Steffi Graf is a tennis player who has made a name for herself in the history of her sport. Here are some highlights from her life that you might not have known about!
Steffi Graf began her professional career in 1982, at the age of just 13. The Mannheim-born tennis player waited less than two years for her first success, triumphing in an exhibition tennis match at the Los Angeles Olympics. A year later, Steffi reached the semi-finals of the US Open, but the real turning point in her promising career came in 1987, when she won the French Open. Steffi Graf was already a name that could remain in tennis history forever.
It wasn’t long before the German proved that her gigantic success at the prestigious Roland Garros was by no means an accident. In 1988, Graf became the first tennis player to win all the Grand Slam titles alone, reaching the so-called Golden Grand Slam. It is worth noting that the feat of the legendary player has not been repeated by any of her colleagues until today. The following years were a string of successes. By the time Graf finished her career in 1999, she had won 107 singles titles, including 6 French Open titles, 7 Wimbledon titles, 4 Australian Open titles and 5 US Open titles. With such an impressive record of achievements, combined with her multi-dimensionality and finesse, the tennis player is now a role model for every budding player.
Steffi Graf – did you know…
- Steffi Graf has earned the nickname ‘Fräulein Forehand’ from tennis fans because of her deadly forehand shots.
- Thanks to her recognition in the tennis world, Steffi had the opportunity to work with companies such as Adidas, Opel and Rexona.
- In 2001, the former tennis player married another prominent tennis player, Andre Agassi, who at the height of his career led the ATP singles rankings for 101 weeks. The couple has two children together – a son Jaden Gil and a daughter Jaz.
- In 1995 Steffi Graf was involved in a financial scandal. At the time, the German authorities accused her of tax evasion, which allegedly took place early in her career. At the time, Graf’s father Peter was responsible for Graf’s finances and was sentenced to 45 months in prison as a result. The man was released from prison after 25 months, however, and Steffi paid a fine of 1.3 million German marks to the government, also donating some of the funds to charity.
- Steffi Graf is involved in charity work – she even set up her own foundation called “Children for Tomorrow”. The organization aims to implement and then develop projects to support children who have been traumatized by war or other external factors
- In 1991, the Steffi Graf Youth Tennis Center in Leipzig was completed.
- Steffi Graf received the honors of induction into the International Sports Hall of Fame and the German Sports Hall of Fame.
- In his book “The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century,” Steve Flink called her the best tennis player of the past century. The American journalist and sports historian is certainly not alone in his opinion.
main photo: unsplash.com/Mario Gogh