Players' comments which backfired spectacularly

R. Schweikart

Professional
Sometimes tennis players say things which haunt them later for years to come.

Since I am a Grafan my favorites are of course these comments on Steffi:

1) "We have thousands like her back in the States."
(Tracy Austin, Filderstadt 1982, after defeating 13-year-old Steffi)
Austin lost her next match - 12 years later - against Steffi with 0-6 0-6.

2) "It's a faster, more athletic game. She is old now. ... Her time has passed."
(Martina Hingis on Steffi Graf in the July 1998 issue of "Tennis")
Hingis lost the FO final 1999 against Steffi with 6-4 5-7 2-6 and never won a slam again.

3) "Steffi doesn't look as dominant as in the last year anymore."
Chris Evert on Steffi Graf, spring 1988)
Steffi won the Golden Slam in 1988.

Do you know any more classics like that?
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
‘Whatever, Sampras is done. Rusedski boldly stated that opinion after his summer of sizzle died [R3, 2002 USO] in Louis Armstrong Stadium in front of a rowdy crowd that had been barking at the Canadian-turned-Briton all night long. If Rusedski was out, Sampras was sure to follow.

''I'd be surprised if he wins his next match,'' said Rusedski, who entered the Open with three victories against top-10 players under his belt. ''I think the movement is not the same and the fitness is not the same.”

Rusedski doesn't believe he [Sampras] has another run in his 31-year-old body.

''I wouldn't put any money on it, let's put it like that,'' Rusedski said.’


PS, I was at the match, which I think I remember was on Armstrong because rain backed up the schedule. :love:

Your 2002 USO champion, Greg:



 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
Sometimes tennis players say things which haunt them later for years to come.

Since I am a Grafan my favorites are of course these comments on Steffi:

1) "We have thousands like her back in the States."
(Tracy Austin, Filderstadt 1982, after defeating 13-year-old Steffi)
Austin lost her next match - 12 years later - against Steffi with 0-6 0-6.

2) "It's a faster, more athletic game. She is old now. ... Her time has passed."
(Martina Hingis on Steffi Graf in the July 1998 issue of "Tennis")
Hingis lost the FO final 1999 against Steffi with 6-4 5-7 2-6 and never won a slam again.

3) "Steffi doesn't look as dominant as in the last year anymore."
Chris Evert on Steffi Graf, spring 1988)
Steffi won the Golden Slam in 1988.

Do you know any more classics like that?
Players say lots of stupid things....I'm guessing Steffi has a few gems as well...for what it's worth 1994 Austin is far, far away from her best days.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
‘Whatever, Sampras is done. Rusedski boldly stated that opinion after his summer of sizzle died [R3, 2002 USO] in Louis Armstrong Stadium in front of a rowdy crowd that had been barking at the Canadian-turned-Briton all night long. If Rusedski was out, Sampras was sure to follow.

''I'd be surprised if he wins his next match,'' said Rusedski, who entered the Open with three victories against top-10 players under his belt. ''I think the movement is not the same and the fitness is not the same.

Rusedski doesn't believe he [Sampras] has another run in his 31-year-old body.

''I wouldn't put any money on it, let's put it like that,'' Rusedski said.’

PS, I was at the match, which I think I remember was on Armstrong because rain backed up the schedule. :love:

Your 2002 USO champion, Greg:



everyone was surprised by Pete's win....not like he was having a banner year....but it's that sort of thing GOAT players can pull off
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
everyone was surprised by Pete's win....not like he was having a banner year....but it's that sort of thing GOAT players can pull off
I saw a few of his matches in person that year and quite a few sessions overall. As far as on-site buzz, my recollection is that going into week one not many saw either Pete or Andre making the finals. However, once week two arrived with both still alive expectations changed radically. I remember the huge hype of the Roddick match and Pete absolutely schooled Roddick. Schalken SF was not perceived as a problem. By the time the finals arrived most thought it would be the same movie we’d seen 3x before the last time just one year earlier. Pete just owned Andre in NY.

