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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 07:44 PM   #121
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Re: 1992

'MR. WIMBLEDON ' SIGNS OFF AFTER 62 REMARKABLE YEARS
The Miami Herald
Monday, June 22, 1992
EDWIN POPE

Today Dan Maskell gets his first Wimbledon day off since Herbert Hoover was president of the U.S.

I hope he enjoys it.

I won't.

The only sports person I admired as instantly as I did Maskell, the BBC-TV voice of Wimbledon for 62 years, was Charles Atlas, the old "dynamic tension" body-builder.

I will still go "home" to my flat every night of this 106th Wimbledon and punch up the TV replays. But nothing, not even the eminently capable John Barrett, can replace the voice and air of Maskell.

By simply showing up today, Maskell, 84, will make it 63 Wimbledons without missing a single day.

This will be incredibly different, though.

This will be the first day since 1929 he will have missed calling Wimbledon play on radio or TV.

To say Wimbledon will not be the same without him is like saying the Kentucky Derby wouldn't be quite as appealing without the twin spires over Churchill Downs, or Hemingway was a pretty good writer.

Oh, my, I say, we shall miss his "Oh, my!" and "I say!"

His simple exclamation, "Well played!" was as meaningful in Maskell's game as the queen knighting a man in hers.

"I may miss Dan more than anyone," said BBC's Barrett, who is some 30 years Maskell's junior. "Dan wanted to go out at the top of his game and he surely did that. You couldn't tell any difference between Dan here last year and Dan here 30 years ago."

Maskell demurs. Of course. That's his trademark, self-effacement.

"My retiring is of no consequence," he said. "I'm only even speaking of it because you asked me. But, you know, I never even considered quitting until I was doing the 1988 Olympic tennis in Seoul."

Maskell said both the heat and the hours in Seoul got to him "a little bit."

We should all be so bothered.

He was 80, working 14-hour days.

Imagine this, America.

Imagine Al Michaels or Dick Enberg or John Madden or Bob Costas, or whoever, still doing TV somewhere around the year 2050 A.D.

Imagine any one of them having done the World Series of 1929 or a Super Bowl in 1929, if they had one.

I walked down through Sunday's pre-opening silence and checked out the tiny cubicle at the end of Centre Court where Maskell was posted all those years.

I looked at the emerald sward, untouched so far this year except by the groundskeeper, and the first thing I thought was, "How sad more TV commentators didn't learn from Maskell."

If they had, they wouldn't be lunging at the merest minisecond of dead air. They wouldn't be rambling on and on until your eardrums shriek for surcease.

They would let the picture speak, as Maskell did.

His own most remarkable coverage was Wimbledon's most remarkable match, Bjorn Borg over John McEnroe in 1980. Amid the finest tennis of history, Maskell never so much as raised his voice. He saw strokes in his mind's eyes -- and softly and succinctly told the viewers what was coming -- before they ever came.

"The oddest thing," Maskell said, "is that the match started badly, 6-1 McEnroe, and there was hardly a decent rally until the second set. Then, suddenly, both players found magnificent strokes. It went nearly four hours before Borg closed it out on his eighth championship point. That will live with me forever."

Maskell will live with tennis forever. Say, if I'm going to miss him so much, how do you suppose England feels?
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #122
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Re: 1992

TENNIS: The Grass Isn't Too High, but the Stakes Are
New York Times
June 21, 1992
ROBIN FINN

WIMBLEDON, June 20— Wimbledon, the big green one, the only Grand Slam played on a living surface that inspires and respires and sometimes expires along with the players who dare to tread on it, is just two days away, and an anxious Martina Navratilova is testing the lawn.

She's squinting like a jeweler searching for that perfect emerald, a golfer casing out the intangible undulations of the perfect putt. Navratilova is no gardener, but she knows magic-carpet quality grass when she sees it. This year marks the 20th anniversary of a Wimbledon career that has brought her a record nine titles on the elusive surface that's all the more prestigious for being almost obsolete. The current crop, barely 10 months old, irrigated by Friday's deluge and pristine for the moment, makes her smile.

Navratilova got hoodwinked on this same species of flora only last week at Eastbourne, bounced in the second round from an event she'd won 10 times, but she preferred to blame that loss on the capricious British wind, not the capricious British grass. Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, has already seduced her again. 'Where Tennis Players Want to Be'

"It's all special because it's Wimbledon: this is where the tennis players want to be," she said, "and the better athlete you are, the better you'll be on grass. If you have quick hands, the grass rewards you more than others . . . and if there's bad grass, well, that can be a great equalizer. You have to allow for its imperfections, and yours."

She sticks a few blades in her back pocket for luck, then tries to preserve a memory of the pretty way Wimbledon's grass looks today. Verdant, consistent, accommodating to the touch, it has nothing in common with the treacherous, threadbare crazy quilt of mud, desert and solitary green hillocks that every Wimbledon champion has to conspire with and ultimately outwit like an added opponent in order to earn the most coveted title in tennis.

"You have to struggle with yourself on grass," she said, "and if you pull back, you're sunk."

No wonder nearly every player in the draw, No. 1 or not, seems to harbor equal parts fear and fascination for what lies in store underfoot.

Pam Shriver, a three-time semifinalist who shares five Wimbledon doubles titles with Navratilova, said: "At the start of the week you've got a pool-table surface that's fairly slick but not absurd, with a terrific true bounce, and then, as the tournament progresses, the court deteriorates, and so does the play of those who rely on the nice bounce.

"A good grass-court player doesn't deteriorate: you have to be extra resilient in your head about the bad bounces, figure them out and apply a solution, which usually means coming to net more. The champions all have the temperament to make it work."

And some of the purest serve-and-volley artists have not.

"The only thing I dislike about Wimbledon is not having done well here the last two years," said fifth-seeded Pete Sampras. "It's such a mental grind with me on grass. It's kind of potluck out there, it's an unfair surface." Sampras said he has honed his return of serve and abbreviated his "gangly" backswing to help him cope.

No. 1-ranked Jim Courier believes he can treat the surface the same way he treats his opponent, like a faceless entity. But his counterpart, Monica Seles, who has defied accusations that she skipped Wimbledon last year in part to preserve her top ranking, admits that the grass scares her and the notion of rushing the net positively paralyzes her.

"This is a tournament that I haven't won yet, and I'd love to win it," said Seles, whose stentorian grunt has helped propel her to titles in her last five Slams but who seems almost tongue-tied on the subject of winning here. "I can't go to net, I freeze, I just get scared from it, but coming here, if I don't change my philosophy of how to play on grass, I think I'll have a tougher time."

In the opposite corner, Courier, top-seeded here despite his quarterfinal finish last year, claims to be immune to grass.

