Tennis Legends Seles, Navratilova thrills fans for charity article

#1
QUITE A RACKET
Seles, Navratilova thrill fans in exhibition match for charity at N.O. Arena
Saturday, September 15, 2007
By Benjamin Hochman

The children cheered wildly for a couple of ladies whose heydays were before the kids were born.

The adults, who told the children about the greatness, cheered on Friday as well, part in appreciation, part in awe, for the ladies still can play.

Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles, tennis luminaries, played an exhibition on Friday night at the New Orleans Arena, where generations of fans united.

"It is just unbelievable seeing them live," said Abrie Duplooy, one of the promoters of the event.

Seles won the best-of-three match 2-0, but the estimated 3,000 fans were entertained by the intensity and prowess of Navratilova, 50, and Seles, 30.

"They can still place the ball where they want to," said Susie Brown of Mandeville, sitting in the second row. "Their skill level is still there."

The event raised money for American Cancer Society, the New Orleans Recreation Department and New Orleans Recovery School District.

Before the match, representatives from NORD presented the players with an official proclamation from Mayor Ray Nagin, which declared Sept. 14 as a day for honoring the tennis legends and their commitment to New Orleans.

After the match, the players donated a check to Girls First, a non-profit organization, which provides opportunities to underprivileged girls in New Orleans.

"We hoped to inspire some young kids to pick up a tennis racket," said Seles, who won nine singles grand slams. "It is such a fun sport. Maybe in 20 years someone from this crowd will be here in our place."

Though Navratilova, who won 18 singles grand slams, didn't win a set Friday, the match was still entertaining and hard fought. Navratilova took a 3-1 lead in the first set, but Seles clawed back, one trademark grunt at a time. Suddenly, it was 3-3. Navratilova took the lead briefly with a blistering left-handed forehand down the left side, but Seles tied the game at 4 on an equally emphatic play. Using her two-handed backhand, another trademark, Seles' desperation shot barely stayed in play down the right side, and Navratilova's return went long.

Then leading 5-4, Seles made the play of the night, right after Navratilova made what seemed like what would be the play of the night. With a little magic from the old days, Navratilova gently placed the ball over the net, and the ball just sputtered off after landing in play. But Seles responded on the next serve, chasing down a ball that she seemed unlikely to get to.

Not only did she make it in time, but she also smashed the ball past her opponent. She proceeded to win the game, and the set.

Perhaps the loudest cheer of the night came in the second set, when Navratilova, down 3-0, responded with resilience and made it a surmountable 3-1 set, instead of 4-0. But Seles served the next game, and capped it off with such an emphatic serve that Navratilova could only lung and swing at the ball, which she missed, an ace to win the point and the game. Navratilova won the next game, but Seles won the following two, clinching the victory on a two-handed backhand.

"Monica just played too well," Navratilova said. "She's hitting her serves so well, I had a very hard time returning the serves."

The evening was a light and joyous night, though for Navratilova, the day began with frustration and sadness.

" I drove around today, and it's astonishing how little has been done here," she said. "I'm from the Czech Republic, and there was a huge flood there a few years ago. You would never know it. It was all rebuilt.

"It's astonishing to me that we left these people behind. The insurance company has failed and the people in the government have failed."
 
#5
Great article. Seles is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. If she had not been stabbed by a maniac, would have set records for grand slam wins. Always gracious in victory and defeat, she is a model of what a sportsperson should be.
 
#8
Maybe Henin but the ugly big nose overrated Graff???

A very boring personality combined with an ice cold persona and you have Steffi Graff. This woman never smiles even now and seems like she has been sucking on lemons too long.

Difference between a fathlete and an athlete: zero Wimbledon/Olympics, vs zeven Wimbledon and 2 Olympics

 
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#12
Maybe Henin but the ugly big nose overrated Graff???

A very boring personality combined with an ice cold persona and you have Steffi Graff. This woman never smiles even now and seems like she has been sucking on lemons too long.
What's with the name calling and goofy p-shops? How old are you? And what is this fixation you have with Graf. Ok, you hate her, we get it, we ALL get it.

Move on.
 
#14
What's with the name calling and goofy p-shops? How old are you? And what is this fixation you have with Graf. Ok, you hate her, we get it, we ALL get it.

Move on.
I second that. She is a great person. Her and Andre are very happy and it is awesome to see two people who love each other so much. You should just over yourself, FedSampras.
 
#16
I'm sorry punk, but do you have a life? you still keep on stalking Graf, WHEN STEFFI HAS RETIRED........

Let me repeat: STEFFI GRAF NO LONGER PLAYS TENNIS......

get over it already, and move on.....
Dude I would have to agree. She doesn't play anymore. Get over IT!!! BTW, this warrior guy loves Roger Federer's feet. UUUGGGGHHHH! Weirdo.
 
#18
Yeah I do, He has great feet. Big and... Graf plays 27th of October 2007.
Differential Diagnosis for Warriorroger

Histrionic Personality Disorder; Antisocial Personality Disorder; Borderline Personality Disorder; Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder; Schizotypal Personality Disorder; Paranoid Personality Disorder; Manic Episodes; Hypomanic Episodes; Personality Change Due to a General Medical Condition; symptoms that may develop in association with chronic substance use.


FINALLY SICK WARRIORROGER RECEIVES HIS DOCTOR'S REPORT.:D
 
#21
Differential Diagnosis for Warriorroger

Histrionic Personality Disorder; Antisocial Personality Disorder; Borderline Personality Disorder; Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder; Schizotypal Personality Disorder; Paranoid Personality Disorder; Manic Episodes; Hypomanic Episodes; Personality Change Due to a General Medical Condition; symptoms that may develop in association with chronic substance use.


FINALLY SICK WARRIORROGER RECEIVES HIS DOCTOR'S REPORT.:D

That you take the time to do this, mm, thanks. As long as I can see my hero's feet, I am fine.

 
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