145 Facts About Steffi Graf


Stefanie Maria Graf is a German former professional tennis player.


In 1988, Steffi Graf became the first tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four major singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.


Steffi Graf was ranked world No 1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association for a record 377 total weeks.


Steffi Graf won 107 singles titles, ranking her third on the WTA's all-time list after Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.


Notable features of Steffi Graf's game were her versatility across all playing surfaces, footwork and powerful forehand drive.


Steffi Graf won six French Open singles titles, seven Wimbledon singles titles, four Australian Open titles, and five US Open singles titles.


Steffi Graf is the only singles player to have achieved a Grand Slam across three surfaces.


Steffi Graf reached 13 consecutive singles major finals from the 1987 French Open to the 1990 French Open, winning nine of them.


Steffi Graf won five consecutive singles majors, and seven out of eight, in two calendar years.


Steffi Graf reached a total of 31 singles major finals.


Steffi Graf retired at the age of 30 in 1999 while ranked as the world No 3.


Steffi Graf married former world No 1 men's tennis player Andre Agassi in October 2001.


Steffi Graf was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.


Stefanie Steffi Graf was born on 14 June 1969, in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, West Germany, to Heidi Schalk and car-and-insurance salesman Peter Steffi Graf.


Steffi Graf began practising on a court at the age of four and played in her first tournament at five.


Steffi Graf soon began taking the top prize at junior tournaments with regularity, going on to win the European Championships 12s and 18s in 1982.


Steffi Graf played in her first professional tournament in October 1982 at Filderstadt, Germany.


At the start of her first full professional year in 1983, Steffi Graf was 13 years old and ranked world No 124.


Steffi Graf 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.


Steffi Graf's schedule was closely controlled by her father, who limited her play so that she would not burn out.


Peter Steffi Graf kept a tight rein on Steffi Graf's personal life.


Social invitations on the tour were often declined as Steffi Graf's focus was kept on practicing and match play.


In 1985 and early 1986, Steffi Graf emerged as the top challenger to the dominance of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.


Steffi Graf 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, Steffi 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.


Steffi Graf 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.


Steffi Graf then won three consecutive indoor titles at Tokyo, Zurich, and Brighton, before contending with Navratilova at the season-ending Virginia Slims Championships in New York.


Steffi Graf 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.


Steffi Graf was the first player other than Navratilova or Evert to hold the top spot since Tracy Austin in 1980.


Steffi Graf did not lose a set during the tournament and lost a total of only 29 games.


Steffi Graf lost twice to Sabatini during the spring, once on hardcourts in Boca Raton, Florida, and once on clay at Amelia Island, Florida.


Steffi Graf won the tournament in San Antonio, Texas, and retained her title in Miami, where she defeated Evert in the final.


Steffi Graf then won the tournament in Berlin, losing only twelve games in five matches.


Steffi Graf then won tournaments in Hamburg and Mahwah.


In reaching and winning all four Grand Slam finals, Steffi Graf became the first player in history to contest and win 28 Grand Slam singles matches in a single year; albeit including the unplayed walkover against Evert in the US Open.


Steffi Graf was the first tennis player to achieve the feat: wheelchair tennis players Diede de Groot and Dylan Alcott achieved the Golden Slam in 2021.


At the year-ending Virginia Slims Championships, Steffi Graf was upset by Pam Shriver, only her third loss of the year.


Steffi Graf was named the 1988 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.


Speculation was rife at the beginning of 1989 about the possibility of Steffi Graf winning another Grand Slam.


Some noted observers, such as Margaret Court, suggested that Steffi Graf could achieve the feat a couple more times.


Steffi Graf followed this with easy victories in her next four tournaments at Washington, DC, San Antonio, Texas, Boca Raton, Florida, and Hilton Head.


The Washington, DC tournament was notable because Steffi Graf won the first twenty points of the final against Zina Garrison.


Steffi Graf warmed up for the US Open with easy tournament victories in San Diego and Mahwah.


Victories at Zurich and Brighton preceded the Virginia Slims Championships, where Steffi Graf cemented her top-ranked status by beating Navratilova in the four-set final.


Steffi Graf's 0.977 winning percentage is the second-highest in the open era behind Navratilova.


Steffi Graf defeated Mary Joe Fernandez in the final of the Australian Open, which was her eighth Grand Slam singles title in the last nine she contested.


Steffi Graf's winning streak continued with victories in Tokyo, Amelia Island, and Hamburg.


