Stefanie Maria "Steffi" Graf (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛfiː ˈɡʁaːf]; born 14 June 1969) is a German former professional tennis player. She was ranked world No. 1 and won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Her 22 singles titles put her second on the list of major wins in the female competition since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968 and is third all-time behind Margaret Court (24) and Serena Williams (23). In 1988, she became the only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam tournament at least 4 times.
Steffi Graf in 2010
|Full name||Stefanie Maria Graf|
|Country (sports)|| West Germany (1982–1990)|
|Residence||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|Born||14 June 1969|
Mannheim, West Germany
|Height||5 ft 9 1⁄2 in (177 cm)|
|Turned pro||18 October 1982|
|Retired||13 August 1999|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
Pavel Složil (1986–1991)
Heinz Günthardt (1992–1999)
|Int. Tennis HoF||2004 (member page)|
|Career record||900–115 (88.7%)|
|Career titles||107 (3rd all-time)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (17 August 1987)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||W (1988, 1989, 1990, 1994)|
|French Open||W (1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999)|
|Wimbledon||W (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)|
|US Open||W (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996)|
|Tour Finals||W (1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996)|
|Olympic Games||W (1988)|
|Highest ranking||No. 3 (3 March 1987)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||SF (1988, 1989)|
|French Open||F (1986, 1987, 1989)|
|US Open||SF (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||SF (1988)|
|Career record||9–7 (56.3%)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1991)|
|French Open||2R (1994)|
|US Open||1R (1984)|
|Fed Cup||W (1987, 1992)|
|Hopman Cup||W (1993)|
Graf was ranked world No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for a record 377 total weeks—the longest period for which any player, male or female, has held the number-one ranking since the WTA and the Association of Tennis Professionals began issuing rankings. She won 107 singles titles, which ranks her third on the WTA's all-time list after Martina Navratilova (167 titles) and Chris Evert (157 titles). She and Margaret Court are the only players, male or female, to win three Grand Slam tournaments in a calendar year five times (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996).
Notable features of Graf's game were her versatility across all playing surfaces, footwork and powerful forehand drive. Graf's athletic ability and aggressive game played from the baseline have been credited with developing the modern style of play that has come to dominate today's game. She won six French Open singles titles (second to Evert), seven Wimbledon singles titles, four Australian Open titles, and five U.S. Open singles titles. She is the only singles player (male or female) to have achieved a Grand Slam since hard court was introduced as a surface at the US Open in 1978. Consequently, Graf's Grand Slam was achieved on grass, clay, and hard court while the previous five Grand Slams were decided on only grass and clay. Graf reached thirteen consecutive major singles finals, from the 1987 French Open through to the 1990 French Open, winning nine of them. She won 5 consecutive major singles tournaments (1988 Australian Open to 1989 Australian Open), and seven out of eight, in two calendar years (1988 Australian Open to 1989 US Open, except 1989 French Open). She reached a total of 31 major singles finals.
Graf retired in 1999 while she was ranked world No. 3. She married former world No. 1 men's tennis player Andre Agassi in October 2001. They have two children – Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle. Graf was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004. Along with countryman Boris Becker, Graf was considered instrumental in popularizing tennis in Germany, where it has remained a highly popular sport ever since.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 2.1 Early career
- 2.2 Breakthrough year: 1987
- 2.3 Unprecedented Golden Slam: 1988
- 2.4 New challengers and personal challenges
- 2.5 Second period of dominance
- 2.6 Final years on the tour: 1997–99
- 2.7 Doubles career
- 2.8 Post-career exhibition matches
- 2.9 Summary of career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 Playing style
- 5 Equipment and endorsements
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Legacy
- 8 Awards and honours
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Stefanie Graf was born on 14 June 1969, in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany, to Heidi Schalk and car-and-insurance salesman Peter Graf (18 June 1938 − 30 November 2013). When she was nine years old, her family moved to the neighboring town of Brühl. She has a younger brother, Michael. Her father, an aspiring tennis coach, first introduced her to the game, teaching his three-year-old daughter how to swing a wooden racket in the family's living room. She began practicing on a court at the age of four and played in her first tournament at five. She soon began taking the top prize at junior tournaments with regularity, going on to win the European Championships 12s and 18s in 1982.
Graf played in her first professional tournament in October 1982 at Filderstadt, Germany. She lost her first round match 6–4, 6–0 to Tracy Austin, a two-time US Open champion and former world No. 1 player. (Twelve years later, Graf defeated Austin 6–0, 6–0 during a second round match at the Evert Cup in Indian Wells, California, which was their second and last match against each other.)
At the start of her first full professional year in 1983, Graf was 13 years old and ranked world No. 124. She won no titles during the next three years, but her ranking climbed steadily to world No. 98 in 1983, No. 22 in 1984, and No. 6 in 1985. In 1984, she first gained international attention when she almost upset the tenth seed, Jo Durie of the United Kingdom, in a fourth round Centre Court match at Wimbledon. In August as a 15-year-old (and youngest entrant) representing West Germany, she won the tennis demonstration event at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. No medals were awarded as this was not an official Olympic event.
Graf's schedule was closely controlled by her father, who limited her play so that she would not burn out. In 1985, for instance, she played only ten events leading up to the US Open, whereas another up-and-coming star, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, who was a year younger than Graf, played 21. Peter also kept a tight rein on Graf's personal life. Social invitations on the tour were often declined as Graf's focus was kept on practicing and match play. Working with her father and then-coach Pavel Složil, Graf typically practiced for up to four hours a day, often heading straight from airports to practice courts. This narrow focus meant that Graf, already shy and retiring by nature, made few friends on the tour in her early years, but it led to a steady improvement in her play.
In 1985 and early 1986, Graf emerged as the top challenger to the dominance of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. During that period, she lost six times to Evert and three times to Navratilova, all in straight sets. She did not win a tournament but consistently reached tournament finals, semifinals and quarterfinals, with the highlight being her semifinal loss to Navratilova at the US Open.
On 13 April 1986, Graf won her first WTA tournament and beat Evert for the first time in the final of the Family Circle Cup in Hilton Head, South Carolina. (She never lost to Evert again, beating her six more times over the next three and a half years.) Graf then won her next three tournaments at Amelia Island, Charleston, and Berlin, culminating in a 6–2, 6–3 defeat of Navratilova in the final of the latter. Illness caused her to miss Wimbledon, and an accident where she broke a toe several weeks later also curtailed her play. She returned to win a small tournament at Mahwah just before the US Open where, in one of the most anticipated matches of the year, she encountered Navratilova in a semifinal. The match was played over two days with Navratilova finally winning after saving three match points 6–1, 6–7, 7–6. Graf then won three consecutive indoor titles at Tokyo, Zurich, and Brighton, before once again contending with Navratilova at the season-ending Virginia Slims Championships in New York. This time, Navratilova beat Graf 7–6, 6–3, 6–2.
Breakthrough year: 1987Edit
Graf's Grand Slam tournament breakthrough came in 1987. She started the year strongly, with six tournament victories heading into the French Open, with the highlight being at the tournament in Miami, where she defeated Martina Navratilova in a semifinal and Chris Evert in the final and lost only 20 games in the seven rounds of the tournament. In the French Open final, Graf defeated Navratilova, who was the world No. 1, 6–4, 4–6, 8–6 after beating Sabatini in a three-set semifinal.
Graf then lost to Navratilova 7–5, 6–3 in the Wimbledon final, her first loss of the year. However, in the Federation Cup final in Vancouver, Canada, three weeks later, she defeated Evert easily 6–2, 6–1. The US Open ended anti-climactically as Navratilova defeated Graf in the final 7–6, 6–1.
