Friday, April 20, 2007

My Weekend Crush

Last weekend, Steffi Graf and her husband Andre Agassi were playing a charity event in Houston when he accidentally hit her in the face with his racquet, requiring three stitches. The news was relatively unextraordinary (but, if you are so inclined, you can watch the whack on YouTube), but it served to remind me how much I used to love to watch tennis. In particular, I used to love to watch Steffi. Her explosive whip of a forehand was a thing of beauty to behold. And then there were those seemingly-endless legs. Damn. I’m pretty sure that if we stood side-by-side her legs would stop somewhere near my armpits. I started rooting for Steffi back before her Golden Slam, when she was still playing Martina and Chrissy. I kept cheering as a string of would-be rivals came and went from Gabriela Sabatini (Ooh, remember her and those grunts? Man, I used to love tennis...) to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario to Monica Seles to Martina Hingis.

I know it’s cooler to root for the underdog, but the sheer dominance of Graf’s game was mesmerizing to watch. In fact, her loses were so unexpected that a friend and I once had to paint our toenails pretty colors to console ourselves after a nail biter of a French Open went the other way. Some called her cold and emotionless, but I always though of her as shy and reserved -- something I related to growing up as a very shy kid. When she and Andre first got together, I was a little quizzical. Fräulein Forehand with the Las Vegas Rebel? Really? But now – unfortunate face smacking aside – I think they make a good pair. They seem happy; she seems completely relaxed and he seems totally devoted. I still wish Steffi had won that last Wimbledon instead of Lindsay Davenport, but regardless she is a true champion for the ages. Happy weekend, all.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure is good to have you back!

Anonymous said...

I also always loved Steffi and so this week your crush is my crush. Plus the golden age of female tennis certainly must include all those you with Sabatini being the tennis babe for every lesbian fantasy.

Komakino said...

Glad to see someone else shared my fascination for those legs... Those were indeed the golden days of tennis.

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of tennis since childhood (70s, mostly) but wasn't following it in the early and mid 1990s, when she was so dominant. I started following it again around 99, when Steffi had become the underdog. I still remember that surreal French Open final, where Hingis lost it and let Steffi back in the game. I, too, was disappointed when she lost the Wimbledon final without much drama. But, I admire her for being such a professional with her career.

She's one of the greats...even though the masculinist sports media won't acknowledge her dominance when talking about male greats like Federer. C'mon, when she was in her prime, she was blowing them away, just like he does now.

MetaSin Girl said...

Thx for the tennis post! I love both of them – very sweet couple, both amazingly talented, but I adore Andre. His exit from the US Open last year was heartbreaking tho. I cried for 3 days.

Lisa said...

I have to say, this "Weekend Crush" edition seemed so sincere ... a true admiration of Steffi, not a mere lust. It was a beautiful piece of writing.

gulpie said...

omg. i love steffi. i loved steffi so much i actually didn't mind seles go injured, i'm ashamed to admit. thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I knew there was a reason I keep coming everyday to read your blog. You have just confirmed it. I used to have Steffi Graf posters all over my wall. Queued overnight just so I could get tickets for centre or court1 at wimbledon. To view does legs live, is a joy to behold. I have all the tapes of of her wimbledon finals. Those were the days because of Steffi, tennis ruled my world.

Anonymous said...

i understand your crush ....talent,feminity,class.etc....
the best for ever