Steffi Graf Bio - Biography

Name Steffi Graf
Height 5' 9"
Naionality German
Date of Birth 14 June 1969,
Place of Birth Mannheim, West Germany
Famous for
Steffi Graf started playing tennis at age 3, coached by her father. Under the area's tennis program, as the best girl, she would play against the worst boy -- who was usually Boris Becker. After winning the German and European Juniors, she turned pro on 18 October 1982. The next day, she lost to Tracy Austin, who was less-than impressed, telling the press there were "hundreds of girls" like Graf in the States. Graf finally won her first title on 13 April 1986, defeating Chris Evert at the Family Circle Cup. She would win 107 WTA tournaments, behind Martina Navratilova (167) and Evert (157), 22 Slams, and the Grand Slam in 1988. She found herself at the center of a near-tragedy on 30 April 1993. Her then-arch rival, Monica Seles, was resting during a changeover at the Hamburg Open when a man made his way through the stands, and plunged a knife into her back. At first, it was thought the attack was prompted by the conflict in Seles's Yugoslavia. But, it turned out Guenter Parche was a Graf fan and reasoned that if he took Seles out, Graf could re-gain the #1 ranking. The attack reverberated across sports. It also changed the course of tennis history; Seles was off the court for 27 months, and never regained her dominating form. Graf visited Seles in the hospital, but hasn't commented publicly about the incident until recently. Graf retired on 13 August 1999 after a rare loss in the Wimbledon finals. By this time, she was dating Andre Agassi. With only their mothers as witnesses, they married on 22 October 2001 at his Las Vegas home. Their son, Jaden Gil, was born four days later, 6 weeks premature. Their daughter, Jaz Elle, was born on 3 October 2003. Famous for her killer instinct and business-like approach, at times she displayed a sense of humor. During a tight 1995 Wimbledon match against Japan's Kimiko Date, she was serving when a fan yelled out "Steffi!" Everyone, including Steffi, burst out laughing. Composing herself, she readied to serve when the fan shouted "Steffi! Will you marry me?" The stadium burst into peals of laughter and play was delayed for a couple of minutes. Steffi got ready to serve again, tossed the ball, caught it, turned to the fan and yelled "How much money do you have?" Graf lost the set, but won the match to face (and defeat) Arantxa Sánchez Vicario for the title.

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