Incidentally, Andre beat Gimelstob in R2 that year 60 61 61. :D
 
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R. Schweikart

Professional
Players say lots of stupid things....I'm guessing Steffi has a few gems as well...for what it's worth 1994 Austin is far, far away from her best days.
You really think Steffi ever said something like "We have thousands like her back in the States"?
Any links?

OK, peak Tracy might have won a few games in a match against peak Steffi.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
"I am a Babe Ruth fan; I like to root for athletes long since retired"
----R. Schweikart
I don't care for US women's basketball or wherever that girl competed.

Graf is until this day by far the most popular female tennis player of all time and still has so many fans. But no one needs "to root" for her anymore. Her fans just admire her as a person and for her unique career achievements.
And thanks to videos she will be admired even in 50 years from now. Fans in 2070 won't care about any winning percentages or slam counts of players 50 or 70 years ago. They will just enjoy her game, her athletic grace and powerful elegance.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
I don't care for US women's basketball or wherever that girl competed.

Graf is until this day by far the most popular female tennis player of all time and still has so many fans. But no one needs "to root" for her anymore. Her fans just admire her as a person and for her unique career achievements.
And thanks to videos she will be admired even in 50 years from now. Fans in 2070 won't care about any winning percentages or slam counts of players 50 or 70 years ago. They will just enjoy her game, her athletic grace and powerful elegance.
In Germany maybe....not so much in the US. Not to say she doesn't have fans, but in many of her US matches (USO for instance) her American opponents were vastly more supported. I agree about all of her accomplishments, but never saw her as a particularly 'popular' player. I could never warm to her....to me, she was a bit of a sourpuss. Great player, but not much personality, honestly. I liked almost all of her opponents more (aside from Hingis who was a super brat)
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
You really think Steffi ever said something like "We have thousands like her back in the States"?
Any links?

OK, peak Tracy might have won a few games in a match against peak Steffi.
HA....give Tracy some credit. Particularly if it was on a hard court at the USO. I'll have to go look for some Graf quotes that fit the bill. Maybe there aren't any....
 

BTURNER

Legend
You really think Steffi ever said something like "We have thousands like her back in the States"?
Any links?

OK, peak Tracy might have won a few games in a match against peak Steffi.
that will depend on which rackets they are playing with, the ones Austin built her game around, or the ones Steffi built her game around. They were entirely different styles and strokes and games, each structured specifically for the times they were built for. Graf's forehand would be almost unrecognizable if it was built in the late 60-s early 70's to compete in the mid seventies.
 
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R. Schweikart

Professional
In Germany maybe....not so much in the US. Not to say she doesn't have fans, but in many of her US matches (USO for instance) her American opponents were vastly more supported. I agree about all of her accomplishments, but never saw her as a particularly 'popular' player. I could never warm to her....to me, she was a bit of a sourpuss. Great player, but not much personality, honestly. I liked almost all of her opponents more (aside from Hingis who was a super brat)

US fans usually are more supportive to US players, that is no surprise (is the same in every country with their players). An additional factor which didn't help Steffi was her being a threat to US tennis supremacy (Evert, Navratilova, later Seles). And yet Steffi was often supported very well in the USA - even against US players. I remember how pissed off Seles was when the majority of the crowd in their 98 YEC match was clearly on Steffi's side!

But yes, outside of the USA Steffi was even more popular. No player was more beloved than her in France, at the FO. She always got huge support in Australia, even in Wimbledon she was the most popular female player ever, by a wide margin. And of course in India and China where tennis took hold in the 1990s due to improved TV coverage. I read somewhere in the late 1990s that 80 % of Chinese tennis fans had her as favorite woman player.

But as an example this Wimbledon 2011 poll may suffice:

The Results - Favourite Wimbledon Player
ROGER FEDERER: 25%
RAFAEL NADAL: 13%
STEFFI GRAF: 10%
ANDRE AGASSI: 6%
BJORN BORG: 6%
PETE SAMPRAS: 5%
JOHN MCENROE: 4%
STEFAN EDBERG: 3%
BORIS BECKER: 3%
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: 3%

So Wimbledon fans voted in 2011 for Steffi as the most popular player of the 20th century - male or female, ahead of Borg and McEnroe.
And far ahead of Navratilova. Evert or the Williams sisters weren't even mentioned among the top 10.