Graf had a win-loss record of 75-2 for a 97.4 winning percentage in 1987, both losses coming to Navratilova as they split the four matches they played during the year. On 17 August, after defeating Evert in a straight set final in the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles, Graf overtook Navratilova for the world No. 1 ranking for the first time in her career, a ranking she would hold for the next 186 consecutive weeks, a record (it was tied by Serena Williams in 2016). Graf was the first player other than Navratilova or Evert to hold the top spot since Tracy Austin in 1980.
Unprecedented Golden Slam: 1988Edit
Graf started 1988 by winning the Australian Open, defeating Chris Evert in the final 6–1, 7–6. Graf did not lose a set during the tournament and lost a total of only 29 games.
Graf lost twice to Sabatini during the spring, once on hardcourts in Boca Raton, Florida, and once on clay at Amelia Island, Florida. Graf, however, won the tournament in San Antonio, Texas, and retained her title in Miami, where she once again defeated Evert in the final. Graf then won the tournament in Berlin, losing only twelve games in five matches.
At the French Open, Graf successfully defended her title by defeating Natasha Zvereva 6–0, 6–0 in a 34-minute final. The official time of the match given on the scoresheet was 34 minutes; however. just 32 minutes of that was spent on the court, as a rain break split the match into two periods of play, of nine and 23 minutes. That was the shortest-ever and most one-sided Grand Slam final ever and the only double bagel in a Major final since 1911. Zvereva, who had eliminated Martina Navratilova in the fourth round, won only thirteen points in the match.
Next came Wimbledon, where Martina Navratilova had won six straight titles. Graf was trailing Martina Navratilova in the final 7–5, 2–0 before winning the match 5–7, 6–2, 6–1. She then won tournaments in Hamburg and Mahwah (where she lost only eight games all tournament).
At the US Open, Graf beat Sabatini in a three-set final to win the Grand Slam by 6–3, 3–6, 6–1, a feat previously performed by only two other women, Maureen Connolly Brinker in 1953 and Margaret Court in 1970. Graf's 1988 Grand Slam remains the only one in history completed on three surfaces (grass, clay, hard court), as all other Grand Slams in tennis history were achieved prior to the introduction of hard court at the US Open in 1978.
Graf then defeated Sabatini 6–3, 6–3 in the gold medal match at the Olympic Games in Seoul and achieved what the media had dubbed the "Golden Slam". The feat has only been achieved by Graf to date. Graf also won her only Grand Slam doubles title that year—at Wimbledon partnering Sabatini—and picked up a women's doubles Olympic bronze medal.
At the end of the year, the municipality of Brühl, her hometown, gave her the title of honorary citizen.
New challengers and personal challengesEdit
Speculation was rife at the beginning of 1989 about the possibility of Graf winning another Grand Slam. Some noted observers, such as Margaret Court, suggested that Graf could achieve the feat a couple more times. And the year began as expected, with Graf extending her Grand Slam tournament winning streak to five events at the Australian Open, defeating Helena Suková in the final. Her 6–3, 6–0 defeat of Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini in a semifinal was described by veteran observer Ted Tinling as "probably the best tennis I've seen". He went on to add, "I saw what Steffi did to Sabatini at the Australian Open this year, and that was it. She is better than them all."
Graf followed this with easy victories in her next four tournaments at Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Texas, Boca Raton, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina. The Washington, D.C. tournament was notable because Graf won the first twenty points of the final against Zina Garrison. In the Boca Raton final, Graf lost the only set she conceded to Chris Evert in their final seven matches.
Graf's Grand Slam tournament winning streak ended at the French Open, where 17-year-old Spaniard Arantxa Sánchez Vicario beat Graf in three sets. Graf served for the match at 5–3 in the third set but lost the game and won only three more points in the match. Suffering from food poisoning, she had struggled to beat Monica Seles in their semifinal 6–3, 3–6, 6–3 and said that she had had menstrual cramps in the final. Graf, however, recovered to defeat Martina Navratilova 6–2, 6–7, 6–1 in the Wimbledon final after defeating Monica Seles 6–0, 6–1 in a fourth round match, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in a quarterfinal, and Chris Evert in a semifinal.
Graf warmed up for the US Open with easy tournament victories in San Diego and Mahwah. In her semifinal match at the US Open, Graf defeated Sabatini 3–6, 6–4, 6–2. The match was notable for its dramatic ending. Having suffered from leg cramps since the middle of the third set, Graf ran off the court seconds after match point to seek medical treatment. In the final, Navratilova led 6–3, 4–2 before Graf rallied to win 3–6, 7–5, 6–1 for her third Grand Slam singles title of the year.
Victories at Zurich and Brighton preceded the Virginia Slims Championships, where Graf cemented her top-ranked status by beating Navratilova in the four-set final. Graf ended 1989 with an 86–2 match record and the loss of only 12 sets. Her 0.977 winning percentage is the second-highest in the open era behind Navratilova.
Graf defeated Mary Joe Fernández in the final of the Australian Open, which was her eighth Grand Slam singles title in the last nine she contested. She survived an intense 3 set battle with Helena Sukova in the semis, breaking in the 10th and final game to win the 3rd set 6-4. Her winning streak (unbeaten since the 1989 French Open loss to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario) continued with victories in Tokyo, Amelia Island, and Hamburg. Shortly after winning in Tokyo, Graf injured her right thumb while cross-country skiing in Switzerland and subsequently withdrew from the Virginia Slims of Florida and the Lipton Championships. In Berlin, she extended her unbeaten streak to 66 matches (second in WTA history to Navratilova's 74) before losing the final to Monica Seles, 6–4, 6–3.
While the Berlin tournament was being played, the largest-circulation German tabloid, Bild, ran a story about an alleged scandal involving Graf's father. The difficulty of answering questions about the matter came to a head at a Wimbledon press conference, where Graf broke down in tears. Wimbledon authorities then threatened to immediately shut down any subsequent press conferences where questions about the issue were asked. Whether this scandal affected Graf's form is open to debate. In an interview with Stern magazine in July 1990, Graf stated, "I could not fight as usual."
Graf again lost to Monica Seles in the final of the French Open 7–6, 6–4. Seles was behind 2–6 in the first-set tiebreaker, but then came back to win six points in a row and take the set. At Wimbledon, Graf lost in the semifinals to Zina Garrison, who with this victory broke Graf's string of 13 consecutive Major finals. This was a major upset as Garrison had to save a match point to defeat Monica Seles in the quarterfinal, and was expected to easily fall to Graf, whom she had not beaten in 4 years. After victories in Montreal and San Diego, Graf reached the US Open final, where she lost in straight sets to Sabatini. Graf won four indoor tournaments after the US Open, including a pair of straight set wins over Sabatini in the finals of Zürich and Worcester. Although Sabatini got the best of Graf in the semifinals of the season-ending Virginia Slims Championships, Graf still finished the year as the top-ranked player.
A mixture of injury problems, personal difficulties, and loss of form made 1991 a tough year for Graf. Seles established herself as the new dominant player on the women's tour, winning the Australian Open, French Open, and US Open and, in March, ending Graf's record 186 consecutive-weeks hold on the World No. 1 ranking. Graf briefly regained the top ranking after winning at Wimbledon but lost it again after her loss to Navratilova at the US Open.
Graf lost an Australian Open quarterfinal to Jana Novotná, the first time she did not reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament since the 1986 French Open. She then lost to Sabatini in her next three tournaments before winning the U.S. Hardcourt Championships in San Antonio, beating Monica Seles in the final. After losing a fifth straight time to Sabatini in Amelia Island, Florida, Graf again defeated Seles in the Hamburg final. Following her tournament victory in German Open in Berlin, Graf suffered one of the worst defeats of her career in a French Open semifinal where she won only two games against Sánchez Vicario and lost her first 6–0 set since 1984. At Wimbledon, however, Graf captured her third women's crown, this time at Sabatini's expense. Sabatini served for the match twice, and was two points away from her first Wimbledon title. After breaking Sabatini's serve to even the third set at 6–6, Graf defeated Sabatini by winning the next two games to take the match 6–4, 3–6, 8–6. Martina Navratilova then defeated Graf 7–6, 6–7, 6–4 in a US Open semifinal, the first time she had beaten Graf in four years. Graf then won in Leipzig, with her 500th career victory coming in a quarterfinal against Judith Wiesner. After winning two more indoor tournaments at Zurich and Brighton, she failed once again in the Virginia Slims Championships, losing her quarterfinal to Novotná. Soon after, she split with her long-time coach, Pavel Složil.
