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Friday 19 June 2015

Golden Moments: Steffi Graf Vs Monica Seles 1992

Amazing #Wimbledon moments

What rivalry!!

Arguably the greatest rivalry of all time ... had it not been for that idiot who attacked  . What a pity. She's the only player, who not just troubled   but dominated most of their contests until that fateful day!. 

Not a very great final in terms of the result, drama or neck-n-neck points but just the intensity these two brought to the game and tennis overall in that era made it spectacular.

Monica was World No 1, had won the last 5 grand slam tournaments and looking ominous to win her sixth. Her double handed ground strokes and agility being her key strengths. She was the boss of tennis winning almost every tournament she participated in and there were rumours, other top players including Steffi had begun to "fear" her domination on court.

She had a flawless run to the finals except that epic clash vs #Martina #Navratilova in the semi finals where she won in 3 sets. At 18 years age, she was certainly looking to rule women's tennis for years to come.

Steffi, on the other hand, was looking a bit off-color and overwhelmed by Seles on the tennis circuit. She had just lost to Seles in a close match at Roland Garros previous month and not looking as solid coming into the final. She had struggled in the earlier rounds against unseeded players but got the better of #Gabriella #Sabatini in the semi finals with ease. 

The big "issue" in this tournament was hounded with conspiracy theories though. Monica made a huge grunting noise when hitting balls fiercely. Her opponents had started complaining about it and she even received a warning for that. Whether the noise levels were too high or others were trying to put her off her bull run? we will never know but that warning was certainly playing on her mind as she entered the Centre Court for the women's final.

The build up in media about this game was huge!
All tabloids, newspapers, TV, radio (there wasn't "The Web" then!) were anticipating a mouthwatering clash of the titans.
As the match started, it became evident that Seles without her grunting was a shade of her usual self. Trying to play safe than her usual freedom, she started making errors and Steffi pounced on that opportunity winning the first set 6-2.

The second set was no different, and Seles inexplicably did not get into her groove at all. What was affecting her? Steffi steamrolled through the second set 6-1. Game Over....

Steffi lifted her fourth Wimbledon crown and young Monica pondered on what could have been an monumental achievement. This kind of rivalry and media hype about it was never seen in women's tennis before. This is what made this moment special and golden!

Both these superstars went to play some memorable tennis matches in their career against each other until Monica was stabbed in the back by a self-proclaimed Steffi fan, in 1993. She did make an amazing comeback from that injury but wasn't able to terrorize other players with her gruesome powerplay and presence on the court. What a pity!

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