The No. 8 seed, Sukova is not at all unsettled by what happened on the Stadium Court. Thought tactics were sound, but says she tried to be too perfect. How would she rate her performance? "Maybe a B," she says.
Talks briefly in Czech with Travnicek. Smiles and says, "Maybe a C." Ball bounces past on green carpet. TV set murmurs in background. Commentator is saying Graf is practicing on Court 27. The price of victory.
At her interview Graf was asked, "Do you like being labeled a machine?"
She replied, "I am a machine." Raised ripple of laughter.
Sept. 8—Gabriela Sabatini falls 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in 1:56. Sabatini in white. Graf in L.A. Raider black. Sabatini, the third seed, off to tremendous start. Breaks Graf's serve twice. Fan murmurs, "Someone forgot to put oil in the machine." Graf loses first set.
Even behind, she's always ready at the baseline—either to serve or receive. Plays, in Tony Trabert's felicitous phrase, as if double-parked. Sabatini looks tired. Moseys along the backstop. Lets the second set slip away. Then the third and the match, even though Graf has trouble with leg cramps at the end. In the interview room Sabatini says, "She was beatable today. It's very hard because you don't feel you have enough energy to keep mentally in the match."
The Spanish language reporters cluster around the table, holding little tape recorders close to Sabatini's face. One asks how Navratilova will do against Graf in the final. Sabatini seems patient, but bemused. Once again, Graf has turned a competitor into an analyst.