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post #16 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2016, 08:42 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

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I think there should be a link to volume 1 as well. What do you think?
Yes! Everybody loves trilogies!
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post #17 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2016, 12:29 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

Hingis hits the wall in Berlin
Daily Telegraph
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
May 16, 1996

MARTINA Hingis, conqueror of world No 1 Steffi Graf last week on her way to the Italian Open final, came down to earth in the German Open in Berlin today when she was knocked out.

The 15-year-old Swiss player, seeded ninth, fell 6-3 7-5 to Slovakia's Karina Habsudova, 54th in the world.

But Graf, playing in front of a home crowd for the first time in two years, appeared to have shaken off last week's defeat by marching into the quarters of the clay-court event with an easy 6-2 6-1 win over Yayuk Basuki of Indonesia.

"She's better on quicker surfaces," Graf, eight times champion in Berlin, said. "I didn't always have to play at full stretch and I was calm enough."

Graf's compatriot Anke Huber, ranked five in the world, had to pull out all the stops in her secondround tie against Lindsay Lee.

After winning the first set, 18-year-old Lee was just two points from victory at 5-3 and 30-15 in the second set before Huber turned the tables to win 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Defending champion Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain, the world No 2, cruised in with a 6-3 6-3 defeat of Marianne WerdelWitmeyer of the US.

In a minor upset, Romania's Ruxandra Dragomir put out eighth seed Natasha Zvereva of Belarus 5-7 6-2 7-6.

Australia's Bradtke was dumped out of the Open, losing 6-0 6-0 to Elena Likhovtseva of Russia.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

Steffi Graf - Tennis
The Times
London, England
May 16, 1996
Alix Ramsay

Steffi Graf plays a textbook backhand during her third-round defeat of Yayuk Basuki in the German Open in Berlin, a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win that showed that she has shaken off the shock of her failure in the Italian Open last week.

Graf, the joint-world No1, was detained on court for only 51 minutes by her Indonesian opponent and eased into the event's quarter-finals in what is her first appearance in front of a home crowd for almost two years. However, Martina Hingis, Graf's conquerer in Italy, had a day that she would rather forget, falling in the second round to Karina Habsudova, of Slovakia, 6-3, 7-5 and picking up a caution for racket abuse for her troubles. Habsudova is ranked No54 in the world, 37 places below Hingis, but she has the measure of the young Swiss. They have met three times and Hingis has managed to win only one set.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3



CRAZED FAN'S LASTING DAMAGE
Herald Sun
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
May 17, 1996
BRUCE MATTHEWS

SADLY, almost obscenely, a crazed Steffi Graf fan has succeeded with his warped plot.

Not only did lathe operator Gunther Parche's attack on Monica Seles hand back the world No. 1 ranking to Graf, it has now enabled her to retain that status for a record period.

Graf is celebrating her 332nd week at the top, surpassing Martina Navratilova to set a new mark of sustained dominance in men's and women's tennis.

It's another decoration in a grand career that shouldn't be but is tarnished by sport's ultimate back-stabbing.

Graf and Seles had already traded the No. 1 ranking six times when the infatuated Parche plunged the kitchen knife into Seles's left shoulder on April 30, 1993.

At the time Seles was undisputed top gun, having denied herself the Grand Slam by skipping Wimbledon the previous year and started 1993 winning a third consecutive Australian singles title.

Potentially, Graf v Seles was an engrossing rivalry that should have galvanised attention on the women's game for all the right reasons through this decade.

Instead the German blonde inherited No. 1 again five weeks after the Hamburg incident after sitting in the Seles shadow for almost two years.

Strangely, Graf has become the innocent victim and has often lamented the absence of a genuine rival to provide credibility to her unchallenged ranking peak.

The 26-year-old right-hander may well have reasserted authority over her left-handed foe in the ensuing period. But she would not have smashed the Navratilova longevity barrier by now.

Despite the Seles pall that lingers over each achievement, Graf has proved her greatness with the strength to reign over nagging injuries and personal distractions.

