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Today 02:24 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

For once, a rumor that was based on reality. Clearly, all the pundits (and there were many) who thought that when Seles' six-tournament co-ranking ended that her ranking would be at its "true level," didn't understand how having no minimum divisor was an advantage, and one that players like Capriati and Graf didn't get. IIRC, Monica would have been at No. 7 with the minimum divisor, which is still impressive but obviously also a long way from No. 1. Their "Monica will be No. 1 on her own" tune would change once Monica started serially withdrawing and/or not making her seeding.

Musings About Muster and No. 1 Ranking
February 11, 1996
Julie Cart
Los Angeles Times

All the quirks of the ATP computer have been exposed this week, as Thomas Muster will become the 13th player to become No. 1 since the rankings began in 1990. A scheduling change moved the San Jose tournament to a week later. That meant Andre Agassi lost 204 points he needed to remain No. 1, for a week anyway, Muster will take over.

Pete Sampras will be No. 2, Agassi No. 3, Boris Becker No. 4 and Michael Chang No. 5.

Muster had a highly successful 12 months, winning 12 tournaments, all but one on clay. His aversion to other surfaces was never more apparent than, after winning the French Open, he announced he would, once again, skip Wimbledon.

His philosophy seems to have changed. Muster said he will play Wimbledon this year.

It's not enough to satisfy some critics, as usual, led by Agassi.

"It certainly reflects the fact that you can dominate on one surface and play enough tennis to mislead a lot of people," he said.

Agassi said he would not rank Muster in the top 10 on any surface other than clay.

For his part, Sampras doesn't like the rankings, period. "It's so confusing," he said. "It took me a couple of years to figure it out."


The top end of the women's rankings has remained static, thanks to the WTA's decision to award Monica Seles a co-No. 1 status for her first six tournaments.

That protected status will come to an end after the State Farm Evert Cup next month, Seles' sixth tournament. But don't look for Seles' ranking to budge for the foreseeable future.

Even if Seles loses in the first round of the Evert Cup she will still be co-No. 1 with Steffi Graf. In fact, even though her ranking will find its true level after the tournament, she will still have a shared ranking until she has played in either 14 tournaments or after 18 months. Should her ranking move at all, she'll share it with the person ranked below her. After this break-in period, there'll be no more co-ranking.

All of which underscores how silly all the arguments were when Seles was poised to come back. Players grumbled at special treatment, but those around Seles, who had seen her play, were quietly saying, "The whole thing won't matter because Monica will be No. 1 on her own." How right they were.


Graf, who is recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from her foot, is scheduled to return to play at the Lipton Championships, the week after the Evert Cup.

Rumors from one of Graf's sponsors last week suggested that Graf would return sooner than scheduled, at the Evert Cup. But they were only rumors.

However, Graf's agent said last week that the rumor may not be so far off.

"It's not on her schedule, but if Steffi is healthy and ready to play, and she wants a tournament before Lipton, it could happen," said Phil DePiccioto, speaking from Atlanta. "The facility is great. I won't rule it out."

The tournament's predictable response: "We'd love to have her."


The good news from Davis Cup captain Tom Gullikson is his decision to name a squad of players early in the year and select from among them for matches during the year. Gullikson says he'll soon choose a team of eight to 10 players from which he'll slot in players for the rest of the year.

It's a move that the players have been asking for and applaud, as it removes the soap opera of selection and engenders more of a team spirit. It also allows players to set their schedules.

"Last year we kind of picked a team for each specific tie, and we didn't name an overall squad for the year, which kind of ties everybody together a little bit more," Gullikson said. "They get a feeling of more of a team-type situation."

Having solved one problem, still remaining out of Gullikson's control this year are the Olympic Games, which jam up the summer schedule.

"Every year, scheduling is a big issue," Gullikson said. "This year, with the Olympics crowding the schedule, it's one more major event that the players point to and take their attention away from the Davis Cup.