A bout of rubella forced Graf to miss the first major event of 1992, the Australian Open. Her year continued indifferently with losses in three of her first four tournaments, including a semifinal loss to Jana Novotná in Chicago. It was Graf's second consecutive loss to Novotna, and dating back to their 1991 Australian Open quarterfinal match, Jana had won three of their last five meetings. It would also be the last loss Graf would ever have to Novotna in a match she completed (she did have a loss after withdrawing with injury after the first set of a late 1996 match). Chicago was notable, however, for being the first tournament Graf played with her new coach, former Swiss player Heinz Günthardt. Graf's father had approached Günthardt during the 1991 Virginia Slims Championships. She would work with him for the remainder of her career. In Boca Raton, Florida, Graf reached her first final of the year, where she faced Conchita Martínez for the title. In their five previous head-to-head matches, Graf had defeated Martínez each time. Even though Conchita won the opening set, Graf went on to prevail in three sets. She lost twice to Sabatini in the early spring at the Lipton International and the Bausch & Lomb Championships, which now brought her to 7 losses in her last 8 matches against Sabatini; however, the Bausch & Lomb loss would be Graf's final loss to Sabatini, winning her next, and last, eight matches against Sabatini.
Victories at Hamburg and Berlin (beating Sánchez Vicario in the finals of both) prepared her for the French Open, where she defeated Sánchez Vicario in the semifinals after losing the first set 6–0. Graf then lost a closely contested final to Monica Seles, 6–2, 3–6, 10–8. Seles won the match on her 5th match point; Graf came within two points of winning the match a few games earlier. At Wimbledon, after struggling through early-round three-setters against Mariaan de Swardt and Patty Fendick, she easily defeated Natasha Zvereva in the quarterfinal, Sabatini in the semifinal, and Seles in the final 6–2, 6–1, with Seles playing in almost complete silence because of widespread media and player criticism of her grunting. Graf then won all five of her Fed Cup matches, helping Germany defeat Spain in the final by defeating Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–4, 6–2. At the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Graf lost to Jennifer Capriati in the final and claimed the silver medal. At the US Open, Graf was upset in the quarterfinal by Sánchez Vicario 7–6, 6–3. Four consecutive indoor tournament victories in the autumn helped improve her season, but for the third consecutive year, she failed to win the Virginia Slims Championships, where she lost in the first round to Lori McNeil.
Second period of dominanceEdit
Graf began 1993 with four losses in her first six tournaments of the year: two to Sánchez Vicario and one each to Seles and the 36-year-old Martina Navratilova. She struggled at the tournament in Berlin where she lost a 6–0 set to the unheralded Sabine Hack before defeating Mary Joe Fernández and Sabatini in three-set matches to claim her seventh title there in eight years.
During a quarterfinal match between Seles and Magdalena Maleeva in Hamburg, Seles was stabbed between the shoulder blades by a mentally ill German fan of Graf, Günter Parche. He claimed that he committed the attack to help Graf reclaim the world No. 1 ranking. More than two years elapsed before Seles competed again. Shortly after the stabbing, during a players meeting at the Italian Open in Rome, 17 of the world's top 25 WTA members voted against preserving Seles' world No. 1 ranking while she was sidelined. Since Graf skipped the Italian Open, she did not take part in the vote.
During Seles's absence, Graf won 65 of 67 matches, three of four Grand Slam events and the year-end Virginia Slims championships. She won her first French Open title since 1988 with a three-set victory over Mary Joe Fernández in the final. Fernandez had two break points to take a 3-0 and double break lead in the third set. The win elevated Graf to the World No. 1 ranking for the first time in 22 months. At Wimbledon, Graf defeated Jana Novotná to win her third consecutive, and fifth overall, ladies' title. In the third and deciding set, Novotná had a point to go up 5–1 on her serve. After breaking Novotná's serve, Graf won the next four games to take the match 7–6, 1–6, 6–4. Graf had a bone splinter in her right foot during this tournament (and for the next few months), finally resulting in surgery on 4 October.
In the meantime, she lost surprisingly to Nicole Bradtke of Australia in a Fed Cup match on clay before winning the Acura Classic in San Diego and the Canadian Open in Toronto in preparation for the US Open. She won there, comfortably beating Helena Suková in the final after needing three sets to eliminate Gabriela Sabatini and Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively. In the fall, Graf won the Volkswagen Card Cup in Leipzig a day before her foot operation, losing only two games to Jana Novotná in the final. Graf lost to Conchita Martínez in her comeback tournament a month later in Philadelphia. However, she finished her year with a highlight, winning her first Virginia Slims Championships since 1989 by beating Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the final despite needing painkillers for a back injury.
Seemingly free of injury for the first time in years, Graf began the year by winning the Australian Open, where she defeated Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the final with the loss of only two games. Graf later stated it was the best tennis she had ever played in a Grand Slam final. She then won her next four tournaments in Tokyo, Indian Wells, Delray Beach and Miami respectively. In the Miami final, she lost her first set of the year—to Natasha Zvereva—after winning 54 consecutive sets. In the Hamburg final, she lost for the first time in 1994 after 36 consecutive match victories, losing to Sánchez Vicario in three sets. She then won her eighth German Open, but there were signs that her form was worsening as she almost lost to Julie Halard in a quarterfinal. As the defending champion Graf lost in straight sets to Mary Pierce in the French Open semifinal. This was followed by a first-round straight-sets loss at Wimbledon to Lori McNeil, her only loss at Wimbledon between 1991 and 1997 and her first loss in a first round Grand Slam tournament in ten years. Graf still managed to win San Diego the following month but aggravated a long-time back injury in beating Sánchez Vicario in the final. Graf developed a bone spur at the base of her spine due to a congenital condition of the sacroiliac joint. She began to wear a back brace and was unsure about playing the US Open but elected to play while receiving treatment and stretching for two hours before each match. She made it to the final and took the first set against Sánchez Vicario but lost the next two sets — Sanchez Vicario's last victory over Graf. In the middle of the second set, Graf suffered back spasms while reaching for a ball in the ad court. She took the following nine weeks off, returning only for the Virginia Slims Championships where she lost in straight sets to Pierce in the quarterfinal. Although Graf ended the year ranked No. 1 on the computer the ITF named Sanchez Vicario its World Champion for the year, while the WTA backed their official rankings and named Graf.
A strained right calf muscle forced Graf to withdraw from the Australian Open. She came back in February, winning four consecutive tournaments in Paris, Delray Beach, Miami and Houston. She then beat Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the finals of both the French Open and Wimbledon. The 1995 Wimbledon final is regarded as one of the most dramatic women's major finals in history as Graf and Sánchez Vicario battled in a tight third set that included a 16-minute long, 13-deuce game on Sanchez Vicario's serve at 5-5. In August Monica Seles made her much anticipated return to tennis at the Canadian Open. It was decided to grant her a joint number one ranking with Graf who took her first loss of the year in the first round to Amanda Coetzer. The US Open was Monica Seles's first Grand Slam event since the 1993 attack, with much anticipation again around a potential Seles-Graf final. After surviving a scare in a three-setter against Amanda Coetzer in the first round, Graf reached the final with relative ease, while Seles went through her side of the draw in even more convincing fashion. Seles and Graf met in the final, with Graf winning in three sets, saving a set point in the first set. Graf then capped the year by beating countrywoman Anke Huber in a five-set final at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships in 2 hours and 46 minutes.
