's U.S. Open, was unstoppable. He opened a 5-0 lead in the first set before Gilbert held service. Agassi broke Gilbert, ranked No. 27 to Agassi's No. 32, twice in the first three games of the second set.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 04:11 PM   #3358
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Graf win not easy (for her)
The Press-Enterprise
Riverside, CA
Saturday, February 26, 1994
Jim Short

INDIAN WELLS -- Steffi Graf had a bad day yesterday.

She won. Naturally. The fraulein from Bruhl, Germany, has won 19 matches in a row, 15 this year without losing a set, and seems invincible among the mere mortals on the women's tennis tour.

But she lost four games, one more than she had in her two previous matches, and she spent almost as long on the court (1 hour, 20 minutes) as she had in the victories over Gigi Fernandez and Tracy Austin combined.

Then Graf said, "I'm just not happy the way I performed" in a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Ginger Helgeson that moved her into the semifinals of the Evert Cup.

The tournament's top seed and the world's top-ranked player, Graf today will take on Iva Majoli, 16, a Monica Seles soundalike from Croatia who earned her first semifinal berth in a major tourney with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) upset of fourth-seeded Natalia Zvereva.

The winner of their 11 a.m. match on stadium court at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort will take on the winner of the other semifinal, between Lindsay Davenport of Murrieta and Amanda Coetzer, at noon Sunday in the final of the $400,000 event.

Davenport, seeded third, struggled for a set and a half before taking control en route to a 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 victory over nemesis Judith Wiesner of Austria.

Coetzer, the sixth seed, advanced with a 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4) victory over defending champion Mary Joe Fernandez in a match very similar to last year's final, won by Fernandez, 3-6, 6- 1, 7-6 (8-6).

Graf's match against Helgeson bore little similarity to her first two, in which she lost only 59 points and made few unforced errors.

Her groundstrokes were erratic, particularly forehand, and Helgeson tried to pressure her by attacking at every opportunity and varying her strokes.

"Obviously, she was a better player than the first two (opponents)," said Graf, 24, who won titles at the Australian Open and Tokyo in her other two events this season. "On the other hand, I don't think I played a very good match.

"My concentration was the problem. I played some good points when I needed to and some very loose points in between. I was up and down.

"Some matches you have that for a few games. Today it was for the whole match. That hasn't happened for a while.

"There's no reason (for it). It's always difficult to play at a high standard and be ready and always do the right things, make the right shots. You have these days. When I have them, I try to play at least a few points the right way."

For a while, a few points were all Davenport played well, too. She and Wiesner didn't get on the court until about 4:45 p.m., when shadows had begun to hamper their vision, and Davenport said her confidence wasn't at a high point, either, because of her two straight-set losses to her Austrian challenger last year.

"It was tough to get into the match," said Davenport, 17, who lost the first set and found herself down, 3-1, in the second before settling into a rhythm.

She fought off three break points and held serve after five deuces in the fifth game, then evened the set at 3-3 with a crosscourt backhand return that gave her a service break.

Davenport used another break to go up 5-3, only to have the eighth-seeded Wiesner battle back to tie the set. But after falling behind, 2-1, in the 12-point tiebreaker, Davenport won six of the final seven points, the last one with another backhand return winner. Then she dominated the third set to close out the 2-hour, 9-minute match.

"I don't really know what happened (to cause the turnaround)," Davenport said. "It was weird. I was on my way to getting killed, like I normally do against her. I was making errors and she was making me work.

"I got a little more relaxed after it got to three-all (in the second set). Some of my shots started going in and I tried to dictate play a little more."

The match against Wiesner, who moves extremely well and has a good service game, was good preparation for Davenport for her semifinal against the 5-foot-2 Coetzer, who uses her speed to run down balls and keep them in play.

"She doesn't have the slice that Judith has. That gave me a lot of trouble," said Davenport, who lost to Mary Joe Fernandez in the quarterfinals last year. "But it will be the same type of match.

"I like those kind of matches because I'm in control. I know they're not going to do anything to beat me. I'm either going to win it or lose it, and that's how I like to play out there."

The victory was Davenport's first in three meetings with Wiesner. She has split two matches with Coetzer, who is ranked three notches below Davenport, at No. 16.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 04:21 PM   #3359
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

OK, now this is an example of Steffi not helping. Sometimes that perfectionist streak got out of hand. Complaining about her form after losing all of four games is also not a good "advertisement" for women's tennis. I mean, what's she implying here? "Man, I sucked today. I won 1 and 3. It should have been 1 and 1! I am so mad I think I'll trash the locker room! Deduct the damages from my winner's check."

No title available
USA TODAY
Friday, February 25, 1994
RICK KAPLAN, Gannett News Service

A year after losing the Evert Cup final to Mary Joe Fernandez in a third-set tiebreaker, Amanda Coetzer earned a measure of revenge Friday by scoring a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) quarterfinal win at Hyatt Grand Champions.

The sixth-seeded Coetzer advanced to a semifinal match with third-seeded Lindsay Davenport, a 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 winner over eighth-seeded Judith Wiesner.

