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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Today 01:28 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Blowing a set and a break lead -- well, it WAS doubles, but still...

Tennis
The Advertiser
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
April 29, 1996

Aussies in trouble: Australia slumped 2-0 to the Netherlands on the first day of the group one Federation Cup yesterday with the Dutch winning both singles in straight sets.

Graf upset: Japan outed Germany from the Cup after Kimiko Date, of Japan, issued a warning to the world with the biggest victory of her career by pulling off an upset win over Steffi Graf, of Germany, in their Fed Cup match in Toyko yesterday.

''Of course, it's the biggest victory of my life. I lost to her so many times and I felt she was invincible. But I finally did it,'' said Date after her stunning 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 12-10 win in three hours 24 minutes.

Germany's No. 2 player Anke Huber made it even 2-2 by beating Naoko Sawamatsu 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 but Ai Sugiyama and Kyoko Nagatsuka came back from one set and 0-2 down to beat Graf and Huber 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the deciding doubles.

FED CUP: Netherlands 2 Australia 0 (M. Oremans d R. Stubbs 6-4, 6-3; B. Schultz d R. McQuillan 7-5, 6-3); Japan 3 Germany 2; Austria 1 US 1; Slovakia 2 Bulgaria 0; Belgium 2 Indonesia 0; France 1 Argentina 1; Spain 2 South Africa 0.
Today 01:26 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

U.S. OVERCOMES INJURIES, BEATS AUSTRIA
The State
Columbia, SC
April 29, 1996
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The United States overcame injuries to advance to the semifinals of the Federation Cup, beating Austria 3-2 behind Mary Joe Fernandez's heroics on Sunday.

Fernandez beat Barbara Paulus 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), then teamed with longtime partner Gigi Fernandez to beat Judith Wiesner and Petra Schwarz-Ritter 6-0, 6-4.

Jennifer Capriati, a last-minute surprise choice to replace injured Chanda Rubin and Lindsay Davenport, was beaten 6-2, 6-4 Saturday by Paulus and 6-1, 6-1 Sunday by Wiesner. Capriati failed to hold a single service game and sprayed 43 unforced errors in the 52-minute match.

"I knew going in it would be close, 50-50,'' U.S. captain Billy Jean King said. "Mary Joe played up to her potential. She was definitely the star.''

The United States next plays Japan, a surprise winner over Germany.

At Tokyo, Kimiko Date beat Steffi Graf 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 12-10 in 3 1/2 hours as Japan advanced to the semifinal for the first time.

"It was the biggest win in my career,'' Date said. "But I can't compare a team win to a tournament victory.''

The semifinal will be played in Japan, meaning Monica Seles, currently sidelined with a shoulder injury, may be available. Seles, stabbed during a tournament at Hamburg in 1993, said she would not travel to Germany.

Date gave Japan a 2-1 lead, but Anke Huber evened the match by beating Naoko Sawamatsu 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Ai Sugiyama and Kyoko Nagatsuka then beat Graf and Huber 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

"I had so many chances to win in the first set, but then I grew a little bit tired and nervous, and just made too many errors on important points,'' Graf said. "I started playing a little better in the second set but still I didn't feel comfortable. Then in the third set, she played great tennis.''

At Murcia, Spain, the host nation beat South Africa 3-2.

And France beat Argentina 3-2 at Amiens.
Today 01:24 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Blowing a 5-0 lead. A great Novotna impersonation.

Defeat for weary Graf sees Germany slip up
The Times
London, England
April 29, 1996
*
KIMIKO DATE overcame a leg injury to beat Steffi Graf, of Germany, the world No1, and help Japan to reach the Fed Cup world group semi-finals of tennis in Tokyo yesterday. Graf, looking weary, went on to lose the doubles with Anke Huber, her partner, as Japan secured a 3-2 victory over the former champions in the first-round tie.

Date, who had lost all her previous seven encounters with Graf, came back from 0-5 down in the first set and then saved six set points during the match before winning 7-6, 3-6, 12-10. ''I had one of the greatest matches of my career today,'' she said.

Date played with her left leg heavily taped and several times during the 3 1/2-hour match she needed treatment. After Graf's defeat, Huber levelled the tie at 2-2, beating Naoko Sawamatsu 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, before the Germans lost the deciding doubles.