"It really boils down to priorities. At the U.S. Open [last August] the players made their schedules for this year. They all know where the Davis Cup weeks fall. It's very apparent in the schedule. It's just a matter of them making Davis Cup a priority and, you know, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't."


Tennis Notes

The U.S. Open has increased it's prize money by 10%, awarding a total of $10.8 million. It will be the only Grand Slam event to offer equal prize money for men and women. The winners will each receive $600,000. . . . Jim Courier has been named chairman of the ATP Tour Charities. . . . John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors will play in the Champions Tour over-35 event at Riviera Country Club April 23-28.
Feb 10th, 2016 01:06 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

An exhibition that never happened, but kinda interesting to watch the line-up evolve before it comes to a dead end. They would have had no problem selling out.

TENNIS - Graf, Seles to open Olympic site
The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution
February 9, 1996

Team tennis, still struggling to attract a large following, will get an early boost for the 1996 season March 19 at the Stone Mountain Olympic facility.

The event pits the best of the U.S. against the best of Germany. Monica Seles will head the U.S. team, Steffi Graf*the Germans.

According to plans, Seles will be joined by Pete Sampras, Patrick McEnroe and Chanda Rubin. Graf will be joined by Anke Huber and either Michael Stich or Boris Becker. Stich or Becker would be able to choose his doubles partner from the ranks of German players.

Atlanta's plums in this matchup would be Seles and Graf. The city has not had a top women's event since the 1970s.

Huber finished second to Seles at this year's Australian Open, and Rubin cracked the WTA's top 10 this year.

Ken Small, of Ken Small Marketing and the Atlanta Thunder TeamTennis, is putting the match together.

"We don't have all the contracts signed and in yet, but from everything their agents said, I believe we will have the best in the U.S. against the best from Germany," Small said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a sponsor of the event, will publish ticket applications Feb. 18 in a full-page ad. Ticket prices will be $45, $65 and $85. Small said the ad will tell fans how to reserve tickets by phone, with reservations honored in the order received and tickets mailed upon payment.

The participants have won close to 40 Grand Slam titles among them. Graf has 18 and Sampras has seven, including three straight Wimbledons. Becker just added the Australian Open title to go with his three Wimbledons and one U.S. Open title, and Stich has a Wimbledon title. Seles, who dominated the women's tour before missing almost two years because of a 1993 stabbing, finished second to Graf at last year's U.S. Open and last month made the Australian her ninth Grand Slam title. The team format calls for one set each of women's singles, women's doubles, men's singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles.
Feb 6th, 2016 01:59 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Nothing too funny in February 1996 in Steffi's storyline. She admitted later that she was really close to "quitting everything." Of course, she would fight through it to give us lighter moments such as "How much money do you have?" and "Women tend to get a little uptight."

The Washington Post
February 5, 1996
From News Services

Steffi Graf has said that mistakes had been made in the management of her fortune but refused to blame her father, jailed by investigators as part of a tax evasion probe.

In her first extensive interview since the affair began, Graf was quoted in a German newspaper, published yesterday, that she remained grateful her father, Peter, had taken responsibility for her money to allow her to concentrate on tennis.

"I am certainly not going to write off my father or say he is guilty or anything like that. Absolutely not," Graf told the Welt am Sonntag paper. "I will also do everything to make sure he is always as near me as possible, and I'll help him whenever I can."

Peter Graf, 57, has been in investigative custody in a Mannheim jail since early August as part of the tax probe. Media reports have accused him of not declaring around $27 million of his daughter's earnings.

"Even if my father may have made some mistakes, I have to say quite clearly that he also had advisers, whom he relied on completely," she said.

The interview was published the day after the news that Peter Graf will undergo psychiatric tests to see if he may plead diminished responsibility if charges are filed.
Feb 5th, 2016 08:45 PM
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

I must admit it was funny last saturday to be around on twitter while following the AO womens final. Steffi's name was more quoted than the 2 finalists names.

