Steffi Graf had a busy day today at the Orkney Open. Graf had to play both the singles and doubles finals in the first tournament of the WSTT Season. She played Maria Sharapova in the Singles final, and played Elena Dementieva and Chanda Rubin with partner Magdalena Maleeva in the doubles final.
The first match of the day was the singles final. Graf was out to a slow start, while Sharapova hit balls all over the place. Steffi could not keep up, losing 6-0.
"I really am disappointed with the 1st Set. I could've handled my nerves a bit better. Full credit to Sharapova, though. She was amazing. I hope to play her in more finals."
Graf was better in the second set, though. She and Sharapova traded breaks many times in the set. Graf was the better player in the second set, winning 6-4.
"I was pleased with the second set. I had great confidence going into the third. I sincerely thought I had the match within my grip."
Then it was off to the third set. A set that will not be forgotten. Graf was out to a sizzling start, winning the first game with plenty of confidence. But then things took a turn for the worse as Sharapova took the next 4 games and looked poised to win the third set and the match easily. But we all know how Steffi is: not a quitter. She won the next two games to get the match at 4-3 for Sharapova. Then Graf suffered a scare as she lost the next game to go down 5-3. Steffi showed her fighting side and won the next game when she hit many forehand winners with renewed confidence. The score was as close as you can get. But Maria proved way to much for the veteran, winning the match and the championship 6-0 4-6 6-4.
"She played an awesome match. I'm sure she is the new princess of tennis. But you shouldn't worry, I'm still the queen ."
Graf had little resting time, as she was out to Court Esther again to play the doubles final. The team of Graf/ Maleeva had been playing awesome tennis the whole week. But now they were up against a younger team of Dementieva/ Rubin. The match was pretty much in the hands of Dementieva and Rubin the whole time. The first set was a gimme for them, as they were up 5-2. But the oldies showed the fighting spirit and won 5 straight games to win the set 7-5.
The second set was pretty much the same as the first: Dementieva and Rubin off to a hot start, but Graf and Maleeva kept it steady. Elena and Chanda got the guns out early, leading 3 games to 1. But we know Steffi and Maggie can comeback from large deficits. They won 5 of the last 6 games to win the match 7-5 6-4.
There was no doubt Steffi had quite an impressive day. She ended it with a doubles title and more pride. She now leaves the Orkney Open, in search for her first Singles Title!!!!