|Estimated value:||€150 million|
|Country of origin:||Germany|
|Source of Wealth:||tennis player|
Steffi Graf, actually Stefanie Maria Graf, was a German tennis player who won 22 Grand Slam tournaments as well as the “Golden Slam” in 1988, including gold at the Olympics. She holds the world record for weeks leading the world rankings with 377 weeks total. After her career she married ex-tennis pro Andre Agassi and lives with him and their two children in the USA, but remains one of the most successful tennis players of all time.
Her father introduced her to tennis from an early age. Already at the age of three she completed her first strokes. Her father Peter Graf was a qualified tennis coach. He discovered a high level of motor skills in his daughter and gradually began to increase the difficulty of the tasks for the still very young Steffi Graf. In 1977, Steffi Graf won her first tennis tournament at the age of seven (!). Therefore, her father gave up his other activities and devoted himself entirely to promoting her career. And this should take an unbelievable course in 1981, with the first participation of Steffi Graf. As a player who was only eleven years old, she challenged some adults so much that they needed several sets to beat Steffi Graf.
In 1982, Steffi Graf consequently won the German championship for eighteen-year-olds – she was thirteen at the time. The press was already talking about a “child prodigy” and that’s how it should actually be. In October 1982 she was finally registered as a professional player with the WTA. The father responded to any criticism of the early point in time by saying that there was no way around it.
However, Steffi Graf lost her first game as a professional quite clearly. Nevertheless, her rise was unstoppable. In 1983 she played at the French Open, where she reached the second round. The experts were particularly impressed by her hard forehand. At the end of that year, she was 98th in the world rankings.
The following year, she finished in the bottom 32 at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon. At the Olympics that same year in Los Angeles, which was only held as a demonstration competition at the time, she won as the youngest player in the entire field. She was now 22nd in the world rankings.
In 1985 she reached the round of 16 in Paris and Wimbledon. As a player now ranked 6th in the world, she was one of the top stars of the scene and had already earned half a million DM in prize money.
In the months that followed, it was only narrowly defeated by the still dominant giants in the industry before it finally achieved its breakthrough in 1987. This year she won a total of eleven tournaments and won her first Grand Slam tournament. She also took the lead in the world rankings.
The next year should be even more successful for Steffi Graf. In 1988 she won all four Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympic tennis tournament, which was then celebrated as the “Golden Slam” in her honor. Something no one has ever achieved before or since.
After that, her absolute dominance in world tennis lasted another four years before she became a serious competitor in Monica Seles. She also had to temporarily give up her lead in the world rankings to them. From 1993 to 1996, however, it regained its former dominance. Between 1993 and 1994 she again won four Grand Slam tournaments in a row, and then more. For the first time, however, certain signs of wear and tear became noticeable due to longer injury breaks.
Added to this was her father’s tax scandal, which took a toll on her mentally. After a final triumph with the title at the 1999 French Open, she finally ended her career as an active tennis player at the age of 30. During this time she had won 7x Wimbledon, 5x the French Open, 5x the US Open and 4x the Australian Open. In total, she won 107 tournaments.
The sporting highlight was the exceptional year 1988, in which Steffi Graf won all four Grand Slam tournaments as well as the Olympic Games in Seoul. So she is the only winner of the “Golden Slam” so far.
But her long time at the top of the world rankings is also a highlight in Steffi Graf’s career, which has been peppered with success.
“There is nothing that beats the moment of converted match point, the awareness of having prevailed.”
“The more you think in the match, the slower the movements become. That usually costs the win.”
In 1997, her father was sentenced to almost four years in prison for tax evasion in relation to the prize money he managed.
Her brother Michael Graf was a successful motorsport driver in Formula 3.
Their son was born in 2001, their daughter in 2003.
She holds the record for the shortest Grand Slam final ever, winning 6-0, 6-0 in just 32 minutes at the 1988 French Open.
With her estimated Net Worth of 150 million euros, she is still one of the 1,000 richest Germans (as of 2019).
|Estimated value:||€150 million|