Serena chasing her record.
Angelique chasing her "record", as a german player to win a slam again

Well way funnier than the last articles ^ lol
Feb 5th, 2016 02:02 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Deducting under the influence? Unfortunately, I think you need to show it was something you have no control over.

SPORTS PEOPLE: TENNIS; Psychiatric Tests For Graf's Father
The New York Times
February 4, 1996

According to his lawyer, PETER GRAF will undergo psychiatric tests in his German jail cell to determine whether he can plead diminished responsibility on tax-evasion charges.

German prosecutors suspect that STEFFI GRAF's father did not declare about $27 million of her earnings. Peter Graf, 57, has been in custody in Mannheim since last August.

"We expect the tests to show that tablets and alcohol had a large effect on Peter Graf and his decisions with tax matters," the lawyer, STEFFEN UFER, said yesterday.
Feb 4th, 2016 01:29 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

When the tennis legal courts get more column space than the tennis playing courts. Obviously, the old "I was drunk and incapable" alibi was not going to apply here, but if I had been held for 6 months without being charged, I might have tried a few longshot ploys, too.

Injured Seles loses to 18-year-old
Austin American-Statesman
February 3, 1996
News wire services

TOKYO -- A frustrated Monica Seles is at a loss to explain her defeat to 18-year-old Croatian Iva Majoli in the quarterfinals Friday at the Pan Pacific Open.

''I played so well in the first set, and I don't know what happened after that,'' said Seles, still bothered by a left shoulder injury sustained last week en route to her Australian Open title. ''I was getting frustrated today out there.

''I'm not too happy with myself about that, but she just played better on the key points than I did today.''

Majoli, ranked No. 8 in the world, upset top-ranked Seles 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

Seles, who withdrew from the doubles competition because of the injury, entered the match 12-0 in 1996, including a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Majoli in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

Majoli, who won consecutive indoors titles in October at Zurich, Switzerland, and Filderstadt, Germany, ended the second-set tiebreaker with two forehand returns deep into the corners.

''It means a lot to me. She's the No. 1 player in the world.,'' Majoli said. ''Monica started really good in the first set, and I was making lots of errors. I played a similar game in the Australian Open.''

Seles lost for only the second time in five tournaments since returning to tennis after being stabbed by a fan in Germany in April 1993. She won the Canadian Open last August in her first event, lost to Steffi Graf in the final of the U.S. Open, and then began this year with victories in the Peters International and the Australian Open.

''I don't think I'll play four weeks in a row again. It's too tough,'' said Seles, who plans to play for the United States in the Federation Cup and Olympics.''

Majoli will face 15-year-old Swiss prodigy Martina Hingis in today's semifinals. Hingis routed Japan's Naoko Sawamatsu 6-1, 6-2.

Second-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain will face third-seeded compatriot Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the other semifinal. Martinez beat No. 8 Lindsay Davenport 6-2, 6-3, and Sanchez Vicario defeated No. 5 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria 7-5, 6-3.

Elsewhere . . .

Top-seeded GORAN IVANISEVIC advanced to the semifinals of the Croatia Indoors tournament in Zagreb by beating No. 8 ADRIAN VOINEA of Romania 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7- 4). GUY FORGET of France beat CARL-UWE STEEB of Germany 6-3, 6-4 to advance to a semifinal match against Ivanisevic today. The other semifinal will pit MARC GOELLNER of Germany against CEDRIC PIOLINE of France. ...


State prosecutors say Steffi Graf's jailed father agreed to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, a newspaper reported.

A lawyer for Peter Graf, Kurt Himmlesbach, could not confirm the report last night, and said the last he knew Graf had not decided on an evaluation.

Graf, 57, has been in jail since Aug. 2 for allegedly failing to pay taxes on some $35 million of his daughter's tennis earnings between 1989 and 1992. No charges have yet been filed, and a regional court in Karlsruhe will decide whether Graf should remain in jail.

The Mannheimer Morgen newspaper quoted a spokesman for the prosecutors' office as saying that the evaluation was intended to determine whether Graf suffered diminished capacity.