"The court is still the same dimensions; I don't think it requires a different psychology from me," said Courier, who nonetheless compared his grass court prowess to that of Ivan Lendl, the former No. 1 ranked player, who took allergy shots so that he actually could become immune to grass.

"I look at myself as a Lendl on grass," said Courier, "not a comfortable player on the grass, but one who can play well on it at times."

According to Shriver, both Courier and Seles have a better chance of claiming their first Wimbledon titles than their baseline-oriented styles might suggest.

"When you look at them, their games really are adaptable to the grass" said Shriver. "Courier has a good serve, he returns serve well, and he's got that little backswing; Seles returns great, too, and she relies more on that quick hip rotation than a big swing to get her shots off."

Courier is, like Seles, halfway to a 1992 Grand Slam. Rod Laver is the last man to win the Slam, and when he gained the honor in 1969, grass was far from a foreign surface.

At that time, three of the four Grand Slams -- the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the United States Open -- were played on grass; the French remains on clay. Back then, grass-court tournaments were a fixture on the tour, with Australian, English and American grass-court seasons.

But nowadays, players are almost told to keep off the grass: Wimbledon, plus a handful of warmup tournaments before it and an epilogue at Newport, R.I., after it, are the only grass-court events.

Courier, who hasn't played a grass event since last year's Wimbledon, is a banger and grinder not overly fond of the intangibles of this ever-changing surface. But he has made tangible improvements to his game that can't help but help him on grass. Courier has come up with a firmer volley and has finally gotten the proper grasp on the brand of backhand slice that will make him far less reluctant to gravitate netward.

"I like my chances against anybody on any surface in the world; it's as simple as that," Courier said after successfully defending his French Open title earlier this month. "Certainly Boris and Stefan and Stich and Sampras are more suited to grass, but I feel very good about the way I played last year. I certainly feel I'm a better volleyer; I move better up at the net this year than last year, but who's to say someone's not going to knock me off first round?"

That sort of dethroning has happened here even to the grass-court titans. It happened to Stefan Edberg, a two-time champion, in nightmarish fashion last year when, despite never losing his serve, he was ousted in the semifinals by Michael Stich.

"I love playing on grass," said Edberg, whose stylistic serve-and-volley game has again made him a favorite among his peers to prevail here, "but it can be frustrating." Edberg said he didn't expect Courier to win this year: "Obviously it's not impossible, and he's not truly a baseliner, but I think he'll find it hard."

According to Stich, there is probably no such phenomenon as a player who learns to like grass by remodeling his or her game to suit the low bounce and fast points it delivers.

"If you go on the court and love it, you'll play well," said Stich, the defending champion, "but if you're not that comfortable, you'll never get that feel for it. You need to have the right game for grass, but Andre Agassi showed last year that you don't have to serve and volley: if a guy returns as well as Agassi, he could win it, but he's probably got to be even mentally tougher than the serve-and-volleyers. But Bjorn Borg showed in the past that it can be done." The baseline-bound Swede captured five consecutive Wimbledon titles from 1976-1980.

Both Courier and Seles have exhibited Borg-like tendencies, according to Dr. James Loehr, a sports psychologist who worked with them in their early teens: "Courier and Seles always seemed to have that vision, the will to win and the dedication to do whatever that takes. Courier gives the feeling that he's almost machine-like, like the other player can't get to him, and that reminds me of the way Borg used to transcend all the limiting factors of his game."

Even an unsympathetic lawn.

"The trick is not to try and fight it," said Shriver, "because you'll lose."
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 07:48 PM   #123
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Re: 1992

TENNIS: WIMBLEDON '92
Graf and Stich Are Itching for a Repeat Performance
ROBIN FINN
June 22, 1992
New York Times

WIMBLEDON, England, June 21— Just a year ago, Michael Stich was a nobody and Steffi Graf was a mess. This year, each is defending a Wimbledon title and both say they possess sufficient gumption to insure that neither the whims of the grass nor the wishes of their challengers will detour them from an obvious mission as the tournament starts on Monday.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time," said Graf, who went without a victory in five Grand Slam events -- an unheard-of drought for her -- before capturing her third Wimbledon championship last year.

Unlike Stich, who counts Wimbledon 1991 as his one-and-only Grand Slam title, the 23-year-old Graf has collected 10 Grand Slam crowns.

Graf is well-practiced in the arduous art of defending them: She has accomplished the task at all four Grand Slam venues and last prevailed in that manner at Wimbledon in 1989, when she defended her title of 1988 -- the year she achieved the Grand Slam.

"I'm still judging myself very, very hard," said the second-seeded Graf, who has yet to win a Grand Slam title in 1992 but is far more self-directed than she was when she arrived at Wimbledon last year.

"Tennis is back to being my main thing and everything else in my life just surrounds it," she said. "It has a lot of power over me, but right now I'm looking for the ups and winning Wimbledon is one of them."

Graf's German countryman, third-seeded Stich, doesn't pack the same credentials, but appears to share her attitude.

"I'm not afraid of anything," the 23-year-old Stich said recently after securing his first title of 1992 at the expense of a neophyte finalist, Jonathan Stark, on the grass at Rosmalen. "If you've won it once, you want to win it again, and anything other than that would be some kind of disappointment."

Motivated to Win

Four months ago, Stich was bored and soured, and afraid he didn't want to play tennis anymore. But fresh from a weekend practice session with his Wimbledon doubles partner, three-time champion John McEnroe, Stich, who upset favorites Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker last year, pronounced himself ready to roll over the competition again.

"I'm motivated to win this again," Stich said. "If I'm not, I should quit."

"John is trying to do something special this year, trying to give it all he can," said Stich, who realized that this might be his last chance to play at Wimbledon alongside the retirement-bound New Yorker, a four-time doubles champion at Wimbledon.

Stich likes to think of himself as a nonconformist, but he admitted he couldn't come up with anything but a traditional forecast on the matter of the likeliest Wimbledon frontrunners this year.

"There will probably be a couple of major upsets, but at the end it will probably be the same guys: Boris, Stefan, me, Agassi, Courier," said Stich, "because the mental toughness you need to win a five-set quarterfinal in a Grand Slam like this one, most guys don't have it."

And in addition to mental toughness, most guys don't have the proper combination of a big serve-and-volley punch and equally damaging groundstrokes to survive long on this most unpredictable of surfaces.

You've Got to Have a Serve

"If you don't have a big serve, you'd better stay home," said Jim Courier's coach, Jose Higueras. "Stich proved that last year."

Stich said he has something new to prove this year:

"It's the most important two weeks of the year to me, to prove to myself and the public that it wasn't just luck last year, and that I really am a good player."