In Monaco, Thomas Muster rallied to beat Alberto Costa, of Spain, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6,

6-3, 6-2 to win his second consecutive Monte Carlo Open title and seventh successive clay-court tournament. The match became an endurance trial, with both players hitting heavy shots from the baseline.

After Muster had recovered to level sets at 2-2, the turning point of the match came in the fifth game of the final set. A double fault and an unforced error left Costa 0-30 down. Muster capitalised with a winning volley and went on to break service and hold on for victory, earning his third clay-court title this year.

Britain's hopes of a third successive title in the Korean Open were dashed when Tim Henman lost 6-2, 6-4, to Byron Black, of Zimbabwe, in the semi-finals. Black beat Martin Dam, of Czechoslovakia, 7-6, 6-3 in the final.
Apr 28th, 2016 02:49 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Germany's big problem might have been having a player on the squad who could have been a little ambivalent about winning, between the accusing media types accosting her and the potential U.S. at Germany meeting in the next round.

Huber beaten but Graf levels for Germany
April 27, 1996
Reuter Information Service

TOKYO - Kimiko Date did her country proud on Saturday, coming from behind to beat Anke Huber as Japan held Germany to 1-1 at the end of the first day in their Fed Cup World Group first round clash.

Date, ranked seventh in the world, delighted a home crowd with a 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory over fifth-ranked Huber.

But world number one Steffi Graf had little trouble beating 28th-ranked Naoko Sawamatsu 6-1 6-3 to even the score for Germany.

"We are satisfied with the results," Japan's head coach Toshiro Sakai said. "I thought a 1-1 tie on the first day would set up a chance for us to beat Germany overall."

Huber, losing finalist at the Australian Open in January, broke Date's serve in the fifth game of the first set to take the early lead.

Date fought back to win the second set by breaking Huber twice and the match became one-sided in the third set when Huber was unable to hold any of her serves.

"It's going to be a big problem for us if Kimiko plays (in her Sunday's reverse singles against Graf) like she did today," Huber said.

Graf, who shares the number one spot with Monica Seles of the United States, faced some resistance by Sawamatsu, who broke her twice in the second set.

"I lacked concentration at the end of the match," Graf said.

Date has never beaten Graf in their previous seven encounters.

The reverse singles and the doubles will be played on Sunday. Japan will pit Ai Sugiyama and Kyoko Nagatsuka in the doubles against Graf and Huber.

The winners of the tie advance to the World Group semifinals in July and will face either the United States or Austria.
Apr 28th, 2016 02:45 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

And to top it off: Fed Cup. You know, supposedly playing for your country. In Steffi's case, it just happened to be a country that seemed like it wanted to see her ruined. There might just have been a "conflict of interest" or two going on here somewhere.

Injury-weakened U.S. splits Fed Cup matches vs. Austria
The Dallas Morning News
April 28, 1996
Associated Press

Weakened by injury, the U.S. Fed Cup team split the opening singles Saturday against a newly invigorated Austria.

In the opening match in Salzburg, Austria, American Mary Joe Fernandez put on a fine display of baseline tennis to defeat fellow baseliner Judith Wiesner, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

But then Jennifer Capriati, making a comeback after two years off the pro tour, was no match for 17th ranked Barbara Paulus, who triumphed, 6-2, 6-4, in just 70 minutes.

"It was difficult playing Barbara," said Capriati. "She played so well. I've got to improve."

"Barbara just played too well. Austria should be very proud of her," said U.S. team captain Billie Jean King.

Capriati was a surprise last-minute choice for the U.S. team in this women's equivalent to the men's Davis Cup after injuries sidelined Chanda Rubin, Lindsay Davenport and Monica Seles.

While showing flashes of the huge talent that earned her the 1992 Olympic gold medal against Steffi Graf, Capriati could not keep pace with Paulus, although she did save three match points in the final game.

Paulus looked vulnerable in the second set, dropping serve three times and making a number of unforced errors. She said the mistakes were due to nerves.

Against Wiesner, the 14th-ranked Fernandez played the big points more precisely and pulled out a strong serve when it counted in a match of two skilled baseline tacticians.