Under German law, defendants can receive lighter sentences if it is proven they lacked the capacity to view their criminal acts as illegal.


The International Tennis Federation has two weeks to prove it has evidence that tennis stars Mats Wilander and Karel Novacek tested positive for cocaine at last year's French Open.

Five days after the allegations were disclosed in a British newspaper, the two players took the ITF to court in London in an attempt to have the federation's current drug testing procedures declared unfair and to prove their innocence.

''This is the first case of its kind the ITF have been involved in and they have made a mess of it so far,'' the players' lawyer, Jack Rabinowicz, said Friday after the deadline was ordered by a judge.

Neither player was in court.

''Mats Wilander and Karel Novacek are taking these proceedings against the ITF because they feel that they have little choice in the circumstances,'' Rabinowicz said. ''They have been wrongly and unfairly accused, and the only way left for them to be able to establish their integrity is to take the ITF to court.

''They are also doing so to protect other players of lesser fame than them who would not be able to withstand the pressure brought on them by the tennis authorities,'' Rabinowicz said.

''Accordingly, both players are seeking an early hearing where they can establish that the current procedures are unfair and were wrongly applied to them.''

Philip Engelman, who represented the players in court, told the judge, Sir Donald Rattee, it was the players' right under ITF rules to call for an appeals committee and this was set up to be heard in London on Jan. 23-24.

Lawyers representing the players in the United States had been trying unsuccessfully since last November to obtain documents relating to the urine tests from the French laboratories so their expert witness could examine the procedures, Engelman said.

The players' legal team flew to London for the ITF appeal, but in ''a dramatic development at five minutes to midnight'' on the day before it was due to begin, the American lawyer for the ITF called off the hearing.

Engelman said it was urgent for the allegations against Wilander and Novacek to be cleared up so they can play without major distractions in upcoming tournaments. Despite the allegations, the ITF has taken no action against either player.

The judge gave the ITF 14 days to produce the evidence, and the players' legal team another two weeks to reply. The ITF also must give the players 21 days' notice if the federation tries to reconstitute its own appeal hearing.

The ITF had said before the hearing it would defend any allegations brought by the players against its drug testing procedure.

Wilander, who was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1988, has won seven Grand Slam titles. Novacek, a Czech who was ranked No. 8 in 1991, is now down to No. 122.
Feb 1st, 2016 02:22 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

So I guess this preferential treatment just kinda sorta happened all on its own, somehow nobody made any decision or "tried to influence" anything. A classic case of that merry prankster Not Me in action.

January 31, 1996
Staff and wire reports

Looking to move up from No.2 in the ranking, Andre Agassi said during the early stages of the just-completed Australian Open: "If I don't win this tournament, I don't want to be ranked No. 1."Oops. That was said after then-No.1 Pete Sampras was ousted in the third round and it looked as if Agassi would encounter little resistance on his way to reclaiming the title. It was also well before Agassi got his racket handed to him by Michael Chang in the semifinals. Agassi did gain the No.1 ranking, but his play and attitude during the Australian Open have damaged a reputation he had carefully reconstructed. Still, thanks to the convolutions of the ATP computer, Agassi comes away with the No. 1 ranking. This week's top five: No.1 Agassi, No.2 Thomas Muster, No.3 Sampras, No.4 Boris Becker, No.5 Chang. ...

Monica Seles continues to amaze after winning her fourth Australian title. Seles has never lost at Flinders Park. She may have won without the challenge of Steffi Graf, co-ranked No. 1, but did so having overcome a mysterious virus, a sprained ankle, ongoing tendinitis in her knee, a strained groin muscle, and - on the eve of her semifinal against Chanda Rubin - a shoulder injury. In the absence of Graf - herself a courageous champion - there can be no debate about the accuracy of Seles' No.1 ranking. Seles and her partner, Kimiko Date of Japan, withdrew from the doubles competition of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo Tuesday due to Seles' sore shoulder. Both are still scheduled for singles play. Other news from the Pan Pacific's opening round: Martina Hingis, the 15-year-old tennis whiz from Switzerland, ousted sixth-seeded Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina 6-3, 6-4, Lori McNeil lost her match to Irina Spirlea of Romania 6-3, 6-0, Gigi Fernandez beat Japan's Rika Hiraki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, and Lisa Raymond defeated Australian Rennae Stubbs 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).