Stich has won 12 consecutive matches on grass, where he has a career record of 23-6. He will open play on Center Court on Monday afternoon against Stefano Pescosolido of Italy.

Courier, who is seeded and ranked No. 1, will start play on Court One against Markus Zoecke of Germany.

On the women's side, decorum is expected to reign as usual. In the first round, Graf will play Noelle van Lottum of the Netherlands; top-seeded Monica Seles will take on Jenny Byrne of Australia; third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini will play Christelle Fauche of Switzerland, and Martina Navratilova, No. 4, is matched against Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria.

"I would go out on a limb and say one of the top four women will win it," joked Navratilova, who holds a record nine Wimbledon singles titles and is especially motivated to pursue a 10th. "I read the experts are writing me off just because I'm 35 years old."
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 07:49 PM   #124
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Re: 1992

It has ceased to be "dramatic foreshadowing" and has now entered the Anvilicious stage....

CAPRIATI PENSIVELY AWAITS WIMBLEDON
Daily News of Los Angeles
Monday, June 22, 1992
Steve Wilstein, Associated Press

On a day of uncommon sunshine, the air charged with anticipation for today's start of play, Jennifer Capriati seemed oddly distracted and sad.

All around her Sunday, players joked and smiled even as they sweated on the tattered brown practice courts adjacent to Wimbledon's lush lawns.

Jim Courier, the No. 1 men's seed, fresh from his French Open victory, jauntily made his way through the throng of players, agents, coaches and friends on the patio overlooking the Aorangi practice area.

"No river to jump into around here," Courier cracked, recalling his victory plunge into the Yarra River after winning the Australian Open in January. He escaped infection from the Yarra's pollution and has no plans to risk a leap into the filthy Thames, even if he wins the third of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

Courier begins today against Markus Zoecke of Germany on Court 1, while defending champion Michael Stich of Germany opens on Centre Court against Stefano Pescosolido of Italy.

Monica Seles, the No. 1 women's seed who also is pursuing a Grand Slam after winning the Australian and French, was off having fun playing an exhibition with actor John Forsythe. She follows Courier on Court 1 against Jenny Byrne of Australia.

In other matches, Jimmy Connors opens his 20th Wimbledon against Mexico's Luis Herrera, and leg-injured three-time champion Boris Becker faces a tough challenge from Italy's Omar Camporese.

Sunday was a last chance to relax or to tune up a bit before the grueling fortnight begins. But in the pit below where Courier laughed with friends, his fellow Floridian, Capriati, looked as if she wanted to be 5,000 miles away.

Across the net, her friend and rival, Mary Joe Fernandez, played with enthusiasm, practicing the volleys she'll need to win on the grass after coming so close to a Grand Slam victory by reaching the Australian final a second time this year.

Capriati lazily lobbed balls from the baseline, showed little interest in approaching the net for volleys, and seemed tentative on charges after slugging back returns. Invariably, she arrived a step late to the ball, as if indecision or a drifting mind had held her back.

Weight doesn't seem to be her problem. She looks 10 pounds lighter than a few months ago, when she appeared to be developing toward the physique of her beefy father rather than her slender mother.

Yet, only two years after Capriati captivated the Centre Court crowd in her Wimbledon debut as a bubbly, precocious 14-year-old, she is filled with doubts about her game. She fled the U.S. Open and the Australian in tears after losses, lost again to Seles in the quarters of the French and didn't bother to play any of the grass tune-up tournaments in England.

Capriati's father and coach, Stefano, stood on the patio, leaning against a railing, and watched his daughter practice.

"People say she's under pressure," he said. "I don't think so. To me, she's just a darling girl. She's still developing, still so young."

But it was she who acknowledged the pressure earlier this year. She always looked serious during her matches, but she used to shrug off losses with a toothy smile much more easily than she does now.

"She should take a break from the game, do something she enjoys," said Carlos Ramirez, who coaches a French player, Catherine Suire, but was watching Capriati closely. "But she can't do that. She has all the contracts, all the commitments, all the pressure. She's the breadwinner in the family."

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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #125
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Re: 1992

SELES DRAWS OPENING-DAY MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
The Charlotte Observer
Tuesday, June 23, 1992
ROBERT MILLWARD, Associated Press

Monica Seles spoke of her controversial absence from last year's Wimbledon championships, her on-court grunting and her battles with the media.

The only thing she didn't talk about was the political strife in her homeland, Yugoslavia.

Returning to the world's most prestigious tournament - the only Grand Slam event she has not won - Seles marched easily into the second round with a 6-2, 6-2 victory Monday over Australia's Jenny Byrne.

"I was very excited coming back just because of everything that happened last year," Seles said. "I was really eager to get back here and play tennis."

Last year, Seles withdrew from Wimbledon at the last minute without explanation.

"I never expected that me not playing Wimbledon would cause so much controversy," she said. "I had to read stories about me being pregnant, about a bonus, that my mother had cancer, I had to deal with that.

"And it was not a mystery illness, it was shin splints and a stress fracture. I think people should be much more focused on my game than what I do outside."

Seles did not concede a point in her first two service games and was never put under pressure on her own serve. Byrne charged aggressively at the net but was caught by Seles` accuracy from the baseline.

"It wasn't that tough a match," she said. "Not like when playing Steffi (Graf) or Gaby (Gabriela Sabatini)."

Born in Novi Sad, in the Serbian region of Yugoslavia, Seles now lives in Sarasota, Fla. She originally requested to be listed in Wimbledon programs as from Sarasota, but officials stuck to the Yugoslav designation.

Before Seles' postmatch interview, Wimbledon official Jim Cochrane warned the media not to ask any questions about the Yugoslav political situation. Otherwise, the interview would be halted immediately, he said. So the subject turned to grunting.

Seles makes loud noises whenever she hits her powerful ground strokes and some players and officials say she's too loud.

"It's part of my game and I don't think it bothers anybody," she said.

"I'm not doing it on purpose and I would like to get rid of it. I don't like it myself either. But I have been doing it myself for years."

Seles is seeded to meet Graf in the final.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 06:56 PM   #126
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Re: 1992

Seles Told to Turn Off Racket
Chicago Sun-Times
Tuesday, June 23, 1992
Agence France-Presse

LONDON World No. 1 Monica Seles, who opened her campaign to win a first Wimbledon crown by beating Jenny Byrne 6-2, 6-2, Monday, has been warned she must tone down her grunting.

The top-seeded Seles, 18, has been infuriating opponents by the way she accompanies every double-fisted ground-stroke with a two-syllable scream.

Her grunts reached a new intensity when she snatched a thrilling three-set victory over Steffi Graf in the final at the French Open two weeks ago.

And officials of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) are worried about the situation.

