French Open 1988: Steffi Graf v Natasha Zvereva
Thirty-two minutes was all it took for Steffi Graf to win the 1988 French Open final, as she obliterated Natasha Zvereva, 6-0 6-0, and the German teenager then spent the rest of her afternoon apologising.
She started with her champion’s speech when she told the Roland Garros crowds: “I’m very sorry it was so fast.” Later, when Graf saw a pink-eyed Zvereva in the locker room, she spoke a few soft words of commiseration, apologising to her Soviet opponent.
It was the first time that a French Open finalist had failed to win a game. “I felt very surprised on the court to win 6-0 6-0,“ said Graf, who would go on to achieve the “golden slam” that season, winning all four majors and the Olympics.
A one-hour rain delay during the opening set lasted longer than the match itself, and Zvereva won only 13 points in the final, so it was hardly surprising that the Belarusian could not bring herself to address the crowd. “I knew what to say, but I just couldn’t do it,” she said. “I wanted to do well , but Graf was so awesome.”
Issued by www.telegraph.co.uk