< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 125 OF 125 ·
|May-04-13|| ||achieve: You wrote:
<Jim Bartle: It pains me to say this, but no, Seles had clearly passed Graf when she was stabbed,>
I provided context suggesting your one-liner was lacking proper context, and rightly questioned your claim. Graf never was clearly passed by anyone, including Seles. Temporarily Steffi played second fiddle for a number of reasons, for a limited period of time.
|May-04-13|| ||Jim Bartle: I remember how I felt at the time. Seles seemed unbeatable except at Wimbledon and it felt terrible, since I had thought Graf was the greatest ever and would remain so.|
Maybe Graf could have gotten back on top. I hope so, but of course we can't know.
|May-04-13|| ||HeMateMe: In all fairness, one big year doesn't make for career comparisons. When Navratilova was a teenager, Cris Evert beat her like a dog. It was only after being in the USA for a few years, that Martina got physically fit, lost the weight, and started beating everyone. Evert's early dominance over MN was not a good predictor for future results.|
I just think projecting a 3/4 streak into career dominance has too large an error possibility, or whatever the correct statician language is.
|May-04-13|| ||achieve: Well, Steffi in her "worst" years (see above for circumstances) was beaten twice narrowly in the final in three sets (10-8 final set 1992 FO), thumped Seles 2 and 1 at wimbledon, and indeed Seles won her first slam in 1990 in Paris 76 64. Steffi at 20 years of age had just had 9 slams and 2 years of domination, after which the Peter Graf's alcoholism and her dad's fiscal transgressions transpired.|
Seles though was very strong, was thrown off her horse violently, couldn't control weight problems in addition, and very well may have added a few more slams to her tally, but Graf barely 24 herself was always going to be a major force in Tennis once she got her mind and body fit again. A pity for the rivalry, for Seles as well as Graf, lousy timing, but that's life. Steffi though played her strongest in 1995-6 winning all slams she participated in injury free, 6 0f 8 slams in 2 calendar years. Seles was 23-24 by that time, but from what I remember the weight gain was her main obstacle, following the assault and physical and mental scars that left.
|May-04-13|| ||chancho: Seles was never the same after the stabbing.
Who knows how their rivalry would have gone if the incident hadn't happened.
|May-04-13|| ||achieve: No one is ever the same after a traumatic incident, and Seles was no exception, as none of the greats is. Federer and even ice man Borg had a horrible temper as youths, and look how they changed around. My only point is that Seles never "dominated" Graf, except for a specific period for specific reasons applicable only to that particular time-frame. My assertion is that Graf would have been at least a similar force in 1994-1996, regardless and irrespective of any incident for Seles.|
If there is any suggestion that Seles would have more than halved Graf's slam count in the second half of the 90s, then I would contest that. It's mostly a waste of time. Muster had his knees absolutely shattered when he was run into by a car in his prime, and he came back stronger than any athlete ever before. There's just no telling, but whatever happened to Seles, Graf had a few years left where she would be up to the Seles challenge. That's my only point, Seles was not going to run anywhere soon. Sadly we lack the data to answer that. Sharapova is one I think who would have turned the tragic event around in her favor. But in the end it's all speculation. And I think my point is to avoid wildish what-if speculation either way. They are both huge in the womens' game imo. As was Hingis. How she could inflict a double bagle to Seles is still the stuff of myths. A select group that deserves all (my) respect.
|May-04-13|| ||chancho: A Sports Illustrated article on the anniversary of Monica Seles stabbing April 30, 2013:|
|May-04-13|| ||Jim Bartle: Good story. The writer, Bruce Jenkins, is a frequent e-mail correspondent. going back years with his time as an SF Chronicle writer.|
|May-04-13|| ||Blunderdome: Hingis was good stuff to watch. Probably my second favorite women's player after Henin.|
|May-05-13|| ||achieve: Thanks for posting the SI article on Seles, I think it provides a wonderfully written look back at one of the all-time greats of the sport.|
<The difference between Seles' game and her off-court persona was remarkable and downright hilarious. Catch any snapshot of her two-handed stroke on impact; the countenance is one of a cold-hearted finisher, prepared to win at any cost. In press conferences -- remember, this was a teenage girl raised by level-headed, good-hearted parents -- she had a constant case of the giggles, as if every single thing struck her funny. I distinctly recall glancing at seasoned, world-weary tennis writers completely disarmed during her early appearances the U.S. Open.>
Here's a highlights video jam-packed in over 30 minutes, by golly these girls could play!