WTA President Pam Shriver, the winner of 22 Grand Slam titles, has warned: "The situation is becoming an issue. The decibles from Monica seem to go up when she is tired on court and is struggling to concentrate on every point.

"The noise she makes could be classed a hindrance by an opposing player - though, to my knowledge, no-one has yet complained from the other side of the net.

"If that happened I am sure I would not like to be in the umpire's chair.

"What concerns me is that the noise can drown out a line-call and put off an opponent."

Senior WTA tour director Georgina Clark, the first woman to umpire a Wimbledon final, said: "We have spoken to players about grunting on court. If an opponent complains about the noise, then we would have to uphold it."
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 06:58 PM   #127
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Re: 1992

GRUNT, NOT OPPONENT, PLAGUES SELES BYRNE LESS TROUBLESOME THAN TABLOIDS' REMARKS
Sun-Sentinel
Tuesday, June 23, 1992
JIM SARNI

WIMBLEDON , England -- The headline on the back page of The Daily Express raised the issue: Femininity and the Seles Grunt.

Monica Seles returned to Wimbledon Monday after a year's absence, and everyone was listening.

Wimbledon referee Alan Mills said Seles could receive a warning for excessive grunting, and four tabloids sent ''gruntologists'' to her opening-round match against Jenny Byrne.

Seles beat Byrne 6-2, 6-2, in a match she could play at low volume.

''I wasn't thinking about the grunting at all,'' said Seles, who advanced with all the five women's seeds in action Monday. ''There were some comments about it in today's papers. I talked to the players who made them, and they said those words were put together differently. It was really unfair to use them today, but I'm getting used to them.

''You know, it's part of my game, and I don't think I bother anybody. I am not doing it on purpose, but I would like to get rid of it because I don't like it myself either. I've been doing it for so many years.''

One British writer described Seles' sound as ''the grunt of a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig.''

''They have made a lot of jokes about it and I just don't think it's fair,'' Seles said. ''A lot of other players do it. I don't know why they pick on me -- I guess being the No. 1 player -- they always say those things. I think it's more important that they worry more about my game instead of my grunting.''

Seles' game appears to be solid. She withstood the serve-and-volley game of the 25-year-old Australian, who reached the final of the Dow Classic two weeks ago. Byrne knew what to do against Seles, but she didn't do it well enough.

''It felt great to be on grass,'' said Seles, who had not played a grasscourt match in two years.

''I wasn't catching my returns as well as I want to, but everything else is going fine. As the tournament goes on and I have a few more matches, I should feel more comfortable with it.''

Seles missed last year with shin splints, but she kept everyone guessing until after Wimbledon .

''I never expected that my not playing Wimbledon would create such a controversy,'' she said. ''It was the first time I had to read stories that were untrue. It's a lot easier to deal with it when a year has gone by. But even now, when I do interviews, it still says 'mystery illness.' I think that's ridiculous because it's not a mystery illness. It was shin splints and a stress fracture.''

Seles couldn't even watch Wimbledon last year.

''I never watch any tournament that I don't play,'' said Seles, who wouldn't reveal where she was during opening day last year. ''As a competitor, it would be just too difficult. It would be impossible.''

Seles would just like to forget the old soap opera.

''I'm here to play Wimbledon '92 and not to worry about 1991,'' she said. ''If all those stories were true, I don't think I would have been here this year or for many, many more years to come.''

After winning the Australian and French Opens, Seles is halfway to the Grand Slam -- or will that be a Grunt Slam?

Does she think it takes away from the appeal of the game?

''Women's tennis has had a lot of elegance, but it has power too,'' Seles said. ''We're athletes. Is it not feminine to see runners run in shorts, and see their whole legs? It's how women are playing. They are playing great tennis and are very entertaining to watch.''

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (5), Anke Huber (10), Katerina Maleeva (12) and Nathalie Tauziat (14) also advanced Monday, with little or no grunting.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #128
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Re: 1992

For sale: one 1992 gruntometer, hardly used - Wimbledon 1992
The Times
London, England
Tuesday, June 23, 1992
Simon Barnes

I MUST draw your attention to the curious incident of Monica Seles grunting at Wimbledon. Monica Seles did not grunt at Wimbledon. That was the curious incident.

Seles is the past-mistress of a publicity tease: remember how she went underground before last Wimbledon and sparked a worldwide where-is-Monica campaign that upstaged most of the first week?

Now, with the Brits again ready to savour that Monica grunt in full a fearsome sound that is halfway between a lioness celebrating a kill and the war-cry of the hyena she outsmarted us all and remained silent.

Two British newspapers were agog for a major grunt story. They had both set themselves on courtside with a "gruntometer" actually a decibel-measuring machine. Write your own headline: Louder Than A Harley-Davidson; An InterCity 125; A Jumbo Jet At Take-off. But Monica grunted not.

While she was not grunting, Seles beat Jenny Byrne, of Australia, 6-2, 6-2. Seles never found her demonically consistent length, but she was never much troubled either. So let us talk about grunting a little more.

"It's part of my game. I'm not doing it on purpose. I'm trying to get rid of it, I don't like doing it, but it's real hard, you know." There was Seles, rattling all this stuff out at 300 words a minute: a stat recorded by a stenographer, rather than a gruntometer. She has always sounded like Olive Oyl, but now she has dyed her hair black and looks rather like her as well.

"I'm not really aware that I'm doing it," she said, answering, yes, another grunting question. "I wasn't really aware that I was not grunting in this match today, but then it was not that tough a match, it was not like I was playing Steffi or Gaby."

She did not make a sound until she played break point in the fourth game, and that was little more than a vocalised exhalation. But perhaps grunting is necessary to someone who has grunted since she was 11, as one imagines that barking is necessary to a Rottweiler.

Certainly there were moments when her timing was well off: she was a little off her game, as she was off her grunt. But in the sixth game, we got the first diagnostic Seles double-grunt: huh-ihhh! It was still a sotto voce version of the real thing, but now it was accompanying most of the winners she hit with those vicious short-arm jabs she plays instead of tennis strokes, double-fisted on both flanks: huh-ihhh!

"It's not fair, picking on me, a lot of other players do it," Seles said. Yes, this was another grunting question. "And there are players just as loud as me in junior tournaments. It's not why you win or why you lose, it's not a thing to be focused on, there are so many more important things."

But isn't it frightfully unfeminine, Monica?

"Tennis has grace, tennis also has power. You gotta play power tennis. It doesn't matter about grunting, it's more important to play great tennis."

The girl Seles has a point here. The grunt may be an unnattractive affectation, but she can play tennis, all right. Yesterday she won her 36th consecutive grand slam singles match. Don't bet against her making it 49 by the end of the year: a full grand slam.