In personal terms, 1995 was a difficult year for Graf, as she was accused by German authorities of tax evasion in the early years of her career. In her defense, she stated that her father Peter was her financial manager, and all financial matters relating to her earnings at the time had been under his control. Her father was arrested in August and was sentenced to 45 months in jail. He was eventually released after serving 25 months. Prosecutors dropped their case against Graf in 1997, when she agreed to pay a fine of 1.3 million Deutsche Marks to the government and an unspecified charity.
Graf again missed the Australian Open after undergoing surgery in December 1995 to remove bone splinters from her left foot. Graf came back to the tour in March, winning back to back titles in Indian Wells and Miami, followed by a record ninth title at the German Open in May and a quarterfinal defeat in Rome against Martina Hingis. She then successfully defended the three Grand Slam titles she won the year before. In a close French Open final, Graf again overcame Sánchez Vicario, taking the third-set 10–8. Graf had led 4-1 in the second set tiebreak, only to lose six points in a row and force a decider. Twice in the third set Sánchez Vicario served for the championship but was broken each time by Graf. It was the longest French Open women's singles final in history, both in terms of time (3 hours and 3 minutes) and number of games played (40). Graf then had a straight-sets win against Sánchez Vicario in the Wimbledon final. That was the last competitive match Graf and Sánchez Vicario would ever play against one another. In July, a left knee injury forced Graf to withdraw from the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Graf played only one warm-up event ahead of the US Open, the Acura Classic in Manhattan Beach, California, where she lost to Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals. She then successfully defended her title at the US Open, defeating Monica Seles in the final. Her toughest battle came against rising star Martina Hingis in the semifinal, with Hingis unable to convert on five set points. Graf did not lose a set the whole tournament. She also won her fifth and final WTA Tour Championships title with a five set win over Martina Hingis, with Hingis cramping up in the fifth set. In 1988 Graf became only the second tennis player in history to win a Slam on hard court, clay, and grass all in the same season. She repeated the feat in 1993, 1995, and 1996.
Final years on the tour: 1997–99Edit
The last few years of Graf's career were beset by injuries, particularly to her knees and back. She lost the world No. 1 ranking to Martina Hingis and failed to win a Grand Slam title for the first time in ten years in 1997. That year Graf lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open in straight sets to Amanda Coetzer. She subsequently withdrew from the Toray Pan Pacific Open and had arthroscopic surgery performed on her left knee. After several months injury lay off, Graf returned to play in the German Open in Berlin in front of a home crowd and had the worst defeat of her career in the quarterfinal, when Amanda Coetzer beat her in just 56 minutes 6–0, 6–1. In the French Open Graf was again beaten by Amanda Coetzer in straight sets, 6–1, 6–4. Only one week later, she underwent reconstructive knee surgery in Vienna and subsequently missed the 1997 Wimbledon and US Open championships. The treatment was for a fracture of the cartilage as well as a shortening and partial rupture of the patellar tendon of her left knee. After missing almost half of the tour in 1998, Graf lost in the third round at Wimbledon and in the fourth round at the US Open. Shortly after the US Open, she underwent surgery to remove a bone spur in her right wrist. Upon her return Graf defeated world No. 2 Hingis and world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport en route to the Philadelphia title. At the first round of the season-ending Chase Championships, Graf defeated world No. 3, Jana Novotná, before losing in the semifinal to first-seeded Davenport.
At the beginning of 1999 Graf played the warm up event to the Australian Open in Sydney; she defeated Serena Williams in the second round and Venus in the quarterfinals before losing to Lindsay Davenport in the semifinal. Graf then went on to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open before losing to Monica Seles in two sets. In Indian Wells Graf lost to Serena Williams in three sets.
At the French Open, Graf reached her first Grand Slam final in three years and fought back from a set and twice from a break down in the second set to defeat the top ranked Hingis in three sets for a memorable victory. Graf became the first player in the open era to defeat the first, second, and third ranked players in the same Grand Slam tournament by beating second-ranked Davenport in the quarterfinals and third-ranked Monica Seles in the semifinals. Graf said after the final that it would be her last French Open, fueling speculation about her retirement.
Graf then reached her ninth Wimbledon singles final, losing to third-seeded Davenport in straight sets. She had to overcome three difficult three set matches en route to this final, against Mariaan De Swardt in the third round, Venus Williams in the quarterfinals and Mirjana Lucic in the semifinals.
On 13 August 1999, shortly after retiring with a strained hamstring from a second round match against Amy Frazier in San Diego, Graf announced her retirement from the women's tour at age 30. She was ranked No. 3 at that time and said, "I have done everything I wanted to do in tennis. I feel I have nothing left to accomplish. The weeks following Wimbledon [in 1999] weren't easy for me. I was not having fun anymore. After Wimbledon, for the first time in my career, I didn't feel like going to a tournament. My motivation wasn't what it was in the past."
From the beginning of her career until 1990, Graf regularly played doubles events in Grand Slams and other tournaments, winning a total of 11 titles. In 1986, she formed a partnership with rival Gabriela Sabatini. The pair was moderately successful, winning the 1988 Wimbledon Championships together and reaching the finals of the French Open in 1986, 1987 and 1989. The partnership was the subject of much discussion, as the two women, both known to be shy, usually kept communication to a minimum during changeovers and between points, a highly unusual situation in doubles. Sabatini said of the partnership: "doubles is all about communicating with each other, and we didn't communicate that much. We would just say the basic things, but nothing else." The pair played their last major tournament together at the 1990 Wimbledon Championships, losing in the quarterfinals. From 1991 until the end of her career, Graf would only play doubles sporadically, forming short-term partnerships with a variety of players, including Lori McNeil, Anke Huber and her best friends on the tour, Rennae Stubbs, Patricia Tarabini and Ines Gorrochategui. She played her last Grand Slam doubles tournament at the 1999 Australian Open with Gorrochategui, losing in the second round.
Graf also occasionally played mixed doubles, although she never won a title. She partnered with doubles specialist Mark Woodforde at the Australian Open in 1994, with Henri Leconte at Wimbledon in 1991 and at the French Open in 1994, and with Charlie Pasarell at the US Open in 1984. In an unusual arrangement, she paired with her coaches Pavel Složil at Wimbledon in 1988 and Heinz Günthardt in 1992 and 1996, also at Wimbledon. At the 1999 Wimbledon Championships, Graf formed a much-publicized partnership with John McEnroe, with whom she reached the semifinals before withdrawing due to concerns that her uncertain hamstring, coupled with a bout of bronchitis, would affect her in the singles final.
Post-career exhibition matchesEdit
In late 1999 and early 2000, as part of her Farewell Tour, Graf played a series of exhibition matches against former rivals in New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Germany and South Africa. She played Jelena Dokic in Christchurch, New Zealand, Amanda Coetzer in Durban, South Africa, and her former rival Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in Zaragoza, Spain. It was Graf and Sánchez Vicario's first head-to-head meeting since 1996. In February 2000, Graf played against Kimiko Date at Nagoya Rainbow Hall in Tokyo, winning in three sets. In September 2004, Graf dispatched her former doubles partner Gabriela Sabatini in straight sets, in an exhibition match played in Berlin, Germany. She was also in Berlin to host a charity gala, as well as inaugurating a tennis stadium renamed the "Steffi Graf Stadion". Proceeds from her match against Sabatini went to Graf's foundation, "Children for Tomorrow".