"I was satisfied with my game, but she played the big points very well,'' a dispirited Wiesner said afterwards. Saturday's defeat gives her a 1-8 career record against the American - almost all close matches.

"It was another close match against her, and in the end she always does emerge the winner.''

Spain 2, S. Africa 0

Elsewhere, three-time defending Fed Cup champion Spain swept the first two singles against South Africa with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario defeating Joannette Kruger, 6-3, 6-1, and Conchita Martinez beating Amanda Coetzer, 7-5, 6-3.

Sanchez Vicario is ranked No. 2 in the world and Martinez is No. 3.

Japan 1, Germany 1

Japan and Germany split their opening singles. Kimiko Date, No. 7 on the WTA Tour, came from behind and upset fifth-ranked Anke Huber, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, after top-ranked Steffi Graf pounded out a 6-1, 6-3 victory over No. 28 player Naoko Sawamatsu.

Date said, "I've never seen her playing so well before," in the first half of the match.

Graf said she will have a tougher match against Date on Sunday.

"She already was playing very well in the Lipton {Championships}, and I had a very close match against her. She has been improving in the past year and a half and is getting more and more confident out there."

Netherlands 2, Australia 0

The Netherlands got wins from Brenda Schultz-McCarthy and Miriam Oremans for a 2-0 lead over Australia. Schultz-McCarthy defeated Rachel McQuillan, 7-5, 6-3, and Oremans had little trouble defeating Rennae Stubbs, 6-4, 6-3.

France 1, Argentina 1

France and Argentina split their opening singles.

Argentina's Florencia Labat took the opening singles over France's Nathalie Tauziat, 6-3, 6-4, and then Julie Halard-Decugis evened it for France by downing Paola Suarez, 6-4, 7-5 (9-7).

The match was played without the highest ranking players of the two countries. Gabriela Sabatini withdrew late last week with a torn stomach muscle and Mary Pierce was not named to the French starting lineup with an elbow injury.

Slovakia 2, Bulgaria 0

Slovakia took a 2-0 lead over Bulgaria when Karina Habsudova defeated Lyubomira Bacheva, 6-0, 6-1, and Katarina Studenikova came back from early deficits in both sets to defeat Svetlana Krivencheva, 7-5, 6-4.
Apr 28th, 2016 02:41 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Supremely defiant. And also surprisingly fair, as she will directly state she thought the general public supported her and could see how unfairly the German media was treating her.

GRAF TO BREAK HER BOYCOTT
The Sunday Mail
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
April 28, 1996

WORLD tennis No 1 Steffi Graf has called off her boycott of tournaments held in Germany.

The 26-year-old, who at the start of the season said she would not play in Germany because of the ongoing investigation into her tax affairs, now will compete in the German Open in May.

Prosecutors have said they will not charge Graf, but her father Peter has been in jail since August awaiting trial for concealing his daughter's fortune in secret bank accounts held in Liechtenstein.

German papers claim Graf is on the verge of financial ruin and is likely to go bankrupt paying her enormous tax debt.

IN Monaco, teenage Dutchman Sjeng Schalken gave clay-court specialist Thomas Muster a scare before the No 1 seed fought back from a set down to win through to the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Open.

Muster had to battle for nearly two hours -- plus a 90-minute break due to rain -- to dismiss his 19-year-old opponent 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.

Promising clay-court specialists Marcelo Rios of Chile, seeded 13th, and Spain's Alberto Costa, the 16th seed, also won their quarter-final matches to set up an intriguing semi-final.

It took Rios just over an hour to dismiss Sweden's Magnus Gustafsson 6-3, 6-4.

Costa, a quarter-finalist at the French Open and the first player to beat Muster on clay last year, was even faster, ending compatriot Felix Mantilla's promising path from the qualifying rounds 6-3, 6-3 in 67 minutes.

Muster's semi-final opponent is in-form Frenchman Cedric Pioline, who beat Spain's Carlos Costa 6-2, 6-3.
Apr 28th, 2016 02:39 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I still wonder about what was really behind the German media's spitefulness and/or irrationality. This went far beyond sore feelings stemming from "Steffi wouldn't give us interviews" or Tall Poppy Syndrome. It was like ... like she was running for political office.