Don't bet against seeing Seles in her pomp, either: soon Wimbledon will see the return of that roaring, whacking, walloping maniac. Keep those gruntometers in readiness, chaps.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:01 PM   #129
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Re: 1992

She can play with the best - not ride with them
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Tuesday, JUNE 23, 1992
Josh Young, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

This is the first in a series of reports that will appear during the '92 Wimbledon fortnight about some of the blue-collar workers on the men's and women's pro tours.

WIMBLEDON , England - How much respect does beating Martina Navratilova the week before Wimbledon actually get you at Wimbledon?

"Not much, I guess. But I don't mind," said Linda Harvey-Wild of Hawthorn Woods, Ill., of her 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 win over Navratilova last week at the Eastbourne (England) grass-court tournament.

Preparing for Wimbledon can be a tough day for the less-than-big names on the men's and women's pro tours. The biggest hassles are transportation, practice-court time and food.

There are 128 singles players in both the men's and women's fields. The 32 seeded players (16 men and 16 women), as well as past champions like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, receive priority treatment throughout the tournament. Transportation, guest passes, locker room accommodations? No problem, if you have a ranking or a name.

Unfortunately for Harvey-Wild, 21, she has neither. She is ranked No. 64 and has never lasted beyond the third round at Wimbledon, much less won one of those silver plates.

She spent the better part of an hour Sunday trying to convince the Wimbledon transportation captain to drive her back to London. She told the driver she has a bad knee and couldn't make the 15-minute walk to the Underground and then ride the train for 20 minutes to London.

"How did you get here?" he asked.

"We took a taxi from the station," she said, pointing to her stepfather and coach, Steve Wild, who was standing nearby. "I was hoping you would give us a ride back."

"I'm terribly sorry, but we don't have an available car," the driver said pompously as he craned his neck, giving him a view of no less than 15 shiny Austin Rovers, the official car of Wimbledon.

Harvey-Wild smiled and walked over to her stepfather to deliver the news. It had already been a long day. They had practiced four to a court for just 20 minutes.

"Tell him you beat Martina last week," Wild said, "on grass!"

Harvey-Wild returned to the driver, who was now surveying the fleet of Austin Rovers like a proud car salesman. Playfully, she came up with a limp.

"Besides the fact that I'm injured," she said, pausing for emphasis, "I beat Martina last week on grass, and she has won nine singles titles here."

Said the driver: "Then you are probably fit enough to walk all the way to London."

In the two years Harvey-Wild has been a professional tennis player, she has learned to humor herself. She turned pro after just one semester at the University of Southern California, and she has taken her share of knocks on the tour.

She tasted success in her pro debut when she defeated Arantxa Sanchez Vicario at the 1990 Virginia Slims of Chicago. Since then, her best singles victory was a 6-4, 6-1 win over Natalia Zvereva here last year.

"I've haven't been able to jump up quickly in the rankings. It's been more of a gradual process," said Harvey-Wild, who has dropped 23 spots since the end of last year. "I am trying to set goals I can reach."

Both Harvey-Wild and Wild hope the win over Navratilova can be a catalyst for something big.

"I think she's getting to the point where she says, `Wait a minute. I can play with the top pros. They're good, but I'm pretty good too,' " Wild said.

She just can't ride with them yet.

WORKING CLASS AT WIMBLEDON

* Who: Linda Harvey-Wild.

* WTA rank: No. 64.

* Vitals: Age 21; 5 feet 7, 135 pounds; born in Arlington Heights, Ill.; resides in Hawthorn Woods, Ill.

* The rest: Harvey-Wild is unseeded at Wimbledon , having never advanced beyond the third round there. . . . Turned pro in 1990 after one semester at the University of Southern California. . . . Coached by stepfather, Steve Wild. . . . Finished 1991 ranked No. 41. . . . Owns career wins over Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Martina Navratilova, whom Harvey-Wild defeated last week at the Eastbourne tournament.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:02 PM   #130
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Re: 1992

"Moan-ica" begins grunt work at Wimbledon
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Tuesday, JUNE 23, 1992
Josh Young, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

WIMBLEDON , England - One year ago at Wimbledon, there was a lot of noise about where Monica Seles was hiding and why she was hiding. This year Seles is the one making the noise - literally.

The 19-year-old wants everyone to stop talking about those two weeks last year. Memories of her elusive ways of 1991 have followed Seles for the past 12 months, despite her winning three Grand Slam titles and dominating the women's game during that period.

"It was a tough time a year ago," Seles said. "They still had the 1991 Wimbledon grass court shoes for me and when I looked at them, I said, 'This doesn't bring back too many good memories.'

"But 1991 is gone and I wish people would look to the future or look at my results since then and not keep talking about why I wasn't here."

Seles showed up on time on Court No. 1 yesterday but she wasn't there for long. The No. 1 seed, who is halfway to a Grand Slam, defeated Jenny Byrne 6-2, 6-2 in 51 minutes in the first round.

Even though Seles is here, her problems are not gone. Her habit of grunting on the court is the main issue in 1992, and Seles is trying to put an early gag order on the story.

Two British tabloid papers ran front page articles on Seles' grunting problem. One paper referred to her as "Moan-ica" while the other stated that she was louder than a locamotive.

The articles quoted several players who allegedly said that Seles' grunting distracted them. Women's Tennis Association president Pam Shriver was quoted as saying that disciplinary action would be taken against Seles to quiet the No. 1 player.

"I talked to the players who made those comments and they said they were taken out of context," Seles said. "They were said 10 days ago, so I think it was really unfair to use them today."

Even Dan Maskell, the 84-year-old retired BBC commentator who has seen 62 Wimbledons, said action should to taken to quiet Seles. Seles also would also like to tone it down, but she has had the habit it so long, it is difficult to kick it.

"I am not doing it on purpose," Seles said. "I would like to get rid of it because I don't like it myself. A lot of other players, like Jimmy Connors, have done it for years and nobody has said anything."

The fact is, after what Seles did to Wimbledon last year, the British will not easily forgive and forget, although Seles is trying to help them. She seems to be doing everything in her power to help her standing with the tournament.

Privately, she has rented a house directly across the street from the All England Club to integrate herself into the Wimbledon scene. A representative from IMG, her management company, said that Seles decided not to stay in London "to avoid any potential hassles, which you can take anyway you want."

Publicly, she has agreed not to press the All England Club on listing her home country as Yugoslavia. Before the championships began, Seles requested that she be listed from Sarasota, Fla., her current hometown. Her request was initially honored but later denied.

Seles excused the All England Club, asking that she not be required to answer questions about Yugoslavia.

Still, the negativity from her disappearance last year hovers over Seles' every move. Her response to the criticism has been to plead naivety and ask for forgiveness.