Her back ailment is worse than she lets on, as evidenced by just four tournament appearances so far this year, and concentration is understandably difficult with her father in jail since August on tax evasion charges.

No one could question if Seles vowed never to chase No. 1 glory again.

It seems more than coincidence that she hasn't played a tournament since being told the week after the Australian Open triumph of the threat against her on the eve of that final.

Even with their mega-millions, Graf and Seles remain tormented souls, the former haunted by her fortune, the latter terrified another Parche is lurking out there.
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post #20 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2016, 12:33 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

EDBERG GOES OUT IN EMOTIONAL STYLE
The Stuart News
May 18, 1996
Associated Press

ROME -- Stefan Edberg bowed and waved to all corners of the Foro Italico stadium. The 10,200 spectators stood for several minutes in a rousing ovation. Tears streamed down the faces of many fans.

Edberg, playing his 14th and final year on the tour, received an emotional farewell after losing 6-3, 6-3 to Richard Krajicek in the Italian Open quarterfinals Friday.

"In a foreign country. To have an ovation like that was quite amazing," Edberg said. "I expected a nice round of applause, but this was really special."

Even during the match, the crowd repeatedly broke into rhythmic clapping and chants of "Stefan! Stefan!"

"Sometimes I had goosebumps out there," said Edberg, playing for only the third time in Rome. "It was great leaving the court. Even if I lost the match, it didn't matter today."

Krajicek said he felt lonely on the center court.

"My girlfriend and another friend were supporting me," the Dutchman said. "It was like three against 12,000."

In a night match, top-seeded defending champion Thomas Muster powered into the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 7 Marcelo Rios of Chile. Muster needed just over an hour to defeat a player considered one of the rising stars in tennis.

In other quarterfinal matches, sixth-seeded Wayne Ferreira beat No. 14 Andrei Medvedev, 6-4, 6-4, and No. 11 Alberto Costa crushed Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi, 6-2, 6-1.

The Edberg-Krajicek match featured the unusual sight of two men playing classic serve-and-volley tennis on clay. It also included the second-fastest serve ever recorded on the ATP Tour.

In the eighth game of the second set, Krajicek cracked a first serve timed at 136.4 mph -- just a shade below the 137 mph delivery by Britain's Greg Rusedski at San Jose last year. But Krajicek's serve was the fastest of 1996, topping the 134.9 mph by Rusedski at the Australian Open.

Edberg managed to get the serve back in play, but lost the point. After seeing the speed displayed on the courtside monitor, Edberg flexed his bicep to the fans.

"I didn't even look (at the speed clock) because I didn't think it was that fast," Krajicek said. "I won the point. That's the most important thing. It would be terrible to hit a serve like that and lose the point."

But Krajicek had more than a big serve going this day. He played one his best matches on clay, ripping groundstrokes and passing shots that kept Edberg in check.

Krajicek also showed poise in dealing with the pro-Edberg crowd. The fans hooted and shouted "scemo" -- idiot -- when Krajicek argued a line call in the first game of the second set and received a time violation warning.

The outpouring of support for Edberg contrasted with the way the crowd turned against Gaudenzi, who was trying to become the first Italian to reach the semifinals in 18 years. Gaudenzi was jeered in his lackluster performance against Costa.

"That's the Roman crowd," he said. "When you win, you're a legend. But when you lose, they are there to whistle."

Graf wins; Huber, Vicario upset

BERLIN -- Top-seeded Steffi Graf advanced to the semifinals of the German Open on Friday, but second-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and No. 5 Anke Huber were upset.

Sanchez Vicario lost to Elena Likhovtseva of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 6-0, while Huber was ousted by Karina Habsudova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-4. Graf beat 10th-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France 6-1, 7-5.

Graf's next opponent will be fourth-seeded Iva Majoli of Croatia, who advanced with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over No. 7 Barbara Paulus of Austria.

Sanchez Vicario, the defending champion, had no excuses after losing to Likhovtseva, ranked 47th in the world.

"She was just better than me today," said Sanchez Vicario, who struggled throughout the tournament.