Germany turns on its tainted golden girl - World News
The Sunday Times
London, England
April 28, 1996
Mark Franchetti, Berlin

THE halo is beginning to slip. The adoration heaped on Steffi Graf by her once-loyal countrymen is waning fast as public opinion in Germany turns against its golden girl of tennis.

A picture of Graf biting her lip in the mass-circulation Bild newspaper last week under the headline ''Steffi severely incriminated" has signalled what could be the beginning of the end of Germany's love affair with the six-time Wimbledon champion. The ultimate symbol of German sporting success, Graf has until now been cocooned from the scandal surrounding Peter Graf, her father. He is accused of faking the star's tax returns and hiding Pounds 18.5m abroad.

Since he and Joachim Eckardt, the family's tax adviser, were formally charged 10 days ago with tax evasion by siphoning the star's earnings into a series of banks and companies abroad, there have been growing signs that Graf's desperate attempts to distance herself from the scandal have failed. Investigators say they will continue looking into her affairs until they are convinced she had no knowledge of her father's activities.

The German media have been relishing the affair. ''The mood in Germany is changing," said Hans Leinen Decker [sic] of Der Spiegel magazine. ''Being famous was still a plus when investigators first searched the Grafs' home last May. But as the evidence piles up, the ordinary taxpayer is starting to lose patience.

''The higher the taxes Germans have to pay, the less the man in the street is prepared to tolerate the rich man's trickery. The days when famous people could get away with tax evasion are over."

Last summer Graf was described as ''the model sportswoman clean, decent, wonderfully German". Her endorsement of German products brought her millions of pounds a year but those days have gone.

Last week the news magazine Stern claimed it had uncovered new evidence which might lead to Graf's imprisonment. Prosecutors dismissed the report and the player's lawyers accused the media of launching a witch-hunt.

The negative publicity, however, is said to be prompting Graf to consider moving abroad, either to America or Monaco. The scandal does not seem to have adversely affected her performance on the court. She has been in Tokyo for the past week preparing for Germany's Federation Cup series against Japan. By the time she walks off court today, she will probably have routed her opponents in straight sets.

Heinz Gunthardt, her Swiss coach, expressed little surprise last week that Graf could have remained ignorant of her father's financial dealings. ''Her greatest strength is, in this instance, her greatest curse ... she has this incredible ability to block things out. On a tennis court it is terrific because she concentrates better than anyone I have ever known. There can be pandemonium and she doesn't notice. But she carries it into her everyday life with disastrous consequences."

Even Graf's supporters argue that she was desperately naive to leave her financial affairs to her father, a former second-hand car salesman. Der Spiegel once said that for Peter Graf, ''deception and disguise seemed to be the elixir of life". Even his daughter once described him as a domineering and egocentric man ''eaten by distrust and driven by the desire for profit".

Tennis tournament organisers and companies whose products Graf promoted were often assailed with demands by Peter Graf for huge cash payments. One irritable tournament organiser described him ferrying around hundreds of thousands of D-marks, often in plastic carrier bags, ''like a drug courier". When tax investigators raided the tennis star's mansion they are said to have found more than Pounds 100,000 tucked away in drawers, cupboards and clothing.

The charge sheet lodged against Peter Graf, 57, runs to 237 pages and is contained in 170 folders. He has been held in a prison in Mannheim, southern Germany, since August: prosecutors fear he might try to flee the country if he is granted bail.

He is expected to go on trial with Eckardt later this summer and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Graf, who has always been close to her father, visits him regularly in jail but relations are said to be tense.

As a result of the allegations against her father, Graf is expected to have to repay at least Pounds 14.8m in tax, Pounds 1.14m in interest, Pounds 1.37 in fines and Pounds 1.3m in lawyers' fees. She could face bankruptcy.

Graf's coach laughs at suggestions that she might be financially embarrassed. ''That's the least of her worries," said Gunthardt. ''She has such a great image, despite everything that has been happening. Companies will still want to employ her and she still has plenty of tennis left in her."

However, her game has been hampered by a serious back problem. She is taking longer rests between tournaments to recover from the pain and to seek advice from specialists in the United States and Germany. Doctors have confirmed that an operation would end her career as a top player and friends say she is afraid of the consequences of extensive surgery.