"I never expected that my not playing Wimbledon would create such a controversy and so many articles would be written," she said. "It was the first time I read so many articles on a big scale that were untrue. It started with me being pregnant and ended with my mom having cancer.

"It's a lot easier to deal with when a year has gone by, but even now I read about 'my mystery illness' and I think it's ridiculous. I had shin splints."

Seles still won't say exactly where she was last year. When asked, she said, "I really don't want to say because again people will speculate whether it's the truth or not. I was with a friend of mine who I like very much, and she's always been there when I need her."

This year there is no doubt that Seles is here. She also hopes that history will record that she won her first Wimbledon title.

TODAY'S FEATURE MATCHES

*Centre Court - Noelle van Lottum, France, vs. Steffi Graf (2), Germany; Pat Cash, Australia, vs. Jacco Eltingh, Netherlands; Martina Navratilova (4), Aspen, Colo., vs. Magdalena Maleeva, Bulgaria

*Court 1 - Luiz Mattar, Brazil, vs. John McEnroe, New York; Christelle Fauche, Switzerland, vs. Gabriela Sabatini (3), Argentina; Andre Agassi (12), Las Vegas, vs. Andrei Chesnokov, Russia

*Court 2 - (2nd match) Jennifer Capriati (6), Saddlebrook, Fla., vs. Chanda Rubin, Lafayette, La.

****BOX

TODAY'S PICKS

Tennis writer Josh Young's picks in today's feature matches at Wimbledon. Yesterday's record: 4-0. (Seeds in parentheses.)

* (2) Steffi Graf vs. Noelle van Lottum - Opening the second day of play on Centre Court is undoubtedly a thrill for Graf as it rekindles fond memories of her three-set win over Gabriela Sabatini in last year's final. Graf's French opponent, van Lottum, has never played a main-draw singles match at Wimbledon. She is ranked No. 95 in the world and has little chance of beating Graf anywhere, at any time, let alone on the Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Pick: Graf in two.

* (4) Martina Navratilova vs. Magdelena Maleeva - Navratilova has a tougher first-round match than she would have liked, but she should get through it. After all, she has won a record nine singles titles here. Navratilova's opponent is ranked No. 32 and is the youngest of the three Maleeva sisters. The 17-year-old's game is no less promising than her two older sisters' at this stage of her career. She hits hard from the baseline and has a service return than could trouble Navratilova.

Pick: Navratilova in two.

* (12) Andre Agassi vs. Andrei Chesnokov - Agassi made headlines here last year with his white clothes and his I-love-England attitude. He also reached the quarterfinals. Chesnokov, ranked No. 32, is a tough opponent on paper for Agassi, although it is surprising to note that the burly baseliner has never won a singles match at Wimbledon.

Pick: Agassi in three.

* Marianne Werdel vs. Monique Javer - To understand why this match is interesting, you need not have seen either player compete. All you need to know is that the two were bunkmates at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy in 1983-84. Javer's biggest complaint about Werdel was that the pros paid too much attention to her. At the time, Werdel was one of the best junior players in the U.S., and Javer was considered a mediocre prospect at best. Werdel's chief complaint was that Javer complained too much. Both play from the baseline, and Werdel is the harder hitter. When the memories are shaken, Werdel should get through this, but in the end, it probably doesn't matter, because the winner plays Graf in the second round.

Pick: Werdel in three.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:05 PM   #131
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Re: 1992

GRAF: BORED AND BRILLIANT
The Miami Herald
Wednesday, June 24, 1992
EDWIN POPE

This was the night before Steffi Graf's first match of this Wimbledon and she was standing in the foyer of a Chinese restaurant up the hill from the tennis.

She looked bored, restless. What to do? Moo goo gai pan, egg foo young, or fall in love?

A local youth, about the same age as Graf, 23, was trying to chat. Graf didn't seem interested, but she is too compassionate to tell anyone to take a hike outright.

There, then, she stood, in no-person's land, with time and maybe $20 million on her hands and nothing to do with either.

She looked like a lost soul.

Then Tuesday I saw Steffi Graf on Centre Court, and she looked entirely different.

The three-time queen of Wimbledon went through France's Noelle Van Lottum in 47 minutes without a care.

If only she could spend her whole life on Centre Court.

But she can't.

Somebody asked Graf late Tuesday, after she had rubbed out Van Lottum, 6-1, 6-0, like a pencil mark on a scratch pad, if it were true that she was coaching the royal princes, Harry and William.

"No," Graf said. "But set it up. I'm ready."

This is Graf's story, and it is sad. She is absolutely ready for something new after nine years on this unbelievable grind of women's professional tennis. Yet, because the grind is unbelievable, she can't take the time to tackle anything new. At least not to tackle it right.

I know I overdo this sympathy for women tennis players. I feel sorry for all of them because it is such a completely unnatural life, moored to nothing, just putting a toe in this pool and then another in another, but never with the satisfaction of total immersion in anything but tennis, tennis, tennis.

Even vacations don't work for Graf. In the odd few days she has off between tournaments she will "keep trying to fly to the Caribbean, because it's not far from our house in Boca Raton."

Every time, though, "I either return home after two days or I travel on to the next island."

She is simply too restless. The pace that has threaded itself into her life since she was 14 makes it impossible for her to relax. Especially with all the other complications.

Graf's father successfully defended himself against paternity charges, only at exorbitant emotional cost to both Steffi's mother and Steffi herself.

There were the injuries, too, one after another, going back to when she fell on a St. Moritz ski run running away from paparazzi after she had won 52 consecutive matches.

Then there was losing the No. 1 rating to Monica Seles.

Wrapped up, it turned celebrity too tough. And the more she ran from it, the faster it seemed to chase her. Like it did in the Chinese restaurant here when a teenager going by suddenly clapped her hand to her mouth and shouted to a gang of friends, "I don't believe it, that's STEFFI!"

Graf tries to get away from it all. It just never seems to work.

"I don't know why," she said. "It just does. I went to Anguilla with my brother Michael," Graf said not long ago, "and I could see from the air, simply by looking at the vegetation, that there was nothing at all happening there. We drove through bush and I said to myself, 'I don't see myself staying here for even two days.'

"So we arrive at the hotel and it was really a dream. But the next morning I woke up very early and called home in Germany and said, 'Daddy, can you please send the keys to the house in Boca via Lufthansa?' "

Daddy asked why.

"Because we're flying back to Boca," the prisoner of restlessness said.

She wants to settle down, and she doesn't want to. She has won 10 Grand Slam tournaments and could have at least a half- dozen more great years ahead of her.

Does she want those years in that way? Would she like to have a steady manfriend with her on tour, or a husband?