In the TTW forums, US American forums with predominantly US posters, it sometimes comes across as if Steffi Graf's popularity was and is below some other players. That is a vastly distorted view. There is a world outside of the USA.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
that will depend on which rackets they are playing with, the ones Austin built her game around, or the ones Steffi built her game around. They were entirely different styles and strokes and games, each structured specifically for the times they were built for. Graf's forehand would be almost unrecognizable if it was built in the late 60-s early 70's to compete in the mid seventies.
Austin peaked in 1979-81, Steffi just eight years later in 1987-89.
Let them play each with her favorite racquet. I have no doubt that Steffi would have dominated Tracy.

I don't want to take anything away from Tracy. She was 9-3 win/loss against Evert in 1979-81. And had similar numbers against Navratilova.
Had Austin not suffered so much back pain (which led to her early career end) Evert and Navratilova would not have come even close to their 18 slam tallies.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Austin peaked in 1979-81, Steffi just eight years later in 1987-89.
Let them play each with her favorite racquet. I have no doubt that Steffi would have dominated Tracy.
Yes you do want to take something away for Austin. But you want to take more away from Evert and Navratilova . We aren't stupid around here.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
You can't measure success if you have never failed. My father has taught me that if you really do want to reach your goals, you can't spend any time worrying about whether you're going to win or lose. Focus only on getting better.
Steffi Graf

I'm assuming Herr Graf didn't pass on all his life "goals":

"Peter Graf was nicknamed ‘Papa Merciless’ by the media for the gruelling discipline he expected from Steffi. He verbally abused officials, got into a fistfight at a game and manipulated Steffi’s schedule to preserve her ranking. He would also constantly push her physically by making her practice before and after long flights. He also was at the centre of a financial scandal and had a paternity suit filed against him."

 

R. Schweikart

Professional
Yes you do want to take something away for Austin. But you want to take more away from Evert and Navratilova . We aren't stupid around here.
That is a bold claim....

The thread is about "backfiring" of comments. So Austin deserves some flak, doesn't she? :)
And the claim that some player "would not have the slam tally if" seems to be very common here, so no reason to get agitated.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
You can't measure success if you have never failed. My father has taught me that if you really do want to reach your goals, you can't spend any time worrying about whether you're going to win or lose. Focus only on getting better.
Steffi Graf

I'm assuming Herr Graf didn't pass on all his life "goals":

"Peter Graf was nicknamed ‘Papa Merciless’ by the media for the gruelling discipline he expected from Steffi. He verbally abused officials, got into a fistfight at a game and manipulated Steffi’s schedule to preserve her ranking. He would also constantly push her physically by making her practice before and after long flights. He also was at the centre of a financial scandal and had a paternity suit filed against him."

Mr. Graf always tried to get better, even in tax evasion. But he failed too often.
And this "schedule manipulating" is an US myth. It came up when the Evertilova folks realized that their faves would be overtaken. If you look at Steffi' schedule back in he day there is no evidence it was tailored to "preserve" (lol!) her ranking. Which ranking was that supposed to be?
Those US official surely deserved to be abused, well done, Mr Graf! Because some lines people's cheating towards Steffi and her uppity in order to help US players was really sometimes galling. It was a constant topic in German media and rightly so. Mr. Graf was quoted as saying, "it is like professional boxing, you have to knock out the home champ in his home country if you want to win".
Which Steffi did in the end.

BTW, the article's headline blabbers about some "Graff". That is all you need to know about those "journnalists"
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Mr. Graf always tried to get better, even in tax evasion. But he failed too often.
And this "schedule manipulating" is an US myth. It came up when the Evertilova folks realized that their faves would be overtaken. If you look at Steffi' schedule back in he day there is no evidence it was tailored to "preserve" (lol!) her ranking. Which ranking was that supposed to be?
Those US official surely deserved to be abused, well done, Mr Graf! Because some lines people's cheating towards Steffi and her uppity in order to help US players was really sometimes galling. It was a constant topic in German media and rightly so. Mr. Graf was quoted as saying, "it is like professional boxing, you have to knock out the home champ in his home country if you want to win".
Which Steffi did in the end.