The other semifinal features top-seeded Steffi Graf and unseeded Iva Majoli.

Graf had a tough day, for her. She needed 79 minutes to dispose of Ginger Helgeson 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Graf's first two matches lasted a combined 90 minutes.

"I'm upset right now, even if the score is 6-1, 6-3," Graf said.

Majoli upset fourth-seeded Natalia Zvereva 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).

Coetzer's win over the second-seeded Fernandez followed the same script as last year's match. Each time, both players appeared ready to win easily before the opponent bounced back.

"You are not really supposed to let the past come into your mind when you are playing," Coetzer said. "But last year's match kept on coming back to me.

"It was really exactly the same match as last year."

Last year, Fernandez came from behind to win 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).

This time, Coetzer rolled through the first set before stumbling badly in the second. Fernandez led 3-0 in the final set and had two break points for 4-0.

"I was really upset at the way I was playing" at 3-0, Coetzer said. "I was making many errors, and I didn't think I'd get a chance to get back.

"Then she started spraying balls, and before I knew it, I got to 3-3."

The players exchanged service breaks in the ninth and 10th games.

In the tiebreaker, Coetzer took a 3-1 lead on three consecutive Fernandez forehand errors. Coetzer served out the match, with help from a controversial line call at 5-4.

Fernandez hit an overhead near the baseline, and the lineswoman made no call. Chair umpire Missy Malool called the ball out, giving Coetzer match point and prompting an argument from Fernandez. After Fernandez received a delay warning, she hit a forehand into the net.

Graf was not pleased with her effort.

"It just doesn't matter how the match went," she said. "I'm just not happy with my performance.

"In some matches, you lose (concentration) for a few games. Today, it was for a whole match. That hasn't happened for awhile."

Graf won her 19th consecutive match dating back to November. She has not dropped a set in 15 matches this year.

"I played some good points when it was needed, and some very loose points in between," she said. "It was up and down. I just didn't focus very well.

"It's always difficult to play at the highest standard and always be ready on the court. These days happen, and then it's difficult to play. When these days happen, I'm trying to at least play every few points well."
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 04:23 PM   #3360
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

TENNIS / WOMEN AT INDIAN WELLS : Second-Seeded Fernandez Is Upset by Coetzer
February 26, 1994
JERRY CROWE
LOS ANGELES TIMES

INDIAN WELLS — On a day when top-seeded Steffi Graf's greatest lament was a lack of focus, defending champion Mary Joe Fernandez had more pressing concerns in the quarterfinals of the Evert Cup.

In a rematch of last year's final, the second-seeded Fernandez squandered a 3-0 lead in the third set and was upset by sixth-seeded Amanda Coetzer, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), at Hyatt Grand Champions on Friday.

"You're not really supposed to have the past coming into your mind when you're playing, but last year's match kept coming back to me," said Coetzer, who squandered two match points in last year's final.

"It was very much the same match. I won the first set pretty easily and she came back, and I was behind in the third again."

Graf never trailed in defeating Ginger Helgeson, 6-1, 6-3, in 79 minutes, but still found fault with her play.

"She's obviously a better player than my first two opponents," said Graf, who dispatched Gigi Fernandez and Tracy Austin in less than an hour apiece. "On the other hand, I don't think I played a very good match. . . .

"I'm upset right now. Even though the score is 6-1, 6-3, it doesn't matter. I'm just not happy with the way I performed."

What concerned her?

"Concentration," Graf said. "I played some good points when it was needed and some very loose points in between. So, it was very up and down. I just didn't focus very well.

"It's always difficult to play at the highest standard, and to always be ready on the court, always do the right thing and do the right shot."

Her opponents should have such problems.

In one semifinal today, Graf will play Iva Majoli, a 16-year-old from Croatia who has lost three times to the German in the last year.

"When you play Steffi, sometimes it's hard to look your best," said Majoli, who upset fourth-seeded Natalia Zvereva, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2). "If you play less than great, you're going to lose."

Majoli's formula against Zvereva was simple: "I tried to put my serve in and not make stupid plays. That's all, really."

In today's other semifinal, Coetzer will meet third-seeded Lindsay Davenport, a 17-year-old senior from Murrieta Valley High who defeated eighth-seeded Judith Wiesner of Austria, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0.

Coetzer, a South African, rallied after Fernandez held serve in the third game of the third set, continuing a strong comeback.

"At that point, I was upset with the way I was playing," Coetzer said. "I was making many errors. I really didn't think I had a chance to even get back into the match.

"She was playing the ball pretty well, but then she just started spraying the ball all over, making unforced errors. I started getting into the points a little bit, and before I knew it, it was 3-all."

Coetzer served for the match at 5-4, but won only one point, losing the last on a double fault.

"I was really disappointed," she said.

In the tiebreaker, Coetzer took a 5-2 lead before Fernandez rallied. She appeared to pull even on an overhand smash, but the chair umpire called the shot long, giving Coetzer match point.

Fernandez argued, gave in after being issued a warning for delaying play and hit a forehand into the net, ending the match.
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