Huber made a lot of unforced errors from the baseline and was sometimes overpowered by Habsudova's punishing backhand.

"I felt hopeless out there," said Huber, an Australian Open finalist this year. "I had to do something else, but I just couldn't. I made it easy for her."

It was Habsudova's third upset victory in the tournament. Earlier, she beat Martina Hingis and Mary Pierce.

"Once you beat these players, you know you can do it. It's nothing new for me now," said Habsudova, ranked 54th in the world.

Graf won her first set in 19 minutes, slamming winners all over the court.

"It was good, but it wasn't perfect -- my first serve wasn't as good as I liked," Graf said.

Graf let two match points slip away at 5-4 in the second set, one a volley that bounced back from the net. She finally converted her fourth match point to win in one hour and 10 minutes.

Graf has regained top form after losing to Hingis in the quarterfinals last week in Rome.

"The tennis I'm playing is a world apart from the tennis I showed in Rome," she said.

Seles sets return for Madrid

MADRID, Spain -- Monica Seles will return to competitive tennis next week in the Madrid Open, and she has asked for wild-card entry to the Eastbourne tournament in England next month.

The Madrid tournament will mark Seles' first competition since February, when she lost to Iva Majoli in the quarterfinals of the Pan Pacific tournament in Tokyo.

A month earlier, Seles won her ninth grand slam title at the Australian Open.

For the past three months, Seles has been sidelined with a shoulder injury that forced her to withdraw from a Federation Cup match in Austria last month.

She is co-ranked No. 1 with Steffi Graf by the WTA computer.

The $250,000 Madrid Open, to be played May 21-25, will be Seles' final tuneup for the French Open.

The Eastbourne is played on grass, June 18-22, and is the traditional women's warmup for Wimbledon. It would mark her first English competition in four years.

Seles, who won three consecutive French Open titles from 1990 to 1992, has not participated in the Grand Slam event in Paris since she was stabbed during a tournament in Hamburg, Germany, April 30, 1993.

Following the stabbing incident, Seles returned to active play last summer when she won the Canadian Open. In August, she reached the finals of the U.S. Open before losing to Graf.

Graf also is among the 28 entries for the Eastbourne event.
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post #21 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2016, 12:34 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

Eastbourne lures Graf and Seles
John Roberts
The Independent
London, England
May 18, 1996

Monica Seles, who has not played at Wimbledon since 1992, may complete the preparation for her return to the All England Club by joining Steffi Graf in making her debut at the Direct Line Insurance Championships at Eastbourne from 17 to 22 June.

George Hendon, the Eastbourne tournament director, confirmed yesterday that a wild card had been requested for Seles. "We've been told by her management that, providing she comes through the French Open OK, it's her intention to play at Eastbourne," hesaid.

A joint appearance by the two players co-ranked No 1 in the world would be an unexpected bonus. Graf and Seles rarely compete at the same tournaments outside the four Grand Slams, one tending to be injured when the other is fit.

Seles has competed in only five events since making her comeback last August, almost two and a half years after being stabbed by a spectator in Hamburg in April, 1993. In January, when Seles won the Australian Open, Graf was absent, recovering from afoot operation.

Although Graf once played in the under-21 event at Eastbourne, it is the first time she has entered the main draw. During the past five years, many leading women players have preferred to practise the week before Grand Slams rather than risk their ranking by playing tournaments. The situation has been eased by a new WTA Tour rule which protects the points average of top players who enter events the week before a Grand Slam.

Seles, who has been nursing an injured shoulder since competing in Tokyo the week after the Australian Open, is due to play in Madrid next week in the hope of finding her feet on clay courts on the eve of the French Open, which starts on 27 May.

The men have been scuffling with the same objective in mind here at the Italian Open, where Stefan Edberg bade farewell to the championships yesterday in circumstances more dramatic and emotional than a 6-3, 6-3 defeat by the Dutchman Richard Krajicekmight suggest.

