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Table of Contents
In her professional tennis career, Steffi Graf spent 377 weeks as the No. 1 female player. Known for her powerful forehand, Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. In 1988, she had a “Golden Slam,” winning all four major competitions and Olympic gold in one calendar year.
See the fact file below for more information on the Steffi Graf or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Steffi Graf worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- She was born Stefanie Maria Graf on June 14, 1969 in Mannheim in West Germany to tennis couple Peter and Heidi.
- At the early age of 4, learning the sport became effortless for young Steffi as she swung with a sawed-off tennis racket given by her father for her to play with.
- With Peter serving as her coach and mentor, Steffi Graf won her first junior tournament at 6 years old and was acclaimed as one of tennis’ top young talents.
- She continued to win several prestigious tournaments such as the Junior Orange Bowl in Florida and the German 14-and-under and 18-and-under championships.
- In October 1982, Graf entered the pros at the age of 13, and became the second youngest player to achieve a spot on the global rankings.
- She also won an honorary gold medal two years later at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, which considered tennis as a demonstration sport.
- With the unending support of her father, Graf rose to the No. 6 spot of the world rankings by the end of 1985, and claimed her first Grand Slam title by winning the French Open in 1987.
- Graf later became the world’s No. 1 female tennis player, a spot she held for an impressive 186 consecutive weeks, after defeating top seeder Martina Navratilova.
- Graf continued to smash world records in 1988 by winning the Australian Open, French Open, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open, and became the third female player to win all four Grand Slam events in one calendar year. Capping her groundbreaking “Golden Grand Slam” was her gold medal win at the Seoul Olympic Games that autumn in 1988.
- In October 1991, she became the youngest woman to grab 500 career wins. An exceptional athlete with intense focus and remarkable forehand, she notched at least one Grand Slam singles title every year until 1997, and won the silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
RETIREMENT, LEGACY AND HONORS
- Injuries had taken their toll on Graf, but she continued to sit on top of the world rankings, as she won the French Open in 1999 and almost took another Wimbledon singles title before a close loss in the final.
- However, Graf realized that her enjoyment of playing the game was slipping and announced her retirement from the sport in August of the same year at age 30.
- Over the course of her career, Steffi Graf occupied the No. 1 spot for a total of 377 weeks and received more than $21 million in prize money.
- She won the Australian Open four times (1988-1990, 1994), the French Open six times (1987-1988, 1993, 1995-1996, 1999), the U.S. Open five times (1988-1989, 1993, 1995-1996), and Wimbledon seven times (1988-1989, 1991-1993, 1995-1996), for an Open-era record 22 Grand Slam singles titles.
- Graf is regarded by some to be the greatest female tennis player of all time. Even her rival, Navratilova, included Graf on her list of great players.
- In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press. Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, named her as the best female player of the 20th century. In March 2012, Tennis Channel picked Graf as the greatest female tennis player ever in their list of 100 greatest tennis players of all time. In November 2018, Tennis.com polled its readers to choose the greatest women’s tennis player of all time and Graf came in first.
- In 2004, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
- On October 22, 2001, Graf married Andre Agassi, another tennis player who had reached the highest echelons of the sport. The couple live in Las Vegas, Nevada, with their two children, Jaden and Jaz.
- In addition to family life, Graf stays active with charity work. This includes her foundation, Children for Tomorrow, which offers help to crisis-stricken children and their families.
Steffi Graf Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Steffi Graf across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Steffi Graf worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Steffi Graf who spent 377 weeks as the No. 1 female player. Known for her powerful forehand, Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. In 1988, she had a “Golden Slam,” winning all four major competitions and Olympic gold in one calendar year.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Steffi Graf Facts
- Athlete Profile
- Pop Quiz
- Steffi on Success
- Steffi’s Aces
- Winning Words
- Rally Rivals
- Great German Athletes
- Girl Power
- Game, Set, It’s a Match!
- What’s in a Name?
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