Shortly after winning in Tokyo, Steffi Graf injured her right thumb while cross-country skiing in Switzerland and subsequently withdrew from the Virginia Slims of Florida and the Lipton Championships.


The difficulty of answering questions about the matter came to a head at a Wimbledon press conference, where Steffi Graf broke down in tears.


Whether this scandal affected Steffi Graf's form is open to debate.


At Wimbledon, Steffi Graf lost in the semifinals to Zina Garrison, who with this victory broke Steffi Graf's string of 13 consecutive major finals.


Steffi Graf won four indoor tournaments after the US Open, including a pair of straight-set wins over Sabatini in the finals of Zurich and Worcester.


Steffi Graf briefly regained the top ranking after winning at Wimbledon but lost it again after her loss to Navratilova at the US Open.


Steffi Graf lost an Australian Open quarterfinal to Jana Novotna, the first time she did not reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament since the 1986 French Open.


Steffi Graf then lost to Sabatini in her next three tournaments before winning the US Hardcourt Championships in San Antonio, beating Monica Seles in the final.


At Wimbledon Steffi Graf captured her third women's crown, this time at Sabatini's expense.


Steffi Graf then won in Leipzig, with her 500th career victory coming in a quarterfinal against Judith Wiesner.


Steffi Graf's year continued indifferently with losses in three of her first four tournaments, including a semifinal loss to Jana Novotna in Chicago.


Chicago was notable for being the first tournament Steffi Graf played with her new coach, former Swiss player Heinz Gunthardt.


Steffi Graf's father had approached Gunthardt during the 1991 Virginia Slims Championships.


In Boca Raton, Florida, Steffi Graf reached her first final of the year, where she faced Conchita Martinez for the title.


Seles won the match on her fifth match point; Steffi Graf came within two points of winning the match a few games earlier.


At the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Steffi Graf lost to Jennifer Capriati in the final and claimed the silver medal.


Steffi Graf began 1993 with four losses in her first six tournaments of the year: two to Sanchez Vicario and one each to Seles and the 36-year-old Martina Navratilova.


Steffi Graf claimed that he committed the attack to help Graf reclaim the world No 1 ranking.


Since Steffi Graf skipped the Italian Open, she did not take part in the vote.


Steffi Graf won her first French Open title since 1988 with a three-set victory over Mary Joe Fernandez in the final.


At Wimbledon, Steffi Graf defeated Jana Novotna to win her third consecutive, and fifth overall, ladies' title.


Steffi Graf won there, comfortably beating Helena Sukova in the final after needing three sets to eliminate Gabriela Sabatini and Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.


Steffi Graf lost to Conchita Martinez in her comeback tournament a month later in Philadelphia.


Seemingly free of injury for the first time in years, Steffi Graf began the year by winning the Australian Open, where she defeated Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the final with the loss of only two games.


Steffi Graf later stated it was the best tennis she had ever played in a Grand Slam final.


Steffi Graf then won her next four tournaments in Tokyo, Indian Wells, Delray Beach and Miami respectively.


Steffi Graf 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.


Steffi Graf still managed to win San Diego the following month but aggravated a long-time back injury in beating Sanchez Vicario in the final.


Steffi Graf developed a bone spur at the base of her spine due to a congenital condition of the sacroiliac joint.


Steffi Graf 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.


Steffi Graf took the following nine weeks off, returning only for the Virginia Slims Championships where she lost in straight sets to Pierce in the quarterfinal.


Steffi Graf then beat Sanchez Vicario in the finals of both the French Open and Wimbledon.


Seles and Steffi Graf met in the final, with Steffi Graf winning in three sets, saving a set point in the first set.


Steffi Graf then capped the year by beating countrywoman Anke Huber in a five-set final at the season-ending WTA Championships in 2 hours and 46 minutes.


Steffi Graf again missed the Australian Open after undergoing surgery in December 1995 to remove bone splinters from her left foot.


Steffi Graf then had a straight-sets win against Sanchez Vicario in the Wimbledon final.


Steffi 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.


Steffi Graf 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, Steffi Graf became only the second tennis player in history to win a Slam on hardcourt, clay, and grass all in the same season.


Steffi Graf repeated the feat in 1993,1995, and 1996.


The last few years of Steffi Graf's career were beset by injuries, particularly to her knees and back.


Steffi Graf 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 Steffi Graf lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open in straight sets to Amanda Coetzer.


Steffi Graf subsequently withdrew from the Pan Pacific Open and had arthroscopic surgery performed on her left knee.


At the first round of the season-ending Chase Championships, Steffi Graf defeated world No 3, Jana Novotna, before losing in the semifinal to first-seeded Davenport.