In July 2005, Graf competed in one tie of World Team Tennis (WTT) on the Houston Wranglers team. She was beaten in two out of three matches, with each match being one set. Graf lost her singles match to Elena Likhovtseva 5–4. She teamed with Ansley Cargill in women's doubles against Anna Kournikova and Likhovtseva but lost 5–2. She was successful, however, in the mixed doubles match. Graf completely ruled out a return to professional tennis. In October, Graf defeated Sabatini in an exhibition match in Mannheim, Germany, winning both of their sets. Like the exhibition match the previous year against Sabatini, proceeds went to "Children for Tomorrow".
In 2008 Graf lost an exhibition match against Kimiko Date at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo. As part of the event, billed as "Dream Match 2008", she defeated Martina Navratilova in a one-set affair 8-7, with Graf winning a tiebreaker 10-5. It was the first time in 14 years Graf had played Navratilova. Graf played a singles exhibition match against Kim Clijsters and a mixed doubles exhibition alongside husband Andre Agassi against Tim Henman and Clijsters as part of a test event and celebration for the newly installed roof over Wimbledon's Centre Court in 2009. She lost a lengthy one-set singles match to Clijsters and also the mixed doubles.
In 2010, Graf participated in the WTT Smash Hits exhibition in Washington, D.C. to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation. She and Agassi, her husband, were on Team Elton John, which competed against Team Billie Jean King. Graf played in the celebrity doubles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles before straining her left calf muscle and being replaced by Anna Kournikova.
Summary of careerEdit
Graf won seven singles titles at Wimbledon, six singles titles at the French Open, five singles titles at the US Open, and four singles titles at the Australian Open. Her overall record in 56 Grand Slam events was 282–32 (89 percent) (87–10 at the French Open, 75–7 at Wimbledon, 73–9 at the US Open, and 47–6 at the Australian Open). Her career prize-money earnings totalled US$21,895,277 (a record until Lindsay Davenport surpassed this amount in January 2008). Her singles win-loss record was 900–115 (88.7 percent). She was ranked World No. 1 for 186 consecutive weeks (from August 1987 to March 1991, tied with Serena Williams, a record in the women's game) and a record total 377 weeks overall.
Grand Slam tournament performance timelineEdit
|Australian Open||1R||3R||A||NH||A||W||W||W||QF||A||F||W||A||A||4R||A||QF||4 / 10||47–6|
|French Open||2R||3R||4R||QF||W||W||F||F||SF||F||W||SF||W||W||QF||A||W||6 / 16||84–10|
|Wimbledon||LQ||4R||4R||A||F||W||W||SF||W||W||W||1R||W||W||A||3R||F||7 / 14||74–7|
|US Open||LQ||1R||SF||SF||F||W||W||F||SF||QF||W||F||W||W||A||4R||A||5 / 14||73–9|
|Win–Loss||1-2||7–4||11–3||9–2||19–2||27–0||27–1||24–3||21–3||17–2||27–1||18–3||21–0||21–0||7–2||5–2||17–2||22 / 54||278–32|
Note: Graf's semifinal match at the 1988 US Open was walkover (so not counted as win)
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Singles: 31 finals (22 titles, 9 runner-ups)Edit
|Win||1987||French Open||Clay||Martina Navratilova||6–4, 4–6, 8–6|
|Loss||1987||Wimbledon||Grass||Martina Navratilova||5–7, 3–6|
|Loss||1987||US Open||Hard||Martina Navratilova||6–7(4–7), 1–6|
|Win||1988||Australian Open||Hard||Chris Evert||6–1, 7–6(7–3)|
|Win||1988||French Open (2)||Clay||Natasha Zvereva||6–0, 6–0|
|Win||1988||Wimbledon||Grass||Martina Navratilova||5–7, 6–2, 6–1|
|Win||1988||US Open||Hard||Gabriela Sabatini||6–3, 3–6, 6–1|
|Win||1989||Australian Open (2)||Hard||Helena Suková||6–4, 6–4|
|Loss||1989||French Open||Clay||Arantxa Sánchez Vicario||6–7(6–8), 6–3, 5–7|
|Win||1989||Wimbledon (2)||Grass||Martina Navratilova||6–2, 6–7(1–7), 6–1|
|Win||1989||US Open (2)||Hard||Martina Navratilova||3–6, 7–5, 6–1|
|Win||1990||Australian Open (3)||Hard||Mary Joe Fernández||6–3, 6–4|
|Loss||1990||French Open||Clay||Monica Seles||6–7(6–8), 4–6|
|Loss||1990||US Open||Hard||Gabriela Sabatini||2–6, 6–7(4–7)|
|Win||1991||Wimbledon (3)||Grass||Gabriela Sabatini||6–4, 3–6, 8–6|
|Loss||1992||French Open||Clay||Monica Seles||2–6, 6–3, 8–10|
|Win||1992||Wimbledon (4)||Grass||Monica Seles||6–2, 6–1|
|Loss||1993||Australian Open||Hard||Monica Seles||6–4, 3–6, 2–6|
|Win||1993||French Open (3)||Clay||Mary Joe Fernández||4–6, 6–2, 6–4|
|Win||1993||Wimbledon (5)||Grass||Jana Novotná||7–6(8–6), 1–6, 6–4|
|Win||1993||US Open (3)||Hard||Helena Suková||6–3, 6–3|
|Win||1994||Australian Open (4)||Hard||Arantxa Sánchez Vicario||6–0, 6–2|
|Loss||1994||US Open||Hard||Arantxa Sánchez Vicario||6–1, 6–7(3–7), 4–6|
|Win||1995||French Open (4)||Clay||Arantxa Sánchez Vicario||7–5, 4–6, 6–0|
|Win||1995||Wimbledon (6)||Grass||Arantxa Sánchez Vicario||4–6, 6–1, 7–5|
|Win||1995||US Open (4)||Hard||Monica Seles||7–6(8–6), 0–6, 6–3|
|Win||1996||French Open (5)||Clay||Arantxa Sánchez Vicario||6–3, 6–7(4–7), 10–8|
|Win||1996||Wimbledon (7)||Grass||Arantxa Sánchez Vicario||6–3, 7–5|
|Win||1996||US Open (5)||Hard||Monica Seles||7–5, 6–4|
|Win||1999||French Open (6)||Clay||Martina Hingis||4–6, 7–5, 6–2|
|Loss||1999||Wimbledon||Grass||Lindsay Davenport||4–6, 5–7|
Doubles: 4 finals (1 title, 3 runner-ups)Edit
|Loss||1986||French Open||Clay||Gabriela Sabatini|| Martina Navratilova
|Loss||1987||French Open||Clay||Gabriela Sabatini|| Martina Navratilova
|Win||1988||Wimbledon||Grass||Gabriela Sabatini|| Larisa Savchenko
|6–3, 1–6, 12–10|
|Loss||1989||French Open||Clay||Gabriela Sabatini|| Larisa Savchenko
This section possibly contains original research. (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
- Records in bold indicate Open Era peer-less achievements.