I feel just about reviatalized watching this! The contrast with today's game is just painfully obvious. Not just the quality of shot and hitting, but also the consistency, tempo, footwork, and especially the control of emotions up there... This is probably women's clay court tennis at its finest. Even Henin, who played in a few memorable French's, would not very often hit this level against any opponent in the 2000-2010 era. The other French finals are best forgotten.
Legendary stuff by Seles and Graf, giving it all outthere, Graf constantly thinking while flying from left to right like a gazelle on how to break the relentless driving into the corners by Seles... BRILLIANT stuff!!!
I remember from games like this thinking that the 'women' actually did deserve equal play, with finals like this. Things have changed with regards to today's game though.
|May-05-13|| ||achieve: ouch - that should read <equal *pay*>|
And the above highlights extravaganza is of course from the French 1992 Final.
Plus, a giggling young Seles clip should also be posted.
|May-05-13|| ||achieve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJGC...
Steffi Graf v. Monica Seles | 1992 Roland Garros Final
Epic. These are probably the longest set of highlights I have ever made.
The only thing that bothers me about Monica Seles is her grunting. I just can't stand any grunting from anyone. You can imagine how hard for me is to enjoy games nowadays.
reply · 8
I feel you. However, Monica's grunting is like heaven compared to Azarenka and Shriekapova.
Beantwoorden · 24 in reactie op Sorcere Sosa
Duga Koza 6 maanden geleden
<i can't belive what i'm watching better then Djokovic/Federer
Reply · 14 >
That's of course the highest praise possible, and darn it I think this match deserves to be in a league of- and compared to- the best men's finals in recent history.
|May-05-13|| ||achieve: One more additional comment:
100BABOLAT 3 months ago--
"No doubt, the greatest women's match of the open era...remarkable hitting by Seles and Graf's movement, the best ever (like a gazelle)...voted by the Associated Press as the best women's match of all time."
|May-09-13|| ||shivasuri4: Did anyone here watch this match? http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Te...|
|May-10-13|| ||shivasuri4: Wow, Nishikori managed to beat Federer! http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Te...|
|May-10-13|| ||achieve: Murray and Tsonga out as well, Nishi lost to Andujar, meaning that Rafa will win Madrid. I think. I've been most impressed with Wawrinka-Dimitrov, that was mouthwatering stuff.|
Djokovic is saving up for the French, second week, I read, preparing meticulously to peak exactly there. One wonders, if the temptation to use performance enhancers will play a role... I can only speculate, but I would not rule it out entirely wrt Nole, and even Rafa. <Operacion Puerto> anyone? Fuentes provided for professional cyclists, football players, and tennis players.
What would one give for a few litres of oxygen-rich blood for the second week of the most grueling physically demanding of all Slams?
After reading the Hamilton book I have no doubt that just about any sportsman will justify the use of a performance enhancer or blood doping if he knows it will bring him a substantial increase in performance and stamina. What was once a moral dilemma has simply become part of top level sports "preparation."
|May-12-13|| ||shivasuri4: Here's a good rally between Andujar and Nadal, won by the former. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gss...|
Nadal will hop over to Rome to defend his title once he's done playing, and hopefully beating, Wawrinka. Hopefully the two tournaments in a row don't affect his knees too much.
|May-12-13|| ||shivasuri4: <achieve>, with such regular drug testing, would such high-profile players want to risk their reputations?|
|May-12-13|| ||achieve: <shiva> If you are being treated by a smart doctor, and follow his advice, play it safe, then at an opportune moment a transfusion with your own, stored, oxygen-rich blood, is not detectable, and thus risk free. From what I know in tennis there is no "blood passport" as there is in cycling, from which they can keep track of the hematocrit value.|
The testing for substance use of many kinds is being tested for, but it's in fact the blood transfusions that for some weird reason are not discussed in this context. Recently Murray said there was insufficient quality testing.
