Has Steffi Graf ever been gracious? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Has Steffi Graf ever been gracious?

I watched a wimbledon semi of Steffi v Conchita from 93 and when Conchita at match point down saves it with a great topspin lob I think Steffi actually says "Good shot" you can hear it Im almost positive!

It got me thinking, when you think of MArtina NAvrat and Seles they very often would say "Too good" or applaud their opponents winners, but apart from that point against COnchita in 93 I cant really remember Graf being that appreciative of another players good play! I saw her smile at her OWN good play from time to time, like v Sanchez in 96 France when she hit 3 volleys to win the point!!

Im not picking on Graf here, as I know most if not all of the players these days rarely acknowledge opponents good play! I mean Ive never seen the Williams sisters applaud anything ever!! I guess that is a champions mystique or whatver!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesuk
I watched a wimbledon semi of Steffi v Conchita from 93 and when Conchita at match point down saves it with a great topspin lob I think Steffi actually says "Good shot" you can hear it Im almost positive!

It got me thinking, when you think of MArtina NAvrat and Seles they very often would say "Too good" or applaud their opponents winners, but apart from that point against COnchita in 93 I cant really remember Graf being that appreciative of another players good play! I saw her smile at her OWN good play from time to time, like v Sanchez in 96 France when she hit 3 volleys to win the point!!

Im not picking on Graf here, as I know most if not all of the players these days rarely acknowledge opponents good play! I mean Ive never seen the Williams sisters applaud anything ever!! I guess that is a champions mystique or whatver!
No Steffi attitude wise would have fit better in athletics, swimming or a sport like where the main competition is to challenge yourself (yeah you have competition there too but swimmers always say they don't see what they other swimmers do). She never made a secret about that either. ("I can play again a ballmachine too. I wouldn't care". Oke she was maybe a bit depressed that day)

Steffi was judging her own level and often she felt it should have been better. a lot of people had a problem with that. I never did!

As said again I am only judging on what I read from Steffi herself!
The fact that she said that her goal was too play the perfect match said enough. She didn't meant a match in total competition. She meant a match without errors and perfect winners!

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesuk
I watched a wimbledon semi of Steffi v Conchita from 93 and when Conchita at match point down saves it with a great topspin lob I think Steffi actually says "Good shot" you can hear it Im almost positive!

It got me thinking, when you think of MArtina NAvrat and Seles they very often would say "Too good" or applaud their opponents winners, but apart from that point against COnchita in 93 I cant really remember Graf being that appreciative of another players good play! I saw her smile at her OWN good play from time to time, like v Sanchez in 96 France when she hit 3 volleys to win the point!!

Im not picking on Graf here, as I know most if not all of the players these days rarely acknowledge opponents good play! I mean Ive never seen the Williams sisters applaud anything ever!! I guess that is a champions mystique or whatver!

Hm, IMO this "Good shot!" is often a bit patronizing, especially when some players only say it when they have a clear lead in the match.

BTW, Graf was gracious at her last Wimbledon final 1999. She knew that it was her last match ever there. She could have said it before or could at least have made great gestures at the victory ceremony indicating her farewell. The crowd would have showered her with affectionate applause!
She didn't do it because after all "it was Lindsay's day" ...

That is greatness.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesuk
I watched a wimbledon semi of Steffi v Conchita from 93 and when Conchita at match point down saves it with a great topspin lob I think Steffi actually says "Good shot" you can hear it Im almost positive!

It got me thinking, when you think of MArtina NAvrat and Seles they very often would say "Too good" or applaud their opponents winners, but apart from that point against COnchita in 93 I cant really remember Graf being that appreciative of another players good play! I saw her smile at her OWN good play from time to time, like v Sanchez in 96 France when she hit 3 volleys to win the point!!

Im not picking on Graf here, as I know most if not all of the players these days rarely acknowledge opponents good play! I mean Ive never seen the Williams sisters applaud anything ever!! I guess that is a champions mystique or whatver!
I don't know about applauding great shots, but Graf did tell the press that she thought Hingis' first underhand serve in the 1999 French final was very clever because Graf wasn't prepared for it at all.

Another Graf tidbit that rarely gets mentioned: If you get the chance, watch Graf closely as she leaves the court with Evert after beating her in the 1989 Wimbledon semis, and you'll see Graf wiping away a tear as she sees Evert wave to the fans one last time.

