Re: 1989: Strongest Year in Women's tennis history?
Some matches at higher value tournaments featuring our main characters:
Sukova def. Navratilova at the AO. Match went to extra innings. Some great, ungracious whining by Martina afterward.
Graf def. Mandlikova at San Antonio. Not so much for the match as for the conditions: Air temperature in the low 30s Fahrenheit, 25mph wind, wind chill was 5 degrees. I wonder how many people they had in the stands? Honorable mention to the final (vs. Henricksson), slightly warmer and less windy.
Mandlikova def. Evert at Indian Wells. Chrissie blew a match point --first time since 1975!-- and ate a bagel in the third set. Maybe she couldn't get away with those long layoffs anymore...
Graf def. Evert at BOCA Raton. Chrissie won a whole set! But since Steffi had been double-bagelling and nearly golden-bagelling everyone, it was a huge result.
Sabatini def. Evert at the Lipton. Chrissie won another set! Unfortunately, the ones she lost had embarrassing scores. Probably a match that Chrissie felt she "should have" won, although whether that was really so or just case of an ego that had not come to terms with reality yet is open for debate.
Graf def. Zvereva at Family Circle Cup. Not for the match, which was a rout, but for Natasha's "This is just a piece of paper!" speech about not getting to keep her prize money. The beginning of economic freedom for the Eastern Bloc players.
Sabatini def. Graf at Amelia Island. First, Gaby showed some improvement in her serve, then she bored Steffi to death with moonballs, then she pulled off a Sabatweenie just when everyone was almost asleep. Steffi was not happy and vowed to work harder.
Seles def. Evert at Houston. Probably the match when Chrissie realized she wasn't getting any younger, but the opponents were. Retirement was starting to look more appealing.
Sabatini def. ASV at Rome. A tussle. First sign of just how pesky that Spaniard was gonna be.
No Show at the FO. No Evert, no Navratilova at the FO.
Graf def. Seles at FO. Some good hitting. Afterward, Steffi waited for Monica to stop showboating for the crowd so they could walk off the court together. Monica didn't stop showboating, so Steffi just left without her. Obviously, these two were not going to see eye to eye!
ASV def Graf at FO. And now everyone saw just how pesky that Spaniard was.
Graf def. Seles at Wim. "Get off my lawn!" Steffi made Monica cry.
Evert def. Golarsa at Wim. Laura had Chrissie all but defeated, but Chrissie determinated that she was not going to lose on an outside court to a pigeon at her last Wimbledon.
Graf def. Navratilova at Wim. Steffi really should have won it in two sets, but bobbled it. Third set was such a runaway that Steffi had to tell herself not to laugh. Some great, ungracious whining by Martina afterward.
Evert def. Seles at USO. Everyone expected Monica to deliver the coup de grâce, but instead Chrissie hauled off and spanked the little noob. I don't know if someone told Monica to moonball Chrissie or if that was her own tactical idea, but it was hilarious.
Garrison def. Evert at USO. Not for the match, but for the occasion.
Graf def. Sabatini at the USO. A hot, humid day. Steffi was cramping bad in third set, pacing and stretching during the changeovers instead of sitting down. Gaby still couldn't stop her. Neither could CBS, which actually wanted Steffi to chat for the cameras right after the match. "How dare she seek medical help before talking with us! She only has less than 24 hours to recover for the final! How rude!"
Graf def. Navratilova at the USO. A set and 4-2 lead meant nothing. Blink -- Martina is two games from winning. Blink -- Graf is serving for the match. Third set was a little more competitive than the score would suggest, but Martina totally gave up in the last game. Some great, ungracious whining by Martina afterward.
Navratilova def. Seles at the VSC. Monica's return of serve turned what would have otherwise been a straight-sets shrugger into an ordeal. Martina panicked, Monica cramped, stretches of incompetence, but still kind of gripping.
Graf def. Sabatini at the VSC. Women's tennis finally sold out Madison Square Garden! Probably lots of horny guys and lesbians hoping to see another wet t-shirt contest like the USO semi. You idiots, it was November and they were playing inside! At any rate, Steffi told the umpire to make the obnoxious fans shut up or she'd stomp all over Gaby in the third set, bad ankle or not. The obnoxious fans didn't shut up, so the third set was a runaway. Pinky: "Oh, I love that stupid joke!"
Graf def. Navratilova at the VSC. Steffi had a bad ankle, Martina had a pulled groin; they still produced some good shot-making, although there were a few games when Steffi was just playing running-gag tennis. (Like three curveball backhand return of serve winners in one game -- Martina, I think she knows where you are going to serve on ad points.) Steffi apologized for beating her again after the match. Martina wasn't quite so ungracious and whiny afterward.