''She will play as long as she can stand the pain," said Ulrich Kaiser, a tennis expert who has known Graf since she was 14. ''It sounds crazy, but she needs the money. She has earned millions but will now have to play to earn that extra million to go towards her old age. It's very sad."
Apr 27th, 2016 12:50 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

For the curious, Steffi won Eastbourne's Under-21 tournament in 1985, over Elizabeth Minter in the final, 6-3, 6-2. No idea about the rest of the draw.

AGASSI, BECKER FALL AT MONTE CARLO OPEN
The Palm Beach Post
April 26, 1996
Palm Beach Post Wire Services

Alberto Costa of Spain routed second-seeded Andre Agassi, 6-2, 6-1 in only 54 minutes Thursday in the third round of the Monte Carlo Open. Marcelo Rios, an up-and-coming Chilean, beat Boris Becker 6-4, 6-3. Becker was playing his first tournament in six weeks while Rios had lost in the Barcelona final to Thomas Muster, who has won his last six clay court tournaments in a row. The No. 1-seeded Muster also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) victory over Spanish teen-ager Carlos Moya to run his clay-court streak up to 32. (Results, 9C). . . In a change of her routine, Steffi Graf has entered the Eastbourne grass-court tournament the week before Wimbledon. Graf, who has won Wimbledon six times and is the reigning champion, played in Eastbourne's under-21 event in the mid-1980s but has never played in the main tournament.
Apr 25th, 2016 07:30 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

At least the correction followed swiftly in the English language media -- although some outlets, mostly tabloids, didn't get the memo or chose to ignore it. The German press was not nearly as interested in the correction as in the initial sensationalist garbage; they will hang on to it through the beginning of Peter's trial, even though Steffi will clearly explain that this is a big bunch of nothing to "Bild" itself.

Prosecutor rejects report that tennis star knew about tax evasion
The Record
Kitchner, Ontario, Canada
April 25, 1996
Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany -- A prosecutor on Wednesday disagreed with a report that Steffi Graf knew what happened to her earnings, allegedly funneled out of Germany for years by her father to avoid paying taxes.

Asked about the story that is to appear in the weekly Stern magazine Thursday, prosecutor Peter Wechsung in Mannheim said that based on his office's investigation, "we disagree with its conclusions."

The story says that Graf family tax adviser, Joachim Eckardt, who is in jail and charged in the case, had provided prosecutors with information that Steffi Graf knew the details of what was happening to her money.

The magazine also said that former Graf family confidant, Horst Schmitt, informed Steffi about where her money was deposited in 1991, although the tennis star has told prosecutors she paid little attention to her financial affairs to concentrate on her game.

Wechsung said that Eckhardt had never been able to incriminate the tennis player in repeated questioning, and in one session he declined to discuss Steffi Graf's role in the case.

Prosecutors a week ago charged Eckhardt and Graf's father Peter Graf with failing to report $28 million of his daughter's earnings to evade $13.3 million in taxes between 1987 and 1993.

Wechsung also said Wednesday that former family confidant Schmitt did not incriminate Steffi Graf during questioning, but rather told investigators that she was unaware of details on her financial situation, which were managed by her father.

Despite disagreement with the Stern report, Wechsung said the nearly year-long investigation continues.

The trial of Peter Graf and Eckhardt is expected to begin in late summer or early autumn, which could prevent the reigning and four-time U.S. Open champion from playing in that tournament.
Apr 25th, 2016 07:28 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

And then "stern" added its mustard. You would think that they would have learned their lesson from their little "Hitler Diaries" mistake, but no...

Allegation that Steffi Graf knew about tax fraud
The Sports Network
April 25, 1996
From News Wire Services

A published report in Germany says tennis star Steffi Graf knew about the tax fraud her father was committing that has him in jail awaiting a trial. The weekly magazine "Stern" says another defendant in the case, the Graf family tax adviser, is apparently working on a plea-bargain deal that would have him supplying information that claims the tennis star knew part of her earnings were being transferred out of Germany without any taxes being paid.

