Steffi Graf is a German former professional tennis player. She 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 278–32 (90 percent) (84–10 at the French Open, 74–7 at Wimbledon, 73–9 at the US Open, and 47–6 at the Australian Open). Her career prize-money earnings totaled 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 of 377 weeks overall. In 1988, 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. She is the only tennis player, male or female, to have won each major tournament at least four times. She and Margaret Court are the only players, female or male, to win three majors in a calendar year five times (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, and 1996). Graf retired at the age of 30 in 1999 while she was ranked world No. 3. She is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
What is Steffi Graf Famous for?
- Being one of the finest and most decorated female tennis players.
- For winning 22 Grand Slams, 4 Olympic medals, and 107 titles during her career spanning over 17 years.
Where was Steffi Graf born?
Steffi Graf was born on June 14, 1969, in Mannheim, West Germany. Her birth name is Stefanie Maria Graf. She holds German nationality and her ethnicity is German-White. She is the daughter of Peter Graf and Heidi Graf. Her dad is a Car and Insurance Salesman, and Amateur Tennis Player and her mum is an amateur tennis player. She has a sibling namely Michael Graf who is her younger brother. Michael is a Director, and Writer by profession. She started playing tennis at the age of 3. While still young, Graf began playing junior tournaments and winning same. In 1982, she won the 1982 European Championships 12s and 18s.
Steffi Graf Career Timeline
- Steffi played her first professional tournament in October 1982 at Filderstadt, Germany where she lost her first-round match 6–4, 6–0 to Tracy Austin.
- She secured the World’s 124th position in her first year. Her ranking steadily rose to World No. 98, No. 22, and No. 6 in 1983, 1984, and 1985.
- She then came to fame after she upset the tenth seed, Jo Durie in 1984.
- She won the tennis demonstration event at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles when she was 15.
- She emerged as the top challenger to Martina Navratilova’s and Chris Evert’s dominance in 1985 and 1986. She lost six times to Evert and three times to Navratilova, all in straight sets.
- She won her first WTA tournament on 13th April 1986. Next, she 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.
- After her illness and accident, 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 where she lost.
- She then won three consecutive indoor titles at Tokyo, Zurich, and Brighton.
- Her Grand Slam tournament breakthrough came in 1987. She made six tournament victories heading into the French Open.
- 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.
- She lost to Navratilova 7–5, 6–3 in the Wimbledon final.
- In the Federation Cup final in Vancouver, Canada, three weeks later, she defeated Evert easily 6–2, 6–1.
- She started 1988 by winning the Australian Open, defeating Chris Evert in the final 6–1, 7–6.
- At the French Open, Graf successfully defended her title by defeating Natasha Zvereva 6–0, 6–0 in a 34-minute final.
- At the US Open, Graf beat Sabatini in a three-set final to win the Grand Slam by 6–3, 3–6, 6–1.
- In reaching and winning all four Grand Slam finals, 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.
- Next, she 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”. She also won her only Grand Slam doubles title that year and picked up a women’s doubles Olympic bronze medal.
- At the year-ending Virginia Slims Championships, she was upset by Pam Shriver.
- In the Boca Raton final, Graf lost the only set she conceded to Chris Evert in their final seven matches.
- Her Grand Slam tournament winning streak ended at the French Open, where 17-year-old Spaniard Arantxa Sánchez Vicario beat Graf in three sets.
- In her semifinal match at the US Open, Graf defeated Sabatini 3–6, 6–4, 6–2.
- She ended 1989 with an 86–2 match record and the loss of only 12 sets.
- She defeated Mary Joe Fernández in the final of the Australian Open which was her eighth Grand Slam singles title.
- She later lost to Monica Seles in the final of the French Open 6–7, 4–6. At Wimbledon, Graf lost in the semifinals to Zina Garrison. Graf reached the US Open final, losing straight sets to Sabatini.
- In 1991, she 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.
- She lost an Australian Open quarterfinal to Jana Novotná.
- At Wimbledon, she captured her third women’s crown.
- In 1992, she missed the Australian Open and lost the French Open and US Open. She recorded a win at Wimbledon finally defeating Monica Seles. At the Olympics, she secured the silver medal. As for Virginia Slims Championships, she lost the tournament thrice in a row.