"I wouldn't want that," she said. "Such a man would no longer have his own personality."

But there is no other way she could have a true relationship at this time: Catch-22 for Fraulein Forehand.

She wants to be called Stefanie because "that's my original name and I prefer it now." She wants perhaps more depth in her photography hobby. She wants, what? Love? Something. Something that isn't there now.

She thinks about moving from Bruhl, Germany, to London. "Yes I do." She has met Lady Di "quite a few times." They are close enough acquaintances to talk but not close enough to be real friends.

It is the story of her life, although the immediate chapter concerns whether she can win six more matches in the next 12 days.

Even if she wins a fourth Wimbledon, what then? At what point does even one of the greatest champions, for Graf is that if still not Martina Navratilova on these sparkling lawns, decide that enough is enough and there must be more to life than trophies and lonely rooms no matter how much walking-around money you have?

I think the Steffi Graf -- sorry, Stefanie -- I saw in the Chinese restaurant is the real Graf right now. The lost soul.

I hope she finds her way out. She seems a thoroughly decent person, and sometimes there don't seem to be quite enough of those to go around, not in sports anyway.

Scalpers have no fear

WIMBLEDON , England -- So many of the same old faces are scalping Centre Court tickets, why don't the bobbies ever notice?

Scalpers sidle up with impunity and ask, "Any extra tickets?" and if you have any they will try to pay you about $100 apiece and if you want some they will try to charge you anywhere from $200 to $1,500 apiece.

Every year the law says it is cracking down, and hardly ever does. However, the All England Club has finally gotten serious. It enters each legal ticketholder's name and will check the tickets against the computer as patrons enter. If they don't match, out goes ticketholder -- without ticket.

The club also has gone bilingual in its anti-tout approach. Signs trumpet from the concrete walls outside, DO NOT BUY TICKETS FROM TOUTS (SCHWARZHAENDLERS, BACARINAGIOS, SCALPERS), THEY WILL NOT GAIN YOU ENTRY.

"Schwarzhaendler" is German for scalpers. "Bacarinagios" is the Italian word for the scalping system. "Scalpers" are scalpers, who keep going their merry way, signs or no signs.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:07 PM   #132
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Re: 1992

Graf settles back into routine - Wimbledon 1992
The Times
Wednesday, June 24, 1992
Andrew Longmore, Tennis Correspondent

STEFFI Graf made an imperious return to the centre court yesterday, her 6-1, 6-0 win over Noelle van Lottum, of France, in 47 minutes being about par for the course for the defending champion in the early rounds of a grand slam tournament.

There was little sign of any side-effects after her dramatic defeat by Monica Seles in the final of the French Open earlier in the month. From the first game, in which she began with an ace, followed up with three forehands - a volley and two passes, one down the line and one crosscourt - the No.2 seed ran through her considerable repertoire as if checking that all strokes were in working order for sterner tasks ahead.

To her credit, van Lottum, who was making her debut at Wimbledon, chased as hard as she could. Mainly it was in vain. Her one and only game came after 15 minutes and was greeted with sympathetic applause. Van Lottum's favourite phrase is, "To be the best you must work the hardest," and she found out the hard way that Graf has been living by the same gospel throughout her distinguised career.

Graf's response to that disappointment at Roland Garros was immediate and typical. "To tell the truth, I like to jump right back on the tennis court. I lost. On the day after I was in London, trying to forget, trying to look forward to the next tournament," she said.

But does defeat make her any more determined in what is becoming her backyard? "You don't need anything really to motivate you more than Wimbledon itself. There are so many things that make it a special tournament." It helps that Graf has always enjoyed the many attractions of London. So much, in fact, she has even considered making it her home. "I have been thinking about moving somewhere else, certainly, and London was a big choice."

Martina Navratilova's return to the centre court was greeted ecstatically by a banner that proclaimed: "Martina, your tennis is always music." Original, but hardly a true reflection of the nine-times champion's unhappy departure in the quarter-final last year. The first round, a desperate victory over Elna Reinach, had been distinctly discordant and with only one win under her belt in the last two months and only two competitive matches there was an understandable sense of nervousness in the early stages.

Luckily for Navratilova, perhaps, her opponent, Magdalena Maleeva, the youngest of the three Bulgarian sisters, was making her debut on the centre court and seemed overawed by the rituals. As soon as Navratilova had settled down into a rhythm, the 17-year-old former junior champion began to accept that there would be other days for her, not that many more for the No.4 seed. Quietly, gently, the status quo prevailed, Navratilova winning 6-2, 6-2 and setting up a second-round match against Kimberly Po.

"I played pretty well, I guess," Navratilova said. "I served well except in the last game and missed two volleys. It was nothing special, nothing great, nothing bad. Solid all round, which suits me fine. I had been nervous about the match for a week now."

None of the top seeds had to break sweat to reach the second round. Among them, Gabriela Sabatini, Conchita Martinez, Zina Garrison and Jana Novotna lost a total of seven games.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #133
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Re: 1992

Sports of The Times: American Teen-Agers In London
GEORGE VECSEY
June 24, 1992
New York Times

WIMBLEDON, England— SHE could have responded, yes, indeed, she had a cold. Or she could have been inventive and blamed the notorious grass courts for affecting her sinuses and causing the sniffles. Instead, Chanda Rubin told the truth.

"Just bawling," she said.

She was only a few minutes off the court after her first match at Wimbledon, the center of the universe, and now her 16-year-old emotions were kicking in.

Fate could have been more kind to Chanda Rubin, but it all happens so fast in the world of women's tennis. Rubin's first appearance in the main draw at Wimbledon was against somebody six weeks younger than her, another girl wonder who has already appeared on magazine covers, shucked off her first couple of coaches, had her first public growing pains. A 16-year-old named Jennifer Capriati.

"If you're going to beat her, it might be in the first round," Rubin reasoned, after the 6-1, 7-5 loss.

There are no child-labor laws here or in the States that ban Capriati (born: March 29, 1976, in New York) and Rubin (born: Feb. 18, 1976, in Lafayette, La.) from competing against each other on the lawn at Wimbledon. It is healthy work, outdoors, without late hours owing to the lack of lights here, and the minimum-wage regulations are hardly relevant, what with grim-faced agents scouring the steppes, the outback and the boondocks for 10-year-old possibilities. But there are stresses to this kind of job, different from what other 16-year-olds might encounter in their jobs at a fast-food emporium at this time of year. In this job, 16-year-olds are put on very public display, with the considerable chance that one of them will be embarrassed.

In this line of work here, teen-agers are observed by thousands of fans who line up overnight for tickets and scope out the best matches and scuttle with as much dignity as possible to the outside courts, where play begins at noon.

