T365 Recall: Steffi Graf announces her retirement from tennis at the age of 30

Steffi Graf with French Open trophy PA

Tennis great Steffi Graf announced her immediate retirement from the sport on this day in 1999, aged only 30.

It was something of a surprise decision, given that the German had won the French Open just a couple of months before and then finished runner-up at Wimbledon.

But Graf, ranked third in the world at the time, said at a press conference: “I have no regrets because I have the feeling I have achieved everything I could.”

She won 22 Grand Slam titles, including seven at SW19, 107 WTA Tour titles, claimed Olympic gold at the 1988 Games in Seoul and spent a record 377 weeks as world No 1.

Her gold medal at the Seoul Games saw her becomes the only player in history to win a Golden Slam – four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal  in the same year.

Born in Mannheim in 1969, she was a teenager when she made her breakthrough and a maiden French Open crown, aged 17, proved a launchpad.

By 1990 she had already won nine Grand Slams and dominated the game, with a powerful forehand and reliable backhand slice.

A fascinating rivalry with Monica Seles developed in the early 1990s, but it was cut short as Seles was stabbed in the back by a Graf fanatic who made his way courtside during a match in 1993.

Her domination continued well into 1996, winning three Grand Slams, but injuries began to take their toll and after ending a barren couple of years, her French Open success and run to the Wimbledon final proved a fitting end to a glorious career.

She went on to marry fellow tennis player Andre Agassi and have two children.

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