The story comes as there is increased speculation in Germany that authorities may soon file tax evasion charges against Steffi Graf. There have been several reports attempting to link her to the tax fraud, and she has been questioned by police several times. When the charges against her father, Peter Graf, and the Graf family tax advisor, Joachim Eckardt, were announced earlier this month, prosecutors again stated there was no evidence that Steffi Graf was involved. However, they also pointed out that the investigation into the case was continuing.

Peter Graf has been in custody since last August, accused of failing to pay as much as $13 million in taxes on $28 million in unreported income. Although he wasn't formally charged with income tax evasion until earlier this month, he had been in custody for several months because authorities feared he would flee the country.

Peter Graf, who has served as his daughter's manager, is accused of failing to file a tax return from 1989 through '92. When he did file a return on his daughter's estimated income in 1993, Graf allegedly paid only about one-fifth of what she made, although Germany's normal tax rate is about 50 percent for her tax bracket.
Apr 25th, 2016 12:47 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

"Who knows what's going on inside her?" Probably NOT severe heartburn. Probably finely controlled rage.

Fault: Graf's Father Latest To Instigate Tennis Racket
Chicago Sun-Times
April 24, 1996
Rick Telander

Tennis fathers, tennis daughters.

If there is a more volatile familial mix in the sporting world, it could only be football stars and the wives and girlfriends they so often slap around.

Top-ranked Steffi Graf, 26, is the latest female tennis star to be undone by her male parent.

In a case that has been proceeding for nearly a year, Graf's imprisoned 57-year-old father, Peter, has been charged with evading taxes on his daughter's huge financial holdings. According to reports from Germany, Steffi Graf is not clear of suspicion in the case, even though she basically turned all her financial dealings over to her father. In any event, she seems likely to have to pay up to $32 million in back taxes, interest, fines and legal fees in the matter.

Because her savings have been estimated at $28 million, such a punishment would leave her bankrupt.

Through it all, Graf has been stoic on court and as successful as ever. She only lost twice last year and has told friends that the lined court has become her island of peace, her refuge from the other court and its swirling legal storm.

"It's a wonder what she's accomplished. Phenomenal, really," says Jim Fuhse, the director of publicity for the Women's Tennis Association and a friend of Graf's since she was 13. "It's been very hard for her to see her father in jail, and for almost a year there has been this shadow hanging over her. Who knows what's going on inside her?"

Probably severe heartburn.

Her love for her father is now tempered by the final and painful knowledge that he has used her, that he is deeply flawed, and that much of what she is surely has been created by him.

The back-and-forth tugs that Graf clearly feels toward her father are typical of the feelings of tennis daughters toward domineering, single-minded and often abusive dads who pushed their girls to success and nearly destroyed the two of them in the process. Tennis boys often have pushy parents, too - Jimmy Connors' mom was a classic - but it is still the young female athlete's burden in this society to be perceived as needing a man's touch to move her forward.

Nor are the tennis fathers always subtle about their manipulative techniques.

Peter Graf allegedly beat and kicked his daughter at various times in her training process. According to a friend of Peter's, the father would sometimes come from Steffi's hotel room and state, "I've just now smacked her." The friend told the German magazine Der Spiegel that he saw Peter Graf kick Steffi and that the elder Graf "treated her like a dog."

Tennis star Mary Pierce can understand such accusations because her father, Jim, a felon who served five years in prison, often abused her and her mother as he pushed her to greatness. Her ambivalence toward her father was the thing that prevented Mary from breaking away from his clutches until his behavior became so bizarre he was banned by authorities from attending her matches.

"One reason I hesitated to break away was that you just don't know what he might do," she said in 1993.

Graf could not have known what her father was capable of, either. She is so tough and has overcome so many physical injuries during her career, that it's no surprise she has needed the law to intervene and make her aware of the mental injuries she has been dealt.

When she broke down at the 1995 U.S. Open and cried in front of reporters who had asked about her father, it was the first time she had shown that she was a normal, fragile person and not simply a machine that mowed down opponents 6-1, 6-1.

"People embraced her after that," Fuhse says. "She is now much more reflective and more thoughtful than before. All of this has moved her more and more to become her own person."

The same, basically, is true of Jennifer Capriati, the onetime child wizard whose tennis dad was instrumental in leading her to a similar meltdown of the soul. Capriati is back now, older - and wiser, we hear. It was no accident that before she returned to the tour some months ago, Capriati visited Graf in Boca Raton, Fla., and talked some serious turkey with the mega-star about everything.

