Stephanie Maria “Steffi” Graf is a famous German tennis player widely considered the greatest female player of all time. She racked up 22 Grand Slam titles in a laurel-laden career spanning 16 years. Her record of 22 Grand Slam titles is bested only by Margaret Court with 24 and Serena Williams with 23. Additionally, Steffi Graf occupied the number one spot in the Women’s Tennis Association’s rankings for 337 weeks, a feat yet to be outdone by any other tennis player. Graf is also the first and only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam.
Popular online betting site Betway spoke to Sabine Appelmans about her career and what it was like playing against Graf. Here are some insights that Appelmans gave about facing Steffi Graf on the tennis court.
- All-Round Player
In this footage, Sabine Appelmans fondly remembers Steffi Graf as a complete player who she considered her icon throughout her playing career. Indeed, she was a swift and enviable player who maintained a simple yet elegant and efficient brand of tennis throughout her career. Many experts widely attribute her Golden Slam achievement in part to her ability to play excellently on all surfaces. The famous Australian Open and US Open play on hard surfaces. Wimbledon takes place on the grass, and the French Open is known for its clay surface. Each surface has a distinct speed and ball trajectory. Therefore, players typically prefer a specific surface, but Steffi excelled on all of them, winning more titles on fast and slow courts alike.
- Outstanding Forehand Drive And Footwork
Sabine also remembers Steffi Graf as a skilled opponent with an outstanding forehand drive and excellent footwork. Graf was a unique athlete, slender and powerful despite being just 5’10”. She had strong legs and nimble footwork that helped her retrieve the toughest balls. She possessed the type of stylish footwork commonly seen in Roger Federer in many ways. It was marvellous to watch her race to the corner to hit her trademark stunning forehand shot nicknamed the “Fraulein Forehand.” She is widely regarded for shifting tennis from soft groundstrokes and inspiring well-known big-hitting stars like the Williams sisters and Monica Seles. Her backhand was also considered a technical marvel since she could deliver one-handed topspins at will. These topspins were designed to get opponents to make one weak reply which she would swiftly punish with her famous forehand.
- Top Professional
Steffi Graf was well known for her perfect focus, quiet concentration, and top professionalism. After scoring vital points, she never attempted to pump herself up or destabilise her opponents with shouting, grunting, or fist-pumping. It was even rare to notice her questioning a line in call, playing with no arrogance whatsoever. Graf was also graceful in big match losses, accepting defeats with class and without tantrums or excuses. Sabine Appelmans fondly remembers the first time she played her and how challenging the encounter was, highlighting the fact that she won just one game.