The fans were standing six deep in the upper reaches of Court 2, where ranked players often have been bushwhacked.

Capriati turned professional before her 14th birthday. She solved the bizarre characteristics of grass to beat Martina Navratilova and reach the semifinals here last year. She is having her own who-am-I? crisis, but she is already a seasoned professional, who yesterday sized up her opponent and thought: "I was there and now there's somebody else there. I have experience now."

From a huge distance, Rubin has watched Capriati take off. They had never played each other in any kind of junior tournament because Capriati was on the ultimate fast track. The United States Tennis Association put Rubin in its development program, and last year Rubin played the Wimbledon juniors. Later in the summer, she turned professional at 15, knowing there is plenty of room in women's tennis, right up near the top. One good match. One good tournament. One good summer.

"You kind of wonder what it's like," Rubin admitted later, when somebody mentioned the prize money and the endorsements and the cars and the homes that her fellow 16-year-old has amassed.

Rubin came out swinging at everything yesterday, trying to whack the ball into the corner. Before she seemed to take a breath, she had lost 11 of the first 12 games.

"She was going for everything," Capriati said later. "I just kept the ball on the court. Not a lot of rhythm out there. But then she calmed down a little and started making her shots."

Rubin won four straight games and the crowd cheered for her to prolong the match, before Capriati finished it off. For Capriati, it was only a day's work. The only enthusiastic tone in her interview came when she talked about playing in the Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, because "that only comes around once every four years." She said she would enjoy living in the athletes' village, and slipping off to watch gymnastics and track and field.

"I'll find the time," she said.

Rubin would have liked to find the time to play a little longer. She knew she had hurt herself in the first set because "I wasn't keeping the ball low." The four games in the second set had raised her hopes, but now she was left with "disappointment, just disappointment."

"It could have been a little better," Rubin added, "but sometimes it looks like it's not really coming. You try to improve, but it seems really far off."

Right now she was off the court in 63 minutes, far from home, and her first Wimbledon was history, and there was nothing for a 16-year-old to do but bawl, and be honest enough to admit it.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #134
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Re: 1992

Capriati brings her celebrity status to bear - Wimbledon 1992
The Times
London, England
Wednesday, June 24, 1992
Rex Bellamy

WIMBLEDON matches mostly fall within a limited range of familiar patterns. Yesterday, the pattern of Jennifer Capriati's 6-0, 7-5 win over Chanda Rubin (one of the Louisiana Rubins) was hackneyed but ultimately attractive and absorbing.

The drama had three acts, all of which you know well. Act one: a Wimbledon debutante was too tense to do herself justice against a seed, and at 0-6, 1-5, was on the brink of a crushing defeat.

Act two: The debutante, who no longer had any cause for anxiety, cast her inhibitions aside and moved into "the zone", playing unrecognisably good tennis to reach 5-5.

Act three: Both players, especially the debutante, suddenly considered the possibilities, whereupon the debutante's elbow was almost drained of lubricant and the seed carefully restored the pattern set in act one. Exit debutante.

Long before either of these players was born, I consoled a young lady disappointed by just such a match as Rubin. The gist of the consolation was this. When playing celebrities you take a few hidings; then you play a good set but lose it.

Later you play a good set and win it. If you are good enough there comes a day when the requisite two sets are tucked away, and perhaps, eventually, one celebrity after another is seen off. After that the roles are reversed: the hunter becomes the hunted.

Both these players are aged 16, an age at which I was paid Pounds 1 for working eight hours, five days a week.

By the time Wimbledon is over Capriati will be a dollar millionairess from prize-money alone and will have banked about three times as much from peripheral income based on her market value as a celebrity.

At an age when most of us are starry-eyed with ambition and beginning a career, she no longer needs to work.

Capriati has already reached the Wimbledon, French and United States semi-finals, and has been the youngest player to do this, that, and the other. Her leap to fame and fortune has been costly in terms of drudgery, not least those long hours on the practice court.

For six months or so she has been afflicted by the emotional growing pains of adolescence and has indulged a natural eagerness to savour the fun of the teenage social scene. By this time she may have achieved a balance between work and play. We shall see.

Rubin, almost two years younger in terms of professional experience, has obvious possibilities. The spectators included Stan Smith (remember Stan Smith?), who reckoned that Rubin hit the ball too flat.

Flat is tennis parlance for a vertical racket and makes no more sense than the umpire's introductory comment, "Miss Capriati won the toss and has elected to serve." Tennis is the only society with an electorate of one.

For almost two sets Rubin did hit flat and made a lot of errors in the process. Then (Act two) a fleeting splendour settled upon her.

She began to hit through the ball or put more "work" on it: And, instantly, was hitting the targets she had previously missed.

Her tennis was smartly designed, too. She, and we, had realised how good she can be. But Capriati is better.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:10 PM   #135
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Re: 1992

Chang Flops on Grass At Wimbledon Again
Chicago Sun-Times
Tuesday, June 23, 1992
From Sun-Times Wires

LONDON American baseliner Michael Chang flopped on grass again here on Tuesday to become the first seeding casualty of this year's Wimbledon Championships.

The seventh seed from the United States, who has never got beyond the fourth round at the All England Club, crashed 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to British number one Jeremy Bates in the first round of the men's singles.

It was the second year in a row that he has fallen at Wimbledon's opening hurdle, but this 139-minute defeat was particularly humiliating for the 1989 French Open champion.

Bates is ranked 106 places below him and has never even reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.

However, he was in sparkling form in front of a partisan crowd on court 14, fully exploiting the American's reluctance to leave the baseline by attacking the net and reeling off a succession of winning volleys.

Meanwhile, defending champion Steffi Graf and seventh seed Mary Joe Fernandez got off to fast starts, losing only one game apiece in their opening matches.

Graf thrashed France's Noelle van Lottum, ranked 100th in the world, 6-1, 6-0 on Center Court.

Graf has already put her defeat by Monica Seles in the French Open final behind her and is enjoying her stay in London, one of her favorite cities.

"I have seen four or five concerts, I have been going to plays, I have done a lot of things besides tennis and that is what I like," said Graf. "All that is a big factor in why I like this tournament very, very much."

Fernandez, a semifinalist here last year, sped into the second round by squashing British wild card entrant Sarah Bentley, ranked only 416th in the world, 6-1, 6-0.

In another crowd-pleaser, the popular Henri Leconte, who soared more than 100 places in the world rankings by making the semifinals at the French Open, beat Argentine clay specialist Roberto Azar 6-3, 6-0, 6-3.

Jennifer Capriati, the sixth seeded woman player, had a ousted fellow American Chanda Rubin 6-0, 7-5 win to gain a second-round match against Pam Shriver.
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