BTW, the article's headline blabbers about some "Graff". That is all you need to know about those "journnalists"
Merry Christmas
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
I don't care for US women's basketball or wherever that girl competed.

Graf is until this day by far the most popular female tennis player of all time and still has so many fans. But no one needs "to root" for her anymore. Her fans just admire her as a person and for her unique career achievements.
And thanks to videos she will be admired even in 50 years from now. Fans in 2070 won't care about any winning percentages or slam counts of players 50 or 70 years ago. They will just enjoy her game, her athletic grace and powerful elegance.
If you don't know who someone is, at least educate yourself and look it up before you say something disrespectful. Babe Ruth was a man who played baseball. You frequently love to tell the rest of us to look stuff up then you post disrespectful drivel like this. Educate yourself before telling others they need to.
 
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R. Schweikart

Professional
If you don't know who someone is, at least educate yourself and look it up before you say something disrespectful. Babe Ruth was a man who played baseball. ...
Baseball?
It that this game similar to cricket, played only in the USA?
Why is a man (!) called "Babe"??

But what has he to do with things tennis?
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
If you don't know who someone is, at least educate yourself and look it up before you say something disrespectful. Babe Ruth was a man who played baseball. You frequently love to tell the rest of us to look stuff up then you post disrespectful drivel like this. Educate yourself before telling others they need to.
I'm not American (English) but I've obviously heard of Babe Ruth. But then my world doesn't begin and end with all things Steffi Graf . .
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Baseball?
It that this game similar to cricket, played only in the USA?
Why is a man (!) called "Babe"??
All the information you need is available by simple internet research. You inserted your foot in your mouth, you can now do the work to educate yourself so you don't make that mistake again. Very fitting you create a thread about tennis players saying dumb stuff then you yourself do it.

Have a nice day.
 
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R. Schweikart

Professional
I'm not American (English) but I've obviously heard of Babe Ruth. But then my world doesn't begin and end with all things Steffi Graf . .
I'm far more engaged in football forums than in tennis forum (since the great Steffi is indeed retired).

And of course I have heard of "Babe" Ruth. But sometime I love to poke fun at certain self-centered US citizens who think that the world begins and ends with US TV ratings, the popularity of tennis and players in the USA, US sports in general (Baseball, US football, women's golf), US politics and so on. People who don't speak foreign languages and who almost never travel abroad. But think they can explain the world from their frog's perspective.
 

silentkman

Professional
I'm far more engaged in football forums than in tennis forum (since the great Steffi is indeed retired).

And of course I have heard of "Babe" Ruth. But sometime I love to poke fun at certain self-centered US citizens who think that the world begins and ends with US TV ratings, the popularity of tennis and players in the USA, US sports in general (Baseball, US football, women's golf), US politics and so on. People who don't speak foreign languages and who almost never travel abroad. But think they can explain the world from their frog's perspective.
telling on yourself with the Women's golf comment. Steffi is not a god, contrary to popular belief. C'mon man, be reasonable. I'm happy that you are a polyglot and travel extensively. Norway vs the Netherlands is very important.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
That is a bold claim....

The thread is about "backfiring" of comments. So Austin deserves some flak, doesn't she? :)
And the claim that some player "would not have the slam tally if" seems to be very common here, so no reason to get agitated.
I am rarely agitated by your content. I am bemused by it. The total lack of subtilty or nuance in what you attempt to do, is actually very refreshing. A bit like Graf having her own version of Kayleigh McEnany right here in TF to spin very topic, every discussion the 'right' direction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayleigh_McEnany.

Not sure that Steffi herself would find it especially refreshing as opposed to so brazen as to be nauseating ... but that is something we would have to ask her.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
telling on yourself with the Women's golf comment. Steffi is not a god, contrary to popular belief. C'mon man, be reasonable. I'm happy that you ae polyglot and travel extensively. Norway vs the Netherlands is very important.