Panel suggests Graf and father are receiving special treatment

A parliamentary panel said on Tuesday that German authorities had given tennis star Steffi Graf and her father, both under investigation for tax evasion, preferential treatment over their tax affairs. The report by deputies from the Baden-Wuerttemberg state assembly criticized state finance ministry officials for holding meetings with Peter Graf to discuss his tax affairs, panel chairman Wolfgang Bebber told reporters. It also criticized a delay of several years before investigators launched a probe of the Grafs' taxes, but said there was no evidence that any politician had tried to influence that investigation. The star's father, Peter Graf, 57, has been in investigative custody in a Mannheim pri son since August on suspicion of concealing more than $26.6 million of his daughter's earnings from tax inspectors.
Feb 1st, 2016 02:21 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

How to succeed at living without really trying...

Steffi Graf keeps low profile as legacy grows
Nick McCarvel
Special for USA TODAY Sports
January 31, 2016, 5:06 a.m. EST

MELBOURNE, Australia – In an Australian Open weekend when*Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber have loomed large, another name has been mentioned almost as much: the great Steffi Graf.

Or Stefanie Graf, as she likes to be called these days. On Saturday night, Kerber denied Williams her 22nd Grand Slam title, an Open era record that still safely belongs to her German countrywoman Graf.

Kerber received a good-luck message from Graf prior to the final as she attempted to pull off what many thought was the unthinkable: Beating Serena. But she did, and in the aftermath she got a congratulations from Graf, as well, who is a rare sight in tennis these days.

With her name in the headlines again, it begs the question: Where is Graf these days?

Now 46, Graf lives in Las Vegas with her husband Andre Agassi*and two kids, Jaden, 14, and Jaz, 12. She is seldom spotted at tennis’ biggest events, making a rare appearance for a sponsor or her charity, the Children of Tomorrow.

"She made it very clear that once her career was over, she would leave tennis," said Doris Henkel, a freelance journalist in Germany who covered 19 of Graf’s 22 major titles. "She loved the competition, but all the rest was a burden for her. She didn’t like press conferences or the PR stuff, so it’s no surprise to me we don’t really see her."

Tennis is filled with its greats in varying capacities around the sport: They’re commentators, coaches, tournament directors and agents. They make appearances at legends’ luncheons, play charity events and take selfies with fans. Theirs is a public life, followed by achievements from the past.

But for Graf, the private life is where she’s found most of her joy. She told espnW as much in an interview last April.

"I just don't think of my career much," she said in the interview. "I think [it's because] I had such peace of mind that I felt I gave my sport everything. I know I was obviously aware that I achieved a lot, but I think the comfort was that I felt like I gave everything to it and it gave me a lot in return. It gave me what I have now – *Andre, my family and the time to spend with them. I'm extremely grateful."

Graf declined*comment for this story.

She is far from a total ghost in tennis, however. In 2009, she handed over the Roland Garros trophy – 10 years after she won a sixth and final one herself – to Svetlana Kuznetsova.

That year she also helped break in the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon, playing a mixed doubles match alongside husband Agassi, Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman.

Her absence at most events is accepted.*"Stefanie has always been a private person," said Barbara Schett, a former world No. 7 who now serves as an analyst for Eurosport. "She doesn’t need to come back and work the tournaments – she has her thing with her family and Andre, where she found the perfect match. It’s up to her if she wants to be involved. We have to respect that."

Graf’s connection to Kerber has been a focal point in light of the 28-year-old’s maiden title. In 2012, when Kerber made the Wimbledon semifinals, Graf chatted to her in the locker room, and last March, Kerber, as part of an adidas player development program, spent time with Graf at her home in Las Vegas on the practice courts.

