See also: Graf
Stefanie Maria " Steffi" Graf , born the June 14th 1969 with Mannheim as a Federal republic of Germany, is a former player of Tennis, classified number 1 world with the WTA during 377 weeks cumulated.
In shortShe gained 22 tournaments of the Grand Slam, the second more titrated behind Margaret Smith Court. In 1988, it became the third woman to carry out the Grand Slam, by beating Chris Evert with the Open of Australia, Natasha Zvereva with Roland Garros, Martina Navrátilová with Wimbledon, and Gabriela Sabatini with the US Open.
The same year, it gained the gold medal with the Olympic Games of summer of Seoul. It is what one called the Golden Large Slam ( Grand Slam out of gold ), new and, since, unequalled. It was also the only one to make a success of a Large Slam on four different surfaces. As well as a second Large Slam with horse over two years (1993-1994).
It finally gained with five recoveries Masters (1987, 89,93,95 and 96).
Steffi Graf began tennis at four years, trained by his/her father. At thirteen years, it was the youngest player to receive a row with world classification (124e). It became Professionnel the October 18th 1982.
It was withdrawn from the competition the August 13rd 1999. Steffi Graf gained 107 titles into simple in its career and remained 377 weeks (including 186 consecutive) in the place of number 1 world, which constitutes a record.
One can regard it as the largest tennis player of all times.
She married with the tennis player Andre Agassi of which she has two children, a son and a girl.
Beginning of careerSteffi was launched in tennis by his/her father, Peter Graf, a dealer and automobile insurer, like apprentice trainer of tennis. At the three years age, it started to teach to him the tennistic epic with a racket out of wooden, in the living room. Steffi entered on a court as of the four years age and played its first tournament with five. It obtained regularly victories on the level junior and, in 1982, gained the European championship of the 12-18 years.
Graf played its first professional tournament at 13 years, in October 1982 with Filderstadt, in Germany and lost its first professional match against Tracy Austin in two sets, 6-4, 6-0. After the match, Austin doubted the capacities of Graf, asserting which one found of the " centaines" young people like it with the the United States.
At the beginning of its first complete year as a professional player, in 1983, Steffi Graf were classified n°124. Although not having gained any tournament during the three years which followed, it reinforced its play and its classification progressed regularly: n°98 at the end of 1983, n°22 fine 1984 fine and n°6 1985. In 1984, it represented the West Germany to the Olympic Games of summer of Los Angeles whereas tennis was there in demonstration. It gained the medal of or.
Its planning was supervised closely by his/her father who wanted to limit his services and to avoid thus that his/her daughter does not burn her energy while dispersing in too many matches, as of other young players did it then. In 1985, for example, she played only 10 tournaments until the US Open whereas Gabriela Sabatini played 21 in same time of them.
Steffi Graf saw his/her father also reigning on his private diary, this one privileging a maximum concentration on the drives and the play. Working with his/her father and his trainer Pavel Složil, Graf was exerted specifically four hours per day, leaving directly an airport to go on the courts of drive. This method prevented it from tying bonds on the circuit at its beginnings, but probably contributed to the regular improvement of the quality of its play.
Finally, Graf gained its first tournament of the circuit in April 1986, with Hilton Head in South Carolina, beating the champion Chris Evert finally. She connected with seven victories in 1986 and finishes the classified year n°3 world.
The principal weapon of Graf was its blow powerful right which was worth to him the nickname of Fraulein Forehand ( Miss Right Coup ). With time, it developed also an excellent slicé reverse considered as one of best of the circuit. Its service was powerful (record to 170 km/h) and precis. Other assets, it was athletic and had a good rate of travel, recovering lost balls a priori . Although it chose a tennistic career, it was a very good compétitrice of 400 meters and could have claimed to become an athlete of world value in this discipline.
