Birth Date: June 14 1969
Birth Place: N/A
Steffi Graf started playing tennis at age 4, initially coached by her father. Under the area's tennis program, as the best girl player, she would play against the worst boy player, who was usually Boris Becker. After winning the German Juniors and the European Juniors, she turned pro on 18 October 1982. The next day, she lost a match to Tracy Austin. Graf finally won her first title on 13 April 1986, defeating Chris Evert at the Family Circle Cup. She would go on win 107 WTA tournaments, behind Martina Navratilova (167) and Evert (157). Her career record is 902-115. 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 named Guenter Parche 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 native Yugoslavia. But, it turned out Parche was a Graf fan and reasoned that if he took Seles out, Graf would be able to re-gain the #1 ranking. The attack reverberated across sports. It also changed the course of tennis history. Graf visited Seles in the hospital, but has never commented publically about the incident. Seles was off the court for 27 months, and never regained her dominating form. Graf retired on 13 August 1999 after a rare loss in the Wimbledon finals.
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