|Time span||Selected Grand Slam tournament records||Players matched|
|1988 Australian Open —
|Golden Slam (4 majors + Olympic gold in same calendar year)||Stands alone|
|1988 Australian Open —
1988 US Open
|Grand Slam (4 majors in same calendar year)||Margaret Court|
|1987 French Open —
|Career Golden Slam||Serena Williams|
|1987 French Open —
1988 US Open
|Career Grand Slam||Margaret Court|
Billie Jean King
|1993 French Open —
1994 Australian Open
|Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam||Martina Navratilova|
|Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam in addition to already winning a Grand Slam||Stands alone|
|1988 Australian Open —
1990 Australian Open
|Winner of 8 of 9 Grand Slams||Margaret Court|
|1988, 1995 & 1996||100% match winning percentage in 1 season||Margaret Court|
Billie Jean King
|100% match winning percentage in 3 separate seasons||Stands alone|
|1983 French Open —
|89.67% (278-32) match winning percentage overall||Stands alone|
|1988 French Open||Double bagel win in a Grand Slam final||Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers|
|1987 French Open —
1995 US Open
|4+ titles at all four Majors||Stands alone|
|1987 French Open —
1989 US Open
|2+ consecutive titles at all four Majors||Stands alone|
|1988 Australian Open —
1996 US Open
|5 calendar years winning 3+ Grand Slam titles||Stands alone|
|1988 French Open —
1989 US Open
|Defended all four Majors on first try||Stands alone|
|1987 French Open —
1999 French Open
|6+ titles on clay, grass and hardcourt||Stands alone|
|9+ finals on clay, grass and hardcourt||Stands alone|
|1987 French Open —
1990 French Open
|13 consecutive Grand Slam finals||Stands alone|
|1999 French Open||Defeated the top 3 seeded players in the same tournament||Stands alone|
|1988 Australian Open —
1993 US Open
|Reached the final of all four Grand Slams tournaments in a calendar year||Margaret Court|
|Reached the final of all four Grand Slams tournaments in a calendar year three times||Stands alone|
|1988 Australian Open —
1996 US Open
|3 different Grand Slam titles won without losing a set||Chris Evert |
|Grand Slam tournaments||Time Span||Records at each Grand Slam tournament||Players matched|
|Australian Open||1988–1990||3 consecutive titles||Margaret Court|
Evonne Goolagong Cawley
|1988–1989, 1994||3 titles won without losing a set||Evonne Goolagong|
|Australian Open—French Open||1988||2 titles won without losing a set in the same calendar year||Billie Jean King |
|French Open||1987–1999||9 finals overall||Chris Evert|
|1987–1990||4 consecutive finals||Chris Evert|
|1983–1999||84 match wins||Stands alone|
|Wimbledon||1984–1999||Career match winning performance 91.35% (74–7)||Stands alone|
|Time span||Other selected records||Players matched|
|17 August 1987 —
10 March 1991
|186 consecutive weeks at No. 1||Serena Williams|
|1987–1997||377 total weeks at No. 1||Stands alone|
|8 years ended at No. 1||Stands alone|
|1988–1990, 1994, 1996||5 years as wire-to-wire (all 52 weeks) No. 1||Stands alone|
|1987, 1989||Reached the final of every tournament played in a calendar year||Monica Seles|
|Two streaks of 5 years with winning percentage of 90%+||Stands alone|
|1986-1996||9 German Open titles||Stands alone|
|1986-89 & 1991-94||4 consecutive German Open title wins||Stands alone|
|1985-1996||11 German Open finals||Stands alone|
|1986-1996||11 consecutive German Open finals||Stands alone|
|1987-1995||6 Virginia Slims of Florida titles||Stands alone|
|1986-1995||9 Virginia Slims of Florida finals||Stands alone|
|1992-1995||4 consecutive Virginia Slims of Florida titles||Stands alone|
|1990-1998||5 Sparkassen Cup titles||Stands alone|
|1986-1992||6 Zurich Open titles||Stands alone|
|1987-1993||6 WTA Hamburg titles||Stands alone|
|1989-1994||4 Southern California Open titles||Stands alone|
|1986-1989||3 WTA New Jersey titles||Stands alone|
|1986-1992||6 Brighton International titles||Stands alone|
|1988-1998||4 Connecticut Open titles||Venus Williams|
|1992-1998||3 WTA Philadelphia titles||Lindsay Davenport|
|1986-1990||3 Amelia Island titles||Amélie Mauresmo|
|1988-1996||8 WTA Tier 1/Premier-5/Premier Mandatory clay titles||Conchita Martínez|
|1992-1995||89.63% win rate (147-17) in WTA Tier 1/Premier-5/Premier Mandatory events||Stands alone|
The main weapons in Graf's game were her powerful inside-out forehand drive (which earned her the moniker Fräulein Forehand) and her intricate footwork. She often positioned herself in her backhand corner and although this left her forehand wide open and vulnerable to attack, her court speed meant that only the most accurate shots wide to her forehand caused any trouble. Graf's technique on the forehand was unique and instantly recognizable: generating considerable racquet head speed with her swing, she reached the point of contact late and typically out of the air. As a result, she hit her forehand with exceptional pace and accuracy. According to her coaches Pavel Složil and Heinz Günthardt, Graf's superior sense of timing was the key behind the success of her forehand.
Graf also had a powerful backhand drive but over the course of her career tended to use it less frequently, opting more often for an effective backhand slice. Starting in the early 1990s, she used the slice almost exclusively in baseline rallies and mostly limited the topspin backhand to passing shots. Her accuracy with the slice, both cross-court and down the line and her ability to skid the ball and keep it low, enabled her to use it as an offensive weapon to set the ball up for her forehand put-aways. However, Graf admitted in 1995 that she would have preferred having a two-handed backhand in retrospect.
An exceptionally versatile competitor, Graf remains the only player, male or female, to have won the calendar-year Grand Slam on three surfaces or to have won each Grand Slam at least four times. Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion and former rival Chris Evert opined, "Steffi Graf is the best all-around player. Martina [Navratilova] won more on fast courts and I won more on slow courts, but Steffi came along and won more titles on both surfaces." Her endurance and superior footwork allowed her to excel on clay courts, where, in addition to six French Open titles, she won 26 regular tour events, including a record eight titles at the German Open. Meanwhile, her naturally aggressive style of play, effective backhand slice and speed around the court made her even more dominant on fast surfaces such as hard courts, grass and carpet. Graf stated that grass was her favorite surface to play on, while clay was her least favorite.
Equipment and endorsementsEdit
Early in her career, Graf wore Dunlop apparel, before signing an endorsement contract with Adidas in 1985. She had an Adidas sneakers line known as the St. Graf Pro line. Early in her career, she used Dunlop the Maxpower pro and Maxpower Kevlar, than Max 200G racquet before switching to Wilson from 1994 to 1999. She first used the Wilson Pro Staff 7.0 lite, then switched to the Pro Staff 7.5 in 1996 and to the Pro Staff 7.1 in 1998. Graf's racquets were strung at 29 kilograms (64 pounds), significantly above the 50-60 pound range recommended by Wilson. In 2006, she signed an endorsement deal with Head. In 2010, Graf and Agassi collaborated with Head and developed the new line of Star Series tennis racquets.
Graf has signed many endorsement deals throughout the years including a ten-year endorsement deal with car manufacturer Opel in 1985, and Rexona from 1994 to 1998. Other companies she has endorsed include Barilla, Apollinaris, Citibank, Danone and Teekanne. She has appeared in many advertisements and television commercials with Andre Agassi including Canon Inc. and Longines in 2008 (Agassi became Longines ambassador in 2007). In 2015, she was appointed as the brand ambassador of Kerala tourism, for promoting Ayurveda in North America and Europe.
From 1992 to 1999, Graf dated racing driver Michael Bartels. She started dating Andre Agassi after the 1999 French Open and they married on 22 October 2001, with only their mothers as witnesses. They have two children: a son (born 2001) and a daughter (born 2003). Agassi has said that he and Graf are not pushing their children toward becoming tennis players. The Graf-Agassi family resides in Summerlin, a community in the Las Vegas Valley. Graf's mother and her brother also live there.
In 1991, the Steffi Graf Youth Tennis Center in Leipzig was dedicated. She is the founder and chairperson of "Children for Tomorrow", a non-profit foundation established in 1998 for implementing and developing projects to support children who have been traumatized by war or other crises.
In 2001, Graf indicated that she preferred to be called Stefanie instead of Steffi.
On 30 November 2013, Graf's father Peter died of pancreatic cancer. He was 75 years old.
Graf is regarded by some to be the greatest female tennis player of all time. Navratilova included Graf on her list of great players. In 1999 Billie Jean King said, "Steffi is definitely the greatest women's tennis player of all time." In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press. Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, named her as the best female player of the 20th century. In March 2012, Tennis Channel picked Graf as the greatest female tennis player ever in their list of 100 greatest tennis players of all time. In November 2018, Tennis.com polled its readers to choose the greatest women's tennis player of all time and Graf came in first.