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I sort of agree with you, Cali, on the patronising side of the "good shot" thing. In the 87 Wimby semi of MArtina v Chris MArtina says it loads, "Too good" "thats too good" and it really gets to me, as if to say "thats too good.....THIS time!!!" Then again maybe it sounds bad to me becuase it would have been brilliant for Chris to have won. I didnt mind her saying it all in their match the next year in Australia (which Chris won!!) But all things considered I reckon she was genuine.

Graf at her last Wimbledon doesnt strike me as being gracious, more a case of again, doing what she wanted to. MAybe she still had not decided to stop playing and didnt want to commit herslef to a farewell wave. Do you really think Davenport would have given a toss if Graf had done a lap of honour waving to the crowd nicely? Im pretty sure she would not have been thinking "Bitch!!! this is MY day" she had just won Wimbledon!!!!! Some would say Graf owed it to her fans to give some sort of wave goodbye!!

She milked the French crowd enough a few weeks before when she WON...never mind poor Hingis in tears!!! Then again, it was Graf's day indeed!!

It reminds me of when Steffi beat Evert at Wimbledon 89, knowing it was Everts last Wimbledon. As an Evert fan I hated Graf because in 93 Evert said she was furious at Graf for just walking off knowing it was her last year. I thought typical Graf, couldnt give a shit about anyone but herself. But then I thought more and I was like, well what the hell was she supposed to have done? Hug Chris?? Signal to the crowd to give Evert a huge ovation? Coming from Graf that would not have seemed normal/genuine at all, and its strange that someone so averse to public displays of emotion as Chris should publicly show annoyance at Graf for this. If it had been MArtina who had rushed off, I would understan. But then again MArtina would not have run off. After beating Chris she probably would have made a song and dance of it all.

Chris DID give the crowd a wave though on her way off the court!!



What about Graf having fun on the court? I remember her actually having a good time during the french in 99, not just at that changeover but during the games too, very unfamiliar, but nice to see.!

Its funny , commentators moan about the lack of sportsmanship...but when James Blake was palying Hewitt one year, after applauding of of Hewitts shots the commentator got angry and said "He shouldnt be doing that at all, hes giving too much respect to LLeyton" etc etc...never contented, are we!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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woah just read previous post!!!! Never ever realised about the TEAR in her eye!!!!! was it really for Chris???? If it was maybe Chris should apologise for her 93 comments!!!
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 09:15 PM
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Bashing a person 4 years later because that person didn't streak your ego enough isn't very gracious either. imho at least

Making a thread on purpose to bash somebody is neither btw (and don't say that it wasn't your goal. of course it was)

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 09:59 PM
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Steffi was always very gracious to Arantxa. When ASV retired Steffi said some lovely words. When you look back at Steffi's talent, her 22 Slams and all her stats, she could quite easily look at ASV's records and see how much she surpassed ASV but she clearly had respect for ASV and I always remembered what she said.

And yes , as mentioned before, Wimbledon 1999. Steffi knew that was her last match at Wimbledon but quietly exited the court. The next year they had the Champions Parade and Steffi got one of the loudest cheers along with Borg and McEnroe so it was nice that she got one last ovation at Wimbledon


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Irma for saying I started the thread to bash steffi. I didnt, it was just something that had occured to me and I am hardly using a bashing tone in any of the posts. Also I was sick of so much hardcore pro steffi ness that I thought there would be space for a little lightd hearted stuff. So I WILL say that my goal was NOT to bash steff.

Regarding Chris not being gracious, thats what I meant when I implied it was somewhat hypocritical of chris to expect that of steffi when chris herself never went in for it either much.

So it aint just about bashing steffi ok?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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What did Steffi say about Arantxa?
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesuk
What did Steffi say about Arantxa?
I found the article

Former world No. 1 Sanchez-Vicario retires

November 13, 2002

BARCELONA, Spain (Ticker) - Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, a former world No. 1 and a winner of four Grand Slam titles, announced her retirement on Tuesday.

Sanchez-Vicario confirmed her departure from the WTA Tour at a press conference near her native Barcelona.

"It's not been easy, but I think the time has come for me to abandon tennis," she said at her packed press conference, which was held at her family-owned Open Sports Club. "My motives are personal. Up to now, all my life has been tennis. It's been a great effort, but in exchange I have got what any professional sports person could want."