With the potential dopers being better prepared by top physicians than the inspectors and available testing I think the chances are certainly there, as is the temptation. Not on the regular ATP events, but at the French it can be a huge bonus.
|May-12-13|| ||achieve: Reading my above somewhat "naive" and insufficiently informed view on the potential of Doping in professional tennis I submit the following, just the tip of the iceberg mind you, with reddish cheeks:|
<"Players can use short-acting steroids in combination with human growth hormone which will produce muscle mass and enormous power, and while they can stop just before a competition and test clean, they still get the performance benefit of the drugs"
- Former chief executive of the Australian Sports Drug Agency, John Mendoza, 2002, claiming that tennis was approaching a crisis.
"To say that tennis today is clean, you have to be living in a dream world."
- Nicolas Escude, French Davis Cup player, 2002 >
< The two tables below show the 2011 ITF testing data for the top-20 ATP and WTA players based on the 2011 year-end tour rankings. The tables contain the ranges for in-competition (IC) and out-of-competition (OOC) testing. The "Min" and "Max" columns show the minimum and maximum number of doping controls possible given a player's testing ranges.
The tables show that for 2011:
The ITF did not conduct a single OOC test for 5 of the top-20 WTA players.
The ITF did not conduct more than 3 OOC tests on any top-20 WTA (or ATP) player. In many cases, while the range indicates 1-3 tests, it is likely that only 1 OOC was conducted (find out why here).
The ITF conducted fewer than 10 total doping controls (OOC and IC) for at least 9 of the top-20 ranked WTA players (at a maximum, it's possible the entire top-20 had fewer than 10 controls). The same holds true for the ATP.
Given the number of players with less than 10 doping tests, there is no basis for claiming that any of the remaining top-20 players were tested 30 (or even 20) times a year by the ITF.
Can we now all agree that the "tested all the time" claim is officially busted?>
|May-12-13|| ||achieve: << The Case Against Tennis >> |
<The International Tennis Federation (ITF), and professional tennis as a whole, has zero credibility when it comes to making claims of a being a "clean sport" or having "strict doping controls." The more likely situation is widespread doping in the sport. Why? The reasons are plenty:
Because the ITF doesn't appear to have issues with professional tennis players working with personnel that have been banned for anti-doping violations. (see also this article)
Because Stuart Miller, the head of the ITF anti-doping program, believes "It may be that tennis is not conducive to EPO..." and that "tennis is not obviously lending itself to a particular category of performance-enhancing products."
Because Francesco Ritti Bitti, President of the ITF believes that when it comes to doping: "Many cases are due to simple ignorance by the players."
Because under Stuart Miller, blood testing by the ITF decreased by 33% between 2006 and 2011.
Because under Stuart Miller, EPO testing by the ITF decreased significantly between 2006 and 2009.
Because under Stuart Miller, the ITF anti-doping program is underspending its budget.
Because, leading up to Beijing Olympics, the ITF conducted 79% of their out-of-competition tests after the Games.
Because, in 2009, 49 out-of-competition missions by the ITF resulted in "no sample being collected," including Federer, Nadal, V. Williams, S. Williams, Roddick, and Wozniacki.
Because, at Grand Slam events, the ITF conducts loser-targeted testing.
Because, at non-Grand Slam events, the ITF typically doesn't conduct doping tests beyond the early rounds.
Because the ITF allows top players to go multiple years without an out of competition doping tests.
Because the ITF conducts minimal out of competition tests compared to other sports.
