Athlete Profile: Steffi Graf

AP/LIONEL CIRONNEAU, file

Athlete Profile: Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf is arguably the best women’s tennis player that ever lived. Some of her records have not been broken and will not be broken any time soon, especially the prized calendar year Grand Slam. Although many can argue that Williams holds more Grand Slams, there’s no arguing the fact that Steffi Graf has a calendar year Grand Slam (1988), and Serena does not. The calendar year Grand Slam is the most difficult feat in tennis. This is why no woman has accomplished this since Steffi, and no man has accomplished this since Rod Laver.

In addition to the calendar year Grand Slam, Steffi Graf dominated at the Grand Slams from 1987 – 1999. In all, Steffi featured in 31 Grand Slam finals during her career, winning a whopping 22 of them. In all, Steffi finished as the number one player in the world eight times. To add to that amazing number, she also won the Year End Championships five times. But wait, there’s more!

107 singles titles
Two Fed Cup wins
One Gold Medal for singles and one Bronze for doubles at the 1988 Olympics and one Silver Medal at the Barcelona Olympics.
13 Consecutive Grand Slam finals, between 1987-1990

And to top the above list, let’s not forget she’s married to Andre Agassi, another all-time tennis great. Together, they have two kids and have made Las Vegas their home. Both Graf and Agassi have been inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame and hold 30 Grand Slam singles titles between the two of them. They are basically tennis royalty.

Let’s now talk about one of Steffi’s most impressive accomplishments. It’s the fact that she did this all before she turned 30. 1999 would be the last year she would be active. In comparison, it would take Serena Williams a lot longer to accomplish her 23 Grand Slams. Navratilova would add three more Grand Slams after the age of thirty. Chris Evert would win two more Grand Slams after the age of thirty. Imagine, if Steffi would have played a couple of more years, it’s very likely should have added to her Grand Slam haul.

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