For one thing, Krajicek came close to beating the fastest serve recorded in the seven years of the ATP Tour - the 220.4kph by Britain's Greg Rusedski. Krajicek was timed at 220kph (137mph).

The delivery, which came when Krajicek was leading 4-3, 30-30 in the second set of the quarter-final, was not an ace. Edberg managed to get his racket to the ball, but could only watch his return fly wide.

Blocking the shot would not have improved Edberg's dodgy wrist, which he had shaken in pain after attempting to parry a smash two points earlier. But the Swede still contrived to create two break points in the game, the second with a superb top-spinlob. In each case, Krajicek salvaged the situation with an ace.

The 24-year-old Dutchman served, returned and volleyed with conviction throughout, and regularly drew Edberg to the net and passed him. Although outplayed at his own elegant game, Edberg never lost the support of the capacity Centre Court crowd.

So warm was the standing ovation accorded Edberg at the finish that one would have imagined him to be a regular visitor to the Foro Italico rather than making his third, and final, trip to the tournament.

In today's semi-finals Krajicek will play South Africa's Wayne Ferreira, who defeated Andrei Medvedev, 6-4, 6-4. Ferreira reached the same stage last year, losing to Thomas Muster, the eventual champion.

Muster, who had an unexpectedly comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win against the Chilean second seed, Marcelo Rios, renews his rivalry with Spain's Alberto Costa.
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post #22 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2016, 12:42 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

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Yes! Everybody loves trilogies!
True enough Mrs A! I put the link to volume 1 in the second post. Hopefully Michael won't mind.

On another front-do we have a Steffi Graf video thread? If not one should be started.


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post #23 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2016, 05:16 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

Thank you Ms. Anthropic for the informative articles. Steffi is truly one of a kind.

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Rena has about 6/7 years left in her. She isn't going to be winning slams in bunches for more than 3/4 years, however. She starts with 7 slams. I think, realistically, she will finish her career with between 12 and 18 slams. Maria Sharapova has the most potential. She has one, but has 12 years left in her, with 9/10 years of heavy slam winning potential. She could end up with 22 grand slams easily.
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post #24 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2016, 12:33 AM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

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Thank you Ms. Anthropic for the informative articles. Steffi is truly one of a kind.
You're welcome. This patch of 1996 (FO and W) has some of her funniest and most poignant stuff.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

GRAF IN GERMAN FINAL
The Stuart News
May 19, 1996
The Associated Press

BERLIN -- Top-ranked Steffi Graf beat Iva Majoli, 7-5, 6-1 Saturday to reach her record 11th German Open final.

Graf will play Karina Habsudova, who beat Elena Likhovtseva 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) in the other semifinal. Habsudova advanced to the semifinal after upsetting Anke Huber, Mary Pierce and Swiss teen-ager Martina Hingis.

Graf and Majoli engaged in some spirited baseline duels. Graf put away the match by pouncing on some key double-faults by the 18-year-old.

But Graf, an eight-time German Open winner, often proved steadier in the baseline power game the two players displayed, which drew roars of approval from the 7,000 spectators.

"Majoli definitely has all the possibilities to be No. 1,'' Graf said. "She just lacks patience. Sometimes she risked too much today."

Graf took control of the match at 2-1 in the second set when Majoli double faulted. Majoli scrambled back from 3-5 before another double fault set up set point.

ELSEWHERE: Germany's Spiegel magazine reported the trial of Graf's father, Peter, on tax fraud charges, is likely to start after the U.S. Open in September. Peter Graf has been held in investigative custody since August. Steffi Graf remains under investigation.

Spiegel said it was still unclear whether Steffi will be called to testify as a witness, or may face charges herself.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

Graf slips into the right gear
The Independent on Sunday
London, England
May 19, 1996

Steffi Graf overcame a hesitant start to reach the final of the German Open clay-court tournament for the 11th time with a 7-5 6-1 victory over the Croatian third seed, Iva Majoli, in Berlin yesterday.

Graf, the top seed, who first won this tournament a decade ago, got her game into gear after a tight first set and produced another confidence-boosting display before the French Open later this month.