The year of the opening1987 was the year of its first victory in tournament of the Large Slam. It started the year very strong, gaining six tournaments until Roland Garros, where it went finally against the world n°1 of then, Martina Navrátilová. After a match epic, it gained the title in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 8-6. Graf lost then the finales of Wimbledon and the US Open the same year. But it gained three tournaments moreover after Roland Garros who allowed him détrôner Navrátilová while becoming n°1 world in August 1987. This year, it also contributed to the victory of FRG in Fed Cup.
Large Slam1988 are the year when Steffi Graf was with the apogee of its career. It started by gaining the Open of Australia, Evert leaf in two sets finally. At Roland Garros, it preserved his title while striking Natasha Zvereva, too nervous in front of the stake, 6-0, 6-0 in 34 minutes. Then Wimbledon came, that Navrátilová dominated of its 6 consecutive titles. After a difficult beginning, Graf took the ascending one and gained the victory 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. It gained finally the US Open one vis-a-vis Sabatini in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, thus managing to gain the Large Slam what is called (to be victorious of the 4 major tournaments of the professional circuit the same year). Only two women had done it before it: Maureen Connolly in 1953 and Margaret Runs in 1970. An additional challenge however awaited Graf, which gained the finale of the Olympic tournament against Sabatini, 6-3, 6-3, and thus obtained the gold medal of this discipline only in demonstration. This total performance in 1988 was baptized by the media Golden Slam ( the Gold Slam). To note that the two Large Slams of Connolly and Court having been realized nonOlympic years, these two players could not have carried out this Golden Slam even if tennis had been Olympic discipline. This year 1988 Graf gained also its only title of the Large Slam in double, in Wimbledon, in team with Sabatini. Associated with Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, it brought back the bronze medal in double of the Olympiads.
New challengesGraf continued its Large Slam with one 5th victory of at a stretch, by gaining the Open one of Australia, where it beat Helena Suková easily, 6-4, 6-4. The sequence of the victories ended with Roland Garros where one claiming 16 years, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario gained the title in three tight sets 7-6, 3-6, 7-5. However Graf found the way of success quickly and gained Wimbledon and the US open one, each time against Navrátilová and in three sets.
Few people doubted the supremacy of Graf in the years which were to come, when it beat Mary Joe Fernandez with Melbourne with the beginning of the year 1990. However It still lost against young a 16 year old player in Roland Garros, Monica Seles. To Wimbledon, Graf did not arrive finally, not stopped in half by Zina Garrison. She obtained her the US place finally Open one but lost there still, against Sabatini this time. Family troubles had put at evil its concentration on tennis during the year, his/her father being pointed finger in a business of paternity (proven inaccurate) during Wimbledon. Although Graf remained the n°1, its reputation of invincibility was broken.
The accumulation of wounds, personal problems and of a fall of form made the year 1991 hard for Graf. Seles was affirmed then and taken the initiative. Gaining three tournaments of the Large Slam, it détrôna Graf of its place of n°1 in March. Saddles did not play Wimbledon where Graf obtained its only victory of the year in Large Slam against Sabatini in a very tight match, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6.
1992 was the 2nd year when Graf had to hold the supporting role behind Seles on the circuit. Seles still gained international Australia, of France and the United States. Graf and it met finally of Roland Garros but the victory escaped Graf, losing 10-8 with the 3rd set. They were found in Wimbledon where Graf proved that it remained the best on grass by gaining match 6-2, 6-1. With the Olympic Games of Barcelona Graf lost finally against Jennifer Capriati, bringing back the medal of money and to supplement its collection. With the team of Germany, Graf took down another title of Fed Cup.
All would contribute to think that Seles was going to continue its domination in 1993, when it finally beat Graf in three sets in Australia. However an event without precedent made rock the career of Saddles the April 30th 1993, opening the way with Graf again. Seles was victim of an aggression to the knife at the time of its quarterfinal against Magdalena Maleeva with the tournament of Hamburg, during the change on side. An emerging individual of crowd stabbed it between the shoulders. Seles will end up being restored but could never catch up with time wasted nor to take again its domination. The attacker, a 38 year old German mentally unstable and named Günter Parche, stated to have wanted to help Graf to recover its place of n°1, held by Seles since two years. Graf returned visit to Seles to the hospital, but did not make that public comments minima in connection with the attack. It reached the finale of the tournament this same week, and lost finally against Sánchez.
