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It Was A Decade Of Graf
By Tripp Mateschitz , Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2009 9:21pm PST USA
It Was A Decade Of Graf, Steffi Graf, US Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine New York--( From the late 80s to the mid 90s, former WTA Tour world number one Steffi Graf of Germany dominated at the US Open, winning five singles titles over the course of nine years.

It was a decade of Graf as the German marked several of her career milestones in New York City.

After turning professional at age 13 in 1982, Graf would only two years later in 1984 win the first of her two

Steffi Graf of Germany
From 1987 to her retirement at age 30 in August of 1999, Graf won 22 singles grand slam titles.

singles Olympic Gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Then in 1987, Graf scored her breakthrough year, winning the French Open in June before losing in the final at the US Open to Martina Navratilova of the USA 7-6, 6-1.

The next year in 1988, the thin but statuesque German, nicknamed Fraulein Forehand because of her stunning forehand, swept the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic singles titles before defeating one of her toughest rivals, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the US Open final to earn the only Golden Grand Slam ever.

In the French Open final, Graf had crushed Natasha Zvereva of Belarus 6-0, 6-0 in only 32 minutes.

No tennis player has since won all four grand slams in one calendar year.

Graf would also win the US Open title in the 1989 by defeating Navratilova in the final and in 1993 by beating Helena Sukova of the Czech Republic in the championship match.

Graf's win versus Navratilova in 1989 solidified her position as the world's greatest as the former world number one Navratilova had beaten the German at the US Open in 1985, 1986 and 1987.

In her final two New York championship wins in 1995 and 1996, Graf defeated her greatest rival ever, Monica Seles of the USA in both finals.

However by utilizing her powerful forehand, serve and excellent foot speed, Graf throughout her career proved her versatility as she is the only tennis player ever to win all four of the grand slams at least four times each.

From 1987 to her retirement at age 30 in August of 1999, Graf won 22 singles grand slam titles.

By comparison the ATP Tour world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland will have won only 15 singles grand slams when he turns 28 next month in August.

Graf was ranked number one by the WTA Tour for a record 377 total weeks, the longest of any male or female tennis player ever.

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