Steffi Graf of Germany was one of the greatest tennis players to grace the court. She was at the top of WTA rankings for 377 weeks. Her total titles and Grand Slams were one of the highest in the women’s game. We look back at her legendary career that enabled the German starlet to dominate the game for more than a decade.
A Remarkable Career Of Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf turned pro in 1982 and retired from the game in 1999. In these 18 years of her illustrious career, the German sensation won 900 WTA singles matches. Her win percentage of more than 88 ranks the Graf among the greatest tennis players in the game. Steffi won 107 singles titles in her career. These also included 22 Grand Slam trophies along with 5 WTA season-ending finale trophies. She is ranked among the top 3 Grand Slam winners in WTA singles history.
Among her Grand Slam victories, 7 came on the grass of Wimbledon and 6 on the Clay of Roland Garros. Steffi Graf was also among the greatest tennis players on the hard courts. She also won 5 US Opens and 4 Australian Open titles. The made the German one of the best all-court players in the game. She is the only player, male or female, to have won 4 championships in all of the 4 Grand Slam venues, a true testimony to her versatility. Steffi also won a Grand Slam in the doubles arena. She won in Wimbledon 1988 while partnering with Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina.
Steffi Graf was also one of the greatest tennis players to represent her country in the Olympic Games. She won the gold medal while representing Germany in the Seoul Olympics of 1988. In the Barcelona Olympics of 1992, Graf finished runner-up and won the silver medal. She also led Germany to victory in other important team competitions like the Fed Cup and Hopman Cup.
The Game And The Grit
Steffi Graf had one of the best all-round games in tennis. Her world-class forehand shot is regarded as one of the best, earning her the moniker Fraulein Forehand. She was exceptionally good with her timing and placement along with the variety of shots. Graf could vary her backhand at will from slice drive to a cross-court winner. Although with a naturally attacking game, Graf was one of the greatest tennis players in defense also. This was due to her superior technique and phenomenal footwork. The opponents struggled to find any major weakness in her game.
After announcing herself with a bang in 1988, Steffi Graf became among the greatest tennis players of the 1990s. She was the best female tennis player of that decade. Her rivalry with Monica Seles was one of the fiercest in tennis, as was her Golden Slam of 1988. Steffi won all 4 majors and the Olympic Gold medal that year. This had never been done by any player in tennis and was never replicated after that. Her supreme athleticism, technically powerful game, and the sheer will to win makes Steffi Graf rank among the greatest tennis players of all time. She was surely the greatest German tennis athlete.