At the beginning of 1999 Steffi 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.


Steffi Graf then went on to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open before losing to Monica Seles in two sets.


In Indian Wells Steffi Graf lost to Serena Williams in three sets.


At the French Open, Steffi 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.


Steffi 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 Seles in the semifinals.


Steffi Graf said after the final that it would be her last French Open, fueling speculation about her retirement.


Steffi Graf then reached her ninth Wimbledon singles final, losing to third-seeded Davenport in straight sets.


Steffi Graf had to overcome three difficult three set matches en route to this final, against Mariaan De Swardt in the second 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, Steffi Graf announced her retirement from the women's tour at age 30.


Steffi Graf played her last Grand Slam doubles tournament at the 1999 Australian Open with Gorrochategui, losing in the second round.


Steffi Graf occasionally played mixed doubles, although she never won a title.


Steffi Graf 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.


At the 1999 Wimbledon Championships, Steffi 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.


In late 1999 and early 2000, as part of her Farewell Tour, Steffi Graf played a series of exhibition matches against former rivals in New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Germany and South Africa.


Steffi Graf played Jelena Dokic in Christchurch, New Zealand, Amanda Coetzer in Durban, South Africa, and her former rival Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in Zaragoza, Spain.


In February 2000, Steffi Graf played against Kimiko Date at Nagoya Rainbow Hall in Tokyo, winning in three sets.


In September 2004, Steffi Graf dispatched her former doubles partner Gabriela Sabatini, in straight sets, in an exhibition match played in Berlin, Germany.


Steffi Graf was in Berlin to host a charity gala, as well as inaugurating a tennis stadium renamed the "Steffi Graf Stadion".


In July 2005, Steffi Graf competed in one tie of World Team Tennis on the Houston Wranglers team.


Steffi Graf was beaten in two out of three matches, with each match being one set.


Steffi Graf was successful in the mixed doubles match.


In 2008 Steffi Graf lost an exhibition match against Kimiko Date at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.


Steffi 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.


Steffi Graf lost a lengthy one-set singles match to Clijsters and the mixed doubles.


In 2010, Steffi Graf participated in the WTT Smash Hits exhibition in Washington, DC to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation.


Steffi Graf played in the celebrity doubles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles before straining her left calf muscle and being replaced by Anna Kournikova.


Steffi 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.


Steffi Graf was ranked world No 1 for 186 consecutive weeks and a record total 377 weeks overall.


The main weapons in Steffi Graf's game were her powerful inside-out forehand drive and her intricate footwork.


Steffi Graf 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.


Steffi Graf 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.


However, Steffi Graf admitted in 1995 that she would have preferred having a two-handed backhand in retrospect.


An exceptionally versatile competitor, Steffi 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.


Martina [Navratilova] won more on fast courts and I won more on slow courts, but Steffi Graf came along and won more titles on both surfaces.


Steffi Graf stated that grass was her favorite surface to play on, while clay was her least favorite.


Early in her career, Steffi Graf wore Dunlop apparel, before signing an endorsement contract with Adidas in 1985.


Steffi Graf had an Adidas sneakers line known as the St Graf Pro line.


Early in her career, Steffi Graf used the Dunlop Maxpower Pro and Maxpower Kevlar racquets and then played with the Max 200G racquet from 1984 to 1993 before switching to Wilson from 1994 to 1999.


Steffi Graf 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.


Steffi 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.


Steffi Graf has appeared in many advertisements and television commercials with Andre Agassi including Canon Inc and Longines in 2008.


From 1992 to 1999, Steffi Graf dated racing driver Michael Bartels.


Steffi Graf started dating Andre Agassi after the 1999 French Open and they married on 22 October 2001, with only their mothers as witnesses.


Agassi has said that he and Steffi Graf are not pushing their children toward becoming tennis players.


Steffi Graf 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.


In December 1999, Steffi Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press.


In July 2020, The Guardian polled its readers to determine the greatest female tennis player of the past 50 years, and Steffi Graf was the clear favorite, picking up nearly twice as many votes as any other player.


Steffi Graf was voted the ITF World Champion in 1987,1988,1989,1990,1993,1995 and 1996.


Steffi Graf was voted the WTA Player of the Year in 1987,1988,1989,1990,1993,1994,1995,1996.


Steffi Graf was elected as the German Sportsperson of the Year in 1986,1987,1988,1989 and 1999.


Steffi Graf was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004 and the German Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.


In 2015, Steffi Graf was the recipient of the International Club's Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award.