The popular belief is right and you are wrong.
Or did you just want to say she is no god since she is female? "Only" a goddess? Well, I think I can live with that.
But actually that's not what this thread is about. Some other guy tried to derail the thread by insulting Steffi. The pattern is clear.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
US fans usually are more supportive to US players, that is no surprise (is the same in every country with their players). An additional factor which didn't help Steffi was her being a threat to US tennis supremacy (Evert, Navratilova, later Seles). And yet Steffi was often supported very well in the USA - even against US players. I remember how pissed off Seles was when the majority of the crowd in their 98 YEC match was clearly on Steffi's side!

But yes, outside of the USA Steffi was even more popular. No player was more beloved than her in France, at the FO. She always got huge support in Australia, even in Wimbledon she was the most popular female player ever, by a wide margin. And of course in India and China where tennis took hold in the 1990s due to improved TV coverage. I read somewhere in the late 1990s that 80 % of Chinese tennis fans had her as favorite woman player.

But as an example this Wimbledon 2011 poll may suffice:

The Results - Favourite Wimbledon Player
ROGER FEDERER: 25%
RAFAEL NADAL: 13%
STEFFI GRAF: 10%
ANDRE AGASSI: 6%
BJORN BORG: 6%
PETE SAMPRAS: 5%
JOHN MCENROE: 4%
STEFAN EDBERG: 3%
BORIS BECKER: 3%
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: 3%

So Wimbledon fans voted in 2011 for Steffi as the most popular player of the 20th century - male or female, ahead of Borg and McEnroe.
And far ahead of Navratilova. Evert or the Williams sisters weren't even mentioned among the top 10.

In the TTW forums, US American forums with predominantly US posters, it sometimes comes across as if Steffi Graf's popularity was and is below some other players. That is a vastly distorted view. There is a world outside of the USA.
Interesting poll, but I'd say look at the age of the people who participated. That will largely drive the results. If you did the poll today, I'm guessing Serena would surpass Steffi, pretty easily. It's always very generational. Steffi and Boris really shifted the focus to Germany, where tennis then took off like a rocket. Whereas it slowed and trickled down here in the US...maybe picking up a bit with Andre and Pete, but it never recaptured it's heyday from late 70's to mid-80's. No question that Americans support American players, but it's not always so cut and dry. And sometimes, players earn their dislike by their comments and actions. For instance, some fans have turned on Djoko in recent years...he's said (and done) some not so smart things. Where early on, he was more likable (and funny). Not sure what happened to that guy. Tho' there may have been a re-appraisal from US fans in the recent USO final. And of course, there is the nostalgia factor when guys come to the end of their careers (Roger). That happened a lot when Steffi played Martina in later years...crowds were heavily behind MN.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
Interesting poll, but I'd say look at the age of the people who participated. That will largely drive the results. If you did the poll today, I'm guessing Serena would surpass Steffi, pretty easily. It's always very generational. ...
What you think at the Wimbledon 2011 poll predominantly older people voted. But not today? WTF??
Your American delusion is almost scary. Have you ever been to Wimbledon?
If the poll were held today among Wimbledon crowds Steffi would still be by far the most popular female player. Second most probably Navratilova.

In 2011 Steffi got 10 % among men and women, Navratilova 3 %, Serena not even among the top 10. Even though Serena had won already 4 Wimbledons and made 2 more finals there. Since Wimbledon 2011 we had the USO 2011 and USO 2018 incidents involving Serena. How the hell do you think she became more popular??

My, oh my, people like you really scare me with such a twisted world view...
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
... And of course, there is the nostalgia factor when guys come to the end of their careers (Roger). That happened a lot when Steffi played Martina in later years...crowds were heavily behind MN.
Watch the Wimbledon 1987-89 finals, watch Key Biscayne 87, watch the FO 87 final, watch Zurich 92, watch Tokyo 93 & 94?
Crowds behind MN????????
 

atatu

Legend
"This guy Jerzy Janowicz is going to be top 10"
Ok, it wasn't a pro player who made that statement, it was me after watching him beat Nabandian at Indian Wells in 2013.
 
