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Steffi Graf

The Trials Of Steffi Graf

Their bond was unbreakable, and as Steffi became a force in tennis, Peter was right beside her—controlling her life and business off the court while she controlled the rhythms on it. He picked and fired her coaches, mapped her schedule, traveled with her…. By the time Steffi, at 17, won her first Grand Slam event, beating Martina Navratilova in the French Open final in 1987, she was well on her way to her first million-dollar year in earnings. Together she and Peter were on an inexorable climb to the tennis summit. A perfectionist driven by her father and by her own relentless will, Steffi would don her stoical mask and use her cannon of a forehand, the most powerful weapon in the women's game, to overwhelm her opponents. As true as that forehand was, the mask was no less a lie. Highly emotional and sensitive, with a temperament more suited to a poet than to a professional athlete, Steffi had a poignant sadness about her. There were days when defeat would plunge her into despair. "She never appreciated a win as much as she was devastated by a loss," says Jim Fuhse, the WTA's publicity director and a longtime friend of Steffi's.

Source: Nack, William. Sports Illustrated 21 (November 18, 1996): 74.

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Famous Sports StarsTennisSteffi Graf Biography - Growing Up, The Young Professional, The Big Year, Awards And Accomplishments, Dominant Throughout The 90s - CONTACT INFORMATION