by M Umair | December 11, 2015 12:48 pm
Stefanie Maria “Steffi” Graf was born in 1969 in Germany. She was the female best No 1 Tennis player in the world. She won 22 single’s titles in her lifetime. She won the Olympic gold medal in 1988. She won 3 grand slams five times in 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996. Steffi also won 6 French Open singles. By winning 107 singles in her career, she is proudly ranked as third in all time greatest in Tennis. Only two people Martina Navratilova and Chirs Evert won more titles than Graph in the history of game. She was famous for her powerful forehand drive.
Steffi was born in Mannheim Germany. Her father was also a coach of Tennis so she loved her family game from the start. At the age of 4 she played tennis with her brother and soon began winning the junior tournaments in school. She played her first professional Tennis tournament in 1982. She lost her first match but eleven years later she defeated the same player who was No1 in 1982. In 1983 , Steffi was only 14 years old and was ranked 127 in the world.
She represented Germany in Olympics in 1984 in USA, but played unofficially so no medal was granted to her. In 1985 and 86, Graph started winning matches against the toughest female opponents like Martina Navratilova and Gabriella Sabatini.
1987 was her greatest year as she emerged as the greatest champions of that time. She defeated Martina Navratilova again when she was still world No1.
Graph won the Australian open in 1988. She defended her title in the French Open successfully by beating Natasha Zverava. She made it so easy and that was the shortest grandslam ever. At the US Open, Graph defeated Sabatini. She also defeated Sabatini in the Olympics of 1988. She did superb in the singles competition but also won the double’s competitions as well in the same year.
In 1989 she kept winning the grand slam and defeated Mary Joe in the final of Australian Open in 1990. She played the final agianst Monica Seles of America in the French Open tournament in France and lost. Later on 1991 was a hard year for Steffi Graph as she lost to Martina Navratilova in the US Open. She lost the Australian Open as well to Jana Novotna and was disappointed for not reaching the semi finals this year. She lost to Sabatini and Amelia Island in Florida the same year.
1992 remained a mixed year for her as her next major defeat was against Monica Seles in the 1993 in Australian Open.Monica Seles was playing the quarter final match with Magdalena Maleeva in Germany when she was stabbed in her shoulder blades by a sick mentally ill German fan of Steffi Graph. According to him it was the revenge he took from Monica for beating Graph. Seles was out of the game injured and that gave Graph the obvious advantage of winning 65 games out of 67.
In 1994 Graph again won the Australian Open by defeating Arantxa Sanchez. Graph got injured the same year and could not take part in the 1995 Australian Open. After losing a few more big matches including the Wimbledon due to knee injury, she announced her retirement in 1999. At the time of retirement Graph was No 3 in the world. She said after her retirement that she did not want to accomplish anything more as she had a wonderful career. Her motivation internationally was not the same. She won total of 11 doubles titles in her life.
She played some exhibition matches after her retirement in Germany. Most of them were doubles matches. Her most influential move was forehand drive but she was also a master of backhand drive. She was a champion because she knew how to keep the bowl low and make her opponent uncomfortable. Her serving speed was 180km/hr. She was definitely the fastest serves in the women’s history of game. Her favorite racquet was Dunlop Max 200G. She started a new series of new Tennis racquets with her husband Andre Agassi. She was also the brand Ambassador of Kerala tourism in US and Europe.
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