Martina Navratilova as soon as candidly mentioned her emotions about shedding the year-end No. 1 rating to Steffi Graf.
In 1987, 18-year-old Graf ended Navratilova’s five-year reign as world No. 1 on the finish of the 12 months, securing the highest spot forward of the Virginia Slims Championships, now referred to as the WTA Finals.
The German put collectively a outstanding season, successful 10 of 12 tournaments. She additionally claimed her first Grand Slam title on the French Open, beating Navratilova within the closing. The German had a formidable 71-2 win/loss file for the season, along with her solely two defeats coming within the finals of the Wimbledon Championships and the US Open, each in opposition to Navratilova.
Regardless of Steffi Graf’s distinctive season, Martina Navratilova insisted she wouldn’t commerce her season for that of the German, citing her 7-3 successful file in opposition to Graf on the time.
She additionally emphasised that whereas it was a commendable achievement to be world No. 1, her focus remained on reaching victories on the Grand Slams and year-end championships.
“Whatever the rankings and the pc. I’ve had a successful file in opposition to Steffi. Primary is good, however in the long term for me at this level in my profession the Grand Slams and the Slims championships are an important,” stated them (through New York Instances).
Nonetheless, Navratilova additionally steered that triumphing over the German on the Virginia Slims Championships might probably make her world No. 1 within the eyes of the general public given the tight race between them.
”But when I beat Steffi right here in New York. then most of the people may suppose I am #1. It is a fairly thrilling race this 12 months, an excessive case,” she added.
The Czech-American additional claimed that she was nonetheless a greater participant than Steffi Graf. Whereas she acknowledged the German’s invincible aura that struck worry in her opponents, she additionally emphasised her personal continued aggressive presence on the tour.
”I feel I am nonetheless higher than Steffi. At this second, she has an aura of invincibility. Individuals are afraid of her and say, ‘What number of video games am I going to win immediately?'” she stated.
”I confirmed it to everybody. I am alive and kicking ass. I used to be capable of maintain on for a very long time, and in case you slip up just a little, you need it again. You get up and understand it is time to go,” she added.
A fast have a look at Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova’s campaigns on the 1987 Virginia Slims Championships
Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova entered the 1987 Virginia Slims Championships as the highest two seeds. Navratilova was additionally the five-time defending champion on the occasion.
Navratilova began her marketing campaign with a dominant straight units win over Catarina Lindqvist. Nonetheless, she did not defend her title, shedding to Gabriela Sabatini within the quarterfinals of the occasion.
Graf, in the meantime, made a powerful begin to her marketing campaign with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Zina Garrison. She then defeated Helena Sukova and Sylvia Hanika to advance to the finals of the occasion.
Steffi Graf joined Gabriela Sabatini in a blockbuster finale in New York. The German fought again from a set right down to file a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Sabatini, securing her first title on the year-end championships.