Awards and honoursEdit
Graf was voted the ITF World Champion in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995 and 1996. She was voted the WTA Player Of The Year in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996. She was elected as the German Sportsperson of the Year in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1999.
In 2004 the Berliner Tennis-Arena was renamed Steffi-Graf-Stadion in honor of Graf.
- WTA Tour records
- Grand Slam (tennis)
- List of WTA number 1 ranked players
- List of female tennis players
- List of tennis tournaments
- List of tennis rivalries
- Tennis records of the Open Era - Women's Singles
- Overall tennis records - Women's Singles
- Graf–Navratilova rivalry
- Graf–Sabatini rivalry
- Graf–Seles rivalry
- Bob Carter. "Graf, queen of the lawn". ESPN. Archived from the original on 15 April 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2005.
- "13 women have passed $20 million now". Women's Tennis Association (WTA). 3 November 2015. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Duden | Steffi | Rechtschreibung, Bedeutung, Definition". Duden (in German). Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, ISBN 9781405881180
- "Steffi Graf Year In Detail". Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- Greenstreet, Rosanna (22 June 2013). "Q&A: Steffi Graf". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Steffi Graf". Grove.ufl.edu. Archived from the original on 30 December 1996. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Steffi Graf". International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- Australian Tennis Magazine (15 September 2016). "The 10 most influential players in the history of tennis". Published by Suzi Petkovski. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2019 – via Tennismash.
- Robin Finn (18 August 1999). "ON TENNIS; Graf Is Best, Right? Just Don't Ask Her". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 9 July 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "The Shadow of Steffi Graf: Before Serena, Women's Tennis Had Another Unconquerable Force «". Grantland.com. Archived from the original on 7 May 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Jeremy Eckstein (13 July 2016). "Remembering What Made Steffi Graf a Tennis Legend". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Bernstein, Eckhard (2004). Culture and Customs of Germany. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 47. ISBN 0-313-32203-1.
- René Denfeld. "Tennis in Reunified Germany: Then and Now – The Tennis Island". Thetennisisland.com. Archived from the original on 11 August 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Steffi's father Peter Graf dies after cancer battle". The Local. 2 December 2013. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- "PASSINGS: Peter Graf, Robert Dockson". Los Angeles Times. 6 December 2013. Archived from the original on 1 October 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- "Steffi Graf: The Golden Slam". Olympic.org. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- Feinstein, John (13 September 1987). "Both on and Off Court, Graf Has Come a Long Way in Past Year". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- Feinstein, John (8 June 1986). "Graf, 16, Can Handle Pressure". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- "Tennis Roundup : Mysterious Illness Forces Graf to Withdraw From Wimbledon". Los Angeles Times. 17 June 1986. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- Lisa Dillman (17 August 1987). "Graf Defeats Evert, Gains No. 1 Ranking". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- Hersh, Phil (2 July 1988). "Graf wastes no time reaching another final". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
- "1988 : Steffi Graf était pressée". www.rolandgarros.com (in French). Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT). Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- French Open 1988 Final - Steffi Graf vs Natallja Zvereva. YouTube. 26 November 2014. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- Pye, Steven (27 May 2014). "The 1988 French Open: how Agassi arrived, Graf ruled and Wilander won". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- Herman, Robin (5 June 1988). "TENNIS; Graf Shuts Out Zvereva to Gain French Open Title". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Peter Alfano (3 July 1988). "Wimbledon; An Era Ends as Graf Beats Navratilova". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Forget Calendar Slam, "Surface Slam" Almost as Rare". Bleacher Report. 20 February 2013. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Dwyre, Bill (1 October 1988). "THE SEOUL GAMES : Women's Tennis : Graf Turns Her Slam Into a Golden One". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- "Australian Tennis", March 1989, p. 28
- "Serving Her Country". CNN. 26 June 1989. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
- "Graf Trounces Garrison". The New York Times. 20 February 1989. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Head to Head Archived 26 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Wilson, Stephen R. (11 June 1989). "SURPRISE! SANCHEZ BEATS GRAF 17-YEAR-OLD WINS TITLE". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Nick Stout (11 June 1989). "TENNIS - Sanchez Surprises Graf to Win the French Open". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Finn, Robin (9 September 1989). "Graf and Navratilova March to a Showdown". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 December 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "No.1 spotlight: Steffi Graf". Women's Tennis Association (WTA). 20 April 2013. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016.
- Finn, Robin (9 February 1990). "Graf Is Injured Skiing". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Protzman, Ferdinand (13 July 1990). "Tennis; Graf's Toughest Foe: the Press". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Ziehm, Len (16 February 1992). "Steffi lives it up - New Graf steps out in style". Chicago Sun Times.
- [dead link]
- "WTA | Players | Head to Head | Steffi Graf". Wtatennis.com. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Finn, Robin (30 May 1993). "TENNIS - Seles Struggles With Injury and W.T.A. Decision". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Finn, Robin (27 August 1993). "TENNIS - For Seles, the Wound Still Hurts". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Troubled WTA Tour limps through '94 season". China Daily. 5 March 1994. Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
- John Roberts (22 January 1994). "Tennis: Graf footloose and pain-free: Germany's world No 1 in intimidating form at the Australian Open". The Independent. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Steffi Graf Interview - 1994 Australian Open. YouTube. 16 June 2016.
- Charles Bricker (22 March 1995). "Wilander Having His Day In Court". SunSentinel. Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- Robin Finn (3 June 1994). "Pierce Applies The Pressure To Upset Graf". www.nytimes.com. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Ed McGrogan (2 June 2012). "This Date in French Open History: June 2". Tennis.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- Robin Finn (22 June 1994). "McNeil Ousts Graf in an Upset for the Ages". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Goldstein, Jody (9 April 1995). "Houston Women's Tennis Championships Preview: Houston is first clay test for Graf's back". The Houston Chronicle.
- Christopher, Clarey (14 February 1995). "Graf Set for Her Comeback, Pained Mainly by Questions". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Araton, Harvey (11 September 1994). "U.S.OPEN '94 - Sanchez Smiles As Graf Winces". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Pierce tops Graf; Navratilova loses last". Star-News. AP. 18 November 1994. p. 3C.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- John Roberts (7 January 1995). "Calf injury forces Graf out of Australian Open". The Independent. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- Robin Finn (9 July 1995). "In a Classic, Graf Captures Wimbledon On Sheer Will". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Robin Finn (20 November 1995). "Graf's Year Is Difficult One Till the End, but Successful". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- "40 Love History: Five Set Finals". Women's Tennis Association (WTA). 18 October 2013. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- "Steffi Graf Investigated for Tax Evasion". Los Angeles Times. 13 July 1995. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- Robin Finn (24 March 1995). "Tennis;Graf finds real world full of ups and downs". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- Cowell, Alan (25 January 1997). "Peter Graf Is Sentenced To Prison in Tax Case". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- "Foot Surgery Sidelines Graf". Chicago Tribune. 16 December 1995. Archived from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- Robin Finn (9 June 1996). "Graf Wins Wrenching French Epic". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 408. ISBN 978-0942257700.
- Finn, Robin (17 July 1996). "OLYMPICS;Injuries Force Sampras and Graf to Skip Games". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Untitled Normal Page". Amandacoetzer.tripod.com. 18 August 1997. Archived from the original on 27 June 2004. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Amanda Coetzer Biography". Quotesquotations.com. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Amanda Coetzer - Tennis Player from South Africa - Tennis-Heroes.net". Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Overman, Steven (2012). Icons of Women's Sport, Volume 1. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 181. ISBN 0313385491.
