"Husten Post"'s report on Katerina Maleeva winning the Huston tournament *
|The most unexpected was though
that the top 4 seeded players had reached the semifinals.
On saturday were played both the quarterfinals and the
semifinals. The quarters began at 10 o'clock and lasted
until 17 o'clock. All matches ended in two sets, the last
one to play her match was Katerina Maleeva - she beat 6-2
7-6 Gildemeister. She has now less than 5 hours, before
her semifinal match vs Navratilova starts.
"Martina is probably twice stronger physically. I am doing so much training, but I don't believe I shall be as she is. She is just different by birth." - says Katerina after her match vs Gildemeister.
In Saturday night Katerina Maleeva was reborn!
"She made me run so hard - said Navratilova, trying to explain her defeat -she knows how to ruin your style and to make you play her game. I have never seen her trying so many and successful end shots".
I have never doubted that Katerina deserves to win the tournament. The No.12 went the hard way. She did everything she had to. She won three matches in 26 hours (WOW !!!), 17 hours separated her wins over the second and the fifth player in the world. Boht Sances and Navratilova were stronger physically than Maleeva. The fourth seeded, however, made them do the work.
The Sunday match lasted two hours and 10 minutes, plus 15 min. rain delay, when Maleeva was 4-1 ahead in the third set.
Arantxa Sances, the reigning "Roland Garos" champion, cried once again. She made it to 4-4 after the delay. Than Maleeva started to play end shots with her well-learned backhand and to make Sances run back and forth the court. She showed psychical strength, she kept herself cool in the most though ralies. If Sances resembled an attacking bull, than Maleeva was a human machine.
"You can never be a 100 per sent sure in the victory - said Maleeva, picking up the words very carefully.- But I thought, there is no way I can lose this time." Maleeva - 56 kg and sweaty - resembled the wretched characters of Norman Rockwell.
"I had to win -said she - because I knew I was the better one" All tickets were sold out, 6014 people were standing up for Sances, they were waving Spanish flags. The Maleeva army was quiet.
"I am not used with such a crying - said Maleeva - Everybody was singing, shouting. I am happy I won". An she deserved it.
Katerina Maleeva was tired to death. The collapse could be read in her eyes, she was talking so quiet, as though she was dreaming ...
"I didn't have much sleep yesterday night, ops I mean this morning. It was really hard for me to play" - said she.
And we found it hard to remember Katerina playing a better tennis in her professional career. Often mentioned as the "little sister of Manuela", Katerina has never been No. 3 in the world, but Manuela on the other side, has never defeated Navratilova and Sances one after another.
"She is much more agressive now - said Sances - the last time, we'd played I defeated her in straight sets"
It had been another Cat, Katerina is now playing the tennis of her life. "I hava to train a lot more, but this win will help my selfconfidence" - explained Katya. And now, if she could only go an have some sleep ....
|* The article is taken from the "Huston Post" daily newspaper, the content is a mixture of three different articles about the tennis tournament, that took part in Huston in 1993. The name of the tournament is "The tournament of the champions", the single must for the players is to have won a title the current year. The main draw consists of 12 players, four of them seeded. The top players were Martina Navratilova, Katerina Maleeva, Arantxa Sances-Vikario ..., winner is Katerina Maleeva, defeating Navratilova and Sances in a row.|