"That was a special moment for me, but I am not in touch with her in every tournament or every week," Kerber told a small group of reporters here Saturday night. "I have my team around me. Steffi told me two or three sentences [before the match], which means a lot because it was Steffi."

Kerber becomes the first German woman to win a major since Graf did so at that 1999 French Open, and the first here since Graf’s victory in 1994.

But does Kerber’s success mean a more present Graf on tour? Probably not.

"I believe everyone has the right to do what they want," Pete Sampras told USA TODAY Sports in an interview last September. "Steffi is a little more on the reserved side. She doesn’t do many interviews. I have a lot respect for her."

"She gave the game so much, she was such a great champion," added Henkel, the German journalist. "She brought joy to so many people. She did her duty on that."
Feb 1st, 2016 02:18 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by Stef-fan View Post
Sad part is that there will no longer be an Addidas training camp in Las Vegas.
That said, don't think she will say no to players (Germans in particular as most seem to have some form of contact with her) that would want to come and hit with her, if she has time.
Figures. They finally got a "live one," so now it's time to discontinue the program. Makes perfect sense. But as you say, she can still have people over for tea and a look-see at what ails their game. "There's your problem..."
Feb 1st, 2016 02:06 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by Nalby fan View Post
Angelique did play some wicked angles in the final,forcing Serena to come into the net. I wonder if that was the result of Steffi's advice?
I would guess any tactical/strategic advice from Steffi would have been to keep Serena moving and for Kerber to keep her own feet moving; and probably to surprise Serena with something a little bit crazy (but just a little!) on important points, like those drop shots; and possibly some observations about Serena's serving tendencies and tells.

The more important advice was likely about "keeping positive." Kerber said that after she blew serving for the match she thought (paraphrasing): "I've broken her serve all those times, I can break her serve again." Or: "You know you must play your best tennis against Serena. This is what you as a player would like to show to the fans. This is why we train for this moment." Those are PURE Steffi. But of course, it's one thing for Steffi to explain to a student what/how she thought in various situations and quite another for that student to go out on the court and do the same thing. For at least this one tournament, Angie totally lived the "Graf philosophy" that you keep fighting until the very last ball.
Feb 1st, 2016 12:49 AM
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Wonder how many players will be asking for a spot at the Adidas training camp this year? As if it were that simple!
Sad part is that there will no longer be an Addidas training camp in Las Vegas.
That said, don't think she will say no to players (Germans in particular as most seem to have some form of contact with her) that would want to come and hit with her, if she has time.
Jan 31st, 2016 10:48 PM
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Angelique did play some wicked angles in the final,forcing Serena to come into the net. I wonder if that was the result of Steffi's advice?
Interesting thought.

Durinf the final Chris Evert was saying Steffi told Kerber more than anything "to believe in herself".

Something Steffi herself had in aces and spades.
Jan 31st, 2016 09:23 PM
Nalby fan
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Originally Posted by Ms. Anthropic View Post
Wonder how many players will be asking for a spot at the Adidas training camp this year? As if it were that simple!
Angelique did play some wicked angles in the final,forcing Serena to come into the net. I wonder if that was the result of Steffi's advice?
Jan 30th, 2016 05:07 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Wonder how many players will be asking for a spot at the Adidas training camp this year? As if it were that simple!
Jan 26th, 2016 02:01 AM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

January 25, 1996


DIANA NYAD, Reporter: It seems Steffi Graf's career has been nearly as troubled as it has been stellar. Injuries have plagued her in recent years and perhaps even more of a hindrance have been her father's well-publicized transgressions. This seemingly irreproachable athlete, hero to young people, paradigm of clean-cut values to her sponsors, has spent the better part of the last five years fending off reporters' attacks on her father.
Not so much "fending off" as "learning to ignore." As Steffi often said, if she responded to criticisms and rumors, she would have time for nothing else -- and the criticisms and rumors would have then increased exponentially because that's the way those kind of people work.