Psychological traumas have been the catalysts for a number of women tennis players to break away from the clutches of those who shaped them. Those same traumas helped the young women become more complete human beings.

In the case of Monica Seles, it was a knife in the back that propeled her into adulthood. But that jolt could not have been much worse than the mental wounds suffered by the other female stars at the hands of their own flesh and blood.

For Steffi Graf, the gift from her father is mental and financial. She now has the rest of her career to work it off.

Rick Telander's column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Apr 25th, 2016 12:45 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

This is the kind of speculation and wishful thinking I would expect from the Sorority Sisters and the IMG Machine at their private ice cream socials, not from a "serious" publication.

Graf still under tax investigation
Tennis star might miss U.S Open if charged with evasion

Austin American-Statesman
April 24, 1996
Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Steffi Graf, whose father Peter is jailed on tax evasion charges, also remains under investigation and might miss the U.S. Open, plus another tournament in New York, according to Der Spiegel magazine.

The Hamburg-based weekly, which has regularly carried reports on the Grafs' tax evasion case, said in Monday editions that after 50 weeks of investigation, prosecutors are renewing their efforts to determine if there are grounds to charge Steffi Graf.

The report said the 26-year-old player was disappointed that the investigation against her wasn't dropped when her father and family tax adviser, Joachim Eckardt, were charged last Wednesday.

Peter Graf, who has been jailed in Mannheim since Aug. 2, and Eckhardt, jailed since Sept. 25, were charged with evading $13 million in taxes on $28 million of the World No. 1 player's earnings between 1987 and 1993.

Spiegel said investigators discovered that the 56-year-old Graf had access to his daughter's German bank account and that he withdrew up to $350,000 annually, part of it for his private use. Steffi Graf was supposedly not aware of the withdrawals.

Quoting Mannheim state prosecutor Peter Wechsung, Spiegel said that if it can be determined that Steffi Graf knew more about the tax evasion than has thus far come to light, she would also "be charged but not arrested.''

At least $26.6 million of her earnings was slipped out of Germany and deposited in foreign accounts to avoid taxes, according to the report.

Insiders estimate that another $13.3 million are still hidden in undisclosed deposits and that Steffi Graf faces money problems if it isn't found, Spiegel said.

"It is currently unknown if Steffi will be able to play the U.S. Open in late summer, and later, the Masters final, to refill her empty accounts,'' Spiegel said.

Mannheim prosecutors have said they expect the tax evasion case to go to court sometime in late summer or early autumn. The U.S. Open is scheduled from Aug. 26 to Sept. 2, and the WTA Tour Championships, previously called the Masters [sic], at Madison Square Garden the week of Nov. 18.
Apr 23rd, 2016 09:57 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Dude, she had already been under investigation since, like, May 1995! Did they think those interrogation sessions back in October 1995 were just for show? Did they think that it had only just then dawned on the prosecutors that they needed to determine if Steffi was involved? "Oh, hey, now that we've looked through everything to see what we can charge Papa Graf and his advisor with, we need to do the same thing all over again for Steffi!" At least The Times of London remembered that she had already handed over a rather large sum to the Fiskus, but they can't bring themselves to question how it could be substantially more or why she wouldn't be able to pay it.

Steffi Graf under new tax scrutiny
The Times
London, England
April 23, 1996
Roger Boyes in Bonn

STEFFI GRAF, the world number one tennis player, is facing one of her most critical matches, not on court but against the German taxman. Prosecutors, having formally charged her father and her accountant, are investigating if she was personally involved in an alleged Pounds 20 million tax fraud.

Der Spiegel magazine yesterday gave a detailed breakdown of Miss Graf's complicated finances and declared that she could no longer escape the scrutiny of the fraud squad. ''The bottom line has been set by prosecutor Peter Wechsung in an internal memorandum," the magazine said.

''If Steffi really knows more about tax evasion than she has so far conceded, then she will not necessarily be arrested, but she must at least be charged."

