T365 Recall: Steffi Graf’s brutal 32-minute 6-0, 6-0 demolition of Natasha Zvereva at the French Open
June 4, 2020 marks the 32nd anniversary of Steffi Graf’s ruthless lesson in the 1998 French Open final with Natasha Zvereva on the receiving end.
Zvereva endured a magical run at Roland Garros that year, but things unraveled in the final when she came up against a Steffi Graf that was in destructive mode.
At just 17 years of age, Zvereva had a dream tournament as she had beaten second seed Martina Navratilova in the fourth round and also accounted for Helena Sukova, the sixth seed, in the quarter-final.
The 18-year-old Graf, on the other hand, had won the Australian Open earlier that year without dropping a set and she reached the French Open final by winning four sets in her six matches 6-0.
So Zvereva was always going to be up against it, but nobody quite expected it to be so lopsided as the German won 6-0, 6-0 in 34 minutes, but it was just 32 minutes of playing time due to the rain.
In fact, the rain break lasted longer than the time played as players were off for one hour with the first period of play lasting nine minutes before they returned for 23 minutes after the delay.
The Soviet player buckled under the pressure as she won only 13 games over the two sets.
Here is the full match.
“I’m very sorry it was so fast,” Graf told the Roland Garros crowd during the post-match interviews.
An emotional Zvereva declined to do an on-court interview, but was crestfallen and shed some tears during the press conference.
“I wasn’t in the match. It was just a bad game, bad play,” she was quoted as saying by the New York Times.
The double bagel was the first in a women’s Grand Slam final in the Open Era and the first since the 1911 Wimbledon final when Dorothy Lambert Chambers beat Dora Boothby.
Zvereva managed to win four singles titles after that French Open, while the closest she came to another Grand Slam final was a semi-final appearance at Wimbledon 10 years later.
However, she forged a successful career in doubles as she won 18 women’s doubles Grand Slam titles and two mixed majors, all coming after the 1988 Roland Garros final.
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official.
More Australian Open players go into isolation taking number up to 72
Forty-seven had already been told they had to stay in their rooms for 14 days.
How Australian Open players are keeping themselves occupied in quarantine
A total of 47 players were told they would have to stay in their rooms for 14 days.
Australian Open preparations rocked by fourth positive Covid case
A positive test was returned by a broadcast team member on a charter flight from Los Angeles.
Players were made aware of isolation risks on arrival to Australia – Craig Tiley
Forty seven players will have to remain in their hotel rooms for 14 days.
Andy Murray’s waiting game as anger mounts after tennis players fly in for Australian Open
Andy Murray is waiting to see if there is any way he compete in the Australian Open after testing positive for Covid-19.
Positive Covid cases on flights to Australia put 47 players in 14-day quarantine
Three people across two chartered flights carrying the Open hopefuls tested positive for coronavirus upon their arrival in Melbourne.
Bernard Tomic still has drive to compete, saying ‘I don’t need to play tennis again, I’ve got enough money’
“I’m risking my life, and I’m playing and competing.”
Dominic Thiem: ‘My wish for 2021 is to win a second Grand Slam title’
Dominic Thiem eyes a second Grand Slam trophy.
VIDEO and PICS: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams among tennis stars to arrive in Australia
This way for a video and pics of arrivals in Australia.
Official insists no special Australian Open treatment for Andy Murray after positive COVID-19 result
Andy Murray warned he won’t get preferential treatment.