It was in 1990, that Peter Graf was first taken to court in Germany on palimony [sic] charges. Mr. Graf was found innocent,
Paternity suits and palimony are not the same thing. Palimony isn't even a criminal charge. Neither is a paternity suit, by the way.


And now, just as that fiasco has finally faded away, Mr. Graf has, again, diminished his daughter's otherwise brilliant year that was 1995.
Quite the opposite, actually. Everyone was extra amazed by Steffi's 1995. There wasn't one person, not even a detractor like Dale Robertson, who was saying, "Well, those are great results but too bad this scandal involving her father makes everything she won worth less." This might be the right time to point out that Diana Nyad was/is a friend of Chris Evert. I am only half surprised she didn't haul out the Seles absence hobgoblin as well, but then it might have been too obvious this piece was not exactly supposed to make you feel admiration for Steffi or even sympathy for her situation.


In November at the press conference after winning the Tour championship at Madison Square Garden, Steffi suffered through a piercing barrage of questions about her father's wrong-doings [sic], when the number one player in the world should have been waxing poetic about her invincible forehand.
There was no "piercing barrage" of questions in either English or German. The media kept the tax mess pretty low key at Philly and MSG.


Some argue that Peter Graf's business is his own. I would agree if he hadn't eagerly taken his seat in the court-side boxes at Wimbledon
So just sitting in the Friends' Box makes you a fair-game publicity hound -- or makes you and your actions inextricable from the person on the court? Compared with Nick Bollettieri or Brad Gilbert or early Richard Williams, for example, Peter Graf kept his distance from the media as a coach and/or Tennis Father. And he certainly wasn't the same person as Steffi.

and dived into the lavish life style that Steffi's money provided him.
It was not that lavish. The politicians and bureaucrats he bought didn't even stay bought!

When he decided to participate in her fame, he took on the burden of fame, himself.
He "participated" in Steffi's fame no more --and arguably quite a bit less-- than other parent-coach combos. He certainly let go of the coach aspect better than many others.

There is no doubt that Peter Graf's low-class behavior has cast a shadow on his world-class daughter.
And this is where I might say that, for example, Chris Evert's sometime behavior does NOT cast a shadow on her parents and the way they undoubtedly tried to raise her. Again, if anything Peter's problems --most of which existed long before Steffi ever became rich and famous-- made/make Steffi seem that much more of a brighter light in this world, an assurance that you can turn out "okay" even if your family is a mess.


I remember thinking it's so unfair that Geraldine Ferraro's political career was sullied when her husband was found guilty of illegal activities, but those are the rules of politics - and sports.
1) Those "rules" apply only to some people. There are plenty of athletes and politicians who do illegal or morally questionable things, and the media and public will either not delve into it or just shrug if their transgressions come to the surface.

2) The media and society in general make "the rules" of politics and sports -- and everyday life. If we decide a rule, no matter how long-standing, is unfair or stupid, we have the power and obligation to change it. And the people who said, "Well, this 'rule' is clearly unfair and stupid, but we must follow it because it's a 'rule!' " will end up looking unfair and stupid 20 years later.

You have to be squeaky clean yourself, and your associates also live under the public microscope. Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman of the NBA may vehemently decline the mantle of role model, but just by virtue of their celebrity, they are role models.
And this is an example of how things were changing -- or at least how certain fairy tales were no longer given lip service. By 1995, people were comfortable with appreciating others for certain talents without expecting them to be "perfect" or wanting to emulate them in all things.

And Peter Graf evidently never imagined himself a celebrity, whose morals would be scrutinized, or whose behavior would cast aspersions on his daughter, but as they say - it goes with the territory.
So it's OK to convict somebody --and certainly OK to not count those 18 Slams at full value-- before all the facts are in based on what somebody else did because it just goes with the territory? Fortunately, only a few people really thought that way. As we work our way through 1996, it will become obvious that Steffi was more appreciated and (dare I say it?) beloved than ever.
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