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Haha indeed it was the cherry on the cake, a german player doing it 😁
And it was a German player who had two surprise slam final wins against Serena in the last 5 years, denying Serena the #25 slam record by this - Angelique Kerber.

Can't wait for Petkovic to take out Serena at the USO 21... ;)
 

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Any chance we might see Steffi in Arthur Ashe Stadium today if Novak Djokovic completes the Grand Slam? I know Rod Laver's been in attendance and I suspect the organisers will ask him to be on court for the presentation if Djokovic wins, but it would be kinda cool if the three Grand Slammers who are still with us (Laver, Margaret Court, and Graf) could all be there to celebrate the historic achievement. Although I guess it'd be an awfully long distance for Smith Court to have to fly with no guarantees that Djokovic will win.
 
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Djokovic's achievement was still quite exceptional even if he stumbled at the final hurdle. Only Jack Crawford, who lost the 1933 US Nationals final in five sets after having won the Australian, French, and Wimbledon titles already that year, came closer in that he missed the Grand Slam by a single set. It just shows how damn difficult it is and how many things need to fall into place for a player to complete the Grand Slam.

I don't mean this as a dig against Djokovic but his failure to win at least meant that a legend of the game like Rod Laver will still continue to be celebrated for his incomparable achievement for longer. Had Djokovic completed the Grand Slam the annoying media with their stupid 'GOAT' obsession would have never stopped crowing about how Djokovic was now the 'GOAT' and how other greats of the past like Laver or Borg were nothing compared to the current era.
 

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But Serena lost to Vinci who she would never lose to in normal circumstances. Djoko lost to the best hardcourt player in the world when it's not too hot and there is no camera in his way. I am a stan😍
Nah always a Steffi tard :)
 

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Has anyone ever seen the Martina/Helena ‘84 semi? I have a feeling it was a lot like Serena/Roberta but mostly at the net. Noirves noirves noirves. That’s why the women’s final was so wonderful and thrilling this year. Not to mention Osaka ‘18 + Biannca’19…they both could have easily gone the Lizicky/Zvonereva route and cried the matches away in fits of anxiety and fear At ages 18 (and a few days). It was amazing to watch them fight like fearless warriors.
 

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Has anyone ever seen the Martina/Helena ‘84 semi? I have a feeling it was a lot like Serena/Roberta but mostly at the net. Noirves noirves noirves.
I have only seen a few points here and there and while Navratilova played well enough that she would have beaten most other opponents on that day, Sukova did play very relaxed tennis and without any pressure. Frank Deford, in his SI recap of the Australian Open, wrote this:

Although Navratilova had lost but once in the past 18 months—on Jan. 15 to Hana Mandlikova—there was a growing feeling on the tour that she was ripe for the taking, that the sheer weight of numbers pressed on her. "For months now, Martina's been playing not to lose, rather than to win," said Don Candy, Pam Shriver's coach. Navratilova's volleys had become more jabs than punches, her attacking slice backhand short and choppy. Also, since she'd started working on a new high-kick serve late last year, her wide and wonderful lefty delivery into the ad court often seemed to have been missing in action.
Sukova was a good enough player to beat Navratilova more than once, so that loss doesn't seem to be as big an upset in hindsight, especially given Navratilova's well-documented mental block about playing other Czechs. Vinci, on the other hand, only beat Williams that once. In fact it was the only encounter against Williams in which Vinci even managed to win a set. To me that match is more indicative of nerves on Williams' part.

The equivalent of Williams losing to Vinci would have been Graf stumbling against someone like Katerina Maleeva or Nathalie Tauziat when going for the Grand Slam.
 

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I never doubted Graf in 1988 as soon as she played 13 games of the best tennis I had ever seen from love-2 down in the Wimbledon final. Martina was a bigger shock to me than Serena given that the surface was grass and Martina’s comparatively younger age + years long dominance. The biggest shock of all to me in terms of blown slams (Martina, NoVax JokeCovid, Serena, Hingis + Roger’s various 3/4ths etc) was Steffi not double slamming in 1989. I was floored she lost to Raunchie in that final. I didn’t watch the match but I’ll never forget seeing the headline on a newspaper that day. I just stared through the glass, mouth agape, searching for coins to buy what was the next days paper. Steffi never seemed nervous to me the way all the others could be at times - especially Martina and Serena.
 

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I think Steffi was pretty nervous during the wimbledon 91 final. She was way more fistpumping, screaming to pep herself up then she did normally.
 

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Graf was also quoted as saying that she had been extremely nervous during her morning practice sessions before the 1996 US Open final against Seles. She also said something about that being a good sign which I interpreted to mean that she thought she generally played well during the match if she'd been nervous during practice. The only time she betrayed any sign of nerves in that final was when she served for the first set at 5-4 and lost serve for the only time in the match.
 
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The biggest shock of all to me in terms of blown slams (Martina, NoVax JokeCovid, Serena, Hingis + Roger’s various 3/4ths etc) was Steffi not double slamming in 1989. I was floored she lost to Raunchie in that final. I didn’t watch the match but I’ll never forget seeing the headline on a newspaper that day. I just stared through the glass, mouth agape, searching for coins to buy what was the next days paper. Steffi never seemed nervous to me the way all the others could be at times - especially Martina and Serena.
Other players likely also have similar examples, but ASV prevented Graf from matching at least four records by beating her in two very close Slam finals. Had Graf won the 1989 FO (after serving for the match at 5-3 in the third set) and everything else stayed the same, she'd have matched Evert's haul of seven French titles, joined Connolly, Court, and Navratilova in the club of women who won at least six Grand Slam titles in a row, and *matched Laver's feat of completing the Grand Slam twice.

Had Graf won the 1994 US Open (after having been up a set and a break) over ASV, she'd have matched Evert's and S. Williams' Open Era haul of six US Open crowns as well as Evert's record of four consecutive US Open wins**. And of course had everything else stayed the same, those two wins would also have moved Graf up to 24 titles, matching Court's record.

*Of course other factors could also have come into play because there's no guarantee that everything else would have stayed the same at least that year. Had Graf closed out ASV in the 1989 French final, would nerves have crept in when she was down 3-6, 2-4 to Navratilova in the 1989 US Open final given the enormity of the occasion with unprecedented back-to-back Grand Slams on the line? Graf said something at the time about being able to play more freely for the rest of the year after the loss in Paris, without having the pressure of the Grand Slam on her.

**Navratilova's similar miss was the 1985 US Open final. If she hadn't lost that one to Mandlikova she'd have had the all-time record of five consecutive US Open titles, which no other female player has achieved. (Molla Mallory and Helen Jacobs won four consecutive US Nationals titles each and Chris Evert matched that in the Open Era. No player got to five in a row. Tracy Austin stopped Evert from doing so in the 1979 final.)
 
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And the same in 1994. If Steffi had won the us open would she have recovered like she did in 1995? Steffi was playing so free when she came back during Paris indoor. That was the best Steffi in years.
 

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Are all the old posts from vol 1 and 2 gone? I just wonder.
 
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