Peter, Miss Graf's father, and Joachim Eckardt, her accountant, have both been charged with channelling about Pounds 20 million of her earnings into Dutch holding accounts between 1989 and 1993. A trial is expected in the summer. The two men are at loggerheads and legal sources believe that Herr Eckardt is ready to reveal details about the tennis player's knowledge of her tax affairs.

Miss Graf has been co-operating willingly with the prosecutor, and allowed herself to be questioned without a lawyer. She has also deposited DM20 million (about Pounds 8 million) to cover the alleged shortfall in tax payments. But the outstanding sum may be far more than that.
Apr 23rd, 2016 09:55 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Dude, she had already deposited $14 million with the German tax office back in 1995! It's like a satire: The same media that scoffed at the notion that Steffi didn't keep track of her money didn't keep track of their own reports about Steffi's money! I bet that Der Spiegel didn't know whether their "estimated savings" figure was before or after making the deposit; nor did they seem to have any sense that Steffi obviously had assets that she could liquidate; neither did they understand the concept that not all of Steffi's income was taxable in Germany, that she was still legally entitled to legitimate deductions, that they had paid some amount of her due taxes (e.g., most/all of her local taxes), and that the fines and interest are usually calculated and levied only after the conclusion of a trial. And while I think we all agree that Peter was a jerk, I somehow doubt that he would insist on collecting a "dismissal compensation fee" (if one was, in fact, contractually stipulated).

Back Taxes, Fees May Bankrupt Graf
Chicago Sun-Times
April 23, 1996
ROBIN GEDYE, LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH

BONN, Germany -- Tennis star Steffi Graf could be made bankrupt as a result of demands for unpaid back taxes and lawyers' fees in connection with investigations into her financial affairs.

The German magazine Der Spiegel said that apart from a court case pending against her father, Peter, who is charged with tax evasion, Graf would have to pay authorities and lawyers nearly $32 million. Her savings were estimated at around $28 million.

Graf always has contended that she left her tax affairs entirely to her father. He was arrested last August, and she had expected to have the case against her dropped. But prosecutors have said that although they cannot prove Graf knowingly had been involved in evading taxes, she remained under investigation.

She is expected to have to repay $22.4 million in back taxes, $1.5 million in interest, $1.9 million in fines, more than $1.5 million in lawyers' fees and $3.3 million in compensation to her father because she dismissed him as her financial adviser.

Bild newspaper said her only hope of paying the fines and legal fees would be if she had access to about $13.6 million that investigators believe are in numbered bank accounts.

She will remain under investigation. It has taken prosecutors eight months since the arrest of her father to produce charges against him.

The case has made headlines in Germany as the most involved investigation by tax authorities of the affairs of an individual in recent years.

The charge sheet against Peter Graf, who is in custody, is 237 pages long. Prosecutors have refused to grant bail because they say Peter Graf might flee the country. His lawyers have denied any wrongdoing and insist that "tax law for international athletes is confusing and complicated."

Graf has managed to hang on to her top ranking in women's tennis despite all her troubles.
Apr 23rd, 2016 09:52 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark43 View Post
Yeah, I just think if Steffi were to read that last few posts she would roll her eyes, shake her head and tell Andrè to change the locks...AGAIN.
;-)
Oh, please, I am totally a rifle 'n' scope type of person.

If you want kooky, read through some of the old posts here in BFTP from the fans of the Founding Mothers and the Selestians. Or read some of the things the Founding Mothers and Seles and her family said themselves.

Despite whatever a small but vocal minority would have you believe (i.e., "You don't and can't know anything about her! But even though we complain about that, it's not really a problem because she's just a tennis playing robot and there is nothing worth knowing!"), Steffi was one of the more open, accessible, and what-you-see-is-what-you-get celebrities. She often talked about the music she was listening to or the concerts she went to -- and Prince popped up with frequency, so it's obvious that she was a fan. I'm sure it surprises some people, even to this day, but Steffi really was much more like a "normal" Gen-Xer than a permanently tunnel-visioned conqueror.

Just like this patch in 1996 that we've arrived at, when the German equivalent of Time magazine tried to convince everyone that its demonstrably baseless speculations were reality. Do you think Steffi didn't notice or didn't have any emotional response to that? Do you think that strictly limiting the Steffi plotline to "only tennis" can properly narrate 1995-1997?
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