Martina lead 5:2 in the first and then she started to choke till 5:4 and then she was lucky with the linecalls that she just still could pull out the set, then in the second set she was leading 2:0 and then she got a bad call and since she was already full of nerves she exploded and crossed the net but she didn`t get the point and the crowd didn`t like her behavior and started to booh and steffi came back and then at 4:4 Steffi lost her serve and then at 5:4 15:0 Steffi hit a backhand and then Martina`s nerves realy exploded and Steffi turned the match around and the crowd started to scream harder and harder and Martina`s nerves exploded so bad that she started to serve underhands and so Steffi won
Martina questioned some calls. The crowd became vocally anti-Hingis. (Think of the crowd reaction to Serena Williams before the Indian Wells final last year.) Martina was quite upset, and lost the match.
This is the write-up from SLAM!Tennis at the time. As you can read, it was quite a match. The author is relatively objective. You'll note no references to 'choking', of failure to acknowledge bad calls. (The article note BOTH players took breaks.) Just a close fought, VERY tense match, with a loud crowd for abig title. This is as objective a report as you're gonna get.
Saturday, June 5, 1999
Graf wins sixth French Open
PARIS (AP) -- Steffi Graf won her sixth French Open title and her first Grand Slam championship in almost three years today, riding the cheers of the Paris crowd to a come-from-behind victory over top-ranked and tantrum-throwing Martina Hingis.
Graf, cheered on by the fans at Roland Garros, fought back to beat Hingis 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a turbulent match on a cloudy day at Roland Garros.
Hingis served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but could not hang on.
"I absolutely cannot believe I won the tournament," Graf said.
Earlier, Andre Agassi reached the French final for the third time when he completed a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-4 victory over Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia. The match was halted by rain Friday with Agassi trailing 2-1 in the fourth set.
Agassi will try to become just the fifth man to win all four Grand Slam singles titles when he meets 100th-ranked Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine on Sunday.
The women's final was filled with arguments and trips to the umpire's chair.
Hingis, who lost her second French Open final in three year, received a warning and was penalized a point for several outbursts, and was frequently booed by the center court fans.
Graf, who was playing her first Grand Slam final since winning the French, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1996, had all the sympathy on her side.
"Steffi, Steffi," the crowd chanted as the 29-year-old German kept coming back throughout the first two sets.
Graf captured the 22nd Grand Slam title of her career less than two weeks before her 30th birthday against the 18-year-old Swiss star who dislodged Graf from the No. 1 ranking in March 1997.
Hingis was seeking the only Grand Slam title still missing in her collection, but she ran into a highly motivated Graf, who had been battling injuries for three years.
Hingis, who broke into tears after the match, walked off the court after shaking Graf's hand, to the jeers and whistles of the French crowd. But she returned, still in tears and sobbing in the arms of her mother, Melanie Molitor.
Hingis was up a break twice in the second set and was serving for the match at 5-4 but could not close the match.
Graf thanked the crowd for their support.
"I feel French," she said. "I've played all over the world, but I've never had a crowd like this."
She also tried to console Hingis.
"You'll have so many more chances to win, so don't worry about it," Graf said, before she also broke into tears. But they were tears of joy, as the crowd gave her another standing ovation.
Hingis recovered to address the crowd as well.
"Perhaps I can win next year, and maybe I'll have the crowd on my side," mixing English and French.
That got her some applause as well.
"I was three points away, you don't like to lose like that," Hingis said.
Hingis got a warning in the third game for smashing her racket to the ground and breaking it. She was penalized a point in the second after questioning a call and walking over to Graf's side of the court.
Hingis, who ended Graf's record 377-week reign as No. 1, asked for the umpire to come down and show her the mark. The call stood. Hingis then walked to Graf's side of the net to point at what she thought was a mark inside the court. The call still stood.
Hingis, up 2-0 in the set, then sat in her chair and asked for the supervisor. There was no change in the call and Hingis was penalized a point for a court violation, giving graf a 30-0 lead in a game she won for 2-1.
There was more arguing in the next game, with Graf getting a call against her reversed. Knowing that another outburst could cause her to be defaulted, Hingis stayed calm and blasted a passing shot to take a 3-1 lead.
The crowd was again loudly behind Graf as she broke back in the sixth game, hitting a forehand to the corner that Hingis could not get back over the net. Graf held serve for 4-3 before one of the most exhilarating points of the match.
Graf and Hingis exchanged a spectacular array of drop shots and lobs that ended with Graf firing a simple smash into the net, and Hingis pulled even at 4-4.
A backhand winner put Hingis a break up and let her serve for the match, but she quickly faced double-break point. She saved one but netted a drop-shot attempt and Graf was back at 5-5. Graf won the next game at love and broke Hingis again to win the set.
Graf took the first game of the third before both players took a break. Hingis came out much later, with a new outfit and a new hair style, drawing more boos and whistles.
With Hingis looking dispirited, Graf whipped to a 3-0 lead. She dropped her serve in the fifth game, but broke right back to end any hopes Hingis might have had of coming back.
Trailing 5-2 and serving to stay in the match, Hingis faced double match point. She hit an underhanded serve, stunning Graf, and saved the second match point before netting a drop shot. Graf then converted her third match point for one of her more memorable victories.
Just a humorous note. I have this match on tape-and here in the US John Mcenroe came on air just minutes before the point at 2-1 when Martina crossed the net. He says something like. "Do you think this happened cause I showed up"?
This was also the first tight match Hingis LOST in a grand slam where she should have won IMO. She has not been the same since. The close loss here has seen a string of tight matches where she has been points(not games-points!) from victory without closing it out.
Hingisova - If you WEREN'T a Hingis or a Graf fan, it was a great match, in which neither player did anything really objectionable, and the crowd got loud. Further, it was Steffi's last Slam. It the first after Martina's last Slam, as it turned out. It's the tournament Maritna has inexplicably never won.
Yes, a lot of people bring it up to plague Hingisites, but it was a historic match.
Martina Hingisova you should not bann it out of your head because the day when Martina wins a grand slam again(why not the french) it will probarly be sweeter when you remember the lows, at least that`s the way it worked with me!
well of course with Steffi then
I've said it before: This is one match I just can't be objective about. Sorry.
OK, never would I seriously expect Steffi to concede the really contentious point at such a crucial moment in the match. I don't blame Steffi, I blame 'higher forces'.
Both Martina and Steffi played some great stuff, but remember I'm not being objective, so.... Martina was close to her imperious best, and then cruelly (how cruelly) it was taken away from her.
Obviously then I didn't know what I know now (fast forward to Melbourne '02 when Hingis serves for the Championship), and I still believed in Martina. Even as she threw the hissiest of hissy fits, I still believed. Even as the under arm serve saved one match point, I still believed in what I knew to be true; that Martina - to me then, one of the most perfect tennis players ever - would win. Because the better player always wins. However Martina had (as they say in football) been robbed. Blind.
In my (remember highly subjective) view, Martina was in control of that match when immaturity (and the Gods of course) robbed her blind. The gay parisiens were absolutely unremitting in their hostility. Totally knocked whatever stuffing that was left in Martina, out of her....
I honestly don't think I've ever 'lived' a match that much, which is pretty sad really.
... and as you can tell, I'm still getting over it.
I watched that a week ago, and I remember how GOOD it was. At the time I HATED Steffi and I hated the fact that she won. I also remember that the under arm serve was a very big talking point when even Steffi said it was a clever thing to do!