After turning professional in June 1985, the 30-year-old won 29 tournaments, including the French Open three times and the U.S. Open once. She appeared in eight other major finals.

"I want to remember all of the marvellous moments that I had the opportunity to live, and enjoy finishing my career with a smile of gratitude for all the people that made my professional career possible," a tearful Sanchez-Vicario said.

Sanchez-Vicario earned the nickname, "the Barcelona Bumblebee" for her buzzing, tenacious style. Her older brothers Emilio and Javier Sanchez competed on the men's tour, with Emilio coaching her after he retired.

In 1988, Sanchez-Vicario won her first title at the Belgian Open at age 16 years, 11 months. A year later, she upset Steffi Graf, 7-6 (10-8), 3-6, 7-5, in the French Open final to become the first Spanish woman to win at Roland Garros. At the time, she was the youngest French Open champion at 17 years, six months.

The Spaniard won the French and U.S. Opens in 1994 and became the No. 1 player on February 6, 1995. She did not win a Grand Slam title that year, but reached the final at the first three majors.

Sanchez-Vicario once held the top ranking in both singles and doubles simultaneously. She captured 67 doubles titles and several mixed doubles crowns.

In her most recent competitive appearance, Sanchez-Vicario was part of the Spanish team that lost to Slovakia in the Federation Cup finals earlier this month. She lost the deciding match to Janette Husarova, 6-0, 6-2.

However, she did set records for most Fed Cup matches (100), most Fed Cup ties (58) and most Fed Cup finals appearances (10, shared with Conchita Martinez. She helped Spain win the competition five times and collected four medals at four Olympics.

Sanchez-Vicario did not win a title this year, with her best result a runner-up finish at the French Community Championships in June. She completed the season ranked 54th.

Sanchez-Vicario's opponents remembered her fondly.

"Thinking of Arantxa, so many incredible matches come to my mind," said Steffi Graf, who led their rivalry, 28-8. "She has given so much to tennis - her competitiveness on the court and her willpower, but always with that great smile. She has made history and I wish her all the best."



And when Steffi retired Arantxa said - "She's been a great player, a great champion, a good person
and a friend. No one can replace Steffi. It's kind of hard
to think she isn't going to be there anymore."


I think Calimero and Irma would agree with ASV's second last sentence


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2004, 12:53 AM
 
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I have to disagree that Steffi was not gracious.

She is one player that I remember would applaud a good shot using her racquet during a match.

She may not always have said something, but there are some players with whom I cannot recall even a single occasion when they acknowledged an opponent's good play - Steffi is definitely not one of them.

Of course, like almost every other player in history, I don't ever remember her applauding anything when she was not winning .
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2004, 02:29 AM
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I still don't understand why someone cares if players smile enough on court.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2004, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samn
Another Graf tidbit that rarely gets mentioned: If you get the chance, watch Graf closely as she leaves the court with Evert after beating her in the 1989 Wimbledon semis, and you'll see Graf wiping away a tear as she sees Evert wave to the fans one last time.
it wasn't a tear...it was just sweat.

for those who saw the program about evert's last wimbledon and the comment about steffi, chris' remark was simply that protocol at wimbledon required both players to leave together. she did NOT want a HUG from graf. she wanted a shred of awareness from the ungrateful rising star to allow chris a moment with the crowd at center court (who had loved her like one of their own since she married the brit, john lloyd and even after their divorce) before she left for the final time and steffi, being her usual oblivious to anything other than herself, just rushed and rushed to get off court so she could eat her horsemeal or fix the contact lense that created the tear that samn witnessed.

when seles, younger than graf, lost to evert in the 3R at the us open later that year--as graf would also have lost that match by similar scores if it had only, by the gods, been her -- monica at least had the sense to wait and allow evert her time waving to the new york crowds. Zina, in the following round, DID cry real tears, and also waited patiently for chris to have a moment with the fans, as any other aware player would.

and that's common decency. 'graciousness' is reserved for higher actions that that.

Last edited by daze11; Aug 30th, 2004 at 03:02 AM.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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Steffi definitely left together with evert at wimbledon 89. at one point steffi gave evert a look. They show that scene in every docu!


and jamesuk sorry. thing is you are maybe annoyed with pro steffi posts but lately there is a lot of Steffi bashing all over the board and so I am a bit paranoid (that's not especially against you but in general)

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