- "Surgery on Graf's Knee Requires a Long Layoff". The New York Times. 11 June 1997. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Ronald Atkin. "Wimbledon '99: The Steffi Graf Interview: Time for a golden goodbye?". The Independent. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Head to Head". Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
- "Graf edges Hingis, captures sixth and 'last' French title". Sports Illustrated. 16 August 1999. Archived from the original on 22 January 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- John Roberts (14 August 1999). "Highs and lows of Graf the great". The Independent. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- "Graf bows out". BBC Sport. 13 August 1999. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "Steffi Graf announces retirement". Canoe.ca. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Fowler, Ed (26 June 1988). "Sabatini, Graf: Oddest couple playing doubles". Houston Chronicle.
- Steffi Graf - Tennis Documentary. YouTube. 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- "Do Not Disturb: If Steffi Graf could shut out the world the way she shuts down opponents on the court then, for her, life would be perfect". Archived from the original on 28 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- "Tennis | Martinez wins controversial clash". BBC News. 27 May 1999. Archived from the original on 28 March 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Results Archive - Steffi Graf - Australian Open Tennis Championships". ausopen.com. Tennis Australia. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- "Steffi Graf : Player Details" (PDF). Itftennis.com. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Steffi Graf (GER : Mixed Doubles" (PDF). Wimbledon.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Nick Harris. "Tennis: Wimbledon 99 - Magic mixture of McEnroe and Graf". The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Robin Finn (26 June 1999). "TENNIS; Without Dad Around To Disturb Her, Lucic Upsets Fourth-Seeded Seles at Wimbledon". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Graf Likely To Retire". CBS News. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- "Graf overcomes layoff to beat Coetzer in farewell exhibition". The Independent. 7 December 1999. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "* NZine * Tennis - The Biggest Participant Sport In New Zealand - Tennis, Steffi Graf, Indoor Tennis Centre, Davis Cup, Anthony Wilding, Wilding Park, Maurice Agar, Scenic Circles Indoor Tennis Centre, New Zealand Tennis". Nzine.co.nz. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Greene, Bob (14 December 1999). "The Week in Tennis". The Independent. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Lisa Dillman (30 March 2005). "Graf Will Make a Cameo in Team Tennis". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Kammerer, Roy (24 September 2004). "Graf back on court - and still boasts that big forehand". Associated Press.
- Sarah Hornaday (13 July 2005). "Steffi Graf delights crowd at Westside Tennis Club - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "One for the Ages". TENNIS.com. 30 November 2015. Archived from the original on 27 June 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Graf edges Navratilova in exhibition". Sportsnet.ca. 15 September 2009. Archived from the original on 30 October 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Steffi Graf: The Queen Returns to Centre Court". Bleacher Report. 18 May 2009. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Elton John headline an evening of tennis for charity in Washington". Washingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "WTA profile of Steffi Graf". Sonyericssonwtatour.com. Archived from the original on 8 January 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "WTA bio". Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "NO.1 SPOTLIGHT: STEFFI GRAF". wtatennis.com. WTA. 20 April 2013. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "Steffi Graf Results". wtatennis.com. WTA. Archived from the original on 18 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "Steffi Graf's record at Roland-Garros". rolandgarros.com. Roland Garros. Archived from the original on 20 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "Wimbledon legends: Steffi Graf". BBC News. 31 May 2004. Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Simon O'Hagan. "WIMBLEDON '95: Graf on a new curve". The Independent. Archived from the original on 11 August 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "ASAP Sports Transcripts - Tennis - 1995 - WTA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS - November 18 - Steffi Graf". Asapsports.com. 18 November 1995. Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- claudia celestial girl (10 December 2009). "Queens of the Court: Steffi Graf". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Jones, Riley (2 October 2013). "Today in Performance Sneaker History: Steffi Graf Becomes First Female with 500 Wins in Signature adidas Model". Sneaker Report. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Wunderbar deutsch". Der Spiegel. 27 July 1987. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Klaus Schmidt; Chris Ludlow (2002). Inclusive Branding: The Why and How of a Holistic Approach to Brands. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 183–9. ISBN 978-0-230-51329-7. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "Take a look at this Dunlop Steffi Graf ad from 1989!". Twitter. 6 February 2014. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Cooper, Jeff. "An Evolutionary History of Tennis Racquets". about.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- "Top 25 female athlete endorsements". SportsBusiness Journal. 11 May 1998. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Bodo, Peter (March 2000). "Steffi Graf" (March 2000). TENNIS Magazine.
- "Marketing to the female target audience". SportsBusiness Journal. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Steffi Graf joins Head team". HEAD. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Martin, James (July 2006). "Feminine Allure". Tennis Industry. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Potempa, Philip (29 May 2010). "OFFBEAT: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf team up for new tennis racquet". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- "Viewing Gallery : Happy Birthday! Opel Corsa Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary". Opel. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Von Geyer, Matthias; Winterfeldt, Jörg (23 November 1998). "Ein deutsches Comeback". Der Spiegel. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Kaplan, Daniel (9 August 2004). "Agassi still in Canon's picture". SportsBusiness Journal. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- "AMBASSADORS - Stefanie Graf". Longines. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- "Steffi Graf is Longines' Newest Abassador". JCK Online. 21 November 2008. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- "SRK and Steffi Graf to represent Kerala tourism". ManoramaOnline. Archived from the original on 3 May 2015.
- "Steffi: proof that the rich don't get to heaven". The Independent. 27 July 1997. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- "The Trials of Steffi Graf: with her father in jail and her own innocence being questioned, the world's best woman tennis player has finally been forced to take control of her life". Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Wolff, Alexander (20 September 1993). "Serves and Follies". Sports Illustrated. p. 26. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
- Roberts, John (1 November 1999). "Andre takes courtly bow with Steffi". The Independent. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Knolle, Sharon. "Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf Wed". Abcnews.go.com. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Graf, Agassi Are Parents of a Boy". Los Angeles Times. 28 October 2001. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- Knolle, Sharon. "Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf Wed". Abcnews.go.com. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- Knolle, Sharon. "Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf Wed". Abcnews.go.com. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "Tennis: Agassi taking different tact with fatherhood," Archived 18 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine The New Zealand Herald, 25 January 2013
- "Love is everything to Graf now". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 20 May 2010. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- "Tennis legend Steffi Graf talks Royal Ascot and her career to HELLO! Online". hellomagazine.com. Archived from the original on 22 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Steffi Graf Biography". Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Don't call me Steffi". BBC. 12 April 2001. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- Martin, Douglas. "Peter Graf, Volatile Father of Tennis Great, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 January 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- Finn, Robin (18 August 1999). "ON TENNIS; Graf Is Best, Right? Just Don't Ask Her". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Tennis Players of the Century". AugustaSports.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2007.
- "Exclusive Interview with Steve Flink about the career of Chris Evert". ChrisEvert.net. Archived from the original on 5 April 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
- "The list". tennischannel.com. Archived from the original on 5 June 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "GOAT Vote: Steffi or Serena? 'The Ten' went one way; you went another". Tennis.com. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- "ABOUT". ITF Tennis. 6 June 2017. Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Steffi Graf". WTA Tennis. 17 August 1987. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Ergebnisse". Sportler-des-jahres.de. Archived from the original on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Tino Scholz (3 March 2012). "Tennis in Berlin – Im Niemandsland". berliner-zeitung.de (in German). Retrieved 3 June 2019.
- "Stefanie Graf". Tennisfame.com. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Adidas". Steffi Graf. 24 May 2017. Archived from the original on 25 February 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steffi Graf.|
- Official website
- Steffi Graf at the Women's Tennis Association
- Steffi Graf at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
- Steffi Graf at the International Tennis Federation
- Steffi Graf at the Fed Cup
- Official Wimbledon profile
- BBC profile
- ESPN biography
- Steffi Graf's victories (in German)
- Steffi Graf at the International Olympic Committee
- Steffi Graf at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com