- She then went on to win three out of the four Grand Slams in 1993, losing the Australian Open to Seles, who was unable to compete for the next two years as she was stabbed by a mentally ill Graf fan. The victories helped Graf retain her World No. 1 ranking on 7th June.
- After that, she won her first Virginia Slims Championships in 1989 by beating Sanchez Vicario in the final.
- She gained a triumph in the Australian Open where she defeated Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1994.
- She missed out 1995 Australian Open due to her injury but made it to the rest of the Grand Slam competitions.
- She missed the Australian Open after undergoing surgery in December 1995 to remove bone splinters from her left foot. However, she successfully defended her titles for the rest of the three Grand Slams in 1996.
- 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. Next, she defeated world No. 2 Hingis and world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport en route to the Philadelphia title.
- In 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 starting of 1999, she defeated Serena Williams in the second round and Venus in the quarterfinals before losing to Lindsay Davenport in the semifinal.
- She went on to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open before losing to Monica Seles in two sets.
- As for French Open, she reached the finals, her first time in the last three years, and went on to win the same defeating Hingis.
- Graf reached the finals of Wimbledon later losing it to Davenport.
- Graf announced her retirement from the women’s tour at age 30.
- She was ranked at the World No. 3 position 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.”.
- Regarding her post-retirement, 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. In February 2000, Graf played against Kimiko Date at Nagoya Rainbow Hall in Tokyo, winning in three sets. She was also in Berlin to host a charity gala, as well as inaugurate a tennis stadium renamed the “Steffi Graf Stadion”.
- In July 2005, she competed in one tie World Team Tennis wherein although she lost the singles, recorded a win in the mixed doubles.
- In 2008 Graf lost an exhibition match against Kimiko Date at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.
- In 2009, she played a singles exhibition match against Kim Clijsters and a mixed doubles exhibition alongside her husband Andre Agassi against Tim Henman and Clijsters.
- In 2010, she participated in the World Team Tennis Smash Hits exhibition in Washington D.C., to support The Elton John Aids Foundation. She played celebrity doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles before straining her left calf muscle and being replaced by Anna Kournikova.
Awards and Achievements
- Voted the ITF World Champion in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995 and 1996
- Voted the WTA Player of the Year in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
- 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.
- Was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004 and the German Sports Hall of Fame in 2008
- In 2015, she was the recipient of the International Club’s Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award.
How much is Steffi Graf Net Worth?
Steffi Graf is a former professional tennis player who has made a vast amount of money from her career. The net worth of Steffi Graf is estimated to have $145 Million as of 2022. She made this fortune from her tennis career which is her main source of wealth. Besides this, she has done promotion work for the following brands T-Mobile, Head sports equipment, Wilson Sporting Goods, Dunlop Sports, Rexona, Canon Inc., Kerala Tourism, Barilla Pasta, Opel Automobiles, Aramis Always Fragrance (with Andre Agassi), Adidas, Longines watches. Her present salary is above $1 Million at present. She has made prize money of $21,895,277 during her tennis career. Today, she is living a lavish lifestyle from her earnings.
Who is Steffi Graf Husband?
Steffi Graf is a married woman to her long-time boyfriend, Andre Agassi who is an American retired tennis player. Their relationship came to the public in September 1999 after they were spotted getting cozy in a New York restaurant and a bunch of days later, shopping together in Los Angeles. They got married in a small and intimate wedding ceremony in October 2001 with their mothers serving as the only witnesses. She gave birth to a son, Jaden Gil in 2001 and a daughter, Jaz Elle in 2003. Today, the couple is enjoying their present life a lot. Her sexual orietnation is straight.
Previously, she was in a relationship with German tennis player Alexander Mronz in 1989, while they were both emerging in the game. After that, he had a brief affair with the English pop singer, Mick Hucknall. She managed to hold the famous womanizer in a relationship for a little over a year before he decided to explore pastures anew. Then, she started dating German racer Michael Bartels in 1992. After being in a steady relationship for about 7 years, they split in 1999.
What is Steffi Graf Height and Weight?
Steffi Graf stands at the height of 5 feet 9 inches and her body weight consist of 64 Kg. She has a body measurement of 35-25-35 inches. Her hair color is blonde and her eye color is blue. Her body type is athletic.