Because the ITF reduces anti-doping suspensions for no apparent reason.
Because top players actively promote Omerta.
Because the ITF actively prevents other anti-doping organizations from testing at ITF events. (also read this)
For the reasons above (and more), the ITF anti-doping program is either completely inept, or deliberately designed to not catch players doping. There do not appear to be any other obvious explanations. Such an anti-doping regime has, on the balance of probabilities and lessons from history, likely resulted in widespread doping in the sport. >
|May-12-13|| ||shivasuri4: Okay, that was quite a scary set of snippets! Am surprised all the top players aren't tested regularly. Too much trust placed in them, perhaps?|
|May-13-13|| ||achieve: Let's just look at these few snippets first:
- Because the ITF conducts minimal out of competition tests compared to other sports.
- Because the ITF reduces anti-doping suspensions for no apparent reason.
- Because the ITF actively prevents other anti-doping organizations from testing at ITF events. (also read this)
- For the reasons above (and more), the ITF anti-doping program is either <a> completely inept, or <b> deliberately designed to not catch players doping. There do not appear to be any other obvious explanations.
What does that tell you?
I'd say <b> is clearly the case here; I even read comments from 1999 by Courier who explicitly says that EPO and use of blood-transfusions had become a major issue in tennis at the time. Agassi has used meth-amphetamine and that was kept under wraps back then, because he was one of the leading lights in mens tennis and tennis was the game of elegance (not the brute endurance sport like cycling, triathlon etc.) and simply needed their top actors not wrapped up in scandals.
So to answer your suggestion that "too much trust might be placed in them?" ... It appears from what I cited, that doping, use of PEDs, is deliberately being treated softly, almost an air of condonement, and just for the public an image is being kept in place that the ITF is pretty on the ball in the fight against PEDs in Tennis. This is of course worrisome. My own memory from the past say 15 years is that you NEVER really read anything about doping in tennis, except a few loose shells related to a few shady Argentinians who had lost their heads...
What ITF does do is give the players the trust that they can determine on their own to not risk their health, and keep a lightweight system in place to at least monitor some of the top 50 players in that regard, but effectively they are given more or les a free pass.
Without knowing what I know now I have raised eyebrows over Nole's transformation, eg his cramp antics only to a few minutes later rip his shirt open, bang his hairy torso like Bokito, like there was no tomorrow, eyes beaming, jumping and posing as if electically hyper charged - following the longest fifth set final in Australian open history in a grueling tearing down of Nadal in over 5 hours.
Right - I think my pink glasses have been removed by now.
|May-13-13|| ||achieve: Then there is the close relationship of dr Del Moral, closely tied to the US Postal Team and doping use of Lance Armstrong - banned for life by the WADA btw - happily working at the <TennisVal> academy in Valencia for 15 years. There, under his medical supervision, we find a lot of well-known top players, like Ferrer and Errani.|
What's more: If Dr. Stuart Miller – head of the ITF's anti-doping Programme - continuously dares to claim that tennis does not lend itself to the use of doping, then he is either very very stupid, or he has something to hide.
''It has been the drug of choice by the cheaters over the last six to seven years. I think EPO has advantages in all sorts of ways, to anybody, in any sport. The days when we thought it was only helpful for endurance sports are long gone.'' – David Mandy, WADA director general
Alan Moore wrote In his column for backpagefootball.com on 3 February on a player who was managed by his former company. They went training at the now infamous TenisVal Academy and was soon after caught on use of steroids. Moore then writes the following:
'' She received a 6 month ban and went back on tour. I was told the governing body of tennis, the ITF, were informed fully of what had happened, yet in the almost 6 years that have passed nothing has happened.''
It is not quite clear whether Moore is referring to a silent suspension by the ITF. But if you are on the page of the ITF look at all suspensions that around that period are announced by the ITF....
And so on.
The picture I had in my head barely 24 hours ago has undergone quite a transformation.
|May-19-13|| ||HeMateMe: Coach Martina:
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