Steffi Graf was a month away from her 17th birthday in 1986. After winning her 2nd-round match at that year French Open championships, Steffi told the press, "I am studying geography, biology and German. I only study in the evenings, depending on the time I have to spare, but usually about one or one and one-half hours a day. During tournaments, I don't study much at all." Chris Evert was impressed by Steffi's footwork, "I think she has improved her backhand. She now has more topspin on it and also slices it. But I'm really impressed at the way she moves on the court. She is the quickest girl on the tour." It was reported, "If given a choice, Graf said she'd prefer playing 'The Big 3' in this order: (Chris) Evert, (Hana) Mandlikova and (Martina) Navratilova." 

Allen Green reminded, "Topspin is used primarily for control." Vic Braden taught tennis since 1946 elaborated, "You've got to make the ball get over the net and then drop into the court, and topspin does that. Good topspin allows you to keep the ball in play, and that's important because tennis is a game of errors. Even in pro tennis, errors outnumber placements 10 to one. In intermediate tennis, it's 20 or 30 to one. 

"A ball going on a horizontal plane (hit flat, with no spin) drops very fast, as fast as if you dropped it. That is why you have to lift the ball up to clear the net with safety. That's what the dinker (*) does. He hits it up and lets the other guy take the chances. Go to a dinker's house for dinner, sometime. You'll be surrounded by trophy cases." Oscar Wegner wrote the 1988 book, 'Tennis in 2 Hours', added, "I teach from the contact point to the finish of the stroke. The keys to the game are control and feel. It's necessary to use your power to your advantage. If you hit a shot 100 miles-per-hour and flat, it will always go out. If you hit it with topsin, it will land inside the baseline."

(*) There were said to be 4 major types of tennis players: the dinker "just get everything back and wait for (the opponent) to miss"; the moon-baller consistently hit deep defensive topspin lobs; the serve-and-volleyer and the baseliner.

At the 1986 French Open women's singles final, Chris won her 18th Grand Slam championship. In the final, she played Martina for the 69th time, the 14th time in a Grand Slam final. The "Chris and Martina Show" had toured the world from 1973 to 1988. The press noted at the time, "Two weeks of unpredictability (Steffi losing to Hana in the quarters) are about to be capped by the most predictable (Chris playing Martina) event in tennis." Chris believed, "I think as long as Martina and I are still mentally eager to play, we're going to be No. 1 and No. 2. The girls that have the potential to be No. 1 will succeed us. I don't think they'll replace us. Physically, I could still be a better athlete if I worked harder." Martina acknowledged, "I thought that age (turning 29 at the time) would catch up with me physically. But I now think I can still go on playing for 5 or 6 years (to about 38). Mentally, I'm not so sure." Chris conceded, "Five or 6 years ago (back in 1979 or 1980), my concentration never wavered. Now (in 1985) I find there are distractions." Of winning her last Grand Slam championship, Chris made known, "If I was playing anyone else, I would probably go in with a lot more confidence. But if I would win a Grand Slam title, it would mean the most to me to beat Martina in the final. She's No. 1 and it is a Grand Slam...Martina is the toughest. No other player over the years have given me as many problems."

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