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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 2004, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Turning Point

The game always goes on. Moving forward all the time. A great player pops up and then it happens. The turning point. When old meets new and the game finds a new champ. So, what turning points can you think of. I have a couple:

One of the most talked about matches in tennis history was when Suzanne Lenglen defeated Helen Wills 6-3, 8-6, at Cannes in 1926. This match had it all. The French woman against the American girl. The older player on her way down against the young and up and coming new star. The all court player against the baseliner. It was amazing the build up to this match with people fighting over the movie rights to it and men and women standing on ladders and climbing trees to watch. There was even controversy surrounding a line call against Helen. Lenglen hit one of Helen's shot long, some said as much as three inches out, but alas the linesman said nothing. After the match, Suzanne collapsed on a table that was covered with money that the match had brought in. I think her collapse was a combination of being tired and perhaps a tad drunk. Even though Helen lost this match many saw it as a turing point. Well known journalist William Shirer wrote: "Wills, I am sure, would certainly have blown her off the courts the next year. In women's tennis the day of the graceful elegant player who won by shrewed placements was over. The future belonged to the slugger with the blazing serve."


Another one that comes to my mind is when Martina beat Chris at Wimbledon in 1978. Martina had been around for a while but in this match she took out fan fave Chris and once again put serve and volley tennis back on the map. Their rivalry was officially kicked off.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2004, 03:46 AM
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What about the Family Circle Cup when Graf beat Evert? Graf had been on the edge of stardom and everyone knew it was just about time. Then she beat Evert on clay. Though the torch wasn't passed completely to Graf until later, that win showed me that she was ready to challenge Chris and Martina and would ultimately overtake them. She wasn't intimidated.

Although Evert was the first schoolgirl prodigy of the open era, it's interesting to me that she never took the top spot from Court. Court wasn't on tour in 1974 when Evert took over #1 and won 2 Slams. Court came back in 1975, but by then Evert was firmly #1 and Court was too old. The Evert/King rivalry was interesting, but it was Court who had one of her greatest years in 1973, then abdicated the throne for Chrissie.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2004, 04:01 AM
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Graf (1) d. Hingis (7) 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, 4-6, 6-0
1996 VS Final

It looked like this could be a great rivalry, but Steffi's body wouldn't hold up. When Steffi didn't play in 1997, it was obvious at this point who would be the new #1.

I'm not a big Hingis fan, but with all the talk about oversized rackets and the possibility of racket restrictions, it makes me think that Hingis would've really dominated tennis for a period of time if the big boomers couldn't use the bigger more powerful rackets.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preacherfan
What about the Family Circle Cup when Graf beat Evert? Graf had been on the edge of stardom and everyone knew it was just about time. Then she beat Evert on clay. Though the torch wasn't passed completely to Graf until later, that win showed me that she was ready to challenge Chris and Martina and would ultimately overtake them. She wasn't intimidated.

Although Evert was the first schoolgirl prodigy of the open era, it's interesting to me that she never took the top spot from Court. Court wasn't on tour in 1974 when Evert took over #1 and won 2 Slams. Court came back in 1975, but by then Evert was firmly #1 and Court was too old. The Evert/King rivalry was interesting, but it was Court who had one of her greatest years in 1973, then abdicated the throne for Chrissie.
For me it'll always be the Navratilova v. Graf semifinal at the 1986 US Open. It was the first time I ever saw Graf play, and it remains one of my favourite matches not only for sentimental reasons but also because the quality of play from both players in the last two sets was outstanding. I remember reading that many players actually crowded the stands to watch the match because they thought Graf was going to pull of an upset and because both women were playing fearlessly.

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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