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silentkman

Professional
The popular belief is right and you are wrong.
Or did you just want to say she is no god since she is female? "Only" a goddess? Well, I think I can live with that.
But actually that's not what this thread is about. Some other guy tried to derail the thread by insulting Steffi. The pattern is clear.
You are seriously going into the creepy territory. I have athletes that I like, but your stuff is over the top to say the least. sheesh
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
What you think at the Wimbledon 2011 poll predominantly older people voted. But not today? WTF??
Your American delusion is almost scary. Have you ever been to Wimbledon?
If the poll were held today among Wimbledon crowds Steffi would still be by far the most popular female player. Second most probably Navratilova.

In 2011 Steffi got 10 % among men and women, Navratilova 3 %, Serena not even among the top 10. Even though Serena had won already 4 Wimbledons and made 2 more finals there. Since Wimbledon 2011 we had the USO 2011 and USO 2018 incidents involving Serena. How the hell do you think she became more popular??

My, oh my, people like you really scare me with such a twisted world view...
No twisted world view here. I don't live in the UK, I don't live in GR. I don't need to go to Wimbledon to tell you that Steffi is not the most popular player of all time. I can only tell you what I observe here in the US and the USO which I have attended in person since 1983. I have no idea who was in your poll but it doesn't exactly sound representative and it was in 2011. Time counts. In 2021, Steffi is a full generation out. Survey some 18-20 year olds and they are not saying Steffi is their favorite female player. Not gonna happen. You can worship her all you want, but in 2021, it's like expecting people to recognize BJK and Margaret Court as "favorites." All great players, but 'popularity' polls tend to reflect who is current at the time.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Watch the Wimbledon 1987-89 finals, watch Key Biscayne 87, watch the FO 87 final, watch Zurich 92, watch Tokyo 93 & 94?
Crowds behind MN????????
Saw the W finals and the FO final. In those years, MN was the big bad monster and Steffi was the young lady on the rise. Crowds will root for the underdog. Shift to '91 and people are now firmly behind Martina since the tables have turned. It was most obvious in their '91 USO semifinal...the crowd was really into it and wanted her to win. This is pretty typical as top players age out. Personally, I rooted against MN for years, until she became a sentimental favorite and was fighting off the likes of Steffi and Monica. It just made her more human to me, vs. the uber-S&V machine she was in the mid-80's.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
No twisted world view here. I don't live in the UK, I don't live in GR. I don't need to go to Wimbledon to tell you that Steffi is not the most popular player of all time. I can only tell you what I observe here in the US and the USO which I have attended in person since 1983. I have no idea who was in your poll but it doesn't exactly sound representative and it was in 2011. Time counts. In 2021, Steffi is a full generation out. Survey some 18-20 year olds and they are not saying Steffi is their favorite female player. Not gonna happen. You can worship her all you want, but in 2021, it's like expecting people to recognize BJK and Margaret Court as "favorites." All great players, but 'popularity' polls tend to reflect who is current at the time.
Why doesn't the 2011 Wimbledon poll not sound representative? Because your fave is not even among the top 10?
I know some 18-20 year olds in my tennis club and for most of them of course Steffi is their most popular player of all time. The Wimbledon 2011 poll was not about who is your favorite among the current players. And yes, even people older than 20 are allowed to participate in such polls. Actually people over 40 are the majority in the crowds in Wimbledon or the FO. And of course for them Steffi Graf is the greatest, by far.
I grant you that in the USA in the current climate Serena may be more popular among NYC fans (Steffi is too white and blond).
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
Saw the W finals and the FO final. In those years, MN was the big bad monster and Steffi was the young lady on the rise. Crowds will root for the underdog. Shift to '91 and people are now firmly behind Martina since the tables have turned. It was most obvious in their '91 USO semifinal...the crowd was really into it and wanted her to win. This is pretty typical as top players age out. Personally, I rooted against MN for years, until she became a sentimental favorite and was fighting off the likes of Steffi and Monica. It just made her more human to me, vs. the uber-S&V machine she was in the mid-80's.
You think Steffi was the "underdog" in 89 when she beat Navratilova in three high-profile finals? The "young lady" had won the Golden Slam the year before...

"It was most obvious in their '91 USO semifinal", that is even better!
Which other matches come to your mind when the crowds rooted more for Navratilova than for Graf, maybe a bit less obvious?

Face the reality, Navratilova and Serena never were especially popular, for different reasons.
 
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