The German ace is lacking match practice this year after injury worries in her build-up to Paris, the second Grand Slam of the year. "Every match helps," Graf said. "I am getting better from game to game. It was important to have a tight first set. That is important before the French Open."

In today's final, Graf faces Slovakia's unseeded Karina Habsudova, who continued her superb week with a 6-1 7-6 defeat of Russian Elena Likhovtseva in the second semi-final. Likhovtseva had disposed of the defending champion, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in her quarter-final. Habsudova clinched the match by winning the second-set tie-break, 7-4.

Habsudova, who had knocked out the Swiss teenager Martina Hingis, the French star Mary Pierce and the German fourth seed, Anke Huber, on her way to the final, said: "Steffi's playing at home, she's the big star and I've got nothing to lose."
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

Gritty Graf on final roll
The Sunday Mirror
London, England
May 19, 1996

Steffi Graf came through a tight first set to reach her 11th German Open final with a 7-5, 6-1 win against Croatia's Iva Majoli.

Graf, who first won this tournament a decade ago, has been lacking match practice because of injury worries in her build-up to the French Open.

She admitted: "Every match helps. I am getting better from game to game. It was important to have a tight first set before the French Open. The crowd were really behind me.''

Graf faces Slovakia's unseeded Karina Habsudova, who beat Russian Elena Likhovtseva 6-1, 7-6, in today's final.
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

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Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
It used to be on Youtube, and will probably show up there again. It's a very non-standard Graf match, but a kind of "tactician's delight," as Chrissie runs through her bag of tricks and Steffi counters everything. By the end, Steffi was repeatedly rolling her backhand, and Bud Collins remarked, "The kid believes!"
Thanks I'd love to watch it. I'll keep looking.

Dancing and Skating through Life


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post #29 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2016, 10:24 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

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Thanks I'd love to watch it. I'll keep looking.
The unfortunate fact that videos get taken off Youtube all the time is something the various historical video threads will stumble over. In answer to Rollo's question about a Steffi video thread, I think there was/is one, but it is very out of date now, because all or almost all of the content of "The Steffi Channel" was taken down.
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post #30 of 1428 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2016, 10:26 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 3

Graf grinds out victory
From Alix Ramsay in Berlin
The Times
London, England
May 20, 1996

A NINTH German Open tennis title, another $200,000 safely in the bank, but for Steffi Graf, a week's work has not been as productive as she had hoped. She came to Berlin looking to hone her game on clay in preparation for the French Open and boost her confidence after a miserable performance in Rome the week before. But yesterday, faced with her first real test of the tournament, she struggled to beat Karina Habsudova, the giant-killer of the week, 4- 6, 6-2, 7-5.

Habsudova's game-plan has been the same in every match hit the ball early, hit the ball hard and let your opponent make the mistakes. Against Graf in the first set, the plan was working perfectly. Graf's famous and ferocious forehand was out of kilter and Habsudova was making the most of it.

Only in the second set, as Habsudova appeared a little stunned at having taken a set from the world No1, did Graf begin to look more businesslike. Habsudova was always chasing Graf's shadow or, as she put it, "if she is putting pressure on you, you can't put pressure on her".

Just when it looked as if Graf was firmly in control, however, breaking Habsudova for an early lead at the start of the third set, the tools of her trade started to let her down. Time and again she was caught by the power of Habsudova's backhand.

She had her first match point at 5-3 and tried to be clever. Moving wide to take the service on her forehand for what she thought would be a thundering winner, she left the court wide open and was promptly punished. The scream directed at no one in particular said it all.

"I was frustrated," she said. "I did not play well on that point, I tried for something that was not right and after that I was upset and a bit nervous and I was making mistakes."

Against someone playing their first big tournament final, however, experience finally told. Habsudova broke to level the score at 5-5 only to be broken herself, allowing Graf to serve for the match. On her second match point she made no mistake with the forehand but even with the victory in the bag, she was not particularly happy. The French Open is only one week away and her performance yesterday was not what she had in mind.
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