Second period of dominationSaddles far from the courses for 28 months, Graf gained the 3 tournaments of the Large Slam remaining in 1993 and took again the place of n°1.
1994 is one season in half-tone. In January, Graf beats Sánchez in Australia and, for the second time, it gained four tournaments of the Large Slam successively (but over two years). However it lost in semi-final in Roland Garros and, in a surprising way, with the first turn of Wimbledon. Sánchez took its US revenge finally Open one (in three sets).
1995 starts by a fixed price for Graf, because of a wound. It returned by victories to Roland Garros and Wimbledon. The year is concluded with US Open by a dramatic final between Seles, ghost of its wound, and Graf which finishes with the advantage of allemande in three sets 7-6, 0-6, 6-3.
This year was also difficult on the personal level for Steffi Graf, because she saw her marked father of tax evasion in Germany. His/her father, who managed his finances, bailed out 45 months of prison (it made 25 of them). The prosecutor did not retain loads against Steffi Graf in 1997, and it agreed to pour 1,3 million Deutsche Mark of late (approximately 660.000 euros) in the State and a charity work.
In 1996 Steffi still missed the Open one of Australia because of a wound but gained the three others, thus preserving its titles of the previous year. In a final of Roland Garros become traditional between Graf and Sánchez, Graf saved several match points before gaining the 3rd set 10-8. Winner of the shortest final of Roland Garros in 1988 (34mn), it thus became also that longest: 3:04 mn. It confirmed this victory in Wimbledon against the same adversary but in two sets, then with US Open against Seles, still in two sets.
Known for its professionalism of the approach of the play, Graf could however show its direction of humor. Thus, when in a tight match of semi-final against Kimiko Date in Wimbledon a spectator exclaimed: “Steffi, do you want to marry me? ”, all the stage exploded of laughing. Steffi caught the ball which it made rebound and, turning to its fan, shouted to him: “How much money you have?”. Graf lost the set but gained the match 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Last yearsThe end of a career of Graf was disturbed by many wounds, in particular with the back and the knees. That did not prevent it from still gaining some great victories before putting a term at its career.
After having missed half of the season 1998, it finishes the year classified n°9 world, its weaker row since 1984.
But Graf still kept a few good moments holds some to finish in beauty its career. In 1999, finally of Roland Garros against Hingis, it reversed the course of the match and gained the victory in 3 sets, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in an indescribable environment. This moment seems to be its more satisfactory victory in Large Slam according to its dires. It connected on a final in Wimbledon, but lost this time against Lindsay Davenport.
Chronic wounds refusing to disappear, Graf announced its retirement in August 1999. It was still n°3 world when it finishes its career.
During its career it gained 107 victories into simple and 11 in double. 22 tournaments of the Large Slam grow this prize list. His victories ratio/defeats was of 900 against 115. It remained n°1 during 377 weeks, including a 186 week old record of sharp (of August 1987 in March 1991).
After tennisGraf married the October 22nd 2001 with Andre Agassi with Las Vegas, with their mothers for only witnesses. Their first child, a son named Jaden Gil was born the October 26th 2001. Their daughter, Jaz It, was born on October 3rd, 2003.
Graf is the founder of Children for tomorrow, an association with nonlucrative goal which aims to support and to deploy projects aiming at helping the children victims of the traumatisms of the wars or the exile, persecution or violences. It is also ambassadress of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It made an appearance in the film Otto, der Außerfriesische , adores the animals and is active in the world of the mode, proposing its own line of articles.
In 2007, it poses with her Andre Agassi husband under the eye of the photographer Annie Leibovitz for the institutional countryside of the group Louis Vuitton. By the means of this countryside centered on the topic of the voyage, they invite the public to share their love for the town of New York through an accessible photo novel since the site Louis Vuittton.
Prize list Steffi Graf
Course in Large Slam
Cut of the Federation
Classifications at the end of the season (simple)
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